English

1952 Frazer Nash Mille Miglia Restoration

June 19, 2017 in English / Restoration / Restoration Shop

Since we were on the subject just yesterday of English cars of historical significance that have sat around since the 70’s waiting to be restored, it would only make sense to include today’s feature, a 1952 Frazer Nash Mille Miglia. It was purchased by it’s current owner, Bob S. in a neglected and dilapidated state of disrepair in 1975 and it’s restoration didn’t begin until 2004. He had purchased S/N 421 100 168 in ’75 along with 2 partners on a shoestring budget while going through law school, knowing that the car was special and deserving of a resurrection back to it’s former glory one day when he had time and could afford it. While each and every Frazer Nash is normally always unique and rare, what makes this particular example stand out is that it was actually originally Frazer Nash’s very own company show car used for display at the 1952 Turin Auto Show.

 

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Restoration of the Oldest Surviving Jaguar E-Type-“9600 HP”

June 8, 2017 in Barn Find / English / Featured / prototype / Restoration / Restoration Shop / Video

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The subject of today’s main feature is the restoration of what happens to be the oldest surviving Jaguar E-Type left in existence, taken on by the marque experts at Classic Motor Cars in the U.K. What has become internationally reknown as simply “9600 HP” was originally built as a factory prototype, used for road testing and development before it was used for the debut at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show. Could this be the very car that Enzo Ferrari laid his eyes upon for the first time when he was famously quoted as calling the new E Type “the most beautiful car ever made”? Perhaps, but considering the drop dead gorgeous cars that he had built up until that point I suspect that it was more likely an open top roadster he was looking at, although that possibility still remains. After the show 9600 HP was also used as a press car for motoring journalists to expose to auto enthusiasts around the world, therefore labeling it as possibly the single most famous E Type ever made wouldn’t be a far stretch. On the next page, check out some photos of it’s restoration, but first how about some classic old video footage of it as it leaves the Jaguar factory after production way back in 1961…

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Lotus Restoration Project-1967 Europa S1

June 8, 2017 in Build In Progress / Engine Swap / English / Home Garage Build / Restoration

This 1967 Lotus Europa Type 46 S1 is undergoing a home garage restoration that includes an engine swap, all documented on a site that is dedicated to it’s build. We always love finding these types of sites, although this one does not leave any type of indication whether it has been completed yet or any type of date stamping. What we do know is that it’s heart is being/has been transplanted with a trusty Toyota 4A GE 1600 Twin Cam 16V unit, but before anybody scoffs at the notion of the cross breed in effect here, let’s not forget that modern Lotus’ are the same mix. Check out the build (in progress?) with us on the next page before passing judgement, and then draw your own conclusion. Since we enjoy driving more than wrenching, we welcome the reliability factor…
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1968 Ford Escort Restoration Video

June 7, 2017 in American / Barn Find / Build In Progress / Engine Swap / English / Home Garage Build / Race Car / Replica/Tribute Build / Restoration / Video

The following video on the next page chronicles the complete rebuild of a 1968 Ford Escort Mk 1 in the style of the vintage Rothmans cars, although it’s livery is hopefully intentionally misspelled as “Rotmanns”. Not only does the inspirational film show the car being taken from a basket case to a very capable vintage stage racer, it also shows some epic in-car action shots during several competitions from when it’s finished. Now, if this doesn’t entice you to work on your own car this 4th of July weekend, maybe it’s time to pick another project car that will motivate you more. Say, an Escort Mk 1, perhaps? (see what we did there?) Enjoy…

 

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Caterham R400 Superlight Build

May 26, 2017 in English / Home Garage Build / Race Car

This Caterham R400 Superlight is the subject of an impressive home garage build thread on www.s2kca.com by forum member “Dr. Gonzo”. Caterham sells the modern day interpretation of the original Lotus 7 in kit form, where they begin by putting approximately 20 hours into the build before sending the rest out to assemble by owner, which is said to take between 60 to 70 hours on average. Looking at this build thread, everything, and we mean everything has to be put together, it’s quite extensive. Next time we see one of these on the street we will know a little more about exactly what was put into it. Come take a look with us on the following page, and be sure to check it out in detail in the link provided on the following page…
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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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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…

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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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