Cars – Silodrome https://silodrome.com Gasoline Culture Fri, 19 Oct 2018 11:43:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 18077751 The Only One Ever Made – 1965 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake https://silodrome.com/ferrari-330-gt-2-2-shooting-brake/ Tue, 16 Oct 2018 09:01:18 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=84914 The Only One Ever Made – 1965 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake

The Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake is a car with a remarkable history, it was designed by the two man American team of Bob Peak and Luigi Chinetti Jnr and hand-built by famed Italian coachbuilders Vignale. Only one would be made, and fatefully it would be the last car ever made by Alfredo Vignale who...

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The Only One Ever Made – 1965 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake

The Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake is a car with a remarkable history, it was designed by the two man American team of Bob Peak and Luigi Chinetti Jnr and hand-built by famed Italian coachbuilders Vignale. Only one would be made, and fatefully it would be the last car ever made by Alfredo Vignale who was tragically killed in a car accident.

The Ferrari 330 GT 2+2

The Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 was released in 1964 as a development of the 330 America, it featured quad headlights, an extended grille, and a 50mm longer wheelbase. A year later in 1965 a revised version was released with a more traditional twin headlight arrangement, alloy wheels instead of spoked, a 5-speed gearbox, and optional air conditioning and power steering.

The 330 GT 2+2 is possibly best remembered for the fact that it was John Lennon’s first car. The story goes that in February 1965 word spread around London that Lennon had just passed his driving exam. As a young man of almost unlimited wealth he was an ideal target for luxury car salesmen, and many of them rushed their latest and greatest sports cars to his opulent home in Weybridge, Surrey.

The Ferrari dealer was the only man with the foresight to bring a 2+2 model, knowing that Lennon had a young son named Julian, and that Lennon would need at least 3 seats. The dealer’s instinct was proven correct, and Lennon bought a brand-new Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 from him.

Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake

Bob Peak, Luigi Chinetti Jnr, And The Dream Of Bespoke Ferraris

In the mid-to-late 1960s Bob Peak and Luigi Chinetti Jnr were working on a company that would bring bespoke Italian coachbuilt cars to the Americans in an accessible way that had never been tried before.

Bob Peak was already a famous American commercial illustrator who’s work had been featured on the cover of Time Magazine, TV Guide, and Sports Illustrated. He created movie posters for West Side Story, My Fair Lady, and Camelot, before branching out into sci-fi and action films designing posters for the first 5 Star Trek films, Rollerball, Superman, The Spy Who Loved Me, Apocalypse Now, and many more.

Luigi Chinetti Jnr is the son of famed Italian-American Ferrari importer Luigi Chinetti, Jnr grew up surrounded by Ferraris and racing drivers. He started out sweeping the floors in the shop and worked his way up – becoming a racing driver and car designer in his own right.

When Peak and Chinetti Jnr joined forces to develop what they hoped would be the first of many Ferraris with bespoke bodies they didn’t do things by halves. The design they came up with was cutting edge for 1967, and far more modern looking than the 1967 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 it was based on. Sadly their enterprise never got off the ground, leaving it as one of those curious historical “what ifs”.

Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake Rear

The 1965 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake

Space-age is a word that gets thrown around a lot, but when this car was first displayed on the Vignale Stand at the 1968 Torino Motor Show the term was used justifiably and frequently by attendees laying eyes on it for the first time.

The new Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake shared no exterior parts in common with the 330 GT 2+2, save for a part of each door, and the windscreen. The design was well ahead of its time, with lines that would have looked perfectly at home in the mid-1970s.

The sweeping hood is bordered on either side by elegantly creased fenders, the quad headlights are tucked discreetly behind louvres that are referenced slightly further back behind the front wheel arches. An unusual series of vents extend from the door centerlines up over the roof, and the glass house rear-end has a glass rear hatch – pre-dating the one used on the Volvo 1800ES by four years.

Under the hood the 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake is powered by the same 4.0 liter (3,967 cc) SOHC V12 Engine as the regular 330 GT, with triple Weber dual throat carburetors, a 5-speed manual gearbox, and 300 bhp at 6,600 rpm.

The car has attracted much attention over the years, counting Jay Kay of Jamiroquai amongst its former keepers. With the resurgence  of interest and popularity surrounding shooting brakes, this one has been popping back up on the radar more recently – widely regarded as one of the single finest shooting brakes in history.

If you’d like to take it home with you you’ll need to make your way to the RM Sotheby’s auction at the Petersen Automotive Museum on the 8th of December. There’s currently no estimate listened and you can click here to visit the listing if you’d like to see more of the car or register to bid.

Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake Side

Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake Rear

Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake Rear 2

Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake

Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake Interior

Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake Interior

Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake Front

Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake Back

Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake Back 1

Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake

Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake Wheel

Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake V12 Engine

Images: Erik Fuller ©2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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A Brief History of the Willys Jeep https://silodrome.com/history-willys-jeep/ Mon, 15 Oct 2018 07:00:13 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=82696 A Brief History of the Willys Jeep

Enzo Ferrari is reported to have called the Willys Jeep "the only true American sports car" - it was also one of very few things designed by a committee that turned out to be a success. This true American sports car, designed by a committee, was the American icon of the Second World War, the humble Jeep.

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A Brief History of the Willys Jeep

The Willys Jeep – Introduction and Background

Enzo Ferrari is reported to have called the Willys Jeep “the only true American sports car” – it was also one of very few things designed by a committee that turned out to be a success.

This true American sports car, designed by a committee, was the American icon of the Second World War, the humble Jeep.

The beginning of thinking towards creating a small multi-purpose soldier and weapons carrier began in the United States in the years after the First World War. During that conflict motorcycles, both with sidecars and solo, had been used with good effect. So initial thinking was along those lines, as it was for the German military also.

The Ford Model T was considered but the design was already becoming dated. By 1935 however the United States military could see that it was going to need to gear up for a major war that would likely be on an even larger scale than the First World War. It would be a war in which mechanization would be a key strategic element.

By 1935 Japan had already begun its operations to invade China, beginning with the invasion of Manchuria and establishment of Manchukuo in 1931. The Japanese believed their emperor to be a god, and by definition this, in their minds, gave them the right to rule all nations under the principle of “Hakkō ichiu”. Meanwhile in Europe Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party had established absolute rule in Germany with a vision to establish authoritarian rule over all of Europe. The Nazis had supporters in the United States, and he was named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1938. The writing was very much on the wall and Uncle Sam knew he needed to get his thinking cap on.

The Blitz Buggy is Born – Godfather of the Willys Jeep

Even with his thinking cap on Uncle Sam, in the form of the United States Department of War, took until the war in Europe was well underway. It was on 11th July 1940 that the Department of War finally formalized its specifications for a quarter ton small four wheel drive vehicle and sent those specifications to no less than 135 US manufacturers.

The fact that there were 135 US manufacturers who the Department of War thought worthy of being sent such an ambitious proposal augured well for America’s industrial ability to engage in the war that was looming. This request was urgent however, so urgent that companies were given just 11 days to respond with a bid, 49 days in which to have a prototype ready, and 75 days in which to produce an initial run of 70 vehicles. Of the 135 just 2 submitted proposals, American Bantam and Willys Overland.

The Army Ordnance Technical Committee specifications for this new vehicle was that it must be a four-wheel-drive capable of carrying a crew of three, have a wheelbase of 75″ and a track of no more than 47″. The empty weight of the vehicle was to be no more than 1,300lb and it had to be able to take a payload of 660lb. Its engine was to produce no less than 85lb/ft of torque, and the vehicle was to have a fold up windscreen, perhaps so that officers could drive it in rainstorms in reasonable comfort.

Bantam Blitz Buggy

Bantam won the initial contract as the only company who would commit to meeting the Department of War’s deadlines, and so Bantam’s Chief Engineer, Harold Crist contacted a freelance engineer named Karl Probst to work on the project. Harold Crist had previously worked for two of America’s most prestigious automakers, Duesenberg and Stutz, and so we might well think that Enzo Ferrari was right about the Jeep’s sports car heritage.

Karl Probst had been contacted by the Army, who had persuaded him to join the project, and no doubt impressed on him the urgency. He, in collaboration with Harold Crist and a team at Bantam, created the blueprints for the vehicle in just 2 days, and had the costings done by the third day. We can assume they burned the midnight oil quite liberally to achieve such a feat.

The Bantam designed was based almost entirely on existing Bantam parts, although it required a custom four wheel drive-train which was created by American gearbox maker Spicer. The engine used was a Continental 118 cu. in. (1.8 liter) 45hp four cylinder that produced 86lb/ft torque, just meeting the Army’s requirements in everything but vehicle weight: the Bantam tipped the scales at 1,840lb. Despite it being a tad overweight the little Bantam’s successor, the Bantam BRC 40, would later prove that it could capably tow an anti-tank gun.

Flying Jeep Bantam BRC40

The prototype was built in a workshop in Butler, Pennsylvania, and driven to Camp Holabird, Maryland, where the army’s testing facility was located, arriving on September 23rd, 1940. The little vehicle was dubbed the “Blitz Buggy” (aka. “Old Number One”), no doubt in reference to The Blitz that the Nazi Luftwaffe was waging against Britain at that time.

Close, But No Cigar

One would think that after such a Herculean effort that it would be Bourbon and cigars all around at Bantam but it was not to be. The Army knew that Bantam did not have the production capacity to meet the Army’s needs nor did they have the money behind them to accomplish such a feat.

So the Army invited Willys and Ford to create prototypes and, as if to add insult to injury, they sent the Bantam Blitz Buggy’s blueprints to both companies after having them see the Bantam in action. The Army claimed to own the blueprints as they’d been created for their proposal, and Bantam were not in a position to do anything about it other than not breaking out the whisky and cigars.

American Bantam BRC 60 Jeep

Ford and Willys got busy on creating their own prototypes and were given more leeway in that the weight limit for the new vehicle was raised to 2,160lb. Bantam also revised and improved their model which became the BRC 60 (BRC standing for Bantam Reconnaissance Car). The Willys prototype was called the Quad, and the Ford the Pygmy.

All three were tested in trials resulting in some changes. The Bantam revised model was called the BRC-40 and it turned out to be the lightest and arguably best performer having good suspension, brakes and fuel economy. However, Bantam could not meet the Army’s production requirement of 75 vehicles per day. Thus it was that the Army also contracted Willys and Ford to produce their models as well. The Willys Quad was renamed the MA (i.e. Military model A) and it had 240lb pruned off its weight.

Willys Quad

The Ford was given the name “GP” (which is not the origin of the name “Jeep“), the G standing for “Government” and the P denoting the vehicle’s wheelbase of 80″ (the Army had allowed the wheelbase to be 80″ after deciding that the original specification of 75″ was too short).

Willys Jeeps for War

Willys Jeep cutaway

The early pre-production prototypes from all three manufacturers were not left to sit idle. The war had already caught up with supply and surpassed it. The first 1,555 Willys Jeep MAs were sent off to the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease program, and 4,458 Ford GP vehicles were put to work in the US military. The Ford MA was a well liked vehicle but suffered from a weak and unreliable engine, the Ford Model N agricultural tractor engine.

Willys Jeep dashboard interior

With the need to standardize on one design the Willys was chosen, in part because of its superior “Go Devil” engine, and Willys were contracted to produce 16,000 of the little vehicles. These were improved yet again incorporating best features from the Bantam and Ford, such as the Ford’s flat hood/bonnet, and were designated the Willys MB.

Demand continued to outstrip supply and by October 1941 the War Department got Ford to start manufacturing the Willys MB using their mass production capability, using the standardized Willys MB design complete with the Willys “Go Devil” engine. These Ford built vehicles were designated the Ford GPW, the “W” meaning they were made according to the Willys Jeep design.

These standardized models featured full interchangeability of parts despite there being some manufacturing differences between the Willys and Ford made vehicles: examples include the Willys having a tubular front cross-member while the Ford was made with an inverted “U” one, and the front grill of the Willys started out being an iron welded slat unit whereas the Ford was a pressed steel one. Willys changed over to the lighter and more easily made Ford style during wartime production.

Willys Jeep Go-Devil engine

Over the course of the war 363,000 Willys Jeeps and 280,000 Ford GPWs were built. American Bantam were also commissioned to build their nimble little BRC 40’s and they made 2,605, with most being sent to British and Commonwealth military forces such as those of Australia and New Zealand.

Bantam BRC 40 Jeep King George VI

The Ford GPA Amphibious “Seep”

With the Willys Jeep proving to be such an astounding success, fertile minds were busy thinking of more possible uses for it, sort of like the people who busy their minds finding more and more uses for WD40 or duct tape.

By 1942 Pearl Harbor had happened and the Japanese had demonstrated a remarkable level of military coordination by attacking not only Pearl Harbour, but also Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaya and Thailand all on the same day.

The United States understood that the war with Japan was going to involve operations at sea and the islands of South-East and East Asia. The military was going to need amphibious vehicles of which the DUKW was a good example. It was decided to make an amphibious Jeep, sort of like a smaller version of the DUKW.

Ford GPA Amphibious Seep Jeep

In collaboration with the US military Ford approached Roderick Stephens Jr. of Sparkman & Stephens Incorporated, who were yacht builders, with a view to using the standard Ford (Willys) parts to create an amphibious version of the Jeep: a “Sea Jeep” which would be called the “Seep”. The amphibious Jeep was created, perhaps in too much of a hurry given the pressure of wartime needs, and put into production.

The resulting vehicle turned out to be too heavy and this gave it a much lower than desirable free-board, with the result that it was not useful in anything other than calm waters. These amphibious Jeeps were withdrawn from US service and most were shipped to the Soviet Union where they proved to be very useful for crossing frozen lakes and rivers, situations in which the lack of free-board was not a big issue.

If crossing a frozen lake or river in a normal vehicle, if the ice breaks, the vehicle sinks into the icy water and the crew either drown or die of hypothermia: neither of which is desirable. But if in a Ford GPA Seep if the vehicle breaks through the ice the occupants are kept safe from a cold and miserable fate, and will live to sip a Vodka or two again. The Soviets were so happy with their amphibious Jeeps that they created their own version, the GAZ-46.

Ford GPA Amphibious Seep

As a side note the Ford GPA had considerable potential as was demonstrated by Western Australian Ben Carlin who modified one, named it “Half Safe” and proceeded to take it on an around the world journey which took him five attempts and ten years.

But he did it, and his modified Ford GPA can be seen if you are visiting down in Perth, Western Australia, in the foyer of Guildford Grammar School. Half Safe is a reminder that intelligent determination can help you to achieve things that other people think are impossible.

Half-Safe Across the Atlantic by Jeep

The Jeep in a Post-War World

At the end of the Second World War the Willys Jeep, as built by Willys and Ford, had proved itself to be a huge success. General Eisenhower described it as one of the six most important vehicles of the war, while General George Marshall described it as  “America’s greatest contribution to modern warfare.”

It had earned its laurels, and would continue to do so in the Korean War, and in Vietnam. Returning soldiers, coming home to rural America also had developed a great respect for the diminutive little four wheel drive automobile. One even had a Willys Jeep fitted with custom luxury car coachwork in Europe: it made it into Life Magazine. Perhaps it should have been an inspiration for Willys?

Custom coachbuilt Jeep Life Magazine

The Jeep had been such a success that Willys were determined to put the car into production for the civilian market they could see it would do well in. This was the world’s first four wheel drive production car and it would be attractive to farmers, mining companies, fishing enthusiasts and sporting hunters.

Willys also had a marketing advantage that many companies would just about kill for: all over the world the US and Allied military either sold or gave away vast numbers of war surplus Willys Jeeps. The Willys Jeep was already poised to be the world’s number one four wheel drive. All that was needed was for Willys to position themselves to take advantage of those world markets with dealerships, parts supply, and workshops.

Willys had seen that coming and had filed to trademark the “Jeep” name in 1943. This quite rightly went to litigation: American Bantam were the ones who had actually created the “Jeep”, and then the US Department of War had supplied all the Bantam “Blitz Buggy” blueprints to Willys and Ford with the instructions to imitate and improve, which they duly did.

So it was in 1948 that the Federal Trade Commission forbade Willys from claiming that they had created the Jeep: it had been created by Bantam with further input by Willys, Ford and Spicer. This didn’t alter things for long however as American Bantam went bankrupt in 1950, and Willys was then awarded the rights to the Jeep name that same year.

Land Rover prototype Jeep chassis Maurice Wilks

None of these things had stood in way of Willys striking while the iron was hot and getting their civilian version of the Willys Jeep into production and out into the dealerships in 1945. Despite being quick into action the work on the vehicle that would take what could have been the Jeep’s markets in the British Commonwealth nations was quietly underway.

Over in Britain at luxury car maker Rover, the Chief Engineer, Maurice Wilks, was at work on Britain’s four wheel drive “Jeep”. Maurice based his new “Land Rover” on the Jeep design, in fact he built his first prototype on a war surplus Jeep chassis, and by 1948 Rover showed their car at the Amsterdam motor show and orders for the Land Rover came in faster than the factory could make them. The British “Jeep” legend had just been born.

The Willys Jeep CJ2A

Jeep CJ2A

Willys CJ series (CJ stands for Civilian Jeep) began with prototype models CJ1 and CJ2 “Agri-Jeep” before the CJ2A production model was settled on ready for 1945. Wisely Willys did not change the wartime Jeep design much. The CJ2A was equipped with a tailgate which necessitated mounting the spare tire on the side of the vehicle. The headlights were larger than the war Jeeps and flush mounted.

The grill was made with seven slots, because Ford had created the wartime nine slot grill. Down under the bodywork was a new T90 transmission replacing the original T84 while the “Go Devil” engine was the same as used in the military Willys Jeeps. Keeping the CJ2A as much as possible the same as the wartime MB meant that Willys could happily use up its inventory of MB parts to make profitable new Civilian Jeeps.

Willys Jeep advertisement

Advertising for the Willys Jeep CJ2A aimed at the likely agricultural and industrial uses of the Jeep and did not forget to mention the public utility roles and recreational uses for the little vehicle. To make the Jeep even more useful Willys did exactly what Maurice Wilks did as he designed the Land Rover: the Willys Jeep was provided with an impressive list of optional extras such as front and rear power take-off, capstan winch, and dual vacuum windshield wipers. There were also options to harden up the Jeep by fitting drive shaft guards, radiator shield, and a hot climate radiator.

The Willys Jeep CJ2A was in production from 1945 until 1949 when it was superseded by the CJ3A and CJ3B

The Willys Jeep CJ3A and CJ3B

The CJ3A was introduced in 1949 and was an incremental upgrade to the CJ2A. The driver leg room was increased by moving the front seat rearwards so that those tall enough for a future as a professional basketball player could drive one in comfort, this being accomplished by shortening the rear wheel well.

Also to improve driver and passenger comfort the seat cushions were improved, and the canvas hood was given waterproof joins was well as being made higher for better head room.

Willys Jeep CJ3B

In 1953 the CJ3A was further improved with the fitting of the new Hurricane engine to become the CJ3B. The F-head Hurricane engine required the hood/bonnet to be made higher giving these vehicles a distinctly different appearance. Sales of the CJ3B to the public ended in 1964 although the vehicle remained in production for military and commercial fleet buyers until 1968.

Willys continued to improve and develop the Jeep for military use and introduced the M38 (aka the MC) in 1950 with this model being made until 1952 when it was replaced by the M38A1(aka MD). The M38A1 introduced the rounded fenders that would be characteristic of the civilian CJ5 and was fitted with the Hurricane F-head engine.

The military model Willys Jeeps were made with stronger chassis and suspension with reversed spring shackles, 24 volt electrical system, and military instrumentation. Just like their Second World War siblings they were often fitted out with a variety of special equipment, such as shovels and tools mounted on the vehicle’s side, and arms such as machine guns.

The M38A1 was in production until 1971.

The Jeep CJ5 and CJ6

1955 saw Willys under new ownership, by Kaiser Industries. With this the Jeep was changed and modernized away from its familiar World War II appearance. The new CJ5 featured a rounded hood/bonnet and fenders with the bodywork being made of heavier gauge steel. The windscreen was taller and one-piece, and the front seats were form fitting bucket seats providing a good level of comfort.

Also improving the comfort were the longer springs while the instrument panel was a deeper back lit unit, the handbrake being re-located underneath the instrument panel to the left of the driver. The CJ6 was made as a long wheelbase version having a wheelbase of 101″ from 1955-1971 and 103.5″ from 1972-1981, when the Jeep CJ had to be stretched to accommodate the new engines.

Jeep CJ5

In 1965 the model was offered with not only the four cylinder Hurricane engine but with a new 155 hp, 225 cu. in. (3.7 liter) V6 Dauntless engine which Kaiser Industries had purchased the rights to make from GM Buick. This engine proved to be very popular and three-quarters of all CJ5 and CJ6 models were sold with it during this period. The CJ5 and CJ6 were also offered with the option of a British 192 cu. in. (3.15 liter) four cylinder Perkins diesel engine. This “Four Pot Perky” produced 62 hp @ 3.000 rpm with 143lb/ft torque @ 1,350 rpm.

This changed again in 1972 after Willys was purchased by AMC (American Motors Corporation) in 1970. AMC decided they no longer wanted to market the Jeep as a “workhorse” agricultural and industrial vehicle but instead as a sporty vehicle. In line with this they did away with the optional power take-off facilities and began to install even more powerful engines. AMC decided they wanted the CJ5 and CJ6 powered by AMC engines and so the Jeeps were fitted with the AMC 232 cu. in. (3.8 liter), 248 cu. in. (4.2 liter) six cylinder engines, or the 304 cu. in. (5 liter) V8.

In order to fit these much larger engines into the Jeep it needed to be stretched somewhat gaining three inches in wheelbase to 83″. Not only was the chassis stretched but it was also reinforced with a new box frame having six cross members. The fuel tank was also moved to the rear of the vehicle and increased in size to ensure the more powerful, and therefore more thirsty engines, still had enough fuel to give the car a decent range.

In 1976 the CJ5 was fitted with a Borg-Warner Quadra-Trac full time four wheel drive transmission. This system featured high and low range and a lockable limited slip center differential. In 1977 the frame was again revised to a fully boxed type and then in 1979 the standard engine became the 258 cu. in. (4.2 liter) in-line six cylinder with a twin barrel Carter carburetor.

The engine changed again in 1980 with the Jeep being fitted with a GM “Iron Duke” inline four cylinder engine which was branded as a “Hurricane” engine mated to a four speed close ratio gearbox. To cope with these more powerful engines the drive train was also beefed up including the front axle becoming a fully-floating Dana 30. One result of the new Dana 30 was the reduction of the car’s turning circle by six feet.

The CJ5 was sold in a significant number of special package editions such as the Renegade, Super Jeep, Golden Eagle and Silver Anniversary. The “Tuxedo Park” series ultimately became a series of its own as the CJ5A and CJ6A.

Production of the CJ5 and CJ6 ended in 1983.

The Jeep CJ7

Introduced in 1976, the Jeep CJ7 was acknowledged by the factory as the last of the line that began with the World War II Jeep. The CJ7 was a model that was modified for improved stability, and that was made with side cut-outs designed for the fitting of real steel doors.

The chassis of the CJ7 comprised two parallel longitudinal “C” section rails with the rear section of the chassis stepped out to enable the springs and shock absorbers to be mounted closer to the outside of the body, to improve stability. The wheelbase of the CJ7 was longer than the CJ5 at 93.5″

Jeep CJ7

The CJ7 was made with the automatic Quadra-Trac all wheel drive system as well as a part time two speed transfer case and so customers had the option of manual or fully automatic transmissions. Engine choices were a 150 cu. in. (2.46 liter) inline four cylinder, a 258 cu. in. (4.2 liter) inline six cylinder, a 304 cu. in. (5 liter) V8, or a 145 cu. in. (2.4 liter) inline four cylinder diesel. For export only an additional option was an Isuzu C240 diesel engine.

The CJ7 was made in a number of trim packages including Renegade, Golden Eagle, Golden Hawk, Laredo, Limited, and the Jamboree Commemorative Edition made for the 30th Anniversary of the Rubicon Trail. This last special edition was the most heavily optioned Jeep ever built. These last Jeeps feature a dashboard plaque that reads “Last of a Great Breed – This collectors-edition CJ ends an era that began with the legendary Jeep of World War II”.

The Jeep CJ8

The CJ8 was the Jeep owned by American President Ronald Reagan. It was best known as the Jeep Scrambler and it was a long wheelbase version based on the CJ7. The CJ8 was sold between 1981-1986 and had a wheelbase of 103.5″.

Jeep CJ8 Scrambler

The Jeep Scrambler’s cab was removable and the rear section was not a flat bed, but a utility style box. The vehicle was offered with four or five speed manual transmission or three speed automatic. They used a standard transfer case with front locking hubs.

The Jeep CJ10

The very last Jeep to wear the CJ name was the CJ10 which was only made for export, particularly for export to Australia. This model was a pickup truck made from 1981-1985 and was based on the Jeep J10 pickup truck. So in a sense these were not descendants of the original Jeeps at all but are only included here because they are the last of the vehicles to bear the Jeep CJ name. Engines were a 198 cu. in. (3.2 liter) inline six cylinder Nissan diesel, a 151 cu. in. (2.5 liter) inline four cylinder AMC engine, or a 258 cu. in. (4.2 liter) six-cylinder AMC unit.

Conclusion

The humble Willys Jeep started a revolution from which the world has never quite recovered. In its part in revolutionizing modern warfare the Jeep provided battlefield mobility far beyond what had been possible in the First World War.

Amongst the Jeeps many users were ambulance services and Special Operations soldiers for whom the ability to move quickly in inhospitable terrain provided great advantages. The Jeep’s flat hood/bonnet was multi-purpose serving as a map table or even temporary operating table: and it proved to be a good place to carry extra fuel cans.

Wlllys Jeep Special Air Service SAS soldiers

Moving in civilian life the Jeep proved to be the next generation vehicle after the Ford Model T. Here was a vehicle that could go most places, that was reasonably economical to buy and to run, and that was able to be maintained and repaired by its owner. The Jeep was a great vehicle for the post World War 2 era, a practical vehicle for practical people. It was so practical that even the British emulated it in making their own “Land Rover“.

The Jeep also reflects the changes in culture of the United States over the years of its production. It went from being a small utilitarian vehicle to being a V8 powered sports machine for a new generation raised in a nation that was mostly at peace, a nation whose young people had not faced two World Wars with a major economic depression sandwiched between them. If we compare the wartime Jeep with the CJ7 in its final iteration we see not only the development of a vehicle, but in it a reflection of the changes in the United States as a nation.

The Willys Jeep not only proved to be a cultural icon in the United States but also elsewhere. In the Philippines the “Jeepney” became the iconic mode of transportation for that nation and remains so to the present day.

Despite the fact that the world has moved on the Willys Jeep has successfully carved out for itself a place in history. It has saved lives, saved farms, and helped save the free world from totalitarianism.

That’s a pretty impressive set of achievements for a small 4×4 without a roof.

Photo Credits: US Army, British Army, Willys, Kaiser, AMC, Bonhams, RM Sotheby’s, Land Rover.

Willys Jeep Blueprints

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An Original 100% Driveable Porsche 356 A Training Chassis https://silodrome.com/porsche-356-chassis/ Tue, 09 Oct 2018 08:39:57 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=84559 An Original 100% Driveable Porsche 356 A Training Chassis

This original 1956 Porsche 356 A training chassis was developed to give American mechanics a detailed understanding of Porsche running gear and engineering – most of which would have been a little unusual to them back in the mid-1950s when Porsche was still a relatively new company. Interestingly the suspension arrangement differs between the left...

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An Original 100% Driveable Porsche 356 A Training Chassis

This original 1956 Porsche 356 A training chassis was developed to give American mechanics a detailed understanding of Porsche running gear and engineering – most of which would have been a little unusual to them back in the mid-1950s when Porsche was still a relatively new company.

Interestingly the suspension arrangement differs between the left and right side of the car, with VW-type with thrusted ball bearings on the left and a reinforced type with tapered roller bearings on the right. This was so that mechanics could learn to work on both suspension types with confidence, made all the easier by the fact that there was no bodywork blocking the way.

Porsche 356 Chassis

Despite the fact it’s missing a body, the chassis is 100% drivable and operational, though it was built with larger-than-factory tolerances to allow for it to be disassembled and reassembled countless times without issue.

Students of automotive history will be interested to learn that the chassis was originally used by Max Hoffman’s Hoffman Motors, the iconic European car importer based in New York who was responsible for convincing European automakers to develop and sell vehicles like the Porsche 356 Speedster, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, the BMW 2002, the BMW 507 roadster, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider, and many more.

After the introduction of the Porsche 356 B this chassis was largely obsolete, so it was sold on and passed through a small number of hands before finally being discovered in a chicken coop in 1976 with a Devon fiberglass body attached. The car was bought by Bill Jones who had been trying to find it for years after originally seeing it at Hoffman’s workshop in 1959.

Porsche 356 Chassis Overhead Transmission Tunnel

The painstaking restoration took 11 years, bringing the car back to as-close-as-original condition as possible, whilst also adding period correct bumpers and a horn to make it a little safer when being driven.

Once completed the car was featured in a number of Porsche magazines in the late 1980s, more recently it was part of a prominent Porsche collection in the Midwest, and it’s now being offered for sale by RM Sotheby’s.

If you’d like to read more about the chassis or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing, there’s currently no estimate attached and it’s due to sell on the 27th of October.

Porsche 356 Chassis Side 2

Porsche 356 Chassis Carburetor

Porsche 356 Chassis Engine 2

Porsche 356 Chassis Side 1

Porsche 356 Chassis Steering Wheel

Porsche 356 Chassis Rear

Porsche 356 Chassis Side

Porsche 356 Chassis Rear Wheel

Porsche 356 Chassis Engine

Images: Tyler Breedwell ©2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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A Brief History of the Land Rover Series 3 https://silodrome.com/history-land-rover-series-3/ Mon, 08 Oct 2018 09:00:06 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=81804 A Brief History of the Land Rover Series 3

The Land Rover Series 3 – Introduction The Land Rover Series 3 was introduced in 1971 and was pretty much a “face-lifted” version of the Series 2 and 2a. Most parts are interchangeable between the 2a and the 3. The Series 3 (commonly referred to as the Series III) featured a few mechanical improvements over...

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A Brief History of the Land Rover Series 3

The Land Rover Series 3 – Introduction

The Land Rover Series 3 was introduced in 1971 and was pretty much a “face-lifted” version of the Series 2 and 2a. Most parts are interchangeable between the 2a and the 3. The Series 3 (commonly referred to as the Series III) featured a few mechanical improvements over the Series 2a.

It had the fully synchromesh four speed gearbox that had been fitted to late model Series 2a cars (especially the 2a Station Wagons), the headlights were mounted on the front of the fenders/wings, and the front metal grille was replaced by a stylish looking plastic one. The bonnet/hood of the Series 3 was re-styled with a rounded front edge and recessed spare wheel which both looked good and turned out to be practical. This bonnet/hood had been introduced on the Series 2a Station Wagons so it was not entirely new.

Land Rover Series 3

The interior of the Land Rover Series 3 was distinctly different in appearance. The plain metal, easy to maintain, central dashboard of the Series 2 and 2a was replaced with a modern looking plastic one which re-located the instruments directly in front of the driver. This was actually a very practical change as the instruments were easily visible and the whole dashboard gave the vehicle a rather more up-market look. On the Station Wagon models which included door trims, floor mats, and a roof lining, the interior looked positively classy.

Land Rover Series III interior

In the electrical department the old style Lucas generator was replaced with an alternator providing much better electrical performance, and reliability. The old Lucas generators (dynamo) of the earlier Land Rovers had a poor reputation for reliability, the end bearing being a common weakness that would chew out and cause the generator to fail. This and similar problems led to Lucas being wryly referred to as “the prince of darkness”. So the new electrical system with a nice new Lucas alternator was a welcome improvement.

The Long Wheelbase Series 3 vehicles were fitted with the stronger Salisbury rear axle and these had a good reputation for reliability and strength. The all synchromesh gearbox was generally a joy to use but acquired a reputation for the gear-lever snapping off. If this happened the Land Rover driver would need to try to attach something like Vise Grips with some wire to to the broken stub to be able to keep going. The all synchromesh gearbox featured slightly lower first and reverse gear ratios, the same as on the late model Series 2a fitted with this same gearbox.

Land Rover Series III 2.3 liter engine

One of the criticisms of the previous Land Rover models was that they could be prone to rear axle half shaft breakage. The Salisbury rear axle was an initial solution to that problem and in 1982 the half-shaft splines were increased in number from ten to twenty-four which proved to be a near perfect fix. The Land Rover rear hubs used a fully floating design so the half-shafts could be easily removed and replaced, although in the event of a breakage getting the broken bits out was not necessarily an easy job. The Salisbury rear-axle developed a good reputation and was regarded as a mostly unbreakable unit.

Land Rover Series III

The engines used in the the Series 3 vehicles were the same ones as used in the Series IIa. The standard four cylinder 2.25 liter in-line OHV petrol/gasoline engine was the standard for Short Wheelbase models whilst the 2.6 liter IOE (Inlet Over Exhaust) six cylinder was more common on the Long Wheelbase cars. The four cylinder engine was upgraded in 1980 by increasing the number of engine main bearings from three to five. When this change was made Rover renamed the engine a “2.3 liter”, although the engine’s capacity was not changed remaining at 2,286cc. The compression ratio was changed however from 7.1:1 to 8.1:1 with the engine producing 70bhp @ 4,000rpm with torque of 120lb/ft @ 1,500rpm. By this stage of production a Zenith carburetor was fitted.

The 2.6 liter IOE six cylinder engine kept its same capacity of 2,625cc and with a compression ratio of 7.8:1 delivered 86bhp @ 4,500rpm with torque of 132lb/ft @ 1,500rpm. The diesel engine was the familiar four cylinder of 2,286cc capacity with a compression ratio of 23:1 delivering 60bhp @ 4,000rpm and torque of 103lb/ft @ 1,800rpm.

Land Rover 2,286cc four cylinder diesel engine

Underneath the Short Wheelbase model were the same size brakes as previously; 10″x 1½” drums, but servo assisted. Wheels and tires were 6.00″x 16″. The Long Wheelbase model was a little different in that the final drive was geared for slightly better road cruising speed of 16.5mph per 1,000rpm in top gear by comparison with the SWB which did 15.1mph per 1,000rpm in top gear. The Long Wheelbase 109″ models with the 2.6 liter six cylinder engine were fitted with larger 11″x 3″ drum brakes at the front and 11″x 2¼” at the rear. Wheels and tires for the LWB were 7.5″x 16″.

Mechanically the suspension remained largely the same as previous models with the same swivel pin housings for the front drive and steering. Front and rear suspension comprised live axles with semi-elliptic leaf springs with steering by a recirculating ball and nut system.

Land Rover Series III front swivel pin housing steering

Unladen weight of the Short Wheelbase 88″ model was 2,953lb, and for the Long Wheelbase 109″ 3,301lb. Maximum allowable vehicle weight for the SWB was 4,453lb and for the LWB 5,905lb.

Because it was designed to be an expedition vehicle the Land Rover was made with a number of configurable options. The vehicle could be fitted with fuel tanks in three locations; under the driver’s seat, under the passenger seat, and under the rear compartment.

Land Rover Series III Salisbury rear axle rear mounted fuel tank

In theory at least this meant that the vehicle could be fitted with three fuel tanks, the one’s under the driver’s and passenger’s seats holding about ten gallons each and the one under the rear compartment floor holding about fifteen. So the car could carry up to about thirty five gallons of fuel making it a bit of a mobile fuel dump: something very useful if you were planning a little jaunt up Western Australia’s Canning Stock Route, or a Cairo to the Cape excursion.

Land Rover Cut Away

In addition to the fuel tanks it was also possible to get jerrycan carriers mounted to the rear of the vehicle and in some countries at the front also. Owners customized their Land Rover to suit their taste and needs: the recessed front grille of the Series 3 made front jerrycan holders easier to fit for example. One useful change for an expedition vehicle on the 109″ Station Wagon was to remove one of the rearmost compartment’s occasional bench seats and fit a decent size water tank, which could be provided with a convenient external tap (with padlock if needed). The ability to extensively customize the Land Rover was one of its great attributes, and helped keep it attractive in competition with its arch rival, the Toyota Land Cruiser J40.

Land Rover Series III with custom trailer

The North American Market “Federal” SWB De Luxe Hardtop

From 1971 until 1974 Rover made a special model for the North American market. This was a De Luxe Short Wheelbase Station Wagon with interior trim, heater/demister, lights set up for North American standards, and an emissions controlled version of the standard 2.25 liter OHV gasoline engine. Wheels were 5.00″x 15″ and tire size was 7.10×15″. This model was fitted with seat belts for all of its seven seats.

The Land Rover was not able to compete in the North American markets: competition from US made four wheel drive and sports utility vehicles was simply too much, and of course the Land Rover, and its spare parts, were imported and thus more expensive.

The Land Rover One Ton and HCPU

The One Ton model had first been introduced as a Series 2a model using a blending of parts both from the standard Series 2a and also from the Forward Control Series 2b. This was offered as a utility and was built on an upgraded chassis that was different to the other models. The One Ton models were fitted with the 2.6 liter six cylinder IOE engine, brakes were the same as for the standard land Rover Series 3 109″ Long Wheelbase models and wheels and tires were 9″x 16″. The Series 3 One Ton had the same “drop-shackle” heavy duty springs as its Series 2a forebear. Production of the One Ton ended in 1977.

In April 1982 the Land Rover HCPU (High Capacity Pick Up) was introduced. This version of the Series 3 had a 1.3 Tonne load carrying capacity.

The Land Rover Series 3 Stage One V8

The Series 3 Stage One V8 109″ Long Wheelbase was the transitional model that would herald in the new Land Rover Defender. The Stage One V8 was very much a Series 3 Land Rover complete with original leaf springs but with the alloy V8 engine used on the Range Rover with its five speed gearbox and full time four wheel drive. For the Land Rover Series 3 Stage One V8 the engine was detuned with a lowered compression ratio to produce 91hp: these things being done to ensure the V8 would run well on low quality fuel, to limit the vehicle’s top speed, and also to maximize its torque. Low speed torque is crucial in a four wheel drive and Rover wanted this transitional model to establish a good reputation to help launch of the next planned model, the coil spring Defender.

Land Rover Series III V8 Stage One

This vehicle was introduced in 1979 and would remain in production until 1983. One of the major reasons that Land Rover were losing their market share to the Japanese Toyota Land Cruiser J40 was because of the Land Rover’s lack of power, and consequent lack of ability to keep up with traffic on country highways.

One of the countries where this was very much an issue was Australia, where people expected to be able to cover long distances in reasonable time. This meant that a vehicle needed to be able to comfortably cruise at 65mph on highways. The Toyota Land Cruiser was able to deliver that performance: the Land Rover was not able to do that comfortably unless perhaps it had been fitted with the Fairy Overdrive unit. A common Australian solution to the problem was to remove the Land Rover engine and install a GM Holden six cylinder engine, often with a rear differential change (e.g. One of the Dodge differentials was easy to fit and worked well).

The Series 3 Stage One V8 LWB was visually different to the other members of the Series 3 family in that the recessed front characteristic of Land Rovers had to be made flush in order to fit the V8 engine in. This model was made in all the standard Series 3 body styles and was also available as a rolling chassis for custom coach-builders. By 1982 the County Station Wagon and the High Capacity Pick Up were being offered as a part of the Series 3 Stage One V8 model line-up. This would only be for a year as the Series 3 Stage One V8 ended production the following year in 1983.

Land Rover Chassis

Conclusion

Production of the Land Rover Series 3 began in 1971 and ended in 1985, and about mid-way through the Series 3’s production, in 1976, the 1,000,000 Land Rover rolled off the production line at Solihull. The end of production of the Series 3 in 1985 marked the end of production of the Land Rovers most directly descended from Maurice Wilks’ original sketch in the sand at the beach in Anglesey. The Series 3 was the final refinement of that original design and they proved to be an excellent vehicle, but for a number of reasons were not able to maintain market share against the Japanese Toyota Land Cruiser. The reason for the Land Rover’s decline in popularity are more complex than just issues of design and performance.

Many British car makers, including Rover, had been merged into the British Leyland conglomerate which came under partial government control in 1975. By this stage the British car industry was getting into increasingly poor shape and quality control standards were slipping. At that stage of its history British car making has been described as “a bit shoddy was good enough”. Labor problems were also causing production disruption with the result that not only was quality an issue but also supply of vehicles and parts. So, whilst Britain’s automotive industry was in serious decline, Japan’s was in the ascendancy. Japanese cars were fast acquiring a reputation for being well made and “boringly reliable”.

The impact of these things took their greatest toll in Land Rover’s export markets with the Toyota Land Cruiser seeming to replace the Land Rover in Australia’s mining and agricultural industries almost overnight. By the middle of the 1970’s the Land Rovers seemed to just vanish and “every man and his dog” was driving a Land Cruiser.

Land Rover Series III 109" Station Wagon

The added influence in the decline of the Land Rover was the cost of parts, and hence the cost of maintenance. For export markets Land Rover parts were more expensive than Land Cruiser parts, pretty much sealing the Land Rover’s demise. One of the reasons for Australian Land Rover owners to replace their Land Rover’s original engine and fit a GM Holden one instead was cost of parts, not just the increase in power.

As the Land Rover Series 3 reached the end of its production run in 1985 it was time for some major changes. Rover needed to “pull a rabbit out of the hat”, and thankfully they had that rabbit ready. The Defender was about to make its debut and it would restore the Land Rover’s somewhat battered reputation.

Vintage Land Rover

Photo Credits: Cool & Vintage, RM Sotheby’s, Rover.

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Porsche 356A 1600 Super Speedster – Unicorn Project Car https://silodrome.com/porsche-356a-1600-super-speedster/ Thu, 04 Oct 2018 10:01:01 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=84436 Porsche 356A 1600 Super Speedster – Unicorn Project Car

The Porsche 356A 1600 Super Speedster wasn’t originally designed to be an expensive car, in fact it was specifically designed to be as inexpensive as possible while still being profitable to build and sell. Max Hoffman – Godfather of the Porsche 356 Speedster The idea to build the original Porsche 356 Speedster came not from...

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Porsche 356A 1600 Super Speedster – Unicorn Project Car

The Porsche 356A 1600 Super Speedster wasn’t originally designed to be an expensive car, in fact it was specifically designed to be as inexpensive as possible while still being profitable to build and sell.

Max Hoffman – Godfather of the Porsche 356 Speedster

The idea to build the original Porsche 356 Speedster came not from within Porsche, but from legendary US exotic car importer Max Hoffman.

It was Hoffman who was the impetus for many of the most iconic cars of the mid-20th century including the 356 Speedster, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, the BMW 2002, the BMW 507 roadster, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider, and many many more.

He’s been credited with being the driving force behind the introduction and promotion of marques like MG, Porsche, Alfa Romeo, BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Fiat, Healey and others into the USA – his influence on the American and European automotive industries has been critically under appreciated in the decades since he retired in 1975.

Porsche 356A 1600 Super Speedster 2

The Introduction of the Porsche 356 Speedster

Few cars besides the 911 have been as important to Porsche as the 356 Speedster, he latter of which was introduced in late 1954 as a low-cost, lower weight version of the 356 cabriolet.

In order to get the cost down below the target $3000 USD mark some of the interior trim was removed, a minimal folding top was paired with a low, removable windscreen, side curtains were installed instead of wind-up windows,  and the dashboard was limited to a speedometer and a temperature gauge.

Just a few months after the Speedster’s introduction movie star and keen amateur racing driver James Dean traded his MG for a Porsche Super Speedster not dissimilar to the one shown here.

The waitlist to buy one was long, and it’s likely that his national fame bumped him to the top and got him into a car far more quickly than would have been possible otherwise.

The $2995 MSRP and spritely performance made possible by the low kerb weight, competitive power-to-weight ratio, and independent front and rear suspension led to strong sales, and a halo effect that lifted the still-new automaker to a place of reverence in the minds of sporting-minded American drivers.

All in all, the 356 Speedster would only be offered for sale from 1954 till 1959, after which it was replaced by the less enthusiastically named Convertible D.

The popularity of the design coupled with its legendary status have resulted in the Speedster being one of the most popular targets for replica car makers, in fact today if you see a Speedster in the wild the odds are overwhelmingly likely that it’s a fiberglass recreation with a VW Beetle engine.

The 1958 Porsche 356A 1600 “Super” Speedster Shown Here

The car you see here is an ideal restoration candidate still fitted with its original 1600 “Super” engine, capable of 75 hp once restored and refitted.

A Doctor bought this Speedster in rough condition in 1984 intending to restore it, the project remained largely untouched for forty years, and it’s now being offered for sale. Though the sheet metal appears largely salvageable the car will likely need new floor pans, a trunk floor, and a battery box, though a specialist restoration shop won’t find this particularly challenging.

Under the engine cover a period Bursch extractor exhaust system is still fitted, and the original factory-installed seats have since been replaced with more sporting Speedster bucket seats. The original color is still visible in some areas as 608 Silver Metallic, and it’s likely that the original interior would have been either red or black leatherette.

If you’re hunting around for a new project car and you’d like to tackle this one it’ll be rolling across the auction block with RM Sotheby’s on the 27th of October. There’s currently no price estimate listed however as the old saying goes, if you have to ask…

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

Porsche Speedster Vintage Car Ad

James Dean Porsche Speedster

Above Image: James Dean in his Speedster, likely taken in 1955 or 1956.

Porsche 356A 1600 Super Speedster 2

Porsche 356A 1600 Super Speedster 1

Porsche Logo

Porsche 356A 1600 Super Speedster Side

Porsche 356A 1600 Super Speedster Rear

Porsche 356A 1600 Super Speedster Interior

Porsche 356A 1600 Super Speedster Interior 1

Porsche 356A 1600 Super Speedster Front

Porsche 356A 1600 Super Speedster Front 1

Porsche 356A 1600 Super Speedster Engine

Porsche 356A 1600 Super Speedster Badge

Porsche 356A 1600 Super Speedster Back

Images: Darin Schnabel ©2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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1910 Cadillac Racer – A $35,000+ Brass Era Competition Roadster https://silodrome.com/cadillac-racer/ Tue, 02 Oct 2018 11:01:42 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=84357 1910 Cadillac Racer – A $35,000+ Brass Era Competition Roadster

This 1910 Cadillac racer is a brass era roadster that was built with one thing in mind – competition. In 1910 the automotive world was still in its infancy, the first gasoline-powered car had been built by Karl Benz just 25 years earlier, and they still largely resembled horse drawn carriages with missing ponies. This...

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1910 Cadillac Racer – A $35,000+ Brass Era Competition Roadster

This 1910 Cadillac racer is a brass era roadster that was built with one thing in mind – competition.

In 1910 the automotive world was still in its infancy, the first gasoline-powered car had been built by Karl Benz just 25 years earlier, and they still largely resembled horse drawn carriages with missing ponies. This didn’t stop people from racing them with gusto of course, and I think it’s fair to say that some of the bravest racing drivers in history were born in the late 1800s.

A French Explorer, Henry Ford, and the Cadillac Automobile Company

The Cadillac Automobile Company was founded in 1902 from the remnants of Henry Ford’s second bankrupt automobile manufacturer, for the persistent Mr Ford it would be the third time lucky.

Cadillac Racing Car

The founding of Cadillac was really down to the metal of one man – Henry M. Leland. Leland had been brought in by the remaining investors to appraise the factory and equipment in preparation for full liquidation. Somewhat impressively, he somehow managed to convince the investors who had just been bankrupted in the automobile industry, to invest more money and re-enter the same market as an entirely new and unknown brand.

After much discussion it was decided that the new company would be named “Cadillac” after the famed French explorer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac who had founded the city of Detroit in 1701.

The first cars built by this new company were essentially little more than Ford Model A (1903 to 1904) with a single-cylinder engine developed by Oldsmobile. Though relatively simple, Cadillac cars quickly gained a reputation for excellent engineering thanks to fastidious attention to detail.

The first multi-cylinder Cadillac was introduced in 1905, it was essentially four single cylinders fitted to a common crankcase, and the design would be further refined four years later with the release of the 30 horsepower Model 30.

Cadillac Four Cylinder Engine

In 1908 the American marque would win the Thomas Dewar Trophy, a prize awarded each year by the Royal Automobile Club of London for the most significant advance in automotive technology. In order to win the prize, three Cadillacs were completely disassembled, then reassembled from each other’s parts.

All three cars drove away successfully.

Though this feat may sound relatively straight forward by today’s standards it was a significant achievement in 1908, and it clearly displayed that Cadillac was reliably producing precision machined parts down to exceptionally fine tolerances.

In 1909 General Motors would buy Cadillac, and three years later Cadillac would develop the world’s first electric automobile starter thanks to engineer Charles F. Kettering, winning them another Thomas Dewar Trophy in the process.

Over the course of the next 100 plus years Cadillac would become synonymous with American luxury, eventually becoming the de facto choice for the President of the United States who is driven around in a heavily armored custom-built Cadillac sometimes referred to as “Cadillac One”.

Cadillac Racing Car 1

The 1910 Cadillac Racer Shown Here

The lightweight 1910 Cadillac Racer has a largely unknown history, what we do know is that it belonged to Lindley Bothwell, a well-known Southern California orange grower who is credited with inventing the “moving card stunt” – where a stadium full of people hold up patterned or colored cards to spell out words or show pictures during sporting events.

It’s not believed that this car was built and raced in period, its surviving history begins when Bothwell came into possession of the car in 1948/1949. It’s not known if it was already in its current race car configuration then or if it had been built earlier, but what we do know is that it was certified by the AAA as a veteran race car in 1952, and it retains its original registration badge today.

The car is fitted with the Cadillac 4-cylinder 226 cubic inch engine with a single updraft carburetor coupled to a 3-speed sliding gear transmission. The engine is capable of 30 hp at 2,300 rpm, and the car has 2-wheel mechanical brakes and leaf spring suspension front and back with a rear live axle.

Bonhams are estimating that it’ll sell for $35,000 to $45,000 USD when it rolls across the auction block on the 8th of October, and it’ll hopefully end up with someone who races it in vintage competition. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.

Cadillac Racing Car Side

Cadillac Racing Car Details 2

Cadillac Racing Car Brass

Cadillac Racing Car Controls

Cadillac Racing Car Steering Wheel

Cadillac Racing Car Interior

Cadillac Racing Car Detail

Cadillac Logo

Cadillac Racing Car Engine 2

Cadillac Racing Car Engine

Cadillac Racing Car Front

Cadillac VIN Plate

Cadillac Racing Car Rear

Images courtesy of Bonhams

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1:10 Scale Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA R/C Car By Tamiya https://silodrome.com/alfa-romeo-giulia-sprint-gta-rc-car-tamiya/ Fri, 28 Sep 2018 08:01:29 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=84218 1:10 Scale Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA R/C Car By Tamiya

This 1:10 scale Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA R/C car by Tamiya is a sizable little car, measuring in at 385mm long (15.1 inches) and 225mm wide (8.85 inches) wide. It uses the tried and tested Tamiya M-06 chassis with a rear-mounted motor and rear-wheel drive, and it has a longitudinally-mounted battery pack for optimal...

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1:10 Scale Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA R/C Car By Tamiya

This 1:10 scale Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA R/C car by Tamiya is a sizable little car, measuring in at 385mm long (15.1 inches) and 225mm wide (8.85 inches) wide. It uses the tried and tested Tamiya M-06 chassis with a rear-mounted motor and rear-wheel drive, and it has a longitudinally-mounted battery pack for optimal weight distribution.

The Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA

The Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA is remembered as one of the most iconic Alfas of all time, and their values have skyrocketed in recent years as enthusiasts and collectors all try to get their hands on one. Sometimes referred to as the “step front” or “step nose” due to the unusual gap between the leading edge of the hood and the front cowl.

The internal code name for the parent model was “Alfa Romeo Series 105/115“, they were built between 1965 and 1969. Styling was done by Giorgetto Giugiaro for Bertone and it was offered with a twin cam four cylinder engine with capacities ranging from 1290cc to 1962cc.

The motorsport successes of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA and its brethren are the stuff of legend, the cars won the European Touring Car Championship in 1966, 1967, 1968, 1970, and 1971 as well as countless individual races and the inaugural Sports Car Club of America Trans-Am Championship in 1966.

The Tamiya 1:10 Scale Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA R/C Car

The Tamiya M-06 chassis is often used for amateur R/C car racing due to its four-wheel double wishbone suspension with coil-over shock absorbers, a 540-brushed type electric motor, three-piece steering linkage, low center of gravity, and 60D radial tires as standard.

Each R/C kit ships with a sticker sheet and masking seals, the body is made from a single piece of durable polycarbonate that can be quickly detached from the chassis. Interestingly the chassis can be used with a variety of bodies, it can be extended or contracted to three different wheelbases, meaning you just need different polycarbonate bodies and wheels to create a wide variety of vintage and modern model cars.

Buy Here

1-10 Scale Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA RC Car By Tamiya Chassis

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A Brief History of the Ford Escort Mk 1 https://silodrome.com/history-ford-escort-mk-1/ Mon, 24 Sep 2018 04:00:02 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=83542 A Brief History of the Ford Escort Mk 1

Introduction: Exit the Anglia, Enter the Ford Escort Mk 1 The Ford Escort Mk 1 is one of the most beloved British cars of its generation with styling that quickly embedded itself into the British and European pantheon of humble commuter cars that made good on the race tracks of the Continent, not to mention...

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A Brief History of the Ford Escort Mk 1

Introduction: Exit the Anglia, Enter the Ford Escort Mk 1

The Ford Escort Mk 1 is one of the most beloved British cars of its generation with styling that quickly embedded itself into the British and European pantheon of humble commuter cars that made good on the race tracks of the Continent, not to mention the circuits of Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and further afield.

Unfortunately the first car I ever drove was a Ford Anglia. They were an unexciting utilitarian automobile built with solid British pie and chips engineering. But they were the right car for their time in post-war Britain, easy to drive, easy to maintain, and inexpensive to run.

It’s worth remembering that before the Second World War most people in Britain did not own a car, and did not have a driver’s license. It was in the post-war period that private car ownership really began to be established, and for many people a Ford Anglia would be the first new car they would own.

In addition to many middle class British people being able to aspire to own a motor car in the 1950’s and 1960’s was an additional influence, television. Television brought with it various dramas and sport, one of those sports being motorsport. For many the first exposure they had to motorsport, be it track racing or rallying, was seeing it on the “telly”.

Becoming interested in motorsport, and becoming able to own a motor car, the next obvious step was to own a car that featured in the motorsport events on the telly. The Morris Mini paved the way being a car that paradoxically went from being a small and affordable step up from a three wheeled bubble car, such as the BMW Isetta, to being a “real” car with four wheels that went on to dominate rallying and racing. Ford saw the successes of the Mini, with sales being driven ever upward by motorsport successes, and decided they needed to build a car that could beat the Mini, and bring sales back to Ford. It was time for the humble Anglia to exit, and for something new and exciting to enter.

Ford’s first foray into creating a motorsport oriented ordinary road car in post war Britain was the Lotus Cortina. The original Ford Cortina was designed by American Roy Brown Jr., who had previously been the designer of the Edsel, and the 1955 Lincoln Futura show car that later became the Batmobile. British racing and sports car maker Lotus had been working on developing a Twin Cam version of the Ford Kent engine, both in 997cc and 1,340cc configurations. This engine was then fitted into the Lotus Elan sports car which was made famous as the sports car driven by Mrs. Emma Peel (Dianna Rigg) in “The Avengers” television series.

Lotus Elan

That Twin Cam engine was bored out to further increase its capacity to 1,557 cc, and around that time Walter Hayes from Ford approached Colin Chapman of Lotus with a view to having Lotus fit that engine into a thousand Ford Cortinas so they could make Group 2 homologation rules.

The resulting Lotus Cortina had a swag of Lotus goodies including some aluminum body panels, suspension significantly tweaked by the Lotus mavens, and that Twin Cam engine pushing out 105 bhp matched to a Lotus Elan close ratio four speed gearbox.

To cut a long story short the Lotus Cortina became a must have car for many enthusiasts and shifted the popular view of Ford cars from being a utilitarian mode of transport to being a force to be reckoned with in motorsport.

Lotus Cortina Jim Clark 1964

The Lotus Cortina Moves Over for a Twin Cam Ford Escort Mk 1

With this background Ford knew that the car they needed to create had to fill the utilitarian shoes of the Ford Anglia, yet also be something that could be an even better motorsport icon than the Lotus Cortina. These were big shoes to fill but it was a do-able project.

Ford Escort Mk 1 advertisement

The Ford Escort Mk 1 was designed from the ground up to keep the price of the new car in the same range as the old Anglia, but to build it with both the engineering and stylish aesthetics to be able to turn it into a motorsport legend, much as the Mini had become.

Ford understood that the appearance of the car would be an important selling point and so they opted for the tried and true “Coke Bottle” style as proven in the USA, matched with a “dog bone” front grille. Underneath that very 1960’s body Ford put MacPherson Strut front suspension with proper rack and pinion steering to lay the foundation for excellent handling, but kept to a traditional semi-elliptic leaf springs with live axle at the rear rather than running the risk, and expense, of attempting a fully independent rear suspension.

Although a fully independent rear suspension can provide significant improvements in handling, especially for a rally car, it can also create problems with uneven tire wear when loaded. Conversely a live axle system can be tweaked up by converting it to coil springs and having the rear axle positively located with rods (as the Aston Martins of the 1960’s did) to build a high performance model. Ford also, wisely, stayed with a conventional front engine driving the rear wheels layout rather than moving to front wheel drive. This was partly to ensure better handling, but also to ensure ease of maintenance.

Ford Escort Mk 1

The engines fitted in the new Escort were primarily the Ford Kent Crossflow in 1.1 liter and 1.3 liter versions. This of course being the same engine that Lotus had already done so much development work on, and the one that, in Lotus Twin Cam form, had powered the iconic Ford Lotus Cortina and Lotus Elan. A smaller 940cc engine was also offered in some export markets where regulations favored engines below 1 liter. Even in their base standard tune the 1.1 and 1.3 liter engines gave the Ford Escort much improved performance by comparison with the old Ford Anglia which didn’t so much “accelerate” but rather “gained momentum” with a standing to 60mph time somewhere north of twenty seconds or so.

Production of the new Ford Escort Mk 1 began in 1967 and Ford made it clear that they were going to use the car to target not just the UK market, but also Europe, by showing the car at the Brussels Motor Show in 1968. Not only was the new Escort shown at the Brussels Motor Show but Ford began making the European cars on the Continent, initially at Genk in Belgium and then later at a new plant at Saarlouis in West Germany (This was still the height of the Cold War and Germany was still divided into West and East).

Ford Escort Mk 1 saloon

With the Escort needing to fulfill the utilitarian market niche of the Anglia, Ford wasted no time in releasing a three door estate car in March 1968 quickly followed by the panel van in April of the same year. The panel van and estate car featured slightly more heavy duty rear leaf springs, brakes and clutch, while the engine options remained the same.

1969 saw the introduction of a four door version. The Escort needed not only to replace the Anglia but also needed to take over from the Cortina in part because the new 1970 Cortina was to be a somewhat larger car and so had moved into a different market segment. The four door version turned the sporty Escort into a more sedate and practical family car.

Ford Escort Mk 1 four door sedan saloon car

The Escort was also made in different levels of luxury, or lack thereof. Initial production was of a “Deluxe” model, which was really the base model, having rubber floor mats and circular headlights. The next level of trim was the “Super” which featured rectangular headlights, carpets, improved instrumentation in the form of a coolant temperature gauge, and a cigar lighter for those with Churchillian propensities. This progressively led to other levels of trim depending on the model year and target market.

Ford Escort Mk 1 advertisement

Ford wasted no time in putting a sporting version of the Ford Escort out into the marketplace with their introduction of the Escort 1300GT in 1968. This car featured the 1.3 liter Kent OHV engine with some performance tweaking that included a single Weber carburetor, the engine producing a not at all eye-watering 75hp.

The suspension was tuned for sporting use and the instrumentation made more extensive with inclusion of a tachometer, oil pressure gauge, coolant temperature gauge, and battery charge meter. The 1300GT also had a speedometer so the driver would know just how far over the speed limit he/she was when pulled over by the police.

Ford Cortina 1300GT Mk1 dashboard

The 1300GT was a car that really showed off the Escort’s sporting potential with the ultra positive rack and pinion steering and sports suspension providing an excellent driving experience. The 1300GT was also a marketing strategy that gave the new Ford Escort Mk 1 a sporting reputation. It made the Escort a competitor with the likes of the Mini Cooper and set the stage for the real motorsport competition that was about to take place. Not only that but the “dog bone” front styling actually looked perfectly at home with a couple or four rally driving lights hung on it.

Ford Escort 1300GT Mk 1

The Ford Escort had been designed to be a Mini killer. It was time to go and kill some Minis.

The Ford Escort Mk 1 Twin Cam and the 1300GT

Just as the Lotus Cortina had been fitted with the 1.5 liter Twin Cam Lotus modified Kent engine that was used in the Lotus Elan so it didn’t take long for Ford’s team to shoehorn one into an Escort. The first experimental job was done under the direction of Henry Taylor at the Ford competition department at Boreham. The end result was not at all boring but was all that the guys in the competition department had hoped it would be. Ford management were persuaded of the need to build 1,000 of these little Lotus engined hot-rods to meet Group 2 homologation and lo and behold the Escort Twin Cam was born and set on track to take the world by storm.

Ford Escort 1600 GT

The body shell required some changes from stock standard including modifying the transmission tunnel to allow a more bulky ZF gearbox to be fitted in,  and suspension more suited to racing and rallying, most of which came from the Lotus Cortina, complete with Atlas axle. The Twin Cam engine produced 106hp @ 6,000rpm and propelled the little Escort to 113mph.

Ford Escort 1300GT

On the race track both the Twin Cam and the racing versions of the 1300GT, complete with full coil spring suspension and a fuel injected cross-flow version of the 1,298cc Kent engine producing a rather satisfactory 145bhp were fielded. These cars were only to be the beginning however as Ford already had bigger plans for the Escort, plans that would see their Advanced Vehicle Operation (AVO) established in South Ockendon, Essex.

Ford Escort Mk 1 Twin Cam Alan Mann

The Escorts got straight into the winning business by taking the Circuit of Ireland Rally in 1968, and by 1970, on the race track, the Escorts racked up victories in the British, Belgian, German and South African Saloon Car Championships, and had taken the European Rally Manufacturers Championship two years running.

Ford Escort Mk 1 Twin Cam Alan Mann

The RS1600 Ford Escort Mk 1

The first generation of Ford Escorts had been bringing home the bacon in terms of competition successes despite the rate of failure for the 1300GT racing engine, which prevented those cars from racking up quite as many victories as might have been possible if they’d been able to finish all their races.

But motorsport tends to be a bit of an arms race and Ford were working on a new engine to make their winner into a little world beater. The new engine, by Cosworth, was the 1,599cc DOHC 16 valve Belt Drive Type A (BDA). This engine was slotted into an Escort Twin Cam body complete with its Lotus Cortina running gear and transmission to create the RS1600 (the “RS” standing for “Rally Sport”).

Ford Escort Mk 1 RS1600 Roger Clark

The RS1600 could do standing to 60mph in 8.9 seconds and had a top speed of 113mph. It became one of the most successful rally cars of the early 1970’s with wins in a number of events including the RAC Rally, and victory in the rugged East Africa Safari Rally in 1972.

The Ford Escort Mk 1 Mexico

A series of World Cup marathon car rallies were held, beginning in 1968 with the London to Sydney rally in 1968. In 1970 the rally was to be run from London to Mexico City. Ford prepared a number of cars for this event with no less than five finishing in the top ten. These cars were built for an endurance rally and so they were fitted with an 1,850 cc Kent pushrod engine, but were otherwise much like the RS1600. The Ford Escorts finished the event placing 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 8th which means they not only won the event but completed it with more cars in the top ten than any other manufacturer.

This was such a great result that Ford decided to make a production Ford Escort to commemorate their success and so the Ford Escort Mexico was born.

Ford Escort Mk 1 Mexico

The Ford Escort Mexico was not the same as the rally winning cars but was fitted with a more road suitable 1,599cc pushrod Kent engine producing a not so rally winning 86bhp. The Escort Mexico would do standing to 60mph in 10.7 seconds and was capable of a top speed of just touching 100mph. Fuel consumption was rather better than for the rally cars however at an affordable twenty eight miles to the Imperial Gallon.

The AVO RS2000 Ford Escort Mk 1

AVO RS2000 Ford Escort Mk 1

Perhaps the greatest of the much loved performance Ford Escorts was the RS2000 which was created by Ford’s Advanced Vehicle Operation in July 1973. These cars were fitted with a 2 liter OHC Ford Pinto engine mated to a German transmission. The RS2000 were made alongside the RS1600 cars but were a tad quicker being able to do a standing to 60mph in 9 seconds and providing a top speed of 110mph. Not only was the RS2000 a quicker car but it delivered that extra power in a more smooth and refined way than the RS1600, and thus it became known as a great road car, something that holds true even into this twenty-first century.

Ford Escort Mk 1 RS2000

Conclusion

The Ford Escort Mk 1 was a car that somehow managed to live a respectable Dr. Jekyll, and a wild-eyed Mr. Hyde life, all at the same time. The Escort proved to be an excellent replacement for the utilitarian Ford Anglia, being made in sedan, estate car, and panel van body styles: and yet it was also able to be made as a little rally winning, Mini eating, powerhouse.

It could offer comfort, economy, and utility: but it could also provide a ride on the wild side. It was this morphing together of a well thought out drivers’ car with the ability to make it with a personality to suit different owner’s needs that helped make it everything the Mini wasn’t, except “cool” as in Carnaby Street Pop Star “cool”: the Mini still keeps that crown.

But all the other crowns the Mini had for a while the Ford Escort quietly stole away to become one of the most memorable driver’s cars of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Even in lower powered standard mundane trim they were a fun bucket of bolts to drive around in.

Ford Escort Mk 1

Photo Credits: Ford, Bonhams, Brian Snelson, Charles Eveson

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Untelevised Race: 1980 Showroom Stock C National Championship Race https://silodrome.com/showroom-stock-c-race/ Sun, 23 Sep 2018 08:01:30 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=84029 Untelevised Race: 1980 Showroom Stock C National Championship Race

Showroom Stock racing is exactly what it says on the box, cars are strictly limited to factory fresh condition with no performance modifications allowed. Only safety mods are permitted, typically limited to a roll bar, fire extinguisher, and multi-point driver restraints. This particular race was never televised and you can hear the commentators slipping between...

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Untelevised Race: 1980 Showroom Stock C National Championship Race

Showroom Stock racing is exactly what it says on the box, cars are strictly limited to factory fresh condition with no performance modifications allowed. Only safety mods are permitted, typically limited to a roll bar, fire extinguisher, and multi-point driver restraints.

This particular race was never televised and you can hear the commentators slipping between “live” and “ad break” mode as the race progresses. Watching the stock Volkswagen Rabbits (known as the Volkswagen Golf in most world markets) being belted around the Road Atlanta circuit doing battle with Opels and Gremlins is quite a sight to behold.

The amount of body roll and brake fade experienced by the cars is interesting to see, though the racing is quite slow it is highly competitive as drivers try to lean their cars into corners at the very limit of the suspension’s ability, and use the brakes as much as they can without cooking them.

If you’d like to read more about Showroom Stock racing you can click here to read about it in the official South Bend Region SCCA newsletter, or here on the St Louis Region SCCA website.

The post Untelevised Race: 1980 Showroom Stock C National Championship Race appeared first on Silodrome.

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Cannonball! World’s Greatest Outlaw Road Race – A True Story https://silodrome.com/cannonball-worlds-greatest-outlaw-road-race-book/ Sat, 22 Sep 2018 08:00:21 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=83752 Cannonball! World’s Greatest Outlaw Road Race – A True Story

The fact that Cannonball! is a true story is almost impossible to fathom looking back on it from 40+ years since it was last run. The Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash The actual race was named the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash with the first running of the event taking place in 1971, though...

The post Cannonball! World’s Greatest Outlaw Road Race – A True Story appeared first on Silodrome.

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Cannonball! World’s Greatest Outlaw Road Race – A True Story

The fact that Cannonball! is a true story is almost impossible to fathom looking back on it from 40+ years since it was last run.

The Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash

The actual race was named the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash with the first running of the event taking place in 1971, though it would be the 1972 Cannonball that would really grab the attention of the American public.

The race was created by Car and Driver executive editor Brock Yates and fellow Car and Driver editor Steve Smith. They were inspired by the legendary Erwin G. “Cannonball” Baker who had set 143 coast-to-coast records starting in 1914 and carrying on well into the 1940s.

The first running of the event was completed by Yates, his son, Brock Yates Jr, Steve Smith, and Jim Williams taking turns driving a 1971 Dodge Custom Sportsman van nicknamed the “Moon Trash II”.

The 1972 Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash was won by Brock Yates and Formula One and Le Mans winner Dan Gurney driving a Ferrari Daytona to a new record of 35 hours and 54 minutes from New York City to the Portofino Inn on the Pacific Ocean.

The race was covered in Car and Driver magazine extensively, capturing much public attention but surprisingly little attention from the countless police departments that the route passed through. The race would be held in 1971, 1972, 1975, and 1979 before it was mothballed for safety concerns.

In the years since the event has spawned multiple successors including the Gumball 3000 and the US Express.

Cannonball Team

Cannonball! America’s Greatest Outlaw Road Race

This book is one of the genuine must-reads in the world of automotive literature, it was written by Brock Yates, and it gives you a true behind-the-scenes look into the biggest illegal road race in American history, and very possibly the biggest in world history.

The unique nature of the car world in the 1970s with new fuel economy and emissions restrictions combined with the increased laws being passed to curb speed and improve safety was always going to cause some significant pushback. Though it’s doubtful anyone would have guessed the Cannonball would be the result – with men like Dan Gurney casually reassuring the public that at no time during the race did he exceed 175 mph.

Cannonball! is available both as a hardcover or a softcover, with prices floating between ~$11 and ~$8 USD respectively. That’s an absolute bargain for such an iconic piece of motoring history.

Buy  Here

Cannonball Car Race Map

Cannonball Crew

Cannonball High-Res Book Cover

The post Cannonball! World’s Greatest Outlaw Road Race – A True Story appeared first on Silodrome.

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