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Published by kwaller, 2022-07-12 10:52:29

Linkage 007 May 2022


the Scenes



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Is it possible to be flawless in a
drag car?

Elana Scherr


Judging is a little different at every
concours. Veteran judge Carl
Bomstead takes us inside at Pebble
Beach and The Amelia

Carl Bomstead


A high-test weekend at the
Goodwood Members’ Meeting

Russell Hayes



The Rolex Monterey Motorsports
AUDRAIN MOTORSPORT’S FIRST-EVER Reunion is the best part of
VETERAN CAR TOUR Monterey Car Week
A field of 24 Brass Era cars chugs
along on a 40-mile round trip from Chester Allen
Newport, R.I.
Chester Allen
34 Repurposed jewelry and custom
Catching up with IMSA’s John Jim Pickering
Doonan for a behind-the-scenes
take on the new GTP series 174

Michael Leven BOOK REVIEW
Not all automotive books are worth
40 keeping. But the best ones are
A moment in time with the Lancia Mark Wigginton
Stratos Zero and Ferrari Modulo at
Lingotto 178

The story behind two special cars
ON THE COVER: Alexis DeJoria moving down the quarter mile. Photo courtesy of NHRA/NATIONAL DRAGSTER that were photographed on the
Paramount Studios lot in 1937
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Donald Osborne


Redeye flights and going behind
the scenes in Amelia Island and
Newport, R.I.

Chester Allen


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16  106 118 134

Going behind the scenes at Miles Collier shares insights on The best and the rest Chad Taylor
McLaren and Ferrari his new book, The Archeological
Automobile Jim Pickering 150
Donald Osborne
Jim Pickering 120 1934 Packard Twelve Individual
58  Custom Convertible Victoria by
112 THIS SEASON’S CHURN Dietrich — $4,130,000
NOTE FROM EUROPE What’s coming up for auction — Carl Bomstead
What happened to all the James BEHIND THE SCENES WITH J.D. PASS OF and when
Bond Aston Martin cars? SONICBIDDER AND THE VAULT 160 
Linkage sits down with auction AUCTION SNAPSHOTS
Simon Kidston innovator J.D. Pass and talks about ONLINE MADNESS
SonicBidder and The Vault 122  Five surprises from BaT
Chester Allen Gooding & Company, Nick Jaynes
Everyone wants to see movie cars 164  Carl Bomstead 176 
up close, but be careful what you
Citroëns in the City of Angels Packard’s innovative and creative
Jay Leno Artcurial Rétromobile advertising helped the luxury
Sara Ryan Chad Taylor car company survive the Great
62  Depression of the 1930s
168 154
Running against time — and UNDER THE SKIN AUCTION BRIEF
running out of time — come to Mercedes’ flagship 600 is packed Bonhams Goodwood Members’
mind during the West Coast’s full of innovative tech Meeting
biggest car swap meet
Pierre Hedary Russell Hayes
Jim Pickering
TALKING FAST Bloomberg Businessweek Car Critic
Formula One is rocketing in Hannah Elliott talks car journalism,
popularity in the United States, and being the ultimate car insider, good
it looks like a wonderful new era is and bad cars — and settles the
dawning Negroni vs. Boulevardier debate

Zak Brown Stephen Serio


Hopping up a Third Gen Hemi
Dodge Challenger created a
faster, lighter car — and a massive

Rich Taylor


Michael Strahan’s big, busy life
has seen many adventures and
many changes, but love of cars is a

Michael Strahan


The Next Big Thing

Gord Duff, Paul Morrissette and
Jay Ward

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Watching the trip, kicking off with a private track day driving vintage race cars and
Magic Happen some modern BMWs on the storied Goodwood Motor Circuit.

A European trip included behind-the-scenes trips to A drive to Blenheim Palace, a private tour and lunch with the
the McLaren and Ferrari dream factories Duke of Marlborough followed the next day. But the door to the
automotive inner sanctum was opened the day after that, with
by DONALD OSBORNE a drive to the storied McLaren Technology Centre. Just being
permitted to enter the dramatic, low-slung building, a modernist
BEING “BEHIND THE scenes” is always a privilege. masterpiece of Lord Norman Foster, is already a trip into another
Going through a door marked “private,” “official access only” world.

or “staff only” immediately transports you to a world that few But being able to see the McLaren Racing command center — the
experience. And seeing behind the curtain of “The Wizard of Oz” beating heart and brain of the trackside action in Formula One
doesn’t have to be a disappointment. competition — was astounding.

On the contrary, knowledge of what lies beneath the magic the Back to factories. We also walked into the factory of McLaren
world sees can sometimes enhance my appreciation. Automotive, where we looked over from a wide viewing balcony at
workers building the brand’s modern road cars.
Factory fascination
Unlike factories of old, the McLaren facility was clean and
I love factories. It almost doesn’t matter what the factory is surprisingly quiet — apart from the glass-enclosed room where
producing; the process of creating a finished object from raw the finished cars were roller tested. The distant rumble of a high-
materials is a fascinating one, akin to alchemy. performance engine under load could be heard. The workforce was
also unexpectedly young. It was a special experience.
One of the most magical places I could imagine was architect
Albert Kahn’s incredible Ford River Rouge plant, where the most Maranello and Ferrari
impressive example of vertically integrated production in the auto
industry once existed. However, little did I realize that I would soon find myself
headed to perhaps an even more extraordinary behind-the-scenes
I spent time in the apparel industry, and a key part of my job was encounter at another factory. I had to go to Italy after the Goodwood
visiting factories where fabric was loomed from thread, and then trip for some business. As I was headed to London for my flight
going to others where complex cutting patterns were laid out and to Milan, I received a message asking if I might be able to be in
vast swathes of cloth became abstract component parts of pants. It Maranello on Tuesday afternoon.
was riveting — even more so the next step, where the pieces came
together and became a garment you could put on. I had been invited to have lunch, followed by a private tour of the
Ferrari factory.
Imagine then my transport at experiencing, within the space
of a few days, two of the most evocative factories in the world of I rearranged my schedule at once.
automobiles. My heart was already racing when I drove through Ferrari’s
famous factory gate and parked. When I was taken to the factory
A magical tour floor, I watched another very young, focused and enthusiastic
workforce building engines, assembling cars and testing and
I attended the Goodwood Members’ Meeting with a group on a checking them.
tour with Audrain Motorsport. It was an ultimate behind-the-scenes The experience was otherworldly.
We then went to Ferrari’s Fiorano test track — where I watched
the brand-new Ferrari 296 GT3 on its very first track outing.
Then we went into the Ferrari Classiche facility, where the
company’s heritage and artisan work methods were actually
happening. I realized that there was a direct link between the work
that had started in that place in the late 1940s to the new Ferraris
being built today.
The day ended with an introduction to my just-completed Ferrari
Roma in the showroom adjacent to the Classiche shop.
For someone who has always loved spending time where things
are created, it was truly a dream.
McLarens and Ferraris will always mean so much more to me
now that I have spent those precious moments “behind the scenes.”
The magic in front of the curtain is so much greater when you have
seen it born behind the curtain.

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Managing Director




Executive Editor

[email protected]
[email protected]

Managing Editor

[email protected]

Art Director


Associate Editor

[email protected]

Editor at Large











Chief Operating Officer Sr. Vice President, Sponsorships

[email protected] | 1-203-945-7855
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Advertising Executive
[email protected] KATEE WALLER
[email protected] [email protected]

Subscription Coordinator CONTACT US

CHAD TAYLOR Subscription help: 1-503-312-0846 or [email protected]
[email protected] For advertising, please contact: [email protected]
For partnerships/sponsorships, please contact: [email protected]
Publishing Consultant To reach the Editor, please contact: [email protected]
For general inquiries, please contact: [email protected]
ERIN OLSON Mailing address: 256 Maple Ave., Newport, RI, 02840

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Monterey Car vintage racing speedfests at Visit
Week’s Best WeatherTech Raceway Laguna government/government-links/
Event Seca. weathertech-raceway for
more information on parking,
JUST TWO YEARS ago, we The Monterey Pre-Reunion camping, schedules and ticket
lost much of the summer car is set for August 13-14, and the prices.
gatherings to COVID-19. Last outstanding Rolex Monterey
summer, a lot of events — Motorsport Reunion is As Long as
including Monterey Car Week scheduled for August 17-20. You’re in
— came back at reduced levels. There is no better place on this California…
planet to see amazing vintage
This year is going to be race cars thunder around a ONCE MONTEREY CAR
spectacular. world-class track. Week is over — or before it
begins — a trip to the nearby
First off, Monterey Car Week Things are a little rough and Blackhawk Museum’s Classic
— from August 12 through ready out there, as there are Car Collection in Danville, CA
August 21 — is something no fancy luncheons — unless is worth a day.
everyone should experience. a race team invites you to their
Yes, it’s frenetic, often crowded barbecue — and not a lot of Danville is near San
and expensive. But you will shade — unless you’re ushered Francisco — and just 109
never see more spectacular into a hospitality suite. There miles from Monterey. Maybe
gatherings of cars — and car are a few stands that sell hot you’ll need to shake down that
people — in your life. dogs, tacos and hamburgers at fun car you just bought at the
eye-watering prices. Bonhams Auction at Quail
Lots of people try and do Lodge!
everything at Monterey, and But the racing is all worth it.
they end up tired, stressed and Seeing vintage Formula One The Blackhawk Museum’s
confused. A better plan is to cars screaming though the Classic Car Collection gallery
pick out one daytime event straights and cascading down is 40 cars that range from
and one evening event for each The Corkscrew will make your Full Classics to race cars to
day of your stay. Yes, you’ll blood fizz. Supercars. The cars on display
miss some things, but you can are in constant rotation, so
come back the next year and So, if you go, wear a hat, there’s usually a surprise for
experience what you missed bring ear protection — and everyone.
the year before. bring the best camera you
own. Definitely walk around The museum is open Friday
The best event during the paddock — where all the through Sunday, and it’s a lot
Monterey Car Week is also race teams are busily prepping of fun.
the one with the least glitz their cars for racing. This is all
and glamour — but the most up-close and personal — and For more information, call
excitement and noise. Yes, so cool. 1-925-736-2280 or visit www.
I’m talking about the two
And if you just have to go to
the Pebble Beach Concours
d’Elegance — no worries, as
Pebble happens the day after
the races end.

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Driving 40 Miles in — clustered around each ancient car as it was coaxed
120-year-old cars to clattering, chugging life. Some cars initially balked
at starting, while others, such as Jim Grundy’s 1909
The inaugural Audrain Motorsport Veteran Car Tour sponsored by Pierce 6-36 Demi Tonneau, lit right up.
Bonhams brought Brass Era cars to Newport, Rhode Island
Grundy sat behind the wheel of his treasured car
by CHESTER ALLEN and watched his fellow Brass Era car fans adjust
throttle settings and settle into seats that looked like
ABOVE Jim Grundy ONE OF THE greatest dramas in the car world is old sofas.
and his family set out starting a Brass Era car on a cool, brisk morning.
in the 1909 Pierce The cars — along with owners and passengers —
6-36 Demi Tonneau Brass Era cars were built between 1896 and 1915, faced a 40-mile round trip from Newport to a lunch at
that his grandfather which means all of them are at least 107 years old. Bristol, R.I. and then back to Newport.
saved from the scrap These cars sometimes have just one or two cylinders
yard in 1938 — and their mechanical systems are from the early “My grandfather saved this car out of a
days of gasoline engines — or the peak of steam Philadelphia scrap yard in 1938, when a lot of old cars
RIGHT Matt Farah engines. were being scrapped for war production,” Grundy
drives a 1902 Packard said. “He had a company that built truck bodies, and
Type F out of the They’re all touchy, beautiful beasts. he traded a load of scrap metal for the car, took it
Ochre Court drive On March 27, the two dozen cars in Audrain back to his factory and had his workers restore it.
Motorsport’s inaugural Veteran Car Tour were
30  Linkage 007 parked at Ochre Court, one of the famous Gilded “He restored the engine himself, and this engine
Age mansions in Newport, R.I. The morning was has never been apart since.”
cool enough to make standing in the shade a little
uncomfortable. Many Brass Era cars were melted down during
So, the drama was real for everyone involved. World War II, Grundy said.
Owners — along with mechanics and passengers
The Pierce passed out of his family’s ownership in
1960. Four owners and 47 years later, Grundy bought
the car and brought it back into his family.

It’s never going to leave the family again.
Grundy was sure that his car would finish
the round-trip, but he said these cars were
temperamental from birth.
“Most of the time, people traveled with a
mechanic,” he said. “Those little seats you see on
some of the running boards are for a mechanic. The
larger cars were usually driven by chauffeurs, who
were also mechanics.”

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Speaking of mechanics… husband after a driver blew the steam whistle on his ABOVE Blowing off
Stanley Steamer — it sounded like an ocean liner was steam as the Veteran
Two days earlier, on the Friday before the Veteran docking just down the street. Car Tour starts
Car Tour, some of the cars were clustered at an
Audrain Motorsport garage in Newport, where master Jerry Chase climbed into his immaculate 1905 TOP LEFT Evan Ide works
mechanic Lee Castleberry and noted Brass Era expert Stevens-Duryea, which he bought and restored 25 on the 1902 Packard
Evan Ide were getting them ready for the 40-mile years ago. Type F on the Friday
drive. before the Veteran Car
“I’ve put 12,000 miles on this car,” he said. “We Tour
One car, a 1902 Packard Type F, was throwing a toured Yellowstone National Park for a week in this
mechanical tantrum. car.” RIGHT Driver Ben
Taradash starts up Dick
The 120-year-old car would start, but the idle was Another 40 miles would be no problem, Chase said. Shappy’s 1909 Pierce-
very rough, and it didn’t want to run for any distance. “I’m sure we’ll see a lot of people watching us on Arrow 36HP
the road,” Chase said. “People love these old cars, and
Ide and Castleberry stared at the car as it the people who keep these cars going are just so great.
repeatedly died in a haze of exhaust. Every time we get together to run our cars it’s like a
college reunion.”
“A challenge,” said Ide, who also is a car specialist The cars chugged out of the Ochre Court gates
for Bonhams — the tour’s main sponsor. “Something and headed for Bristol. Chase was right — crowds of
to think about.” spectators came out to see the old cars moving down
the road. Rattling chain drives were greeted with
After checking out the throttle linkage and other cheers and waves.
settings, Ide and Castleberry decided that bad gas
and a gummed-up carburetor were to blame. Racing ahead

Ide took the massive, bronze carburetor apart and The first car to arrive at the Bristol Harbor Inn —
cleaned it while Castleberry drained the bad gas out where a hot lunch was waiting for drivers who had
of the tank. been out in the cool wind — was Alex Dragone’s 1906
Locomobile Vanderbilt Cup — which was one of the
“This gas is nasty,” Castleberry said. fastest race cars of its day.
Replacing the gas and cleaning a dirty carburetor
did the trick. The car was built in Bridgeport, CT to compete in
But more old cars awaited their attention. the famous Vanderbilt Cup race on Long Island, New
“We’ll be back here bright and early tomorrow,” York.
Castleberry said. “We have to have all these cars
ready to go at least 40 miles on Sunday”. After Dragone, 31, parked his rumbling,
120-horsepower, 4-cylinder car, a crowd of onlookers
Running on Sunday clustered around the old Locomobile racer.

By 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, all the cars at Ochre Court Dragone explained that his car came in 3rd place at
were running, and a big crowd of onlookers were the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup, and its sister car, the famous
clustered at the gates to admire the old cars. “Old 16” won that long-ago race. “Old 16” is now on
display at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI.
“Oh, they’re so magnificent,” a woman said to her
That was the first time an American car won a major
international race in the United States,” Dragone
said. “The race was not held in 1907 because of safety
concerns — spectators died at those races.”

Driving a car that competed in a world-famous race
114 years ago is as exciting as life gets, Dragone said

“This car still goes really fast — up to 80 mph,”
Dragone said. “It’s amazing, really.”

Younger people are flocking to older cars these days,
and quite of few of them are discovering the world of
Brass Era cars, Dragone said.

“It’s a wonderful experience to drive these old cars,”
he said. “They’re historically significant, they’re fun to
drive and tinker with, and I think about them all of the

A hour later, drivers were back on the road to
Newport and Ochre Court. There were about 20 miles
left to drive.

“Lots of fun left in the day,” one driver said as his car
chugged back to life. “Lots of fun.”

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The gorgeous engine of Alex Dragone’s 1906 Locomobile Vanderbilt Cup car

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IMSA’s GTP series returns for a new generation by MICHAEL LEVEN

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ABOVE 1981 Lola T600 AS A YOUNG man, I was very lucky to work for a Looking back
professional racing team during what some look back
PREVEIOUS  on as a true golden age of sportscar racing in the IMSA kicked off modestly in 1969, but by the end
1984 Porsche 962 United States. Our team campaigned Porsche 962s in of the 1970s, the sanctioning body was playing host
the top series sanctioned by the International Motor to a raucous GT series at the very highest level of
Sports Association, more commonly known as IMSA. professional sportscar racing in North America.

Early this year, a trio of announcements IMSA founder John Bishop made changes to the
concerning that era made racing news. Specifically, formula along the way to improve the show, but
a historic race featuring period IMSA cars would be in the end, Porsches won nearly every race. So in
held during the Long Beach Grand Prix weekend in 1982, Bishop decided to really mix things up, and he
mid-April, and IMSA itself had purchased vintage ushered in a new racing formula for IMSA’s marquee
racing organization Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR). series called GTP — or Grand Touring Prototype.
In addition to all that — and the cherry on top for
me personally — was the fact that IMSA would be The GTP years were glorious, with many top
branding its new-for-2023 prototype category with European drivers — Bell, Hobbs, Mass, Stuck, and
the historic “GTP” name — a callback to those Wollek, to name a few — racing alongside a star-
magnificent cars from my past. studded cast of Americans, including A.J. Foyt, Hurley
Haywood, Al Holbert and Bobby Rahal.

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Image courtesy of IMSA

Any one of a dozen outrageous, flame-belching, While they will be known as such in Europe, IMSA has Pierre Fillon, ACO President,
ground-effect prototypes from several different chosen to brand these new cars as “GTP.” and Jim France, IMSA
manufacturers could win on the day. Chairman, sign documents
Road trip introducing the LMDh
For a little over 10 years, GTP racing in the United category, which will be shared
States was second to none. I had to go to Long Beach in April to find out more. by WEC and IMSA. They are
While the historic GTP race was front and center joined by Gérard Neveu, CEO
Full circle in my mind, the real object of my trip was to meet the of the FIA World Endurance
man behind much of the news that got my attention Championship; John Doonan,
Fast forward to July of 2021, when IMSA, the FIA in the first place: Mr. John Doonan, the President of IMSA President (center), and
— the global governing body for international auto IMSA. IMSA CEO Ed Bennett
racing — and the AOC, which organizes the 24 Hours After many years as leader of the enormously
of Le Mans race, jointly announced that they had successful Mazda Motorsports program in the U.S.,
developed a common set of rules to allow a new group Doonan took this new role at IMSA in 2019. During
of prototype cars to be raced in both European and the very busy Long Beach race weekend, I spent some
American endurance events. time with him to get some behind the scenes info on
the new GTP series.
The new rules label these cars as “LMDh prototypes”
(LM for Le Mans, D for Daytona, and h for Hybrid).

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The Meyer-Shank Racing It is immediately obvious that Doonan is a race Adding to the portfolio
Acura ARX-05 leads the fan. “I fell in love with IMSA in the late ’70s and
JDC Racing Cadillac Dpi-VR. throughout the ’80s and early ’90s,” he said. “I It turns out that the HSR acquisition was an
The Acura is powered by remember what it was like standing at the fence at independent move, but Doonan believes that fans
a twin-turbo V6, while the Road America when it was five or six people deep.” need to understand the past and noted that IMSA
Cadillac runs a normally fans are especially loyal, and many remember the
aspirated V8 But Doonan is also an astute businessman, with a racing from decades ago.
keen eye for opportunities and a very clear vision of
where he wants to take the organization. “The HSR deal happened separately, but it’s a nice
tie in,” said Doonan. “I was just down at Sebring
I asked Doonan about his rationale for resurrecting this week for the first HSR race of the year. The team
the historic GTP name. there are all excited about the tie-ins with IMSA and
the possibility of having a GTP reunion and really
“Candidly, we always felt that the LMDh name was celebrate as we kick off this new era. There could be
hard to explain. And not all of our OEMs wanted to an opportunity like what we already do at Daytona:
talk about hybrids here. So, we felt it was an elegant The vintage cars are on display all week for the fans
way to harken back to our past and call the cars what and then they go out and run a little bit. I think it
they are: Grand Touring Prototypes.” would be amazing to bring out some [historic] GTP
and GT cars that we could run on occasion at IMSA
He added that back in the day, “The top category events.”
cars used key styling elements of the brands they
represented; the Porsche 962 actually looked like a IMSA and IndyCar
911, and the Chevrolet GTP car of the Hendrick team
looked like a Corvette. The Mazda that’s here (for the As it is a feature series in its own right, I wanted
historic race) was ahead of its time with its design to know how IMSA makes sure it stands out when
and tied into the RX-7. And (for 2023) we’ve opened sharing the bill on traditional IndyCar race date.
up even more styling opportunities in the regulations.
With the noses, lighting, sidepods and tails, there are “I’ve never seen us as playing second fiddle; the
much greater opportunities for styling by the OEMs.”

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LEFT Tom Malloy’s
1991 Toyota Eagle
Mark III being driven by
Jerome Rodela

BELOW Former
Porsche factory driver
Patrick Long, winner
of both Saturday’s and
Sunday’s historic race,
and wearing tribute
overalls honoring the
author’s father

race, the market, and the history of this event speaks opportunities that would be really special for the fans Image by MICHAEL LEVEN
for itself,” said Doonan. “It’s a terrific market for and our OEMs.”
us, and to be at this historic event is massive. On a   Linkage 007  39
weekend like this, an opportunity to race in the Los I left the IMSA trailer with my head swimming
Angeles market is important to us. If you run up and in all the possibilities and the creativity and open-
down the 405 highway, a lot of our OEM partners mindedness with which they are being considered.
have operations here. We’ve got American Honda in
Torrance, Porsche Motorsport and their Experience With Doonan’s clear sense of history, a lot of
Center in Carson, and Hyundai, and TRD (Toyota innovative thinking toward the future and the vast
Racing Development) in Santa Ana. The amount of resources of NASCAR behind the effort, it’s clear that
activations the OEMs do here — it’s a lovely place IMSA (and the GTP legacy) are in good hands.
to bring dealers and partners. No other sanctioning
body in the world has 18 auto manufacturers racing
with them, and we’re super proud of that. It’s
something we hold very dear.”


The France family and NASCAR were instrumental
in the founding of IMSA and they now own it
outright. I was keen to learn of any synergies the
marriage has created, and if we can look forward to
any shared dates, for instance at Watkins Glen.

“That kind of discussion is happening internally,”
Doonan said. “We’ve talked a lot about what an
event might look like in ‘24 or ’25. You may have
seen the announcement that we’re taking a Next
Gen Cup car to Le Mans. It’s a great car that is in a
lot of ways like the GT cars we race in IMSA. It will
be put on a global stage in front of a very passionate
sports car audience.

“Similarly, NASCAR has a big audience in the
U.S., and we could put endurance sports car racing
in front of them. You know, NASCAR could race
during the day and IMSA could race at night. It could
happen someday. There are some really, really cool


Behind the scenes of a moment with two landmark concept cars at Lingotto

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Photos by EVAN KLEIN

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BY LATE 1969, ten years of tumult culminated on a positive note Battista, achieving an even lower 33-inch height.
with the moon landing, Woodstock and the Summer of Love. The Mere months after Armstrong and Aldrin planted boots on
coming decade begged a nagging question: Would the preceding
chaos and upheaval finally subside? With the dawn of the 1970s, the moon, the Zero was flaunting imaginative engineering and
anything seemed possible. space-age cues like a Gallino-Hellebore steering wheel that tipped
a hat to Saturn and its rings. Designer Marcello Gandini may have
If radical design can be a harbinger of change, few signifiers were been famously retiring, but like the Modulo, his creation exploited
as potent as two pivotal concept cars that materialized in 1970. In exuberant possibilities without restraint. For material evidence of
March, the Pininfarina-penned Ferrari 512S Modulo debuted at that mission, consider Nuccio Bertone’s original wish to name the
the Geneva Motor Show with a near-symmetrical wedge silhouette, creation “Stratolimite”— Italian for “the limit of the stratosphere.”
cutout wheel flares bursting with tires and a race-prepped 5-liter
V12 peeking through two dozen portholes. The two forward-thinking concepts introduced a jolt of the new
and the whisper of a better tomorrow through design, an appealing
A 36.8-inch height made it more closely resemble a psychedelic alternative to the recent turbulence of assassinations, conflict and
sculpture than transportation. uncertainty. These weren’t just cars, they were expressions of hope
packaged into futuristic, four-wheeled form. Though they were
The Paolo Martin-designed Modulo was a showstopper, but it evolutions of Bertone’s Alfa Romeo Carabo and Pininfarina’s Ferrari
wasn’t the only one. In October of that same year, Lancia launched 512S Berlinetta Speciale respectively, the two wedges went on to
the equally improbable Lancia Stratos HF, later known as the Zero, inspire a generation of supercars from the Lamborghini Countach to
at the Turin Motor Show. the Cizeta V16T.

Bertone’s wild salvo fired a stunning retort to the house of

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Dreams turned real the Meyers Manx brand has been discreetly acquiring historically
significant concepts and competition cars, becoming a sort of
Whether the intervening years have lived up to the wedge-shaped patron saint for groundbreaking vehicles.
promise is debatable. But a half a century after those auspicious
debuts, I traveled halfway around the world to reconsider the era Somewhere in the dusky space between negronis and nightcaps,
through 21st Century eyes. Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este has when show cars were ready to be whisked away from the grounds,
a long history of celebrating concept cars, and the Ferrari Modulo Sarofim leaned in and asked, “What are you doing after Villa
was among the exceptional one-offs featured at the 2019 event. d’Este?”
Once a static display car, it was now a fully functioning driver thanks
to owner and racing impresario Jim Glickenhaus’s painstaking “Heading home,” I replied, resigned to re-entry into the mundane
re-animation of the Pininfarina-designed icon. world beyond the fabulist borders of Lake Como.

Also in attendance was Phillip Sarofim’s graceful Pontiac Vivant “Want to join us in Turin?” he volleyed, “We’re taking the Modulo
77. The Texas-born collector, design champion, and resurrector of and Zero to Lingotto.”

Pregnant pause, meet soft landing — count me in.

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To the roof

Of all the alternative travel plans imaginable, few are as enlivening
as trading a transcontinental flight for a three-hour journey through
the Lombardy region — where an Italianate rainbow leads to a
concept car pot of gold.

Sarofim aligned the stars — his Lancia Stratos Zero happened to
be on loan to Turin’s National Automobile Museum following its
2018 Villa d’Este debut. His vision involved bringing the Zero and
Modulo together at the legendary Fiat factory rooftop track in an act
of superlative solidarity; though the cars represented an ideological
arms race between two fiercely competitive design houses, why not
revisit that moment in time today?

The Lingotto factory is a modular concrete marvel, designed
by Fiat production director Giacomo Matté-Trucco and opened
in 1926. Here’s why the concept cars seem perfectly matched to
the structure: Simply put, Paolo Martin and Marcello Gandini’s
oversized ambitions are commensurate with the larger-than-life
grandeur of the space.

Back in the 1920s, Lingotto was a gobsmacking trifecta of form,
function and awe inspired by Giovanni Agnelli’s visit to Henry
Ford’s landmark production plant. When inaugurated, Lingotto
became the largest factory in the world. Just-built vehicles — over
80 individual models and countless cars over the course of its
productive period — were driven from the production line up a five-
story helical ramp onto the test track, where they were maneuvered
over a variety of surfaces and banked corners. Fifteen minutes of
fame came from a notorious chase scene in 1969’s “The Italian Job”.
But Lingotto’s enduring legacy is 54 years of automotive production
that eventually petered out into obsolescence and, ultimately,

Wedges come to life

Though in show-floor condition, the Zero and Modulo arrived
at Lingotto with the usual exotic car quirks. The Ferrari had been
experiencing alternator issues and thus required careful starting
and running; the Zero, having sat for months on museum duty, was
running hot.

Speaking of heat, the Modulo had famously caught fire following
Villa d’Este that year during a drive through Monaco. The issue,
which Glickenhaus attributes to gas pooling in a muffler designed
by a since-separated contractor, was addressed by an onboard fire
suppression system.

Incendiary incidents aside, he says that though the Modulo is “…
not something you could daily drive, it is very comfortable. It starts
easily, it has a lot of cockpit ventilation, and very good visibility.”
That said, he adds that “since it never [originally] ran, it gave me
the freedom to make it a little more user friendly. It’s certainly less
original than when I acquired it, but I’m not sure that a car that
doesn’t function is a car.”

Sarofim is similarly drawn towards driving and experiencing the
Zero regardless of the risks involved. “I like the bold, the daring, the
elegant, the odd, the irreverent and reverent, and that’s what led me
to concept cars like the Zero,” he says. “When I drive it through Los
Angeles in 2022, there’s no difference between now and those old
images of it stopping traffic and onlookers staring in disbelief. It’s

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like those old photographs come to life.” Peering at the bumpy rooftop surface through the Zero’s steep
Some of the work involved in getting the Zero running properly windscreen on that cool and misty May afternoon, it feels like
anything is possible. But as the afternoon becomes dusk and the
included replacing a part that enabled the hydraulically operated cars return to their transporters, the moment becomes memory.
steering column to pivot along with the front windshield in order to
climb inside the cockpit. Like all flashes of beauty, this one is gone before it can be fully
As alien as the Modulo and Zero seem in the real world, they
manage to blend naturally into Lingotto’s Art Deco structure. Since production at Lingotto was shut down in 1982, the building
Perched at tree level amidst the Turin skyline, the two wedges was redeveloped as a multipurpose and retail space. And following
appear more sympatico than rivalrous, united in their shared aura of our flight of fantasy with two landmark wedge concepts, a garden
visual shock and awe. was incorporated into the rooftop track, which has been abridged
and will now only accommodate EVs “… so the clean cars can drive
Sarofim’s take is positive, and future-forward. “These are gently in between the green islands, looking for a new harmony
living, breathing, accomplished endeavors. You have these past between mobility and nature,” according to the architect.
generations of designers and dreamers, and through craftsmanship,
heartbreak and triumph, they will inspire the next generation of In a world that thrives on change, there will always be a place
designers and dreamers.” where it is 1970 forever.

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