Georg Plasa’s Judd V8-powered BMW will roar once more

Georg Plasa is a hill climb legend. The German gent won many a title all over Europe, and he did so behind the wheel of one of his heavily modified BMW race cars. One of his most famous cars is a Judd V8-powered E36. Between its front wheels sits a 560 horsepower screamer of an engine, and it only has to move a vehicle that weighs 1,973 pounds.

Sadly, Plasa died in 2011 during a hill climb race in Rome.

One of Georg’s closest friends is KW founder Klaus Wohlfarth, and after chatting with Plasa’s family acquired the car. The rest of the story is pretty wonderful from there on out.

You’ll need to head over to Speedhunters to read all about it. Also, the pictures of the car are just as great.

Furthermore, you should look for this car as it once again roars to life at the upcoming Goodwood Festival of Speed. It should be one hell of a run, complimented by red misty eyes and smiling faces.

[Image used courtesy of Speedhunters]

Presenting an alternate take on classic Dodge Charger livery

I love the old Dodge Charger. I’d personally never drive one with General Lee livery. Now, I wouldn’t drive one painted like this either but I admire what this person has done here.

For the record, my own (someday) 1968 Dodge Charger would be gloss black with a satin black RT stripe on the tail. I’d also find a way to swap in 1969 Charger taillights. That car will happen someday… if I believe it, I’ll achieve it. Right?

Anyone? Okay, forget it. Just admire this General GRANT Charger.

[Source: Twitter, after Patrick George retweeted it]

Podcast: Episode 256 – Everything’s coming up Elon?

Chris and I walk through a bit of the news to kick of episode 256. On tap, we have to talk about:

  • BMW moving some production to China.
  • The Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster that sold for $3.7MM
  • VW bringing its ID R to Goodwood
  • Honda has built a Mean Mower V2

After that we dive into all of your questions before talking a bit about what we’ve got going on ourselves. I spent a week in the GMC Canyon Denali and I’ve since swapped into a Volvo V90. Additionally, my Benz comes back this week and then later this month I’m heading to Baja to drive a Wide Open Buggy. 

There’s a new Ariel Atom and it arrives with Civic Type R heat

Ariel has a new Atom. It’s called the Atom 4 and the mental machine has ascended into a mental plane of existence. Ariel engineers have fitted the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine from a Honda Civic Type R behind the driver’s head. The result is a new Atom with 306 horsepower, better aerodynamics, and ridiculous performance numbers.

Well, more ridiculous… it’s always been crazy with this one.

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Hooniverse Asks: What’s the most unique vehicle driven up the Goodwood FOS hill climb?

Yesterday, I sent out a tweet aimed at Honda. The UK extension of the automaker has built a new version of its motorcycle-powered Mean Mover. This is V2, and it’s packing the 999-cc engine from a CBR1000RR Fireblade. That mean it has 189 horsepower and this is a mower with a top speed of 150 mph. I told Honda that the thing needed to hit the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which takes place this weekend.

Today, the above video appeared. Clearly, some folks at Honda UK and I think alike.

Now I’m left wondering what’s the most unique vehicle ever to make a run up the hill? This mower will surely sit on that list. But what else has made the run up the hill and left you confused and delighted?

Truck Central: Why does the 2018 GMC Canyon Denali exist? Let’s find out

This is a slightly fancier version of a truck that already exists. It’s the GMC version of Chevy’s Colorado, and it’s called the GMC Canyon Denali. Does it make any sense? I try to figure it all out in a new video for Truck Central.

The short answer is: not really. You can spec a smarter Canyon or you can step up to a 1/2-ton Silverado. There are ways to make the (as-tested) $45k Canyon less expensive, and there’s even a $27k version sitting on the base end of the spectrum.

Still, I think there are better options in this space. You have the Tacoma, the aforementioned Colorado, and soon we’ll have a Ranger as well. I’m not sure the Canyon really needs to exist.

What do you think?

This is a Ford Mustang prototype… and it packs a V10 under the hood

Back in 2003, Ford wanted to get funky with its Mustang. Some bored engineers didn’t feel like fiddling with the 4.6-liter V8 though, and instead decided to add a few cylinders to this pony car party. What started life as one of Ford’s Modular engines was transformed into a 351 cubic inch V10. Yes… Ford once made a V10 Mustang prototype.

It’s funny today to see the power listed at 430 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque and consider that serious business. But that was the output at the rear wheels, and the car weighed 500 pounds less than its modern sibling.

Road & Track found video of the car, which was featured on an episode of the Jason Priestly narrated Rides. I did some quick e-digging and found that Motor Trend actually got a little bit of seat time with the Franken ‘Stang. To say the car was traction limited is a bit of an understatement. 

Eventually, after lowering the tire pressure and fighting physics, a 0-60 mph run was done in just 4.4 seconds. The MT pieces says that sub four-second runs with proper drag slicks seems highly likely.

This was clearly a monster machine built out of pure love by the engineering team. A tire-frying, V10-powered, Mustang monster that was a true hooligan hot rod.

[Source: Road & Track, Motor Trend, YouTube]

Hooniverse Asks: How do you feel about twincharged engines?

I’m driving the Volvo V90 this week, and I’m falling in love with it. Even my three-year-old daughter referred to it as beautiful (seriously… she called it daddy’s beautiful car). The deep brown paint works wonders on the eyes while the sharp angles are smartly cut and lend this longroof a lovely look.

But the mechanical bits certainly give me pause. I’m driving a T6 version, which features the twincharged four-cylinder engine under the hood. You have a supercharger and a turbocharger working together to flatten out the torque curve, improve response, and deliver a blend of performance and economy as deemed necessary by your right foot.

Here this engine is good for 316 horsepower. That’s enough to get the V90 moving from 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds and on to a 155 mph top speed. More than enough for most, certainly.

But this is a complex engine. While the rest of the V90 is a masterclass in simplified design, both inside and out, a truly complicated beast sits ahead of your legs. I like the idea of a twincharged engine, but I am truly curious what it would be like to live with one for the long haul.

What do you think?

Hooniverse Asks: What did you think of Travis Pastrana’s tribute to Evel Knievel?

Travis Pastrana just had a pretty impressive Sunday. Three jumps in one day, all as a means to both pay homage to Evel Knievel and also to better him. The jumps were a bit longer than Knievel’s, and two of them were quite a bit more successful. If you didn’t catch them, the video above has all three (minus the 2 hours+ of commercials from the live broadcast).

Pastrana pulled off all three jumps while riding an Indian Scout FTR750. He wore the proper leathers. And the temperature in Vegas was well over 100 degrees. Even if Travis makes the jumps look easy, they are anything but.

So what do you think of Pastrana’s homage to Evel Knievel?

Fastback Friday: This ’66 VW hides a fast secret in the back

Usually, when you lift the engine cover on the butt end of a Volkswagen Type 3 you’re going to find a 1.5 or 1.6-liter flat four-cylinder engine. That’s not the case with this example I just found on good ole California Craigslist.

Someone stuffed a 4.3-liter Vortec V6 into the tail, and that’s a recipe for a fair bit more shove. In fact, it’s likely doubled the output over the original engine.

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