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Saisons & épisodes Les résumés de tous les épisodes de Petrolicious

S255E01 This 1972 BMW 3.0 CS Coupe Is A Stylish Member Of The Family 03/01/2017 Tom McComas Senior is a simple man with only a few indulgences: family, friends, and BMWs. Several months ago we profiled him and his son around a very special R60 motorcycle that has been passed down from when he bought it new to his son Tom Jr., Hollywood Stuntman, who rides it around the streets of Los Angeles to this day. That BMW R60 would be the machine that would start a life long love affair with the marque, leading to an exceptional circumstance around his son's birth, and a CS available to buy in Joliet Illinois. “I ran into the dealership and said to the man, “Don’t sell that coupe! My wife is in labor and I’ll be back in the morning to buy it.” As he was running out the sympathetic manager of the dealership said to his salesman, “If you don’t sell it to that man, you’re fired.” He returned shortly, bought the car, gave everyone in the dealership cigars, drove back to the hospital and picked his wife and newborn up "starting them off in style".
S255E02 1972 Lotus Elan +2 Is A Classic Purchased Without Regret 10/01/2017 Typically 2+2 body styles are less desirable to two-seaters—that’s true of the Datsun 240Z and the Lotus Elan. But with the Lotus the Plus 2 wears the larger size with elegance, and at a still-attainable price point. While not enjoying the valuation of the lighter drophead coupe, the 10 inches of additional width and two feet of length give the classic a character of its own. Brieuc like other Elan enthusiasts was initially looking for a convertible, but fell in love when he saw this 1972 +2 coupe in Lotus Yellow with matching numbers. Beautifully maintained on the outside with not even a hint of a crack in its fiberglass body, the Elan delights on the inside with its burl wood dash. “I’m an idiot but I love it. I love this car,” said Brieuc. Seeing the lithe, 2000-pound coupe in motion, we can see why.
S255E03 This 1954 Jaguar D-Type Represents A Shared History 17/01/2017 There are cars with history, and then there is OKV 2. The second works D-Type to roll out of the factory in Coventry in 1954 was immediately handed to Sterling Moss, where he and co driver Peter Miller set a new record speed on the Mulsanne Straight. A chipper 172.97 miles per hour. Over the next years the car would be held by the hands of some of the most capable racing drivers of the era. Norman Dewis, Peter Whitehead, Tony Role, Ken Wharton and Duncan Hamilton just to name a few. It went on to a successful career in the mid to late fifties racing around the UK and European circuits, but not without a significant series of crashes and rebuilds. Jack Broadhead hired Bob Berry to race it at Goodwood, securing multiple podiums in period. In 1956 the car was painted a lighter BRG where it then placed 3rd at Silverstone and 1st at Goodwood. Later in the meeting it was heavily crashed…again. At that point most had considered it a total write off after a cartwheel at St. Mary’s. Mercifully the car was rebuilt…again. From “Through 1956-1958 OKV 2 continued to be raced by a variety of drivers including Jack Fairman, Ron Flockhart, Peter Blond and cyclist Reg Harris. In 1958 engine changed at works from E2004-9 to E2065-9. Soon thereafter sold to Gerry Crozier. In 1960 sold, via Chequered Flag, to David Jaycox in Canada. Later owners included George Gordon, James Mace and James Catto between early 1960s and 1980. During this period, one driver was killed and car was crashed, around 1964, by A. Smith at Mosport Park. In 1980 403 was sold in damaged state to Geoffrey Miller (Canada), and soon thereafter sold to Lynx. Car that was re-imported was to late D-Type production specification with steel frame. In the early 1980s it was rebuilt and sold to James Wallis of Sevenoaks, UK. In 1995 it was sold to Robert Cooper of Gloucestershire, UK., and in 1999 to Terry Larson of the USA. Terry’s first drive in the car was racing at the Goodwood circuit. Used in m
S255E04 This 1960 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder Vignale Is A New Start 24/01/2017 These are pieces of art. In those days, engines and cars had personalities, and you could certainly see that from driving them.” Explains Phillipe Reyns of his 1960 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder Vignale. Cruising through the desert back roads just outside of Scottsdale, Arizona, behind the wheel of his gorgeous blue over red leather Gran Turismo drop top, Phillipe retells the history that lead Maserati to infuse their racing roots into production cars. “Before the war in the 20s and the 30s, racing was their thing. They were not concerned about making road cars. The primary reason for existing was racing, but to have a road car to sell along side is what paid the bills for racing. So, it was an easy decision for Maserati to build a road car. These cars were selling for quite a bit of money in the day and they really helped Maserati keep racing.” Originally focused solely on racing, like many automobile manufacturers Maserati was faced with serious financial limitations post-war. It was decided building production cars would greatly benefit its competition program. “The history of the Maserati 3500 GT started, really, in 1957—the banner year for Maserati. They won the Formula One championship with the 250F, and then they had success with their sports racer, the S350.” Maserati continued racing and the world benefitted from some of Italy’s most beautiful creations, the rest is history.
S255E05 This Humble Lancia Delta Integrale Is A Beautiful Tool 31/01/2017 Mr. Middleton is the founder and acting manager of Middleton Motor Services—an Ullenhall based full service garage established 30 years ago. “Well, I’ll tell ya’ what. It’s 50 years on the 11th when I started my Austin apprenticeship and I was into motor racing straight away a couple years later.” Middleton has shared quite the romantic racing history with some of the all-time great drivers and motorsport mechanics. In an emotional tone, Middleton reads off a personal letter from Fangio, thanking him for his help in the inaugural opening of the Fangio Museum. With a seemingly endless archive of Haynes repair manuals within reach, a collection of still frame memories with the likes of Sterling Moss and Fangio, and a gentleman’s humble charm, it’s clear Middleton is far more than a fan of racing—its been his entire professional life. “It’s total passion,” Middleton describing his lifelong mechanical career, “It’s something that you feel for.” Middleton’s understated white Delta doesn’t wear the commonly tacked on rear spoiler or Martini graphics. “The Lancia Integrale is a beautiful tool because it’s very unassuming. It hasn’t got a huge amount of horsepower, it’s got four-wheel-drive, which in these type of cars is very reassuring.” Instead, it’s clean and orderly, maintained with the upmost precision. Maintained in the only mentality this veteran serviceman knows how to, “Everybody can make something look good, but it’s what’s underneath the paints that counts.”
S255E06 The Colorado Orange 1972 BMW 2002 Touring Is Perfect For The French Countryside 07/02/2017 This week we take a ride in Gilles Dicham’s Colorado Orange 1972 BMW 2002 Touring through Beaucort, France. Gilles grew up with a Golf GTI driving mother and Panhard wheeling father—needless to say, Gilles was unable to avoid receiving his parents’ petrolhead passion. “So, today, I have over 12 vehicles at my house. I think the story will go on. My love is insatiable,” says Gilles in the most relatable gearhead mentality. With a tightly packed garage full of Panhards, old motorcycles, and Volkswagen GTIs, this plucky old Bimmer found its way into Gilles’ heart in a totally unrelated way. Gilles tells, “On race tracks, I met a few friends who drove BMW New Class, and I would regularly join them in the Parisian region to attend Club Horizon 2002 cocktail parties. That is where I came across this famous Colorado Orange Touring and fell in love immediately. Not for the model or the engine power, but really for the color.” It’s oftentimes an unusual reasoning or characteristic that draws us into a particular car, but once it grabs ahold of you, it seems impossible to avoid. Gilles ends the film on a note that rings all too true for the lot of us, “Unfortunately, I cannot help myself when an interesting product meets my eye, particularly when I have a history with a specific car.”
S255E07 The Love For Toyota's 86 Is Eternal 14/02/2017 This week, in partnership with Toyota, we take a ride in Ron Ng’s pair of Toyota 86. Although 31 years separate Ron’s Toyotas, both cars were concocted from similar recipes intended to delivery a tasteful drive. If you’re unfamiliar with the famous Japanese econobox tuned driver’s bargain, listen to what Ron has to say. After owning eleven classic AE 86, he’s gained an encyclopedic knowledge of the Japanese nostalgic car commonly referred to as Hachi-Roku—literally translating to “8-6.” Ron can’t seem to shake his hankering for the AE 86. “Whether it’s the AE 86 or the new Toyota 86, they’re a blast to drive. I can't get away from it,” he says. After rebuilding six, Ron seems to be stuck with the hallmark Japanese hatchback, so he felt its modern equivalent, the new Toyota 86, would make the perfect addition. “Driving the new Toyota 86, it definitely has the characteristics of driving the older Corolla. It’s engineered to be a driver’s car,” Ron states. Referring to his latest ‘86 GTS build and personal favorite Corolla to date, Ron admits it’s not an inherently fast car, “It's a momentum car. You always have to push it. You’ve gotta learn your brake points properly to keep your RPMs up.” So when driving Toyota's newest sportscar, Ron said "it kind of comes natural." With the high-strung 4GE-swapped four-pot blaring, Ron wrings out his Hachi-Roku through the winding back roads of Southern California’s magnificent mountain terrain, emulating a picturesque scene torn from the pages of Japanese touge anime. “The new 86, or the old AE 86 Corolla, both cars share an amazing driving spirit. It makes you want to go out and have fun and enjoy yourself," satisfyingly explains. That’s what it’s all about.
S255E08 This Porsche 964 Is Piloted In Iceland At 64 Degrees North 21/02/2017 This week we take a ride in Peter Lentz’s Porsche 964 through Iceland’s most scenic mountainous switchback b-roads. A commercial pilot for Icelandair by trade, Peter came across this jet black Carrera 4 and had to have it. “You know, because we don't have so many cars in Iceland for sale, I just grabbed the opportunity and bought the one that was on sale.” Not that you’ll hear Peter complain about the air-cooled beauty he had to ‘settle for.’ “I'm not especially keen on driving fast anymore. I used to when I was younger, but not anymore. I like flying fast, especially if you level off on top of the clouds. When you cruise along at 860, or 880, almost 900 kilometers an hour, you have an immense sense of acceleration and speed. So, I get my kicks for speed up there because on the roads it's not so sensible." Living along the northern 64th parallel, it’s amusing if not a tad coincidental that he pilots a 964 when not charting commercial flight paths. Sheer ground speed isn’t what Peter is all about, but neither is his modern classic Carrera. “It's not about driving fast. You know, if you can drive a car that lies well on the road, feels good, sounds great, it's a good thing.” With worn leather driving gloves fixed to the four-spoke yaw-controlling helm, right hand dancing with cogs through a well-used shifter stalk, Peter seamlessly stitches his driving passion with the age-old “pilots drive Porsches” adage. “Of course, I didn't know that during my career I would get a job in Iceland. As it is for now, I've been with Icelandair for 18 years and, yeah, I always look forward to going to the job. The perfect end of the day is to go for a drive… in a Porsche.”
S255E09 Camilo Pardo And His Ford GT Go Full Circle 28/02/2017 This week we take a ride in artist Camilo Pardo’s 2005 Ford GT. If you’re unfamiliar with the man, you best strap in: Camilo Pardo was the lead designer on the Ford GT program. Born in New York, Camilo and his family resettled in Detroit when he was 10 years of age. Already a fan of automobiles, the shift to Motor City only further enamored Camilo to the Domestic machines of the 1960s and 1970s. “I was on a mission to be an automotive designer,” says Camilo, and after graduating from the Center for Creative Studies in 1985, he was promptly hired by Ford for his evident talents. By 2005, Camilo was leading the SVT Studio Ford GT production design team. In response to working on such a special project, Camlio says, “You dive into it. You put all of your emotion into it, your heart. You wake up faster, you get into your car quicker, you drive to work, you're a little earlier. It changes your life.” But despite his ecstatic enthusiasm in playing such a vital role in Ford Motor Company heritage, Camilo admits the project had its hardships. “As we approached the auto show, they cancelled the production car. It was disappointing. My goal was to do a concept vehicle that really looked like a production car, could maybe some way talk everybody to put it back on for production.” The rest is history. Camilo and his design team’s Ford GT concept proved to be such a hit, Ford announced the car would be produced at the unveiling. Since 2005, Camilo has owned five previous GT with this custom liveried silver, black, and orange example being his sixth and latest example. From dreaming of classics as a youngster in Detroit, making his way through design school, and landing a key studio position at Ford, Camilo Pardo’s career hasn’t come without its challenges, but it’s been one hell of a ride. “I've spent a lot years designing cars and it doesn’t always come full circle. It is an automotive designers goal and dream.”
S255E10 This Willys Jeep Has Always Been Out In The Open 08/03/2016 “The adventure began when we left the driveway,” says Larry Shank. “And that’s what was neat about the Jeep and the teardrop; you became part of the country from day one.” Shank is the proud custodian of this 1953 Willys Jeep CJ-3B and 1947 Ken-Skill Kustom Kamper Model 10, both bought by his father in period and used during their entire lives by his family for exploring the U.S. while on vacation. Traveling off the beaten path may seem extreme, but he has a different perspective: “You arrive not exhausted but exhilarated; because you’re already there, you’re already on vacation…” His father taught him how to drive the Jeep and fix the Jeep, and set up camp; their relationship was close and unique, he says. For his father, vacations were a way to reconnect with nature after months at a demanding job at Lockheed. “You could not go the places he wanted to go unless you had this. There were dirt roads, sandy roads, where a normal car would not make it,” Shank says. “The Jeep could get him every place he wanted to go.” Even today, Shank’s Jeep explores wherever his son wants to go.
S255E11 This Lotus Super Seven Adds Lightness 15/03/2016 “There’s a certain demand for a driver’s car that optimizes handling weight, exposure to the elements, and that very visceral experience that sort of makes you have to take a shower after driving it—for all the right reasons—you’ve got rocks in your hair and everything else.” Geoff Wise’s Lotus Super 7 is not only an elemental sports car, but an opportunity for curious onlookers to wonder, “What the–?” “People will just come up and talk to you,” he says. In a first for Petrolicious, you’re looking at a ‘kit’ car. In order to get around a hefty import tax on British vehicles imported into the U.S., the car was supplied in part form, along with ‘disassembly’ instructions from Lotus that were intended to be followed in reverse… As a result, many 7s have been developed, customized, and lovingly altered over the years to suit its owner’s wishes. Wise loves driving, so this 7 has been built for that—can you get a more pure driving experience than this ex-race car for the street? Probably not; the Lotus 7 is a legend for a reason, after all.
S255E12 This MGB GT Is Sliding And Surviving In The Arctic 21/03/2017 This week we take an all-out ride in Bjartur Gudmundsson’s Pininfarina styled MGB GT track car, gravel road slinger, and daily driver through some of Iceland’s most stunning back roads. “It's loud, it smells of gasoline and fumes, but that's part of the car. It is loud so you're not allowed to think. You can’t. You just have to drive,” chuckles Bjartur as he revs the stylish British coupe before sidestepping the clutch. It’s evident this petrolhead has mastered the “it’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow” mindset, as he’s caught sliding the flickable classic sports car down wet tarmac and fearlessly flogging over narrow muddy gravel paths. There aren’t many classic cars running around the small Nordic island nation, especially those that are notorious for dissolving via rust. But during a trip to the United Kingdom, Bjartur came across an MG and was immediately hooked. Drawn to the minimal but purposeful lines of England’s most popular sportscar, he admits, “Well, for me, I loved the look. When I saw it the first time, I said to myself, ‘I’ve got to have a car like this.’ I just fell in love. Everyone who has them knows what I'm talking about. It's just that simple.” Naturally, like most of us upon the discovery of a new “needed” car, when Bjartur returned home he began feverishly scouring the Internet in search of an MG to make his own. Today, he’s got three in the garage: the blue GT film star being thoroughly rung-out, and two more projects that are currently under the knife getting the royal restoration rotisserie treatment. “My wife's brother, he wanted one as well, so that's why we bought two. Every Monday night, he comes over and we work on the cars. Too many people have bought cars, taken them apart because they were going to do something, and never finish them. That's the truth. So, what I say is, one night a week just to work on the car. It doesn’t have to be more than that. If you do that,
S255E13 An Alfa Romeo Affair - Driving the Giulia, 4C, GTA, Montreal, and Giulietta at Willow Springs 28/03/2017 This week we partnered with Alfa Romeo to sample a buffet of tasteful Italian machinery. The full spread includes an iconic Autodelta-prepared GTA racer, the Barchetta-style Giulietta Competizione Spider Sebring, the luxurious grand touring Montreal, and their modern brethren, the carbon tub chassis constructed 4C and the German-performance-sedan-crushing Giulia. We sat down with Alfa Romeo USA Brand Ambassador and all-around genuine Alfisti, Brandon Adrian, to uncover what it is about the century-old sports car staple that’s so special. Is it the sheer beauty evoked in so many of the marque’s designs? Or is it the way they deliver the drive and make their devout wheelman feel? Brandon proclaims it’s both. “An Alfisti is someone that has dreams of Alfa Romeo, pretty much constantly, and those dreams become a reality when you actually get in those cars and drive them.” Many would argue that the deep feelings stirred from driving an Alfa is a hyperbolic cliché, but that’s simply not the case for those bewitched by the Italian roundel. Like many Alfaholics, Brandon’s lifelong love affair with the manufacturer stemmed from its romantic racing history. “It all goes back to the racing heritage. I actually much prefer to be at the racetrack than a concours. If there's an opportunity between the two, I'll always pick the racetrack because that's where my passion and the fun lies. But these cars can do both,” declares Brandon. Alfa Romeo’s mix of divine driving dynamics and stunning design aesthetics has always secured the endearment of enthusiasts. Whether it’s a vintage racer or a modern performance sedan, “Any Alfisti would rather be driving an Alfa Romeo than looking at an Alfa Romeo, even though looking at it is just as beautiful.”
S255E14 This Audi Sport Quattro S1 E2 Replica Is Keeping Historic Group B Rallying In Motion 04/04/2017 This week we take a turbocharged, all-wheel drive ride in Volker Gehrt’s 1985 Audi Sport Quattro S1 E2 replica through the rural roads just outside the central German state of Thuringia. Years ago while attending an auto show with his wife, Volker found an Audi Sport Quattro rally car scale model for sale at a vendor’s booth. Always a proponent of Audi’s iconic gravel and tarmac racer, Volker purchased the die-cast and made the little Group B toy a tasteful desk ornament. Over the course of countless days spent working in his office with the model nearby, Volker found himself infatuated with the idea of building a full-sized tribute. “With time I thought that there must be a way to build the car. I had to find a way to do it,” says Volker. Coincidentally and initially unbeknownst to him, Volker happened to cross paths with Roland Gumpert—the leading engineer behind Audi’s famous AWD drivetrain. After becoming acquainted with the Grandfather of Quattro, one day the two enthusiast friends started chatting about cars, reminiscing on the Golden Era of Rallying. That’s when Volker proposed building an accurate tribute to the most extreme version of the various Group B Quattros. Gumpert ecstatically agreed to assist, using his motorsports connections to source parts and manuals needed to properly recreate the racing identity of the homologation hero. It was decided that the build would pay homage to the E2 iteration that Walter Röhrl drove to victory in the 1985 Sanremo Rally—Audi’s first and only ‘85 WRC season win. To make the recreation all the more special, Gumpert made a surprise arrangement to have Walter Röhrl meet with Volker during the build. “I’ll never forget when he arrived,” reflects Volker. “He stood in front of the car and said, ‘Mr. Gehrt, I feel like I am having déjà vu. I am taken back to Audi Sport looking at my winning car.’” Humbled, Volker smittenly states, “That is one of those stories I’ll never forget.” Proudly wearing Röhrl’s Sharpie’d inscr
S255E15 Alfa Romeos Are a Common Thread in One Family's Legacy 12/04/2016 “When these cars were new, sports cars were still a relatively new thing in the U.S.,” says David Swig. “You could either afford Ferraris and Maseratis, or Alfas and Fiats—my father, Martin Swig, was always on the Alfa and Fiat end.” With a father who was incredibly active in the car hobby, his sons David and Howard naturally picked up his passion for classic vehicles. Now, the two sons regularly tour together, restore, collect, and put their own stamp on the industry they love so much. Here, two of their favorites: 1959 Alfa Romeo Veloce Zagato, in red, and a 1960 Giulietta Sprint Veloce, in white. The Zagato started life as a racing car, while the white car is mildly upgraded but has been the “driver” in the Swig household for the last 35 years. “When you get behind the wheel of each, you really see the advancements that were made,” Howard says. “It’s interesting to drive these cars back to back, which essentially have a lot of the same underpinnings, but when you get behind the wheel it can be a totally different experience.” Our dad was great in a lot of things…but as we get older and get some experience we also see things he could have done better…” Howard says, “…we have a lot of years ahead of us to make it better, and make it our own.”
S255E16 This DR30 Nissan Skyline is the Red Panda 19/04/2016 “We always want what we can’t have,” says Jay Kho. “The Supra, back in the day, you could go to a dealership and purchase one. You could never purchase a Nissan Skyline…it’s like a treasure you never want to let go.” Born in the Philippines, Jay Kho grew up with a car trading, street racing father who would race his Japanese car, “at Midnight,” he says. Once he emigrated to the U.S., however, Kho became quickly immersed in American and European cars, which were totally foreign to him at the time. After owning a few interesting ones, including a ’66 Ford Mustang, a chance encounter with an imported-but-hidden 1983 DR30 Nissan Skyline became an obsession. “I grew up in the ’80s, I’m an ’80s kid. Look at this car, and right away, you know it’s ’80s. It’s made in the ’80s. It’s so boxy, just the angular shape to it,” Kho says. After changing the engine to an SR20 and freshening the car as needed so he’s able to enjoy it, Kho’s R30 Skyline is road legal and his pride and joy. Despite its ‘Godzilla’ nickname, he’s modest about its performance, saying the SR20, “…has decent power, enough for me to enjoy it”. Now that he has his dream car, will Kho sell it? Not a chance—he’s still surprised he has the keys to a DR30! “It’s something that we could only dream of and aspire to,” he says. “Knowing that you have it in your garage…I’m like, ‘Wow, it’s there…”
S255E17 The Mercedes-Benz 190E 16-Valve Has A Subtle Flair 26/04/2016 “When I was a kid, I was so into cars, I had Road & Track, Car & Driver, I had Autoweek, I had all that stuff,” says Del Necessary. Inevitably, those publications ended up at his mom’s house; “…one day she was like, ‘I’m not holding onto this stuff, come get it,’ and I thought, ‘What am I going to do with all this?’ so I got rid of all those magazines… but I kept all the ones on the 16-valve.” A few years later, after a chance encounter with a classified ad, he was the proud owner of a 1983 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16. Its racing success and subtle engineering advancements are what appeal to Necessary and his wife. “I think it’s a beautiful car,” he says, “…my wife complains it’s a box.” A lifelong car enthusiast, Necessary has a small stable of classics from around the world, and while the others are all overtly sporty cars, the 4-door 190E is subtly menacing with a factory-fitted aerodynamic body kit. Menacing? Despite having less than 170 horsepower, its 2.3-litre engine was reworked by the British engineering specialists Cosworth, and the entire package was more than enough to challenge the E30 BMW M3 in period. “Sixteen valve [engines] were kind of peaky, you know, until it got up on the cam,” he says, “…but it definitely kicks in at about four grand, and comes alive.” He returned it to stock once getting the car, and apart from its European “Evo” wheels, remains as true to original as Necessary was able to get it. Once its daily driver, now, it get exercised regularly—early morning drives through the mountains are what Necessary loves most.
S255E18 The Founder Of Petrolicious Has An Alfa Romeo Problem 02/05/2017 This week we take a ride in Petrolicious founder and CEO Afshin Behnia’s personal Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale through the urban grid that makes up the roadways of Los Angeles. Mr. Drive Tastefully himself opens up to reveal what propels his passion for the marque: an almost dire desire to research, learn, seek out, collect, and—most importantly—drive vintage Alfa Romeos. But Afshin wasn’t always an Alfista, confessing his attraction toward the Italian marque wasn’t his first love. “I was always into the more obvious cars—BMWs, Porsches, Ferraris,” admits Afshin, “I didn't really discover the marque [Alfa Romeo] in its true sense until, I think, I was twenty or so.” Shortly after acquiring his first though, an ‘86 Spider, the ownership experience piqued his curiosity for the carmaker, and sparked the beginning of a long love affair with the manufacturer’s illustrious past. “Naturally, as with anything, if I get a new toy or if I discover a new hobby, etcetera, I kind of get obsessed and want to know as much about it as possible,” Afshin states in your typical gearhead logic. What really lured him in was the rich history and significance in motorsports, noting, “The lineage that it has, the models, and the people who raced for it and things like that, it just blew my mind. I said, ‘How the hell did I not know about Alfa Romeo before this?’” Of course, it didn’t take long for him to discover the extensive and undeniably impressive catalogue of beautiful classics Alfa has archived in its portfolio. The diversity in design caught Afshin’s attention on top of the racing endeavors: “All the top design houses from Zagato, to Pininfarina, to Bertone, to Ghia—they’ve all had some very interesting Alfa Romeos that they've designed. It was like discovering this whole world that I felt silly for not having known about before.” In the process of discovering and admiring decades’ worth of Alfa automobiles, he learned of the Giulia Sprint Speciale, and the slippery Be
S255E19 Porsche 718: A Living Legacy 10/05/2016 “Once you get it on song, get up to 7,000-plus-revs, it was absolutely amazing,” says racing driver Derek Bell, “…and the fact you could brake so perfectly, flick it into a corner, put the power on…it just wanted the hell driven out of it.” Former Porsche works driver Derek Bell wasn’t just driving any classic Porsche on any road—he was driving the Targa Florio-winning 718 RS 60 on the actual Targa Florio course in Italy. Noted for its 800+ corners, dozens of hairpin turns, and danger everywhere else, the Targa Florio is still a revered, respected, and cherished event in Sicily, where it was held in period. Bell’s career, however, happened much later and he never did get a chance to drive Porsche’s diminutive giant-killer in period competition. “I never imagined I’d ever drive this car, I never imagined I’d ever drive on the Targa Florio…” “Here I was having this opportunity to step back in history, if you like, before my time with Porsche. When I realize that, and think about what Porsche has meant to me during my life, and what it’s done for me, I realize how lucky I’ve been to go back before my actual period with Porsche and drive a car that created history in 1960, and even before that.” Even for an accomplished motorsport veteran like Bell, the former racing car and course presented a number of challenges. “It took me some time to get completely confident with what I was doing, because I’ve never gone through so many hairpin bends in my life,” he says. “I had a very special feeling that I can’t really put into words, but it was almost choking me when I put it into 1st gear and driving it up the road, and that feel—it’s actually the feeling of freedom,” Bell says, “…because I was on my own, on this amazing course, nobody around, and I was driving through corners that the greats had actually gone ’round those corners.” Bell had to keep telling himself: “You’re not on just a bit of road…you’re on the Targa Florio course.”
S255E20 This Moldovan Mini Cooper Is A One-Man Club 16/05/2017 Join us this week as we squeeze into Sergiu Topala’s Rover Mini Cooper for a ride around Moldova. Though produced in 1994, his little British box roundly recalls the styling and engineering that made the name so famous in the 1960s, and in keeping with the more modern model year, this Mini is subjected to long road trips and anything else that one might do in a normal car, albeit one with no air-conditioning or power steering. With years of experience working with vehicles like his Mini, Sergiu’s privy to all the tricks and issues that can crop up when purchasing a vintage enthusiast’s car. In fact, he recalls a trend in which a good lot of left-hand drive Minis from Continental Europe were scooped up, converted to right-hand drive, and then sold back to their home country in a strangely roundabout and not-quite-right type of homecoming. Some of these were even re-converted and sold outside of the UK for a second time, so when looking for one of his own, Sergiu knew it had to untouched in this regard. The car that he eventually purchased has none of this sketchy history, and coming from the twilight decade of the original shape’s production run, it is well-suited to creating many years of new memories. Of course, even a newer Rover Mini Cooper is still going to epitomize simplicity and eschew extravagance though. That’s no issue though when it comes to those lengthy road trips, as the later, ‘90s-era Minis were geared towards even greater accessibility than the originals. Retaining the same efficient layout and cheap entry point, these later Minis were designed for longer excursions and an overall greater frequency of use over the earlier models, and so were fitted with motors that spun the odometer with ease both around town and on the open road. Herein lies the reason for Sergiu’s choice. “I didn’t buy this car for a collection,” he says, “I got it to drive it.” Adding to this, he speaks of his Mini as if it were a good friend or family member: “It provokes you
S255E21 The BMW 850CSi Is Still The Ultimate Dream Car 23/05/2017 Join us this week as we venture into the plush leather seats of the ultimate retro techno-toy: BMW’s 8-Series. In order to pay proper tribute to the veritable king of rapid luxury, we’ve tracked down Taylor Patterson’s pristine example of the line-topping, limited-production 850CSi. While BMW was revealed to have been making a bonafide go at an M8 variant of the big grand touring coupe back in the early ‘90s—and in fact the company’s sole box-flared beast of a prototype still exists, complete with carbon-fiber wheel covers—that car never made it to the masses, or at least to that portion with the taste and means to acquire such a car that would have likely carried an MSRP somewhere in the Ferrari territory it was aimed at. Luckily for those people though (and for the second and third and fourth owners), M still left some incriminating fingerprints on the 8-Series, and as with most stews stirred by its hand, the result was an unmatched vessel of prowess that they simply called the 850CSi. At the time of its reveal in 1992, the peer group for this car was almost nonexistent, and on a more abstract scale, there have been very few in its wake to attempt a similar blend of substance and poise. It never claimed to be a sporty coupe, yet it could outperform many of them. The car’s true domain however was a lengthy trip with the room to show off how comfortable 100+MPH can be; this was the kind of car whose essence was understated, yet its presence never went unnoticed. Though any form of the E31 chassis was and is a genuine rarity, the CSi stood even further apart. At the time, this was the end-all, be-all, the award-winning stew of a high-tech ecosystem paired to a taut motor that could push the impressive package well past the imposed safety speed threshold of 155 MPH. Further boosting the desirability of the CSi model was the inclusion of special staggered forged M-System wheels with the distinctive “throwing star” bladed covers, a more robust and direct suspension,
S255E22 This Alfa Romeo Spider Is A Well-Oiled Multitool 30/05/2017 Each week with every film we produce we’re going to aim to give you a bit of a gallery from behind the scenes. This week we bring you some stills from our film shoot with Petrolicious’ Director of Marketing Andrew Poole and his 1974 Alfa Romeo Spider. Finished in a vibrant coat of Verde Inglese (the Italians’ take on British Racing Green) this convertible isn’t just for sauntering around town looking pretty as the sun pours in. Of course the little Italian beauty is happy to absorb the admiration of passersby, but the car’s swept-back stature, long unbroken belt lines, and endearingly eager fascia take care of that handily on their own, for radiating charm in a parking space doesn’t require chassis bracing and a worked-over motor. The tight cockpit and massive dome of visibility afforded by the absent roof can offer an ideal view of a quaint little town being explored in first gear, but it’s also perfectly suited to this car’s Mr. Hyde side, in this case providing better views of the gaps between slower cars. After adding an aura of authenticity to a morning espresso run, the little Alfa is ready to escape the bustle of population and find a place to indulge in its capabilities. This is no standard Spider after all. In addition to chassis stiffening and suspension tweaks, the car also houses a motor that’s received an abundance of upgrades, including hot cams and a dual Weber carburetors. Prepared by Petrolista and self-proclaimed Alfa Romeo nut (he does have at least 20 at any given time it seems) Manuel Minassian, the motor is both ready and asking to be used properly. In the film featuring his car, “This Alfa Romeo Spider Is A Well-Oiled Multitool,” Andrew proves that its potency lies not just in the ability to draw a gaze. Gone is the doughy body roll, and in its place a level of poise and nimbleness begging for a set of switchbacks. The power output has been upped accordingly, turning this car into a form of the classic “sleeper,” only this is a car that’s
S255E23 This Pair Of Peugeot 205 GTIs Has Been Decades In The Making 06/06/2017 This week we take a tandem ride in Jean Francois and Sarah Majkowski’s pair of Peugeot 205 GTIs through France’s Bourgogne countryside. Like many of us, Jean grew up around all things automobile—from stationary car shows to the dynamism of rallying, from diecast collecting to photography, the man has long been enamored with wheels and racing. Securing his driver’s license in 1985, the same year Peugeot dominated the World Rally Championship in 205 Turbo 16 spec racers, it’s no wonder that Jean took a particular liking for the snail-fed—es-turbo - escargot—hot-hatch production versions of the venerable French race car. Unfortunately, being 16 years old at the time, Jean couldn’t afford the rather pricey Peugeot—despite his father working for the marque at the time. Life happened and Jean didn’t revive the drive to get a 205 of his own until nearly a quarter-century later. While stopped at a store one day in the checkout aisle, Jean happened by chance to grab a magazine. “The 205 GTI was celebrating its 25th anniversary. I flipped through the pages, gazing at the car, [and] I fell in love again and needed one, fast,” says Jean. Call it chance or destiny, but the man and the machine were about to reconnect. A few months later, Jean found a crisp white earlier 1.5-liter example in a solid, “driver” condition. And just as his father influenced him decades earlier, Jean brought along his daughter Sarah for the trip to inspect the car candidate. The polar-painted 1.5-liter GTI was purchased soon after, but it wasn’t long before the father/daughter duo sought to add another. “I wanted another one,” Jean states, “ and I found a 1.9-liter, 130 horsepower, Miami Blue. However, it was a wreck.” “That car drove me crazy. Its Miami Blue carcass all beat up,” Sarah tells us as she recounts wondering if they’d ever manage to get the car drivable and presentable again. With two years of dedicated time and energy lovingly poured into the little hatchback, Sarah and Jean restored
S255E24 This BMW E30 Is A Spiritual Successor 14/06/2006 “In my case, when I started looking for BMWs, I gravitated toward the 1991…the 1991 coupé is the last coupé they made in the E30…” says Delia Wolfe. “The 318IS is the ‘baby’ M3; it doesn’t put out as much horsepower or torque…but it was the spiritual successor, if you will, to the 2002.” “It has everything you’d want in the 2002,” she says. Delia is the proud owner of a 1991 BMW 318IS, one of the last of the simple, mechanical, engineering-driven driver’s cars the Munich firm built its reputation on. “I found it down in Aptos, near Santa Cruz, somewhat sad and neglected—but I fell in love, because it reminded me about my 2002, and my Tii. And those cars were the cars I grew up on, those were the cars I loved first.” Wolfe has been able to repair and restore her car—she’s a BMW mechanic, restorer, and expert—since 2008, with it remaining tied to commuting duties as well as just about anything else, from flinging it through a twisty road or embarking on a longer road trip. “The E30 has its own cult following. People found that you could modify them with very little money, and that the cars were durable, and that there’s all kinds of places to exercise your passion,” she says. “There’s lowered and ‘stanced’ E30s, then you’ve got E30 spec racing, there’s a rally series…people run drift cars—every facet of racing seems to have a place for the E30.” “When you choose a car, you should choose carefully,” Wolfe says. “If it’s not the right car for you, don’t keep it…[but] I have to admit, I have got a kind of a jaded view in favor of the E30.”
S255E25 Corsa-Spec Alfa Romeo GTA Sparks Its Pilot’s Passion 20/06/2017 This week we take a very special ride in one of Italy’s most celebrated and pedigreed entries in the book of automotive history: the Alfa Romeo GTA. While many get worked into a frenzy over the lightweight Bertone coupe’s rich racing history, that’s not what sparks this Alfista’s passion for the aluminum Alfa. Instead, owner Filippo Montini tells us that “The passion I have for this car is not due to its value or because it is rare, nor for its heritage. It’s just that when I get in it, and I close the door, I am in my own special world. I tune everything out. I leave for a timeless dimension; it is where I go to blow off steam.” In case you’re unfamiliar, the GTA is widely considered one of Alfa Romeo’s motorsport masterpieces, securing the Division 2 European Touring Car Championship in 1966, 1967, and 1969. Although it is based on the road-going Tipo 105 Giulia Sprint GT, the GTA is an Autodelta-built special built from the ground up for ultimate overall performance. The GT Alleggerita, meaning “lightweight,” features an abundance of plastics and an all-aluminum body skin to bring the pounds way down. Various magnesium components—including the featherweight 14-inch wheels, valve cover, timing cover, and bell housing—further eliminated unnecessary weight. Under the letterbox hood is a 1600cc twin-cam inline-four fitted with an upgraded distributor, larger 45mm carburetors, and most significantly, a trick twin-spark aluminum head that in Stradale trim made approximately 115 horsepower—Montini’s GTA, now in full Corsa spec, makes a screaming 160 from the little mill. Peering over the crisp Giorgetto Giugiaro-penned lines of this pristine GTA, you wouldn’t guess it was once a dismantled disaster of parts when Montini acquired it a decade ago. “We bought the GTA sight unseen because it was disassembled, without thinking what the build would entail,” (Montini cannot say this without a smile on his face), “without assessing the risks that we could run into with a car
S255E26 This German Ford Collector Keeps His Fleet Nice And Simple 28/06/2016 “These Fords are rarely altered,” says Thorsten Seitz. “Everything has already been done already…For example, VW, they don’t even know what else to improve on their Golf to stand out from the crowd…” “I like economy cars from Ford,” he says. “Let’s put it this way, I’m not someone who speeds. Rather, I drive on the freeway like a retiree…” Seitz’ collection of Fords really is impressively humble, as is his mechanical know-how. Whether it’s bringing a Cortina back from the dead or keeping an Escort on the road, his love for these mechanically simple classics running is to be applauded. So, too, should his taste in modification. “On old cars, many put exhaust tips, mud flaps, or some chrome trim that doesn’t belong there,” says Seitz. “No, I like to keep it very simple.” “There are people who do it differently, but everyone has to come to terms with himself. I just know that I don’t waste my time on things that aren’t worth it, it’s as simple as that.”
S255E27 This Is How You Live Life As A Bentley Boy 05/07/2016 “We were left behind the rally because we broke a differential unit,” says William Medcalf, continuing: “…after fitting the differential unit we loaded the car up with out kit and we drove the car non-stop for 66 hours…” “Drove it from Ulaanbataar to Biysk, in Russia, on our own, unsupported, across the Gobi Desert…” You’d think that this was a once-in-a-lifetime trip for William, but it wasn’t. In fact, he’s been around these big Pre-War Bentleys since he was a child. A typical vacation for his family was a nine-month road trip, undertaken in this same car. Thankfully, he’s an owner who believes that these big cars are at their best when being driven hard. “Anything with wheels should be raced. Everything with wheels should be driven to the limit.” “The best way to see a car is coming sideways through a chicane,” he says. A trained machinist who knows vintage Bentleys better than just about anyone else, William has devoted his life to uncovering the surprising secrets of these famously durable and sporting cars. So if you’re in a remote corner of the world and see a Pre-War Bentley catching you like you’re stuck in neutral, our advice is to give William a wave through and marvel at one of the most epic vintage tourers.
S255E28 This Lancia Delta S4 Is A Ballet Of Brutality 12/07/2016 “It’s a car enthusiast’s collection, right,” says John Campion. “I don’t have cars because I want to impress anybody. If you don’t know what a rally car is, you’re kinda like, ‘That’s a dirty car, there are cracks on it’… But I find the passion I have for these cars goes back to the individuals who drove them.” Beginning as a “lucky” immigrant to the U.S. in 1984 with $26 in his pocket, Campion has worked hard for the last few decades and is finally able to indulge in the vehicles most meaningful to him. From a Lotus Cortina similar to the Ford Cortina his father bought new in period to World Rally Championship rally-winning group B cars, his collection is definitely filled with fog lights and Martini stickers. “I grew up in Ireland in the late-’60s and early ’70s, and had a fascination with all things mechanical,” he says. “My father was a mechanical kind of guy, and we grew up restoring old tractors and steam engines—so once I started making a few dollars, I started purchasing cars, and went through the wholy myriad of cars and ended up where we are today, which is predominantly cars from my youth—rally cars.” He makes no mistakes in recognizing his limitations as a driver, because piloting some of the fastest all-road vehicles ever conceived takes a steel will and full committment— “I drive the car for 15 minutes, and I’m exhausted…” he says to convey how amazing Group B pilots were in period. “Group B drivers were the best of the best of the best…” he says. “But it’s still humbling to drive the same car as these rally legends; to be able to show the cars, drive the cars, and get a wider audience for these cars.” “If you own them and don’t show them, and you own them and don’t drive them, and own them but don’t share them…it’s a rich man’s folly.”
S255E29 Modified Yet Period-Correct, This Mercedes-Benz 190SL Is Displaced In Time 18/07/2017 This week we join Michael Potiker for a ride back in time in his tastefully modified Mercedes 190 SL as he wheels around Los Angeles in the low-cut period-correct roadster. For most, the gorgeous Benz offers more than enough personality in stock form, and would be no difficult feat to become attached to, but to achieve an even deeper bond with his machine Michael hasn’t shied away from adding some custom touches. After acquiring the 190 SL following a serendipitous stroll down his father’s street where the pair came across the car for the first time, he went about researching the legacy of the model to discover what they were used for, trying to ascertain their place in the era from which they came. Though often shadowed by its older brother the 300 SL, Mercedes also offered packages for 190 SL owners who were looking to go racing, and upon learning of this option Michael went about sourcing parts and finding builders to transform his car into a Southern California-style racer while also paying homage to the original Rennsport kit (which Mercedes would sell to customers separate from the car, with the owners adding the pieces themselves). On the experience of driving the resulting slice-like Mercedes roadster, he explains that for him, “It’s not even about the roads and the scenery, it’s about rowing the gears and operating this absolutely ridiculous vehicle.” While it’s nice to enjoy our cars in ideal settings, we have to agree with Michael on what’s paramount in all of this, and that is the actual act of driving, regardless of where it’s happening. There are certain cars, like this one is for Michael, that have that kind of pull on us that can turn any drive into an activity that reaffirms your original passion for the car. And when you use such a thing regularly? That’s even better, and in keeping with his idea that it’s important to use cars like this, because it’s “about experiencing something that’s drastically different from the everyday,” even if you’re
S255E30 1973 Chevrolet Camaro: An American Let Free In The French Countryside 25/07/2017 This week take a lap through the French countryside in Gabriel Henaut’s 1973 Chevrolet Camaro. Gabriel grew up under an influential father who also happened to be a mechanic. You know this story; with the seed planted early on in his life, cars were a point of passion for a young boy, and that hasn’t changed since. But like every tale told often, there’s a reason for that. When it results in cars like Gabriel’s Camaro emigrating to France, when the journey and the result are equally intriguing, these are the examples of whatever the Hero’s Journey is for the world of cars that are worth telling. Growing up, his father taught him how to wrench and shared the tricks that come with experience, but more importantly, he encouraged Gabriel to adopt the do-it-yourself mindset. Getting a license and driving on his own began a longtime love affair with Mk1 Volkswagens, and Gabriel refreshed and restored several early Golfs, but after spending a good deal of time around, in, under, and on the iconic four-banger hot-hatches, he desired something different. Something unique thundering around in France. Maybe something American? They say forbidden fruit is the sweetest, and a plump V8 from Detroit is about as foreign as it gets in northwestern French. “V8s were just fantasy,” Gabriel says with a small smirk, “You think it’s impossible, until one day you ask yourself, ‘Why not?’ ” So, after colluding with a friend to take a trip to the United States, the search for a machine to quench his thirst for torque was underway in full. In 2013 they flew to Los Angeles to start poking around for something rust-free, but couldn’t pass up the chance to visit Las Vegas while on the West Coast. On the way out of the city, they get lost in the desert’s stretches of deserted roads for much longer than anyone would want to (which to be fair is not very long), and barely make it to a petrol station before running out of fuel. After topping off the tank again in Victorville, his friend noticed
S255E31 1972 Piper P2: One Man’s Legacy With A British Oddity 01/08/2017 This week, Bill Atkinson takes us for a ride in his 1972 Piper P2 as he shares his history with the niche British marque. Back in the ‘60s, Veteran Formula 3 works team leader George Henrotte owned a small outfit called Campbell’s Garage, which was located in the village of Hayes, in Kent, England. The determined privateer banded together with a small group of talented tinkerers, wrenches, and visionaries to create a bespoke performance machine of their own. By 1966, Piper Cars was formed and development of their prototype racing car began. Soon after, a group of club racers convinced Piper to produce a GT-style sports car. Piper built a car in response, which gained traction by 1967, showing some promising demand for small-batch production. Made-to-order with a number of powertrain options, the sleek, low-slung, and lightweight fiberglass-bodied machine caught the attention of Brian Sherwood, a club series racer. He saw serious potential in the little GT, and quickly got involved with Piper Cars. It didn’t take long before Brian was put in charge of overseeing the production car segment of the company. Around this time, Bill Atkinson, the owner of the car in the film, recalls, “In 1968, I had a Rover 2000 and I decided I wanted a bit more performance from it. At the time, the only people in the country who could do head work on the car to improve performance was Piper Cars.” After hitting it off with Brian Sherwood, Bill reminisces, “At that time, I saw the Piper GT body and thought, ‘What a wonderful thing.’ I'd never seen anything quite like it…quite as beautiful, I suppose.” Infatuated with the project, Bill mentioned if the car were to make it to production, he’d be genuinely interested. Some time later, he received a letter from Brian Sherwood stating that the Piper, now named the GTT, was road worthy and available for purchase. Bill, keeping true to his word, made another trip to the Piper garage and placed an order, securing an early production GTT.
S255E32 This Porsche 912 Is Fully Committed 09/08/2016 “That car isn’t just me, it’s all the people I’ve interacted with to get to this place,” says John Benton. “I bought this car at 23 years old, I didn’t have all the answers…My car is the result of all those little journeys, here and there…” Now, John has his own shop that caters to classic Porsches, but it’s really about how he got to this point—a journey happened in his beloved 912. “I’ve heard people say that my car is me. You know, when they see it, when they drive in it, they’re like, ‘Man this car’s you, it’s so obvious’,” he says. “That wasn’t my intent, but it’s neat to hear from people—even strangers—you know, ‘you built this car, it’s so obvious’,” he says. His car had been found, driven, taken apart, repaired, restored, and loved over his many years of ownership, and the 912 really was his companion. “It was my daily driver…and weekend race car…” with modifications to suit both. Now, its heart is a “Very high-revving, twin-spark 1.7-litre, fuel injected 616 motor…” but to list off specs would do a disservice to Benton’s passion for these machines. “Everything I know put into a car…” he says. The only thing missing is his friend and former business partner, John Coffee, who died earlier this year…but not before completing his opus, a Datsun 240Z prepared for the Peking-To-Paris Rally. “John just hit a home run,” says Benton “…it’s his legacy.”
S255E33 1985 BMW 316: E30 Ownership 30 Years Later 15/08/2017 This week, join us for a late night cruise sitting shotgun in Sébastien Defaux’s 1985 BMW 316 across the cobblestones and lamplit streets of Lille, France. Like many young boys pushing toys around on the floor, Sébastien’s initial love for wheels came in the form of a firetruck infatuation. Obsessed with the vibrant red mobile extinguishers, it’s no surprise that Sébastien dreamt of growing up to become a firefighter himself one day. That profession plan stuck for a while, but it all changed when he came across a model of a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. “Bye, bye, firefighters, hello, backfires,” Sébastien quips as he remembers the moment of transition, admitting that the form of the scaled-down Benz was enough to sway him away from the path of battling blazes and onto the track of sporting automobiles that would eventual lead him to the Ultimate Driving Machine. With a cousin already steeped in BMWs, not to mention an uncle who’d raced a 2002Tii around the Nürburgring, Sébastien became interested in the motorcars from Munich soon after that pivotal moment with the toy Gullwing, noting, “[My cousin] has owned a lot [of BMWs]. He’s an auto body mechanic, so he fixes a great deal of them.” Sébastien then finished school with his diploma in auto body repair after learning the trade under his cousin’s guidance. “This allowed me to get a closer feel for this brand's bodywork,” explains Sébastien, adding, “That's when the double grille managed to get me.” The BMW bug had bitten, and it left a permanent impression on Sébastien. While he adores many of the marque’s masterpieces, it was a happenstance run-in with an E30 M3 parked on the street that really influenced him when the time came to buy his first car. “I instantly fell in love with that model,” Sébastien tells us, “I was there facing her, and I thought, 'This is the one I need.'" While an E30 might seem like a perfectly suitable first car, many of us forget the chassis is 35 years old at this p
S255E34 This Fiat 850 Sport Was A Concours Adventure 23/08/2016 “From what I can remember,” says Loïc Maschi, owner of this Fiat 850 Sport, “at 6 months old they gave me a toy car, and I fell for it, that was the beginning of it. I’ve always had a passion for cars and especially for vintage cars, I used to make reports on car shows, races…I couldn’t picture myself driving a modern car.” “I fell in love with it, and I drove home with it,” he says of the first encounter with his brown classic car. But it wasn’t as easy as it seemed: the car needed a lot of work. You know, the type of work that requires a full restoration. Loïc’s adventure is fascinating; friends, family, and newfound friends all helped push him to finish the work to complete the restoration, a restoration that went through several twists and turns as he found his own limits as an owner-enthusiast-mechanic. The story of how this little car was finished in time to be shown at the Chantilly Arts & Elegance concours must have been spurred on by love: “…it’s my first car,” he says. “I think you all know you can love your first car.”
S255E35 This Ferrari 288 GTO Will Replace Your Morning Coffee 30/08/2016 Wake up, walk down to the garage, and hop in your Ferrari: if there was a 288 GTO a few paces away, wouldn’t it be more effective than caffeine? This is our new series, Morning Coffee, and it just had to kick off with a furiously turbocharged supercar that people recognize more from posters...but not after you see this. The Ferrari 288 GTO was the company’s first real production engine to use turbocharging for outright performance, with byproducts including wastegate swooshes, flames spitting from the exhaust, and 400 horsepower. Lighter than the 308 series and utilizing advanced components like Kevlar in its construction, it’s a Group B car that simply was never able to compete in anger. Too bad then, but not now: all 288 GTOs made are street-legal, and can be fired up in much less time than an espresso. Does your idea of a morning jolt have a Prancing Horse on its flanks?
S255E36 1987 Mercedes-Benz AMG Hammer Wagon: Six Liters Of Grocery-Smashing German Power 05/09/2017 This week, in partnership with Mercedes-Benz, we take a ride in Jonathan Hodgman’s 1987 Mercedes-Benz AMG Hammer wagon along the lakeside roads just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. While today the AMG badge is an acronym known and revered for upscale German precision and performance, there was a time not too long ago when the cars of Aufrecht, Melcher, and Großaspach were produced independently, without official Mercedes oversight, as Mercedes didn’t officially absorb AMG as its in-house performance division until 1999. Though they may have more budget and a wider range of cars now, the AMG autos made before the merger were no less impressive machines. Far from it. More than a decade before the merger, in 1986, AMG began offering V8 engine upgrades for the W124 chassis—one of Mercedes’s most beloved mid-size sedans. Thanks to its understated but well-proportioned looks, excellent ergonomics, comfort, and solid out-of-the-box performance, the W124’s overall package was a competent one from the factory, but as we all know, everything can be improved. These traits made the vault-solid E-Class of the ‘80s an exceptional base to build upon, sure, but it was a wholly different car after AMG worked their magic, adding to the its capabilities by massaging nearly every aspect of the already exceptional platform. These V8-swapped W124s were designated as Hammers after some clever journalist coined the term when reviewing the Autobahn rocket, so it’s safe to say the AMG earned its name from the big bad V8s (which would include the 360-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 that made it the fastest sedan in the world at the time), but it wasn’t just the big tuned mill squeezed under hood that made the car such a success; AMG also reworked the transmission, suspension, brakes, and added an aero kit along with their equally blocky 17-inch three-piece wheels. It was the full package. And by 1987, AMG raised the performance bar once again with an even crazier 375-horsepower 6.0-liter option. Of
S255E37 1991 Ferrari F40: Driving The Dream Car 12/09/2017 Our films always aim to share the kinds of automotive stories that capture the essence of why enthusiasts like us love their cars beyond any physical or measurable properties; sometimes that means recounting the tales of obscure machines and their dedicated owners who are few in number but highly passionate, and then there are those centered around creations possessing a universal pull, a gravity around them that pulls us near and creates relationships with each of us in some form or another. The F40 falls emphatically in the latter group. We all know this car, we all have our opinions about it, and it’s safe to say even its detractors must acknowledge its significance not only in the history of Ferrari, but in the evolution and history of the supercar at large. It lives in the minds of everyone with more than a passing interest in high-performance automobiles, and for a lucky few, it lives in their garage. For father and son David and Cooper MacNeil, this is reality, but it will never be ordinary. As Cooper sums it up so succinctly, “To drive a red F40 really is a dream come true for me.” Having driven race cars for a decade now, it’s not like he’s been plopped into this car after solely spending time behind the wheel of a common commuter car. The F40 is about as close as possible to a race car for the street, and while that’s a cliche saying no doubt, it’s fitting here given the F40’s responsibility for so many utterances of it. The hallmark of any memorable performance vehicle is not just the capability to deliver speed and high-Gs though, as function without form is not enough to make forge the kind of yearning the F40 creates in so many minds. Indeed, this car represents a case of the form following an almost singular function, but it’s certainly not lacking in looks; at once sleek and full of right angles, defined creases, and punched-out negative space chopped into its planar panels, it is a definitive product of the 1980s that’s also proven its timelessn
S255E38 This Datsun 240Z Gives A Rocket Feeling 20/09/2016 “Racing, it’s not about the race—it’s about the trip” says Taz Harvey. “I mean, the trip is fabulous. Going down there, living in Mexico for two weeks, it’s an adventure.” Beginning with a well-handling Datsun 510 for the La Carrera Panamericana, Harvey realized after a few years of strong results that a faster car was needed to challenge for outright stage victories—and maybe eventually—a win. “The natural progression was the Z,” he said. This one actually came to him—some customers at the dealer he was at wanted to trade it in on a used pickup truck before converting it from an automatic-equipped street car to a 240Z ready for road rallying. “It has about 220 horsepower at the wheels—for 2,400-lbs, it gets with the program pretty good…” Harvey says. “On crowned roads in Mexico, when you’re going 100 mph, you’re constantly putting in steering input. That’s what makes it exciting…you’re really going fast.” Last year, Harvey and co-driver Rudy Vadjak finished first in Histórica B and sixth overall.
S255E39 The Toyota FJ40 Is a Rugged Companion 06/10/2015 "One of my favorite things about this vehicle is the total pure utility of it," says Josh Commons, "…the only creature comforts—apart from a heater—is that the seats are padded." Built to be rugged, long-lasting, dependable, and easy-to-repair, the Toyota FJ40 has earned a reputation for being one of the world's best vehicles for going off-road, anywhere, any time. Family owned since 1992, Commons had it for 10 years before selling it to his sister, who sold it to their parents. After a time, it was passed back to Josh and hasn't left his possession since. "I've owned it long enough to go full cycle to where the brakes and the wheel cylinders wore out and needed to be rebuilt," Commons says. "You're turning the same screw you turned 20 years ago…it's kind of special." 8,000 feet up, Commons takes us to the beautiful mining ghost town, Boulder City. Not many vehicles—let alone off-roaders—can survive the journey, but the FJ40 almost makes it look like a piece of cake. "I don't see these as disposable, I see them as infinitely rebuildable," he says. "It's definitely an heirloom now."
S255E40 This BMW 507 Has Been Reborn In The Memory Of Elvis Presley 04/10/2016 “Around 2006, I drove down to the Half Moon Bay. The car was standing for years in a barn on a pumpkin farm,” begins Klaus Kutscher, Restoration Expert at BMW Classic. “It was really rough. A lot of parts were missing…” he says. Even finding a BMW 507 is an achievement, but true ‘barn find’ cars often require a Herculean amount of work to get right. This particular car had a saving grace, however: “We searched the VIN number and realized that the car belonged to Elvis.” That’s right: when Elvis Presley was based in Germany for the U.S. military, he drove this very car as his daily driver, even buying a second to give to friend Ursula Andress. As you could imagine, Elvis driving around Germany in a white BMW 507—of which there were roughly 250 examples made—wasn’t difficult to spot. “He loved the 507,” Kutscher says. “The car was normally white, and all his fans made kisses with lipsticks on the car, so he was mad and he painted the car red after that,” with Kutscher confirming the legend. It’s stories like those that helped to keep the restoration moving, even as the true measure of the task began to present itself. “The dashboard was cut and they had other instruments also in the car. They cut the frame. The car was painted twice, then black, and then after that again in red. Then the car [had] …a big accident.” Responsible for restoration at BMW Classic, the car presented both an opportunity to preserve history, as well as showcase the talents of his team in front of some serious crowds. After recently making its full public debut during Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance as the centerpiece of BMW’s 100-Year anniversary celebrations, the car will undoubtedly be active and present at classic car events for years to come. “We always want to keep the car in this condition. That means in perfect condition. Now you can see the result looks, for me, beautiful, more than beautiful.”
S255E41 1957 Brütsch Mopetta: Smiles Per Gallon 10/10/2017 There are many ways to measure the quality of a vehicle. Speed, rarity, and style are all tried and true favorites. But there's only one way to measure a Brütsch Mopetta: in smiles per gallon. In that category, this little peculiarity is number one.
S255E42 1991 Venturi 260 APC: A Father And Son's French Connection 17/10/2017 This is the story of a 1991 Venturi 260 APC, an enthusiastic 24-year-old named Geordan Fusi, and a father and son bond over speed, style, and craftsmanship.
S255E43 1965 Bizzarrini A3/C: A Le Mans Underdog Story 24/10/2017 Ousted from a successful career as a chief engineer at Ferrari, Giotto Bizzarrini went off to build his own racing machines to compete on the international stage. Powered by a monstrous small block V8, this very car—Bizzarrini A3/C No. 0222—would go on to win its class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1965.
S255E44 The “Harold and Maude” Jaguar E-Type Hearse: A True Undertaking 31/10/2017 A hearse is an unlikely hero car, but the converted Jaguar E-Type from Harold and Maude is one that’s worth reanimating. The original from the film was crushed and scrapped, but an enthusiast in Arizona has recreated a painstakingly perfect homage to the cult classic’s morbid but undeniably stylish Jag.
S255E45 You Don't Drive An Alpine A110, You Wear It 08/11/2016 We've been lucky over the years to have had the chance to not only see a few Alpine A110s in the metal, but to actually drive them. As an office we've had this saying for a while that "you don't really drive an A110, you wear it." It's somewhat of a running joke that has been tough to describe to outsiders. Any time the marque or model was mentioned, that phrase would come out and we'd all chuckle. That was until we decided to make a short film, the latest in our "Morning Coffee" series about what that experience is like. The cockpit is so intimate, so snug, so perfectly purpose built that it's akin to applying a wetsuit to yourself to go surfing. There's a certain ritual to the way you have to prepare to get in the car, to turn the key in the ignition, the whole thing is just so personal. This one is owned by our friend Jürgen Clauss, the man behind AlpineLab: “Sometimes, when stepping into my garage, and looking at my cars, I am surprised that it is already 30 years and the Alpine hasn’t worn out yet,” he explains from his German workshop that specializes in these small French sports cars. “I still like to look, drive, and work on these cars every day,” he says, “To me, it was always unique, always something special; you even had to have certain ergonomic prerequisites to drive an Alpine.”
S255E46 1968 ISO Rivolta: A Riva For The Road 14/11/2017 You’ve heard the infamous origin story of Lamborghini, but what about another Italian sports car company that was birthed out of frustration with Enzo Ferrari? Renzo Rivolta decided to do something about his dissatisfaction with Ferrari cars, and so he built his own GT machine bearing his name: the Iso Rivolta. Giugiaro designed the car whilst employed at Bertone, and though it may seem quintessentially Italian, it has some international elements in its DNA too—namely the 5.4-liter Chevrolet Corvette V8 under its elegant hood. Though Renzo Rivolta passed suddenly in 1966, not long after the first Rivoltas were built, his story is being retold and rediscovered by the next enthusiast generation thanks to owners like Helmut Boening and his immaculate example of Italy’s muscled elegance.
S255E47 1990 Volkswagen Mk2 GTI: The People’s Sports Car 21/11/2017 The Volkswagen Golf GTI defined and led the wave of hot hatchbacks, but it’s harder these days to find early generations of the People’s Sports Car without questionable backstories and odd modifications. Andrew Tucker put in the time to find the right car, and his clean and complete 16-valve Mk2 GTI is a due reward for his efforts. It is a cult classic preserved as it should be, and it’s 27 years later it still offers dollops of driving joy alongside the inescapable nostalgia.
S255E48 1991 Acura NSX: The Multi-Tool Supercar 28/11/2017 n this week’s film, we sit shotgun with Sean Lee for a drive around Los Angeles and its famed canyon roads in his first-generation 1991 Acura NSX. Tastefully modified with period-correct parts, this lithe streak of silver is an evolution of the stock car that was already a fantastic blend of sport and practicality, and though it isn’t factory-original, it has respectfully followed the trajectory, embodying the idea of “OEM plus.” It is, in a sense, more of an NSX than it was before; Sean has built upon the car, honing and enhancing this Honda (sorry, “Acura”) without coming at the cost of the car’s original identity.
S255E49 Porsche 911 Carrera T: Unfiltered Passion 05/12/2017 When the Porsche 911T was introduced in 1968, it redefined the concept of sporting simplicity. In the years since, the ethos of the original has evolved to bring us the 2017 911 Carrera T. Though no longer the entry-level option it once was, the new T remains focused on the purity of the 911 experience; what isn’t necessary, isn’t there. It is light, focused, the antithesis to apathy, and tangible proof that some people still care about the way driving makes us feel.
S255E50 1959 Maserati Tipo 61: Climb Into The Birdcage 12/12/2017 Join us this week for a special film as we follow along with Marino Franchitti for a track session in Nick Mason’s 1959 Maserati Tipo 61 “Birdcage.” Delicate and purposeful in single swooping package, this is the car that defines what it means to be ethereal, and it is the best looking bit of motorsport engineering to be housed in a web of chromoly steel.
S255E51 The Ferrari 275 GTB Left an Indelible Imprint on the Car World 22/12/2015 “When it comes to what cars you like, I think that everyone wants the cars they coveted when they were growing up,” says Skip Barber. “The 275 Ferrari, I can still see one in Cambridge, a bright yellow one—with a woman with the best pair of blue jeans and heels getting into the car…[So] I got the car.” Active in post-Second World War races after earning enough in the Merchant Marine to buy his first race car, Skip Barber quickly made a name for himself as an ace driver, eventually contesting in Formula 1. One of the feats he’s most proud of was beating the legendary Jim Clark in identical cars at the Canadian Mosport track. “That was a pretty big deal,” Skip says. “People would put me in cars they couldn’t sell; the This is what the world’s most influential driving instructor takes for a cruise theory would be that I’d do well and people would buy it.” As his career as a professional racer started winding down, he decided to set a goal for himself: “To do absolutely the best job we could,” he says. Graduates of the Skip Barber Racing School have gone on to win championships around the world, but Barber’s heart and soul have gone into protecting and building the legacy of his home track, Lime Rock Park. “We’ve tried to preserve the feel of it,” Skip says. “I think when you walk in, it’s the same…I hope.” And the car Skip will be driving as he pulls through the gates at Lime Rock? His beloved Ferrari 275 GTB, of course. Petrolicious wishes to thank the team at Lime Rock Park for their help and hospitality in the production of this short film, and for the great archival photos of Skip Barber during his racing days.
S255E52 The Aston Martin DB4 GT Lightweight Is Much Stronger Than English Breakfast Tea 27/12/2016 The latest in our "Morning Coffee" series comes in the form of the iconic DB4 GT, gloriously lipsticked in white and driven in anger by its owner, Paul Michaels of Hexagon Classics. Introduced in the fall of 1959 the DB4 GT was a high output, low weight variant of the DB4 that was revolutionizing the company built by the car's namesake, David Brown. The wheelbase shorter, its skin replaced by aluminum, its rear seats removed, the DB4 GT was the car that would bridge the gap from the early design touring language of the DB4 into what would become the notorious car issued to 007, the DB5. In total, 75 DB4s would be completed in GT spec, with of course another 19 handed off to the team at Zagato. The engine though is truly where the GT shone in comparison to its non-GT brother, bringing an output of 302hp and a max speed hovering around 151mph. The cars were, in period, very fast. As Paul Michaels illustrates in our short film, they can indeed still hold their own on a crispy Sunday morning. The example we are looking at here was ordered from the factory by none other than Thomas Sopwith (yes, that Sopwith), and is one of only four in existence to be what is considered "Build Sheet" spec DB4 GT Lightweights designed to take on Ferrari's 250GT SWBs on the GT circuits of Europe. Needless to say, it's a very special car.

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