Pit Notes: Auto Racing Community Seeks Help

The auto racing community is being asked to reach out and help one of its many, many unheralded workers pay to restore the face and future of his granddaughter who survived a crash that took the life of her mother and left her in need of major reconstructive surgery. The full, horrific story and address where donations can be sent is at www.samanthashope.com. As “Lugnut” responded to the plea, “I donated. If everyone who reads this donated even just $1, we could easily raise the $100,000 they need. It only takes a minute to change this little girl’s life forever … for the better.”

Frank Stephenson, design director of McLaren, provides an impressive “walk around” of the new MP4-12C McLaren super car on Cruise Control’s You Tube site: http://www.youtube.com/user/CruiseControlVideo. In two segments he articulates how the esthetic appeal of the mid-engine beauty accommodates the car’s engineering priorities, many of them established on the race track. Form following function. Stephenson will join design professionals from Pixar Animation Studios and others at the 2011 AutoWeek Design Forum during the North American International Auto Show (Jan.10 –14)

1965 Aston Martin DB coupeWorth noting if missed, the original James Bond Aston Martin DB5 seen in “Goldfinger” and “Thunderball” then sold in 1969 for $12,000 went for $4.6 million (including fees) at auction recently. The Detroit Bureau reports Harry Yeaggy of the Buckeye state was the winning bidder. . . . Official Gunther Raupp 2011 Ferrari Calendars (Myth and Rosso Corsa) are available at www.BullPublishing.com while they last. Also, Raupp’s large-format book, Ferrari:25 Years of Calendar Images. . . . Jeff Mohr is on a crusade to get people with ball mounts on their vehicles to remove them when they get done towing. He says there is a 22% higher risk of a whiplash injury when a car with a ball mount in the receiver gets rear-ended. He explains it at: superbumper@qwestoffice.net . . . . In a piece for GQ, “Bentleys in Bahrain & Other Mundane Moments,” veteran auto journalist Jamie Kitman offers the “Kitman-Floss Special Sauce Five Stages of Automotive Journalism.” He advises, “Remember them well, car fans, as everything you ever read or will read in the world of road-test literature can be viewed through this prism: elation, enthusiasm, bargaining, depression, nostalgia/retirement.”