The Truth About Cars » Grand Prix http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 04 Dec 2014 19:13:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Grand Prix http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Racing Fans Look Forward to Frankenheimer’s Grand Prix Paul Newman’s Winning LeMans With Steve McQueen Ron Howard’s Rush http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/racing-fans-look-forward-to-frankenheimers-grand-prix-paul-newmans-winning-lemans-with-steve-mcqueen-ron-howards-rush/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/racing-fans-look-forward-to-frankenheimers-grand-prix-paul-newmans-winning-lemans-with-steve-mcqueen-ron-howards-rush/#comments Mon, 08 Apr 2013 22:30:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=483986   The people running the low key publicity campaign for director Ron Howard’s upcoming Formula One based film Rush have done their job well, at least as far as car enthusiasts are concerned. Howard’s an A-list and very bankable director with a string of critical and commercial successes so it will be interesting to see […]

The post Racing Fans Look Forward to Frankenheimer’s Grand Prix Paul Newman’s Winning LeMans With Steve McQueen Ron Howard’s Rush appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
 

Click here to view the embedded video.

The people running the low key publicity campaign for director Ron Howard’s upcoming Formula One based film Rush have done their job well, at least as far as car enthusiasts are concerned. Howard’s an A-list and very bankable director with a string of critical and commercial successes so it will be interesting to see how general audiences, as opposed to racing fans, respond to the movie. Since plenty of folks who weren’t space buffs enjoyed Howard’s Apollo 13, I don’t think that will be a problem. If you’ve seen Apollo 13 then you know that Howard is a stickler for authenticity. Howard has made sure that car blogs and the like have been teased with tweeted cheesecake shots of umbrella girls and  information about how realistic the racing footage will be in the movie, centered on the 1976 rivalry between playboy James Hunt and methodical Niki Lauda.  The theatrical opening of Rush is scheduled for September but the film’s official trailer has now been released. You can’t tell a book by its cover nor a movie by its trailer but it does look promising. It also looks kind of familiar, there’s a sense of deja vu about it.

Ford GT40 camera car used in John Frankenheimer’s Grand Prix

They didn’t have car blogs in 1966 when John Frankenheimer’s Grand Prix, starring James Garner, debuted. They did, however, have magazines and well before Grand Prix’s release date the car magazines and publications like Popular Mechanics had a number of articles about how Frankenheimer was filming the movie to achieve realism. An important part was the use of actual race cars, a Ford GT40 and a Cobra, as camera cars so shooting could be done at actual racing speeds. For additional realism, Grand Prix was filmed in Super Panavision 70 and the movie was shown at Cinerama theaters. Frankenheimer has a way with cars. He also directed Ronin, which is a usual pick for lists of the best movie car chase scenes of all times.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Three years later, another actor who, like Garner, got bitten by the racing bug after taking a role as a racer, Paul Newman, starred in Winning, centered around Newman’s character Frank Capua’s quest to win the Indianapolis 500, though there appears to be some CanAm type racing footage as well. Newman’s wife in the James Gladstone directed movie was played by his actual wife, Joanne Woodward. Some of Mr. & Mrs. Newman’s co-stars were Bobby Unser, Tony Hulman, Dan Gurney, and Roger McCluskey.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Then there is 1971’s LeMans. Just saying Steve McQueen gives the film credibility with car guys. McQueen was the quintessential car guy and the mere fact that a car, or motorcycle or even a racing suit has him in its provenance will drive its price up to silly levels. Unlike Garner and Newman who got into racing after playing the part in movies, McQueen had been racing for more than a decade when LeMans was made. As a matter of fact, after his LeMans Healey co-driven by toothpaste heir John Colgate led the 1962 Sebring 12 hour race for 7 hours, McQueen was offered a factory ride by BMC, which he declined because it would have conflicted with his acting career. “I’m not sure whether I’m an actor who races or a racer who acts,” McQueen was quoted as saying.  LeMans was the movie McQueen wanted to make about racing, having earlier turned down the role in Grand Prix offered to Garner. Director Lee Katzin used actual race footage from the 24 hour race in 1970 along with staged action to give the film a documentary feel – perhaps too much so because the film was a relative flop and didn’t do nearly as well at the box office as Grand Prix did.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Grand Prix, Winning and LeMans are almost a trilogy about auto racing in the 1960s and early 1970s. All three of those movies were praised for their cinematography and documentary-like look at auto racing. All three were criticized for dramatic shortcomings as films, with the New York Times calling Grand Prix “Formula B” and LeMans “monotonous”, and  the late Roger Ebert describing Winning as “drearily predictable”. All three have romantic subplots. Boy gets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy wins race. Boy gets girl. Though not necessarily in that order. The movies appeal to the same audience, Amazon says that they are frequently bought together as a bundle. Though there have been racing movies made since then like Sylvester Stallone’s mediocre Indycar based Driven and Tom Cruise’s NASCAR movie, Days Of Thunder, none seem to have grabbed car enthusiasts’ affection like the Garner/Newman/McQueen racing trilogy.

The pre-release publicity and Ron Howards track record lead me to believe that Rush will at least equal the three racing “classics” in terms of racing cinema. The fact that it’s based on a true story, including Lauda’s horrific, life threatening burns and his near miraculous recovery and return to racing, bodes well for the film’s dramatic success. Howard showed in Apollo 13 that he has a fairly deft hand when portraying actual human drama.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

The post Racing Fans Look Forward to Frankenheimer’s Grand Prix Paul Newman’s Winning LeMans With Steve McQueen Ron Howard’s Rush appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/racing-fans-look-forward-to-frankenheimers-grand-prix-paul-newmans-winning-lemans-with-steve-mcqueen-ron-howards-rush/feed/ 8
Junkyard Find: 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/junkyard-find-1977-pontiac-grand-prix/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/junkyard-find-1977-pontiac-grand-prix/#comments Thu, 18 Oct 2012 13:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=464077 When shopping for personal luxury coupes in the late 1970s, you might have bought the 1977 Mercury Cougar (seen in yesterday’s Junkyard Find), or maybe a Chrysler Cordoba, or perhaps even an AMC Matador Barcelona. If you wanted to go with a General Motors product for your long-hooded, big-on-the-outside/small-on-the-inside coupe, Pontiac had just the car: […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
When shopping for personal luxury coupes in the late 1970s, you might have bought the 1977 Mercury Cougar (seen in yesterday’s Junkyard Find), or maybe a Chrysler Cordoba, or perhaps even an AMC Matador Barcelona. If you wanted to go with a General Motors product for your long-hooded, big-on-the-outside/small-on-the-inside coupe, Pontiac had just the car: the Grand Prix!
The Cougar had Cheryl Tiegs as pitchwoman and the Matador Barcelona had crypto-Spanish provenance, but the Grand Prix had these classy emblems on the quarter windows.
Not to be outdone by the Cordoba’s small round taillight medallions, the Grand Prix boasted big hexagonal octagonal medallions.
301 cubic inches under the hood. How many horsepower? We’ll just say that this engine made fewer horses than the base 1.6 liter four-cylinder engine in the 2013 Kia Rio and leave the rest to your imagination.
A full set of these Pontiac rally wheels can fetch dozens of dollars these days, thanks to the enormous quantities manufactured. I like these wheels so much that I used them on my 1965 Impala sedan.
The Cougar’s suspension was “Ride-Engineered,” but Pontiacs had Radial Tuned suspensions.
Once again, much as we like to make fun of these cars, I must admit that they were actually pretty good daily drivers. Thirsty as hell, of course, but what big Detroit car wasn’t back then?

23 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

The post Junkyard Find: 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/junkyard-find-1977-pontiac-grand-prix/feed/ 47
Junkyard Find: 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-1998-pontiac-grand-prix-gtp/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-1998-pontiac-grand-prix-gtp/#comments Wed, 01 Aug 2012 13:00:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=454982 The General produced quite a few not-so-quick front-drive cars with sporty-looking graphics and spoilers during the 1990s (e.g., the Beretta Z26), but the addition of an Eaton supercharger to the good old Buick V6 engine resulted in some fairly fast 90s machinery. Here’s a Grand Prix that had 240 horsepower at the front wheels during […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
The General produced quite a few not-so-quick front-drive cars with sporty-looking graphics and spoilers during the 1990s (e.g., the Beretta Z26), but the addition of an Eaton supercharger to the good old Buick V6 engine resulted in some fairly fast 90s machinery. Here’s a Grand Prix that had 240 horsepower at the front wheels during happier times.
These things managed to get into the 14s in the quarter-mile, which is quite hairy for a front-drive street car of the 1990s. Rapid depreciation and the resulting nothing-to-lose leadfoot drivers tended to kill them off in a hurry.
ABS was still special enough in 1998 to warrant badges on the wheels.
By the late 1990s, GM had finally figured out that the squiggly pink-and-green decals of the previous decade were considered passé by even the most out-of-touch car buyers. These more restrained GTP badges look much more dignified.

13 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

The post Junkyard Find: 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-1998-pontiac-grand-prix-gtp/feed/ 58
New Trends In Product Placement: No Cars For Stars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/new-trends-in-product-placement-no-cars-for-stars/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/new-trends-in-product-placement-no-cars-for-stars/#comments Sat, 21 Jan 2012 19:17:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=427617 It used to be that car companies would kill to have their cars seen with stars. That seems to be changing if a frightening development in Melbourne is an indicator.  The Melbourne F1 Grand Prix used to attract spectators and sponsors with a celebrity race. The celebs of course did not race their own cars. […]

The post New Trends In Product Placement: No Cars For Stars appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

It used to be that car companies would kill to have their cars seen with stars. That seems to be changing if a frightening development in Melbourne is an indicator.  The Melbourne F1 Grand Prix used to attract spectators and sponsors with a celebrity race. The celebs of course did not race their own cars. To make it a fair and even-handed race where only driving skill decides, they were handed cars supplied by a sponsor. This year, the luminary laps are a scratch. Oh, there is no shortage of stars. There just aren’t any cars. The organizers could not find a sponsor that was able to supply the more than 25 cars needed.

“We’ve just finalized the line-up and the celebrity challenge is not part of that,” Melbourne Grand Prix chief Andrew Westacott told the Herald Sun.“It simply came down to the fact that we couldn’t find an auto provider that had cars coming on to the market that they could supply in time. It was not through lack of trying.”

Last year, Lexus sponsored the event and supplied CT200 hybrids worth $39,990 each to celebrities “such as aerial skier Jacqui Cooper, models Rhys Uhlich and Kasia Z and former AFL star Saverio Rocca.”

Westacott said it was a sign of the tough economic times the auto industry was facing.

Could be. Or maybe cars are selling so well that they are in short supply? Or the budget has been blown on influencing social media influencers?  Or sponsors expect (this should rile the Aussies) real stars in exchange for a fleet of cars?

Disclaimer: Cars for Stars® is a registered trademark of Cars for Stars Limited. Community Trade Mark No. 4767679 – UK Trade Mark No. 2345169. Also see here.

 

 

The post New Trends In Product Placement: No Cars For Stars appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/new-trends-in-product-placement-no-cars-for-stars/feed/ 14