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frenchyd
frenchyd HalfDork
9/30/17 5:27 p.m.

For me the big one is the smell of Castor oil.   In the early 50's cars still raced with Castrol R  it was an oil made from the caster bean that had a distinctive smell.  Often used when alcohol fuels were used as an upper cylinder lubricant.  

I last smelled it in the  mid 70's when a few of those 500 cc single cylinder formula cars of the early 50's that Stirling Moss cut his teeth on, ran  in a vintage race.  

 

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
9/30/17 5:35 p.m.

They still use it in model engines. Along with a little nitromethane. It does have a rather distinctive smell to it. 

frenchyd
frenchyd HalfDork
9/30/17 5:59 p.m.

In reply to Toyman01 : how neat that you know that!

 I was planning on buying some and run a tiny feed line into my carbs  just to get that smell

 

fasted58
fasted58 MegaDork
9/30/17 6:19 p.m.

Ran Blendzall Green in the old D/SR Ocelot engine... sa-weet. Ain't nothin' like it, used to huff it over the winter. devil

frenchyd
frenchyd HalfDork
9/30/17 6:33 p.m.

In reply to fasted58 :my other miss are 4 wheel drifts.  In the Passat really skilled drivers would throw their car sideways as they entered a corner, it's how we dealt with drum brakes that had faded to nothing.   Tires sideways scrubbed off some speed and we'd steer with the throttle.  More throttle the back end came around and we'd turn sharper. Lift the throttle and the turn got wider.  

The art was getting the front end to slide enough but not too much

 

clshore
clshore New Reader
10/1/17 2:57 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

This (smell of Castrol) was literally the FIRST thing I thought of when I saw the thread banner.

The second thing I miss is the smell of my nomex and of crash helmet foam and the muffled silence as I sat on the false grid waiting for 'start engines'.

Third is the drop of the green flag and first entry into turn 1. Who can I trust, who can I late brake, who can I follow and hunt down and pass.

Good times, that I will never ever experience again.

Gary
Gary SuperDork
10/1/17 7:24 p.m.

I went to my first sports car race in ... I think it was '64, at George Weaver's version of the Thompson circuit. That was called Thompson Raceway. And it's still my favorite version of the various iterations of the Thompson circuit, even the current one. Anyway, my most impressionable impression (is that incorrect English or just redundancy?) was the aroma of  burned caster oil, i.e. Castrol, mixed with unfettered internal combustion exhaust aroma. So yes, I must agree that this is probably what I miss the most, among other things, from the past. I do occasionally get it at various events, but not as strong as the heady aroma I got fifty+ years ago. It is indeed a great aroma.

(But if we're talking about what we miss today about things other than sports car racing from 30-40-50 years ago, then I've got a hell of a lot to talk to you about, because after all, I'm 68 years old).

frenchyd
frenchyd HalfDork
10/2/17 7:32 a.m.

In reply to clshore : Paul Newman raced well into his 80's 

I raced with a guy in the Bahama's who was 88 

I'm working on 70 and haven't given up yet

 

frenchyd
frenchyd HalfDork
10/2/17 7:32 a.m.

In reply to Gary : I've got you by over a year  

 

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
10/2/17 3:09 p.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to clshore : Paul Newman raced well into his 80's 

I raced with a guy in the Bahama's who was 88 

I'm working on 70 and haven't given up yet

 

Is there hope for me....I'm a pup at sixty four and haven't started yet? 

frenchyd
frenchyd HalfDork
10/2/17 3:51 p.m.

In reply to 759NRNG :Sure, why not?   

But I have to caution you, it's addictive as heck and hard to stop if finances dictate.  The thrill of going wheel to wheel, out braking someone to lead out of a corner even if they pull you on the straight will cause your face to get sore from all the smiling and grins.  

Your fingernails will get and stay dirty,  and nights will be spent looking for that affordable goodie that just might get you a win.  

Good luck, have fun

 

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
10/2/17 5:48 p.m.

I guess rush hour traffic doesn't count as a precursor eh?devil 

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
10/2/17 5:50 p.m.

Two stroke 500cc moto GP.....a bit partial have four oil foggers in the shed.

bearmtnmartin
bearmtnmartin SuperDork
10/2/17 5:57 p.m.

There is a racer at our track who is 80 I think this year. He gives no quarter and he still wins. 

You have me wishing I remembered the smell of Castrol, but I was racing bikes back then and the smell of two stroke mix and a wet exhaust does the job.

frenchyd
frenchyd HalfDork
10/3/17 3:37 p.m.

In reply to 759NRNG : start at an autocross, heck you can take your daily driver.  Run the cones a few times and see if you like it.  

If you do they hold autocross at some race tracks  or you can go on a track day. 

Do t be afraid to ask for help.  More than a few instructors made get even use their own car to give you a sense of what track time is about.  

 

GTXVette
GTXVette Dork
10/4/17 8:45 a.m.

What I Miss the Very Most, was the Strength and Stamina I had then. but the Scent of Caster oil gave way to the Scent of a Woman .  Maybe that's where my Strength went Too

clshore
clshore New Reader
10/10/17 4:19 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

Cuz' he had the MONEY to do it, and pay folks to do the physically challenging things that come so easily you young, strong people.

frenchyd
frenchyd HalfDork
10/10/17 4:53 p.m.

In reply to clshore : while that may be true for Paul Newman, there are enough old guys racing without those benefits that I know it's still possible

 

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
10/15/17 11:15 a.m.

I miss the quiet at the end of a race day.  Walking out on an empty pit road and stopping and looking over the wall at the start finish line.  The sun is setting there is little if any noise.  The smells are fading.  The sound of a open header v8 car being loaded will crack the silence for a moment than everything gets quiet again.  As the sounds bounce off the stands and the walls traveling off in to the distance it is that moment you and the track come to a mutual agreement that nether of you won or lost.  You and the track agree that this duel will continue at a later date.

LanEvo
LanEvo HalfDork
10/15/17 7:27 p.m.

In reply to dean1484 :

I still do that. One of the few times a year I smoke anymore. I'll grab a decent cigar (maybe a Padron 1964 Anniversary or Montecristo No.2) and take a slow track walk.

frenchyd
frenchyd HalfDork
10/16/17 10:00 a.m.

In reply to dean1484 :beautifully written and a great feeling  

 

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof PowerDork
10/16/17 11:28 a.m.

I use This castor oil in my vintage MX bike. If you have something without a cat, run a little of this in the gas and enjoy the smell all the time!

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/12/17 1:56 p.m.

In reply to Zomby Woof :

I’ll have to give it a try. I used to just go and buy caster bean oil once Castrol stopped selling it. 

 

BrokenYugo
BrokenYugo MegaDork
12/12/17 3:44 p.m.

In reply to Zomby Woof :

Being "ashless" I don't think 2 stroke oil will harm a catalytic converter. 

Suprf1y
Suprf1y PowerDork
12/12/17 5:13 p.m.

No it probably won't but it will burn the castor off and it won't smell like the 70's

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