Friday, April 30, 2010

Mark 3 Cortina

Been seeing the odd Mark 3 around lately. Beautiful cars. They still look great.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Buick Grand National

The Buick Grand National is one of my favourite cars. I remember following this build in Turbo Magazine. Yes like you I have piles of car magazines. Even had to sell some of them. Turbo Magazine did some nice work on this GN. It looks great in black with the 5 spokes and cool stance.

Grand Nationals aren't the most beautiful of cars but the looks were more than made up for when Buick put the 3.8 litre V6 turbo under the bonnet. They upped the horsepower every year of this generation and although there weren't as many made they were all black and went like stink.

Monday, April 26, 2010

1970 Porsche Tapiro

This is a great shot of a beautiful car and it's silver clad fashion accessory. The Porsche Tapiro was designed in 1970 by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Ital Design. Based on the Porsche 914/6 platform, a favourite of mine, it was reportedly one of Guigiaro's favourite designs.

The Tapiro had a mid mounted 2.4 litre flat 6 cylinder Porsche engine with 220 bhp. Not bad for a fairly small, light-weight car. Check out some great pics here of the gullwing doors and initial design. Very cool.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

1969 Pininfarina Sigma Concept

I do have a soft spot for concept cars. This one was designed and built to show F1 could be a bit safer. Didn't take off though. Open wheel racing is just that, open wheel racing. Covering the wheels isn't what punters want to see although sources say this would have been a lot faster than the F1 cars of its day.

The Sigma is very Hot Wheels and if you google it you will see some amazing pic of it from different angles. A beautiful car that was the brainchild of Paul Frère (race driver and car-journalist) from Automobil Revue, Pininfarina and Prof. E. Fiala, supported by Enzo Ferrari as well as Mercedes and Fiat.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mercedes-Benz 300SEL "Red Sow"

Engineer Erich Waxenberger started Mercedes ideology of putting big motors into smaller Mercedes when he put a 6.3 litre V8 from the 600 limousine into the light weight W109 S Class sedan.

What was once a mild mannered family sedan turned into a beast that had the potential to kick some supercar butt. Some sources say it could beat a Lamborghini Countach. Cool.

AMG then got their hands on 300SEL's and turned them into racing cars for customers. The V8's were usually bored to 6.8 litres and put out 420hp plus. The one above, nicknamed "Red Sow", was entered by AMG into the 1971 24 Hours of Spa and came 2nd. Amazing due to the fact it required a lot of fuel stops and went through a lot of tires. It was so heavy and fast it was sold to Matra to test jet fighter landing gear.

A beautiful car that started a new era of racing cars.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

1961 Triumph TR3A

Eric from Vienna put me onto the Triumph TR3A. His one was a rare factory hardtop with the Laycock Overdrive. The Triumph TR3A was built between 1957 and 1962 and was facelift of the TR3. It did come with some handy features part from the new grill; exterior door handles, lockable boot handle and came with a full tool kit as standard. Excellent. Something handy that was an option on the TR3.

Even though the TR3A was a very popular car it was seen by Triumph as a stand in while they got the TR4 ready for production. They made the 2.1 litre made for the TR4 available for the TR3A. Although not many were meant to be fitted the 2.1 would have made the TR3A a very quick car.

You can still see TR3A's racing and even though they are 50 years old they are still competitive.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Citroën SM

I saw this beauty from Citroen on and I think I'm in love. How awesome is this car? But it gets better. The motor, a V6, was built by Maserati and combined with the low drag ratio pushed the SM to 140mph. Built to supersede the DS the SM was hailed as revolutionary. The best thing about it though really is it's looks. Beautiful.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Enzmann 506

What a beautiful little car! Built by the Enzmann brothers in Schupfen, Switzerland between 1956 and 1961, Enzmann cars made quite an impact. They also put the wind up Porsche 550 owners who probably weren't too impressed with being passed in the mountains.

Enzmann used to buy new Volkswagens, unbolt the Beetle shells from the floorpans, and bolt the very cool body you see above on.  Sources say only 100 cars were built and although looked down upon by some because of the Beetle origin most of them had 130hp Porsche 356 motors making the lightweight car, around 510kgs, a potent little package. Some owners fitted the motors with Okrasa parts from EMPI and some even braver ones put MAG and Judson Superchargers on them. Excellent!

Check out the Enzmann website at if you are interested because they are making the body's again.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Datsun 260Z - The miGHty datsun

Datsun 260 - The miGHty datsun

This Datsun rocks. It was posted on Ze Last Chance Garage du 78 blog by Sonic Seb and I am pretty sure its a 260Z but I haven't been able to confirm that.

All I can tell from the pics, which you can see here, is that it has an L motor running triple Webbers, big body kit, cage, wheels, and obviously a lot of other work.

Just check out the pics because they tell the story and if anyone has more information please email me,

Thanks to Chris from BIKEEXIF for the tip.

Monday, April 12, 2010

1951 Chevy Station Wagon

Love this shot of a rusting out old Chevy wagon. I imagine it used to look something like this ...

How cool would you be driving in one of these. Seasick Steve has one and reckons he won't part with it any time soon.

The 1951 Chevrolet Station Wagon had a wood like finish around the windows and body line. Chevrolet wanted to combine the 'smartness and distinction of a wood grained finish with the strength and safety of an all steel body'. Woohoo! However, that meant the '51 was quieter, more durable and a lot easier to keep shiny and new. Plus it had seating for eight with rear seats that could be readily removed for more luggage space.

A great example of beautiful motoring.

Info from

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Koenigsegg Agera 2010

The new Koenigsegg Agera is a beautiful looking car. New for 2010 Koenigsegg have done an amazing job on the Agera. Check out the interior. It is really quite something. Very well finished and without some cheap arse components you will see in a Ferrari. If you ever get a chance to look in a 599 you will see what I mean. It looks like they spent all the money on the dash and steering wheel.

Agera is the Swedish verb for 'act' and I'm thinking you would act quite silly if you got your hands on one of these. Twin Turbo's, better breathing, and 910hp help make sure the Agera 'acts' like the proper supercar it is. Plus Koenigsegg say it has the largest luggage space of any supercar. How many guys would be taking their wives out for a drive in this? Not many. On the website they have a video with it starting up at the beginning. Sounds great. Can't wait to see the Top Gear track test.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ford GT40

My favourite colour for the Ford GT40 is the Gulf colours run in 1968 and '69. The Gulf Oil Company sponsored the original GT40 design (Mk.1) using 302ci V8 and the new ZF transaxles. This set up was the winning combo and after several years of rule changes and fragility the GT40 started winning everything. The most outstanding would have to be the record breaking wins at Le Mans for both 1968 and 1969 using the same car (Chassis #1075).

Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver teamed up for the 1969 race against the new Porsche 917's and new 3.0 litre cars from Ferrari, Matra and Alfa Romeo. What makes this victory special is that they were in an old car that no one gave a chance to and it was Ickx's first Le Mans. I have seen video of him walking to his car while everyone is running and staying there until he has done his seat belt up. He didn't like the 'Le Man's' start because no one belted themselves up properly. He was proven right when John Woolf fatally crashed his 917 on lap one and Willy Mairesse had a career ending crash because they weren't belted in properly. Maybe the run across to the cars was the part of the fascination with Le Mans but I'm glad they stopped it because the cars they were racing in were too powerful not to be securely belted in.

Jacky Ickx has said he still considers the 1969 Le Mans race his greatest race of all and he would be right. An amazing win in a car that should have been outclassed. Beautiful car from a beautiful time.

Read more here and here and for more beautiful motoring join us on Facebook.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

1976 Toyota Corolla Coupe

1976 Toyota Corolla Coupe
Old school Toyota Corolla's are very cool. Love the green paint and the tan interior of this one. Not the hardest wearing of vinyl used but these cars do some amazingly high miles in their lifetime and so the interiors cop a lot of abuse.

In 1976 the Corolla's were two years into a new face lift that had made them rounder and of course bigger and heavier. However these are the last of the light Corolla's before they got square and really heavy. They also got safer of course. But safer generally means slower.

There are a lot of these rolling around and I think they are a great investment. Upgrade the motor to a 4AGE, put in some decent suspension, update the brakes to a later model, maybe add some wheels and you have yourself a sweet daily ride. Although you might want to keep the 2T especially if is a 2T-G as they had 124hp. Not bad power in a car this light with RWD. Beautiful motoring on a budget you can't go past a Corolla Coupe.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

1954 Pontiac Bonneville

1954 Pontiac Bonneville

This is a very beautiful car. Very beautiful. ...... ....... That was a long pause so you can have a good look at it.

In fact have another look at it from a different angle.

1954 Pontiac Bonneville Rear

The Bonneville is another Harley J. Earl handbuilt concept car. It was the first Pontiac to have the name Bonneville and amazingly, I think, it was used as the performance platform for 47 years.

The plexiglass bubble has gullwing doors and the body was fibreglass with obvious inspiration from America's fascination with rocket design. The scoops on the bonnet worked and the recessed headlights have been copied by hot rodders and other car manufacturers ever since. Check out the spare wheel cover. It looks like it's going to start glowing and once a button is pushed launch the car into hyperspeed like the Batmobile of Adam West.

The Bonneville set the style at Pontiac for a long time and what I like about Harley J. Earl concepts is they were generally driveable. He used to use them as daily transport. The two Bonneville's built had 268ci Straight 8's that were reported to have had 300hp. A lot for the time. The motors were detuned for production and there is a rumour the Bonneville's could have had the new V8's but GM marketing said to hold the motor back for release the next year.

Look out for these cars at an auction on day because they still exist and might come up for sale. However you will want to have a big cheque handy as the green one was sold for US$2.8million in 2006.

Friday, April 2, 2010

1963 Ford Falcon Sprint

1963 Ford Falcon Sprint

I thought that the 1963 Falcon Sprint would be the perfect car to follow the Shelby Mustang. Ford was really getting it stuck to them from the Europeans with their 'compact' cars until 1960 when they brought out the Falcon. It was released as a sedan and a station wagon with a 90 horsepower six and was a huge hit. Then in 1963 Ford brought out a convertible and a fastback coupe.

With Lee Iacocca pushing the 'Total Performance' slogan Ford decided to enter motorsport full on in 1963. I was surprised to learn Falcons were entered in rally events and did very well in the Monte Carlo Rallye. Amazing for such a big car.

Having a V8 option made the Sprint even more popular and a great foundation for a 'sports' compact. To boost the sporty image a rev counter was added to the top of the dash and bucket seats were fitted as standard.

A beautiful part of motoring history that would have kept going apart from the fact an cooler car was released in 1965, the Mustang.

Photo credit.