SPORTS CAR CENTRE PRESENTS
Motoring news from around the world - December 2018
Tour Auto 2000: Entries Are Now Open
Entries for the Tour Auto Optic 2000 (from April 29 to May 4, 2019) are now open. Beware, the number of places is limited!
Every year, Peter Auto celebrates a make or a model of cars that took part in the history of the Tour de France Automobile. Celebrating its 28th edition, it will be the long forgotten English makes that will receive all the attention. And they are numerous to have lined up at the start of the original race! Priority will therefore be given to the most exotic models, such as Frazer-Nash, Jowett, Sunbeam-Talbot and Fairthorpe. 15 of these models will be selected by the committee and will benefit from a 10% discount on their entry fees.
In the same way, and in order to favor the oldest cars, the rules and regulations of the Regularity section has evolved. Thus, only cars homologated before December 31st, 1965 will be able to compete for the general classification Regularity, this also stands for the Competition section. The later cars will be able to claim the different class victories according to their period, G, H or I.
The amount of applications received by the Peter Auto team compels them to limit the number of cars to 240. As usual, the selection committee will do its best to ensure a maximum of diversity with models and makes from different eras (see eligible cars). It goes without saying that priority will be given to the more interesting models as well as applications which have arrived first…
Entry fee is € 9,950 per car for a two people-crew. Minored entry fee (deadline 11/15/2018) is € 9,350. Entries deadline: 1st January 2019. Support crews also benefit from minored entry fees until 01/15/2019. After this date, normal registration fees will be applied and depending on the number of places available.
The Tour Auto Optic 2000 entry fees include:
- Accommodation – 5 nights in twin or double room (1st to 4th of May included)
- Catering for two people (breakfast, lunch, dinner) from the first leg lunch to the brunch at the finish
- One road book
- Three sets of race numbers
- Two rally plates
The start of this 28th edition will be given from the Grand Palais in Paris but this year, the caravan of the Tour Auto will not be heading to the South of France… The circuits, the arrival city as well as the stage towns of the 2019 edition of the Tour Auto Optic 2ooo will be revealed soon.
New Aston Martin Hypercar Codenamed Project ‘003’
Aston Martin’s next step into the mid-engined hypercar market has been confirmed with the release of the first official details of Project ‘003’.
Project ‘003’ is the third hypercar to be developed by Aston Martin following the Aston Martin Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR Pro (formerly ‘001’ and ‘002’), 003 has its DNA deeply rooted in concepts and technology currently being developed for those revolutionary road and track-only machines.
Project ‘003’ will be built around a lightweight structure and powered by a turbocharged petrol-electric hybrid engine. Combined with active aerodynamics for outstanding levels of downforce in a road-legal car, active suspension systems providing next-level precision, control and driver connection like the Aston Martin Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR Pro, Project ‘003’ will possess class leading dynamics on both road and track.
While this exceptional breadth of performance is of paramount importance, Project ‘003’ is also being designed and engineered to offer more practical concessions to road use, including space for luggage. Fully homologated and available in all markets in both left and right-hand drive, production will be limited to 500 coupe examples globally, with the first cars arriving to market in late 2021.
Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group Chief Executive, Andy Palmer, said: “It was always the intention for the Aston Martin Valkyrie to be a once-in-a lifetime project, however, it was also vital to us that Valkyrie would create a legacy: a direct descendent that would also set new standards within its own area of the hypercar market, creating a bloodline of highly specialised, limited production machines that can exist in parallel with Aston Martin’s series production models. I’m thrilled to announce that this car is the Project ‘003’, and our next step into a dynamic and exacting arena.”
Porsche Definitively Enters The Electric Era With The New Taycan
Six billion euros in investments, 1,200 new employees for the launch of the Taycan alone, the ongoing development of Porsche Production 4.0 and an unparalleled knowledge campaign rolled out throughout the entire company: in firmly committing to electric mobility, the sports car manufacturer is undergoing a process of major change and once again reaffirming its ability to safeguard its future.
“We predict that over 50 percent of Porsche models delivered from 2025 will be electrified,” states Lutz Meschke, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board and Member of the Board responsible for Finance and IT at Porsche. This will involve substantial investments in fields such as development and production, as well as staff training. Despite this, the target profit margin of at least 15 percent remains unchanged. “In addition to efficient processes, the revenue from digital products and services should also increasingly contribute to our economic success,” says Meschke.
One example of an efficient approach is the new Taycan production and assembly facilities currently being built as a “factory within a factory” at the main plant in Zuffenhausen. This development signals Porsche’s move away from the traditional principle of an assembly line. Albrecht Reimold, Member of the Executive Board responsible for Production and Logistics, explains: “By applying flexi-line production, Porsche will become the first vehicle manufacturer to use driverless transport systems in a continuous series production process.” This will enable the sports car brand to combine the advantages of the traditional principle of continuous production with the flexibility of versatile assembly. It will also allow the number of work cycles to be increased using the same amount of space. Following the concept of “smart, green, lean”, Porsche is also pursuing resource-friendly production. The Taycan production process is carbon neutral, with the future goal in production being to establish a complete zero-impact factory, a factory with no environmental impact.
The introduction of the Taycan is generating 1,200 new jobs in Zuffenhausen. “The Taycan is one of biggest creators of jobs in the history of Porsche,” emphasises Andreas Haffner, Member of the Executive Board responsible for HR and Social Affairs. Not all of these new employees will be producing the Taycan; they will also build two-door sports cars. Porsche’s aim for the Taycan is to create a team with a healthy mix of experienced sports car manufacturers and new staff. This development will also see a large-scale training initiative take place in a specially created production hall built on the training centre premises in Zuffenhausen. A digital learning platform, which contains over 1,400 training units on issues related to digital transformation and allows users to study independently and according to their needs, will also be available for the entire workforce as they join Porsche on its journey into the electric and digital era.
The close working relationship between motorsport and series production highlights just how important it is to share knowledge. Like the Porsche 919 Hybrid, which has multiple Le Mans victories under its belt, the Taycan is powered by innovative 800 V technology. This was one of the most essential decisions for the 919, as the voltage level effectively sets the course for the entire electric drivetrain: from the battery to the layout of the electronics and the e-machines to the capacity of the charging process. In adopting a pioneering approach and specifically developing suitable 800 V components, Porsche pushed the limits of what is technically feasible – including with regard to the liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery. Amid the intensely competitive environment of motorsport, Porsche has continued to develop its technologies. The brand has now achieved a power density the likes of which have never been seen before. For the Taycan this means the 800 V architecture in the vehicle guarantees that the lithium-ion battery can be recharged in just four minutes, providing enough energy to drive 100 kilometres (according to NEDC). This transfer of knowledge will reach a whole new level when Porsche enters Formula E in the 2019/2020 season.
Quick charging processes call for powerful charging systems. That is why Porsche E-Performance covers all areas of infrastructure with solutions for on the go and at home. With a capacity of up to 22kW, Porsche Mobile Charger Connect is a quick, convenient way to charge the Taycan at home overnight. It can also be charged using inductive technology. As part of the joint venture Ionity – which also involves BMW, Daimler and Ford – Porsche will build 400 high-power charging stations with a capacity of 350kW per charging point across Europe by the end of 2019. In the USA, the VW Group initiative Electrify America will see the installation of charging infrastructure (capacity of up to 350kW) at 300 motorway stations from 2019. Porsche is also planning to install more than 2000 AC charging points at destinations such as hotels in up to 20 markets in the run-up to the Taycan’s launch. Customers will be able to gain access to the Porsche charging network via the Porsche charging service. This is a Europe-wide solution with access to a huge array of charging stations managed by different service providers. Porsche will take care of all billing centrally.
Book News: Alfa Romeo Giulia
This book focuses exclusively on the various model variants of the saloon bodied Giulia from the Tipo 105 series mounting 1300cc and 1600cc engines.
The 528 pages contain solely contemporary photographs, which for the most part are published here for the first time, documenting the different variants of the model. In the respective chapters the modifications to the cars that Alfa Romeo made over the years are documented in detail for each model.
The documentation covers the following models produced by Alfa Romeo between 1962 and 1977 in Portello and Arese:
- Tipo 105.14 Giulia TI
- Tipo 105.08 Giulia TI
- Tipo 105.16 Giulia TI Super
- Tipo 105.06 Giulia 1300
- Tipo 105.26 Giulia Super / Giulia Super 1.6 / Nuova Super 1600
- Tipo 105.39 Giulia 1300 TI
- Tipo 105.85 Giulia 1600S
- Tipo 115.09 Giulia 1300 Super / Giulia Super 1.3 / Nuova Super 1300
- Tipo 115.40 Nuova Super Diesel
Also included is information concerning the vehicle identification numbers and production numbers of the models.
528 pages, 418 black and white photographs and 69 colour photographs.
The World’s Oldest D.I.Y Motor Car
On 2 November, Bonhams did offer the oldest known example of the 1900 ‘English Mechanic’ 3HP Two Seater, a highly unusual motor car that was designed as a ‘build it yourself’ vehicle with assembly instructions that were published each week in the English Mechanic in January 1900.
The tuppenny magazine was one of the earliest popular motoring magazines, and in 1900 it began a series called A Small Motor-Car and How to Build It.’ The series was published over 31 weeks, and ranged from engine drawings to cylinder cast patterns, everything a young motoring enthusiast needed to build their very own vehicle.
The author built his own car along with the instructions, which subtly changed as he discovered practical flaws in his work. He remained anonymous until the beginning of August -by which stage you should have had a full chassis, running engine, and the makings of a body- when he revealed himself to be a 29-year old engineer called Thomas Hyler-White.
Several English Mechanic cars were built – this is oldest known survivor – but for many years, nobody was quite sure what it was. It was discovered in 1921 in a field in Kent and had been lying there for so long that a tree had grown through the chassis. It was assumed to be a Benz thanks to its single-cylinder engine and was entered under the name in the London to Brighton Run in 1928. It sadly fell by the wayside but managed to finish in both 1929 and 1930.
The owner eventually decided that his veteran probably wasn’t a Benz, and that it was more likely an example from the French marque Hurtu. This identity stuck until well after the war until a real Hurtu of similar vintage was unearthed, and the owner had to think again. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the English Mechanic was correctly identified by its then owner who gave it a much-needed restoration.
In the 1960s it was acquired by the current owner’s father who used it for the Run every November. On the Run in 1972, the owner pulled up at a garage in Redhill where he chanced upon an 85-year-old mechanic who happened to have been a boyhood friend of none other than Thomas Hyler White, the man behind the car’s construction instructions. ‘We built our on bicycles before the turn of the century, and Hyler-White managed to create a steam engine for his.’ he recalled.
London to Brighton Run 2018
Pioneering vehicles make their annual pilgrimage from capital to coast on the world’s longest running motoring event
Half of the plucky participants travelled over Westminster Bridge and then followed the traditional A23 route via Kennington, Brixton and Streatham Common; the other half left via Millbank, over Lambeth Bridge then journeyed via Vauxhall, Clapham Common and Tooting. The two routes merged on the A236 just north of Croydon with the entire magical cavalcade reunited as it headed to the spectator-friendly halfway point in Crawley High Street, the South Downs and eventually the Madeira Drive seafront in Brighton.
First away from Hyde Park was a Peugeot Type 3 dating back to the dawn of motoring in 1893. Hailing from the Turin Motor Museum, it is believed to be the first car to have been driven on Italian roads. Other early starters included the crowd-pleasing 1896 Salvesen Steam Cart – basically a steam locomotive running on the road complete with stoker shoveling coal into the boiler’s fiery furnace plus an evocative choo choo steam whistle – and a number of primitive motorised tricycles complete with riders and passengers regaled in period costumes.
Among this year’s entries were cars from Argentina, Australia, Hong Kong, and South Africa as well as 21 from the United States. In total, 117 different marques ranging from Achilles (built in Frome, Somerset) to Yale (from Toledo in Ohio, US) were represented on this year’s Run – some, like Chevrolet, Renault and Mercedes, still well-known today, but the vast majority lost to history. Many cars and crews sported moustaches in support of Movember, the event’s official Charity Partner.
One of the ambitious brands to have fallen by the industrial wayside was making its Veteran Car Run debut this year: Vabis the embryonic Scandinavian company that can trace its descendants to today’s commercial vehicle giant Scania. Despite its rookie status, the newcomer completed the Run.
In total, nearly ninety per cent of the starters made it to Brighton before the 4.30pm deadline to claim a coveted finishers’ medal – just 44 of the starters failing to reach the sea front. The first car home was the 1901 Oldsmobile of Andres Melkus from Austria arriving on Madeira Drive. Next across the line was Tom Loder driving a 1900 Stephens.
While the Run is famously not a race, the increasingly popular Regularity Time Trial does provide a competitive element. More than 320 entrants, more than ever before, elected to take part in the Trial by attempting to keep to a strict average speed for the stretch between Crawley and Burgess Hill. The winner was Paul Kelling in an Oldsmobile who covered the 13 miles at an average speed of 12.05mph compared to his 12mph target.
In the Driver’s Seat – A conversation with Michael Birch on his Le Mans Classic Experience
Le Mans has always been a race that tests the endurance of both man and machine. It was 1923 when the first ever 24 hours of Le Mans endurance race took place, a race which was specifically designed to prove that cars were reliable, little did the organisers and drivers know that they would begin an event that would capture the imagination of so many people for generations to come. Although the circuit no longer takes drivers around the town of Le Mans like it did 95 years ago, the Le Mans Classic is perhaps the closest we can get to a taste of what it was like at the time and what better way than from the drivers seat of a time capsule?
Powersliding out of Arnage and the Ford chicane with tyres spinning and a flurry of smoke following, Talbot pilot Michael Birch was certainly one of those making the most of the opportunity at this year’s event. At the helm of the mighty green machine Talbot ‘JJ93’ over the weekend’s races for ‘Plateau 1’, Michael recounts his highlights:
“I quickly came to appreciate the superior handling characteristics of the Alpine bodied 105 when experiencing brake fade at almost 130mph along the four long fast sections of the Mulsanne and into Indianapolis. Just as I’d found at Donington, it was a case of throw it in to the corner and hope – as I certainly wasn’t going to slow down enough, but i quickly realised that’s just how you race them. They handle so well, you think you can go into a corner much quicker than you first think! One of the highlights is spinning the rear tyres on the exit coming out of Arnage. But the best of all is how quick they are through the Porsche Curves. You can just press on hard and leave most other cars long forgotten in your rear-view mirror.”
And it was in the rear-view mirror that Michael would keep the competition for the best part of the three races. However, by the end of the final race that featured battles between Talbots, Bentley’s, Bugatti’s and BMW’s, it would be a mere 8 seconds that kept Michael from the top step on the podium – the honors going to fellow Talbot pilot Gareth Burnett. But regardless of the result, there was one conclusive fact – there’s no where better to experience Le Mans than in the driver’s seat.
77MM to celebrate 60 years of the Mini with awesome one‑make race
Few cars have captured the public’s imagination so vividly over the last six decades as Britain’s version of the ultimate people’s car. So to celebrate 60 years since production began Goodwood will celebrate the life of the Mini with a single-make race at the 77th Members’ Meeting.
The new race – to be called the Betty Richmond Trophy in tribute to the current Duke of Richmond’s grandmother – will see thirty pre-’66 Minis battle on track in what promises to be an exciting and extremely close battle.
Regarded as one of the central figures in 1960s British pop culture, the Mini enjoyed huge success from the outset, both as the Austin Seven and the Morris Mini-Minor, going on to become one of the most recognisable vehicles on British roads. The Mini was produced under many names – BMC until 1968, British Leyland (following the merger of Leyland Motors and BMC) until 1986 and finally Rover (a renamed British Leyland) until the turn of the millennium.
The final Mini was completed in October 2000, ending a 41-year love affair with the British public and also signalling the end of the 1,275cc engine that had powered not only the Mini, but many more BMC, British Leyland and Rover cars for 36 years. However, one year later, now owned by BMW, the Mini returned to the market and continues to thrive today.
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