vineri, 20 martie 2015

Audi Sport Quattro 1984 - World Of Classic Cars -

Audi Sport Quattro 1984

“We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again; one day these cars are going to rival vintage Bugattis for desirability…They have an unimpeachable motorsport heritage.”
– Octane, March 2011
The introduction of Group B into the World Rally Championship in 1982 resulted from an evolution that was dictated by a general industry move from rear to front-wheel-drive cars, and it proved revolutionary, with seven victories. Contenders now had three classes from which to choose, Group N (standard production cars), Group A (modified production cars), and the almost immediately notorious and virtually unbridled Group B (modified sports cars).
Audi Sport Quattro 1984

Most notably, Group B allowed Audi to compete with its still-new Quattro all-wheel-drive system, which was an obvious boon on varied rally stage surfaces. The permanent all-wheel-drive system debuted in the Audi 80-based Quattro Coupe in 1980, and it quickly came to define the brand. Furthermore, FIA Group B homologation rules meant that only 200 road going examples of each car were necessary for sale to the public. These light regulations made for intensely competitive racing, since automakers were no longer required to build racing cars based on mass production models but vice-versa.
Audi campaigned what was essentially a Group 4 Quattro for the first couple of years, before engineers in Ingostadt, Germany, unleashed a wildly different model, which is now christened Sport Quattro. Although the Ur-Quattro (“original Quattro” to German enthusiasts) was a dominant force due to its permanent all-wheel-drive system, its heavy monocoque chassis, long wheelbase, and balance issues caused by its longitudinally mounted engine proved to be hindrances against such purpose-built racers as the Lancia 037.
Audi Sport Quattro 1984

Audi’s engineers were tasked with developing a new model that would address these concerns, and this was something they did in secret, far from the company’s road car operations. With its wheelbase shortened a meaningful 12.6 inches between the B- and C-pillars, the Sport Quattro was not only significantly shorter than the standard Quattro found in showrooms, but it’s steel monocoque shell, which was built off site by Baur, also featured numerous GRP and carbon-Kevlar panels to further trim weight. As such, there was very little shared with serial production Audis (although a more upright windshield that had been cribbed from the workaday Audi 80 alleviated early visibility concerns).
Audi Sport Quattro 1984

Under the hood, a downsized 2,133-cubic centimeter, five-cylinder alloy-block engine that featured four valves per cylinder was turbocharged to the tune of around 450 brake horsepower in competition tune. A massive KKK-K27 turbocharger rated at 17 psi (1.05 bar) meant that the car’s engine displacement actually required reduction in order to comply with FIA regulations. Even so, the Sport Quattro competed against cars in the 3,000-cubic centimeter category. It was capable of sprinting from a complete stop to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds, making it one of the quickest cars ever built for road use when it debuted. AP four-piston racing brakes that had been ventilated and slotted, as developed for the Porsche 917, ensured that extraordinary stopping power was available when needed.
Audi Sport Quattro 1984

Even if one ignored those impressive numbers, the introduction of the Sport Quattro was still in many ways a watershed moment for rally racing. With the world’s top drivers on its roster, including the likes of Stig Blomqvist, Hannu Mikkola, Michèle Mouton, and Walter Röhrl, Audi Sport dominated the WRC throughout the 1984 season. The Sport Quattro’s last win came at the hands of Stig Blomqvist and Björn Cederberg, who raced one in early November 1984, at the Rallye Côte d’Ivoire in Africa, where the team also claimed the manufacturers’ title. This outright dominance cemented the car’s legendary stature in WRC rallying.
Audi Sport Quattro 1984

Audi built a mere 214 Sport Quattros, most of which were sold to select customers via specialized dealers. In Germany, the car ultimately retailed for more than 200,000 Deutschmarks, which was a substantial sum that bought owners more than a taste of competition-proven performance. The road going models boasted a more reasonable 302 brake horsepower and 258 foot-pounds of torque, but they were no less aggressive to drive than their racing counterparts. Advancements like a selectable ABS system allowed drivers to specifically tailor the vehicle to a variety of road conditions.
With their nine-inch-wide Ronal alloy wheels, the Sport Quattro had a light but darty demeanor that proved daunting for novice drivers, and as contemporary media reviews indicated, its turbo-lag was profuse but workable, making the car hardly forgiving to drive. The Sport Quattro commands as much respect for its hidden technology as it does for the drivers who piloted it to the checkered flag.
Audi Sport Quattro 1984

The road going 1984 Audi Sport Quattro offered here is without a doubt one of the finest examples extant, if not the finest. It was acquired by its current American-based caretaker from its first owner, noted Japanese collector Yoshikuni Okamoto, of Kobe. At this time, it currently has just 8,300 kilometers showing on its odometer, which are very much believed to be from new. Notably, Sport Quattros were not officially imported to the United States, making them even scarcer on these shores.
This car is swathed in white paint, which, according to the owner, is almost certainly original, over grey leather and cloth-covered Recaro sports seats, and it wears its factory-correct white alloy wheels.
Audi Sport Quattro 1984

As interest continues to build in the saga that was Group B racing, the Sport Quattro has emerged as a genuine icon. So influential was the short, squat, purpose-built racer that Audi saw fit to pay homage to it by unveiling a modern take on the Sport Quattro as a concept car at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, and this concept has been rumored to be slated for series production.

Bentley R-Type - World Of Classic Cars -

Bentley R-Type Standard Steel Saloon 1953

The R-Type is the second series of post-war Bentley motorcars and replacing the Mk. VI. Essentially a larger-boot version of the Mk. VI, the R type is regarded by some as a stop-gap before the introduction of the S-series cars in 1955. As with its predecessor, a standard body was available as well as coachbuilt versions by firms including H.J.Mulliner, Park Ward, Harold Radford, Freestone and Webb and others. Even by this date, there was little difference (other than the radiator grilles and the carburation) between the standard Bentley R-Type and the Rolls Royce Silver Dawn, though Bentley was still the more popular sporting marque. The vast majority of cars produced indeed were Bentleys with some 2,500 units manufactured during the R-Type's run. During development, it was referred to as the Bentley Mk. VII. Indeed the chassis cards for these cars describe them as Bentley 7's. The R-Type name, which is now usually applied, stems from chassis series RT. The front of the saloon model was identical to the Mk. VI, but the boot was almost doubled in capacity and the engine increased in displacement from 4¼ to 4½ litres. All Bentley R-Type models use an iron-block with an aluminium cylinder head straight six engine configuration fed by twin SU Type H6 carburettors. The basic engine displaced 4,566cc. A four speed manual transmission was originally standard fitment with a four speed automatic transmission option and becoming standard on later cars.

Sunbeam Tiger 1965 - World Of Classic Cars -

Sunbeam Tiger 1965

The West Coast Sales Manager of Rootes American Motors Inc, Ian Garrad, realised that the Alpine's image was that of a touring car rather than a sports car, so he set about changing its image using the recent success of the Shelby Cobra as a guide. Sunbeam asked Carroll Shelby to produce one functional prototype on a budget of $10,000. Shelby's prototype was fabricated by Shelby employee George Boskoff and the result was judged to be good enough to send to England for production evaluation. Seeking reassurance everything would fit, a second Series II Alpine was handed to Ken Miles.
Sunbeam Tiger 1965

A talented racer and fabricator in his own right, Miles had just been employed by Shelby American. After doing extensive engineering studies, Rootes Group subcontracted development and pre-production testing to Jensen, located in West Bromwich. Jensen went on to assemble the Sunbeam Tiger with production reaching 7,085 cars over three distinct series (the factory only ever designated two, the Mk. I and Mk. II; however, since the official Mk. I production spanned the changeover in body style from the Series IV Alpine panels to the Series V panels, the later cars are generally designated Mk. IA by current Sunbeam Tiger enthusiasts). Mk. II production totalled just 536 cars and these Tigers, with the 200bhp and a 4.7 litre engine, are rare today. Both the Miles and the Shelby prototypes have survived, along with a number of other historically significant Tigers.
Sunbeam Tiger 1965

This modified 1965 Sunbeam Tiger was first owned by the Humber Works Association. Restored to a very high specification over a two year period and costing over £25,000 on parts alone, work included a new 340bhp, Ford GT40 302 engine and a new five speed Tremec gearbox with overdrive on top gear to enable cruising at 80mph at 2000rpm. It also features disc brakes all round, vented at the front with Wilwood four pot callipers and handbrake callipers on rear. The car has new specification Panhard Rods, set at the correct level and welded anti tramp bars to the suspension, all new electronic rev. Counter and a speedometer with all the other instruments in matching colour. The car has been converted to lefthand drive and is finished in midnight blue with a matching hard top, sun roof and new black soft top.  The interior is fitted with all new black leather and the external chrome has been restored. The bonnet is a steel LAT-type with matching front quarter bumpers and front air dam.

Ford Capri - World Of Classic Cars -

Ford Capri Mk I 1969

The Ford Capri name was used for three different models; the Consul Capri coupé between 1961 and 1964, the Capri coupé from 1969 to 1986 and the Ford/Mercury Capri convertible produced by the Ford Motor Company of Australia from 1989 to 1994. Initially, the first Ford Capri was introduced in January 1969 at the Brussels Motor Show with sales starting the following month. The intention was to reproduce in Europe the success Ford had had with the North American Ford Mustang. It was mechanically similar to the Cortina and built at the Dagenham and Halewood plants.  Although a fastback coupé, Ford wanted the Capri Mk.I to be affordable for a broad spectrum of potential buyers. And indeed it was!

Mercedes-Benz W114 - World Of Classic Cars -

Mercedes-Benz 250CE 1971

The Mercedes-Benz W114 model was introduced in 1968 and manufactured through to 1976, the series being distinguished in the marketplace by nameplates designating their engines. The W114 model was also the first post-war Mercedes-Benz production car to use a newly engineered chassis, not derived from preceding models. This new chassis format of semi-trailing rear arms and ball-joint front end, would be used in all new Mercedes-Benz passenger car models until the development of the multi-link rear suspensions of the 1980's. The Mercedes-Benz W114 was the mid-sized saloon model for Mercedes, positioned below the S-Class. A coupé variant of the W114 was introduced in 1969 carrying the nameplate '250CE' or '280CE' and is considered by enthusiasts to be one of the finest classics of the 1960's and 1970's - this is not, however, reflected in the prices of these cars being generally less than its more popular contemporaries, the Mercedes-Benz SL.

Lotus Elan - World Of Classic Cars -

Lotus Elan S3 Convertible 1966

The original Lotus Elan was introduced in 1962 as a roadster, although an optional hardtop was offered in 1963 and a coupé version in 1965. The two-seat Elan replaced the elegant but unreliable and expensive to produce Lotus Elite. It was the first Lotus road car to use the now famous steel backbone chassis with a fibreglass body. At 1500lb, the Elan embodied the Colin Chapman minimum weight design philosophy. It was technologically advanced with a twin-cam 1558cc engine, four-wheel disc brakes, and four-wheel independent suspension. The Lotus-Ford Twin Cam engine was based on Ford's Pre-Crossflow four-cylinder 1500cc engine with a Lotus-inspired Cosworth alloy twin-cam head. This Lotus-Ford four-cylinder engine would go on to be used successfully in a number of Lotus production and racing models. The Lotus Elan ceased production in 1973 and the Elan +2 in 1975. An estimated total of 17,000 original Elans and Elans +2 were built. Because of its successful design and technological sophistication, the Elan went on to become Lotus's first commercial success, reviving a company stretched thin by the more exotic and less commercially successful Elite and thus enabling funding of the successful Lotus racing over the next ten years.

NSU Ro 80 - World Of Classic Cars -

NSU Ro 80 1975

The NSU Ro 80 was a technologically advanced saloon produced by the West German firm of NSU from 1967 until 1977. Most notable was the powertrain; a 113bhp, 995cc twin-rotor Wankel engine driving the front wheels through a semi-automatic transmission employing an innovative vacuum system, and as such was voted Car of the Year, 1968, by European motoring writers. Other technological features of the Ro80, aside from the powertrain, were the four wheel, inboard, disc brakes, which for some time were generally only featured on expensive sports or luxury saloon cars.
NSU Ro 80 1975

It also featured an automatic clutch which was commonly described as a three-speed semi-automatic gearbox: there was no clutch pedal, but instead, on top of the gearknob, an electric switch that operated a vacuum system which disengaged the clutch. The gear lever itself could then be moved through a standard 'H pattern' gate. The shape was also slippery with a drag coefficient of 0.355 allowing for an impressive top speed of 112mph.

Mercedes-Benz 190 - World Of Classic Cars -

Mercedes-Benz 190 ‘Fintail’ 1963

The W110 'Fintail' was a line of midsize cars developed by Mercedes-Benz in the mid-1960s. They were introduced with the 190c and 190Dc saloon in April, 1961, replacing the W120 180c/180Dc and W121 190b/190Db and was the first series of Mercedes-Benz cars to be extensively crash tested for occupant safety. The body was derived from the W111 series but with a 145mm shorter nose and rounded headlights, although the rear end was identical to the W111 220b. The interior layout and dimensions were also identical to the W111 220b but with fewer options such as fixed-back seats and bakelite trim on the dashboard. Because the 190c and 190Dc models were basically a W111 220b with a shorter front, they offered the same interior and luggage space as the W111 series but with smaller and more fuel efficient engines.

Rolls-Royce Corniche - World Of Classic Cars -

Rolls-Royce Corniche Convertible 1974

The Corniche was manufactured by Rolls Royce between 1971 and 1996 in both coupé and convertible forms. Assembled and finished by Mulliner Park Ward, London, the Corniche was a continuation of the 1965 Silver Shadow and 1967 drop head coupé and, in 1971, the Corniche name was applied. It was also sold as a Bentley and from 1984 would be known as a Continental with the Bentley label. Power was supplied by the Rolls Royce V8 configured 6.7 litre engine with drive through a three speed automatic transmission.

Ford Capri - World Of Classic Cars -

Ford Capri Mk. III 1.6 GL 1979

The Ford Capri was the Ford Mustang of Europe. A mind boggling array of options meant that the Capri could be whatever you wanted it to be; just like the Mustang. But the Capri was, in fact, a far more varied animal than the Mustang with engines ranging from 1300cc to 3100cc as well as a myriad of trim specifications. The most popular engine was the 1600cc unit but the object of most desire, was the three litre, in all variants from the 1969 Mk.I to the 1981 3.0S and latterly, the 2.8. The Capri was ready for a special preview in Bonn, Germany on 21st  January, 1969, and then went on to be released to the press on 24th January, at the Brussels Motor Show. There had previously been a press preview in Cyprus but Ford had requested that nothing about the new car be published until 24th January to coincide with the show. Surprisingly, this request was honoured and the Capri caused a sensation at the Motor Show. The model would stay in production for 18 years, from 1969 to 1987.