I was just thinking the other day whether the old races were better or do we look at things with rose tinted glasses. Well because I am dealing in memorabilia and books I came to the conclusion it is a combination of both!
My favourite cars were the group C Le Mans racers. So many happy memories following the exploits of the Jaguars and at first Porsche "yes I am a fan". The memories are not just the races but the travels, camp-sites, friendships and of course the many bars! There was also the pride of being there, the real fan at the track not just the TV watcher. All in all a lot of reasons to love this era.
Then there was the realisation that someone who never went has just as much passion. My friend Chris is the wonderful artist who I promote. He is passionate about the great race "Le Mans", it`s cars and the history. But he has never been. If you talk to him you would think he had been there a hundred times as with a huge smile he describes the Jaguar xjr9! At first I though that this was slightly odd but soon realised I do the same.
I was to young to see the Porsche 917 race and so was my son. But for both of us it is our favourite car! We have the books, the posters, the Steve McQueen pictures even the film has been watched a hundred times. If we see the car at Classic races we drool over it. Goodness me we do the same as Chris? The 917 at the time could not have been that exciting because most of the races it won it dominated so much it would have been boring! But the legend is much more for for filling! To imagine every race was Jo V Pedro battling wheel to wheel or on the grass against the Ferrari like Mike Delaney.
A few years ago my son and I had an experience which just about sums up what I am describing here! At the classic Le Mans I visited the Cafe on the Mulsanne straight. The owners recognised me and said we were welcome to take our beers upstairs to the bedroom and watch from the window. Well this room is on the corner 3 meters in from the straight and is directly above the famous road. The vista has not changed in 50 years as it is above the fencing. The start of the next race for 1969 to 1972 cars was due to come past. There we were leaning out the window looking directly up toward Tetre Rouge as streaming down the straight toward as at 200mph comes the field headed by the Gulf Porsche 917. I swear the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and my son was giggling like a fool. We slapped each other on the back a congratulated ourselves as we had mastered the art of time travel!