So, there’s this racetrack in Germany. The Nurburgring Nordshleife, AKA The Ring. It’s a full 13-mile circuit. It twists and turns its way around a little town called, you guessed it, Nurburg. The course was designed to be a test track and racing circuit. It got to be world famous. They used to have Formula 1 races there, until Niki Lauda’s Ferrari left the track and burst into flames in 1976. Not good. They built a new, safer track nearby, and started racing on that.
So, what do you do with a used, 13-mile race track? Well, it’s still used occasionally as a test track, and there’s smaller scale racing there, but on weekends and other slow times, they simply open up the track and call it a road. No speed limits. Anyone can drive on it, and everyone does. Like knuckleheads, mostly. That’s where we come in.
That’s a Lotus Cortina. It’s a neat little Car built by Lotus and Ford in the 1960s. If you’ve ever driven in a car from the early 1960s, you’d know that a lot of the sheet metal on display in this race car wouldn’t look out of place in the original. Cars back in the day had lots of metal showing.
Mercedes driver is off with a modest squeal of the tires. F1 driver checks watch. Adjusts rear-view mirror for some reason. Finishes sandwich. Texts girlfriend. Applies Armor All to the dashboard. Adjusts seatback.
This stirring spin around the Le Mans circuit in 1956 gives me an idea. The video was a lot of fun on its own merits, of course. Look at how far our technology has come in the intervening half a century or so. The camera on the back of the car weighs about enough to make the Jag pop a wheelie. In the spot where your GPS goes in your car, Mike Hawthorne has his wife’s makeup mirror to look at. The microphone apparatus looks like a bizarre dental experiment.
But one problem hasn’t been solved in the intervening years. I’m informed that there’s a population problem that needs fixing, or we’re all doomed, doomed I say. Every newspaper in the world explains to me that we’re running out of everything, and it’s because there are just too many people on Earth. We’re going to run out of food, water, icebergs, gasoline, single-family split-level ranches, rhinos, bumblebees, polar bears, and three-cent stamps any day now, and we have been since this video was made. Something must be done! This video gives me an idea.