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    When Bullitt came out with Steve McQueen I wanted to know everything about the Ford Mustang. The same with #Knight-Rider – I remember tuning in just to see the car. These days most people don’t notice the cars the stars are driving, but they seem to know the ones in the video games, like Gran Turismo 6, which just came out.

    / #Steve-McQueen / #Bullitt / #1968-Bullit / #Gran-Turismo-6 / #1966-Oldsmobile-Toronado / #Ford-Mustang / #Oldsmobile-Toronado / #Mark-Donohue

    The idea that concept cars make their first appearance in video games makes a lot of sense. A movie opens and it makes $50 million and is a huge success. A video game launches and makes 700, 800, 900 million dollars on the first day because people want to see those vehicles.

    In the movie you tend to think of your self as James Bond or Steve-McQueen , whereas in the video game there is no human element, it’s just the car. So you are the driver, as opposed to that person, and you can make it do whatever you want it to. And the video games are way more accurate than the movies. There’s a whole cottage industry of picking out all the little mistakes in various car films. The only thing missing from games now is the gasoline and rubber smell. When you watch a game like Gran Turismo 6, they’ve gone to great trouble to recreate the sounds exactly. A friend of mine got one of the driving games and it has Mark Donohue’s Camaro in it. And he couldn’t last past a certain time, he just couldn’t get any better. Then he read Mark Donohue’s book about how he set up his Camaro and his tyre pressures and things, and he put all the stats from the book into the video game. He was lapping faster. So you actually are driving the car.

    When I got to drive a Jaguar at the Nürburgring, I practised on the video game. Braking points, the Karussell, all of it was exactly as it was in real life. Not that I had it memorised, but it meant that the track was not foreign to me when I got there.

    The amazing thing to me is the amount of time people dedicate to it. If you’r e going to sit down and play a game it’s the same as watching a two-hour movie. You sit down and pick your team, your tyres, and your car. It’s hours of information and input. You’re racing against some guy in Thailand and he’s racing against some guy in Finland. It’s a huge commitment.

    My #1966 #Oldsmobile Toronado is in Gran Turismo 6. They did a great job with the Toronado. The attention to detail is amazing because you just take for granted that when a car goes by you see a shadow. You don’t realize how many hours went in to making that shadow. When they did the car, they came to my garage with a secret camera and they put the car in the middle of the floor with a big tent over it. It was some kind of 3D camera but I don’t know what it does because I wasn’t allowed to see it. It is not just the look but the feel they have replicated well. The heaviness of the big sedan is matched in the game just great.

    I had the #Mercedes-Benz Gran Turismo concept car in my garage recently. It’s stunning. The front of that car looks like an SLR from the ’50s. The pure design of it I thought was really really good. I thought it was a clean design, it looked masculine, and it looked Mercedes-Benz. It looked futuristic yet it looked like it could also be a real car.

    People ask why Mercedes would go to all that trouble for a video game. When you say it like that it sounds disdainful, but when you use the words they used, ‘Gaming Console’, it suddenly sounds more important. It is a gaming console that is played by millions of people. It’s why games, not movies, are seen as the future.

    If a car is in a movie it might only be in the shot for a second. There was some hype about Lexus in that movie with Tom Cruise, but he got in the car and drove away in a second or two, before you even realised what he was driving. In a video game you know your car is going to be seen by exactly the people you’re trying to reach – young men, aged 12 and up. Guys who will soon be getting their licence. And what car are they going to want to drive? The car they lusted after in the video game. It’s very clever marketing. In the future I think you will see people going to dealerships and taking virtual test drives in a simulator. An actual seat from the car and the dashboard in front of you and you’ll ‘drive’ this ‘car’ instead of taking it out on a real test drive. You’ll go on a virtual test drive to see if you like it. I think that will happen. We will see cars reach reality, having started on video games. We already have. Every major car company will do this.

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    Ross Alkureishi

    Epic Restoration Messerschmitt KR200

    Posted in Cars on Sunday, 15 October 2017

    Messerschmitt rebuild “It was a pig to restore!” This Messerschmitt KR200 was the subject of a fastidious restoration. Magnificent ’Schmitt. The tale of one man’s determination to build a perfect German microcar. “If I’m honest, it was an absolute pig to restore” This Messerschmitt KR200 was Dave Watson’s second microcar rebuild. Ross Alkureishi recounts the tale of its lengthy resurrection. Photography James Mann.

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    1967 BMC 1800 Berlina Aerodinamica by Pininfarina

    Posted in Cars on Tuesday, 25 July 2017

    Last year, I went to interview the former Leyland stylist Harris Mann. We were talking Allegros, a topic he will happily expound upon, but he is beginning to take exception to the attitude of the more populist media. To my delight, he recently told a BBC researcher to “get stuffed” (a very un-Harris-like remark) when they wanted him to take part in radio programme about “crap British cars”, so I fear we’ve had his last words on the subject. I don’t blame him: it’s time to find something else to take the Mickey out of.

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    Car #Humber-Hawk-Estate / #Humber-Hawk / #Humber / #Humber-Hawk-Series-II / #1964-Humber-Hawk-Estate /

    Year of manufacture #1964
    Recorded mileage 58,584
    Asking price £9450
    Vendor Pioneer Automobiles, near Newbury, Berks; tel: 01635 248158; www.pioneer-automobiles.co.uk


    Price £1261 (’1957 UK)
    Max power 73bhp
    Max torque 120lb ft
    0-60mph 21 secs
    Top speed 87mph
    Mpg 21

    This well-preserved Series III estate has had only four owners, first being registered to Rootes, and the latest since 2013 during which time it’s covered minimal mileage. It wears a decent older repaint and the chrome is all good, although a couple of the wheeltrims are lightly dinged.

    There’s been some welding along the sill bottoms, which you’d expect, but the structure appears solid thanks to oil leaks. The door bottoms have been repaired and remain relatively rust-free. The 2007-dated Camac tyres have plenty of tread, and there’s an unused newer Nankang spare.

    Inside, the leather is well preserved save one patch and the top of the front seat has been redone in vinyl. The carpet to the load bed and tailgate is newish, under which the rubber facings are original. The rear door cards are coming apart, but will be easy to re-glue. There are a couple of small cracks on the dashboard but the door cappings are smart.

    There’s been some recent rewiring work and the washer pump is new, along with the coil and battery, and the heater ducting has been repaired. The coolant is the right colour, but the oil needed topping up.

    The engine starts instantly and shows 50psi oil pressure, which never drops, the temperature sits just under ‘N’, the ammeter charging and even the clock works. Progress is a bit less stately than its bulk promises (look on the web for Team Tinworm for some hilarious racing exploits in the States), and the torquey 2267cc ‘four’ pulls well, with reasonably easy gearchanges from the column-shift, four-speed ’box. The overdrive (on top only) didn’t work, but apparently it did on the drive to Pioneer and, according to the warning light, the electrics for it operate, so we’ll assume that a few miles ought to unstick it. The ride is excellent and clonk-free, the steering nicely fluid and the brakes do their job effectively.

    The Hawk will be sold with spare keys, workshop manual and parts list, plus an MoT until 25 February. There was an advisory for an oil leak, but on older British iron we’ll count that as a positive for preservation.


    EXTERIOR Fairly straight, with an older repaint that’s holding up well
    INTERIOR Generally well preserved, just needs a little attention
    MECHANICALS Feels in excellent health
    VALUE ★★★★★★✩✩✩✩
    For Practicality; comfort
    Against A little thirsty
    If you need a period antiquehauler, or you want to do Beaulieu Autojumble in style, it’s a huge, well-made old load-lugger.
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