Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Group 5 E21 320 Turbo

Stanceworks' series of adoring portraits of BMW North America's heritage fleet has been a joy to behold. The latest snapshot is of this rather magnificent brute, the Group 5 E21.
You've probably spotted the bold 'McLaren BMW' legend on the rump. This racer was run by Team McLaren in the IMSA Camel GT series, and their expert fettling of the turbocharged M12 engine yielded over 650bhp. Pretty fiery in an aggressively aerodynamic silhouette that weighs comfortably under a ton. Somewhat astonishingly, the engine block is the same spec as that found in standard 320 road cars of the period...
You can read all about it, and see more of these beautiful photos, here.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Chelsea Cruise - April 2013

Crikey, the Chelsea Cruise is popular these days. A few years ago it'd be the case that you'd turn up at half-seven to find five or six cars, then maybe twenty or so more would arrive over the next few hours... nowadays it's jam-packed from the very start, with cars parked bumper-to-bumper along both sides of the road, spilling out along the pavements, and with a constant stream of old-school metal flowing down the road in either direction. The staple mix of muscle cars, dragsters and hot rods is complemented by a diverse selection of classic Fords, and a variety of other scenes dip their toes in the water too - VWs both water- and aircooled, modern BMWs, refugees of the stance scene, concours French classics... it's petrolhead nirvana on a busy London bridge. Get youself down there next time and see for yourself - it goes down on the last Saturday of the month.
You can see the rest of my photos here.

Friday, 26 April 2013

ETCC-inspired mkI Escort

The retro Ford scene consistently finds new ways to surprise us, doesn't it? While we've seen bubble arches on mkI Escorts countless times, the fusion of period magnesium BBS E30s and a ducktail spoiler creates something totally fresh. It's got something of the ETCC Capri about it, while that sublime two-tone colour scheme gives it real presence.
Through the windows you can see that this is not a case of form over function, with the rollcage and harnesses suggesting competition pedigree, and those promises are backed up by the window-sticker evidence of various motorsport entries. What a magnificent little Escort.
Via Tief & Breit

Škoda 130RS

The Škoda 130RS is a slice of motorsport history. Based on the 110R (produced from 1969-77), the 130RS ('77-'82) stripped away all of the unnecessary weight - although this wasn't a big job, the 110R was hardly lavishly equipped - and stuffed in a 1,228cc motor, offering an impressive 130bhp. The model won the 1977 Monte Carlo rally, took a class win at the 1978 Acropolis, and wears its 'budget 911' tag with pride.
The car you see here is a lightweight competition model, mostly made of aluminium and carbon-fibre, with magnesium wheels. It's got true competition heritage and all the papers to prove, and is for sale here. Feeling flush? It'd be a great way to annoy boy racers at the lights...

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Renault Twizy F1

Remember Renaultsport's F1 Espace of the mid-nineties, with its full-house V10 Williams F1 engine and 820bhp? Well, as if further proof were needed of their terrifying derangement, here's the latest oddity to roll out of their workshop: the Twizy F1.
Taking the diminutive, quirky electric city quadricycle as a base, they bolted on some wider wheels with fatter tyres and some functional aero addenda, and wired in the KERS system from a Formula One car. Why? Well, why the hell not?
The standard motors remain in place, offering the usual humdrum 17bhp. But when you activate the KERS, suddenly you've got 97bhp which, given that you're basically sitting on a fat bicycle, is utterly crackers. It's even got a Formula Renault steering wheel with a manettino-alike switch for altering the ferocity of the KERS. What a truly wonderful slice of weirdness.
It'll be running up the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed later in the year. Let's see how far it gets before the batteries give out and it has to roll back down again...