Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Arnolt MG

Combining British mechanics and running gear from MG and Italian styling from Betone it was design for an American market. With final assembly and sales handled by the aforementioned Arnolt in Illinois.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

British Leyland / Austin Zanda

There’s no denying the Harris Mann concept that debuted in 1969 was a looker, even by today’s standards. Which in the emerging wedge era was saying something. Also to be fair at the time of British Leyland it’s amazing it look this well balanced and didn’t have most of its flair taken out by having to use the parts bin like so many others of the time.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Lancia Fulvia Sport Zagato

Based on the Lancia Coupe’ mechnics and built by the legendary Zagato and penned by Ercole Spada as fastback 2 seater. First produced as the Series 1 in 1965 it featured an all-aluminum body with a series of engine options. The most powerful being the 92bhp Sport 1.3S. From concept it was always designed to go racing.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Random Picture: Drag Bike

Now we all know drag bikes are dangerous, well this bike takes that to a whole new level-

Friday, November 27, 2015

Frazer Metro Tickford

Tickford took the humble family run around of the early 80’s and dramatically combined it with a luxury interior, more power and that sporty body kit. Back in the hot hatch days, what was not to love!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Random Video: The Dynasphere

From the 30's a possible future for the car, the Dynasphere, looks like a fun weekend toy rather than for commuting to work in the rain-


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Piper GTT/P2

The Piper GTT/P2, now these are essentially the same car with some tweaks to the lights and engine between them. The one below seems to be a combination of the two models with it having the square lights to the rear of the P2 but the bonnet bulge, rather than an air scoop, of the GTT up front.

Piper Cars came out of the Piper Cams company that produced racing upgrades, the GTT came about from being asked to produce a sports GT car body and chassis to run Austin Healy Sprite mechanics and it was debuted at the 1967 Race Car Show.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Vauxhall SRV

I recently saw this at this year’s Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at the NEC. I mean it was just there on a club stand!!!!!! This was Vauxhall’s Special Research Vehicle and was debuted all the way back in 1970 at the Earl’s Court Motor Show.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Ashley 1172 GT

Now let’s just start by saying that this was a kit car, Ashley Laminates started producing the 1172 GT body roadster body in 1958 which was design to fit on to a Ford 8 chassis and fitted with a sidevalve engine. In 1959 this was joined with a coupe body like the one below, which sat on a strengthened Ford 10 chassis.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

SeaRoader Lamborghini Countach

I remember seeing this on TV back in the day and just being amazed by it. I mean who looks at a Countach and thinks “I wonder if I can make that amphibious?” well the long established Searoader Company did just that. Oh and you may not know the name but I guarantee you’ve seen their work on Top Gear.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Lamborghini Marco Polo/ Delorean DMC 24 / Lancia Medusa

Yes I know it’s a saloon from the 80’s by Giugiaro's built for Lamborghini as a possible way to go in the future. It’s bland and to be honest very boring looking for a Lamborghini concept, however the concept its self has an interesting history with a few famous names attached.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Leblanc Mirabeau

Built up to be a road legal Le Mans racer but road legal, there were no luxuries provided in this racer the only options were a sequential gearbox and leather seats. Designed and built by Rolf Wyss in very limited numbers. Oh yes its expensive 543,000 euros expensive!!!!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Random Picture- Vickers Reconnaissance Car 1926

Spotted this over on Facebook page, but not been able to fine out much more. One things for certain though it is a awesome looking thing-

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Bristol Fighter

The Fighter was the last offering from the eccentric British car builder. Eccentric as if never let any journalists actually test any of it cars, including this supercar!!!!! Built between 2004 and the company folding in 2011 with an estimated 9-13 cars having been built. Bristol have never released official build numbers for its cars.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Lynx XJS Eventer

You’d think looking at the fantastic execution, that the Eventer was available through a dealership built by Jaguar, however these sports estates were all custom built to order by Lynx.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Random Video: 1951 “Park Car”

Utilising the spare wheel to help swing your car out of a tight space that the inventor says could be fitted to any car. Could easily see this making a resurgence with the size of modern cars and how small the parking spaces are in the UK!!!!!


Friday, September 25, 2015

Jensen S-V8

In 1998, after 18 years since a car was last produced, a new Jensen Company debuted its new 2 seater at the British International Motor Show. The prospects were good that after several revival attempts, that this time production would not only be realised but sustained thanks to a £10m grant.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Footman James Manchester Classic Car, Event City, Manchester

Last year’s show, if I'm being honest, was a little disappointing from a mix of cars point of view. Well this year this problem had been solved and full credit to the organizers for the effort in putting an awesome event together. Now because I don’t want to dwell on it, the only issue I had with the “classic” was the amount of modern vehicles on show. Now I’m not talking about the cars now verging on the 00’s (after all these are now 15 years old) but virtually brand new cars. I’m looking at the Civic Type R’s, Audi R8’s and other supercars. Right now that’s out of the way let’s get on with the show.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Honda Insight

So do you remember one of the first modern hybrid electric mass produced cars from a big manufacturer? I remember seeing one in “The Day After” and thinking “I’ve not seen one of those in years!!!!” well to my surprise whilst visiting Lancaster University I saw one parked up and it put a proper smile on my face.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Ford Mustang Station Wagon

A few weeks back a picture of a Mustang Station Wagon turned up on one of the Facebook pages I frequent, it was obviously an older picture but that was enough to raise my interest.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Random Picture: Ford Truck 1961 Advert

This is something you just don't see these days in the general press, adverts for trucks. that combine economic progress and optimism for the future with a certain kind of pride in your job, just look at the shirt and tie and the cap.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Lancia Thema 8.32

So in the 80’s you wanted a Ferrari but needed something more practical but still with Italian flare hey well in 1986 Lancia had the car for you. The luxury came from the range topping executive car, the Thema, the flare the Ferrari engine under the bonnet. The 8.32 stood for V8 with 32 valves.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fitch Phoenix

Racer and fighter pilot John Cooper Fitch decided to take the Chevrolet Corvair and turn it in to something a lot more sporty and exclusive.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

BMW 1602e

I was under the naive impression that BMW’s involvement in electric cars was a more recent thing, say the last 20 years or so, but after watching a recent video (see below) I was amazed to find out it first produced one in 1972. Not only that but it had a role in the Olympics of the same year!!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Toyota TAC3

A small four wheel drive, three seat concept from Toyota from 1983. It even came with a trailer that would hold an additional four wheels for some serious off-roading!!!!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Scirocco Register 2015 National Meet

There’s one event in the year I cannot miss and this year it was essential I attend partly due to the fact I now I help run the Scirocco Register so I had a hand in arranging and promoting it!!!!! In fact it’s been part of my life, as with the others behind the scenes, for the last six months or so, with constant forum and social media updates to keep the momentum going.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Random Video- How Synchromesh Works

Come on we've all heard its name and wondered how it actually works, so here's another one of those ever so simple explanations from the 1930's by Chevrolet, well worth 10 minutes of your time to learn something new-


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Ghia Selene

This caught my eye due to its resemblance to the Renault 900 concept that was built in the same year, with the forward control/ rear engine layout. This though was built by styling house Ghia in 1959 and penned by stylist Tom Tjaarda.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Citroën GS Camargue

I saw this over on Facebook and just had to know more. Based on a bland GS, the styling house worked their magic to create this 2 door 2+2 seater grand tourer with its oh do Citroen looks blended with the, at the time, modern “wedge”.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

AMC Amitron

Like many manufacturers in the US in the late 60’s, AMC took on the challenge by the Government to develop electric vehicles. AMC though really put some resources and effort in to it, the result was the Amitron which was debuted as a  concept in 1967.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Giocattolo Group B

Giocattolo (Toy in Italian) Group B never got the chance to full fill its intended purpose, arriving after the doomed Group B had been wound up. However the story behind this car is interesting, particularly when you find out it was built in Australian.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Article- The 100,000 mile question when buying a car!!!!!

Recently I changed jobs and with it I lost my company car, now I’ve had one for about 9 years and over that time I’ve never had to worry myself about the perils of buying a secondhand one. But when I got back on the horse, so to speak, one thing I noticed was a shift in my previous misgivings or doctrine about buying a car. And this revolved around mileage and what constitutes “high mileage”.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Puma GTC / GTI

Well one very rare car from Brazil showed up on Hemmings this week for sale (credit for the pictures below, more available through the link) in the US. Never heard of it? well that’s because it was only built in Brazil due to the limitations on importing cars into the country until the mid 90’s.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Random Picture: 40' 1931 Studebaker President Four Season Roadster

Using the inhouse craftsmanship from the factory Studebaker built this huge wooden model as a prop for a nine-minute promotional film called Wild Flowers.


To read about the history of the car and what happened to it head over here-

http://www.hemmings.com/hmn/stories/2010/07/01/hmn_feature24.html

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Morgan Plus 8 Speedster

This is the pinnacle of what a sports car should be, 40’s two seater styling which is handmade combined with modern running gear all built around a bonded aluminium chassis. Throw into the mix that it will be limited to a run of only 60 examples and its damn near perfect. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Retro Show, Santa Pod

After getting up early on the Saturday morning and replacing the radiator and thermostat seal on my own retro machine since they failed the night before, I headed off for the 160 mile drive to join the rest of the Retrobeutes at the home of British drag racing Santa Pod for the Retro Show.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Lil Big Rig "Pete"

There must be that child in us all who would love to drive a big rig, and not some modern cab over but the iconic rigs from our youth. We’re talking Snowman’s Kenworth from Smokey and the Bandit here. But only a few of us actually have a job that justifies a truck driving licence (in the UK this is one expensive addition to get).

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Random Video: “Seeing Green, 1937”

Another instruction film from Chevrolet and General Motors this time about the use of traffic signals. The variety of different styles across the US was just staggering. It also talks about a national standard being worked on. What’s more interesting is the look on how the lights actually work with its mechanical brain-



 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Gilbern Genie

This is the second offering from the Welsh manufacturer after the GT and was produced from 1966 until 1970. The Genie was a much larger 2+2 grand tourer with more chiseled modern lines. It was also more powerful than its predecessor.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Maserati Mistral Spyder

Now let’s just start with saying what we’re all thinking “absolutely stunning”, right that’s out of the way let’s get down to business. Despite being in production for seven years between 1963 and 70 only 125 Spyder versions actually left the factory.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Innocenti Mini

What do you call a Mini when its wearing a Bertone styled body? The Innocenti Mini. Now you’d be expecting this to be an alternative from a separate company offering a “modernised” Mini which by 1974 was 15 years old. But this alternative was effectively offered by British Leyland who built the Mini at the time and owned the very Italian sounding marque Innocenti.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

GM / Cadillac V8-6-4

Today Engine-Cylinder Deactivation transforming fuel hungry V8’s to V4’s when cruising to save fuel, but this approach is nothing new. Back in the late 70’s with the fuel crisis General Motors were first to give this a go on a commercial scale. The result was the V8-6-4 which as you can tell by its name would run on 8,6 or 4 cylinders depending on demand. This new engine, developed by Eaton Corporation, was rolled out virtually the entire Cadillac range from 1981.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Car Show: Alltypes, Bodelwyddan Castle

An overcast Sunday in north Wales walking round a Volkswagen show what could be better and the Alltypes show has something for everyone from Aircooled to retro and 90’s to modern. Throw into the mix rat-look, air-ride and lots of vans what more could you want.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Random Picture: “Wild” Bill Gelbke’s Roadhog

I just love this picture, the way it looks like it could have been take at the turn of the century as well as the sheer size of that bike. It was however built as a one off in 1962 using aircraft specification tubing which held the 2.4ltr, 4 cylinder Chevy Nova engine with its 2 speed automatic transmission, that ran into a modified Chevy truck differential outback via a shaft drive. Add to that it was fitted with Corvette disc brakes and 4 hydraulic rams that drop down when it’s parked!!!! To get an idea of its massive size, its wheelbase is 126 inches and its turning circle 110 feet!!!!! Unbelievably despite its unwieldy size Bill covered a reported 20,000 miles within a year of completion.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Bond Trailer Tent

Right first off we’re classing this as one of the largest optional extras I suppose you could get, it’s also one of the rarest!!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Tri-Vette

Built as a response to the oil embargo of the early 70’s by Bob Keyes, from 1974 until 1978, 27 were custom built in Ventura California and classed as motorcycles. The original ones were powered by Fiat 850 engines which despite the additional weight would still get 50-65mpg.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mathis 666

666 no not the number of the beast, it stood for 6 cylinders, 6 seats and 6 gears. This was produced as a prototype in 1947 by French company Mathis and had a few innovative features. One was mentioned in its name, it came with a 6 speed gear box, which is very modern by todays standards. The other was that 6 cylinder 2.4ltr engine that was a boxer unit and mounted up front and drinving the front wheels.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mazda Roadpacer AP

With a name like that and those crisp pseudo 70’s muscle car looks you should be expecting, speed and power. Well it had one of those sort off!!!!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Article: The future of the car club in the Facebook age

Things are changing in car club circles and has been for several years, membership numbers are generally down, forum traffic is slowing and new uptake is faltering. Now this is not just for some of the bigger more well established clubs but across the board. The question is why? And the answer is simple, Facebook.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Random Picture: Napier Deltic Engine

Piston arrangement for a Napier Deltic Engine, valveless and 2 stroke used primarily for diesel locomotives. Originally designed for navel use as it saved weight while increasing power-


For more information-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napier_Deltic

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Plymouth Cricket

Now for the people reading this in the UK there saying to themselves “that looks mighty like a Hillman Avenger, and a top spec one to boot”. Our US readers are saying “what the hells a Hillman Avenger!!!!” well you’re both right.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Pontiac Trans Am Ram Air III Convertible

Now there are rare muscle cars from the 60’s and then there’s this. Let’s just cut to the chase, only 8 were built all in 1969, I’ll type that again only 8. Of those 8, 7 still exist.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Random Picture: Chevron B36 Le Mans 1987

I think you'll agree that this is unusual, how many race cars do you know have a complete enclosed body including the front wheels!!!!! Well this one did race at Le Mans in 1987 driven by José Thibault and André Heinrich. Unfortunately it didn't finish crashing out just over 4 hours in. Apart from a few pictures I've not been able to find much out about it so if anyone does please get in touch-

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Infiniti Q50 with Steer-by-Wire

So why am I featuring a current production vehicle that no doubt will be produced in the hundreds of thousands on a site for the rare and unusual? Well down to one feature, another first for a production car, no not some new hybrid system or electric drive, this saloons first is steer-by-wire, or Direct Adaptive Steering in Infiniti speak. Yes you read that right it’s the first production car where the steering wheel isn’t directly connected to the front wheels. Instead the motion is transmitted to the wheels via an electrical signal that operate servos that in turn moves the wheels!!!!! It also comes with 96 possible settings to boot.