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2011 Fiat 500 Abarth with Mid Engine and Rear Wheel Drive

January 10, 2017 in Engine Swap / Italian / Modification Thread / Video

This 2011 Fiat Abarth was taken and made into something that more closely resembles the original classic Abarth by moving it’s engine behind the seats and giving it rear wheel drive. Although this one has mid engine placement rather than rear, we would have to agree that it was a better choice than having it hang out over the rear axle like the classic version. It’s called the “Motore Centrale R230” (which we hopefully don’t have to translate for you) by the Italian aftermarket tuner Aznom, the “R230” representing what the little Fiat engine’s horsepower was tuned up to. With a custom cradle made to hold it, suspension by Bilstein and larger brakes by Tar-Ox, could this be the closest thing to an Renault R5 that we have seen since the Ford Shogun? We say take it one step further and give it flares, more horsepower and less weight, which sounds like something close to what they have planned for it with a possible track day version in the future. Until then, check out the pictures and videos on the following page for a bit of entertainment…
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Volkswagen Golf Build for U.K. Time Attack Series

January 3, 2017 in Engine Swap / English / German / Modification Thread / Race Car / Video

This Volkswagen MKVI Golf is the subject of a race car build thread on VWVortex.com by forum member “[email protected]”. The car started as a wrecked plain Jane base model Golf, but was given the full work over for Time Attack racing by Milltek Sport in the U.K., which included a warmed over 415 hp Golf R 4 cylinder turbo engine. There is no mention whether it received the R’s 4 Motion drive system too, so we are left to assume that it retains the base model’s front wheel drive platform, perhaps for weight savings or race class regulations. We have always been big fans of modified VW’s when they are tastefully and properly built like this car, which shouldn’t be confused with a drift car, not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course. Otherwise, the name of the series that this VW is racing in wouldn’t be called “Time Attack”, since going sideways isn’t exactly the quickest way around a track…
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Ex-Jim Clark Lister Jaguar “Flat Iron” Restoration for Goodwood Revival

December 28, 2016 in Build In Progress / English / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Video

This ex-Jim Clark Lister Jaguar “flat iron” is the subject of a two part restoration video series on FortyOneSix.com. The iconic race car was being finished for the Goodwood Revival meeting by CKL Developments in the UK. The car was originally built with a Bristol engine, but after it was crashed badly during it’s early racing career, a privateer team bought it and a Jaguar XK engine found it’s way into the bay. Jim Clark recently had a few choice words to say about the driving experience…

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1974 Alfa Romeo GTV Restoration

December 15, 2016 in Italian / Modification Thread

Follow this 1974 Alfa Romeo GTV’s restoration from start to finish as it’s owner takes us through a detailed account of the process on a website that he dedicated to the car’s re-build.  Although he states that it’s not intended to be a show car, it looks quite impressive from the pictures. The list of modifications clicks all of the right performance mod boxes for us. We would have probably foregone most of the red accents, but hey, that’s personal preference and he has every right to do whatever he wants with his own project.

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Video Recommendation: Canepa Shop Walk-Through

December 5, 2016 in American / General Discussion / German / Italian / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Video

We always find it fascinating to see what is currently going on in Bruce Canepa‘s Scott’s Valley, California shop during their weekly video walk throughs. No sound is necessary, the images speak volumes. We have had our eye on the black Interscope 934 in particular, but wonder what the lowered Duesenberg with stock wheels all about, too. In fact, everything in the shop peaks our interest, it’s absolute sensory overload! Enjoy..

Ferrari 512 BB Boxer Restoration by Foskers

November 2, 2016 in Italian / Restoration Shop

Since featuring the notorious classic photograph of a crashed Ferrari Boxer down the side of a snowy embankment a few weeks ago from the back page of a 1983 issue of Road & Trackwe have been on a quest to find a worthy 512 BB restoration to feature hereIt turns out that Ferrari marque experts Foskers in the U.K. took on such a project starting with the purchase of one in 2008, although no model year of their car is given. Using our knowledge accrued from years of studying the pages of our car magazine subscriptions instead of doing homework at an early age, we would have to say that this example is probably a late ’70’s or an ’80. Whatever it’s actual model year, what we have here is a Ferrari BB Boxer being slowly and methodically taken apart and then exposed in all of it’s glory, only to be put back together to better than new, absolutely stunning show condition by experienced professionals. We got your attention? Then come along and take a closer look at it with us on the next page…

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The Brilliant Shin Yoshikawa. Part 1

October 31, 2016 in Japanese / Restoration Shop / Video

We set aside the day today in order to focus on Shin Yoshikawa, an awe-inspiring man blessed with multiple automotive related and unrelated talents and skills. If his name sounds familiar, it may be because last month we featured his stunning restoration of the 1968 Toyota 2000GT which was once owned by the un-licensed 1960’s supermodel Twiggy, a rare model of vehicle that Shin has become an expert of. Since we want to make sure that his multi-faceted talents are given the proper justice they deserve, we decided to break his story into 2 features today. Additional upcoming features will include a glimpse into the cut-a-way drawings that he is so well known for and of his book about the Toyota 2000GT, too. Watch out for them in the coming week.
Part 1 begins below with a Vimeo video presentation about the man described as a professional photographer, designer, writer, restoration specialist and concert pianist all wrapped up in one package. From Silly Thing, please enjoy “Into the Wilderness“. Make sure to watch it in HD and full screen. Shall we begin?

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VIDEO SERIES: BMW i3 Production

October 27, 2016 in Build In Progress / Factory Tour / German / Video

The following 4 part video series by http://www.testdriven.co.uk/ shows a 2014 BMW i3 being produced on film just the way we like ’em, with no narration or background music playing at all. As a little bit of background before viewing, the rear wheel drive electric cars are able to be driven between 80 to 100 miles. A “range extender” version is available which has the addition of a 650cc two cylinder gas engine, increasing their range an additional 180 miles per tank. There is reportedly a good amount of torque to be felt right off the line from it’s 250 Nm, 170 hp engine, enabling it to achieve a swift 7.2 second 0-62 mph. While these appear to be fun little runabouts to drive while that restoration project is still in pieces in the garge, we’d like to see a convertible version made available too.
To find out more about the car, find a link to testdriven.com’s i3 article after the videos on the following page.
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1986 Toyota Celica Group B Race Car Restoration

October 26, 2016 in Japanese / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Video

This 1986 Group B Toyota Celica was the subject of a full rotisserie restoration by Rallye-Engine in Germany. While we may just have previously featured an almost identical 1984 Group B Celica restoration by MAT in Finland only a few weeks ago, can you really blame us for wanting to feature another one again so soon after seeing the first one? Since then we have been having delusions of grandeur of sliding it at speed during muddy forest stages in between massive Sequoia’s while our co-driver is feeding us route map notes…”Right. Left. Jump in 100 feet. Then hard brake and 90 degree left!”…
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VIDEO: Lamborghini Countach Restoration

October 24, 2016 in Home Garage Build / Italian / Video

Though not a word is spoken in the following video, none is necessary as the pictures in this Lamborghini Countach restoration video do all of the talking for the first 1/3 of the film. The remaining is filled with epic in-car driving footage and also a cackling-engine-popping-noise soundtrack that will make any vintage Italian car nut swoon. We particularly like the way he is able to manipulate the car in and out of the garage with only millimeters to spare. Speaking of garage, there is what looks like a Porsche 993 RS lurking inside as a stablemate. We appreciate the discriminating taste and expert craftsmanship of this home garage builder/restorer, who goes by “Countachtv” on YouTube. Enjoy.

1990 Porsche 964 Cup Car Bare Shell Repaint

October 10, 2016 in German / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Sympathetic Restoration

This 1990 Porsche 964 series Carrera Cup car (chassis #9007) was the subject of a bare shell repaint thread back to it’s original Viper Green color on http://forums.rennlist.com/rennforums/by forum member “NineMeister”. The shop who did the work, 9M in the UK, bought the race car in an estate sale unfortunately without any documentation to verify, but it is thought to have been the championship winning Trophy Cup car from that year. Their plan was to sympathetically restore it back to the factory specification and livery that it wore when raced during that successful season. Continue with us on the next page as we follow “Kermit” through it’s strip and respray…
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Pontiac Solstice Build with 427 V8 Engine Swap

October 5, 2016 in American / Engine Swap / Modification Thread

This Pontiac Solstice was the subject of a project build at Hot Rod Magazine. With the additional help of General Motors Performance Division, the two joined forces and utilized the 2 seater’s rear wheel drive platform as the basis for a 7.0 liter, 427 cubic inch V8 engine swap. Since neither take any assigned task haphazardly, naturally everything in the car was torn apart and rebuilt around the new crate engine using mostly all GM parts numbers, including suspension and brake upgrades to match it’s new found horsepower. Continue with us on the next page for a closer look…
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1984 Toyota Celica Turbo Rally Car Restoration

October 4, 2016 in Japanese / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Video

This 1984 Toyota Celica Turbo TC35 Rally Car was the subject of a restoration by Mäkelä Auto Tuning in Finland. It’s shop owner is retired rally driver Kari Mäkelä, who you may remember from our previous feature of their absolutely jaw dropping 1983 Ferrari 308 Michelotto Group B rally car replica build, which can be found in “Related posts” on the following page. Back to the subject at hand, this particular 2 wheel drive, 1.8 liter 4 cylinder turbo (4T-GTE) Group B rally car’s revival journey began by getting completely gutted before being fully rebuilt from the ground up. The shop’s crew custom fabricated an impressive amount of the vehicle back into it’s original Group B configuration, and knowing MAT, possibly even a few giant leaps beyond…
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1971 Ford F100 NORRA Mexican 1000 Baja Race Truck Build

September 29, 2016 in American / Engine Swap / Modification Thread / Race Car

This 1971 Ford F100 was the subject of a race truck restoration and build on http://www.race-dezert.com/home/, by forum member “bajaxp”. As his on-line name suggests, the truck was being prepared for competition in Baja for the 2013 NORRA Mexican 1000. It’s truly a no-holds barred, balls out build that started picking up sponsors as quickly as tumbleweed rolls through the desert (“quickly”…we were going for “quickly” here…) throughout it’s full 24 page thread. Continue with us on the next page as we follow the project from the time of purchase to beyond race day…
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Help a Man with Lymphoma Fund His Dream:1965 Lotus Elan Restoration

September 27, 2016 in Build In Progress / English / General Discussion / Home Garage Build

We ran across this story on http://jalopnik.com/ where 2 sons in Ann Arbor, Michigan are asking for donations to help them fund their father’s dream of finishing his 1965 Lotus Elan restoration. Robert Tischler is battling stage III Hodgkins Lymphoma and has become non responsive to his chemotherapy. He is a gearhead of the truest form, having started his Lotus restoration in the early 80’s but having to shelve it before completion because of work obligations and a new family. Without the means to do it themselves, the sons ask that he be given the opportunity to finish his dream with our help, with promises of video updates of the Lotus’s restoration work and progress along the way. The pledge ends in a few days on January 11th, and they have so far reached $3,297 out of the $5,000 needed for parts to start the project. The countdown is on, let’s pull together and do what we can to help.
Find their Indiegogo project page copied on the following page, with a link to it at the bottom.
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1988 Volkswagen GTI Restoration

September 26, 2016 in German / Home Garage Build / Modification Thread

This 1988 Volkswagen MK2 Golf GTI was the subject of a restoration project on http://www.clubgti.com/content.php by it’s owner/restorer, forum member “SMc”. The thread is extremely short and doesn’t go into a ton of detail, but a fair amount of photographs tell what’s necessary of the 3 1/2 year restoration story. As vintage VW fans ourselves, this one ticked all of the right boxes for us. A quick scroll to the end showed us everything we needed to know to decide if we wanted to include it here…let’s see, what do we have here: Euro bumpers and grill with Hella H4’s, a 16 valve front chin spoiler and a roof mounted Fuba antannae, all tastefully lowered on BBS RA 15×6 rims. Done, that’s alll ya had to say.
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1977 Toyota Celica Resto/Mod Build + Video

September 23, 2016 in Engine Swap / Japanese / Modification Thread / Video

This 1977 Toyota first-generation Celica was the subject of a resto mod by it’s owner, Brian Karasawa. Back in the early 70’s, he was one of the early pioneers in the Japanese car enthusiast’s scene who were amongst the first to have modified their foreign “econo-boxes”. There weren’t a lot of aftermarket parts options available for him and his Southern California Shoreline Racing club member friends to choose from at the time. They all owned rear wheel drive cars such as Mazda RX3’s, Datsun 510’s, Capri’s and Celicas, making their lightweight platforms perfect candidates for engine and suspension upgrades. As a youth, he did what he could on a limited budget to modify his first Celica by cutting the springs, installing some Hayashi 13X7 rims and also a louder exhaust system, which all together created the look he was going after, but didn’t exactly have the performance to back it up. Recently he decided that it was time again for him to build a car like he had always wanted in the past, but this time around built right without any of the budget limitations that he had in his youth and the results seen on the continuing page are epic. See for yourself in the pictures and video…
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Bruce Canepa Offers Porsche 959 Upgrades

September 19, 2016 in German / Modification Thread / Restoration Shop

Since Porsche 959’s are now legal to be roaming freely on our open American highways, Bruce Canepa of Canepa Design in Scotts Valley, California offers a conversion available in 2 phases to really bring them up to their full potential. To most die hard automotive enthusiasts, Bruce needs no introduction, but in case you still aren’t sure of who he is, maybe the video of his shakedown of a Porsche 917 on a public highway embedded in our previous 917 restoration feature here will help the comprehension process: http://www.carbuildindex.com/19504/1972-porsche-91710-008-restoration/. To say that this guy knows his Porsches would be a gargantuan understatement. Continue on the following page for more details on the warmed-over 959…

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