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Old 05-05-2017, 03:09 PM
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Barber Historics - May 19 - 21

Just a reminder that the Barber Historics are week after next. We will have a group departing Birmingham to spend Saturday afternoon there. I love the Paddoc/Pit area. Nice low key event, little traffic and hopefully good weather.

Drew
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Old 05-06-2017, 04:29 PM
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This was a very nice event last year, and I'm anxious to see the expanded museum. I understand that the car corrals will be moved back to the "fan zone" where they used to be.

If I go I'll probably head over on Friday (a day off for me), stay overnight, spend most of Saturday at the track and drive home in the evening.
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Old 05-06-2017, 05:38 PM
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I've gone the last two years and plan on going this year. Should be fun!
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:43 PM
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Anyone know what cars will be there in the FIA makes class? Forecast doesn't look good for Sunday in bham, but Saturday looks ok until mid to late afternoon as of now.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:22 AM
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1 week ago I talked to the man in charge, and I was told there would be no F-1 cars, as they would all be at Laguna Seca. Should be plenty of other great stuff, however.
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by David Lind View Post
1 week ago I talked to the man in charge, and I was told there would be no F-1 cars, as they would all be at Laguna Seca. Should be plenty of other great stuff, however.
I may go tomorrow just until noon since it seems to have t-storms after that and into Sunday. I was hoping that Masters F1 would come again, but I do like endurance racing cars a lot, which seem to come out.
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:05 PM
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I ended up not going, but I saw some videos posted online. Participation seemed less than last year, which was down from the year before (first year they had Masters F1 so a lot of cars were there). Was it the weather forecast that kept people away? The cars that did show up appeared to be most of the ones from the last two years. I hope they can lure back the Masters F1 group as that was fun to watch, but also I'm sure pulled in more events.
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:52 PM
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There actually were a handful of F1 cars, a couple of Tyrrells and a couple of Lotuses, though I didn't get to see them on the track. I'll post photos in a few days.

My trip was truncated by the weather as well; after watching my only race, the Porsche Cayman GT4 race (historic? bah!) that preceded the 90-minute lunch break on Saturday, I left during the break when threatening clouds appeared. Rain was clearly falling from one of them, and perhaps something else; the morning weather forecast did say something about possible hail. So I figured that discretion was the better part of valor and headed back to Atlanta on I-20.

But I still think that I got my money's worth, though participation was clearly down from last year, perhaps due to the weather forecast, which was dreadful for Sunday. (I don't think it turned out quite as bad, if today's weather here is any indication. Our heavy rain was overnight.)
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Old 05-21-2017, 09:10 PM
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Anyway, here's my weekend. I stopped by Ron Reineke's shop on Friday morning to have him look at my car for upcoming service work, then headed to Birmingham, where my first stop was Vulcan Park, home of the world's largest cast-iron statue, a place I had been meaning to visit for a number of years. Then, after checking in at the Hampton Inn, I headed for the recently-expanded Barber Museum, where I would spend the rest of the afternoon.

Of course, you know about the many motorcycles and the large Lotus collection (which does have some significant holes in it: no 25, no 49, no 72, no 79), but there is also the John Surtees tribute, now more significant after Big John's passing. The red 158 is the actual car in which he scored most of his points towards his 1964 championship; the blue-&-white NART car is an excellent reproduction which I saw run last year. When I saw that it had the engine cover off, I got an escort to take me down to the basement (which was closed for an upcoming Lotus event) so I could take some photos.

(I understand that some of the Surtees collection will shortly be on its way to Goodwood to appear in next month's Festival of Speed, where a tribute to John would be expected.)

They also had an interesting piece of artwork: a 1/1 reproduction of 250 GTO bodywork mounted as if they were parts on the sprue of a giant plastic model kit, and prepainted. (The name on the uniform of the driver figure was Phil Liddy. Any significance?) Incidentally, the fellow in the black shirt sitting on the counter in the background is George Barber himself, the man responsible for all of this!

After that I got to watch a showing in the museum's theater of the new documentary "The 24-Hour War", which detailed the Ford/Ferrari battles to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the '60s. This is an excellent movie which you must see, and it's already available on DVD and Blu-ray. My report on Saturday will come later.
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Old 05-21-2017, 11:22 PM
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Nice pics! The weather was pretty bad late yesterday afternoon and into the night, but was fine today. I think next year I'll drive out to the Mitty and check that event. I was hoping the Barber even would get more of the guys from that last month.
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:31 AM
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The Mitty was plagued by rain this year also. Saturday weather at Barber was actually kind of nice! Although the race car turn out was light (Historic F1 was going on at Laguna same weekend) there were some standouts. As Jim mentioned a few Lotus and Tyrrell F1s, a Lola T70 mkII, a GT40, a Ferrari SWB, a Momo 935....some good stuff. The trip was worth it just to see the museum additions!
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Old 05-22-2017, 11:09 AM
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This event is so under-promoted. Somewhere, someone at Zoom or Barbers stop giving a damn about it and it is showing.

I LIVE here and only was "aware" of it because of personal contacts here and there at dinner - I knew about it - but that was the only time I heard it mentioned.

We had a Ferrari etc, meeting Sat morning for a drive to the park and I overheard one of the guys asking if anything was going on out there this weekend. I'm not kidding.
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Old 05-22-2017, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by vee12 View Post
The Mitty was plagued by rain this year also. Saturday weather at Barber was actually kind of nice! Although the race car turn out was light (Historic F1 was going on at Laguna same weekend) there were some standouts. As Jim mentioned a few Lotus and Tyrrell F1s, a Lola T70 mkII, a GT40, a Ferrari SWB, a Momo 935....some good stuff. The trip was worth it just to see the museum additions!
Nice! Was the SWB the same one that attended last year? It was out on the track only a couple laps before coming back in. The Momo 935 has been a regular. Seeing it and the Interscope 935 two years back was great.

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Originally Posted by Dr Tommy Cosgrove View Post
This event is so under-promoted. Somewhere, someone at Zoom or Barbers stop giving a damn about it and it is showing.

I LIVE here and only was "aware" of it because of personal contacts here and there at dinner - I knew about it - but that was the only time I heard it mentioned.

We had a Ferrari etc, meeting Sat morning for a drive to the park and I overheard one of the guys asking if anything was going on out there this weekend. I'm not kidding.
Yeah, I honestly would've gone had the weather forecast not been bad all weekend and I knew what cars would be there. I chose to work instead so I have an easier week this week.

The MotoAmerica and vintage motorcycle festival seemed well attended when I went. I wonder what it costs to the people that run cars. Maybe for the bigger acts they should do something like provide free fuel and track time to attract them to Barber? I think air shows used to do that if not still in some places.
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Old 05-22-2017, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Tommy Cosgrove View Post
This event is so under-promoted. Somewhere, someone at Zoom or Barbers stop giving a damn about it and it is showing.

I LIVE here and only was "aware" of it because of personal contacts here and there at dinner - I knew about it - but that was the only time I heard it mentioned.

We had a Ferrari etc, meeting Sat morning for a drive to the park and I overheard one of the guys asking if anything was going on out there this weekend. I'm not kidding.
I agree. Zero marketing or promotion. I bought a 3-day vendor's booth spot last year, and I did not receive a single call or email this year asking if I would like to renew for this year's event. It's weird. That's just basic common business sense 101. I've also been to enough events at Barber that I should be on every ticket email list they have, and again, nothing. The only thing I've seen is a handful of FB ads.

As nice a facility as they have, this could become as big of a vintage event as they would like to make it. Evidently they just don't care.
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Old 05-22-2017, 06:27 PM
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I IS strange how they promote the hell out of some events...Indy Cars and the Vintage Moto Festival but not others. Obviously, George doesn't need your money!
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:44 PM
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Personally, I think they just need to fire Zoom and hire someone that wants the job and wants to do it right.

Barbers is a beautiful motorpark. Look at many other big name tracks around the country and the facilities look like a barn - and I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that either. My point is this is a first class venue and it is just wasted by everyone's indifference that works behind the scenes out there.

The only reason I went was because it is 5 miles from my house. If I lived out of town I wouldn't have bothered this year.

Sun I drove out there and there were maybe 8 vehicles parked in the fan zone car corral area. Three were pickups. Besides my Alfa there was one Ferrari and it was a 308 owned by a friend of mine who wasn't even there. His mechanic drove it.

I left after about a half hour. The only reason I stayed that long was because I ate a hamburger and talked to a Lotus guy from Dallas who was there for the National meet this weekend.
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:18 PM
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Seeing this car just about made the trip worthwhile by itself. If the Ferrari P4 is the best-looking car to have raced at Le Mans, I nominate this car, the Jaguar XJ13, as the best-looking one that should have raced there but didn't. This is the car that should have been the F-type.

Of course, this is a reproduction, since only one of the originals was built, but it impressed me as being an excellent reproduction. You'll note that it was autographed by David Hobbs, who did drive the original.

I do suspect that if Jaguar had actually gone ahead and raced this, it would have sprouted at least one spoiler and perhaps other appendages to provide downforce. In this configuration it appears to have about zero downforce!
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:27 PM
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And here is the aforementioned 250 GT SWB. Considering that the canopy is tied to the car, if you got enough wind, the whole thing might just blow away!
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Old 05-23-2017, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr Tommy Cosgrove View Post
Personally, I think they just need to fire Zoom and hire someone that wants the job and wants to do it right.

Barbers is a beautiful motorpark. Look at many other big name tracks around the country and the facilities look like a barn - and I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that either. My point is this is a first class venue and it is just wasted by everyone's indifference that works behind the scenes out there.

The only reason I went was because it is 5 miles from my house. If I lived out of town I wouldn't have bothered this year.

Sun I drove out there and there were maybe 8 vehicles parked in the fan zone car corral area. Three were pickups. Besides my Alfa there was one Ferrari and it was a 308 owned by a friend of mine who wasn't even there. His mechanic drove it.

I left after about a half hour. The only reason I stayed that long was because I ate a hamburger and talked to a Lotus guy from Dallas who was there for the National meet this weekend.
I agree. The grounds of the track look well maintained unlike every other road course in the US I've seen on TV (never been to the others in person). The lawns at Barber are manicured and the artwork scattered around look great.

Obviously they don't have permanent stands, which is the only downside to some, but I like the grass hills and they're great for setting up a canopy around turn 1/Alabama roller coaster. The back straight hills are shaded and nice to view the races, too, with seating alone.

It will never be the magnitude of Daytona or Talladega but road courses never are supposed to be that large in terms of seating.
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Old 05-23-2017, 04:14 PM
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Remember, Road Atlanta's only real permanent "seating" is the terraced area at turn 10B, and there are still plenty of places to watch racing.

Barber is one of the few circuits that can really live up to the "park" in its name.
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