The motorsport offseason is my least favorite time for old Road & Tracks. The reason has partly to do with the fact that I hate not having race reports to read (old race reports fascinate me, for some reason), but is also linked to the fact that the editors needed to fill in the pages with more road car information. That could be a plodding thing if they dug too far into the commuter / luxury markets, but it could also be entertaining if they happened to have decent sports cars to discuss.
Such was the case in February and March of 1983. The issues coincided with the launch of the first true Porsche 911 convertible and the launch of the Corvette C5. Both of these are monumental cars which lift their issues out of offseason mediocrity.
Apart from the Porsche Article, the February issue was also brightened by an article about Lotus returning to the US, the Runoffs report and a Salon about an F1 Mercedes from the 50s. So, it was a fun read even though the Grand Prix Circus was off that month.
March was a Corvette extravaganza, with a poster and several articles (including a priceless piece by Peter Egan) and, wonder of wonders, the issuaeALSO included a classic Egan article: Glory Days of the Late Straight Eight, which told of a teenaged version of said writer attempting to build a race car out of an old Buick. Also priceless.
Salon car for this one was the Ford 999, which pretty much lifted the issue.
I get the sense that, in 1982 at least, the Editors knew that the offseason lowered the interest in the mag for those readers who prefer race cars to commuter devices, and they lifted the quantity of quirky stuff in the rest of the issue accordingly. Or maybe they just got lucky.
Whatever the case, these two are pretty decent, even if they leave one hoping for the racing season to begin again.
Gustavo Bondoni’s latest novel is a dark historical fantasy entitled The Swords of Rasna, in which the Etruscan armies attempt to hold the Roman legions at bay… by any means necessary. You can check it out here.