We’re having a Jaguar kick in the Rare Rides series, and by that I mean two cars in a row from the leaping cat.
Though most everyone’s heard of the XJ220, fewer are likely aware of its predecessor: the XJR-15. It’s not slow, it isn’t cheap, and it’s not luxurious.
You want it!
Infiniti designed a heritage-inspired Grand Prix racer to show off at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this year. However, it’s not technically a part of Infiniti’s heritage, as the concept vehicle’s 1940s-era styling predates the automaker’s existence by over four decades and Nissan’s own serious entry into motorsport by nearly the same margin. It also uses technologies unlikely to be found in a mid-century race car, like an electric motor — instead of an internal combustion one.
Although, the updated internals don’t amount to some impossibly fast track monster. The open-wheeled racer, dubbed Prototype 9, makes an alleged 148 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. While not terrible for something in a sub-2,000 pound weight class, it would still lose plenty of ground to any pre-war Silver Arrow on a straight. It also tops out at 105.6 mph and is capable of around 20 minutes of track-use before needing to be recharged.
Prototype 9 is definitely an example of glorious form over utilitarian function. It represents Infiniti getting into the spirit of Pebble Beach more than anything else. But celebrating craftsmanship for its own sake is something we should all get behind.
This special racing edition of Rare Rides was made possible by the Infiniti Q50 First Drive event in Nashville, Tennessee, which also provided the source material for this Q50 review and this Q60 Picture Time. Our Rare Ride today also happens to be my 100th contribution to TTAC. Time flies!
Let’s have a little look at some Japanese racing royalty, starting with some history.
With contributions by Sebastien Bell and Sam McEachern
Mechanics have made their last-minute checks, drivers circulate sur la piste managing tire and brake temperatures, engineers confirm strategies; cars stage on the starting grid, the dissonant cacophony of twenty 1.6-liter V6 hybrid Formula 1 engines spooling reverberates through the grandstands as five red lights illuminate sequentially…
Hosted on Montreal’s Île Notre-Dame since 1978, the Grand Prix Du Canada has always been a special place for the Formula 1 paddock. For decades, drivers have loved the city’s vibrating atmosphere and unbridled passion for the sport, but what they really love is the circuit’s proximity to a devilish downtown core drowning in alcohol and impeccably dressed women.
Why do you think we like it?
Those of you who follow my Questions of the Day (so, 100 percent of the B&B) may notice I’ve been on a bit of a nostalgia kick lately. Asking you about your formative driving experiences or your first-ever car ride has generated some great stories. We all have old memories locked away in the memory vault, so we may as well drag them out and dust off a few.
My question today is about your teen years. More specifically, the high school ones. Such a variegated parking lot of treasures, rust, and Best Buy sound systems. Which ride sank to the bottom of the barrel as the worst in your high school parking lot?
This weekend, the Long Beach Grand Prix saw more than its fair share of misery. It all kicked off days before the actual race when two thieves stole roughly a million dollars worth of parts from Global Motorsports Group in Santa Ana. That’s bad news for the team because they needed a lot of those parts for their McLaren 570S GT4 and Porsche 911 GT3 R race cars. And it’s bad news for the thieves because those McLaren parts can only go into a handful of cars in the United States and are essentially valueless on the black market.
The two thieves were believed to have scouted the location while GMG held an open house, only to return with a stolen truck the following day and make off with their support coach — an essential for item for race day.
General Motors created quite a few NASCAR-themed special-edition W-bodies during the first decade of our current century, complete with plenty of plastic cladding and racy-looking decals. Ordinary W-bodies clog up every junkyard in the country, and so it takes something special for me to deploy my camera on a W.
This very-rare-but-not-so-valuable Grand Prix Daytona 500 Edition showed up in a Denver-area yard, and I photographed it last week.
TTAC News Round-up: Honda Separates the Kids, Toyota Funks It Up, and the Costs Are Too Damn High at FCA
The CEO of Honda is pulling the car over and giving a stern lecture to the kids in the backseat.
That, a Scion gets a corporate makeover, Google goes in for autonomous feng shui, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is drowning in modules and a famous British racetrack could get even Britisher … after the break!
While it was possible to buy a new W-body late-1980s/early-1990s Lumina, Cutlass Supreme, or Grand Prix with a five-speed manual transmission, almost nobody did so. These cars have become pretty rare by now, so the chances of finding a five-speed Grand Prix in the junkyard are about the same as finding a five-speed BMW 7-Series; it’s possible, but not likely.
Here’s an ’89 coupe I found in a Denver yard last week.
Racing Fans Look Forward to
Frankenheimer's Grand Prix Paul Newman's Winning LeMans With Steve McQueen Ron Howard's Rush
The people running the low key publicity campaign for director Ron Howard’s upcoming Formula One based film Rush have done their job well, at least as far as car enthusiasts are concerned. Howard’s an A-list and very bankable director with a string of critical and commercial successes so it will be interesting to see how general audiences, as opposed to racing fans, respond to the movie. Since plenty of folks who weren’t space buffs enjoyed Howard’s Apollo 13, I don’t think that will be a problem. If you’ve seen Apollo 13 then you know that Howard is a stickler for authenticity. Howard has made sure that car blogs and the like have been teased with tweeted cheesecake shots of umbrella girls and information about how realistic the racing footage will be in the movie, centered on the 1976 rivalry between playboy James Hunt and methodical Niki Lauda. The theatrical opening of Rush is scheduled for September but the film’s official trailer has now been released. You can’t tell a book by its cover nor a movie by its trailer but it does look promising. It also looks kind of familiar, there’s a sense of deja vu about it.
When shopping for personal luxury coupes in the late 1970s, you might have bought the 1977 Mercury Cougar (seen in yesterday’s Junkyard Find), or maybe a Chrysler Cordoba, or perhaps even an AMC Matador Barcelona. If you wanted to go with a General Motors product for your long-hooded, big-on-the-outside/small-on-the-inside coupe, Pontiac had just the car: the Grand Prix!
The General produced quite a few not-so-quick front-drive cars with sporty-looking graphics and spoilers during the 1990s (e.g., the Beretta Z26), but the addition of an Eaton supercharger to the good old Buick V6 engine resulted in some fairly fast 90s machinery. Here’s a Grand Prix that had 240 horsepower at the front wheels during happier times.
It used to be that car companies would kill to have their cars seen with stars. That seems to be changing if a frightening development in Melbourne is an indicator. The Melbourne F1 Grand Prix used to attract spectators and sponsors with a celebrity race. The celebs of course did not race their own cars. To make it a fair and even-handed race where only driving skill decides, they were handed cars supplied by a sponsor. This year, the luminary laps are a scratch. Oh, there is no shortage of stars. There just aren’t any cars. The organizers could not find a sponsor that was able to supply the more than 25 cars needed.
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- SCE to AUX Just add a split rear window, and the hybrid sins will be forgiven.
- SCE to AUX Just add a split rear window, and the hybrid sins will be forgiven.
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