20 October 2014
17 October 2014
A 1960's hardtop coupé body, Windsor V8, independent front end, leaf-sprung live axle out back. If it sounds like the basic spec for the original Ford Mustang, you'd be right, sort of: the Mustang originally came with a straight six engine, three speed auto gearbox and the running gear that originally came from the Ford Falcon. So it feels appropriate that Craig Johnson, the owner of the car above, upgraded his Falcon Futura to the spec it's in now, to compete in the Goodguys autocross series in the US. a 5.0 HO V8 with T5 'box from an '89 Mustang, rebuilt front end incorporating parts from a '68 Mustang, '65 Shelby Mustang, '86 Mazda RX7 and '05 Nissan 350Z (1), 8.8 rear axle from a Ford Explorer with 3.73 gears and a whole bunch of parts to enable this Falcon to fly around a gymkhana course.
Read more about the car here.
POSTSCRIPT: the article contains the line "You don't know what you've got, 'til it's gone." , which aptly describes the magazine in question, Popular Hot Rodding. Unfortunately the publishers (formerly Source Interlink, now The Enthusiast Network) took the discontinue the magazine with the September 2014 issue after 52 years of publishing. A few other magazines in TEN's portfolio have been discontinued as well (most notably the legendary Rod & Custom magazine), victims of being under the same roof as the likes of Hot Rod and Street Rodder, publications that at one time were competitors from separate publishers. No doubt there are sound business reasons behind the move, but ts a shame to see them go.
15 October 2014
13 October 2014
Nothing to do with the long-running cartoon family, this Simson was a multi-faceted German company which produced a range of different items, including firearms, automobiles,bicycles and motorbikes and mopeds. The story begins in 1854, when the brothers Löb and Moses Simson buying one third of a steelhammer works in Suhl, Germany. The production of carbon steel began and the firm Simson & Co. was founded in 1856, which produced guns and gun barrels. In 1871 they built their first steam engine and the enterprise established production of bicycles in 1896, which was followed by the start of car production in 1907.
Simson built cars from 1914 to 1915 and from 1919 until 1934. Its 1914 models had four-cylinder engines and in 1925 Simson introduced its first six-cylinder car, the model J. Car production continued until 1934 and in 1936 Hitler's government forced the Jewish Simson family to flee the country. A trustee took control of the firm, and so by merger with other factories the Berlin Suhler Waffen- und Fahrzeugwerke (BSW) was formed. In the same year the factory produced its first motorcycle, the BSW 98, which had a 98 cc engine and two-speed transmission. Weapons production also increased; from 1939 the company was called Gustloff-Werke-Waffenwerk Suhl, named after assassinated Swiss Nazi Wilhelm Gustloff. As well as the main works in Suhl, the Gustloff-Werke had branch factories at Greiz in Thuringia and at Łódź in Nazi-occupied Poland. Sachs-engined motorcycles from 47 cc to 123 cc were made within the Gustloff group from about 1934 until about 1940. Gustloff-Werke products included 7.92 mm calibre Panzerbüchse 39 anti-tank rifles, 7.92 mm calibre MG 42 machine guns, gun carriages for 20 mm calibre Flak 38 anti-aircraft guns, and various calibres of small arms ammunition. The firm continued to build bicycles, weapons and cars until 1945, production stopping with the end of the war.
Between 1949 and 1962 the Suhl factory produced more than 209,000 four-stroke motorcycles; the motorcycles were branded AWO (an abbreviation of Awtowelo) from 1949 until 1955, when the Simson name was revived. Some had Stoye sidecars fitted, and a Stoye Campi luggage trailer could also be specified.
Production of the plunger-suspension 425 T model ended in 1960, and in 1961 Simson planned a 20bhp, 350 cc, swing-arm model for the general market; however, during the development of this model the DDR introduced a policy of Kapazitätsbündelung ("capacity concentration"), under which the production of larger motorcycles would be concentrated at the MZ works at Zschopau and from January 1962 all new private cars and motorcycles would be two-strokes. The DDR's Volkswirtschaftrat ("People's Economic Council") terminated Simson four-stroke manufacture on 31 December 1961.
The two bikes shown here are a 1964-68 Simson Star SR4/2 (the candy red & white moped) and a
1964-86 Schwalbe; its hard to be more specific than that about the exact year, as in typical Eastern Bloc fashion, external styling changed little over their respective production runs, although myriad detail changes were made under the skin. They have gained cult status in Germany and its not hard to see why; they have a simple style that endears the more you look at them. I'd happily give either a place in my garage.
10 October 2014
Qualifying was extremely wet and so it was Friday morning times that really counted for the grid; for Mario Andretti this was particularly unfortunate, as his Ferrari 312B2 was stranded out on the track at this time so he was unable to qualify despite lying second in the World Championship. Jackie Stewart claimed a stunning pole position over a second ahead of his front row companion Jacky Ickx and in the race shot into an immediate lead from the fast-starting Jo Siffert, Ickx, Pedro Rodríguez, Ronnie Peterson and Denny Hulme. Chris Amon stalled on the grid and Graham Hill - seeking a 6th Monaco win - made a rare mistake, hitting the wall at Tabac on lap 2.
Stewart extended his lead from Siffert and Ickx, despite being painfully ill from fumes leaking into the cockpit. Peterson was astonishing the crowd with his valiant attempts to take 4th place from Rodríguez, who was baulking him as much as was legally possible. Hulme managed to join the battle and pass Peterson on one lap. Eventually the Mexican slipped up under pressure and locked up a wheel to let both Peterson and Hulme through. Stewart went on to win the race.
8 October 2014
From Specialist Interest Automobiles magazine no. 194 from April 2003: a prime example of a 1940 Buick Special convertible. And before you think this is just another restored trailer queen, rolled out for the cameras in between concours shows, think again, not only is it original, but has around 150,000 miles on it's elegant speedometer.
The owners at the time (Les and Anna Lee Gordon) used it often; they had just recently finished a 5,890 mile tour across The US and part of Canada, something that must have been a distinct pleasure, especially with that creamy smooth straight-eight engine. I had the use of a 1953 Buick Super a while back for a few days; the 263ci straight-eight happily chugged along with ease all day, certainly an experience any classic car fan should seek to try.
Getting back to the car in the pics, it also seems to serve as a dictionary example of earned patina, it has dents, scratches rust, worn out parts, missing trim and metal fatigue in places. But there absolutely no doubt it also gets a ton a love from its owners.
6 October 2014
Another one of those 'pics but not much info' posts. Its a Jaguar XKR with a great stance (I can feel Amazosan's glare at using that word) and blue Rotiform wheels. Owned by 23 year old Vladimir Gerasimov, it was built from a front-ended wreck into quite a well-known car on the Russian car scene. The paint has caused quite a stir; unfortunately, I can't tell you a thing about how the effects were done (not even in Russian); but the fish scales, snakeskin effect and what I can only describe as embossed scrolling - however its been made I absolutely love it, and it is a polarising feature. Love it or hate it, it makes the car.
I'll add more information as soon as I can find it, but for now, enjoy the pictures.
- Mr Fabulous
Rotiform wheels with blue anodised centres: