Silodrome https://silodrome.com Gasoline Culture Thu, 19 Sep 2019 11:08:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.3 18077751 The Wild Volkswagen Beetle Outlaw “Death” by Franz Muhr https://silodrome.com/volkswagen-beetle-outlaw/ Thu, 19 Sep 2019 11:01:24 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=97979 This Volkswagen Beetle Outlaw was built by Franz Muhr a little over 10 years ago using an abandoned Baja Bug project car. Muhr wanted to build an extreme interpretation of a Bonneville-bound salt flat racing hot rod from the 1950s. The explosion of hot rod culture in the United States in the mid-20th century was...

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This Volkswagen Beetle Outlaw was built by Franz Muhr a little over 10 years ago using an abandoned Baja Bug project car.

Muhr wanted to build an extreme interpretation of a Bonneville-bound salt flat racing hot rod from the 1950s.

The explosion of hot rod culture in the United States in the mid-20th century was largely fuelled by returning WWII servicemen who were looking for something to bring a little bit of excitement and adventure into their oftentimes sedate suburban lives.

Volkswagen Beetle Outlaw 1

There are a number of theories about where the term “hot rod” actually came from. Perhaps the most convincing answer is that “hot rod” was a nickname for high-performance camshafts – we still use “hot” and “warm” as terminology to describe high and medium performance camshafts respectively.

Drag racing and land speed racing had already existed but its popularity grew exponentially in the late 1940s and 1950s. One of the most important places on earth for land speed racing just happened to be right in America’s backyard – the salt flats at Bonneville in Utah.

Many hot rods were built specifically for land speed racing, not for the outright record but for class wins determined by engine size. These land speed hot rods were typically as low and aerodynamic as possible, with engines worked to within an inch of their lives.

Volkswagen Beetle Outlaw Rear

With his vision of a Volkswagen Beetle salt flat racer Franz Muhr of Kustom Coach Werks in Grand Junction, Colorado took the legendary shape of the body shell and set to it with cutting tools.

He removed eight inches at the B-pillar and an inch at the A and C-pillars. This new roofline was so low it allowed the driver only 4 inches of windscreen to see out of, leading to its nickname “Death”.

The car uses torsion bars from a pre-1963 Type 2, they’re mounted without shock absorbers and designed to get the vehicle as low as possible. Disc brakes are fitted to all four corners and because the body sits so low the engine and transaxle have been raised with custom mounts to avoid excessive negative camber.

Volkswagen Beetle Outlaw

The engine is a heavily modified 1914cc flat-four with Mahle 94mm flat-top forged pistons, it runs at a 9:1 compression ratio, and has elongated velocity stacks and a custom 4-into-1 exhaust system. In its current form the Beetle weighs in at 1,300 lbs, meaning the power to weight ratio is more than enough to get the driver into trouble.

The editors at Hot Rod Magazine called this car “the most outrageous thing we saw the entire year” when they named it one of their Top 10 customs in 2008.

It stands just 36 inches tall with two inches of ground clearance in places and the lightweight, minimalist interior has no gauges – just a steering wheel, a seat, a gear lever, and three pedals.

This Volkswagen custom will be crossing the auction block with a slew of other fascinating cars courtesy of RM Sotheby’s on the 28th of September with an estimated value of $40,000 to $60,000 USD. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to view the listing.

Volkswagen Beetle Outlaw Side

Volkswagen Beetle Outlaw Nose

Volkswagen Beetle Outlaw Interior

Volkswagen Beetle Outlaw Frunk

Volkswagen Beetle Outlaw Exhaust

Images: Darin Schnabel ©2019 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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Relwen Quilted Tanker Field Jacket – A Daily-Wearable Winter Staple https://silodrome.com/relwen-quilted-tanker-field-jacket/ Thu, 19 Sep 2019 07:35:23 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=98012 The Relwen Quilted Tanker Field Jacket is a new release from the Ohio-based company designed to be a tough, daily-wearable jacket for when the weather starts to turn cool. As we head closer to winter the time has come for many of us to dust off the sweaters and jackets, and make sure we’re ready...

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The Relwen Quilted Tanker Field Jacket is a new release from the Ohio-based company designed to be a tough, daily-wearable jacket for when the weather starts to turn cool.

As we head closer to winter the time has come for many of us to dust off the sweaters and jackets, and make sure we’re ready for that first cold snap.

Relwen designed the Quilted Tanker with a tough 125 gsm 73% nylon/27% cotton, peached taslan faille outer shell – with a water resistant polyurethane coating. The lining is made from a box-quilted 100% polyester ripstop material with 60 grams of polyfill for insulation.

Relwen Quilted Tanker Field Jacket Back

The shell and lining are quilt-stitched through and sewn as a single piece – this construction method means the jacket can be safely machine washed cold (with like colors) and either air or tumble dried (low) – you don’t need to spend money get it dry cleaned.

The jacket has a dual closure center front using black oxidized copper-plated brass snaps and a heavy duty zipper. There’s a secure zipper chest welt pocket and opposing patch and flap pocket, quarter-top quilted utility hand pockets provide extra layer of durability and warmth.

Relwen offer the Quilted Tanker Jacket in three colors, dark cement, dark moss, or navy (shown). Sizing ranges from S to XXL and there’s a handy sizing chart to ensure you get it right the first time.

Visit The Store

Relwen Quilted Tanker Field Jacket Colors

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For Sale: An Original Aerocar One – A 100% Functional Flying Car https://silodrome.com/aerocar-one/ Wed, 18 Sep 2019 11:01:49 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=97836 This is one of just six original examples of the Aerocar One (some say only five were built), it’s in airworthy condition and ready to fly, and it can also be driven on the roads in the USA. In order to own an Aerocar One you need both a driver’s license and a pilot’s license, you...

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This is one of just six original examples of the Aerocar One (some say only five were built), it’s in airworthy condition and ready to fly, and it can also be driven on the roads in the USA.

In order to own an Aerocar One you need both a driver’s license and a pilot’s license, you also need to buy both automotive and aircraft insurance, and you need to pay for both automobile registration and aircraft registration.

Still, if you’re in the market for a flying car with a value approaching $1,000,000 USD it’s doubtful that things like insurance and registration costs are going to be a concern.

The Aerocar One

The Aerocar One, also known as the Taylor Aerocar, was developed by Moulton Taylor in Longview, Washington in 1949.

He got the idea from the Airphibian developed by inventor Robert E. Fulton Jr., but he evolved the concept considerably with a focus on making it genuinely useable, and ensuring you could switch from car functionality to aircraft functionality in a matter of minutes (with sufficient practice).

The Aerocar One has side-by-side seating for two up front with an interior that looks like a hybrid between an aircraft cockpit and a mid-20th century microcar.

Different engines were used over the limited production run and there were three iterations – the Aerocar I was fitted with a Lycoming 0-320 with 143 hp. In car-mode it’s front wheel drive and in aircraft-mode power is set backwards to a Hartzell two-blade HA12 UF pusher propeller. Interestingly it’s possible to engage the car gearbox and reverse the airplane when taxiing.

The wings can be attached and detached using a pivoting hinge mechanism, early promotional literature described the wing mechanism as being “so effortless that a woman could do it without soiling her gloves”. The high wing and bubble-like cabin offer excellent views of the world below when flying and despite the relatively flimsy appearance of the Aerocar they were actually pretty good aircraft by the standards of the 1950s.

Aerocar One Flying Car

The most famous Aerocar is probably N103D, early in its life it carried Raúl Castro in Cuba but by the 1960s it was a traffic-watch (AIRWATCH) aircraft for the KISN (910 AM) radio station in Portland, Oregon. It saw hundreds of hours of use in this role and a testament to its toughness occurred during the Columbus Day Storm of 1962 when pilot Ruth Wikander brought it in for a landing in winds up to 100 mph without damage.

Unfortunately the Aerocar One never made it into production, though it almost did. Moulton Taylor reached a deal with Ling-Temco-Vought to put the vehicle into production on the condition that he was able to reach 500 pre-orders. Despite his best efforts, Taylor was only able to get approximately 250 pre-orders, and so a production run was never undertaken.

With all the talk of flying cars that’s occurred over the past 70 or so years it’s remarkable to think that one man all the way back in the late 1940s actually designed and built a fully-functional flying car.

The Aerocar you see here is N101D, it was built in 1954 and it’s been maintained in flying condition. It’s currently on display at the Golden Wings Flying Museum at the Anoka County-Blaine Airport in Minneapolis. This is the Aerocar that was featured flying overhead on the cover on the book “A Drive In the Clouds” by Jake Schultz – by far the most detailed look into this history of the vehicle and its creator.

If you’d like to read more about this Aerocar One or buy it, you can click here to visit the listing on Platinum Fighter Sales.

Aerocar One Collage

Taylor Aerocar One

Aerocar One Magazine

Aerocar One Brochure

Aerocar One Book

Editor’s Note: There are a series of images of the Aerocar One used in this article, not all of them are of the example for sale but are for display purposes.

Images: Platinum Fighters

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Short Film: (Legal) Beach Racing In Malaysia https://silodrome.com/beach-racing-malaysia/ Tue, 17 Sep 2019 14:06:09 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=97961 In September 2019, three days of beach racing took place in Desaru, Malaysia. There were no entrance restrictions – anyone could enter riding any motorcycle so long as it had two wheels and a working engine. The course was a straight-ish and mostly flat 1/8th of a mile run down Tiara Beach in front of...

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In September 2019, three days of beach racing took place in Desaru, Malaysia. There were no entrance restrictions – anyone could enter riding any motorcycle so long as it had two wheels and a working engine.

The course was a straight-ish and mostly flat 1/8th of a mile run down Tiara Beach in front of hundreds of spectators. Tiara Beach is normally one of the quietest beaches in the region, there’s only one hotel and it’s accessed via a nondescript turnoff and a potholed road on the main coastal highway.

The racing stretched over three days. Competitors were initially separated into classes based on engine size, but as the field narrowed it became a competition purely based on speed.

Drag Racing

50cc to 125cc scooters raced against far larger bikes including 1200cc and 1600cc Harley-Davidsons and a 1200cc Triumph Scrambler. Predicting winners was far harder than you may imagine, the smaller, lighter scooters were highly tuned and could often best motorcycles with far larger engines.

Safety was a major concern, all riders had to wear helmets, and there was an ambulance on standby. Radio operators at both ends coordinated with operators in two towers to ensure the track was clear before each run.

An outright winner was crowned on the Sunday evening, he’s already planning to return to defend his title next year.

Filmed on location in Desaru, Malaysia.

Special thanks to the organizers of The Desaru International Bike Week, the team at Custom Not Criminal, all the competitors, spectators, and the race marshals.

Waving From A Motorcycle

Legal Beach Racing In Malaysia Drag Racing Lights

Pre-Launchv

Launch

Custom Motorcycle 2

Harley Drag Race

Legal Beach Racing In Malaysia Triple Drag Race

Custom Motorcycle

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Bugbite – A 1935 Mahogany Speedboat Design Re-Enters Production https://silodrome.com/bugbite-mahogany-speedboat/ Mon, 16 Sep 2019 12:30:10 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=97905 Bugbite is a 17 ft traditional was built in 2019 by Kevin Fitzke to the original and much-loved 1935 design by A.A. Apel. The plans for Apel’s design were first published in the 1935 February issue of Motor Boating Magazine, then again in the 1936 Motor Boating Ideal Series Vol. 17 book. It’s not known...

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Bugbite is a 17 ft traditional was built in 2019 by Kevin Fitzke to the original and much-loved 1935 design by A.A. Apel. The plans for Apel’s design were first published in the 1935 February issue of Motor Boating Magazine, then again in the 1936 Motor Boating Ideal Series Vol. 17 book.

It’s not known how many were built in the 1930s and ’40s but it is known there were a significant number, with only very few originals now remaining. This A.A. Apel runabout was designed for racing, it could accommodate either a 135 cu.in. or a 225 cu.in. engine – the two most popular engine classes at the time for this size boat.

Kevin Fitzke is a 36 year old Minneapolis-based craftsman with a lot of experience working with wood for marine applications. He’s always been drawn to racing boats and aircraft of the 1920s and ’30s, and the Bugbite is his first 100% handmade vessel made using plans.

Bugbite Mahogany Speedboat On Water 10

Unlike the original A.A. Apel 17 ft racing boats, Kevin’s is built using the latest modern technologies for adhesives, cold-molding, two part urethane paints/primers, and two part urethane varnishes. Modern wooden boats can now be built to be far more durable and less maintenance intensive thanks to technologies like cold-moulding and modern epoxy resins.

In building Bugbite he used only hand-selected Lloyds Registered marine grade mahogany, with first class white oak were used for frame components and planking. Structural fasteners are marine-grade silicon bronze and chrome plated brass.

This project started with nothing but full size sheet plans, Kevin cut every rib, spar, and plank before fitting them all together. He did all the varnishing, gold leafing and lettering, the engine rebuilding and mechanical installations, and he hand-formed the aluminum windshield All hardware is either original 1930’s period or inspired by the era.

Bugbite Mahogany Speedboat On Water 2

The Bugbite is powered by a comprehensively rebuilt GM 283 cubic inch flywheel forward engine with a Borg/Warner hydraulic manual transmission. The engine produces approximately 190 hp in its current configuration, considerably more than the engines that were fitted back in the 1930s.

The name Bugbite is from the classic saying “Once you’re bitten by the boat bug you’re hooked”, it also references the small nature of the boat. The racing letter “F” signifies the 225 cu. in. class in which this boat would have raced in, and the number “36” is Kevin Fitzke’s age at the time of completion.

Kevin Fitzke is building a limited production of Bugbites that are available for commission.

If you’d like to read more about the Bugbite or order your own you can click here to visit the official website, or you can follow the social media channels below.

Follow Kevin Fitzke on FacebookInstagram

Bugbite Mahogany Speedboat On Water

Bugbite Mahogany Speedboat On Water 8

Bugbite Mahogany Speedboat On Water 7

Bugbite Mahogany Speedboat On Water 6

Bugbite Mahogany Speedboat On Water 5

Bugbite Mahogany Speedboat On Water 4

Bugbite Mahogany Speedboat On Water 3

Bugbite Mahogany Speedboat On Water 1

Bugbite Mahogany Speedboat Front

Bugbite Mahogany Speedboat Deck

Bugbite Mahogany Speedboat Cockpit

Bugbite Mahogany Speedboat Bow

Bugbite Mahogany Speedboat Front 2

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“The Rescues” Episode 1 – Austin A30 – A New YouTube Series https://silodrome.com/the-rescues-austin-a30/ Sun, 15 Sep 2019 11:30:58 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=97892 This is the first episode in a brand new YouTube series from the team at Car & Classic. It’s a refreshingly honest look at what it’s actually like to find and rescue cars from barns, sheds, and garages – without the glitz and glamour of a full production crew and a team of people behind...

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This is the first episode in a brand new YouTube series from the team at Car & Classic.

It’s a refreshingly honest look at what it’s actually like to find and rescue cars from barns, sheds, and garages – without the glitz and glamour of a full production crew and a team of people behind the scenes making sure things go off without a hitch.

Episode 1 centres around an old but serviceable Austin A30 that’s been donated to the team after sitting in a tiny lock-up garage for the past 12+ years. Watching Car & Classic editor Chris Pollitt and Richard Brunning of Bad Obsession Motorsport working to get it running is deeply relatable, particularly if you’re anything like me and enjoy tinkering on old European iron.

The Austin A30 is an exceedingly important car in Britain, it was spiritual successor for the Austin 7 which was more or less the British equivalent to the Model T Ford.

Austin A30 Cutaway

The A30 was the first car of multiple Formula 1 World Champion Jackie Stewart, Graham Stewart (also a multiple Formula 1 World Champion) drove an A30 in competition in period, and fellow Formula 1 World Champion James Hunt was known for his deep and abiding love of his Austin A35 van – the very closely related (and similar looking) successor to the A30.

The A30 was has a unibody structure, unusual for the era, it was designed to fit neatly in the small garages of the time and down the small alleys and laneways of England. Many Baby Boomers grew up being driven around in the backseat of an Austin A30 of some description, and it remains a beloved classic car in Britain.

I won’t mention here whether they succeed in getting the car running, but I will encourage you to watch to the end and click that YouTube subscribe button.

Austin A30 Engine Cutaway

Austin A30 Gearbox

Austin A30 Engine

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The Ultra-Short Wheelbase Truck Chevrolet Never Built – A 5.7 Litre V8 C50 Restomod https://silodrome.com/chevrolet-c50-truck/ Sat, 14 Sep 2019 12:09:00 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=97736 Trucks like the Chevrolet C50 became so common on the streets of North America in the ’60s and ’70s they became an inexorable part of the background, frequently seen in films, photographs, and TV shows from the era but now almost all gone. Lost to rust, or succumbing to the hard life most of them...

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Trucks like the Chevrolet C50 became so common on the streets of North America in the ’60s and ’70s they became an inexorable part of the background, frequently seen in films, photographs, and TV shows from the era but now almost all gone. Lost to rust, or succumbing to the hard life most of them endured.

Despite the deep-seated love Americans have for their pickup trucks, larger-sized medium duty trucks like the C50 are often overlooked by the collector and enthusiast community. Fortunately this isn’t always the case, and the C50 you see here was given a careful restoration including a series of modifications to make it lighter, easier to park, and (arguably) better looking.

The primary modification is the removal of 10 feet in length from the chassis, creating a short wheelbase version of the Chevrolet C50 that the factory never built. The team behind the build were careful to keep everything as stock-looking as possible in order to give the truck the appearance of a rare, factory original, short wheelbase variant.

Chevrolet C50 Truck Front

Removing 10 feet of length isn’t as easy as it might sound, the team removed 5 feet of the frame before the rear wheels and 5 feet after them to keep the truck looking balanced when viewed from the side. A stock width 8′ Chevrolet truck bed was then installed, mounted to the newly shortened frame rails.

Chevrolet offered a series of engines for the C50 including a 350 cu. in. V8. Fresh from the factory this 350 (5.6 litre) produced 200 hp at 4,000 rpm and 325 ft lbs of torque at 2,000 rpm.

Power was set back to the rear live axle via a 4-speed synchromesh manual transmission, into a 2-speed rear end effectively giving the truck 8 forward speeds, this includes a low end set specifically developed for hauling heavy loads.

Chevrolet C50 Truck 350 V8

The C50 rides on independent front suspension with coil springs, leaf springs were used on the rear but coils were available as an option from the factory. Braking is accomplished with power assisted drum brakes on all four corners.

The engine bay on this truck looks almost new, it’s been completed restored with all new belts and hoses, a rebuilt carburettor, a manual choke, and a new master cylinder. The brakes and wheel bearings on the rear also received a full servicing, and the truck is listed as being 100% functional from tip to tail.

A period-correct industrial green paint job furthers the illusion that the truck is a stock model and the interior is 100% original with a bench seat, a radio/cassette player, and original instrumentation.

In the back the wood bed floor is brand new having been completely redone, the front and rear bumpers are painted white to match the steel wheels, and the tires are all listed as being in good condition with plenty of tread left.

If you’d like to read more about this truck or register to bid on it you can click here to visit the listing. It’s due to be sold with a wide range of other cars, trucks, and motorcycles at the Corpus Christi Old Car Museum Auction on the 4th and 5th of October.

Chevrolet C50 Truck Rear 2

Chevrolet C50 Truck Front End

Chevrolet C50 Truck Interior

Chevrolet C50 Truck Tray

Chevrolet C50 Truck Back

Chevrolet C50 Truck Rear

Images: World Wide Auctioneers

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A Very Rare 1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport https://silodrome.com/porsche-924-carrera-gts-clubsport/ Fri, 13 Sep 2019 12:01:24 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=97817 The Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport is a rare variant of the 924 designed specifically for competition. It’s based on a steel unibody shell of the standard Porsche 924, but not much of the original car remains as almost every single part was modified, replaced, or improved. The Porsche 924 The 924 is a notably...

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The Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport is a rare variant of the 924 designed specifically for competition. It’s based on a steel unibody shell of the standard Porsche 924, but not much of the original car remains as almost every single part was modified, replaced, or improved.

The Porsche 924

The 924 is a notably controversial car in the history of the German marque. No one can deny it sold in significant numbers and helped keep Porsche in business, but its relatively low power output and subsequently poor performance has meant that it’s always lived deep in the shadows of the Porsche 911.

The project to build the 924 was originally assigned to Porsche from Volkswagen who lacked sufficient engineering experience to develop their own modern sports car. Porsche developed a liquid-cooled, front engined, rear wheel drive vehicle with excellent aerodynamics and optimal 48/52 front rear weight distribution thanks to a rear mounted transaxle.

Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport Side

The VW EA831 2.0 litre inline-4 cylinder engine was chosen for the car as it had been a requirement from VW that one of their own engines be used. This same engine was used in the Audi 100, however the Porsche version had modified cylinder heads and a number of other enhancements.

Although the EA831 2.0 motor was never really intended to be a performance engine, Porsche engineers would significantly redesign it over the lifespan of the 924. Some later race-only variants would manage 420 hp – over 4 times the original power output.

The Porsche 924 would remain on sale from 1976 to 1988, they sold almost 150,000 of them, and of course the design would form the underpinnings of the Porsche 944. Many have also pointed to the much beloved’s first generation version of the Mazda RX7 (SA22C), and its obvious design influence from the 924.

Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport Rear

The Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport

The Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport was developed as the special “Clubsport” version of the already very quick 924 Carrera GT.

The 924 Carrera GT was developed to homologate the 924 for Group 4 competition in the 2 litre class. It used a turbocharged, intercooled version of the EA831 with signifiant internal modifications now producing 210 horsepower. A strict weightloss program saw the vehicle’s weight drop by 330 pounds compared to the standard car, and wide wheel arches were fitted front and back to allow increased track width.

406 examples of the Carrera GT were built, in 1981 Porsche further built on the 924 racing program by developing the Carrera GTS. This version can be easily distinguished by its plastic-covered rectangular headlights and the additional venting in the nose.

Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport Nose

The engine was further worked and now produced 245 hp at 6,250 rpm, it weighed in at just 2,300 pounds thanks to extensive use of fibreglass and perspex in the body and windows. The suspension was replaced with Bilstein coil-overs at all four corners and the Porsche 930 donated its hefty ventilated and cross-drilled disc brakes.

The Clubsport version was more powerful still, with the bore increased slightly to raise displacement to 2,093 cc, and a larger air-to-air intercooler helping to produce 275 bhp at 1.1 Bar. The Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport can do the 0-60 mph dash in 5.2 seconds and hit a top speed of 160 mph. Just 50 examples of the Carrera GTS were built, and only a small number of these were the Clubsport variant.

The car you see here was sold new to an owner in the United States, as the car couldn’t be road-registered he added it to his collection and it was barely used. It carries just 47 kilometres on the odometer to this day, possibly making it the lowest mileage example in the world.

If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing on RM Sotheby’s. It’s due to cross the auction block on the 28th of September with and estimated value of between $250,000 and $350,000 USD.

Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport

Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport Seat

Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport Roll Cage

Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport Rear 2

Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport Interior

Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport Interior 2

Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport Headlight

Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport Front 2

Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport Engine

Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport Engine 2

Images: Darin Schnabel ©2019 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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The Omologato Laguna Seca – An Affordable Motorsport-Inspired Wristwatch https://silodrome.com/omologato-laguna-seca/ Fri, 13 Sep 2019 08:30:49 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=97883 The Omologato Laguna Seca is a new watch for 2019 named for one of the most famous race tracks in the world – Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The name Laguna Seca is Spanish for “dry lake”, the site of the race track was once a dry lake bed and it now encompasses two made...

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The Omologato Laguna Seca is a new watch for 2019 named for one of the most famous race tracks in the world – Laguna Seca in Monterey, California.

The name Laguna Seca is Spanish for “dry lake”, the site of the race track was once a dry lake bed and it now encompasses two made made ponds as a hat tip to the region’s history.

Unusually, the face of the Omologato Laguna Seca is rotated 22.5º in order to allow drivers to see the time in the correct orientation without removing their hands from the steering wheel.

The watch comes in both left and right-hand versions, rotated in opposite directions to suit the different wrist orientations.

Omologato Laguna Seca Car

Omologato strive to keep their watches as affordable as possible, making them attainable to the many people who love watches like the Rolex Daytona and Heuer Monaco but unable to justify the exorbitant MSRP.

The Omologato Laguna Seca is powered by an almost bulletproof Japanese Quartz movement, it has a 41mm stainless steel case, a retro-style domed mineral glass, a matt charcoal dial with a black bezel, and it’s water resistant to 10 ATM.

The strap is a 22mm wide Italian grain leather black rally strap with Laguna Seca Blue contrast stitching. The retail price of £300.00 puts it well into affordable territory for must of us, and makes it an excellent daily wearable watch.

Visit The Store

Omologato Laguna Seca Watch Back

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A Brief History of the Jeep CJ Series – Everything You Need To Know https://silodrome.com/history-jeep-cj/ Thu, 12 Sep 2019 07:01:03 +0000 http://silodrome.com/?p=95878 First There Was the “Blitz Buggy” and a War to Win The beginning of the Jeep CJ dates back to the origin of the “Jeep” itself, a story that began on 11th July 1940 when the US Department of War sent out an urgent request for a manufacturer to design and build a prototype quarter...

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First There Was the “Blitz Buggy” and a War to Win

The beginning of the Jeep CJ dates back to the origin of the “Jeep” itself, a story that began on 11th July 1940 when the US Department of War sent out an urgent request for a manufacturer to design and build a prototype quarter ton four wheel drive “scout car” within 49 days, and to produce an initial run of 70 vehicles within 75 days.

All this urgency had been caused by Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year” for 1938 who had gone on to start a war in Europe in 1939 when he sent his troops on a Blitzkrieg invasion of Poland.

Only American Bantam, which had originally been called American Austin and had in its past been a branch of Austin of England, stepped up to the plate and produced a design, a prototype, and an initial production run of their “Bantam Reconnaissance Vehicle (BRC), otherwise soon to be known as the “Blitz Buggy” because its planned use was to be in turning the Nazi Blitzkrieg tactic back against them, not on its own of course, but in concert with tanks, aircraft and all the materiel of mechanized warfare.

American Bantam Blitz Buggy Jeep

In the events that followed the American Bantam design would be given to Ford and Willys and they would go on to create their own General Purpose scout cars based on the American Bantam prototype, and by the war’s end it would be Willys-Overland who continued production of the diminutive general purpose scout car that had come to be called the “Jeep“.

The American Bantam design did not only father the Jeep, but it also went on to be the design inspiration for Britain’s Land Rover and also for the Japanese Toyota Land Cruiser.

A Jeep for the Civilian Market

The earliest beginning of civilian use for the Jeep was begun in 1942 by the US Department of Agriculture. They tested both Willys and Ford versions of the Jeep in typical farming applications at their facility in Alabama and found that they actually worked surprisingly well in the role of farm tractor as well as being a general purpose vehicle.

For tractor work they needed lower gearing and a draw-bar, and the clutch would need beefing up, but otherwise they had great potential.

Jeep CJ Netherlands

Aware of this, and also aware that  the Jeep had become a much appreciated vehicle by servicemen, Willys-Overland could see the sales potential of a “Civilian Jeep” and by 1944 they began work on creating one.

Beginning with the existing military MB Jeep the guys of Willys design and engineering departments began creating prototypes which reportedly included such fittings as a canvas top, a draw-bar, and a tail-gate. This is generally known as the “CJ-1” although it never entered production and the number and exact design specifications remain unknown to the present day.

The Prototype Jeep CJ-2 and CJ-2A (1944-1949)

Work on the Jeep CJ-1 first generation prototypes developed into what became known as the CJ-2 second generation in 1944. Willys thinking appears to have been to create an agricultural civilian Jeep and it was in December 1944 that they were granted the trademark “AGRIJEEP”.

This name would appear on a dashboard plate of some of the Jeep CJ-2 prototypes. These CJ-2 prototypes were not available for retail sale but about 40-45 were constructed and trialed. The CJ-2 prototypes were fitted out with reference to the Department of Agriculture recommendations which included their being fitted with tail-gate, draw-bar and a range of mechanical and dimensional changes.

Jeep CJ2 agriculture plow

The bodywork changes made to the CJ-2 also included the rear wheel-wells being changed so the front seats could be enlarged and moved rearwards so that tall drivers could be comfortable, re-locating the spare wheel to the side of the vehicle, and both full and half canvas tops: the half canvas top leaving the load area at the rear exposed while the front two seats were under cover. The body also had driver’s side tool indentations.

Mechanical changes were varied but commonly included the axle gearing being lowered from the military 4.88:1 down to a more agricultural 5.38:1, and the Model 18 transfer case gearing also being changed from 1.97:1 down to 2.43:1. The gearbox was changed from the three speed T-84 to a stronger T-90 which used a column shift instead of the military floor shift. The clutch was also upgraded to an 8½” unit.

The 60hp  “Go-Devil” engine was treated to a different carburetor and ignition system, and for power take-off use a King-Seeley engine governor was fitted. The power take-off was left facing.

One of the most visual differences on these CJ-2 Jeeps was the fitting of large cast brass “Jeep” badges on many of the early ones, located on the windscreen cowl, either side of the hood/bonnet, and on the rear. Willys began trying to trademark the “Jeep” name as early as 1943 and were up against opposition from Amercian Bantam, so they used the “Jeep” name prominently on the CJ-2 vehicles as a proof of usage.

As it turned out Willys did not actually manage to take ownership of the Jeep name until 1950, after American Bantam had gone out of business. Later CJ-2 had the cast brass badges replaced with “Jeep” stamped into the bodywork, such as into the windscreen cowl.

Universal Jeep

The follow on model from the CJ-2 was the CJ-2A which went into production on July 17th, 1945. This was the first full production civilian Jeep and it was designated as the Willys-Overland CJ-2A “Universal Jeep”.

Although the trademark “AGRIJEEP” had been granted in 1944 Willys decided not to use it but rather went with “Universal Jeep” so as not to limit its market. This was still very much a model that needed to test the waters to see just who would be lining up to buy these useful little vehicles.

The CJ-2A had a seven slot front grille and headlights mounted onto the front panel rather than recessed into it: for a practical civilian vehicle everything done to make things easy to remove and repair was going to be appreciated by hands-on practical customers. Otherwise the CJ-2A was equipped as per the specifications of the pilot series CJ-2 complete with L-184 “Go-Devil” engine and T-90 gearbox.

The CJ-2A base model was fitted only with a driver’s seat, a single vacuum operated windscreen wiper on the driver’s side, a hand operated single windscreen wiper on the passenger side, and a rear view mirror on the driver’s side. To equip the base model for the customer’s use a comprehensive list of optional equipment was available which included a front passenger seat, rear seat, center rear view mirror, either half or full canvas top, front and/or rear power take-off, belt pulley drive, capstan winch, King-Seeley engine governor, rear hydraulic lift, snow plow, generator, arc welder, mower, heavy duty springs, twin vacuum actuated windscreen wipers, heavy duty hot climate radiator, radiator brush guard, chaff screen, driveshaft guards, and dual tail-lights.

For agricultural use the CJ-2A was also offered with a 265lb weight mounted behind the front bumper to balance the vehicle for plowing. The prototype CJ-2 had been fitted with four optional weights adding up to about the same amount but mounted on the front bumper for this application.

Jeep CJ2

The CJ-2A models were painted in a variety of color schemes while the CJ-2 had been military olive drab. The earliest CJ-2A were built using left over parts for the Jeep MB, with this petering out around mid 1946 after which the Jeeps were made to a standard using parts made specifically for this model.

In total 214,760 Jeep CJ-2A were produced with production ending in 1949.

The Jeep CJ-3A and CJ-3B (1949-1968)

The CJ-3A was a slightly upgraded version of the CJ-2A. The engine, gearbox and transfer box remained the same with the vehicles having a Dana 25 front axle and a Dana 41 or 44 rear axle.

The windscreen was made as one piece with a vent at the bottom, and the wiper mechanisms were moved from the top of the windscreen to the bottom. The suspension was upgraded and the rear wheel-well was shortened which enabled moving the driver’s seat a couple of inches further to the rear for tall drivers. Also for tall drivers the roof height for the canvas top was raised and the waterproofing of the soft tops was improved.

The CJ-3A was in production up until 1953 and 131,843 were made.

Jeep CJ3 Hurricane engine

In 1953 Willys-Overland was bought by Kaiser Motors and they removed the “Overland” from the company name.

This was the year the Willys CJ-3B was introduced fitted with the more powerful F-head 134.2 cu. in. Hurricane engine, which produced 72hp @ 4,000rpm with 114lb/ft of torque @ 2,000rpm. This engine was of the same capacity as the “Go-Devil” but was physically taller and so required the hood/bonnet line to be raised up so it would fit, giving the CJ-3B a taller grille and hood and a distinctly different appearance.

The CJ-3B was made between 1953 and 1968 and 155,494 were made in the United States (a total of 196,000 if we include those made overseas in Turkey by Türk Willys, in India by Mahindra, and Spain by VIASA).

The Jeep CJ-5 and CJ-6 (1955-1983)

Despite the fact that it is usual for the debut of a new model to herald the end of production for the previous one this was not to be the case for the Jeep CJ-3B: it remained in production while the new CJ-5 and CJ-6 models made their way onto the showroom floor.

Willys, and their new owner Kaiser Motors were feeling their way with what the buying public would open their checkbooks for and so, as the old saying reminds us “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, they decided to keep the old and seemingly much loved older model going while they tested the waters with the new one. The sort of people who were buying the CJ-3B were not the sort of people who wanted change for change sake, in fact that was the sort of thinking they would not tolerate.

Although it would seem logical that the next production Jeep would be called the CJ-4 this was not to be the case. Just one prototype called the CJ-4 was made and it was a cross between a CJ-3 and the coming CJ-5. The vehicle was fitted with a Willys Hurricane engine and had a curved body style like that which would appear on the CJ-5.

The CJ-4 prototype was made sometime during 1950-1951 and was subsequently sold to an employee. What is interesting about that single CJ-4 prototype is that it shows Willys were looking to modernize the utilitarian Jeep with a view to making it more stylish. It would appear that they had realized that the Jeep was not just an agricultural/industrial utilitarian vehicle but that it had the potential to create a new sporting utility vehicle market.

Enzo Ferrari is reported to have said that “the Jeep was the only true American sports car” and we can see in Willys re-design the aim of turning this Second World War “Blitz Buggy” into a sports utility vehicle.

Jeep CJ5

The CJ-5 was the short wheelbase of this new sports version, with dimensions remaining similar to the previous model Jeeps, but the CJ-6 was a long wheelbase, from 1955-1972 measuring 101″, and from 1972-1985 103½”, a change made necessary to fit new larger engines under the hood. both versions featured comfortable fitting bucket seats and more stylish rounded bodywork, which was also made of thicker gauge steel giving the vehicles a solid and “built like a tank” look and feel about them.

Kaiser Willys began to differentiate the engine choices in the CJ-5 and CJ-6 when in 1961 they began to offer the British four cylinder Perkins 192 cu. in. (3.15 liter) diesel which produced 62hp @ 3,000rpm and 143 lb/ft of torque at 1,350 rpm. We suspect that Willys could see that for the British Land Rover the diesel engine was a quite popular choice, and the four cylinder Perkins had earned for itself a good name, especially among commercial vehicle operators. So, rather than spending the significant sums of money required to design an engine of their own Willys bought engines with a known track record and support network for their CJ-5 and CJ-6.

It took a full ten years from the introduction of the CJ-5 and CJ-6 before Kaiser Willys were willing to take the gamble and begin to offer more sports oriented engines for their new sporty CJ-5 and CJ-6. 1965 was the year that Kaiser purchased the rights from Buick to manufacture their 225 cu. in. (3.7 liter) V6 “Dauntless” engine which churned out a whopping 155hp, about double the power of the four cylinder Hurricane engine. The gamble paid off and within three years three quarters of the CJ-5 and CJ-6 vehicles sold were equipped with that Dauntless engine: Jeep customers liked power!

During this time Willys began offering the Jeep with power steering, something that made maneuvering the weight of that V6 rather more easy.

1970 saw Kaiser Willys being purchased by American Motors Corporation (AMC) and the new owners decided they wanted to phase out the use of engines from other manufacturers and instead to fit their own. AMC had a different vision for the humble Jeep and that vision was for it to cease to be an agricultural and industrial workhorse, and instead for it to become a trendy sports vehicle.

AMC were keen for the Jeep to become something trendy like the Volkswagen Beetle but without the nasty Nazi skeleton in the closet: and for the surfing aficionados the Jeep would be a lot less likely to get bogged in the beach sand than a Volkswagen.

Jeep CJ5

So it was that in 1971 GM Buick purchased their manufacturing rights back from AMC and, undaunted, used their freshly re-acquired “Dauntless” engine in some vehicles of their own. For 1972 the AMC “Torque Command” straight six cylinder 232 cu. in. (3.8) engine supplanted the aging “Hurricane” four, and for those in “California Dreamin'” the larger 258 cu. in. (4.2 liter) was the standard (optional elsewhere), both engines breathing through a single-barrel Carter YF carburetor.

Not only were the new big six cylinder engines installed as standard in the new sporty Jeep models AMC also offered their 304 cu. in. (5.0 liters) V8 for those with a “need for speed” and a wallet deep enough to keep the thirsty little gas guzzler from emptying its fuel tank. The V8 gave the once agricultural Jeep the power to weight ratio of a muscle car, albeit with a rather higher center of gravity, but no doubt there were those who took their Jeeps to the local drag strip to find out what they’d do.

Structurally the car was changed significantly for the fitting of the new engines. The open box-frame chassis was given six riveted cross members for additional rigidity. The wheelbase was increased from 81″ to 83.5″ while the fenders and hood grew by 5″. The firewall was moved 2″ rearwards and a new larger fuel tank was fitted at the rear between the frame rails, replacing the original one that had been under the drivers seat.

For the CJ-5 and CJ-6 the “Powr-Lok” limited slip differential was upgraded to the “Trac-Lok” in 1971 and, because a power take-off would not be needed on a sports vehicle, it was omitted from the list of options, no doubt to the annoyance of some potential customers. But on the plus side the more powerful Jeep was treated to a 25lb lighter but stronger Dana 30 fully floating open knuckle front axle which gave the vehicle a 6′ smaller turning circle.

1973 saw the new AMC “Quadra-Trac” full time four wheel drive system fitted, This system featured a center lockable differential and of course also continued to provide high and low range gears. In 1975 for the 1976 model year the CJ-5 and CJ-6 were upgraded again. The open box frame chassis was mostly boxed in and the cross members were welded and the side-rails were of heavier gauge steel. Changes to the dashboard included a single combined speedometer, temperature and fuel gauge with the option of a steering column mounted tachometer, or a factory fitted AM radio. For those in cold climates a “Cold Climate Package” was offered which provided an engine block heater for those who were living or traveling in areas where freezing of the engine oil and coolant were all too real probabilities.

1979 was the year the base model engine was changed to the 258 cu. in. (4.2 liter) in-line six cylinder breathing through a twin barrel Carter carburetor.

Jeep CJ5 Golden Eagle

The CJ-5 and CJ-6 were made in a veritable plethora of special editions, essentially to promote the vehicle as something sporty and stylish, and in an effort to be constantly coming up with “and now for something completely different” to appeal to the checkbooks of an American public which AMC appears to have believed constantly needed new pretty temptations.

These various special editions included the four versions of the “Tuxedo Park” between 1961 and 1965, a “Camper” for 1969-1970 and a 462 performance package also for 1969, three versions of the “Renegade” from 1971 to 1983, the 1973 “Super Jeep”, 1977-1983 “Golden Eagle”, the 1979 “Silver Anniversary” one thousand units limited edition commemorating the CJ-5’s 25th Anniversary, the 1980 “Golden Hawk” and the 1980-1983 “Laredo”.

The Jeep CJ-7 (1976-1986)

The CJ-7 was to be the last of the line for the Jeeps that could trace their lineage from the World War II Jeep. The CJ-7 was ten inches longer than its CJ-5 sibling with a wheelbase of 93½” and underneath that longer and more curved bodywork was a new chassis design consisting of two parallel longitudinal rails stepped out at the rear to put the suspension as far out as possible for stability. The CJ-5 had received some negative publicity from those claiming it was prone to rollover, which it arguably wasn’t, certainly not more than any other vehicle that featured the necessary off-road ground clearance with the resulting higher center of gravity.

Jeep CJ7

The CJ-7 was made for a modern generation of American consumers who were getting more and more used to manufacturers making life more easy for them. It was available with either manual or automatic gearbox, both mated to the Quadra-Trac all wheel drive system with high and low range so you could “climb every mountain” or highway cruise on Route 66 with equal aplomb: and if the going got muddy or the way was treacherous and icy then that full time four wheel drive helped keep the Jeep going where the driver was pointing it instead of demonstrating an ability to do a pirouette like a ballerina.

Jeep CJ7

The CJ-7 was made in various special editions also including the Renegade, Golden Eagle, Golden Hawk, Laredo, and Limited. The last special edition was the Jamboree Commemorative Edition made for the 30th Anniversary of the Rubicon Trail.

The Jamboree Commemorative holds the title for being the most heavily optioned up Jeep ever made, at least up to that point. That last special edition was fitted with a dashboard plaque that read “Last of a Great Breed – This collectors-edition CJ ends an era that began with the legendary Jeep of World War II”.

The Jeep CJ-8 “Scrambler” (1981-1986)

The Jeep CJ-8, otherwise known as the Jeep Scrambler is perhaps most famous as President Ronald Reagan’s Jeep. This model was a long wheelbase version of the CJ-7 and so it also shared the distinction of being one of the last of the Jeeps that began with the World War II ones. In production from 1981 until 1986.

The CJ-8 Jeep Scrambler was arguably one of the most adaptable and practical of all the Jeeps ever made. The cab top was removable and the rear section was not a flat tray but rather a utility box, with the vehicle also coming with a roll bar just behind the driver and passenger seats.

Jeep CJ8 Ronald Reagan

This very practical Jeep was fitted with an old fashioned part time four wheel drive system, complete with front free-wheeling/locking hubs. This would have been done to optimize the vehicle’s highway fuel consumption. The usual gearbox was either a four speed or five speed manual with the three speed automatic being an option.

Jeep CJ8 Scrambler

The End of a Story that is Not Yet Over

The CJ-8 was the end of the line for the Civilian Jeeps, the last of the breed that had begun in the dark days of 1940 when the US Department of War realized that the thing they had been hoping against hope to avoid was coming upon them like a freight train with no brakes.

It had been American Bantam who had stepped up to the plate and come up with the design for a vehicle that would not only help win the war, but that would go on to create a new concept for civilian vehicles, the four wheel drive. The American Bantam “Bantam Reconnaissance Car” would go on to be the father not only of the Willys Jeep in both military and civilian models, but also the British Land Rover, and the Japanese Toyota Land Cruiser.

The Civilian Jeep in all the “CJ” models was the American car that carried the flag and brought four wheel drive freedom and adventure to hundreds of thousands of people. It was a farm vehicle, mining vehicle, government vehicle, sports car, fishing and shooting wagon, and fashion icon, and it was even transport for a US President. It was and still is the car that best epitomizes “The Land of the Free”.

Jeep CJ the great escape

Picture Credits: Willys, Kaiser, AMC, Ronald Reagan Library, Netherlands National Archive.

The post A Brief History of the Jeep CJ Series – Everything You Need To Know appeared first on Silodrome.

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