Friday, 28 November 2014

Nightmares '30 Ford

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

Mark 'Nightmares Racing' Holmes is a man who knows his way around a quality custom build. In fact, the first magazine feature I ever wrote was on his pro-mod mkI Escort, and the rest of his back-catalogue is further studded with interesting and unusual creations.
His latest steer is this, a 1930 Ford Model A. It features a beguiling mix of classic hot rod tweaks, 1980s/'90s Street Machine cues, and up-to-the-minute additions. Check out, for example, the juxtaposition of old-school pinstriping and 21st-century fuel filler on the rear panel; the retro zig-zags and shiny new wood in the interior, the distinctly un-vintage paint shade and those super-shimmery Centrelines. A fusion of styles, all perfectly blended. Another victory.

Spotted at RRG14 - click here for more photos.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Lotus Cortina mkII

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

For many, the name 'Lotus Cortina' (or, if you find yourself overwhelmed by historical pedantry, 'Cortina by Lotus') conjures images of the mkI - probably three-wheeling an apex with Jim Clark at the wheel. But the mkII is just as historically important, and dashed good looking to boot.
Unlike the early cars, which were assembled by Lotus, the mkII was built by Ford at Dagenham alongside the everyday Cortinas. They were similar in build to the GT model, but different enough to justify the Lotus badge; they came equipped with a 109bhp 1.6-litre twin-cam, a 2000E gearbox with GT remote gearchange, a lower final drive ratio, a boot-mounted battery, and radial tyres. They were successful touring cars, robust rally cars, and the police trialled them as response vehicles. Their true calling, however, was to feed into the happy-go-lucky lifestyle of the Essex wideboy; the combination of twin-cam bark, waggy tail and in-your-face Sherwood Green side-stripes was everything a young buck could wish for. Oh, and they made pretty good getaway cars too...

This one, stock aside from its Revolution wheels, is a 1970 model - the last year of production before the mkIII arrived (which, of course, never enjoyed a Lotus variant).
Spotted at the 2014 Goodwood Revival - click here for more photos.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Resto-Cal '65 Beetle

Words & pictures - Daniel Bevis

A forgotten spot here from the Apex Festival back in May. I have little info to offer beyond what you can see - it's a 1965 Beetle, beautifully restored and rocking a Resto-Cal look; two-tone, low (but not too low), shiny chrome, BRM wheels... just a neatly presented and clearly very usable example.
Looks splendid glinting in the rain, doesn't it? And there's probably something entertaining mounted out back, if that sodding great rev counter's anything to go by...

More Apex 2014 photos here.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Maserati 5000 GTI

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

Where do you think the GTI badge originated? With VW's cheeky Golf in 1975? No, Maserati were using it as far back as the early '60s...

The marque's centenary celebrations have ensured a rich and vibrant mix of unusual Masers at any car show you care to name (the Alfieri at the Festival of Speed was a particular highlight), and this glimmering poppet was taking pride of place at the NEC's Classic Motor Show.
A GTI in the true sense of the term - a Gran Turismo equipped with fuel injection - this 5000 is one of just thirty-two cars built. They differed dramatically in their bodywork; Carrozzeria Touring's effort was somewhat controversial, but the majority of them (22 in all) were bodied by Allemano. The one you see here is a 1962 car, styled by Michelotti, with those gorgeous lines delicately enveloping a 5.0-litre V8 with Lucas mechanical fuel injection, dual plugs, a 4-speed ZF 'box and, impressively, a peak power figure of 340bhp. It's also so beautiful it makes your eyes water - as might the cost: RM Auctions sold a Frua-bodied example for £1.15m this year; back in 2011 Bonhams sold an Allemano 5000 for a more reasonable £355k. But it's finding one for sale at all that's the tricky part...

Click here for more 2014 Classic Motor Show pics.

Monday, 24 November 2014

'66 Chrysler Newport

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

The Chrysler Newport is the archetypal American two-door: unnecessarily big, with an unnecessarily big engine. Because they had big roads, and cheap fuel, and why the hell shouldn't they have big cars?
This particular one is a 1966 model - a fourth-generation Newport that was offered with either a 383ci (6.3-litre) V8 or, if you were feeling saucy, a hot-rod 440ci (7.2-litre). The interior featured luxuriously trimmed seats, posh carpets and a half-moon speedo, while the chrome-laden exterior was designed specifically to look like it was zipping along at a fair lick even when it was standing still - check out the angled-back grille, the swooping fastback, the combination of a short overhang at the front and a long one at the rear - it's almost cartoonish.
What I like most about this one, however, is that the owner clearly likes to park it next to very small cars in order to further accentuate its massiveness. SuckSqueezeBangBlow fully endorses this behaviour.

Spotted at the 2014 Goodwood Revival - click here for more photos.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Wealden RS2000 Cosworth

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

Blimey. *rubs eyes*

Oh, it's still there. It is real.
Yes, this staggeringly purposeful mkII Escort is actually a real-life race car rather than some fanciful Photoshop creation, and it really is brutal. The brainchild of Wealden Racing, it's got an all-steel body with oodles of added girth and aero addenda, and a Cosworth YB with a sodding great turbo. The spec reads like a who's-who of racy classic Ford tuning; six-linked rear, Fostec Atlas axle, AP Racing brakes, 17" Compomotive split-rims, Corbeau bucket, custom cage... and, as you might hope, the eager performance matches the dreamy looks. This Escort will hurtle from 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds, thanks to its peak power of 430bhp; it'll do a quarter-mile in eleven seconds, and it's geared for 159mph. Incredible.
Click here for more info.

Spotted at the 2014 Classic Motor Show - more photos here.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Callum Jaguar Mark 2

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

Ian Callum's pet-project Mk2 Jaguar, assembled by Classic Motor Cars, is a polarising thing. It takes a timeless and, for many, untouchable silhouette, and contemporises it with such modern accoutrements as integrated bumpers, centre-exit exhausts and 17" wheels. Sacrilege to some, but a work of unparalleled brilliance to others.
Callum, of course, is Jaguar Cars' Director of Design, and his intepretation of the venerable Mk2 is a combination of childhood yearning and a keenness to use such a classic as a practical daily driver. So the standard form is largely retained, but comprehensively reworked; the wings are wider, there are extra louvres for cooling and venting, the chrome trim is largely deleted and smoothed, the headlights are decent halogens, there's a reversing camera. Under the bonnet is a modernised classic; the straight-six is enlarged to 4.3-litres, wears twin SU carbs, and has electronic ignition and super-efficient cooling. Inside, all is trimmed in sumptuous quilted leather and Wilton carpet, but there's also modern audio & sat-nav, inertia-reel belts, heated screen and remote central locking. It is, in all senses, a fully optimised new-old Jag. You can read all about it in a feature I wrote for the latest Retro Cars mag, in the shops this Friday (November 21st).

These pics snapped at Salon Privé 2014 - click here for more.