This idea is simple: What era of motorsport was/is the best? What drivers were/are the best? What motorsport was/is the best? What cars were the best? What track was the best?
For me, I can’t choose just one. 1960s Top Fuel drag racing was the best of the 1960s. There were plenty of big names competing against smaller names, many of whom have been lost to the sands of time. Some of those names we are familiar with – Don “Big Daddy” Garlits, Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen (anybody who’s ever had a large collection of Hot Wheels has/had models of their cars). Their cars were spectacularly fast (Garlits was the first to break 200 mph in his Top Fuel dragster), and they always put on one hell of a show. I’m going to say that Lions Drag Strip in Long Beach, CA was the best. While I never visited it (it closed in 1972), it is rumored to have been one of the best drag strips ever. If you’re into Facebook, look up “THE GLORY DAYS OF DRAG RACING.” It’s a closed group, but they will let you in. It’s got a lot of great vintage photos. Read their rules before posting something.
Another great one for me was 1980s Formula 1. Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Mario Andretti, and the late Clay Regazzoni. It was a fierce era of turbocharged cars with well over 1,000 horsepower duking it out on the fastest tracks on the planet. BMW had cars with 1,400 horsepower and manual transmissions (yes, you had to take your hand off of the steering wheel in a tight corner in a powerful car to shift). Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost simply dominated the sport until the tragic death of Senna in 1994.
Finally, I’m going to say that 1980s-current off-road racing is great. I mean, who doesn’t like watching Ivan “Ironman” Stewart bombing around Baja in his Toyota trophy truck? Or for those American car fans, how about Robby Gordon and his HUMMERs from a long time ago? To me, it’s the most entertaining form of motorsport, and I’ve been hoping to travel to Baja to watch the Baja 1000 for a while.
Here are some of my favorite pictures to prove it.