Monday, 31 October 2011

AE86 Corolla GTS

The popularity of the hachi-roku in the 21st century seems to be largely polarised between pure drift machines and stance at the expense of performance, so it's refreshing to find one with a straight-outta-the-eighties aesthetic. Well, outside at least - what's inside and under the bonnet tell a rather more modern story; the former sports a Stack dash and lashings of carbon-fibre, while the latter yields a Garrett GT25 turbo strapped to the 4A-GE silvertop.
Click here for more.

Bedford CF: Retro Power

Custom vans were all the go in the 1970s, with their water beds, porthole windows and chrome sidepipes, and the Bedford CF was a stalwart of the scene.
Emulating the style of the seventies is this unique CF, built by Retro Power. It's powered by a tuned 4.6 EFI Rover V8, accessible via a custom removable front end, while the exterior is comprehensively smoothed and coated in a sumptuously retro shade of purple. The interior is awash with alcantara and neon lights, and sitting under the arches are some dishy BMW alloys.
Click here for the full story - you'll be impressed by Retro Power's attention to detail!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Lamborghini Athon

Part of the recent Bertone fire-sale was the Lamborghini Athon, a beautiful representation of what was futuristic in the eighties. It was based on the chassis of the lesser-spotted Silhouette, its 2.6-litre V8 offering 260bhp. However, the real draw of Marc Deschamps' design was the fabulously detailed interior - the weird satellite controls and digital readouts seemed, interestingly, to inform the design language of Citroën in the years following, while the knife-handle gear-lever provided a touch of retro kitsch in the sea of brown leather.
The Athon sold at Villa d’Este this year for €347,200; given that it's the only one in existence, that's probably not a bad deal.

Photos via

Maserati 450S Costin-Zagato Coupé

If Cosworth to you means DFVs or YBs, here's an early Costin that might give your perceptions a new filter.
This 1957 Maserati 450S actually started life as a '56 convertible model, and was raced by no less than Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss in the Buenos Aires 1000km; Costin acquired the car in '57, sent it to Zagato and gave them a typically specific spec brief. The car that returned, that you see in the photos here, was then raced by Moss at Le Mans. There are a lot of iconic names associated with chassis #4501 and it's a shame that its mechanical gremlins never allowed it to finish a race, although it is heartening that it was subject, much later, to a full restoration by Medardo Fantuzzi, and again later by Faralli & Mazzanti.
It's quite easy on the eye, isn't it?

'78 Corvette barn find

MSN Cars reports that this special edition 1978 C3 Corvette, an Indy Pace Car replica edition, has been discovered in a US barn showing just 13 miles on the clock. The original owner bought it as an investment and mothballed it as soon as it was driven home from the dealership, so it still sports the original plastic seat protectors and the bill of sale in the window. It's now up for sale at $50,000 (which is about £32,000); the original purchase price of $14,631.21 equates to roughly, er, $50,000 in today's money... I guess the lesson there is that if you're going to buy yourself an awesome sports car, you might as well get out there and enjoy the bloody thing.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Million Mile Joe

A million miles in a Honda Accord is no mean feat; it just goes to show the rewards that can be reaped from regular servicing and fastidious maintenance.

...and yes, Joe made the million this week! The Portland Press Herald reports that Honda threw a street party and parade for him, which is rather sweet. You can find out more on Million Mile Joe's Facebook page.

The unloved Fiats

SuckSqueezeBangBlow is very keen on showing love for the unloved, and here we find two examples of Italian engineering that you probably hadn't considered mod-worthy before; the second model may have simply faded into the automotive background, but the first might be one you actively dislike. Well... until now.

The Fiat Multipla isn't everyone's cup of tea. It's a cleverly packaged thing; perfect for the larger family, with three-abreast seating in the front and rear and a cavernous, van-like boot. But that only-a-mother-could-love-it face causes feelings of anger in many.
This is why EmDee was drawn to is as a project. Not only is it hugely practical, but with a few unusual touches it becomes something unique and praiseworthy. For example, have you ever seen Fiat Coupe alloys on a Multipla? You have now...

Speaking of Coupe alloys, here's another set on a Marea Weekend. Project No Frills is one man's attempt to make the absolute best of a forgotten Fiat. He's sorted the stance with some subtle suspension tweaking, and made the interior a rather more luxurious and pleasant place to be with a custom leather retrim. You may think it's just an ageing estate car with a few stickers on the boot, but the myriad subtle touches prove just how personal a build it is for the smiling chap behind the wheel. In both cases, these are unusual Fiats that you don't see every day; that is, not like this.
Now, what other Fiats are there that we can play with? The Linea? The Siena? The Doblo...?

T2D: Stanced Splittie

This type II split-window truck, built by the ever-impressive Type Two Detectives, features some fantastic natural patina, but all's not entirely natural under the surface. You can't have failed to spot its proximity to the tarmac; this is effected by a Rayvern Hydraulics set-up, dropping the chassis over those gorgeous chrome 17" Torq Thrusts (a controversial wheel choice in the VeeDub scene, fitted in homage to owner Harvey's father, a Detroit muscle enthusiast). The full leather retrim and super-shiny engine provide a sweet counterpoint to the weathered exterior, lending it an appearance of careworn functionality as well as good ol' pride.
Click here for more.

RUF CTR Yellowbird

As you can see from that video, the Yellowbird's handling is a little, er, tricky. Indeed, anyone who's attempted to drive one in Gran Turismo 5 will know how frustratingly hard it is to keep the bastard in a straight line, let alone encourage it to cleanly navigate a bend without shredding its rear tyres. But that's what makes it so wonderful.

RUF are a manufacturer in their own right, so don't go mistaking this for a tarted-up Porsche 930; they start with a Porsche bodyshell and the basic architecture of the engine, but everything that happens beyond that is surreal, otherworldy and very, very noisy.
The body is de-guttered and seam-welded to make it aerodynamic and strong, while NACA ducts and gaping vents force air into the obscenely tuned twin-turbo 3.4-litre flat-six. The Yellowbird, a widowmaker to make even the GT2 RS look decidedly tame, offers 469bhp in a featherweight 1170kg package, will bound to sixty in about three-and-a-half seconds, and won't rest till it hits 211mph. Probably sideways. A ridiculous, fabulous icon of eighties supercar excess.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Volga GAZ-24 - Back in the USSR

The GAZ-24 is an iconic car; built in the USSR between 1968-77 in its first guise, it wore its American styling influences bravely and proudly. And it didn't hide its light under a bushel either; pretty much every taxi in Russia at that time was a checkerboard-stickered Volga, their bluff chrome noses cutting through the snow with alacrity. Indeed, a taxi-spec GAZ-24 was available direct from the dealer, complete with wipe-clean vinyl seats, low-compression 85bhp engine and taximeter.
The example in these pictures represents the nostalgic realisation experienced by many children of the Soviet Union - to own one of these shiny machines that, as a child, were commonplace on the icy streets but gradually slipped into obscurity. (Measured use of an angle-grinder on the springs helps to improve the stance a little here. Nostalgia will only take you so far...)
Click here for more.