Just Above Sunset
October 2, 2005 - The Formula One Sunday Formula

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Book Wrangler

October 3, 2005

By Bob Patterson


There is an Irish sports bar in the neighborhood that, according to a reliable source, has a customer who will, on every other Sunday afternoon, bring in some video tapes of Formula 1 racing and show them for the other patrons to enjoy.


Since, we have fulfilled this Summer's quota for strolls along the Ocean Front Walk in Venice, finding the tavern with the automotive themed Sunday entertainment seemed like a pleasant prospect and motivation for a walk in the warm fall sunshine (Indian Summer California style [on Wednesday September 28 it was 83 in afternoon in Santa Monica]) and a chance to slake our thirst with the fine beverage made by the 7-Up folks.


We were not exactly sure of the establishment's precise name, so when we came to Washington, we noticed a sports bar a quarter block to the East with a glistening black Magnum PI type Ferrari sitting in front of the place.  We went to investigate.  We asked about the Formula one tapes guy, but were informed by the regulars that I might be searching for another place a block further to the South.


When I explained that I was also on a quest to get a Cobra to borrow for short while, one of the patrons suggest that the Ferrari owner would be glad to oblige.  So I asked the fellow if I could borrow the car for two weeks. He said "No."  Then he gave me the directions to the other bar.  Apparently the other drinkers had prompted me into making the request as a means of providing them with some spontaneous entertainment.


Unfortunately football season trumps and interrupts the Formula 1 Sunday schedule and so we had to mark the afternoon endeavors in the futile search category.  I did the Arnold impersonation and advised: "I'll be back."


Walking home, I was very optimistic that the Cobra quest will eventually be successful and so I began to think about contacting the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving – not because I plan to set a speed record for traveling from coast to coast on public roadways (because I don't) – but just to be prepared in case things get a bit "dicey" (as Sterling Moss might put it.)


Heck, I know I'm not another Juan Manuel Fangio, but a columnist can dream, can't he?


About a dozen years ago, Monk magazine was being produced from a traveling mobile home.  Charles Kurault did TV features for the CBS Evening News from a mobile home before that.  California Connected uses a traveling mobile studio vehicle.  Roadtrip Nation used three big SUV vehicles to launch a triple pronged probe of America.  Recently, the TV program Access Hollywood traveled about in Verizon buses to various cities in the USA.  Their On the Road episodes also included plugs for hotels that had provided accommodations.  (Does that mean that the on camera talent isn't really using the vehicles as their home away from home?)  Locally, a thing called California Connected has run promos that feature a big SUV style vehicle.


So why can't a AARP aged gentleman borrow a Cobra (or replica from Factory Five) for a cross country series of "on the road" series of columns?


A personal favorite for books about cars (and airplanes) is Aerobooks in Burbank which features a Saturday morning meet-up for car buffs with coffee and doughnuts.


Doing the fact finding for this week's column we found an online site that features books about motor sports.


We also looked around at Amazon and found some auto oriented books available:


Buick: A Complete History by Terry Dunham, Lawrence Gustin, Staff of Automobile Quarterly  ($59.95 Automobile Quarterly Publications)


Formula Ferrari by Umberto Zapelloni, and illustrated by Michel Comte  ($30.00 Hodder &  Stoughton)


Keith Martin on Collecting Ferrari by Keith Martin, Mike Sheehan and John Apen, and Steve Ahlgrim ($19.95 paperback Motor Books International)


The Science of Formula 1 Design: Expert Analysis of the Anatomy of the Modern Grand Prix Car by David Tremayne (32.95 Motorbooks International)


The Official Formula 1 Season Review by with a forward by Bernie Ecclestone and edited by Bruce Jones ($34.95 Motorbooks International)


The Mechanic's Tale: Life in the Pit-Lanes of Formula One by Steve Matchett ($16.00 paperback Orion)


Flat Out & Flat Broke Formula 1 the Hard Way by Damon Hill Obe, with a forward by Perry McCarthy (34.95 Motobooks International)


Inside the Mind of the Grand Prix Driver: The Psychology of the Fastest Men on Earth - Sex, Danger and Everything Else by Christopher Hilton ($35.95 Haynes Publications)


Formula One (tm) Racing for Dummies by Jonathan Noble, Mark Hughes ($21.99)


The Piranha Club by Timothy Collings ($14.95 paperback Virgin Publishing)


Another book that we've mentioned this before, but the title fits in perfectly so (as Ronald Reagan would say) "there you go again" is The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny by Robin Sharma and Robin S. Sharma ($13.95 paperback HarperSanFrancisco)


[Heck if a guy is going to sell his Ferrari isn't it an exercise in Zen to let a poor but sincere journalist borrow it for a short time and go on the path to self-enlightenment through a Kerouac like journey across America?  Is the subject of that book our only Ferrari owner hope or is there a Ferrari owner with a cavalier attitude out there in cyberland?]


Hackwriters.com has an article by Nicole Trilivas in the current issue titled In Defense of Wandering: A Traveler's Hissy Fit.


Nanowrimo - the annual "write your novel in one month" endeavor, gets started in less than one month. 


"Today, to him gazing South with new-born need stirring in his heart, the clear sky over their long low outline seemed to pulsate with promise; today, the unseen was everything, the unknown the only real fact of life.  On this side of the hills was now the real blank, on the other lay the crowded and colored panorama that his inner eye was seeing so clearly.  What seas lay beyond, green leaping, and crested!  What sun-bathed coasts, along which the white villas glittered against the olive woods!  What quiet harbors, thronged with gallant shipping bound for purple island of wine and spice, islands set low in languorous waters!"  Kenneth Grahame Wind In The Willows, Chapter 9.


First the disk jockey will play the Rip Cords song Hey Little Cobra and follow that with Woodie Guthrie's version (because he wrote it) of Take Me For A Ride In The Car Car.  We'll go chug out of here and go over to Toad Hall and look for a truly magnificent motorcar.  We'll probably be back next week with more of the same (only different).  Until then, have a week that includes incredible 0 to 100 mph times that would rock the socks of the Road & Track test crew.  (As I recall a Cobra does it in about 3.9 seconds!)  Cheerie-O!



Copyright 2005 – Robert Patterson

Email the author at worldslaziestjournalist@yahoo.com




Editor's Note:


The final F1 race of the season was last Sunday.  McLaren's 1-2 at Brazil.  Alonso, third, won the driver championship - at 24, the youngest ever - a Spaniard who drives for Renault.  See Alonso Celebrates Historic Title   


Last race Bob missed:


1 JP Montoya (McLaren)

2 K Raikkonen (McLaren)

3 F Alonso (Renault)

4 M Schumacher (Ferrari)


Ferrari note:


In the middle of June five years ago I found myself at the chateau of a very rich fellow in Rouen – don't ask – chatting with him in his garage where he was restoring a Ferrari that had been raced at Le Mans a decade earlier.  He pulled panels up and showed me the V-12 with all the goodies – and we kicked the tires so to speak.  He asked me if I would like to sit in the thing, but I didn't fit.  It seems small people drive such things, or they are built for a specific driver in mind.  We retired to his library where he had a wall of Ferrari books, and very few of them in English.  Early in the evening he drove me and the woman with whom I was traveling to the local station to catch the train back to Paris, in his Austin Mini (the old version), screaming down those narrow French lanes with the stone walls on each side, sometimes on two wheels as things got dicey.  It was great fun.  My companion was white as a sheet.  It's a guy thing.




Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
The inclusion of any text from others is quotation
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