Like many people since the dawn of that ultimate displacement activity known as YouTube, I thought I’d seen all the good motor-racing footage there was to see. Not so. As a result of a new DVD called ‘Can-Am, The Speed Odyssey’, I am now £23 lighter in the pocket and several hours behind with my work.
As you will have guessed, it tells the story of the Canadian-American Challenge Cup’s halcyon days, from its inception in 1966 to its effective demise under a 1100bhp Porsche steamroller at the end of 1973. Narrated by Sam Posey, who is almost as gifted a broadcaster as he was a racing driver, the DVD provides a unique insight into racing not just from another time, but seemingly another planet.
Because you could have written the entire Rule book on the back of a packet of Rizlas, the cars taking part were perhaps the wildest ever to assemble on a grid together and, despite the fact that the vast majority of them were powered by what was even then resolutely old-school Detroit big-banger V8s, they had no problem lapping tracks faster than the fastest F1 cars of the day.