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Road & Track

Road & Track

August/September 2021

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

11 min
endless summers

“THE FIRST MEMORY I HAVE OF HEARING ABOUT THE BRADFORD MODEL T GIRLS was when I was growing up, seeing a picture of my mom with the other girls in the Model T, and the photo was autographed by Henry Ford,” remembers John Butte, a retired Caterpillar executive living in Dunlap, Illinois. “My brothers and sisters and I had heard this story about our mom once staying in a jail cell overnight in Canada back in 1939, and we thought it was very comical. But I never really thought about it much.” Butte had grown up on a farm in Bradford, Illinois, and knew the basic facts about the Bradford Model T Girls, or the Gypsy Coeds, as they were known—a group of young local women who road-tripped all over the…

8 min

IT HARDLY SEEMS possible, considering the bottomless pockets and desires of Ferrari collectors. But the 812 GTS is the first front-engine, V-12 convertible production Ferrari since the 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider. There’s a full 50-year gap between the 1969 Daytona’s debut and the GTS’s in 2019. On a perfect, top-down day in New York, we’ve managed to introduce padre to figlio. Our Daytona Spider is a 1972 Euro-market model with 17,195 kilometers on the odo, spectacularly restored by Ferrari Classiche in Italy. Knees turn to gelatin as a faithful mechanic de-trailers the Daytona at a diner in Port Jervis, New York, accompanied by its publicity-shy owner in a Bugatti Chiron. The owner bought his first Daytona Berlinetta coupe for $17,000 in 1972 in Manhattan, after enlisting in the Air Force during Vietnam…

1 min

Peter Egan PETER EGAN HAS BEEN a contributor and columnist for both Cycle World and Road & Track since 1980, writing road tests, travel stories, and his monthly columns, “Leanings” and “Side Glances.” He lives in rural Wisconsin with his wife Barbara, seven cats, and a Golden Retriever. He spends most of his time working on cars and motorcycles in his workshop, or playing guitar in his fairly loud garage band, the Defenders. He believes a taste for older British cars and motorcycles to be his principal shortcoming. Davide De Martis Born on the island of Sardinia, Davide De Martis now lives in Monza, Italy, a temple of speed. When Davide was young, his father was a part-time rally co-driver, and family photos of races—plus the discovery of his grandfather’s camera—led him to…

2 min
american evolution

NASCAR’S BASIC FORMULA hasn’t changed much since the Cup Series’ inception. The cars sport a four-speed manual gearbox, a live rear axle, and more brawl than a bare-knuckle beatdown. But that basic componentry changes with the reveal of NASCAR’s Next Gen car, set to debut in 2022. The traditional elements are gone, replaced by a sequential transaxle and independent rear suspension. Other changes include the introduction of spec parts from specialized suppliers. NASCAR worked on the Next Gen car for more than two years alongside those vendors, as well as Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota. This is one of the biggest evolutions stock-car racing has ever seen. Here are the changes that matter. WHEELS: The Next Gen car sports single-lug, 18-inch aluminum wheels, a big increase in diameter from the five-lug, 15-inch…

3 min
pumping iron

IN THE SUMMER OF 1952, 41-year-old Henry Opitek showed up at Harper University Hospital in Detroit complaining of shortness of breath. If ever there was a glass-half-full, glass-half-empty story, Opitek’s is it. Turned out, he had a major heart issue. At the same time, he was in luck. Doctors at Harper had a nifty device they wanted to try out. Opitek was about to become the first human being to be kept alive using a mechanical heart. The thing was larger than today’s microwave ovens, and—not at all coincidentally—it resembled a V-12 engine. Ask yourself: What is the first engine to appear on earth? What is the origin of all rhythm and the inspiration for all motors that have ever existed? That would be the human heart. Like any engine, this…

12 min
sports-car boom(er)

SEVERAL YEARS AGO, I suffered another of my periodic bouts of sleepless, sweat-soaked MG TC fever and told my friend and neighbor, Chris Beebe, that I was possibly in the hunt for one of these fine cars again. There was a long, thoughtful silence on the phone, and then he said, “Have you driven one lately?” “No,” I admitted, “it’s been a long time.” “Well, why don’t you take mine for a drive and see what you think. I’ll leave the keys in it tomorrow morning, and you can take it out for an all-day test drive if you want.” “Sounds good,” I said. Truth be told, Chris’s car is not a TC. It’s a 1939 MG TB, a mechanically similar and near look-alike predecessor to the TC. MG introduced the TB just before World War…