Sunday, November 29, 2009

'66 Pontiac GTO

I have a soft spot for Pontiac GTO's that came about from the movie 'My Science Project'. The one in the movie is a '69 but it got me looking at GTO's and when I saw a 1966 model I knew that was the one for me.

Everything about the '66 is cool. From the grille to the wheels to the bonnet scoop. There were 96,946 '66 GTO's sold which is meant to be the highest ever numbers for a 'true' muscle car.

This model GTO had three motor options, all V8's. A 389 with 335 bhp, a 389 V8 360 bhp and a 389 V8 Ram Air with 360 bhp. Performance for the 389 with 360hp was 0-60 in 6.5 sec and 1/4 mile in 14.65 sec @ 98mph - excellent!

A beautiful muscle car that has a place in my garage.

More info about GTO's here and a cool restoration project here.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Citroen 2CV

The Citroen 2CV was being discussed at lunch recently and I was intrigued by how much everyone liked them and would like to have another one in some cases.

Nicknamed the 'Ugly Duckling' by some the French peoples car was in production from 1949 to 1990 and a staggering 3,872,583 were made. What stands out to most people is the incredible lean the cars had when cornering, very scary for a first timer.

Beautifully simple in design and mechanicals the 2CV is legendary.

Read more about the pictured 2CV rebuild here and the 2CV here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Shelby Mustang GT 500

I love a good Mustang and it was hard to going past one doing a burnout. The 1970 Mustang isn't my favourite shape because Ford decided to give it a huge facelift it became a bit of a 70's monstrosity. There are a lot of people who will disagree, especially my mum's neighbour who has 3 of them, but Ford lost the plot a bit here and the cars grew. 4 inches in length alone.

Carroll Shelby have discontinued his contract with Ford during this time so even though the 69 - 70 GT350 and GT500's bore his name he had little to do with them. The GT500 had a 428ci Cobra Jet V8 developing close to 400hp but 0 - 60 and quarter miles varied some think for insurance. Still a beautiful piece of Ford muscle and now a rare sort after car.

Read more here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Amazing Lamborghini Pregunta

I saw this image and thought it was a photoshop mock up. After some research I discovered it was the Lamborghini Pregunta concept car built by Carrossier Heuliez in 1998 for the Paris Motor Show.

There is quite a story behind this car and the fact it even got built is extraordinary due to the Audi/VW takeover. The designers went pure jet fighter with the matt black paint job and the interior. It has a 530hp V12, top speed of 333km/h and is only 1.1m high. A beautifully, brutal concept.

More pics and story here.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mazda MX5

As the holder of the best selling sports car award I think the MX5 has proven itself to be more than just a hairdressers car. The closest I have got to an MX5 is spending hours putting car alarms in them. The boot was always a pain because you had to put a switch in it and run a wire through to the alarm module.

Driving them was a pleasure but I always thought they were underpowered. A few companies came out with turbo or supercharger kits that changed that. Power has increased over the years though and for the price I don't think much comes close. Beautiful car you can be seen in now.

Photo credit and great MX5 article at Piston

Thursday, November 19, 2009

1956 Buick Century Convertible

Last week I sat behind one of these in traffic and then followed it up the road. The guy driving it looked like he was in his 30's and really enjoying cruising with the top down on a beautiful day.

Old Buicks are very cool and the '56 Century is no exception. In 1954 Buick brought out the second generation Century and had a winner on their hands. They progressively put up the horsepower of the 355 V8, the '56 had 255hp, until the 57, 58 were developing 300hp from 364 cu inch V8's.

They were considered 'lightweight' at the time so performance was very good. All I know though is that rolling in one of these with the top down on a sunny would be beautiful motoring.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sonny and Cher Mustangs

These matching '67 Mustangs were built for the the Sonny and Cher movie 'Good Times' by the famous George Barris. These cars were seriously seventies with every garish trick you could think of. Bobcat fur in Sonny's, Ermine fur in Cher's, 3" Mouton fur carpeting, pearl paint jobs, hideaway headlights.

Beautiful cars for the time, built by the 'king of kustomisers', they take a bit of getting used to now. They went for US$198,000 at auction in February 2009. Amazing.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Willys Coupe

I really like Willys Coupes and have done since I saw a hot rodded one in a movie about 20 years ago. In fact if someone can tell me the movie the car was in I would appreciate it. I'm pretty sure it was the same one that had a Top Fuel Funny car in it driving through city streets.

During my search for a photo this is the only cool image of a Willys that hadn't been modified in any way. They are so popular there don't seem to be that many left that haven't been touched in some way. Even the one above has a fibreglass bootlid and was for sale for US$22,500. You could own it here.

A beautiful car in it's day that is even more so today with it's timeless shape.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Mini

The Mini. What can you say that hasn't been said? I remember doing reverse donuts in one of mine in the back yard. Brilliant and loads of fun. Wikipedia tells me that the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the century in 1999 behind the Ford Model T. Cool.

Cooper S version's are one of the winning-est cars ever built, a highlight must be Mini winning the Monte Carlo four times, and one of the most modified. A great example of beautiful motoring especially in the Italian Job.

Great info here and the greatest car chase scene ever here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mazda RX2

They say everyone should own an Alfa but I think everyone should own a Rotary, and a motorbike, just so you know what they're like.

Having owned an RX2, two Series One RX7's, a Series 6 RX7, and having put a 13B into a Datsun 1600SSS, I think I've done my time but they have left a lasting impression on me. Huge amounts of power from a motor the size of a 4 Gallon drum. Leaving them natural aspirated though is always interesting because with Rotaries noise generally equals power.

The Capella above is a great example of a four door and you can see more photo's of it here. The RX2 was an option and most were badged Capella with a small RE badge. My one was an ex club car and had twin front sway bars, fantastic suspension, twin dizzy 12A and twin exhaust system. Driving it from Auckland to Blenheim was an amazing experience. Cruising down the Desert Road with a BMW and a Commodore we never dipped below 160km/h. Fantastic but I wouldn't advise that nowadays.

More info here and here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Astra Coupe by Jay Everett

This simply beautiful car was built by Jay Everett in 1952 and was a car so far ahead of its time in the Hot Rodding world it created a new class.

It has a tube frame by Paul Koonz, amazing aluminum body panels fabricated with an English Wheel by Jack Sutton and Dennis Power, that were screwed onto the frame and then gas welded. There is some contention over claims the body and interior were revised by the Barris brothers in 1955 with some saying they just painted it blue. If you Google 1959 Astra Coupe you will find more information on it. The best story I have found was on the Rod and Custom website. Read that here.

Whatever the true story this is a fantastic car and if you're in the market it's for sale. Beautiful custom that will still look futuristic in 50 years.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

1950 Aston Martin DB2 Team Car

This 1950 Aston Martin was sold for £550,000 at the end of October. Wow, that's a lot for any car so I thought I would investigate. What I found was a car with a huge history of victories and even a stint as the personal car of Sir David Brown.

It amazes me that to get it ready to be raced by T.H. Wisdom in the Mille Miglia all they did was service it after Brown had driven it for a few months. It went on to win by a 6 minute margin with Wisdom at the wheel.

This car evokes memories of the beautiful days of gentlemen racing. Read a lot more about it here.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR 460 307

Until the other day I had no idea the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR existed. No idea and yet here it is. WOW! That is some car. There is only one right hand drive Roadster version and it just sold for US$1,018,728.

I have to say for the almost the same money as a Veyron I would rather have this. The CLK GTR was designed and built for racing in the FIA GT Championship and later upgraded for Le Mans. As it needed to be homologated for racing 25 cars had to be built. In the end 26 were built.

Most of the cars had a 600HP plus 6.0 litre V12 engine and a 6 speed sequential gearbox that without the racing restrictor produced 720HP! Awesome. Five were built with a 7.3L V12 but I couldn't find a horsepower rating. Beautiful, rare car that is very, VERY potent.

Read more here and here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

1969 Toyota Corolla Station Wagon

One of these cute wagons drove past me today. It was white, very original and very cool. If you have one of these beautiful Corolla's in the garage, or barn, it's a great time to be cruising in it.

The Corolla was introduced into the US in 1968 and was the smallest car Toyota had sold in America up until that time. With a 60-horsepower, 1.1 liter four it wasn't going to rock your socks off but Toyota made high quality cars no matter what the size so they sold very well. Beautiful car.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

1965 Ford Mustang

You will have to click the image to really appreciate this car. Built by Ford Racing Performance Parts (FRPP) to show off it 5.0-liter "Cammer" crate engine. Listening to their customers they swapped the electronic fuel injection for four downdraft Weber carbs, Ford racing intake and MSD ignition.

This is one very hot car and pretty much the Mustang of the my dreams. Luckily for me the guy who lives next to my mum restores and races Mustangs so I can walk next door and dream. Beautiful vintage 'Stang with a 420HP sting under the bonnet.

More beautiful shots here and more info here.