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Modern Art Monday – The Porsche 918 Spyder

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I was fortunate enough to make it out to my first Monterey Car Week last week… well sort of. I was only there one day. In my short time there, I still saw my fair share of some truly wonderful cars, both in the hilariously expensive traffic jams and parked on some fancy golf course. The one event I had time for was Porsche Club of America’s Werks Reunion, a gathering of all things Porsche at the beautiful Rancho Cañada Golf Club in Carmel, CA. Roughly 500 privately owned Porsches were in attendance and greatly represented the brand’s most iconic cars (more on those later in the week, I hope).

If there’s one car that stood out to me that day, it would have to be this one: the Porsche 918 Spyder. Porsche’s newest and most revolutionary super car, the 918 Spyder is brutally fast yet impressively efficient, track-focused yet civilized, and above all, breathtaking to look at. Click past the jump and I’ll tell you all about it, once I clean the drool off of my camera.

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The Carchive- JDM Yo! Edition:- The 1993 Mazda Bongo Wagon

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This week, apropos of nothing aside from certain documents sliding onto the floor in my line of sight, The Carchive has been focussing on those vehicles that residents of Japan were granted, but those of us living in the UK were denied; and the same may go for many other countries.

If you live somewhere knee deep in Bongo Wagons and you’re sick to death of the things, then you might want to sit this one out. But if you’re miffed that it was never on the Mazda menu for you, bang the drum and read right on.

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The Carchive-JDM Yo! Edition:- 1983 Honda Ballade

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Welcome to The Carchive, where we strip away the nonsense, the outlandish claims and the ludicrous lifestyle suppositions from vehicle promotional literature and revaluate it based on how things actually were. This week we’re looking at a few JDM offerings, and since the literature is mostly published in Japanese, there’s not a lot of ridiculous verbiage to be explored.

Today it’s the turn of the MK1 Honda Ballade. Some of you might know this as the basis of the final car to ever carry the Triumph badge, being built over here in modified form by British Leyland as the Acclaim. Lets see how the unBritishized version compares.

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The Carchive: the 1998 Nissan KYXX Concept

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During Tuesday’s trawl through the ocean of flotsam and jetsam that is The Carchive, we visited Nissan’s 1985 vision of the luxury car future, the CUE-X.

Today, to stay with some kind of theme, we’re winding a little way forward to see how the Japanese company’s thinking was in 1998. It’s the Nissan KYXX Concept.

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The Carchive: 1985 Nissan CUE-X Concept

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The sea state is slight, there’s a gentle South-Easterly and the the sun is beating down. Lets cast our nets and see what fishy automotive goodness the ocean of historical automotive literature can provide. Welcome back to The Carchive.

Last week, in typically balanced Carchive fashion, we covered those closely related exotics the Ford Transit Minibus and the Ferrari Testarossa. Today we’re heading for uncharted waters, putting one foot tentatively into the future of luxury motoring. Or at least the future as it was seen in 1985.

It’s the 1985 Nissan CUE-X Concept. Antti covered it here, last year…. but now we Have The Brochure.

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The Carchive:- ’71 Ford Transit

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On Tuesday, after leaving it safely locked down for a few weeks, I gingerly opened the gate to The Carchive, and out gushed a 1988 Ferrari Testarossa brochure. Well, it was lovely and everything, but it’s wasn’t really Hooniverse heartland stuff, now, was it?

Today we’re heading back into our comfort zone with the 1971 Ford Transit.

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The Carchive:- The Ferrari Testarossa

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It’s Tuesday, it’s 21:30 here on the glorious Essex coast. But we can’t just sit here admiring the view, It’s high time we donned our disposable overalls, connected our breathing apparatus and took a cautious step into the dank, dripping cavern that is The Carchive.

The most recent episode saw an upbelching from The Carchive’s Scandinavian outpost; I had no idea the caves reached that far, but apparently so. Antti uncovered a vintage brochure for the DeTomaso Pantera, and scanned it way too professionally. To try and avoid my being comprehensively outdone, here’s a 1988 brochure for the Ferrari Testarossa.

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Fantastic in Plastic- The Enzmann 506

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In the 1950s, Volkswagen’s Type 1 was the basis for a huge number of one-off sporty cars. We’ve previously seen one of those, in the form of the Rometsch Beeskow, and there were many, many others such as Karmann, Dannenhauer & Stauss, Drews, Denzel, Beutler, Wendler, and Hebmuller. One of the rarest of the breed is the Enzmann 506, but as my local Cars and Coffee seems to draw out the odd and the interesting, I happened to catch one of them at a recent meet.

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Goodwood 2014:- Retrofuturism with the 1971 Mazda RX500

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When we think of the Wankel engine, the first thing we do is snigger about the funny name, because we’re all so infantile. The second thing we do is think about Mazda, who have carried the torch for Rotary engine usage and development higher than NSU, Norton, Citroen and all the others combined.

Some of the Mazdas to use Felix’s wonder-engine have been more successful than others, the JDM only Roadpacer, for example, was an hilarious disaster. Nevertheless, Mazda’s faith in the concept was self-evident, and in 1971 Mazda unveiled a show-stopping concept car to spin up a bit more rotary interest. 43 years later, I damn near tripped over the thing during the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Edit: Antti wrote about this back last year and now, by sheer stroke of luck, I appear to have written almost exactly the same as he did….

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Goodwood 2014: Ford Mustero: Professional Hack-Job?

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When I’m drunk and armed with a Sawzall and absolutely no safety equipment nor any prior planning, there’s nothing I enjoy more than cutting the rear end from a perfectly serviceable car and “converting” it into a pick-up truck.

I don’t really, of course; but if eBay and Cragslist are anything to go by, there are an awful lot of people out there who do. Not all of them can string a sentence together, but they all have access to power-tools. Usually, though, they start off with some rough old beater before commencing their round of “improvements”.

This machine, seen on display at the Cartier Style Et Luxe competition at Goodwood, promised to have rather more provenance; though I’m not quite sure. Make your own judgement after the jump.

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