Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Porsche Tapiro

This has to be one of those “what if” cars. A concept so radical to a brand that it could have been a new start and direction. By this time the 911 was nearly 20 years old and Porsche were looking for its replacement. As history has dictated every 911 replacement never stopped its evolution and stubbornness. But just think if this had have been the future.

Having the underpinnings of the mid-engined Porsche 914/6 along with its 220bhp, 2.4ltr flat 6 air cooled engine, designer by Italdesign's Giugiaro draped it in a wedge shaped gull winged doored body.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Fog Light Effect

The fog light an aid to the driver to help him see in foggy conditions nothing more than that you may think but in the heyday of 70’s and 80’s they were a status symbol. Today’s fog lights are blended in to bumpers but back when they mattered they were bolted on, a visible reminder that the driver had ticked the optional extra box for such an item. This demand by the public resulted in some after thoughts on how to get them onto the car once a clean design had been done. You only have to look as far as the MK2 VW Scirocco to tell they were no not included in the artist impressions for the coupe.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Life L190 F1 car


The Life Formula 1 Team was a short lived one only competing in the 1990 season. You’d be forgiven for not noticing as the L190 it only qualified twice, to be honest it hardly ever got through pre qualifying, on a number of occasions it never got past the warm up lap!!!!! So why is a poor F1 car on here, well its engine it was a W12. Running 3 banks of 4 cylinders 2 in a V and vertical middle row. Quiet a radical departure considering in the post turbo era the rest of the field was running V10’s of various angles.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Zundapp Janus

In the early 1950’s peoples expectation of private transport was changed, after the war a motorbike was deemed enough, but now comfort and more importantly staying dry was a requirement. This was at the time of the micro car explosion with low weight and usually scooter engines fitted meant cheap motoring for the new generation. Zundapp a German scooter manufacture decided to jump on the band wagon. The result was the Janus (from the Roman God) with its front and rear facing seats and doors it was mid engine with the 248cc scooter engine nestled between them.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gold Delorean DMC-12

Back in 1981 with Delorean’s futuristic gull winged car was in production with annual sales forecast 20,000 cars leaving Ireland each year American Express decided to get the factory to produce a limited edition for its gold card holders as a Christmas present if you handed over the $85,000 then one of these 24 karrot gold plated versions of the DMC-12. Probably due to the vast asking price, the standard car was only $25,000, and the financial problem that hit Delorean causing it to close for business in 1983 only 2 gold cars left the factory, one with tan interior the other black. An additional one however was built in 1983 from the spare parts that American Express required Delorean to have in stock in case they were needed to repair accident damage.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tissier Citroën

In 1972 Pierre Tissier had the concept of building multiple wheeled vehicles based on the DS, these “centipedes” would utilise the front wheel drive as well and the hydraulic suspension and brakes to create multi axle utility vehicle. At the same time he was a Panhard agent in Paris and would regularly travel to and from Spain transporting cars, at the time there was no real suitable vehicle that was both practical and comfortable to use so Pierre built the first of many extended DS’s.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Convertible K.I.T.T.

For those of you that remember the heyday of 80’s TV will already have a soft spot for the black Pontiac Trans Am known as K.I.T.T. but I was recently surprised to find out that in the shows final series a convertible car was produced!!!!! Standard K.I.T.T. with the push of the “C” button on the dash became a summer cruiser.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Citroën SM Opera


Thanks to the French Government coach builder Henri Chapron had acquired the tooling from building 2 long wheelbase convertible SM’s for the President. He then decided to take the luxurious 2 door SM Coupe and extend it by 12” to a create a 4 door saloon. Due to its hefty price tag of 165,000 francs in 1972 and probably the sudden rise in fuel prices needed to feed its Masarati V6 engine only 8 examples were built over the next 2 years. Fitted with all the luxury expected from air conditioning and leather to that oh so French air suspension.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

TVR Gathering, Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

Decided to do the hour or so run over the Chatsworth House on Sunday (for those who have seen the BBC Pride and Prejudice its Mr Darcy’s house) for the TVR Gathering. I didn’t really know much about it so was expecting say 100-150 cars to look at, when I got there to my surprise and delight there probably close to 500 if not more all lined up on the grass in front of this impressive mansion. All the different models were in attendance, I think, from Cerbera’s, Vixen’s, 350i to all lined up in model groups which made for great and easy comparisons between modified and standard as well as the tweaks to styling the factory made over the lives of each model.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Clan Clover

Clan a Northern Irish company set up in the mid 1970’s had already had a fibreglass bodied kit car in production since 1974 but in 1984/5 it step it up a gear with the Clover improving the Clan car. A Alfa Romeo 1.5ltr flat 4 engine gives this car the Clover in its name and gave the mid engineed car 105bhp and a top speed of 125mph. In total 26 cars were produced, 6 kits and 20 completed production cars before the company folded in 1987. This may also have had something to do with Alfa Romeo not being happy with Clan using its badge!!!! Its full of 80’s excess, pop up lights, spolier and huge rear arches.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Invacar Model 70

There’s one memory that in the UK clearly divides the generations and that the sight of a little 3 wheeled blue car on the streets and more accurately parked on double yellow lines. When the NHS was wet up in 1947 one of the tasks was to provide transport for mobility impaired patients, this was undertaken by the Invalid Vehicle Service. The 3 wheel layout had been round since the early 20th Century but a change in the law meant road worthy exceptions to what was classed as a car could be built.