In the early 2000’s, The Nations Cup Championship held in Australia was a personal favourite of mine to watch. The Championship featured exotic road cars including the Porsche 911 996 GT3, Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge and Dodge Viper ACR. Talented Tasmanian Paul Stokell was my favourite driver of the time and he drove a Lamborghini Diablo SVR throughout the 2000 and 2001 series.
Aston Martin and the James Bond film series have always been strongly affiliated, starting in 1964 when a beautiful DB5 featured in ‘Goldfinger’. Any enthusiast of the films will know that there have been times when other manufacturers were used, including Lotus, BMW and even AMC. Since 2002 however, when an Aston Martin Vanquish was used in ‘Die Another Day’, Aston’s have been a regular part of the film series.
The Toyota Corolla has always been a popular small car and around 44 million have been sold since the model’s introduction in 1966. The Corolla is currently in its 12th generation and utilises the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) modular chassis family, resulting in lower noise, improved rigidity and a lower centre of gravity.
The BMW M3 E36 and Nissan 300ZX Z32 were two of the best performance cars to come out of the 1990’s. In 1990, the 300ZX cost $69,720 while in 1994 the M3 cost a hefty $124,650. There are a number of similarities between the two cars. They’re both good looking two door coupes. Both have three litre six-cylinder naturally aspirated engines featuring double overhead camshafts and 24 valves with the M3 being an in-line six and the 300ZX a V6.
My good friend Matthew Harpantidis has owned some great cars over the years but one that really stands out for me is his 1975 Mk1 Ford Escort. I’ve always loved Escorts and the success they had in the World Rally Championship throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s. I still have fond memories of Matt’s car and all the time that we spent driving around Healesville in the early 2000’s. Matt still owns the Escort so it was a great opportunity to ask him about the history of the car and what’s planned for the future.
My first E-book can be found on Amazon and focuses on new and used car reviews, significant road and race cars, Australian motor racing circuits and other motoring related topics. Continue reading “Stories from the motoring world E-book”
There were so many great cars to come out of Japan in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. There was the Honda NSX, Mazda RX-7, Subaru WRX, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Toyota Supra. A car that stood out for me was the Nissan 300ZX Z32. Admittedly, the naturally aspirated version didn’t have the outright performance of these other Japanese greats but I loved the futuristic styling and the front engine, rear wheel drive layout.
The Aussie Driver Search has grown significantly since its inception in 2016 and gives anyone an opportunity at motorsport. This year’s Aussie Driver Search features a lot more events with a greater number of prizes on offer for the winners. I was fortunate enough to be invited along to the Rookie Competition this year to compete at Sandown Raceway however noise restrictions meant a change of location to the iconic Phillip Island Circuit.
Australian’s really are spoilt at the moment if they’re in the market for a hot hatch. There’s Honda’s rapid Civic Type R, Volkswagen’s evergreen Golf GTI and Ford’s wonderful Focus RS to name a few. Hyundai have recently entered the hot hatch game with the i30N, a car that’s been developed under the guidance of former BMW M boss Albert Biermann.
When the Toyota 86 was introduced back in 2012, motoring enthusiasts welcomed the return of an exciting two door rear wheel drive sportscar from the Japanese manufacturer. The 86 was built as a spiritual successor to the Corolla AE86; with the aim of the 86 to bring back memories of the light, nimble and modestly powered Corolla. The current Toyota 86 is certainly a car that’s been built for motoring enthusiasts with the intention of bringing fun back to driving.
The fuel crisis of the early-to-mid 1970s changed the performance automobile landscape for many countries. The majority of heavy-hitting American muscle cars were emasculated – strangled through weaker fuel, conservative carburation and lower compression ratios, dropping specific power to depressing new lows.
With the unfortunate recent demise of local manufacturing of rear wheel drive sedans from Ford and Holden in Australia, viable alternatives are now few and far between. When news broke of Korean company Kia introducing the Stinger GT in early 2017, I wondered if this car would be a viable substitute for our homegrown Falcon’s and Commodore’s. Continue reading “Kia Stinger GT Review”
It was great to grow up in the 1990’s and a major highlight was spending many hours playing car games on the PC and early PlayStation’s. Games like Need for Speed 2 SE (1997) and Gran Turismo 2 (1999) were a personal highlight and although the quality of car racing games has improved dramatically in the last 20 years, these games featured some very rare supercars worth mentioning. Continue reading “Rare Supercars”
MG Metro 6R4
The MG Metro 6R4 was built on a production line at Longbridge and arrived too late into the Group B competition to make any real impact. The 6R4 outlived its Group B rivals, however its best result was on its debut at the 1985 RAC Rally, where it placed third with Tony Pond. The car had a different engine configuration to its counterparts and featured a mid-engined three litre V6 with four wheel drive. Continue reading “Group B Rally Cars”