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 Post subject: Fangio on Netflix
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 2:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 13564
Location: CT
While we're all sequestered in our homes waiting for our virus checks and conserving ammunition, NetFlix was kind enough to offer us a new movie this month about the racing life of Argentinian Juan Manuel Fangio!

For those of you born in this century, "El Maestro" was 5-time world champion Grand Prix racer (1951, 1954, '55 '56 '57) and is generally accepted to have been the greatest professional race driver of all time (Nuvolari raced during different rules).

At a time when each annual championship chose among 30 different Grand Prix courses around the world, Fangio won championships driving for Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Ferrari and Mercedes Benz. Although those cars were strikingly different from each other, Fangio stepped right into each of them and won new championships for each team. Maserati twice changed their models mid-season and Fangio still gave them two world championships.

Twice he even changed racing teams in mid-season, and STILL won the championship those years. (Fangio is recorded as the only racer to ever pridefully walk off the vaunted Ferrari team due to disagreements with Enzo. Plenty of drivers had problems with the tyrannical owner, but no others quit and walked away from him. Fangio was immediately hired by another team and won the championship that year, anyway).

Unlike the vast majority of other professional race drivers of his era, Fangio continued to race well into his 50s, then retired healthy. Most other drivers were half his age when he retired, and most of the men he had begun racing with had been killed. Remember, they still had no seatbelts, no rollbars, and cloth helmets in most of those days. He was loved by all other drivers, even from opposing teams.

In the German Grad Prix Fangio had everything stacked against him; blocked from a quick start, repeated troubles with the car (parts actually falling off), a 1 minute pit stop to replace a lost wheelhub nut, poor weather etc. Re-entering the race from absolute last place, he fought his way into the lead and captured the win just feet from the finish line. The entire British Racing Team (whose victory had appeared assured) ran to him and hugged him before he was even out of his car. They couldn't speak Portuguese and he couldn't speak English, but the adoration was clearly understood.

There simply was no other Grand Prix champion like Juan Manuel Fangio.

Treat yourself to "A Life of Speed", now on Netflix. :thumbs_up:

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a3193 ... ry-review/


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 Post subject: Re: Fangio on Netflix
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:46 pm 
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Thanks Frank!

I'm always up for movies like this.

Jay


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 Post subject: Re: Fangio on Netflix
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:16 pm
Posts: 649
Location: Ansonia, CT
Great flick Frank! Thanks for the alert.

Funny, my wife and I had just dug out some old home movies that we thankfully had converted over to DVD's. Back a l-o-n-g time ago in the late 50's and early 60's I used to "borrow" my Mom's 8MM movie camera and experimented in a little cinematography whereas I would film stupid stuff like pulling a model car up a little ramp with fishing line while the car was on fire, or blowing up model tanks and ships. Hey!, what kid with a camera didn't do this stuff, right? Needless to say I wasted a lot of my Mom's precious film in the process but some of it has survived on these DVD's which I haven't seen in many years. It gave me a real chuckle. :lol:

But the BEST part were seeing clips I took a bit later. These clips (all no sound :( )included old SCCA and NASCAR races held at the long gone Bridgehampton race course in Long Island. I think Buddy Baker won the Nascar race I was at. To top it off, I have some cool footage of the 1967 US grand Prix at the Glen which included some close-up footage of Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Sterling Moss, Carroll Shelby and others both in and out of cars. I actually got to shake Carroll Shelby's hand at that event :thumbs_up: . The late Jim Clark won the race that year but I was a bit of a Graham Hill fan at the time. I was lucky enough to have my shop teacher take me to the races that year where we had "dinner with the drivers" and pit passes :thumbs_up: .

Who knows what other "treasures" I will uncover while being sequestered in my home. I hope all of you stay safe and make the best of it as well!

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 Post subject: Re: Fangio on Netflix
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:56 pm 
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Location: CT
You bring back some happy childhood memories for me, John.

In the 1950s and '60s a kid could still buy "real" fireworks like M-80s and Ashcans. I blew up a few models in my backyard driveway. Tanks, a B-26 Martin Marauder, and an aircraft carrier (name forgotten) which scattered little deck planes all over the yard for years to come. We didn't have a movie camera ~ those were for rich people.

I attended every GP and SCCA race at the Glen that I could afford and get transportation to. By the 1967 race I was very busy in the USMC but I did attend the 1966 race, and the '65 and '64, and the '63 SCCA championship. I have B&W shots of Hill, Clark, Rodriguez, Ginther, Surtees, Gurney and Brabham, and a well-worn race program with each of their autographs on it.

F1 racing is completely unrecognizable to me today. Bob Sharp told me the cars have airconditioning today! A hose hooks right up to his son Scott's racing suit.

I remember one summer when former World Champ (and still active racer) Alberto Ascari drove an old monoposto Ferrari around Syracuse fairground's oval dirt track in a few hot demonstration laps before the start of the little track cars' race. He wore a short sleeve shirt and open collar and I remember his throat and arms were pocked and bleeding from little stones and cinders thrown up by his front tires when he pulled into the pits. Times were different and so were the men.

I was a huge Graham Hill fan and resented the great Jim Clark each time Clark beat him. I also greatly admired the pre-war exploits of Tazio Nuvolari, who was the very best GP racer of the 1920s and '30s. But Fangio's post-war achievements were simply second to none, and he deserves the title of best of all GP racers.

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 Post subject: Re: Fangio on Netflix
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:16 pm
Posts: 649
Location: Ansonia, CT
While we are all hoping that we will soon be able to forgo social distancing and isolation soon, I have continued to look for "stuff" to keep me busy (and from annoying my wife :roll: ), so I pulled out this 1:48 scale model kit of a P-51D Mustang that my son Stephen gave me for Christmas 14 months ago. I've got most of it done with the exception of the many teensey-weensey decals that need to be applied. I've always loved the P-51 and get chills whenever I hear one of their Merlin engines start-up or wiz by.

True sidenote story: On occasion, I used to play a recording of a P-51 racing at Reno at full volume on my old Fisher stereo to wake up my kids. They hated it! :P

Well, the model plane paint is drying now and I plan to start fiddling with applying all the decals tomorrow (I wish I had Trump hands :lol:) I'll take a picture of it when it's completed.... if I don't decide to blow it up with a firecracker first!

I hope you are all still doing well and finding something to help pass the time.. Stay safe and healthy!


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 Post subject: Re: Fangio on Netflix
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:26 pm 
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Location: CT
Reminds me of our member Colin Foote; the P-51 was his favorite airplane, too. In fact, when the Club attended Colin's memorial parade and Z show at the RI airport, they flew a low-pass P51 tribute to him over the airfield.

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 Post subject: Re: Fangio on Netflix
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:07 am 
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Location: Ansonia, CT
Well here then is a tribute to our friend Colin Foote.


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 Post subject: Re: Fangio on Netflix
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:07 pm 
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Nice work John....where are all the glue fingerprintz?

The "D" model had all the toys and improvements...More .50cal BMGs, larger canopy, full-blade prop, improved main landing gear and retractable landing lights, 85 gal internal fuel tank, and the two-stage supercharged 1380hp Packard Motor Company Merlin engine. (Each engine cost the equivalent of $400,000 in today's money, and was the very best thing in the air before jets. It is the fastest piston-driven prop engine in history).

More model "D"s were made than any other variant of the Mustang, so there were more of them left after WWII and Korea. They showed up at Air Speed Races everywhere and took home a lot of trophies.

I can't read the canopy; who's the pilot?

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 Post subject: Re: Fangio on Netflix
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 2:52 pm 
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Actually, the D variant had the Rolls Royce Merlin V12 engine. Prior models were equipped with the Allison V12's. The model shown depicts the plane flown by Lt. Col. John D. Landers who was assigned to the 84th fighter squadron.

I got so see one close up and fly most recently at Oxford airport last summer. It was of a group of WWII planes that included the ill-fated B17 which crashed at Bradley a couple of weeks later. Real tragedy :(

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 Post subject: Re: Fangio on Netflix
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:24 pm 
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Location: CT
Actually,


P-51D and P-51K

["Following combat experience the P-51D series introduced a "teardrop", or "bubble", canopy to rectify problems with poor visibility to the rear of the aircraft.
The engine was the Packard V-1650-7, a license-built version of the Rolls-Royce Merlin 60 series, fitted with a two-stage, two-speed supercharger"].

:P 8)

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:15 am 
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I just found out that the model Mustang I built replicated one which crashed in England during an airshow in 2011. The attached youtube footage shows the Mustang being struck by a Skyraider after breaking formation. Amazing footage and amazing skill of the P51 pilot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xctYWSuwoYA

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 Post subject: Re: Fangio on Netflix
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:20 pm 
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Location: CT
Sad. They all have sad ends, don't they?

Did you know the British expression "the whole nine yards" came from the Mustang? I had always thought it referred to running a football to gain a 1st down, but I recently learned it had to do with the Mustang during WWII. It loosely means you 'gave it everything you had'. There are several guesses about where the term initiated, but the Mustangs flying out of England during WWII is the most believable.

The ammunition for the 6 hungry .50cal Browning Machine guns was loaded into trays inside the wings. Armament people carried long belts of .50BMG out to the plane and loaded them into the trays. If placed end-to-end altogether, the ammunition belts were 27 feet (or 9 yards) long (totaling 1,880 rounds).

Mustang pilots who returned victorious after shooting down enemy bombers often claimed to have held the trigger down until the plane ran out of ammo, thereby giving the hapless target "the whole 9 yards".

And there's your useless trivia for today.

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 Post subject: Re: Fangio on Netflix
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:19 am 
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Cliff Claven's got nothing on you Frank! :lol: Love the useless trivia. I thought the term was football related too, but your explanation makes sense!

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 Post subject: Re: Fangio on Netflix
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:27 pm
Posts: 475
Location: South Meriden, CT
Frank and John, John and Frank...whatever,

Have you two ever thought of writing a book? "Not So Useless Trivia".

I have to admit my favorite WWII fighter was the F4U Corsair. Many of which were built in Stratford. We lived in Black Rock and Fairfield...Gram and Gramp lived near Paradise Green in Stratford. More often than not, the trip home was through Lordship and by the airport. I vividly remember the folded wings behind the propwash fences.

When the new airport Administration building was built, a Corsair shell was displayed, like a big Revell model, on a curved stand. In time this display fell to lack of maintenance and was taken down. It is now in the process of being re-done without the stand, and will become a static display at future plane and car events.
And that's the news from Lake Wobegon...Where the men are strong, the women good looking, and all the kids are above average!

Wish I could send pics but have never been successful!

Alan

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 Post subject: Re: Fangio on Netflix
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:47 pm 
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That old Corsair gate-gardian was still mounted the last time I visited the airfield.

A gun guru of mine in NC was a retired WWII Marine. He left college in '41 and joined the Corps right after Pearl Harbor. He was in the first group of Marines who landed on Guadalcanal in Aug'42 and got stranded there when the Navy sailed away with over 1/2 their food, ammunition, and Marines.

He spent 5 weeks there outnumbered, battling the fanatical Japanese Marines and being shelled every night. His decimated battalion (down to about 450 men) claimed and held the airstrip, which was eventually named Henderson Field, in honor of a fallen Marine. He had horrible memories of those first 'abandoned' weeks when they were out-numbered, out-gunned, sleepless, malaria-ridden and starving.

As soon as the Navy returned and USMC aircraft began landing on Henderson Field, Fred made up his mind to learn to fly fighters. He admitted he was a college senior and they plucked him out of the "grunts", commissioned him, and taught him to fly Corsairs. As part of the "Cactus Airforce", Fred Hauser landed his Corsair on the very same airstrip he had fought so furiously to capture and hold just a year prior. He had great War stories about his deadly combat on the ground and in the air.

Fred retired as a Major and opened a gunshop in a Marine town. He taught me most of what I know about firearms and sensible shooting. He had a refrigerator full of free cold beer for any Marines who stopped in. I knew him for over 15 years, and built him two models; a USMC F4/U Corsair and a Mitsubishi Zero. I hung them in a combat pose (chasing the Zero) from the ceiling of his shop. We killed a lot of beers together over that time and swapped stories about our individual wars, and I told him how much his Greatest Generation had inspired us all in 'Nam. Fred Hauser died at age 94 some years ago.


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