26 April 2013

Ferrari 365GTB/4 'Daytona' - A 90's Tribute

'Beautiful, spectacular, fantastic, fascinating, elegant, powerful- that's the Daytona; a driver's Ferrari!'
coos the narrator on this documentary. And he's right; its all of that. It's 2013 and none of his adjectives have lost any substance in the 20-odd years since he uttered them.
This absolute gem of a film was recorded by someone from TV onto a VHS tape many years ago; sadly the precise details have been lost in time, but that really doesn't matter. This is an unapologetic tribute to what was then the last of the front engine V12 Ferraris, with and added bonus of an interview with a very famous former Daytona owner; the late great Clay Regazzoni.
But to me, what REALLY makes the programme is watching a car, which at the time was worth up £150,000 (and would cost you £300,000-400,000 to buy now) being driven like it should be, I.e. having it's neck wrung by the driver. So much so those walls get a little too close for comfort at times. Also of particular note is the induction roar; six side draught Weber 38DCOE carburettors atop the Tipo 251 variant of the famous Gioacchino Colombo V12 engine. Music to any petrolhead's ears; if it isn't, buy some new batteries for your hearing aid. And of course, the styling, penned by Leonardo Fioravanti while at Pininfarina, is always a treat for the eye. But you knew that anyway.
Turn the volume up to 11, and enjoy.

- Amazosan

Top Trumps Car Of The Day - Sbarro Lola T70

24 April 2013

1960 Edsel Two-Door Sedan Convertible - Sledsel

An Edsel; surely not the greatest of base material to start with when building a top class custom; aren't they those 1950's cars with the grill that looks like someone's squashed it's lips together? Well yes and no.
The Edsel marque only existed for three model years (1958-1960); designed to fit between the Mercury and Lincoln marques as so to push the latter upmarket to do battle with Cadillac, which was at that time a rival for the likes of Buick and Oldsmobile. Poor build quality, together with a disastrous lack of market research led to releasing a product that didn't appeal to the majority of the car-buying public; the result was poor sales. The brand was canned in 1960 with losses of $350m; an expensive exercise in how not to launch a car company. Ford announced the end of the Edsel program on Thursday, November 19, 1959; however, production continued until late in November, with the final tally of 2,846 1960 model year cars, such as the example you see here.
Unlike the '58 & '59 cars the 1960 Edsel Ranger is a bit of a looker; this particular example started life as a 2-door saloon (the convertible is super-rare and hard to find) converted to a ragtop with a whole ton of work done to stop it shaking apart. That gorgeous rear end is original Edsel and the car has a lot more work done to get that low ride height. It makes the contemporary Ford Thunderbird, one of the supposed 'glamour' cars of the FoMoCo line-up look more than a little gawky in comparison.
Read more info about this oxmoronic Edsel here.

Marauding Presence

22 April 2013

Bentley Barnato Roadster Concept By Benjamin Knapp Voith

Automotive designer Benjamin Knapp Voith pays tribute to the Bentley Boys with this superb Barnato Roadster concept designed during a 8-month internship at Bentley Motors. It's aim is to create a modern interpretation of what the Bentley Boys - those elite and adventurous gentlemen racers of the mid-1920s, who drove such monsters as the 4½ Litre Blower - would drive if they were alive today.
In honour of their memory, not to mention the Bentley Boys’ many race victories at Brooklands and four consecutive wins at the Le Mans 24 Hours, Knapp Voith named the concept the Barnato Roadster, after Woolf Barnato, an English financier who had made a fortune as a entrepreneur in South African diamond and gold mining. He was also a keen racing driver and one of the Bentley Boys; he achieved three consecutive wins out of three entries in the Le Mans 24 hours.
Based on the wheelbase of the Continental GT, the Barnato features an interesting asymmetrical seating arrangement with an optional passenger seat inspired by current LMP2 racers, a body made of carbon fibre, and would be powered by a modified version of the Audi S4′s V6.
Ben´s tribute was apparently not only inspired by Bentley´s early racers (the 1924 Bentley 3/8 'Hawkeye Special' especially, to our eyes), but also the R-Type Continental.
The end result is a stylish contemporary car with self-evident attention to detail, keeping the proportions and curves that make a vintage Bentley special. While to our eyes it seems a little too dainty to suit the 'fastest lorry in the world' image that Ettore Bugatti so famously coined, there's no doubting the design keeps drawing your eye back in.
Take the Blue Train to here for more info; a brief portfolio of  Benjamin Knapp Voith's work here.

FIA GT 500 Km, Donington Park, September 6 1998

It may not have been the best looking car on the grid in some peoples eyes, the front engined Panoz certainly had some speed. A car that would improve over the years in the top class in FIA GT and ALMS. Here it is seen chasing the AMG Mercedes for the lead at the 1998 FIA GT Donington Park 500 km. At the time Brabham and Eric Bernard were holding a strong third place ahead of the works Porsches, but would unfortunately retire just before half distance.

19 April 2013

Wheels Day 2013

Friday 29th March 2013, Rushmoor Arena, Aldershot, Hampshire.
The weather's been a bit unseasonal this year, but the conditions were good enough not to be a deterrent for the entrants or the crowds. Sure, there were some sodden parts (as some of the cars found out!), but everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.
More pictures here.

Model A pickup is sporting real-deal Halibrand wheels, while the '65 Mercury Comet wasn't exactly lacking the the rolling stock dept, sporting what looked to be genuine old-stock American Racing wheels:

Mercedes L319 motorhome was just lovely:

A car fit for royalty. The Martin Walter built Vauxhall Cresta PC estates were rare even when new (they were only produced between 1967-68) and very expensive; only two are known to exist. The Queen owned one as well, but the whereabouts of that car is not known.

MKIV Zodiacs are always a treat for the eyes:

Lowered Corolla on Rotas - simple and elegant:

Ford 307E van looks tuff:

Chevy AK truck had patina by the boatload:

Rock on to Corvette avenue:


Anyone for Golf?

1964 Pontiac Parisienne. Parisienne was the Canadian nameplate for the top of the line model sold in GM of Canada's Pontiac showrooms:

A personal favourite of Amazo-san's; late 70's C3 Corvette. Two-tone paint was a common colour scheme for 'vettes at the time:

1950 Ford; another car with great patina:

 1961–1963 Buick Special; it's aluminium block 215ci V8 led a long career as the Rover V8. We're digging that aerial:

Bar the wheel spats and lights, Triumph Renowns look like this from the factory. This one has a Ford V6:

A replica of the Rea Racing Transit that legendary TT racer Joey Dunlop used to transport his bikes around in. Full feature coming soon.

Slot mags, primer and zoomies - one cheeky Rascal:

After the Greenbrier at last year's event, this year we were treated to a Corvair rampside pickup:

Volkswagen Type 147 Kleinlieferwagen (small van), a design commissioned by the German Postal Service:

Farinas will be the next hot ticket, car wise. This MG Magnette's got attitude:

Can't build 'our' type of cars under IVA? Well this Pop passed the test. Get building, kids:

THAT Panhard:

Two legendary, yellow V8-powered MKII Consuls, but that's where the similarities end; the first is Henry Hirise. We'll be getting some magazine scans up from it's original build in the 70's , but trust us when we say that the restoration to it's former glory is absolutely faithful:

And the Mark Spooner-built Lemon Squash. Like it or hate it, it's a one-off:

'70 Dodge Dart Swinger:

Lovely Model A:

Don't be fooled by the '37 Ford looks; its a much modified 7W-shape Ford 10:

Is this an old build? Appliance wires on this Austin 12/4 Heavy saloon tend to suggest so:

'57 Ford Ranchero:

The fun wasn't restricted to the show area; this Vauxhall Chevette Special was in the car park area...

While this Transit minibus was tucked behind the stands. Yum.

£400 bought you this MKII Cortina with original strut tops...

...while a lot more money would be needed to take this '35 Ford delivery truck home:

The Opus HRF, a kit car created in 1967 by Geoff Thomas and Neville Trickett, the men behind the Minisprint. This example was very well finished; 'Allard Shorrck' badge and Dragstar rocker cover suggest the pre-crossflow has a lot of ponies waiting to get out:

Yes, that is a VW flat-four out back, and it ain't luggage. #awaits 16-page rant thread on popular modified car forum#

Fiat 130 saloon, debatable wheels:

Simca 1100 - making Minilites look good:

While this 1967-1968 Chrysler 300 2D Hardtop can make anything look good. The 'non-letter' 300 series cars are seriously underrated, in our opinion.