Cars & Motorcycles
Road & Track

Road & Track July 2017

Road & Track includes technical features on automotive subjects, wide-ranging feature stories, spectacular automotive art and standard-setting new-car photography, humor, fiction, travel stories, book reviews and the most comprehensive racing coverage offered by a monthly magazine.Bonus: iPad Interactive

United States
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in this issue

1 min.

The racing, the cars, the heroes. Since 1947, Road & Track has been there for it all. The proof is in our archives, hundreds of nondescript manila folders stuffed with photographs, race reports, correspondence, and manuscripts. They provide a quiet reminder of mortality: Many of the files’ subjects, and the people who cataloged them, are no longer with us. But digging through the contents brings the past to life. Enzo Ferrari glares from a Kodachrome slide. The Lamborghini Miura’s performance screams through scribbled test notes. Here’s a glimpse at a handful of the relics collected over seven decades of celebrating speed. Jim Clark flips through the September 1963 issue at the Italian GP. THE RACING R&Twas one of the first American publications to showcase the grandeur of European grand-prix racing, but it treated…

4 min.
dear r&t,

PRESCOTT THOMPSON, ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO You should have at least acknowledged that the Alfa outclassed the Merc and the BMW in every one of your objective performance categories (0–60, braking, top speed, etc.). ANTHONY PALLADINO RESTON, VIRGINIA Noted. But numbers aren’t everything. The Mercedes beat the Alfa in nearly every other facet. What bothered me was the whipping you gave the M3, a car with a $10,000 cheaper base price and down 60 hp. DOUG BAUER VERO BEACH, FLORIDA What’s with that tacky plastic plate on the Giulia’s grille? It’s like a wart on a beautiful woman’s face—I can’t help wincing when I see it. JIM JISTEL HOUSTON, TEXAS You will have to do a special article on the technique used for maximum acceleration in the Mercedes C63. Right foot on brake and left foot on accelerator sounds…

2 min.
editor’s letter

LIKE MANY ENTHUSIASTS, I got my first taste of automobiles through the pages of my dad’s favorite magazines. An avid motorsport and sports-car fan himself, he subscribed to everything from On Track and National Speed Sport News to Car and Driver. And, of course, Road & Track. I consumed each with typical adolescent zeal, yet R&T always stood apart. Every month delivered a fresh collection of cars to dream about and new racing heroes to follow, all in one place. At the time, I had no idea R&T had already been around for 30-plus years, much less that I would be celebrating its 70th anniversary as editor-in-chief nearly 40 years later. In the ensuing decades, much has changed—vehicles, technology, priorities, personalities—but the singular experience of flipping through each new issue remains.…

5 min.
live at birdland

ROAD & TRACK has taught me a lot, but the first thing I remember it telling me was that Ayrton Senna was dead. Those quicksilver hands and that yellow helmet, the last fiery icon in Formula 1, snuffed at 34. It was 1994. I was 13, and I had never bought a car magazine. That first one I paid for had a $2.95 cover price and an August date. I still have the thing, though I don’t know why. All I know is that every time I try to throw it away, my arms freeze up. Senna died in May of that year. By August, when this magazine ran his obituary, I still had no clue he was gone. I barely knew he was alive to begin with. Our city paper didn’t…

7 min.
friends for life

SO ROAD & TRACK IS TURNING 70 this summer. Well, that’s a little scary. I’ve been around for three of these decadeending anniversaries, and I have to say, I’m beginning to greet them with mixed emotions. Why? Well, because this magazine and I are almost the same age. Which, of course, means that in a few months, Barb is going to have to drive into town and buy more birthday candles. My last cake looked like a wildfire burning out of control in a national park, and if the next one puts out any more heat, I’ll be able to weld with it. Truth be told, R&T arrived in this world just a bit earlier than I did. It hit the streets in June of 1947 when two Long Island sports-car enthusiasts named Wilfred H. Brehaut…

25 min.
the one

THE LAST GREAT ANALOG CAR WAS BUILT, in just 107 examples, between 1992 and 1998. The roadgoing version had a world-first carbon-fiber frame; a 627-hp, 7500-rpm BMW V-12; a six-speed manual gearbox; and a driver’s seat mounted in the middle, aping an open-wheel race car. You did not get anti-lock or power brakes, traction control, power steering, or anything resembling an electronic safety net, despite the fact that the car cost nearly $1 million at launch. (Or that most of those features were standard on cars costing far less.) What you did get was the fastest production car in history—231 mph— and one of the least compromised road machines ever built. None of that was by accident. From general layout to minor design touches, the McLaren F1 was dictated by the…