Wednesday, 19 June 2013
Urban parking issues with massive cars are nothing new; sure, you may struggle to squeeze a Range Rover onto your drive, but these concerns have been troubling drivers for generations. What do you do, for example, if your entire garage is filled up by your ostentatious fins-and-chrome '59 Cadillac Eldorado, but you need something more frugal and unimposing for puttering about the metropolis? What do you buy, and where do you keep it?
Well, the answer is obvious. Get yourself a Peel P50, and keep it inside the Caddy. Job done.
Spotted by SuckSqueezeBangBlow at the 2013 Bromley Pageant
Posted by juice at 08:53
Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Famed for being the only RS Escort to attain royal approval - Princess Diana had one; the only one to leave the factory painted black - the Series One RS Turbo was a combination of homologation evolution, reputational rebuilding, and bandwagon-leaping in the hot hatch era.
The Escort's reputation took a bit of a hit with Project Erika, which became the mkIII Escort, in that unlike the previous two generations, the new model wasn't rear-wheel drive. However, a new wave of FWD hot hatch enthusiasts, spurred on by the success of the Golf GTI, 205 GTI, Astra GTE et al, were appeased first by the XR3 (and subsequent XR3i), and then by the homologation-special RS1600i. What the RS Turbo achieved was to take this road-racer, mix in a little forced induction, slap on a de rigueur bodykit, and sell them in nothing but Essex Stiletto White.
Prices of Series Ones today reflect the fact that the keen-eyed enthusiasts of the eighties have grown to an age where they can afford to fulfil those childhood dreams. And given the nature of boy-racer hot hatches - they tended to get either nicked and burnt out, or wrapped around lamp-posts - their relative scarcity means that prices are escalating sharply.
So, would you go standard or modified; concours or period-tuned? The car we see here, spotted at the 2013 Bromley Pageant, represents the latter. The Escort sits low over RS seven-spokes (seventeens are risky on a mkIII, but the Turbo can pull off these Ford rims, just), there's the obligatory stainless-steel drainpipe, and all manner of tuning shenanigans happening under the bonnet. Power Engineering have long been the go-to guys for souped-up Fords, and the abundance of shiny bits and Samco hoses here suggests rather more than factory-standard horsepower. And look, you can see a dump valve there, for that trademark RS Turbo sneeze. Marvellous.
Posted by juice at 09:19
Monday, 17 June 2013
There are a number of questions raised by this W210-generation E-class. Why the Maybach badges? Why have Land Rover emblems on wheels that clearly aren't from a Land Rover? Why the Panama plate?
The answer to all of these is obvious: fashion, innit.
The stance scene in the UK is arguably dominated by the VAG stable - Volkswagens, Audis, SEATs, Skodas; they find themselves riding low on airbags, wearing wheels from other models, enjoying OEM+ touches (i.e. embellishments from more premium members of the wider group), and so forth. So what we find here with this Mercedes-Benz is a tongue-in-cheek sideswipe at the scene. It's a 'bagged German, but it's from Stuttgart rather than Wolfsburg. It wears the badges of a luxurious bigger brother. Its faux-Panamanian identity speaks of colourful culture, gold exports and gangster chic. And where countless Golfs and A4s wear Land Rover and Range Rover wheels, this W210 wears big, badass rims that just happen to have Land Rover emblems in their centres.
It's a bit cheeky. It's really quite naughty. And it looks fantastic.
Spotted by SuckSqueezeBangBlow at the 2013 Players Classic
Posted by juice at 17:20
Freshly built and enjoying a gentle shakedown, this Harris-engined mkI debuted at the Bromley Pageant last weekend. It enjoys such period features as steel rims, bullet mirrors and gleaming chrome, while the temptation to go for the usual white-and-green Lotus combo or red-and-gold Alan Mann livery has been sidestepped in favour of a subtle burgundy. For many, this would be the ultimate clubman racer: classically styled, not over-embellished, and with a fusion of traditional thinking and modern methods worked into that fast-road engine. A subtle exercise in understatement. (Aside from the massive race numbers, obviously...)
Posted by juice at 09:44
Friday, 14 June 2013
For many people at the Players Classic, Kevve's E21 was the car of the show. Indeed, the fact that it, er, took home 'Car of the Show' sort of proves that.
It's a polarising build; I personally love everything about it, although friends of mine have commented that there's perhaps too much going on - the interior, for example, with its leather and velour and polished carbon-fibre... it's not to all tastes.
But like I say, I love it. The bespoke AccuAir setup lets it sit scene-meltingly low (the fuel tank has been relocated to allow this!), the standard arches have been aggressively flared, the colour-coded BBS splits suit the look perfectly, the outrageous pea-green of the interior is inspired - there's a lot to love here.
...and there was a little 'for sale' notice on the dash too. Interesting. Although €14,000 is a little out of my reach! Still, that's the same money as a new Kia Rio. I know which I'd rather have.
Posted by juice at 15:13
Registered to the Ford Press Department in January 1978, this mkIII Capri 3.0S is thought to be the only one to leave the factory in Peppermint Green.
It was lent to Autocar magazine as a long-term test car, run by Lotus F1 driver John Miles and editor Tony Howard, before returning to Ford in May '79. Miles was so enamoured with the minty three-litre that he then bought it, thereafter using it as a testbed for his company - WM Developments - to try alternatives to Ford's own Series X triple-Weber setup. It also acted as a test car for the celebrated Aston Martin-tweaked Tickford Capris, so this really is a car with a past!
It shows no signs of world-weariness today, though. You can see here, as it resides casually on the grass at the Bromley Pageant, that VHK 494S is every inch the muscle Capri, as clean and straight today as it was in '78. A wonderful slice of Dagenham history.
Posted by juice at 09:12
Thursday, 13 June 2013
Well now, isn't this a gorgeous little thing? Spotted at the Bromley Pageant amongst a variety of Lotus Sunbeams, Escort RS1600is and various other eighties fare, this late-fifties/early-sixties Michelotti-styled vision stood out like a recently hammered thumb.
Based on the diminutive Appia saloon launched in 1953, the Convertibile was a Vignale-built tourer that shared its mainstream brother's mechanicals, including the 1,100cc V4 engine. Just 1,500 examples were built and, if you subscribe to the notion that Lancias are made of wafer-thin steel-alike vapour that rusts as soon as you look at, breathe near or think about it, you'll appreciate that this is a pretty rare sighting. That it's original and pristine is something of a bonus.
Posted by juice at 14:50
The enthusiasm for fitting wheels from luxury, premium and sports cars to modified VAG products shows no sign of abating. People have been bolting Porsche wheels to VWs from time immemorial, and in the last half-decade or so there have probably been more Golfs and Passats wearing Bentley rims than there have Bentleys.
Of course, wheel-whoring is a competitive business, and chasing after supercar rims is an all-consuming (if bloody expensive) pursuit. At the Players Classic, for example, SuckSqueezeBangBlow spotted a Golf on Lamborghini Gallardo wheels, an A3 on TVR Tuscan rims, and another Golf on McLaren-Mercedes SLR rolling stock. But perhaps most unusual of all was this understated mkV Golf, parked away from the main show area. It's clean and crisp in its fashionably subdued white hue, with external mods kept to a minimum; US-spec rear bumper and not a lot else. From afar, the eye is immediately drawn by the way it sits - on air, natch - but getting up close, you spot that those gorgeous wheels have the little Aston Martin wings in the centre. And that's very, very cool indeed.
Posted by juice at 09:15