I belong to a pretty successful vintage organization in Texas. I have done so since around 1995 give or take a year. For many of the early years it was a "run what ya brung group" it was lots of fun. In the past few years there has been a push to remove the "non vintage" cars like, reproduction Lotus 7's, 11's and other car of that nature. This is all good if the intent is to have really vintage club. The problem here is that the rules that are supposed to be followed are not.
The club allows a twisted set of rules that really make the cars we see at the event mere envelopes of vintage bodies filled with very modern engine and transmission pieces. In effect the cars are modern and not vintage at all. It is like allowing someone bring in say a formula vee with traction control or on board electronic fuel management. So the arguments for tightly controlling the 1972 rules are muddled.
Right now there are racers who want and need a place to race newer vintage cars. I for one would like to see a 1978 sport racer on the track or how bout a 1980 chevy monza? In any case the club will not move from the 1972/74 cars rule. Well the club has drifted, even though the guys in charge now won't admit it. If you look at the cars in the club you will find some examples. A 1978 911 it is ok if it looks like a 74 to race in the club. There are other examples too! So basically the club allows certain cars made after 1974 to run on a regular basis. This keeps the numbers up and helps pay for the track and cost. If anyone hadn't noticed the cost has gone up lately.
Why not move the rules to allow 1980 cars to run too. This helps the club grow or at least keeps it from shrinking. If you look around, the club is starting to lose some of it's more senior members. I look around the pits today and see very few of the cars and drivers that were there in 1998. Some have left because they grew too old to drive safely and were smart enough to know it. Some left because of cost, some left because of present management. I think that more will leave soon due in part to arrogant positions and attitudes of a couple of the newer board members. Without new blood this club will die. We need to allow newer vintage cars on the track just like we allow newer board members. There are many cars sitting right now in shops and barns all over the nation waiting. I find it hard to believe that we would offer no place for a group 44 car from 1978 to race. How about an ex Paul Newman car from 1980. The club already does allow new cars to race incognito. Let's open our minds and allow a move to 1980 or so. The club needs to do this because otherwise before long there will be a handful of guys with their "1974" cars in a club meeting talking about the good ol days when the club still could afford to rent a track an have a race.
Roger Williams

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Comment by Robert Metcalf on January 18, 2010 at 4:24pm
Hi Fred,

I agree with you about the relative competition potential of original cars vs. those produced now with updated parts. I have no personal knowledge of what Bill is building at the moment. I would hope his cars are as authentic as the Chaparral Jim Hall is building. I do know a little about that project (it is possible that only the one of the continuation Chaparrals which has been finished will built.) If a continuation car uses updated technology, I don't see that as a reason on the positive side of the ledger for it to exist as a vintage race car. By the same logic, I cannot support kit Cobras. My reason for bringing up continuation cars in the first place is to contrast that issue with the Texas club's policy of allowing "vintage race cars" to be built from sports cars found in wrecking yards, behind barns and in driveways which were never race cars in all their miles. When I hear of someone "building" a vintage car, it makes me cringe. My point was that perhaps the continuation cars have more reason to exist as real race cars than an MG or an Alfa which is only now a race car. As I said, a little consistency would be nice.

Robert Metcalf
Comment by Roger Williams on January 18, 2010 at 4:12pm
Please note in regards to "recreation" cars. I bet that most of the cars that are"original" prepped cars in CVAR have many new technology parts on them. My area of expertise is FP . Most of the front runner Sprites/Midgets in FP are so far from original that they may as well be called continuation/recreations. I refer to them as disguised sport racers. One has only to look under many so-called vintage cars raced in CVAR to know that. On Spridgets you will find MGB shocks, altered suspension geometry, stressed engine/chassis members, externally cooled shocks, aftermarket brakes of all sizes and don't even look under the rear of certain cars and see the hardware store relocating everything. I bet the same can be said for the big cars too.
For a club, it would be a good thing to have a place for all the so-called vintage cars to race. It would make a lively club with a lot to offer and as a result a larger pool to choose from. If by chance a club did allow some "recreations" that were very close to the original it would have another plus to offer people watching the races and give someone who could not afford the price of the real thing a chance to play. I think that many times the guys with the big cash forget that there are guys out there that don't have that much money to burn. I would like to welcome as many cats to a club as I can. It should not be how bloody fast you can make the car. It really is about the cars and the people who want to have fun.
I for one would love to see a real Cheetah on the course one day. I do like Cheetahs, real or not.
Comment by Fred Yeakel on January 18, 2010 at 2:06pm
The problem with "Continuation" "Recreation" cars manufactured today of cars originally manufactured in the sixties is that they LOOK like the original but they have been updated with modern technology. Drum brakes replaced with disk brakes, or disk brakes updated to current technology disk brakes, current production engines and induction systems. If you are NOT interested in having the original cars come out, just let the currently produced cars run in the same class as the original car. If a guy in a continuation Cheetah can not run away from my original car built in 1964 and still running 1964 period parts there is something very wrong.
Fred Yeakel
Comment by Brian Findley on December 8, 2009 at 9:26pm
I think everyone can agree that a 25 year old race car is an antique. Many vintage race groups recognize this (actually, even race cars newer than a 25 year old car). The present CVAR ofiicers and directors do not share this philosophy for reasons that they haven't yet fully explained. In addition, their hand picked successors seem to take a vow (of chastity!!!!!!!!!!) to uphold this philosophy. There really nothing new going on here, it's a group of folks that want to continue to direct the club long after their time.
What really needs to happen is that there should be a special 3 lap race for each group at the end of the year to determine who gets the board positions,,,one from each group.... winner take all--lol
Comment by Brian Goldman on December 8, 2009 at 6:42pm
I've read your comments and those of Roberts. Simply put I like them.

I think a vintage club could be very successful by gleaming off good ideas of others. For instance NASA has a policy that if you come they will create a class for you if one does not exist. That surely could work for any number of cars.

I feel that obsolescence has a lot to do with being vintage. So a couple year old Indy car or a Rolex car has become obsolete and few venues exist for them. There are still some Renault powered Spec racers around who are obsolete and as Robert says there are some neat Sport Racers that need a home.

CVAR's Fabulous 50s class could be another example of developing classes. Why not groups from each decade. They lost their way when they forgot this was the chance for an owner to race an old car for the joy of it. Who cares who wins! I can by a lot of trophies for what people are spending to win races. Its stupid. Spending money to cheat in vintage has to be the height of arrogance.There are organizations where wining is the end point goal but I suspect many of these vintage drivers know they don't have the skill to race at their level so they have to portray themsleves as race drivers to impress friends.

Vintage was suppose to be a museum in motion. I enjoyed the Indy cars, but we all know the were not racing to win. That should be the spirit and I suspect there are a lot of people out their that agree.
Comment by Roger Williams on December 8, 2009 at 5:39pm
I have heard some folks even going so far as to compare CVAR to the SCCA. The very club the founders were running from when CVAR was created. Door panels on sprites indeed.
Comment by Robert Metcalf on December 8, 2009 at 2:49pm
All good ideas, Roger. Some of the attitudes we have been encountering in CVAR in recent years seem to be along the lines of moving the club to a Monterey Historics mentality where only certain cars are good enough to race with us. We have had several cars and new, prospective members turned away because of incorrect fender flares and such. I observed a Board meeting last year in which they discussed at length what kind of inner door panels they would allow for Midgets.

We have rules not allowing continuation cars. None of us would be allowed to run a Cheetah built by Bill Thomas to his original plans or a Carrol Shelby currently built Cobra. And what of the Chaparral 2E continuation cars Jim Hall is currently building? Who would not enjoy seeing such cars, built by their original builders, on the track? Then, the club turns around and allows production based cars to be built from wrecking yard and barnyard finds which were never race cars in their lives. A little consistency would be nice.

A proposal has been submitted to the Competition Committee by Group 6, the formula car group. It proposes extending FF2 to 1982 and creating a new FF3 class for cars from '83 to '86, An FA2 class would also be created to allow Atlantics and Super Vees to '86. The overwhelming majority of Group 6 is in favor of it. It will be interesting to see how the BOD can vote it down with so many in favor of it. I would also like to see class extensions for Sports Racers so we can race 70s era B Sports Racers, Sports 2000s and 70s and 80s Can-Am cars. And I agree with you about more modern vintage cars in other groups, too. I once raced a DeKon Monza with another vintage group. What a car! Yet these cars do not seem to be good enough to race with CVAR.

Vintage racing exists only to bring outdated cars back to the track. If we do not allow such outstanding cars (which some other clubs do allow) to race with us, but do allow cars to be cloned from street cars, are we really a vintage club?

All the best,

Robert Metcalf

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