Thursday, 31 January 2013

Twin-rotor KE20

If there's one thing that the Aussies and the Kiwis do really, really well in the automotive sphere, it's making old cars look credible on massive rims. It's just something we wouldn't contemplate in Europe - if you roll a Capri or Cavalier on nineteens, you'll be shunned by your fellow enthusiasts and stuck in a dark corner at car meets. The key is to embrace the element of subtlety...
As we can see here, this '72 KE20 Corolla is sitting on some cartoonishly large wheels - 7x17" up front and 10x18" out back, with a hell of a lot of dish and girth at the rear. But the colour-coding provides a subtlety which, combined with the dramatic drop in ride height, makes the car more Hot Wheels than anything else. And everybody loves Hot Wheels.
Rather less subtle is the choice of engine: a 13B twin-rotor unit from a Mazda RX-7, with a whacking great Garrett turbo, chunky intercooler, and twin-2" exhaust that exits via a custom cutout in the sill. The result? 285bhp slapping through a Hilux LSD to that tubbed rear end. Magnificent.
Click here for more.

Pit Crew Mongrel

Here's an odd little MX-5 that fans of the model can get really geeky about.
The nose is a reasonably well known Pit Crew treatment, replacing the pop up lights with some old-school peepers mounted in extended wings (although, interestingly, they're bolted on here rather than being smoothed in - look at the wings, you can see the seams). The rear end isn't Pit Crew though - that would look like this - but is instead a Zoom treatment that looks rather more gilled and piscine. All very unusual.
Basically, it's an NA MX-5 with a bodykit that makes it look a bit like someone's done something obscene to a Ferrari 250 GT Lusso, if you squint. Kind of. I rather like it.
Pic source

Wednesday, 30 January 2013


Stanceworks are out to achieve two things: firstly, to show that they're not just about panscraping ride-height and polished BBS splits. Secondly, they want to document BMW North America's Vintage Collection pretty much in its entirety and share it with the world.
The latest instalment is this, the V12 LMR. The model is the only BMW ever to take victory at Le Mans, back in 1999, its 5990cc V12 pushing it to 214mph on the Mulsanne Straight. This car is one of just two remaining of the four that were built (the other being the Jenny Holzer art car that SuckSqueezeBangBlow spotted last summer - see here). You can read the full story here at Stanceworks.

'59 DB4: 'A Real Motor Car'

This is a lovely little story. A 1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series 1 has been unearthed by a Hampshire dealer - it was bought by its current owner in 1970, when his bank manager expressed horror at his intention to buy a Reliant Scimitar and offered him a sizeable overdraft in order to buy 'a real motor car'. It was used as a daily family runabout (including as a tow car for their boat!) until 1986, when it was put into storage and didn't come out. It's in largely original working condition, and even has a copy of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in the 8-Track. It doesn't get a lot cooler than this.
Via C&SC

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Monaco GP, 1929

With all of the glitz and glamour that surrounds the Monaco Grand Prix, it's easy to forget that it's such a historic event. Every year we're swept up in the stories of extravagant parties, massive yachts and intriguing minutiae of the event (did you know, for example, that they have to weld the manhole covers shut to stop them being, ahem, sucked off by the downforce of the speeding cars?) - but the first ever Monaco GP was way back in 1929. Here, courtesy of The Chicane, are some photos of that inaugural event, along with some vintage footage from British Pathé.
The title was taken by British driver William Grover-Williams in a Bugatti Type 35B. Impressive how similar the track looks to today, isn't it? (Aside from the sandbags and people wandering about trackside, of course...)

Mach Forty

The Mach Forty is the glorious answer to a question that nobody had thought to ask: what happens when you cross a Mustang Mach 1 with a Ford GT?
As you can see, the answer is 'something pretty bloody spectacular'. One of the shining stars of SEMA 2012, the Mach Forty was built by Eckert's Rod & Custom of Oregon. It takes the GT's mid-engined layout and swooping roofline, mixes in a load of parts from the modern-era Ford supercar (like the engine, for starters - a 5.4-litre DOHC V8 with a Whipple supercharger), and wraps the whole lot up in the body of a 1969 Mustang Mach 1, albeit heavily reworked and restyled. Supercar trappings abound, including traction control and a dial to switch engine maps from 600bhp to 850bhp. Pretty incredible, right?
These photos are from SEMA 2012 - click here for more. And click here for a billion-odd photos of the build.

Monday, 28 January 2013


Taking trampdrifting to its logical conclusion, this FSO Polonez adds yet further fuel to the 'everything has potential' fire. I mean, had you ever looked at a Polonez and thought 'yeah, that looks like it could be a laugh'? I know I hadn't. But when you think about it, all of the ingredients are there: they're cheap to buy, rear-wheel drive, relatively robust in that sort of Eastern Bloc/austerity manner, styled by Giugiaro (really, I promise that's true) and, best of all, came with a bewilderingly diverse range of engines over the years, from the Ford Pinto to the Peugeot XU diesel. This means that a huge variety of more interesting engines will bolt straight in, depending on which Polonez you buy. One of the factory options was the 1.4-litre Rover K-series which, as you can see here, is easily swapped for the turbocharged 1.8-litre K-series for some cheap RWD thrills.

So, a cool, fun FSO Polonez. Whodathunkit? You can keep up to date with its adventures here.

Concours 205 GTI

As you may have heard me banging on about before, I'm a huge fan of the 205 GTI. I've owned four of them over the years and would love another one day; indeed, it's near the top of my lottery wishlist (alongside a few dozen other cars).
...and this particular one has just muscled every other GTI on the market aside, landing sqaurely in my affections as the one. I don't think I've ever actually seen a real GTI on a B-plate before - the original owner ordered it in May 1984, and waited until August in order to have a B-prefix registration. So this has to be one of the earliest surviving 205 GTIs today - the fact that it's pristine is a bonus. In fact, after only covering 45,000 miles, it's been subject to a fastidious, concours-standard rebuild.
I want this. I want this really quite badly. If you're obscenely wealthy and have some money to spare, how about making a racy, black, shiny donation to SuckSqueezeBangBlow? You need but to click here...