Share Your Car Restoration or Car Related Story

July 6, 2015 in General Discussion / guest contributor / Reader Submission


Do you have a car or car related story that you would like to share with fellow viewers, whether it be a build-in-progress, already complete or an untouched masterpiece as-is? If you feel it would be a good fit here, submit it to me at [email protected] I am also always looking for interesting build threads, so if you have one or know of a good one, send it on over. In the meantime for some inspiration on your own project, check out our previous Reader Submission 1960 Fiat Abarth 750 Zagato Record Monza restoration, as seen in the picture above.

The DeTomaso Mangusta Spyder by Ghia- A Case of the Topless Goose

July 6, 2015 in American / Concept Car / guest contributor / History / Italian / prototype / Rare / Reader Submission / Wallace Wyss

1by Wallace Wyss

This is a story of true love. Sort of. First of all, why the car was created. When Alejandro DeTomaso (it’s actually spelled De Tomaso but I’ll do the American thing where we run it all together and capitalize it) had Giugiaro design his mid-engined V8 powered coupe, he was pretty well thinking the coupe was all he needed.

But then for a succeeding Salon, they wanted something different and an open version was budgeted for show purposes only…
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July 6, 2015 in Italian / Video

Retired Lamborghini chief factory test driver Valentino Balboni behind the wheel here of an early Countach, numero 10 to be exact. The Bertone wedge is in a bit of rough cosmetic shape but in our view that patina looks belonging and well earned. To us it oozes gobs of character that we’d die to have had the opportunity to put onto one from new, one which could have only been achieved one possible way. By driving it over the course of many years. Daily. Hard. And that mechanical noise is auditory nirvana…glorious! This short video is a bit of a tease and I almost lost my breakfast when I saw they were taking it apart, we hope for just a sympathetic mechanical restoration only. Stay tuned, we’ll post more videos as they become available…

Countach from Kidston.TV on Vimeo.

How About a Brand New Custom Built BMW E30 M3 Turbo?

July 5, 2015 in German / Homologation


Chances are if you’re here you already have an inordinate lust and unabashed desire for the BMW E30 M3, a car which was conceived from birth for the sole purpose of homologation for Group A Touring Car racing. Understandable. You’re just our type of guy or gal, or whatever. We aren’t here to berate you, nor are we here to question your sanity, but rather to ask the question that certainly already has an answer burning deep down inside of you of exactly how you would build your very own fantasy iteration, given the opportunity. Would it be all factory OEM correct concours show car? Perhaps it would be an all out DTM race car, gutted complete with cage, proper requisite Recaros, suede Momo, centerlock BBS rims and air jacks? Or possibly somewhere in between, something you could drive on the street and to the track to terrorize with then turn around and drive home in? Hmmmmm, keep talking I hear you saying…
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Capsule History: The Ferrari 250GT SWB Berlinetta- Pugnacious yet now highly desired…

July 5, 2015 in guest contributor / History / Italian / Race Car / Reader Submission / Wallace Wyss

10by Wallace Wyss

It might seem odd to the uninitiated that a Ferrari series is known by a name which refers to the relative distance between the front axle and the rear axle compared to the Ferrari it was derived from. Yet that’s what makes the difference between the long wheelbase Ferrari 250GT and the short wheelbase 250-GT (above).

The short wheelbase swb GT earns its name (“swb” for “short wheelbase”and “”B” for berlinetta, the Italian word for close coupled coupe) because it had a chassis that was shorter by 8 inches than the 250 GT Berlinetta (below).

2  ferrari-250gt-berlin-1_800x0w

In production from late 1959 until early 1963, 165 SWB chassis were finished, ninety with steel “Lusso” (here meaning “luxury” not a Lusso model) coachwork and bumpers and approximately seventy-five with lighter aluminum alloy coachwork.

Separate from its long wheelbase predecessor, the swb made its own reputation, distinguishing itself on the track in both alloy and steel versions. Both had the highly tunable highly-tuned Colombo–designed V12 engines, sometimes sporting three Webers and other times six carburetors (in the Comp versions)…
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Davide Cironi Drive Experience Video- Fiat Coupe Turbo 20V Limited Edition

July 4, 2015 in Italian / Video

You know you’re listening to a good car show host when he or she is able to persuade you that a car you’d never considered before this very moment is now 11 minutes later something that you’ve been missing out on for almost 2 decades. The narrator in this case is Davide Cironi, and the car? A Fiat Coupe Turbo 20V Limited Edition. So, what is our excuse for the oversight? Perhaps because the car never made it over here to our shores, but as certified gear heads we still should have known about this Italian!

Saturday- Vintage Car Photos

July 4, 2015 in Photo of the Day


Kicking off an episode of Vintage Car Photos today with a picture of Karl Kling and Hans Klenk (above) taking care of business during a pit stop in the 1952 running of the Carrera Panamericana. Their early 300 SL (W194) race machine was originally produced as an attempt by Mercedes Benz to keep their name in the competition news just long enough until their 1954 Gran Prix car (W196) was completed and ready to race 2 years later. But we can thank the vision of U.S. MB distributor Max Hoffman for convincing the factory to make a production road car version of it by placing an initial order of 1,000 “Sport Lights”. What happened next is the glory of 300 SL Gullwing history. Find an assortment of 29 more pictures on the next page…

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The “Scrapers”: Porsche’s Weird Wild and Wonderful 356 Kamm Roofed cars…

July 3, 2015 in German / guest contributor / History / Race Car / Reader Submission / Wallace Wyss

Porsche Soundnacht 2013

By Wallace Wyss

I can hardly envision this car as being hatched from a Porsche 356B coupe. But it was.

There were two of them, actually, legal to run because they were originally homologated as GT cars, based on the 356B 2000GS Carrera 2, but in 1963, the regular bodywork was taken off and they were fitted with a new lightweight coupe body, one that had already been tested in the modified RS61. So unlike the somewhat turtle shaped 356 body, it had a wedge-shaped nose and the same abrupt cut off of the roof –an application of the “Kamm effect.” (Dr. Wunibald Kamm was a German aerodynamicist who had postulated the benefits of a long tapered tail, but if you couldn’t have that, then having an abruptly chopped tail, i.e. a Kamm tail.)…
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Reader Submission- Ferrari 308 GTBi Project Saved From Crusher

July 3, 2015 in Build Thread / Italian / Reader Submission reader Daniel from Paraguay, South America recently submitted to us his 1981 Ferrari 308 GTBi he’s working on, a project which is outlined in detail on Going under the forum user name “matumorales”, his journey actually began from the moment he laid eyes on Magnum P.I.’s 308 back in the 80’s. That car made a strong impact on him and the impression has been ingrained into his brain from childhood ever since to some day have a similar car. Fulfilling that dream began almost 4 years ago when he purchased the hacked up 308 GTB shell on eBay for just $2,500 and had it shipped from Miami, saving it from its destiny of heading for the crusher. The process is very slow moving and will be far from concours correct in almost every conceivable manner, but regardless we have always been big fans of the hard top Berlinettas too so we look forward to seeing the end result sometime in the hopefully not too distant future. For us, it will actually be pretty refreshing to see a Ferrari that is being built to be driven and enjoyed, and wouldn’t even mind a banged up body and slapped together interior as long as all the parts remain factory and the suspension, brakes and engine are modified for performance. Let’s check out Daniel’s project beginning on the following page, after which a link can be found to the full thread…
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Friday- Vintage Car Photos

July 3, 2015 in Engineering / German / Photo of the Day

Today’s episode of Vintage Car Photos includes a few McLaren F1 shots, one of our all-time favorite supercars right alongside Ferrari’s 288 GTO and F40. Now if only Ron Dennis would build a 3/4 scale size P1 Lightweight with a manual transmission, naturally aspirated engine and no hybrid technology while keeping the targeted overall curb weight at somewhere well under 2,500 pounds, we’d have a rekindled faith in new exotics all over again…

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Porsche Tapiro: Hey, what can I say, sometimes they come back worse than they went out…

July 2, 2015 in Concept Car / Design / German / guest contributor / History / Italian / Reader Submission / Wallace Wyss

20A Feature Story by Wallace Wyss

Now in an ideal world, a coachbuilder would build a concept car and it would go out there and strut its stuff at an auto show and set people’s mouths agog and then be retired to the factory museum and be on display forevermore. Uh-uh. In the real world sometimes they get sold downriver so to speak. And treated cavalierly to put it mildly. Like how about sliding a bomb under it? That’s what happened to the Porsche Tapiro designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro to show off his new car design company, Italdesign. I saw it back in 1971 at the Los Angeles Auto Show, where he got an outsize amount of publicity with his needle-nosed car, the Tapiro, based on a 1970 Porsche 914/6 and using the 2.4 liter engine tuned by Bonomelli to produce 220 hp at 7800 rpm. The double gullwinged car (seen below with two gullwings for passengers and two for the engine/luggage compartment) was Italdesign’s fourth prototype; the Bizzarrini Manta was the first car of any kind designed by Italdesign.


The Tapiro was radical in its time and contributed its general shape to the Esprit, Merak, Bora, BMW M1 and other designs by Giugiaro, even the DeLorean, at least as far as the doors. (There’re rumors that the original DeLorean was going to be mid-engined like this car, but that at the last minute, DeLorean went the easier route of rear engine)…
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Tom Tjaarda: The American Designer who Affected Italian Design

June 30, 2015 in American / Design / Design Analysis / guest contributor / History / Italian / Reader Submission / Wallace Wyss

5A Feature Story by Wallace Wyss

In 1970 when Motor Trend flew me, their ace reporter who could speak Michiganian, back to Dearborn to see a new car called the Pantera, they introduced me to the car’s designer– a tall well mannered gentleman from Ghia Carrozzeria. I was expecting an Italian but this man turned out to be Tom Tjaarda (pronounced JAR-DUH) who grew up in Birmingham, MI about three miles from where I grew up. But he had been in Italy since 1958, working first for Pininfarina and later Ghia. Every once in a while when I read his latest comments on design in the Sixties and Seventies in a British magazine, I like to look back at some of his designs to refresh my memory. Here’s my comments on some of them, way too late to influence the production model but still a reaction from someone who comments on design in books and magazines…
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The ‘62-’63 Thunderbird Sports Roadster: Hey, what did I know, I thought wire wheels made it a sports car….

June 25, 2015 in American / guest contributor / History / Reader Submission / Wallace Wyss

25By Wallace Wyss

It was a brilliant idea, I think, and at the time, barely understanding what a sports car was, I was mighty impressed, seeing those first ads with a two seater four seater Bird parked on a nice lawn at a nice home in Bloomfield Hills.

The car was the 1962 Sports Roadster. Why I say 2/4 seater was that it was a four seater car that some clever designer had devised a fiberglass tonneau for, that covering the back seats to make it seem like it was a two seater car in the first place.

Now in Jag D-types, racers sometimes covered the passenger seat with a metal tonneau cover so in essence it was the same thing; making it a more serious car in effect.

And that tonneau cover swept upward in a grand curve to meet the back of the headrests. It was set off by chrome plated Kelsey Hayes wire wheels with knock-offs. Not real knock-offs mind you (where the ’63 Corvette had the option of real knock-offs), but simulated knock offs.

It was so well designed that you could put the soft top up or down with or without the fiberglass tonneau cover in place. The top was fully automatic except you had to zip or unzip and roll down the back window, and clamp or unclamp the windshield header top clamps.

Since it was only a faux performance car, they didn’t worrya bout weight and factory SelectAire A/C was available. It was only a grand touring car in as much as, if you had the top up, you could store some suitcases but once the top was down the luggage space was severely limited.

And yet the car lasted only two years on the market, more or less put out to pasture when a differently styled ‘Bird– the ’64—came along, which was brilliant in its own ways…
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