Motoring news from around the world: November 2017
MORGAN MOTOR COMPANY RE-ACQUIRES MALVERN HOME WITH LAND ACQUISITION DEAL
Continuing the positive momentum in the business, and as part of a long term strategy, Morgan Motor Company has hit yet another milestone in a record year, with the re-acquisition of factory land.
In January 2006, the Morgan Motor Company sold the land on which the factory is built to fund product development in a sell and lease-back deal with Stirling Investments, a deal that enabled the company to develop new vehicles and implement new technology. The re-acquisition of the land follows a successful period of business development, and helps to provide stable foundations for Morgan’s future growth plans.
After a sustained period of successful trading and consolidation, Morgan Motor Company has now purchased both the Pickersleigh Road site and the Morgan Visitor centre. It’s a clear indication of Morgan’s commitment to its roots in Malvern, which for over 108 years has been the home of the Morgan Sports Car.
The inclusion of the Morgan Visitor Centre in the land purchase secures the future of this destination as a popular tourist attraction, which has welcomed
Goodwood Festival of Speed and Revival 2018 Provisional Dates Announced
The provisional dates for the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard and the
Goodwood Revival have been announced:
Festival of Speed: July 12th – 15th
Goodwood Revival: September 7th – 9th
These dates are provisional and subject to change following the ratification of the Formula 1® calendar.
Next year’s Festival of Speed will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the sell-out event.
Ticket-buyers can be the first to know when tickets go on sale by signing up here:
Warhol's Art Car: A Special BMW M1
Four years after BMW’s initial art car, pop art icon Andy Warhol designed the fourth BMW Art Car in 1979. After just 28 minutes, the work is done. Colourful shades extend over the BMW M1, as well as brush strokes, Warhol’s fingerprints and finally his signature at the rear. Warhol deliberately blurs the colours to show the high speed of the racing car.
This painted M1 finished 6thin the overall ranking and the 2nd place in its class at the 24-hour race in Le Mans that same year which made it the most successful Art Car ever.
Built: 1979 / Cylinders: 6 / Displacement: 3,496 cc / Power: 470 hp / Top speed: 310 kph
1990s Supercar Dream: XJ220 vs. F1
The 1990s was a time of great change, from digitization to globalism. During these years a new breed of supercars arrived on the scene, defining a new era of performance and engineering.
In the ’80s, the Porsche 959 and the Ferrari F40 fired the first salvos on this emerging battleground. Cost was no object. Road car speeds pushed past the 200-mph barrier. Manufacturers sensed the opportunity to elevate their brand identities with cars faster and more capable than anyone had ever seen. Twenty-five years ago, at the dawning of this phenomenon, two English supercars duked it out on the world stage. A British supercar would be the best in the world, but would Jaguar or McLaren earn the right raise its banner?
The Jaguar XJ220’s vision began in 1987, the McLaren F1’s in 1988. McLaren and Jaguar forged their ultimate weapons in the mantle of racing, the former as a result of Formula 1, the latter as the child of top-level endurance racing. The F1 started out as a sketch, drawn as company executives waited in an airport to fly home from yet another successful Formula 1 race during the era of drivers Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.
Around the same time, Jaguar director of engineering Jim Randle wanted to tie XJR Le Mans racers to a conceptual road car, so he mocked up the XJ220 in 1/4-scale cardboard.
It would take until 1992 for both cars to coalesce into reality, and the two projects mirrored one another in many ways. Both, for instance, were developed on relatively limited budgets
A group of 12 volunteer engineers and designers (dubbed “The Saturday Club”) put together a concept model for the XJ220 in their off hours. Conceptually, the Jaguar was close to the Porsche 959, being a luxury road version with an eye to Group B regulations. The original engine was a mid-mounted V-12, similar to that found in the 1988 Le Mans-winning XJR-9, as campaigned by Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR). Randle leveraged relations with suppliers to build the aluminum-bodied XJ220 concept on the cheap—F1 creator Gordon Murray would pull the same trick with his car’s development—and the Jag was first shown at the British International Motor Show in October 1988.
Coming off an F1 World Championship win, McLaren’s executives were optimistic about the future, and they were convinced of the viability of building an ultimate road-going car. Such a machine would incorporate the best of McLaren’s racing technology and benchmark the greatest manufacturers in the world: Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini.
However, McLaren’s Formula 1 engine partner in those days was Honda, yielding an unexpected twist. The McLaren team visited Honda’s Tochigi research center in Japan, where Murray got his first taste of the Acura NSX. Created with development input from the legendary Senna, Honda’s ultimate halo car had benefited from their partnership with McLaren. Now, McLaren would benefit from Honda.
The NSX’s everyday usability and practicality—without sacrificing its appeal as a mid-engine exotic—became Murray’s new target. He knew the F1 needed a lot more power than the NSX, but he was drawn to Honda’s attention to detail. Murray drove an NSX around for seven years and noted, among other things, that he never once had to adjust the automatic air conditioning.
Meanwhile, Jaguar had completed a feasibility study on its XJ220 concept and decided to put it into production. The factory was tied up with producing more conventional models, so further development fell into the hands of JaguarSport, a joint venture with TWR that built Jaguar’s racing cars.
JaguarSport was pursuing power-dense small-displacement engines, following in the footsteps of both the 959 and the Ferrari F40. The team decided to spike the XJ220 concept’s V-12, in favour of a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6, which was rooted in the Group B MG Metro 6R4. In Jaguars, this engine saw success in the XJR-10 and XJR-11 race cars.
Over at McLaren, finding a suitable power plant was proving more of a challenge. Honda wasn’t interested in developing a road-going V-12 that could fit McLaren’s specifications, and Murray was unwilling to turn to forced induction. A naturally aspirated engine’s linear power delivery would be far superior for a road car, he reasoned, even if the racing machines were turning to turbo charging.
A chance post-race meeting with BMW engine wizard Paul Rosche, in the pits at Hockenheim, gave Murray the firepower he needed. Munich offered to provide the F1’s heart—a 6.1-liter V-12 cranking out 620 horsepower at 7,400 rpm.
In the meantime, TWR was working to combine boost and reliability into a workable package, creating an infamous footnote in racing history. In order to disguise their test mule, they stuffed the XJ220’s driveline underneath, hilariously, a Ford Transit van. The van still exists, tuned to north of 600 hp by XJ220 specialist Don Law Racing. You can occasionally see it screaming up the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Eventually, Jaguar managed to develop a steady 547 hp for the road-going supercar.
The first customer-delivered XJ220 arrived in June 1992, the first McLaren F1 in December that same year. Thus, for most of 1992, at least, the XJ220 was the fastest car in the world. Tested to 213 mph, it fell slightly short of its name, based on the nomenclature of its XK120 ancestor, which cracked 120 mph. Worse; the V-6 was a letdown for fans and prospective buyers who had looked forward to the concept’s V-12 engine
When the McLaren F1 went 230 mph in 1993, it stole the Jaguar’s thunder (it would later up the record to 240 mph in 1998). More than that, the F1’s world-first production carbon fiber monocoque, center-seat driving position, and gold-leafed engine bay captured the world’s imagination. The F1 was also significantly rarer than the XJ220, with fewer than half the number produced (106 vs. 275). Its million-dollar price tag, too, was as brain-melting as its performance. The F1 GTR, a racing version, entered the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans and was so fast and reliable it claimed overall victory on the first try.
As the years went on, the F1’s legend has grown to the point where the cars are tens of times more valuable than they originally were, even if they’ve been crashed and rebuilt. But the XJ220 hasn’t exactly languished. Instead, kids who grew up with the swooping Jaguar tacked to the wall above their beds have started driving prices up. The more valuable it becomes, the more likely the XJ220 is to be preserved.
And it deserves to be. Like the 959 and the F40, the XJ220 is a supercar hero with true, race-bred roots. No, it couldn’t match the F1 head-to-head, but even modern supercars struggle to do so. It represents the passionate best of Jaguar’s engineers at the time, and it was an audacious car to build in concept form, never mind as a real road car.
Even though its fire burned but briefly, the XJ220 has found a second life. The McLaren F1, too, is starting to see more road use, with an owners club dedicated to medium-distance touring. If you dreamed of them long ago, then rest is easy. The British dream cars of the 1990s live on.
120 Years Of Renault: Celebrated At Rétromobile 2018.
Renault will celebrate its 120th birthday during the Retromobile show 2018. It’s never seen models of the National Car Museum in Compiègne which will be exhibited in the “Porte de Versailles” for the pleasure of the lovers of automobile’s history.
The adventure begins in a small shed at the back of the family garden in Boulogne-Billancourt. Louis Renault, the fourth son of Alfred Renault – who had made his fortune making buttons – is passionate about all things mechanical. At the age of 21, he modifies a De Dion-Bouton tricycle, transforming it into a quadricycle by adding a fourth wheel. He also comes up with a completely new direct drive system which does away with the fan belt and chain drive, both of which are poor at leveraging the engine’s output – which is still low. He files the patent on 9 February 1899, just as the Renault type A Voiturette – for which Louis has already received a number of firm orders as a result of the famous 1898 Christmas race on Rue Lepic – is going into production.
Voiturette Renault Carrosserie du type Tilbury,
moteur monocylindrique à ailettes de 1 3/4 CV fabriqué par la Firme
The Type B Voiturette comes hot on the heels of the Type A model. Built by the Renault brothers, the 1900 Type B is one of the first cars on the market to feature a roof and two doors.
The National Car Museum owns a Type B and will be presenting it at Rétromobile in February. Just like the Type A, it incorporates a De Dion-Bouton engine, and its bodywork draws inspiration from the Hackney carriages which are still in service in large towns and cities.
Petit coupé de ville Renault, type C Moteur de Dion-Bouton monocylindrique de 3 CV, allumage par magnéto.
The following year in 1901, the brothers build a Type D, also incorporating a De Dion-Bouton engine. The model on show at the National Car Museum has undergone a number of changes, and was donated by the Marquis de Dion in April 1936. This is a reminder that De Dion-Bouton engines were used by the Renault brothers “from the start up until 1902-1903”. These first three Renault cars had maximum speeds of 30 to 45 km/h.
Renault 1901 type D
In August 1899, the Renault brothers realise that – if they want to generate some publicity for their company – they are going to have to take part in the motor races that are proving enormously successful among the general public and in the press
Right from the start, Marcel and Louis win a number of titles in the voiturette category, until Marcel is tragically killed in an accident during the 1903 Paris-Madrid race. Racing driver François Szisz then takes over the reins of the Renault stable.
The brand’s reputation is shored up as the Billancourt factories grow, while the Paris taxi company orders 1500 taxis fitted with the new mechanical taximeter. Following the death of Marcel and then Fernand retiring for health reasons, the Renault brothers dissolve the company and Louis renames it the Société des Automobiles Renault on 1 October 1908. Louis is now the sole owner and innovation steps up as production increases: in 1907, Renault build 14% of all cars in France (179 cars in 1900; then an increase from 1179 to 5100 between 1905 and 1910).
1907, when the fourth Renault car from the National Car Museum – taken out exceptionally to go on show at Rétromobile – is built: this luxurious Type V limousine features bodywork designed by Million Guiet – one of Paris’ most famous coachbuilders. On the car’s doors, the Bourbon-Parme family’s coat of arms can be seen discreetly: the aristocracy adopts the car, but they keep a chauffeur.
The Type V is Renault’s top-of-the-range model, and is built at the Billancourt plants between 1904 and 1908, as is the Type CC, built between 1911 and 1912. Similarly inspired by horse-drawn vehicles, the 1911 double limousine coupé – recently acquired by the National Car Museum – is representative of the luxury cars built by Renault before the First World War. The bodywork was designed by Kellner and son, a famous Parisian coachbuilder, the 4-cylinder engine was built by Renault and the interior harks back to the leatherwork of horse-drawn vehicles.
This remarkable acquisition was made possible by the Ministry of Culture and Communication via the General Heritage Division and the Department for French Museums with support from the heritage fund. It is on display exclusively for the first time to members of the general public at the February 2018 Rétromobile show.
The authenticity of these two luxury Renault cars is one of the main essential characteristics of the National Car Museum’s acquisition and restoration policy. Its collections are considered works of arts and are treated as such, representative of human creative genius. Here, the creative genius belongs to Louis Renault and his brothers and their teams, as well as to the French automotive industry at the start of the 20th century – which at the time was the most innovative in the world.
MGCC TO SHOWCASE THE NEXT GENERATION OF ENGINEERING TALENT AT NEC Car Show.
From MGAs to TFs, you’ll find cars being brought back to their best, factory-fresh saloons and delightful droptops, but this year’s star car is a 1980 MG BGT.
As the subject of the 2017 SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation) Intern Project, this 1980 MG BGT has been completely reworked by the students from Bath and Oxford Brookes Universities working under the guidance of designers and engineers at SMTC UK – the technical arm of MG.
SMTC UK is home to over 300 designers and engineers, based in Birmingham and charged with creating cars for the UK, China and dozens of other markets across the globe.
Each year, a select group of interns join the team at Longbridge and this year’s crop was charged with combining classic MG packaging with modern MG engineering and this is the result.
Gone is the four-cylinder B Series engine, replaced with a 2.0 turbo-charged petrol engine from MG’s current range, developing in excess of 200bhp.
Steve Jones, Senior HR Manager SMTC UK, said “We are delighted to be given this opportunity to share our 2017 engineering intern project with the MG Car Club members, MG enthusiasts and visitors to the show. The project gave the interns an opportunity to learn from today’s MG engineers as they were asked to package current MG components, designed here in the UK into the iconic MGB package! The results are fantastic.”
Adam Sloman, MG Car Club General Manager said “We were thrilled when the guys from SMTC UK said we could have the car on our stand. There’s a real love for classic MGs at SMTC, and it underlines how important the classic MGs are to the new ones. It shows not only the ‘family ties’ between the classic and modern MGs, but also the ties between the Club and the manufacturer.”
The car will be on display for all three days at the show, with the students who worked on it on hand to answer questions and queries about how the car was built. The full story will also be broken down in the November issue of the Club’s magazine Safety Fast!, which will be available to new members at the show.
Oldest Surviving British Motorcar for Sale
The world’s oldest functioning British motor car will be offered at Bonhams London to Brighton Sale on 3 November at its flagship saleroom on New Bond Street, London.
The 1894 Santler 3½ Dogcart dates back an astonishing 123 years, making it the oldest British car still in full working condition in the world. The veteran machine was built by Charles and Walter Santler, a pair of brothers living and working in Malvern, Worcestershire. They initially made bicycles, steam engines and water wheels before mounting a small wheeled frame to a vertical boiler and creating a steam-powered vehicle in 1887. The brothers ran the vehicle on the road, but the car’s wooden chassis could only support two out of the three crew members legally required by the ‘Red Flag Act’ of 1865 and their project was abandoned.
In the early 1890s, the chassis was retrieved and fitted with a gas engine, but this too failed as the low power output and limited range proved impractical for travelling even short distances. Finally, a petrol engine was installed before the car was laid up for several years.
The vehicle was re-discovered in the 1930s by a Mr John Mills, who interviewed Charles Santler and noted down the history of the car. Sadly, much of the documentation was lost during the war, but the car itself miraculously survived undamaged. In the 1950s, the car was painstakingly and immaculately restored, and was fitted with a 3½ Benz engine.
Surviving 19th century British motor cars are extraordinarily rare, and one that still runs is rarer still. The Santler comes with arranged entry to the London to Brighton Run, meaning that it could be purchased on Friday 3 and driven all the way to the coast by the weekend.
MOSS MOTORS announce the acquisition XKs Unlimited of San Luis Obispo, CA
Moss Motors, Ltd. is excited to announce the acquisition of well-known Jaguar parts specialists, XKs Unlimited of San Luis Obispo, CA.
XKs Unlimited specializes in parts for a wide range of Jaguars including the iconic and desirable Jaguar XKs and E-Types. Serving the Jaguar enthusiasts since 1973, XKs Unlimited has always prided itself on its selection of parts, great customer service and dedication to the Jaguar community.
Regarding the acquisition, XKs Unlimited founder, Jason Len said, “With my desire to concentrate more on my first love, the direct restoration of classic Jaguars and British sports cars, I will continue on with the ownership of the restoration shop at the same location, but with the new name XKs Motorsport. I just felt I needed to find someone that would take good care of our long time XKs Unlimited customers; to find the right stewards for our parts side of the business.” “And with Moss Motors’ already existing support of Jaguar and their great reputation for customer service and value; everything just came together.”