Saturday, December 29, 2012

SSZ Stradale

When a car looks like it is right, and by looking at the proportions on this racer come road car, my its so right.

Finding information on this car is fairly scarce, from what i could find out it was built in Wisconsin by a racer for racing, particularly for GT2 racing in the early 1990's. It was built as a "kit car" that was supplied complete in road going spec, powered with either the legendary Alfa Romeo V6 which would do 0-60 in under 6 seconds for $50,000, or a Nissan 300ZX derived turbo V6 in racing guise.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Coca Cola Christmas Trucks

Well it is Christmas and I thought we have to do something with a Christmas twist, so how about this. Can you believe there was a time when this truck wasn’t part of the festive period!!!!! That being prior to 1995, it’s hard to believe since it’s now the signal that “the holidays are coming”. The original truck was built using 30,000 lights for the “Christmas Caravan” adverts in 1995 with artwork depicting Santa by Haddon Sunblom who helped define the image, the special effect were undertaken by Industrial Light and Magic, the ones behind Hollywood’s such as Star Wars and The Abyss, to multiply the number of trucks to an endless line. Following the success four more adverts were made up to 1999 and eventually broadcast in over 100 countries around the world with a slight change in livery.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Judge Dredd Land Rover City Cabs

The year is 2139 and following a world war the worlds population it restricted to massive Mega City's, few car manufacturers remain, one though has thrived, Land Rover.

In 1994 when Hollywood decided to make a film version of the comic book they were looking round for a vehicle to use and Land Rover had won the rights to supply the vehicles. I remember as a lad watching a making off and hearing how the production staff were visiting Land Rover, apparently one of the concept design staff had been sketching an off roader with some inspiration from a ice hockey ski mask. Not only that it just happened to be yellow, the rest they say is history and the taxi's and in fact most cars in this Hollywood future were all Land Rovers.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Status Mini Minus

So you’ve got a Mini, and you’re looking at it thinking “I wonder if I can make it lower?” most would tweak the suspension or, if possible, put smaller wheels and tyres on, but to do it right you need a replacement fiberglass body. What the Status Minus offered was a 3” reduction in the height of the car, however it wasn’t just a simple roof chop, the window were left the same the chop happened blow the waistline. It therefore requires some though when fitted as the doors needed cutting down, as did the dash and seats bases. The bonnet would also need attention due to the clearance to the engine being lost and the radiator would also need lowering. Beyond that all the other components are straight off a standard mini.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Like many who saw this viral video last week I was just blown away with it and needed to know more, was it a one off? Was it for a film? etc questions were running through my mind, so after some time on Google to my surprise it turns out that this is a production vehicle!!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Argonaut Smoke

Spot the odd one out, Supercharged V12, 1010bhp, 240mph or a car from 1959? Well the Argonaut Motor Machine Company promised it all and yes in 1959 on top of a full luxury interior that included an options list which included, TV, running water, air conditioning, bar, refrigerator and compact office!!!! Not only that but unlike the Bugatti Veyron it carried a 4 year guarantee. The cost for the pre-supercar supercar? from $28,600 rising to $36,000. Its not clear how many were built as they were all made to order. The rolling chassis, which included driver electrically adjustable shocks front and rear, was shipped to Bertone or Touring of Italy for there bespoke bodies to be fitted. There were also 3 prototypes built. What an example of automotive excess.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Aston Martin Bulldog

Even the conservative Aston Martin dabbled in the "wedge" in the 1970's, this though had more to it than most attempts at the future of car design. Its primary use was as a test bed, and not just a styling exercise. Fitted with a mid mounted 5.3ltr turbo V8 with 700bhp, it was officially clocked at a test session in 1979 at 191mph!!!! even now thats pretty quick by supercar standards. But its theoretical top speed due to that slippery shape was estimated at 237mph, thats Mclaren F1 territory some 10+ years earlier!!!!!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Avon Acclaim

Following the success of the Jaguar XJ6 Estate, Avon wanted to produce a more mainstream higher production number car. The chosen car was the Triumph Acclaim. The concept behind it was to produce a more powerful and luxury version, which also by default would attract a lower taxation by the owners. How did that do this??? By strapping one of those new-fangled turbo’s to the 1.4ltr engine by Turbo Technic’s, and adding some leather and wood to the interior, that’s how. This would take it up to 120mph, which in 1981 was a very quick car and upped the power from 70bhp to 105bhp.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Random Picture

A few months ago now I posted up the “Pizza Delivery Van” Metro test mule for the MGF, in that I mentioned the other mule which was a modified MR2 with the K series engine mid mounted, well here’s the only picture I could find of it-

Monday, November 26, 2012

Austin Ambassador

When I first saw this I thought it was an Austin Princess but with a slightly more angular later body. In one respect I was right but this came a few years after the Princess as a stop gap for 2 years before the Montego was released. Launched in 1982 it was hatched back version of the previous Princess 2, with some style changes, and offered with a 1.7 or 2.0 "O" series engine, with the 2.0 offered with a single or twin carb option. There were 4 states of trim offered: the L, the HL, the HLS and the Vanden Plas.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Martin Stationette

A soon as I saw this I knew it had to be in here, firstly its just so unusual, being a 3 wheeled woody, but also its has a story behind it. Designed in 1950 by James V. Martin, and built by Commonwealth Research Corperation in New York. It was James' third and last attempt to get a manufacturer to produce one of his cars. The car was very forward thinking, almost as innovative as the Mini would be 10 years later, I suppose it was such a shame it was clad in very traditional body. It has no axles, shock absorbers and due to its watercooled 4 cylinder engine hung out the back, no driveshaft running though the cabin. Therefore providing more room for driver and passenger.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Random Picture

Been considering to do this for a while as I have a number of pictures of cars that don’t really justify a whole write up, so here’s the first-

This looks like a mini based marketing tool, you can just see the panels that cover the windows when its static.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weidner Condor S70

First off no this is not a renamed Porsche 356, it may look similar but this was advanced in a few areas away from the Porsche. Designed by the guy behind the Amphicar, so this was a bit of a departure and it was built by farm equipment manufacturers Fritz and Reinhold Weidner. Utilising the most modern and expensive of automotive materials at the time, namely fibreglass made it unique in 1957.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Martin/Mobility Conquest

This has to be a story of something good coming out of a tragedy, when Alan Martin’s son was involved in an accident that resulted in his disability Alan developed this trike suitable for disabled riders. The worked up prototype trike pictured below (which is currently on display at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester) utilises a BMW 850cc engine and front end. The concept was simple allow the rider to ride the trike from their wheelchair. The rear drops down to a ramo remotely and the wheelchair locks into place and off you go.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ogle “Sotheby Special” Aston Martin

I’ve looked at Ogle previously, particularly its SX1000 mini based car, this though is a whole different level. The original idea came from Ogle founder David Ogle, who never saw the car become reality, the project was given the go ahead following his death and funding by tobacco company W.O.Willis who wanted a car to promote its new cigarettes. Ogle took an Aston Martin DBS V8 and transformed it in to the futuristic vision. The original car was finished in dark blue with gold pin striping to match the cigarette branding and debuted at the Montreal Motor Show in 1972, however after the brand failed the car was repainted Embassy red. From the pictures below I think you’ll agree the original colour scheme suited it much better.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Aaglander Mylord

I know what you’re thinking “wait a minute that’s a Vintage car, it must be rare” and you’d be right if this was a vintage car. What you looking at is a brand new production car, granted its production is very limited, but a current production car none the less. Built by a team of crafts men in Franconian Switzerland and melding old school skill and modern running gear, you get all the look of a vintage car but with the reliability and more importantly power of a modern 3 cylinder, 800cc diesel engine producing 20bhp.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Toyota RV-2

In the world of car design the term “surprise and delight” is now key to selling to the public. Today this means taking something mundane and making it a talking point or simply tactile. In modern cars this may be as simple as the retractable cup holders that come out of the dash and pirouette down. But compared to this concept from the 70’s it’s clearly lacking. Why just have a small feature when you can have the whole rear of the sleek shooting brake GT open up into a camper!!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Marcos TSO

Marcos built some stunning cars in the 60’s, the Mantis XP and some questionable ones, the Mantis, but like so many British car builders it struggled through the 90’s with bankruptcy and then in a last gasp with a new owner itcame out with a new car in the 00’s. On paper it all sounds good, 2 seater coupe, racing pedigree , Chevy V8 with up to 400bhp, no electric driver aids and a chassis designed by Prodrive etc it even looked the part!!!! Okay granted it did look a little bit like a TVR. All sounds good but for some reason it didn’t sell, from 2004 to then the company went into liquidation in 2007 only about 12 road cars were built. Why? Well the £50-60k price tag probably didn’t help, that’s up there with the lairy TVR’s and comfortable Porsche 911’s, but form reports of the time was neither on or the other rather just another GT from a small builder.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jetcar 2.5

The premise behind the Jetcar Company is to build a fuel efficient car; the company first did this in 2001, with its archetypal concept. This though has been developed into the production version below in 2004, the 2.5 looks more like the Messerschmitt KR200 from the late 1950’s, even the concept behind it and the seating position are similar. Utilising an 800cc, 3 cylinder diesel engine with 41 bhp, it returns an amazing 111.9 mpg with a CO2 emission of just 66g/km, so all good there then and seems to do exactly what it set out to.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chapron Citroen DS Le Caddy

The Citroen DS is by far one of the most perfect cars to be built with its quintessential French lines and flowing body work, its a wonder to see. So when a company like Chapron decides to convert it to a convertible they better get it right. The first attempt debuted in 1958 was a good start, however it kept the original front doors and simply welded up the rear ad puta chrome strip where the join would have been to the rear wing, which was now new.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Labatt’s Streamliners

After my father-in-law complained that there wasn’t enough trucks on the website I thought it was about time to rectify that. This is what I found, the Labatt’s streamliner truck, I think you’ll agree it fits The Petrol Stop perfectly.

In the mid 1930’s Labatt’s decided to start transporting its beer by road rather than rail, seeing this as a possible way also to grab the attention of the public it, also at this time advertising alcohol was still banned so they would act as an advertising tool as well. They commissioned Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky, of coachbuilders Van den Plas in 1935 to build a fleet of streamliner trucks. The tractor units were White overcabs that were heavily reworked however the trailers were practically scratch built. Due to the shape it’s made out of a wooden body tub, with rolled aluminium covering it. They were the first truly aerodynamic trucks and won “Best Design” award at the 1939 New York World’s Fair!!!!! They even had modern technology built into them with an innovative anti-jack-knifing device in the fifth wheel and were the first to use air brakes.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Intercoast GTP

When I first saw a picture of this car it was the profile and I thought “what an oddly elongated thing”, when I saw the front elevation I though “that can’t be the same car!!!!”

This was a concept/prototype built in 1992 around a tubular chassis with Ford Taurus running gear. Designed to be a GT car for cross continent cruising, particularly in the US where it was built, it had space for 3 and despite its mid mounted engine, still had a full size boot hung out of the back. Wait space for 3, I hear you ask, yes a central driver flanked by to passengers just like the McLaren F1, but probably with less elbow room. Access was via individual gullwing doors over those very wide looking sills. It never made production although as concepts go this seems well advanced from the pictures.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

We're on Twitter

As you will see from the right corner, we are now on Twitter for updates as well, either follow the button or use the tag below-


Come on get following us.

The Decoliner

Looking like something out of 30’s comic or Flash Gordon, this is ones man’s vision of a futuristic mobile home from the 30’s/40’s, the ultimate land yacht. From concept to realisation the skill involved cannot be under estimated. Taking a humble 1973 GMC Motorhome due to its front wheel drove layout then combining it with a modified cab from a 1955 White COE and fabricating the whole structure and body by hand is no mean feat.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Manchester Transport Museum Standard and Triumph Rally

I was hoping this was going to be as good and as large as the Morris Minor Rally back in February, I'd heard that there was a national rally running around the UK involving and I was hoping that this was a stop along the way, however I was disappointed. I arrived at half ten to find only four cars inside and the shutter door up. I went for a walk round the Museum (I highly recommend this) and when I got back to the first garage a handful more cars had arrived and the roller shutter door was now down. There were only 7 or so cars, granted they were all differant marks and makes which was nice it was just a shame there was more. I got some pictures just not many.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Wagner Aerocar

This was the final development of a roadable helicopter developed Alfred Vogt of the Helicopter Technik Wagner company in the early 1960’s and was the final result of 4 pervious prototypes.. Using twin counter rotating rotors linked to a 260hp Franklin 6AS-335-B engine meant no tail rotator was needed. Instead 2 extending fins finished off the 4 seater cabin. On the road conventional controls were used. It was first flown on 1965, however following the Helikopter Technik Munchen (HTM) obtaining the design 1971, the project never got progressed and they eventually abandoned the Aerocar project.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Commander Strakers UFO Car

This car didn't just appear in one Gerry Anderson projects but two, initially the 1969 film "Dopplegander" then the TV series that made it well known as Commader Strakers Car in the 1970's, "UFO". The car was design by Len Bailey and built by the famous Alan Mann Racing Company, builders of the GT40 and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!!!! It was not the only one built a sister car was also built with a slightly modified body. The car was sat on Ford Zephyr Mk 4 chassis with a hand made aluminium body fitted with gullwing doors. The cost for all this customisation??? £12,000.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Avon Jaguar XJ6 Estate

When launched in 1979, Avon saw possibilities with the Jaguar XJ6 and in 1980 at the British Motor Show it showed its estate version. And why not, Mercedes had shown that a luxury estate would sell. It was such a revelation that it won the first prize and a gold medal in the International Coachwork Competition. To create the hatch back a hatch from a Renault 5 was grafted on. The result was a load bed of 6’ 7” and over 58cuf of space. They even offered for an additional £475, child rear facing seats making this a 7 seater people carrier, how very modern.

Monday, September 24, 2012

North Cheshire Classic Car and Bike Show

With this being the inaugural event I believe the reputation of the Andrew Greenwood shows had helped fill the show with cars and clubs despite the forecast downpour that thankfully held off. Autumn though was well and truly here when I head over to Arley Hall for what must be one of the last outdoor shows of the year. With me arriving in my VW Scirocco I was asked by the parking marshal “what year is it mate?”, I replied “92”. “turn left and Row F”. That’s right as with many Andrew Greenwood shows there was a section that acted like a rolling part of the show holding cars that people had just turned up in. But unlike previous shows were you were just lined up as you arrived you were directed to rows depending on the age of the car. This meant as you walked down the rows you travelled through automotive time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rover Metro “Pizza Delivery Van”

So your wanting to develop a 2 seat sports car, that will re-kindle a much loved brand, namely MG, yet need to secretly test it, so how do you without it being noticed???

Well since you “new” car will be based on tried and tested running gear, namely that of the Rover Metro (granted with some hydraulics mixed in), oh and will have its K-Series engine fitted why not use one of those, afterall who would suspect a brown batter 8 tear old, E reg metro of holding the future of both a company but also a brand.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hispano-Suiza Dubonnet Xenia

When i first saw this i thought it was a movie car, built for some 1930's period flick requiring something special for the lead car but with a modern interpretation. But this is the real deal built in 1938, styled in the short lived art deco styling with this rap around bonnet vents. It’s also had a number of modern features, most notably the independent suspension, those futuristic sliding doors and a curved panoramic windscreen. It even had a removeable hard top. The car was powered straight 6.4ltr V6, producing 160bhp.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Looking like something out of a Bond film this electric car was built by numerous companies in a few countries over its history. Originally debut in 1987, when it was called the MiniEL this name stuck until 1992. In 1995 with a new German owner the name changed to CityEL. This was no stalled attempt to build an electric car as its still production today.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Iso Rivolta Varedo

A one off concept designed to show a future and debuted in 1972 at the Turin Motor Show. Taking the classic wedge shape but adding more of an 80's edge to it by designers Ercole Spada and Piero Rivolta, the car was named after Piero home town. Powered by a 5.7ltr Ford V8 mid mounted and punching out 325bhp this was no slouch or purely show car, it was tested on track at Monza.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Bertone Mantide

First unveiled in 2009 via sneal peaks on YouTube as Project M, the styling compant Bertone took a Corvette ZR1 (at that time the "King of the Ring") and added a new body over the chassis. Increasing its performance at the same time, both by tweaking out 638bhp out of the supercharged V8, to reducing the weight by 100kg and increasing the all aspects of the aerodymaics from drag coefficent to downforce.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Berkeley T60

I recently saw one of these in the general show area at the Classic Car Show at Tatton Park, it was right at the back and no one seemed to be paying it much attention.
Although looking on the surface this front engine 3 wheeler looks probably older that it actually is. Produced by Berkeley, out of Bedfordshire, the car was debuted in 1959. So why a 3 wheeler? It was to get around the luxury tax associated with “cars”, and therefore made it an affordable option. Even under cutting the 4 wheeled cars Berkley also produced. It could also be driven on a motorbike licence, which probably also contributed to its success.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Lotus Esprit Saint Tropez

No it’s an orange or brown version of the legendary Lotus, but one that may help you get one!!! Paul Baron Bailey (PBB Designs) converted a limited number into drop tops, even a Turbo!!!!!! He had the experience often chopping Roll Royce’s as well as modifying Range Rovers at Glenfrome (here's some of their handywork).

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Panther Rio

Okay you take a Triumph Dolomite, do some tweaking to the body including adding a new Rolls Royce inspired nose, add some luxury (electric windows all round, individual cigar lighters and leather) and soundproofing and what do you get? the Rio. The market for this car was those wanting luxury but now having to look after the pennies due to the uncertainty around the oil crises when it was released in 1975.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The National Motor Museum, Beaulieu

This is one of those Museums that I have always wanted to see so when the opportunity arrived I took it. Housing some of the rarest of cars including 3 world land speed record cars, a selection of F1 cars and the awe-inspiring Aubern, not only that but it has examples of more run of the mill production cars, such as the mark 1 Ford Capri and very early Morris Minor. However here and there, there were some special cars, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (who doesn’t love this car), the Daimler Bottle Lorry and an early Reliant Regal (Robin predecessor). If Bikes are your thing them upstairs theres a whole laod of them from modern racers to 1920’S Harley’s and everything inbetween-

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Atco Trainer

In 1935 a driving test was introduced in the UK due to the scale of accidents on the road. Charles H Pugh Ltd (who previously manufactured lawn mowers) seeing a possible new market he designed and debuted the Trainer in 1939 as a possible means to reduce the accident rate by starting driver awareness early. You may have noticed that this car is rather on the small size, you could be forgiven for thinking is should have peddles connected to the wheels rather than an engine.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Classic and Sports Car Show, Tatton Park

I've been to this show a few times over the years but this time was different as I was participating for the first time with my VW Scirocco on the Retrobeutes club stand. Granted this was only for the first day of this 2 day event. This meant I got to take it all in from the start of the day before the public were let in until it had gone quiet again at the end.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Scirocco Register National Meet, RAF Cosford

This is one annual event that I really enjoy due to be owning one. (have a look at previous years shows to see how popular this event is, 2010, 2011). As usual there was a convoy with a few meet points along the way, the starting point for me was Lymm Services on the M6, where I met 4 other cars a transporter carrying a rare (if not quite finish) wide boy Reiger.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ford Megastar

This was a concept debuted by Ford in 1978 based on a Ford Granada chassis and retaining its V6 engine, auto box and rear wheel drive. As a design exercise looking back to when it was debuted this must have been something very odd, in the 1970’s the wedge ruled but this is, to be honest, what turned out to be the modern family car. It looks more like a concept from the mid 1990’s.

Monday, August 6, 2012

VWNW, Tatton Park, Cheshire

I always look forward to this event since last year, partially because I own a Scirocco and party because of the size of the thing. As usual my car was on the Scirocco Register stand so this gave the excuse to get in early and spend the whole day at this relaxed and massive VW show. Theres something for everyone from, stock to highly modified all tastes were catered for

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cizeta-Moroder V16T

I know what you’re thinking “that’s a Lambo Diablo with some extra lights” right?
Well to an extent you’re not wrong, although independently built from the ground up is the result of a number of ex Lamborghini employee’s setting up a new car building company. Created by automotive engineer Claudio Zampolli in a joint venture with music composer Giorgio Moroder and designed by Lambo styler Marcello Gandini (he did the Countach no less). The reason this looks like a Diablo is simply because it’s the original design for it that Gandini drew.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Detailed and Awesome Summer Bash

It hammered it down all night and in the morning it was still raining, but then about 10am, the sky cleared for long enough for the decision to head over to Irlam for the Awesome Summer Bash, just 15minutes away. I went to this a few years ago and its more of a huge meet at the VW/VAG specialist workshop. Low cars was the order of the day from the ones in the “show” areas in front of the building its self, to those scraping into the public free car park opposite.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Clan Crusader

I spotted one of these at the recent Classic Car Show at Bodelwyddan Castle, this was the first car built by Clan who set up business in 1969. Built around Imp running gear with a fibreglass monocoque body and tuned Sport engine producing 51bhp. Designed by Lotus Engineer Brian Luff,, one of the brains behind the all-conquering Lotus 72. Production started as a running chassis kit car in order to get around the 25% luxury tax of the day in 1971.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bodelwyddan Castle Classic Car Show

I had high hopes for this show following on from last years. With the weather actually sunny for a change I headed over to Bodelwyddan Castle in North Wales with the family. Once again this great venue had a fantastic turnout of cars from Ford, Vauxhaul and Rover if retro metal is your thing. If not then there was the usual array of MG’s, Mini’s, Mercedes and Triumphs to keep you busy. As with most of the Andrew Greenwood shows it was a relaxed affair with a constant stream of cars moving to and from the central arena for various awards such as , 70’s, 80’s, Commercial, Bikes and V8!!!! So something for everyone. And as the commentator said “if you’ve not won something this time and your car qualifies for another category get it back up here for another one”

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Rokon Trail-Breaker

Although still available today this, originally 2 wheel drive, bike has been built practically by the same manufacturer since 1964. When it bought the original company and rights off its inventor Charlie Fern, who had been developing and selling them as a kit bike called the Nethercutt Trail-Breaker. Prior to that, from 1963 Rokon sold them built as a dealer under the bikes original.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Peugeot 405 Turbo 16 GR

Before the rebodied 406 Coupe, a version of the 405 was produced. I’m sure you’ve never heard of it because only 4 were built all with one purpose, rallying. Mid engine with a 1.9ltr turbo engine producing 245 bhp and permanent 4 wheel drive taken out of the 205 16GR, the only thing they had in common with their production counterparts was the front end styling and a badge.

Friday, July 13, 2012

What’s a sports car?

I know I’m opening up a can of worms with this one, but here’s my take on what is a sports car. Some would quote power figures and 0-60 times, don’t get me wrong there great but for me not the most important thing. For me it’s the feeling of driving, the feedback from the car a sense of fulfilment you have when after a “spirited” drive you park up with that sly smile on your face, tap the dashboard and say “well done” maybe even out loud.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Shelby Series 1

We’re all used to seeing the Shelby logo on the Mustang and the Ace but in the mid 1990’s Carroll Shelby decided to build a brand new car from the ground up using his expect eye. The result in 1999 was the Series 1, offered in both standard 4ltr V8 320bhp guise that would power you up to 170mph, and as an option with a supercharger strapped to it and big brakes fitted, oh and 600bhp on tap.