SPORTS CAR CENTRE PRESENTS
Motoring news from around the world - May 2019
FOS to celebrate Sir Jackie Stewart in 2019
The 2019 Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard will feature a double-celebration of the life and career of Sir Jackie Stewart. This year marks not only 50 years since the legendary Scot won his first F1 title, but also his 80th birthday.
The Festival will celebrate both by bringing together a number of Jackie's most famous racing cars – including the first car he ever raced, a rare Marcos Xylon Special, and the BRM P261 in which he clinched his first Grand Prix victory.
“The gathering of the very best road, race and rally cars in the world makes the Festival of Speed one of the great events in our country. This year, I am very proud that The Duke of Richmond has chosen to celebrate the 50th anniversary of my first British Grand Prix win at Silverstone in 1969 and, in the same year, my winning the World Championship for the first time,” said Jackie Stewart.
“This June also, almost unbelievably, celebrates my 80th Birthday. Goodwood have assembled a number of special cars from my career, and I hope to drive as many as I can over the weekend. These include the first car I ever raced, and the BRM in which I won my first Grand Prix. It’s a very special celebration which I thank His Grace for.”
Born in Dunbartonshire in 1939, Stewart entered his first race in the Marcos in 1961. He won several races in 1962 including one at Goodwood in a Cooper T49. By 1964 Stewart had been signed by Ecurie Ecosse and early that year he came down to Goodwood after the track manager Robin Mackay had seen him testing and tipped off Ken Tyrrell about the new talent. Stewart attended the test alongside Bruce McLaren in the new Cooper T72-BMC, a car Stewart had never seen before. Despite this he was quicker than McLaren and Ken Tyrrell signed him on the spot to the Formula 3 team.
Even with numerous offers from F1 teams, Stewart opted to stay in Formula 3 and Formula 2 before making his Formula 1 World Championship debut in 1965 for BRM, winning the Italian Grand Prix and finishing the season 3rd. Three World Championships would follow, winning in 1969 for the Ken Tyrrell-run Matra squad, before a brace of titles for Tyrrell Grand Prix in 1971 and 1973.
While Stewart is known for his success on track, he is equally synonymous for his work in improving safety in motorsport. After a crash at Spa-Francorchamps in 1966 left Stewart trapped in his car for 25 minutes. He was eventually freed from the car by fellow drivers using a toolkit borrowed from a spectator and put into a van before an ambulance finally arrived. The ambulance subsequently got lost on the way to the hospital, despite a police escort. After this Stewart campaigned, against strong opposition, to ensure that safety measures were improved, including boycotts of races at Spa-Francorchamps, the Nürburgring and Zandvoort. Stewart’s safety crusade helped make safety measures such as pit crash barriers, seatbelts and full-face crash helmets mandatory. He is directly responsible for countless lives being saved over the last few decades in motorsport.
The Pininfarina Battista is Italy’s most powerful road car ever
This is the stunning Pininfarina Battista, Pininfarina’s first road car in its 90-year history and one of the most powerful road cars the world has ever seen.
The Battista, hailed as “the world’s first luxury electric hyper performance GT”, will arrive on the roads in 2020. “Faster than a current Formula 1 race car,” Pininfarina says – that’s quite a claim.
Built on a carbon-fibre monocoque, the Battista has a 120kWh T-shaped battery back and four electric motors, one for each wheel. The whole system produces 1,900 horsepower and 2,300Nm (1,702lb ft) of torque, meaning 0-62mph takes “less than two seconds” and 0-186mph in less than 12 seconds on its way to a top speed of 217mph. The range? 280 miles.
Torque vectoring is going to play a massive part in how the Battista drives, not just to improve how the car performs but to help the traction and stability controls.
All that performance would be fairly meaningless, though, without some serious engineering elsewhere. The Battista has five radiators to keep the motors, battery pack and electrical systems cool; there are 390mm carbon-ceramic disks up front and 380mm disks at the rear, with six-piston callipers all-round. An active rear wing with an air brake function works alongside the brakes to bring the car to a halt.
As for the suspension, Pininfarina has deferred giving details, saying only that that “suspension is tuned specifically to deliver a thrilling, engaging and yet comfortable dynamic experience.” You’d hope it would be comfortable, given the fact the Battista is described as a GT, but to do so whilst building a stable, controlled platform from which to transmit 1,900 horsepower to the road will be a big challenge.
Technology aside, Pininfarina has done what it does best and created a truly beautiful machine. The Battista looks quite small and compact, and wonderfully clean for a car with such incredible performance; for once, it’s nice to see a very, very powerful car that isn’t about track performance or extreme aerodynamics.
Is the Battista silent? Well, actually, no. Drivers can choose between the normal near-silent electric car experience or a ‘signature Battista sound’, a noise generated not just to warn pedestrians of the Battista’s approach but to give the driver an “authentic electric hypercar noise”. Interesting.
And how will it drive? Well, with your foot pinned to the floor one can only assume it will be other-worldly fast, but it should have a well sorted, too. Technical development has been headed up by Dr. Peter Tutzer, a man who worked his way through Porsche’s ranks to become Chief Engineer of Porsche’s race car programme before overseeing the chassis, layout and packaging of the Pagani Zonda, and then moving on to Bugatti to create the Veyron. Then there’s the company’s test driver Nick Heidfeld, a man with many F1, Le Mans and Formula E races under his belt, and of course the record for the fastest ascent of the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard.
“The Veyron targeted 1,000bhp in 2001 when 500bhp was a headline – we doubled the power – and the first question was how can we put 1,000bhp on the road,” said Tutzer. “It has taken nearly 20 years to double that figure again, and that huge gap is not down to a lack of technical ability in the engineering community but is probably only possible with electrification.
“The really extreme challenge remains putting the power on the road and adding performance values not in the 0-100km/h range but at 300-400 km/h.”
What’s nice is that Pininfarina doesn’t just want to create a beautiful, breathtakingly fast electric car, but raise awareness of electric cars and sustainability generally. “Sustainability, and luxury without guilt, is a genuine offering,” says Pininfarina. “The ultimate ambition is to be the most sustainable luxury car brand on the planet.”
Only 150 Battistas will be built, all of which will be available through specialist partners across the world, managed through a central sales team based in Munich. There’s no word on price yet but, in all honesty, for those who love the Pininfarina name and have been waiting for this car for years or even decades, the price really won’t matter.
This year’s Autorama Ridler winner took 15 years of work and $2.3 million
Fifteen years ago, Stephen Barton set out to win the Don Ridler Award, the custom car world’s most prestigious honor. He died early last year, before he could see the CadMad, an achingly beautiful 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham with a body by Pininfarina, on display in Detroit’s Cobo center, a result that took 10 craftsmen and $2.3 million. In Stephen’s place, Craig Barton hoisted the Ridler trophy overhead in celebration of the victory his brother dreamed of. After hours of scrutiny, a panel of seven judges named CadMad the best of the 800 cars at this year’s Autorama.
CadMad was about 90 percent complete when Barton passed away. The Las Vegas resident launched the project 14 years ago, determined to win the Ridler and its $10,000 prize. He scanned his collection of 35 classics and hot rods and chose the Caddy. Then he called Jordan Quintall II and his son at Super Rides and told them to get to work.
The Cadillac was a great choice, a perfect example of the marque’s late-50s glory. The car was one of just 99 built in 1959 with a body and interior by Pininfarina. Quintall and his son, Jordan Quintall III, started by chopping 18 inches in length, 4 inches of width, and sectioning 2 inches from the lower body mass to give the car a more modern profile. After remnants were acid dipped to remove the lead Pininfarina added during manufacturing, the altered steel panels were tack welded together to serve as a visual model for the hand-crafted custom body to follow. Four doors gave way to two, and the roof from a Chevrolet Nomad made the Caddy a beautiful sport wagon.
This is not to say that all the original beauty ended up on the cutting room floor. Cadillac’s flying goddess hood ornament, head- and taillamps, bumpers, grille, side spears, wheel treatments, and steering wheel all made the leap from the Eldorado Brougham to CADMAD with subtle alterations where necessary.
Barton had hoped to give the car a V-16 engine assembled from a pair of Northstar V-8s, but that didn’t pan out. He finally handed the job to Tom Nelson Racing Engines, which built a 632 cubic inch big-block Chevrolet V-8. The engine is bolted to a 4L60E C5 Corvette transaxle rebuilt by Phil Hayes. Fueled by racing fuel and boosted by a pair of 88-mm turbochargers, the engine makes a neck-snapping 1025 horsepower and 950 lb-ft of torque. The Super Rides crew tucked the starter, AC compressor, and alternator under the floor at the back of the car, so that glorious engine is all you see when you lift the hood.
Everything rides on a space frame with a backbone and peripheral elements fashioned from 1-5/8 diameter steel tubing. Super Rides hand-crafted the suspension and steering components, and installed Baer 6-piston brake calipers that squeeze 14-inch vented rotors with help from a hidden electric booster. The car uses coil-overs at each corner.
EVOD Industries machined the 18-inch wheels, which update the original styling. They’re wrapped in 235/50R-18 radials made by Vogue Tyre & Rubber Company, which happens to be the firm that invented whitewalls in 1914. The tires have a thin strip that matches the car’s paint. EVOD also made the steering wheel, instrument bezel, and gauge surrounds. Classic Instruments crafted the gauges. Ron Mangus trimmed cut-down Recaro bucket seats pulled from a 2012 Cadillac CTS-V in leather.
Ron Heiden of Heiden’s Woodworking spent two weeks crafting the cargo floor using striped tigerwood, figured maple, and African wenge. A liberal application of urethane protects the gorgeous wood. Master pinstriper Lyle Fisk masterfully matched the wood grain in hand-painted dash and door surfaces.
The original plan called for painting the car blue, but the color looked muddy, so Barton and the Jordan’s chose a two-tone scheme of Fontana rose, a color Cadillac offered in 1961, and the titanium silver found on the Ford GT. Getting a flawless finish required rending a 50-foot-long paint booth to spray three Kustom Shop urethane base coats, four color coats, and half a dozen PPG clear coats. Super Rides spent 4000 hours building and finishing the body.
Craig Barton couldn’t be happier with the car. “It’s gone beyond mere automobile status to become a true work of art,” he says. “My brother and the Super Rides folks had tremendous vision and the years they invested building CADMAD definitely paid off.” Indeed it did.
Ford Capri’s 50th Birthday Party At This Summer’s Silverstone Classic
Ford Capri owners are being offered a fabulous opportunity to be part of the much-loved fastback’s 50thbirthday party at this summer’s Silverstone Classic (26-28 July).
Launched at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1969, and marketed by Ford as ‘The Car You Always Promised Yourself’, close to two million Capris were produced before the model’s demise at the end of 1986.
A dazzling classic touring car race has already been announced to salute the stylish coupé’s golden jubilee, together with a special trophy presented by Gordon Spice, the world’s most successful Capri racer in period.
Now comes confirmation of an exclusive anniversary track parade and display – plus a special Capri Celebration Package – to encourage all owners to join in the festivities.
This attractively priced offer provides owners with a pair of adult tickets (for Sunday or the full three-day weekend) plus a special vehicle pass giving access to a dedicated Capri Celebration display area.
Also included is a place in the commemorative Capri Celebration track parade taking place on the full Grand Prix circuit at lunchtime on Sunday. This will be fronted by the final Capri to roll off the production line in Cologne (photo above and top below) – a limited edition 280 ‘Brooklands’ model owned by Ford’s heritage workshop.
This package has been introduced to enable owners who may not be members of those car clubs already attending the world’s biggest historic motor racing festival, to share in the extensive 50thbirthday revelries.
“Five years ago we paid tribute to the Ford Mustang when it turned 50, now we are honouring its equally-iconic European sibling, the Capri,” explained Nick Wigley, Silverstone Classic CEO.
“For many of us the Capri was always the affordable coupé, so it’s no surprise that they are becoming more and more treasured by classic car enthusiasts. We want to foster and fuel that passion by encouraging as many Capri fans as possible to share in the 50thbirthday celebrations at the Classic.”
Owners not wanting to miss the party can select the Capri Celebration Package from the ticket options available on the official silverstoneclassic.com website.
As well as honouring the Capri in style, this year’s Silverstone Classic is also marking Bentley’s centenary and 60 years of the evergreen Mini among its many other celebrations.
Furthermore, the packed 21-race track programme features evocative retro showdowns for prized Formula 1, Formula 2 and Formula 3 single-seaters for the very first time plus the inaugural round of the exciting new Aston Martin Heritage Racing Festival Series.
Full details of all tickets (which must be purchased in advance) – as well as hospitality packages and weekend festival camping – can be found on the official www.
A $173,000 Supra just scratches the surface of Youngtimer fever.
The Youngtimer Collection from RM Sotheby’s has raised quite a bit of interest since its announcement back in December of 2018. Comprised of rare and low mileage European and Japanese sports cars, the collection has been slated to be sold off over the course of four auctions. The first batch was offered during Retromobile and achieved outstanding results. Strong results at Amelia Island shows that the magic hasn’t been lost. Of the ten cars from the collection offered, six of them achieved prices above their high estimate. Here are four of those cars that blew away everyone’s expectations.
Anyone paying attention to these cars will remember the Bring a Trailer sale from January. A 7000 mile car was purchased by a Chicago Toyota dealer for a surprising sum of $121,000. It is increasingly rare to see a low-mileage twin turbo Supra that has escaped modification and excessive hooning. We have been watching this market closely since the 2018 Bull Market List, so when RM Sotheby’s announced an 11,200-mile example, it was easy to expect a somewhat similar result as the Bring a Trailer car. Careful inspection of the car by the Valuation team prior to the sale revealed that the car was in excellent condition and easily achieved a 2+ condition rating. The final price blew everyone’s expectations out of the water. At $173,600, that was 45% above RM Sotheby’s high estimate and 65 percent above #1 average values. Of the entire week, this is perhaps the most surprising sale of them all. With two huge offerings of low mile Supras, it will be interesting to see how many more high caliber cars will start making their way out of the woodwork.
A $30,000 Bugatti????????????
To celebrate the 110th anniversary of the founding of the original Bugatti company, with the help of Junior Classics, Bugatti is bringing back one of the most beloved vehicles the company has ever built.
The Bugatti Type 35 was not just one of the most successful racing cars ever, with about 2000 professional and amateur victories, it was also one of the most beautiful machines ever built. Its lines are instantly recognizable. At the height of the Type 35's success, Ettore Bugatti and his eldest son Jean, who held an increasingly important role in the family firm, had the Bugatti works fabricate a fully operational, electrically powered, half-scale Type 35 as a birthday present for four-year-old Roland Bugatti, Jean's youngest son.
The Bugatti factory in Molsheim was a bit like a fashion atelier, with customers visiting the works when ordering and planning their Bugattis. When customers saw the pint-sized Type 35, they insisted on having them for their own children, so the company put the Bugatti Baby into production from 1927–36. About 500 were made, and today they are a must-have for Bugatti collectors.
Now Bugatti is putting the Baby back into production, revealing a 3D printed design model at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Unlike other “continuation” series in the automotive world, the Baby II is not an exact replica, it's in 3/4-scale to the actual Type 35, not half-sized like the original Baby, so adults can drive it too. It also has a much more sophisticated powertrain than the original.
The Baby II is powered by a removable lithium-ion battery pack, it has regenerative braking, and there's even a limited-slip rear end. Modern hydraulic brakes are fitted at each corner. The standard Baby II has two power modes, 1kW child mode with a top speed of 12 mph, and a 4kW adult mode with a 27 mph limit. Similar to the full size Bugatti uber cars, the Baby II has a Speed Key (an optional upgrade) which unlocks a full 10kW of electrons and disables the speed limiter.
The Baby II is based on a precise 3D scan of a full-size Type 35 that competed in the 1924 French Grand Prix.
Bugatti's signature machine-turned aluminum dashboard, leather seats, and a scaled-down version of the Type 35's well-known four-spoke steering highlight the Baby II's interior. Ettore Bugatti's revolutionary eight spoke aluminum wheels, a signature element of the original Type 35, are also recreated in 3/4 scale. The model shown at Geneva was painted in Bugatti's traditional French Racing Blue, though customers will be able to select from a choice of colors. While the design model did not have headlights, Bugatti says the production Baby II will be able to be driven at night.
Considered a real Bugatti by the factory, the Baby II's nose will be graced by the same solid silver “Macaron” badge displayed on it's big brother, the Chiron. The miniature Bugattis will come with numbered plaque, a commemorative 100th anniversary badge, and presumably some kind of warranty.
Bugatti will only build 500 examples of the Baby II (which will make it the highest production model in the revived Bugatti company's history, as only 450 Veyrons were made), starting in the third quarter of 2019. Pricing starts at $33,739, plus taxes and delivery charges.
Designer John Fluevog loves Jaguars and flouts all convention
This is more a polite way of saying that he rapes beautiful cars.
The rugged soles of the Angel shoes, designed by John Fluevog, bear the phrase, “resists alkali, water, acid, fatigue, and Satan.” That last one seems appropriate, given the famous designer’s love of Jaguars and tolerance for electrical systems created by the Prince of Darkness.
Fluevog has owned a great many cars from Coventry and long ago learned to accept, if not appreciate, the foibles of Lucas electrics. His love of the marque has led him to build more than a few cars that sent purists into conniptions, and his latest project won’t win him any friends among those who believe the Mk V cannot, and ought not, be improved upon. Fluevog knows he’ll tick people off. He doesn’t care.
“Why build something like this?” he says. “Maybe it's because I can get away with it.”
Those who think “brakes” at the mention of shoes probably don’t know that Fluevog made his name, and his millions, designing footwear. He started in 1970 and quickly established a reputation as an unconventional designer with shoes like the Pilgrim, a Victorian-era loafer with a big buckle and pointy toe. He tends to draw from art deco influences, and his shoes, sold in boutiques around the world, have been worn by everyone from Madonna to Alice Cooper to Scarlett Johansson.
Fluevog also draws inspiration from automobiles. His love of cars started, as it so often does, in childhood. His father Sigurd opened a drive-in ice cream stand in Vancouver in 1952, and Fluevog revelled in the wide variety of cars that would roll in. Luxury Freeze, as it was known, was located on Kingsway, a major thoroughfare popular with stoplight racers and street cruisers. Dad was something of a car nut himself. “He always had weird and interesting cars around,” Fluevog says. “I ended up driving a Citroën DS in high school.”
Anyone who drives so cool a car as a youngster is all but destined to have excellent aesthetic taste. Fluevog was drawn to Jaguars, as was his father before him, and there was almost always a Jaguar in the garage. The connection between his business pursuits and passions began overlapping early, when he sold a V-12 E-type coupe to fund the opening of his second stand-alone store in Seattle.
Even now he’s still got his father’s elegant Series III E-Type convertible, a meticulously restored beauty with gleaming black paint and that luscious V-12. It sits alongside the Mk 10 his father bought in 1965. The car had fallen into a sorry state by the time Fluevog decided he needed to fix it or junk it. One day while looking at the car, Fluevog remembered his father often saying the roofline was too high and never quite looked quite right. Inspiration struck. “I chopped it,” Fluevog said. And with that, he decided how to proceed with the project. “I didn't really mean to make that one into a hot-rod, but that's how it turned out.”
Fluevog had RX Autoworks cut two inches out of the roof, then slathered the reworked body with a two-tone paint job in sage and cream. Brown crocodile hide lines the interior, a Chevrolet LT1 burbles under the hood, and everything rides on an air-suspension and white-wall tires. The car combines the luxury of a Jaguar with the style of a ‘50s custom. “As a designer, I'm always trying to see something that isn't there,” Fluevog says. The stunning car wowed the crowd when it debuted at the All British FIeld Meet in 2013.
Fluevog is taking a similar tack with the 1951 Mk V Drophead he’s got jack of all trades builder Pat Jones working on. He bought the car several years ago from a fellow in San Francisco who’d already started modifying it. Given the car’s already been messed with, Fluevog decided to finish the job and make it a right and proper custom with a 240-horsepower Mazda 12a rotary engine.
Still on the to-do list: cantilevering the doors, reshaping the grille, and fabricating a long list of custom pieces, some of which will be 3D-printed in metal. Fluevog finds the technology particularly exciting, because he believes it will radically expand a designer’s ability to restore or customize vehicles. The plan calls for installing a supercharged LT4 and four-speed automatic, although there’s some question whether the Jaguar XJS differential will be able to handle 600 horsepower. “I guess we're going to find out,” Fluevog says.
He’s still pondering interior ideas but mentioned the possibility of purple crocodile-pattern leather. Given his penchant for doing whatever he likes to vintage Jaguars, purists be damned, perhaps the soles of his shoes ought to bear the inscription “resists alkali, water, acid, fatigue, and convention.”
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