An icon of vehicular mayhem turns 40

Part musical, part morality play, and one of the best car-chase movies of all time, “The Blues Brothers” turns 40 years old this year. 

It debuted June 20, 1980, and today “The Blues Brothers” is remembered for cementing John Belushi’s status as a comedic star and for elevating the Black art form of blues—all through the antics of Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, who gave Nazis their due while they reveled in vehicular destruction. 

The plot centers around Jake and Elwood Blues, a pair of recidivist ne’er-do-wells raised in a Chicago orphanage run by a stern nun (“the Penguin”) seemingly imbued with supernatural powers. Upon Jake’s release from prison, the duo visits the orphanage and discover it will soon be shut down because it owes $5,000 in back taxes. The brothers decide to get their old blues band back together to raise the tax money and run afoul of the law

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How Willy T. Ribbs Battled Racism on the Racetrack

Willy T. Ribbs isn’t a household name outside of racing circles. But he should be. During the 1980s, he was one of the fastest damn drivers around any racetrack, be it an oval, road course, or circuit. Ribbs had all the necessary items to become a world-renowned racer—except for the color of his skin.

After showing great promise at age 22 in becoming British Formula Ford “Star Of Tomorrow” champion, Ribbs found progress in American racing to be slow going. Despite sponsors turning their backs and some pit crews slow-walking mechanical improvements or slow-talking communication, Ribbs still found a way to win races and contend for championships in Trans-Am and IMSA series racing. His only shot at the big time was qualifying for the 1991 and 1993 Indianapolis 500—the latter of which he finished despite inferior machinery.

Known for a strong personality and not backing down from confrontation, Ribbs’

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