29 June 2015

Digging In The Crates - Steed's Jaguar XJ12C

In memory of the great Patrick Macnee, who died on June 25th, we dig into the crates down in the depths of Amazo Plaza to find the 1976 Christmas issue of Autocar, which featured Steed's Jaguar XJ12C from The New Avengers.

For those of you who are not aware, British Leyland offered Mark One productions the use of cars from their range (as BL would get free product placement, natch) for use in the series. Gambit got a Range Rover, Purdey an MGB (and later a TR7) while a Rover SD1 was also used. Now when it came to Steed's' car, it was only right that he should have something a little more special (he was used to Rolls-Royces and Bentleys after all). So an XJ12 series 2 Coupé was chosen; the actual car was a 1973 example, chassis no. 2G 1008, a development hack used by Jaguar to develop the XJ Coupé and originally painted lavender! BL commissioned Ralph Broad to convert the bodywork to look like one of his XJ12 racers.
As far as running gear goes, the car was kept strictly standard, but with the aid of post-production, The Big Cat (as it was nicknamed by the production crew) roared all over our TV screens during 1976 and 1977.

- Amazosan

Verdant 'Vette

26 June 2015

Le Mans 24 Hours, 8th-14th June 2015

Photo: Toyota

A trouble-free night saw the no.2 Toyota TS040 hybrid of Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Mike Conway consolidate its position, holding a relatively isolated 7th place, five laps behind the leader, the no.19 Porsche 919 hybrid of Nick Tandy and Le Mans rookies Earl Bamber and Nico Hülkenberg that went on to win the race.

24 June 2015

Tour de Corse - Rallye de France, 5th-7th May 1983

Photo by Migtao.

Tony Pond, with co-driver Rob Arthur, on the 1983 Tour de Course; they finished 6th overall. The rally was won by the duo of Markku Alén & Ilkka Kivimäkiin in the Martini Racing Lancia 037 Rally.

22 June 2015

1972 Dodge Demon - Hellboy

A rare Paxton-packing muscle car, with a veteran drag racers help.
What you see here is a Dodge Demon GSS, a rare enough beastie on its own even in its heyday, but with drag racer 'Mr Norm' Kraus sprinkling his nitro dust on it, it became arguably the last great muscle car of the original era.
At a time when bhp figures were on the wane, due to a culmination of emissions laws and ever-increasing insurance costs, Kraus put together a tuning package, the centrepiece of which was a belt-riven Paxton supercharger, that pushed power from a decidedly anemic 240bhp to a rather more rosy-cheeked 360bhp. Its reputed that only a few hundred were converted which makes this restored example an obscure A-body Mopar indeed. But be careful not to talk trash about this Demon; its sure to appear in your rear-view mirror when you least expect it.
Unleash hell on your signal, here.

- Amazosan

Hotel De France, June 1975

Photo courtesy of Hotel De France.

It wasn't only the 1975 Le Mans winning Gulf Mirage GR8 that left from that famous hotel that year. Heres three De Tomaso Panteras on their race transporter about to leave the square in front of the hotel in the same year. Car no. 49 in red and black went onto race as car no.43, with Pierre Rubens & Paolo Bozzetto taking the car to 16th place overall.
Car no.7 (in yellow above the cab of the Lancia EsaGamma transporter), was raced by Pierre Polese and a Mr Willer, but failed to finish due to head gasket failure.