On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff
OLD MAGAZINES ARE fun, especially when they prophetically identify something like one’s career. With this in mind, I share a compulsion of long-heralded R&T readers who carted their old issues from dorm to first apartment to a succession of homes.
Bernard Cahier was R&T’s European Editor back in 1956, and he reported that a star of the Paris auto show was the Citroën DS-19, “ D for Désirée, S for Spéciale and 19 for its 1900 cc.”
The Citroën’s innovations included oleo-pneumatic suspension, steering, gearbox and brakes, plus an interior design that looked, well, 21st century.
Reading R&T back then, I couldn’t have imagined that one day I would drive a Paris taxicab sibling of that Citroën. Or that I’d meet Bernard Cahier during one of his visits to R&T’s Newport Beach offices.
Today, Bernard’s son Paul-Henri continues his late father’s Formula One involvement. Also, he’s a regular Facebook friend.
What with the popularity of Austin-Healeys, Jaguars, MGs, Morgans and Triumphs at the time, sports cars were a natural match for other things English, including its foremost pub sport.
The Marksman Dart Game came directly from England, its dartboard double-sided for English “20-Point” and “Bullseye” games. The Kwiz Minidarts were solid brass with Sheffield Steel points.
Old R&T “Market Place” classifieds were and, for that matter, still are great places to dream. This Bugatti Type 57, with Gangloff body, may be a sibling of the one that appeared in R&T, November 1953, and was featured in a Time Capsule here at SimanaitisSays.
Alas, I wasn’t prepared to spend $3250 back in 1956. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Inflation Calculator sets this at $28,754 in today’s dollar. Keith Martin’s Sports Car Market magazine puts the value of a Bugatti Type 57 rather more than this.
Torrey Pines, a north-coast suburb of San Diego, was known for its California Sports Car Club races in the 1950s. Entrants included Phil Hill driving a gullwing Mercedes-Benz 300SL, Chuck Daigh (later in Lance Reventlow’s Scarab Formula One effort) in the Trout-Barnes Special and Ken Miles (later part of Ford’s successful Le Mans program) in the second of his potent MG Specials.
There was “a pitched battle” (and some traded paint) between Bill Murphy’s Kurtis-Buick and Tom Bamford’s Allard. R&T observed, “during that time some of the weekend’s least becoming driving was exhibited by two men who should know better–driving more reminiscent of a Jalopy Derby than a sports car road race.”
The Allard dropped out with gearbox troubles. Murphy’s Kurtis-Buick won; Chuck Daigh came second. And, for enthusiasts wishing to take part, a chat with Don Bridges over at Culver City’s Bill Murphy Buick could arrange terms and trades.
Long-time R&T readers may recall familiar names in the results for Torrey Pines’ Race No. 6.
Yes, finishing 10th in a Triumph TR-2 was a guy destined to become, for some, a future presidential candidate. Dan turned 85 earlier this year. ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2016
I started collecting old issues of R&T in the mid-late 50’s from stores selling old books and magazines in Pasadena and picked up old issues of Hot Rod as well. Kept it up through junior high, high school and part of college. I wound up with a pretty decent collection of the earliest issues of both magazines. After a post-graduate overseas trip I returned home to find my dear mother had tossed all the old magazines, but neatly kept the newest ones for me….
I too collected old R&T issues from the bookstores around Pasadena (Cliff’s Books and the like) and the Automotive Memorabilia Swap Meet at PCC. My collection thankfully remains in my garage next to my Jensen Healey, 240Z and 948 Sprite.
I first saw R&T in 1953 and instantly knew that I’d like to not only subscribe (I was 10) but that I’d like to be an automotive writer, photographer, and editor (Dennis, please check spelling of Fangio’s name). The magazine shaped my life! Got to meet many automotive luminaries, including you, Dennis…
Double Agg!. Thanks, Frank. Updated.
I was born in 57, grew up reading my father’s R&Ts. The older I get the more those times recall the danger and romance of, what, Camelot? A past becoming more mythical by the year.
As another ’57 vintage I first set my eyes on R&T in August ’75 at a Danish railway station kiosk and I was immediately hooked. Ended up subscribing for more than 34 years. Still have every issue plus many special issues, but that has extremely low WAF. – Hmm… In Citroen terminology I always thought DS was meant to mean deesse (as it is pronounced) – French for godess??