30 March 2012

A Frosty Reception: Jensen FF Meets Ferrari FF

Not a duel as you may have expected, but a tip of the hat to the mighty Jensen FF, a car that as the worlds first production 4WD car undoubtedly paved the way for Ur Quattro and ultimately the 'other' FF, by Ferrari.
We'll be coming back to the Jensen FF story in detail at a later date, but for the uninitiated the Jensen FF (short for Ferguson Formula) was based on the more familiar Interceptor coupĂ©, but stretched 5 inches between the front wheel arch and door. As well as the usual 383ci (6.2 litre) Chrysler V8 and Torqueflite 727 transmission, the FF had two 'firsts' on a production road car; Ferguson Research Ltd's groundbreaking 4WD system was utilised, in which a transfer case behind the gearbox split drive to the front and rear wheels. The other first was also way ahead of its time - the Dunlop Maxaret anti-lock braking system, a mechanical system used up to that point only on aircraft, trucks, or racing cars.
Although a technological tour de force, the FF was a flop; list price was 30% dearer than the already-pricey Interceptor and the 4WD system was set up exclusively for RHD with no provision for a LHD market. Only 320 were made.
The cars importance to motoring history wasn't fully reliased until that Audi was released to a  surprised public in Geneva on 3rd March 1980.

No doubt a few onlookers sagely nodded and reminisced about the car from West Bromwich that helped make it possible.


The Boss Has Spoken

28 March 2012

1964 Oldsmobile 88 - The Venetian

Legendary customiser John D'Agostino built this Oldsmobile (a '64 Dynamic 88) with Val Tompkins in 2004; it was a tribute to the Oldsmobile marque that had just been discontinued after a 107 year run. Its quite subtle for a D'Agostino car, but retains the classic elegance that is his trademark. This really is a time where we're gonna keep the words to a minimum, advise you to drink in the pictures, then click here to read about the car. We'll stay here and stare in quiet admiration the way we always do when we clap eyes on an D'Agostino original.

Wriggly Snake

27 March 2012

Beach Party 6, Brean Sands

If you've never had the pleasure of dealing with Brian Damaged, believe us, you're missing out. A stalwart of the Retro Rides forum, he lives and breathes cars, and decided to organise a car show to get like minded folk together along with their motors. The Beach Party originally started out as a small  informal gathering of people, but through word of mouth and reputation, it has morphed into a bona fide show, and a fine job he has done of creating an eclectic vehicular shindig.
But this may be the last one that happens; the powers that be may ensure that the beach isn't available next year and Brian has a feeling that he has taken the format as far as he can in it's current iteration. It's a familiar story; like the Chelsea Cruise over the years, it's become a victim of it's own success and relies on the good behaviour of everyone involved to ensure its existence.
We hope that the Beach party continues; Team Amazo would love a day by the beach.

Here come the pics,with grateful thanks to Brian Damaged, Scott Andrews and Spiny.Org

Interesting story behind this '62 Mk3 Zodiac, as Brian relates:
Incredible to think that after some sterling work by Hardcore to save it from going to the crusher, Alan and Scoobypete had it stitched back together and MOT'd in just a month. Only the DVLA dragging its heels over the issue of its original registration number prevented it from making the trip under its own steam, but nontheless it was brought down on a trailer and driven by all and sundry up and down the sand all afternoon.

With grateful thanks to Brian Damaged and Scott Andrews for the pics.

26 March 2012

1600. With Two 'E's.

It's a sign o' the times when a car that could be bought for a three-figure sum not that long ago is being sold for figures that used to be Porsche territory. Like the MKII Ford Cortina 1600E.
The 1600E (for Executive) was introduced to broaden the Cortina's appeal into a higher market segment than it would normally be sold to. Launched at the Paris Motor Show in October 1967, a year after the rest of the MKII range, It combined the lowered Lotus Cortina's suspension with the GT-spec 1600 Kent crossflow engine and luxury trim, featuring a burr walnut dashboard and door cappings, bucket seats, sports steering wheel and a full complement of gauges. Exterior mods were mostly cosmetic, with a black grille and tail panel, front fog lights and the iconic Rostyle wheels. E's have always had a cult following and it seem that prices are rapidly chasing the always-sought after Lotus models. Here's two examples that graphically demonstrate that point.
Does a 50,000 mile Jersey car appeal at £12k?

Or maybe this LHD, 28,000 mile one French owner beauty is more to your liking? A snip at £11k...
Either will set you back a fair ol' chunk of change, but if you really, really want one, this duo really do look like the best of the breed.