“I don’t know what you’re up to, but stop it.”
This imperative suggests a desist notice to any number of, um, wanton activities. But in this instance which Road & Track alumnus John Lamm retells in Velocity Supercar Revolution, it was a state cop telling one of R&T‘s editors to quit playing with a Lamborghini Countach on public roads.
This one tale encapsulates what Mr. Lamm’s bold hardcover’s all about – the stories behind the very supercars that so many of have come to idolize through the years.
In Velocity Supercar Revolution, designers, collectors, industrialists, and, of course, journalists all weigh in on the most elaborate and impractical autos of the post war era – from the 70s Maserati Bora to the 2006 Z06 Vette and much rolling stock in between.
Chris Bangle even offers his two cents.
On page 19, Jay Leno shares one harrowing account of an afternoon with his Lamborghini Miura.
“I was driving my Miura one day and I looked in the rearview mirror and I go, ‘It’s raining…damn.’ Then I looked out the front and it’s not raining the front. I realized what had happened was that one of the carburetor hoses had popped off and was spraying the rear window with gas. I pulled over, opened the back and heard ‘ping…ping…ping’ as gas hit the exhaust manifold. All I’ve got is this stupid little Haylon fire extinguisher. Luckily the car didn’t start on fire. People just don’t have those sorts of adventures anymore.”
Mr. Lamm threads a narrative from the 70s to the 80s, 90s, and 2000s that points to a special few car manufacturers who’ve been at pains to outdo themselves all these years.
Velocity Supercar Revolution, shows not so much a revolution but an evolution as top speeds, 0-60s, and world records are broken with each succeeding decade.
Considering the years of environmental lobbying and economic crises, that these wildly flamboyant, utterly impracticable, but ultimately special cars inhabit the same democratic asphalt as the world’s Highway Patrol officers, stands as the real revolution.
Velocity Supercar Revolution by John Lamm. Published by Motorbooks.
Ed. note: Motorbooks provided the writer (yours truly) with a copy of this text.