eGarage http://egarage.com Stories in Motion™ Wed, 24 Jun 2015 17:27:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB Competizione http://egarage.com/car-profiles/ferrari-250-gt-berlinetta-swb-competizione/ http://egarage.com/car-profiles/ferrari-250-gt-berlinetta-swb-competizione/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 14:51:24 +0000 http://egarage.com/?p=15861 The first Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB produced were called Competition (Competizione) because they were specifically made for the track: a 280hp V12 with double bodied Weber carburetors, a four-speed manual gearbox, an alloy aluminum body over a chassis with tweaked suspension, and lightweight interior trim.

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Words and Photos: Raphael Belly

En Francais

Many years ago when I had just begun in the automotive world I knew very little about classic cars and classic Ferraris. When I was in an automotive journalist internship in Belgium, I used to drive press test cars at car dealers. One day I was picking up a Volkswagen Golf in Brussels and when I left the dealer’s garage I saw a yellow car at the gas station. I recognized it as a Ferrari so I stopped to take pictures but I couldn’t tell which Ferrari model it was. But I fell in love with it. After searching, I saw it was a Ferrari 250 GT SWB, a iconic model of Ferrari. But it’s only now, after many years of attending the Concorso D’Eleganza Villa D’Este, that I’m realizing the rarity of the car I saw years ago.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione Top

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione Rear Monaco

The Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB (Short Wheel Base) or also called Passo Corto in Italian has since became my favorite classic Ferrari ever. I wouldn’t have ever imagined having a photoshoot with one of these beauties. Sometimes, I forget how magic Monaco is and how some owners are kind. This is the story of a dream that came true.

The Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB was introduced first during the 1959 Paris Motorshow as the evolution of the Ferrari 250 GT Tour De France. The main difference is that the wheelbase is reduced to 2400mm (2600mm for the Ferrari 250 GT Tour De) hence the name: Short Wheel Base, compared to the Long Wheel Base (LWB) for the Tour De France and all other previous Ferrari. The wheel base was reduced for better handling and this wheel base became the standard. Same as the previous Ferrari cars, the car was designed by Pininfarina and bodied by Scaglietti.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione Top Monaco

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione side monaco

For me, it’s the most beautiful classic Ferrari ever produced, an incredibly elegant and classy Berlinetta. It’s small but beautiful, well proportionated, and look at its cute round backside accentuated by the 2×2 exhausts, how can you not fall in love?

The first Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB produced were called Competition (Competizione) because they were specifically made for the track: a 280hp V12 with double bodied Weber carburetors, a four-speed manual gearbox, an alloy aluminum body over a chassis with tweaked suspension, and lightweight interior trim. The 250 GT Berlinetta SWB Competizione was made for performance, both in acceleration, braking and handling, to a whole new level. It’s hard to get a precise production number but approximately 50 were made.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione

Later, the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB was introduced with a new heavier steel body. This model was called Lusso (also called Clienti) and was created with milder performance (compared to the Competizione version) and offered more road-ability. This name “Lusso” for the Berlinetta SWB is not the same as the 250 GT Lusso appearing in 1963, which was a full model. In the case of the Berlinetta SWB this term “Lusso” served essentially to differentiate it from the Competizione versions.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione Side Cliff

The power was also reduced to 240hp. Obviously, there was the opportunity to mix between the two basic specifications, depending upon the client’s specific wishes. In total around 170 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB were made (around 50 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB Competizione and the rest in Lusso version).

In addition to the performance, the main differences between Competizione version and Lusso is the addition of bumpers for the Lusso, a leather interior, slidable windows, and a better sound dampening which makes the weight jump from 1050kg (for the Competizione) to 1160kg for the Lusso.

We have to keep in mind that, since these cars were totally hand-fabricated, each 250 GT SWB Berlinetta could seem similar in appearance, but each was totally unique in reality.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione Side Monaco

According to Ferrari, there are some clues to identify the year of production of a SWB. “The overall design changed very little during the three-year production run from 1960 to 1962. However, there are a number of detail differences that identify the period of production of a specific car. In the early months of production the front and rear wings sides were plain, as was the boot lid. There was an exhaust air slot in the top centre of the rear screen, and the sliding door windows had a pronounced downward curve to the top rear edge, whilst the front valance featured a pair of rectangular slots to cooling ducts for the front brakes.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione Yellow

The cars produced from around the middle of 1960 featured vertical angled exhaust air slots on the front and rear wings, which had a trim surround on three sides, and teardrop-shaped indicators on the front wings. There was a license plate recess in the boot lid, and the brake cooling intake slots in the front valance had projecting surrounds. The late 1960 examples were very similar, apart from the cabin exhaust air slot moving from the rear screen to a recess in the trailing edge of the roof, and either sliding or wind-up door windows were available. If the latter option was specified, opening quarter lights were normally provided. All examples produced up to this point had an external fuel filler cap, located in a cut-out in the top left corner of the boot lid.

The main visual differences between the 1960 examples and those after 1961 were in the shape of the door windows, which had a straighter top edge, and the relocation of the fuel filler cap, which was either on the left rear wing or hidden within the boot.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione Side Monaco

There were also myriad smaller differences, like a slightly larger radiator grille and slight re-profiling of the rear wing shape, jacking point locations etc., together with individual customer styling, but the foregoing items identify the main differentiating features of the series.”

The yellow Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB I have in front of my camera is the 21st of the approximate 50 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB Competizione. It is Chassis number #1965GT from 13th June of 1960.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione Side Monaco

It was built as red and sold first to Ecurie Francorchamps (Belgium) for Jacques Van De Velde (Belgian driver). The Ecurie Francorchamps kept it 2 years until 1962. During this 2 years the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB Competizione #1965GT raced in Belgium until December of 1962 when it was deeply damaged during Angola Grand Prix in Luanda (Africa), driven by Robert Darville. The same year it was bought damaged by Piero Drogo (racing driver and Italian coachbuilder) who kept it in this state for 11 years until may of 1973. At this time, it still possessed its lead of customs between Belgium and Angola. When the cars crossed customs they received lead with a chain to mark the passage in customs with a number.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione Side cliff

Pierro Drogo also owned another 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione: #2445GT, which then became the Ferrari 250 GT Drogo Berlinetta since Piero Drogo reconstructed it with this new body (it was converted with this new body after its accident during 500 kilometers of Spa in 1964). Delivered in April, 1961 to the Ecurie Francorchamps (like #1965GT in 1960), Drogo sold #2445GT in the USA in 1964 (in California and more exactly to James Coburn). But to facilitate customs formalities bound to cross Italy towards USA, Piero Drogo decided to engrave #1965GT on the steering column, because it already had all the necessary papers from its export in Angola in 1962, thus it avoided numerous steps and long administrative deadlines.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione Front Monaco

This #2445GT was exported being passed off as #1965GT to facilitate the task. Piero Drogo (who died in April 1973) kept #1965GT in this damaged state 11 years until May 1973, when it was then put on sale after his death, with its chassis number engraved at the right place below towards the crankset, removing any possible doubt on its authenticity. Up to the neighborhood of chassis number #2000, the chassis numbers were engraved on the front left beam near the crankset. On the second series after first Competition, it was then engraved on the top of the chassis which holds the steering column.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione Top

Peter Bell (United Kingdom) bought it during the judicial sale in may 1973 and started to restore it only 13 years after in 1986 with its original chassis #1965, its engine #1965 and the as many original car parts as possible. The destroyed and unusable parts were replaced. 16 years after, in 2001 it was sold to our current owner who still owns the lead of customs.

For additional information on this Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB Competizione you can have a look at the following dedicated website : http://ferrari250swb-competition.com/index.html

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione Monaco Yacht

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione Heliport

We started to take pictures on the main dike of the Monaco Port Hercule. This is one of the only few picture spots in Monaco and it offers a great background of the Çasino with some beautiful boats and the sea.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione Heliport

Then we moved to the Héliport to get pictures of helicopters with the car.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione

Finally we drove up the hills to go to the Tête de Chien (Dog head) – a small hill which rises over Monaco, located in France in La Turbie. The road to reach La Turbie was amazing with the V12 screaming. The many corners of the dog head road was a pleasure, it was the opportunity to hear the car screaming through its accelerations.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione

When the sky was clear, the Tete de Chien gave us an amazing 180° view on the Mediterranean Sea and the French Riviera from Menton (and even until San Remo Italy) to Cannes. An unmissable point of view if you visit Monaco and his surroundings.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione

But all the good things come (unfortunately) to an end. After this dreamlike morning and some magical moments with the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB Competizione, it was time to thank the owner for having kindly driven his car outside and having taken some time for taking pictures with me. This will definitely be one of my best car memories.

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Ristorante Montana Ferrari http://egarage.com/current-interests/ristorante-montana-ferrari/ http://egarage.com/current-interests/ristorante-montana-ferrari/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 14:59:54 +0000 http://egarage.com/?p=15864 Ristorante Montana outside of the Ferrari factory is a must visit for any foodie and Ferrari enthusiast. Fantastic food prepared by Mamma Rosella surrounded by F1 helmets and race suits is an experience everyone that visits Maranello should have.

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Words and Photos: Drew Larrigan

Ferrari Ristorante Montana
People flock to Italy for many reasons, from the landscapes of Amalfi Coast, to Milan for the fashion trends, Venice for the history, and of course Tuscany draws the wine and food crowd. Experiencing the Italian culture should be on everyone’s bucket list that enjoys travel. For me, what has always drawn me to Italy was the dream to visit the Ferrari factory.Ferrari Ristorante Montana

Ferrari Ristorante MontanaToday, I am proud to say visiting the Ferrari factory happens almost as often as the season change. Every visit I experience Ferrari in a different way and I see a little bit more of what makes Ferrari, Ferrari. I’ve been invited as a VIP guest to see fascinating first looks at new reveals, and today I do business directly with them.Ferrari Ristorante MontanaWith all these long trips from Seattle to Bologna, there has been one opportunity I’ve continuously missed. That is the experience of Ristorante Montana.Ferrari Ristorante MontanaYou may have heard of this restaurant. It’s right outside of the Factory, and a stones throw away from Fiorano, Ferrari’s test track.  This place has been made famous as Ferrari’s workers and most loved F1 drivers are known to frequent there. You won’t be hard pressed to see other celebrities there either.Ferrari Ristorante MontanaThe reason Ristorante Montana has escaped me over the years is that I simply need to plan ahead. This foresight hasn’t been available to me with a very aggressive travel schedule. If you truly want to experience Emilian cuisine, then you best try to get a reservation.Ferrari Ristorante Montana

Ferrari Ristorante MontanaOnce inside, its hard not to want to examine all the memorabilia. From Michael Schumacher’s race suits, various F1 helmets, Pink Floyd drumsticks, and a photo collection of Ristorante’s favorite guest.Ferrari Ristorante Montana

Ferrari Ristorante MontanaOnce inside, do not expect to be handed a menu. The fantastic food prepared by Mamma Rosella is typically what is in season and what ingredients are available. For me, it was the house red wine and the chicken broth tortellini. The server said he could do a white sauce, but highly suggested the chicken broth. As much as I love Italian pizza, the tortellini was rich in flavor, nothing in Americanized Italian food can compare to it.Ferrari Ristorante MontanaTake my advice. Visit Ristorante Montana. Tell them eGarage sent you. The address is Via XX Settembre 3, 41040 Fiorano Modenese, Italy. Opening hours seem to vary, but they are typically open 12:00 – 1:30pm for lunch, and 7:30pm to 10:00pm for dinner. Or visit their website here.

 

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Steve Stanford - I'm Still That Kid http://egarage.com/videos/steve-stanford-im-still-that-kid/ http://egarage.com/videos/steve-stanford-im-still-that-kid/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 15:00:18 +0000 http://egarage.com/?post_type=videos&p=15917 Steve Stanford is a prolific automotive artist and custom car designer. His art is commissioned by builders and enthusiasts alike and has inspired countless people throughout hot rod culture.

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Steve Stanford is a prolific automotive artist and custom car designer. His art is commissioned by builders and enthusiasts alike and has inspired countless people throughout hot rod culture.

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Twin Turbo Road Runner http://egarage.com/car-profiles/twin-turbo-road-runner/ http://egarage.com/car-profiles/twin-turbo-road-runner/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2015 15:46:27 +0000 http://egarage.com/?p=15750 Check out this numbers matching 383 Ci Twin Turbo Road Runner named Roadkill with custom hood, dash, console, deck lid and side vents.

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Words and Photos: Jordan Cole

1970 Twin Turbo Road Runner “Roadkill” 2 Door Hardtop

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A numbers matching 383 Ci Twin Turbo Road Runner. Custom hood, dash, console, deck lid and side vents.

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The interior also features custom bucket seats and an engraved acrylic insert with LED lighting.

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The gauges are Classic Instruments paint matched to the theme of the car.

IMG_6825The turbos are Precision T4 turbos and the engine is true #’s matching to this car.

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The engine was disassembled and fully built for the turbo setup with special pistons and internals.

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The front suspension is a Control Freak front k-member kit with coil overs and the rear is a 4-link with coil over setup from the same company.

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The wheels and steering wheel were machined by Intro and have been painted/powder coated and pinstriped to fit the theme of the car.

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The body started as a post car and was customized into a hardtop.

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Under the Hood: The Spirit of DIY http://egarage.com/videos/under-the-hood-the-spirit-of-diy/ http://egarage.com/videos/under-the-hood-the-spirit-of-diy/#comments Fri, 05 Jun 2015 16:35:23 +0000 http://egarage.com/?post_type=videos&p=15777 We met up with Jay Agoot, a driving enthusiast from Washington State who performs all the work on his 370Z. He had just completed installation of a turbocharger and was shaking it down at Evergreen Speedway.

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We met up with Jay Agoot, a driving enthusiast from Washington State who performs all the work on his 370Z. He had just completed installation of a turbocharger and was shaking it down at Evergreen Speedway.

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Lykan Hypersport Abu Dhabi Police http://egarage.com/car-profiles/w-motors-lykan-hypersport-abu-dhabi-police/ http://egarage.com/car-profiles/w-motors-lykan-hypersport-abu-dhabi-police/#comments Fri, 05 Jun 2015 10:56:53 +0000 http://egarage.com/?p=15779 The first Arabic Supercar company W Motors collaborates with Abu Dhabi Police and releases the 780hp Lykan Hypersport on the streets of Abu Dhabi in honor of road safety.

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W Motors x Abu Dhabi Police x eGarage By: Drew Larrigan

Life can be all about timing. Here I am on a journey in the United Arab Emirates, a land very far and very different than life at home in Seattle.  The energy in the UAE is nothing like the laid back Pacific Northwest. People here live fast. The immense heat seems to never slow them down. Constant construction and creative projects seem to pop up everywhere you look.

I stumble upon the W Motors Lykan Hypersport as they released a car to the Police of Abu Dhabi.  780hp 0-60 in 2.8 second dream machine.  In collaboration with Abu Dhabi Police, W Motors wants to help promote road safety here in the UAE.  Under the Arab sun, we all know this is a land of high horsepower and luxury. W Motors is the first Arabian Supercar manufacturer and who better for the Abu Dhabi Police to collaborate with on their road safety project.

W Motors Lykan Hypersport Abu Dhabi PoliceW Motors Lykan Hypersport Abu Dhabi Police
W Motors Lykan Hypersport Abu Dhabi PoliceW Motors Lykan Hypersport Abu Dhabi PoliceW Motors Lykan Hypersport Abu Dhabi PoliceW Motors Lykan Hypersport Abu Dhabi PoliceW Motors Lykan Hypersport Abu Dhabi Police

W Motors Lykan Hypersport

W Motors Lykan Hypersport

W Motors Lykan Hypersport Abu Dhabi PoliceW Motors Lykan Hypersport Abu Dhabi PoliceW Motors Lykan Hypersport Abu Dhabi Police

W Motors Lykan Hypersport Abu Dhabi PoliceW Motors Lykan Hypersport Abu Dhabi PoliceW Motors Lykan Hypersport Abu Dhabi PoliceW Motors Lykan Hypersport Abu Dhabi PoliceW Motors Lykan Hypersport Abu Dhabi Police

 

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Normandy Off Road Rally http://egarage.com/current-interests/normandy-off-road-rally/ http://egarage.com/current-interests/normandy-off-road-rally/#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2015 15:28:12 +0000 http://egarage.com/?p=15221 Every year in September, when the weather is still friendly, a gang of French buddies organize a special rally off-road for vintage vehicles. But they don't only drive their cars, they also want to have a good lunch!

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Words and Photos: Thibault LE MER

Every year in September, when the weather is still friendly, a gang of French buddies organize a special rally off-road for vintage vehicles. But they don’t only drive their cars, they also want to have a good lunch! In the morning, each team gets a personal road-book with a mission: to find a farm and to bring good food from there to the picnic. Farmers are usually happy to sell their products to groups of 40-50 persons. And pedestrians and ecologists are happy not to see long trains of several cars cruising in the same place because every team has to go in different directions. Everybody has to finish his road-book at the same place anyway: the place of the picnic! It is usually chosen according to difficult land that is fun to drive! After eating barbecue and drinking some beers, it’s photo time!

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RENAULT R2087 / R2067  Torpédo 1963,  Clément SCHWOEBEL

As we can see from the color, this little truck comes from French army. Out of service since the 70’s, the new owner welcomes it with open arms. The 4wheel drive powered by a 2100cm3 engine is able to achieve max speed 80km/h. Just enough to feel the wind in your hair when drive top-less. It’s true, this vehicle doesn’t want to be a sport car but what a look!
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VW 1303 OFF-ROAD 19XX,  Thierry HERBILLON (Belgique)

High level custom for this old Beetle 1303 . The original chassis got a body-lift +5cm (2 in.), whole front suspension rebuilt as a “Mac Pherson” system +10cm (4 in.) and max adjusting rear train. Front tires are 195/80/15 (27-8/15 ) and backs are 215/80/15 (29-8/15 ). Brakes are also rebuilt with discs from Mercedes C200. Engine was upgraded with a 1915 cm3 around 80HP and gear box from VW combi. Built to the be wild !

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IMG_1883 Peugeot 504 pick-up DANGEL 1988, Philippe DUVAL

At the beginning of the 80’s, Peugeot was already well known for their hardy commercial vehicles. It wasn’t enough for the partner manufacturer Henry DANGEL. DANGEL SA  first built a Peugeot 504 estate 4 wheel drive and quickly understood lots of interest with the 504 pick-up version. Around 3000 units of 504 Pick-up DANGEL have been produced for customers such as French army, “Electricité de France”, and lot of fire brigades. Now, these old timers are out of service and come available every few years on the second-hand market!

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Peugeot 505 BREAK DANGEL 1987, Philippe BROSSE

This PEUGEOT 505 was first made in the brand factory in 2 wheel drive version and then prepared in partnership by DANGEL Company to become a real OFF-ROAD car. As all other DANGEL vehicles, this car get a 4 wheel drive transmission system with limited slip. And + 8cm (3,15 in.) height. Some versions got the fabulous V6 PRV such as in the DELOREAN. Delivered with 5 or 7 seats, it could be quite a family car and was a comfortable OFF-ROADER when you need it.

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VLR DELAHAYE 1951,  Jean-Bernard RENAUX

Born in 1949 to remove the Jeep, Ford & Willys bought at the US Army, DELAHAYE built this Jeep and has presented it to the French Army. DELAHAYE was well known with the luxury car before the 2nd World war and put several “high” technologies on his jeep: differential locking, independent suspension, special oil system designed against failure.

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VLR DELAHAYE 1951, Philippe HENRY

Lots of these old jeeps are still on the road today and Philippe and his car drive every year 250km to be with us .

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VW typ 181  1974  Original, Thierry Bonneau

Beetle chassis and body based on the old German army light vehicle called “kubelwagen”.  Native high crossing capacity upgraded with an experienced driver always makes for good pictures.

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VW type 181 1970  Customized, Steve BASTIEN

This guy was first crazy about old classic cars. He discovered the OFF-ROAD world a few years ago and has now a second reason to be so crazy in cars! His VW 181 white “Porsche Rescue” called “the Yeti” has a body-Lift + 8cm, a  1600cm3 engine with 2 carburetors, rear transmission with reduction . You just have to put good tires to be able to drive everywhere!

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Renault R4 « 4L »  19XX,  Ghislain REMY

A symbolic French popular vehicle, built more than 8 million units from 1961 to 1992, it makes older people nostalgic and the new generation happy too especially with a humanitarian rally organized every year in Africa. The “Student Challenge Rally” allows possibility to transport plants against desertification. Every competitor stops at the beginning of the desert for a day of planting. Then they go back on road to continue the race. For people who watch lot of movies, we can see an example of the Renault 4L in “Romancing the Stone”.

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Renault Rodeo SINPAR  1977 – Loïc DUVAL

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IMG_2108 RENAULT  18 Break 1981  réplique Dakar 1985 – Cyril LEGUY

Another Renault less popular than the « 4L » but also legendary for the 3 taking part in famous Rallye Paris-Dakar (1984-85-86). Completing the race at the same time as Mitsubishi, Toyota, and Mercedes official teams, 2 brothers built this prototype based on a Renault R18. “Based” only because most parts were changed or upgraded, the whole front face was cut and replaced by a Renault R30 face in order to install a V6 engine! This R18 is a domestic version of the prototype with only +5cm height suspension reinforced and upgraded engine. This one maintains street legal status, even if she prefers the difficult off-road way.

IMG_2300 Mercedes Unimog 411- 1960 – Nicolas BEGUIN

In the heavyweight range (2900Kg empty), we usually meet this kind of vehicle on building site or lumber yard. Engine 2300cm3 gasoil, short chassis, upgraded brakes (disk instead of original drums), along with 40cm ground clearance gives it a look of a forest wild beast. And yes it is!

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1965 Buick Riviera - Freak Sinatra http://egarage.com/car-profiles/1965-buick-riviera-freak-sinatra/ http://egarage.com/car-profiles/1965-buick-riviera-freak-sinatra/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2015 17:17:17 +0000 http://egarage.com/?p=15752 1965 Buick Riviera / Owner : Nic@eGarage.com Satin Black Vinyl Wrap (2009) / Exhaust and build by SS Customs  Suspension by AccuAir / eLevel  Wheels by MobSteel / Detroit Steel Wheels

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1965 Buick Riviera / Owner : Nic@eGarage.com

Satin Black Vinyl Wrap (2009) / Exhaust and build by SS Customs 

Suspension by AccuAir / eLevel 

Wheels by MobSteel / Detroit Steel Wheels
Rivi Front D 3-4 (2) Rivi profile-top Rivi Rear clouds Rivi Down Low Rivi Rear D 3-4Rivi F P 3-4 (2) Rivi P front 3-4 Rivi P low Rivi Rear

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Lamborghini Miura P400 http://egarage.com/car-profiles/lamborghini-miura-p400/ http://egarage.com/car-profiles/lamborghini-miura-p400/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 15:17:44 +0000 http://egarage.com/?p=15678 Lamborghini personally chooses "Miura", the name of a particular race of fighting bull. Ferruccio had this idea when he visited a Spanish breeder of fighting bulls owned by Don Eduardo Miura, near Seville. Miura is a bull very appreciated in the bullfighting universe because of its power. It boasts a reputation of a robust fighting spirit.

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Words and Photos: Raphael Belly

Complete high resolution gallery HERE

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The history of a car manufacturer is punctuated with tops and bottom, with new cutting edge developments and with mythical models that mark its history forever. For the Cavallino, Ferrari, we all know the myth around the 250 GTO. And for the bull, Lamborghini, the Miura marked the spirit of the Automotive world both for its revolutionary technical side and the purity of its lines.

The Lamborghini Miura’s tremendous media impact can be understood only if we look into the past, to the end of 1960s, when the Miura was in its prime.

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All the magazines that published a Miura image, often accompanied it with a dreamlike creature. The car is used all over the world for movies and broadcast productions. Kids own scale Miura models, even in wired remote control. Even the name is suggestive and exotic, it rings true. Miura, five irresistible letters, with a Latin charm and reminds inevitably of the hot challenges between bulls and toreros. Born only from the will of two young engineers of Lamborghini, the Miura embodies the archetypal sports car.

PICTURE 03

In the 1965 Turin Motorshow, Lamborghini displayed a naked frame of the Miura. Its design and its drawing give her an innovative aspect. It is unofficially baptized “400 TP “, and this naming highlights an unexpected characteristic for those who know the manufacturer Ferruccio Lamborghini and his taste for the competition. This chassis is the same as that of a racing car, a passionate choice of two young technicians of Sant’ Agata Bolognese: Gian Paolo Dallara and Paolo Stanzani.

Although they are more or less certain to suffer a refusal of their direction, both engineers launch into a realization of a welded chassis, with folded and leaky sheet steel body. They install in the rear the V12 engine of the 400 GT transverse position (in Italian, transversale posteriore, or “TP”), located behind the passenger compartment. Typical on the racing cars of this time, this location is never again seen on a touring civilian car. Finally, the gearbox and the differential of the Miura are attached to the crankcase in a single block.

PICTURE 04

Presenting their creation to Ferrucio Lamborghini, both of the young Paolos, Dallara and Stanzani, are afraid of his reaction. But much to their surprise, he accepts the project. “It will be good advertising for our house”, grants the boss to his technicians. “But we shall sell no more than 50 units. And for the competition, do not even think of it!”. A young designer at Nuccio Bertone, Marcello Gandini is called by Lamborghini to dress the Miura chassis.

For once, the forecasts of Lamborghini turn out inaccurate, the Miura will become a bestseller and an icon for Lamborghini. Nevertheless, it never participated officially in competitions. Only some units were hired in races, with some known drivers such as the German Gerhard Mitter and the ltalian Marcello Gallo.

PICTURE 05

 

While I’m photographing the car, I take advantage of it to move closer to the owner and ask him why he chose this car, the opportunity for him to explain the story of his Miura and its purchase:

“When I bought it in 1991, there werr 3 Miura for sale: one red, the engine was unsettled and under repair so I passed on this car. Another, which was in very good state with original interior came with a hefty price. And finally, there was this pistachio green Miura. At first I did not find green that elegant, but I had this opportunity and the car had only 21000 kilometers. On the other hand, the inside was “Texan”: leather embroidered cow skin white and black sewn with big laces, etc. Thus, of course it was cheaper than the others, the budget suited me a little more, and I let myself be tempted even though it was not the color I wanted.”

PICTURE 07

“Once at home, I wanted to repaint it yellow. I had even bought several Miuras at 1/18 scale that I painted in several colors to give me ideas: one in grey, one in yellow, one red. My wife convinced me to leave it green at the moment. But I decided to completely re-do the interior. We expected the seats to be in a nasty state because the previous owner had covered them with this “Texan” leather to mask their degraded state, but under this leather the seats were in an exceptional totally original state.

I began to enter the car into some concours. In particular in Mougins (France) in the 1990s was where my Miura entered the first one in its category. It is at this moment, by looking at it on the lawns of the concours that I began to appreciate it with its green tint.”

PICTURE 08

“One year during this same concours Mougins, Tonino Lamborghini (the son of Ferrucio Lamborghini) was invited to Mougins for a gathering with only Lamborghini cars. Tonino then came to see me and said, “Bravo to have kept this Miura in the original color”. It is necessary to know that the first Miura was painted in pistachio green, called “Verde Green”, verging on yellow, while that of the SV was a pistachio green verging on a green apple, called “Verde Miura” or “Lime Green “, and a certain SV was painted “Rio Green”, and even one in “British Racing Green”.”

“I have never had any mechanical problems, except for some carburation regulations. It is a fantastic car, full of unique aspects giving it the the most beautiful driving sensations: its driving position, its unique character, and its noise.”

PICTURE 06

The sport chassis of the Miura, so unusual for a road GT, does not go unnoticed. Nuccio Bertone, the very renowned designer of many prestigious cars, immediately falls in love with it. According to the official biographies of Lamborghini, he showed his enthusiasm to Ferruccio during one face to face with him, “I am the one who can make a shoe for your foot”.

A handshake later, everybody set to work, Ferruccio wanting his “TP 400″ to be ready for the Geneva International Motorshow at the end of February, 1966. Bertone saw only the naked chassis in Turin, in October, 1965. Gandini had only four months to secure the agreement between both men, and to create the driving prototype of the Miura.

PICTURE 10

Actually, the challenge was brilliantly accomplished. As expected, the Swiss Show crowned her queen in March, 1966. Marcello Gandini, a few years later said, “we worked seven days a week and practically 24 hours every day”. During the Geneva International Motorshow, the displayed Miura is a prototype, fitted with wheels, lights and with a trunk door in a single part, made with plexiglass.

Very quickly, the car was fitted with rims called Campagnolo in alloy, while, to optimize the engine cooling, its plastic “lid” is replaced by a similar part but with parallel and horizontal lines, in a shape dedicated to the evacuation of the hot air. This configuration is nowadays traditional, but, at this time the Miura was the first road car to get this feature.

The front lights and their vertical “lashes” on the hood are the distinctive feature) of the Miura first version, in 1966. The back trunk is said “of courtesy”. It can contain hardly more than a small suitcase. The spare wheel is also accommodated under the trunk, a placement typical of the competition cars.

PICTURE 11

The engine of “TP 400″ was the classic V12, stemming from the initial project of the engineer Giotto Bizzarrini. Compared to the 400 GT versions, the engine of the Miura was refined and optimized. The 4L V12 kept its bore, but its engine revs and compression were modified. The value of maximum torque was 369 Nm at 5100 rpm, and the power reached 350 HP at 7000 rpm. It was very light, weighing only 980kg, the maximum speed was estimated at more than 280 kph.

A power level very important at this time because the Formula 1 world champion of this time was a Lotus of “only” 205 HP. As for the Porsche 911, it was 130 HP at that time. Actually, the maximum speed of 280 kph and the accelerations outstrip clearly the rivalry. The SV version (with its 385 HP) will afterward be timed at 288,6 kph.

PICTURE 12

PICTURE 12A

At this stage, the only thing that remains is to give a name to this new car. Lamborghini personally chooses “Miura”, the name of a particular race of fighting bull. Ferruccio had this idea when he visited a Spanish breeder of fighting bulls owned by Don Eduardo Miura, near Seville.

Ferruccio never wanted to reveal what pushed him to choose this comparison with a bullfighting race. Miura is a bull very appreciated in the bullfighting universe because of its power. It boasts a reputation of a robust fighting spirit. As for Ferrucio Lamborghini, he was born under the astrological sign of the bull, and his admirers identify his strong mind and forward thinking.

PICTURE 13

The fact remains that, after the Miura, all future Lamborghinis will be placed under the sign of the bull. Indeed, with rare exceptions, as the Countach for example, all the successive models of the of Sant’ Agata Bolognese house were baptized under names evoking bullfighting.

PICTURE 14

After a sunny morning playing with this rare and elegant bull, it is time to return to its “finca” (Spanish for meadow in which fighting bulls are raised) where his owner pampers it. I made sure to thank him for this unforgettable moment.

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A Strait Awareness http://egarage.com/uncategorized/a-strait-awareness/ http://egarage.com/uncategorized/a-strait-awareness/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 16:02:57 +0000 http://egarage.com/?p=15623 If you’re lucky enough to live your dreams, don’t take it for granted. Appreciate the good and the bad while you have it, then turn around and take it all in; like standing at the (literal) edge of your country, next to the love of your life, soaking in the breathtaking sight and doing all of it ‘your way.’

Strait Awareness WEST 1000

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Words and Photos: WEST X 1000

Strait Awareness WEST 1000

Sometimes you have to rewind a bit in order to really grasp hold of what you’ve done – to observe, objectively, a juncture in your life. So I suppose I should begin this story from the end, when I was standing maybe five-feet from a 300 foot vertical drop. Less if you consider that what I was standing on was nothing more than a precarious dirt floor perched over an edge. Justin stood close behind, in as much awe as me, I suspect. He took pictures, capturing the silent juncture we were sharing in the presence of something beautiful.

Strait Awareness Trail

Strait Awareness Dirt

One wrong step and I’d tumble (more like free fall) down to the Strait of Juan de Fuca – the only waterway that connects the Pacific Ocean to the Puget Sound. The view was crystal-colored: swells of blue and turquoise water, sparkling in the sun. Sizable cliffs, though dwarfed by my current location, protect what is most precious further inland of the waves. Justin and I lamented. This was the last of the bunkers, the last “treasure” in our hunt, and we were sad to be finished. As every obstacle we encountered from “here on out,” we had encountered before.

Strait Awareness Trees

The bunker, or battery, was a modest “two-bedroom apartment” that had enough space for just two machine guns, a couple cots, some household needs and a fire. Or so we speculated. Active since 1940, and constructed for WWII, this bunker was the brightest, the most inviting, the hardest to get to and, for that reason, the least disturbed of the bunch.

Strait Awareness Trail

Strait Awareness Bunker

The group joked about moving in for the summer. Bringing the most basic personal items, it needed to be comfortable and we could make the place ours. When reality kicked (back) in, the glare from outside the rectangular cement window drew us in like moths. Everyone seemed at ease. The memory of the hardships we endured to get there began to fade. This one wasn’t the most impressive in size, nor story. It was a place that had to be earned. And as “Adventure Motorcyclists,” this fact was the only encouragement we needed.

Strait Awareness Bunker

Andy was our guide – a good friend of Justin’s and fast-growing friend of mine. He’s lived on the Olympic Peninsula his entire life, and to say he’s scoured it from top to bottom is an understatement! He planned to lead us on a four-day, off-road excursion in search of what I deemed to be America’s present “ruins.”

Strait Awareness WEST 1000

Each day we’d take wide gravel roads, varying in how much maintenance they’d seen over the years, which sometimes split into narrow complex paths like the slender fingers of a river. Our trials ranged from ruts to whoops, water-crossings to dried-up creek beds, and more. My biggest challenge, however, was keeping up. Each rider had their own skill level, all of which seemed to dwarf mine. However none of them felt inclined to leave me in the dust (gratefully). This harmony amongst the group made the difficult parts of the search seem almost laughable. Almost.

Strait Awareness Bunker

A few of us had unknowingly overlooked the first battery on our list the afternoon prior. Without Andy, we couldn’t remember where the proper door was. We parked atop a level, albeit still quite large, mound of earth. When we finally made it inside, what we found was an unassumingly large, chilly, pitch black series of rooms. If our lights had failed us, we would be left to wander aimlessly in the dark – pissing ourselves,

Strait Awareness Bunker

I’m sure – feeling our way around very carefully through the concrete halls, praying not to fall into a ditch. Anticipating the trip, I had wondered if I’d be anxious inside of the bunkers. Knowing that I had no real idea what exactly went on in there over the years. What creepy tales still loitered; trapped forever between the walls. Just who, or what, has lingered through these ruins?

Strait Awareness Bunker

Many, many forgotten fortresses line Washington’s coasts. Millions of taxpayers’ dollars went into the massive six to sixteen-inch guns, which, later reduced to 500 tons of scrap metal, had only been test-fired… once! The technology used to spin the turrets at the flick of a wrist, could likewise turn ’round a train car. It’s all very intriguing when you put it together – absorbing what knowledge of the once great relics that you can glean from Google, and then standing in their presence. The second noteworthy site on our list was just that, “great.” So big, so deep inside – we speculated – that it was the only one of the bunch to be barred at all entries.

Strait Awareness Bunker

In front of the steel gates we stretched our eyes as wide and far as they could reach to try and get a good look. Cut outs in the walls told us that there may have been a track installed, used to shuffle munitions (and ?) around the corridors. A strong breeze through the gate revealed the possibility of multiple levels dug, who-knows-how-far, below the first. Vegetation clung to the exterior, draping loosely off of the roof, which was hiding in plain sight. The pine trees around the bunker were so tall, so thick; I could hardly believe there was a clearing that faced the Strait less than a century ago.

Strait Awareness Lake

We hiked around on foot, stumbling over the giant cylindrical outline of what once held the military’s finest in artillery – that same turret that twirled a piece of a train like a ballroom-dancer – the one whose gun could fire 28 miles out toward any poor soul who dared it. I left that day a little proud of what we’d “found,” knowing quite well that this was a regular stop on Andy’s ‘Olympic Peninsula Moto-Tour.’

Strait Awareness WEST 1000

After dusk, conversation grew as we gathered ‘round the campfire. Excitement from the day had barely begun to dwindle, though our bodies weighed heavily from exhaustion. By the next day’s end, however, Justin and I had soaked at the Sol Duc hot springs – a necessary luxury as far as I’m concerned. Treasure-hunting for bunkers wasn’t just some trip to some destination. It was an opportunity to become a part of its history.

Strait Awareness River

Until those structures truly succumb to the forest, my existence (in some way) was added to the countless number of untold stories that the next explorers might try to piece together. That had to be earned. What we rode our motorcycles through that week tested both our limits and willpower, things that all people should know about themselves. I discovered my limits that week from the many challenges we faced – a discovery worth maybe a little more than the “treasures” we discovered.

Strait Awareness Hill

We raced the sun to our last bunker. We stopped at a gate where Andy made a sharp right into the woods and was gone. We followed suit and pursued him along the most technical trail of our expedition. There was not one trace of a tire track or footstep on our path. By the time we reached our prize, my heart pounded and sweat poured while I struggled to remove my sticky riding gear.

Strait Awareness Road

At the edge of the cliff, overlooking that crystal blue ocean, I reminisced. This week taught me to take chances, seek out adventure and not waste time waiting for it to find you. Most of all, if you’re lucky enough to live your dreams, don’t take it for granted. Appreciate the good and the bad while you have it, then turn around and take it all in; like standing at the (literal) edge of your country, next to the love of your life, soaking in the breathtaking sight and doing all of it ‘your way.’

Strait Awareness Night

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