Tag Archives: Jim Clark

Car spot: A British classic

Even though they are now owned by a Chinese company

When I think of great British automotive names, Lotus immediatley comes to mind mainly because of Jim Clark and Colin Chapman. That dynamic duo won with just about any car they put on the track. It’s that great racing heritage that lives on to this date with their sport cars

Take for example this week’s car spot the Lotus Evora. Normally a very easy car to spot, this one even more because of its color. It’s factory. I checked. Launched in 2008 at the British International Motor Show, it was based on the first all-new vehicle platform since the introduction of the Elise in 1995.

How could I possibly miss this car at the gas station?

A Toyota-sourced 3.5-litre 24-valve 2GR V6 engine, mid-mounted engine powers the car. I could not find out a horsepower number for that engine but on the S version, not sure if this one was or not, comes with supercharger pumping out 416 hp. The standard Evora does 0-to-60 mph in 4.9 seconds, 0 to 100 in 11.8, and the quarter-mile in 13.4 at 105 mph. Top speed is 162.  Evora S reaches 60 in 4.3 and 100 in 10.4, and it covers the quarter-mile in 12.8 at 110. It also adds 10 mph to top speed.

Besides being fast, the car is super light and slippery with a drag coefficient of 0.337. Super light because it’s constructed on a lightweight aluminum tub with an additional front crash structure also made from aluminum, along with a steel rear sub-frame that houses the drivetrain. The chassis was designed to utilize proprietary 6000 Series alloy extrusions, which are bonded with an epoxy based adhesive and riveted together to increase torsional rigidity. All this for around 100 grand.

I actually got to talk to the owner and he seemed to be a true enthusiast and has had the car on the track at Road America. It also turns out that he is a Ducati owner. I like him.

I want to back up for a bit. After Colin Chapman’s death, the company passed through several hands being owned by General Motors, then Romano Artioli and DRB-HICOM. It is currently owned by Chinese multinational Geely. Nowadays what doesn’t China own?

Here’s a bit more information on Chapman that I discovered while watching a documentary on Netflix about John DeLorean. Chapman invested into DMC when DeLorean was desperate for cash and just before DeLorean was busted in an FBI sting for trafficking cocaine. It was shortly after Chapman’s investment that he passed away on December 16, 1982.

Be sure to check back next week for another car spot and have a great weekend.

Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1966 Indy 500 winning Lola T90

Replicarz creates sharp 1/18 scale Hill ’66 Indy winner …

Graham Hill, a Formula 1 world champion, was the surprise winner of the 1966 Indianapolis 500, just a year after Jim Clark, with the same credentials, had won.

But it was Clark and his STP crew that were surprised by Hill’s win, thinking they had won.

Now Replicarz expands its 1/18 scale Indy winning car lineup with Hill’s beautiful and surprising Lola T90. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1966 Indy 500 winning Lola T90

Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1966 Indy 500 Lola T90/Jackie Stewart

Replicarz fields another famous Indy 500 racer …

For me, a kid who grew up in Indianapolis watching Lotus and Lola redefine what an IndyCar is during the mid-1960s, these were the most beautiful race cars ever.

Loved Indy’s roadsters, but 1966 was just the second year a rear-engine racer won the Indianapolis 500 and it was England’s Graham Hill at the wheel. The British Invasion was more than just the Beatles! Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1966 Indy 500 Lola T90/Jackie Stewart

Die-cast: Automodello’s Ford 3.0-liter V8

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The engine is 1/12 scale!

Automodello creates the engine, and Lotus 49

Few engines have the pedigree of Ford’s 3.0-liter twin cam V8, nor can boast the overwhelming success. But calling it a Ford is a bit of a stretch.

Most folks refer to the engine as the Cosworth DFV (double four valve) because Keith Duckworth and Mike Costin of Cosworth designed and created the cast-aluminum engine. Ford bankrolled it after Colin Chapman of Lotus fame enlisted the help of Ford Britain’s Walter Hayes. Arm twisting ensued and Ford forked over the money.

Ultimately the engine became the go-to powerplant for Formula 1 cars for more than 10 years and also powered Indy Cars for much of the 1970s and ‘80s. In fairy tale fashion the engine won its first race, the Dutch Grand Prix, in June of 1967.

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The V8 was a stressed member of the Lotus 49 chassis.

Automodello now releases its 1:12 resin version of the iconic racing engine. Just 499 are being made.

The History

After Chapman snagged Cosworth the money, the small racing engine company developed the lightweight DFV over a couple years, setting its debut for the 1967 F1 season. Continue reading Die-cast: Automodello’s Ford 3.0-liter V8

Die-cast: CMC Aston Martin DB4

CMC creates rare, beautiful Aston Martin DB4aston2

Rare counts for a lot in the real, that is 1:1, vintage car world, and it’s making its mark in the diecast car market too.

CMC, the premier high-end diecast car model maker has made a habit of creating beautiful 1:18 models of rare race cars and elegant 1930s automotive style icons. The cost is up there, but so is the detail. You almost expect these models to start and drive off your desk or display shelf.

So it’s not surprising that CMC has chosen the rare 1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato as its latest artistic endeavor, and in sumptuous Aston Martin racing green. For the record, the rare Zagato, which is the lightened version meant for racing, consists of 1,825 parts of which 1,394 are metal.

The Historyaston

Only 19 Aston Zagato models were made over a 2 ½-year period from late 1960 into 1963. All were custom-made and designed by Gianni Zagato and featuring soft curves, which became popular in the 1960s on high-end cars like Astons, Jaguars and Ferraris.

At the time, Aston was trying to beat Ferrari’s 250 GT in sports car and endurance racing, so it made sense to go with a lightweight body made of thin aluminum plates and featuring minimal amenities in an effort to cut weight and increase performance. Riding on a short, 93-inch, wheelbase and weighing just 2,701 lbs., the DB4 was just 168 inches long. That’s about the same length as today’s Nissan Z350, but the Nissan is roughly 400 lbs. heavier. Continue reading Die-cast: CMC Aston Martin DB4

Die-cast: Spark 1:43 1966 Indy 500 Winner

Graham Hill’s Indy winning Lola a small gemindy

I was sitting in the packed main grandstand just shy of the pit exit for the flying start of the 1966 Indianapolis 500 when tires and suspension pieces and racer nosecones started exploding in the air. It was eerily similar to two years earlier, but without the fire and smoke, when I’d witnessed the most horrifying crash in Indy history. Thankfully, this time, no one was seriously injured.

But in the melee about a third of the starting field was eliminated, including favorites like A.J. Foyt, Dan Gurney and Don Branson. Yet a British rookie and Formula 1 champion, Graham Hill, picked his way through the carnage in his rear-engined Lola to run near the front all day. Favorite and 1965 Indy champ Jim Clark was setting a strong pace in his brilliant red STP Lotus, but he spun twice during the race, leading to folks saying that STP stands for Spinning Takes Practice. Hill snuck past Clark on one spin though, ultimately gaining the win after another F1 great, and Hill’s teammate, Jackie Stewart’s car failed with less than 10 laps remaining.

indy2Racers were simpler and more delicate looking, yet beautiful, in the 1960s. Now Spark Model delivers a stellar version of the red and white American Red Ball Special that Hill drove to the 1966 Indy win, in 1:43 scale.

Continue reading Die-cast: Spark 1:43 1966 Indy 500 Winner