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.
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.
Being in the United States, we are deprived of certain cars. The Nissan S15 and Skyline just to name a few. One of the few cars what I wished was imported here was the Nissan Cedric.
Look at it. Typical Classic. 4 doors, no B-pillars. It would have been great market competition for the Chevrolet Impala.
Very few cars impress me. This one did. I wonder what is under the hood.
When the Scioyabru GT86-FRS-BRZ came out into the market, I was immensely underwhelmed by the finished result. I thought that the car was lacking presence, in what should have been one of the most impactful cars in the tuning scene today.
Fortunately Rocket Bunny was forward thinking enough to develop a wide-body kit, which transforms the car into an absolute lust object. Followers on our Facebook page will have seen all of the pictures that I keep posting every time I see one.
Those riveted fenders and GT wing just seal it for me. Thanks to Maiham-Media for the video.
When Outrageous Was Possible from Petrolicious on Vimeo.
The Petrolicious and Depth of Speed team have released another video. This one is about the “it” car of my youth, the Lamborghini Countach. The car in the video appears to be a 1985, based on the “Quattrovalvole” badging, engine cover hump, and the lack of the straked rocker extensions of the later cars. Countaches of this era had a 5.2 liter fuel injected V12 and were quite fast. The big wing and flared fenders give the car a bulky and muscular look, quite different from the sleek shape the car had at its introduction in 1974.
1975 Lamborghini Countach LP400 Photo credit: Wikipedia
Thanks for another great video guys, looking forward to more!
A few years ago, I saw a black KE70 (Te72 here in the states) from Australia. What impressed me was not the ‘mad JDM tyte drifting skills’, but the engine itself.
A 3T-GTE. One of the baddest T series engines out there.
1.8L , TWIN Spark and TURBO? yeah.
Mark Buckland Drifting @ Hori Dori Drift Day from tarry mortlock on Vimeo.
Owned by Mark Buckland from Australia.
It’s the 2013 VR1200 Twin Turbo Coupe.
Based on the Cadillac sports coupe, this menacing beast pushes over 1000 HP from a 7.0L V8 Twin Turbo. 0-60 in just 2.9 seconds. Only 12 will be made.
Enough words. Lets see pictures and full specs.
This is the very first Tesla Model S delivered in the Northwest. I happened upon this car as I was walking home tonight and the Tesla Service Center guys were nice enough to let me in to drool with them all over this car. I’ve written about the Tesla Service guys before, they’re motoring enthusiasts of the highest order.
I’ve decided that this car is absolutely brilliant!
Although the S1 Lotus is still up on the all-time list of driver’s cars, the K-Series Rover engine that powered it was always the weakpoint of the platform. The engine was generally inexpensive, but you always pay later when you start cheap. Stories go of drivers having to replace heads and massive oil-leaks, even at low-mileages.
So, what do you do when you have a lightweight mid-engine car, but you need more reliable power? Swap the motor, of course. The 3.2 liter from the VW R32 wouldn’t have been my first thought, as far as a list of engines, but I praise the originality!
Now, I found this car via a German website. I don’t understand German, but the language of ‘automobile’ is always universal.
Only sold in the US from 1981 to 1984, The Toyota Starlet was a great choice for an economy car during that time. The light weight body ,which weighed around 1,800 pounds, and a 1.3L (4k) engine had this car doing around 40 miles per gallon.
What a looker, right?
However, do we really care about that? Probably not! A rule of thumb to having a fast car is lightweight and high horsepower. The weight of this car made it a great candidate for a swap.
A typical swap is the 4AGE from the AE86, but I have seen 3SGE, F20C, and even a few 3TC. So with a little body work, a kit, and some wheels, you can go from a typical econobox to a very fun driving machine. Like this!
Last night, I got into a discussion about what constitutes a ‘sleeper car’. We came to the understanding that a sleeper was a car that would catch unassuming racers off-guard, either on the street or track. Now this Ford Granada wouldn’t really count as a true ‘sleeper’, because the half-cage in the back hints that there is something beast under the hood…
However, I wasn’t expecting this!
“When the dust settled, he had managed to cram a twin-turbocharged 4.7-liter Ford V8 from the heart of a Koenigsegg CCX supercar, good for a face-ripping 1,700 horsepower. An independent rear suspension from a 1999-2004 Ford Mustang Cobra handles putting that muscle to the rear tires and a set of massive Porsche brakes bring the whole party to a stand still. It’s a miracle of fabrication, determination and insanity. “- Quoted from Autoblog
Now this video, apparently, is of the car’s first start up, so there is alot of smoke. However, when it does get tuned and ready to go, God help anyone who comes across it.
BMW just revealed this jaw-droppingly stunning double bubble equipped coupe. I’m in love with it, I really am. Hit the link below to visit BMW blog for the story and a bunch more photos.
Australia has given us many great things. Among them have been been: Alan Jones, the Boomerang, and the Ute. My favorite Aussie invention is the GM Zeta platform. The Zeta underpins GM’s excellent Camaro and the M5-esque Pontiac G8 (RIP) as well as the new Caprice Police car.
Remember the Juke-R? Nissan has crumbled to the demands of ultra wealthy sheiks and footy stars and decided to produce a limited run of their bonkers Godzilla powered CUV. For the next four weeks you can order your very own Juke R. This 550+ hp all wheel driver is the biggest wolf you’ll ever see stuffed in a sheep suit.
For a taste of what driving this might be like, give our pal Joey Sim’s autocross impression a read. Mind you, the Juke R isn’t quite as earth shatteringly dominant as a GTR, it’s a bit taller and more aerodynamically brick-like. The heart of Godzilla is inside though, just waiting to defeat ZL1 and GT500 Smog Monsters at a track day near you.
I want one. I want one bad. Is there a mega-hella-lotto I can win in the next three and a half weeks?
Photo by Nissan
Last year, I posted about how I thought that the new cars developed by Group Lotus has lost its motoring ethos by wandering away from developing lightweight sports cars. Personally, I still believe that Danny Behar has corrupted the Lotus brand, not only in the motoring industry and in the motorsport world as well.
Listen to Chris Harris speaking about the new Lotus. (Sidenote- I love Chris, but this video feels like a Jeremy Clarkson overglorification look-alike.) At times, he makes it sound like the car could drive itself out of the corner by itself. Although that is a kudos to the new driver-assist aids developed in the new Exige, it begs the question. - ”Is that something that you want in a Lotus?”
Maybe in other cars. When I think Lotus though, I don’t want to think about driver assists. That’s what Audis are for.
Frank Profera- The guy who developed this Lotus is my hero. It’s not the fact that he build a Lotus with 680hp. It’s not the fact that it’s twin charged (turbocharged + supercharger). It’s not even the fact that the garage that built the car is in the middle of the boonies, ghetto, etc.
Anyone could do these things. That’s not why he’s my hero. It’s the fact that Frank Profera knows what he wants, and isn’t satisfied until he gets it. Listen to list of cars that he’s owned, and what he wanted out of this one. Insane!
“Hero status- Achieved.”
As a manufacturer, Pagani is an icon of the automotive world. A company which was designed by the dreams of one man, who believed that he could surpass the greats.
From the chassis to the interior, almost everything on Pagani’s, with the exception of the powerplants are designed in-house. This video provides unreal detail about how Pagani’s are constructed, and gives some ‘easter eggs’ about why the company lives as it does.
The designer of the Porsche 911 has passed away. FA “Butzi” Porsche was the grandson of the founder of the Porsche company and led the Porsche design studio in the early 1960s. His iconic 911 will celebrate its 50th year on sale in 2013. FA Porsche also designed the 904 GTS racing car and countless non-automotive products as an industrial designer.
The 911 is his legacy. Its shape is instantly recognizable by most everyone with even a slight familiarity of Western culture. Thank you Mr. Porsche for your contributions to automotive culture. A few pictures of my favorite 911 variants follow.
Since the VW Group took over Lamborghini, I’ve always felt that the Italian supercars have been too neutered and understated as modern supercars. For example: Compare the 80′s Countach to the Gallardo. I bet five dollars that the elder Countach’s flaired arches, sissor doors and V12 engine will get your blood pumping more than the modern cheese-wedge of the Gallardo.
However, this latest Lamborghini concept could provide me the excitement that I was looking for. All without adding a flight-mode or rocket boosters.
The J (pronouced ’Jota’) Roadster just reminds me of a super-powered KTM X-Bow, and I love that. Powered by the same V12 that is in the coupe, the J Roadster will be making 700hp and capable of 186mph. The lack of windscreen means that occupants will need a helmet, much like the Caterham/KTM/Ariel Atom equivalent.
A few weeks ago, we featured a post about the Juke-R. A Nissan Juke with GTR running gear. The team working on the car has turned around this project in an amazing amount of time.
Take a look at a shakedown video of the car on track. Super Crossover!
Followers of our blog know that I love Mazda Miata’s/Eunos Roadsters, even when I hated my own car. Another thing that I love are center-mounted tachometers. Personally as a driver, the engine revolutions and fluid temperatures are the only important pieces of information that I need to see.
So when I find a picture of a center-mounted tachometer in a Miata, it makes me a very happy boy.
I don’t know who created this cluster, and I wish I had more information. I believe that gauges are Defi.
What I do know is that I wish I had these gauges in my own Roadster.
Another fact- We at the StartingGrid, love the Pagani Zonda R.
It is a clear example of what happens when you give a designer, a pen and free will.
Fact- I love McLaren.
They are one of my favorite automotive brands. Passionate, intelligent, competitive and enthusiastic. McLaren represents a symbol of the automotive industry as a forward-thinker and a leader in new technological developments.
Today McLaren has officially opened the McLaren Production Center, development and production location for the McLaren MP4-12C. It’s a 20,000sq m facility, which churns out 6 MP4-12C a day. This facility is as beautifully designed, efficient and effective as the McLaren road car that it puts out.
Take a look at the demo video of the brand new facility.
It shows that they not only want to be winners in Formula 1, but winners in all areas of automotive development.
I saw this Alfa Giulietta Spider racer at the 2011 Northwest Historics. Its sunny disposition warms me with thoughts of balmy days at race tracks. The Giulietta Spider debuted in 1955 with an all aluminum 1300 cc twin cam engine. Though the horsepower and top speed figures were in the high two digit range, a normal Giulietta was far more fun to drive than its numbers would lead. The sporting models of Giuliettas, for a spider that model was the “Veloce”, received a higher state of tune and dual carburetors giving around 110 to 120 horsepower. This racer probably has the Veloce go fast bits and sounded great howling down the straight at Pacific Raceways.
The Fiat 500 has been on sale in the United States for just under a year. The 500 has been reviewed well and is selling at a good pace. Nearly every reviewer has made mention of the coming Abarth model and what the addition of 69 horsepower will do to an already fun to drive car.
Image credit: FIATALY
Regular readers of my posts (both of you) know that I like Fiat 500s and am considering buying one. Now, thanks to our friend FIATALY, we present these shots of the new North American version of the Fiat 500 Abarth. View FIATALY’s facebook page for all sorts of interesting Fiat 500 stuff!
Now, this is something interesting to start the morning off right. Nissan and RML are working on an exciting new project, called the ‘Juke-R’. Basically taking a Nissan Juke chassis and making it accept the driveline from a Nissan GTR. Super-crossover!
Some of you may be cringing at the thought of a modified (ie: re-designed) Juke, and ask ‘Why?’ But let’s think about it.
Shorter wheelbase than a GTR, which will lead to more dynamic handling. Lower weight than the GTR will yield to a higher power-to- weight ratio. Take into account that RML knows how to build quality racing cars, and you know that the car will have at least a decent center of gravity.
Reports hint that the Juke-R concept will have anywhere between 480hp and 530hp from the VR38DETT engine that’s going to be fitted into it. Nissan also note that they are only going to make a concept version of this car, which sadly makes sense. These one-off concepts normally never do well in production.
However, that doesn’t matter to me. This is a car I want to see on the track, immediately.
I think that the only thing more exciting, given the cars available would be Nissan creating an Renault R26.R- level version of the Nissan Versa or the Leaf. So let’s take what we can get.
Is Jaguar finally stepping into the modern era? I was just having a conversation with my girlfriend about Jaguar yesterday, and what the perception of the brand is to modern consumers.
Even with the revised styling changes that the brand has brought along in the last few years, Jaguar is still seen as a luxury brand that lacks sporting roots. (see:’car for old people’)
Jaguar has been trying to raise their profile by returning to racing with the ALMS GT race car, and competing in the SuperStars series, but I don’t see much of an trickle-down into their road cars to liven up the brand.
However, a new teaser video has been released of a prototype model of a new Jaguar, the C-X16. It has styling cues that remind me of the Maserati GranTurismo and the Ferrari California, which are both good reference points.
I don’t have much information on the specifications on the car, but if it goes as good as it looks, we’d all be in for a treat.
Jaguar C-X16 Concept Car film from Al Clark on Vimeo.
Europe releases some of the best sportscars, I’ve decided.
Here is another car that to my knowledge we don’t get here on US soil. The Farbio GTS.
From what I’ve read, the car has some connection to Ginetta, which raises more awesome points on my emotional ’cool-o-meter.’ Powered by a 3.0 supercharged V6 Ford powerplant, the Fabrio reminds me of the Lotus Evora in some of the style cues.
Thoughts? Is anyone else a fan, or is it just me?
The Mclaren F1 was initially designed to be a road-car only. Thankfully, Mclaren loves to win too much to leave things as they are. Therefore in 1995, they designed the Mclaren F1 GTR race car to compete at LeMans.
Next to the Mclaren F1 LM, this car is one of my favorites. (Check out the pictures and videos below.)
Editors Note: If the gallery thumbnail photos are appearing weird, WordPress is having a problem with their servers. The images appear fine once you click on them, and hopefully the issue will be sorted soon.
Like the early Lotus Europa, this is a car that I wish had been sold in the United States. Rear-engine, inline- four layout, rear wheel drive, and it’s unique styling make it a desired car for me. It looks like it should be something out of an anime!
Take a look at the pictures below at let me know what you think. If I could pick one up here, it would be mine, like that! <snaps>
Over the weekend, I found some interesting photos of German sports cars converted to rally-spec. I love the 964 rally car especially, so I’ve decided that will be the feature car.
Check out the gallery below.
I love learning new things about automobiles from different countries. These images are of a Saker SV1, I believe. From what I can find. Saker is a New Zealand or Dutch branding, and the company seems to have some competition history. (Formula Ford, Hillclimbs, etc).
I’m thinking that we’re looking at another ‘Noble’-esque type machine. Until I find more information on it, I’m going to reserve my judgement on whether it’s an awesome car or not.
Certainly looks the business, though.
After catching an image of it yesterday, I couldn’t get this car out of my mind. I had to do some more research on it. The body armor is a Koenig Special kit, and the car is being tuned and maintained by Nakamura Engineering in Japan. I haven’t found any performance specifications on it yet, but when I do I’ll update this thread.
I’m also taking a moment to try out a new ‘Gallery’ function on the image posts. How do you guys like it? Would you rather have image posts displayed this way from now on, or displayed throughout the text as before? Let me know, and I’ll be trying out the new setting for a few posts.
James May said it best when quoted that when you were a kid you had one of two things on your wall. Either a poster of a Lamborghini, or a supermodel. I was the kid with the Lamborghini.
Today, Mclaren released it’s FIA GT3 competition version of the MP4-12C. I personally love this car, as it’s aerodynamically beautiful, while providing the awesome handling that Mclaren is known for infusing into their cars.
Rumor has it that 20 of these cars will be built in preparation for the 2012 season. I’d love to get my hands on one. (Check out the video after the jump)
Now here is something that struck my interest. The Koenigsegg Agera R. It’s the successor to the CCR/CCX lineup of Sweden based supercars, which I’ve always been a fan of.
It’s not the fact that you can tune the car to run with 1115hp with E85 that excites me. It’s not the twin-turbo 5.0 V8 that gets me going. It’s not the triple damper suspension, or the dual clutch gearbox (which is exciting in of itself) that gets me worked up.
It’s the fact that it comes with a ski-rack. A supercar with a Thule ski-rack.
Maybe I should be looking at Jetta’s instead… Nah. (More pictures and video below.)
I’ve been giving some thought on what one of my next cars should be, after I move on from the Miata. Of course, after a while of thinking about sensible options (see: 30 seconds), my imagination started to take off. The nice thing about in your imagination, money is no object.
However, I haven’t gone off the deep end. At least not completely. One of the cars that I put on my list was the Caterham Super 7. At a glance, it seems perfect. Lightweight, good power to weight ratio and rear wheel drive. All wins.
Here is a car that I’ve been waiting for with baited breath. Mclaren’s MP4-12C. Below we have a brief highlight video of the car in action. (Check out the video after the jump)
A few weeks back, we did a shot on the classic Lancia Stratos and we told you that we were going to wait to talk about the newer one. Well, it’s time to have that chat. It’s got the core of an F430 Scuderia underneath, and a shorter wheelbase. It’s a looker.
Enjoy the videos and happy Friday.
Impressions from the New Stratos on the Circuit Paul Ricard from New Stratos on Vimeo.
I know that today was supposed to be mostly about GT Cars, but it’s nice to have passing thoughts. Enjoy.
Thankfully, our readers remind us when we miss out of something so we can show it to you. We were reminded that we can’t talk about the 928 without referencing this. Props to Kev for the video.
The Ford Focus RS was not a car that we really got Stateside. The best that we got was the SVT Focus, which wasn’t bad, but it was no RS model.
2.5 Liter Inline 5, 320HP, Front Wheel Drive with LSD, and a few other goodies. Continue reading
Figure that it’s St. Patrick’s Day that we should post some green cars. Nice and easy. Some of us will be celebrating harder than others, but please do not drink and drive.
Cool, now pics. Happy Saint Patty’s Day.
As much as we love talking about lightweight roadsters, and mid engined cars around here, sometimes we would just like a hint of comfort.
Not too much though. We might get used to it. Enter the E46. The last of the straight-six M3. Something about this car reminds us that you can have a fun lapping day car, and drive it home afterwards.
Not as many pictures here, because it is a passing thought, but we do love us some M3.
After taking a look at one of the latest releases from the German firm, we found ourselves aching for BMW which showed a bit more passion. Besides the E30 M3, the earlier M1 is another Bimmer that really makes us smile around these parts.
However, the Procar chalks up other pleasant emotions. (We can’t talk about it here. Kids may be reading this blog )
For those who don’t know anything about the M1 Procar: (Thanks Wikipedia!)
“The BMW M1 Procar Championship, sometimes known simply as Procar, was a one-make auto racing series created by Jochen Neerpasch, head of BMW Motorsport GmbH, the racing division of automobile manufacturer BMW. The series pitted professional drivers from the Formula One World Championship, World Sportscar Championship, European Touring Car Championship, and other international series against one another using identically modified BMW M1 sports cars.
Billed as an opportunity to see a mix of drivers from various motorsport disciplines,the championship served as support races for various European rounds of the 1979 Formula One season, with Formula One drivers earning automatic entry into the Procar event based on their performance in their Formula One cars. Austrian Niki Lauda won the inaugural championship. In 1980, the series held some events outside of Formula One schedule, and was won by Brazilian Nelson Piquet. BMW chose not to continue the championship in 1981 to concentrate on their entrance into Formula One.”
Alright, enough talking.
There are plenty of cars that spark inspiration. Just a quick glance at them, and the synapses start firing. We all have a few that really stick out. We were at the local kart track, chatting about the topic recently, and one car came to mind that just never left the conversation.
The Porsche 911 (964). Air-cooled, boxer engine, tuned suspension. Something about that shape, the sound of the exhaust, and the rear engine kept us coming back.
Wouldn’t you be inspired?