Monday, 5 December 2016

Concours+ Mk1 Golf

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

There comes a point in some projects when the car stops being a car and instead morphs into a transcendental art piece. Such is the case with this Golf, as you can see; its owner has clearly long passed the tipping point of infinitesimal perfection, whereby one follows a thought process along the lines of 'Well, I've upgraded that, so now I have to sort out the bit that it's attached to, and if I'm doing that then I might as well do this...' until every individual facet of the car has been unbolted and either smoothed and polished to an absurd degree, or simply replaced with an upgraded item. So this is still a Mk1 Golf, but only in the way that the Mona Lisa is still a canvas.

Spotted at the 2016 Players Show - more pics here.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Competizione Series III

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

This 1972 Daytona was the last of fifteen factory-built Competizione models, one of five Series III models, and one of just two right-hand-drive examples produced. Quite a special little motor, then.
The car was supplied to Garage Francorchamps SA in Brussels in March '73 and immediately pressed into service; it finished 12th at the Spa-Francorchamps 1000km that year, then a decent overall 20th at the Le Mans 24hr. The following year, after a factory refresh, it crossed the Channel and enjoyed a long and diverse racing career from its new UK base, before being mothballed in 1984. But good race cars never stay down, and the car was sympathetically recommissioned this year. It's got a genuine 17,000 miles on the clock, and is thought to be the only unrestored factory Competizione remaining. And what's certain is that it's the last factory-built competition Ferrari that was road-registered from new. Polishes up alright, doesn't it?

Spotted at the 2016 Windsors Concours - more pics here.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Newcastle Singer 911

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

As with all Singer builds, this one is named after its intended destination: in this case, Newcastle. But it isn't finished in the trademark black and white of the Magpies, but instead in, er, blue and white.
Debuting at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed, it's the fifth Singer to be built for a UK buyer - and you'll be pleased to know that it's a 4.0, the most powerful option on offer. If you're not au fait with the Singer MO, it is, in a nutshell, this: they begin with a 964-generation car, which gets artfully reworked to incorporate the styling of 1970s 911s. But that simplistic description doesn't do justice to the sheer perfectionism that's imbued into each rarefied facet of the build - just casting an eye over the photos will show how much thought and effort goes into each and every detail. These are exquisite connoisseurs' machines; the starting price for a bespoke Singer build is around $400,000 (£321,000), with the example you're looking at here coming in closer to $550,000 (£441,000). You get a strengthened chassis, a reworked nose to alter the fixing points and allow space for an oil cooler, an integral (but removeable) rollcage, custom carbon-fibre body panels, and unique Singer embellishments such as lights and hinges made specifically for the car. The shell is treated to thirty-four coats of primer, paint and lacquer, to hide the carbon-fibre weave and keep the authentic feel of a classic steel Porsche. And the cherry on the cake is a custom-built motor, available in 3.6-, 3.8- or 4.0-litre displacements and featuring 997 RS upgrades. This car, a 4.0-litre, has 390bhp and will hit 60mph in a smidge over three seconds.
The suspension is bespoke, the wheels are custom-made, and the interior is a sublime work of sepia-tinted art. Oh, and the company was founded by the cousin of Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson. So yes, this restomodded Porsche rocks on all levels.

More from the 2016 FoS here.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Track E36

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

How do you go about building the perfect track-focused E36? Well, something like this would be a pretty strong start...
The stripped interior sports a serious 'cage, along with the obligatory buckets and harnesses - there's a passenger seat for scaring people with, along with a full dash to make the car streetable, and it's not just been a case of ripping out all the sound deadening and leaving it at that; it's so spotless in there you could eat a cliché off of it.
The straight-six looks to be a case of evolution rather than revolution, although the towering gear-shifter and hydraulic handbrake suggest it's all ready for mischief. The thing sits just right, it's got a fat contact patch all round, and it's beautifully presented as well as being devastatingly forthright. Ticks a lot of boxes. Yep, it works for me.

Spotted at Show & Glow 2016 - more pics here.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Monte Carlo 911

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

This isn't just a rally 911 - it's the rally 911. The first ever example of the model to be prepared for motorsport by the factory, this Ruby Red late-1964 2.0 was prepared by Porsche Motorsport specifically for the 1965 Rallye Monte Carlo. With Herbert Linge at the wheel and Peter Falk co-driving, the 911 took second in class - fifth overall - which is a pretty damn good showing for a first try.'s had a fairly varied history since, though. In 1966 it was demoted to test car duties for Vic Elford before being sold, minus engine, to Parisian race and rally driver Silvain Garant. He shoehorned in a mightier flat-six motor and rallied it regularly through to 1969 (often with full factory support).
In '69 the car passed into the hands of privateer Gérard Dantan Merlin, who rallied and hillclimbed in it, before it moved on to a more sober life with a variety of owners who used it as a road car.

Its fortunes changed again in 2012, when the current owner bought it and set about treating the car to a full nut-and-bolt restoration to original Monte Carlo specs. Furthermore, the work was carried out by the factory's own restoration outfit, Porsche Classic. The engine, the gearbox, the funny little swivelling light on the roof, it's all period-correct. A very fitting return to glory for such an iconic and important 911.

Spotted at the 2016 Windsor Concours - more photos here.

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.