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A Hooniverse Thanksgiving Turkey: The Triumph TR7

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Ah, Thanksgiving Turkeys. There was a shortlist drawn up and we all took our pick. For me the Triumph TR7 leapt out. British Leyland’s notorious sporting wedge ranks high in the annals of motoring misadventure and a quick and damning hatchet-job should be pretty easy. Out with the knives, gloves off, let the condemnation begin.

But let’s not be too hasty. Before we forever slide the TR7 to the side of our thanksgiving dinner plate as the cold, tough turkey that it may, or may have been, lets have a quick recap on the back story.

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Die-Cast Delights:- Peugeot 205 GTI in 1:18th Scale

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I’ve been up in the attic, fighting my way through the cobwebs, bat shit, old luggage and decorating ephemera (on stand-by until the resumption of operation Make-House-Nice) and I have itches all over thanks to fibreglass insulation penetrating my T-shirt and jeans. And it’s all with the aim of bringing you another exciting instalment in the current series of Die-cast Delights.

Many of the 1:18th scale models I have hoarded, obsessively collected, gathered over the years have now become available second-hand via eBay and, after a quick search and with a little bidding luck, can be yours with very little financial hardship suffered. But, what to buy? I have a load of models and some of them are absolute crap. Maybe, as this series continues, I’ll suggest something that takes your fancy, if last week’s Ford Cougar didn’t already.

Today it’s the turn of Solido’s Peugeot 205 1.9 GTI.

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The Carchive: 1974 Ford (Australia) Falcon

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Welcome to The Carchive, the Hooniverse strand where we look back at sales literature of the past, many examples of which have aged rather better than the cars they promote.

Last week we looked at the ’70s cars of Panther, based just a hundred miles or so from where I sit right now. Today we’re travelling to a faraway land where, in the ’70s, Ford Customers really had it good. They had a massive range of choice, from little European-style Escorts and Cortinas, or they could opt for a big home-grown sedan with a V8. Take the jump to look at the Australian Ford Falcon.

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DesignSchool Bookshelf:- RetroFuturism; The Car Design of J Mays.

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“When he sets out to design a particular car he considers, in order of importance, proportion, line and shape”

Mind blowing stuff. If only all designers were open to such radical thinking as J Mays.

The “well, duh” nature of that line immediately disgusted me when I initially picked this book up. Consequently I flicked through its highly-stylised pages, growing increasingly disinterested, before condemning it to a slot in the lower reaches of my bookcase. I hated it this book. And that was before I noticed the impossibly tacky silver-foil rear-view mirror on the reverse cover. Bleuurgh.

Several months later, out of morbid intrigue, I dipped into it for a second time, and, well…..an education was forthcoming.

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Die-Cast Delights: Ford Cougar in 1:18th Scale

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Well, it happened. Collecting 1:18 Scale models was a hobby which had been put on hold since I “Grew Up”, moved out of my parents house and got a place of my own. My old bedroom used to have adjustable racking along one wall, and the shelves were stacked with so many boxed models that it was like living in a branch of ModelZone. I bought a few more during my time at University, but limited space in the Dickensian hovels I squatted in during education meant that the main collection stayed at home. It was always nice to come back to at the end of each semester; the models, which I had collected since I was seven, were a tangible link to my childhood. For about ten years now the majority of the collection has been in the attic, safely on stand-by, ready to be enjoyed again.

Allegedly,  I’m now a grown-up, and have easy access to 1:1 scale cars. However, I also have occasional spare time in close proximity to a web-enabled computer. eBay is prominently bookmarked. Inevitably, my fever for 1:18 has been rebooted, and a package arrived for me on Thursday from Germany. It’s a 1998 Ford Cougar, and it may well put me on a slippery slope back towards obsessive collecting.

Click the jump for the first in a series of reviews as I look back at the good, the bad and the downright inexcusable from my collection. Click the images to activate the Enormocator.

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The Carchive: The ’70s Panther Range

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The wind is blowing 12mph East North East and it’s about 16 degrees Celsius outside; the perfect conditions for a dip into The Carchive. Here we ponder at the printed relics of Motoring Past and decide whether the written promise matched the eventual truth.

Today’s document is a slender publication indeed, but this can be forgiven as the concern who published it weren’t exactly a global household name. Today we’re taking a trip to leafy Surrey, UK to see just what Panther Westwinds were up to in the early ’70s.

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Death In The Family: A fond farewell to the Ka.

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Back in the late 20th century, a family walked out a small, local Ford dealership having placed a deposit down on two cars, a Ford Mondeo V6 and a Ford Ka. Six years later the Mondeo moved aside in favour of a BMW, but the Ka remained and would do for ages yet. Or, in fact, until this week.

The family I mention is my family, and it’s not without a few tears flowing that the Ka is leaving us. If you will, please take the jump to join me as I pay my last respects.

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V.I.S.I.T: 1972 Bond Bug

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The seductive curves of the female form.  The dynamic lpoise of a wild animal pounced to attack. The streamlined aesthetic of a fighter aircraft, elegant and trim yet concealing massive firepower. For generations car designers have drawn inspiration from these things and many more, leading to many a design classic.

By contrast, when creating the Bond Bug Tom Karen was heavily inspired by a piece of Red Leicester cheese he found at the back of the fridge.

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The brutal world of Bangers: A Night At The Races.

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Million-dollar race HQ trucks, anonymous sponsors touching down in sleek MBB helicopters. Pneumatically contoured global starlets and flocks of blue-chip media representatives circulating with knowing smiles and glistening teeth. VIP lounges with free-flowing champagne and canapés individually worth more than a months worth of working-class Sunday roasts. Graduates with physics degrees probing highly tuned engines in intimate places while massive screens light up with telemetry more comprehensive than NASA.

All of these and more were conspicuous by their absence on Saturday night, when I attended a motorsport event that I would return from poisoned, deafened and with masses of grit in my hair.

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Jan Anderle and The Dálník: Blurring the line between Bike and Car.

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Repulsive, isn’t it? A gargoyle among the sirens of steel and rubber that make up the historic motorcycle collection of the National Technical Museum, Prague. It may be redolent of the kind of creature that lurks at the bottom of the ocean’s deepest trenches, but it also happens to be one of the more interesting footnotes in European transportation development in the 20th century.

I covered the way-ahead-of-its-time ČAS Sc quite recently, and this, the Dálník 250 prototype is even more extreme in its concept. Find out more about it and what it led to after the jump.

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