Silodrome https://silodrome.com Gasoline Culture Wed, 21 Feb 2018 04:19:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 18077751 Classic Style – Crave Waxed Trophy Motorcycle Jacket https://silodrome.com/crave-waxed-trophy-motorcycle-jacket/ Wed, 21 Feb 2018 04:00:33 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=71839 Classic Style – Crave Waxed Trophy Motorcycle Jacket

The Crave Waxed Trophy Motorcycle Jacket is the world’s first single-layer waxed Armalith jacket, it was developed by the team at Crave For Ride for use by both commuters and moto-adventurers. Armalith is a denim fabric created by combining cotton fibers with UHMWPE (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene) fibers, this creates a single-layer material with better abrasion resistance...

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Classic Style – Crave Waxed Trophy Motorcycle Jacket

The Crave Waxed Trophy Motorcycle Jacket is the world’s first single-layer waxed Armalith jacket, it was developed by the team at Crave For Ride for use by both commuters and moto-adventurers.

Armalith is a denim fabric created by combining cotton fibers with UHMWPE (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene) fibers, this creates a single-layer material with better abrasion resistance than Kevlar – and unlike Kevlar, it won’t give you a case of the itchies after a few hours of wearing it.

The styling of the Crave Waxed Trophy Motorcycle Jacket was based on the classic waterproof gear worn by riders back in the days of Lawerence of Arabia – with waxed cotton for breathability and ample pocket space for maps, compasses, hip flasks, tobacco, and pipes.

The jacket has four large front pockets, a zippered back pocket (for gloves), a phone/wallet pocket on the sleeve, a zippered internal pocket for documents and important items, and there’s an internal pocket for your goggles too.

The inner lining is a soft and breathable microfibre mesh for all-day comfort, and there are pockets for CE protectors in the shoulders, elbows, and back – able to take either level 1 or level 2 armor.

Buy Here

Crave Waxed Trophy Motorcycle Jacket

Crave Waxed Trophy Motorcycle Jacket

Crave Waxed Trophy Motorcycle Jacket

Crave Waxed Trophy Motorcycle Jacket

Crave Waxed Trophy Motorcycle Jacket

Crave Waxed Trophy Motorcycle Jacket

Crave Waxed Trophy Motorcycle Jacket

Crave Waxed Trophy Motorcycle Jacket

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Ex-Bruce Willis + Ex-Jay Kay 1969 Bullitt-Spec Dodge Charger https://silodrome.com/bullitt-dodge-charger/ Tue, 20 Feb 2018 09:00:56 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=73045 Ex-Bruce Willis + Ex-Jay Kay 1969 Bullitt-Spec Dodge Charger

The Dodge Charger is often remembered for being the “other” car from the iconic chase scene in the Oscar winning 1968 Steve McQueen film Bullitt. The undulating streets of San Francisco form a captivating backdrop for the police thriller, and they feature heavily in what is now widely regarded as the greatest chase scene in...

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Ex-Bruce Willis + Ex-Jay Kay 1969 Bullitt-Spec Dodge Charger

The Dodge Charger is often remembered for being the “other” car from the iconic chase scene in the Oscar winning 1968 Steve McQueen film Bullitt.

The undulating streets of San Francisco form a captivating backdrop for the police thriller, and they feature heavily in what is now widely regarded as the greatest chase scene in cinema history. As many muscle car buffs have noted in the years since the film was released, the Charger was actually the faster of the two cars by quite some margin – with 375 hp in stock trim versus the 325 hp produced by the dark green Bullitt Mustang.

There are few (if any) cars from the era better suited to being the “bad guy’s car” than the Dodge Charger – particularly when in all-black. The sound from the big block 440 cubic inch V8 is unmistakable, and the hidden headlights only add to the model’s mystique.

A 500 Cubic Inch Gift From Demi Moore To Bruce Willis

The early life of the Charger you see here is a bit of a mystery, right up until the point it was rebuilt to better-than-Bullitt specification and given as a gift to Bruce Willis by his then-wife Demi Moore. The original 440 cubic inch V8 had been upgraded from its original capacity to 500 cubic inches – that’s 8.2 liters.

Bullitt-Spec Dodge Charger

The newly uprated big block V8 was accompanied by upgrades throughout to bring the car up to a similar specification (though obviously not identical) to the vinyl-top Dodge Charger used in the movie – including upgraded suspension and high-performance disc brakes on all four corners, which necessitated larger wheels to accommodate the rotors. These wheels were shod with more modern rubber in the shape of Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires – though they don’t have a hope of maintaining traction when the driver dumps the accelerator.

Bruce kept the car for years before eventually selling it on, and its next owner would be no less famous – Jamiroquai front-man Jay Kay, a guy almost as famous for his love of cars as for his love of music.

The Dodge Charger, Jay Kay, And The Upgrades

8 years ago when Jay Kay took ownership he had the car imported in the UK, and had it passed over the pits for an MOT. The vehicle now has full UK road registration and it’s accompanied by bills for £25,000, for a series of extensive upgrades and improvements.

Jay Kay had his newly acquired Dodge Charger repainted in gleaming jet black, the interior was comprehensively re-trimmed (also in black) and the car is now in significantly better overall condition that it was fresh from the factory.

The 500 cubic inch V8 is fitted to a 3-speed automatic Chrysler transmission topped with a B&M Quicksilver shifter – and it’s more than capable of wiping the floor with almost any Mustang you throw at it (even if Steve McQueen is driving).

Jay Kay has decided to part with his beloved Dodge Charger to make space, his recent expenditure on upgrades makes it an easy buy for anyone in the market for a tire melting muscle car – and the double barreled A-list former owners will only add to the appeal.

If you’d like to read more about this car or register to bid on it you can click here to visit Silverstone Auctions. It has an estimated hammer-price of £50,000 to £60,000, which seems like an absolute steal.

Bullitt-Spec Dodge Charger

Bullitt-Spec Dodge Charger

Bullitt-Spec Dodge Charger

Bullitt-Spec Dodge Charger

Bullitt-Spec Dodge Charger

Bullitt-Spec Dodge Charger

Bullitt-Spec Dodge Charger

Bullitt-Spec Dodge Charger

Bullitt-Spec Dodge Charger

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Para-Aramid Motorcycle Gear – Fuel Sergeant Pants https://silodrome.com/fuel-sergeant-pants/ Tue, 20 Feb 2018 04:00:45 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=71813 Para-Aramid Motorcycle Gear – Fuel Sergeant Pants

The new Fuel Sergeant Pants were specifically designed for use by motorcyclists in both urban and off-road environments. The main outer section of the pants are made from waxed 12.5 oz denim, with an abrasion and puncture resistant Para-Aramid internal lining around the knees and thigh/waist area. For impact protection there are removable CE level...

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Para-Aramid Motorcycle Gear – Fuel Sergeant Pants

The new Fuel Sergeant Pants were specifically designed for use by motorcyclists in both urban and off-road environments. The main outer section of the pants are made from waxed 12.5 oz denim, with an abrasion and puncture resistant Para-Aramid internal lining around the knees and thigh/waist area.

For impact protection there are removable CE level 2 Smoothways provided for the knees and outer hip sections. The upper knee area has accordion sections to keep you comfortable on long rides – it reduces bunching when you’re in the saddle with your knees bent and your feet on the pegs. There are additional denim patches over the knees and upper shins, and quilted sections over the thighs, with suede detailing.

There are four front pockets including two standard pockets, a fob pocket, and a waterproof pocket on the right upper thigh. There are two standard pockets on the rear, with an upper accordion section for stretch.

The Fuel Sergeant Pants can be ordered in sizes from 28 to 40, and you can choose from either Sahara or Indigo with tan stitching.

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Fuel Sergeant Pants

Fuel Sergeant Pants

Fuel Sergeant Pants

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A Rare American Icon – The 500hp 1959 Kellison J-4R V8 Coupe https://silodrome.com/kellison-j-4r/ Mon, 19 Feb 2018 07:00:52 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=72228 A Rare American Icon – The 500hp 1959 Kellison J-4R V8 Coupe

The Kellison J-4R was the brainchild of USAF pilot James Kellison, a man known for his exceptional intelligence, his deep love for cars, and his fascination with lightweight composites. In the 1950s the latest and greatest composite was fiberglass, a material that was a precursor to modern composites like carbon fiber, and that offered excellent...

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A Rare American Icon – The 500hp 1959 Kellison J-4R V8 Coupe

The Kellison J-4R was the brainchild of USAF pilot James Kellison, a man known for his exceptional intelligence, his deep love for cars, and his fascination with lightweight composites.

In the 1950s the latest and greatest composite was fiberglass, a material that was a precursor to modern composites like carbon fiber, and that offered excellent strength, low weight, and complete rust resistance that made it seem like a miracle material to car manufacturers.

The Origins of the Kellison J-4R

The Kellison J-4R was the fourth member of the J-series cars built by Kellison, and it was the first of their cars to be considered a proper production car.

The Kellison J-series started with the J-1, it was a small fiberglass coupe body designed to sit on either an Austin-Healey Sprite or Crosley chassis. It was followed by the J-2 which was a body designed to fit a longer 102-inch wheelbase chassis, and it cost $380 USD in 1959 money.

The Kellison J-3 looked very similar to the J-2, but it was designed for a shorter 98-inch wheelbase chassis and cost $20 more at $400 USD. These bodies were found to be ideal on racing cars, and a few were used for competition in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Kellison J-4R

The Kellison J-4 would be the first turnkey production car offered by the Californian company, it had a tough, masculine design with a low slung roof, a long hood, and a short tail section. Customers could order a basic fiberglass body kit for $365 USD and a complete turnkey car cost $6,700 USD – more than the price of a brand new Corvette.

Clients who ordered a turnkey Kellison J-4 would receive a fiberglass body mounted on a bespoke tubular steel frame, powered by a Chevy 283 cubic inch V8 with a four-speed transmission. The interior wasn’t exactly opulent, but it was complete and functional, and perhaps most importantly – it was lightweight.

The 1959 Kellison J-4R Coupe Shown Here

The Kellison J-4R was the race-spec version of the model, there was a lot of variance from the factory on these cars as they were often built to customer specification. This particular J-4R was built with a 406 cubic inch V8 and a four-barrel 750 CFM “Double Pumper” Holley carburetor, producing 496 hp.

Interestingly this car was purchased new by SCCA executive director Don Rodimer, he loved the car so much he kept it till he passed away, at which time it was bought by well-known racer and tour organizer, Rich Taylor in 1985.

Rich had the car comprehensively rebuilt by Chassis Dynamics in Edison, New Jersey. For safety he also had a NASCAR style roll cage, a 15-gallon fuel cell, and a multitude of safety features added.  The engine was prepared by Tom Lalinsky of Lalinsky Engineering. It was dyno tested, showing 497hp at the flywheel, and 463 ft-lbs of torque at 4500 rpm.

Bonhams will be offering this Kellison at the Amelia Island Auction with an estimated value of between $35,000 and $55,000 USD – an affordable price tag when you consider the kind of cars from the 1950s and ’60s that it would be paired with in vintage racing events.

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

Kellison J-4R

Kellison J-4R

Kellison J-4R

Kellison J-4R

Kellison J-4R

Kellison J-4R

Kellison J-4R

Kellison J-4R

Kellison J-4R

Kellison J-4R

Kellison J-4R

Kellison J-4R

Kellison J-4R

Kellison J-4R

Kellison J-4R

Kellison J-4R

Kellison J-4R

Images courtesy of Bonhams

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Lee Parks Design Sumo Motorcycle Gloves https://silodrome.com/lee-parks-design-sumo-motorcycle-gloves/ Mon, 19 Feb 2018 04:00:20 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=71736 Lee Parks Design Sumo Motorcycle Gloves

The Lee Parks Design Sumo Motorcycle Gloves are based on the popular DeerTours Gloves that have earned a worldwide following for their exceptionally tough construction, and their all-day comfort thanks to their soft, 100% deerskin construction. Lee Parks is a name that may seem strangely familiar to you, he worked for years as a motorcycle...

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Lee Parks Design Sumo Motorcycle Gloves

The Lee Parks Design Sumo Motorcycle Gloves are based on the popular DeerTours Gloves that have earned a worldwide following for their exceptionally tough construction, and their all-day comfort thanks to their soft, 100% deerskin construction.

Lee Parks is a name that may seem strangely familiar to you, he worked for years as a motorcycle journalist doing gear reviews that would often see him test products to destruction. Lee learned what worked and what didn’t, and in 2001 he founded Lee Parks Design to develop and manufacture world-class motorcycle gear in the USA.

The development of the Sumo Gloves started using the DeerTour model as a base, but added Thermoplastic Rubber armor to the knuckles, wrist back, and to the backs of the fingers and thumbs. The armor has a segmented design allowing it to flex easily, whilst still offering excellent thickness and impact absorption.

On the palm there’s a double stitched, double layer section as this area is typically the first to hit the asphalt if you come off your bike – people instinctively put their hands out to cushion their fall.

The wrist fastener on motorcycle gloves is often overlooked, but it’s one one of the most important elements – without a decent strap the gloves can slide up over your hands remarkably quickly leaving your hand exposed to fast moving bitumen.

Each pair of Lee Parks Design Sumo Motorcycle Gloves is made in the USA, they come in either black or tan, and you can order sizes from XS through to XL.

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Lee Parks Design Sumo Motorcycle Gloves

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Charles Morgan’s Classics – The Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint https://silodrome.com/charles-morgans-classics-alfa-romeo-giulia-sprint/ Sun, 18 Feb 2018 07:00:18 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=71657 Charles Morgan’s Classics – The Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint

The Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint is a bit of a personal favorite, and this one is more special than most. It’s the Alfaholics GTA-R 270, and it was built by the marque experts at Alfaholics to show the world what happens when you set out to build the perfect example of the already beloved Alfa model....

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Charles Morgan’s Classics – The Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint

The Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint is a bit of a personal favorite, and this one is more special than most. It’s the Alfaholics GTA-R 270, and it was built by the marque experts at Alfaholics to show the world what happens when you set out to build the perfect example of the already beloved Alfa model.

This short film is presented by Charles Morgan, of the family that began the Morgan Motor Company. He’s a natural born TV presenter, though I don’t think he does it full time, and we’ve previously featured his Carfection film on the stunningly beautiful Eagle Speedster.

Whether or not you’re an Alfaphile, this film is a must watch, and the car was the very first design from the pen of Giorgetto Giugiaro – the man voted greatest car designer of the 20th century by a jury made up of automotive designers and journalists in 1999.

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De Tomaso Pantera – The Essential Buying Guide https://silodrome.com/de-tomaso-pantera-buying-guide/ Sat, 17 Feb 2018 09:00:01 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=71673 De Tomaso Pantera – The Essential Buying Guide

Coming hard on the heels of the head-turning De Tomaso Mangusta, the De Tomaso Pantera was a successful combination of Italian aesthetics and breeding with a nice big and easy to maintain Ford V8 engine, and a proven German ZF transaxle. The Pantera broke the convention that said if you have an exotic mid-engine Italian GT you’re...

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De Tomaso Pantera – The Essential Buying Guide

Coming hard on the heels of the head-turning De Tomaso Mangusta, the De Tomaso Pantera was a successful combination of Italian aesthetics and breeding with a nice big and easy to maintain Ford V8 engine, and a proven German ZF transaxle.

The Pantera broke the convention that said if you have an exotic mid-engine Italian GT you’re going to have to pay exorbitant amounts of money for engine re-builds and pretty much any other maintenance you’re going to need.

It was sold in the US at Lincoln Mercury dealerships with the backing of the Ford Motor Corporation. This was an Italian GT that the average enthusiast/owner could take a spanner to themselves and fix most things with little difficulty whilst having a whole lot of fun: something you could not realistically do on a Lamborghini or Ferrari.

A Brief History of the De Tomaso Pantera

The founder of De Tomaso, Alejandro de Tomaso, was an Argentinian motor enthusiast who left his native land for Italy at the age of 27. Some say he was escaping from the oppressive political atmosphere prevalent in Argentina at the time, and that may well have been part of his motivation – but his passion for sports cars and motor racing were driving forces behind his move to one of the epicenters of motorsport, Italy.

De Tomaso wanted to race with Maserati, but the Maserati brothers had sold the company that bore their name to a gentleman named Adolfo Orsi and his family interests in 1937. The brothers continued to work at the company on a ten year contract and, after the Second World War when their contracts expired in 1947, they left, and three brothers; Ernesto, Ettore and Bindo, formed their own new company called O.S.C.A. (Officine Specializzate Costruzione Automobili—Fratelli Maserati S.p.A.) with the intention of specializing in racing and competition automobiles. It was to O.S.C.A. that Alejandro de Tomaso went. He drove for O.S.C.A. for three seasons from 1956-1959, including a Formula 1 attempt in 1959, prior to establishing his own company the same year.

De Tomaso Fiat 1500 F1 Car

Alejandro de Tomaso located his new company in Alberato, Modena, a short walk from the Ferrari factory. He first tried his hand at building Formula 1, 2, and 3 cars but without success, so he stopped building them in 1970. His first production road car was the Vallelunga which appeared in 1963. The Vallelunga featured a backbone chassis and was powered by a tweaked British Ford Cortina engine. It was somewhat like a four cylinder mid-engine Lotus in size, design and performance. The Vallelunga was not a supercar however: it was similar in performance to the O.S.C.A. 1600 GT Coupé of the early 1960’s.

DE TOMASO VALLELUNGA

Above – De Tomaso Vallelunga

The second De Tomaso car was a different kettle of fish altogether. Named Mangusta, after the mongoose, an animal known to fearlessly tackle and kill a Cobra, this car was indeed a Shelby Cobra killer. The Mangusta was powered by a 289 cu. in. Ford V8 engine for world markets, or a 302 cu. in. for the US, and it entered production in 1966. The car’s steel backbone chassis was clothed in a svelte Ghia, Giorgetto Giugiaro designed body. It not only looked like a supercar, it performed like one, and it remained in production until 1971 with approximately 400 being made.

De Tomaso Mangusta

Above – De Tomaso Mangusta

By this stage De Tomaso had attained the status of a small scale exotic car builder, but what was to happen next was to significantly increase their production capacity by working in cooperation with Ford. The Mangusta set the tone for what De Tomaso was capable of and management at Ford became so interested that they invested in an 80% share of the company, with Ford executive Ray Geddes becoming a De Tomaso Vice-President. Ford also bought interests in the Ghia design house, and in Vignale.

The intention was to have De Tomaso create a GT car that could be semi-mass-produced and sold through Ford’s Lincoln-Mercury dealership network. What they wanted was a car that would completely upstage the Corvette and anything else GM could make. The result of this thinking was the creation of a car that used a steel unibody body rather than the more exotic backbone chassis of the previous cars, and that was powered by a suitable Ford V8 engine mated to a production ZF transaxle. This was to be the Pantera (Italian for Panther). The design was by American Tom Tjaarda working for Ghia, as had been Guigaro who designed the Mangusta.

De Tomaso Pantera

The De Tomaso Pantera made her debut at Modena in March 1970 and then at the 1970 New York Motor Show. The model shown was a hand-built show car and not completely as the later production cars were to be. Alejandro de Tomaso was still a racing driver at heart and so the show car featured unusual slatted seats that may have proven excellent for a road race but that were not well received by the car’s potential buyers, who thought they looked uncomfortable. For the production cars the seats were changed to more conventional units.

DeTomaso Pantera Concept Car

Above – The interior of the De Tomaso Pantera Concept Car

Production began about a year after the car’s first showing with three cars per week being turned out. These early cars were not constructed at the quality level one might expect from Aston Martin or Porsche. Specialist Italian cars of the sixties and seventies were not known for high standards of quality control in the bodywork, and rust-proofing tended not to be done well, if it was done at all. Buyers of such cars who intended to keep them commonly had improvements done, especially rust proofing and upgrades to the interior.

The Italians excelled at the mechanicals, but not the things they may have considered “cosmetic”. As the early Panteras arrived on the showroom floors of Lincoln-Mercury dealerships the quality control problems were quickly noticed, not least of which was the presence of significant amounts of body-solder used to fill defects in body-panels. Customers coming into Lincoln-Mercury showrooms expected fit and finish to be top quality, and the Pantera’s shortcomings were obvious to observant customers accustomed to Lincoln-Mercury standards.

DeTomaso Pantera

Ford realized they needed to step in to rectify the problems and so they became involved in Pantera production, especially with regard to ensuring top quality precision pressed body panels. The car presented other issues, not least of which was the interior design which required a significant offset of the pedals, made necessary because of the space needed for the fully independent front suspension. The Pantera’s interior provided limited space, so the maximum practical height for a driver was 6 feet. People taller than that would need to modify their cars with custom seats and other tweaks. Notwithstanding all these things, within the first year of production the teething problems of the car were largely resolved.

The interior had some well thought-out features such as the center console instruments being angled towards the driver to ensure a clear view, and the superb gated transmission for completely positive shifting. But the interior had some irritating foibles as well: the speedometer and tachometer sat in pods ahead of the driver but partially obscured by the driver’s hands on the wheel. Similarly the cigar lighter on the center console would tend to be activated by the driver’s elbow if he rested it on the console. In its favor however the car had a number of luxury features such as electric windows, which were very much a novelty back then, air conditioning, and an audible open door buzzer. The price of the car was around was about half that of a comparable Ferrari or Lamborghini.

Perhaps the early model Pantera’s most high profile owner was Elvis Presley, who purchased a second hand primrose yellow one for his then girlfriend Linda Thompson. That car is on display at the Gracelands Museum complete with a bullet hole in the steering wheel. The story, according to George Klein, is that the Pantera had broken down whilst Elvis had been driving in Memphis and it had to be towed back to his house. With the car in the driveway as Elvis was relating the breakdown story to George he pulled out a gun and shot the car for not running right – strangely enough after the car was shot it started up and ran just fine.

De Tomaso Pantera – Models and Specifications

De Tomaso Pantera (1971-1991)

De Tomaso Pantera Interior

Above – De Tomaso Pantera Interior

The standard Pantera for world markets other than the US were fitted with a 351 cu. in./5.8 liter Ford V8 engine producing 330 hp. The transmission was the same 5 speed ZF transaxle as had been used on the Mangusta. Suspension was fully independent with wishbones, coil springs, and telescopic dampers/shock absorbers front and rear. Wheels were 15 inch shod with 285/40 tires front, and 345/35 rear.

Brakes were discs all around with servo assistance. Steering was by rack and pinion, the sort of thing one expects on a quality sports car. The car could accelerate from standing to 60mph in 5.5 seconds, so headrests were appreciated. Reports on the early production cars state that the noise from the ZF transaxle was intrusive, and this is one of the defects that was attended to as the early model was subjected to trouble-shooting and improvement.

A pleasant surprise for many, especially the mechanics who would be working on these cars, was that the engine and major components proved to be quite accessible, especially by comparison with some other exotic Italian cars or the contemporary British Jaguars for example (the XKE or E-Type was good but the sedan/saloon cars engine bays were very cramped).

In 1973 a GTS version was introduced with a high compression version of the 351 cu. in. Ford 335 Cleveland V8 engine with solid lifters for non-US markets. Standard engine power was 330bhp which propelled the GTS to a full 160 mph/256 km/h. This car was fitted with wider wheels and riveted on wheel arch extensions which gave it a more businesslike competition car look. After 1975 when Ford US ceased the distribution of Pantera’s in the United States and also ceased production of the 351 cu. in. Cleveland V8, De Tomaso began sourcing their engines from Ford Australia who continued to make the engine up until 1982. The Australian made engines were sent to Switzerland for tuning and were available in a range of power outputs up to 355hp. The GTS remained in production until 1985.

De Tomaso Pantera GTS

Above – De Tomaso Pantera GTS

De Tomaso Pantera (US Model, 1971-1975)

The first 75 US Panteras were largely the same as their world market counterparts. The principle differences were the larger rear lights on the US version and provision of corner marker lamps. The power plant was the same 351 cu. in./5.8 liter Ford V8, used in Europe with 11:1 compression ratio, breathing through a four barrel carburettor, and producing 330hp @ 6,000rpm.  The transaxle was the standard 5 speed ZF unit which had been used in the Mangusta and was also used in the Maserati Bora. These first cars were the ones with hand-made bodywork by Vignale, these are the poorer quality body panels with defects filled with body solder (a common aspect of hand formed body panels). The doors feature the European press-button release. To be fair to the De Tomaso Pantera many other car makers were guilty of skimping on rust protection, the Jaguar XKE/E-Type being an example.

De Tomaso Pantera Cutaway

In 1972 US models were required to meet new emissions standards. This necessitated a change of engine and reduction in the compression ratio from 11:1 to 8.6:1. The new engine was the Ford 335 Cleveland, with the same 351 cu. in. capacity but with a number of improvements including the use of 4-bolt main-bearing caps. To compensate for the loss in power the US market this engine was fitted with a “Cobra Jet” camshaft.

This provided the same valve lift and duration as Ford’s 428 Cobra Jet performance camshaft, and was intended to maintain engine power whilst enabling the use of lower octane standard grade gasoline, as well as satisfying emissions regulations. Efforts to maintain the power and torque of the engine did not stop there and the new engine was also fitted with a dual points distributor and an exhaust header to tune the exhaust. The end result of this work was 296bhp @ 6,000rpm, which means the engine lost about 10% of its power by comparison with the version for world markets. The Ford Cleveland engine factory had been the maker of the early Lincoln V8 engine and was a natural fit for a performance car being distributed and serviced through Lincoln-Mercury dealerships.

De Tomaso Pantera

In August 1972 the luxury Pantera L (L for “Lusso” meaning Luxury) was introduced, instantly discernible by the black rubber bumpers fitted front and rear. The intention of the new bumpers were both to satisfy low speed collision damage requirements and to provide a spoiler effect at the front to reduce lift at speed. Later models would see a much more effective front air-dam fitted.

The interior was also improved, seats became more luxurious, and overall the car became the Porsche killer it had been designed to be. In 1973 the main instruments in front of the driver were brought together and angled towards the driver, to ensure they were more easily readable: this improved the visibility of the tachometer and speedometer significantly.

De Tomaso Pantera

The Pantera L fully resolved the quality control issues that had beset the early production cars, it was now so good that it became Road Test Magazine’s Car of the Year in 1973: which means it beat Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche amongst others. The Pantera had matured into a very desirable GT that could hold its own with the best in the world.

De Tomaso Pantera

Ford ceased importing the Pantera in 1975 and stopped distributing them through the Lincoln-Mercury dealership network, having sold approximately 5,500 cars. Ford had already ceased US production of the 335 Cleveland V8 engine, however Ford Australia continued to manufacture it so De Tomaso were able to continue to source the engines from there. From 1970-1976 that 351 cu. in. Ford V8 had been the engine of the Australian Ford Falcon GT, a star of the Mount Panorama racing circuit near the town of Bathurst in NSW.

De Tomaso continued making the Pantera for world markets and some cars were imported into the US as “gray imports” in the years following 1975, principally through the Panteramerica and AmeriSport companies.

De Tomaso Pantera GT5

De Tomaso Pantera

In 1980 De Tomaso revised the design of the Pantera chassis, with cars built on the new revised design beginning from chassis number 9,000. That year De Tomaso introduced a new model of the Pantera that incorporated both the chassis improvements and a significantly revised body design. This was the Pantera GT5 and it was fitted with fiberglass wide wheel arches that were bonded and riveted, to accommodate its wider 15×10 inch front and 15×13 inch rear wheels with 285/40 VR15 front and 345/35 VR15 rear tires.

At the front was a new air-dam to significantly improve the car’s stability at top speeds, whilst lurking in those big wheels were improved ventilated disc brakes. Engine power was slightly increased to 350bhp @ 6,000rpm despite the compression ratio being 9.5:1. Torque for this engine was 333 lb/ft @ 4000rpm. Overall performance remained the same with standing to 60mph time of 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 160mph. The GT5 remained in production until 1985 when it was superseded by the GT5-S.

De Tomaso Pantera GT5 S

Above – De Tomaso Pantera GT5

The GT5-S was fitted with steel one-piece wide wheel arches and front air-dam (the “S” standing for steel). These cars were also equipped with luxurious interiors to make them a significantly more up-market automobile than their more humbly equipped predecessors. Although exact information is not known it is believed that less than 252 GT5 Panteras were built and less than 183 GT5-S. Production of the GT5-S ceased in the late 1980’s, possibly as late as 1989. With the supply of the 351 cu. in. Cleveland V8 ending De Tomaso had to change to a different engine, so they began installing the Ford 351 Windsor instead.

De Tomaso Pantera

Pantera 90 Si (1990-1993)

For 1990 The Pantera was given a face-lift by Marcello Gandini (the designer of the Lamborghini Muira), chassis revision, and new engine: the 302 cu. in. 5 liter (4,942 cc). In its catalytic converter equipped format this engine produces 244hp and 300lb/ft torque. In non-catalytic converter format power is 300hp with 333lb/ft torque. The catalytic converter equipped car’s top speed is listed as 150mph whilst the non-catalytic converter car manages 155mph.

The intention of the car was to be a stylish GT with excellent creature comforts. In a sense the car was reflective of a maturing of design: gone were the riveted on wheel arch extensions and competition car feel, to be replaced with refinement and style.

De Tomaso Pantera

The lines of the Pantera 90 Si were flowing, with the front air-dam and rear spoiler integrated with the lines of the car. But a great deal of re-design work went into the new model to the extent that it is almost, but not quite a new car. The front suspension re-design improved the driving position and allowed for more room for taller drivers. The suspension re-design included the use of oval tubing rather than flat pressings for the wishbones, and brakes featured four pot Brembo calipers grabbing onto ventilated and drilled discs to bring the gorgeous four wheeled projectile to a tidy stop. There was also a new tubular rear sub-frame with three spreader bars where the older cars had one.

There were 41 Pantera 90 Si produced (Chassis numbers 9601-9641) but only 38 were sold to customers. Two cars were subjected to crash testing whilst one was kept in the De Tomaso Museum in Modena. Four of the Pantera 90 Si were sent directly from the factory to coach-builder Carozzaria Pavesi of Milan to be converted to Targa roof. The targa roof is stored neatly in the rear boot lid and is easy to attach when needed. The Targa models needed to not only have the roof neatly cut but also to have the body/chassis strategically stiffened to compensate for the removal of the roof.

Most of the Pantera 90 Si were fitted with the same 5 speed ZF transaxle as had been used for the Pantera throughout its production, however two cars were fitted with 6 speed Getrag boxes on special order. Wheels for this model are Fondmetal 17 inch with 235/45 ZR 17 tires for the front and 335/35 ZR 17 for the rear.

The Pantera 90 Si were made from 1990 until they were officially phased out in 1993. One car was apparently not completed until 1996.

Buying a De Tomaso Pantera

Body and Interior

The absolute essential in buying a De Tomaso Pantera is getting one with a straight and rust-free body. The car has a monocoque body and so the bodywork is structural: rust in the bodywork means a compromised structure.

The Pantera is a performance car and structural weakness in a car such as this is about as acceptable as structural weakness in an aircraft. So, unless you are budgeting for a full restoration then patiently seeking out a rust free car is something you should not compromise on. The budget for a restoration is something you need a good quotation for if you are contemplating it. Expect that it will cost much more than you estimate yourself. To inspect the car you need a magnet and an ice pick and you need to thoroughly go over the car from the bottom up. This is a job recommended for someone who is a marque expert. So if you don’t have that expertise then don’t risk it but pay a marque expert to examine the car for you.

A car may have great paint and the little magnet may stay on in the places you look: it may also have new and sound looking under-body coating. But remember that under-body coating can cover up a lot of internal corrosion, unibody cars tend to rust from the invisible inside outwards. One good place to start looking is at the base of the A pillar where it joins the body. Look for any sign of paint bubbling which means rust underneath. Look for signs of a re-spray – paint with an “orange peel” look is a dead giveaway. Look for signs of body filler under the paint. It may be so obvious that you can pick the outline of the area filled, and it may even be so rough that you can see the sanding marks where it was shaped. It may also be well hidden from your eye, although a magnet should find it. Any sign of the use of body filler is good reason to walk away from a prospective car. Whilst considering these things check on how long the current owner has had the car. If they have had it for only two or three years then a rust “cover-up” job will likely not have become apparent yet, and they may be blissfully unaware of what lies beneath the pretty coat of paint.

De Tomaso Pantera Underside

In the same vein is the need to check for accident damage and chassis alignment. The chassis alignment needs to be measured to ensure it’s in specification. If the car has hit a kerb at speed or had some rough treatment, it may have been used in competition, then chassis mis-alignment can be expected. The suspension needs to be checked for straightness and damage.

Take the car for a drive and get a feel for how it tracks and corners. Listen for creaks or unusual noises that would indicate structural issues, suspension or mechanical issues etc.

The condition of the car’s interior is an indicator of what kind of life it has had. You are looking for signs of gentle wear or careless use. A car interior with a patina of gentle use ages well. The state of the interior gives a good indication as to the previous owner(s) attitude to looking after it. The same is true of the exterior paintwork, if it is original.

Transmission

Almost all De Tomaso Panteras were fitted with the same 5 speed ZF transaxle, and that transaxle was also fitted to a number of other exotic sports cars. Although the unit is fairly common in expensive GT cars you should not assume that it will be inexpensive to maintain in the way that the American V8 will be inexpensive to maintain. Re-building the ZF transaxle is guaranteed to be costly (though not as costly as many supercar gearboxes) and so it must be in good shape in a car you are considering. It should change smoothly, be quiet, and stay in all gears on the overrun. The very early production Panteras were known for the sound of the transaxle being a bit intrusive. If you are looking at one of those don’t trust yourself but get someone with familiarity with the ZF transaxle to assess it. Amongst the things such a mechanic/expert will do is look at the oil in the box and assess its age and condition.

Difficulty in changing gears may be caused by a faulty clutch thrust bearing or clutch hydraulics: in either event however such faults mean there is likely to have been some harm done to the transaxle as a result of the clutch fault.

Engine

The engine is a common Ford unit will a great reputation. The usual checks on the engine need to be done such as a cylinder leakage test to assess compression and potential piston ring wear. Check for signs of burning oil such as blue smoke in the exhaust. Check for oil leaks, look for signs of oil in the coolant or coolant in the oil. The engine of the Pantera is the most generic and owner fixable component of the car. So if there are engine issues you can budget to resolve them.

Electrical System

A Pantera is going to be a significant investment. Have the car’s electrical system assessed by a competent auto-electrician, preferably a marque specialist. Auto electrics that are decades old will need replacement. If the car has had its electrical systems overhauled you will need to assess how good or bad the work has been and how long ago it was done. Check that all gauges, switches and lights work – both interior and exterior.

Documentation

Make a thorough check of the receipts that come with the car to find out who has repaired what and how much was spent. If the transaxle has been overhauled you need to know who did it and whether they are a recognized expert or not. Work done by a known repairer can be trusted, but work from an unknown quantity cannot. Make sure you have as complete a picture of the car’s ownership and maintenance history as you can before making any decision to purchase.

Conclusion

The De Tomaso Pantera is one of the more desirable GT automobiles you could consider. They were well designed and are fitted with a generic “owner fixable” V8 engine. For most models you need to be no taller than 6 feet to be comfortable in one. These are a car that owners like to customize and they lend themselves to tinkering. So they are enormously enjoyable both on the road and in the workshop. If you do buy one be very conscientious about keeping rust out of the unibody, be careful to maintain your Pantera well. The De Tomaso Pantera is a car you probably won’t want to sell once you have one: at least not until you get too old to enjoy it anymore and you have to pass it on to the next generation.

De Tomaso Cars

Editor’s Note: If you have tips, suggestions, or hard earned experience that you’d like to add to this buying guide please shoot us an email. We’re always looking to add to our guides, and your advice could be very helpful to other enthusiasts, allowing them to make a better decision.

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Original Works Racer: 1954 Arnolt-Bristol Bolide Roadster https://silodrome.com/arnolt-bristol-car/ Fri, 16 Feb 2018 07:00:47 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=71754 Original Works Racer: 1954 Arnolt-Bristol Bolide Roadster

The Arnolt-Bristol is an unusual car that owes its existence jointly to the Brits, Italians, and Americans. The post-WWII era was a golden age for cross-Atlantic automotive collaborations and the mighty little Arnolt-Bristol is (arguably) one of the prettiest of these collaboration cars. Stanley H. “Wacky” Arnolt and the origins of the Arnolt-Bristol Stanley H. “Wacky” Arnolt was...

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Original Works Racer: 1954 Arnolt-Bristol Bolide Roadster

The Arnolt-Bristol is an unusual car that owes its existence jointly to the Brits, Italians, and Americans. The post-WWII era was a golden age for cross-Atlantic automotive collaborations and the mighty little Arnolt-Bristol is (arguably) one of the prettiest of these collaboration cars.

Stanley H. “Wacky” Arnolt and the origins of the Arnolt-Bristol

Stanley H. “Wacky” Arnolt was an American industrialist who had earned his unusual nickname after arriving in Chicago in a 13 foot rowboat fitted with a Sea-Mite marine engine. It earned him a mention in a local Chicago newspaper, and it was the journalist who wrote the piece who first gave him the nickname that would follow him for the rest of his life.

Arnolt was anything but wacky in the traditional sense, he was an astute businessman and an avid amateur racing driver. He had brought the rights to the Sea-Mite marine engine and during WWII he earned a small fortune by building them for small military vessels.

In 1950 Arnolt set up a dealership in Chicago to sell British automobiles, mostly MGs, Rileys, and Morris Minors. He travelled to the Turin Auto Show where he met with Giovanni Bertone of the iconic Italian coachbuilder that bares his name. Arnolt had been drawn to the Bertone stand at the show as they were displaying their custom bodied MGs, and Arnolt fell in love on the spot.

Bertone was going through a period of very low sales at the time in the austere economic environment of post-WWII Europe, so it’s hard to know exactly what must have gone through his mind when a cowboy hat wearing American named “Wacky” shook his hand and explained that he wanted to buy 200 of the cars – enough to keep Gruppo Bertone in business for years and refill their depleted bank accounts.

Arnolt-Bristol

The Arnolt-Bertone Alliance

Arnolt and Bertone would begin their relationship with the MGs they met over in Turin. The car was based on the MG TD chassis with the 54 hp XPAG MG motor, with a sleek body designed and fitted by Bertone in Italy.

Over 100 of these Arnolt-MGs were built before MG informed Arnolt that they could no longer supply chassis, undeterred he sought out new powered chassis suppliers, first working (briefly) with Aston Martin, before striking up a deal with Bristol.

The Arnolt-Bristol

The Arnolt-Bristol would be the car most closely associated with the Chicago businessman, and it was to be a truly cross-Atlantic effort. The engine was based on a pre-WWII BMW design, manufactured in Britain along with the chassis, which was then sent to Italy for the body and fit out, before being shipped to the USA for the finishing touches.

The design of the body was tasked to Franco Scaglione, a man who would go on to become a legend in his own right. He was faced with a much higher engine than was used in the MG, so he developed a hood with a pronounced peak in the middle, which he offset with peaked fenders on both sides.

The headlights were tucked into the front grill opening and a small hood scoop was fitted to feed the triple single barrel Solex 32 carburetors. Most of the cars would be fitted with steel bodies, with aluminum hoods and trunks, and very spartan interiors.

There were three major variations of the Arnolt-Bristol, the ultra-lightweight Competition, the lightweight but better appointed Bolide, and the Deluxe, which was more of a comfortable sports car. A Coupe was also offered based on the Deluxe model, however it sold in very limited numbers.

In 1955 three Arnolt-Bristols were entered by the factory team at the Sebring 12 Hour, headed by Rene Dreyfus. Despite the fact that it was their first major competition entry, the cars finished 1st, 2nd, and 4th in the 2-liter class and won the Team Trophy that year (and again in 1956 and 1960).

Just 142 examples of the Arnolt-Bristol were built, and today they’re highly sought after. It’s thought that there are just 85 survivors, and they’re a popular choice for vintage motorsport competition due to their excellent handling and proud list of motorsport accomplishments both in-period and in the current day.

The 1954 Arnolt-Bristol Bolide Roadster Shown Here

The car you see here is the 4th place finisher from that famous 1955 Sebring 12 Hour entry, it was piloted by Rene Dreyfus as a works car, and it would remain with the Arnolt factory until 1963 when it was sold to privateer racer Richard Milburn.

Milburn raced the Arnolt-Bristol in three early Canadian Grand Prix finishing on the podium each time, and he won championship honors from the Canadian Automobile Sports Club in 1965. The next owner was racing car collector Thomas Mittler, who campaigned it extensively, and in more recent years the current owner used the car to compete in the 2010 Mille Miglia.

If you’d like to read more about this car or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing on RM Sotheby’s, it’s due to be auctioned at Amelia Island on the 10th of March.

Arnolt-Bristol

Arnolt-Bristol

Arnolt-Bristol

Arnolt-Bristol

Arnolt-Bristol

Arnolt-Bristol

Arnolt-Bristol

Arnolt-Bristol

Arnolt-Bristol

Arnolt-Bristol

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Arnolt-Bristol

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Arnolt-Bristol

Arnolt-Bristol

Arnolt-Bristol

Vintage Images: Ozzie Lyons Copyright ©1955
Modern Images: Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s Copyright ©2018

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Bolle McQueen Motorcycle Goggles https://silodrome.com/bolle-mcqueen-motorcycle-goggles/ Fri, 16 Feb 2018 04:00:56 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=71725 Bolle McQueen Motorcycle Goggles

The Bolle McQueen Motorcycle Goggles were developed to evoke the look of the iconic goggles worn by the likes of Steve McQueen and Bud Ekins in the ISDT International Six Day Trials and Mojave Desert Races in the 1960s. Bolle developed the goggles using all new materials to ensure that modern safety standards are met....

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Bolle McQueen Motorcycle Goggles

The Bolle McQueen Motorcycle Goggles were developed to evoke the look of the iconic goggles worn by the likes of Steve McQueen and Bud Ekins in the ISDT International Six Day Trials and Mojave Desert Races in the 1960s.

Bolle developed the goggles using all new materials to ensure that modern safety standards are met. They’re fitted with sealed double lenses, the outer lens is a ballistic 2.1 mm thick polycarbonate with an anti-scratch coating, and the inner lens is a ballistic 1.1 mm thick polycarbonate with an anti-fog coating – combined these pass the Ballistic Resistance STANAG 2920 certification.

The black frame of the Bolle McQueen Goggles is designed to be as soft and comfortable as possible, and it was shaped to fit the face port of almost all open and 3/4 face helmets. The lenses are curved to offer a panoramic field of vision, and there’s an adjustable 45mm strap designed to go over your helmet.

Buy Here

Bolle McQueen Motorcycle Goggles

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1 of 36 Ever Made: 1958 Facel Vega FV4 Typhoon https://silodrome.com/facel-vega-typhoon/ Thu, 15 Feb 2018 07:00:08 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=70828 1 of 36 Ever Made: 1958 Facel Vega FV4 Typhoon

The Facel Vega FV4 Typhoon was introduced in 1958, it was fitted with the most powerful engine ever offered by the French automaker up until that time – a 325 hp “Dual Quad” 354 cubic inch Hemi V8 supplied by Chrysler. Facel The Automaker The name Facel is an abbreviation of Forges et Ateliers de Constructions...

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1 of 36 Ever Made: 1958 Facel Vega FV4 Typhoon

The Facel Vega FV4 Typhoon was introduced in 1958, it was fitted with the most powerful engine ever offered by the French automaker up until that time – a 325 hp “Dual Quad” 354 cubic inch Hemi V8 supplied by Chrysler.

Facel The Automaker

The name Facel is an abbreviation of Forges et Ateliers de Constructions d’Eure-et-Loir. The company had somewhat humble beginnings as a supplier of pressed steel components, including furniture and aircraft parts.

After WWII in 1945 they stepped into the automotive industry, using their tooling to create low-volume automobile bodies for marques like Panhard, Delahaye, Ford, and Simca. As unibody cars became more common, Facel found that their client pool for custom bodies was shrinking, and so in 1954 the released their first complete car to the world – the Facel Vega.

The Facel Vega

As a maker of car bodies, Facel had everything they needed to go into production for themselves, minus the relatively important oily parts – engines and gearboxes. The solution was to use pre-existing American units as they tended to be very affordable due to the economies of scale, they also proved reliable and easy to fix.

The first engine used by Facel in the Vega was the 4.5 litre DeSoto Firedome, a Hemi V8 that would be paired with a Chrysler 2-speed Powerflite automatic transmission. Manual gearboxes were an option, though not one commonly chosen, but owners who ticked the box would receive a 4-speed Pont-à-Mousson unit.

The chassis was designed by Lance Macklin, it was a tubular steel frame fitted with coil springs and double wishbones up front, and a leaf-sprung live axle in the rear. A fairly common suspension arrangement on both sides of the Atlantic in the 1950s.

The styling of the Vega was distinctive, and elements of it would be emulated by other marques for years to come. The eye-catching styling appealed to a vast array of influential and oftentimes unusual people, and Facel Vegas would be owned by Pablo Picasso, Fred Astaire, Sir Stirling Moss, Hassan II, King of Morocco, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, the Shah of Persia, and many more.

The Facel Vega FV4 Typhoon

In 1958 the company unveiled the Facel Vega FV4 Typhoon. This was not only their most powerful car to date, but also one of their most opulent. The FV4 was part of the FVS series of cars, with signature wraparound windscreens, and over the course of the model run they would get a redesigned front end with the now famous double stacked headlights.

Just 36 examples of the Facel Vega FV4 would be built, each of them was fitted with the same 325 hp “Dual Quad” Hemi V8 that was used in the Chrysler 300B. The palatially designed interior is doubtless one of the most elegant of the era, giving similarly priced vehicles from marques like Rolls-Royce and Bentley a run for their money.

The FV4 Typhoon you see here is a 1958 model, and it has recently been through a comprehensive restoration. During the rebuild it was fitted with a specifically designed air conditioning system by Vintage Air, and importantly its original brakes were upgraded with a modern dual electric master cylinder system for safety.

Mecum will be offering the car at the Los Angeles Auction in mid-February, and you can click here if you’d like to read more or register to bid.

Images courtesy of Mecum

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