What do you think of when you hear the word “Torino”? I think of Turin, Italy (it’s called “Torino” in Italian) and Fiat sports cars built there over the years. I then think of the Clint Eastwood movie “Gran Torino”, which featured a 1972 Ford Torino not at all like our subject car. Our feature car is remarkable for its unremarkableness.
Seattle has a large population of driving restoration projects as may be evident by the number of “in progress” cars I seem to find Street Parked. This handsome, ready to be painted, sedan is a 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle. The Chevelle nameplate was used on a wide variety of midsize Chevrolets, from coupes, to station wagons, to convertibles, and the legendary SS396 muscle car. The 1966 Chevelles are favorites of mine because they have a cool shark nose style.
This car is a legend among 1980s sports cars and needs little introduction. As a high school lad, I dreamed of having a 944 as my “do it all” sports utility car. The space offered by the hatch would allow me to carry anything I might ever own, and the Porsche pedigree would allow me to satisfy my hooning needs on curvy back roads. What more could one ask of a car?
Ordinary cars from the mid 1970s to the early 1980s are becoming more rare with each season that passes. This run of the mill in its time AMC caught my eye for being the first one I recall seeing in over a decade. AMC sold a variety of mid sized cars in the 70s and 80s, the most famous perhaps being the AMC Eagle four wheel drive station wagon. Our subject car is nothing special, just a humble sedan. However it has an interesting story with connections to Porsche and the little known VAM Lerma.
World War Two presents a problem when trying to identify the age of cars made in the years immediately before and after. Built between 1941 and 1947, this truck is probably a 1941 or a 1946 as none were available to the public during the war years. However, it could be military surplus sold after the war, with untold stories of wartime service driving the Burma road or chasing Patton east through Europe. There’s no way to tell, so I’m calling it a ’46. This 68+ year old truck still works for a living.
Ron Howard’s movie: Rush has been very warmly received by fans of racing and good movies alike. I immediately followed filmmaker Ron Howard on Twitter when I heard he was starting production of this movie. Mr. Howard is a very good tweeter, sharing lots of details about his current projects; he did provided a gearhead’s feast during Rush production.
The Opel GT is an eye catching little car made from 1968 to 1973. Seeing three orange Opel GTs parked next to each other is neck snapping.
Here is some in car footage from the Chase Race 1952 Hudson Hornet competing in the 24 Hours of LeMons event held at The Ridge Motorsports Park on July 20 and 21, 2013. This car is incredibly fun to drive and was very warmly received by the LeMons judges and competitors. Later in the week I’ll have a more detailed post, with pictures and more videos.
Long story short: we won! The Hudson won the top prize in LeMons, the Index of Effluency.
The 24 Hours of LeMons continues to be a healthy and fun series of races run all around the United States. We have done this before and loved every minute. This year we’ve built a Hudson Hornet, a car with a long history of racing. We’re told this is the first Hudson entered in LeMons.
Ferrari fans are everywhere. On my trip to Cuba I was surprised to see Scuderia Ferrari stickers on an interesting variety of cars. Here are a few cars I was able to get pictures of after noticing the sticker. Normally each of these cars would have gotten a whiplash inducing response from me. In Cuba these are run of the mill cars; perhaps not the Alfa, that one was a surprise. The 1952 Chevrolet above also appears to have a Ford 5.0 badge.
I’ve seen this car driving around in my neighborhood a number of times but had never seen it parked until one day when I was driving the Healey to the store on a quick errand. I was in a hurry but couldn’t let the opportunity to check out this cool Bimmer pass so I stopped for a few pictures.
When I was in college I worked at a Cadillac dealership as a lot attendant. This was the early 90s, interesting to me American cars were few and far between. The Eldorado Touring Coupe of 1991 caught my attention with its body color trim and rectangular exhaust tips. These cars featured 180 horsepower 4.9 liter V8s that were a significant step up from the 150-ish horsepower engines put in prior year Eldorados.
This brown Triumph passed by me in the opposite direction while I was biking to work. It was burbling through a parking lot on its way to its parking spot. I was stunned to see such a clean looking GT6 and quickly turned around to give chase and shoot some pictures.
This truck lives in my neighborhood and doesn’t ever move. I think it is loaded with charm. I believe this to be a 1947 to 1949 truck, let’s call it a 1948.
Ayrton Senna died 19 years ago today. We are big fans of Senna here at StartingGrid and have featured articles about him before. Senna was an amazing talent dripping with focus and pure joy of competition. If he were still with us, what would he be doing now? My bet is he’d still be racing; not Formula 1, perhaps rally or Australian V8 Supercars.
This image shows all of Senna’s formula cars. It was created by Paul Laguette who has an amazing portfolio of racing and car themed work.
Check out his Coroflot site: Paul Laguette’s Coroflot page
Check out his website: Studio P Design
We are fortunate in my neighborhood to have an independent gas station that sells non-oxygenated fuel; this is gasoline that does not have ethanol mixed in. This is a good thing for owners of old cars which tend have issues with the oxygenated fuel sold at big chain gas stations drying out the rubber bits in their fuel systems. I take The Healey to this station for fuel and frequently encounter other old cars while refueling. Today’s Street Parked car was parked in the service area (yes, this is a gas station where actual mechanics work) waiting for its turn on the lift.
This week’s Ferrari Friday subject is a car I saw and photographed at the 2007 Northwest Historics. This is a 1949 166 MM Touring Barchetta and is one of the very first Ferraris built. Enzo Ferrari starting producing cars under his own name in 1947, following a long career with Alfa Romeo (I’ll feature a Scuderia Ferrari Alfa racer in coming weeks). The very first Ferraris were the two 125S cars and single 159S produced in 1947. These were followed by the run of 39 166S cars in 1948 and 1949 which produced the car featured here.
Jon Shirley owns this 166 MM and drove it at the 2007 Northwest Historics as well as in rally events. This car is no stranger to racing, having won the 1949 24 Hours of Spa with Luigi Chinetti behind the wheel.
The Ford Mustang II is an important piece of motoring history. No, really. Many people consider this car to embody the worst of the Malaise Era: too small, too slow, too poorly built. I believe we need to look at the Mustang II illuminated in the era it was born to understand why it exists, and why it is actually a cool car.
The photos for this article were all supplied by a reader from the Miata.net car talk community who calls himself Analogeezer. Analogeezer and the gang at Miata.net’s Car Talk forum have been a wealth of great stories and anecdotes about most of the Street Parked cars (and many other topics).
It’s Friday and my thoughts are of doing what this person is doing, grabbing a handful of opposite lock as I slide through a turn. I might have to do just that in the Healey, if the weather gods permit.
This car is probably very often mistaken for a v12 engined beast since it looks more than a bit like a 250 Testa Rossa. This car is powered by a 2.4 liter v6, the Dino v6. This engine was named after Enzo’s son Afredo (“Dino” comes from “Alfredino”, which is how a person name Alfredo’s parents or friends would call him, it means “little Alfredo”). In the mid 50s, Alfredo Ferrari lead the development of the v6 for use in Formula 2, and later Forumla 1. Sadly Alfredo died before he ever got to see his engine (actually designed by Ferrari engineer Vittorio Jano) race.
More information and pictures of this car, chassis 0784, can be found at Ultimate Car Page’s very thorough article about this car.
If anyone can identify the photographer who captured this excellent image, please let me know so I can give proper credit.
As I write this, I’m sitting in a truck on the road to San Diego to compete in the 2013 SCCA Pacific Southwest National Tour autocross event in San Diego. You may recall that in my last post, I mentioned some nervousness about jumping into the deep end of competition. To ease my nerves, and get familiar with Sean Green’s new Miata, I entered last weekend’s Western Washington Sports Car Council autocross.