Imagine my surprise tonight when I carried in the day's mail to discover a copy of Vintage Motorsport magazine in the pile, addressed to me and apparently with a subscription until September 2011. I don't think I've ever laid eyes on this glossy, thick and densely packed magazine full of stories and pictures of classic race cars from all over the world, because if my local Barnes & Noble ever did have it on display, I'd already have bought this treasure trove of classic racing cars.
When I showed the cover to the BSU, I showed her a picture of Joe Leonard in front of a giant STP decal and the text, "My Favorite Race; Joe Leonard and the 1968 Indianapolis 500." SHe asked me if that was significant and I replied that it most certainly was significant to me because I was in the grandstands for Joe's record and pole position setting run during the first weekend of qualifying in his STP turbine car! I was 12 years old and I stood silently there with thousands of other fans while Joe sped down the front straightaway with the sound of his tires being the loudest sound throughout the speedway. Yeah, it was dramatic and it made a lasting impression on me. I can't wait to read the story in this magazine.
Sadly though, I learned some very distressing news in the very first column that I happened to read. Any car guy has read and re-read columns by a certified car enthusiast, Brock Yates. Brock is a legend and has written for all the car mags over the years and was singlarly responsible for creating the (very) illegal Cannonball Baker Sea to Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash- a race from New York City to Redondo Beach, California using any car, road and trickery possible. I even owned a CBSTSSMTD decal that I proudly displayed on the side window of my 1964 Pontiac Gran Prix when I was a senior in high shcool. Brock goes way back- selling his first car magazine column in 1957, I learned this reading his column tonight. I also learned tonight that Brock has Alzheimer's disease! What a truly terrible tragedy for a man with more car stories to tell than probably anyone in America.
Anyway, I've got a terrific new magazine showing up in my mailbox and I can't wait to sit down and pour over it's pages in the next days. Whoever signed me up for this terrific magazine- thanks very much!