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Goodwood 2014:- Retrofuturism with the 1971 Mazda RX500


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?


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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Goodwood 2014: The Koenigsegg Agera One:1 Causes Breathlessness.


Choosing a “car of the show” from the rich assortment at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed is a difficult choice. There are so many categories to choose from, some of which could deserve the title through historical significance alone, and some of which could be nominated through sheer honest to goodness allure alone.

Though I won’t be forced into naming mine, I can see this as being a frontrunner for the Car Of Show plaudit. And because I move in entirely the wrong societal circles, I’m extremely unlikely to ever spend time in the company of a Koenigsegg again, let alone see it hurled noisily up a narrow tarmac track. Take the jump to gawp at more naked carbon fibre and watch it attack the hillclimb.

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The Carchive: 1978 Renault Lineup


Welcome to this week’s second instalment of musty paper offerings from the deepest, darkest reaches of motoring history’s forgotten cavern.

Since seeing what Ford were up to in 1967 on Tuesday, let’s head a little way forwards in time to 1978, from whence we’ll board an Air France Concorde and head over to see what was going on with Renault in that year.

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The Carchive:- The 1967 Ford Lineup


It’s high time we boarded the clunky old elevator once again, to creak us skyward up the lift-shaft of memories, aiming to find something of interest when we reach the viewing platform of wisdom. Or somesuch.

The most recent visits to The Carchive have yielded brochures which have been far too seriously recent enough, by half, so it’s time to tumble back through time to a year in which we would See Emily Play for the first time, and the Boeing 737 took its first flight towards ubiquity. Today, for about an hour and a half, it’s 1967.

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Parking Garage Sightings – Lancia Gamma Coupé


A good friend, Joe, sometimes whips out his camera when he’s out and about. This results in excellent car sightings that apparently are exactly to my taste, and I have to say he’s one hundred percent correct. Take this as proof: a perfectly preserved or meticulously restored Lancia Gamma, and the ultra-classy coupé version too.

Spotted in La Spezia, Italy, it’s certainly special.

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The Carchive: The Alfa Romeo Spider (916 series)


Welcome to this week’s second visit to the festering compost heap of motoring history, from the bottom of which we hope to scrape something vaguely of interest.

On Tuesday we chanced upon a brochure for the Series Four Alfa Romeo Spider of 1990, the final iteration of a car which had been in production for aaaages. In 1993, things changed for ever….. and I didn’t take any notice for seven years. So here’s a brochure for that car as it was in 2000.

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Used Car Review: 1988 SEAT Ibiza


SEAT are a fascinating company. Chart the Spanish firms history back over the decades and their CV is rich with an astonishing variety of automotive offerings, the majority of which started out in life wearing Fiat badges. However, in the 1980′s SEAT split from Fiat and went on a marketing rampage that saw their profile rising spectacularly, and it was this little red car you see above that did most of the fighting.

As an amusing exercise, before sampling the latest Ibiza FR 140 (stay tuned, folks…) I thought I’d experience where SEAT had come from before sampling where they’re going. Dust off your Global Hypercolor T-Shirt, I’m driving back to 1988.

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The Carchive: Alfa Romeo Spider Series 4


Welcome back to the decaying, rusty vault that is The Carchive, where we take a look back at brochures from the past and determine whether the promises of the copywriter were kept by the reality of the car.

This week, with no real forward planning, we’ve hit upon a theme that should appeal to Italian arachnophiles the world over.

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V.I.S.I.T: 1991 Lotus Elan SE


As a die-hard fan of sitting down and relaxing, I could have been forgiven if delirium had set in during the advanced stages of the 21 mile walk I “enjoyed” on Sunday. Indeed, when conversation moved onto detailing the various kinds of electrical pylon found on the national grid (this was largely a monologue, admittedly), insanity was confirmed.

Nevertheless, I was severely taken aback when I gave today’s VISIT sighting, second, third, fourth and fifth glances and still it didn’t dissolve into the shadows of my imagination from whence it came. Nay, it was a real, living, breathing example of a 1991 Lotus Elan SE.

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