Friday, September 22, 2017

Fast & Furious Cars in Action Live: January, 2018

From The Sun (UK), September 22, 2017. A show eventually coming to 40 cities!

UNIVERSAL has gone to extreme lengths to keep its new Fast & Furious franchise a secret.
Led by an armed escort to a secret hangar on an unmarked military base in North England - we're expecting big things.

 Fast & Furious Live has all the best cars from the eight movies
Fast & Furious Live has all the best cars from the eight movies

"Do not leave the Fast Training hangar," warns a tank commander at the gate.
"War dogs are on the base and they can be slow to respond. We don’t want any journalist and war dog interactions."
We're expecting to see Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson tearing out the front doors armed to the teeth in the latest supercars.
And what we actually get isn't far off.
Costing a massive £25million, Universal has created Fast & Furious Live - a big-stadium live show featuring the best stunts from the eight F&F films - and we got a glimpse behind-the-scenes.
Opening in January 2018, fans can watch a new storyline weaving together the iconic cars and biggest stunts played out at London’s O2 Arena.

 Vin Diesel's famous Charger will perform stunts
Vin Diesel's famous Charger will perform stunts

3D mapping is key to the show, using the latest projection tech to turn huge arenas into film sets from around the world.
One minute you'll be in London in the rain, the next in LA or Rio.
After the show opens in London, F&F Live goes on tour throughout the world, taking 40 cars to 40 cities. This is big business.
Eleven stunt drivers have been selected from over 2,000 entrants to take part in what’s promised to be the world’s greatest live stunt show.

 Toyota Supra from the first movie is one of oldest on set
Toyota Supra from the first movie is one of oldest on set
 The Eclipse was first car driven by the late Paul Walker in original movie
The Eclipse was first car driven by the late Paul Walker in original movie

We snuck into the hangar to watch them train, performing red arrow-style crossovers, tyre-melting doughnuts and inch-perfect precision driving.
Of the 11, three are female stunt drivers including 20-year-old drift star Jodie Rasburn and talented race ace Jessica Hawkins.

 Radical Flip Car is the exact one driven by Luke Evans in Fast & Furious 6
Radical Flip Car is the exact one driven by Luke Evans in Fast & Furious 6

“We’re all a massive family now,” Jodie tells The Sun. “Our best stunt? We’ve got jumping the submarine, the lorry heist... they’re absolutely amazing and the audience are going to love them.
"If the audience see a female stunt driver, they’re going to love that. Normally I drive a Mini, but my favourite car from the show is the Lykan.”

 Supercars like Lamborghini Murcielago features alongside the tricked-up drift cars
Supercars like Lamborghini Murcielago features alongside the tricked-up drift cars

Vin Diesel and the other stars will appear only video, with the main parts of this new story driven by new characters and new actors.
Fresh out of drama school, new-star Elysia Wren said: “I play Sophia, a really strong alpha female. I can drive, and I’ve learnt how to drift for this.

 Stunt team is made up of 11 experts
Stunt team is made up of 11 experts

"It’s incredible. But I can’t tell you about the most dangerous stunt, it’s a secret, but it involves a plane.”
Lead stunt driver Chris Burns explains the difficulties in doing live stunts: “In movie work you can do take after take... we have to do it live. And that requires dedication to be consistent.


  • 1970 Dodge Charger R/T (The Fast and The Furious)
  • Honda Civic EJ (The Fast and The Furious)
  • Toyota Supra (The Fast and The Furious)
  • Mitsubishi Eclipse (The Fast and The Furious)
  • Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R (2 Fast 2 Furious)
  • Honda S2000 (2 Fast 2 Furious)
  • Toyota Supra Hardtop (2 Fast 2 Furious)
  • Mitsubishi Evo IV (The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift)
  • Nissan Silvia (The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift)
  • Nissan 350Z (The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift)
  • Buick Grand National GNX (Fast & Furious)
  • Dodge Charger SRT-8 (Fast 5)
  • Oshkosh Truck (Fast 5)
  • Dodge Charger PPV (Fast 5)
  • Tank (Fast & Furious 6)
  • Flip car (Fast & Furious 6)
  • Navistar MXT (Fast & Furious 6)
  • Off-road Dodge Challenger (Furious 7)
  • W Motors Lykan HyperSport (Furious 7)
  • Subaru WRX STI (Furious 7)
  • Nissan GT-R R35 (Furious 7)
  • Ice Charger (The Fate of The Furious)
  • Ripsaw (The Fate of The Furious)
  • Lamborghini Murcielago (The Fate of The Furious)
  • Polaris RMX 800 Assault (The Fate of The Furious)
“Our team are amazing in every sense of the word. They range from 20 to 53 years old.
"The three females are awesome and every part of the team. One of the girls has more guts than most of the guys. They are tremendous.

 New stars Elysia Wren and Mark Ebulué will lead the show
New stars Elysia Wren and Mark Ebulué will lead the show
 We got behind-the-scenes peek at training
We got behind-the-scenes peek at training

“My favourite car is either the Toyota Supra of the Dodge Charger RT."
The show’s producers claim Fast & Furious Live will be as big a game changer as Cirque du Soleil for the circus, or the iPod to music. A huge claim.
Tickets, starting at £35, go on sale next Friday and can be bought online.

A New Book on the History of he Porsche Engineering Office

The Porsche sports car brand began in 1948 when the first vehicle to carry the Porsche name was built. However, the history of the company goes further back.
The history of the Porsche engineering office, 2017, Porsche AG
Ferdinand Porsche founded his engineering office in 1931. Working until his death in 1951, the exceptionally creative technician, formerly a designer of electric cars and racing cars and the chief developer at Daimler-Benz, laid the foundations for the global company that would later bear the same name. Today, in September 2017, the founding, philosophy and development of Porsche’s predecessor company has been documented in great detail in the book “Porsche: Vom Konstruktionsbüro zur Weltmarke” (“Porsche: From Engineering office to Global Brand”) from publisher Siedler Verlag. The renowned historian Wolfram Pyta tells the story of Porsche GmbH/KG in its turbulent early years: from the origins of the Volkswagen to the transition to a wartime economy under National Socialism and the development of battle tanks, right up to the establishment of the automotive brand carrying the Porsche name. The book outlines the direction in which the creative dynamics of Porsche's founding years under National Socialism led the company, why the company had to undergo a fresh start after the war without its founder and how the global company ultimately emerged from the engineering office of old.
Ferdinand Porsche, Volkswagen prototype of the series W30, 1937, Porsche AG

Ferdinand Porsche 1937 with a Volkswagen prototype of the series W30

The book devotes particular attention to studying the role of Professor Ferdinand Porsche under National Socialism. The success story of Porsche’s engineering office is closely linked to the “Third Reich” and Adolf Hitler himself. Prestigious projects such as the Auto Union racing cars and the Volkswagen are synonymous with National Socialism. The Second World War even saw the development of military vehicles based on the Volkswagen, then known as the “Strength Through Joy” car. Like most German companies during the Second World War, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche KG, as it was then known, exploited a labour force made up of foreign workers forced into service.
Wolfram Pyta’s research not only confirms widely known facts and clarifies earlier findings, but also unearths new discoveries.
The scholar describes Porsche as a prime example of a family business owner, a man who took advantage of the political relationships and opportunities that the Nazi regime offered–not out of ideological conviction, but out of pure economic interest–in order to assert his position as a developer and manufacturer in the face of the superiority of established automotive giants such as Daimler or Auto Union.
By painting this picture of the business owner, Pyta thus confirms the long-standing belief that Ferdinand Porsche’s first and foremost concern was safeguarding the ownership structure of his family business and protecting its resources. According to Pyta, Porsche benefited significantly from his access to political decision-makers without embracing the ideology of National Socialism.
The study offers new findings regarding the classification of Porsche GmbH/KG in its role as a engineering office during the Second World War. Porsche KG employed more than 400 forced labourers; however, the company was more lenient in the treatment of its workforce than the Volkswagen plant, for example. The book also reveals new details surrounding the origins of the Porsche plant in Zuffenhausen.
Light has now also been shed on the circumstances of Ferdinand Porsche’s captivity in France after the war. Contrary to popular opinion, Porsche was not convicted as a war criminal – the reasons for his imprisonment actually had a clear economic basis. Renault and Peugeot argued over Porsche’s role in the possible development of their own “Volkswagen”, which means that Porsche's imprisonment can be traced back to an internal conflict within France. It was not until July 1947 that Porsche was released from custody on bail. He was formally acquitted in May 1948.
Ubbo Enninga, artist, commemorative plaque, Zuffenhausen, 2017, Porsche AG
Since September, a commemorative plaque for the forced workers employed by Porsche has been hanging in front of the historic plant 1 in Zuffenhausen. The bronze plaque was designed by artist Ubbo Enninga.

In his absence, his children Ferry Porsche and Louise Piëch took over the management of the company. This arrangement of succession within the family prevented any disputes relating to the transfer of management. With its transformation into an automobile manufacturer and the founding of the Porsche brand, the company completed its growth strategy launched in 1931.

The Porsche of today versus the Porsche of the past

Today, Porsche AG acknowledges the past of its predecessor companies and considers confronting its history as an ongoing duty. In 1999, the company joined the German Industry Foundation Initiative and donated five million Deutsche Marks to help establish a reparations fund for the victims of forced labour. In addition, seven people who were affected were each compensated with one-off payments of 10,000 Deutsche Marks.
Against this backdrop, the company subsequently began carrying out intensive research in the Porsche Archive as well as in external sources. This research was conducted by Porsche in partnership with Prof. Dr Wolfram Pyta. Pyta is Chair for Modern History at the University of Stuttgart’s Institute of History and is also Director of the Ludwigsburg Research Centre for the Study of National-Socialist Criminal History. He ranks among Germany's most renowned historians, with the Weimar Republic being one of his specialisms alongside other areas. In 2008, Pyta was awarded the State Research Prize of Baden-Württemberg for his biography of Paul von Hindenburg. It was on his suggestion that Porsche launched a fundamental research project in 2014 on the history of the Porsche engineering office. The research project, which was financially supported by Porsche, was carried out independently by Pyta and his team of two researchers (Dr Nils Havemann and Dr Jutta Braun) in an open and unbiased manner. The scholars were able to access all documents in the company archive. In addition, the team carried out research in a number of external archives, both public and private, in Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Russia. The researchers made a conscious decision to examine the period from the founding of the engineering office in 1931 until Ferdinand Porsche’s death in 1951.
Prototype manufacture in the Porsche plant, Zuffenhausen, 1947, Porsche AG

Prototype manufacture in the Porsche plant (today called plant I) in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, 1941

The research project is the logical continuation of internal investigations into the company’s history and serves as an example of the company’s desire to fully and unreservedly shed light on the time period from the founding of the engineering office until after the Second World War.

Study as a prelude to further projects

The findings of the academic study gave cause for Porsche AG to undertake a number of follow-up actions. For example, a commemorative plaque designed by the artist Ubbo Enninga was installed at the entrance to the tradition-steeped plant 1, now the head office of Porsche AG. In addition, the research findings have been integrated into the permanent exhibition at the Porsche Museum. Similarly, the contents of the study have been incorporated into the training and development of all Porsche employees.
Porsche also instigated an academic symposium on “Perspektiven moderner Unternehmensgeschichte” (“Perspectives on contemporary company history”) at the University of Stuttgart in October 2017.
Furthermore, Porsche will sponsor the first Chair for research into company history in Germany at the University of Stuttgart.
Porsche’s history forms a part of its identity – even the period under National Socialism. Today, Porsche AG is committed to setting a clear example of tolerance and openness. Funding academic research into the company’s history will help Porsche to understand its past and therefore shape its future

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Zoute Grand Prix, October 5-8, 2017: At the Belgian Seaside Resort of Het Zoute

5 to 8 October 2017: Zoute Grand Prix: Open-top automotive culture at the Belgian seaside

At the Zoute Grand Prix 2017, Mercedes-Benz Classic is presenting three outstanding open-top sporting vehicles that span the brand's history: the supercharged Model S sports car from 1927 stands for the racing victories of the late 1920s and early 1930s. The sports version of the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL (W 121) recalls the motor sport successes of Mercedes-Benz standard-production sports cars in the 1950s. And the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS (W 198), raced in the 1957 US sports car championship, bears witness to the three successive championship titles of Paul O'Shea at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz. The automobiles with the star will be presented and driven by, among others, Mercedes-Benz Classic brand ambassador Jochen Mass. The Zoute Grand Prix will be held for the eighth time from 5 to 8 October 2017. It will take place at the Belgian seaside resort of Het Zoute, a district of Knokke-Heist. This exclusive festival of automotive lifestyle will include the Zoute Rally, the Zoute Concours d'Elégance and the Zoute GT Tour, the Zoute Sale by Bonhams and the Zoute Top Marques car show.
Stuttgart. Once a year, the glamorous Belgian seaside resort of Het Zoute is transformed into an exclusive stage for showcasing the automotive lifestyle in all its diversity. For the Zoute Grand Prix, which has been held since 2010, offers five different formats for experiencing the fascination of automotive culture.
Classic vehicles will be especially in the spotlight at the Zoute Rally (5 to 7 October 2017), the Concours d'Elégance (7 to 8 October) and the Zoute Sale by Bonhams (5 and 6 October). The Zoute GT Tour (8 October) is devoted to outstanding sports cars from the past twenty years. On 18 podiums along the exclusive Kustlaan shopping mile and Albertplein Square, the Zoute Top Marques (5 to 8 October) will present the highlights of the current ranges of the participating brands. Mercedes-Benz is a Premium Car Partner of Top Marques.
Magic moments of motor sport
Mercedes-Benz Classic will be represented at the Zoute Grand Prix 2017 by three vehicles that recall magic moments of motor sport with near-standard open-top sports cars from different eras: the supercharged Model S sports car from 1927, the racing version of the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL (W 121) and the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS (W 198), the winning car in the 1957 US sports car championship. The automobiles of the Stuttgart brand will be presented and driven by, among others, former racing driver and Mercedes-Benz Classic brand ambassador Jochen Mass.
Ninety years ago, the Model S was the first member of the successful S-series to which it gave its name and which also included SS and SSK versions. It was with these supercharged sports cars that the brand dominated international motor sport in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The six-cylinder in-line engine of the Model S, the "S" standing for "Sport", had an output of  88 kW (120 hp). With help from the supercharger, this rose to a mighty 132 kW (180 hp), making the high-performance sports car the most successful racing car of its era. At the same time, the Model S was also produced in the guise of a highly exclusive, street-legal super sports car and sold to discerning customers.
The racing version of the Roadster 190 SL (W 121) stands for the motor sport successes of Mercedes-Benz standard-production cars in the 1950s. This field, however, was dominated by the "big brother" 300 SL, as the 190 SL was disadvantaged by the rules: the sports version was homologated by the FIA not as a GT, but only as a sports car – a class in which it really stood no chance. Even so, the 190 SL recorded some racing successes, such as in the Grand Prix of Macau and the Grand Prix of Casablanca in 1956.
The Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS was produced as a special version of the 300 SL Roadster (W 198), unveiled in 1957, for competing in the US sports car championship. Lightweight design along with an optimised engine made the vehicle a winner, with Paul O'Shea taking the championship title for the third time in succession.
Automotive culture between city, beach and golf green
Those participating in the Zoute Rally by Chubb will experience classic automobiles on dream roads of Flanders. This year, a field of almost 200 vehicles built between 1920 and 1965 will line up at the start. Following the technical inspections on the Thursday (5 October 2017) in the centre of Het Zoute near the Alberplein, the rally itself will take place on the following two days. The start is on the Friday (6 October) from 8.30 am as well as on the Saturday (7 October) from 8.00 am. The finish on both days is from 4.00 pm at the dyke near the famous sandy beach.
The Concours d'Elégance will take place at the Royal Zoute Golf Club. Over 50 outstanding classic vehicles will be presented to the public at this event alongside the Zoute Grand Prix. Among last year's prizewinners were a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL racing car (W 194) from 1952 and a 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL "Gullwing" Coupé (W 198). In 2016, the 300 SL "Gullwing" won the prestigious "Most Iconic Car" award.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Car Spotting: The American Automobile Industry of the 1970s -- 1971: AMC, Chrysler, and Ford

1971 Chrysler Corp. Vehicles

1971 Plymouth Gran Fury Coupe
1971 Chrysler Imperial
1971 Dodge Polara

1971 Barracuda
1971 Challenger
1971 Valiant

1971 American Motors Corp. Automobiles

1971 Gremlin


1971 Javelin

1971 Matador

1971 Ambassador

1971 Ford Motor Vehicles
1971 Ford Galaxie

1971 Torino

1971 Mustang Mach I

1971 Maverick Grabber

1971 Pinto

1971 Mercury

1971 Mercury Montego

1971 Comet

1971 Cougar

1971 Lincoln Town Car

1971 Lincoln Mark III

1971 Ford Thunderbird
Hi folks -- This post is a work-in-progress, so be patient. We'll start with visuals and statistics, then to general trends during 1971. GM cars will be next.

American Motors

Total AMC




Ford Motor Co.

Mark III
Total Ford

Statistics from Ward's Yearbooks, 1972 and 1975.