Thursday, 18 September 2014

BMC Special Tuning

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

The Goodwood Revival offered a retro-tastic treat for Mini fans with this period-themed BMC garage. The inside of the workshop was festooned with antique tuning parts, tools and imagery, and those aren't just any old Minis on display: 33 EJB is the car that took Paddy Hopkirk and Henry Liddon to victory in the 1964 Monte Carlo rally, 8 EMO is another ex-works car (again Hopkirk/Liddon), and OBL 48F was one of the last works Minis to be prepared by the BMC Competitions Department in 1967. And that grey service van's a bit of alright too, isn't it?
Most fun of all was the chap with the polishing rag, who spent the entire Revival weekend pretending to buff up the no.37 car. He must have worn right through the paint on that front wing by Sunday night...

Click here for more photos from the 2014 Revival.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Tornado Talisman

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

As is always the case at the Goodwood Revival, the pre-1972 car park is as much of a show as the show itself, with all sorts of rare and unusual treasures to unearth. Take this odd little thing, for example - it's a Tornado Talisman, a fibreglass 2+2 coupe based on a tube chassis. There's a 1,500cc Ford pre-crossflow with twin Webers under the bonnet, independent suspension all round, and it's one of around 60 Talismans (or should that be Talismen?) that were built in 1962. Production only ran from '62-'64, with 184 cars in total being built, so it was interesting to see four of them in a row at the Revival. This one was arguably the most eyecatching as, despite being a little rough around the edges, it's clearly spent a lot of time being used enthusiastically. Also, I just love the side-exit exhaust that pops out ahead of the rear wheel. Cheeky.

Click here for more from the 2014 Revival.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Glamcabs 2014

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

If you’re a fan of motorsport, old cars, or dressing up, there’s a good chance that you will have visited the Goodwood Revival at some point. Selling itself as ‘a magical step back in time’, the annual celebration of carefree fast living of the period 1948-66 sees old-school race cars having the very life thrashed from them on track, while all around flit cheery folk in era-appropriate attire. And one of the stalwarts of the event is the Glamcabs outfit; evoking the spirit of the 1963 movie Carry On Cabby, the display perfectly captures the concept of gleaming mkI Cortinas driven by glamorous young ladies. It makes for a very photogenic spectacle – but of course, the focus of all this rose-tinted revelry is very much on the girls, the smiles, the skirts, the tongue-in-cheek sauciness of a time when ‘PC’ meant ‘police constable’. But what of the motors? Are they not the true stars of the show?
Well, maybe, and maybe not. But just for a moment, let's allow these noble old Fords to creep out from behind that rosy curtain and enjoy their own moment in the limelight. They’re unique in Revival press coverage in that they’re among the most photographed cars at the show, but seldom paid attention to; they’re generally hidden by legs and lipstick, so here are a few snaps just to pull them to the front for a moment.

Two particular highlights here are FRU 658D and RSY 446. The former is a fully restored 1966 airflow model, with a breathed-on 1,600cc crossflow putting out 130bhp. The red roof was unearthed during the stripdown when the vinyl roof was peeled back, revealing itself as an original factory option and thus faithfully reinstated.
The latter is a '63 LHD pre-airflow that was brought over from France by Throbnozzle Racing's Joe Allenby-Byrne. It was found in Nice with 22,000km in the clock, having sat unused since 1975. He's kept the gorgeous original patina rather than eroding the car's character by restoring it, and the mechanicals have been subject to a tender overhaul, with a 120bhp twin-Weber'd crossflow making it perfect for family cruising duties.
...and there are various other old Fords here too, of course. But OK, here's a lascivious peep at the girls before we continue. If you squint, you can just about make out the Cortina behind them.

Click here for more photos from the 2014 Goodwood Revival.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Macon 307E

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

Phew! The Goodwood Revival was as bustling and overwhelmingly diverse as ever - perhaps even more so than ever before - and there's a huge amount of stuff that I'll be sharing on SSBB over the coming weeks. But let's start with a familiar face... well, familiar to me, anyway: this Anglia-faced 307E Thames van was the subject of a feature I wrote for Retro Ford magazine about a year ago. Built by Pete Alexander, the mastermind behind PA Motorsport, it serves as a sedate and leisurely counterpoint to the racier machines he can usually be found in. Pete's name is synonymous with Formula Ford, and he also has a badass grey 105E that you may well have seen racing about at Goodwood and elsewhere. But when he wants to slow things down a bit (or, er, carry stuff - this is a van, after all) he presses 'pause' on life behind the wheel of this minty-fresh old Ford load-lugger.
When Pete found the van a few years ago, it had been sitting in a slowly collapsing garage since 1969 - so you can imagine the sort of work that went into getting it into this state. He effectively stripped it down to first principles and started from scratch. That said, it's remarkably original; look at the nose, it's even got a hole for a starting handle! Oh, and the Macon livery? Well, Pete uses the van to support his race endeavours, and Macon Race Cars is a company he bought around a decade ago - they built single-seaters from the mid-sixties to the mid-eighties. See, it all ties together in a neat little package.

Click here for more photos from the 2014 Revival.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Low 'n' Lazy Trabant 601

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

Trabants always have a few tales to tell. Over three million of them were built in a production run of almost thirty years that saw very few changes to the design; indeed, it was only 1991, the last year of production, that the 600cc twin-cylinder two-stroke was replaced by a 1.0-litre VW Polo engine. Everything else was still 1960s Eastern Bloc austerity.
Every single one represents mobility within difficult cultural circumstance, and this particular one - a 1988 model, and a decadent estate, no less - has clearly been around a bit since the wall came down, judging by the weathered tourist stickers on the passenger door. And now it's been brought in from the cold, lovingly wrapped up in the warm embrace of the UK aircooled VW scene - a collective that's increasingly drawing in marques that represent similar government-mandated values for mobilising the masses; Trabant, Wartburg, Zaporozhets...
The endearingly farty two-stroke remains, while the suspension is just about as low as it can reasonably go over those broad banded steels. It looked magnificent smokily bouncing across the show field at the Retro Rides Gathering. There are surely many more adventures to come.

Click here for more photos from RRG14.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Zagato Lamborghini 5-95

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

Oh, Zagato. You and your ways.
It's something of a theme for this quirky Italian styling house to build deliberately jarring and polarising cars. Look at the Alfa Romeo SZ, for example, or the Lancia Hyena, or the Bentley GTZ - these are cars that you immediately either fall in love with or really, really don't. There's no middle ground. And so it is with this, the Lamborghini 5-95 - with its sad, sad face.
I actually think it's a very pretty little car, but I can see why others wouldn't. Based on the outgoing Gallardo LP570-4, it exists to celebrate Zagato's 95th anniversary - built for collector Albert Spiess - and features an appropriate level of outrageousness. It's got the stock Gallardo set-up under the skin - 5.2-litre V10, 570bhp, 0-62mph in 3.4s, 202mph, 4WD - and couples this with such trademark Zagato staples as the double-bubble roof and wraparound glass. The wind deflector at the base of the screen serves to lengthen the bonnet, while the tail is shorter and stubbier; the back end is undoubtedly the prettiest angle, and the roof scoop gives the rear aspect a little Koenigsegg flair.
So, a bit of a headscratcher. I love it - what do you think?

Spotted at Salon Privé 2014 - click here for more photos.