Friday, January 20, 2006

Detroit 2006 Concept Car Roundup

We've already covered the ultra-sweet/gnarly/bodacious Chevrolet Camaro Concept, which we hear is slated for production in 2007.

DaimlerChrysler has rocked out its sublime Dodge Challenger Concept (in Hemi Orange, no less). The only basis for choosing between the Camaro and the Challenger will be the age old brand allegiances, I suspect.

Ford F250 Super Chief

Lamborghini Miura Concept

Aston Martin Rapide

Nissan Sport Coupe Concept

2005 Jaguar Coupe concept

What's more butt ugly? 2006 Chrysler Imperial concept, Maybach Exelero Show Car

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Clarkson on the Bugatti Veyron

The Veyron must be some beast, eh?

"The Veyron has rendered everything I've ever said about any other car obsolete"

Some notable quotes:

"I mean it's on sale now at £840,000. And, for that money, you could buy a house."

A house? Reminds me of one of the reasons I left the UK. Six-figure sums for starter flats and the almost complete lack of access to the property market for anybody who has not mortgaged themselves to the hilt straight out of university.

What I find so notable about things like the Bugatti Veyron is the way they completely alter our frames of reference. Until something else comes along and ups the ante once again, that is.

I am lucky enough to live in a part of the world full of women I find incredibly sexy and beguiling. However, I recently worked with an aspiring young female runway model who I suspect does indeed have the looks and character to make it at the top levels of international modeling. I found my frame of reference for beautiful women completely reset.

Likewise with supercars.

Eight hundred and forty thousand British pounds for a sports car? Remember when half a million was "outrageous"? How about when only those demi-gods who lived in the rarified upper financial stratosphere could afford even to get on the waiting list for the Porsche 959?

Remember when a "supercar" had less than 300 bhp and got from 0 to 60mph in under 7 seconds? It was not all that long ago. We (well you fureeks, at least) were wearing bell-bottoms and freaking out over Saturday Night Live. Having arrived on an 1100 cc Suzuki superbike that topped out at 120 bell-bottom-balooning mph and slaughtered a hundreds at the first corner. Not much later, we had whacked-out bahnstormers from Porsche tuners like RUF that wowed us with 0-100mph in under ten seconds but, again, would slaughter hundreds at the first corner.

A few years later, we had quarter-litre two-stroke race replica motorbikes that exceeded 120 mph. Until they seized in a corner and slaughetered hundreds, of course.....

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

2006 Chevrolet Camaro Concept Is HOT!!!!

Dude, sweet! GM's 2006 Chevrolet Camaro Concept has just been launched and it's hotter'n hell!

Not only that, but MPH Magazine has a reader's photoshop of what a convertible version might look like.

All the official photos and specs are here.

Bring on the 2006 concept gold medallions and blow-dried chest hair!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Porsche 911 GT1 Photos

I tell ya, you kiddies are SO lucky!!! This feels like Christmas all over again. Ho, ho, ho!!!

I'm exhausted but I still found time to upload a bunch of my own photographs of 1 Million US Dollars (count 'em) worth of Porsche 911 GT1, freshly-arrived from its German birthplace in a top-secret London batcave for really cool machinery.

A million-dollar price tag, 1100 kg and 544 hp mean the road-going version of the GT1 gets from rest to sixty mph in 3.7 seconds. Even better, it gets to a hundred in about 7 seconds. That should just about get your kids to school on time.

Thanks to flickr for the hosting but not for how damn long it takes for my emailed photos to show up on flickr. Grrrrr.....

Meanwhile, here's Tiff Needell putting the competition prototype through its paces:

Friday, January 06, 2006

Friday Bonus Photo: 1977 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV 2.8i V8

How about a nice little Friday afternoon bonus, eh? Here's something you don't see everyday. Actually, you'd be lucky to see one anywhere. Ever.

Alfa Romeo's racing department, Autodelta, had been campaigning an Alfetta (pic of the shell)with a 340bhp, 3.0 litre version of the Montreal's V8.

Later, the German distributor got Autodelta to fit the standard Montreal engine to a standard Alfetta bodyshell. Twenty were built and, as these were Alfetta bodyshells after all, they would have begun to corrode before they even left the factory. Hence, the rarity.

Unfortunately, the 1970s were not a good era for quality steel, quality construction, quality shipping or quality storage for carmakers, least of all Italian ones.

More info here.

If you are all super lucky, I might find time over the weekend to share my secret stash of XXX-rated car porn. That's right, I'm threatening to whip out my photos of a Porsche Carrera GT1 hiding in its super-secret London batcave....

1928 Baldwin Pacific 4-6-2 Steam Loco in Thailand

I warned you that this blog would get involved in some pretty nasty geargeekness. Here's an old (how many young ones are there?) steam rail locomotive I photographed in Hat Yai, in southern Thailand a few years ago. Actually, it was almost exactly two years ago today, come to think of it.

Anyway, for the oh, probably five billion or so of you not familiar with such things, this is apparently a 1928 4-6-2 - known as the "Pacific" class - of locomotive, manufactured by the American company Baldwin.

While researching this beast, I've unearthed quite a mass of "enthusiasts" of old steam locos and rail history in SE Asia. Well, we like to call ourselves enthusiasts. Lord only knows what the great washed masses like to call us saddos.

Of course, upon reflection, it's no surprise whatsoever there is such a mass of interest in old trains in Thailand. Even the new trains ain't. And the old ones definitely are.

Well, if you can't summon the money or pressure to get Kyosan Kogyo to "knock one out for old times' sake", you can always build one of these scale Baldwin Pacific 4-6-2s. has a bunch of books and other railroad-related items, much of it from Aristo-Craft/Aristocraft.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Rare Magni Moto Guzzi Spotted at Brands Hatch

How often do you see one of these babies? Quite rare and sought after, this is a relatively modern Magni Moto Guzzi. I've just uploaded a couple of my rather more pathetic photos of this much-coveted vehicle found relaxing in the shade behind the stands at Brands Hatch motor circuit in Kent in England.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Amphicar Action Pix

You know, sometimes it seems like you wait ages and ages for photos of an Amphicar to come along and then, a whole bunch suddenly show up at the same time.

I just uploaded a half-dozen snaps of an Amphicar cruising along the Upper Thames River in Henley, England. As one does....

Thanks to flikr for the hosting.

Amazon has a bunch of amphicar stuff for sale.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA replica photos

I just uploaded five photos of a sweet, little Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA replica that was for sale at AROC UK's National Alfa Day back in 2002.

Thanks to flickr for the hosting.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Supercharged Austin 7 road rally competition car pix

I've just posted a bunch of photos of one of Hermitage Engineering's beautiful little Austin 7 "hot rods" up on flickr.

This tasty little beast is a natty little supercharged road rally special that pays homage to the Ulster. Peter Maguire is always eager to point out that he does not produce Ulster replicas but rather cars that live in the spirit of the great Ulsters. Thanks to flickr for the image hosting.