Skip to content
August 22, 2010 / consort3

Cars

Bit off topic but as a 3 wheeler fan you might expect me to like the products of the Morgan car co. Their latest is named after Eva off the Diyaudio forum!

Note the split rear screen like the corvette sting ray

Course they nicked the idea from the Lancia Aprilia as did VW for their narrow angle V engines.

lanaprilia

Extremely rare Morgan panel van. Note the cute oval windows also they predated by 80 years the new EU directive that wheels have to be fitted to every passenger door. There is an obscure connection between the adjacent 2 pictures in that both vehicles have sliding pillar front suspension.

For years Morgan had only one development engineer,  Maurice Owen. Imagine having that responsibility! In the mid seventies there was a seven year waiting list for Morgans. Why? because you got a hand-built bespoke car for not much more than a standard Ford or whatever. That is still the case. But with more exotic cars and with more wealthy clients, Morgan can afford to employ more designers and development engineers See Jay Leno drive the new Morgan 3 wheeler here:

http://www.wired.com/reviews/2011/07/morgan3/

Talking of spare wheels and doors here the spare wheel is in the door:

P1000167

1934 car built to Burney patents With a 6 cylinder engine outboard of the rear axle, it would be more tail happy than a Porsche. Burney was associated with the R100 airship with Barnes Wallis and Nevil Shute.

astonzagato

Picture shows an Aston Martin Zagato from the early 60’s

Astons at the time were campaigned by Essex Racing, a team owned by John Ogier who had an extraordinary career as Fleet air arm pilot, Chicken farmer (introducing American techniques to the UK), racing team manager and Design company director. He also made enough money from chickens to finance the Tojeiro-Jaguars of the 50’s. When his Fleet air arm friend David Ogle was prematurely killed in a car accident in 1962 he managed Ogle Design, only to be killed himself in a car accident. Ogle designed variously the Raleigh chopper, the Bond Bug and Reliant Robin and Scimitar. Tojeiro was also in the Fleet air arm, I wonder if they knew each other from that. Apparently Tojeiro used to help Ogle with the suspension on their cars.   Ogle recently celebrated 60 years in the design business, remarkable longevity. Ex-Ogle designer Mike Simcoe has been made worldwide head of GM design.

Brian Lister bought a Tojeiro in the early fifties and gave it to the incredible Archie Scott -Brown.  Incredibly, you can buy a Lister replica:

http://www.listercars.com/

These early sixties cars are beautiful. Here is the low drag E-type. On the standard E-type the windscreen looks too vertical for those used to modern designs:
Eagle Low Drag GT Photo: James Lipman // jameslipman.com

Incredibly rare Ogle Cortina, a project of Stirling Moss
CortinaOgleGTSideView

The symbol of Italian rural life. It is ironic that the same country that produces Ferraris Lamborginis etc still makes these. There perhaps is the charm of Italy and perhaps why it produced the worlds greatest Motorcycle engineer, Fabio Taglione and one of the worlds greatest car designers Dante Giacosa. Never heard of him? Shame on you, look him up on Wikipedia. Mind you it took him until 1968 to come  up with the classic configuration: Transverse engine, in line gearbox, Mcpherson strut suspension, in the Fiat 128, almost universal now. While I am extolling the virtues of Italian automotive engineering, here is an animation of Fiats new valve system, I consider it the most important development since electronic fuel injection:

http://www.pattakon.com/pattakonHyDesmo.htm

Bigfootlandy

bigfootlandy

Below: successful Honda Gyro incredibly based on the unsuccessful BSA Ariel 3

Incredibly rare Motovettorette Vaghi Bambina (courtesy stefanmajoram.com)

Meanwhile here is a  music video for Radar love featuring a Reliant Robin 3 wheeler

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YDljSTtZAM

Fiat 500 with Reliant yellowtop engine (if you know anything about this car please let me know)

reliantfiat500

If you thought that was weird here is a 911 with a big US V8
http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/classic-cars/news/a29495/porsche-911-ls1-swap/

Could not leave this subject without a picture of the creators of the Mini Cooper Messrs Cooper &Issigonis;

No wonder Cooper is smiling. George Harriman boss of BMC thought he had a good deal when he agreed to pay him £2 royalty for every Cooper produced. The original plan was to make 1000 for sporting homologation purposes. The design was so successful they ended up making 150,000 which must have made him comparatively wealthy.

Issigonis with Enzo and his modified (lights) mini.

Talking Minis I remember see a picture of some racing drivers lined up with racing minis Denise Mccluggage was one, Unusual name I thought. Interesting and unusual life as well, was a lifelong friend of Stirling Moss:

http://blog.caranddriver.com/denise-mccluggage-legendary-writer-racer-and-adventurer-has-passed-away/

May 2017 Sad to see the deaths of 2 great Mini racers, the original flying Finn Timo Makinen and Sir John Whitmore. I remember Makinen climbing out of a Mini which he had thrashed to the end of a Monte rally stage. The engine was still running despite having no coolant and the cylinder head being red hot!

Obscure connections between Morgan,Cooper and Bernie of F1 fame via the 500cc racing formula

http://www.500race.org/Men/Lones.htm

http://www.500race.org/Men/ecclestone.htm

Afectionate tribute to the 3 wheeler

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2011/03/three-wheelin-through-time/

Absolutely brilliant launch brochure for the mini:

http://www.mk1-performance-conversions.co.uk/pdf/Introduction%20to%20the%20Mini.pdf

The Mini design was never developed properly. For example it only took them 38 years to put the radiator in the proper place at the front! Innocenti in Italy (1974) did the best development, then later on the Austin engineers did this, which I think was very good for the time. To this day the Mini is the only production car with rubber suspension. This has good properties such as rising rate and inherent damping. Why does no-one else use it? Expense perhaps, as you have to use forgings for the suspension arms. It is used for limit stops  however.

http://www.austinmemories.com/styled-29/index.html

They had intended to replace the Mini in 1969. It lasted until 1999 , see here:

http://www.bmh-ltd.com/mini.htm

Nice tribute to the Mini’s competitor the Hillman Imp. The blog is excellent by the way, go to the top RH corner search box and type in any car, motorcycle or train interest and you will be surprised!

http://anarchadia.blogspot.com/2009/02/vintage-thing-no40-hillman-imp.html

I wonder how the mini would go with one of these 14:1 engines?

http://www.mazda.com/mazdaspirit/skyactiv/engine/skyactiv-g.html

The A series engine used in the mini first saw the light of day in 1951, I believe. David Vizard the A series engine tuning guru,  unkindly said the crankshaft resembled a piece of bent wire with journals ground on!  Sixty years on and they are still developing the engine. Swiftune have a crankshaft  with dummy main bearing journals to give 9000 rpm.

aeries

Incredible engineering on a mini

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&f=47&t=1634061&i=0

Gotta take your Vitamins:

http://mk1-performance-conversions.co.uk/vita_history.htm

Three is best:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/automobiles/packing-123-horsepower.html?hpw

Wow,  This is my dream car, Caterham have rekindled the Colin Chapman ethos to add lightness (and lose expense):

http://www.pistonheads.com/news/default.asp?storyId=28212

Ford Transit 50 years old.

It takes our colonial cousins a while to see a good thing:

http://www.just-auto.com/news/ford-starts-transit-van-build-at-kansas-city_id145609.aspx

Ironically production ceased at the UK plant last year. Ford chopped a V8 in half transversely to get the V4 Transit power plant while Bedford chopped a V8 in half longitudinally for the rival Bedford CF (slant 4) For more about engineering at Vauxhall/Bedford and Ford at the time  see Rallye Sport Fords The inside story by Mike Moreton. Interesting fact: the reason Transits were painted white was they found the interior would be 8 degres cooler on a sunny day than a darker coloured one.

Two surprises this year in Formula 1 have been the excellent performances of Mercedes and Williams. Usually that is down to the chief engineers and I recently learned that Aldo Costa (ex Ferrari) is the Mercedes man and Pat Symonds (ex Renault) is the Williams man.

The mystery over the Red Bull power unit for 2016 resolved here:

http://thejudge13.com/2015/11/06/red-bulls-2016-pu-the-pieces-of-the-puzzle/

They continue to make great improvements in F1 engine power, this time with ignition

http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/f1/ferraris-formula-1-jet-ignition/?utm_source=Jet&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Mark

Water injection revived

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/30/automobiles/how-do-you-make-turbo-engines-more-efficient-just-add-water.html

The nightmare logistics of F1

https://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2016/07/insight-why-formula-1-teams-are-facing-the-week-from-hell/

A new vehicle which I like is the Polaris Slingshot, a 3 wheeler in the Morgan idiom but with modern styling and technology

You thought the hybrid car eg. Prius was a modern innovation, in fact it is 99 years old and the technology dates back to 1897!
http://www.hemmings.com/hmn/stories/2011/07/01/hmn_feature23.html

I was just reminded that Rolls-Royces do not break down, they fail to proceed. A few of my cars have failed to proceed, alas they were not Royces. Rollers are for chavs. Mind  you a few of my motorbikes were supposed to have searing acceleration, in my case they had shearing acceleration as something in the drivetrain would shear! That Mr Woodruff and his keys have something to answer for. In retrospect it might have something to do with the nut holding the handlebars.

Interesting article on new high tech equipment being a nightmare for Farmers:

http://www.wired.com/2015/02/new-high-tech-farm-equipment-nightmare-farmers/

Amazing, the plot thickens:

http://www.wired.com/2015/04/dmca-ownership-john-deere/?mbid=social_fb

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/08/17/432601480/diy-tractor-repair-runs-afoul-of-copyright-law

You can now officially hack your own vehicle!

http://spectrum.ieee.org/cars-that-think/transportation/systems/its-now-temporarily-legal-to-hack-your-own-car

John Deere says you cannot

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/12/john-deere-really-doesnt-want-you-own-tractor

One way around the problem

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/why-american-farmers-are-hacking-their-tractors-with-ukrainian-firmware

New efficient type of engine

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a8174/liquidpistons-hyper-efficient-engine-turning-the-rotary-inside-out-13817971/
This article neatly explains why I am interested in Reliant 3 wheelers:
http://www.wired.com/2015/05/nothing-beats-old-crappy-car/

OMG 2016 Mustang GT350R

http://blog.caranddriver.com/mustang-gt350-official-figures-526-hp-429-lb-ft/

If you thought the Mustang was Mega try the Bugatti Chiron:

http://www.gizmag.com/bugatti-chiron-reveal-geneva/42087/

More serious power

http://www.hotrod.com/articles/we-take-a-hard-look-at-dodges-paradigm-shifting-707hp-hellcat-hemi/

3d printing of glass

http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21661577-fine-glass-latest-material-be-manufactured-additively-what-goes-around

Feature creep

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/j-d-power-drivers-dont-like-interacting-with-interactive-features/

Three wheelers rule

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/trikes-unbound-how-entrepreneurs-unleashed-a-new-fusion-motorcycle-car/2015/09/05/26e0a93c-46a9-11e5-846d-02792f854297_story.html

Parental control on cars – teen nightmare

http://www.theverge.com/2015/9/18/9348767/2016-chevy-malibu-teen-driving-safety

More on the VW diesel problem

http://spectrum.ieee.org/cars-that-think/transportation/advanced-cars/how-professors-caught-vw-cheating

Inside the VW diesel problem

http://lwn.net/SubscriberLink/670488/4350e3873e2fa15c/

The plot thickens on this one too:

http://deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.english/videozone_ENG/1.2549687

More plot thickening:

http://archive.li/4PNn2#selection-1687.1-1705.0

Engines are going to have to get bigger!

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-autoshow-paris-engines-exclusive-idUSKBN12E11K

*The original Land Rover finally reached the end of production after some 68 years and 2 million copies yesterday. They would run with Jungle juice in the fuel tank and treacle in the sump. Three-quarters of the two million Defenders built over two thirds of a century are still in regular use. My first car was a Rover 80 which had the 4 cylinder Land Rover engine and a Laycock de Normanville overdrive. Well it sounds better than 5th gear! Cruising down the motorway at 70 with the engine just above tickover was great. The other models in the P4 range had the 6 cylinder inlet over exhaust engines. Those were good for 250k+ miles. Some models had freewheels like Saabs. The only design weakness were the hollow kingpins filled with oil. When the oil seals went the steering got progressively harder. It was also slightly annoying that the body panels that could rust were made of steel whereas the bonnet and boot lid were made of aluminium. As the article below mentions some unkind person said the P4 resembled a Sherman tank with the turret removed, but that property plus the narrow tyres saved me one night in a snow blizzard on the M4. Why is nobody in the fast lane I wondered? The snow was deep but I retained enough control to go back to the clear lanes.

http://www.thechapmagazine.co.uk/content/section_archive/rover.html

Marilyn Monroe in a Landy (Courtesy Sam Shaw/Getty images)

marilyn

I have just been on a visit to the Range Rover production plant at Solihull. Very impressive, talking of aluminium they are world leaders in the technology, the whole bodyshell being in that material.

Infiniti have come up with a variable compression engine to improve efficiency

http://www.motortrend.com/news/infiniti-prepares-worlds-first-variable-compression-engine-for-2018/?ref=yfp

Self installing a driver assistance package

http://www.embedded.com/electronics-blogs/say-what-/4442627/Self-installing-an-automotive-driver-assistance-system?_mc=EMB_FT_DEV_01

One make car clubs

http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a28497/side-glances-tribes/

Competitive benchmarking

http://jalopnik.com/the-fascinating-company-that-tears-cars-apart-to-find-o-1787205420

The disappearing gearstick, only 3% of new US cars have them

http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/laautoshow/la-fi-hy-disappearing-stick-shift-20161115-story.html

Nissan’s solution to the self -driving car problem where you need a human operator to sort the mess out

https://www.wired.com/2017/01/nissans-self-driving-teleoperation/

The new Rolls-Royce has rear “suicide” doors like my old Rover P4. I assume they are interlocked so they cannot be opened while on the move. It would be good to have front doors like that so old codgers like me can get in and out more easily.

Another “new” feature that was on the Rover P4s. Toyota have patented the freewheel!

http://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/car-technology/a11665073/toyota-patents-new-manual-transmission-technology-found-on-1960s-saabs/

Unsung hero of sports car racing

http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/classic-cars/a12157516/this-mgb-gt-is-the-forgotten-hero-of-sports-car-racings-golden-age/

Advertisements

One Comment

Leave a Comment
  1. mike walker / Oct 25 2014 11:34 am

    I’ve just caught up with your latest addition to the cars section & copied the Moss Cortina to my files.
    Did I mention to you that I was with John Ogier on the way to a meeting, when he stopped at Hendon to ring Astons to see if his latest car was ready for the Le Mans meeting. I like to think that it was one of the DB4GT’s

    Mike from Ickleford

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: