In his seminal book “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” Garth Stein covers the life of a man who is at once brilliant at race car driving and taciturn when dealing with the women in his life, one of whom is his wife who dies of brain cancer and the other a young girl who attempts to seduce him.
The book is told through the eyes of his dog, who like the protagonist and featured human character, loves racing enough to watch the Grand Prix and all the other racing shows that pit human on human in the endless driving down tracks whose sole aim is to test drivers for their skill, perseverance and fortitude.
The reason that books gets mentioned in this article about replicas is that for a great many men (and dogs) racing holds an appeal that cannot be overtaken when it comes to contact sports or team sports like football and baseball. Racing is about the machine first–that speed machine built by engineers and men–and then the driver himself (or herself) second.
That last part is one where every male in America can imagine himself racing down the highway like a Grand Prix driver. And for the American male, who has loved cars and wanted to race them, this is a high dream, to race against the highway, like a driver on the Grand Prix.
American men love their cars. At least, they were supposed to a long time ago. Today, that has changed somewhat, as Americans masculinity has changed since the beginning of the century.
There is little doubt that American masculinity, especially when it comes to cars and other vehicles, has faded among a certain population in the past thirty or so years. But racing is where many men get together and cheer their favorite driver.
This machismo and relation to another through racing is inherent in many places within the south, where the cheers for Dale Earhart Jr and Tony Stewart have given rise to “mega” stadiums where hundreds of thousands of fans flock to participate in a tailgating and communal experience at the NASCAR track.
Men and women both love these events. It’s not just a men thing. It is a distinctly southern thing however, though NASCAR events and to a lesser extent IndyCar racing events are held around the country. These events bring together different creeds and religions, though the stereotype about NASCAR is that its audience is primarily white.
For those who love to watch racing and are old enough to remember the old race cars of the early 1960s, they will love the opportunity to make classic carts by hand, through the form of car kits. Take, for instance, the Shelby Cobra Kit or Shelby Cobra Kit Car. It is one of the most classic cars in all over racing, built to beat the Corvette.
The AC Cobra Kit, for instance, comes with all the necessary parts to assemble and build the Shelby Cobra. It is difficult to understand the intricacies of all the parts involved, though that is half the fun of it. It is possible to learn them all and to learn cars better by building the kit rather than having someone else build it for you.
It also weighs substantially less than other cars and reached 186 miles per hour on a British track.
Some questions to ask, and some that might be worth recalling when its time:
- How much time am I willing to give to this pursuit?
- How many parts will I need to assemble the kit; how much do I need to spend?
- How much money will I spend assembling the kit?
- Do I have all the knowledge I need to assemble or will I need more?
- Will I seek out new information when needed to assemble the kit?
Also, do I have what it takes to finish the project when it’s started? Can I follow through to completion?
The AC Cobra Kit is complex time. It also, as it is the AC Cobra Kit, comes with air-conditioning, which is important in a street car. If you are looking to race it, that possibly takes additional parts and skill. Finally, the AC Cobra Kit is pricey but it is worth it.