Monday, 31 October 2016

Impala SS Lowrider

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

Up. Down. Up. Down. The hypnotic bouncing of old-skool lowriders drills a militaristic tattoo into the consciousness. Up. Chrome. Down. Muscle. Up. Wires. Down. Attitude.
For Pav Gill - aka 'Psychopav' - this is exactly the sort of attitude that the UK needs. Spiriting the classic lowrider formula, in archetypal Impala SS form, and transplanting a slice of down-home South Central right onto an airfield in Essex is a masterstroke. Surrounded by modern VAG metal skimming the tarmac on millimetrically precise air-ride, Pav hits the hydro switches and raises his car up. Way up. And then down again. And side-to-side. Up. Down. And the crowds, mesmerised, cannot tear their eyes away.
This is lowriding done right. Crisp, clean, and as bouncy as physics allows.

Spotted at the 2016 Players Show - more pics here.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Polo Quattro

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

This is one of those builds that's going to be everywhere before you know it. Forward Creations' radically reworked Polo is thought to be the first 6N in the country to be converted to Quattro running gear, and the 20V VAG motor (complete with GT35 turbo) should be putting out somewhere around 600bhp, once it's been mapped by Emerald. What appears from afar to be simply a tidy Polo reveals fresh details the more you look at it, from the sodding great Tarox 6-pots to the vast set of monkey bars inside - and, of course, there's no missing that perky exhaust exiting through the front bumper or the diff peeping through the rear mesh. This thing is off-the-charts serious, even when it's creeping through a show field and nonchalantly airing out. Goodness only knows what it'd be like to open the thing up on track and see what it can do...
Keep an eye on the show scene, you're going to be seeing a lot more of this one.

Spotted at Show & Glow 2016 - more pics here.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

BMW 2002 Hommage

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

It seems like BMW are having a lot of fun these days, doesn't it? They've certainly got this retro-futuristic concept thing nailed, with the 2002 Hommage being the latest show car to emerge bristling with the accoutrements of a factory full of nostalgic dreamers.
Taking the formidable new M2 as a base, this car shamelessly steals from the old 2002 Turbo's box of aggressive tricks, not least the iconic mirrored 'obrut' on the front spoiler. It's got massively pumped-up arches, to evoke the old Turbo's bolt-on items, an off-centre roundel on the rump, scene-stopping wheels, and track-focused aggression in spades.
And yes, obviously there's a turbo. Quite a big one. The M2's boosted 3.0-litre straight-six also has various M3 internals, and there's a race exhaust here along with heavy-duty cooling and lubrication. You're looking down the thick end of 370bhp. Time to redraft your lottery-win garage wishlist...

Spotted at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed - more pics here.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Bagged Audi 100LS

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

There are times when I bring you thoughtful and considered SSBB posts, offering insight and informative titbits in the spirit of mutual knowledge-sharing. And there are other times, like this, when I'm able to offer pretty much zero information about a car, but feel compelled to share it anyway. So this is where we find ourselves. Look, it's an early-1970s Audi 100 on air-ride. Cool, huh? Somebody drove this all the way to the Players Show in Essex from Germany, and I'm very glad they did. Brightened everyone's day no end.

More Players pics here.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Lamborghini Centenario

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

The Centenario is Lamborghini's 100th birthday present to founding-father Ferruccio. Well, it would be if he were still here, but he isn't... so we all get to share it instead. (Not literally, of course [that'd be brilliant], but more just, y'know, being aware that it exists.)

The car builds upon the Aventador platform to create a sort of rolling testbed for the next generation of Lambo hypercars. The 6.5-litre V12 - which idles at 850rpm and redlines at 8,500, in a neat numerical act of tidiness - produces 760bhp, which is 20bhp more than the Aventador SV. It's got insane aero too; a twin-deck front splitter channels the air up and over the sideblades, working in harmony with an active rear spoiler and colossal diffuser. You can reel out your own clichés about driving it on the ceilings of tunnels.

The Centenario is also the first Lamborghini to employ rear-wheel steering, and the whole thing's made of gorgeously weave-matched carbon-fibre that means, in spite of all the extra tech they've crammed in, it weighs 55kg less than an Aventador. And the car really is all about the numbers; 0-62mph in 2.8s, 0-186mph in 23.5s, 217mph top speed, 227kg of downforce at 174mph, 355-section rear tyres, 507lb.ft of torque... oh yes, and the small matter of £1,700,000. Happy birthday, Ferruccio!

Spotted at Salon Privé 2016 - more pics here.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Ferrari 288 GTO Evoluzione

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

There's something wilfully mischievous about juxtaposing the verdant lushness of Windsor Castle's lawn with a car that's basically made of functional vents. There's no earthly reason for this machine to be here which, of course, is what's so brilliant about the contemporary concours scene.

The 288 GTO was effectively the car that spawned the F40. Crafted for the Group B regs that were almost immediately then taken behind the barn and terminated with a shotgun, the mid-eighties turbonutter became essentially a race car without a race series - a sad state of affairs. But Ferrari don't like to give up on such things. They'd already built five production 288 GTO Evoluziones along with a prototype before Group B was canned, and they didn't want the whole endeavour to be pointless. Cars like this are expensive to develop. So they took all of the basic architecture - the tubular steel spaceframe and aluminium floor, the notion of crafting the bodywork from carbon-Kevlar, the eminently shouty 2.9-litre twin-turbo V8 - and they reworked one of the Evoluziones into a prototype for the F40 road car. And that's proved to be quite popular, hasn't it?

This, then, is a car that came perilously close to being sidelined as one of automotive history's errors. But then, brilliantly and unexpectedly, it gave birth to arguably Ferrari's greatest success. Nice when things work out, isn't it?

Spotted at the 2016 Windsor Concours - more pics here.