Tuesday, November 30, 2010

VW Nova/Sterling

 There are a few cars that I pine after, Lamborghini Countach, Ford Escort RS Turbo (series 1) and the VW based Nova. Unlike a lot kit cars that are replica’s in one form or another, the Nova took the humble Beetle and WOW. Its full of 70’s excess cumulating in the lifting roof. As you’d expect no 2 are the same being customised along the way, but out of the box the kit included a full fibreglass body. Produced by Nova (England), Eagle (South Africa), Eureka (Australia), Scorpion (New Zealand and Sterling (America) between 1971 and the present day!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nissan R390 GT1

Back in the mid 90’s Nissan decided to go GT racing, the was beyond the lower classes in which it currently raced. Nismo (Nissan Motorsport) were set the task of preparing and building the cars. In order to get round he homologation rules a production car was needed. The rules at the time only requried 1. The result the road legal R390, this is a vary rare car, with 2 produced and only one in the public domain. The other is stored in Nissan’s Zama facility. Powered by a 3.5ltr V8 with two turbos strapped to it producing 550bhp, enough to get it to 60mph in 3.3s. This probably makes this one if not the rarest “production” car in the world.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Campagna T-Rex

The 3 wheel vehicle is usually consigned to one of a few camps, Reliant, trike or race bike custom, either way usually they are handbuilt by the driver either from scratch or from a kit. The Camagna T-Rex is not, it’s sold as a production vehicle delivered built. 2 versions are currently available the standard and the higher spec’d RR version both with the same 197bhp, ZX14R Powered 1400R engine with 6 speed sequential box that will run it up to 197mph. If that’s not enough an aero kit was available as well. Built in Canada by a company whose goal is to build the best 3 wheel vehicle in the world.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Aston Martin DBS Lagonda

With the sudden surge of sports car makers now producing modern 4 door versions, its interesting to see that for many this wasn’t the first dabble at it, i’ve already shown the Porsche 989 form back in 1988. Well back in 1974 Lagonda put it name to a car, the first since 1961, it was a elongated DBS (12”s longer) with 2 additional doors added. This was a fully worked up production car, sold between 1974 and 76, based on a concept built in 1969. In all that time however only 7 were ordered and 5 delivered to owners, the main reason for this was probably the MPG barley getting into double figure and the current oil crises affecting the world add to that a 24% premium over the normal 2 door car. As a car however it was very well done, almost looking like Aston Martin its self produced them, with its lines not being spoilt by the 2 additional doors. Unfortunately it also came with the Lagonda grill which detracted from Aston’s good looks.

A fully restored one sold recently for £337.000.

For more information-

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jensen Interceptor FF

The Interceptor in my eyes is the pinnacle of British muscle cars, not thebrash American chrome laden land yachts, but a more restrained highbrow interpretation. With its sleek lines, low profile and up market interior it was defiantly a gentleman’s car , a proper man’s car one to aspire to. But the one Interceptor that trumped all the others was the FF. FF stood Ferguson Formula 4 wheel drive system installed on to this car designed by Harry Ferguson Developments, this was back in 1966!!!! It even came with ABS, all to tame the 325bhp 6.3ltr V8 engine contained under that log bonnet. It was sold as the safest car on the road. On the looks of it there was no real difference to the standard model, but on closer inspection the double vents in the wing behind the front wheels spoke volumes and to even closer inspection its 4” longer to accommodate the four wheel drive system. Production lasted until 1971, when the market for such a car required it to be left hand drive, America. Unfortunately the 4 wheel drive system meant that this was impossible due to the position of the mechanics and the FF went out of production. It was a sensation on its release being named Car of the Year by car magazine in 1967.

And just listen to that V8-

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Japanese Custom Vans

I was going to do an article on this custom scene, its so over the top and commited I just think its awesome, and when it comes to the unusual its right at home here. Instead I'm just going to put up a link to the Speedhunters site which has an awesome wrtie up on a meet, believe me it'll put both a smile on your face as well as a look of wonder-


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bertone Genesis

Most concept cars by design studios usually go for the supercar market with styling exercises with a high value badge on them. If it’s a major car builder there potential views on the companies future look.

Bertone however spent 30000 man hours building a people carrier, when people carriers were either Renault’s or converted vans with more windows!!!!! This was no ordinary people carrier, also called the Lamborghini Genesis due to many of the parts, including the V12 engine derived from the Countach. This 455bhp V12 was essentially mid mounted, partly under the 2 front seats. It also had gullwing doors for the front passengers and sliding doors for the rear allowing comfortable seating for 5.

It was first shown at the 1988 Turin Motor Show. How strange that 20 years later and sporty looking people carriers are all the rage in the mainstream.

For more information-


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Renault Sport Spider

I was at work the other week in Manchester with the sun beating down sat at my desk looking out when to my surprise a Renault Spider drove up Deansgate. Whoever was driving it must have been confident on the weather as this is a convertible that didn’t come with a roof!!!! So it’s more a permanent sports car than daily driver. That’s not the only thing it didn’t come with, the windscreen also had a low level option.

Devised by Renault to run as an image making race series and sold to the public as a drivers car built around a lightweight aluminium chassis, the car only ran through half its planned production life. The Spider Championship however ran for longer supporting the British Touring Car Championship from 1995 till 1999 and no doubt other Touring Car Championships throughout Europe. Powered by 150bhp for street vehicles this was upped to 180bhp for track use. As a concept to production it shows it can be done with little compromise, including retention of its gullwing doors, however the lack of roof would have made this a very expensive weekend/track toy.

For more information-