THE GOLDEN AGE OF MOTOR RACING
I would like to disagree wholeheartedly with Mr. Jordan in his opinions about Grand Prix racing today. Undoubtedly the “Golden Age” has passed, along with Collins, Fangio, Musso and Hawthorn and company, when motor racing was considered a sport, not a job. Moreover, I cannot agree that greater speed and increased reliability are necessarily the objects of Grand Prix racing. This noble branch of motor racing is essentially a showman’s business, and should be run for the interest of the faithful multitudes that watch it.
But, again, this element seems to have vanished, for how could one compare the 1957 German and French races with their 1960 equivalents?
Mr. Jordan also refers to the monopolisation of events by works teams in the past tense; and yet, what have the 1960 events been, if not this ? Works Coopers have gone from strength to strength, winning all but two Championship events, but I, like many others, want to see Brabham at the wheel of a car other than a F.1 Cooper (how about a Sports Ferrari ?).
That greatest-ever driver, Manuel Fangio, proved his mettle in a variety of cars, over a period of seven years or so, showing himself as the world’s greatest ambassador for motor raring.
Ferrari alone have upheld the prestige of this “old school” as far as possible, but even they are resorting to rear engines for 1961.
As for looks, well ! Lotus, Cooper and B.R.M. are surely three of the most squat and ugly cars ever to touch the tarmac. The former, looking, as Mr. Jenkinson (for whom I have a profound and healthy respect) puts it, ” like a sort of Go-Kart.”
I console myself with my old copies of MOTOR SPORT, and read about “days of old, when drivers were bold,” when drivers and cars alike showed motor racing to be the wonderful sport it is.
JOHN J. ROBINSON (age 15).