Cars – Silodrome https://silodrome.com Gasoline Culture Sun, 21 Jan 2018 04:22:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 18077751 Barn Find: 1965 Porsche 912 https://silodrome.com/porsche-912-classic-car/ Thu, 18 Jan 2018 08:00:27 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=70373 Barn Find: 1965 Porsche 912

As with most barn finds, this 1965 Porsche 912 has a special story. It was bought new in the Netherlands on Christmas Eve in 1965 by an exceptionally lucky man’s wife – who gifted it to him the next day on Christmas morning. He clearly loved his present, as he kept it for over 20 years...

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Barn Find: 1965 Porsche 912

As with most barn finds, this 1965 Porsche 912 has a special story. It was bought new in the Netherlands on Christmas Eve in 1965 by an exceptionally lucky man’s wife – who gifted it to him the next day on Christmas morning.

He clearly loved his present, as he kept it for over 20 years and used it regularly. The second owner took possession in 1986 and drove it only a few thousand kilometers before parking it in dry storage and largely forgetting about it.

30 years passed outside the storeroom’s steel roller door, the Iron Curtain fell, Tim Berners-Lee published a proposal for something called the World Wide Web, Nelson Mandela became the President of South Africa, the Channel Tunnel opened, a website called eBay was launched, the first Harry Potter book was published, the Y2K Bug didn’t happen, Apple released a product called the iPhone, water was discovered on the Moon, the Large Hadron Collider came online, and Bitcoin was invented.

Finally in 2017, the roller door was opened, and the dusty but all-original Porsche 912 was discovered. It’s worth considerably more now than it was in the late 1980s, Porschephiles have come to love the character of the flat four 356SC-powered car. If you’d like to read more about this 912 you can click here to visit the listing on RM Sotheby’s, or you can scroll down to read more about the Porsche 912.

The Porsche 912

The Porsche 912 was introduced in 1965 to be sold alongside the then-new Porsche 911 as it’s lower-priced sibling. Rather than just being an entry-level model, the 912 quickly gained a cult following among drivers for its near-perfect balance, lower kerb weight, and better handling than its more powerful brother.

Whereas the new Porsche 911 had a rear-mounted flat six, the 912 used a version of the outgoing 356 model’s flat four – an engine very well understood by Porsche as it had been in production for over 10 years. This flat four also had the benefit of being almost 200 lbs lighter than the flat six – particularly important when you remember that both engines are installed in the back, behind the rear wheels.

Porsche 912 Engine and Interior

The price of the incoming 911 was significantly higher than the outgoing 356, and some at Porsche worried about losing a swathe of their hard-earned marketshare. Although it wasn’t initially planned, it was realized that the 1.6L Type 616/36 engine from the Porsche 356SC could be fitted to the new 901 body (later renamed 911).

In order to further reduce the production cost, and therefore the MSRP, Porsche also fitted a 4-speed gearbox in place of the 5-speed in the 911. Inside the car the cost cutting continued, with a color-coded dashboard in place of the wood trim fitted to the 911, 3 gauges instead of 5, and a few other deletions giving the car a minimalist, unfussy interior.

Sales Figures and Heritage

The Porsche 912 significantly outsold the 911 for the first few years of production, largely because people were comparing it to the well-known Porsche 356 and oftentimes not to the new 911.

Revenue generated by the 912 greatly helped the still relatively small automaker in the mid to late 1960s, and in the decades since the company has made sure to offer a model in the 912 market segment.

After the 912 left production in 1969 it was replaced by the 914, which was followed by the 912E, the 924, the 944, the 968, and finally the Boxster and Cayman.

Porsche 912 Performance Figures

On release, the 912 had a dry weight of 2095 lbs and produced 90 hp, with 90 ft-lbs of torque. Owners quickly realized they could get over 30 miles to the gallon by driving conservatively, but even normal use would typically get ~27 mpg.

The 0-60 time of 11.6 seconds was unlikely to set the world alight, but remember these performance figures are all relative to the mid 1960s. Top speed was 119 mph, and owners could test this out for themselves on the autobahn. The 912 has a range of 450 miles per tank, a 60-0 mph stopping distance of 160 feet, and a front/rear weight distribution of 45/55.

A Brief Return

In 1975 the 912 made a brief return to production as the Porsche 912E. The 914 had experienced disappointing sales and so Porsche brought back the 912 model designation for the 1975 and 1976 models years.

Images courtesy of RM Sotheby’s ©2018 Dirk de Jager

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Ex-Works 1975 Fiat Abarth 124 Rallye Group 4 Spider https://silodrome.com/fiat-abarth-124-rally/ Wed, 17 Jan 2018 07:01:48 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=70163 Ex-Works 1975 Fiat Abarth 124 Rallye Group 4 Spider

The Fiat Abarth 124 Rallye Spider was a comprehensively re-developed version of the famous little Italian roadster designed to race in the Group 4 division of the World Rally Championship. Abarth is an Italian tuning house known for sometimes outlandish cars, built with an almost Machiavellian eye for performance above all else. Fiat took over...

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Ex-Works 1975 Fiat Abarth 124 Rallye Group 4 Spider

The Fiat Abarth 124 Rallye Spider was a comprehensively re-developed version of the famous little Italian roadster designed to race in the Group 4 division of the World Rally Championship.

Abarth is an Italian tuning house known for sometimes outlandish cars, built with an almost Machiavellian eye for performance above all else. Fiat took over Abarth in 1971, integrating the company as the Fiat Group’s in-house racing department.

Management of all racing operations was under the experienced eye of former-Ferrari V12 engine designer Aurelio Lampredi, and one of his first tasks was developing the racing version of the 124 Sport Spider – the Fiat Abarth 124 Rallye.

The Fiat 124 Sport Spider

The Pininfarina styled 124 Sport Spider was penned by American automobile designer Tom Tjaarda, one of the most prolific car designers of the 20th century, with 80+ vehicles to his name.

Fiat intended their new roadster to be a direct competitor for the popular British MGB, a car that was selling well on both sides of the Atlantic, and that would go on to have almost 500,000 units built by the time production ceased.

Tjaarda designed the two-seat roadster on a shortened version of the platform used by the Fiat 124 sedan to reduce production and development costs. The 124 used a steel unibody design with unequal length wishbone front suspension, and a coil sprung live axle rear.

Over the course of the 1966 to 1982 production run a series of engines were used, starting with a 1.4 litre unit capable of 89 hp and progressing through 1.6, 1.8 litre units, then ending with a 2.0 litre producing 133 hp.

The 124 Sport Spider proved to to be a significant success for Fiat, over 200,000 units were sold worldwide. The Italian automaker brought the model designation back in 2016 with the Fiat 124 Spider, based on the Mazda Miata platform, with a unique Fiat-designed body and a turbocharged Fiat Multiair engine.

The Fiat Abarth 124 Rallye

When the Lampredi-led team at Abarth set about developing a homologation rally version of the 125 Sport Spider they did a lot more than jack up the suspension and slap stickers on fenders.

The prototype was stripped back to its bare shell and a number of steel panels were replaced with fiberglass to save weight. A roll bar was fitted in the passenger compartment and a new rigid hardtop was fitted to further improve rigidity and help with aerodynamics at speed.

The rear axle was removed and replaced with an independent suspension arrangement with lower wishbones, trailing arms, an upper strut, and an anti-roll bar. A limited-slip differential was used for better acceleration, particularly on loose surfaces, and wider alloy wheels were fitted front and back under new flared wheel arches.

The original seats were deleted and a new pair of competition seats were fitted, along with a revised dashboard, and an Abarth steering wheel. The centre console, rear occasional seats, and glovebox lid were also removed for weight savings, and the rear window was replaced with a Perspex unit.

The stand-out feature of the new Fiat rally car was its Abarth-tuned 1736cc twin-cam engine producing 128 bhp in road trim, with 170+ bhp available in rally trim. The power increase was largely thanks to double vertical twin-choke Weber 44 IDF carburetors and a new higher-performance Abarth exhaust with a twin mufflers.

The car successfully achieved FIA homologation in the Group 4 (special grand touring cars) racing class, and it began competing in the the World Rally Championship in 1972.

In 1972 it took wins at the Hessen Rally (1st and 2nd), and the Acropolis Rally (1st, 4th, 7th), and in 1973 it won the Polish Rally. In 1975 Maurizio Verini took five victories to win the European Rally Championship at the wheel of the final 16-valve version – forever securing the model in the annals of Abarth history.

The Ex-Works 1975 Fiat Abarth 124 Rallye Group 4 Spider

This Abarth 124 Spider is one of just seven Olio Fiat works cars, it has in-period competition history, and according to Abarth it’s the best of the surviving Group 4 cars due to its originality, condition, and the fact that it still has all of its rare Abarth works parts fitted.

These seven works cars were the only examples to be fitted with the 16-valve version of the 1.8 litre engine, known as the “Testa Streta” or “Narrow Head”. These engines are capable of almost 200 bhp thanks to their Kugelfischer fuel injection system, a power figure made all the more impressive when you remember the kerb weight is just 863 kilograms (1902.59 lbs).

This car was one of the three sold to private entrants, it competed in the Italian and European Championships driven by Cuniolo/Poletti. It finished 7th overall at the Quattro Regioni Rallye in 1977 with Cuniolo/Poletti at the helm, and in the years after this it passed through the hans of a number of other Italian drivers.

Importantly the car was always maintained by an Abarth Classiche professional team, and it has Abarth Classiche certification. Its due to roll across the auction block with Bonhams on the 8th of February at Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais. If you’d like to read more or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.

Images courtesy of Bonhams

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1968 Molzon Concept Corsa GT38 https://silodrome.com/molzon-concept-corsa-gt38/ Sat, 13 Jan 2018 10:00:56 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=70063 1968 Molzon Concept Corsa GT38

The One-Off Molzon Concept Corsa GT38 The Molzon Concept Corsa GT38 is a one-off sports car developed by William “Bill” Molzon – a visionary GM designer who worked closely with under Larry Shinoda on some of most successful models in the history of Chevrolet. Molzon went to work at General Motors immediately after graduating with...

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1968 Molzon Concept Corsa GT38

The One-Off Molzon Concept Corsa GT38

The Molzon Concept Corsa GT38 is a one-off sports car developed by William “Bill” Molzon – a visionary GM designer who worked closely with under Larry Shinoda on some of most successful models in the history of Chevrolet.

Molzon went to work at General Motors immediately after graduating with a B.S. degree in Industrial Design from the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. Although his day job consumed the overwhelming majority of his time, he still had a desire to create a car that was 100% his own design – with no input from upper management or restrictions from the bean-counters.

He started the project in 1963 with a blank slate and an ambitious plan. He decided to see if he could design and build a car with better acceleration than the fastest Corvette, the fuel economy of a Corvair, and the refined handling capabilities of a Lotus.

It was clear from the outset that he was going to need a car with a rigid, lightweight space frame chassis and independent suspension on all corners, coupled to a lightweight, bespoke fiberglass body.

The initial design for the car had more of an angular wedge shape which would have pre-dated similar designs from the minds of Gandini and Guigiaro, however Molzon developed the design into its current far more curvaceous shape as it offered significantly better aerodynamics.

The Chassis and Suspension

The chassis was designed and welded together on a jig, it uses mostly 1 inch steel tubing with a 90 inch wheelbase, a 136 inch overall length, and a semi-monocoque front sub-structure. The initial design for the chassis was actually developed while Molzon was still in college, and he even structurally tested a scale model of the frame in the school lab.

Front suspension is made up of unequal length wishbones, with the lower arms consisting of a transverse strut and a leading arm with anti-dive geometry. Rear suspension is upper link with a reversed lower A-arm, twin trailing arms, and anti-squat geometry.

The Corvair Engine and Porsche Transaxle

Molzon chose the Chevrolet Corvair engine for his one-off car, he was drawn to it because of its lightweight aluminium construction and air-cooling – doing away with the need for coolant, a water jacket, and a radiator. A flat-6 Corvair motor was ordered from Corvair racer Don Eichstaedt, who built the engine to be reliably capable of 200 bhp, once Molzon received it  was installed in a rear-mid location directly behind the cockpit for optimal weight distribution.

Once of the biggest single issues with the build was sourcing a suitable transaxle for the Corvair engine. Eventually it was realized that a new Porsche model called the 901 (which would become the 911) had a similar flat-6 engine, and so a transaxle was ordered from Germany, then modified to fit the Corvair engine.

When it came time to create the body, Molzon cut down a series of Styrofoam blocks to match sections of his full-scale surface development drawing, glued them together. Each piece then underwent final trimming and surfacing, before it was sealed. Once it was ready the fiberglass was laid, with the final form being ready in the summer of 1967.

The Completed Car

Once the final fit and finish was done and the electrics and interior were installed, the car was ready for primetime. A 1970 Road & Track Magazine article about the car sang its praises:

“To say that the now complete car is quick and agile is an understatement – even the usually cool Molzon confesses to being a little un-nerved by the alacrity of its acceleration and directional responsiveness beyond expectation.”

The fact that the car is quick should come as no surprise, it weighs in at 1,100 lbs and has 200 bhp, giving it a power-to-weight ratio that will comfortably embarrass many far more modern sports cars.

Molzon kept the car in pride of place in his personal collection for 50 years, it only covered 950 miles – a few of those in autocross competition. In early 2017 at the age of 78 he decided to offer his prize one-off automobile design for public sale for the first time, accompanied by an original copy of the 1970 Road & Track Magazine featuring the car, hundreds of invoices for the parts used to create the car, and a hard cover brochure detailing each process of the build.

If you’d like to read more about the car or register to bid, you can click here to visit the listing on Bonhams.

Images courtesy of Bonhams

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1942 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Spider https://silodrome.com/alfa-romeo-6c-2500/ Fri, 12 Jan 2018 07:00:20 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=69375 1942 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Spider

A Brief Early History of Alfa Romeo Despite its reputation for being quintessentially Italian, Alfa Romeo was actually founded by a Frenchman named Alexandre Darracq. At one point just after the turn of the 20th century, Darracq’s companies were building 10% of all cars being manufactured in the world – not bad for a guy...

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1942 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Spider

A Brief Early History of Alfa Romeo

Despite its reputation for being quintessentially Italian, Alfa Romeo was actually founded by a Frenchman named Alexandre Darracq. At one point just after the turn of the 20th century, Darracq’s companies were building 10% of all cars being manufactured in the world – not bad for a guy who started out making sewing machines.

Alfa Romeo was originally founded as “A.L.F.A.” in 1910 –  an acronym for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, or the Lombard Automobile Factory Company. The Romeo wouldn’t get added until 1915 when Italian engineer and entrepreneur Nicola Romeo came onboard.

World War I was well underway at this point, so Romeo converted the A.L.F.A. factory from cars to military hardware – significantly improving profitability in the process.

The Alfa Romeo 6C

The name of the 6C is descriptive; it stands for 6 cilindro, or 6 cylinder. Unsurprisingly, this is a reference to the engine fitted to the car, an inline-six originally fitted with an SOHC, but developed into a DOHC a short time later.

This engine was developed by legendary Italian engineer Vittorio Jano, the man credited with developing the now-signature Alfa Romeo engine architecture with aluminum alloy construction (either fully or partly), double overhead cams, centrally located plugs, hemispherical combustion chambers, and twin rows of overhead valves per cylinder bank. This architecture may sound relatively standard now, but Jano first introduced its road cars back in 1928.

The 6C road car engine was directly based on the engine in the P2 Grand Prix car, though softened somewhat for reliability and ease of use. Initially offered with a 1,500 (1,487-cc) capacity in 1927, the size was incrementally upgraded over the years to 1,750 (1,752 cc), 1,900 (1,917 cc), 2,300 (2,309 cc), 2,500 (2,443 cc), and finally 3,000 (2,943 cc up to 3,495 cc).

Various coachbuilders offered bodies for the Alfa Romeo 6C, and Alfa itself would offer in-house bodies too; however, most cars left the factory as rolling chassis – a common practice at the time.

Under the skin, the 6C has a steel ladder-frame chassis that could be ordered in a variety of lengths to suit various bodies. The basic platform proved to be highly extensible, and over the 1927–1954 production, the 6C would be built into everything from luxury saloon cars to race-winning sports cars – and everything in between.

The Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Spider

The 6C you see here is the 2500 SS Spider, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful iterations of the model thanks to its earlier-style 8C 2900 bodywork – with sweeping fenders, a low silhouette, and raked back windscreen.

In the 1980s it was sold on to Homer Taskis who entered it in the 1987 Mille Miglia, before passing it along to a new owner who commissioned a full restoration, including the fitment of a period-correct SS-specification 6C 2500 engine. This Super Sport engine is capable of 120 bhp, up from 90 bhp on the more standard engine, thanks in part to its triple Weber carburetors.

Once the restoration was completed, the Alfa took a 2nd in class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 1997, a Best of Show at Concorso Italiano in 1998, and a 2nd in class at the San Marino Motor Classic in California in 2013.

The car is due to roll across the auction block with RM Sotheby’s in Arizona between the 18th and 19th of January. The hammer price is estimated to be between $900,000 and $1,100,000 USD, if you’d like to read more or register to bid you can click here to see the listing.

 

Images courtesy of Robin Adams – RM Sotheby’s © 2017

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1966 Le Mans Ford GT40 GMP 1:12 Scale Model https://silodrome.com/1966-le-mans-ford-gt40/ Thu, 11 Jan 2018 04:00:15 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=69996 1966 Le Mans Ford GT40 GMP 1:12 Scale Model

This 1:12 scale model of the 1966 Le Mans Ford GT40 is made by GMP – a world leader in highly detailed die cast models. This model is based on the 1966 Le Mans GT40 #1, one of the legendary Fords from the race that started it all. The GT40 dominated the 1966 race taking...

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1966 Le Mans Ford GT40 GMP 1:12 Scale Model

This 1:12 scale model of the 1966 Le Mans Ford GT40 is made by GMP – a world leader in highly detailed die cast models.

This model is based on the 1966 Le Mans GT40 #1, one of the legendary Fords from the race that started it all. The GT40 dominated the 1966 race taking a 1,2,3 finish, and its unusual livery has been loved by enthusiasts for decades.

Just 350 examples of this model were built as part of a limited run, this is number 311. It’s now for sale with Revilo Classic Models, its in its original packaging, and looks to be in excellent overall condition.

Buy Here

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1966 Shelby Cobra 427 ‘Semi-Competition’ https://silodrome.com/shelby-427-cobra/ Wed, 10 Jan 2018 07:01:18 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=69778 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 ‘Semi-Competition’

When the Shelby 427 Cobra was first unleashed to the motoring press in 1965, it was by far the fastest street-legal car in the world. Its 7-litre V8 produced 485 bhp in competition trim, and it had a tested top speed of 165+ mph. All this in a small, lightweight roadster body weighing in at 2,355 lbs....

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1966 Shelby Cobra 427 ‘Semi-Competition’

When the Shelby 427 Cobra was first unleashed to the motoring press in 1965, it was by far the fastest street-legal car in the world.

Its 7-litre V8 produced 485 bhp in competition trim, and it had a tested top speed of 165+ mph. All this in a small, lightweight roadster body weighing in at 2,355 lbs.

The Homologation Problem

Carroll Shelby and his team had planned to race the 427 Cobra, and for homologation purposes they needed to build a minimum of 100 examples. A series of hold-ups, not the least of which being the fact that the chassis and bodies were being built in England then shipped to the United States, meant that only 51 cars were completed and ready when the FIA inspectors arrived at the Shelby factory.

Homologation was denied, and Carroll was left holding dozens of cars that could not be raced. This could have been a crippling blow for him, as the company was still very new at the time with nowhere near the brand awareness it has now.

A Solution

Shelby’s East Coast representative, however, came forward with a suggestion. He explained that if the cars were painted and fitted with proper windshields, folding tops, and license plate brackets, they could be sold as street-legal cars to civilians.

The wisdom of selling thoroughbred race cars like this to regular muggles was somewhat questionable. That said, this was all occurring in the mid-1960s, a time when large-capacity V8s and mind-bending power output figures were establishing a firm foothold in the United States and enjoying an ascent in popularity that would last into the next decade.

Carroll Shelby seized on the idea, and the program to get the 427 Cobras street-legal began immediately. These new cars would be marketed as the 427 S/C Cobra (for Semi-Competition). Thirty-one would be sold before the supply was exhausted, with sixteen additional cars being sold to private racing teams, two being kept as factory prototypes, and one making its way to Ford Engineering.

An article from the November 1965 issue of Car and Driver sang breathless praises for the car, going so far as to say:

“The new Cobra is a reality and only approximately $7,000 cash, and the insatiable desire to own the fastest car in four counties stands between you and owning one. If you can scrape up the dough, we recommend that you take the plunge. Like they say, it’ll never hurt you. Or at least it shouldn’t.”

The surviving examples of these 427 S/C Cobras are now among the most desirable of all the early Shelby cars, and you’ll need available funds in the low seven digits to get your foot in the door.

The Engineering

Although it looks a lot like its smaller sibling, the 289 Cobra, there was actually very little between the two cars that was interchangeable. An entirely new chassis had been developed as a collaborative effort with Ford’s engineers in Detroit.

The new frame was made of tubular 4-in. steel (up from 3 in. in the first Cobra), and this new car was 5-in. wider than the original, with the bodywork incorporating flared fenders to fit more hefty rubber under each corner.

The Salisbury type 4HU center housing differential was fitted, similar to that used by Jaguar on the XKE and the same unit used on the 289 Cobra, and coil spring suspension was fitted front and back – a welcome replacement for the previous model’s transverse leaf spring suspension.

The star of the show with any 427 Cobra is of course the engine, a mighty iron-block “Side Oiler” 427-cu. in. engine rated at 425 bhp, with 485 bhp achievable with a series of relatively minor modifications.

The 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 ‘Semi-Competition’ Shown Here

The car you see here is a highly original and unmolested example that was delivered new by Shelby’s Hi-Performance Motors to Dr. Robert Degnan of Hacienda Heights, California. It passed through a limited number of hands before being acquired by Peter Briggs in 1980 for his famous York Motor Museum in Western Australia.

It was driven rarely, but did make a popular appearance at the 1992 Targa Tasmania. Peter had it registered with a personalized license plate that read “A REAL ONE,” as he was often asked if it was an authentic car or a replica.

After 20 years in Australia it was sold back to an American, who sent it to highly respected Cobra restorer and expert Mike McCluskey of Torrance, California, for a full restoration. During the restoration, McCluskey noted that all body panels were original, as well as the engine, drivetrain, interior, and accessories. This is exceedingly rare, as many 427 Cobra owners had unfortunate encounters with hedges, lampposts, and tire barriers – necessitating new panels and parts.

The car is accompanied by a folder of documentation, including a copy of the original sales invoice, its SAAC Cobra Registry entry, and communications and documentation from Mr. McCluskey’s restoration.

There are very few surviving 427 Shelby Cobras in this state of originality, so this one will likely attract some attention when it rolls across the auction block with RM Sotheby’s on the weekend of the 18th of January in Arizona. The estimated value is between $2,000,000 and $2,400,000 USD. If you’d like to read more or register to bid, click here to view the listing.

Images courtesy of RM Sotheby’s © 2017 – Photographer Patrick Ernzen

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Documentary: Operation Speed – 1956 https://silodrome.com/documentary-operation-speed-1956/ Sun, 07 Jan 2018 07:00:23 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=69819 Documentary: Operation Speed – 1956

In 1956 an unusual caravan of vehicle trailers arrived at the Bonneville Salt Flats. They carried a couple of land speed cars from England that must have looked like crash-landed alien spacecraft to the casual observer. The two cars on the trailers were one-off designs that had been built specifically for Bonneville a couple of...

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Documentary: Operation Speed – 1956

In 1956 an unusual caravan of vehicle trailers arrived at the Bonneville Salt Flats. They carried a couple of land speed cars from England that must have looked like crash-landed alien spacecraft to the casual observer.

The two cars on the trailers were one-off designs that had been built specifically for Bonneville a couple of years before in 1954.

There was a heavily customized Austin-Healey 100/6 that had been supercharged to within an inch of its life for Donald Healey himself to drive to speeds in excess of 200 mph. And a second car with streamlined bodywork by Jensen that was fitted with a highly tuned, naturally aspirated engine that would be driven by Carroll Shelby and Roy Jackson-Moore to challenge a range of Class D speed and endurance records.

Donald Healey went first. As a former racing driver it had been his life-long goal to drive a car of his own design to speeds in excess of 200 mph. He’d tried a couple of years earlier in 1954 but engine failure had spoiled the party.

This film runs at just over 17 minutes in length, and it shows both cars in action, with some remarkable aerial shots thrown in for good measure. I’m not going to spoil it by telling you here whether they succeeded or not, but I do recommend that you fix yourself a good coffee and hit play on the film.

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Tamiya 1:10 R/C NSU TT Jägermeister Race Car https://silodrome.com/nsu-prinz-tt/ Fri, 05 Jan 2018 09:00:50 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=69893 Tamiya 1:10 R/C NSU TT Jägermeister Race Car

The NSU Prinz is an iconic little car from the West German marque NSU Motorenwerke AG. It was the first post-WWII car from NSU, and it was designed to slot neatly into the economic climate of Germany at the time, when austerity was king and the future seemed uncertain. The cars were small and simple,...

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Tamiya 1:10 R/C NSU TT Jägermeister Race Car

The NSU Prinz is an iconic little car from the West German marque NSU Motorenwerke AG. It was the first post-WWII car from NSU, and it was designed to slot neatly into the economic climate of Germany at the time, when austerity was king and the future seemed uncertain.

The cars were small and simple, with seating for 4, a rear mounted engine, and a trunk up front. Design was initially inline with 1950s “Jet Age” styling before becoming more squared off in the 1960s as tastes changed.

In 1967 the car lost the “Prinz” model name and was just called the NSU 1000, the most potent form of this car was the NSU TT and the NSU TTS. These cars were raced extensively in Europe and often bested vehicles with far more power – thanks to their light weight, good handling, and ambitious drivers.

The Tamiya 1:10 remote controlled model you see here is based on the most famous Prinz-descendent of them all – the orange and black NSU TT Jägermeister race car. It measures in at 393mm long and it has a one-piece polycarbonate body that faithfully evokes the styling of its namesake.

There are very few R/C cars that are as effortlessly cool as this little orange beast, and when you’re not down at the park racing it, it’ll look fantastic on your desk.

Buy Here

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1974 Alpine-Renault A110 B “Team Vialle” https://silodrome.com/alpine-renault-a110/ Thu, 04 Jan 2018 10:00:57 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=69831 1974 Alpine-Renault A110 B “Team Vialle”

The Alpine-Renault A110 was the most successful rally car in the world in 1973, it was the year of the inaugural World Rally Championship, and the lightweight French car was an unstoppable force. 1973 would see the works Alpine-Renault rally team traveling to Monte Carlo (1st, 2nd, 3rd), Sweden (3rd), Portugal (1st and 2nd), East...

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1974 Alpine-Renault A110 B “Team Vialle”

The Alpine-Renault A110 was the most successful rally car in the world in 1973, it was the year of the inaugural World Rally Championship, and the lightweight French car was an unstoppable force.

1973 would see the works Alpine-Renault rally team traveling to Monte Carlo (1st, 2nd, 3rd), Sweden (3rd), Portugal (1st and 2nd), East Africa, Morocco (1st), Greece (1st and 3rd), Poland, Finland, Austria (2nd), Italy (1st and 3rd), the USA, and France (1st, 2nd, 3rd).

It was an extraordinary series of successes, and it’s thought that the engineers at Lancia took note as they were developing the Lancia Stratos – a machine designed from the ground-up to be the quickest rally car in the world.

The Brief History of the Alpine A110

Alpine started out as a small manufacturer of racing and sports cars that were largely reliant on Renault engines and underpinnings. The company was founded by Frenchman Jean Rédélé, he had started out with a diploma from the prestigious business school Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales de Paris, and he quickly became the youngest Renault dealer in France.

Although he had no formal engineering training he proved remarkably apt at building race cars – starting out with the humble Renault 4CV. He took class wins in the Mille Miglia and Coupe des Alpes in the 1950s and posted some positive results at at Le Mans and Sebring as well.

In 1955 he decided to build his own car, still using a Renault 4CV engine, chassis, and running gear, but now with a far lighter (and dare I say better looking) fiberglass body. Three years later in 1958 the Alpine A108 was released, now with styling by Giovanni Michelotti that would define the look of the cars going forward.

The A108, and the Alpines that followed it, had a lightweight fiberglass body with a central tubular backbone chassis that offered excellent rigidity. In 1962 the company made a series of changes and upgrades to the A108 resulting in the A110 – the car that would become the most famous Alpine of all.

The Design of the Alpine A110

The real secret to the success of the A110 was its weight, depending on which engine was fitted the car tipped the scales at approximately 540 kilograms (1,190 lbs). Some compare the Alpine A110 to the Porsche 911 due to its engine also being located in the back, resulting in a heightened potential for snap oversteer, particularly when novice drivers were behind the wheel.

Professional drivers discovered that the weight over the rear wheels resulted in excellent traction, and once they learned to manage its pendulum-like effect found they could send the car sideways around corners with excellent precision.

Due to the location of the engine, the front of the car didn’t need a radiator grill, allowing Michelotti to create his now legendary low-nose design and Kammback rear that offered excellent aerodynamics.

Alpine built the A110 from the early 1960s till the late 1970s, offering increased engine sizes as time went by. Early engines would be as small as 956cc with 95 hp, and by the mid-1970s the car was packing a 1605cc unit with 140 hp.

The rarest and most desirable engine is the Renault-Gordini Type 807-G4, just two A110s were fitted with it, and the car you see here is one of them. The Type 807-G4 was an advanced design, with double overhead cams, four valves per cylinder, an aluminum cylinder block, a dry sump, twin Weber carburetors, and almost 200 hp.

The Alpine-Renault A110 B “Team Vialle” Shown Here

After Renault took over Alpine in 1973 the name officially changed to Alpine-Renault, although many still refer to the cars as the Alpine A110 for the sake of simplicity. The car shown here was acquired as part of Team Viallen – sponsored by Vialle Autogas in the hopes of achieving favorable exposure in the increasingly popular world of rallycross racing.

This car, chassis #20377, took its first win in Holland in 1977. It was driven by Piet Kruythof in the 1977 and 1978 FIA European Rallycross Championships, and it’s the winner of the 1978 Dutch Rallycross Championship – making it the most successful A110 in the history of the FIA European Rallycross Championship.

After an accident in the early 1980s the car ended up in storage, before being rescued and subject to a comprehensive restoration that was completed in 2000 – importantly the original Renault-Gordini Type 807-G4 is still fitted.

After successfully competing at the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed the A110 is now due to be sold by RM Sotheby’s in Paris on the 7th of February. The estimated hammer price is between €140,000 and €180,000 – making it a great buy considering its remarkable heritage.

If you’d like to read more or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.

Images: Tom Gidden ©2017 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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1954 Plymouth Belmont Concept Car https://silodrome.com/plymouth-belmont-concept-car/ Wed, 03 Jan 2018 10:00:02 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=69747 1954 Plymouth Belmont Concept Car

The 1954 Plymouth Belmont was designed as a possible production car, though sadly it never received the green light for a production run. Plymouth Vice President of Design Virgil Exner couldn’t bare to see it scrapped as often happened with these “dream cars”, so he negotiated a special arrangement with the company to let him keep...

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1954 Plymouth Belmont Concept Car

The 1954 Plymouth Belmont was designed as a possible production car, though sadly it never received the green light for a production run.

Plymouth Vice President of Design Virgil Exner couldn’t bare to see it scrapped as often happened with these “dream cars”, so he negotiated a special arrangement with the company to let him keep the car for his own personal use – a highly unusual move at the time.

It’s because of this that the Belmont survived to the modern day, where many of its contemporaries were relegated to the crusher.

The Plymouth Belmont

It’s thought that the Plymouth Division of the Chrysler Corporation were seriously considering selling the Belmont in significant numbers. They built the concept car using a standard Plymouth chassis with a 157 hp poly-head 241 cubic inch V8, drum brakes all round, a Hy-drive transmission, and a solid axle at the back.

The sweeping red body was styled by Briggs Manufacturing, a prolific manufacturer of car bodies for Ford, Chrysler, and LeBaron. Briggs had been acquired by Chrysler in 1953, and put to work almost immediately on the Belmont project. It was decided to use the then-new and cutting edge material called “fiberglass” in the construction of the body.

The first fiberglass-bodied automobile had only been developed 8 years earlier in 1948 (the unusual Stout Scarab), and the material was generating a lot of interest due to its strength, low-cost, lightness, and its ability to be easily molded into very complex shapes.

Once the styling of the body was completed, a mold was created, and the fiberglass was laid. Rather than creating a large number of smaller sections and piecing them together, the team created large panels, a risky move considering the general lack of experience with composites.

The design called for the convertible top to be entirely hidden behind the seats in a compartment, door handles were not fitted as was common at the time with roadsters, and you needed to reach inside the door to open it.

The interior of the Belmont was designed to be opulent, with radio and air conditioner controls in the center console, a centrally-mounted extendible radio antenna, and an expansive dashboard with seven gauges to keep you abreast of the vehicle’s current speed and operating condition.

The seats, console, doors and upper dashboard were upholstered in grey leather, and theres a small centrally-located rear vision mirror mounted on the dash.

In recent years the Plymouth Belmont benefitted from a comprehensive restoration to original condition. Since its restoration it has been shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance where it received a warm welcome due to its iconic design, and for the fact that it was Virgil Exner’s own personal car for many years.

Back in 2014 the Belmont was sold at auction for $1,320,000 USD, and it’s now due to be offered for sale via Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale Arizona between the 13th and 21st of January. If you’d like to read more about the car or register to bid you can click here to view the listing.

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