The Post Wherein Sam Says Goodbye
It's been fun, folks. Thanks for listening.
I'll keep this short: I've had a lot of fun here. If you have a moment, I've assembled a few of my favorite posts below, along with one of my all-time favorite motorsports images. I came in peace. I rambled a bunch. I leave in peace. I also leave you with an image of the legendary Jim Clark flying at the Nürburgring in a Lotus 49.
(Editor's note: In his version, Sam just listed his favorite pieces penned for us, but given the man's way with words and how much I'm going to miss being able to read them each week -- at least on this site -- I've gone in and added my favorite bits of writing from within each piece. --JC.)
- The Ford Pinto Does Not Always Mean Fiery Death: "Predictably, Ford has spent the past 40 years downplaying the car's problems and essentially ignoring its existence. On a certain level, this is understandable: Companies with a reputation for killing their customer base do not generally do well, and reminding people of your screw-ups isn't usually good for business. But there's a missed opportunity here; this isn't the Hitler of automobiles, and it's certainly not worthy of wholesale disavowal by its maker."
- David E. Davis Jr. is Dead, and I am Drinking: "Countless people will speak of how he all but invented and then reinvented American automotive journalism, how he built the ship that launched a hundred careers. This is true. Every car magazine extant and every website on wheels owes him something, even if they don't necessarily admit it in a traditional fashion. In romanticizing and illuminating a way of life, he legitimized and reinvigorated a dead-eyed industry that had previously existed on the professional fringes. Here was a man who single-handedly changed the course of a world, and did so in a way not seen before or since."
- MotoGP is Amazing: "The actual racing? When tires get hot and traffic changes and cornering lines move around, the humanity becomes more obvious. The bikes wiggle, twitch, raise a front wheel under power. Riders hang off differently from corner to corner, visibly shifting their weight to change a bike's handling. They make mistakes and pull off seemingly impossible passes, in moments when you think they're about to fall off the bike. (Seriously, watch this recap from Laguna '08. Rossi is not built like you and me.)
When I watch this stuff, I stop longing for the days of open-cockpit racing cars, when you could see drivers at work. Heck, I stop thinking about car racing, period."
- And This Is Why You Buy a Lamborghini: "So you're diving into this corner, right foot glued to the pedal and the pedal plastered to the carpet, and every bone in your body is saying ohhellnopleasegiveup because the car is very loud and obnoxious and feels like exotic cars are supposed to feel, which is to say dangerously unhinged. It scares you a little, this car. It is big and silly and raw. It makes you think in run-on sentences. It wants to eat your young. It is the rolling equivalent of that deep-sea fish you see on National Geographic specials, the one whose entire face is made of nothing but teeth."
- I Spent the Weekend Playing With Legends: "I can't really say enough about how much of an "Oh, hell" moment this was. I grew up reading about this stuff, lamenting being born too late to witness it first-hand. Today, I pushed around the cars of my heroes, hands on bumpers, playing director for a bunch of very nice gentleman racers who act as custodians of history. This is stuff I never thought I'd see, much less touch, smell or grope. And two hours after we moved the cars around for the camera, they were on Road America's storied pavement, ripping and whomping their way around the landscape. Gah."
Goodbye Sam you're one of my favorite auto journalists. I've enjoyed reading your articles on here, as well as in Roundel. Will you still be writing for Roundel? Please say YES!
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