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Lotus Type 79/1 Restoration

May 23, 2017 in English / Race Car / Restoration / Restoration Shop

This Lotus Type 79/1 Formula 1 vintage race car was the subject of a restoration by Classic Team Lotus in the U.K. The vehicle was originally used as a prototype for the development of under car aerodynamics with help from none other than Mario Andretti, and was also the first Formula 1 car designed using wind tunnel and computer design aids. Later, it was used as his spare race car for the 1978 season. When Lotus enthusiast Paul Rego of Regogo Racing in Texas found out that it was available for sale back in 2010, he took advantage of the opportunity to purchase the rare 1 of 5 car and promptly had it sent back to England where it received it’s renovation under the supervision of Clive Chapman, son of Lotus “add lightness” legend Colin.
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CSX2000: The Very First Shelby Cobra Ever Produced

April 28, 2017 in American / Engine Swap / English / Factory Photos / Patina / prototype / Race Car / Survivor

This innocuous appearing blue AC set before you just so happens to be one of, if not the most significant sports cars in automotive history to ever grace an American powerplant. You see, this vehicle is CSX2000, the very first Shelby Cobra to ever be produced. But you already knew that there was something special about this car, didn’t you? Upon first glance at it’s photos, the automotive connoisseur in you already immediately noted it’s well earned patina, ruling out the possibility of it being a later produced replica, especially when you consider that the majority of replicas wear wider flared bodies. This one’s narrow body, early unfamiliar looking vintage badges and all original looking interior were all tell tale signs that this was possibly an exceptionally iconic car that you are looking at, but would you have known that this Cobra should also possibly be considered the ultimate production car engine swap of all times? Perhaps a bit of a grandiose statement at first read, but let’s take a closer look at this car’s history and then you can be the judge yourself of that and also decide if it’s worth the claimed $20 million plus dollar estimate that has been placed as it’s value…
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1989 Ford Transit Van with 640 hp Jaguar XJ220 Engine Swap

April 25, 2017 in Engine Swap / English / Sleeper

Being that we are the Car Build Index, it is our mission to bring our readers the most outrageous engine swaps, restorations and projects that we can possibly find. There are a lot of lackluster, uninspiring hack jobs out there, but every now and then we find something that we get excited about which fits the bill perfectly. That being said, it is only appropriate that we now present to you the following 1989 Ford Transit  Supervan. Normally, a plain white van would not be exactly earth shattering to the average car enthusiast, but we are certain that we could change that bleak outlook when we happily report to you that this one was originally a Jaguar factory test mule that is now fitted with a 640 horsepower XJ220 supercar engine…

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1987 Aston Martin V8 Zagato Modification

April 13, 2017 in English / Modification Thread / Restoration Shop

This 1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato was the subject of a few enthusiastic upgrades by the marque experts at Richard Stewart Williams Limited in the U.K., per their French client’s request. If you are not familiar with who the shop is or of the quality of work that they perform, rest assured in 1992 the shop was entrusted by Aston Martin Lagonda, LTD with producing 2 “Sanction III” re-issues of the original 1960’s DB4 Zagatos, to give an idea to what they are capable of. But back to the subject at hand, the Aston Martin specialist shop modified this later 80’s Italian Zagato bodied English car from right to left hand drive, upgraded it with a 7 liter engine, a higher ratio differential, a Brembo big brake kit and a few other interior changes, as well. Come check it out with us on the following page for more detail…
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Garage Find: 1966 Ford GT40 Mk 1(P/1067)

April 10, 2017 in American / Barn Find / English / Race Car / Survivor

This 1966 Ford GT40 (P/1067) was recently excavated from a garage in Thousand Oaks, California after being stored under accumulated garbage for 37 years. The story of it’s find recently hit the internet after notorious vintage Ferrari scout Tom Shaugnessy finally prevailed as it’s latest owner since being in bidding war over it for a year. It is always hard to believe when such a rare car is unearthed, as you would think that they are all accounted for, but somehow there are still barn and garage finds resurfacing today that were thought long lost. Continue with us on the following page for a history of this particular car and how it ended up tucked away hidden for so many years.
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Restoration of 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight with Low Drag Body

April 6, 2017 in English / Race Car / Replica/Tribute Build / Restoration / Restoration Shop

Jaguar announced just yesterday that they will be building 6 brand new 1963 Lightweight E-Type “exact reproductions” utilizing unused chassis numbers that had been laying dormant at the factory (link) for the past 51 years. Therefore, when better than now to feature the mesmerizing restoration story of 1 of those original 12 that was horrifically crashed on track back in 1964 and thought unrepairable but then resurrected some 50 years later? The U.K. based Jaguar marque experts at Classic Motor Cars were the brave souls who took on that very challenge, and as a consolation prize they rolled away with a pair of twins…
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1986 MG Metro 6R4 Restoration by Mäkelä Auto Tuning in Finland

March 31, 2017 in English / Race Car / Restoration / Restoration Shop / Video

What car nerd among us doesn’t thoroughly enjoy seeing a race car being built from the ground up, especially when it is from the golden era of Group B competition such as this 1986 MG Metro 6R4 (AD570091)? Mäkelä Auto Tuning in Finland is the shop that handled the honors, who you just might remember from our previous feature of their Ferrari 308 to Michelotto Group B specification build (found in “Related posts” on the next page) from back in September. The shop completes some absolutely astounding, jaw dropping to ground, tongue rolling out, eyes bulging out projects, which we are sure nobody here would argue with after seeing some of their work. So, while we try to compose ourselves, why don’t you watch the build of this obscure little MG unfold on the next page, which we hesitate to label “hot hatch” in fear of some brutal retaliation from it. This evil machine is far too serious for that nomenclature, check it out for yourself…
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1971 Ford Transit Supervan

March 23, 2017 in American / English / General Discussion / Race Car / Sleeper / Video

Oh, okay now this is absolutely glorious. Not so sure this beast could get away with being labeled a “sleeper”, but nonetheless what we have here is a 1971 Ford Transit that is basically a GT40 wrapped in the body of a cargo van. It was built by Terry Drury Racing, who was no stranger to Ford GT40’s, having campaigned them in competition back in the days as a privateer. The “Supervan” had the chassis, along with independent suspension and brakes from the GT40, paired with a mid mounted 400 bhp Gurney Weslake V8 and 5 speed transmission. It first appeared at Brands Hatch on Easter of ’71 wearing typical Ford racing white paint and blue stripe livery and arched wheel flares to cover the wide rims. We’d love to know what happened to it since. Find a period video on the following page…

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Vintage Automotive Sales Literature and Brochure Photos

March 20, 2017 in American / English / Factory Photos / French / General Discussion / German / Italian / Japanese / Swedish

It’s always entertaining to take a look back at the way things used to be done in the automotive business with a gander at yesteryear’s sales literature and brochure photos. Although we still have magazine advertising and car brochures today, we don’t rely on them any longer for a definitive source of information since the invent of the internet, of course. The question really is, how much longer will these ancient relics continue being printed? Even when they are all finally extinct, we will still have the internet to view them on…

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Survivor: 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 Bertone Competition Spider

March 9, 2017 in English / Featured / Italian / Race Car / Survivor

The subject of today’s Survivor is this 1954 Arnolt Aston Martin DB2/4 Competition Spider with a body hand built by Bertone. It is one of only 3 designed by Scaglione, and remains in unrestored original condition with less than 15,000 miles. When we ran across it’s 2008 RM and 2009 Gooding & Company auction listings, we knew we had found the perfect vehicle for this weekend’s Sunday feature. While we mainly concentrate on restorations and projects during the week, we especially appreciate true survivors such as this that still wears it’s original hammer marks and spot welds on it’s hand formed body 60 years later, even more remarkable and unheard of considering it was a race car…
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Concept Cars From 1970

March 6, 2017 in American / English / French / General Discussion / German / Italian / Japanese

We tend not to pay too much attention to concept cars because if/when they make it into production we know that the resemblance to their original show car features will be vague, at best. Wheels end up sitting further inside the wheel wells, paint is not nearly as nice and interiors and trim are made out of cheaper materials once they hit production, if they ever actually do. Nevertheless, we took a few minutes out of our normal schedule to put together as many pictures of concept cars from 1970 as we could find in a reasonable amount of time and have shared them on the following page. Scrolling over the pictures will reveal the manufacturer and model type on the bottom left of your screen, if they are not blatantly obvious from first sight. Enjoy…

1) 1970_Ford_Mustang_Milano

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Andy Rooney’s 1966 Sunbeam Alpine Tiger Restoration

February 24, 2017 in American / English / Restoration / Restoration Shop

We are back with another restoration recommendation from Hemmings.com to take a look at, this time around a touching story about a 1966 Sunbeam Tiger that belonged to Andy Rooney from 60 Minutes. He had originally purchased it brand new and always thoroughly enjoyed driving while he was still amongst us, but unfortunately never got to see it’s restoration finished by Whitehall Auto Restorations in Massachusetts while he was still alive. His daughter Emily shares the story, which can be found in full in the link provided on the following page. But first, how about some pictures?

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Random Vintage Photographs

February 22, 2017 in American / English / French / General Discussion / German / Italian / Japanese / Race Car / Vintage Dealership Photos

We put this collection of random vintage photographs together from a 196 page-and-counting thread on VWVortex.com simply titled “Vintage photos…..Awesome!” by forum member “G60toR32”. Thousands of pictures are included from every era all around the populated world, including some that we particularly found interesting of our native Los Angeles before today’s plague of traffic and congestion. Get lost while looking at over 100 photos attached on the following page, or if you really have some time for a journey you can find the link to the original thread at the bottom of the next page.

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1977 Lotus Esprit S1 Restoration

February 10, 2017 in English / Featured / Home Garage Build

This 1977 Lotus Esprit S1 has underwent a full nut and bolt restoration by it’s owner, who chronicled the whole process on a website that he dedicated to the 4 year build. His goal was to bring this Esprit S1 back to the way it had left the factory over 30 years ago. The end result exceeds these expectations, a car that certainly would have made Colin Chapman himself proud.
The Lotus had only 18,000 original miles on the clock when he purchased it back in 2009, and he began dismantling it before ever even driving it.

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Video: Senna’s 91 McLaren Honda V12 Fired Up For First Time in 20 Years

February 8, 2017 in English / Japanese / Race Car / Video

In this video, legendary late Formula 1 driver Aryton Senna’s 1991 McLaren Honda MP4/6 3.5 liter V12 was recently fired up for the first time in 20 years. He used the land bound missile to win 7 races in 1991, therefore clinching the World Championship that year. Is it just us, or would you also agree that Senna represented the tale end of the golden era of F1? Before you make your own conclusion, listen to this engine while looking at the design of the chiseled vintage race car’s body and chassis, then compare it to today’s phallic nose F1 cars cluttered with billboard advertisements and overly complicated technology. Is there really any comparison? For us, quicker is not necessarily always better…

Factory Tour at Morgan

February 7, 2017 in English / Factory Tour / Video

We always enjoy watching the process of a car being built from the ground up, whether it be the restoration of a vintage car or a new car getting built from scratch. Morgan Motor Company happens to occupy a bit of both of those two descriptions, as they are a present day car manufacturer who still employs the same old school craftsmanship techniques, and even tools that they have been using on basically the same car design since their Morgan +4 began production in 1950. Last week, Automobiliac.com made a visit to the Malvern, England factory and have shared the pictures of the tour on their site. Be sure to visit it linked on the following page, where they give an educational and interesting description to go along with the photos. Barring a few anachronisms, such as the use of modern tires, they look like they could have been taken at any time during the last 60+ years. After, be sure not to miss the (unassociated to Automobiliac.com) factory tour video attached, as well. Tally hoe, our good ‘ol chaps! puts goggles on, tosses scarf around shoulder and drives off (Our weak attempt at English humor)…
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Reader Submission: 1960 Austin Seven Mk 1 Mini Restoration/Yamaha Engine Swap

February 6, 2017 in Build In Progress / Engine Swap / English / Home Garage Build / Reader Submission / Restoration / Video

This 1960 Austin Seven Mk1 project is brought to us today by CarBuildIndex.com reader Joe, who wanted to share with fellow viewers his epic build that includes an engine and transmission swap from a 2003 Yamaha YZF-R1 motorcycle. The 11,000 rpm, 998 cc motor is said to produce in the range of 164 horsepower and weigh merely a scant 150 pounds. At 200 pounds less than the stock one it replaces and in excess of 30 more horsepower than a fully built 1275cc Series A engine, that’s a win/win formula which you will never find us arguing with. The project started almost 6 years ago and it is currently in it’s final stages of completion, so come take a closer look at it with us on the following page and then be sure not to miss his linked site that details his build in full.
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Video: Jay Leno’s Garage 1966 Lotus Elan 26R Restoration

January 20, 2017 in English / Race Car / Restoration / Restoration Shop / Video

Now thiss is what we’re talking about! Jay Leno’s Garage just completed the restoration of an amazing ’66 26R with many trick and custom fabricated parts, but we won’t spoil the surprise of what they are by letting them out of the bag beforehand. They filmed many stages of the build and wrapped it all up in the video below, and then followed it up with an epic drive. In our (not so) humble opinion, definitely one of, if not The finest Elan existing today. Enjoy:

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