Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Part II: A Second "Simple" Article on what is a Sports Car

In a March, 1956 Road & Track article Alan Beck, wrote perhaps the best contemporary explanation of what exactly was this unpractical thing  called a sports car:
A sports car is a fast-moving, slow-drifting, road loving heap of mechanistic perfection that will go faster, stop quicker, last longer, outgun, out run, and out fun any other pile of iron ever bolted together in this, or any other grand old country. It is like a smooth, well-built, brown-eyed blond who moves in the society of Hollywood, Manhattan, London, Paris, or Rome, but prefers stupid old you from Keokuk, Iowa….
            A sports car is a flash in the rainy night, a creature with a mind and a will of its own….
            A sports car is the twin jabs of the downshift at 50 miles an hour as the 90 degree corner comes up without any tire-screaming, gravel throwing slide into the shoulder. It is the rock-steady whine of 5000 rpm on the long straight-away, the big needle touching the magic 100 figure on the circular black dial. It is the whoosh that went by you on the lonely back road. It is what gives that heart-in-the mouth sensation as you sail as you sail down the long hill into Watkins Glen for race week and the sense the magic ahead….
            A sports car expects and deserves the pampering of a spoiled and expensive wife….
            It is a barky exhaust, the long sweep of a clean fender, an honesty of line, a functional hunk of power dictated by engineers instead of housewives….

            Sports cars are a happy and proud breed – like the Scotch tartans, French fleur-de-lis. And British crests, but wjen you acquire one, don’t expect understanding, credit, appreciation, or admiration. To the world, a sports car will ever evoke: “What do you want that thing for?  It’s not practical.” And you can’t answer – because the answer is out there in the sunset of a winter’s day on the wide open road, the wind stinging past your upturned mackinaw, the contented purr of the big engine turning into a whine, and the needle of the rev counter creeping up into the red.

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