Thursday, December 31, 2009

Gumpert Apollo

For a car with a strange name the Gumpert is very cool. I decided to use this shot because the back end is one of the best I have seen. Awesome! The car was dreamed up by Roland Gumbert, the ex head of Audi Sport in the 70's, was able to put together a great team to come up with a new kind of sports car.

Roland is reported to have said, “It has always been a dream of mine to have a car that has so much downforce, such aerodynamic efficiency that you could drive on the roof of a tunnel at high speed – and this car can.

Not sure if that's been done yet but I'm sure that the Apollo with its 691HP, 4.2L V8, and top speed of 220mph, would give it a good go.

The Gumpert Apollo is a beautiful conceived and built car that so far has the fastest lap time around the Top Gear track at 1:17.1.

Read about it here and the website has some great information and video's -

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ferrari 512S Modulo

The Ferrari Modulo Concept was created by Pininfarina in 1967 and unveiled at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show. I really like concept cars from this time because they are just so far out and imaginative. Like the 1966 Toyota Concept in a previous post the Modulo shows designers were thinking space travel would be a reality for everyone and designed cars to suit. The only drawback to this concept is it can't be driven and that's a shame. Be great to see this cruising down a highway.

Check out more amazing photo's of the Modulo on and more about the Modulo here and here. Designer Paolo Martin really fought to have this beautiful car built and the subterfuge and hard work he put in really made this car and add to its beautiful legend.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

1979 HZ Holden Statesman

This 1979 Holden Statesman is a great example of beautiful motoring and looking at the price of it on an appreciating classic.

The Holden Statesman was a car I relate to as a grunty Westie wagon, generally driven by a mechanic, who wants the luxuries the Statesman came with and the power of a V8 for doing skids.

When the HZ was introduced it major feature was "Radial Tuned Suspension' which gave it a better ride but at the expense of handling. Every one of them I can remember had the suspension changed and the ride height dropped a few inches. Beautiful cars that still turn heads today.

Become a fan of the CAR137 Facebook page here >>.

Friday, December 25, 2009

1951 Buick LeSabre Concept Car

I saw an image of this car and just had to find out more. It was designed in Harley J. Earl's studio and took styling cues from jet fighter planes. The was actually used as a daily driver by Harley Earl for years. So even though it was a concept it was fully functioning and had some cool features like a rain sensor to put the roof up, even when you were away from the car. It also had an interesting fuel system running both alcohol and petrol. Way ahead of it's time it showed what could be done and a lot of the features made it to the road car. A fantastic example of beautiful motoring it would definitely turn heads today.

Read more here about Harley J. Earl. Fascinating guy who put Buick on the map and created wonderful cars.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Triumph Herald convertible

I saw a Triumph Herald today and had to post one because it reminded me of my Great Aunt. She drove a baby blue convetible right up into her 90's. I used to like pulling up in her driveway, seeing it sitting there in mint condition, knowing she could still drive it. She was a very elegant woman and looked very cool driving it.

It was one of the first cars I really liked and I never got to go for a drive in it. Unfortunately I have no idea where it is now but it was definitely a great example of beautiful motoring.

Photo credit.

Monday, December 21, 2009

1966 Toyota Concept car

Toyota were definitely channeling the Jetsons when they designed this concept car in 1966. Maybe this is where flying car designers should look for inspiration now. The cockpit and fin are beautiful and those points in the headlights could be ray guns.

I searched and couldn't find much if any information about this car so if anyone can enlighten us please do.

Some colour shots are here.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

1967 Ferrari 330 GTC Zagato

Not exactly how you would picture a Ferrari is it. The 1967 Ferrari 330 GTC 'Zagato' is a one-off Ferrarri 330 GTC built by Italian coachbuilder Zagato (read about them here or and was built for Ferrari America.

I prefer the original 330 GTC with Pininfarina bodywork (great shots here) but looking at the car it was ahead of it's time and you can see styling cues that were picked up by other car manufacturers in the 70's. Probably not the nicer styling cues though. Just things like the headlight covers and sharp rake on the nose.

By all accounts this is a beautiful car to drive and if you want to own a one-off Ferrari look for it the next time it comes up for sale. You wouldn't be disappointed.

Photo from and read the story of this car and see some more beautiful shots here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hypercar DSN390

The Hypercar DSN390 is the brainchild of Kiwi engineer Neil Gray. I came across this car recently and couldn't help but notice how beautiful it is. Amazing for a 'homebuilt' car.

Neil says DSN is short for 'don't stop now' something he said to himself a lot during the build. Four years in the making, the car only weighs a lithe 680kg, and has a 390hp V8 that only weighs 95kg's. The 2400cc Synergy V8 is his mate Simon's brainchild and because Neil made most of the original prototype he knew it was the motor for his car. The motor uses two ZX12R Kawasaki motorcycle barrels and cylinder heads and revs to 11,500rpm. It's well known in NZ Speedway circles and helps propel the DSN390 to 100km/h in around 3secs. That's Supercar quick!

Read more about it here or go to I can't wait to see this beauty on the road.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada

I really like the Bizzarrini. The name is conjures up images of fettling in a well equipped shed, neckerchiefs and white coveralls. Giotto Bizzarrini was blessed with both driving and engineering skills which landed him jobs with companies like Ferrari and Lamborghini. He is the man who developed the V12 used by Lamborghini for decades. Incredible!

It seems he always wanted to do his own thing and the 5300 GT Strada is the outcome of his foray into car manufacturing. During the time he was in business he produced some amazing cars that were well received and very successful in racing.

The Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada above was built in 1968 and in the late '80's completely restored under Bizzarrini's guidance. The engine is the beautifully simple 350HP Chevrolet V8 and in a car that only weighs 1250kg you can imagine the performance, awesome. Another beautiful car from a great time and one fact I really like about the 5300 GT is it is less than 40" high. An amazing feat of engineering to get the frontal area and the overall height so low.

Read more about Bizzarrini here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lancia Fulvia

For some reason the Lancia Fulvia sticks in my mind. I think my dad took me to someones shed to show one to me and I was hooked. Lancia have designed and built some amazing cars. From the sublime to the ugly, but fast. Wikipedia says the Fulvia was in production from '63 to '76 but my memory says production started in '65 with the car being introduced in 1963.

Maybe someone can help us there. A Fulvia in the hands of Sandro Munari and co-driver Mario Mannucci won the 1972 Rallye Monte Carlo. I have read they won the Championship but I'm am fairly certain they did very well that year but only won the Rallye Monte Carlo.

The motor in the was a masterpiece, being a 1600 V4 developing at its peak 132HP, and having a single cylinder head and dual spark. A beautiful motor and a great example of Lancia thinking, outside the square. Great cars.

Some great images here and excellent information about the car and motors here.

Friday, December 11, 2009

1964 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Limo

I really like old school Mercedes limo's, especially Pullman 600's. The perfect limo whether you are a movie star, mafia boss, communist leader, music legend or crime lord.

The lines are perfect. New limo's don't really come close because of the current design of the cars limo's are generally made from. Too many curves and to me the roof of some new limos seems to dip in the middle. Strange.

Designed to be the best you could get the Pullman had air suspension for a smooth ride and, to make sure it still hauled arse, a fuel injected 6.3 litre V8. Just the ticket to get away from screaming fans or screaming sirens.

Definitely a beautiful way to travel.

Photo credit:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

1959 Aston Martin DBR1

Aston Martins are an easy target for beautiful motoring, especially the early ones. The 1959 Aston Martin DBR1 was built for the 1959 World Sportscar Championship. It was fairly successful, it won that year, but it great looks have lasted well beyond its racing successes.

It would have been interesting to see where David Brown would have gone with this line but he headed to Formula One which ended the factories involvement and the DBR1's were sold off.

To see these beautiful cars in action head out to historic events like the Silverstone Classic. Send me some pics if you do.

Photo credit

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mercedes-Benz Blue Wonder Car Transporter

Back onto the subject of great times in motor racing history: the Blue Wonder was the car carrier built for the Mercedes F1 team in the mid 50's. It served the team for ten years and was billed as the 'fastest racing car transporter in the world'. It has the direct injected, three-liter inline-six from the 1955 300SL Gullwing, awesome.

The original was scrapped in 1967 but lucky for us Mercedes Benz have built one from their archives.

Mercedes have a history of cool transporters but this is definitely the coolest and brings back memories of the Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons.

Check out more photos of it here.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni

The man with the best job in the world, test driving Lamborghini's, has had a car named after him. The Lamborghini Gallardo "Valentino Balboni" LP550-2. A two wheel drive monster. Brilliant. Lighter than the LP560-4 but with a tad less horsepower the LP550-2 is an amazing.

Take the time to watch the video with the volume up. There is no better sound than a Lamborghini at full noise. The passion Balboni has for Lamborghini is very evident in this video.

At 2:10 Valentino talks about driving a Lamborghini for the first time. He paints a great picture because that is the feeling I got when I drove an LP560-4. I will never forget the experience.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

1939 Mercedes W154 Record

This car really intrigues me because there doesn't seem to be much known or written about it. There is lots about the other Mercedes record cars and streamliners but only some pics and the odd bit of info about this particular one.

It amazes me that in the 30's that Formula One cars were capable of 300km/h and when doing record runs over 400km/h. The drivers had no protection, or seatbelts, but deaths rarely happened even when they were thrown from the cars at phenomenal speeds. These guys were amazing. Real gentlemen and hero's. A beautful time and a very beautiful car.

Here's what I found on the interweb about this car and if you could add anything please do in the comments section.

W154 record version, 1939
Engine: V12 four-stroke gasoline engine with two superchargers, 60 degrees
Displacement: 2,963 cc
Output: 468 hp (344 kW)
Top speed: approx. 400 km/h

This info is from " The Mercedes-Benz Racing Cars" by K. Ludvigsen, 1971.
274.4 mph for the kilometer, and 248.3 mph for the mile. (Feb. 1939 by Rudolf Caracciola). Subsequently, they went on to develop a similar W125 for the 1940 Grand Prix season, that never started. The bodywork was similar, with a Cd dropping from 0.599 to 0.293.

Photo via

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

70's Custom Van

The 70's van craze passed me by but there have always been a few 'Shaggin Wagons' floating around. Customisers put a huge amount of detail and time, not to mention $$, into what were commercial vehicles.

For the 70's they were the ultimate way to express yourself and do whatever you wanted to do, wherever you wanted to be. Check out some more great pics on The Selvedge Yard blog here and if you have some pics of your own shaggin wagon I would love to see them.