Shots

Thursday 11 January 2018

A few shots to close out fruitful 2017. Enjoy!















Porsche 959

Tuesday 9 January 2018
The Porsche 959 is a sports car manufactured by Porsche from 1986 to 1993, first as a Group B rally car and later as a legal production car designed to satisfy FIA homologation regulations requiring at least 200 street legal units be built.
When it was introduced, the twin-turbocharged 959 was the world's fastest street-legal production car, boasting a top speed of 195 miles per hour (314 km/h), with the sport model capable of reaching 197 miles per hour (317 km/h). During its production run it was hailed as the most technologically advanced road-going sports car ever built, and forerunner of all future super cars. It was one of the first high-performance vehicles with all-wheel drive, providing the basis for Porsche's first all-wheel drive Carrera 4 model. Its performance convinced Porsche executives to make all-wheel drive standard on all 911 Turbos starting with the 993. In 2004, Sports Car International named the 959 number one on its list of Top Sports Cars of the 1980s.
Development of the 959 (originally called the Gruppe B) started in 1981, shortly after the company's then-new Managing Director, Peter Schutz, took his office. Porsche's head engineer at the time, Helmuth Bott, approached Schutz with some ideas about the Porsche 911, or more aptly, a new one. Bott knew that the company needed a sports car that they could continue to rely on for years to come and that could be developed as time went on. Curious as to how much they could do with the rear-engined 911, Bott convinced Schutz that development tests should take place, and even proposed researching a new all wheel drive system. Schutz agreed, and gave the project the green light. Bott also knew through experience that a racing program usually helped to accelerate the development of new models. Seeing Group B rally racing as the perfect arena to test the new mule and its all wheel drive system, Bott again went to Schutz and got the go ahead to develop a car, based on his development mule, for competition in Group B.
Porsche developed an existing engine instead of creating a new one from scratch. The powerplant, a twin-turbocharged six-cylinder boxer engine with air-cooled cylinders and water-cooled heads, displaced 2.85 litres, about half a litre less than a contemporary 911 engine. It was coupled to a unique manual gearbox offering five forward speeds plus a "G" off-road gear, as well as reverse. The engine had originally been developed for the "Moby Dick" race car and then been redeveloped slightly for the short-lived Porsche Indy Car and several other projects before being tuned a last time for use in the 961, the 959's racing counterpart. The water-cooled four-valve cylinder heads combined with the air-cooled cylinders and sequential turbochargers allowed Porsche to extract 331 kW (444 hp) from the compact, efficient and rugged power unit. The use of sequential twin turbochargers rather than the more usual identical turbochargers for each of the two cylinder banks allowed for smooth delivery of power across the engine speed band, in contrast to the abrupt on-off power characteristic that distinguished Porsche's other turbocharged engines of the period. The engine was used, virtually unchanged, in the 959 road car as well.
To create a rugged, lightweight shell, Porsche adopted an aluminium and Aramid (Kevlar) composite for body use along with a Nomex floor, instead of the steel normally used on their production cars. The vehicle's weight of 1,450 kilograms (3,200 lb) helped to achieve its high performance level.
Porsche also developed the car's aerodynamics, which were designed to increase stability, as was the automatic ride-height adjustment that became available on the road car (961 race cars had fixed suspensions). Its "zero lift" aerodynamics were a big part of keeping it drivable. The 959 also featured Porsche-Steuer Kupplung (PSK) which was at the time the most advanced all-wheel-drive system in a production car. Capable of dynamically changing the torque distribution between the rear and front wheels in both normal and slip conditions, the PSK system gave the 959 the adaptability it needed both as a race car and as a "super" street car. Under hard acceleration, PSK could send as much as 80% of available power to the rear wheels, helping make the most of the rear-traction bias that occurs at such times. It could also vary the power bias depending on road surface and grip changes, helping maintain traction at all times. The dashboard featured gauges displaying the amount of rear differential slip as well as transmitted power to the front axle. The magnesium alloy wheels were unique, being hollow inside to form a sealed chamber contiguous with the tire and equipped with a built-in tire pressure monitoring system.
All Porsche 959s were actually produced at Baur, not at Porsche, on an assembly line with Porsche inspectors overseeing the finished bodies. Most of Porsche's special order interior leather work was also done by the workers at Baur.
The 1983 Frankfurt Motor Show was chosen for the unveiling of the Porsche Group B prototype. Even in the closing hours of October 9, finishing touches were being applied to the car to go on display the next morning. After the first two prototypes, the bodywork was modified to include air vents in the front and rear wheel housings, as well as intake holes behind the doors. The first prototype modified like this was code named "F3", and was destroyed in the first crash test.
The road version of the 959 debuted at the 1985 Frankfurt Motor Show as a 1986 model, but numerous issues delayed production by more than a year. The car was manufactured in two levels of trim, "Sport" and "Komfort", corresponding to the race version and the road version. First customer deliveries of the 959 street variant began in 1987, and the car debuted at a cost of US$225,000 per unit, still less than half what it cost Porsche to build each one. Production ended in 1988 with 292 959s from the assembly line. In total, 337 cars were built, including 37 prototypes and pre-production models. At least one 959 and one 961 remain in the Porsche historic hall in Stuttgart, Germany.
In 1992/1993, Porsche built eight 959s assembled from spare parts from the inventory at the manufacturing site in Zuffenhausen. All eight were "Komfort" versions: four in red and four in silver. These cars were much more expensive (DM 747,500) than the earlier ones (DM 420,000). The later cars also featured a newly developed speed-sensitive damper system. The cars were sold to selected collectors after being driven by works personnel for some time and are today by far the most sought-after 959s.
The 959 was not street legal in the United States prior to 1999 when the "Show and Display" law was passed, although an unknown number were imported via the "grey market" during the late 1980s as show pieces. During the model's development Porsche refused to provide the United States Department of Transportation with the four 959s they required for crash testing, and the car was never certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for street use in the U.S. In 2001, with the passage of "Show and Display", the crash test requirements were removed and importation of the 959 was allowed, assuming the car could meet the emissions standards applicable in 1987. The 959 can be fitted with a catalytic converter and a re-chipped computer which allows it to meet those emissions requirements. As they are pre-1996 they would not be required to pass any emissions testing anymore: due to the fact that most 959s are now over 25 years old and therefore completely legal for US importation, they are no longer required to comply with show and display laws.
Most owners refuse to modify their 959s, however, and the cars remain collection pieces. Most 959s are in the hands of collectors, but a few do occasionally come to market.






Technical data:
- engine: 6 cylinders
- capacity: 2849 cc
- horsepower: 444 HP
- gearbox: 6+1
- top speed: 280 km/h

Mercury Turnpike Cruiser

Sunday 19 November 2017
The Mercury Turnpike Cruiser is a full-size automobile that was the flagship model of the Mercury division of Ford Motor Company for the 1957 and 1958 model years. Named after the 1956 creation of the Interstate Highway System, the Turnpike Cruiser was produced in two-door and four-door hardtop bodystyles. In 1957, a two-door convertible was also produced, serving as the pace car for the Indianapolis 500 of that year.
They are best known for the unique styling cues and wide array of gadgets including a "Breezeway" power rear window that could be lowered to improve ventilation, "twin jet" air intakes at upper corners of car's windshield, "seat-o-matic" automatically adjusting seat, and an average speed "computer" (that would tell your average speed at any point along a trip).
For 1957, the Turnpike Cruiser was the premium model offering from Mercury. In addition to its unique features, the car was further differentiated from other Mercury models by a gold anodized trim strip in the car's rear fin. It came standard with an automatic transmission and a 368-c.i.d. engine producing 290 horsepower (220 kW); this engine was optional on other Mercurys. A tachometer was available. Safety features such as an impact absorbing, deep-dish steering wheel, front seat stops (to keep the front seat from breaking away) and safety door locks were standard, while seat belts and a padded dash were optional.
The Turnpike Cruiser would comprise 8.47% of Mercury sales in 1957. Motor Trend gave high marks for fuel economy (14.6mpg at 60mph) and comfort, low for handling.






Technical data:
- engine: V8
- capacity: 6200 cc
- horsepower: 290 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 150 km/h

Toyota Crown S40

Sunday 19 November 2017
The Toyota Crown (Japanese: トヨタクラウン Toyota Kuraun) is a line of mid/full-size luxury sedans by Toyota primarily aimed at the Japanese market and sold in other select Asian markets.
Introduced in 1955, it has served as the mainstream sedan from Toyota in the Japanese market throughout its existence and holds the distinction of being the longest running passenger-car nameplate affixed to any Toyota model, along with being the first Toyota vehicle to be exported to the United States in 1958. Its traditional competitors in Japan and Asia have been the Nissan Cedric/Gloria/Fuga and the Honda Legend, along with the defunct Mazda Luce, Isuzu Bellel, and Mitsubishi Debonair.
Available at Toyota Store dealers in Japan, the Crown has been popular for government usage, whether as a police car or for transporting government officials. It has also been popular with Japanese companies as company cars along with use as a taxicab. While a base Crown was available for many years aimed at the taxicab market, the increasing opulence and price of the Crown line led to the creation of the Toyota Comfort in 1995 as a more affordable alternative.
In North America, the first through fourth generations were offered from 1958 through 1973. It was replaced with the Toyota Corona Mark II. The Crown has also been partially succeeded in export markets by its closely related sibling, the Lexus GS, which since its debut in 1991 as the Toyota Aristo has always shared the Crown's platform and powertrain options. Later models of the GS and Crown have taken on a very strong aesthetic kinship through shared design cues.
The Crown's history and reputation has given it prominence in the Toyota lineup, as it is one of the few current Toyota models to carry its own unique insignia for the model line with the current Crown having a stylized crown emblem on the grille and steering wheel along with inspiring the names of its smaller progenitors. The Corona, introduced as a smaller companion to the Crown means "crown" in Latin and was initially exported as the "Tiara", while the Corolla took its name from the regal chaplet. The Camry's name is derived from the Japanese phrase kanmuri (冠, かんむり) meaning "little crown" and the Toyota Scepter took its name from the sceptre, an accessory to a crown.
Due to the introduction of the Corona, the dramatically restyled and enlarged Series S40 was launched in 1962, and saw the introduction of the Custom model. According to the Japanese Wikipedia article for the Crown, the styling was said to be influenced by the recently introduced Ford Falcon in 1960. The front grille approach has a similar appearance to the 1960 Imperial Crown (Chrysler), which speaks to Toyota's aspirations that the Crown be a large, comfortable sedan. The station wagon body style carried over from the previous generation Masterline, but with more attention to the luxurious approach used on the Crown.
Headlights were integrated within the boundaries of the greatly enlarged grille, providing a clean, modern appearance. A 2-speed automatic transmission was introduced, called Toyoglide, with a column shift. A bigger and better car than the previous S30 series, it initially had four-cylinder R-series engines before the addition of the "M" six-cylinder engine in 1965. Deluxe and Super Deluxe models were available with added features. The sedan and wagon were known simply as the Crown while the commercial vehicles (coupe utility, double cab coupe utility (pick ups), and van) were known as the Masterline. There was also a limited run of the sedan known as the Toyota Crown S (MS41S) which featured twin SU style carburettors on the 2.0L M in-line-six engine, sportier camshaft, sports instrumentation, sports suspension, 4 speed floor shift, bucket seats, 14 inch wheels, disc brakes on the front and larger drum brakes in the rear.
This Crown became the first Toyota to be exported to Europe, after the head of Denmark's Erla Auto Import A/S saw it at the Tokyo Motor Show. They brought in 190 of these subsequent to a May 1963 agreement. In the US, the MS41L sedan was available in the US for $2,305.00 PoE while the MS46LG station wagon was available for $2,525.00 PoE. Some optional features include an automatic transmission for $160 and a radio for $60.
A two-door Crown Convertible was displayed at the 1963 Tokyo Motor Show, based on the Crown 1900 sedan. It was not put into production.
This Crown generation was the first to be assembled in Australia, from CKD kits, by AMI in Port Melbourne, with significant local content. AMI, which assembled numerous brands including Triumph and, for a short time, Mercedes-Benz, was to become the basis of Toyota's current Australian manufacturing operation.






Technical data:
- engine: 4 cylinders
- capacity: 2000 cc
- horsepower: 110 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 180 km/h

Mercedes Benz C111

Saturday 18 November 2017
The Mercedes-Benz C111 was a series of experimental automobiles produced by Mercedes-Benz in the 1960s and 1970s. The company was experimenting with new engine technologies, including Wankel engines, diesel engines, and turbochargers, and used the basic C111 platform as a testbed. Other experimental features included multi-link rear suspension, gull-wing doors and a luxurious interior with leather trim and air conditioning.
The first version of the C111 was completed in 1969. The car used a fiberglass body shell and with a mid-mounted three-rotor direct fuel injected Wankel engine (code named M950F). The next C111 appeared in 1970. It used a four-rotor engine producing 257 kW (350 hp). The car reportedly could reach a speed of 300 km/h (186 mph).
The company decided not to adopt the Wankel engine and turned to Diesel experiments for the second and third C111s. The C111-IID produced 140 kW (190 hp) and was based on the 240D 3.0 W115 model OM617 engine. The C111-III was powered by a 170 kW (230 hp) at 4,500 rpm straight-five OM617 turbocharged Diesel that broke nine Diesel and gasoline speed records. With more aerodynamic bodywork that gave it an air drag coefficient of .191, the C111 eventually reached 200 mph (322 km/h) at the Nardò Ring in 1978, and averaged 16.0 liters/100 km at 316 km/h (14.7 mpg at 195.4 mph) over a 12-hour cruise. A later 372 kW (500 hp) 4.8 L twin KKK-turbocharged V8 version set another record, with an average lap-speed of 403.78 km/h (250.958 mph). This was achieved by Hans Leibold in 1 minute, 56.67 seconds on May 5, 1979. Total production was 16 cars: 13 first and second generation Wankel engined cars, 2 diesel engined third generation cars used in the Nardo record attempt, and a single V8 engined fourth generation car.
Mercedes-Benz introduced the C112 at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1991 as a proposed production sports car. The car used a mid-mounted 6.0 L V12 engine. After accepting 700 deposits, the company decided not to proceed with production.






Technical data:
- engine: V6
- capacity: 2400 cc
- horsepower: 190 HP
- gearbox: 5+1
- top speed: 310 km/h

Maserati Indy

Saturday 18 November 2017
The Maserati Indy (Tipo AM 116) is a four-seater fastback grand tourer produced by Italian car manufacturer Maserati from 1969 to 1975.
The Indy was conceived as an alternative to the Ghibli offering a V8 engine and room for four people; it effectively replaced both the ageing six-cylinder 2+2 Maserati Sebring—which descended from the 1957 3500 GT— and the first generation Quattroporte. Two coachbuilders showed their proposals at the November 1968 Salone dell'automobile di Torino, both based on a Maserati 4.2-litre chassis. On Ghia's stand there was the Simùn, a 2+2 berlinetta designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro; on Carrozzeria Vignale's, a sleek 4-seater fastback penned by Giovanni Michelotti. Both coachbuilders had already an established relationship with Maserati, as Vignale had been responsible for the 3500 GT Spyder, Mexico and Sebring, while Giugiaro had recently penned the Ghibli at Ghia.
Vignale's prototype was preferred, and the production model was launched by Maserati at the Geneva Motor Show the following March. The car was christened Indy in honour of Maserati's two victories at the Indy 500.
At its launch in 1969 the Indy was offered with a 4.2-litre V8 engine. From 1970 a 4.7-litre Indy 4700 was offered alongside the 4200; the same year some interior updates were introduced, including seats with retractable headrests and a new dashboard. In 1972, Maserati added the Indy 4900 to the range, equipped with the new 4.9-litre V8.
Production of the Indy ended in 1975. In total 1,104 were produced, 440 of them Indy 4.2s, 364 Indy 4.7s and 300 Indy 4.9s.
The Indy used unibody construction. The suspension layout was shared with the Ghibli. At the front there were double wishbones, with coaxial hydraulic dampers and coil springs, and an anti-roll bar. At the rear there was a live axle with semi-elliptic springs, a single longitudinal torque arm, hydraulic dampers and an anti-roll bar. Brakes were vented and servo-assisted discs on all four wheels. The engines were Maserati's own all-aluminium, four overhead cam Tipo 107 V8 family, and were fed by four Weber 42 DCNF twin-choke carburettors; they had a wet sump, and were thus related but different from the higher output, dry sump Tipo 115 units of the flagship Ghibli.






Technical data:
- engine: V8
- capacity: 4700 cc
- horsepower: 320 HP
- gearbox: 5+1
- top speed: 250 km/h

Ferrari 250 GT

Friday 17 November 2017
The Ferrari 250 is a sports car built by Ferrari from 1953 to 1964. The company's most successful early line, the 250 series included several variants. It was replaced by the 275 and the 330.
Most 250 road cars share the same two wheelbases, 2,400 mm (94.5 in) for short wheelbase (SWB) and 2,600 mm (102.4 in) for long wheelbase (LWB). Most convertibles used the SWB type.
Nearly all 250s share the same Colombo Tipo 125 V12 engine. At 2,953 cc (180 cu in), it was notable for its light weight and impressive output of up to 300 PS (221 kW; 296 hp) in the Testa Rossa and GTO. The V12 weighed hundreds of pounds less than its chief competitors — for example, it was nearly half the weight of the Jaguar XK straight-6. Ferrari uses the displacement of a single cylinder as the model designation.
The light V12 propelled the small Ferrari 250 racing cars to numerous victories.
One of the most notable GT racers of its time, the 1959 250 GT Berlinetta SWB used a short (2,400 mm (94.5 in)) wheelbase for better handling. Of the 176 examples built, both steel and aluminum bodies were used in various road ("lusso") and racing trims. Engine output ranged from 240 PS (177 kW; 237 hp) to 280 PS (206 kW; 276 hp). The "lusso" road car version was originally fitted with 185VR15 Pirelli Cinturato (CA67).
Development of the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta was handled by Giotto Bizzarrini, Carlo Chiti, and young Mauro Forghieri, the same team that later produced the 250 GTO. Disc brakes were a first on a Ferrari GT, and the combination of low weight, high power, and well-sorted suspension made it competitive. It was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in October and quickly began selling and racing. The SWB Berlinetta won Ferrari the GT class of the 1961 Constructor's Championship.
In 2004, Sports Car International placed the 250 GT SWB seventh on a list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s, and Motor Trend Classic placed it fifth on a list of the ten "Greatest Ferraris of all time".






Technical data:
- engine: V12
- capacity: 3000 cc
- horsepower: 237 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 250 km/h