Monthly Archives: June 2011

1952 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Sport

The first year of production for the SL was for racing, and the 300SL burst onto the scene with beautiful classic curvy coupe form (0.25 cd!?).  What did they do in 1952? they won Le Mans.

I am going to refer you to the superb article in E-Mercedes for a lot of great background on the 300SL from 1952—-as i think the article is fantastic.  Mercedes-Benz have great digital information about their history these days—if you haven’t already, make sure you download their free iPad application for their museum as well.

http://www.emercedesbenz.com/Jul08/03_001238_eMercedesBenz_Feature_The_1952_Mercedes_Benz_300_SL_Racing_Sport_Coupe.html

some photos from the E-Mercedes site:

 

 

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Top Gear reviews the BMW 1M

 

I really think BMW is going down the wrong direction these days——–BUT i’ve always loved the original 1-series coupe, as well as the 1M.  Jeremy Clarkson reviewed the 1m on Top Gear UK sunday night…..so take a look at what he thought….

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F1 4-cylinder Turbo vs. V6 Turbo…and how Audi influenced the FIA.

 

(rendering below, via Speed Arena–not actual car!)

By now i’m sure you have heard the debates about Formula One switching to a V6  Turbos OR  4-cylinder Turbos by 2013/2014.  The latest news being reported by ESPN is saying that Audi was one of the primary reasons why F1 had initially agreed to switch to 4 cylinder turbos.  Apparently Audi had originally said they would join, and the FIA obliged by accepting the idea of the 4 cylinder turbo.  After the decision was made, Audi then flipped and decided the finances weren’t working out for them to join F1—and changed their mind.  Following Audi’s uncertainty about joining F1, the FIA has recently decided that it is going back to the original idea of V6 Turbos.

I, personally, am a big fan of 4 cylinder turbos and feel they would have enhanced development of road going 4 cylinder turbos in street cars—-and am dissappointed that Audi retracted their original idea of joining F1.  I think it would have been great if they had joined—possibly filling the void that BMW had left when they retreated from F1 a few years ago.  Here’s hoping they change their minds again and decide to enter!

http://en.espnf1.com/fia/motorsport/story/52832.html?CMP=OTC-RSS

(thanks to Stampchez for the tip!)

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ad of the day. 911.

vintage Porsche 911 advertisement.

via Cooler Than Before

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Porsche 908 at Targa Florio.

There’s something about those gulf colours and orange arrows that gets me going big time…

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foto of the day #2: TT-RS

Here’s a picture of the Audi TT-RS that just won the SP4T Class at the Nurburgring 24 Hour race.  Excellent!

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foto of the day. TT

This parking spot reminds of my parking spot.

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Nurburgring 24 Hours is underway. Watch LIVE online.

There are several sites streaming the Nurburgring 24 Hour race, but they are all using the same live German feed—-however i am disturbed that they play awful music in the background during the race, alternating with german commentary….which is present on ALL the feeds i’ve looked at, including the official one.  Those crazy germans….WHY in the world is the original broadcast playing that rubbish music!? I haven’t a clue…”Radio Nurburgring”? really?

But either way, i can’t complain—–as the full 24 hours is available for FREE online streaming.

http://tv.audi.com/portal/#/01

 

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the Maserati Bora that never raced Le Mans.

The Maserati Bora is a classy 70s supercar in my mind—and i’ve always thought of it as the ‘kind, gentle, relaxed’ 70s italian supercar—-with its soft lines, non-aggressive stance, and its non-angry look.  Compared to other 70s italian supercars, the Bora (as well as its sister car Merak) have generally come across as the gentleman in a fine wool blazer compared to its riotous peers in gold chains and silk shirts.

What I never knew is that in 1973, Maserati was set to enter the Bora into Le Mans as part of the gran touring class.  Its competition would have surely been the likes of the Ferrari Daytona which had won in 1972.   As i’ve understood the story from QV500.com, Maserati needed to sell 500 Boras to get it homologated for these 1973 races—-which they obviously didn’t do.  Additionally the car didn’t meet the ‘other’ standards for other classes—-meaning that the Bora Competizione (or Bora GR4 or Bora Group 4) never made it onto the the starting grid, and this car was lost into the archives of 70s mystery cars.  I wasn’t even aware of this car, until I stumbled across a photo of a strange looking Bora, which upon investigation resulted in a search which yielded minimal photos, information, or data.   The QV500.com site had the best bit of info on the car I could find, and you can head over there to read their concise writeup about the car in question:

http://212.227.190.137/maseratiborap2.php

 

here are some photos was able to scavenge online, with many of them credited to a gentleman named Andreas Birner

more photos by Birner can be found here:

http://www.maserati.org.au/gallery/MASERATI/RACE_Cars/Bora_GrpIV_gallery.html

other photos:

more info and pics:

http://www.leblogauto.com/2010/06/breve-rencontre-maserati-bora-competizione.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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foto of the day. 208 CS

the gorgeous Siata 208 CS

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art of the day: Monza

a vintage poster of the very cool DKW Monza!

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video of the day. Widebody S4.

 

The B5 Audi S4 has really joined the ranks of ‘legendary’ modern euro cars—-it wasn’t just the sportier version of the car that financially rescued Audi in the mid-late 1990s (the B5 A4), but its interesting twin-turbo narrow angle V6 made tuneability of this car as easy as falling down.  The S4 has always been the Audiphile staple, with the right combination of practicality, size, price, and tuneability—-all mated to an all-important quattro.   2nd hand prices for stock/lightly modded cars are stable now in the $10-15k range, and demand is high these days, especially amongst its rabidly enthusiastic following.  The cars that have been converted to ‘Stage 3′ are selling between $15-25k and packing at least 400hp, if not much more…

This, though…is a stunning video outlining the appeal of this modern classic.   Check out the backseats!  Those might be the greatest rear seats i’ve ever seen.

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the illustrations of Peter Hutton.

These are very cool and very original.  I especially love the way he annotates information about the cars above the angular cutaway sketches.  The Maserati 250 T-shirt is quite nice, although too red for me to order unfortunately.  Prints and cards are quite affordable—a nice place to pick up a few gifts for yourself or a petrolhead in your lives.

http://www.peterhuttonillustrator.com/products via Ecurie

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art of the day. A110.

What a fantastic sketch….

from Clovis Images via Alpine Portugal

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foto of the day. Porsche 718

from the excellent Good Old Valves site.

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foto of the day. 695 GS

Porsche Abarth 695 GS, to be exact.

from: Rene Staud Photography

 

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BMW have a seizure and unleash the Mini Coupe.

the title Kings of Automotive Ugly was held by Nissan until a couple of months ago, when BMW swiftly stole the crown with their horrendous string of terrible designs; the fact that they own Mini has now authorized them to spread their design gonorrhea to another unsuspecting victim; the Mini Coupe.

I have tried to understand this roof, however it is beyond my grasp.  At times, it resembles a cock from a small deformed animal—-at other times, a turtle with a broken shell—-and finally, it sort of reminds me of a rabbit with a pancake on top of it (see below).

i can’t really get myself to post more photos of it—-however if you need more info on this $22k Mini Coupe, head over to BMW for more official information (login may be required).

https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/pressclub/p/pcgl/pressDetail.html?outputChannelId=6&id=T0113154EN&left_menu_item=node__6568

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Montreal + Espada + Gandini + GM V8 = LELE?

I had never heard of the ISO LELE until today.  In fact I don’t even remember ever seeing a picture or anything of it.  Much to my surprise I was thumbling through some UK classic car mag and saw a yellow one plastered all around a couple of pages.  The first thing I thought was that it looked like a rejected Bertone concept—-the Montreal-style eyelids in the front, and the swooping Espada-like side profile.  I have to say having come home and looked at some more photos—-i’m starting to see some of the 1969 Frua-inspired ‘coupe’  wedge design influences on the car pop up more.    The car was penned by Gandini, which would explain this whoring of design features.

Oh, and it had a GM or a Ford sourced V8 under the hood (depending on the year it was produced between 1969 and 1974—which makes it sort of like an illegal immigrant version of a ‘wannabe’ Montreal, really….

Fascinating car.  Always nice to discover new things in the world of automobiles.

all photos taken from: Concept Carz

here’s a short video i found of one being pulled out of storage and onto a flatbed.  It has interesting proportions, looks a lot more ‘practical’ in shape compared to other ISOs of the time.

also a primitive, yet informative page about the Lele:

http://www.californiaclassix.com/archive/72_Iso_Lele_c107.html

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Countach road trip.

Harry Metcalfe (Evo Mag) & his Lamborghini Countach embark in this video on a 900+ road trip from Monte Carlo to the UK after an Evo Magazine feature about all the various ‘versions’ of the Countach released over the years.  Harry Metcalfe, the gentleman in the video—is one of the founding editors of Evo Magazine from the UK—–amongst other things, he owns the red Countach in the video.

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Evo/Chris Harris; reviewing the BMW 1M & Porsche Cayman R

I 100% agree with Chris about the 911R and the ‘R’ badge on Porsches—-it is a bit of novelty, but offensive to put an “R” badge on this Cayman.  Either way—-both cars are great, however i’m not really someone who cares about drifting, per se…..so much of the video where Chris is drifting isn’t my cup of tea.  I am however a fan of both of these cars; although I am becoming less and less fond of the 1M after seeing it in person back in April.

either way…cool video.

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foto of the day: A6G/54 Zagato

Maserati….yes, i like.

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