Blackhawk Vintage Classic 2015 - Pt. 1

This weekend we went out to the Blackhawk Farms Vintage Classic, a VSCDA-sponsored event that occurs every fathers' day weekend. Some of the cars might look a little familiar, as we posted pictures of them from previous events. Things that we haven't seen before get more pictures, naturally. Photos incoming. Man the looking-stations!

Skippable geekdom note: All of the "walking around" shots were taken with an Olympus 14-54 Four Thirds lens adapted to work on a Micro Four Thirds camera (E-M1). All of the tracking shots (like the one right below, and more to come later this week), were taken with a 1980-something Canon FD 100-300 manual focus zoom lens about as long as your forearm, adapted to the same camera. This was my first time giving that thing a try, so, there's a learning curve involved.

Here's the Lotus Europa from previous years' races. Very low and very flat, and makes a fantastic noise.

Group B cars on the starting grid, about to do practice laps.

This was the first Hillman Imp I've ever seen. It was manufactured to compete in the marketplace with the Mini Cooper. A notable difference between the two is the fact that the Imp is rear-engined.

This MG races in group A: Pre-WW1 early vintage. I just call them Mister Burns cars. The owner of this car told me group A is the best group because the limitations of the cars prohibits ridiculous speed, and their owners are just there to have fun. It seemed to me that few of the teams of any group get really serious about winning. Vintage racing is just a very expensive hobby for the passionate rich guy of a certain age.

Some drivers put protective tape on the headlights (like on the black one one picture back) to keep the glass - should one shatter - from littering the track and causing problems. Others, like the driver of this red one, just spin them around to face backwards, thereby making them nearly impossible to break. Also, it can't be that easy to get replacement lenses for an eighty-something year old car.

This wonderfully crazy thing wasn't racing. It's a street car. The owner says he doesn't like "boring" hot rods. "No offense, but I've seen enough Mustangs and Camaros". It's unlikely you can say you once knew a guy who had a rodded Nash Rambler just like his.

Here, you can see what has to be done to the body to fit massive rears like that. Out goes the back seat, then the body is cut and modified with two huge cylindrical wheel wells. A car that has been so blessed is said to have been "tubbed".

The rain was holding off, but just in case, the owner could take shelter inside the cavernous dish of his rear wheels. When he bought the car, the previous owner told him that you couldn't remove the rear wheels without dropping the whole rear end out of the car. He seemed proud of the fact that he had found a way around that inconvenience. He deflates the rear tires, which can then be carefully persuaded to clear the wheel arch. Oddly, he says "You'll never wear out the tires." Maybe some combination of the huge contact patch and how often he drives it?

This March has been fanatically restored and maintained. Every season, he disassembles the car completely, down to every screw.

Those blue hose fittings way at the back connect to an oil cooler mounted under the rear wing. Lots of airflow back there.


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