No. 927
December 13, 2017
 

About The UjianNasional

Author, commentator, influencer. The Consigliere. Minister of the High-Octane Truth. Editor-in-Chief of .

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established Ujian-nasional.info on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

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Fumes


Monday
Jan212008

FUMES #428

by Peter M. De Lorenzo

Beautiful racing cars. 

Detroit. If you've read this motorsports column over the years, you know that I have a tremendous appreciation for the sport and the history of the sport. And though some of the modern developments in the sport have been decidedly disheartening to me, I still find the emotional beauty of the racing cars themselves to be both compelling and alluring. Some of the highlights for me: The famed Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz "Silver Arrows" of the 30s; the fabulous Mercedes, Jaguar, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Aston Martin race cars from the 50s; the stunningly beautiful Ferrari racing machines from the 50s, 60s and early 70s; the lithe 50s Porsches all the way through the 917 Le Mans and Can-Am racing cars of the early 70s; the '67 Gurney Eagle Weslake F1 car; the Cobra Daytona Coupe by Peter Brock; the Chaparrals, with their technical brilliance bathed in that classic "refrigerator white" paint; the Ford GTs; the Lola T-70; the 289FIA Cobra; the brutish appeal of the Corvette Grand Sport; the original Corvette Sting Ray racing car, and so on.

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Photos courtesy of Ford
The sensational Mazda Furai.
I'm not suggesting that my list is the be-all and end-all by any means, because every racing enthusiast could compile a worthy list of their favorites. You could even argue that more recent cars like the fabulous Bentley Speed 8, the Audi prototypes and the Peugeot 908s qualify as some of the more beautiful racing machines ever created. NASCAR's "Car of Tomorrow" and modern day Formula 1 machines leave me cold and hold no interest for me. Why? The "CoTs" for obvious reasons, and the fact that a modern F1 car has the appeal of your average mechanical pencil.

Today, however, I'm happy to add a fresh face to the list of beautiful racing cars deserving to be considered with a historical perspective. The Mazda Furai, a design study that's based on a leftover Courage-Mazda racing chassis, is simply a stunning racing machine. Both mechanically functional and aesthetically pleasing, the Mazda Furai is everything a classically beautiful racing machine should be - aggressively sinister, emotionally involving and a design that conveys the essence of a racing machine's purpose - speed. The Furai held a prominent position on the Mazda stand at the Detroit auto show, and though just a design study at this point, I understand that the internal Mazda faithful are trying to figure out a way to take it racing in the American Le Mans Series. Let's hope they succeed.

The Mazda Furai Concept is a design study based on a leftover Courage Mazda racing chassis. It's beautiful in the flesh.

View more images of the Mazda Furai HERE

Publisher's Note: In our continuing series showcasing the history of motorsports, we bring you some more classic photos from the Golden Age of American racing. - PMD

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(Ford Racing Archives)
A.J. Foyt (left with sunglasses) talking with his pit crew and friends before the 1966 NASCAR Charlotte National 500 Race in 1966. A.J. recorded 7 wins out of 128 Grand National starts between 1963 to 1994.

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(Ford Racing Archives)
NHRA drag racer Don "The Snake" Prudhomme by his Ford rail, Riverside, CA, 1967.

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(Ford Racing Archives)
Fred Lorenzen standing in front of his 1963 Ford at the Daytona Speedway before the Daytona 500.

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(Ford Racing Archives)
The Ford garage at Le Mans, 1966.

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(Ford Racing Archives)
Le Mans, France, 1966. Henry Ford II (far right) awaits the end of the 24 Hours of Le Mans to see the Ford GT become the first American car in history to win the race overall.