been a great year on The Petrol Stop, lots of car shows from small club national meets right up to the massive Lancaster Classic Car at the NEC, lots of cars
highlighted and at the end of the year a Free Magazine produced. Next year will
be more of the same with more interviews, more strange vehicles and more free magazines
(just click on the icon top right) and don’t forget if you know of a car that
should be on here or you have an unusual car then get in touch.
to Kuba Rekas for the e-mailing pointing me in the direction of this 1973
camper concept. Designed to be a cross over before the term had been penned, it
was a family vehicle that in the week was an extended estate that could seat 8,
but at weekend could be converted to a full camper with beds, kitchen with that
pop up roof. The design apparently had the involvement of Alex Tremulis who had
a hand in the design of the Tucker Torpedo.
Taking the Fiat
125s Vignale, an Italian coachbuilder whose credits have included Ferrari and
Maserati, created this sleek coupe. It’s even said that it was penned by
company owner Alfredo Vignale who wanted to create a luxury coupe for daily
use. It was debuted at the 1967 Turin Motor Show to a fantastic reception and
soon went into production.
somewhat of knack of building strange variants of production cars, we’ve
already covered the Golf 928 on here, blending a humble Volkswagen with Porsche
underpinnings. This though took the iconic rally/road car and turned it into a
kombi / 3 door estate.
I’ve been to watch racing a number of times, usually British Touring
Car, but until this August I had never been to see anything more grassroots, to
be honest I had no excuse as Belle Vue speedway is only about 7 miles from my
house in Manchester. So on a sunny and warm summers evening I headed over for
my first night of stock car racing and I was excited to see what it was all
In the war of
the rear wing in the 80’s the only company that gave the Lamborghini Countach a
run for its money was De Tomaso with the Pantera. Designed by Tom Tjaarda, it
debuted in 1970 at the New York Motor Show and soon went into, well for Modena
standards, fast production of 3 cars per day!!!! Intially it was created in collaboration
between De Tomaso and Ford, as Ford desperately needed a sports car to compete with
GM on home spil, this relationship though only lasted until late on in 1973. Following this
production drastically reduced as the car was taken out of the US. By the late
80’s it had evolved into the 1985 GT5S with its wider body kit and much required huge
showcases what can be achieved in a garage when you really put your mind to it.
The build it epic and the detail and craftsmanship is just staggering, take 6
minutes out of your day to watch something truly incredible-
Just like with
the Porsche Panamera not being the first time the German builder had looked at
four doors car, the 989 pre-dates it by 20 years, the Estoque wasn’t the
Italian supercar makers first attempt either. Created by Pietro Frua over 8
months he took a 1974 Espada and extended its chassis by 7”s to accommodate those
rear doors, it debuted in 1978 at the 57th Salone internazionale
this be anything other than a Colani concept car, an awesome take on the sports
cars of the 30’s mixed in with Colani’s usual outlandish styling giving the colossal
vehicle, some 23 feet long, an almost organic form.
As soon as I
saw the first picture of this car over on Motorhome Magazine’s Open Road forumpage I was amazed, not just by the choice of car, being 1 of 1,935 Superbirds
built, but also the story behind it.
has had a number of attempts at building out and out sports cars with little
success of them moving from concept to production. In 1984 this was their attempt
to wow the buying public and lift the image of the company hot on the heels of
the success of the 205 GTI. To be fair Peugeot let its designers think out of
the box when they built this image of the future.
As you may know we attend a number of events and car shows
throughout the year, as such I’ve decided to combine all these features into a
single FREE online magazine. This digital magazine will cover events such as
Dubfreeze, the Manchester Classic Car, the Manchester Bike Show, Volkswagen
Northwest and the recent Lancaster Insurance Classic Car Show as well as more
club orientated events like the Scirocco Register and Gilbern Owners Club national meets.
It will be available in the first half of December but here’s
a preview of what to expect from its 80 or so pages.
Back at the end
of the 80’s with the now aging Lamborghini Countach still giving Ferrari a run
for its money in the poster department, Ferrari unleashed the F40. Looking back
it was the ultimate track car that was road legal with none of the luxuries
normally associated with the prancing horse. This was a stripped out tub that
was built with one goal in mind 200mph and came perfectly timed for Ferrari’s
to Lancaster Insurance I headed down to what is probably the largest indoor car
show in Europe last Friday, the first time I’ve attended since 2008 and how it’s
grown. Over those years it’s gone from filling three of the NEC’s massive halls
to now spanning five. The quality and abundance of metal now on show has also
improved from “just a classic car show that’s in doors” to showcasing the best
of the best as well as club projects, rare gems and concept cars. Enough to
make walking round this colossal show take six hours, and some of that was at
General Motors really were on the money with the future world that this concept truck would
drive in. They saw a world of standardised containers that would be
automatically loaded, unloaded and stored by electronically controlled
equipment to increase efficiency, way back in 1964.
I am happy to
inform you that we have linked up with the Prestige Keep Moving Car Insurance
Scheme – www.prestigekeepmoving.com/p/car-clubs.html–
which is provided by a very large organisation called The A&A Group Ltd.
They have a special car insurance scheme specifically designed for car
enthusiasts and the Prestige brand brings 25 years wealth of experience in car
statistics show that car enthusiasts are better drivers and so this can be
rewarded with cheaper premiums, but without detracting from policy cover.
them when your insurance renewal is due on 0800 330 8057 (or 0333 4001580 if
ringing by mobile as this can be included in any ‘free minutes’) or click on the link at the top of the page. Please tell
them that you were recommended by The Petrol Stop. Also they're currently offering a FREE MOT with Halfords when you renew!
the late 1960’s Enfield (yes the company that built the bikes) set up Enfield
Automotive with the promise of bringing electric cars to the masses in partnership
with the Electricity Council. Leading on from the Enfield 465, which had a
limited run but was more of a test bed and forerunner to this final production
vehicle.Released in the public in 1973
it was fitted with a 48 volt motor that produced 8bhp was good for 48mph and had
a range of 40miles. Add to that its lightweight and seating for four it was the
original city car before the term had even been penned.
I’ve seen a few radial engines installed into bikes, these are usually
custom builds using a large aircraft derived engine, but this was a production
bike in 1921. What makes it even more interesting and unusual is the fact the
engine is mounted to the front wheel.
One of the last
truly beautiful Ferrari’s, possibly until the recent 458, Ferrari’s through the
80’s could be described as aggressive, purposeful, full of attitude but never
beautiful with those angular body kits and wings. The 90’s were also a dark
time with Ferrari building bland and safe cars. But back I the early 70’s
before the time of the simple wedge there was the 365GTB, a car whose flowing
lines and sheer presence were perfection from any angle. That interior shouts
quality, performance and lets you know you’re not in just some sports car but a
Grand Tourer capably of whisking you from London to the Italian Lakes in
comfort and at speed. The only addition needed to enhance the experience would
be aviator sunglasses, leather driving gloves and a manly moustache; okay the
last one might be optional.
Well a big thank you to Lancaster Insurance for my complimentary tickets for this years event at the NEC, I'll be attending on the Friday so if you see me walking around in my white logo'd up hoodie give me a shout for some free The Petrol Stop sticker.
this be the car that all Porsche enthusiast really wanted the 914 to be, after
all the 914, to some anyway, was not really a Porsche as its heart was a
Volkswagen flat four. This was despite it also being offered with a Porsche
derived flat six. It was always on the edge of both marques not really fitting
in to either. Personally I love it, its 70’s styling, mid engined layout and
removable top meant it was a true sports car of the age. Porsche though
realised the buying public wanted a little more, the result was the 916
family crossover looks, 1.5ltr frugal engine, solar powered ventilation system,
sounds just like any modern concept and to a degree it even looks like one. This
concept though was built in 1989 as the future of the city vehicle, it even had
automatic closing doors. Think they nailed it with this one, well even if it was 20
years later. Not much information on this just a good example of what was a
concept now in use a daily vehicle.
GroupB the very name sends tingles through the nervous system of all true
petrolheads. The closest thing us mortal drivers can get to one of these insane
monsters is also the reason why they were allowed to compete in the first
place, homologation. That means 200 had to be built by the factory and sold. Now in Peugeot’s case it was the 205 T16. Although
apart from the name, the front lights and maybe some of the interior this car
bears virtually no resemblance to the car on which its based upon.
Seat’s first fully independently designed and built car from Fiat, the Ibiza in
the bag and selling well Spanish Francisco Podadera proposed a coupe version to
take in the Toyota MR2 and Fiat X1/9. Not only did he propose it he also built
prototype, which apart from having its rear roof and seats removed also had a severe
nose job that added those much needed 80’s pop up lights and 6”. As you can see
the body was also seriously re-worked and replaced with fiberglass.
The old saying goes “never bring a knife to a gun fight” well Alfa Romeo
we’re hoping to take on Ferrari and Porsche with a rocket launcher. This was a
secret project built in 1970 to take the GT crown. However it was a short lived
story for this 6 wheeled, 5ltr, V12 monster as it was stolen from its garage at
the Sebring circuit where it had been testing. The chassis was found a few
weeks later but the engine went down in local folklore as being fitted to a hot
rod and dominating all its races a few years later!!!!!
Trust me not to pick up on the dates, April 1st yeah it’s a Photoshop,
still cool looking though
We’ve already covered the more recent 6 wheeled Covini 6CW, this though
harks back to the start of the company. Unveiled at the Geneva Car Show in
1981, it was built as an experimental mule to test new car technologies such as
air-liquid cooled intercoolers. It was also fitted with a diesel engine which
at the time made it the fasted diesel powered car of the time when it hit
the 1930’s with streamlining at its height all manner of vehicles were being
built. One of them was this 3 wheeler built by Lewis American Airways Inc, in
1937. Conceived by owner Paul Lewis who wanted to build a cheap car for the
masses with a price tag of just $300. His idea was a 3 wheeler, why? As its
chassis doesn’t twist unlike a 4 wheeler, which means less bracing and
therefore makes it cheaper to build.
one of those “what if” concepts, what if Ferrari built a luxury four door
saloon? This concept was built by Pininfarina to celebrate the design studio’s
50th Anniversary, better than a cake I suppose!!! It was also Sergio
Pininfarina dream to build an Italian car that could compete with the likes of
Jaguar and Mercedes.
was built on the chassis of a 400GT but unfortunately only had a mock up flat
12 engine so it was show and no go. It was debuted at the 1980 Turin Auto Show
and after Enzo Ferrari showed interest in it, it was toured around the world’s
best car shows and even did a customer tour in the US. However this was to no
avail and the Pinin remained a pure concept.
record breaking is only slightly true, the car really helped break a record.
But what a car to help you hey!!! We’ll get back to that huge wing arrangement
on the back in a minute or so, let’s start with the car, Porsche modified one
of its 800bhp racing monsters for the record attend. They were not the only
German manufacturer to lend a helping hand. Volkswagen loaned them their
Ehra-Lessien test track, you know the one James May topped out the Bugatti on,
as it had a 9km long straight. So what record could possible need an 800bhp
racing porker wearing one hell of a rear wing and really long straight? Cycling
In 1966 Ferves (Ferrari Veicoli Speciali) introduced the world to the
prototype of the Ranger, a small off road vehicle, at the Turin Motor Show. As
you can probably guess from its proportions it’s based on the Fiat 500,
utilising its 499cc engine with 22bhp mounted out back as well as steering and
suspension as well as the brakes out of the Fiat 600. When it was put in to
production the following year it was offered in two versions the Ranger and the
Cargo. The Cargo, despite its small engine, could carry loads up to 300kgs.
first saw a picture of this car I thought it was just some fun and the middle
wheel had just been stood there for effect. But when I really started looking
at it in detail it became clearer and clearer that this racer did actually have
three wheels mounted on one side and as such needed much more investigation.
I would love to get some more information about this car as its looks like a 70's Hot Wheels car built for real and how cool is that, just a name would let me do some research on it and possible do a full write up. Get in touch on Facebook, Twitter or Google+
Lamborghini’s particularly rare ones so when I spotted this on the Lamborghini
stand at the recent Manchester Classic Car Show I knew it deserved some
attention. I say rare but the Jalpa was the most successful V8 car Lamborghini
had produced until the recent batch, selling 410 examples between 1981 and
1988. Which means it stays in the “little known” category of Lambo’s which it a
shame as it’s a well-proportioned mid engined sports car.
When I first
saw this on the TVR Owners stand at the recent Manchester Classic Car Show it
stopped me in my tracks and why wouldn’t it just look at it. It had just come
out of a full restoration. Resplendent in that beautiful pearlesant white paint
it just stood out a mile in the dark room setting.
Although there had been indoor classic car shows staged at Eventcity in Manchester, Passion and Power was earlier this year, this was the first outing for the “Manchester Classic Car Show”. Looking at the adverts for it in the local press and on the web it looked like it was going to be a good inaugural event. Ran over the weekend I dropped in on the Saturday morning and I knew I was in for a treat when in a fenced off area six or so classic rally cars came driving past the entrance, including a shot wheel based Audi Quattro!!!!
Take a Colonia Speditor which is a 6x2 tractor unit fitted with a
horizontally mounted “underfloor” engine and replace the cab with a
Ford Granada estate body and this is what you get. Kind of reminds me of a homemade Steinwinter Truck.
When I first
saw this on The Guild of Automotive Restorers website I thought it was a film
prop for some B movie the truth was that this thing was real custom built to
race, apparently. Built by Dick Dean and others out of the garages of George Barris as you
can probably imagine it was fitted with a jet engine and is wrapped in total 60’s
custom car excess and paint. The literature of the time described as -
No not a
version for a European version of the 80’s moustache wearing PI, but a
“shooting brake” estate version of the VW Coupe. Only two prototypes were built
by Marold Automobil GmbH in 1989 for VW so they could assess them for possible limited
production of 200. The concept was…..erm…..well…whom I kidding who would want
an estate version of a GT car when it’s parked next to a Golf with the same
engine in the showroom. Thankfully VW didn’t go ahead with this version,
probably due to the same reason above.
current trend in making cars as efficient as possible with figures of 60+mpg
now getting to be the norm among new cars it’s hard to believe that over 30
years ago a BMW topped out at 88mpg. A competition was staged in 1981 by Auto Motor Sport and Shell for teams
to go head to head for the most fuel efficient car over 1km. In total 120 team
put cars forward, the most striking though was a BMW E21 318i tuner Alpina gave
one hell of a nose job to.
the late 50’s Ford were keen to find out what campers wanted out of a station
wagon. The result was this unassuming Country Squire in 1958. To the uninitiated it looks
like a normal car with a boat on it, but Ford had been playing with fitting everything
a potential camper could want while transporting the whole family day to day.
When I saw
this parked up in a line-up of Vintage cars at the recent Chatsworth House
Country Show I just couldn’t take my eyes off it. It seemed out of place
surrounded by pre 40’s cars with high waistlines and tall radiators. Its sleek
ageless lines and sweeping streamlined low slung body whose design is credited to Peter Szymanowski, who
became BMW chief of design after World War II, is just so beautiful to behold.
A whimsical dream or true possible future of the car, well in 1959
Curtiss Wright decided to develop a ground effect vehicle, to you and me a sort
of hover craft. There was even interest from the military so much so that two
vehicles were built. But unlike the pre-development marketing images the sleek
lines were replaced with a rounded off box and it was big, very big 8’ wide and
29’ long and still only had room for two.
It was a
time of the wedge, the 1970’s lead to some of the most iconic cars such as the
Lotus Esprite and the Lamborghini Countach. However the wedge sprawled out to
luxury car Aston Martin who decided to stretch it and modernise is fleet of
elderly cars. The result was to bring take the existing Aston Martin Lagonda, Series1 which was more of an elongated DB5 with a nose job and radically update it
for the Series 2.
Posting on this site means I go looking for website that verge on the
odd in terms of cars, however once in a while you come across a site that just
blows you away. That’s what happened with Stiff Speed. I was originally looking
for pictures of retro cars for another forum that I help administer
Retrobeutes, but as I scrolled down I just got intoxicated with it. The fact
most of the pictures are scanned in “real” photos with their time honoured
fading. They show car scenes such as hot rodding and drag racing with a mixture
of choppers thrown in for good measure, through various decades with what was
the cutting edge styling and modifying of the time which today just seems