Cliff Nass and I have started our seminar – Cars: past, present, future.

The project – automotive archaeology.

This week – motor sports.

Speed as zeitgeist. I am rereading Jeffrey Schnapp’s wonderful collection Speed Limits.

Here is Marinetti – February 1909:

We affirm that the magnificence of the world has been enriched by the advent of a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A race-car, its hood adorned with large pipes, like serpents with an explosive breath – a roaring car that seems to ride on grapeshot – is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.

Somewhat later:



Murray Smith joined us to share his experiences of Formula 1 and the world of motor sports.

It all took me back to a visit I made to the Isle of Man back in 1965 with my Uncle Eddie, proud owner of a BSA motor cycle (was it a Gold Star?). In class I showed the movie of Guy Martin’s run round the Isle of Man TT track – quite astounding – back roads and through the towns and villages at nearly 200 mph!.

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