March 21: Ayrton Senna was born on this date in 1960

GE Anderson
March 21, 2013

Fifty-three years ago today — March 21, 1960 — Ayrton Senna was born in São Paulo. He took to karting at the tender age of four, and later, as a professional race car driver, would become the pride of Brazil. In 2009, an unprecedented magazine poll of 217 Formula One drivers voted Senna the greatest of all time, topping both Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio.

Sadly, that honor arrived posthumously. Senna won three Formula One world championships for McLaren-Honda before his untimely death in 1994, when his Williams-Renault race car, stripped of ABS, active suspension, power brakes, and traction control due to shortsighted F1 rules changes, crashed during the San Marino Grand Prix. Following that fateful accident, the FIA again altered its rules to allow the electronic safety systems that are now standard equipment in most modern automobiles. Ayrton Senna remains the last driver to die piloting a F1 race car. The web runneth over with videos of his F1 prowess, but here's a rarer look at what Senna could do with a road car, the Honda/Acura NSX. Don't try to heel-and-toe in Italian loafers at home.