Category Archives: Car Pr0n

Memory Lane

 

By lex, on July 22nd, 2007

The first car I ever drove was an AMC Matador, and even in a decade of polyester suits – and notwithstanding the pretentious “Brougham” designation attaching to the faux targa top – there was no disguising the fact that it tipped the ugly meter right off the scale, the needle itself clattering to the floor and chipping the tiles, watch out where you step.

Memory Lane

Mine didn’t come with a blonde.

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Friday Musings 07/30/05

 

By Lex, on Sat – July 30, 2005

 

Yes, yes – I know it’s Saturday. But there is a precedent * for such things…

This may be an even more than usually stray, random and disconnected post. Not every dot will be connected, not every thought finished.

In the near future, you may see more links than essays – I’ll try to keep the Rhythms machine grinding towards its inevitable conclusion, whatever that is. I can tell you that it won’t be, “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

Just in case you were worried about that.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, Car Pr0n, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Neptunus Lex, Small Stuff

50 Years of the E-Type Jag

By lex, on December 10th, 2010

The Economist reminds us of an upcoming celebration:

PETROL-HEADS of a certain age may have noticed that the 50th anniversary of the Jaguar E-Type sportscar is imminent. Within the motoring world, it will be the cause for much ballyhoo and dewy-eyed nostalgia. But before getting caught up in all the hoopla, your correspondent—wizened enough to have been around when the iconic car made its debut at the Geneva motor show in 1961—would like to contribute his two-pennyworth of personal experience on why the E-Type really was the most innovative piece of automotive machinery of its age.

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Ferrari vs. Pinto

One of my minor regrets in life was my nature of being a bit too “practical” and cautious during my youth. Particularly when it came time to pick cars. I can remember for my first car – with an open mind – looking at a 1962 Alfa Romeo Spyder in 1969.

alfa-romeo-spider-1962-1

The engine made a sound – bellissimo – some have compared it the most beautiful this side of a classic Ferrari V12 – and all I could think about was “where am I going to get it serviced? “

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Cutaway Thursday: Tyrrell P34

It doesn’t have to be an airplane does it? Nope (Imma hired gun pen here so I’m generously provided with a LOT of rope with which to hang myself latitude).

Probably one of my favorite F1 cars aside from Senna’s legandary and 1988 season dominating McClaren MP4/4 and the technologically revolutionary Williams FW15C.

More on the Tyrrell P34 from Wikipedia:

When unveiled, the cover was peeled away from the back forward and the collective gasps from the world’s press said it all. Along with theBrabham BT46B “Fancar” developed in 1978, the six-wheeled Tyrrell was one of the two most radical entries ever to succeed in Formula One (F1) competition, and has specifically been called the most recognizable design in the history of world motorsports.[1]

It first ran in the Spanish GP in 1976, and proved to be very competitive. Both Jody Scheckter and Patrick Depailler were able to produce solid results with the car, but while Depailler praised the car continually, Scheckter realised it would only be temporarily competitive. The specialGoodyear tyres were not being developed enough by the end of the season.

The P34’s golden moment came in the Swedish Grand Prix. Scheckter and Depailler finished first and second, and to date Scheckter is the only driver ever to win a race in a six-wheeled car. He left the team at the end of the season, insisting that the six-wheeler was “a piece of junk!”[2]

For 1977, Scheckter was replaced by the Swede Ronnie Peterson, and the P34 was redesigned around cleaner aerodynamics. The P34B was wider and heavier than before, and, although Peterson was able to string some promising results from the P34B, as was Depailler, it was clear the car was not as good as before, mostly due to the tyre manufacturer’s failure to properly develop the small front tyres. The added weight of the front suspension system is also cited as a reason for ending the project. Tyrrell even tried a “wide track” P34B to improve its handling, but this put the front wheels out from behind the nose fairings and reduced the aerodynamic gains from having four small front wheels. Thus, the P34 was abandoned for 1978, and a truly remarkable chapter in F1 history was over.

More recently the P34 has been a popular sight at historic racing events, proving competitive once more. This was made possible when the Avon tyre company agreed to manufacture bespoke 10-inch tyres for Simon Bull, the owner of chassis No. 6. In 1999 and 2000 the resurrected P34 competed at a number of British and European circuits as an entrant in the FIA Thoroughbred Grand Prix series. Driven by Martin Stretton, the car won the TGP series outright in 2000, the sister car repeating that success in 2008 in the hands of Mauro Pane; this example is today part of a private collection in Italy. Stretton also achieved numerous Pole Positions and class wins at the Grand Prix Historique de Monaco. The P34 has also been seen a number of times at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

So here ya go:

TyrrellP34a

An interesting car with a uniquely chequered history but why the 4 front tyres? Let the website for the car, Project-34, tell you:

Derek set to work on designing a car to replace the successful, but rapidly ageing Tyrrell 007. He calculated that they needed the equivalent of a gain of 50hp on the competition in order to leap frog the other teams, since almost everyone was running the same engine the gain would have to be made elsewhere in the design. After a few weeks of research he presented his concept to Ken Tyrrell in August 1974. A concept that drew on the experience of those years spent working on the four wheel drive, Gas-Turbine cars, for there, on the piece of paper presented to Ken was sketched an F1 car with six wheel’s ! Two regular sized wheels at the rear and four small 10″ wheels at the front. Derek explained the reasoning behind his concept to Ken.

The theory was that exposed tyres cause lift, and the bigger they are, the greater the lift they will produce, standard four wheel F1 cars counter act this effect by the use of more wing at the front, since the six wheel concept would greatly reduce the lift effect generated by the front wheels it would not need to run large amounts of front wing thus it should have a straight line speed advantage.

An interesting car with an interesting history and there’s one for sale and if you have to ask for how much, you can’t afford it.

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Porsche – the Early Years

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I know there are more than a few of you here who are car nuts – I got a laugh out of this. Have to admit I am a bit slow – it took me a moment to “get it”.

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A Visit To The Tesla Factory in Fremont, CA

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If I had to describe this factory – that builds all-electric cars –  in 1 sentence, it would be a 20th century factory shell with 21st century manufacturing methods and a 21st century product. Continue reading

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