Penny Ante Racing






The random quotes you see at the bottom of the pages on this website are generated by my little database-driven program that was inspired by the unix 'fortune' program. Naturally, I populated the database with quotes about car building, car design, racing, and a few other bits of advice that I thought were related to those endeavors. Occasionally I'll want to find one of these quotes, and it seemed like a good idea to write a page that would list all of them. This is that page. I hope you find some of the quotes to be useful, humorous or meaningful.

1"There are but three true sports--bullfighting, mountain climbing, and motor-racing. The rest are merely games." - often attributed to Ernest Hemmimgway
2"I did not win - I merely finished first. The just and deserving winner is Nuvolari, the greatest racing driver in the world." – Clemente Biondetti, quoted in Pritchard, Anthony. A Century of Grand Prix Motor Racing, pp. 63. ISBN 1-899870-38-5.
3"It doesn't matter if you're in a wheelchair or have healthy legs. If you have the will to do something, you can get it done. I race the same as anyone else does; I just don't use my feet. And, I never give up." - Evan Evans, the first paraplegic competitor to win a professional off-road racing title, Evan Evan's Racing
4"I find that the older cars, while slower, actually feel faster and are more fun. My 1980 911 was a hoot on the track but the 2011 911 I drove recently was 4 seconds quicker around the track but not as fun....I also loved driving a classic Mini and owned a new MINI, both were outstanding but I had to drive a lot faster in the new one to be as entertaining as the old one." - quote from user loosecannon on the GRM message board
5"Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal." – Alan Kulwicki. The Last Lap. Macmillan, pages 346. ISBN 0-02-862147-6.
6"I always had the attitude that I can do anything, and just make it happen. Just start in. If you goof it up, then start doing it again. Rebuild it, change it, or start over, but just stay in there. Work long, hard hours, and get it done." - car customizing legend Gene Winfield, Back From The Dead II
7"It is air resistance that finally prevents a road vehicle...from going beyond a certain maximum velocity...Only three things can improve this situation: more power, bodywork with a lower co-efficient of drag, or a smaller frontal area" - Alan Staniforth, Race and Rally Car Sourcebook
8"One or two [race car designs] inspired that most unnattractive of human reactions - 'It's going to win - let's get it banned" with instant resort to the relevant small print rather than to the drawing board to compete" - Alan Staniforth, Race and Rally Car Sourcebook
9"In no time at all, club racing drivers discovered the cornering forces it could generate ripped the 12 gauge front wheels clean over the nuts", Alan Staniforth, Race and Rally Car Sourcebook, pg. 134, explaining why early minis needed beefier wheels than were originally issued
10"Show me the code" - Linus Torvalds
11"Many spend their lives criticizing others from the sidelines. That's the easy route, the well traveled path, but it is seldom fulfilling. The people who put down the TV remote and begin to do things will live a much richer life." - Joey Maier
12"Get the job done, 'stead of talkin' 'bout it" - Cowboy Troy
13"I don't care that the new paddle trans is faster, that the anti-lock stops better, that the computers and awd make it so you can pull out of the corner better. In the end, a robot car would be the fastest, and wouldnt make mistakes! But on the other hand nobody just watches the CPU race by itself on Forza for a reason. Dont tell me a car is cool for the same reasons." - comment on GRM message board
14"The intention is to demonstrate that an effective formula racing car can be built by the enthusiast of limited means working in his garden shed." - Jack French, writing in the 750 Club's magazine. (Quoted in Race and Rally Car Sourcebook)
15"Estimate how long and how much, then triple it. You won't be far wrong." - Jack French, writing in the 750 Club's magazine. (Quoted in Race and Rally Car Sourcebook)
16"...a pair of much sought afterter 16 inch wheels, only made by the Austin factory for the Persian Army, and organization which could hardly have realized that its special equipment gave perfect gearing when teamed with the correct back axle for the Silverstone Club Circut" - Jack French, writing in the 750 Club's magazine. (Quoted in Race and Rally Car Sourcebook)
17"There were never any 100 mph Austin Sevens then, but...I've looked across into the other man's cockpit and seen his speedo reading 100 mph...but I was passing him at 75!" - Jack French (Quoted in Race and Rally Car Sourcebook)
18"A hacksaw blade used 'lumberjack fashion' with a man at each end would not immediately strike a chord as a tuning device - least of all in the field of aerodynamics." - Commentary on Mike Forest's 750 race car, a heavily chopped Austin seven (Race and Rally Car Sourcebook)
19"This method is cheap, simple, it works and is condemned by the makers" - Mick Forest writing about shock absorber modification in the 750 club magazine. (quoted in Race and Rally Car Sourcebook)
20"Negative tuning: keep it simple and light" - Mike Forrest
21"First they turned the engine round back to front so they could take a chain drive from the gearbox...Alert engineers will have perceived that without some precaution the car would end up going backwards in four gears and forward in only one...turning the axle upside down cured this" - Alan Staniforth on the design of the 1973 Warren/Reliant racecar.
22"Nobody normally loves winners or innovators. If it should happen it has to be for their transcendentally lovable characters rather than their victories or pioneering creations." - Staniforth on the 0mag2/Reliant race car
23"In the manner of many sparetime projects, it proceeded erratically over the next 3 1/2 years. As it progressed, Ray kept a note of the sources of many of the parts used. It made a strange directory of motorsport: F1, F2, F3, FF, Reliant, Morris Minor, Mini, VW, Imp, commercial tanker, combine harvester, redundant coffee table, and a cup from a dolly's tea set." - Staniforth on the 0mag2/Reliant race car
24"Only the old faithfuls - chassis stiffness, good handling, reliable power, decent (though certainly not brand new) tires, and fearsome driver determination - held their position unshaken" - Staniforth on the redesign of the car that would become the Marrow Mk1
25"The design also easily permits almost vertical front coils, a strong natural defence against falling rate, nose dive, understeer and kindred evils." - Staniforth on the Marrow Mk1
26"Yes, all new cars must come equipped with crumple zones, traction control, ABS..." "Lalalala I can't hear you over the sound of raging awesome!!" - quote from the commentariat at
27"we had to be very careful to keep the total rear axle movement controlled or it moved so much the joints locked up and shattered" - Mick Harris quoted by Staniforth, Race and Rally Car suspension, pg. 169
28"stiffness in a chassis is everything - you cannot make it too stiff." - Team Mick and Dick" in Race and Rally Car Sourcebook
29"build in all the driver protection you can. If he needs it, he needs it badly." - Team Mick and Dick" in Race and Rally Car Sourcebook
30"Paint chassis with one coat of decent enamel like Humbrol without undercoat. This will show cracks and you can also refinish welds or repairs nicely." - Team Mick and Dick" in Race and Rally Car Sourcebook
31"use captive nuts wherever possible, either welded on or Rivnuts. They will save endless time and trouble in awkward places." - Team Mick and Dick" in Race and Rally Car Sourcebook
32"If the car is working leave it alone and don't mess things about. If you do alter things, keep notes and alter to a plan with an aim." - Team Mick and Dick" in Race and Rally Car Sourcebook
33"Aerodnamics are not always from the wind tunnel. The reason we run a short nose is because it would not fit in the garage with a longer one." - Team Mick and Dick" in Race and Rally Car Sourcebook
34"Work and thought are vital before you pick up the hacksaw or metal shears." - Team Mick and Dick" in Race and Rally Car Sourcebook
35"all things being equal, the car with the lowest c of g [center of gravity] will win." - Gordon Murray, chief designer of McLaren, quoted in Race and Rally Car Sourcebook, pg. 170
36"The new chassis was not only meticulously triangulated (of course) but built from round cold drawn tube. Though much more laborious and awkward at joints, it is both lighter and stronger than the generally used resistance welded square tube" - Staniforth, Race and Rally Car Sourcebook, pg. 170
37"You can have a non-standard rocker cover with your name on it as long as it does not improve the performance in any way" - Staniforth on the strict rules governing formula ford racing
38"Invariably things get more complicated and you sort it out and simplfy it again" - Bob Marston
39"It was an odd mixture: a John Cooper tubular chassis, gearbox internals designed by Porsche and made half in Germany and half in the Vandervell toolroom, Rolls-Royce cranccase with four of the rightly fabled Norton "double knocker" (or twin cam) motorcycle engines converted to water cooling bolted on top, ferrari suspension parts, homemade disk brakes to an American patent, and the body by an English panelbasher."- Staniforth on the Vanwall formula 1 cars
40"Any rear wheel steering, even a few thou, and boy have you got problems! A driver can correct to some degree for movements - flex, bump steer - at the front, but at the rear it makes it extremely difficult for him." - Ron Tauranac on the Brabham BT26, Race and Rally Car Sourcebook
41"Asking the front wheels of a car to do their normal job of steering while handling, let's say, more than 170 brake horsepower, is like asking a man to wire a plug while juggling...penguins, while making a beautiful woman, while on fire, on stage, in front of the queen. It's all going to go wrong." - Jeremy Clarkson, Top Gear, Series 13, Episode 4
42"Rigidity is far more important than being clever with the geometry of the suspension. Whatever you hope to achieve with that, it is ridiculous to then have the pick-ups moving about. It cannot work" - - Ron Tauranac on the Brabham BT26, Race and Rally Car Sourcebook
43"Nowadays, of course, geometry is far less important as suspension movement is becoming so small." - Ron Tauranac on the Brabham BT26, Race and Rally Car Sourcebook
44You made a running car out of what were two large unusable assemblies of metal. I call it success. - user "Type Q" on GRM message board. (Quoted in the December 2008 issue)
45"In addition to bottles and cans, why not recycle entire cars?" - Tim Suddard in the December 2008 issue of Grassroots Motorsports
46"Nobody believed, everybody laughed at me," Souza told "I was very humbled by this, but I won and I built my car alone with my own hands." - Orismar de Souza
47"It doesn't matter what you drive, It's that you drive what you got" - Kazzer, Pedal to the Metal
48"Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere." - Colin Chapman
49"Even Michael Schumacher can't break the laws of physics...much" - Gerardo Bonilla, MSCC autocross school
50"Before any noise, heat, or speed, the blood, sweat, and oil must mingle" -B.S. Levy
51"Basing your opinion of an entire class of vehicles on a British sports car is like basing your opinion of women on Courtney Love" -Cory Farley
52"The man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic - the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." - Theodore Roosevelt
53"People need to spend more time in the garage and less time on the computer. If he was battling a rusty Datsun, this never would've happened." - GRM message board userpete240z in this thread.
54"If it was more simple, there wouldn’t be engineers in racing!" - Matt Ferratusco
55"Talking smack about what is or isn't a 'real' motorsport doesn't hold an candle to driving a car 'in anger'....even if it's just around cones in a parking lot." - Joey Maier
56"Learning by my mistakes burns that knowledge in for good." - Kirk Hanning, May 2009 issue of HotRod Deluxe
57"What people don't understand is that anything a 'high-end' builder can do, they could do with a little bit of practice...They just tried to do it and you haven't" - Kirk Hanning, May 2009 issue of HotRod Deluxe
58"There's something about the yowl of a straight six that stirs the blood" - Richard Hammond, Top Gear, Season 1 Episode 6
59"When you start to modify a project, each component that is changed will possibly affect something else. Don't be surprised when it takes longer and costs more to make an improvement than originally thought. After all, if it was easy, wouldn't the original engineers have done it in the first place?" - Classic Motorsports
60"Racing is the great evil, sometimes. It can possess us with a feaver in which we sacrifice great street cars on the bonefire of racing vanity." - Peter Egan, Road and Track, May 2008
61"...our behavior on the track helps create the racing environment we will live in. If I play dirty, I will get that back later. We reap what we sow." - Randy Pobst, Sportscar magazine
62"This was the 1st time I built a car from scratch and it was a real struggle, but it was worth it. The amount of pride you have when you drive a car you worked so hard for is amazing; And I can safely say, I did not just assemble this car, I built it." - Chris Casny, pg. 16 of the July 2009 issue of Rod & Custom
63"My life is so much richer actually doing this, instead of simply dreaming about it that I don't care about my mediocrity. Even being a mediocre racer makes me much more than a mediocre person, simply because I'm a racer, instead of a watcher." - Friedgreencorrado quoted in the June 2009 issue of GRM
64"The level of welding talent required for a vehicle that, if sensible designed, will stick together for you is not ultra-high. There is no need for the sort of expertise that will force-arc North Sea gas piping against the clock, with an immediate high speed Xray film check, or hang bits together for Concorde." - Alan Staniforth, pg. 14 of Race and Rally Car Sourcebook.
65"They lie generally in the 60-80 bracket for comfortable road cars, 80-100 for firmer and more sporting machinery, 100-125 for non-ground-effect racers, and creep towards 175 in certain current F1 would appear to be operating at 200-500 CPM, the spine jarring ride is not too difficult to imagine." - Alan Staniforth discussing wheel frequencies, pg. 63 of Race and Rally Car Sourcebook
66"...the standard approach is a front frequency 10 or 20 CPM lower than the rear." - Alan Staniforth discussing wheel frequencies, pg. 63 of Race and Rally Car Sourcebook
67"It's not fun to do this. Your wife leaves you, she's in bed with the milkman, and you're, 'oh, where's my front suspension unit.'" - Jeremy Clarkson on the assembly of a caterham 7, Top Gear Season eight, episode 7
68Of course, it helps to have a shop full of metalworking machinery, like bead rollers, English wheels, and air-powered planishing hammers - but Paul doesn't. "I bent stuff around steel drums, sections of pipe, old wheels, even trees. I've got a good jigsaw and die grinders, a 3-foot brake, a small MIG welder, a torch set up, and lots of hand tools. I'd like to try some better pieces of equipmemt someday. For now, I'll make do with what I have and love every minute of it." - Paul Stinson, June 2011 issue of Street Rodder.
69"It was a very simple recipe: three parts e-type jaguar, two parts corvette, and a sprinkling of Japanese reliability. Fabulous car." - Jeremy Clarkson on 240z, Top Gear Season 4, ep 8
70"So, in essence, it's the 'Rover swap,' but with a few more cubic inches and a cast iron block with aluminum heads — just like the original OHC "Twin-Dolomite" boat anchor. No 8 foot long single row Simplex timing chains or any other English-engineered tomfoolery (at least under the hood!)" - jalopnik
71"It's that part of the brain that makes you frightened; that's what racing drivers don't have. They don't have imagination. They're not thinking, 'what if a wheel falls off now,' 'what if, I push the brake pedal and nothing happens.'" - Jeremy Clarkson, Top Gear, Series 7, Episode 6
73"...a car can be a tool but it can also be so much more. It can be a heart-starter, it can be a drug, it can be a piece of art, it can stir your soul..." - Jeremy Clarkson, Times Online
74"Thanks to ever-increasing safety, emissions, and comfort standards, the average new car is a lumpy pile of bloated meh." - Jalopnik
75"Impractical, hard to get parts for, too big, too noisy and too expensive. Gotta have it!" - 914Driver in GRM thread "Why do I want this?"
76"It's male genetics. The more ridiculous the proposition is, the more we are drawn to it. " - mndsm in GRM thread "Why do I want this?"
77Nis14: "I have realized that we have a very expensive life would be completely different if I wasn’t into cars. I would dress better, have a nicer place, etc."

4cylndrfury: "Nice things are meaningless if you cant chirp third through the esses on the way home from the store"
GRM Board
78 "I never even mentioned how good it feels just to just take one of these machines in your hands, go out by yourself, and just do it." - friedgreencorrado
79"Why watch the world go by when I can participate in it?" - friedgreencorrado
80"WIthout motorsports, most of the best memories of my life would be missing." - friedgreencorrado
81"'Normal' people treat me differently after they discover I'm a racer. There's an almost automatic level of respect...when I walk in the room. Even now that I autocross, people see the videos, watch the cars slide around, and wonder out loud, ' do you do that?!?'" - friedgreencorrado
82"...our hobby is more than just something fun we do to take up time. Being a "car person" isn't a lifestyle, it is a life. If you have ever seen an elderly man's eyes light up when talking about a car you know what I mean. Cars get under your skin and deep into your bones." - Brian Medford
83"Why does a man mate a 2.5-liter, 156-hp Alfa V-6 to a Harley-Davidson four-speed and install it in an off-the-shelf frame? Why does he then put two Weber downdrafts in the vee and route the velocity stacks through the tank?....No one knows, and the mystery is part of the appeal — some things are meant to be accepted and marveled at, not understood. Answers just diminish their impact." - Sam Smith
84"Motor sports are something I'd rather do than sit and watch. Even at the 'junior woodchuck' amateur level, doing something beats sitting on the couch and watching other people do it" - Joey Maier
85"The price of convenience is loss of control, loss even of understanding. And we wonder: How far can we trust what we cannot follow?" - Engines Of Our Ingenuity
86"If something didn't work, I just cut it out and tried again." - Paul Stinson, June 2011 issue of Street Rodder
87My dad often bugs me on why I don't fly any more. My standard response is: "It's too expensive. I need a cheap hobby, like racing Porsches." - Salinas @ GRM
88Better to be a racer for a moment then a spectator for a lifetime.
89Hands OFF the steering wheel when a meeting with the tire wall is imminent.
90You can't make a racehorse out of a pig. But if you work hard enough at it you can make a mighty fast pig. - Bob Akin
91"It's been said that there is no new way to build a '32 Ford--that everything tasteful, and distasteful, has already been tried." - Christopher Campbell, HotRod, May 2009
92Straights are for fast cars. Turns are for fast drivers.
93A meteorite hitting your car is an accident; anything else is driver error.
94Nothing good has ever been written about the full rotation of a racecar about its roll axis. - Carroll Smith
95"Slow in, fast out!"
"Fast in, backwards out!"
96"Don't try to impress me, because you won't. Don't try to scare me, because I already am. " - Unknown track day instructor with a novice
97"You know, race car driving is like sex. All men think they are good at it." - Jay Leno on Top Gear
98"Why not invest untold dollars and man-hours into building a machine that could, at any instant, fall apart, kill you, or both?.....their dedication should be admired, as equally as their rationality should be questioned." - Blake Z. Rong @ Hooniverse
99Possibly true story:

Jackie Stewart practicing for one of his first Grands Prix has the throttle stick going into the Curva Grande at Monza. Later at the press conference, he describes knocking the car into neutral, a big spin..."Just incredible I didn't hit anything. I thought it was all over, for sure."

The reporters sit there in awe until, from a corner of the room, Jim Clark asks softly: "So, Jackie, you ordinarily back off there?"
100"Again, it comes down to what parameters of the Z06 you want to 'beat'. Top speed? Big course laptimes? Small course laptimes? Autocross? Cross-country cruising? Define what you're going to build, then build it. This goes for both bench racing and real racing." - Keith Tanner
101"I started this car as an exercise, to see how much of it I could build myself." - Dave Eltzholtz discussing his home-fabricated replica of a model T phaeton in Hemmings Motor News, April 2010, pg. 42
102"Some people ask me why build the car, why drive it all over, and I tell them it's like mountain climbing - you climb the mountain because it's there - except sometimes you have to build the mountain you want to climb." - Dave Eltzholtz discussing his home-fabricated replica of a model T phaeton in Hemmings Motor News, April 2010, pg. 42
103Point: "Those purists out there still clinging to your six-speed manuals, please go home. Your black-and-white TV is on the fritz." - Dan Neil

Counterpoint: "Dan Neil dings the Porsche Boxster Spyder and anyone who chooses a row-your-own six-speed over Porsche's PDK automagical tranny, claiming it's faster. Basically it's the same argument for ditching violins for electric guitars in orchestras because they're louder." - Matt Hardigree

104"People don't drive small cars in Europe because they are cheap. Europeans drive small cars because the back roads are the size of a gnat's birth canal. Rent anything larger than a Golf and you will regret it." - GTwannaB
110"Whatever path you take to your automotive self-fulfillment; all I ask is that you enjoy the trip and live in the now rather than sitting in front of your computer or TV and lusting at the possibility of tomorrow." - Neil Pietrantonio
111"I have come to grips with the fact that I am distinctly average as a driver. That's OK. I have a lot of fun. That's really the point. Unless your living depends on it, you don't have to be pro caliber. There's a place in motorsports for all of us." - Hal Mintun
112"You know, a little engine screaming it's head off is a lot more exciting than a big engine moving slowly....going quickly in a slow car is actually more fun than going fast in a fast car, 'cause anybody can go fast in a fast car. When you can take a car that's essentially not that powerful, and make it do things that its not supposed to be able to do, well that's where the real fun is" - Jay Leno discussing his 1964 Honda SM600
113"It's about getting off the sofa, rather than watching TV at night, just taking a few baby steps towards building dreams" - Bill Caswell, who used a $500 craigslist E30 to beat $400,000 rally cars at an FIA-sanctioned race.
114"one thing about this hobby is that you are never going to make a profit on anything you build unless you are being paid by someone else to build it for them- and losing money is the general rule. it's not unheard of to see project cars with over $10k invested sell for $3k." - novaderrik
115The one Shelby's most famous for, though, was a big engine shoehorned into an existing little car with its fenders modified to allow bigger tires. That formula is as old as hot rodding." - me, in a GRM thread
116"But it was 100% Jimmy and it totally embodied the spirit of the original Rat Rod movement: envision it, build it yourself, drive the hell out of it as soon as it can move under its own power. And most importantly, never claim it’s really ever finished." - Autoculture, on Jimmy Shine’s ‘34 Ford pickup
117Scratch builts need to be thought of in small bites or you can panic yourself into being another non finisher.My advice is pick a portion of the project and focus on that untill completed and then pick another and so on,it'll seem much less daunting that way. - kevlarcorolla
118"The ScAries was the combo of a 4 door K car, a Daytona, a filing cabinet, a hand truck, rain flashing, a box truck door and a bent drive shaft. And that combo of parts was towed to Gainesville by my 12 year old Dakota on a borrowed tow dolly. And there are plenty of others out there just like me." - Pat Culkin discussing his $2012 Challenge winning 1988 Dodge K-car.
119"You need not be a wrench turner to be a car guy. Some people simply shouldn't hold tools; I've met a few. Love cars, totally incapable of working on them." - ddavidv
120"It clearly is held on by four bolts at the top. There are NONE(!!!!) on the bottom. Apparently, datsun intake manifolds are held in place by witchcraft and fairy dust. More importantly, those magical things are strong; I have all four bolts out and cannot get it off." - Me, shortly before learning about the way the L24 intake and exhaust manifolds have common bolts.
121"...remember that jeep ad from a few years back? That tagline, 'What we make, makes us,' really resonates with me. It even hangs in my garage. Trying to fabricate an entire car has changed me as a person.....I took on something that nobody thought I could do, and now, nobody I know doubts that I can do it. I learned quite a bit about being creative, resilient and refusing to give up." - Joey Maier
122I suppose that a "special" is any car that is not standard. From almost the day motoring began, enthusiasts have been making their own cars, either because they could not afford to buy the one the wanted, or because they preferred a car that would express their own individuality and suit their needs more precisely than the standard production article. - Lionel Baxter in the Haynes Car Builder's Manual, pg. 8
123There are those, and I would count myself as one of them, who just like mechanical engineering, and see building a car as one of the highest Do-It-Yourself achievements. - Lionel Baxter in the Haynes Car Builder's Manual, pg. 8
Quote: "Get the job done, 'stead of talkin' 'bout it" - Cowboy Troy