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Hooniverse Asks- What Automotive Event (Introduction, Race, Etc) Would You Want to Go Back in Time to Witness?

Robert Emslie November 26, 2012 Hooniverse Asks 49 Comments

Hindsight, they say, is twenty-twenty. And looking back on my life, there are a number of automotive events of which I am thankful to have been a part- things like the very final VARA race at Riverside’s venerated International Speedway or the last-ever Turkey Trot at Agajanian’s Ascot Raceway. There are many other events – Motoramas, iconic Grand Prix duals, and introductions that either I was too young, too poor, or without the knowledge of their importance, to attend. And that’s kind of a shame.

They say that the April 1964 introduction of Ford’s Mustang was an event to behold. Dealers claimed that buyers demanded to sleep in their cars while the purchase paperwork was completed lest they be sold out from under them. That must have been something to see, sort of like Black Friday for Pony Cars. There also was an age before my time when the Fall model introductions were such a big deal that dealers would paper over their windows while the upcoming year’s models were moved to the floor while people gathered on the sidewalk outside waiting on their unveiling. Building your own online months before the metal hits the lots – while undoubtably cool – just isn’t the same.

And what about great racers? Just this year we lost both Carroll Shelby and John Fitch, drivers whose careers ended long, long ago. Being able to see drivers like these turn a tire in anger would have been an awesome spectacle, ignoring the fact that racing back in the day was even more fun to watch as the cars were far more of a handful at even lower speeds. All of these lamentations could be made moot with the simple advent of a Time MachineĀ®. As we saw with Marty McFly, going back in time is a rollicking adventure, and while you’re turning back the hands of time, you might as well take in the sights, right? Just stay away from your mom if you know what’s good for you. If this hypothetical were true, what automotive event would you most like to travel back and experience?

Image: [WorldCarFans]

Currently there are 49 comments on this article:

  1. $kaycog says:

    I would love to witness the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans with Ford GT40 MkII finishing 1, 2 and 3.

    <img src="http://www.autoblog.com/media/2006/07/fordgtlemans66.jpg"width="500"/&gt;

  2. Vavon says:

    Any Group-B rally between 1984 and 1986 (no matter who wins)!

    <img src="http://www.speedhunters.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/header_1Q9q_4.jpg&quot; width="700/">

    • danleym says:

      I was having trouble coming up with any one thing- I mean, there's a lot of stuff it would have been cool to see, picking one from the hundreds is a little hard. But I think this sounds pretty good. I think I would rather see one of the later ones, as more manufacturers were getting into it and the cars were developed even more after 2 years of experience and tweaking.

  3. gearz1 says:

    I would like to watch Henry Ford tinkering with his motor powered buggy on the streets of Detroit.

  4. Modeleccentric says:

    Oof. Tough one. A whirl of events comes into my head. Hmmm….How about Stirl and Jenks Driving the Mille Miglia? Can I start there?
    'Cos my wayback machine has many channels….

  5. jtk2 says:

    I'd like to watch the Shelby factory race team at Meadowdale International (defunct).

  6. Irishzombieman says:

    More of a time period than an individual event. I want to be at Brooklands in the 30s. Looney 2-ton cars with airplane engines, flawed concrete, no armco–hell, no safety rails at all. . . .

    <img src="http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01447/brooklands_1447436c.jpg"&gt;

    • Irishzombieman says:

      For an individual event, I'd've liked to see Bill Cosby fire up his Super Snake.

      [youtube 3-JQksYxgM0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-JQksYxgM0 youtube]

      • OA5599 says:

        My ex-boss was reportedly the owner of a 427 Cobra in 1967. About a year later, someone offered $6800 for it, which represented a $100 profit.

        Thinking only an idiot would pay that much for a used car, even a powerful one, my ex-boss took the money and laughed all the way to the bank. I would go back to that time so I could witness it and either stop him from making that mistake or being able to call him a dumbass for three more decades before I met him on the present space-time continuum.

        • Irishzombieman says:

          Regret for this one bad lapse in judgement may be the reason he was a jackass 30 years later.

          Or he might've become a jackass anyway. Either way, I sorta feel sorry for him, but would also want to remind him repeatedly of his horrible mistake by pasting pictures of Cobras all over my cubicle.

        • Vairship says:

          Or offer $6900 for it…

  7. Tanshanomi says:

    <img src="http://www.motorsportretro.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/1967-Isle-of-Man-TT-Race-Ralph-Bryans-RC166.jpg&quot; width="512">
    The 1967 Isle of Man TT. Mike Hailwood and Ralph Bryans took 1st and 3rd in the 250 race on the glorious Honda Six, then Hailwood rode the RC181 four against Agostini's MV Three in the Diamond Jubilee Senior TT, which many refer to as "the race of the century."

    The photo is of Ralph Bryans on the 250 six, because awesome.

    • Kogashiwa says:

      If you've got a spare seat in your time machine could I hitch a ride? Looks like we're heading the same way.

      After that I'd like to go a little further back, same place, to the 1959 TT which saw Honda's first race effort.

  8. IronBallsMcG says:

    Rollie Free at Bonneville. September 1948. Vincent HRD 150.313 MPH
    <img src="http://42ndblackwatch1881.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/c-3.jpeg"width=500&gt;

  9. Devin says:

    It would have been interesting to be invisible but present when the styling staff at GM saw the '57 Chryslers and collectively lost their minds, and thought that this was a good idea:
    <img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2610/3730287723_0a43b44248.jpg&quot; width="500" height="186" alt="1959 Chevolet Styling Clay">
    The bundle of stress and unbridled to the point of insanity creativity must have been something to see.

    • Alcology says:

      clearly, you can't even see out of it!

      • Devin says:

        No, see that was the GM Tint-O-Ramic, which went opaque when the car was stopped to stop thieves from getting a good look at your valuables. It's like those crazy bathroom doors which are clear until you lock them.

        • Tanshanomi says:

          I'm still waiting for that active LCD auto glass we were promised, what, a decade ago? The kind that will go opaque while parked, so there's no greenhouse effect on hot, sunny days.

  10. danleym says:

    Ok, so this probably wouldn't be my #1 choice (that would go to Group B Rally), but as an AMC fan, and specifically Spirits, it would have been pretty cool to be at the Nurburgring in 1979 when Spirit AMXs took first and second in their class at the 24 hours.

    <img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-t9hvGgtOy9Q/UAJZuNoaq3I/AAAAAAAADzo/TYnf3Dvo5m0/s1600/c12_0511_11z_1979_nurburgring_amc_spirit_amx_pits.jpeg&quot; width=500>

    <img src="http://image.motortrend.com/f/8276339+w750/c12_0511_12z_1979_nurburgring_amc_spirit_amx_front_passenger_side.jpg&quot; width=500>

    <img src="http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/media/img/readerrides/c12_0511_10z_1979_nurburgring_amc_spirit_amx_pits.jpg&quot; width=500>

  11. JayP2112 says:

    Too many motorsports events I'd want to attend (inc 1970 LeMans).

    I'd head to Southern California in the late '50s, early '60s. Crazy stuff going on then with Barris, Roth, Von Dutch…

    • sporty88au says:

      If you're going to 1950's LA, make sure you're at Competition Motors in Vine St, Hollywood on the last Friday morning of September 1955. You can tell the young hoon that just bought the silver Porsche 550 that PCH is a much nicer run to the Monterey Bay area than the inland route.

  12. mr. mzs zsm msz esq says:

    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/80/Audi_Quattro_vl_black.jpg/280px-Audi_Quattro_vl_black.jpg"&gt; I would have gone back in time to stop my godfather from buying this, we all miss him so very much. I might fail, but then at least I would be there for the joy before the untimely end.

  13. scroggzilla says:

    Fangio at the 'Ring, 1957.
    <img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5133/5392032340_216f62c305.jpg&quot; width="500" height="381" alt="57 german gp jm fangio maserati 250f">

  14. scroggzilla says:

    Timo Makinen, on the Ouninpohja stage, during the 1967 1000 Lakes Rally

    <img src="http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4019/5154686582_d3b112d833.jpg&quot; width="500" height="354" alt="67 1000 lakes rally timo makinen mini cooper s">

  15. 993cc says:

    I'd like to go back in time to the introduction of the Beetle. So I could, you know, kill Hitler.

  16. Tomsk says:

    I'd probably choose to spend a year in 1988, travelling the world to witness motorsports history that really piques my interest being made: Riverside's farewell season, Bobby and Davey Allison's 1-2 at Daytona, the Porsche/Jaaaag slugfest at Le Mans, Rick Mears grabbing his 3rd Indy 500 win (and the first for the Ilmor-Chevrolet powerplant), McLaren's almost-perfect season (and Ferrari's triumph at Monza just weeks after Enzo's passing), and Audi's one-and-done Trans-Am invasion to name just a few.

    Either that or go to Orange County International Raceway for one of its famed funny car manufacturer meets.

    <img src="http://www.draglist.com/artman2/uploads/2/35.jpg&quot; />

  17. Maymar says:

    It'd be sort of neat to see Camile Jentazy set the first land speed record ever, even if I go faster on a daily basis.

    That said, it'd be interesting to go back to the development of the Vega, and convince the suits at GM that this small car thing might actually catch on.

    • Vairship says:

      … and tell GM they might want to fit an aluminum cylinder head, a bigger radiator, steel sleeves for the cylinders because the nitriding of the aluminum wasn't quite ready for everyday duty yet, work on the rust proofing a bit more, etcetera. An extra 2 years of development could have made all the difference!

  18. Jeff_Glucker says:

    For me, it would be Senna in Monaco…

    [youtube 1hUWuR2Dj78 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hUWuR2Dj78 youtube]

  19. oreo says:

    be at stahl's AMC_Jeep in 1969 to pick up a brand new rambler- 360 with a 4 speed …..derby, connecticut

  20. skitter says:

    I'd like to see the Chaparral 2J before it was banned.

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