Thursday, January 30, 2014
One of the most dominant race teams in the 1960's was the Ramcharger Team. They were so respected and anticipated (they were always on the verge of smashing the latest speed records) that just the hint of an appearance at the local tracks was enough to draw overflowing crowds.
Starting with the original Ramcharger, a 1949 Plymouth, The High and Mighty, which had a three-foot bird-catcher scoop perched atop the hood and eight trumpet-exhaust horns bursting through the sides, they helped establish the hemi engine as the weapon of choice on the drag strip
As part of a series with some of the national rod magazines, they promoted themselves and the hemi with a series of features on how "you" could get similar results.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
In 1964, the intrepid Mini Cooper works of the British Motor Company broached the idea of taking on one of the most high-profile races in Europe. They were anxious to prove that their micro-racer had the goods to not only compete with the giants of the racing world, like Porsche and Lancia, but to triumph as well.
And in their first attempt, with Paddy Hopkirk at the wheel, the Mini stormed to victory that year. And the next. And the next. And again in 1967.
Though their 1966 win was overturned due to "disallowed headlights", the impact was substantial, leading to a world-wide recognition of the touring talents of the Mini, and even a "starring role" in the movie, The Italian Job, with the cars taking on one of the most famous cinematic car chases ever put to film.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Saturday, January 18, 2014
One of the popular car magazines in the UK in the 1950's was "Motoring Magazine", the equivalent of the USA's "Motor" magazine. Both had an insiders look at the automobile industry and were heavy on contemporary advertising. with very cool covers, like this one above.
Friday, January 17, 2014
Here's a dash set-up that was wowing them on the car show circuit, circa 1950. It's pretty busy, with everything but the kitchen sink mounted in front of the driver (and passenger, even).
The centerpiece is a 1932 Auburn gauge panel, filled with Stewart Warner gauges, and then a plethora of doodads, gimcrack and gingerbread.
The panel, reading from left to right, includes a 325 oil temperature gauge, oil pressure (probably either a 100 or 150 psi), a 100mph speedometer, a high-range water-temp, an original tube-read fuel gauge, and below the engine-turned insert is an amperes, could be 30, or maybe 60 range.
The switch slots across the bottom are filled with who-knows-God-what, but I imagine light switch, starter, wipers, warning lights, as well as four extras drilled above into the insert, indicator lights or buttons.
The SW 4-thousand RPM tachometer is mounted off to the side, with more warning gauges, an oil warning set-up (this guy was really concerned about oil pressure). also what looks like a couple of dummy (non-functional) gauges (I don't think he has that many lines to monitor, unless he also has a refrigerator under the hood) and lots of buttons and lights.
It's obvious that this guy fell in love with dials. Believe me, I know how easy that is. But it's nice to know that it's not just me, and that gauge-fever was epidemic even back then, in the Golden Age of hot-rodding.
A nice shot of it was reproduced in the 1951 Custom Cars Annual, put out by Trend Books.
Monday, January 13, 2014
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Sunday, January 5, 2014
I'm a Mopar guy, as you might have gathered from previous posts. There was something about the styling, especially in the 1960's prototypes that appealed to me esthetically.
Two prime examples are the 1968 Dodge Charger III Concept...
|1968 Dodge Charger III Concept Car|
And also the "adopted' Mopar brand, the AMC AMX III Concept...
|1971 AMX III Concept Car|
So it was really an easy switch to fall for the Ford Mustang with the Fiberfab body kit.
|From Road & Track magazine, May, 1967|
The Fiberfab kit came in two versions in 1967 and 1968. The company had two plants; in Germany and one in Milpitas. Larry Shinoda, (the brain behind the Boss 302 concept) was working for GM at the time but designed the front end as a moonlighting job.
Unlike many of the other FiberFab cars and products the front ends did not sell well (not many wanted to take a new Mustang, add another 10-15% and tear the front end off their car), and because of this only about 50 were made initially.
The kit included only the front end (of either version ordered) but many of the cars that they were/are on were modified in addition to that, with the kick-up trunk spoiler and rear taillight treatments being popular.
How many of these originals are left is a good question, and the best guess is around a couple dozen or less.
A rare nose piece popped up on Ebay recently, complete with the original sales literature. It's pretty tempting to take that plain jane Mustang, and rev it up with this kit. Part Daytona, part Ford GT40, part Shelby, completely cool.
If you see a red-nosed 66 running around Chicago, with a half-assed paint job, it'll be me. I just have to get the scratch together, and build the dream...