June 2016 has proven to be a month of one enormous and two merely big histories made. Porsche won its 18th 24 Heures du Mans on June 19, against an incredibly hard-fought – and deeply heart-breaking – effort by Toyota. Porsche’s drivers – Neel Jani, Marc Lieb, and Romain Dumas – took the victory; it was Jani’s and Lieb’s first at Sarthe, and Dumas’s second time winning the race. That was a big accomplishment for Porsche.
Then on the last Sunday of June, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb celebrated its 100th running. Incredibly, Porsche’s Le Mans-winning co-driver Romain Dumas was the fastest driver overall going up the mountain. Read about this significant accomplishment, as regular contributor Sean Cridland reports on final practices and the winning runs.
But in the middle of this, 52% of the British population voted to leave the European Union. Peter Maddens, a friend of mine for more than 50 years, was (for eight years) deputy ambassador to the United Nations from Belgium, the country often blamed for initiating the woes that plague the EU. He wrote me, “To me, this is actually an amazing opportunity. Since they have been a member – don’t forget, the UK was not a ‘founding father’ – there has been a fundamental difference in vision about what ‘Europe’ is. France and Germany created the Common Market as an instrument toward the goal of making war impossible and unthinkable on the continent. For the Brits, Europe was never more than a common market and, by staying ‘in’ they were always able to make sure it never became more than a market. Now that they are out, we can go back to building the federal union that was the original vision…. But my first thought this morning was…’Wow, shit!’” “Shit” was what many dozens of thousands have said in the hours and days since this enormous decision. As we prepare our Monterey auctions preview stories for the August issue, we will follow closely and comment on just how Britain’s decision may affect sales and acquisitions.
Meanwhile, the photo above, by Bruce Sweetman, introduces his story on a new show that opened at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, Bellissima! You’ll see his coverage in this issue. The Frist always is a worthwhile destination and this show – while entirely Italian and nothing at all Porsche – is worth the journey.
Speaking of Italian, we welcome another long-time friend, John Lamm, as a new contributor to Road Scholars Magazine. The image you see below, a radiator/grille badge for the Briggs Cunningham automotive museum, sat for years on a Lancia B20 coupe he owned. He now is a Porsche owner and he has mounted the badge on his 997. Read more on how and why John made the change.
Also in this issue, Randy Wells introduces us to an interesting Porsche collector who has found a way to keep his entire collection in a single room in his home.
And lastly, to close this issue, we follow up back roads from LA to Monterey last month with an entertaining drive through the Belgian countryside. Join Bruce Sweetman for our first video. We hope you enjoy it!
Editor, Road Scholars Magazine