auto racing · paint scheme grades

Paint Scheme Grades-January 19, 2019

By David G. Firestone

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol Chevy Camaro-Getting rid of the black is a great move, and the new design works well with the color scheme. All things considered, this gets an A.

Ryan Newman #6 Oscar Meyer Ford Fusion-The color scheme works well, and the hot dog motif works well with the color scheme. I’ll give this an A.

Daniel Hemric #8 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevy Camaro-The new design scheme is decent, though I think it is over done. The color scheme is decent, though it does work with the design scheme. It’s not great, but it’s decent, so it gets a B.

Ty Dillon #13 Twisted Tea Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Erik Jones #20 Craftsman Toyota Camry-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Jimmie Johnson #48 Ally Financial Chevy Camaro-I like the designs on the wheel well, and the overall design is great, and not over designed. Add in a great color scheme, and you have an A scheme.

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auto racing · friday feature

Wheel Reviews: 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story

By David G. Firestone

3: The Dale Earnhardt Story is, according to ESPN Original Entertainment executive producer Will Steger: “an unauthorized docudrama…inspired by the true life of Dale Earnhardt.” It’s a movie that on the surface, is an emotional look at the life of one of the greatest NASCAR drivers of all time.

The movie depicts Dale’s life from early childhood, idolizing his father as both a driver and a man. Dale watches his father Ralph race, and grows to love the sport of racing. When Ralph dies, Dale changes. His career takes off, and the movie follows Dale on and off the track until his death at the 2001 Daytona 500.

The movie would be somewhat unremarkable, if not for the fact that there were a lot of inaccuracies, as well as omissions.

The omissions include:

*Dale’s 2 year stint with Bud Moore during the 1982 and 1983 seasons. Granted these season were quite unremarkable, but the fact these were never mentioned seems odd.

*Earnhardt’s Late Model starts for All Star Racing in what is now the Xfinity Series were also omitted.

*None of Dale’s crew chiefs are accurately depicted.

*Most perplexingly of all, there is no mention made of Dale’s rivalry, or business partnership with Jeff Gordon. The Earnhardt/Gordon rivalry was the dominant rivalry in NASCAR in the 1990’s, yet it’s not even glossed over.

There are also too many inaccuracies and continuity errors in the movie.

*In the opening scene at the 2001 Daytona 500, Jeff Gordon’s car is running a 2004 instead of a 2001 scheme. Bobby Labonte is racing a Chevy Monte Carlo, whereas he raced a Pontiac in 2001.

*In that same scene, on Dale’s car, DALE EARNHARDT is written in generic red script. Earnhardt always used a stylized version of his signature in white.

*During a dirt track race set in the 1950’s, Realtree is a sponsor of one of the cars, despite not being founded until the 1980’s.

*A billfold in a scene from the 1970’s clearly shows a modern day $20 bill, but for many TV shows and movies, this is not uncommon.

*After he signs with Rod Osterlund, Dale drives a Chevy Monte Carlo in the 1979 Daytona 500. In the real race, he drove a Buick.

*Earnhardt meeting future wife Theresa is inaccurately portrayed. She was only 16, and Dale knew he was Hal Houston.

*During a dream sequence after winning the 1980 Winston Cup Championship, John Anderson’s flip from the 1981 Duel races is shown.

*After the Earnhardt/Waltrip spin at Richmond, Earnhardt was quoted as saying “I didn’t mean to wreck him, I just wanted to rattle his cage a little.” The first time he actually said this was in 1999 after spinning Terry Labonte to win the Goody’s Headache Powder 500.

*In the scene where Dale Sr. is teaching Dale Jr. and Kerry to race, Kerry is wearing a more modern firesuit with inaccurate patches, and patch placement. The chest patches are wrong, the Simpson logo is a newer logo, and the SFI Certification is on the top of the sleeve, as opposed to the inside of the left sleeve near the wrist.

*In that same scene, there is a 2004 Dale Jr. decal on the back window of a pickup truck.

*At the 1990 Trans South 500 at Darlington, a Tony Stewart flag, as well as what appears to be a Matt Kenseth flag can be seen on a flag pole

*At that same race, Ernie Irvan is racing a #4 Kodak Gold Oldsmobile, with scheme that Kodak did not debut until several years later.

*At the 1998 Daytona 500 there are quite a few issues with how that race was depicted.

*During the final pit stop, the movie has Dale taking four tires. In the real race, Dale only took two tires.

*There is a Winston Cup logo badly covering a Nextel Cup logo.

*In the movie, Dale Jr. celebrates with his dad in Victory Lane. Dale Jr. had left to race in a different race.

*The pit crew is depicted as wearing polo shirts and slacks, where as in reality, fireproof coveralls were mandatory by that point.

*The above-mentioned polo shirts and slacks don’t change at all between 1990 and 1998.

*The back of Dale’s car in that race is plain, whereas the real car had a GOODWRENCH logo on the back.

*The movie ends at the 2001 Daytona 500.

*As Dale is shaking hands before the race begins, there is a large WINSTON CUP SERIES banner, with lettering that was never used in reality.

*For some reason, Earnhardt is wearing a helmet with Corvette decals…which he never wore in NASCAR.

*Rusty Wallace is driving a white unmarked Dodge, even though he drove a blue Ford at the time of the race.

*Jeff Gordon is racing the Rainbow Warrior scheme, even though in 2001, he had switched to his flame scheme.

*One claim that I have heard is that Dale wore a clear visor, instead of the tinted one he is depicted as wearing in the movie.

*In the reflection of the visor, an Impact Racing logo can be seen, despite not being founded until 2004.

*Bobby Labonte is racing his 2004 scheme, not his 2001 scheme.

This film is also noted for not getting the approval of any member of the Earnhardt family, including his widow. Richard Childress, who is depicted in the movie, took the producers to court for copyright infringement. I wasn’t able to find the outcome of this lawsuit.

All in all, while the movie itself is decently made, and is emotional. The historical inaccuracies and omissions keep it from being anything except a C- movie.

Next week, for the final Wheel Reviews, I will review a movie about Ferrari.

auto racing · paint scheme tracker

Paint Scheme Tracker-January 16, 2019

By David G. Firestone

STAR COM RACING #00

Landon Cassill #00 StarCom Fiber Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, Yellow, white, black and silver with numerous stripes and designs on sides. D+

CHIP GANASSI RACING #1

Kurt Busch #1 Monster Energy Chevy CamaroNo change. A

TEAM PENSKE #2

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford MustangNo change. A

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #3

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, black with red, white, and silver wave pattern. B+

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Gold Chevy Camaro-New scheme for 2019, gold with black and red stripe on bottom. A

Austin Dillon #3 AAA Chevy CamaroNo change. A

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, black has been removed entierly, white roof, light and dark green waves across sides. A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #4

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Ford MustangNo change. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmy Johns Ford MustangNew scheme for 2018, similar to 2018 scheme, but with added stripes on sides. A-

Kevin Harvick #4 Mobil 1 Ford FusionNew scheme for 2019, black with gray flames. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang-New sponsor for 2019, green sides, white hood and roof, curve designs on sides. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Light Ford MustangNo change. A

ROUSH-FENWAY RACING #6

Ryan Newman #6 Oscar Meyer Ford FusionNew scheme for 2019, orange with hot dog motif across whole car. A

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #8

Daniel Hemric #8 Bass Pro Shops/CAT Gold Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2019, same as #3 gold. A

Daniel Hemric #8 Liberty National Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, much more toned down. A

Daniel Hemric #8 Caterpillar Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, yellow front, fades to honeycomb on black rear. A

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #9

Chase Elliott #9 NAPA Chevy CamaroNo change. B+

Chase Elliott #9 Mountain Dew Chevy CamaroNo change. A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #10

Aric Almirola #10 Smithfield Foods Ford MustangNew scheme for 2019, slash patterns have been expanded. A

TEAM PENSKE #12

Ryan Blaney #12 PPG Ford MustangNo change. A

GERMAIN RACING #13

Ty Dillon #13 Twisted Tea Chevy CamaroNo change. A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #14

Clint Bowyer #14 Peak Ford MustangNew sponsor for 2019, black, and blue with curve elements. C

Clint Bowyer #14 Blue Def Ford Mustang-New sponsor for 2018, same as 2019 Peak, but white replaces black. C

Clint Bowyer #14 Rush’s Truck Stops Ford MustangNo change. A

ROUSH-FENWAY RACING #17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fifth-Third Bank Ford MustangNo change. B-

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford MustangNew scheme for 2019, black added to sides, along with hourglass design. B-

JOE GIBBS RACING #20

Erik Jones #20 Craftsman Toyota CamryNo change. A

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #24

William Byron #24 Axalta Chevy CamaroNo change. A

William Byron #24 UniFirst Chevy CamaroNo change. B-.

William Byron #24 Liberty University Chevy CamaroNo change. A

William Byron #24 Hertz Chevy CamaroNo change. A

GO FAS RACING #32

Corey Lajoie #32 Keen Parts/Corvette Parts Ford MustangNew scheme for 2019, black with red and silver stripes on sides. B-

Corey LaJoie #32 Schluter Systems Ford MustangNew scheme for 2019, orange with black designs. A

RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS #43

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Air Force Chevy CamaroNo change. A

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #48

Jimmie Johnson #48 Ally Financial Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2019, black with blue designs on wheel well. A

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #88

Alex Bowman #88 LLumar Window Film Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, white front and top, orange and red rear, wave pattern in between. C

Alex Bowman #88 Valvoline Chevy CamaroNo change. A

Alex Bowman #88 Nationwide Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, blue hood and roof, white side, blue stripe across bottom. A

LEAVINE FAMILY RACING #95

Matt DiBenedetto #95 Procore Chevy Toyota CamryNo change. F

auto racing

Wheel Reviews-Blonde Comet

By David G. Firestone

Directed by William Beaudine, Arthur Hammons, Tiny Hamberger and written by Philip Juergens, Robin Daniels, and Martin Mooney, Blonde Comet was released in 1941. The movie starts Virginia Vale as Beverly Blake, the daughter of the owner of the owner of a tire company, and Robert Kent as Robert Flynn, a racer who wants to make a more powerful carburetor.

Beverly Blake, nicknamed “Blonde Comet” races all over the world, and has a lot of success. It should be noted that due to World War II, this is set a few years prior. The first sequence is a series of races where Beverly is supposedly racing, but she isn’t actually seen in a car in most of these shots. An interesting detail is that the announcers are speaking the native language, as opposed to English.

The scene shifts to a racing garage, where a race car is being worked on, with the two mechanics, Curley and Robert have a sexist argument, and the character of Tex is introduced. The conversation focuses on Tex’s lack of experience behind the wheel of a race car. Jimmy then takes the car out, has the road blocked off, and tests the car. Beverly sees the road block, takes her car on a dirt road, and sees Jimmy’s car, turns around, kicks down the barricade, and drives through.

Jimmy finishes his run, turns around, and starts a second run, heading for Beverly. The two drivers meet, and a brief argument ensues. It’s interesting that while Blonde Comet is painted on the side of her car, Jimmy has to look at the race car being towed to figure out who she is. She drives through a second barricade, and the scene shifts to Southern Ascot Speedway.

Jimmy’s crew works on the race car, whereas Beverly works on her hair. The desire for some pop leads to a conversation between the two teams. After a nonsense scene involving speaking Swedish, Curley and Beverly have an awkward conversation. Tex buys some equipment from Barney Oldfield, in a cameo. Jimmy tells Barney he has a new carburetor which uses less fuel, without losing speed. Barney Oldfield’s acting isn’t great.

The announcer states that all drivers should meet for a driver meeting. At the meeting, Beverly talks with some of the other drivers, who aren’t thrilled she is there. The track announcer gets the drivers and spectators ready for the race. The race starts, and the announcer decides that rather than actually call the race, he will give biographical information.

As the race wears on, the announcer taps out for a while. Cars get spun out, but the race continues. My major issue with this scene is that it’s never established which characters are racing which numbers, so it’s impossible to figure out what is going on. The lack of announcers for large portions of the scene doesn’t help at all. Tex gets in a wreck, and is badly injured, eventually dying. Beverly goes on to win the race, Jimmy finishes second. Jimmy punches the driver who wrecked Tex, and Beverly suddenly falls in love.

The scene shifts to Jimmy’s garage, where Barney pledges $25 to help ship Tex’s body home. Beverly meets Barney and gives her back story. Barney gives Beverly his $25, and Beverly drives to Jimmy’s garage, gives Jimmy the $25, and the rest of the money needed. Beverly drives to the next race, a 500 miler at a 1 mile track. After a group photo, Jimmy and Beverly flirt before the race starts, but once the green flag drops, the race starts.

Unlike the last race, since Beverly and Jimmy car numbers have become clear, the race is somewhat easier to follow, granted that there is no announcers here. Blonde Comet takes the lead. After some humor with a chalk board, Jimmy ends up in second place, behind Beverly. As the race winds down, Jimmy takes the lead, while Beverly is in third, behind Red Stewart. With four laps to go, there is are some serious wrecks, and eventually, Jim wins, and Beverly comes in second. After the race, it’s revealed that Red Stewart was killed in the wreck. It’s revealed that Beverly is going to Indianapolis.

Beverly, Barney, and Cannonball Blake, Beverly’s father have a meeting where they discuss adding one of Jim’s carburetors in her car, but asks that the installation a secret. At the Indianapolis 500, both Jim and Beverly qualify for the race. There is added tension, because the government is interested in Jim’s carburetor design, though only if one of the cars with the carburetors wins.

The race starts out slow, but at the halfway point, Jim gets in a wreck, due to a bad tire. Beverly pulls out, feigning exhaustion, but demands that Jim take over. Jim goes on to win the race, and at the victory celebration, the toast is to carburetors and tires. Beverly and Jim get engaged, and the movie ends.

After watching this, I’m going to give this movie a B+. The racing is good, the story is good, and the characters are realistic. Unlike The Racing Strain, there is no over the top plot twist, which is good. Also, unlike The Racing Strain, there is no real antagonist, which isn’t so great. I would love for there to be a dedicated villain who is openly opposing Beverly and Jim, but it doesn’t happen. A decent racing movie, but not a great one.

auto racing · paint scheme tracker

Paint Scheme Tracker-January 9, 2019

By David G. Firestone

STAR COM RACING #00

Landon Cassill #00 StarCom Fiber Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, Yellow, white, black and silver with numerous stripes and designs on sides. D+

CHIP GANASSI RACING #1

Kurt Busch #1 Monster Energy Chevy CamaroNo change. A

TEAM PENSKE #2

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford MustangNo change. A

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #3

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, black with red, white, and silver wave pattern. B+

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Gold Chevy Camaro-New scheme for 2019, gold with black and red stripe on bottom. A

Austin Dillon #3 AAA Chevy CamaroNo change. A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #4

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Ford MustangNo change. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmy Johns Ford MustangNew scheme for 2018, similar to 2018 scheme, but with added stripes on sides. A-

Kevin Harvick #4 Mobil 1 Ford FusionNew scheme for 2019, black with gray flames. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang-New sponsor for 2019, green sides, white hood and roof, curve designs on sides. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Light Ford MustangNo change. A

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING #8

Daniel Hemric #8 Bass Pro Shops/CAT Gold Chevy Camaro-New sponsor for 2019, same as #3 gold. A

Daniel Hemric #8 Liberty National Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, much more toned down. A

Daniel Hemric #8 Caterpillar Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, yellow front, fades to honeycomb on black rear. A

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #9

Chase Elliott #9 NAPA Chevy CamaroNo change. B+

Chase Elliott #9 Mountain Dew Chevy CamaroNo change. A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #10

Aric Almirola #10 Smithfield Foods Ford MustangNew scheme for 2019, slash patterns have been expanded. A

TEAM PENSKE #12

Ryan Blaney #12 PPG Ford MustangNo change. A

STEWART-HAAS RACING #14

Clint Bowyer #14 Peak Ford MustangNew sponsor for 2019, black, and blue with curve elements. C

Clint Bowyer #14 Blue Def Ford Mustang-New sponsor for 2018, same as 2019 Peak, but white replaces black. C

Clint Bowyer #14 Rush’s Truck Stops Ford MustangNo change. A

ROUSH-FENWAY RACING #17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fifth-Third Bank Ford MustangNo change. B-

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford MustangNew scheme for 2019, black added to sides, along with hourglass design. B-

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #24

William Byron #24 Axalta Chevy CamaroNo change. A

William Byron #24 UniFirst Chevy CamaroNo change. B-.

William Byron #24 Liberty University Chevy CamaroNo change. A

William Byron #24 Hertz Chevy CamaroNo change. A

GO FAS RACING #32

Corey Lajoie #32 Keen Parts/Corvette Parts Ford MustangNew scheme for 2019, black with red and silver stripes on sides. B-

Corey LaJoie #32 Schluter Systems Ford MustangNew scheme for 2019, orange with black designs. A

RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS #43

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Air Force Chevy CamaroNo change. A

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS #88

Alex Bowman #88 LLumar Window Film Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, white front and top, orange and red rear, wave pattern in between. C

Alex Bowman #88 Valvoline Chevy CamaroNo change. A

Alex Bowman #88 Nationwide Chevy CamaroNew scheme for 2019, blue hood and roof, white side, blue stripe across bottom. A

LEAVINE FAMILY RACING #95

Matt DiBenedetto #95 Procore Chevy Toyota CamryNo change. F

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR,Chevy Camaro,Chevy,Camaro,Ford Mustang,Ford,Mustang,Toyota Camry,Toyota,Camry,Clint Bowyer,Peak,Blue Def,Llumar Window Film,Alex Bowman,Busch,Kevin Harvick,Landon Cassill,StarCom Fiber,Kurt Busch,Monster Energy,Brad Keselowski,Miller Lite,Austin Dillon,Dow, AAA,Jimmy Johns,Mobil 1,Hunt Brothers Pizza,Busch Light,Daniel Hemric,Bass Pro Shops,Caterpillar,Liberty National,Chase Elliott,NAPA,Mountain Dew,Aric Almirola,Smithfield,Ryan Blaney,PPG,Clint Bowyer,Rush’s Truck Stops,Ricky Stenhouse Jr.,Fifth-Third Bank,Fastenal,William Byron,Axalta,Hertz,Liberty University,UniFirst,Corey Lajoie,Keen Parts,Corvette Parts, Schluter Systems,Darrell Wallace Jr.,Air Force,Alex Bowman,Valvoline,Nationwide,Matt DiBenedetto,Procore,

auto racing · paint scheme grades

Paint Scheme Grades-January 5, 2019

By David G. Firestone

Landon Cassill #00 StarCom Fiber Chevy Camaro-The new stripe design doesn’t work here, even with a great color scheme. The cluttered design doesn’t look good, and earns a D+.

Kurt Busch #1 Monster Energy Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Chevy Camaro-Get rid of the silver, and this would be a solid A scheme, but with the silver, this scheme gets a B+.

Austin Dillon #3 Dow Gold Chevy Camaro-Metallic gold and black is a great color scheme, and the overall design is great. I can’t say anything bad about this scheme, so I won’t. A

Austin Dillon #3 AAA Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Kevin Harvick #4 Jimmy Johns Ford Mustang-The new stripes are visually distracting, but aren’t as bad as they could be. It’s not a bad scheme, just a step down from last year’s scheme. A-

Kevin Harvick #4 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion-Black with gray flames is a great look. A

Kevin Harvick #4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang-A good look with a great color scheme will always earn an A.

Kevin Harvick #4 Busch Light Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Daniel Hemric #8 Bass Pro Shops/CAT Gold Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as #3, same A grade.

Daniel Hemric #8 Liberty National Chevy Camaro-This new toned down scheme is so much better than the overly cluttered design used last year. This is a great design. Add in a good shade of yellow to boot, and you have a great scheme all around. A

Daniel Hemric #8 Caterpillar Chevy Camaro-This scheme is an improvement on the Mini Excavators scheme used last year, and I like this scheme a lot. It has a great design, and a great color scheme, and that will always earn an A.

Chase Elliott #9 NAPA Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same B+ grade.

Chase Elliott #9 Mountain Dew Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Aric Almirola #10 Smithfield Foods Ford MustangNew scheme for 2019, slash patterns have been expanded. A

Ryan Blaney #12 PPG Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Clint Bowyer #14 Rush’s Truck Stops Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fifth-Third Bank Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same B- grade.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Fastenal Ford Mustang-When used with the right color scheme, hourglass designs can work well, this isn’t the right color scheme. It’s not horrible, but this isn’t great. I’ll give it a B-.

William Byron #24 Axalta Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

William Byron #24 UniFirst Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same B- grade.

William Byron #24 Liberty University Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

William Byron #24 Hertz Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Corey Lajoie #32 Keen Parts/Corvette Parts Ford Mustang-Keen Parts had a great design last year, but this new design is over done. Add in the pointless addition of black, and an A scheme got take down to a B-.

Corey LaJoie #32 Schluter Systems Ford Mustang-This is a great shade of orange, and the black designs work very well. It’s a great look. A

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Air Force Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Alex Bowman #88 Valvoline Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.

Alex Bowman #88 Nationwide Chevy Camaro-This new scheme is a smooth, simple look, and it has a great color scheme. This gets an A.

Matt DiBenedetto #95 Procore Chevy Toyota Camry-Same scheme as last year, same F grade.

auto racing · friday feature

Wheel Reviews-The Racing Strain

By David G. Firestone

For the first of four Wheel Reviews in 2019, I am going to focus on The Racing Strain. Released in 1936, The Racing Strain was written by Dorothy Davenport, Betty Burbridge, and Willis Kent, who also is the producer. None of the writers were credited for their work. The Racing Strain was directed by Jerome Storm, and was produced by Willis Kent Productions, and distributed by Maxim Productions. It is a public domain movie, with a run time just under 58 minutes

The movie starts with some racing footage, which appears to be shot from several completely different locations. There is a roll over crash, and driver Jack Westcott is injured. Westcott is confronted by his son, Bill Westcott, who may be played by his real son, and the elder Westcott claims he is “all right” and “he will be back of the track soon, and promptly dies, his son screaming and crying over his body.

The scene then shifts 10 years later, to a dune buggy, racing through the desert. Bill Westcott has established himself as a great race car driver. As Westcott and King Kelly drives through the desert, he comes across a stranded car, occupied by Marian Martin. It’s revealed that Kelly has quit drinking after being suspended from racing. Martin is a racing fan, who takes a liking to Kelly. There is a really stupid and pointless scene with Martin’s chaffeur, Togo, who is apparently scared of cows.

Westcott and Togo tow the car with Kelly, Martin, and Aunt Judy to a gas station. Its revealed that Martin is the daughter of a wealthy oil magnate. The scene shifts an unknown amount of time, where the Martins pull in to a gas station, and Marian sees Kelly, and they hit it off. It’s revealed that Kelly has taken the job to help get his racing career back on track, while Westcott is in school, and wants to be a pilot.

The scene shifts again to Westcott, who is piloting a plane, even though he can’t be older that 16. He handles the plane quite well. The two airplane michanics are amazed by his skill. The scene shifts to the Martins, who are reading a newspaper with the giant headline WILD KING KELLY REINSTATED, which is apparently a big story. It’s mentioned that Kelly needs to say sober or he’ll be banned for life.

The next scene is at the track, where Westcott is adding to a scrapbook. Kelly has him look at his race car, which is the Gilmore Lion Club Special, sponsored by Gilmore Oil. Another racer, Speed Hall, is getting his car ready at the same time. He talks with Marian, who he is clearly in love with. Westcott and Kelly get his car on track, and begin racing each other. It’s at this point that Westcott’s racing skills become apparent, though he has reservations, after his father’s death. Westcott chickens out, Speed mocks him, which leads to a fight. Togo and Westcott start a friendship.

Kelly and Marian go on a date at the amusement park, which is accompanied with the most annoying background music possible. Westcott and Togo go for a flight in an airplane. This scene also established that Togo is a stereotypical Asian. Back to the amusement park, where the music is slightly less awful, for the love birds on an airplane ride, the back to the amusement park, then back to the airport, where Togo does jiu jitsu on one of the mechanics.

Then, the movie shifts forward to Togo, who is stil woozy from the airplane ride, and Westcott, sitting in a car,, and Marian and Kelly dancing to dubbed music, which clearly wasn’t the music being played during filming. The date ends mercifully at 1 AM, when Kelly and Westcott meet up with their respective drivers.

Speed Hall, who I had forgotten was even in the movie at this point, is scheming with his sponsors, trying to stop Kelly from racing. It’s decided that to get to Kelly, they have to use Westcott. At the track, Kelly is handed a letter, frantically checks the time, and consults the racing schedule. He borrows a car, and drives away.

He drives to a hotel in Tiajuana, leaving the note behind. Marian finds he note. The note was written by Rose Westcott, who is demanding the return of his son. Marian, realizing where he’s gone, races to get him. Rose is revealed to be a selfish drunk, who only cares about himself. She orders a whiskey and the waiter brings two shots. Kelly falls off the wagon, with a little help from Rose. Marian and Westcott fly to save Kelly. Rose is revealed to be a worker for his sponsor, who drugs Kelly, so he can’t race.

Westcott and Marian find Kelly, and take him out of the bar. The races have started, and Kelly is flown back to the airport, and driven to the track, Legion Ascot Speedway. Kelly is clearly in no condition to race. Westcott decides he’s got no choice, climbs in the car, and gets ready to race. Westcott has trouble getting started.

Westcott races, haunted by the memories of his dad’s death. Westcott moves his way through the 40 lap race. A crash is shown, though the race continues. As the laps wind down, Westcott and Speed race for the lead. Kelly and Marian watch nervously. Kelly wins, Marian reveals that Mr Martin is her dad, and the movie ends.

The movie itself is decent. The plot is good, but there are a lot of problems. The movie just ends after the big race. Kelly is somehow never noticed in the crowd. It’s never explained how or why Westcott has access to fly a plane at his age. It’s also odd that while Speed Hall, who is supposed to be the main villan, is opposed to taking out King Kelly, yet his sponsors have no qualms about potentially ending his career. The story is decent, but there is a lot of blandness. Togo is in the movie just to teach Westcott how to do a take down, other than that, he’s useless.

My final grade here is a D+. It’s less of a racing movie, and more of a movie with racing in it. The subplots aren’t great, and some don’t add to the movie. I just can’t enjoy this.

Next week, a movie from the 1940’s.

auto racing · throwback thursday

Throwback Thursday-1972 Grumpy’s Toy X Chevrolet Vega

1972 Grumpy’s Toy IX Chevrolet Vega

Grumpy’s Toy IX was owned and driven by Malvern, Pennsylvania’s own Bill Jenkins This is one of a long line of Grumpy’s Toy cars. This Vega Pro Stock uses white with red accents. It’s a nice look. Red and white is a great color scheme, and it works very well with the design scheme. I’m going to give this the A it deserves.