Video of the Day: Preserving and driving archaic race cars

Three pre-WWI competition machines are taken for a spirited drive in the country

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Brian Blain leads the way in his 1911 National, which ran at the first Indy 500

Brian Blain, the founder of the Blain Motorsports Foundation, is pretty much obsessed with pre-World War I race cars, those spindly machines with giant engines that would dangerously compete for prizes, glory and, in many cases, to establish a fledgling auto manufacturer.

Blain tells us in this gorgeously filmed video, part of Hagerty’s “Why I Drive” series, that his fascination with archaic machinery was opened up decades ago when a family friend bequeathed to him an old trunk packed with early racing memorabilia.

From there, he became convinced that parking these performance relics in museums was a total waste, that they belong running and driving out in the real world for all to see.

“A race car that sits in a museum is a travesty,” Blain says. 

Here, he and a group of friends take three restored antique racers out for a jaunt in the open countryside, along with his fascinating commentary about what it’s like to drive them.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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