Ford Taunus P7 17M

Thursday 2 January 2020
The Ford 17 M was a range of large family saloons/sedans produced by Ford of Germany between Autumn 1967 and December 1971. There were, at launch, four different engine sizes available, ranging from 1.5 to 2.3 litres. A more lavishly appointed version of the car, branded as the Ford 20 M was also offered, but only with the larger two engines.

The facelift of 1968, undertaken when the car had been on sale for less than a year, did not significantly change the overall silhouette of the car (here shown as a 2-door coupé) but the new version came with several of the bumps and creases removed. The result was that the facelifted car looked even larger than the earlier one, but less fussy. The range was subsequently broadened further, and from 1969 the Ford 26 M joined the range, featuring the same body, but a larger engine, automatic transmission as standard, and various other luxury features.

The Taunus 17M name had been applied to a succession of family saloons/sedans from Ford Germany since 1957, but the introduction of the 1967 car coincided with the removal of the “Taunus” name. Nevertheless, for the avoidance of confusion the 17M and 20M models introduced in 1967 as well as the 26M introduced in 1969 are usually identified, in retrospect, as the Ford P7. It was the seventh newly designed German Ford to be launched after the war and for this reason it was from inception known within the company as Ford Project 7 (P7) or more simply as the Ford P7.

During the months following its introduction sales were disappointing and the company rushed to produce an extensively face-lifted model. This appeared, with various styling changes and a modified range of engine options, in August 1968, less than a year after the P7’s introduction. To differentiate between the model produced before August 1968, and that produced between August 1968 and the end of 1971, the former is normally designated as the Ford P7a and the latter as the Ford P7b.

Between September 1967 and August 1968 155,780 P7a models were produced.

Between August 1968 and December 1971 567,482 P7b models were produced.

Technical data:
- engine: V4
- capacity: 1699 cc
- horsepower: 75 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 150 km/h

Volvo P1800 S Rocket

Wednesday 1 January 2020
The project was started in 1957 because Volvo wanted a sports car, despite the fact that their previous attempt, the P1900 had been a disaster, with only 68 cars sold. The man behind the project was an engineering consultant to Volvo, Helmer Pettersson, who in the 1940s was responsible for the Volvo PV444. The design work was done by Helmer's son Pelle Pettersson, who worked at Pietro Frua at that time. The Italian Carrozzeria Pietro Frua design firm (then a recently acquired subsidiary of Ghia) built the first three prototypes, designated: P958-X1, P958-X2 and P958-X3.

In December 1957 Helmer Petterson drove X1, (the first hand-built P1800 prototype) to Osnabruck, West Germany, headquarters of Karmann. Petterson hoped that Karmann would be able to take on the tooling and building of the P1800. Karmann's engineers had already been preparing working drawings from the wooden styling buck at Frua. Petterson and Volvo chief engineer Thor Berthelius met there, tested the car and discussed the construction with Karmann. They were ready to build it and this meant that the first cars could hit the market as early as December 1958. But in February, Karmann's most important customer, Volkswagen VAG, forbade Karmann to take on the job. They were afraid that the P1800 would compete with the sales of their own cars, and threatened to cancel all their contracts with Karmann if they took on the coachbuilding of this car. This setback almost caused the project to be abandoned.

Other German firms NSU, Drautz and Hanomag were contacted but none of them was selected because Volvo did not believe these firms met their manufacturing quality control standards.

It began to appear that Volvo might never produce the P1800. This motivated Petterson to obtain financial backing from two financial firms with the intention of buying the components directly from Volvo, and marketing the car himself. At this point Volvo had made no mention of the P1800 and the factory would not comment. Then a press release surfaced with a photo of the car, putting Volvo in a position where they had to acknowledge the car's existence. These events influenced the company to renew its efforts, and it turned to Jensen Motors whose production lines were under capacity, and they agreed to a contract of 10,000 cars. The Linwood, Scotland body plant of manufacturer Pressed Steel was in turn contracted by Jensen to create the unibody shell, which then shipped via rail to be assembled at Jensen in West Bromwich, England. In September 1960, the first production
P1800 (for the 1961 model year) left Jensen for an eager public.

The engine provided was the B18 with dual SU carburettors, producing 100 hp (75 kW). This variant (named B18B) had a different camshaft from, and higher compression than, the slightly less powerful twin-carb B18D used in the contemporary Amazon 122S. The 'new' B18 was actually developed from the pre-existing B36 V8 engine employed in Volvo trucks at the time. This cut production costs, as well as furnishing the P1800 with a strong engine boasting five main crank bearings. The B18 was matched with the new and more robust M40 manual gearbox through 1963. From 1963 to 1972 the M41 gearbox with electrically actuated overdrive was a popular option. Two overdrive types where used, the D-Type through 1969, and the J-type through 1973. The J-type had a slightly shorter ratio of 0.797:1 as opposed to 0.756:1 for the D-type. The addition of this overdrive gave the 1800 series a defacto fifth gear, allowing it greater fuel efficiency and decreased drivetrain wear. Cars sold without overdrive had a numerically lower geared differential, which had the interesting effect of giving them a somewhat higher top speed (just under 120 mph) than the more popular overdrive models. This was because the non-overdrive cars could reach the engine's redline in top gear, while the overdrive-equipped cars could not, giving the latter a top speed of roughly 110 mph (177 km/h).

As time progressed, Jensen had problems with quality control, so the contract was ended early at 6,000 cars. In 1963 production was moved to Volvo's Lundby Plant in Gothenburg and the car's name was changed to 1800S (the 'S' indicating Swedish assembly). The engine was improved with an additional 8 hp (6 kW). In 1966 the four-cylinder engine was updated to 115 hp (86 kW). In 1969 the B18 engine was replaced with the 2-liter B20B variant of the B20 giving 118 bhp (89 kW), though it kept the designation 1800S. For 1970 numerous changes came with the fuel-injected 1800E, which had the B20E engine with Bosch DJetronic fuel injection and a revised camshaft and produced 130 bhp (97 kW) from its 2-litres without sacrificing fuel economy. Top speed was around 190 km/h (just under 120 mph) and acceleration from 0-100km was 9.5 seconds. In addition, the 1970 model was the first 1800 to appear with four-wheel disc brakes. Prior to this, the 1800 series had front discs and rear drums.

In 1972 came the last model, the 1800ES, a hatchback or station wagon version with an allglass tailgate; the engine was downgraded to 125 bhp (92 kW) by reducing the compression ratio with a thicker head gasket (engine variant B20F); although maximum power was slightly down the engine was less "peaky" and the real-world performance was actually improved. For the last model year, 1973, only the 1800ES was produced. Total production of the 1800 line from 1961 through 1973 was 47,492 units. Production ended on June 27, 1973 although Volvo was in negotiations with Sergio Coggiola concerning a possible P1800ESC. While Volvo never produced factory convertibles of the 1800, these were produced in the aftermarket. A Long Island, NY (USA) dealer, Volvoville, advertised a convertible version.

A white Volvo P1800 (with licence plate ST1) driven by Simon Templar, played by Roger Moore, was featured in the TV series The Saint beginning in 1962 and played a prominent role throughout the entire run of the show. There were two exciting new cars introduced at the Paris Auto Show in 1962, and Jaguar was first offered the opportunity to provide an EType car for the series but declined as they had too much demand already and didn't see the need for additional press (a similar situation arose with Mars Candies' M&Ms and Reese's Pieces in the movie E.T.). Volvo was then asked for a P1800, and they jumped at the chance leading to a nice increase of sales of the P1800 and the creation of a 1960s' icon. Later, in the 1970s when The Return of the Saint was created, Jaguar made up for their mistake and offered the new XJ-S for the series. One of the Volvo 1800s used in the Saint TV series in 1967 has been faithfully restored and is now owned by Bill Krzastek. It does indeed look like a giant-size Corgi Saint Volvo, and it has appeared in a number of auto shows.

Technical data:
- engine: 4 cylinders
- capacity: 2000 cc
- horsepower: 125 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 170 km/h

Ford Taunus P2 17M

Tuesday 31 December 2019
the Ford Taunus 17 M is a middle sized family saloon/sedan that was produced by Ford Germany between August 1957 and August 1960. The Taunus 17M name was also applied to subsequent Ford models which is why the car is usually identified, in retrospect, as the Ford Taunus P2. It was the second newly designed German Ford to be launched after the war and for this reason it was from inception known within the company as Ford Project 2 (P2) or the Ford Taunus P2. Because of its unusually flamboyant styling the first 17M also acquired various descriptive soubriquets of which "Barocktaunus“ is probably, today, the most widely used.

During a three-year production run 239,978 Taunus P2s were manufactured.

The early sketches for Ford's new middle class sedan date from early in 1955. Originally it was intended that the car be powered by the 1498 cc ohv engine installed in the Taunus 15M which went on sale in the same year. The design for the body quickly grew too large and heavy for the 55 PS (40 kW; 54 hp) 1498 cc unit, however, and so the company developed a bored out 1698 cc version of the engine, now producing 60 PS (44 kW; 59 hp).

At the end of the summer of 1957, memorably, the car was launched at an upmarket Cologne restaurant by the singing star Gitta Lind. Lind's singing style was not one with wide appeal in most of the US or the UK, where she may be chiefly noteworthy as a great niece of Beethoven’s piano teacher. The singer’s own compositional talent was on display with the song she wrote for the occasion which was entitled "Fahren auch Sie den neuen Taunus 17M" ("You too drive the new Taunus 17M"). The next month the Ford Taunus 17M itself appeared as one of the stars at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

In addition to the relatively mild "baroque“ insult, Ford's new middle-weight quickly gained other informal names including "Gelsenkirchener Barock“ and "Fliegender Teppich“ (Flying carpet). Gelsenkirchener Baroque, a term frequently applied to the Taunus P2 in press reviews, was a style more generally associated with heavy furniture in the newly confident German empire during the closing decades of the nineteenth century. The style, which contrasted with the uncompromised functionalism more usually associated with German design in recent decades, enjoyed a brief revival in the 1950s. Competitor automakers at this time also emulated US styling cues, using large amounts of chrome on the body work and incorporating exaggerated fins, but in 1957 it was nevertheless hard to find any Borgward or Opel decorated with more chrome, nor featuring longer or larger tail fins than the Ford Taunus P2. The sharp “markers” atop the four wings of the car did nevertheless confer a practical benefit by making it very easy to determine, from the driver's seat, precisely where the car ended.

For buyers who found a standard Ford Taunus 17M unacceptably restrained, Ford offered the Taunus 17M deluxe: this provided a two tone paint finish, an interior enhanced with Brocade coverings, an exceptionally stylish steering wheel, a tachometer shaped like a kidney, and even more chrome on the outside of the body. More than fifty years later the Taunus P2 has become very rare, and surviving examples tend to be of these deluxe versions.

The “Flying carpet” soubriquet seems to have been the response of a keen drivers to the company's attempts to give the car the ride and handling characteristics commensurate with its flamboyant bodywork, modelled on the North American boulevard cruisers of the day, set up for a country associated with straighter, wider and more even roads than those commonly encountered in Europe then or indeed now. The car was mostly inspired from the 1955 Ford, especially the Deluxe version that had the same styling as the American counterpart.

Technical data:
- engine: 4 cylinders
- capacity: 1698 cc
- horsepower: 60 HP
- gearbox: 3+1
- top speed: 120 km/h

Toyota Mark II

Monday 30 December 2019
The Toyota Mark II (Japanese: トヨタ・マークII Toyota Māku II) is a compact, later mid-size sedan manufactured and marketed in Japan by Toyota between 1968 and 2004. Prior to 1984, the model was marketed as the Toyota Corona Mark II. In some export markets, Toyota marketed the vehicle as the Toyota Cressida between 1976 and 1992 across four generations. Toyota replaced the rear-wheel-drive Cressida in North America with the front-wheel-drive Avalon. Every Mark II and Cressida was manufactured at the Motomachi plant at Toyota, Aichi, Japan from September 1968 to October 1993, and later at the Miyata plant at Miyawaka, Fukuoka from December 1992 to October 2000, with some models also assembled in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Arriving in August 1984, the fifth generation dropped the "Corona" name in Japan and became simply the Toyota Mark II. This generation Mark II had a lot of rivals including the Nissan Leopard, as well as the traditional competitor Nissan Laurel sedan. The Mark II continued to remain very viable for fleet sales, government agencies and taxi services. There are two different variations of the Mark II; the Hardtop and the Sedan. Visually they are different on the exterior while the interior remains untouched. Exterior changes on the Hardtop version includes a slanted nose which requires a new grille, a thinner headlamp assembly that match the slanted nose, frameless door windows, thinner tail lamp, front fenders and bumper. Body panel is stamped different from the standard version. The Standard version is exactly like the MX73 Toyota Cressida. It does not have the aggressive slanted front end, conservative body panels and framed windows.

The Mark II (and its sister cars) received a Twin Turbo version of the 1G inline-six in October 1985. This powerful engine made the earlier turbocharged M-TE engine superfluous and it was discontinued. In August 1986 the range received a minor facelift and some technical improvements. The 1.8-liter LPG engine was replaced by a 2-liter version. The X70 station wagon was produced from 1984 to 1997 with only a few minor revisions over the years. In most markets, sales of this wagon was stopped when the next model of the sedan was introduced but they continued to be sold in Japan for use as delivery vehicles. It was finally superseded by the front-wheel-drive Mark II Qualis that was based on the Camry Gracia.

Technical data:
- engine: 4 cylinders
- capacity: 1988 cc
- horsepower: 135 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 160 km/h

MAN 626 H

Sunday 29 December 2019
Not much information on that truck available. Please share if you have anything.

Technical data:
- engine: 6 cylinders
- capacity: 5600 cc
- horsepower: 320 HP
- gearbox: 5+1
- top speed: 90 km/h

Opel Kadett E Caravan

Saturday 28 December 2019
The Kadett E (Vauxhall Astra Mark 2 in the UK) was introduced in August 1984, and was voted 1985 European Car of the Year. The 1984 model was also developed into a more conventional three-box design with a boot (trunk), badged as the Vauxhall Belmont in the UK and the Opel Monza in South Africa, launched at Frankfurt 1985. This was awarded 1985 Semperit Irish Car of the Year in Ireland. There was a station wagon called the "Caravan" available, with either three or five doors.

A convertible version was also available, for the first time in 1987, built by Bertone of Torino/Italy, bringing it to line with competitors such as the Ford Escort and Volkswagen Golf. For the 1988 model, capacities were raised to from 1.3 to 1.4 litres. In the fall of 1986 a new 1,998 cc engine replaced the 1.8 hitherto used on the GSi and Vauxhall Astra GTE in many markets, although the 1.8 continued to be sold in some places. In
1988, a 16-valve twin-cam version was developed for a high-performance GSi/GTE model, yielding 156 PS (115 kW) in non-catalyzed form, six less horsepower with a catalytic converter fitted.

The Kadett E has been seen as a grey import in the UK, but it is quite rare compared to the Vauxhall Astra Mark 2. It was never officially sold in Britain, and by 1989 General Motors was only marketing the Vauxhall brand in the UK. There was also a van version The Kadett E was introduced in Brazil as the Chevrolet Kadett, but the three-door station wagon (later also five-door) was called the Chevrolet Ipanema. Brazilian production commenced in April 1989, with the Ipanema being added in October of the same year. From 1992 Brazilian Kadetts/Ipanemas received fuel injection. Brazilian cars received either 1.8 or 2.0-litre petrol fours.

In the early 1990s, South African Kadett GSi's were further upgraded based on their success in production car racing and initially 500 special units were built as road cars for homologation purposes. This was a minimum requirement for entry into the Stannic Group N races. They went against BMW's 325iS (A 2.7 litre homologation special from BMW). They featured more aggressive 276-degree camshafts made by Schrick with 2 different settings for timing overlap (110° and 107°), revised intake and exhaust modifications (4-in-1 branch manifold and freeflow exhaust), Irmscher spring kit, modified engine management system by Promotec, a limited slip differential developed by Andre Verwey and special Aluett 7Jx15-inch ET35 alloy wheels, they were nicknamed the "Superboss" and held the world record for the most torque per liter (114 Nm per liter) until recently beaten by the Ferrari 458 (117 Nm per liter). After the first 500 units were produced, many more were built to satisfy public demand.

The Kadett E formed the basis of the Daewoo LeMans (later known as the Daewoo Cielo, Racer and Nexia) in South Korea, Nexia being the hatchback version), which was sold in the United States and New Zealand as the Pontiac LeMans, and in Canada (initially) as the Passport Optima. LeMans sales ended in 1993. The Nexia is still being produced at UzDaewoo plant in Asaka, Uzbekistan. The Cielo was last being produced at Automobile Craiova, a semi-independent (from GM) plant in Craiova, Romania. Their license expired in the fall of 2006.

Technical data:
- engine: 4 cylinders
- capacity: 1196 cc
- horsepower: 83 HP
- gearbox: 5+1
- top speed: 168 km/h


Friday 27 December 2019
This is a firefighting version of the vehicle described here.

Technical data:
- engine: 4 cylinders
- capacity: 6500 cc
- horsepower: 125 HP
- gearbox: 5+1
- top speed: 80 km/h