Sunday, November 29, 2009

Skelta goes international

The Queensland Skelta sports car is now available in UK and Europe with the formation of Skelta Racecars Europe.
Is everyone familiar with the Skelta? Just in case there were a few "nos", here's a little potted description of these "super-light, ultra-tough" Skeltas. Their chrome-moly steel spaceframe is reinforced with a centre tunnel and sidepods made of carbonfibre/aluminium sandwich. The body is made entirely from carbonfibre composite. The result is a dry weight of only 720kg.
Power comes from either a supercharged 2 litre 4 cylinder Honda of a mere 340bhp or the 3 litre Hartley V8 of 460bhp, both engines driving through a Honda 6-speed. Suspension comprises rose-jointed double wishbones front and rear with inboard spring/shocker units, fully adjustable for track, camber, caster and toe-in. Brakes, front and rear, are four-pot calipers on ventilated discs.
The Skelta is available in 2 styles, the Spyder and the G-Force. The Spyder is a wide-bodied open two-seater and the G-Force is a 2-seater with detachable gull-wing targa top. Both styles have heavily finned front air intakes and large rear wing and diffuser, which exerts 200kg of downforce at 90mph. Couple all this with the 50/50 weight distribution, it's no wonder that the cornering power is described as phenomenal.
These cars were born out of former Australian rally champion, Ray Vandersee's determination to win the Targa Tasmania outright. His first assault was in a cleverly modified Westfield that was almost as quick as the dominant Porsches and Nissan GTRs. However, for outright victory, it was going to take something more than a clubman no matter how modified. Starting with a clean sheet of paper, he created the Skelta. Since that creation, Vandersee and his customers have won countless events across Australia and New Zealand and Vendersee himself is getting closer and closer to that elusive outright Targa win, with class wins and many quickest stage times to his credit. An even faster Skelta is under constant development and Targa 2010 can't come soon enough.

Now I feel compelled to tell you about the Hartley V8.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bufori BMS R1

Earlier in the week I mentioned the release of the Bufori sports. The R1 version has now had its race debut on Sunday at the Macau GT Cup. Driven by Alex Yoong, this Malaysian carbon-fibre and Kevlar bodied sports car completed only 4 laps before an accident caused by debris on the track.
Starting 28th on the grid, the car showed plenty of potential to immediately work its way into 23rd when a piece of debris got caught in the throttle linkage causing it to jam open. It's now back to Malaysia for some repairs and refinements before its next outing. Despite its short time on the track, lots of useful data has been gathered for use in the road cars and for future race outings. All looks good for the release at the Beijing Auto Show in April 2010.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Opel GT

Remember the 1973 LHD orange Opel GT that Noel from Mooroopna took to the Bay to Birdwood this year? His mate, Graeme, in Adelaide, imported a white 1970 example from America too, sight unseen. Well, it's arrived and hasn't presented any disappointments. A bit of a tidy up and it'll be on the road and he'll be able to bring it out for a run. This is it.

3 different places, 3 different times, same car (I think)

Below are a couple of shots taken at Calder in 1979 when the Ikara was released. Tony G. brought this black sports along. He had built it while working at the factory.
This shot was taken in Sydney by an exotic car spotter, not sure when, but the car lived in NSW at this stage.
Now, here it is back in Victoria in the custodianship of Tony B. at this year's recent Show'n'tell.
I have a feeling this is the same car. Please feel free to correct me. Not too sure about the chassis number so can't work from that.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Datsun/Nissan post

On behalf of all of our Road Closure officials on the Stafford Ridge Stage I really want to thank Jack Monkhouse for their entertainment with the well executed drifts on each of their corners in the drift car. This photo is not at Stafford Ridge (looks similar) but was taken by Jim McGough at Ironbank earlier in the day.
No wonder Neville Whittenbury is looking so pensive at stage start. And, by the way, is that really a carbonfibre door skin?
What a great rally car this Pulsar GTI-R is. I presume that's why the aforementioned Jim McGough rallies one. Congratulations to Sammy and Simone, a good result. They're a couple of hard chargers.
Zs were everywhere and no wonder. Everyone who doesn't own one would really want to. 1, 2, 4 and 5 in the Classic Section.
There were 3 of these monstrous new Godzillas.

Another Mark 7 for sale

This one's in Queensland, Brisbane in fact. Just go to the "Drive" website for details.
Thenks, Steve, for pointing it out.

Monday, November 23, 2009

New Releases

Here's a few new cars from around the world that might be candidates for Dino's top 10.
This one is the Arash AF-10 from Great Britain due for release next year. It has the GM LS7 90-degree V8 mounted longitudinally. The LS7 is 7 litres (427 cu. in.). Transmission is the Graziano GT-ME1 6-speed.
....and this is how it goes together.
This is the Plethore LC-750 3-seater from Canada which uses the old McLaren F1 central driving position. The car is merely 6.2 litres (376 cu. in.) but at least it's supercharged. It's the HTT 90-degree V8 with 6-speed sequential box.
And here's the about to be released Bufori CS from Malaysia. It is powered by a longitudinal front mounted 2-litre turbo straight 4. A racing version will make its debut in the Macau GT Cup and is homologated to FIA GT3 requirements.

Some notes on the Classic Adelaide

The car is standing still here but what a sight and sound it was for everyone as Peter charged through the hills in this amazing vehicle. Keep an eye out for brother, Max, on the weekend in the Mustang at Eastern Creek.
Here's the CV8 again approaching the Stafford Ridge start behind Charlie Nott's TVR Chimaera.
This was the view from our position at the Stafford Ridge start near Lobethal prior to the stage getting underway.
I hope this shot of Hagen Zerk's XA GT hardtop is an inspiration to Eric Bana to get the finger out on the XB and get down to the real business of getting it back on the road instead of messing about starring in movies and stuff.It was great to catch up with Udo over the weekend. That's one of the plusses of the Classic, the old friends from interstate that you haven't seen for a while. Udo tells us that he's still not getting the times in the Roaring Forties GT40 at Hidden Valley that he was doing in the Nagari.
Congratulations to the Weeks team. 3 in a row's not bad hey.
Gary Tierney, who died in the event along with his co-driver, is remembered by his friends and ours in Victoria as "a hell of a nice bloke". He was a very successful businessman in Bendigo. He started Classic Rallying in a black DAX Cobra (with the loudest exhaust ever heard on a street car) and later competed in a Shelby Replica before moving on to Porsche 911s. Peter G was heard to comment that he hoped this and Brockie's crash don't see an end to this sort of motorsport. I don't think it will, but Peak Oil might.

The Spanish connection again.

Ramon and Joe's Nagari is decidedly incomplete and now that they are getting serious about rebuilding it, they are going to need lots of advice and help. Already they have discovered that there is a distinct lack of manuals or other publications to help them. It is not their intention to build a race car but if that plan changes down the track, they want to have an operative road car to begin with anyway. There are just so many items needed for the car that it might be a good plan to deal with this in stages and kick off with the immediate needs which are listed below:-
* front windscreen
* side windows
* tail lights
* front direction indicators
* all the rubber seals
That's a good start and all comments would be welcome and if you want to take it to Dino's forum that would be good too.
What I thought was funny was when I asked Joe if it had any suspension. The answer was "no". This was later qualified with the fact that it did have the original suspension but they didn't like it much which led to questions about improvements, things that have changed over the years and new suspension kits.
Apparently about 4 years ago the chassis was was stripped down, sand blasted and sprayed and the body was fully repaired and sprayed as well. At about that time when in England to buy a TVR Tuscan, they picked up a Cleveland V8 and a couple of gearboxes. I'm thinking now, at chassis no. 44, Bolwell were still using Windsors (or were they?) and there may be the need for the odd modification to squeeze the Cleveland in.
A nice car being left at a workshop and the owner never coming back reminds me of a time when I lived at Parkside and one of my neighbours who had retired from his spray painting and panel business and did a few paint jobs in the shed in his back yard, was presented with a red BMW coupe not unlike this one to repaint.
This he did, and did a beautiful job on it and, you guessed it, never heard from the owner again and had no contact details. For years he regularly started and ran it just to make sure it would be ship-shape when the owner did turn up. It was quite a few years before he eventually put some rego on it and used it for country trips. Eventually he died and the riddle was never solved.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

HSRCA Eastern Creek

For the benefit of NSW people and others who may be around the place over the 28-29 Nov. weekend, there is a huge HSRCA meeting at Eastern Creek. Here's a link to the rather formidable entry list......
which includes South Australians John Virgo - 1954 Riley Special
Bruce Hartwig - 1939 Chrysler Special
David Armstrong - 1968 Cicada BMC Clubman
Peter Whelan - 1977 Chevron B42 and 1984 Reynard 83/84FF
Sean Whelan - 1982 Ralt RT4
and other such notables as Jason Lea - 1968 Datsun 2000
Dick Willis - 1952 Anderson Special
John Scott - 1959 MG Milano
Ray Kenny - 1965 Thompson Sport
Steve Webb - 1970 Elfin Repco
Andrew Kluver - 1970 Milano GT2
Max Ullrich - 1964 Ford Mustang
and Paul Manton - 1964 Valano GT 225

Targa Tasmania entry list

This is a page of the Rookie Section in the catalog of entries for the next Targa Tasmania.I believe Robert is the former owner of Simon Peryer's Nagari.

Red Sports Cars.

They go faster don't they?
I just had to take a photo of this. I thought the back wheels and tyres on my old Pantera were big enough......but this?
This is the rest of the car. I guess it must belong to the DeTomaso boys as well. It had the same number on the side as the other one. Probably a spare car in case something went wrong with the first one.
Here's the two cars together on Friday night. I've decided there might be money in the vegetable business so today I planted a few more potatoes.
Here's the usual non-winged car at the start of our stage at Stafford Ridge.
Sean Brennan tricked us. He entered a Pantera but turned up with a Ferrari. Apparently the Pantera wasn't ready in time. We didn't see the Ferrari at Stafford Ridge. It had broken down earlier. Scott Baxendale caught up with Sean on the side of the road. Scott was riding shotgun in Roger Adamson's E-type and, judging by the big grin on his face, was thoroughly enjoying it.
....and here's another red sports car. I'm sure this was the NSX that was competing at Mt. Alma.I hope it managed to get through the Classic in good shape because next weekend is the NSX run to Currency Creek and so far there's 14 NSXs going. Can't wait for the photos. Tony Cullen is thinking about putting his NSX in next year's Classic. If Scott, Jim and Garrie join him we could have a team of four!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Desert sport

I have a Facebook friend in Lebanon called Bilal. He is an avid reader of Bollyblog and keen on the Lancia Stratos. From him I learn that there is a large following of Muscle Cars in Lebanon, that they have a rally series through the villages outside Beirut where Evos reign supreme and classic hillclimbs are not uncommon. They also have weekly organised events called "Desert Sport". I'm not sure if "organised" is the operative word. From the videos it would appear that the purpose is to gather together a bunch of Jeeps (mainly Wranglers) and go mad in the sand dunes. This activity takes place in Saudi Arabia every Friday, their weekends start earlier than ours. They must fly down from Lebanon surely. It would be a long drive and I'm not sure how they would get through Palestine.
Here is Bilal extracting himself from his pristine Jeep.There's no blaming women drivers in these parts.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bond Equipe

This is a Bond Equipe. You can see the Triumph Herald base in the doors, windscreen, scuttle etc. The Equipe is the first 4-wheeler Bond made. Their factory was closed down after Reliant took them over.
Anyway, we were talking about Duane in the previous post. Duane has a Bond Equipe (see below) and he's making good progress on its restoration although that progress recently stalled when his partner injured herself, doubling the parenting duties among other things. The engine is siezed, overdrive gearbox needs a rebuild, there's substantial rust in the floor to repair, plus the fibreglass.
These last two photos were taken after Norm had begun to tackle some repairs to the rear body. Always chasing a deal, Norm is helping with some glass work in exchange for some design/CAD work on his new car.
Why a Bond Equipe? It wasn't intentional. Duane fished it out of that huge wrecking yard in Port Wakefield about 5 years ago. He couldn't leave it there could he? It's a bit like an NSU Prinz I'd like to rescue from a wrecking yard in Ebenezer.

"Car Styling" magazine.

Duane de Gruchy stumbled across a website with a quantity of new old stock Japanese "Car Styling" magazines, one from 1981 featuring that article on the Ikara. The price was around US$30 + postage per magazine. I'm sure Graham Nichols has a copy and without checking, I reckon there's a mention in the "Ikara Project" website. Duane has contacted these people and they have let him know that they have 17 copies of #34 in stock. Here's a link:-
If he gets 5 copies, the price comes down to about $20 - $25 each. They are great magazines and the articles are quite in depth, with lots of design content. Duane will have a copy and so will I. If anyone else wants one let me know and I'll pass Duane's email address on or whatever it takes.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's all happening!

Last night I was down in Adelaide to pick up our equipment for the Stafford Ridge stage and to get the artwork under way for next year's calendar and to look in on the timing meeting at the Torrens Parade Ground. Here's a couple of entrants that were there.
And.... Sunday night Jack Monkhouse was wrapping up a creditable 9th in the Alpine Rally in his 180B SSS in "the hardest rally he has ever done". Next afternoon, here's the car at the parade ground where Jack had to be for a course car briefing. It's a busy life being a rally star.
Rick Clough (Datto fanatic extraordinaire) was an official at the Alpine. You couldn't have missed this mighty SA machine, Rick.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Panteras in this year's Classic Adelaide.

I'll begin by saying there are no Bolwells in the Classic this year. There are two Panteras though, both entered in the Thoroughbred Tour section. One is the familiar red one entered by DeTomaso and DeTomaso and seen here at the start at last year's Macclesfield stage.
The other one, though, is entered by our old friend Sean Brennan.