Set of 12 automotive illustrations by the artist Dick Mahoney
Special folio issue of the 12 prints that were also pictured in the Thompson Ramo Wooldridge, Inc. calendar for 1984. This year's calendar features 12 European and American race cars that spanned the period from 1906 to 1967. From an early unwieldy oversized roadster to a sleek aerodynamic wonder, racers have placed their mark on the entire automotive industry:
1. 1913–14 Peugeot Grand Prix
Not originally designed as a Grand Prix entrant, the 1913 Peugeot was the first racer to use a double overhead camshaft engine, setting a racing trend which has endured to the present.
The engine, one of the few ever designed by racing drivers, reflected tremendous engineering logic. The barrel crankcase, insertion of the crankshaft from the rear, use of four valves per cylinder, and the pent-roof combustion chamber combined to form the nucleus of a design which substantially elevated the state of the art. Its dry sump lubrication system was one of the first designs to eliminate a gravity-feed oil reservoir.
The elfin, three-liter model was built for the 1913 Coupe de l'Auto and, after capturing the checkered flag there, entered the 1914 Indianapolis classic. Arthur Duray piloted it to a second-place finish with an average speed of 80.89 mph. As a private entry, it was painted off-white with black striping but has since been repainted in the original French blue with white striping and Indianapolis trim.
2. 1938–39 Auto Union, Type D
This chunky, tail-heavy racer was the surprise successor to the Auto Union V-16. A 1938 racing regulation abruptly limited engine size to three liters, and the Auto Union Company met the rule with the introduction of this V-12 car.
It featured a single-stage, three-liter engine with three camshafts. The steering geometry was improved over the earlier model, and with a reduced wheelbase and shorter engine, the driver's seat was moved back on the frame to almost exactly mid-wheelbase.
Tazio Nuvolari piloted this car to victories at Donnington and the Italian Grand Prix in 1938. The last race of its career—The Belgrade Grand Prix—occurred September 3, 1939, coinciding with the outbreak of World War II. The two V-12 entries captured first and third places, and afterward the entire Auto Union Company racing fleet retired.
3. 1906 "Old 16"
The 1906 Locomobile was an impressive machine by any standard, but especially for its period. The first American racer to triumph against the legendary European models in international competition, the vehicle was cited by the press as proof of Yankee pluck, wisdom and technical genius.
A great hulk o f simplicity, "Old 16" featured a massive four-cylinder, 16-liter engine, a frame consisting of two heavy-duty rails and four crossmembers, and just enough bodywork to cover the chassis. The immense 110-inch wheelbase, accented by thick, wooden-rimmed wheels, characterized the brute force of this racer, which weighed only 2,204 pounds. The engine was capable of powering the car to 108 mph but responded with fierce explosions whenever the husky vehicle climbed long hills.
George Robertson drove "Old 16" to victory in the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup. Extensive tire blowouts and thrown wheels had prevented "Old 16" from placing in the Vanderbilt Cup two years earlier, but Robertson paced the American team to victory in 1908 in the grueling 258-mile race.
4. 1965 Lotus 38
The sleek, narrow Lotus 38, which Jimmy Clark drove to victory in the 1965 Indianapolis 500 sported an innovative low, tapered design that soon became standard for all Indy racers.
The chassis was custom fitted to Clark's body and, like the many previous Lotuses built by Colin Chapman, was simple in design: two long, riveted aluminum sheets separated by a molded box which served as seat back and fuel tank.
Clark's racer was one of six Lotus 38s built, three of which ran the 1965 500-mile classic. During preliminaries, Clark qualified at 160.729 mph, becoming the first man to break the 160-mph mark. During the race he led for all but 10 of the 200 laps, winning the event in 3 hours, 19 minutes, and 5.34 seconds. The Lotus rear-engine car became the instant pattern of Indy racing, and the old-style roadster was never to see the Indy winner's circle again.
5. 1967 Ford GT Mark IV
The Ford Motor Company, rebuffed in 1963 by racing master Enzo Ferrari's sudden refusal to sell the Ferrari Company to Ford as promised, resolved to upstage him at his own game: European racing.
After several years of development, Ford entered a team of GT 40s in the 1966 LeMans and captured firs and second places in a controversial dead-heat finish.
A year later Ford and Ferrari lined up for a LeMans rematch: Ferrari with a new, lightweight P4 racer, and Ford with its Mark IV. A modified seven-liter passenger car engine powered the computer-designed racer.
A.J. Foyt and Dan Gurney covered a record 3,249.6 miles at an average speed of 135.48 mph to win the 24 hour LeMans classic by the greatest margin in the history of the event (240.6 miles). The victory was bittersweet: the next year the LeMans governing committee limited engine size to five liters, retiring the Mark IV fleet from further LeMans competition.
6. 1961 Cooper-Climax
The Cooper Climax that three-time world champion racing driver Jack Brabham helped make famous was the precursor of the Indianapolis "funny car."
Its unconventional configuration, featuring a rear chassis-mounted engine, was instrumental in guiding the car faster through tight turns. In addition, it was easier on the tires and provided better gas mileage, reducing the number of pit stops. This design led to the complete redesign of Indy race cars, starting with the Lotus 38 in which Jimmy Clark captured the 1965 Indianapolis trophy.
The four-cylinder, 2.5-liter Cooper Climax with twin overhead camshafts won four prestigious races in a row in 1960 under Brabham's steady hands: the Dutch, Belgian, French and British Grand Prix.
7. 1921 Duesenberg
Four American Duesenbergs entered the 1921 French Grand Prix. The 183-cubic-inch engine used three valves per cylinder and was driven by a single overhead camshaft. Also unique was the introduction of four-wheel hydraulic brakes, modified from the Model A, permitting the racers to drive significantly deeper into the course's many turns.
The 1921 LeMans racecourse was treacherous: 10.7 miles of sand-covered stonebeds. Tire blowouts and punctured tanks and radiators plagued almost every car, but racer Jimmy Murphy guided his No. 12 Duesenberg over the punishing course to clinch the first victory in a European Grand Prix for American car.
8. 1927 Bugatti Type 35 B
Coming from an artistic family and once characterized as the Michelangelo of metal, Ettore Bugatti became renowned as one of automobile's most gifted designers. His most successful racing cars were the Type 35s, which won more than 1,850 races—a record for the time.
The lightweight, simple design of the 35 freed the driver from the slow pickup and unwieldy handling that was typical of cars of that time. The axles, made of hollowed steel, supported featherweight aluminum wheels. The engine blocks were hand-scraped, characteristic of Bugatti craftsmanship, and resembled works of fine sculpture rather than components of a supercharged 2.3-liter racing engine.
The Type 35 used cable brakes, not known for their reliability or efficiency. When asked why, the racing master replied: "My cars are meant to go, not to stop."
9. 1929 Golden Arrow
Construction of a streamlined, low-drag body has been a goal of almost every racing driver and Englishman Henry Seagrave was no exception. His 1929 Golden Arrow was an aerodynamic revolution.
Looking at the Golden Arrow, it's hard to believe that the vehicle was conceived more than 50 years ago.
Seagrave capitalized substantially on aircraft design that achieved the streamlined effect: the sides were covered with airplane coolers, the front end was dramatically dipped, and the racer itself was powered by a 12-cylinder Napier-Lion aero-engine with 930 bhp at 3,250 rpm. On March 11, 1929 at Daytona, the car set a new land speed record: 231.44 mph.
10. 1929 Miller Race Car
Harry Miller's racer was the remarkable fruit of decades of development. Miller, a gritty, practical engineer with no formal training, was convinced that a "pulling" force would result in a far more economical and easy-to-handle racer than the conventional "pushing" force of rear-wheel drive.
He introduced front-wheel drive to racing at the 1925 Indianapolis 500, but was nevertheless defeated by the Duesenberg team. Just three years later, however, the car, driven by Leon Duray, set a new closed circuit record with a top speed of 148.17 mph at the Packard proving grounds.
A new 1929 front-wheel drive Miller, latest in the Miller line, went to Europe for the French Grand Prix and was the subject of intense interest by its competitors. The car was widely copied, but the Miller racers dominated American racing for two decades.
11. 1967 Ferrari Testa Rossa ("Red Head")
The 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa 250 was the latest in a line of impressive racers designed under the critical eye of racing pioneer Enzo Ferrari.
Officially unveiled in November 1957, the beet-red racer had already seen competition at least twice, once as early as May.
The Testa Rossa (the name was derived from the engine's red crackled finish cylinder heads) underwent many changes in design in its life, including a modified front end, suspension, and cockpit.
A fleet of 10 Testa Rossa 250s entered the 1958 LeMans and captured first, sixth and seventh places, giving the commendatore
his fifth World Sports Car Championship—and third in a row.
Ferrari has won 24 world championships and more than 5,000 races to date.
12. 1966 Chaparral 2E
Jim Hall's 1966 Chaparral 2E, powered by a Chevrolet engine, created a sensation in its first public appearance at the 1966 Bridgehampton Can-Am.
A year earlier Hall had introduced the "spoiler"—an adjustable tail deflector designed to stabilize the head-on currents. With the 2E, however, the spoiler gave way to a full-fledged wing. Mounted two feet above the tail, the wing created a "down force" on the rear wheel hub carriers, improving cornering and acceleration.
Although the racing community protested at the outset, the "flipper" eventually became universally accepted in Grand Prix racing.