Tag Archives: car

The S4 Was A Beast

A while back I posted some shots of a Lancia Delta Integrale.  The Integrale was the road homologous on version of the rally car that came about when the Group B rally cars were closed out.  However, the Group B cars were the really crazy ones.  The S4 was the Lancia that competed in Group B.  It replaced the Lancia 037 and, at Chateau Ste. Michelle, the two were on show together.  Both were road versions for homologous on but they were both beasts.

The S4 was the pinnacle of crazy rally cars.  A huge engine and four wheel drive in what was really not a road car.  They built some to meet the rules and this was one of them.  It was surprisingly nicely finished on the interior given what type of car it was.  However, the way in which the body looked like it was different pieces bolted together made you know this was not a car designed for consumers.  I was designed with a single purpose in mind.  However, it looked like it could eat anything else on the road.  What as absolute monster.

The Supercar That Kind Of Wasn’t

One of the more interesting vehicles (among a ton of interesting vehicles) at the Avants event in Woodinville was a Jaguar XJ220.  This was something that was developed in the early 90s and was supposed to be a big impact in the super car world.  Intended to get to about 200mph (which it almost did), it was a huge vehicle with a twin turbocharged V6 engine (not the V12 which was originally considered).  It was long, wide and very fast.  It was also very expensive costing something like GBP400k at the time.

Unfortunately for it, the super car market took a bit of a dive at that time with the economy not being great.  Also, McLaren introduced the F1 which was fast and light.  (It also did not seem terribly well because of the same market conditions but did turn a small profit when the racing versions were sold.)  Production of the XJ220 never reached the intended numbers and the unsold vehicles at the end of the line ultimately were sold for some pretty low prices.  It just didn’t really arrive at the right time.

It is a hell of a car to see in person.  It is very big.  The width of the vehicle head on is impressive but the length of it is something else.  It also seems quite unusual compared to more modern cars in that the wheels are a long way in from each end of the car.  The wheels themselves are strange too with quite a small wheel compared to the tire unlike a modern super car with low profile tires.  It’s a shame that it never really had the impact that was intended but it was cool to see one out on display.

Jaguar Details

During the British day at Exotics@RTC, there were some old Jaguars taking center stage in the shopping area.  I was checking out the grill on one of them and looked at the headlights.  There was a little logo in the middle of the lights that I had not noticed when looking at previous cars.  I guess it is an original feature but it could be an aftermarket thing.  That seems out of keeping with the way these vehicles are maintained so I hope it is original.

Renault 5 Turbo 2

Exotics@RTC provides cars of many vintages but I always find myself drawn to cars from the 80s.  Since I was a teenager in that decade, they were the cars that I was paying attention to – assuming they were available in Europe at the time.  US cars of that vintage are generally a mystery to me.  The appearance of a Renault 5 Turbo 2 was a really nice surprise.  The Renault 5 was not a particularly wonderful car.  I drove one for a while and, while it could go quite quickly in a straight line, it didn’t have great grip.

However, the similarities between that car and the Turbo version were basically the name and nothing else.  The Turbo was a monster of a vehicle in comparison.  It went like stink and it was so wide, it was basically a different car.  There wasn’t even a back seat because the engine had been put there instead.  The owner happened to open up the engine cover while I was walking by which was a lucky break.  It showed up again at a following meet so I was able to get a few shots of it from various angles.  I was back to being a teenager dreaming of a hot hatch.

Liquid Carbon GT40

This car was getting a ton of attention at one of the Exotics@RTC meets.  It actually took me a while to realize that it was a Ford GT40.  It was called Liquid Carbon and was carbon fiber everywhere.  I don’t know how much a normal GT40 is carbon fiber, but I didn’t think it was too much.  This was very different.  Everything from the body panels to the wheels was carbon.  It was quite an impressive looking machine.  I imagine it takes a lot of weight out of the car.  No doubt it also takes a lot of weight out of your wallet.

I Learned Something About Karmann Ghias

The Karmann Ghia is a vehicle that I have known of since childhood.  A teacher at my primary school had a white example and it looked amazing to me as a small boy.  They turn up at car event pretty regularly and I occasionally see one out on the road.  However, I was caught out at Exotics@RTC recently when I saw another car parked next to a Karmann Ghia that was also badged with that name.  I had to google it when I came home and found out that there was a different platform used for a newer design during the 1960s.  These are apparently known as the Type 34 whereas the original version is the Type 14.  I had no idea until this visit.  I guess that makes my excursion and educational exercise.

Testarossa Brutish Elegance

The mid-80s was very different to today when it came to expensive cars.  Now it feels like a new super car or hypercar is being unveiled every other week.  The market for big cars was obviously a lot smaller back then.  One of the cars of that era was the Ferrari Testarossa.  It was a beast of a car with conspicuous grilles on the side and, in an early iteration, only one wing mirror on the driver’s side.

When I come across one these days, it is always a nice reminder of my teenage years.  There is one that is a regular at Exotics@RTC.  It was there on a normal day and returned for the Italian Day along with some other examples.  It is a car with a muscular look to it with a very wide and low profile and some flaring at the back to emphasize its features.  I still think it looks great.  Whether it is a fun car to drive, I have no idea.

Dead Railcar

A short distance from our house is an old railcar that is sitting on spare land gradually decaying.  It has been here as long as we have and I suspect a lot longer than that.  I’m not sure what it is resting on but it does seem to be listing a bit more these days than it was the first time I saw it.  I have driven past it on many occasions and often thought that I should take a picture of it.  I recently happened to be walking along the road rather than driving so figured I should stop and get a shot.  Since it is summer, the plants are grown up around the side of the road so it is a bit harder to get a clear shot of it.  I used the longer lens on the phone and stitched together some shots.  It would be better to shoot this later in the day when the light is nicer but we shall see if I make the effort to go back – and maybe take a better camera?

The Littlest Campervan

America is the home of the RV.  The size of vehicles which people live in while out on the road is enormous.  Exotics@RTC attracts the more unusual vehicles, though, and this little thing showed up.  It was in excellent condition and the interior was fitted out for picnics although whether it would be okay for more than day trips is a trickier question.  Quite a cute little vehicle, though.

The Widest Load I Have Seen

Railroads can be used to move unusual loads.  In my work I have often had discussions about clearances along tracks to allow the Department of Defense to move outsized loads by rail – presumably tanks!  However, most things I have seen have been within the normal clearance diagrams.  As I was driving down to the waterfront park at Mukilteo, I passed a train sitting in a siding that was the widest thing I have ever seen on a train.  It was two containers side by side.  Both of them were hanging over the edge of the car.  I assume that it was a single container for moving outsized loads and, given where it was staged, it might have been something to do with Boeing.

As I drove past it, I figured I would walk back and get a photo.  However, some locomotives showed up and they started switching everything around.  I didn’t get a chance to get a shot from close up.  I did take some pictures from a distance and they then staged the vehicles out on the pier where Mukilteo becomes Everett.  If anyone knows anything about this load, do let me know.  I assume it needs special clearance to move since it must impinge on the adjacent tracks which would make passing other trains an issue!