Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Turkington's BTCC hopes

It's the final round of the BTCC at Brands Hatch this weekend, and it'd be great to see Colin Turkington taking the title - Giovanardi's had his hard-fought day in the sun, but Colin's worked so hard for it this year that all eyes are on him to thunder to victory at the GP circuit. If that dastardly Plato doesn't flick him off the track, that is...

Here's an intriguing look into what's going on in Turkington's footwell...

...and here's the finale of the epic Turkington vs. Giovanardi battle in 2006 - expect a similar level of drama this weekend!

Ford heaven

For the classic Ford fan, this kind of discovery is the stuff of legend. Were you aware that Ford's Dagenham plant contains an Aladdin's cave of iconic cars that get used for photoshoots, promos, shows and the like? It's not that surprising a practice when you think about it, but nevertheless it offers an enthralling prospect when the photos throw the reality of it into sharp focus. Yes, you can see FEV 1H - one of the most recognisable Escort rally cars - alongside Supervan, a mkI Lotus Cortina, an Escort Cosworth, a Ford Racing Puma, a GT, a mkI Mexico... this is a room you could happily spend the rest of your days in just glancing around in wonder.
Click here for more pics.

Monday, 28 September 2009

T-shirt Ferrari

Lovely idea from the Puma store on Carnaby Street - a Ferrari F1 car made of 1,500 t-shirts, 20 belts, 26 pairs of shoes and 88 pairs of jeans, with a cheeky baseball cap as the nosecone.

Top Gear Live - What's your big idea?

This is wonderfully silly.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Spoon Sports

They've got one of the unlikeliest names in the modifying sphere, but this hasn't prevented them from becoming a widely respected tuning colossus. Founded in 1988, Spoon specialises in hot Hondas, from aftermarket parts right through to full models.

Here's a little insight into their world, courtesy of Will Roegge.

Honda fanatics respect Edmun Laurea and Spoon Sports from Nation of GO on Vimeo.

...and a snapshot history of what Spoon are all about.

Reventón ownership: unlikely

Thanks, Lamborghini. I know I'm poor and insignificant, you don't need to rub it in.


An outlandish and controversial style, Bōsōzoku cars get roundly mocked in Europe for their beyond-BarryBoys styling. This, of course, demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the point of Bōsōzoku. Growing from Japan's rapidly expanding automotive industry in the 1950s, Bōsō culture centres around outrageously modified cars and motorbikes and a wild sense of lawlessness - you'll see gangs in jumpsuits and military overcoats with surgical masks and huge perms, rising sun imagery spread liberally over their attire.

Bōsōzoku cars have absurdly protruding exhausts, front-mounted oil-coolers with swooping feed pipes, colossal spoilers and, as a trophy, a hand-ring from the Tokyo subway hanging from the rear towing-eye.
You may think they look ridiculous. You may think they're awesome. Either way, the Bōsō boys don't give a shit what you think...

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Trax drifting

As a counterpoint to the post below, here's some rather more professional skidding about.

Drifting at JDM Allstars - Trax 2009 Season Finale from JDM Allstars on Vimeo.

Amateur drifting

Professional drifting is always an impressive spectacle, but it's fun to watch people who are still learning the ropes too. Check out the unusual array of cars in this Swedish video, including various spinning Volvos and a surprisingly rapid diesel Merc that's kicking out a lot of smoke...

Monday, 21 September 2009

Goodwood Revival 2009

Another year, another superb Revival. Many things to celebrate this year, including the 50th anniversary of the Mini, marked by some very close racing, and Sterling Moss's 80th birthday; Mr Motor Racing himself chose a parade of his favourite 80 cars from his driving career, while he was somewhat bizarrely congratulated by the slightly loopy Buzz Aldrin.
Great atmosphere, great times. Here's some pics of what went on...

A quick peek at the main race...

...a view from the pits...

...and some lovely in-car footage of Roger Phillips lapping the cicuit in a Mini.

Bel Air crash test

All very noble and everything, but does this really prove anything that we didn't already know? Or is it just a waste of an increasingly rare classic?

Friday, 18 September 2009

Ferrari 458 Italia movie

Here's Ferrari's official new movie for the spectacular 458 Italia. Put it on fullscreen and crank the volume up.

1984 Manx Rally

Ah, those were the days...

MX-5 Superlight

The MX-5 has always been about lightweight thrills, about paring the idea of 'car' back to its most basic principles to create a thrilling driving experience. When the first MX-5 appeared, it was hailed as a modern day Lotus Elan, and with good reason; aside from looking very similar to the old Chapman classic, it's light, compact, rear wheel drive and has a fizzy and eager twin-cam. It's not about outright power, but about a good power-to-weight ratio being coupled with sublime driving dynamics.

Mazda have taken this to its logical conslusion with the MX-5 Superlight: no windscreen, no roof, no stereo, no carpet - if it doesn't need to be there, it's in the bin.
It's quite a looker too, isn't it? It grins at you like a mischievous cartoon character...

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Ferrari 695 Abarth

How's this for a confusing piece of branding... a Fiat 695 Abarth (which, of course, is just a Fiat-less Abarth 500 really) 'Tributo Ferrari'. It features Rosso Scuderia paint - just like a real Ferrari - and a tweaked 1400cc turbo now pushing out 180bhp, paddle-shifters on the six-cog 'box and Brembo stoppers... but is it right to stick a prancing horse to a hot hatch? Well, it's certainly, er, interesting.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Ken Block - mkII Escort

Ken Block and a mkII Escort is pretty much the ultimate combo. When that Escort has 280bhp and a WRC paddle-shift sequential 'box, you know it's going to be good...

Monday, 14 September 2009

Bugatti Galibier

The Veyron's all very well for people who a) have an absurd amount of cash and b) want to go as fast as physically possible, but what about folk who have families to cart about?
Worry ye not, plutocratic petrolheads, for Bugatti has a solution for you. Behold, the really-quite-ugly Galibier.
It has a very impressive exhaust - four pipes either side, no less - which, of course, is exactly the sort malarkey you see everyday on Citroen Saxos and the like. The front-mounted W16 will take you to 217MPH, and that's rather impressive for a near-two-tonne car that's about as aerodynamic as a housebrick.

As you'd expect from Bugatti, the Galibier is an astonishing achievement and a thoroughly exciting car. But it looks hideous and will be bought exclusively by pretentious wankers, aspirational lottery chavs and footballers.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Audi R8 Spyder

Some cars lend themselves rather well to being decapitated. Some don't. Unfortunately, it seems that the R8 falls into the latter category. If nothing else, you lose the characterful sideblades... and the rear deck looks shit too. Poor effort, Audi.

Mercedes SLS AMG

The new Gullwing is a thing of beauty. In advance of its debut at the Frankfurt motor show next week, M-B have released official images and specs. So what do you get for your money? Well, the throbbing heart is a 571bhp 6.3-litre AMG V8 (mounted in the nose, like the old Gullwing's), seven cogs in the gearbox and two clutches to shuffle them, an alloy spaceframe, a 0-62mph time of 3.8s and a limited (!) top speed of 197mph.

Oh, and it's quite a looker.

Runaway diesel engines

This is a really unfortunate thing to happen. If oil gets into the intake system for any reason (fumes from the oil breather, for example, or a knackered turbo oil seal), the oil acts as fuel and the engine goes beserk... once it's started scavenging oil, it's very hard to get it to stop. You might be able to stall it (unlikely, as it's running on its own oil rather than fuel from the tank), but the likelihood is that it'll keep running by itself until a) you run out of oil or b) the engine goes bang. It'll be lunched either way. It just revs and revs and revs. Best thing to do is just stand back...

Here's what it looks like when it happens. Spare pants time, really.

HSV rolling stock

HSV - the tuning arm of Holden - have surpassed themselves once again with the astounding wheels on the new HSV GTS... check these puppies out:

Pretty, no? Possibly even slicker than those found on the HSV Clubsport:

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Gymkhana 2.1

Ken Block vs Rob Dyrdek. There's something very odd about this...

Monday, 7 September 2009

Meet the survivors

Lovely little piece from Jalopnik - 50 cars that, for better or worse, managed to survive in production for at least 20 years. Click here.

So, would you rather have a Polski Fiat 125 or a Hindustan Ambassador? Renault 5 or Renault 4? FSO Polonez or Lada Samara? The potential for pub arguments is endless...

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Chopped/slammed splittie

There's a lot of work involved, it's very impressive - but surely the guy's just way too big for it...?

Brunters from above

If you have a look on Google Maps for Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, you'll see Classic Ford's photoshoot of Dave Colledge's Duratec-powered mkII Escort. Behold...

...and here it as at ground level. Beautiful.

Via Classic Ford

Octavia RS-P

It's only a one-off to promote the new Octavia, so don't get too excited. Quite a cool idea though: a sporty estate - not quite an RS6, but hey - with a shouty look-at-me exhaust and trackday tyres. I particularly like the way they've filled the boot with a massive strut brace, thus entirely negating any benefit of having an estate. Genius!

Via Pistonheads

BTCC - Silverstone '92

Possibly the most infamous and controversial race in BTCC history. Steve Soper driving out of his skin, John Cleland going beserk - the whole situation is pure motorsport theatre. Unforgettable stuff.

Flaming rat rod

How to scare the crap out of the car in front of you: open headers + flames.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Fiat 500C tree planters

A charming little marketing ploy for the new Fiat 500C - 20 fibreglass 500s have been parked up in Milan with trees growing out of their soft-tops. Why? Well, why not?

Click here for more info.