Wheels - it's the rush.

If any of the pix are yours - thanks! Don't intend to rip anyone off, so please accept my sincere thanks as they're the best pix I can find out there.
I just want to honour these wicked wheels.


Wheels are cool - just ask any bloke...

You can be 7 or 9, or like the guy driving this E-Type, more like 79...

Whatever - wheels are still way cool.


Ferrari 288-GTO.

Now there's a classic.

My personal favourite. (closely followed by the '67 Pontiac GTO)

Interestingly, this was built for Group-B rally, just over 200 units.
Put out about 500hp.

1984.

Funny thing is Toyota put together a 600+hp AW11 MR2 variant for Group-B rally about the same time.

I have two AW11 MR2s and they're probably as close as I'll ever get to owning a 288-GTO. They go well enough and heck can they get around corners! Toyota built 3 prototypes for Group-B but before a homologation run could be churned out the class was scrapped after a horrific crash-and-burn (a Ford I think?). Bummer. I love driving my Toymota...

Anyway - back to the beautiful 1984 Ferrari 288-GTO

 
 

Stunning beast.

Not too sexy perhaps - more kinda brutal, like a hatchet or something...
Whatever. I like it.

And not that much faster than a bog-standard AW11SC MR2 actually (of 3 years later).
But if you ask me it's just the perfect shape. So much style...

In my opinion only a Lambo Miura comes close.
Perhaps a bit more sexy, though not as gnarly. Fairly comparable performance...


And here (below) is the 600+ hp 4wd Group-B AW11 from Toyota. Faster than either, but not as classy.
Still, you gotta hand it to Toyota. An MR2 as quick as an F1 car of the day...

Damn shame they only built 3 protoypes before Group B got killed off.
A homologation series one would have been quite a score, had a couple of hundred been built.
Of the three built apparently only one survives.

 
 

Here's pix of Toyota's Group-S AW11 MR2 (400hp) version, now on display in a museum in Tokyo.
Ugly as sin perhaps, but then it could go like the Devil...

 
 
 

AW11 MR2 parts manual, BGB etc here...


Below: the Radical SR3.

Aptly named, with a 1500cc Suzuki motorcycle engine and insane performance.
One of these set a production car track record around the Nurburgring (see video).
The best bit is you can buy them road legal, new, for only about $100,000 Au
Go to their web site for details.

I'd love to try doing a similar thing one day with AW11SC running gear.
Take the car and use the chassis as the template for an aluminium spaceframe job.
Use the original supercharged engine (but tricked up) and original suspension (more or less).
Keep the centrally positioned gas tank (a good safe concept) but make it out of ali and replace all the glass with plexiglass. Basically, double the power and halve the weight.
Whoosh!

I reckon you could get at least Lotus Elise performance for less than $20k
If I ever have a "spare" $20k...

I seem to recall Top Gear track-tested a Radical SR3 with absurdly quick results - blitzed everything.
Then pulled it off the board for not being strictly production if I remember rightly. Shame on you Jeremy!
Ah well, at least he loved the Holden ("cough - Vauxhall - cough") Monaro...

All a Radical needs is a removable plexiglass cowling from dash to rollbar and you'd be sweet for the daily whizz to work. Well, if their maintenance cycle was a little less frequent perhaps...

I've only ever seen one similar car on the road - but with a fully enclosed cockpit and the driver in the centre.
No idea what it was except it was yellow, insanely squat and wide and looked hellishing fast.
Whatever it was, it was wider then my Holden and half as high as my MR2!

 

Above - Radical SR3 1500cc.

Below - Radical SR9 entered at Le Mans 2007 in the LMP2 class by Team Bruichladdich Radical.
This is the 2nd-rate class at Le Mans, ahead of the GT1 class populated by things like works versions of Aston-Martin DBR9, Saleen SR7, Corvette C6R, Ferrari 550 Maranello and Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT. None of which are particularly slow...


And then there's the Ariel Atom.

Pure performance, nothing less (and nothing more).
If you like the buzz of a bike but you've now got kids and want a little more safety, this is for you. One of these beat a superbike around Top Gear's track and obtained 2nd place on the board just behind the Enzo.

The Honda v-tec powered model is the one to get.
I've only ever seen one, in a BP gas station in Mt Albert, Auckland NZ.

Bonus on the Radical is this thing has better ground clearance and a much less demanding maintenance cycle (as far as I can glean from the manufacturers' specs) making it more eligible for road use.

 
 

Holdens - I mean hey, I'm a Westie, right?

OK, so if you don't know what a Westie is, it's a West Aucklander - a.k.a. petrol head, bogan etc...
No shortage of them around here - heck a Subaru Impreza took out my front fence last weekend after losing it in the wet.
West Auckland has (officially - government stats here) the highest per-capita ownership of V8's in New Zealand.
And Supercheap Autos left West Auckland 'till last when opening stores over here? What kinda market research is that?
Anyway... Like my Tee-shirt with the wheel-standing blown HR Holden on it says, "Proud to be a Westie".

Above - a Westie wearing obligatory black.

Westies typically have either a mullet or a shaved head and may sport a beard, sometimes looking a bit like a member of ZZ-Top.
Often as not they are into the kind of music that goes with the look. Obviously the cars have to fit the mix too...
Westies are typically a bit rough around the edges but are generally community-minded and caring folk even if they can come across as a bit fierce or wayward on first impression. Mind you, some just are. A bit fierce and wayward, that is... But then so are most businessmen and bankers...

Anyway - Holdens.

These pix are courtesy of General Motors Holdens.
If you're into cars go check out the ultimatecarpage.com site where I got them!

The Efijy is a concept car built by General Motors Holdens (Australia) and shown off around the planet at shows.
It has more-or-less V8 Supercar under the body, but with an auto gearbox, and a wicked retro styled body created in honour of the legendary FJ.

If this car were produced, even with a price tag of maybe quarter of a mil, I figure if the performance really is as per V8 supercar (about the same as a Spa-spec Ferrari Maranello) then surely they'd sell like hotcakes?
Heck with these looks, if they did a limited run of a couple of hundred units and the performance was even as good as an HSV Commodore, they'd have to sell. If I had the money I'd be pestering them to build me one right now.

This would be one of those all-time classics, especially for us Westie bogans...
(and don't think us Westies are all too poor for an Efijy, Holden. I've seen brand new Ferraris and Mustangs in garages just up the road from my humble home...)

Of course if Holden never actually produce and sell it, it'll never be a classic.
Just a pipe-dream...

 
 
 

And then there's my old Holden.

1966 HR. Original 186, but worked to pretty-much XU1 specs.
(except the triple carbs are still in the shed so it's running a Holley).
LSD, four-speed manual M21 Holden box, Commodore electronic ignition, modified suspension etc...
Oddly enough my old blue beastie is only 100kg heavier than a Bathurst XU1 Torana.
So it goes ok... Gets around corners about as well as a new Commodore too.
Can still suffer from brake fade though if pushed too hard...
And it's loud, and not exactly eco-friendly.
And the steering's as loose as...

No power steering, no traction control, no anti-lock braking.
If a boy racer pinched it he'd pay with his life, methinks...
My tail-happy 2 is tame by comparison.

The old beast isn't entirely bog-standard anymore, but then it does do 0-100kmh in 6 seconds instead of the original 19, so who cares? Bit of an improvement...

The thing with tricking up an old tank like this, is you need to remember it might go well enough, but it won't stop or handle as well as the accelleration might suggest. At the end of the day it's still an old car, half-century old technology, so you have to allow for a bit of a margin. Like I said, anyone used to a modern car would probably kill himself if he took it for a joy-ride. Gave me a couple of good frights when I first tricked it up.

Drinks a hell of a lot of gas too, and the gas guage is buggered...

So is the diff... and a tyre is delaminating.

And the rust has come back.

Hey, we had some fun.

It might not be an Efijy but it sure was a blast...
Got to get the old beast back on the road.
Holdens rock!

 
 

A few motor vids for your amusement.

These are NOT streaming video so I've zipped them up.

You will need to download them, unzip and then watch them.

And please do NOT link to them on this site - put them on yours instead please!

Else I'll end up having to take them down.

A cruise in an AW11 MR2 - (no it's not me) - 35MB

A ride through Paris in an older Ferrari - (it's called "Rendezvous") just love the sound of that engine! - 35MB

Mercedes CLK flips at Le Mans in 1999 - 3/4 MB

Nurburgring in a Radical SR3 (was a new production car track record) - 27MB

The Ford Sport Ka ad with the pigeon (the Ka's evil twin) - 1/2 MB

Le Mans Tour de Circuit - 32MB