Magazine Time Machine: Road & Track December, 1955

image I was looking through the archives and realized I’ve only done one of these so far this year. They seem to go over well with the readers, so let’s pile another one on. I have hundreds more issues where this one came from, so if you want to keep seeing them, you’re in luck. Lincoln isn’t quite what it used to be these days. Just look at that Conti on the cover and tell me anything they make now is as beautifully crafted. They don’t make magazines like they used to either. As usual with these more-than-double-my-age vintage magazines, the cover art is awesome, there’s a couple neat road-tests, the advertisements are great, and oh those classifieds ads, they’re just so perfect. Click the jump to see more. image Was a Karmann Ghia worth almost a grand more than a Beetle in 1955? I’m inclined to say yes. I’ve always loved those gorgeous German lines, and would have one in a heartbeat. It’s interesting that VW used San Francisco as their import. Could you imagine if prices on cars today had a “F.O.B.” price? I’d probably take a road trip to avoid the “delivery” fees that are on new cars these days if there was a port-of-call for them. image Does this really need any further explanation? The T.S. Eliot quote is perfect. Like we need to go investigate the Citroen, because it is both a curious thing, and a thing worth your time. image Is there any one photographer today as famous as Bernard Cahier was in his day? That man brought the world of racing to the world of the fan. Fabulous photos, mixed with excellent race reports made him the king of motorsports way back when. I still look up to the man today, for having the skill, guts, and stamina to cover as much of it as he did. [Please clap] image This little exposé was insanely interesting. It has a two-piece fiberglass body shell “for easy maintenance” where the top of the body lifts off of the car and the bottom half remains. It uses a Jag inline 6, and is phenomenally light for cars of the era. The combined efforts of an engineer and a physicist, the H-K Jag had a De Dion rear with custom fabricated inboard rear brakes (why don’t we do that anymore?). After this article was written, the car entered competition, and ended up being a bit too anemic to take the fight to the competition. The pair eventually sourced a Mercedes 300SL engine (the spare factory race engine from the 1957 Mille Miglia) and installed that. image The ladder frame and drums were ‘custom lightened’ as seen in the picture above. This is the epitome of #Bradsport, and I love it so much. image Any time there is a 550 Spyder in a magazine, I go gaga. Vintage race reports are always awesome to read. image I cannot imagine how “startling” the 507 must have been in the mid-1950s. It’s a stunning creature, and looked head-and-shoulders above anything else that was on the roads in those days. What a gorgeous car. One of my all-time favorite designs. image Well, now I’ve got to add another awesome era-correct piece to my “things I must own before I die” list. A C1 Corvette with a fiberglass hardtop and side curtains is the epitome of cool. image I got my start in the world of car enthusiasm by driving a Triumph TR7 for a few months before it repeatedly tried to kill me. Despite my horrible experiences with Brit cars and Standard-Triumph specifically, there is a part of me that really wants another one. All of them. I just want a big line of TRs with one or two examples from each era. They look cool, they drive great, they are so much fun when they work. Maybe that’s part of the charm. There would be no appreciation for sunny days if not for the rain. image Ah, the classifieds. Good lord. A Gloekler Porsche would be worth several hundred thousand dollars these days (if not 7 figures), as there were only a handful of them built, and each one of them were different. Essentially it was Herr Gloeckler that proved the competition concept for Porsche, and instigated the 550 Spyder project. I’ve only ever seen one. I wonder if it was this one. I’m not sure what a “Porsche America Coupe” is, but for three grand, I’d be willing to find out. The pair of 55 coupes are probably also worth a mint these days. In 1955, Porsche imported the 356 under the “Continental” name, because even in the 1950s Americans hated alpha and numeric car names. Unfortunately Ford already owned the name Continental (refer to the cover of this very magazine to confirm), and forced Porsche to change the name back to 356. Anyway, see ya next time.    

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