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Cars & Motorcycles
Road & Track

Road & Track October 2015

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

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in this issue

1 min.

TEN PEOPLE WHO TRANSFORMED HOW WE JUDGE PERFORMANCE Cars keep defying odds. Carroll Shelby built performance icons through grit and moxie—and fierce competition on track. That’s been the pattern for the great leaps forward in automotive excellence. These 10 people have helped to set the bar for our new golden era of performance. LIFE-CHANGING LUXURY: PERFORMANCE ACTIVE AND ADAPTIVE: FEATURES THAT BRING YOUR VEHICLE TO LIFE Vehicle Dynamics Expert Brian Novak is soft-spoken. He’s slow to tout his own achievements . . . but making the 4387-pound, AWD Lincoln MKX drive like a much smaller, lighter vehicle—so it’s not just fast, but also exceptionally agile—is worth crowing about. He will at least discuss the matter, humbly, if you prod him. “There are over a thousand dif erent parameters I can change with the suspension in real…

1 min.
metal and men

The Lightweight facility isn’t a typical auto shop—it looks like an aerospace clean room. Jaguar brought in folks from aviation, people accustomed to building with aluminum, by hand. The rivets were counted, measured, set exactly right. Every one. Every location. Same for every weld. They could have made these six cars better—modern underneath— but they didn’t. Resisting every engineering impulse, they’re exactly the same as 1964. Part for part. The man-hours invested run into the tens of thousands.…

1 min.
rubber meets road

Circuito de Navarra, Spain. I didn’t expect the Lightweight to be so eager. Or so menacing. The Rolling Stones can’t give me the shakes like this. I can hear my heart pounding out a rhythm in my ears. Right around 4750 rpm, my pulse lines up with the tach and finds harmony. My body rings like a tuning fork. This. This. The thin steering wheel, perfectly communicating everything, always. First gear is good for 70, maybe 80 mph, then second and third for an instant down the straightaway. Feet get busy on double-clutch downshifts. Slipping the clutch too quickly puts the Jag into a long waggle, like a scolding finger. Even clumsy, even wild, even backing it in a little and counting on the limited-slip rear to dig me out…

4 min.

Dear R&T, I’ve been reading Road & Track since May 1976. I’ve seen the magazine go through multiple changes, but the most recent have been the most dramatic. The July 2015 issue stands as the best I have ever seen. The topics were spot-on for an enthusiast, and the writing pulled me into each story. DOUG WATERMAN, APPLETON, WISCONSIN COLD COFFEE I spent this morning with a stale carrot muffin, lukewarm coffee, and the July issue; lukewarm because I spent too much time enthralled by the articles on the Singer-modified Porsche 911 and the Nürburgring. Keep up the brilliant writing. JIM NOSELLA BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA Your piece on the Nürburgring [“Ring of Fire”] brought back memories of a week I spent there in the early Seventies, wearing out a new set of racing Pirellis on my 1969…

2 min.
editor’s letter

HEY, YOUR CAR’S ON FIRE,” said a voice to my right. Couldn’t be me, I thought. But in my mirror, I caught a glimpse of yellow flames angrily dancing from the foam air cleaner. Course workers standing nearby ran toward me, screaming “GET OUT!” While I’d intended to spend race weekend giving my freshly restored Formula Ford a proper workout, a baptism by fire wasn’t what I had in mind. In these situations, you hope to react with speed and courage, but you never really know what you’ll do until the time comes. Now I realize that I will probably fall short. After successfully unlatching my belts, I flopped out of the cockpit like an eel from a bucket while a couple of brave people snuffed the fire with an extinguisher. As…

5 min.
moment of inertia

SOME LUCKY PEOPLE GET HELP when they need it. Years ago, I got it from my friend Bill Caswell. Bill is an overcaffeinated, quasi-employed, irritatingly attractive race driver whose primary income, he once told me, is “hard to explain.” (“So,” I replied, “. . . sex work?”) I was in a period of mild depression, a year of mostly lolling around and working on my motorcycle. I had a job, but my wife and I had just moved to California and were effectively broke. For a number of reasons, my free time was basically spent waiting to go back to work. I watched a lot of cartoons. Bill gave me endless hell for this. When I finally got off the couch, he gave me less hell. It began when he decided…