Rare Rides: The 1981 Lotus 87 Formula One Car, in Black Gold
While the Rare Rides series has featured a few Lotus vehicles in past, none of them rose quite to the importance of today’s single-seat example. A one-of-one, it’s the car Lotus used in the 1981 Formula One racing series.
And now you can buy it, and drive it on quick jaunts to Target or Cracker Barrel.
Rare Rides: This 1975 Chevrolet Is Both Vega and Cosworth
An enterprising GM executive, a British tuning company, and a compact hatchback came together in 1975 to make a very special, limited-production Chevrolet.
It’s the Cosworth Vega, naturally.
True Brit: TVR Announces the Unveiling of Its First Car in Over a Decade
After being chopped up and spread around by owner Nikolay Smolensky in 2006, TVR appeared to be dead in the water. By then, production had dwindled from a dozen vehicles per week to just a few and the company seemed more doomed than usual. Eventually you just stopped hearing about it, unless you found yourself engrossed in a discussion about the craziest cars in history.
Smolensky sold TVR in 2013 to — get this — TVR Automotive Ltd., a company helmed by the U.K.’s Les Edgar and John Chasey, to minimal fanfare. However, our interest was piqued earlier this year when news arose of a new car in development with Gordon Murray and Cosworth. We weren’t alone — the model “ sold out” immediately upon its announcement. Now the company is letting us know where and when we can first lay our eyeballs upon it.
Across The Block: RM Sotheby's, Milan
Our annual feast of dead bird, fine pigskin, family arguments, cheap electronics, and roughly 200 (of 600) good episodes of The Simpsons is upon us. And once again, we take a glimpse into the wild world of classic car auctions, sure to be another magnificent family tradition.
Due to the holiday weekend here in the States, this week we look east to Milan for RM Sotheby’s Duemila Ruote 2016, an auction featuring over 400 collectibles — all at no reserve. I loved looking through this catalog. The exotics are awesome, of course, but the relatively pedestrian cars that we just don’t see here are what catch my eye.
Or, with one example, turn my stomach.
Horsepower, Democratized! A History of Bringing Power to the Masses
While in recent months TTAC has reported on the declining popularity of the four door, there are still a plethora of fast sedans in the marketplace.
In fact, the performance extracted from them was unfathomable even a generation ago. How did we end up at a 500-horsepower Audi, a 640-horsepower Cadillac and 707-horse Dodge? What were once numbers reserved for otherworldly exotics now are found in a pedestrian nameplate.
But this is no new trend, for while the current power war we’re experiencing has generated outlandish performance numbers for a mere average Joe, the recipe of sticking the most punch possible into a sedan for the masses goes back a long way.
Strange Bedfellows: A History of Unexpected Automotive Collaborations
It should come as no surprise that some of the most iconic automobile designs have interesting associations in their geneses. Where those associations come from, though, can sometimes be surprising, as companies leapfrog the globe trying to find the talent, technical expertise, and productive capacity to build a new or unique model.
These stories seem to pop up more often when there’s a shift in a company’s priorities or an attempted to redefine its direction or mission. Large organizations can be slow to adjust to these changes, and so often these major manufacturers turned to small teams to produce what have often become standout models from already legendary lineups.
Often, but not always, as we see in this montage of odd couples.
Digestible Collectible: 1989 Ford Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth
An alternate title I briefly considered: Digestible Collectible: Brexitopia!
I’m not going to pretend that I know anything about the state of international politics beyond what I’ve read here on TTAC, or a few brief articles around the web. While I have my doubts that the world will end because of the “Leave” vote, I’m happy to remain relatively ignorant.
That said, I’m happy to take advantage of the sudden, favorable exchange rate drop, and of course hit the web to see what interesting stuff might be imported.
British Invasion: Cosworth to Set Up Shop in Detroit
A company whose name is synonymous with performance wants to put down roots in Big Three territory.
Cosworth, the British manufacturer of specialized engine parts and electronics, aims to open a $30 million plant in the northern suburbs of Detroit by 2018, Automotive News reports.
Digestible Importables: 25-Year-Old Import Law Edition
Earlier this week, we celebrated the new year by looking at a couple cars that are eligible for private import under the NHTSA’s “25 Year Rule” and I figured there were many more possibilities out there warranting a mention. Some of these have become eligible over the last couple years, where some won’t be ready for a year or so.
I’m sure I’ll miss some, either via simple forgetfulness or willful ignorance. (I doubt there are many people chopping at the bit to import a Zastava Florida.)
TVR "Sells Out" of 2017 Cars in Six Weeks
The reborn sportscar maker TVR says it has “sold out” of its first model since shuttering in 2006, Autocar is reporting. Reportedly, none of the prospective owners, who have deposited £5,000 ($7,700 USD), have seen pictures of the new car.
The new model will be a V8-powered sportscar designed by Gordon Murray, with engine development from Cosworth and production by humans, rather than unicorns. The company said it took 250 deposits six weeks after it began accepting them in July.
This Six-Wheeled Williams FW07D Never Turned A Single F1 Lap in Anger
The Tyrrell P34 wasn’t Formula 1’s only car to sport six wheels. This six-wheeled Williams-Cosworth FW07D was developed by the team in Grove as a bit of aerodynamic trickery, but sported its extra axle behind the driver instead of in front.
Corvette & Cosworth Introduce Industry's First Performance Data Recorder Telemetry System
Chevrolet used the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to introduce what it says is an industry first for the 2015 Corvette, a factory equipped Performance Data Recorder that integrates video, audio and motorsport inspired telemetry recording to improve driver technique and lap times. Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer, said in a statement, “The Performance Data Recorder combines the ability to record and share drive videos with the power of a professional-level motorsports telemetry system. Drivers can easily record and share their experiences driving down the Tail of the Dragon or lapping Road Atlanta. In addition, with the included telemetry software, users can analyze their laps in incredible detail and find opportunities to improve their driving and lap times.” The PDR will be available when the 2015 Corvette goes on sale in the third quarter of 2014 and pricing will be announced closer to launch.
Vellum Venom: Uwe Bahnsen, Car Designer, RIP
Never forget: people make all the difference. This often overlooked fact in the glamorous world of automotive styling rings true for the life of Mr. Uwe Bahnsen. I froze in my tracks when I heard of his passing on Car Design News. His work at Ford and with the Industrial Design community influenced me, and every American who loved cars in the 1980s.
How ironic that Mr. Bahnsen’s passing was the week TTAC’s own Ford Sierra passed its citizenship test in Texas: so here’s a great Germanic-Texas Beer for you, Mr. Bahnsen.
Junkyard Find, Part II: 1975 Chevrolet Cosworth Vega
After seeing today’s Junkyard Find ’75 Vega, the members of the Vega Jihad are doubtless pounding out 10,000-word screeds about The Greatest Car Ever Made (never underestimate the suspension of disbelief required to be a member of the Vega Jihad), and I’m sure that the Cosworth Vega will be mentioned numerous times during said screeds. That’s why it’s fortunate that I have a bonus Junkyard Find today, a genuine, one-of-3,508-made junked Cosworth Vega, which TTAC reader and historically accurate 80s minitruck road racer Jesse Cortez found and photographed at a Northern California wrecking yard.