Thursday, 29 May 2014

ETA E30 M3

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

ETA Motorsport have been in the BMW-tweaking game for a quarter of a century, and this E30 M3 is a real statement of intent for the company. Taking a no-compromise approach to weight loss, they've stripped out anything that may be considered superfluous, even going as far as drilling the door handles. How's that for fastidiousness...?
The aggressive front splitter and DTM rear spoiler with Gurney flap are as functional as they are easy on the eye, and those lurid green wheels are a poke in the eye for anyone who's ever doubted the E30's prowess as a track and sprint competitor. A genuinely intimidating car, in a wonderful, wonderful way.

Spotted at MATP 2014 - click here for more.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

WRA 105E

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

The infamous George Whitehead WRA Anglia was built and raced in the late sixties, appearing in Cars & Car Conversions magazine in May 1969. Its formidable combination of tweaked pushrod engine, broad stance and no-frills simplicity made it a pretty unbeatable machine on track, and it was subject to a full and fastidious rebuild to original specs in 2005.
It's been a regular show feature since then - you see it here basking in the dappled sunshine of 2014's Motorsport at the Palace. A lovely slice of timewarp tuning, all wrapped up in some pretty unmissable colours.
Click here for more from MATP 2014.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Berg Cup Polo

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

Another jaw-dropper here from everybody's favourite European hillclimb series. Peter Richter's VW Polo runs in class H, astonishingly hauling over 150bhp from its screaming, rev-hungry 1,150cc 8v motor - the rules of the class stipulating that the car must retain its original engine block.
Peter's been campaigning the Polo since the early eighties, starting off in slalom and sprint events. It was subject to a radical rebuild in 2002 when it received electronic fuel injection, air jacks and a substantial safety cell; today it wears Spiess wheels under those boisterous arches, features some wonderfully retro chequered flag graphics, and sounds not unlike a swarm of angry wasps. Marvellous little thing.

Spotted at Apex 2014 - click here for more.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Cooper Maserati Monaco T61

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

The Cooper Maserati T61 represents an unusual fusion of cultures. John Cooper's outfit was based in Surbiton, somewhat removed from the sunkissed olive groves of Maserati's Modena, and it's for this reason that sticking a Maser engine in a Cooper race car was an utter masterstroke. Cooper was hitherto known for racing under Coventry Climax four-pot power (with widespread success), and were eager to get the jump on their bigger-budget rivals by employing a new element of surprise. Said surprise came in the form of a 4.9-litre Maserati V8 shoehorned into a low-slung Cooper GP chassis; as you might imagine, it broke lap records and trounced rivals all over the shop.
You can learn about the history of the T61 here. It's now owned by Michael O'Shea, who likes to stretch its legs whenever he's able; the pics you see here were snapped at Goodwood's 72MM - click here for more.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Benny and the Bug

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

Benny Mills, of South Coast Automotive Photography, is a character who typifies the more old-school, get-out-there approach to aircooled dubbery. You name a show, he'll be there in his 'bagged '66 Bug, waving to his chums as he scrapes his chassis rails along the tarmac.
His Beetle is a perfect complement to a retro lifestyle - it casually wears the timeworn patina of ages, not really giving a toss about the cynics' perception of what rust is, and the car's all the more adorable for it. Keep an eye out, you'll probably see Benny and the Bug around...

Spotted at Apex 2014 - more photos here.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Fiat Panda TwinAir

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

On paper, an 875cc budget city car with two cylinders doesn't sound all that thrilling. But pack your cynicism away - the Panda TwinAir is actually a hidden gem; a hilarious point-and-squirt motor with eagerness in spades and a riotous soundtrack. It's packed full of surprises, this thing, and impossible not to fall a little bit in love with. You can read all about SuckSqueezeBangBlow's week with the TwinAir here on PetrolBlog.