Et pendant ce temps, ailleurs sur la toile…


22/01/2021
“You built a time machine…

… out of a DeLorean?”

– Launched 40 years ago today the brushed stainless steel paneled car with the full-wing doors was an eye-catcher from day one. Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro it earned worldwide fame in Back to the Future as Doc Browns 1.21 gigawatt powered time machine.


21/01/2021
Veep

History made

– Today saw the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States along with his Vice President Kamala Harris. Becoming the first woman in that role. After how long? She’s also the first of African and Asian descent. Thulasendrapuram, her grandfather’s village in southern India celebrated her elected success and today is certainly partying with the swearing in of one of their daughters.


20/01/2021
Seventy Five

– “If you don’t like the road you’re walking start paving another one!” Dolly Parton

She’s celebrating her 75th birthday today.


19/01/2021
Building Arch Span Earth

BASE

– Forty years ago today saw the first pair of skydivers make the first completion of the necessary jumps to achieve B.A.S.E. When they leapt from a Houston skyscraper. Today one or two courageous daredevil’s have added “moto ground launch” to their repertoire.

Moss Motoring
18/01/2021
Yes. In This Car. Part III

By Roy Locock

So far, if you’re just now joining my MG Midget journey, I’ve traveled from Oxford, England, across Europe, through Iran, Pakistan and from the Himalayas to the south of India. Then, completing a 12,000 mile circuit of Australia, I drove “Bridget the Midget” across Argentina into Chile and up to the Peru Border.

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Traditional performers in Cusco, Peru

Crossing the border into Peru was fairly painless, taking only about an hour and a half, and most of that time was queuing. We made our way to Nazca from where I intended to turn right and go down to Cusco and Machu Picchu. However, torrential rains left the roads in a dreadful condition and having driven 40 miles at no more than 20mph, I decided it would be reckless to push Bridget to continue. The distance to Machu Picchu was only 250 miles each way but I don’t think that Bridget would have survived. We returned to Nazca, I parked Bridget in the hotel car park, and caught an overnight bus to Cusco.

The journey was indeed a nightmare even in a modern Marcopolo coach, and the potholes and loose rocks scattered across the road meant the journey took almost ten hours. I found a hotel and grabbed a few hours sleep, which had been impossible in the bus. The journey was worth the discomfort. I took the local train to Machu Picchu and was awestruck by the ancient creation by the Inca people.

On my return to Nazca I collected Bridget and took her to a local garage. The exhaust pipe had taken a hard knock during the aborted run and had broken a weld joint. I had it re-attached and a small hole repaired. Then we re-joined the Pan American Highway heading north towards Lima and the next frontier. I decided not to stop in Lima but to press on towards Ecuador, which was still two days away. The Pan American Highway however goes through the city so I wouldn’t miss it altogether, and more to the point I would not avoid the traffic. I positioned myself in the center lane of the highway whenever I could, making it as easy as possible to move left or right. Undertaking as well as overtaking is quite normal in South America,

A friendly face in Cuenca, Ecuador

A friendly face in Cuenca, Ecuador

and so I had vehicles moving and jostling on both sides of Bridget. We were just entering an underpass when suddenly a wheel careered out from underneath a taxi and crossed the road immediately in front of me. I was watching the wheel and trying to decide where it would go and at what speed I should travel to avoid it without swerving into the path of another vehicle. I was also trying to anticipate what other drivers would do when they noticed it. Anyway I managed to avoid hitting it or anybody else and as far as I could see it did not cause an accident. Little interludes like this keep me on my toes.

I crossed the border into Ecuador at Macara. It is a sleepy, dusty, little frontier post. So much so that it made me wonder if it was the official international frontier post, but it was. At least it meant

that there was not much waiting around, although the Ecuadorian immigration authorities were not at all sure what paperwork they needed to complete for the car. That evening I arrived in Catamayo.

For once, I was forced to plan ahead. I was approaching the Darien Gap, which is on the Columbian/Panama frontier and is inaccessible to motor vehicles. I decided to ship Bridget from Quayaquil in Ecuador to Panama City, and I would catch a flight.

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Mountain detour in Ecuador

The drive from Catamayo to Quayaquil took two days. Finding a shipping agent is time consuming, and so I spent several days in Quayaquil. The city is the main jumping-off point for tourists going to the Galapagos Islands. Traveling through Ecuador I found both straightforward and entertaining, with the roads generally in good condition but subject to being blocked by landslides. I was passing through shortly after the “landslide season” was officially over, but still encountered one total blockage forcing me to use a remote mountain pass as a diversion. The road was effectively a donkey track clinging to the mountainside, with a 1500-foot drop on one side and large cracks appearing on the other.

On arriving in Panama I went straight to the docks to collect Bridget. The immigration officials again took persuading. They wouldn’t permit a car to cross the border with the steering on the wrong side. It took the whole day to persuade them that Bridget could be allowed into Panama on a temporary import licence. As soon as that was settled we headed for the border into Costa Rica and stopped only once. The police were operating a mobile speed trap for vehicles driving south when they spied Bridget going in the opposite direction and waved me down. It was a blatant attempt to extract a bribe as they said I was travelling at 70mph. I refused to pay and they eventually issued me a ticket and said I would need to attend court and should not leave the country until then. They overlooked the fact I had no address in Panama, and so I left the country.

6-road to cuenca

For the first time on this journey we were travelling without any maps working on the basis that I should be able to find the next country. The remaining journey through Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico was really quite uneventful. Unwittingly we short-circuited the Mexican exit system by just turning left over The Friendship Bridge at Nuevo Laredo instead of driving around their one-way system through customs, etc. It was only when the USA immigration official pointed out that I didn’t have an Exit stamp on my Mexican visa that I realized my mistake, but declined his kind offer of letting me return to ‘do it properly’.

Bridget and I spent the next two days in San Antonio trying to get American car insurance for a British registered, 1977 classic car, on temporary import, for an undetermined time.

I found driving in The States very straight-forward, particularly after navigating some of the Central American countries. I decided to head via Dallas to Las Vegas. I wanted to go to Vegas in the forlorn hope of persuading at least one of the casinos to make a good donation to the UNICEF charity that I was raising funds for. Not unsurprisingly, that activity was doomed.

A stop in Zion National Park in Utah

A stop in Zion National Park in Utah

From Vegas we struck out for San Francisco and the US 101 Highway north, heading for Canada. I decided we would take in Death Valley National Park on route which proved to be the warmest place I had been since the Gibson Desert in Australia.

San Francisco is packed full of characters doing their own thing, which I can identify with, so I spent two days people watching. Driving the US 101 I found relaxing with some great natural areas such as The Samuel H. Boardman National Park, Mount Humbug, Coos Bay, and of course the Giant Redwoods.

It was now mid-August and I wanted to ensure that Bridget and I left Canada by the end of September, because that is when it starts to get cold. Anything below 15°C is cold to me and I start to think about hibernation. We still had over five thousand miles to go and we could always come back another time.

Our last night in the USA was spent in Everett, Oregon, replacing a broken fuel pump and then we crossed into Vancouver, Canada on the 21st August. I was met at the frontier by Peter Tilbury from a local MG Car Club. Peter and his wife Anne very kindly acted as my hosts and guide around Vancouver. It is a beautiful location, but my love of nature had me straining at the leash to venture up into the Rockies.

A warm greeting in Vancouver

A warm greeting in Vancouver

Bridget and I drove north to Kelowna, a town that, so I was told, is home to many “old hippies.” I thought I would feel at home there, and it is a beautiful location. The whole area is full of rivers, lakes, pine covered mountains and settlements with charming names, such as Rock Creek and Kettle Valley. We spent the next couple of nights at Nelson, on the banks of the Lake Kootenay.

The wildlife in that area was wonderful. I spotted a one-horned moose in the River Moyie, some deer just off the highway, and became exited when I saw a road sign saying “Wolf on road. Stay in car.” No point staying in the car when there is no top, so I stopped and walked around the area with my camera. However, the wolf must have taken fright of the noisy little car and made off.

That night I stopped in Kimberley. I decided that I wanted to get some photographs of Black Bears and so the following morning took off on foot into the hills. I spent the whole day searching for bear, deer, wolves, or perhaps even a cougar, but all I found were mosquitos.

The following day we struck out for Calgary, joining Highway 93 and driving through The Kootenay National Park. The scenery was so beautiful we took over six hours to complete a four-hour journey. We were to spend three days in Calgary during which time I was entertained by the Calgary MG Car Club and visited the Calgary Highland Games. Clearly there have been a lot of Scottish immigrants to this area.

Fun in Calgary

Fun in Calgary

From Calgary we were to cross the great plains of central Canada. I had been warned that the drive would be boring because the terrain was so flat. Fortunately, I never get bored with driving even though the highlight of that particular part of the trip was seeing a train that I measured as being two miles long.

We headed through Winnipeg to Thunder Bay on the banks of Lake Superior. I referred to this area as Lakeland because of the hundreds, if not thousands, of lakes and occasional waterfalls such as Kakabeka Falls. The scenery was beautiful, but it was becoming cooler and some of the trees were starting to change the color of their leaves to red and gold.

We pressed on through The Pukaskwa National Park, North Bay and into Ottawa. I found Ottawa interesting both architecturally and culturally. The local MG Club turned out in force to meet me and exchange stories. They also advised me to explore Nova Scotia if I had the time.

Bridget had now been running faultlessly, even the carburettors were staying in tune. She was also returning around 34 mpg (imperial). Almost boring. We had completed over 38,000 road miles so far on this tour. I was quite pleased with her performance.

We pressed on to Montreal and then Quebec. Even though I am not a fan of cities, I rather liked Quebec. The culture and city center is very French, but there are a reasonable number of reminders of who was in charge in this country before independence.

We took the TC-20 Highway from Quebec on the final leg of the tour following the St Lawrence River. I wanted to head north to Gaspe as I had been told there were opportunities along the coast in that area to go whale watching. Fortune was with me and I managed to find a boat that took me out into Gaspe Bay to see dolphin, Minke and Fin Whales. I was blown away, almost literally as the offshore wind was gusting quite strongly.

Still riding that ‘high’ we made for Halifax where I would park Bridget in another 20-foot container for her return across the Atlantic to the UK.

We received a wonderful welcome home from the MG Car Club at their Kimber House headquarters. One of the national newspaper reporters whilst interviewing me asked “What are you going to do to follow this?” My, ill considered reply was, “Well I didn’t go into Africa, so maybe that should be next.” MM

6-kimber

The first two parts of Roy’s Moss Motoring trillogy can be read here.
A complete record of Bridget’s Round the World tour is available for e-readers such as Kindle by searching “Not In That Car” by Roy Locock.
We’re thrilled to hear that Roy isn’t finished adventuring just yet. He wrote to us last fall saying: “I trust and hope you are surviving the whole Covid thing in good health. Unfortunately, we still cannot travel freely here in Europe, but they cannot lockdown my mind! I have decided I shall resume my traveling in June, barring any new pandemics. I aim to drive Bridget across Europe, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia and via ship across the water to explore Japan. I have not yet decided on a route home, it’ll depend on how many Yen I have left over!”
Keep in touch with Roy through his website. Encourage him to continue adding posts to his wonderful travel blog!

Moss Motoring
18/01/2021
Reviving a Storybook Hero

By Jeremiah Lancaster

I’m having a hard time remembering details of that dark period of time when our MG family did not have an MG. But I remember clearly how it ended. I remember commenting how Whidbey Island, Washington, would be the perfect place to own an MGB. Nice roads, good weather, and you were never too far away that you couldn’t push the thing home if you had to. My father and I both had MGBs at young ages, as well as the stories of having the lack of funds to keep them up to spec. It wasn’t long after my comment that a little B without an engine appeared in the garage, and my father started building the MGB he always wanted. As the current caretaker of that car, years later, I can honestly say he built something special. But that’s a story for another time. Today we’re talking about The Red Car.

There are two types of car enthusiast, according to Peter Egan of Road & Track magazine: those who have never heard of “The Red Car,” and those who read it at a young age and had their lives ruined by it.

My father’s TC, HTF-933, started out as a black police car in Lancashire, England. It was delivered after rolling off the line in 1947. They’ve confirmed it in their roster. However, detailed records of its exploits were lost to the ages.

An old photo of the TX in the early 70's when it was painted white.

An old photo of the TX in the early 70’s when it was painted white.

It was retired by the police in the mid fifties, to a private owner who drove it sporadically into the sixties. At some point it was painted red. The police accessories were removed and separated from the car. A tow hitch was added. Around this time the TC jumped continents, wound up in New Jersey, and was painted white. In the early ’70s the car was dismantled for restoration. As it has happened so many times, the rebuild never occurred, and the car was packed into crates. The car in dismantled form changed hands multiple times over the next 40 years. Amazingly enough, it stayed fairly complete. It eventually wound up in New York, where my father discovered it advertised for sale in 2011.

My dad has had MGs his whole life, and hooked both of his sons on them in the process. He’s never shown his cars or talked about them, so when he expressed interest in me writing up the TC’s story and submitting it, I had to give it a shot. He had by now completed several MGBs and MGAs. He had restored a TD of his own years before, and started looking for another, or better yet, a TC. HTF-933, while rough, dismantled, and across the country, was too interesting to pass on.

He negotiated the deal from Washington State, and sent me from Pennsylvania, to pick up the car. I confirmed the motor turned over by hand, as advertised, then loaded it into the back of my Jeep Cherokee. Interior panels, crates of hardware, and precious items went in around the motor. The frame went on the roof, and the body tub, wheels, wings, and axles went into a small rented trailer. It was quite the sight, to be sure. For me that was a fun winter, having a full size TC model kit to mock up in my garage and basement. It was agony for my father, however, having to wait for my daily update of pictures. I photographed and cataloged every bit that came with the car, so he could assess what he had and what he was missing. He started hoarding parts back in Washington. When the mountain passes cleared we met in Yellowstone for a camping trip and to transfer the bits of car into his pickup.

7-datdjera

7-TCBefore

Over the next six months of evenings and weekends the TC was reborn.7-measuring

He began with the body tub. The original frame was dry-rotted, however in the boxes was a nearly complete Ash wood frame kit. Using West System epoxy and marine hardware the frame was assembled and the original bodywork reinstalled, after being taken to bare metal and refinished. The original dash was usable only as a template, however he sourced a beautiful piece of Koa to replace it. Most of the original gauges and switches were present, and restorable.

The front wings and rear fenders were stripped, from white paint, to red, to the original black underneath. All four were in poor shape, the rears reduced to a lattice of rust when the paint was removed. Replacements were holding up the project, so the originals were restored with epoxy and cloth. Not a long-term solution, but a step closer to getting the car on the road where it belonged. Once the momentum on a project of this scope is broken, it can be hard or impossible to regain. Since the restoration, better condition original rear fenders have been sourced and are waiting in the rafters for paint and install. The rest of the body was amazingly complete, considering the car’s history. All of the steel panels were taken to bare metal, rust proofed and coated with epoxy primer before painting. When it came time to pick a color, he was very tempted to return the car to black as when it was new. That may still happen. For the time being it is proper “Red Car” red.

7-bodywork

When the bodywork reached a good stopping point, the chassis was prepared. The frame was already bare for the most part, but it was sanded down, rust-treated, then coated copiously with black chassis paint. The rear axle was complete, but when it was opened the pinion and ring gear were missing teeth, and the axle shafts were stripped. Several donor axles were purchased and torn down, however all were in the same or worse condition. Eventually a new old stock pinion was located and installed. Axles were eventually sourced and fitted. A new wiring harness was installed, along with new hydraulics, using a lot of the original fittings. Coker tires were fitted to the original wire wheels after cleaning and truing.

The biggest surprise of the restoration occurred when the engine was opened up to rebuild. No wonder it turned over so freely, the pistons and connecting rods were gone! And the biggest hurdle: the crankshaft was now a two-piece unit! A complete spare motor was located, and a single motor came together out of the two. Amazingly, five months after the car arrived in his garage, Dad fired up the motor for the first time.

7-TCAfterThe pile of parts came with most of the original red leather interior, however the years of storage had not been kind to any of it. The original top was far beyond use, but the frame was restorable. The seat and door panels all served as good patterns for replacements. Some comedian in the car’s past had installed an ejection seat warning plaque on the dash. That was cleaned up and added to the Koa dash.

As parts began coming back from the chrome shop to be installed, the rolling chassis very quickly became an assembled car. I flew out to visit not long after, and took my turn driving the TC around the yard. It took a couple more months of fine-tuning before seeing regular road use, but it became a regular driver as soon as possible. I have to say with pride and amazement that this work was completed in my dad’s spare time. He had a full-time 8-5 job working at a boat yard, but would come home every night to the little TC. It’s astonishing to think about how much was achieved in such a short time period.

In the five years that have passed since the restoration, Dad and the TC have relocated to Arizona. They get out a least once a week for a morning drive. Never intended as a show car, nevertheless it never fails to turn heads. No visit to see dad is complete without a ride in the TC. As time allows around his other car projects, he hopes to improve the bodywork with better panels, and potentially returning the car to black. And, I happen to know that somewhere in his workshop he has a supercharger tucked away for it. MM

7-dtdjerrtc

Moss Motoring
18/01/2021
The Joy of Discovery

By Robert Guinness

The Moss Motoring Challenge has been a joy for many—and not just for the participants. Over the past eight years I have ventured out into the back roads of America looking for the unusual, the beautiful, and forgotten history as my take on the Challenge. As I traveled in my MGA through towns whose population often dipped below three figures, I was struck by how many people stopped what they were doing to look up and stare at the strange and rare vehicle motoring past them. Each time I would notice them, I received what is the true prize of the Moss Motoring Challenge: their wide-eyed smiles with the spark of nostalgia and joy.

Destination: Roadside Oddity

Destination: Roadside Oddity

These folks would never have seen an MGA in the wild if not for the Motoring Challenge. And in exchange, they shared with me their treasures: astounding folk art, known as “road side oddities” to outsiders; obscure history, and pride of place just waiting to be discovered. Without the Challenge, I would never have seen the coffee mug tree outside of Yale, Illinois; nor the Hula Hoop Tree outside of Amber, Iowa; nor the twilight zone gas station in Clarence, Missouri. More importantly, I would never have spoken to the people who constructed these wonders and discovered the rich stories behind them. For example, if you drove by, you would be struck at the sheer weirdness of a huge dead tree covered with thousands of colorful hula hoops. But if you stopped in an MGA to admire it, the locals who stopped to look at the car would tell you that some of the hula hoops were thrown into the tree to honor those who survived, or succumbed, to cancer. You would also learn that an anonymous artist leaves painted rocks for visitors to take home. I can imagine someone saddened by illness looking down and seeing these beautiful tokens of love, and taking that love with them when they left.

Destination: Pumpkin Patch

Destination: Pumpkin Patch

Interstates are evil thieves of the soul. Back roads offer unending epiphanies. Winding through the mountains of West Virginia, stopping in small towns, or cruising along the flats of the Mississippi River bottoms heading to the next Challenge point is glorious. The Challenge keeps you vigilant for “targets of opportunity” to score unplanned points. Simply by looking where you would never have looked before, you discover wonderful vistas and interesting details. Aged mansions and vacant town squares; vibrant local festivals, and wonderful local food. Have you ever attended the annual “Testicle Festival” in Olean, MO? Perhaps you simply haven’t looked. But while looking for these unexpected treats, I have experienced some inner epiphanies as well. Traveling at dawn with no one else on a road through lush farmland and hills while listening to the hum of the engine and tunes from my youth, I have had time to reflect on what is important in my life and the life of my community. It truly is “zen” and the best therapy one can imagine. You do not experience these things at car shows (although I love the comradery of shows). You experience these things when you drive, especially when you drive outside of familiar places and longer distances. As one of my favorite musicians sings, “It’s no matter. No distance. It’s the ride.”

It has also nudged my son to serve as navigator on some long trips. Some Challenge excursions present challenges other than gathering points. These cars do breakdown – often in the most remote part of the trip. Ask my son why he refuses to go in my car without a knife hidden in his boot, or why the words “Hickman Kentucky” sends shivers down his spine. Buy me a beer, and I will tell you the tale of New Years Eve in the mountains of Tennessee. But each of these adventures have left me with wonderful stories to tell. It has also made me into quite a McGyver of roadside repairs.

Destination: What I want to be when I grow up

Destination: What I want to be when I grow up

A 1960 MGA and a 1956 human body have their limitations. There are corners of North America I can’t visit too easily. That’s where the Moss Motoring Challenge Facebook Group comes in. If you haven’t scrolled through those Facebook pages you have really missed a wealth of creativity, laughs, and photos of exquisite cars and beautiful scenery. This virtual community is yet another one of the unexpected benefits of the Challenge. It allows you to travel across North America through the eyes of the other Challenge enthusiasts—from the Canadian Maritime Provinces to sunny L.A, in modern Miatas and vintage TR3s, and joyous selfies and picturesque landscapes. When work gets too stressful, just scrolling through the Facebook Group entries and seeing other folks enjoying their cars and their own adventures, brings a smile to my face. I will never listen to the song “Roundabout” by Yes without picturing Matthew Maguire hopping into his splendid Miata. When I compose my own photos and Facebook entries, I try to create something that takes the viewer out of the ordinary or brighten the worst moment of their day.

Destination: Hot Air Balloon

Destination: Hot Air Balloon

I and all those who participated in the Challenge are very thankful for Moss’ generosity in creating the Challenge. Moss has sponsored it for eight years. 2020 was the last year for the Challenge, and the pandemic made it harder to stray far from home. But more gems and adventures lay before those who take up their own personal motoring challenge. Perhaps one more road trip to see the pit where the “man who shot the man who shot Lincoln” went to live out the remainder of his life in insanity, or the World’s largest Ball of Twine in Cawker City, Kansas, so you can spend the night in a reconverted 1920s gas station. And who knows what you will find on the way, or who you will make smile—or who will make you smile. Thanks Moss for the gift of adventure and the joy of discovery. And thanks for keeping our cars on the road! MM

Moss Motoring
18/01/2021
Alick Dick: Triumph’s Managing Director, 1954–1961

By Graham Robson

Before 1953, the most popular British sports cars sold in the States were MG’s classic TD, and Jaguar’s sensational XK120. Nothing else came close. Then suddenly the Austin-Healey 100 and the Triumph TR2 arrived to change all that.

But Triumph? Who had ever heard of them, and what was a TR2? All the history books tell us that Standard-Triumph’s CEO, Sir John Black, had the original idea, but it was the younger element—designer Harry Webster, development engineer Ken Richardson, and Black’s deputy Alick Dick—who made it a reality. The first TR2s were completed in mid-1953, the first 200 of them were exported before the end of the year. But from January 1954 Alick Dick was in charge, production of TR2s rocketed, and Triumph’s reputation was transformed.

The miracle is that the TR2 took root when it did, for Standard’s management was in turmoil at the time. Sir John Black’s egotistical management-by-whim finally peaked at Christmas 1953, when, for no discernible reason, he actually proposed to sack his technical director, Ted Grinham. This inspired a boardroom coup and every other director demanded Black’s resignation. Alick Dick was leader of that group, and immediately became Standard’s managing director. For the next eight years, as Triumph’s worldwide reputation boomed, Alick Dick was at its head.

Alick Dick had the personality that today’s marketing men would have liked to bottle, then sell at a high price. He seemed to rise smoothly through Standard’s heirachy without effort, without making mistakes, and at an astonishing pace. Managing director of Standard at the absurdly tender age of 37, he seemed to be a full generation younger than his British contemporaries.

It helped, of course, to have friends in high places. When the young Dick was looking for his first job, it was John Black who invited him to become an apprentice at Standard. Right from the start, there was little doubt that Dick would have succeeded in any business. Promoted to become the Head Buyer at Standard’s enormous Banner Lane aero-engine factory in 1940, he then became Sir John Black’s personal assistant in 1945, jumping onto the “fast track” two years later when Sir John appointed him to the Board of directors. By becoming Sir John’s deputy in 1951, Dick was ideally placed when the management upheaval followed three years later. Once installed, the company’s style changed completely. Sir John never gave a reason for his decisions, whereas Dick argued everything out first. Where Black was the demagogue, Dick was always the democrat.

It was Alick Dick who steered the marque to dominance. Black’s reasons for ‘inventing’ the TR2 were to hit back at Morgan (he had tried to take over that company, and been rebuffed) and at MG (he was jealous of its success in the USA). But Dick’s task wasn’t easy, for in 1954 the Triumph marque still had an image problem. All the late-1940s ‘Standard’ Triumphs had been based on Standard chassis—and nothing could have been more mundane than that.

Before the TR2 there had been the Roadster (lumpy, backward looking, and probably the last car in the world to have a rumble seat as standard), while the visually similar Renown and Mayflower saloons were sharp-edged, both being Olde-Worlde in style. Then came the TR2, which had about as much sporting pedigree as the original Corvette. Yet it was fast, economical and always remarkably cheap. It looked good, it always outsold the Austin-Healey 100, and was a better all-round bargain than the MG TF or later the MGA.

To remind you, when the very first TR2s arrived in the USA, they were priced at $2,499, which compared with $3,513 for an early Corvette (before the options were fitted). All this with a 105mph top speed, and 26 mpg fuel mileage.

As soon as Dick moved into John Black’s ornate office at Canley, Standard’s modernisation began. Concluding that the company was really too small to face the future on its own, he was always ready to discuss mergers, but only on his terms. Later he would talk with several other car makers—Rover, then Chrysler, then the Rootes Group, then Rover again—and he would also fight off an unwanted approach from Massey-Harris-Ferguson.

Along the way, he listened closely to what his aides recommended and, most importantly, when Harry Webster recommended that a little-known Italian stylist, Giovanni Michelotti, be hired, he also approved of that. The significance was immense.

Alick Dick, incidentally, loved motorsport as a marketing tool. The TR2’s career was launched with high-speed runs on a Belgian highway in 1953, the works rally team was founded a year later, and Triumph sent a team of cars, named TRS, to the Le Mans 24 Hour Race in 1955.

Commissioned for the 1960 LeMans race, the advanced 20X “Sabrina” double overhead cam engine was capable of 150 bhp in racing trim—an impressive figure for a 2 litre engine of that era.

Commissioned for the 1960 LeMans race, the advanced 20X “Sabrina” double overhead cam engine was capable of 150 bhp in racing trim—an impressive figure for a 2 litre engine of that era.

Dick also commissioned a new twin-cam race engine from his engineers, and sent a team of glass-fibre bodied prototypes to Le Mans on three occasions. It was a costly programme which eventually paid off, for the TRS won the much-coveted Team Prize in 1961.

By the end of the 1950s Britain’s motor industry had expanded so fast—for sales to countries like the USA had pushed ahead quite remarkably—which is why Dick became convinced that Standard-Triumph could survive on its own. Even so, with the new Herald range on the horizon, Standard needed more cash, more facilities, more space, and more security. One reason was that Dick had recently approached Len Lord of BMC to renew a body supply contract from Fisher & Ludlow (which was, by then, a BMC subsidiary) and been rudely rebuffed.

At this time Standard was still heavily dependent on suppliers for body shells, so Dick had to evolve an ambitious new strategy. This was to buy up his suppliers and merge them into the basic business. Between 1956 and 1959 there was a rush of acquisitions: Beans Industries of Tipton (castings), a factory at Radford, Coventry (transmissions), Mulliners and Hall Engineering (both body suppliers), the old Fisher & Ludlow factory at Tile Hill (which had made Standard Eight and Ten monocoques), and Alforder Newton of Hemel Hempstead (suspension and steering assemblies).

By this time Dick must have felt that nothing could go wrong with his empire. More than 20,000 TR3s were being sold in the USA every year, and several more complete knock down assembly plants were opening up all around the world. Only 48,835 cars had been built in 1957, but this figure would be doubled within three years.

The TRS race cars built to compete at Le Mans didn’t achieve great success during their first attempt at Le Mans in 1960. It was the following year that they would shine, finishing 9th, 11th and 15th overall—and winning Triumph the prestigious Manufacturer’s Team Prize

The TRS race cars built to compete at Le Mans didn’t achieve great success during their first attempt at Le Mans in 1960. It was the following year that they would shine, finishing 9th, 11th and 15th overall—and winning Triumph the prestigious Manufacturer’s Team Prize.

Then came two major miscalculations. One was to develop a new-generation medium-sized car coded the “Zebu,” ultimately to be cancelled before launch. The other being to build a colossal new assembly hall in Coventry. Due for completion in 1960, this building could process 3,000 cars every week, and would cost £2.5 million ($7 million). Even so, it was anticipated to be in full swing from day one, for his planners were overconfidently looking ahead to building more than 220,000 cars by the early 1960s.

Until mid-1960, therefore, Alick Dick was at the peak of his reputation, with Triumph’s marketing image blossoming all around the world, with the Herald taking off to a friendly reception, and with the financial sector pleased with what they saw. With new derivatives of the Herald on the way—including the Spitfire sports car, and the six-cylinder Vitesse—along with a new TR sports car (the TR4, with Michelotti body style), the future looked to be very bright.

Yet that was the point at which the British government suddenly applied a credit squeeze, pushing up borrowing costs, depressing demand for everything from cars to TV sets, and sent Standard’s finances reeling. Almost at a stroke the bottom line turned red: the company which had made pre-profits of £2.2 million ($6.2 million) in 1959, and £1.8 million ($5.1 million) in 1960, suddenly started losing £600,000 ($1.7 million) every month.

Even with Herald production trimmed to three days a week, the losses continued, and bankers started pressing for new funds. Dick was in despair and could see his beloved company rapidly going to the wall. Then, suddenly, the mighty Leyland Motors, a dour but impressively profitable truck manufacturer, made a takeover bid, and Standard was saved.

Alick Dick, on the other hand, was not. Except for Leyland’s Donald Stokes, there didn’t seem to be an ounce of flair in the Leyland management, who promised to run a slimmed-down business like a Presbyterian ministry. Although he did a good selling on behalf of his shareholders, and stayed on as CEO for a time after the takeover, it was clear that Dick and Leyland were not going to get on.
Dick, Leyland decided, was too informal, and not at all organized. Worse—and this was the ultimate sin—was that he did not seem to have full control over the finances. Three months after the takeover Dick and six of his Board colleagues were fired, 800 other staff were axed, and production was cut once again. Healthy profits would not follow until 1962.

Dick, to his credit, had seen this coming, and within hours of that fateful day had already left the company. He never complained, sued, or talked about his dismissal, which was by no means justified. Nor did he ever set up in opposition—though in later years he established a much-respected buying consultancy, to bring together British components manufacturers and overseas car makers.
Nowadays there is no trace of Alick Dick’s period at Standard-Triumph, for the entire Coventry complex was bulldozed in 1996 and 1997, to make way for a soulless ‘Business Park’. Was Standard (and Triumph) as noteworthy a company after he had gone, as when he was there?

I doubt it. MM

Moss Motoring
18/01/2021
My British Obtainability Run

By Charles Frick

Daydreaming back to 2002… my son Chas, then nine, and I decided to attend the All British Field Meet in Portland, Oregon with my 1963 Sports 6/Vitesse. Although my car was missing its convertible top, we decided to risk it, given Oregon’s reputation for sunny summers. Accompanied by friend Andy Dunning in a 1950 Ford Prefect we set off. After a beautiful, albeit slow, drive across the mountains (a 1959 Prefect with sidevalve motor only pumps out 36 hp), we found ourselves at the gates of Portland International Raceway.

My buddy Andy and his Ford Prefect. It’s vital to have a fellow instigator when hunting British cars.

My buddy Andy and his Ford Prefect.
It’s vital to have a fellow instigator
when hunting British cars.

Driving in I was much surprised to have the ticket taker tell me he had a Sports 6 as well! Arguably, the Herald/Sports 6/Vitesse is an easy car to mistake for something else. Memories do get foggy over time, and I often hear statements like: “My Dad had one. He drove that old Sunbeam everywhere!” or, “Yours got them pro-pellers under the back for water drivin’, too?” We chatted briefly, and he mentioned that he had owned it for a couple of years and it was awaiting restoration in storage. It sounded like a “pur sang” Sports 6. I offered something like, “Get a move-on man and put it back on the road!” and wished him luck with his project.

Chas and I made our way in only to find a stunning (made all the more lovely by the presence of my well patinated car parked alongside) RHD Vitesse 6 parked on the field. Leon, the owner—a Brit ex-pat who had only recently imported this car into the US—was nowhere to be found and, as luck would have it, we missed each other the entire weekend. He did take a couple photos of my car unbeknownst to me, and we did eventually connect and became fast friends. Chas and I enjoyed the Field Meet and, again risking rain, made a dash afterward to Mt. St. Helens and then returned home. An epic and totally dry excursion!

Fast forward to September 2019. I again attended the ABFM, although Vitesse-less, driving a Moke this time. Chatting with friends, the subject of Sports 6/Vitesse came up and mention was made of a club member with a Sports 6 (or two!) that might be up for sale. A contact number was procured and a call placed. Lo and behold the owner was the gent I had spoken with 17 years prior. Yes, he did still have that car stored in a barn and, yes, he would sell it.

4-barnExcitement grew as we set a date one week later when I would dash over the mountain to Aurora, Oregon to visit said barn. A bit about Aurora: the Aurora Colony, a religious commune was founded in 1856 by William Keil, who named the settlement after his daughter. Voted one of the 10 best antiquing towns in America, it boosts a population of 1210 people (and about two million chickens, trust me). It’s located on a long straight stretch of “The 5,” close to Wilsonville.

The day arrived, especially wet and cool over the Santiam pass, from the sunny “rain shadow” high desert of Bend to the misty Willamette Valley. Thanks to my smart phone, our first stop was a brief encounter at a chicken farm. “Can I help ya? Nope, this here is a chicken farm. No furrin’ cars, jest chickens.” Nice going, Google maps.

A U-turn got me to the barn (“Jest turn left after the chicken coup”) with the slumbering Sports 6. I marveled at all the times I had driven by this exact spot while the 6 dozed just out of view. A bit of confusion with the keys (“I’m not sure these are the right ones,” said the owner, Bill) and after many tries, the barn door was heaved, aside.4-SAM_3318

Inside it was a jumble. A car trailer with late model Mustang squatted in the center aisle betwixt a ’75 VW Rabbit, a restored Big Healy and several Big Healey carcasses perched on sawhorses. The whole scene presided over by a Volvo PV544.

Ah, but back in a corner the prize sat. Under a fabric car cover very well seasoned by 17+ years of dust, errant chicken feathers and guano was “Red Barchetta.” Let me say it took me all of 15 seconds after lifting the cover to decide it had to be mine. An unmolested, genuine, 1963 Sports 6, rust-free essentially, still wearing all its original badging and unique features, with the 1600cc factory driveline intact. Yessir, I’ll take it! A deal was struck. The deal sweetened after a second trip to Tigard, Oregon confirmed the condition of a second Sports 6 Bill had purchased years later as a parts car.

4-SAM_3316Pick up day arrived a week later. Bill had arranged for the owner of the barn to meet us and move the trailer and Mustang. “Yeah… the guy that owns it is in Korea or someplace.” Hmmmm. That wasn’t re-assuring.

Bill and I waited anxiously as the appointed time arrived and passed—all the while formulating a plan for threading the needle through the gap between the “MIA owner” ‘Stang and the restored Healey. At last Tom, the barn owner arrived and yanked the trailered car out while I busied myself filling tires on my “new” Triumph. Thank heavens for portable work light/tire inflator/jump packs WITH built in USB charging ports!

Tom, it turns out has had over 3oo Austin-Healeys in his stint a restorer. that explains all the Healey detritus scattered about!

Out into its first mist in nearly 20 years rolled the Red Barchetta with four winded car guys pushing/trailing behind. A little persuasion from a come-a-long and she was stowed safely in my trailer. Back across the Pass again to unload and brace myself for yet another trip!

The next day it was off to a storage unit for the parts car. This event was a bit more complicated as all the tires were not only flat but shredded. Just to add a degree of difficulty, the steering rack had been disconnected from both the frame and the steering wheel. A bit of time with a jack and lug wrench got it rolling again on four inflated-but-may-pop tires. A pair of rack mounts (thank-you, Herald parts car) and a reconnect of the steering and woosh (well maybe more like oooof!) this one was snagged and secured in the trailer. Over the Pass and through the woods the second Sports 6 did go!

4-DSC_0450After a bit of fiddling, the “Red Barchetta” fired up and, with the addition of a new set of clutch hydraulics, managed to drive up and down my driveway—the first time under its own power in nearly 20 years. Mechanicals all seem to be serviceable and a bit of fussing ought to have it road ready before too long. For now, it sleeps again in our barn but this idleness is but a catnap after the previous long slumber of years gone by. MM

Moss Motoring
18/01/2021
The Miracle of Mason City

By Dave Hauman

Since 2000, when I watched The Great Race pass through in Bloomington, Illinois, it had been an aspiration of mine to participate. In 2016, when my 1970 Jaguar E-Type qualified, I, along with Kool Kat’s Krewe members Dave Fitch and Craig College, signed up to race. The course that year ran from San Rafael, California to Moline, Illinois, which just happens to be my hometown.

5-greatrace

The Great Race is not a race in the traditional meaning of the word. It’s not about all out speed. Rather, the organizers label it a “timed endurance rally.”

It is definitely timed. The recommended speedometers are calibrated down to the 1/10 mph. The special recommended clock needed to be synchronized with Greenwich Mean Time each morning before the beginning of each run. The goal is to arrive at the designated end point at exactly the designated time—to the second. Not one second early, nor one second late. Believe it or not, several cars achieved perfect scores for some segments.

And the Race definitely requires endurance. The first car leaves the starting line at 8am, meaning that most days begin no later than 7am. A public car show ends each day’s run meaning that bedtime is usually sometime after 9 or 10pm. Going through the desert in 90-plus degree heat in a non-AC car, meant a constant struggle to stay hydrated. My wife Diana estimated I lost 10 – 15 pounds over the course of the 10-day race.

Between each starting and stopping point, there are turns, stop signs, traffic lights, etc. So it’s necessary to know how long it takes for your car to come to a complete stop from a designated speed. And likewise, how long it takes to go from a standing start to reach a designated speed.

We performed multiple trial runs going from zero to 5 mph, zero to 10 mph… and also, the reverse, 20 mph to zero, 15 mph to zero, etc. In this manner, when the instructions say stop for 15 seconds at a stop sign and then proceed at 30 mph, the navigator can deduct whatever time it takes to get to 30 mph from the 15 seconds and tell the driver to start moving again in, for example, 10.5 seconds.

Craig and I were running these trials on a county road outside of town one day, using a farmhouse as our turnaround point for each run. After several runs, a woman came out of the house. I poked my head out of the car and said, “You are probably wondering what we’re doing?” She nodded and I gave a brief explanation. She then asked: “You mean you’re going to drive from here to California just to turn around and drive back?” I responded, “Yep, that pretty well sums it up.”

The first few days out of San Rafael went well. We were raw neophytes, but nevertheless our scores were mid-pack. Not great, but not embarrassingly poor either. We were fairly satisfied with ourselves. And then misfortune smiled a sinister grin.

In the middle of Wyoming, our generator (or dynamo as the Brits would have it) went out. Trust me, there are no replacement generators for an E-type in the state of Wyoming or any of the adjoining states. We bought a second battery and a charger and continued the course swapping out batteries. Our scores plummeted, but we were still in the race when many of the 125 cars that started were not.

We limped along until we reached a park in Mason City, Iowa. Craig had gone ahead in the chase car and arranged extension cords so that we could charge batteries while having lunch. With the hood up and charging cables attached, a couple drove up in a ’69 E-Type coupe. The fellow hopped out and asked what we were doing. With the entire car plastered with Great Race decals, we told him that our generator had quit. “Well,” he said, “I have a spare generator in my trunk. Would you like it?”5-jags

It took less than a New York second for us to respond “YES!”

When I asked how we could pay them, the wife responded that it was enough to keep another Jaguar on the road. Nevertheless, when I got home, the first thing I did was order a new generator to be delivered to their house.

And if the odds of this happening weren’t long enough, we learned later that the couple wasn’t even from Mason City, but rather lived outside of town. They thought it was such a lovely day and should have a picnic in a city park. They chose that park at that time to have their picnic.

If any readers know Dave and Luanne Parson of Mason City, Iowa, please thank them again for us. If not for their kindness and generosity, we wouldn’t have finished the race under our own power.

And once again, my belief that car people are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet was confirmed. MM

Moss Motoring
18/01/2021
The Bus Stop

By Bob Bicknell

Think back to your early teen years—for some of us, that’s looking a long, long way back. Think back to those awful years before you could legally drive. Yes, I know some of you snuck around and drove on occasion anyway, but hopefully you weren’t like me and backed into your Dad’s prized pecan tree.

Back then I was a voracious reader, still am, and my neighborhood library had a good collection of teen car books. I read them all, several times, books like Henry Gregor Felsen’s “Hot Rod” and “Street Rod,” and Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road.” One day, I picked up a copy of Don Stanford’s “The Red Car,” and in one of those glorious twists of fate, my life has been affected ever since.

Because my Dad worked downtown in the large city where we lived, in cold or wet weather he would drive me to school, several miles out of the way. However, when mild weather rolled in, we could leave home a little later, and he would drop me off at the school bus stop a couple blocks from home.

As April of 1954 began its pleasant days, we resumed our bus stop routine, and I would grab a book to read; on this particular day it was “The Red Car.” A couple of stops along, as the bus made its way further down the route, my eyes nearly popped out of my head, for there in the middle of the boulevard where a few residents parked was the very car in my book. A red MG, all squared off and boxy, simply glorious!

I doubt I learned much at school that day, counting down the seconds until the school bus would take me back to where I had seen The Red Car. Much to my great dismay, it was gone.

The next morning, when I hopped out of the family car at my bus stop, I immediately started walking—okay, so I was running—to the bus stop where I had seen the red car the day before. Wonder of wonders, it was back. Probably the owner drives it to work and had a schedule that didn’t require leaving early, before my bus passed by.

My Grandson Brandon enjoying my friend’s beautiful TD

My Grandson Brandon enjoying my friend’s beautiful TD

Right up until the last second before I heard my bus coming, I looked that MG over from every angle. This was the very car in my book!

Again the MG was gone when I headed home, but for the rest of the school year, every day the weather allowed, I was back at the MG on the way to school, getting a little braver each day, until I was sitting in the driver’s seat, and in my mind, I was living the story of The Red Car.

I was Hap, learning how to accelerate through a turn. I was listening to Frenchy explain how to time gear shifts by that big tachometer to best use the engine’s power curve and torque. I was picking up the finesse of effective braking to gain distance on competitors’ cars. Once I could hear the bus coming, I would jump out of the MG and race to my school bus stop.

I never saw the owner of the MG. I have often wondered if perhaps the owner had ever spotted me, and was just a kind soul, letting me live my fantasy.

When school ended at the end of May, that also ended my visits to the red MG. Those days, however, had hooked me for life. I was determined to one day own a sports car like that.

Eleven years down the road, my wife and I had one car and growing needs for a second; so I located one: a red, boxy MGTD. Prior to taking her to see the car, my wife visited with her doctor, who told us that a baby was on the way. Nine months later I jokingly referred to our daughter as our “Little Red MG.”

Fast forward again, to 1973. My professor owned a 1960 Triumph TR3A, and despite repeated attempts by the British Leyland shop to make the turn signals work, the car failed its vehicle inspection. In frustration, my professor gave up, and I offered to buy it from him, knowing we would soon be moving to a state without an inspection process. Imagine my surprise when I looked in a book I had bought in Japan while performing on a USO tour on how to fix any part of any car, and there was a wiring diagram for a TR3! This treasure allowed me to straighten out the mis-wired mess and get the turn signals operable again. Finally, we owned a little British sports car.

In the years that followed there have been other sports cars: our daughter’s first car was an MGB, our son’s first car was a Datsun 1600 Fair Lady (how’d a Japanese car slip in here?). Did I ever achieve my dream of a boxy, red MG? No, but my 1951 black MGTD got pretty close.

8-IMG_1058Our current sports car is a pristine 1979 yellow MGB with 37,000 miles that our son restored. Conversations now are underway with him about him getting the MGB back, and us taking his TR6; another restoration he took from the ground up. He is currently wrapping up a restoration of a Mini, as he waits for a right-hand drive Land Rover Defender to make it “across the pond.”

Yes, a lot has taken place through the inspiration of Don Stanford’s “The Red Car,” and that encounter at the bus stop. Thank goodness there are others who share similar experiences, and that there is a company like Moss Motors to enable Red Car stories to live on! MM

Moss Motoring
18/01/2021
Loud Pedal: Now, And In The Years To Come

by Robert Goldman

In the parts business, we talk about being the last manufacturer of buggy whips. When was the last time you saw a horse drawn carriage, outside of Amish country, driving down the road? The story goes, in spite of horse drawn carriages being no longer considered front line transportation, there still has to be one last manufacturer of buggy whips.

Have you tried buying a buggy whip lately? You can. In fact, a quick web search provides a rich offering of makers and styles. When I see some of the online remarks about the end of Victoria British, I can only snigger and think buggy whips.

Nobody wants to see less competition, but markets have to adjust. Interest in our favorite little British cars is still very strong. We must acknowledge, however, they are no longer sufficiently main stream to be the sports cars of choice for younger people. The Mazda Miata has grabbed that mantle. In the case of Long Motors, they have made a long term decision to concentrate on trucks.

While Moss has tested various waters along the way, we always revert to our core, the LBCs. Of course, today we’ve added some rather not small Jaguars to our line, though they are very much in keeping with the vendors already in our system. We are very proud of the fact VB chose us to continue their legacy.

Industry consolidation affects all of us, and has done so for quite some time, often in ways which are not completely obvious. A couple years ago, at a Jaguar event, I was asked to participate in a panel discussion. The representative from Jaguar was a marketing guy. He knew the product road map, but got knocked off base when asked about original “concourse” exhaust systems for early Jags. The premise was, why can’t Jaguar make correct, original mild steel systems, and sell them at a high price?

Sadly, the truth is low volume exhaust systems today are built in stainless steel. Jaguar contracts their manufacturing, and none of their vendors work with mild steel. Moss Motors has pursued this before, but the answer always comes back we have to buy several metric tons of raw material and buy hundreds of systems. The market will not support the investment. Mild steel has been “consolidated” out of the exhaust system manufacturing stream.

No one at Moss imagines the loss of VB will be invisible to the market. We understand, in spite of efforts to the contrary, some folks just don’t want to deal with us. In truth, there are dozens of specialists still in the British business, and they’ll be there for many years to come. And those “expensive” parts we sell, over time, look better and better compared to some parts for modern cars.

If you need a buggy whip, just search the web. They’re out there. If you need LBC parts, we’re still here, as are a dog’s breakfast of other options. Leo Long may be gone, but the British market is stronger for his legacy. Whether you prefer “Maintaining the Breed” or “Keep ‘em on the Road,” the spirit is the same. We’re all in this together. MM

Virage8
18/01/2021
Début de semaine

Un week-end de couvre-feu allongé, des soirées et des nuits isolé(e)s dans nos domiciles respectifs et cette neige qui a envahi une grande partie du territoire national sauf l’extrême sud toujours favorisé, le ciel nettoyé de ses nuages par un mistral salutaire. Quelle qu’ait été la météo chez vous, vous avez eu une superbe occasion de jouer comme des enfants avec vos jouets de caractère !

Excellente début de semaine à toutes et à tous !

Crédit photo : Road Rug Cars et inconnu

Cet article fut rédigé et publié pour la première fois sur Virage8 le 18 Janvier 2021

L’article Début de semaine est apparu en premier sur Virage8.


17/01/2021
la photo française

Le Film Noir

– posed like some emotionally distanced couple in a Jean-Luc Goddard outing; this BSA Starfire plays a central role in the discourse between the laconic reserve of the anorak bespectacled male lead contemplating the idea of home, against the young femme fatale toying with a solitary freedom of the open road.

Tu me fends le coeur… J´ai le coeur fendu par toi !”

You are breaking my heart… My heart is being broken by you!

FIN


17/01/2021
Din Djarin

Bounty Hunter

– I started watching the Disney Star Wars series The Mandalorian this week. All I can say is: it’s what we’ve been waiting for since 1983’s Return of the Jedi. Except for Rogue One it’s pure SW. speeder bikes ‘n’ all!


16/01/2021
Agnes

Still smiles a hundred years ago

– Nostalgic photo of a lady and her motorcycle. Dressed in trench coat, cloth cap and goggles she’s ready to take to the roads.

Virage8
15/01/2021
Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70R

Une page se tourne chez Donkervoort, Joop Donkervoort le fondateur de la marque en 1978 prend sa retraite et laisse les clés de l’entreprise à son fils Denis. Une marque et une entreprise que Joop a construites à partir de rien et qui aujourd’hui jouissent d’une renommée mondiale.

Pour les novices, l’histoire de Donkervoort a commencé lorsque son fondateur, Joop Donkervoort, a acheté les droits de distribution de la Lotus Seven pour les Pays-Bas, avant de découvrir qu’elle n’était pas homologuée sur les routes néerlandaises. Après avoir d’abord essayé de modifier la voiture pour qu’elle soit conforme à l’homologation néerlandaise, il a décidé de créer sa version de la Lotus Seven en recommençant à zéro, mais à sa façon.

Il était convaincu qu’il pouvait l’améliorer, notamment en matière de confort, de fiabilité et de dynamique de conduite. C’est ainsi que la première voiture de route de Donkervoort, la S7, est née en 1978 et a permis à Donkervoort de devenir le premier constructeur de petites séries à obtenir l’homologation pour ces voitures très typées course avec leur poids réduit selon les préceptes de Colin Chapman le créateur de la Lotus Seven.

En 2011, la D8 GTO a marqué un tournant pour Donkervoort, avec le designer principal Jordi Wiersma et les ingénieurs qui ont conçu une supercar cabriolet magnifiquement équilibrée, solide, rapide et distinctive. Ce modèle a ouvert de nouveaux marchés à Donkervoort et la GTO constitue la base de la JD70 désormais disponible en version JD70R avec son moteur Audi 5 cylindres en ligne turbocompressé de 415 ch. qui, associé au poids de 725 kg de la D8 GTO JD70R, assure le 0 à 100 km/h en 2,7 secondes ! Une auto de caractère, assurément !

Crédit photos Donkervoort

Cet article fut rédigé et publié pour la première fois sur Virage8 le 15 Janvier 2021

L’article Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70R est apparu en premier sur Virage8.


15/01/2021
Deck of Cards

Fifty Two

– Mr Grohl turns fiddy too the day. he is the Ace of Spades.

Virage8
14/01/2021
Gullwing, une série limitée réalisée par Tamarit

Admirateurs de l’une des voitures les plus emblématiques de l’histoire du sport automobile, la Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing, et spécialistes de la moto Triumph, le préparateur espagnol Tamarit va plus loin en présentant la série limitée Gullwing. Une préparation sur base Triumph Thruxton 900 fortement inspirée par la voiture iconique du constructeur de Stuttgart.

Connue pour ses portes papillon, la Mercedes 300 SL fut l’une des premières supercars biplaces produites entre 1943 et 1969. Un moteur emblématique et un design innovant parmi les motos néoclassiques, c’est ainsi que la nouvelle Gullwing de Tamarit a été conçue.

Les Tamarit Gullwing ont des éléments communs tels que des lignes arrondies, tout comme la Mercedes, ou la reproduction des « ailes » sur une coque arrière monobloc relevée hydrauliquement. Ces motos sont dotées de roues classiques qui accentuent le style rétro.

La série est limitée à 9 versions différentes correspondant aux couleurs employées par la marque allemande. La version Gullwing X présente une combinaison de rouge pour la carrosserie et noir pour le rembourrage en quatre parties : un des modèles les plus sportifs de la série limitée. Les autres coloris disponibles apparaissent ci-dessous.

Il s’agit d’une moto créée pour les nostalgiques de véhicules anciens désireux de rouler sur une Gullwing inspirée des années 50 et dont la qualité des équipements choisis autant que la finition sont en tout points remarquables.

La clé de démarrage est électronique

Les 9 versions différentes bénéficieront chacune des 9 couleurs employées par Mercedes pour sa 300 SL. Attention, la rouge et noir est déjà partie, c’est la moto présentée ici. A vous de choisir la vôtre, ne tardez pas, il n’y en aura que 9 !

Prix : 29.900€

Plus d’informations ICI

Crédit photos : Tamarit

Cet article fut rédigé et publié pour la première fois sur Virage8 le 14 Janvier 2021

L’article Gullwing, une série limitée réalisée par Tamarit est apparu en premier sur Virage8.


14/01/2021
Black & White ‘n’ Red all over

No Moss Gathered

– Mick, Keith, Bill, Charlie and Brian enjoy the classics too. This album recorded in the early sixties are compiled of their covers of Chuck Berry standards, amongst others. The first track listing is Bobby Troupe’s “Route 66”, hence the BSA motorcycle themed Rorschach-like cover.


13/01/2021
Beano

The Menace

– my Uncle Dave found this ‘toon strip and sent it over to be included in today’s blog post. The red & black striped jersey; unruly black hair; and the viscous dog Gnasher of protagonist Dennis have been the mainstay of the Beano comic for 70 years. This panel has The Menace’s Ma fettling the barrels of a ‘70 Bonnie with a kitchen whisk.

Virage8
04/01/2021
La Traversée de Paris en anciennes, dimanche 31 Janvier 2021

Imaginez 700 véhicules d’époque (autos, motos, vélos, utilitaires légers, bus et même des tracteurs!) qui effectuent une boucle d’une vingtaine de kilomètres dans la capitale sous l’oeil médusé du public !

Il y a toujours un peu de magie dans ce rassemblement qui traverse les âges puisque les véhicules doivent avoir au moins 30 ans pour être éligibles. Populaires, rares, de luxe, tous sont entretenus avec amour par leurs propriétaires. Ils ne roulent pas tous les jours, leur sortie reste une exception pour les moments de détente et de loisirs familiaux. La Traversée de Paris organisée par l’Association Vincennes en Anciennes, est devenue au fil du temps une institution, un rendez-vous incontournable qui accueille près d’une centaine de marques de tous les pays. Le spectacle est visuel et surtout festif car il rassemble toutes les générations. Chacun et chacune a un souvenir en voyant une Citroën DS, une Trabant, une Fiat 500 ou encore une Isetta.

Moment de nostalgie pour les uns, moments de découverte pour les autres, les voitures révèlent toujours quelque chose de notre histoire commune. Facel Vega, Triumph, Excalibur, Pontiac, Austin, Delahaye, Delage, Hotchkiss, Salmson, ou encore Sunbeam, ces noms vous disent quelque chose ? Ce sont toutes des marques disparues qui résonnent encore dans nos souvenirs. Sans les collectionneurs, on ne pourrait les voir que dans les musées ou lors de salons. La Traversée de Paris offre cette occasion unique de pouvoir les admirer dans les rues de la Capitale.

Alors si vous aussi êtes collectionneur ou amateur, ne manquez pas ce rendez-vous dimanche 31 janvier dès 8h00 du matin sur le parvis du Château de Vincennes (94) et toute la matinée dans Paris.

Crédit affiche Association Vincennes en Anciennes, dessin de Thierry Dubois

Cet article fut rédigé et publié sur Virage8 pour la première fois le 4 Janvier 2021

L’article La Traversée de Paris en anciennes, dimanche 31 Janvier 2021 est apparu en premier sur Virage8.

Virage8
20/12/2020
Début de semaine

Le temps froid et sec que nous avons connu ce week-end n’a pas empêché les passionnés de motos de caractère d’enfourcher leur machine afin de se dégourdir les bielles. Nul doute que les membres de notre Communauté n’ont pas fait exception à cet enthousiasme. Excellent début de semaine à toutes et à tous.

Crédit photo inconnu

Cet article fut rédigé et publié pour la première fois sur Virage8 le 21 Décembre 2020

L’article Début de semaine est apparu en premier sur Virage8.

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