A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 13, 2016
“A good driver can make a poor car look good, but not the other way around”

There is an auto racing adage that a good driver can make a poor car look good, but that a bad driver will make any car look bad. The adage doesn’t appear to have any particular author or common wording.

“A good driver can make a crappy car do magic.  The worst driver in the world can make an awesome car the worst performer” was cited in a newsgroup in 1997. “A good driver can make an inferior car do miracles.  On the other hand, a poor driver in a, let’s say McLaren F1, will lose the race” was cited in another 1997 newsgroup.

“I think there’s an old saying that a good driver can always make a poor car look good –- but not the other way around” was cited in 2016. A tweet on January 10, 2015 explained:

“Remember only a good driver can make a car fast and able to win. Put the pope in any kind of car and I bet he doesn’t win.”


Google Groups: rec.autos.makers.vw.watercooled
Scirocco vs GTI vs Corrado
Kris Rayner
11/19/97
You guys are absolutely right.  A good driver can make a crappy car do magic.  The worst driver in the world can make an awesome car the worst performer.

Google Groups: alt.tv.robotech
Does better Mecha make one a better pilot?
Kris Rayner
12/18/97
This carries over to auto racing too.  A good driver can make an inferior car do miracles.  On the other hand, a poor driver in a, let’s say McLaren F1, will lose the race.  Why, because racing is more than just straight line speed.  The driver has to know where to cut the apex of the turn, when to get back in the throttle, when to trail brake, and know how to jump a start.  The same is so for pilots.  Give an inferior pilot a Mig-29 and he’ll kill himself.  Give a fighter ace an old biplane, and he’ll make it do things you’ve never seen one do.  However, when you’ve got two excellent pilots it them comes down to the planes.

Google Groups: alt.autos.porsche
TRUTH about PsychoLoco
treeclaw
3/17/02
(...)
Some of your points are well taken like a good driver can make a bigger difference then a good car with bad driver grin

Twitter
Selena
‏@MancSel
@MrHudson A bad driver can make a good car bad but a good driver can make a bad car good #justsaying
11:24 AM - 1 May 2011

Twitter
Ed
‏@xxSkedz24xx
@Talon64 Proof a decent car can’t make a bad driver good, but a good driver can make a decent car great
8:00 PM - 13 Sep 2013

Twitter
TeeJay Crwford
‏@TeeJayCrawford
@Bwalks15 remember only a good driver can make a car fast and able to win. Put the pope in any kind of car and I bet he doesn’t win.
12:27 AM - 10 Jan 2015

FormulaSpy.com
May 13, 2016
Friday Team Personnel Press Conference – Transcript
Thomas Maher
Spanish Grand Prix – Attending Friday’s Team Personnel Press Conference were Cyril Abiteboul (Renault), Yusuke Hasegawa (Honda), Robert Fernley (Force India), Christian Horner (Red Bull Racing), Toto Wolff (Mercedes), Maurizio Arrivabene (Ferrari).
(...)
RF: I think there’s an old saying that a good driver can always make a poor car look good –- but not the other way around.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Friday, May 13, 2016 • Permalink