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The sport of vintage racing is enjoyed by thousands of spectators and participants around the world. It attracts people of all ages and from all walks of life, whether they have previous experience with the sport or have recently discovered the enjoyment of watching or racing vintage or historic cars.

Vintage racing can also serve as an arena for someone to hone their driving skills and enjoy a weekend at the track, making new friends and visiting with old friends. While the demographics of the participants lean towards older individuals, there are a number of young people who have discovered it as well. Most simply enjoy their time behind the wheel of a vintage race car, but for some it may also serve as a path to higher levels of racing.

Such is the case with 22 year-old Horatio Fitz Simmon, the subject of this article—who is an active vintage racer but also has aspirations of becoming a professional race driver. From a very early age, he has thought of nothing else but race cars, racing, and becoming a professional driver. As you will see in the following paragraphs, his background and activities have been focused on that goal, choosing vintage racing as his entry point to race cars.

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Horatio Fitz Simon Vintage Racing with a Twist 2
Some of Horatio’s first memories are of his time riding his tricycle in the garage while his father worked on his Porsche race car.

Racing Environment

To say Fitz-Simon was brought up in an environment which influenced his interest in racing would be an understatement. He was not only born into a family where cars and racing were a focus but also lived in a house with a strong connection to motorsports.

Horatio was born in Towcester, Northamptonshire, England, the youngest of five children (two brothers and two sisters) a short distance from Silverstone Race Track and into a home originally part of the Hesketh Estate. You might recall the name Hesketh, which was the name of a Formula 1 team of the mid-1970s whose driver was one James Hunt.

Horatio’s Father, Ian, had a keen interest in racing, which he pursued in a Porsche 911 competing in the Porsche Classic Cup. Ian also dabbled in the car brokerage business, so young Horatio was exposed to a selection of sports and racing cars at a very early age.

Horatio’s two older brothers, taking after their father, took up racing for a period of time but decided they were not as interested in the sport as their father and moved on to other activities.

Young Horatio working on kart in trolley

Young Horatio working on kart in trolley
Part of racing karts is maintaining and preparing it for the next race. Horatio learned valuable skills he would use later rebuilding sports cars.

To California & Karts

When Horatio was two years-old, the family moved from their native England to Northern California, where they have lived for the past 20 years. Ever since he can remember, Horatio liked going fast—whether it was on a tricycle, bicycle, or kart. One of his earliest memories after arriving in their new home was of a Mclaren M10 F5000 race car his father found and purchased.

Horatio recalls, “I would spend hours in the car moving the steering wheel from side to side, pretending I was racing, and soon set a course—amply aided by VHS videos of epic battles between James Hunt and Niki Lauda”. He soon realized all that he wanted to do in life was race and began pursuing his parents relentlessly to let him have a go in a kart.

Horatio finally received his kart on his fourth birthday, when his father took him to Sear Point Raceway. A new 50cc kart was purchased, and Horatio had his first experience on the track turning laps by himself. He loved it;  the die was cast.

Over the next several months, Horatio spent many hours practicing on the track during test days, but it wasn’t until early

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By: Gary Horstkorta
Title: Vintage Racing with a Twist
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/horatio-fitz-simon-vintage-racing-with-a-twist/
Published Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2022 23:23:13 +0000

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Motor

Here comes trouble: A Triumph TR6 with a Matchless frame

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custom triumph tr6 matchless frame 625x417 1

Kids are impressionable, especially when motorcycles are involved. That magical combination of sound, smell and danger has a way of imprinting itself on young minds. But Kyle Harvey didn’t just dream of bikes as a child—he practically grew up with them.

Kyle’s trade is tool and die making, but his passion is building bikes. His father, Garth Harvey, got Kyle and his brother into bikes at a young age; as soon as they could start their old man’s vintage motorcycles, they were riding them. Living in Edenvale in South Africa’s Gauteng province, the boys also had direct access to the local Classic Motorcycle Club.

 

The folks at the CMC made quite an impression on young Kyle—and taught him everything he knows about vintage bikes. After helping numerous friends work on their bikes, he went on to open his own shop, named simply ‘The Workshop.’ Kyle has been building and restoring classic motorcycles for over a decade now.

This cheeky bobber is his latest build, and it’s immensely fascinating. The engine’s from a Triumph TR6 Trophy, the frame is from a Matchless, and the quirky handmade details on it are endless.

Custom Triumph TR6 with Matchless frame

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By: Ben Pilatti
Title: Here comes trouble: A Triumph TR6 with a Matchless frame
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/custom-triumph-tr6-matchless-frame
Published Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2022 17:01:12 +0000

 

 

 

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Motor

The Swan Song of the V12

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The V12 engine holds a special place in the heart of many automotive and motorsports fans. For some, it’s the sound of Formula 1 through the years, especially during the 1990s. For others, it’s engines like the 6.1 L BMW S70/2 from the McLaren F1 or the 3.9L Lamborghini V12 that powered all their cars from the Miura through to the Diablo. No matter where it lies in your heart, it is the “proper” configuration for many: 6 cylinders per bank, put into a V, and firing in an odd sequence to give it that special roar under power.

Yet, as concerns over fuel efficiency, qualms about environmental impact, and high-powered turbocharged V8 or V6 engines are the norm now, the V12 is slowly, but surely, being put to rest. In fact, the only place that V12s are still hanging on by the last threads of their engine mounting bolts are in supercars, hypercars, and a few ultra-luxury cars. Even then, many exotic brands have announced that their next cars will either be V10s or turbo V8s and V6s.

Since it appears that the swan song of the V12 is reaching a crescendo, we thought it only appropriate to celebrate the few remaining cars out there that carry them. It may be the last time we see some of these brands, many of which are known for their V12s.

The Amazing Last V12 Production Versions from the Big Brands

Ferrari 812 Superfast

Ferrari 812 Superfast

Ferrari 812 Superfast. Image via Supercars.

The writing is on the wall for the prancing horse, as the new Ferrari 296 GTB is showing the direction that Maranello is headed. Yet, unless you were invited to snag one of the limited-edition Monza SP1 or SP2 cars, there is still one car you can buy from the legendary marque that has all 12 cylinders fully intact.

The 6.5L F140 GA V12

The 6.5L F140 GA V12
The 6.5L F140 GA V12. Image Via: Wikimedia Commons.

The 6.5L F140 GA 65-degree V12 in the front of the 812 is the last road-going version of the V12 that debuted in the Ferrari Enzo. Producing a monstrous 789 HP and 530 lbs-ft of torque, it is no slouch either, as when the 812 Superfast debuted, it was the most powerful naturally aspirated production car engine ever made.

It has the typical low-rev Ferrari roar that rises into a howl as the car revs up to nearly 9,000 RPM, and will catapult the 3,845 (1,744 kg) car to 60 MPH in 2.9 seconds. As far as a curtain call is concerned, that’s a great way to bow out and focus on hybrids and turbocharged engines.

Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC

2022 Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC

2022 Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC
cedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC. Image via Supercars.

Mercedes-Benz used to be at the very top of the V12 pecking order when it came to luxury performance cars. Such classics as the S 65 AMG from the mid-2000s and the 500 TE AMG W123 Touring from the very end of the 1970s came with big V12s that sound astounding, but the biggest and baddest of the Mercedes V12s left on in a production car is the M279 E60 LA that hauled the S65 AMGs of 2014.

M279 E60 LA Twin Turbo V12

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By: Simon Bertram
Title: The Swan Song of the V12
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/v12-swan-song/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 10:49:26 +0000

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Road Tested: Gear from Shoei, Akin Moto and Rev’It!

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In our continuing quest to source motorcycle gear that combines safety and style, we bring you our thoughts on Shoei’s new ECE 22.06-approved NXR2 helmet. Plus a stealthy riding parka from Akin Moto, and the perfect pair of urban riding gloves from Rev’It!.

Shoei NXR2 helmet It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Shoei’s helmets. Every Shoei I’ve owned has fit and felt right from the first wear, with no major deviations in their sizing or shape from model to model. So when I was looking for a do-it-all street helmet to replace my well-used Shoei RYD, the new NXR2 was a no-brainer… and it hasn’t disappointed.

I loved the RYD for its combination of neutral styling, comfort and ventilation. The NXR2 basically feels like a premium version of the RYD; it has the same clean aesthetic, but ramps up the performance. And it’s one of the few helmets that meet with Europe’s new, and more stringent, ECE 22.06 standard.

Shoei NXR2 helmet reviewRead More

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By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Road Tested: Gear from Shoei, Akin Moto and Rev’It!
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/shoei-akin-moto-revit-review-44
Published Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2022 17:01:31 +0000

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