- Post is under moderationGlorious #1938 #BMW-328-Stunning southern hemisphere pre-war classic still in regular use. This glorious #BMW-328 is the only one in the southern hemisphere and is still exercised on a regular basis as Chris Nicholls recounts.
Photography and word by Chris Nicholls. Southern Comfort. This wonderful pre-war 328 is reputed to be the only one left in the southern hemisphere.
It’s a beautiful sunny spring day in Melbourne , Australia , and the warm breeze blows through my hair. All around people are looking, waving and smiling. My cheeks hurt from the permanent grin I’ve been wearing since we started out towards our shoot location. This is the joy of driving in its purest form. This is what the 1938 328 can give you.
Designed in an era of classical fussiness, the 328 stood out for its clean, simple design. Not for the rational Germans the highly decorated and adorned surfaces of its rivals. Neither the pretty but impractical design touches that made others harder to work on than necessary. This was German design in its purest form and a symbol of what BMW would go on to be famous for – simple beauty and a focus on the very best driving experience.
Funnily enough, the 328, despite its inclusion as one of the ‘Cars of the Century’ by a mix of experienced motoring journalists, has always been seen by many as actually too good to have a soul as a result. Its immense practicality, highly influential engine and excellent handling meant it lacked character to some.
This is of course rubbish. I defy anyone to climb in, go for a drive and not come away with an insane grin. The roar of the triple downdraught Solex carbequipped 1971cc OHV straight-six at full bore, the rock solid mid-corner grip and availability of throttle- induced oversteer even in the dry is a fantastic combination, and that’s before we get to the pure pleasure of driving such an iconic car in modern day traffic. Yes, you have to deal with the actual traffic itself for a little while, but even then people just love seeing such cars on the road, and the joy you give them is a part of what makes driving a classic sports car like the 328 so special. And once you get to the twisties, you really see where BMW’s famous DNA came from. There’s a hint of initial understeer (mainly due to the tyres), then balanced mid-corner poise and the aforementioned twitch of the tail on command as you exit. The engine never feels weak on the straights either, even by today’s standards. Admittedly this example is running a sports cam and puts out a resulting 100hp or so, as opposed to the 80 it came with from the factory, but even in standard form, with only 830kg wet weight to push around, this car wouldn’t have hung about.
The race results show just how effective a sports car the 328 was in its period, too. As many readers will no doubt know, the 328 came first in class at the Eifelrennen at the Nürburgring in 1936, then went on to take over 100 class wins in #1937 before winning its class at Le Mans, the RAC Tourist Trophy, the Alpine Rally and the Mille Miglia in ‘38. By the standards of the day, it was a rocket ship, and the fact current caretaker, Ken Bedggood of the Penrite Collection, has had it down the standing quarter at 17.2 seconds highlights that fact.
Remarkably, as mentioned earlier, for all its speed, it’s still a very practical car. The boot, while it lacks rear access, is cavernous, and fitting in all my camera gear (and there was a lot) was easy. It could have held more, too. The rear-hinged ‘crocodile’ bonnet and quick-release clasps on the leather straps mean working on the engine is a breeze, and even the seats come out with a simple tug to ensure you can sit and enjoy a picnic without ever getting your clothes dirty.
Of course, the completely unsecured seats, scalloped doors, lack of belts and the enamelled dashboard being only a small distance from your chest means should something bad ever happen, you’re probably toast, but that’s part of the thrill. Plus, you’re likely to be driving this a bit more carefully than your average family hatchback anyway.
Having said that, this particular example gets driven with some enthusiasm on a regular basis, thanks to Bedggood’s philosophy that cars are meant to be used. A former champion rally driver here in Australia and manager of the Team Penrite historic racing team when he’s not running the museum and building/maintaining the cars, Bedggood has both the skills and experience to handle machines like the 328 and should he ever get hit by someone when he’s out driving, he at least has the skills to repair it himself, being a qualified fitter and turner.
The fact this 328 does get driven almost everywhere is perhaps all the more remarkable when you consider this is the only one in the southern hemisphere. That’s right, of the 464 produced, this is the only remaining example south of the equator, and probably one of only a couple of hundred left running. (there was one other here for a while, but that was on loan to #BMW-Australia from #BMW Welt, and has since gone back). It’s so rare that Bedggood says he’s had ‘ludicrous’ offers for it in recent years, but thankfully for Australians, the owner, Penrite Oils CEO John Dymond, has no intention of parting with it.
“Because all the Europeans have been buying them up [in recent times], we have so few of these classics here in Australia any more; we have to keep the ones we’ve got. I mean, I understand those who do sell, as it’s basically their retirement fund, but we’ve got to hold onto some, otherwise what’s going to happen to the next generation? We can’t pass on that passion,” says Bedggood.
That’s why he takes it out as often as he can. Whether it’s the Geelong Speed Trials, where it ran its 17.2 quarter, or the famous Phillip Island Classic, where it competed in the regularity field a few years back, Bedggood ensures it get used as intended. Just a few weeks after this shoot, it went out in the Breast Cancer Foundation Rally, and later in 2016 it will be in the parade contingent for the Clipsal 500 V8 Supercars season opener in Adelaide.
Sadly, due to a small oil leak, it’s likely not going to be driven interstate for that, but the very fact it gets driven almost everywhere else is almost a miracle, and definitely something car lovers in Australia should be grateful for. It’s also something that shocked BMW Australia when both this 328 and its example turned up at one show together. “It’s funny, we took it to this event once and the employees from BMW Australia trailered theirs in a covered trailer and we just drove all the way there and they looked at us when we arrived as if they were like ‘what are you doing?!’.” Not that all this driving doesn’t have risks.
Bedggood relates another story where the team was invited to show it off it as part of the historic parade at the Melbourne F1 Grand Prix one year, and only realised when they got back to the pits that the fuse box cover had come off mid-lap.
“I thought to myself, ‘oh no! Where am I going to source a genuine Bakelite Bosch fuse cover from 1938?’ but afterwards, a marshal came up to me and said “I think this came off your car just near where I was marshalling” and handed it back to me. Unbelievably, it was in perfect condition.”
Indeed, the whole car is in remarkably good nick, considering its age and history. Previously owned by Chris Browning in the UK, current owner John Dymond came into it after Browning sadly fell ill with cancer and passed away. Dymond, a close friend of Browning, always talked to him about wanting the car, and Browning agreed to it before he passed. It then competed in a Frazer Nash Rally to Milan before being shipped to Australia and has been used regularly ever since. Even after all that, mechanically, the only issue right now is the aforementioned slight oil leak, which will no doubt be fixed, and the fact the alloy head already has 36 welds holding it together. Ideally, Bedggood would like to keep this part original, but has a Bristol head waiting in the workshop should he ever need it, as spark plug sizes aside, they’re identical (for those who don’t know, the Bristol engine was based on BMW designs taken by BAC and Frazer Nash representatives from the bombed factory after World War II). And given the car already had an overdriveequipped Volvo Amazon synchro box – a common and highly regarded upgrade over the fragile stock Hirth ‘box that, uniquely among other options, bolts on with no body modifications – fitted prior to Dymond’s purchase (the original came with it too), matching numbers is not so much of a pressing issue. At least the ultra-purists will be happy knowing the original toolbox is still intact. And in a lovely touch, the Victorian number plate is actually the same as the one it wore in the UK.
Aesthetically, the wonderful cream paint outside is almost entirely unblemished, apart from a patch missing on the bonnet due to the straps not being done up properly prior to a road rally and the bonnet flying up and hitting the windscreen, and a bit of peeling around the now useless crank handle hole (the car was converted to 12 volt electrics while in the UK). Inside, a paint chip at the bottom of the dash and around well-used knobs and one of the VDO gauges is about all you can see. The unusually plain Bakelite three-spoke wheel obviously has some marks, but overall, it’s a stunningly well-looked after machine. It really is testament to the care Bedggood and the other museum staff impart.
Machines like the 328 are, by definition, rare. Not just because of the limited production numbers and scarcity down under in this case, but because cars that get things this right only come along once in a proverbial blue moon. Whether it’s style, performance, handling or ingenious design, the 328 ticks all the boxes, and car lovers should be grateful such cars still exist, let alone get driven and put on show regularly like this one. It’s a source of pure joy, and my time with it was an experience I will never forget.
Plenty of original equipment remains intact on the Penrite 328 such as its factory tool kit.
TECHNICAL DATA #1938 #BMW-328
ENGINE: 1971cc #OHV #straight-six based on #BMW-326 block (66mm bore, 96mm stroke). Alloy head, 7.5:1 compression ratio, inclined inlet valves operated by pushrods and rockers, exhaust valves operated by secondary pushrods and rockers, triple downdraught #Solex carburettors, sports camshaft, 100hp (estimated), 80hp (standard).
GEARBOX: #Volvo-Amazon all-synchro four-speed with added overdrive (Hirth four-speed originally).
CHASSIS: Tubular ladder-frame steel with aluminium body panels.
FRONT: Independent by transverse leaf spring, lower wishbones and hydraulic dampers
REAR: suspension: Live axle, semi-elliptic springs and hydraulic dampers
BRAKES: 280mm hydraulic drum brakes. Automatic footbrake adjustment
TYRES: #Dunlop Racing 5.50-16
This particular example gets driven with some enthusiasm on a regular basis.
I defy anyone to climb in, go for a drive and not come away with an insane grin.
The interior is in remarkable condition with the perfect patina; plenty of lovely details too, such as the stylish gear knob.
This 328 gets regularly exercised and is a hoot to drive thanks to a sports camshaft and 100hp.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationCITROËN DS FROM GREECE
1500-mile journey to UK in a car bought sight-unseen
THE GREEK GODDESS
Jethro Bovingdon wanted a Citroën DS and the best he could afford was in Athens, a long way from home. Is that a problem – or an opportunity? Photography The Bovingdon family / #Citroen-D-Super / #Citroen-DS / #Citroen /
It feels real the moment the front wheels touch the ramp for the tatty-looking Grimaldi Lines Olympia ferry that will take me, my new car and 100 lorry drivers from Patras on mainland Greece to Brindisi on the heel of Italy. The panic crashes in a wave through my stomach, into my ribcage and through my arms until they feel almost rigid. Rolling to a jerky stop (those brakes!) I’m in automatic pilot, stirring the still-alien manual column-shift into first, stomping on the parking brake to make sure it’s secure, gathering my bags for the 15-hour journey ahead, locking the doors – well, three of them as the passenger door lock barrel slides whole with the key – and then trying to work out how I get up on deck. My mind is scrambled. As I fumble to lock the boot, a black Austrian-registered Mercedes SL rumbles behind me. The driver hops out, maybe six-four, well-groomed and looking ready for a week on a yacht rather than a night on a creaky ferry. His girlfriend is impossibly glamorous. ‘Wow, nice car,’ he says in unmistakable clipped tones. ‘I have one of these back in South Africa.’
He begins to poke around for corrosion with a well trained eye. ‘Looks like you’ve got a good one,’ he says. I tell him I’m driving it back to the UK over the next few days. He raises his eyebrows, there’s an awkward silence, then a simple ‘Good luck’ and they’re gone. I’m left alone with the DS as it slowly sighs down on its suspension. God, it looks cool. God, I hope it gets me home. So how did I come to find myself dazed and mildly panicked on a ferry leaving Greece and bound for southern Italy in a #1972 D Super in a lovely shade of Brun Scarabee? I can barely remember myself but it went a little like this…
My much-loved, highly unoriginal Porsche 996 Carrera was paid off, recently resprayed and ready for many more miles of enjoyment. Consequently I had that itch. The one that sees you scouring the internet for something, anything, of interest. I intended to buy a Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R, maybe a Mitsubishi Evo VI Tommi Mäkinen: something with that unique combination of focus, technology and unbridled craziness that only the Japanese can conjure. Then a detailer and friend Richard Tipper of Perfection Valet posted a picture on Twitter of the car he was working on that day. Agreen Décapotable, looking mouth-wateringly beautiful in this, the DS’s 60th-anniversary year.
Memories of my dad’s old DS resurfaced, I fired up the laptop and there was an ad for a Pallas, basking in Greek sunshine and available for a suspiciously tempting price. The advert was mysterious. Typed in CAPITALS, telling a story of a one-owner car in Athens but with the advert location said to be ‘Camberley, UK’. I closed the laptop. Then opened it again. I reasoned it was probably a scam but, then again, that’s what everyone else would think, right? Why not drop the guy an email? So I did. He replied (in CAPITALS) almost immediately. He sounded genuine. Soon I discovered he was a reader of Evo magazine, to which I regularly contribute, and Octane too, of course. He had a large collection of cars, he said.
I’ll book a flight, I said. He assured me he wasn’t an axe murderer (the wife made me ask) and, sure enough, when I went to look at the car Andreas was a lovely chap, passionate about cars, and the DS had been his father’s since 1974 when he bought it as an ex-demo from the importer in Athens. He took me for a long drive, we had an unbelievable lunch overlooking the shimmering Saronic Gulf, he bought me Ouzo, the deal was done.
The next two or three weeks were testing. I knew little about the DS except that it’s a car I love, yet slowly I realised this one wasn’t a Pallas (it will be painfully obvious to many of you) but had been dressed up to look a bit like one. The excellent Citroën Conservatoire helped trace its history: a 2.0-litre D Super built in 1972 with a four-speed manual gearbox. As was often the way in Greece, the dealership had brought in a basic car for tax reasons then added Pallas C-pillar trim and the chrome strip (since removed), and had the interior trimmed in soft olive-green leather. It left the factory painted Vert Charmille but, before Andreas’s father bought it, the importer had changed it to the gorgeous Brun Scarabee.
Why? Who knows. Did uncovering its true identity put me off? A little, but I couldn’t afford a mint Pallas so it was almost irrelevant. Plus my family had completely bought into the idea of flying out to help me bring it home. A couple of hours after arriving in Italy I’d pick up my two brothers and my dad at Brindisi airport (10.30, Saturday morning), aim for Maranello that night, then head into Switzerland and over the St Gotthard Pass on Sunday, hoping to make it into France. On Monday it’d be an easy stroll to the Chunnel and then home to Northamptonshire.
Rolling onto Italian soil feels pretty damn intrepid. There are 1500 miles to go but the sun is shining and the customs staff are friendly. The guy checks my passport with a smile and shouts to a colleague who bounds over when he sees the car. His English isn’t great but I get the gist. Pointing, he says: ‘I have… I have this. Bianco. Mine is bianco.’ Another DS owner. It adds a further twist of the surreal to this already remarkable adventure. I explain I’m driving it home as best I can. He sticks his thumb in his mouth for a moment then says: ‘Bambino. Treat it as bambino.’ Then I sink back into those incredibly soft, beautifully aged leather chairs and head for the airport, wending through tiny sun-bleached streets, feeling elated and (almost literally) floating on air. Things aren’t so rosy once Nathan, Toby and my dad, Roger, arrive. The previously flawless D rises swiftly but, with four blokes, their luggage and the LHM a little below maximum, it won’t go high enough to extinguish the massive red STOP sign in the oval warning cluster on the dash. It’s a niggle but annoying when you’re showing your new bambino to the family.
It’s well over 30 degrees outside and Toby has had some comedy ‘DS Adventure’ T-shirts made for us. They’re 100% polyester. So all four windows are down and it’s blowing a gale as we settle into a cruise at an indicated 110km/h. Within two minutes the interior C-pillar trims come loose on either side and dad reaches for one before it flies out into the slipstream, letting go of the map, which then swirls around the interior and is sucked towards the window opening… Thankfully he makes a crucial save at the last moment. The car and my hopes are rapidly disintegrating.
At the first fuel stop, Nath – a mechanic and the man charged with running repairs – finds a small fuel leak. ‘Is it bad?’ I ask, tentatively. ‘No fuel leak is a good fuel leak,’ he replies. My heart sinks still further but at least the ice cream is good and I dig out the email confirmation of my new ADAC European recovery membership. Yet a few minutes later we’re back on the road, having discovered it’s just an overflow and the leak stops as soon as the gruff but torquey fourcylinder is running. The miles come and go gently and our speed creeps up to 120km/h, with the odd foray to 130 when I’m feeling brave. Slowly but surely the furrowed brows and worries are washed away and we start to enjoy the majesty of a DS cruising along the Adriatic coast. Dinner in Rimini? Why the hell not.
It’s midnight when we roll into Ferrari town and check in at The Planet hotel, right opposite those famous gates. My dad bravely volunteers to share with Nathan, whose snoring measures on the Richter scale, and I share with Toby. Our room is huge and its two kingsize beds are almost as comfy as a DS armchair. In the morning dad pops in to borrow some toothpaste, looking exhausted. Turns out he and Nath had two singles with about six inches between them. I’ll never forget his slumped shoulders as he walked out clutching Colgate to hoots of laughter from myself and Toby. Of such things are roadtrips made.
Still, the horror of a night in a twin room with his eldest son is forgotten as we trundle around Maranello, peep through the gates at the Fiorano test track and soak up the place. I’ve been many times before but for my family it’s a real treat and reminds me that, behind all the tat, Ferrari still possesses real magic.
Today is The Big One. We’ll cover a similar mileage to yesterday – around 500 – but I’m really keen to take in the spectacular St Gotthard Pass, which means we need to negotiate customs at the Swiss border with our barely legal Greek FIVA-registered car (intended to allow short journeys to shows and the like), conquer the Alps, then skirt around Lausanne and Geneva and get into France. The route could hardly be more evocative: Maranello, Piacenza, Milan, Lake Como, St Gotthard, Geneva and then, hopefully, somewhere up near Dijon for a late dinner. Confidence is high, although when Nath shows me the ‘toolkit’ it dips: tie-wraps, screwdriver, toilet roll, not much else.
All is sunny in Maranello but as we head north the skies turn grey and it begins spitting with rain well before we hit Milan. I wonder when my DS (still sounds strange) last saw precipitation and, when I switch on the wipers, the perished rubber blades confirm it’s been a while. On the second arc the left one comes loose at the bottom and flaps around hopelessly. Luckily we have those tie-wraps. And the drooping door-mirror needs a little tighten-up, too.
We’re 700 miles into our journey and all agree that a bodged wiper blade and fixing a loose mirror are acceptable issues in a 43-year-old Citroën. There’s a big test to come, though. We sweep serenely into Switzerland (no customs trouble) but, 20 miles short of St Gotthard, traffic is at a standstill. It’s cold, grey and the rain is that hazy sort that soaks you in seconds. We get out for a chat with the French, Swiss and Germans stuck alongside us.
So, do we switch the car off and risk having to restart over and over again, or leave it running and risk it overheating? As the traffic finally starts to creep we have little choice but to watch that temperature needle and pray… Two hours later we’re free of the queues and heading up and up and up on the magnificent St Gotthard Pass. We should never have doubted it. What a car! Sweeping over great curves suspended on giant concrete stilts, plunging into thick fog and watching the snow build from a light dusting at the road’s edge to great shelves of white ice twice the height of the DS… we’re all alone on St Gotthard and it’s breathtaking, slightly surreal and, for my brother Toby, terrifying. I think he’d have preferred the straight, flat tunnel option but the Pass is something else. ‘What if it, y’know, stops?’ he asks, timidly, while clinging to a towel that’s become a sort of comfort blanket. I assure him we can always roll back down but, of course, we make it to the wintry summit with ease and the journey through a vast valley of mountains and beautiful villages is fantastic, the DS staying calmly unruffled even when my dad has a turn behind the wheel and seems to be channelling Paul Coltelloni on the 1959 Monte.
It’s 6.30pm when we hit the valley floor and breathe a sigh of relief. Toby is particularly pleased to be back on the flat and heading for big blue autoroute signs. But within spitting distance of the main E35 a landslide has shut the road. The Swiss police officer speaks very little English but points us towards ‘Furka’ and the ‘train’. So the DS turns around and heads for this mysterious train, panic again rising in the car. In Realp, a few kilometres away, we find an open-sided car transporter that rattles through the Furka Tunnel for 15km in almost complete darkness and deposits us in Oberwald, tired, hungry and not knowing exactly where we are.
For the first time we resort to sat-nav and ponder just how far away the French border looks right now. The answer is ‘very’. But with little choice we push on to Lausanne, past Geneva and finally into France. Now we’re really tired and roll into the little town of Châtillonen-Michaille, more in hope than expectation of finding a hotel at one o’clock in the morning. At the first roundabout two gendarmes are waiting and request a breath test. Once I’m proven to be sober they lead us to a hotel, we pop our credit cards into a machine and two room keys are ejected as if by magic.
Monday is a breeze. We finally top-up the LHM, tighten that mirror again and just keep adding fuel every 350km or so (the fuel gauge doesn’t work so we’re being cautious). The DS really is a fantastic car in which to cover miles. The engine isn’t the smoothest but that four-speed manual ’box is light, almost effortless, the ride is fantastic but not so floaty as to make you feel queasy, and the light, quick steering and superbly responsive brakes make it feel almost modern once up to speed.
We missed our 500-mile target yesterday so the speed creeps up to 140km/h or so and still the DS just strides on imperiously. Mâcon, Dijon and Reims slip by and soon we’re gliding into the Eurotunnel terminal. We go FlexiPlus, the tunnel’s version of Business Class. This incredible car deserves nothing less. Dad climbs out and pats the roof once we’re on board. ‘It’s part of the family now,’ he says.
‘700 MILES INTO OUR JOURNEY, A BODGED WIPER BLADE AND A LOOSE MIRROR ARE ACCEPTABLE ISSUES IN A 43-YEAR-OLD CITROËN’
Above Getting high on the St Gotthard Pass. Remember, this journey started in 30-degree heat by the Mediterranean. Passengers wearing shorts are beginning to feel the cold…
Above, left and right In a tunnel near Termoli, Italy – the DS proved the perfect classic for sustained autoroute cruising; at Maranello, outside what are possibly the most hallowed gates in the motoring world.
TECHNICAL DATA 1972 CITROËN D SUPER
Engine 1985cc four-cylinder, OHV, #Solex carburettor
Power 108bhp @ 5500rpm
Transmission Four-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Steering Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Front: leading arms, self-levelling hydropneumatics, antiroll bar.
Rear: trailing arms, self-levelling hydropneumatics.
Brakes Powered discs, inboard at front
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- Post is under moderationGiant road test #1967 #BMW-2000CS vs. #1970 #Peugeot-504-Coupe / #Peugeot-504
BMW 2000 CS Number built 8,883 – Years 1965-1969
Peugeot 504 Coupé Number built 20,547 (only 4-cylindres engined cars) Years 1969-1983
In the mid-1960s, #BMW and #Peugeot looking to rejuvenate their image. German Launches New Class sedans, the French, the 204 and the 504. While attractive models, but a classic strand. Hence the idea to decline in cut ... by Pierre-Louis and Jerome Champeaux Fombelle
Take two sedans wise appearance, Graft them a much more flattering body, and you get more opulent vehicles inexpensively. This simple recipe is used by the CS 2000 as the 504 Coupe. The first chopping is German in 1965, using as its basis 1500/1800 sedans. Peugeot expects four years to its new 504, then representing the high-end brand. For this comparison, we chose driven versions with 4-cylinder 2.0 of mass, associated with 4-speed manual gearboxes.
Noble lovers will be disappointed, others will benefit from proven engines, easy to use and maintain. For, to buy and to use the tariff cut our pretensions are much lower than their 6-cylinder engine with variations. An excellent reason to be interested in the models today in the shadow. Where our rivals oppose the day, it's stylish side. A matter of taste, you say. Luckily, Jerome and Pierre-Louis rarely agree on this point as on many others. The first will carry the colours of the propeller, the second those of Leo. A duel shoulder to shoulder we invite you to discover now.
The propeller in contention
In the 1960s, BMW, beset by financial difficulties, decided to explore a niche still scorned by competition, upscale environment. It is in this context that in 1961 the saloon was born in 1500 inaugurating the shark's nose, which will remain in vogue several decades. Four years later, the brand with the propeller draws a sportier version, under the aspect of an affordable cut. Thus appear the 2000 C and 2000 CS, powered by 4-cylinder #BMW-M10 engine worn for the occasion in 1990cc. One only has hundred small horses, the second force-fed by two carburettors body double, develops an output of 120 hp. The latter seems more appropriate to me to face my opponent. A little side benefit performance will not be superfluous, as it is true that before his eyes "slanted" do not unanimous, especially among journalists questionable aesthetic taste like Pierre-Louis.
However, the line inspired by the Bertone design for CS 3200 is rather successful. The absence of central upright glass area offers impressive and inimitable style, very different from that of the sedan.
On board, the same struggle: the cap that houses the four round dials, wood veneer dashboard and door interiors have nothing to do with the other BMW products. This CS coupe is a car apart, which is absolutely not the case of Peugeot. Thanks to Dominique, who had already given me his 2800 CS coupe, here I am on the road, in the rain, to re-join the friend Pierre-Louis and his Peugeot declawed. The few kilometres of highway will swallow a senator train.
Without fifth report, the engine speed exceeds 3000rpm to reach 110kmh, but the sound is far from deafening. The small 2-liter is not the extension of the large 6-cylinder which will come under the hood of the CS 2800 in 1968, but the times are free and I still have to watch my speed so as not to find myself outside the law . It is on the winding road that follows that the motor admit his faults. He demonstrated an impressive couple, but the regime is not taking his forte. Fortunately, the intake noise generated by the two carburettors #Solex 40 PHH body double is pretty rewarding. Thanks to them, no risk of breaking a found injection pump belt ("Is not it, Pierre-Louis?").
Also in the axis
The chassis of behaviour is, meanwhile, perfect. Stable whatever the road conditions, considerate and although slowed by effective brakes, cut Behême is also nice elbow to the door that the knife between the teeth. The rather firm suspension allows good catches curve without the need to seek to catch a train back escaping ... at least in dry weather! But the best thing is to enjoy the ride. The seats, although lacking headrest, are comfortable, both front and rear. The cabin offers a beautiful space for four passengers and a trunk large enough to cram more baggage than necessary. If you want a bourgeois cut at sporting trend, he is you.
"We like the engine torque, the rigor of the chassis, the overall comfort."
"We do not like the vision in the mirrors mounted on the wings, the scarcity of body parts."
Owner: Dominique After a coupe CS 2800, I became addicted to the brand to the propeller. So it is impossible not to fall for this coupe 2000 CS with few miles. A first hand barely used, not restored in its original paint and in very good condition, it's a bit the holy grail of the collector, right? "
Addicted to Behême
With 419-litres according to our measurements, the boot capacity of the German is more important than the 504. Its generous height allows to cram large suitcases there.
BMW 2000 CS party at € 6,500 / 1967
THE TECHNICAL DATA
Engine 4 cylinders, inline, 8-valves
Fiscal power 11 CV
Maximum power 120 hp at 5600rpm DIN
Torque 167 Nm at 3500rpm DIN
Food 2 double body Solex 40 PHH
Transmission For rear wheels drive, 4-speed manual gearbox
Brakes front discs / rear drums
175 HR 14 tires
Dimensions L x W x H 4.53 x 1.67 x 1.36 m
Weight 1,200 kg
Maximum speed 185 kmh
Acceleration D. A. 1000 m 32.3 s
Fuel consumption average – n/a
Tank 55 litres
TO KNOW MORE
Read Book [in English]
• BMW Classic Coupes 1965-1989, James Taylor,
The Crowood Press Ltd Websites
GPs and forums
The #M10 block is reliable and robust. Starting and idling are unperturbed. A rare thing for engines powered by two dual carburettor body.
Specific to cut the dashboard mid-luxury mid-Sport combines wood finish and battery meter. In the centre, behind the shifter, two buttons control electric rear windows.
Quiet, the lioness
Criticized its launch in 1969 for its lack of range, the 504 Coupé swapped in the fall following its 1.8 against a 90 bhp 2.0 (also injection) developing 104 hp. Without becoming a sport, the Sochaux gets a muscle more to do with her dress. The latter, due to the master Pininfarina, made easily forget the somewhat clumsy line sedan. Especially as our star of the day out in September 1970, the plastic is not yet come to spoil the party. And lights (front double, triple rear), typical of phases 1 (read before 1975), giving it a strong personality. Faced with these-pillars and thin windshield, to the elegance of the bodywork, the ineffable Jerome and his glassy eyes can Behême to go get dressed. I prefer to give up this pair of bumbling elephants to his fate, and am going with my lioness reap the laurels of victory ...
The flexibility of a cat behind a steering wheel a little less bias than in a 404 (Sochaux appreciate the faithful), which improves the driving position, I quickly found my bearings. Only default, the upper anchorage belts before is too low. You have to contort to capture and, once attached, they rely on the shoulder. Neiman left, I turn the key ("Francis is already in what sense ???") and the "four-legged" soars with discretion. Despite a few technical details footprint nobility, this 1971 cm3 captivated from the outset by its flexibility. Able to resume as soon 2000rpm without a hiccup, it allows to move with ease in the current circulation. If the weight of his leadership at a standstill and gear knob, which appears to be mounted upside down, had me a little aback, the 504 shows sufficient docile to quickly put me at ease. In addition, visibility is excellent simply, and 360°. In sum, this is an old car easy to handle even for a novice driver. She did not forget the passengers, the comfort offered by the seats and suspension are kind of cozy.
A shy roar
Whether alone or with family, the 504 Coupé 2.0 excels in the ride registry. It is even possible to go on a long journey without fear, model reliability reputation is well established. Its chassis reassures, calms her conduct, her full loving which seduces (power windows, tachometer and serial centre console). But I must admit that sportsmanship is not his main quality. Certainly there is a propulsion. Nevertheless, and despite the good will of the engine, the car is not exactly a thrill machine. Behind a comely line, the 504 Coupé is primarily a 504. Robust, welcoming, engaging, it remains a friendly marathon, but is surely not a sprinter.
"We do not like his leadership without assistance, character (too) placid. "
"We do not like his leadership without assistance, character (too) placid. "
"We love his line, his behavior, his comfort. "
Owner: Francis I wanted another ...
Initially, I coveted a Alpine A110 1600S, but its owner would not part with it. In this plan, he asked that pro 504 Coupé. Over time, what was for me a fallback became a faithful companion, that I would give up for anything. Equipped with a phase within three (after 1979), it had a restoration of his body in 2000. Today it has exceeded 230,000 km and still works as well. "
The high threshold perched proves somewhat annoying, but trunk space is more than enough to consider a romantic getaway.
Peugeot 504 Coupe From € 3500 1970
THE TECHNICAL DATA
Engine 4 cylinders inline water cooled, 8-valves
Fiscal power 11 CV
Maximum power 104 hp at 5200rpm DIN
Couple 164.8 Nm at 3000rpm DIN
Injection Kugelfischer Food
Transmission For rear wheels drive, 4-speed manual all synchromesh
Brakes front / rear discs / Drives
175 HR 14 tires
Dimensions L x W x H 4.36 x 1.70 x 1.36 m
Weight 1,220 kg
Maximum speed 179 km / h
Acceleration D. A. 1000 m 32.9 s
Consumption average 10-litres / 100 km
Fuel tank 56 litres
Safe 310 litres
FOR MORE INFORMATION Books
• The Peugeot 504 my father, François Allain, ETAI
• The Peugeot 504 sedan good days, Xavier Chauvin, ETAI
• Auto Collection No. 52, Auto Passion
• RTA No. 285, Peugeot 504,
injection engines, ETAI
• RTA Peugeot 504 Ti and injection (occasions our 285, 301 and 330), ETAI
Nice steering wheel, tachometer series, it does not need more to turn the dashboard of 504. Here, velvet upholstery from a Phase 3 (1979-1983).
Offered on vintages 1971 to 1974, the two litres will return for the 1978 vintage with a gearbox 5-speed.
From very different origins, these fine cut are found close to use, reliable and very civil. They deserved two testers forged from the same metal for the tie. Too bad, we do not find one! Jerome abandoned the Lion - which he treated the claws during his career mechanic - to defend the Propeller, the most represented brand in his garage. As for Pierre-Louis, who is crying - it rains as much in his native Britain - to find no marked equivalent Chevrons, he wears the colours of cousin Sochaux. Which has the last word?
A stroll, our two testers in the back, can appreciate the comfort of cars. Since a large cut that respects itself must be welcoming for four. Headroom does not play in favour of BMW. But there's a little more room for knees and a centre armrest. As for the soft seat of the Peugeot, it promises its passengers on long trips without lumbago, and even good naps.
COST OF PURCHASE / SERVICE Advantage 504 Coupe
Buy a high quality cut, that's good. But proper care is better. Especially as he is called to swallow kilometres. A look in ads and a walk in the pros are needed to the current situation of the market. The tuners are both reliable. And side parts tariff is white and half a dozen, even if sometimes you get out of the Hexagon to equip the BMW. The latter pay dearly for their body parts, for rare elsewhere when the purchase price is already more than double that of the Peugeot.
Ten cents, okay? Pierre-Louis
You can do the bottom of your pockets, I have a wing to change? Jerome
PERFORMANCE CS Advantage 2000
The sporty coupe requires that it be motorized even in its entry-level configuration, here with a 4-cylinder. First engaged, it's time to talk about the powder. On your mark ... With 77 kg less and 16bhp more, the 2000 CS logically takes the advantage over any terrain acceleration as maximum speed.
Straddling the Rhine
Both coupes represent what each manufacturer does best. And they are good at the same things! Peugeot turned to Pininfarina to coat in fine style its indestructible engine. At BMW, it is the home designers, inspired by the 3200 CS Bertone, which offer brilliant 4-cylinder line worthy of the dress. So on some adjustments that differentiate these elegant cars. When looking for a BMW sport inspiration, Peugeot is seen in more bourgeois. And you ? You are more chic or casual jogging suit?
Rates mechanical parts are equal. But the body components of the CS 2000, no abundant, cost almost ten times the price those of the 504. A tip, do not hesitate to to hand the portfolio for 2000 CS whose body is in good condition.
PARTS 2000 SC 504 Coupe
Filters (air, fuel and oil) € 43 and € 44 candles
Accessory belt € 11 € 8
Discs + brake pads front € 350 € 125 + Trim wheel cylinders AR 100 € 142 € **
Shock AV / AR € 850 € 276
Silencer € 115 € 105
Distribution Kit Chain
Clutch Kit € 300 € 172
Headlight € 40 € 124
Taillight NC € 25
Tyres (x 2) € 120 € 108
* Average prices recorded on Cipere.fr, Oscaro.com, Série04.com,
Wallothnesh.com and on Allopneus.com and Rezulteo-pneu.fr
** Records + Rear brake pads.
COAST 2000 504 CS Coupé
To restore € 2,700 € 1,300
Revise € 6,500 € 3,500
Ready to roll € 10,000 € 4,800
To restore: Can not take the road without any major preparatory work.
Revise: smallest possible path, but called into necessary state.
Ready to roll: the car is capable of traveling 1,000 km without worry.
INSURANCE 2000 CS 504 Coupe
Normal third € 215 € 222
All normal risks * € 363 € 342
Former third € 41 € 41
Former All Risk * € 131 € 91
Profile: annual bonus, 45 year old male living in Orleans, 50% bonus.
* With theft and fire.
Future investment 13/20 14/20
Daily 16/20 16/20
Parts availability 12/20 14/20
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- Post is under moderationBUGATTI TYPE 35 AND VEYRON Past master and last-of-line meet in California
THE KINGS AND I
As Bugatti prepares to move into a new era, Robert Coucher drives an early masterpiece and the end-of-line Veyron back-to-back / Photography Dominic Fraser
The Bugatti Veyron is history. The King of the Road is dead. It was first launched ten years ago, and Bugatti has produced only 300 Veyron coupés and 150 roadsters. The cars are all sold and no more are to be constructed. We are at the end of this particular era of technical tour de force. The diminutive #Bugatti Type 35T you see here was also an engineering marvel when it was launched in the early 1920s, and is arguably one of the most successful racing cars ever, with more than 2000 victories and podium finishes, including five consecutive wins on the Targa Florio, the toughest road race of them all.
So, two completely different motor cars from opposite ends of the automotive timeline. It is incredible to think that the Veyron has been around for a decade, and this Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse is the last of the illustrious line – and the Veyron is still the fastest car in the world. The World Record model holds the highest top speed – electronically limited to 268mph to prevent the tyres disintegrating! And this Grand Sport Vitesse holds the top speed record for a roadster at 254mph.After a decade dominating the high-speed, high-tech automotive world, the Veyron is still… the daddy.
The gestation of the Veyron was not easy. In the 1990s Volkswagen Group supremo Ferdinand Piëch decided a 1000bhp 400km/h supercar would be a good idea. Having been the brains behind the all-conquering Porsche 917 and Audi Quattro, he’s the sort of fellow who thinks at that rarefied level. He charged his top engineers with delivering the project and, after a year expending maximum brainpower and engineering skill, they failed.
So Dr Wolfgang Schreiber was brought in as chief engineer and Le Mans racer Thomas Bscher was appointed as president, and the über-complicated Veyron came to fruition and blew away everything that had gone before. Among car enthusiasts the Veyron was met with mixed reaction. Yes, its performance statistics were unbelievable and it pushed the boundaries of the hypercar beyond comprehension. But to some it seemed too big, too complicated and too much. A completely different animal to the lean, minimal and beautiful (mostly) vintage Bugattis of the past. But these armchair critics had probably never slipped down behind the thick-rimmed, EBembossed steering wheel of a Veyron. Trust me, you’ll never experience anything else like it out there in the mad, bad world.
With those 450 examples now built and sold out, the model certainly found the clientele it was aimed at. There are urban myths about Bugatti losing money on every Veyron but, at €2 million a pop, depending on specs, that’s almost a billion into the Bugatti coffers. As successful as the great Type 35? Probably. Indeed, the Veyron is expensive to run, with a full service at around £14,000 and a set of tyres costing £23,000, with new rims required every five tyre-changes at £7000 a corner. Oh yes, and at full chat it will drain its fuel tank in eight minutes flat. But as the owners probably run thirsty private jets and superyachts as well, so what?
The Veyron is often compared to the legendary McLaren F1 (of which only 106 examples were ever constructed), the car that held the supercar mantle until Piëch and his boys unceremoniously yanked it away. Gordon Murray’s F1 is different to the Veyron, being light (1250kg), pure and untainted by such driver aids as traction control. Hell, it doesn’t even have servo-assisted brakes. Back in 2010 we did a track test with Rowan Atkinson comparing his McLaren F1 against a Veyron brought along by test driver and ex-Formula 1 and Le Mans racer Pierre-Henri Raphanel. Up at Rockingham Motor Speedway, the track was treacherously wet. Rowan, being Rowan, gave both cars the beans (sorry) and, while the all-wheel-drive Veyron remained clamped to the glistening tarmac at stupendous speed, the McLaren was immediately sliding off-line at some very adventurous angles.
I’ve had the good fortune to drive an F1 on fast country roads through France and it’s a superb machine with that naturally aspirated 627bhp 6.0-litre V12, which sounds soulsoaringly wonderful. But on tricky roads it’s a handful. Think of an early Porsche 911 with way too much power. The McLaren is astonishingly fast but I had problems keeping up with a Ferrari 599 on the unknown roads. With the normally urbane and smooth owner sitting next to me fast turning pale I was circumspect, especially when he told me he’d just taken the F1 to McLaren for a bit of servicing and sorting out. The bill was around £20,000. Hmm, these hypercars are all expensive to run and, now that McLaren F1s are valued at around £8 million, well, a sub-£1-million, pre-owned Veyron looks like good value no matter how many tyres you shred.
I drove a Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse last year on the Mille Miglia, taking a morning’s break from competing in a 1931 Bugatti Type 51 racer. Manuela Hoehne, Bugatti’s head of communications, gave me the key on the second day of the Mille and let me loose through the Italian mountains. On a particularly challenging section of road we came up behind mybête noire… a 599GTO.
Its driver clocked the big Veyron in his mirrors and went into full-blooded attack mode. He drove the Ferrari well and absolutely flat out. He cut the apexes, flinging dirt at the Bug, and used every millimetre of the road, slewing the 599 at ten tenths. In the Veyron I clicked down a gear and watched the antics at about six tenths. The Veyron idly toyed with the 599 without even beginning to try.
So here we are in California on the quiet and genteel 17 Mile Drive near Monterey (in the Land of the Free, the armed guards check you in and out at the security gate) with this Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse and the well-used Type 35T. And riding shotgun to show us how it’s done is Le Mans winner Andy Wallace (he piloted the fearsome ground-effect 240mph TWR Jaguar XJR9 in 1988). Without wanting to blow hot air up his intake restrictor, Andy is a gentleman and tremendously overqualified to show a bunch of hacks around these great cars. But he remains polite, patient and amusing and is incredibly well informed about everything Bugatti.
Now I’m not going to kid you that we laid all 1200bhp (metric) of Veyron power (and 120bhp of Type 35 grunt) down along the guntoting enclave of 17 Mile Drive but it makes a dramatic backdrop to these dramatic motor cars and I hope you enjoy Dominic Fraser’s photographs. Andy has driven many properly fast cars at insane speeds but he is clearly taken with these Bugattis.
The Veyron looks menacing but the finish of the matched carbonfibre-weave bodywork is lustrous and the two-tone blue colour scheme looks smart and expensive. Against it, the faded and patinated Type 35T looks almost like a child’s toy car. But don’t be fooled, it is anything but.
Says Andy: ‘The Veyron is set up to understeer slightly but this can easily be balanced by the throttle and the turn-in is razor sharp. The engine has huge reserves of torque and the steering is terrifically accurate and communicative. The Grand Sport Vitesse has a slightly softer damping set-up than the coupé, which gives it a very composed ride, so the car is not in any way intimidating and can be threaded down a road with accuracy. The really amazing thing is its sheer traction. Hop in and I’ll show you.’
The cockpit is very low, the seats are mounted low in the frame and I find it amusing that on this €1.9-million car they are adjusted manually by pulling on the lever at the front of the squab. Good old-fashioned weight-saving to prune the Bug’s kerbweight down to 1990kg! The interior is quite simple but beautifully hewn. The leather buckets are offset by blue stitching and that massive steering wheel is a work of pure art. ‘Being so low-slung helps the handling as the car’s centre of gravity is as near to the ground as possible,’ says Andy, as he fires the 8.0-litre W16 engine. The sound is astonishing. It is unlike that of any other motor car. It’s a hard, aggressive, loud monotone. The engine has four turbochargers and their whooshing overlays the mechanical thunder.
Andy snicks the delicate shifter into Drive and eases away. The flat engine note climbs as the seven-speed dual-clutch ’box slurs up through the cogs. The road clears and Andy looks at me. Here we go. I know what’s coming so I brace myself and tense my neck muscles as tightly as I can. With a monstrous roar the Veyron launches and, yep, my head smacks back onto the headrest. Hard.
The raw acceleration is quite stupendous. Your brain takes a couple of milliseconds to catch up with the speed of movement as your eardrums are assailed by the mighty bellow from behind. Le Mans winner Wallace was being gentle up until now but he’s morphed into a focused racer as he firmly takes control of the 1184bhp Bug. And when it is time to slowdown hedoessowithabsoluteconviction. He stands on the brake pedal and the huge carbon-ceramic discs cut the speed with such ferocity I’m slammed up hard against the seatbelt. Oof.
This Veyron experience is as overwhelming as always. ‘The tyres are not up to temperature just yet so the gearbox is selecting second gear to allow the most traction from a standing start,’ says Andy. I’m not looking forward to the full-on first gear thrust, I can tell you. And no, we won’t be troubling the special key that is required to unlock speeds of over 375km/h.
Andy then lets me take the wheel and I’m reminded of the Veyron’s beautifully fluid and feelsome steering, the awesome brakes, forgiving suspension and the pure rush of driving such a machine. When left in automatic it’s happy to potter but use the paddles and it’s supersonic. Bear in mind the Veyron’s top speed is 100mph higher than Concord’s landing speed. Ample sufficiency.
Climbing out of the recessed Veyron and into the Type 35T is a reverse shock. You feel perched and exposed in its tight cockpit, with your feet scrabbling for room on the oil-kissed bare aluminium gearbox case. Whippet-slim Andy leaps behind the wheel and deftly sets about the start-up procedure. Kill switch, ignition, magnetos and fuel switches – I pump the dash-mounted fuel pump up to pressure – before firing up the 2.3-litre straighteight, which burst into angry action. The whole car shivers and shakes with mechanical energy. The exhaust is deliciously raspy and loud through the delicate twin tailpipes, and the view through the aero-screen and down the long, louvred bonnet with its leather straps is emotive.
Julius Kruta, head of tradition at Bugatti, freely admits this Type 35T (‘T’ for Targa Florio) is something of a bitsa, but they’re all real bits and it’s used properly by the enthusiastic Bugatti staffers who are lucky enough to take it on the Mille Miglia and other historic events. Incidentally, Pierre Veyron was an early Bugatti development engineer and driver and he won the 1939 Le Mans with Jean- Pierre Wimille, co-driving the rather bulbouslooking Type 57G ‘Tank’. He is honoured with the latest Bugatti being named after him.
The Type 35 has its pedals in the normal layout – many of its contemporaries have the throttle in the middle – but the gearshift pattern is the ‘wrong’ way around, with first gear to the left and back, third back and right. No matter, Andy guns the straight-eight, eases it into cog one via the long shifter poking out through the aluminium bodywork, and the lightweight 750kg Bug roars away with glee. Immediately he’s ‘on it’, enjoying hustling the little Bug through the curves with beautifully clean gearshifts. The skinny tyres offer little grip and soon we are sliding neatly through the corners.
The T35 is superbly balanced with 50:50 weight distribution and, when I take my turn behind the large-diameter, thin-rimmed wooden steering wheel, it is incredibly alive and involving. The brakes are cable-operated but they work. You need to get your head around the gearshift pattern and the crash ’box. It doesn’t require force and the trick is to let the shifter linger in neutral, doubledeclutch, and then use your fingertips to snap it into the next gear. Best not to keep rubbing the gear selector up against the cogs.
The steering is quick and direct and the gear ratios are tightly stacked but whine loudly in third. The ride is very good for a car of this era and you can feel its racing pedigree. But it’s the jewel-like engine that’s the real joy. It has lots of grunt and is cracklingly eager to rev and makes driving down any road a total pleasure. Impressive for a 90-year-old machine.
While both of these motor cars are Bugattis, they are not really comparable. Yet both exhibit engineering of the highest standards and both break the rules, the Type 35T being the first race-winning motor car you could use effectively on road and track, and the Veyron because it redefined any previous envelope of performance.
Which to have? Well, obviously, both. Which one would I like most? The Type 35T, because it is one of the greatest vintage motor cars ever and I could have all sorts of fun with it, popping to the shops, blasting around the Mille Miglia or sliding around a racetrack with the Vintage Sports-Car Club nutters.
The Veyron, on the other hand, is an expression of utterly astonishing automotive engineering but, as I’m not part of the jet set, it’s not for me. Le roi est mort, vive le roi… Turn to the next page.
Right and below. An 8.0-litre quad-turbo W16 versus a twin-cam straight-eight: the elder is simpler and more purist in its approach, but there’s no denying the appeal of that thundering 1184bhp.
TECHNICAL DATA 2015 #Bugatti-16.4-Veyron-Grand-Sport-Vitesse / #Bugatti-Veyron / #VAG / #VW
ENGINE 7993cc W16, DOHC per bank, four turbochargers, electronic fuel injection and engine management
POWER 1184bhp @ 6000rpm
TORQUE 1106lb ft @ 3000-5000rpm
TRANSMISSION Seven speed dual-clutch, four-wheel drive
SUSPENSION Double wishbone hydraulic with three height settings
BRAKES Carbon-ceramic discs; rear spoiler acts as air brake above 120mph
STEERING Rack and pinion, power-assisted
PERFORMANCE Top speed 254mph. 0-60mph 2.6sec
TECHNICAL DATA #1925 #Bugatti-Type-35T / #Bugatti-Type-35
ENGINE 2262c straight-eight, OHC, twin #Solex carburettors
POWER 120bhp @ 5200rpm
TORQUE 100lb ft @ 4000rpm
TRANSMISSION Four-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
SUSPENSION Front: hollow axle, leaf springs, friction dampers. Rear: live axle, cantilevered quarter-elliptic leaf springs, friction dampers
BRAKES Drums, cable-operated
STEERING Worm and roller
Top speed 120mph
‘CLIMBING OUT OF THE VEYRON AND INTO THE TYPE 35T IS A REVERSE SHOCK. YOU FEEL PERCHED AND EXPOSED IN ITS TIGHT COCKPIT’
Left and right A tale of contrasts: nine decades separate Type 35 from the last of the Veyrons, which has ten times the power but also three times the weight. Interior character has evolved from raw racer to first-class luxury.
‘ANDY WALLACE HAS DRIVEN MANY PROPERLY FAST CARS AT INSANE SPEEDS BUT HE IS CLEARLY TAKEN WITH THESE BUGATTIS’Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationTEMPTING FATE #2015
What started out as a restoration project on a 2002 somehow turned into an incredibly low, static, classic build instead. When he started tearing apart this 2002, it was only ever Simon Fried’s intention to restore it to standard spec but fate had other plans… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Ronald Veth.
In 1873, the western United States of America experienced something unprecedented and terrifying: the arrival of the Rocky Mountain locust. Or, more specifically, rather a lot of Rocky Mountain locusts. The swarms were massive; as they flew overhead they blotted out the sun. Anything they landed on was pretty much devastated; they stripped crop clean, ate laundry from lines and wool from the backs of sheep, gnawed through wooden buildings – it was an event as close to the apocalypse as anyone had ever experienced, making an ear-shattering cacophony as they buzzed by. One swarm was estimated to be 1800 miles long and 110 miles wide, taking a full five days to pass. Just have a think about that for a moment. That’s a hell of a lot of insects, and each one capable of – nay, seemingly intent upon – the absolute destruction of everything in its path.
It was the largest recorded gathering of living things that the world had ever seen, with one estimate putting the total number of locusts at twelve trillion. People were swatting at them with spades, dousing them with insecticide, blasting them with incendiary devices – nothing made any difference. They were unstoppable.
At a time of enormous migration of farmers to the western US and Canada, the entire area was reliant on crop yields, with every farmer indebted to brand-new mortgages and shiny fleets of machinery. The locusts destroyed countless lives. And yet at the end of the summer, they all just disappeared. Why are we talking about locusts? Fear not, it’ll become clear. But it’s in no way a suggestion that the glorious 2002 you’re feasting your hungry eyes upon here has any of the properties of a parasitic swarming grasshopper; far from it, in fact – it’s a beautifully original retro survivor with a sprinkling of modern embellishments to earn it a place in the affections of today’s dropped-to-the-floor Bavarian motor enthusiast.
“It was always inevitable that I’d end up with a BMW,” explains owner Simon Fried. “They were always around when I was growing up – my uncle is an engineer at BMW, and my dad was a 2002 fanatic in his younger years.” Fait accompli then, right? Surely Simon was rocking an ’02 just as soon as he was legally able to? Well, no, not quite. “I started out in a couple of Mk2 Golfs,” he says, although without any great sense of pride or excitement. Means to an end, most likely, before dipping a toe in the water of the old Beemer scene. That’s just the way it has to pan out sometimes.
“When the time was right to buy a more fun car, the decision was obvious,” Simon shrugs nonchalantly. “Of course it had to be a BMW, because I love #BMW . But which one…?” It wasn’t too much of a headscratcher, naturally, with a couple of 2002 shells lying around at home along with oodles of spares, thanks to his father’s extensive Neue Klasse hoarding. “There are three of them at home now,” he grins. “This one, an Alpina – which will be my next project – and a Baur targa. There are many spare parts kicking around from my dad’s youth, which does save a bit of effort and expense in tracking things down.”
So, Simon was set on which model he was after, and it was at this point that fate intervened again. “I found this car online, and it was only about ten kilometres from where I live, which was pretty useful,” Simon recalls. “The condition wasn’t so great, with a fair amount of rust holes that needed welding up, but I was in the garage day and night to build my dream car and, having finally perfected the shell, it was treated to a new coat of paint in its original Fjordblau – a timeless, wonderful colour.”
The fact that Simon’s opted for a refresh of the car’s original colour speaks of a larger issue at play – a keenness for keeping things as they were from the factory. We’re not talking concours – the rims and the stance knock that on the head for obvious reasons – but simply a desire to maintain the spirit of the ’02. “Originality is very important to me,” says Simon. “The car still has its original 2.0-litre engine with its Solex carburettor; the brakes are stock; the automatic gearbox is stock – in fact, for the first four years of ownership I kept the whole car totally stock. But then I got a taste for tuning…”
Ah yes, ‘tuning’ – that catch-all European buzzword for making a car one’s own. Let’s journey back to 19th century America to draw a parallel, shall we?
Scores of folk had suffered greatly from the Rocky Mountain locust crisis of 1873, but it seemed to be just an inexplicable, unfortunate and random one-off. People started to rebuild their farms, communities and lives. And then it happened the next year, with even larger numbers of locusts. And for the following two years, with numbers larger still. It was an entirely helpless situation, with so much investment having been poured into an area that was evidently inhospitable to human life for large periods of the year. Families moved to the Midwest in droves.
Fast-forward to 21st century Germany, and our friend Simon Fried was experiencing a seismic and life-changing shift of his own. “My initial plan was simply to restore an original ‘oldie’,” he explains, “but ultimately I couldn’t resist taking a few influences from the modern tuning scene. I don’t regret a single thing I’ve done to it either, I love the car even more!”
What’s most noticeable, naturally, is the way the thing sits and what’s going on under the arches. You’ll have spotted that the ’02 is on much better terms with the Tarmac than any factory example would be. This is thanks to a custom KW Variant 3 coilover setup courtesy of the stance experts at gepfeffert.com. “They’re a short-body version of the competition units, coupled with adjustable camber plates,” says Simon.
“Andy Pfeffer was very helpful, and very patient with me in getting the specs just right for how I wanted the car to look.” And a precision stance is nothing without the right wheels, so after much consideration Simon opted for the timeless choice of #BBS-RS s. “They’re RS098s, which were originally 7x16” and ET35, but I’ve rebuilt them with a smaller inner rim, so now they’re 6.5x16” and ET43,” Simon says. These are neatly adorned with amusingly skinny 165/40s, which give just the right amount of stretch to perfect the look. And, hey, contact patch is overrated when you’re only playing with 100hp-odd and an auto ’box – a minimalist approach to grip is presumably the gateway to a little entertainment.
Simon’s eye for originality extends to an eager hunger for hunting down periodcorrect accessories and alternative parts, some of which lurk within his father’s parts store but, more often than not, have required him to cast a wide digital net to hunt down the appropriate bits to fulfil his vision. Take a look at the rear window, for example – that screw-on louvre makes hen’s teeth seem lavishly abundant. “It’s a very, very rare piece,” he enthuses, “and I was lucky enough to find it in as-new condition. I also managed to source some very rare original Italian turn signals.” These are the corner indicators at the front, usually allorange, and something of a badge of honour for 2002 nerds. The interior was a personal triumph for Simon, too: “It’s not the car’s original interior but it is from the same model! Specifically, it’s from the Luxury Edition, all in black velour.” Funny what fate can drop into your lap, isn’t it?
That was very much the feeling among those beleaguered locust victims. After a few years of flying insect terror, it all just stopped; in 1877, the swarms were smaller and seemed knackered and sluggish – after that, it never happened again. It turned out, in the end, that it was increased farming in the affected areas that was killing the locust pupae in the ground, although that wasn’t figured out until decades later. Farmers had accidentally solved the problem without even realising, simply by tenaciously sticking with what they were doing. That’s the odd thing about life. Sometimes, stuff just happens. It doesn’t always pay to overthink it, just get on with it.
While Simon’s put a huge amount of effort into his 2002, fate has played more than a small hand in its construction. And it’s all working out rather well for him. “People’s reactions are beautiful,” he smiles. “They always want to get inside it; it was their first car, or their parents had one, or they learned to drive in one… an elderly lady happily told me that she’d had her ‘first time’ in one, which made us both laugh a lot.” And that’s just what we build these things for, isn’t it?
Not specifically to elicit erotic reminiscences from pensioners, of course, but to create stories and experiences and evoke emotions. You can’t plan these things in any great detail, you’ve just got to roll with fate and see which way it goes.
Engine has been left stock, making this 2002 all about being (very) low and slow.
Below: 16” #BBS s look perfect on the ’02 Right: Ultra-rare rear window louvre.
Gorgeous interior has been left stock, bar the addition of an Aux input for the original radio and a wood and chrome steering wheel.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-2002 / #BMW-2002-Automatic /
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION 2.0-litre four-cylinder #M10 / #BMW-M10 , #Solex carburettor, automatic transmission.
CHASSIS 6.5x16” (front and rear) #BBS-RS098 wheels with 165/40 Nankang NS-20 tyres, #KW-Variant-3 coilovers, adjustable camber plates.
EXTERIOR Rear window louvre, period Italian turn signals, Mk1 Golf headlights, polished chrome bumpers.
INTERIOR 2002 Luxury Edition black velour interior, original radio with retrofit Aux input, wood/chrome steering wheel.
THANKS My friends Sunny and Phil, who helped me where they could, Andy Pfeffer of gepfeffert.com for the perfect cooperation and patience with me!
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- Post is under moderationTRIAL ERROR
In an unlikely 1974 #Audi-100-Coupé-S-C1 / #Audi-100-Coupé-S / #Audi-100-Coupé / #Audi-100-Coupé-C1 / #Audi-100-C1 / #Audi-100 / #Audi / and with a navigator who’d never seen a pace note before, we finds itself at the sharp end of the 2015 Summer Trial rally.
SUMMER TRIAL AUDI 100 COUPÉS
Audi 100 Coupé S In an unlikely choice of car and with a navigator who’d never seen a pace note before, Drive-My goes to the sharp end of the 2015 Summer Trial rally. Words Sam Dawson. Photography Alex Tapley.
I’m sitting on the start line of the 2015 Summer Trial at the Woodland Grange Hotel, Leamington Spa, feeling completely out of my depth. Alex Tapley, juggling photographer and navigator roles, had never seen a tulip diagram until a few hours ago, and ever since taking delivery of our Audi 100 Coupé S I’m getting the distinct feeling I’ve brought a sparkler to a gunfight.
The inoffensive thrum of its completely standard 1.8-litre engine is completely drowned out by the sledgehammers-on-steel pounding of Patrick Burke’s Porsche 911 to my left; and on my right the restless gurgle of Chris Stone and Peter Mason’s Sebring-spec MGC GT, festooned with hardcore stage-rallying modifications. Ahead, Barry and Roma Weir’s highly modified Mercedes-Benz 280 SL thunders into life. By contrast our Audi doesn’t even have a roll cage (and yes, those are steel wheels with faux-alloy dustbin-lid hubcaps). Thanks to the Audi’s 1974 build date and the fact that it’s a coupé, we’re all in the same class.
The rallymeter is zeroed, the flag is raised, and I squeal the Audi off the line, out of the car park and off on a tour of some of Warwickshire’s more obscure and challenging roads. Immediately I’m sensing problems with the 100S’s rallying potential. With more than 60 per cent of its weight biased towards the front thanks to an engine mounted ahead of the front axle line, exacerbated further by the addition of a sump guard and a heftier anti-roll bar, it understeers heavily on the most minor of corners, quickly overcoming the meagre grip of its Yokohama 185/70 R14 tyres. With no fewer than four turns lock-to-lock on the big feedback-free plastic steering wheel, understeer-correcting Scandinavian flicks are out of the question. It’s no Saab 96.
Thankfully, after a quickly corrected mishap that nearly had us headed towards Coventry city centre, Alex is getting the hang of the pace notes, although we soon realise our GPS-based rallymeter sometimes struggles with readings, failing to add sufficient miles if we run through a tight complex of turns. We soon learn to back up our readings by spotting landmarks and road layouts, and not relying completely on the instruments.
Before we can properly hit our stride we arrive at the first special driving test, a challenging-looking gravel stage at Stoneleigh Park. Our flamboyant four-seater towers over more purposeful machines as we queue up for our timed start, slightly intimidated by the sight of Chris Howell and John Briggs’ Lotus Cortina hurtling round the loose gravel course, flicking gracefully into oversteer on every hairpin. Even as the marshal counts us down, I’m struggling to shake visions of ploughing headlong into the iron gatepost at the first right-angled corner, followed by an awkward phone call to Audi, who kindly lent us this car for the event.
However, as the marshal shouts ‘go!’ and we leave the tarmac, this Audi exhibits a completely unexpected advantage – especially given the reputation of its modern cars. The loping, long-travel springs and dampers, plus relatively tall skinny tyres, result in a ride quality genuinely comparable to an early Jaguar XJ6. The bumpy, pothole-strewn course that pummelled the Cortina into lairy behaviour leaves the 100S completely unruffled, the body staying level as the suspension takes the strain.
Negotiating the hairpins is still fraught. It’s hard to judge the nuances of the gravel with such vague-feeling steering, so I have to use the car’s lump-hammer weight distribution to some kind of advantage. After a few tight bends it seems the trick is to lift off and brake in a straight line, feel the heavy nose bob down, coast deep into the corner making sure the front tyres stop sliding before aggressively hurling the car back towards the apex, with a handbrake yank to lock and slide the rear wheels for the slimmer hairpins. It’s an involved technique, but it seems the car won’t be as truculent as we first feared.
When we pull up at the end of the special stage a marshal comments that ‘the way it bounced along reminded me of a Citroën DS’. Committed Citroënians may bridle at the thought of an overgrown Volkswagen Scirocco being compared to the Goddess, but he’s right – the 100S does behave in a similar way.
Out on to the lanes towards Stratford we quickly get the hang of the pace notes, but it’s evident we need to work out our timing technique. Chunks of the route are timed regularity stages, where average speeds must be maintained. But we quickly get lazy, realising that the Downton Mini Cooper S of Hubert and Diane Lynch hasn’t put a wheel wrong. We figure that by following its every move but keeping a distance that’ll see us coasting up to the next time control one minute behind will result in a similarly low number of penalty points.
We’re spectacularly wrong. By the time we return to Woodland Grange after running the Stoneleigh special stage in the opposite direction we check the scoreboard. We’re languishing at 21st of 27 cars and last in Class 4. We clearly need to get the hang of regularity stages. Over evening beers we figure it might be a good idea to work out what the other teams have been doing with their seemingly indispensible stopwatches. Merely keeping pace with the car in front isn’t going to work. Then we study the pace notes for the rally’s second day. The route will take in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. We’ve got our work cut out.
Next morning, we have a plan. Forget what the other teams might do – a heavily modified car is no indication of success. Unlike yesterday, we’ll try to keep to those average speeds, and more crucially try to pass landmarks at the times suggested on our timecard, so Alex will tell me to speed up and slow down as well as negotiate turns. The first section takes us on to the A46, transplanting the action to Worcestershire and giving me the brief chance to evaluate the Audi as a road car. Cruising at 70mph, it gives the impression of being an excellent sub-Jaguar luxury coupé, with cossetting ride quality and undemanding steering, still reminiscent of an XJ6. Unfortunately it’s undermined by an intrusive engine note – it gives off a lovely clean rasp under in-gear acceleration, but this soon turns to a booming drone at 4000rpm. Fourth gear just isn’t long enough.
This doesn’t matter, though – this rally mainly favours short-sprint gearing and, although the interior is elegant and comfortable, the poor ventilation forces us to drive with the windows open anyway. We hit the first regularity between Alcester and Droitwich and, although it seems we’re keeping good time, the open windows and thrust-forward engine soon encounter a series of deep fords. There’s no time to wind the windows up or baffle the grille. In order to avoid engine-bay flooding and maintain a decent average speed, I drop a gear and surge the Audi into the water, sending spray from the bow-wave over the roof. Amazingly none of it ends up in the cabin. A plume of steam dramatically wreathes the Audi’s nose as the moisture sizzles off the exposed engine block when we stop at the time control, having drenched Motors TV’s camera crew at the last ford.
Next, we’re off to a two-run hillclimb stage at Shelsley Walsh – hardly an appropriate challenge for a car like this when I’m up against Porsches and Mini Coopers. I’m worried too – as we climb, the temperature gauge edges into its upper quadrant. The Audi relishes the rest in Shelsley’s paddock, frantically ticking itself cool. On the first run up the hill – a task made more difficult by the addition of chicanes – the Audi flounders ungracefully round the bends like a drunk through a crowded restaurant. For the second run we try some impromptu weight-saving, and I attempt it solo. The car feels slightly sprightlier but I don’t think it made much difference to my time.
However, as I leave the hillclimb’s return-loop a marshal directs me back on to the road. Alex has been left on the wrong side of the gate, so I have to double-back into the Shelsley paddock to pick him up. The clock’s still running and we’re behind. We hurtle towards Worcester Beacon, barrelling the Audi through right-angled Malvern bends like a hot hatch, leaving black lines from the hard-working front tyres. The steering can barely keep up with our new-found sense of competitiveness, and I even ignore the temperature gauge until we reach Little Malvern Priory, where we can back off, let the downward slope maintain momentum and feed the engine bay with a rush of cold air.
As we pass through Tiddesley Wood just outside Pershore I catch sight of another open-window-related problem in my rear-view mirror. ‘Alex, there’s an angry bee in the car.’ The poor thing must have got in while we were driving through the woodland near Great Malvern. Secured in our four-point harnesses and driving against the clock, we can’t just stop, turn in our seats and waft it out either. While we drive, the air pressure keeps the bee on the parcel shelf, but when we stop it buzzes angrily towards our necks. It manages to escape when we reach the next driving-test stages at the disused Throckmorton Aerodrome.
This one is even more frantic and punishing than Stoneleigh, with rocks rather than pebbles and potholes deep enough to bathe in. It’s harder too – solid wartime concrete rather than slippery gravel, causing the tyres to screech, demanding the handbrake more often. Eventually it just gets too bewildering, and I drive the wrong side of a marked cone. I’ve no idea how many penalty points this has gained, but it’s bound to knock us down the order. I can’t apologise enough to Alex. Our standing suffers another blow when we find ourselves stuck behind a funeral cortege in Stanway. Although frustrated, we glide by the church on a respectful dipped clutch.
We try and keep close to our timing points on the remaining few regularity stages threading our way back past Stratford-upon-Avon, realising that we can stay closer to them by speeding up towards junctions to accommodate for the time spent waiting. At first I thought it’d be like negotiating average-speed cameras on the motorway, but it’s more like an athlete metering out energy reserves during a marathon, calculating when to sprint and when to back off, despite the overall pace never relenting. By the time we reach Woodland Grange, we’re in for a surprise. Nimbler opposition may have carved out an unmovable place at the top of the table, but it seems our class of powerful sports cars has been struggling to minimise penalty points, overshooting bends and going too fast on regularities.
Our underpowered, overweight, mild-mannered Audi bizarrely finds itself at an advantage, bumped up to second in class, a position strengthened when 911 driver Patrick Burke changes navigator, accruing more penalties in the process.
Day three is centred on Warwickshire and a series of driving tests in the grounds of Gaydon’s Heritage Motor Centre. We study our standings. A neat drive by Stone and Mason in the MG could overhaul our class position if we’re sloppy, and although Burke has dropped out of contention for the win, his new navigator is multiple-rally-winning Seren Whyte. If anyone could give him the chance to claw some places back, it’s her.
Arriving at Gaydon, we’re faced with a surprise – a classic car show has drawn a crowd. We’re about to complete a special stage in front of hundreds of spectators with cameras and brand allegiances. A couple with a Group 4 rally-specification quattro marvel at our car’s rarity, then ask us to ‘do it proud’. I’d far rather be in their quattro for this. I fear we’re about to let them down. Acutely aware of the 100S’s Cunard Line cornering manners, I opt to keep my lines wide for the test, rather than attempting to slide the car on high-grip asphalt. Spending most of its time under braking, the Audi adopts the nose-down stance of a hot-rod as it bounds around the tight course. In the queue for the start line we saw the Stone/Mason MG lock its brakes, its fat tyres breaking traction and overshooting a stop-astride line. Our brakes pull the Audi neatly up between each set of cones. Alex and I permit ourselves terse smiles – there may still be a couple of regularities to go, but they won’t be threatening us for the time being. The Burke/ Whyte Porsche remains an unknown quantity. There’s no way we’ll catch the Weir Mercedes-Benz.
We drive on, careful to avoid any sneakily deceptive pace notes including one instance where a propped-open farmer’s gate turns out to be the entrance to a single-track road – we’re holding our nerve, trying to maintain every average speed we can. At the last timing point before Woodland Grange Alex punches the air as he zeros the stopwatch. ‘We’re bang-on!’
We’re almost reluctant to end the rally. It’s a shame we only started to get to grips with the regularity system half way through, as it’s possible we could have made a better showing right from the start. However, neither of us is unhappy with our second-in-class – it’s my first trophy outside of karting and Alex’s first-ever rally. We’d happily do the whole thing again tomorrow.
Thanks To: the Historic Endurance Rally Association (heroevents.eu), Audi UK (audi.co.uk)
TECH DATA #1974 Audi 100 Coupés
Engine 1871cc in-line four-cylinder, #Solex 22/35 TDID carburetor
Power and torque 112bhp @ 5600rpm; 118lb ft @ 3500rpm
Transmission Four-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Brakes Discs front, drums rear, servo-assisted
Suspension Front: independent, unequal-length double wishbones, coil springs, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar. Rear: beam axle, trailing arms, transverse arm, coil springs, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar
Steering Rack and pinion
Performance Top speed: 116mph; 0-60mph: 10.4sec
Fuel consumption 35mpg
Cost new £2472
Values now £2500-8000
Kicking up dust on the Stoneleigh gravel stage Second in class and a trophy – yes, really.
Teamwork and concentration crucial to maintaining average speed on regularity stages.
Attempting the Shelsley Walsh solo reduced weight but didn’t improve times much.
On the more rural stretches of the route, this is what a filling station looks like.
Soft suspension dived under pressure.
Audi’s plush ride gives team CC an easy time of it on rougher tracks.
‘No Sam, we don’t have time to stop at Burger King again’.
Rolling hard on the Gaydon autotest. Alex gets to grips with the paperwork on his first rally.
Making use of every centimetre, Audi couldn’t have placed the engine any further forward.
Long-travel springs and dampers meant the Audi coped surprisingly well on gravel stages.
A nervous smile is the best Sam can muster for the TV camera.
A much-needed cooling off for both car and driver at Shelsley Walsh.
Audi conquers a ford – not the first time for that sequence of words.
In more familiar surroundings for the 100S, its #Giorgetto-Giugiaro -penned lines are a treat for the eyes. 100S cruises well but long-winded steering is vague.
‘With four turns lock-to-lock on the feedback-free steering wheel, understeer-correcting Scandinavian flicks are out of the question’
AUDI’S MISSING LINK
How did Audi go from producing solidly unsporting cruisers to four-wheel-drive rally monsters seemingly overnight? The answer lies in the army.
After acquisition by the Volkswagen Group in 1965 Audi’s DKW facility had built the Munga military jeep. When engineering its successor for 1978, the Iltis, in order to keep costs down the team adapted as many saloon-car parts as they could lay their hands on.
With its Volkswagen Golf engine it was underpowered but, during 1977 winter testing in Finland, suspension engineer Jörg Bensinger noticed it handled exceptionally well for an off-roader, and upon his return to Ingolstadt persuaded VW Group chairman Ferdinand Pïëch to let him fit the modified drivetrain and a turbocharger to an Audi 100 to create a completely new kind of performance car.
In 1978, after the prototype was demonstrated to sales director Lars-Roger Schmidt as being capable of driving up and down Alpine passes in winter on summer tyres and without snow chains, the rallying application became obvious. A prototype using Iltis bodywork and driven by Freddy Kottulinsky won the 1980 Paris-Dakar – only the second running of the event – so convincingly that other competitors petitioned the FIA to ban four-wheel drive. Thankfully it didn’t – instead, it introduced Group B rules for 1982.
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- Post is under moderationBuying Guide. Seven steps to picking up the finest #Renault-Dauphine . From £4k buys a smart Volkswagen Beetle alternative. Here’s how. Words MALCOLM MCKAY Photography JULIAN SANDIFORD
The first Dauphines were built at the most automated plant in the world, using mechanical robots and closed-circuit TV – heady stuff for #1956 .
The model debuted with features as futuristic as Renault’s Flins factory, including all-independent suspension, rackand- pinion steering and unitary construction using extra-thin steel for non-structural panels that kept weight down. It was one of the fi rst cars to have a steering lock and was unusual for a small car in having an automatic choke and, from 1964, disc brakes all-round on the Gordini.
The successor to Renault’s charming post-war #Renault-4CV , the rear-engined Dauphine aimed to improve on that car’s success with aerodynamic lines, spacious accommodation and luggage capacity for four, a top speed nudging 70mph and outstanding economy. The new car was an instant hit, becoming the fi rst French car to hit 100,000 sales within a year of starting production and ending with a sales total of well in excess of two million, assembled at 14 plants worldwide (including England, and Italy where Alfa Romeo built them).
In Europe it was gradually succeeded by the Renault 4 and 8 from 1961 and production ended in 1967. Elsewhere in the world it soldiered on, production in Argentina only ending in 1970. UK CKD (complete knock-down) assembly at Acton ceased in 1961. Britishbuilt Dauphines had some Lucas electrical components and round rear lights. More than 100,000 were sold new in the UK; few remain but some are still broken to provide spares for Europe’s more plentiful left-hand drive cars. France is home to many specialists (see Need To Know, overleaf), and many parts are sourced from Argentina.
Light and fun to drive, downsides included tail-happy handling and a threespeed gearbox on most models. It’s worth looking out for a car with the optional fourspeed ’box if you want to make reasonably brisk progress, and the Gordini engine tune makes the car noticeably livelier.
Rust is the Dauphine’s biggest enemy. This is in part due to period underseal cracking and in part because of the very thin steel used for non-structural panels – 22/23 gauge panels kept weight down, but rotted through quickly. Steel quality was particularly bad in 1959-1963.
They rot pretty much anywhere, but the most common areas are around the wheelarches, inner and outer wings (top and bottom, front and back), sills, floorpans, chassis rails, outriggers, door bottoms and tops, the sides of the front boot and the base of the front bulkhead. Repair panels are available – for example an A-post corner costs about £22, sills £40 per side and floor triangles £41 for the pair. Getting the panels painted and fitted professionally costs from £2500 to £7500.
The engine was mounted in-line behind the rear wheels. A conventional wet-liner straight-four with three-bearing crank, it was normal to replace the pistons and liners by 50,000 miles, restoring the engine to health and avoiding a rebore. Fortunately, parts are still available, including a piston and barrel set (about £230), a crank bearing set (£60), oil pump (£67), inlet valve set and exhaust valve set (£29 per set).
Having a gear-driven camshaft means there’s no chain to wear out, but the fibre intermediate gear (used to minimise noise) does wear, becoming noisy before it fails. Check the left-hand side of the cylinder block about three inches above the sump for a crack, which can run from front to back and render the engine useless or in need of stitching. The price depends on the severity, but expect to pay at least £180.
The alloy cylinder head means unleaded fuel is not a problem because the standard valve seat inserts can cope.
The Solex carburettor can be bought new if worn for about £146 for the Gordini or £103 for the standard Dauphine. The automatic choke, operating a flap in the manifold, can seize, causing starting and/or running issues. Some owners prefer to convert to manual operation, but no commercial kit is available – it’s a DIY job.
Gearboxes improved over the years, increasing from three to four speeds, with – two, then three, then four synchromesh on the top gears. Check for worn synchros and ease of engagement (though poor engagement may just be down to wear in the linkages).
The optional Ferlac electro-magnetic clutch eliminated the clutch pedal and works well if used with respect – there was still no synchro on first gear. The more it wears, the sharper it gets, so if the change is jerky it may be approaching time for specialist relining. A switch beneath the dash locks it in for bump-starting and for engine braking downhill, but must be switched off immediately after use. It’s extremely durable, but does need careful setting up if it’s gone out of adjustment, and not many people know how to do it. Ferlac clutches are pretty rare, which makes it difficult to give a going rate for these jobs. The unusual spring-loaded gear selector returned to approximately the central position after selecting a gear, which made it difficult for Ferlac owners to know if they were in gear and if so which gear. It was discontinued in 1962 when synchromesh appeared on first gear on three-speed gearboxes; four-speed ’boxes got it in 1964.
The suspension was sophisticated for a small Fifties car, but needs caution. Leaving the road tail-first is always a possibility with swing-axle, rear-wheel drive cars.
Cornering speeds have to be high before the rear end jacks up, but could catch out the unwary especially when driving solo; a full load of passengers and luggage increases total weight by 50 per cent. Renault sought to solve this in late 1959 (mid-1960 in UK production) by halving the rate of the coil springs and adding rubber/air cones to come into effect when laden. Flawed and abandoned for 1962, Aerostable rubber Finding a rust-free example like this is your biggest challenge cones are hard to find in good condition, but a set of springs and dampers costs about £108 per axle. Check front kingpins for wear – a pair costs about £106 plus £25 per kingpin for bushes and seals.
Brakes seize up and need rebuilding on little-used cars. The all-drum brakes work perfectly well, but fade if used hard repeatedly – hence the move to all-discs on Gordinis from 1964. A set of new master and slave cylinders, plus shoes and drums costs about £270, or £640 for master cylinder, front and rear calipers and pads.
Michelin X 135/145SR400 tyres are expensive at about £500 for a full set, but are the best; less costly Toyos, available from North Hants Tyres for £50 each plus delivery, are an acceptable substitute.
ASK AN OWNER
‘I drive it exuberantly and have had few problems’
John Turnell, Sheffield
‘A Dauphine was my first proper car 53 years ago. It was a 1957 semi-auto: I was apprehensive about that, but it was fi ne. ‘I was always nostalgic for the Dauphine – they were so pleasurable to drive. For my retirement my son Ryan and I looked at several but they were expensive and didn’t have MoTs, so Ryan bought a Gordini on eBay for £550. It was rotten, but Ryan rebuilt the engine and I made all the repair panels. Some were difficult to shape and I made the sills in sections then butt-welded them together.
‘Including purchase, the whole thing cost £2500-3000 – plus a lot of hard work. Apart from petrol and insurance, it’s cost nothing to run. I wouldn’t say no to another Dauphine – at 75 years old, restoring keeps me fi t!”
Leonard Kiff, Hertford
‘I worked on a few Dauphines when I was an apprentice in the Sixties. They were lovely cars – streets ahead of British small cars at the time. More recently I almost bought one from a friend in France; that fell through but I saw this one advertised and grabbed it. It had only done 7000 miles from new and had been cocooned in a barn for 35 years. It only needed servicing. Even the original tyres looked like new, but I did change them.
‘It’s very cheap to run – servicing it myself, £50 a year covers it. The most expensive thing apart from the tyres was an original-style 6-volt battery costing £83.
‘I’ve had several classics but I particularly like the Dauphine and have met a really nice group of people through the club.’
Tony Topliss, Grantham ‘I’ve had my 1959 Acton-built Gordini for 22 years. Normally they rust while you watch, but mine’s been OK – the original owner told me he had it Ziebarted from new. I drive it exuberantly and have had very few problems.
‘I look after it myself – I don’t do bodywork, but my father was a mechanic and I learned from him. I have the original Renault tools and I rebuilt the engine with new pistons and liners, a new fi bre timing gear and a new clutch. I don’t need to spend more than £250 a year on it.
‘My wife and I have five Renaults, but still do 1500-2000 miles a year in the Dauphine. It’s a rare model in pale blue with wire wheels, the same as one presented to the Queen when she visited Acton.’
Introduced in February 1956, the Dauphine was an instant hit. North American-market cars had more substantial bumpers and polished alloy rocker covers instead of painted. Performance improved in September 1958 with the addition of vacuum ignition advance and compression raised from 7.25:1 to 7.75:1 (8:1 for USA); economy also improved. Aerostable suspension was introduced in late 1959 (later in the UK) and a four-speed gearbox could be specified at extra cost from early 1961. Standard compression went up to 8:1 for 1962, when Renault also changed from 6-volt to 12-volt electrics. Prices: £1000 for a rusty project, £4000-7000 for a good usable car and £10,000 for one of the best.
Launched in September 1957 (early ’59 in UK), the Gordini had a four-speed gearbox, 7.6:1 compression and special manifolds giving 38bhp @ 5000rpm, plus 5.50/145 instead of 5.20/135 tyres and a claimed 79mph top speed. In April 1961 the Deluxe Gordini was launched in Britain with fully adjustable front seats, whitewall tyres on wheels slotted for brake cooling, brake limiting valve and a fully-lined boot, though the engine used a modified standard ’head instead of a special ’head as before. In #1964 Gordinis got disc brakes all-round and an all-synchro gearbox. Prices: £2000 for a project car, £6000-9000 for a good runner and £15,000 for the ultimate.
From early 1961 Renault France built a Deluxe Dauphine called the Ondine, with optional fourspeed gearbox. Prices as for standard Dauphine.
THE #Renault-Dauphine-Rally 1093
For 1962 came a homologation special of which at least 1000 would be built. All were left-hand drive with blue side stripes. With 9.2:1 compression, domed pistons, double valve springs, special cam and higher top gear, Renault claimed 55bhp @ 5600rpm and a top speed of 87mph. Prices 20 per cent above #Gordini .
From the start Renault offered tuning options that helped Dauphines finish 2/3/4 in class in the 1956 Mille Miglia and win the Tulip Rally, the 1958 Monte Carlo Rally and the 1959 Alpine outright. Today, rarity means there isn’t a wide range of modern tuning kits available. Instead, owners fi t period tuning gear, especially by uprating standard Dauphines to Gordini spec. Very little is available in the UK, so enthusiasts visit French autojumbles to sift through parts.
In period, high compression, special conrods, manifolds and carburettors boosted power to 42bhp and four- and five-speed gearboxes were produced for competition. Doubled-up rear dampers aided handling.
In 1959 Shorrocks offered a supercharger kit that improved 0-50mph acceleration from 24.7sec to 13.8sec and top speed from 66.4mph to 81mph. Ruddspeed conversions featured negative-camber rear wheels and a quick steering rack, dramatically improving handling.
SPECIFICATIONS #1956 - #1967 #Renault Dauphine
Engine 845cc, in-line four-cylinder, ohv, single #Solex carburettor
Power and torque 30bhp @ 4250rpm – 40bhp @ 5000rpm; 48lb ft @ 3300rpm
Transmission Three-speed (or optional fourspeed) manual, optional #Ferlac electro-magnetic clutch, rear-wheel drive
Suspension Front: independent, coil springs, twin wishbones, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar. Rear: independent, coil springs, swing axles, telescopic dampers. Rubber auxiliary springs front and rear from late 1959
Brakes Hydraulic drums front and rear; discs front and rear from 1964
Length 12ft 11in
Weight 649-662kg (1428-1456lb)
Performance Top speed: 66-74mph;
Fuel consumption 35-50mpg.
Cost new (1959) £716; £848 for Gordini
NEED TO KNOW
Full engine rebuild £1000 (DIY) to £2000 (professional)
Gearbox rebuild £500
Bodyshell rebuild £2500-7500
Full retrim £1500
Who can help?
Renault Owners Club
Renault Classic Car Club
auto4a.com, 0033 5 56 724711
Bretagne Auto Retro
bretagneautoretro.fr, 0033 2 40 914218
0033 2 37 524325
0033 1 64 813100
Neo Retro neoretrofrance.com,
0033 5 55 483858
CAR FOR SALE
1967 Renault Dauphine.
Features 1.8-litre engine with crossflow cylinder head providing 145bhp to 165bhp, full rollcage, FIA-approved seats and fuel tank, alloy dampers. €39,500
Owners opt for period upgrades to give the 845cc straight-four extra zip.
Finding a rust-free example like this is your biggest challenge.
Aerodynamic lines and lively (for the Fifties) performance make the Dauphine an attractive package.
Interior is hard-wearing, but complete carpet sets are available for about £440.
‘It debuted in 1956 with features as futuristic as the robots that built it’
Ryan Turnell is a 4CV owner who encouraged his dad John to fulfil his dream of owning a Dauphine again. Since then Ryan has ended up working on numerous Dauphines.
John Henderson has owned Dauphines for more than 30 years, clearing out former dealers’ stock whenever possible. Those spares came in handy when his own Dauphine recently had its second rebuild.
Alasdair Worsley is Dauphine Registrar for the Renault Owners Club and an expert on the Ferlec clutch, one of which he runs in his 4CV. He also acts as a historic vehicle ambassador for Renault UK.
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- Post is under moderationRediscovery #Fiat-124 sport coupe 1600 and 1800 / #Fiat-124-Sport-Coupe-1600 / #Fiat-124-Sport-Coupe-1800 / #Fiat-124-Sport-Coupe
Same year, same colour but different displacements for both #Fiat 124 Sport Coupe: a left 1600, right 1800. Both received a new face appeared AV late August #1972 with separate grille-mounted optical double platinum. Seem fog of 1600 are a period option.
If today many manufacturers fail to decline over twenty models on the same basis, in simply making the "badging" and minimal cosmetic changes, it was not the case when back 50 years back. Best, downright could start from zero and disseminate almost in an identical range of cars that borrowed anything to each other. This is the case of the 124 Sport Coupe that has not only his own body, but has retained the sedan as its suspension and wheelbase. Everything else is new, starting with the engine! Other times, other customs ...
It could not be different from the sedan that cut and spiders that were declined. At Fiat, we did not go with the back of a spoon, which not surprisingly, a trend that already happened with the #Fiat-850-Spider and assembled by #Bertone . The only difference is that this time, it is not an external coachbuilder in Turin manufacturer offering a new version, but the Internal Style Centre, headed by Gianpaolo Boano. Entered the market in March #1966 the Fiat 124 has, at first glance, nothing glamorous. It is a pure technical product, remarkably well thought out and, in a modest appearance, marks a clear break with the past. For the first time, this is not, in fact, the office studies who designed the concept, but that of the production that has imposed his views. Result? An extremely simple car, easy to manufacture, maintain and repair, lightweight (855 kg load) and reliable. A future global success since it will be assembled by several brands ( #Seat , #Tofas and #Lada #VAZ Russian) until ... 2011.
Is the rivalry between the two teams of engineers that grows to fully review the copy for derivatives? Without a doubt. How else to explain that apart from the suspension, the Sport Spider sublime built by #Pininfarina borrows nothing from the sedan? Not even its wheelbase! But above all, what other explanation could advance the studies who developed the Sports Coupé and have chosen, once again, that the running gear elements while maintaining this time wheelbase sedan? Take the engine. The wise 4-cylinder 1197 cm3 five bearings and is replaced by a much more noble mechanics. A double overhead camshaft studied by Aurelio Lampredi. 1438 cm3 for power increased to 90 hp DIN and a nice bonus torque of 11 kgm available from 4,000rpm. Small wonder that, by the way, is only the first in a long line that will last until the 90s, Lancia K Turbo 1994 being the last to use it. It is associated with a box 5 of the convertible (fifth overdrive), a box 4 of the coupe.
The brakes, always drives on four wheels, are now recipients. The dashboard and interior have nothing in common with the sedan and we also note an important difference compared with this time at spider: the cut, the windshield is glued, chrome entourage participating more tightness becomes a pure aesthetic element.
This is a first for Fiat. As for drawing Boano, he moves away from both the sedan might have trouble finding and cabriolet with whom he shares, however, a small family resemblance.
Sold much cheaper than its competitors (ITL 1,490,000 against 1,695,000 in the Giulia GT Junior in particular), the Sport Coupe is so successful that it will quickly evolve into a second series presented in November 1969 at the Turin Motor Show. By visual uniformity of concern with Dino, the whole AV facade is revisited, integrating four projectors iodine and rectangular flashing in the bumper. The AR and AR optical trunk lid are also redesigned, as the dashboard that receives a clock, a matte colour instead of the fake wood to house the instruments, cloth seats instead of leatherette (the - C remains present on the sides of the backrest and seat), etc. Little quirk that it is difficult to understand: the AV deflector has been reduced in size and, hence, there is no interchangeability of AV ice between the first two series.
It was at this same time that his shoulder Sport Coupé Fiat 1400 version 1600 which drift mechanics that of 125: 110 hp, two dual carburettors body to manoeuvre and a higher compression ratio for a top speed which rose from 170 to 180 km/h. The suspension is relaxed at the expense of handling but for the benefit of comfort, especially as the AR anti roll bar disappears the landscape, accentuating his temperament understeer. The third and final series starts on 27 August 1972. Aesthetically, the changes are debatable but in the times, it seems. The rectangular grille slightly rounded edges is framed by dual lens mounted on separate panels. The bumpers are in three parts, bananas equipped with a rubber protection. The face AR receives trapezoidal headlamps, more imposing bumper with a horizontal range and the rear trunk door is extended to the floor, which facilitates access to the boot. Inside, the bottom of the dashboard is of metal cladding and the shape of the seats provides better lumbar support.
Technically, the trend is even clearer. If, for the record, we note the return of the anti-roll bar at the rear (Fiat acknowledged its mistake), mechanical supply is completely redesigned. The 1400 first passes the trap. In five years of existence, he had convinced 30% of buyers cut. The 1,608 cm3 is replaced by the 1,592 cm3 derived from 132. With an important result, because it is much less athletic, especially associated with a unique dual carburettor body, solely to reducing consumption. The power is thus lowered to 104 hp DIN and although the top speed is unchanged, reversals and sensations are more bourgeois.
At his side landed a new version equipped with a 1756 cm3 developing 114hp, also fed by only one lung and produced until March 1976. The last cut Fiat before long (see box). Find one now almost a miracle, most of whom perished on the ground. Then two! In the same year (1973), in the same colour (red Sierra), with the option box 5 and belonging to two brothers, it was simply unimaginable.
When I was twenty, explains Roberto Mensio, I rode every day with a coupe 124 green. One of the last copies of the second series, the best of the three in my opinion. But at the time, I wanted one of the ultimate models. I thought a modern twist could not hurt. Having seen a dozen, I found this in 1600 I used until 1989 after some minor work. "This is that chance puts him in the presence of another coupe, a 1800 one, stopped on the roadside, open cover. "I offer my help, thinking it was a problem with the fuel pump, a classic on the third series. And there, the guy told me that it should rather be the turbo! I think of a joke, I lean and I actually discovered a Garrett turbine!
Fascinated, Roberto made an offer to the owner. Who four months later, agreed to cede its Sports Coupe which was only 41,000 km on the odometer. "I wanted to sell the 1600, but I finally gave my brother Massimo. I took advantage of turbo of 1800 until 1992 but in town it was heating a lot, so I put everything back home. "So, as I am taking the view stealing two cars, performance is pretty equal between the two models, the pair slightly higher Milleotto being barely perceptible. Tasty its double overhead cam head, without being as addictive as Alfa Romeo, is promising, but use both engines admit some discretion on this generation. The fault lies in part only dual carburettor body, but also a wiser distribution diagram. So, the nervousness of the second series has somewhat evaporated in favour of a outros increased suppleness and use more consistent with what is expected of a pure passenger car. With five box and the bridge of the previous version, we could have hoped for. It's just not worse.
We consoled by saying that, suddenly, the car is much better adapted to current circulation rules, limitations and other constraints that inter say to drive fast. And if one wants to keep still a vague feeling of sportiness, there is always the solution to push the first three reports, taking full advantage of this torque between 4,200 and 6,000rpm. The handling of the case and locks incite farms.
For cons, the return to the Panhard rod to the RA undoubtedly is good for the coupe gaining neutrality, despite its rigid axle and coil springs that are a bit too soft, triggering times of roll damping effects that are struggling to fight. I assure you, this is really sensitive that when a string of abrupt changes of support and not at all in high-speed corners, which was the case on the second series. Regarding cars Mensio brothers, I encounter another phenomenon: If 1600 has retained the original air rises, the 1800 is equipped with 185 (two sizes above) and a limited slip differential. So, if it is less fun to "steer" it becomes downright polite in his reactions. Wrapping a Senator serenity. For me, the major difference in character is only there. Not in the engine but in this tire choice.
You will understand, the coupe has the name of Sport. It behaves honestly, but do not try to chase the stopwatch. He knows how to stay in his place, offering a snowman illusion and without surprises complicity. It is pretty well established in wraparound seats participating in good general comfort and welcoming four people because the rear seat is actually usable by adults, which is rare enough in this category to be reported. The cabin is fairly typical Fiat however enjoying a beautifully arranged battery of instruments on a board ribbed aluminium look great. You get total: tachometer graduated up to a generous 220 km/h, with tachometer red zone starting at 6,400rpm, fuel gauge, oil pressure, water temperature and watch. The centre console includes two adjustable vents in addition to two others on each side of the dashboard. Is that we are dealing here with a heating system that is both powerful and effective way that betrays a little more bourgeois vocation of this cut. Just as the presence of the radio or the optional wide trunk. Or habitability. If I dared, I would say that this car is actually a cleverly disguised sedan coupe. I dare.
The distribution is hidden by this very elegant painted housing. The manufacturer recommended replacement belt every 40,000 km... A word... By recovering a Panhard bar at rear, the coupe found the stability he had lost with the radio option, you could to install a power antenna which reads the engine. It is under the trunk carpet that hides the spare wheel.
Gianpaolo Boano drew a coda tronca back, taking it relates both stylistic and aerodynamic very popular in the late 60s.
The 4-cylinder designed by Aurelio Lampredi is a double overhead camshaft head with toothed belt drive.
• Fiat 124: Frog or princess
• Fiat 124 Sport Spider and Coupe: Buying Guide
• Fiat 124: The Universal Car
• Fiat 124: Conquering the world
• Fiat 124 Sport Spider 1600: mid-Mi-bourgeois sport
• Fiat 124 Sport Spider: The Good Deal?
The major difference with the two previous series, these are the lights and trapezoidal significantly larger bumpers, with banana with rubber protection.
The coupe has always been entitled to a generator, which was not the case of the Spider.
Technical passport Fiat 124 Sport Coupe 1600 3rd series Incidentally, the data from the 1800s.
Type AC.000 Fiat 132 (132 AC1.000). 4 cylinders in line, ready longitudinally AV. Cast iron block, alloy cylinder head. Five crankshaft bearings. Valves V controlled by two overhead camshafts driven by toothed belt
Displacement: 1.592 (1.756) cm3
Bore x stroke: 80 (84) x 79.2 mm
Compression ratio: 9.8: 1 (8.9: 1)
Max power: 104 (114) DIN hp at 6,000rpm or 108 (118) DIN hp with the optional five-speed box
Max torque: 14 (15.6) DIN m/kg at 4200rpm
Power: double barrel carburettor #Weber or #Solex C34 DMS 34 ESIA 5
Ignition: 12 V 45 Ah battery, coil and distributor
Cooling: liquid radiator and pump.
Wheels rear drive, limited slip differential optional
Transmission: 4-speed synchronized + March (5 optional box) shifter on floor
Gear ratios 4: 1st: 3,797 - 2nd: 2,175 - 3rd: 1,410 - 4: 1 - MAR: 3,652
5 gear ratios: 1st: 3,667 - 2nd: 2,100 - 3rd: 1,361 - 4: 1 - 5th: 0.881 - MAR: 3,526
Axle Ratio: 3.900 (hypoid bevel) with BV4, with 4,300 BV5.
2-door coupe, 4 places. Self-supporting monocoque body made of sheet steel
Front suspension: independent with wishbones, coil springs, anti-roll bar, hydraulic shock absorbers
Rear suspension: rigid axle, four longitudinal push rods, Panhard bar, hydraulic shock absorbers
Brakes: Front disc / rear, brake booster assistance through
Handbrake: mechanical, acting on rear wheels
Direction: screw and roller
Turning circle: 11.7 m between walls
Rims: steel (alloy Cromodora option) 5Jx13 inch
Wheel and tyres: 165 HR 13, HR 13 185 optional
Dimensions (L x W x H): 4,170 x 1,670 x 1,340 m
Wheelbase: 2,420 m
Routes front / rear: 1,340 / 1,310 m
Ground clearance: 0.125 m
Trunk volume: 0.221 m3
Empty weight: 995 kg.
Top speed: 180 (185) km/h
Consumption: 8.7 (8.4) litres/100km.
March 1966 - March 1976: 299,686 copies.
The last set is the least publicly. For 4,000 euros you can find a copy in fairly good condition. But be careful to corrosion, the number one enemy of this model which is struggling to take off because of this recurring phenomenon (Source: Ruoteclassiche).
This 1800 Cromodora equipped with wheels and a tire goes up twice in the beginning, better holding the pad. But what is gained safe, fun is lost.
Data for four seats, the 124 Sport Coupe has a seat that can actually accommodate two people in relative comfort. Place reserved for legs is limited, especially if the driver or his neighbour recede headquartered maximum.
Welcome aboard a car inclination to sports if we rely decorum, but rather gentrified as evidenced perfectly padded seats and very generous in size. We were optimistic at Fiat by providing a graded meter to 220 km / h!
The wide door provides easy access to rear seats. Its finish is simple but decorated with touches of chrome that enhance black leatherette. Above the center console, most of the control dials associated with a watch. A classic: The quarter windows that can open wide to better ventilate the cabin.
Roberto and Massimo Mensio and Fiat 124 Sport Coupe 1600 and 1800 1973 "family of fans"
On the occasion of the press kit for the launch in 1993 of the Fiat Coupe, the manufacturer turned to Chris Bangle and produced a family photo before the Stupinigi hunting lodge not far from Turin. It showed some of the cut created by the house, how to ensure witness the award between 1100 S, 8V, the Dino, 2300 or S 124 Sport Coupe. The latter, as you see it today is that of Massimo Mensio.
"Fiat does not have in his collection and I was asked if I would lend it. What I did willingly, you can imagine. "It was also he who had presented his 1100 D. Roberto, he too is not unknown to you. He is regularly invited in our columns, the commercial agent of 51 years with a remarkable collection of models in the mid-60s and 70s, only badged Fiat: 125, 124 and 124 Sport Spider 1600.
This is called a fan family!
The new ventilation grille with its hubcap. If the spider is entitled to door handles with visible button, the coupe has always had this beautiful palette system.
Face to face between two aesthetically identical models. The rims difference is the result of an option, nothing else. These trapezoidal lights appeared only on the third series.
Do not be fooled by appearances, the 124 Sport Coupe is not a sport. She just gives the illusion. Nevertheless, we can have fun at the wheel.
The rear trunk door was revised to finally allow access to the luggage compartment. Previously, the vertical part was fixed and we had to pass over.
It was a first for Fiat: the windscreen is glued.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationCar Feature. Two classic Mercedes-Benzes that have stayed in the family. Mercedes Family Album. A son honors his parents’ memories with the restoration of Mom’s #1959 #Mercedes-Benz-220S-Coupe and Dad’s #1963 #Mercedes-Benz-300SL-Roadster . Words and photography By Jeff Koch / #Mercedes-Benz #Mercedes-Benz-W198 #Mercedes-Benz-300SL-Roadster-W198 #Mercedes-Benz-300SL
Mrs. Bertha “Tiny” (Linsenmeyer) Lutfy of Phoenix, Arizona, was doing all right in the ’50s. Her family owned a number of properties around downtown Phoenix, including near the intersection of 16th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, home of the nation’s first Circle K convenience store. (When the Texas-based Kay Foods wanted to expand into Arizona, and couldn’t use that name in Arizona because there was already a business with that name, it was her brother — the company’s local attorney — who suggested a name change to Circle K.) Beyond that, Tiny was a world-class champion trap-and-skeet shooter, from the days when pigeons were not made of clay, and travelled extensively throughout the States, Mexico and Europe on the marksmanship-competition circuit. Later, she would pursue oil painting with the same vigor and enthusiasm.
On one of her many European trips, she bought a used 1957 Mercedes 219 sedan from a friend to take her from event to event across the continent; eventually, they made their way home to Phoenix and the car was sold. But it made enough of an impression that when it came time to order a new model, Tiny had made up her mind: she was going to buy a new Mercedes.
“In those days,” recalls Philip Lutfy, 75, Tiny’s eldest son and keeper of the pair of vintage Mercedes-Benzes seen on these pages, “the car companies promoted European delivery — you’d save some money on buying the car new through a local dealer. A European-delivery 220 S like Mom’s was something like $5,800 with overseas delivery in 1959, while it was $7,000 through the local dealer. They’d help arrange for your flight over and everything. What’s more, when she brought it back to the States, it returned as a used car, so the import duty was less than it was buying a new one.”
The “Ponton” series of Mercedes-Benz sedans, launched in 1953, were the marque’s first completely new postwar cars. They used a fully unitized body and chassis, and four-wheel independent suspension — nothing that Opel hadn’t done in the ’30s, but all of which was high-tech stuff compared to the domestic U.S. luxury cars of the time. Theories about the “Ponton” name vary — some say that it comes from the fender lines stamped into the sheetmetal to give a faux-pontoon-fendered-look, while others suggest that the U-shaped subframe mounted to the unit-body in three places and resembled a pontoon bridge. (Either way, it’s better than some names: In Costa Rica this generation is known as Chanchito, or “little pig,” and in Mexico it’s known as Bolitas, or “little balls.”)
The coupe version of the Mercedes 220, the #Mercedes-Benz-W180 / #Mercedes-Benz-220S-W180 , was short-lived, launched in late 1956 as a 1957 model and lasting just three years. The roof incorporated a wide B-pillar and wrap-around rear window glass, for a jaunty, contemporary look not completely out of place with the big Studebaker coupes it shared a stateside showroom with. It was, Philip admits, the last of the postwar Mercedes that lacked the full array of comfort and convenience options that have come to define the marque today: no automatic transmission (save for the fussy Hydrak system), no power steering, no disc brakes filtered down from the Gullwing Mercedes’s race experience. A total of 3,429 220 S coupes and cabriolets were built through the end of 1959, against more than 55,000 fourdoor sedans, making either of the two-door variants rare and desirable today.
You can’t deny that Tiny had taste. She wanted a full-zoot 220 S — convertible, fuel injection, the works — but one by one, these ideas were shot down by Dr. Louis P. Lutfy, Tiny’s then-husband and Philip’s dad. “She really wanted a convertible, but Dad said, ‘No, you don’t want a ragtop,’” Philip recalled. “Then she looked into the Webasto sunroof option, which is really rare today, and Dad said no to that too, because he thought the sunroof would leak. So she went to the dealer to order her car; she was intrigued by the fuel injection, and inquired about it. And the salesman advised against it: He said no, fuel injection is brand-new this year; they still have to work the bugs out.” And the result was a bog-standard Light Blue 1959 Mercedes 220 S coupe, with optional Becker Mexico radio, whitewall tires, and precious little else. And off Tiny went, back to Europe to shoot pigeons and to pick up her brandnew American-spec Mercedes coupe.
“At one point, she sent the car back to Phoenix to have air conditioning put in, then had it shipped back to Europe.” Philip recalls that, “When we were on vacation in Europe, I drove it mostly to sharpen up my driving skills. I was very lucky. We’d be over there — my brother, my sister, my mother and I — and we’d drive to some little town early in the morning to get fresh bread, then get to another town to get some wine, and by noon we’d stop on the highway and have a picnic. There were roadside tables for this — all you’d do was get out a tablecloth and spread out. We always had packaged food in the car, with different specialties from different countries.” Good times. By the early ’60s, the 220 S was back in Phoenix to stay, although Philip’s parents had split.
It’s fair to say that the Lutfys were pleased enough with the 220 S that they became a Mercedes family for a while thereafter. “We got a four-door 190 sedan in 1960, for my sister, Nan, and me to take to Phoenix College. We drove it for years.” Which led fairly directly to Dad’s purchase of one of the last Mercedes 300 SLs ever built. “Dad saw that we got good service out of the 190 in college, got a burr in his saddle, and decided that he wanted a new 300 SL. He was kind of a flashy guy, he was divorced, and he wanted something sporty to be seen in.” This was in 1963, when Mercedes-Benz was trying to get rid of the last of the old 300 SLs in favor of the new-and-improved 230 SL, just recently launched in Geneva.
It was this generation of Mercedes SL that changed the marque’s stateside image over the course of its life. With the carmaker known for its line of sedans (much like Tiny’s 220 S) that were considered by many to be solid and stolid in equal measure, famed sports-car distributor Max Hoffman told the Mercedes bosses that a production version of the company’s successful racing W194 coupe would go down a treat with well-heeled Americans. Mercedes gambled and produced them, and Hoffman, as usual, was right: More than three-quarters of Mercedes’s three-year, 1,400-unit SL Gullwing production came to the States. The W198 generation 300 SL’s name came from its three liters of displacement from its straight-six, and the term Sport Leicht (Sport Light), referring to its liberal use of aluminum body panels. Its blend of high technology (first-ever production fuel-injected engine) and dramatic style (those doors!) spruced up the corporate image quickly. The roadster replaced the coupe in 1957; it kept the coupe’s high technology, and most of its style (including the wheel-arch “eyebrows” that helped direct airflow over the body), while increasing its livability, thanks to the conventionally opening doors. A total of 1,858 300 SL roadsters were built through 1963, though not all of these were the same: The last 209, starting in March 1963, received a light-alloy block and fourwheel- disc brakes.
As hard a time as Louis gave Tiny about her choices on the 220 S a few years earlier, the karmic wheel of destiny rolled around to trouble the now-single Louis’s decision-making process. “He wanted European delivery,” Philip recalled, “so he went to Phoenix Motor Cars, the local Mercedes-Benz dealer here, and they said no to European delivery on the 300 SL — they were promoting the new car, the 230 SL. Dad wanted a 300 SL, though, and the dealer was discounting them to move them out of inventory; the sticker was more than $12,000, and they discounted the price to an even $10,000.” Yeah, wrap your head around that: The last remaining SLs were considered bookkeeping albatrosses, and Mercedes-Benz’s U.S. operations had to resort to drastic discounts to get these all-time classics out of inventory. Cue dropped jaws.
When Dr. Lutfy and Phoenix Motor Cars called Mercedes-Benz Sales Inc., in Montvale, New Jersey, there were just three 300 SLs left: silver, red and white. They were the last three new SLs in the country. “Well, Dad liked silver because it was the Mercedes colour — the Silver Arrows racers, and all that. So the dealer called Montvale, and they’d sold the silver one. Next choice was red. By the time the dealer called back, the red one was gone, too. So the only one that was left was white with the red interior.” And here it stands today. It’s not the highest-serial-number SL by any means (it’s about 100 units shy), but it could well be the last one sold by Mercedes-Benz in these United States. “Others were sold here later,” Phil recalls, “but they were most likely sold by brokers who bought ’em in Europe and brought them here.”
As it happened, Dr. Lutfy’s late decisionmaking was fortuitous: wouldn’t you know it that he received one of those last 209 alloy-blocked, four-wheel-disc-brake shod machines. (And at a discount, no less.) In the already rarefied air of 300 SLs, this makes this particular roadster one of the more desirable examples extant. “It was just a fluke that Dad would get one of these,” Philip says.
It was also something of a fluke that Philip ended up with it. “Eventually, Dad got tired of the SL; the battery was frequently dead, so he hooked up a tricklecharger. The wide sill was a pain to get over, too. He bought other cars and drove them, mostly American cars, for a couple of years. I remember he had a Dual-Ghia for about a year. He wanted to get rid of the SL in the ’70s, but no one was interested in it.” Could it be that the 300 SL was, at one time, just a used car? An old Mercedes? Something seen in the mid-’70s as we look upon a 2003-model Mercedes- Benz today? No one (beyond Philip) was interested in a one-owner Mercedes 300 SL? How could this be?
Well… “Tom Barrett, of Barrett-Jackson, offered him $3,000 for it. I was off in Europe at med school at the time, and my mother told my dad that he would make me upset if he sold it. They had split up, but they still talked, and she put her foot down. They brought it to the house, parked it under the carport behind another car, and Mom took away the keys” — lest it disappear in the middle of the night in exchange for some quick cash. Once Louis died, Philip became the rightful owner.
Each car had been in the family for more than a quarter-century at this point, so moving them on to new homes seemed foolhardy somehow. And each of them remained straight and unblemished. “There was never any rust damage or accidents,” Philip tells us. “Dad was very particular about his car. He’d take it to the car wash once a week” — you can almost hear Philip wincing at the memory — “and the washers would climb on it and scuff up the sills under the door.”
Philip made the decision to invest in a complete top-to-bottom restoration of the 300 SL in the mid-1980s. “I got it for free and spent something like $100,000 restoring it then, which was way more money than what it was worth, but I thought, so what, it’s Dad’s car.” Pricing guides put an alloy-block, disc-brake SL with a factory hardtop somewhere in the $1.6 million range — probably more at a well-advertised auction. Balancing that good fortune, perhaps, is the $52,000 top-end book average value of his mom’s 220 S — a car that certainly cost more than its current value to restore, even in the early 1990s when Phil brought his mom’s example back to its current splendor. (A convertible, like Tiny wanted, is valued at two and a half times the coupe today.)
Since their restoration, they have been driven little as Philip’s Mercedes collection extended into the double-digits — a series of Pontons, a gaggle of Pagoda-roof SLs, and other ’50s and ’60s Mercedes delights make the bulk of his car collection today. It’s fair to say that these two are the cause for Philip’s particular brand of three-pointed- star enthusiasm. So they’ve sat, Tiny and Louis’s cars, their odometers showing original miles.
But you’d never know by looking at them that these restorations have now been around longer than the cars’ original materials: Both appear new, patina-free, and have particularly supple leather, considering they’ve been sitting in the desert for nigh on three decades now. “I had them in un-air-conditioned rental storage units for a while, but I kept buckets of water in the cars; the moisture stayed in the car, and the leather has remained in good condition.” It’s remarkable to note that the replacement leather has been in these cars as long as — if not longer than — the original factory-born hides were.
Tiny was 96 years old when she died in 2013, and even though she’d gone through a number of other European coupes in her long life, from Jaguar to Rolls-Royce, she always had a soft spot for her old 220 S. “She really liked cars, and took good care of them,” son Philip remembers. “She loved that 220 S, because it brought back so many fond memories — of her traveling in Europe from one shoot to the other, her shotgun in the back; for outings and picnics; and occasionally for extended vacation trips when we were over there. I know she really appreciated me taking it all apart and making it better than what it was.” My mother told my dad that he would make me upset if he sold it. They brought it to the house, parked it under the carport behind another car, and Mom took away the keys.
The 300 SL doesn’t seem much sportier than the 220S from this angle, though the wraparound buckets, lower-slung seating and floor shift all suggest otherwise once you’re inside. Hard to believe that this SL was sold at a discount in order to get it off the books.
1963 MERCEDES-BENZ 300 SL ROADSTER
Engine SOHC inline-six
Displacement 2,996 cc
Horsepower 222 @ 5,800 RPM
Torque 202-lb.ft. @ 4,600 RPM
Fuel system Mechanical direct fuel injection, #Bosch injection pump
Gearbox Four-speed manual, floor shift
Suspension Front, double wishbones, coil springs, anti-roll bar; rear, low-pivot swing axle, transverse compensating spring, coil springs
Steering Recirculating ball
Brakes Four-wheel disc, hydraulic power assist
Wheelbase 94.5 inches
Length 179.9 inches
Width 70.5 inches
Height 51.2 inches
Shipping weight 3,130 pounds
0-62 MPH 7.2 seconds
Top speed 137 MPH
1959 MERCEDES-BENZ 220 S
Engine SOHC inline-six
Displacement 2,195 cc
Horsepower 105 @ 5,200 RPM
Torque 126.5-lb.ft. @ 3,500 RPM
Fuel system Dual two-barrel #Solex carburetors
Gearbox Four-speed manual, column shift
Suspension Front, double wishbones, coil springs, anti-roll bar; rear, swing axle, radius arms, coil springs Steering Recirculating ball
Brakes Four-wheel drum, power assist
Wheelbase 111 inches
Length 187 inches
Width 69 inches
Height 61 inches
Shipping weight 3,110 pounds
0-62 MPH 17 seconds
Top speed 99 MPH
The 220 S cabin is elegant and orderly. Air conditioning was dealer-installed after purchase. Engine is the standard carbureted 2.2-liter inline-six, good for 105 horsepower. Inside and out, it’s sized like the compact Studebaker Lark it sold next to in U.S. showrooms.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationGENTLEMAN’S RELISH
Steve Wright gets behind the wheel of Adrian Slater’s 911 historic racer.
Car #1965 #Porsche-911-2.0-litre
The growing numbers of early 911s now participating in historic circuit racing is surely a reflection of the increased awareness of just what great cars the short-wheelbase coupés really are. Classic Porsche’s Steve Wright gets behind the wheel of Adrian Slater’s 1965 #Porsche … Words: Steve Wright… Photos: Michael Ward.
A damp track, grass run off and unforgiving tyre walls are not the best recipe when it comes to driving someone else’s car on a circuit, especially if the car in question is a short-wheelbase 911 on Dunlop historic racing tyres. It would be unfair to say the SWB 911 is inherently unstable at high speed but nimble might be a good way to describe it.
The car featured here is Adrian Slater’s beautifullypresented 1965 Porsche, prepared by East Sussex Porsche specialist Paragon and co-raced by the owner of Paragon, Mark Sumpter. Porsche AG confirmed the car was delivered to D’leteren in Brussels on 25th March 1965, giving the original specification as a 911 2.0-litre coupé in Light Ivory with black vinyl interior. It carries chassis #300641, engine #900757 and gearbox #100660. D’leteren provided Mark with a copy of the initial service records through to June 1966 which gives a nice bit of early history. The car was then exported to the UK in 1972 – the green log book shows three owners until May 1991 when Robert Gant of Gantspeed Engineering acquired it. Robert built the 911 as his own car before he sold it in 2002 to Iain Stowe, who used it for a number of road rallies such as London/Lisbon.
Mark Sumpter purchased the car in 2006 and then sold it to Adrian Slater, a regular customer of Paragon and codriver with Mark in Porsche Club championships, as well as historic events. Mark and Adrian are no newcomers to the racing scene – Mark won the British GT Championship in 2000 in a GT3R, and Mark and Adrian won the Silverstone Britcar 24-hour race in 2008, and the Porsche GB Open championship in 2011.
Mark has raced at Daytona and Le Mans, and also owns a 962 and 1997 911 GT1 Evo, so it’s fair to say that both these guys know a thing or two about owning and racing a wide range of Porsches!
Like many gentleman race cars these days, chassis #300641 appears strikingly standard, largely due to a concours paint job and full interior but, unlike some of the hot-rods out there, the interior of this car is complete right down to the carpets, chrome trim, wood veneer dash and full glass (as opposed to lightweight plastic).
You clamber into the race seat after negotiating the welded-in roll-cage, which forces you into a human version of origami, at least for someone who is 6ft 4in! The mechanicals are purely race car, though, albeit one that complies with FIA Appendix K regulations, which means standard-for-1965 #Solex carburettors and matching inlet manifolds. They’ve managed to fettle the engine sufficiently to produce a reliable 190bhp, which is just about the limit given the constraints the Solexes impose. The car is running to the homologation weight of 1000kg although Adrian’s car runs 55kg of ballast in place of the passenger seat, so they have done well to reduce weight elsewhere, given the roll-cage and full interior. A limited-slip differential, longer second and third ratios, as well as a lower fifth gear, complete the gearbox. For #Goodwood the car is allowed to run on 6J Fuchs wheels rather than the standard 5.5J steels required of Appendix K, while the #Dunlop control tyre ensures plenty of sideways action and long drifts as a default posture.
Rick Mears, the American racer quite rightly said that to finish first, you must first finish, and it’s this mantra that Porsche built into every race car. The reason Porsches feature so often in the history books is that attrition was a major factor in motor racing in most of the last century, far more than it is today.
With their bulletproof engineering and Teutonic build quality, old Porsches are well suited to endurance racing, where the ability to go hard and fast over a long period is a key criteria in winning. Of course, this assumes they’ve been well looked after and screwed together by someone who knows what they’re doing: spanking a 50-year-old car relentlessly for miles on end can’t be done without consequence unless you’ve done this.
And when it comes to this particular car, winning is what it has done. Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium is not to be trifled with. If you stand at the edge of the circuit as the cars come through Eau Rouge and into Raidillon, you can see why this circuit provides such a mixture of elation and fear. In an old Porsche the rear is busy trying to overtake the front at very high speed because you’re asking it to turn in when the momentum and rear bias wants to carry it off the road.
At 4.352-miles, it’s also a long circuit with plenty of fast, blind corners, and the Spa 6 hour is run into the night, making this a proper race. So to finish the 2013 Six Hour 25th overall from 109 starters, 5th in class and as the fastest 911 is a huge testimony to the car and its drivers. To prove this wasn’t a one-off, Adrian and Mark took the car to the Silverstone Classic in 2014, to run in the Chopard Trophy for Pre-1966 GT cars. The #Porsche-911 took the lead early in the race, but the powerful V8 TVRs were too fast on Silverstone’s long GP circuit, meaning the pair had to settle for third place overall – but still ahead of all the other Porsches.
So what’s it like to drive a short-wheelbase 911 on a track? Well, surprisingly easy if you’re not at ten-tenths. Mark had kindly let me do some laps during testing for the 73rd Goodwood Members’ Meeting, which this year had an entry of approximately 30 pre-1967 #Porsche-911-2.0 -litre SWB cars competing for the John Aldington Trophy – named after the man who founded Porsche Cars Great Britain.
The car communicates its intentions with clarity and a conciseness that a modern Porsche driver would find shocking. Once you realise that the car isn’t going to spin off the first time you add some steering input, and that it’s just the characteristic of the Dunlop historic racing tyres, which seem to adopt a huge slip angle at the merest hint of a corner, then you come to appreciate that the car has a huge amount of grip for an historic and clearly communicates how close you’re getting to the edge of the handling envelope.
It’s also tremendously benign, allowing for small corrections in a way that you wouldn’t dream of with a standard road-going early 911. Once you get the car at the edge of the handling envelope, though, you have to have your wits about you and be blessed with talent and reflexes. I wouldn’t pretend to play in this space in someone else’s car without a significant amount of testing time under my belt.
What I can do, though, is take you through a lap, so that the next time you see a SWB 911 being driven in anger at Goodwood (or anywhere else for that matter), you’ll have some idea of the challenge and reward. Assuming you’re already on-circuit under race conditions then the start/finish is a drag race up through the gears to fourth before a dab on the brakes (but not too much to unsettle it) for Madgwick.
This is a misleading two-apex corner so it’s tempting to turn in too early, but you have to attack it twice and as hard as you dare, letting it run all the way across the track on the exit, right to the edge of the grass to maximise your speed down the straight. But get off the track here and it’s goodnight Vienna as a spin on the grass and at this speed won’t be one you can catch.
Then it’s up into fifth for Fordwater which, if you’re brave and skilled, can be taken by the best flat-out without lifting. The car is moving about an awful lot as you exit here, with just the right amount of opposite lock twitched in as required to not have it swap ends on you at high speed. Then it’s hard on the brakes and a change down to fourth without unsettling the car, before a deep breath plunge into the corner before St Mary’s. Again if you’re brave, skilled and know your 911, you can take this and St Mary’s in fourth before another big wipe of speed and change into third is required for Lavant. Lavant is a dance because you’re trying to pour power on through the corner, utilise the traction of the rear-engined 911, but not overcook it and spin the car on quite a narrow part of the circuit.
Then it’s up through the gears into top, reaching your fastest speed on the circuit as you dash up towards the Shell building on your left, just as you enter Woodcote. Brake failure here would be catastrophic as there’s no run off at all and the car is still travelling quickly in third, but one of the most reassuring aspects of a 911 is that Porsche had finally made the jump to disc brakes (there’s none of this modern stuff for we early-356 racers stuck with using drums!).
Then it’s a big dance around Woodcote, a squirt on the accelerator to take you up to the chicane, a snatch and grab for second, then lots of right pedal and corrective lock to keep the power-on oversteer under control as you exit the chicane, before you go and do it all again. And that’s without all the shenanigans of other racers and changing conditions that are an inevitable ingredient of a race.
For the 73MM race, we stood at the exit of Woodcote and watched as Mark put #300641 in exactly the same spot every lap, a huge but gentle 80mph drift that started before the apex of the corner and ended on the same square of Tarmac an inch from the grass – not an inch in or an inch over.
And if ever you wanted to advertise Porsche racing this was it. With 22 near identical cars, just a twenty minute sprint of a race, and an ultra competitive and competent set of drivers, it was always going to be close. Door handle to door handle (but no paint swapping), oh-my-god tail out slides and heroic driving made for the most entertaining race of the weekend.
I must admit I left the Goodwood estate thinking that an early 911 race car had to be on the Christmas list as it was brilliant to watch but utterly frustrating to not be part of it. Irrespective of whether that becomes a reality or not, it was a wonderful reminder of why a #1965 #Porsche-911-SWB was such an effective racing weapon in the mid-sixties and still remains so today, 50 years on.
CONTACTS: Paragon GB Tel: 01825 830424 www. paragongb. com
Aside from the decals, there’s little to suggest this is a fully-prepared race car. Road-registered, it is the perfect gentleman’s racer – drive during the week, race at the weekend.
Dunlop ‘control’ tyres are the source of endless fun – forgiving to a point but allowing for much sideways action. Interior is remarkably stock for a race car.
Restricted by the Solex carburettors (necessary to meet FIA Appendix K regs), the 2.0-litre ‘six’ still punches out a reliable 190bhp. Modern race seats necessary to meet current motorsport regulations.
The car proved to be remarkably easy to drive – until you start pushing the limits. Then you learn all about the combination of SWB handling and historic racing tyres…
Classic short-wheelbase profile, with the tell-tale torsion bar covers close to the leading edge of the rear wheel opening. Early 911s are living proof that simple is often best.
“With their bulletproof engineering, old Porsches are well suited to endurance racing… ”
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