Thursday, December 30, 2010

Monteverdi Hai 450 SS

This Swiss company Monteverdi built race cars through the 50’s and 60’s and in the mid 60’s decided to go into the luxury sports car market (super cars were still years away) up againt Ferrari and Lamborghini. There second car was the 450, deigned to have a production life of 49, only 2 were originally produced, the prototype in 1970 and one additional prototype designated GTS with some subtle changes to the handle position. The original car later had its moved to match this later car . In the 90’s 2 more were built from the spare parts only 1 (the original prototype) is in private hands and is currently up for sale following a full restoration, the last time it was sold in 2010 it sold for £398,000.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Melkus RS1000

Melkus was sports car and single seater race car manufacturer in Dresden East Germany, they produced cars from 1956 through to 1986. The first road sports car built by this Soviet controlled company was the RS1000 between 1969 and 1979. This gull winged doored, mid engined fibre glass bodied car was powered not by a V8 like the Ferrari’s of the time but a 90bhp, 3 cylinder 2 stroke 992cc engine. Some later version were fitted with a 1200cc engine In total 101 were produced in its 10 year life with a further 15 special version built in 2006 to commemorate the 50 years of the company. As with a lot of Soviet “showmanship” of the cold war, this was a modern looking car with traditional, basic, almost off the shelf components.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

StreetHawk/ Honda XR500

If you of a certain age ie born in the late 70’s like me self TV was great growing up. It was full of tongue in cheek shows with usually a car or vehicle in the middle of it all such as the A- Team GMC van, Knightriders KITT and for one season Streethawk. Go on you remember the bike bursting out through that billboard and save the world or at least the girl. We all remember the bike was the coolest thing on 2 wheels after all it could go over 200mph and had rockets and machine guns!!!! Now enough of reminiscing, the bike was based on a Honda XL500 (Pilot XR500 for the series),

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Volvo Sport/P1800

Back in 1956, Volvo’s President decided after seeing the Corvette that they should produce a sleek 2 seater convertabe sports car. Designed for the American market by Glasspar (an American boat building company) it was a fibre glass body over a tubular steel chassis. Running a 1.4ltr engine only turning out 70bhp linked to a 3 speed gearbox. Poor build quality meant only a small number left the Swedish factory, 68 in fact, with over half of those not going further than their home country of Sweden. Production came to an end in 1957. On the surface its styling was up there with its European contemporaries such as the MGA and Spitfire while retaining an individual look just a shame a new production style and issues led to the unsual below par finish.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wolfrace Sonic

This was built as a promotional “vehicle” to launch the Wolfrace Sonic alloys (similar to the Ford XR2 Pepper pots) in the very early 1980’s, this unusual and road legal car had a few surprises up its sleeve or rather under the bonnet, 2 Rover V8 engines sat side by side. These engines were control by an on board computer to make sure they ran in sequence with each other making it very advanced for the time. It also has a digital/LCD dash. You may also have noticed the 6 wheels, well is design to sell alloys. Not been able to find much more out, it is a one off and at some point was painted red. There’s not even a lot of information on the Wolfrace site. I just love the way it looks over the top as a promotional car should be.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Mohs Ostentatienne Opera Sedan

This has to be one of the strangest production cars ever (I use the word production loosely as only 3-4 per year between 1967 and 79 from what I can find out) built by Mohs Seaplane Corporation. The first thing you notice is the lack of side doors, you gain entry from the single rear door. This was due to the side rails to help protect the occupant in case of an accident. The wheels are also huge 20” and nitrogen filled (very novel in the 60’s).