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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

The Iconic Speed of the 1937 Auto Union Typ C Stromlinen

Classic BEAST - In 2024, the automotive industry has reached new heights, but there are still very few cars that can exceed 400 kph. This level of speed remains an extraordinary achievement, often reserved for the most advanced supercars and hypercars. However, it's fascinating to note that such a feat was accomplished as far back as 1937Bernd Rosemeyer, a renowned racing driver of his time, managed to break this speed barrier in the Auto Union Typ C Stromlinen powered by 520PS V16 drivetrain.
The replica of the 1937 Auto Union Typ C V16 Stromlinen of Bernd Rosemeyer rested in the company’s museum. (Picture from: Car & Motorbikes Stars of the Golden era)
This car, a marvel of engineering and design, was not only a symbol of technological innovation but also of human ambition and daring. Today, only two original cars of this type exist worldwide, serving as precious relics of a bygone era when the pursuit of speed was pushing the boundaries of what was thought possible. The Auto Union Typ C Stromlinen, with its sleek, aerodynamic design and powerful engine, remains a testament to the ingenuity and spirit of the pre-war automotive pioneers.
Bernd Rosemeyer posed along with the 1938 Auto Union 'Silberpfeil' Typ D V12 GP racer. (Picture from: Car & Motorbikes Stars of the Golden era)
The evocative shape of the Typ C Stromlinen must have caused quite a sensation in 1937. The design, especially notable in the post-war period, influenced many production cars. This Auto Union was specifically crafted for top speed on the Avus circuit near Berlin, which was the fastest track in the world at that time.

In 1937, Avus faced competition from the Norisring in Nuremberg. To attract more attention, Avus’s layout was extended to include a high-speed 43° banked turn made from brick. This addition launched cars onto the main straight, allowing them to reach nearly 248.40 mph (400 kph).
Bernd Rosemeyer, behind the wheel of the Auto Union Type C V16 Streamliner, sped through the high-speed 43° banked turn made of brick at Avus. (Picture from: Car & Motorbikes Stars of the Golden era)
The Internationales Avus Rennen main event was a highlight, featuring record-breaking cars from Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz. Both companies thoroughly developed their cars and conducted multiple tests on Avus before the race. The track, known for its speed, was also the most dangerous. The curve at the top lacked a fence, earning it the nickname ‘Wall of Death’. Despite the dangers, 18 brave drivers entered the race, and 300,000 to 400,000 spectators attended to witness the fastest pre-war race ever run.
The replica of the Auto Union Typ C V16 Stromlinen (sat on display at Laguna Seca) was built nearly 70 years later, showcasing exquisite craftsmanship. (Picture from: TamSoldRaceCarSite.net)
The race was divided into three seven-lap sprints, with grids of only six or eight cars. Four streamliners were included, evenly split between Mercedes and Auto Union, racing alongside regular-season Grand Prix cars. The streamliners had an advantage on the long straights of Avus, while the GP cars excelled on the curves.
The replica of Bernd Rosemeyer's 1937 Auto Union Type C V16 Streamliner made its first public appearance in 2009 to celebrate 100 years of Audi at the Geneva Motor Show and the Goodwood Festival of Speed. (Picture from: WeirdWheel)
At the start, Rudolf Caracciola in the Mercedes and Bernd Rosemeyer in the Auto Union engaged in a fierce battle, which lasted until the last lap when they were side-by-side. Ultimately, Caracciola won, finishing just 0.7 seconds ahead of Rosemeyer.
The replica of the 1937 Auto Union Typ C V16 Stromlinen of Bernd Rosemeyer, while sat on display at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. (Picture from: Supercars.net)
The second heat was even faster, featuring a duel between Manfred von Brauchitsch and Luigi Fagioli in streamliners. Fagioli retired due to transmission problems, allowing Von Brauchitsch to secure an easy win for Mercedes. Meanwhile, Hermann Lang's Mercedes-Benz Streamliner suffered a tire failure at high speed, but Lang managed to keep the car straight enough to survive.
The replica of the 1937 Auto Union Typ C V16 Stromlinen of Bernd Rosemeyer while sat on display at the 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed. (Picture from: ZerCustoms)
The third and final heat determined the overall victor, with a combined group from the first two races. Four streamliners competed: Brauchitsch, Caracciola, and Lang in Mercedes against Rosemeyer in the Auto Union. Unfortunately for Rosemeyer, his V16 was only running on 13 cylinders, and he was outnumbered. Eventually, Lang went on to win the entire event. This would be the only time someone scored a victory using the full track, as it was deemed too dangerous to repeat in 1938

By 1937, Auto Union had been actively making streamlined record cars for three years. Their first attempt was with a long-tail Typ A, followed by the striking Rekordwagen Typ Lucca Coupe. Although Auto Union might have considered using these designs in a normal Grand Prix race, this never happened.
The Audi Rosemeyer concept car was created in 2000 to pay tribute to the Auto Union Silver Arrows (German: Silberpfeil), driven by the legendary German racer, Bernd Rosemeyer. (Picture from: GridOto)
A streamlined Typ D did appear at Reims for the 1938 French GP but crashed heavily during practice. Sadly, the only record of these cars exists in pictures. After a run of 279 mph, Bernd Rosemeyer tragically lost his life in January 1938 when the special Auto Union went out of control on the Frankfurt-Darmstadt autobahn. A replica of the 1937 Avus car was made to exact specifications for Audi Tradition, preserving the legacy of this remarkable vehicle. To further commemorate the great German racer Bernd Rosemeyer, Audi launched a concept car in his honor in 2000, named the Audi Rosemeyer.
The Auto Union Typ C V16 Stromlinen, with its revolutionary design and incredible speed, stands as a testament to the ingenuity and bravery of an era that pushed the boundaries of automotive engineering. This remarkable piece of history continues to inspire car enthusiasts and engineers, reminding us of a time when the pursuit of speed knew no bounds. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | CAR & MOTORBIKES STARS OF THE GOLDEN ERA | TAMSOLDRACECARSITE.NET | AUTOGEN.PL | BRITANICA | SUPERCARS.NET | ZERCUSTOMS | INFERNALCO.CO ]
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Monday, July 15, 2024

Bugatti's Imaginary 1980s Revival: The Untold Story of the Type 105

Imaginary Concept - The world of luxury automobiles is rich with history and innovation, and Bugatti is a name that stands tall among the elite. Known for its speed, elegance, and groundbreaking design, Bugatti has faced numerous challenges over the decades. The late eighties saw a notable revival effort with the Bugatti EB110, a model that marked a significant turning point for the brand. However, there were intriguing concepts in the seventies and eighties that many might not be aware of, one of which is the fascinating imaginary Bugatti Type 105.
This imaginary Bugatti Type 105 concept by designer Nikita Bridan portrays Roland Bugatti's final attempt to revive the brand in 1984. (Picture from: Pinterest)
The Bugatti Type 105, although not a real car, represents an imaginative piece of automotive history. Created by the talented designer Nikita Bridan, this concept captures the spirit of early-80s design. Bridan's vision featured a recessed front grill and integrated headlights in the front bumper, a bold and distinctive choice. The design was presented in Bridan's blog as a fictional narrative of Roland Bugatti, the last heir of Ettore Bugatti, making one final attempt to revive the brand in 1984.
This imaginary Bugatti Type 105 concept by designer Nikita Bridan portrays Roland Bugatti's final attempt to revive the brand in 1984. (Picture from: Silodrome)
This imagined design faced several hypothetical challenges. The Type 105 aimed to be the first digital supercar, equipped with advanced computer assists and software for enhanced control. Despite its forward-thinking approach, early prototype road tests, as narrated by Bridan, received poor feedback.
This imaginary Bugatti Type 105 concept by designer Nikita Bridan portrays Roland Bugatti's final attempt to revive the brand in 1984. (Picture from: DrivenToWrite)
Critics highlighted a significant lack of feedback and inconsistency in the assists, leading to poor driving dynamics. This negative feedback ultimately led to the imagined failure of the Type 105, and Bugatti remained dormant until the actual introduction of the Bugatti EB110 during Romano Artioli's era in the early nineties.
This imaginary Bugatti Type 105 concept by designer Nikita Bridan portrays Roland Bugatti's final attempt to revive the brand in 1984. (Picture from: DrivenToWrite)
While the Type 105 was purely a conceptual creation, it remains a captivating "what if" in the realm of automotive history. Its design was ahead of its time, attempting to merge traditional automotive craftsmanship with the then-emerging digital technologies. The recessed front grill and integrated headlights, though polarizing, showcased a daring attempt at innovation.
This imaginary Bugatti Type 105 concept by designer Nikita Bridan portrays Roland Bugatti's final attempt to revive the brand in 1984. (Picture from: Silodrome)
The story of the Bugatti Type 105 underscores the creativity and imagination of designers like Nikita Bridan, who dared to envision what Bugatti could be. This imaginative exercise reflects the enduring fascination with Bugatti's legacy and the endless possibilities for its future in automotive design. Even though the Type 105 never existed in reality, it highlights the passion and forward-thinking mindset that continues to drive the brand.
This imaginary Bugatti Type 105 concept by designer Nikita Bridan portrays Roland Bugatti's final attempt to revive the brand in 1984. (Picture from: BugattiRevue)
In another interesting turn of events, a 1999 design proposal by Walter de'Silva for a new VW-Bugatti eventually evolved into the Veyron, a completely different design. This progression illustrates the continuous evolution and resilience of the Bugatti brand, adapting and transforming through various eras and technological advancements.
This imaginary Bugatti Type 105 concept by designer Nikita Bridan portrays Roland Bugatti's final attempt to revive the brand in 1984. (Picture from: BugattiRevue)
The tale of the Bugatti Type 105, though fictional, is a testament to the enduring allure and innovation associated with the Bugatti name. It serves as a reminder of the limitless potential of automotive design and the creative minds that push the boundaries of what is possible. The Type 105, in all its imagined glory, continues to inspire and captivate, might adding a unique chapter to the storied history of Bugatti. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | NIKITA BRIDAN | SILODROME | BUGATTIREVUE | DRIVEN TO WRITE | AVERAGE GUYS CAR RESTORATION, MODS , AND RACING ]
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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Forgotten Ferrari P6 Pininfarina: 1970s Wedge-Shaped Icon

Almost Forgotten - Among Ferrari's many illustrious sports car models, one stands out for its beautiful wedge style typical of the 1970s, yet it remains almost forgotten today. This car is the Ferrari P6 Berlinetta Speciale, designed by Pininfarina and first unveiled at the 1968 Turin Auto Show. This unique design was inspired by the Berlinetta Boxer and the 308/328 series and was originally presented as a model without an engine.
The 1968 Ferrari P6 Berlinetta Speciale by Pininfarina first unveiled at the 1968 Turin Auto Show. (Picture from: Carstyling.ru)
The Ferrari P6 Berlinetta Speciale was designed by Leonardo Fioravanti, who explored the idea of placing Maranello’s legendary V12 engine behind the cockpit instead of in the front. This concept mirrored the successful mid-engine designs of contemporaries like the Lamborghini MiuraDe Tomaso Mangusta, and their successors, such as the Countach and Pantera, along with the Maserati Bora. Fioravanti's vision resulted in a car with strikingly tapered lines and a futuristic appeal.
The 1968 Ferrari P6 Berlinetta Speciale by Pininfarina posed along with its designer Leonardo Fioravanti and the inspiration sources Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer. (Picture from: WheelsAge.org)
The design of the P6 Berlinetta Specialle was almost flawless, with the exception of the rear section. The car's stubby tail, recessed headlights in the lower section, and massive upper section created a somewhat disharmonious look from the back. 
Despite its initial design quirks, the Ferrari P6 Berlinetta Speciale by Pininfarina maintained a conservative yet elegant appearance, hinting at the future of sports car design. (Picture from: WheelsAge.org)
Fortunately, these design elements were significantly refined in subsequent models. Despite these initial design quirks, the car maintained a conservative yet elegant appearance that hinted at the future of sports car design.
The 1968 Ferrari P6 Berlinetta Speciale by Pininfarina is the first Maranello's model carries a mid-mounted V12 engine. (Picture from: Supercars.net)
This sparkling white vehicle was equipped with a 2,989 cc V12 engine capable of producing around 400 horsepower, a notable achievement for its time. Unlike other prototypes labeled with the letter 'P.' the P6 Berlinetta Speciale was nearly ready for production. However, despite its potential, the P6 Berlinetta Speciale did not receive the green light for mass production and was temporarily shelved.
The 1968 Ferrari P6 Berlinetta Speciale by Pininfarina is powered by a 2,989 cc V12 engine capable of spewing out around 400 hp. (Picture from: Supercars.net)
The P6 Berlinetta Speciale’s design did not fade into obscurity. Instead, it became the foundation for the Ferrari 365 GTB/4, commonly known as the Ferrari Daytona, which was launched in 1971. This new model also featured a mid-mounted 60° V12 engine, and its prototype was built on the chassis of the original P6 Berlinetta Speciale concept. The transition from the P6 to the Daytona demonstrated Ferrari’s commitment to innovation and design excellence.
The 1968 Ferrari P6 Berlinetta Speciale by Pininfarina used as the basis for the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 which was launched in 1971. (Picture from: Auta5p.eu)
Ferrari’s P6 Berlinetta Speciale may not be widely remembered today, but its influence on the brand’s subsequent models is undeniable. The car's innovative design and engineering paved the way for future successes and cemented its place in Ferrari’s storied history. The legacy of the P6 Berlinetta Speciale lives on through the Ferrari Daytona and the continued evolution of Ferrari’s sports car lineup.đŸ˜”
In the ever-evolving world of automotive design, the Ferrari P6 Berlinetta Speciale stands as a testament to bold experimentation and forward-thinking engineering. Its story reminds us that even the most fleeting prototypes can leave a lasting impact on the automotive landscape. As we look back on this nearly forgotten gem, we gain a deeper appreciation for the visionaries who push the boundaries of design and performance, ensuring that the spirit of innovation continues to drive the automotive industry forward.*** [EKA [24112021] | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | AUTA5P.EU | SUPERCARS.NET | CARROZZIERI-ITALIANI | CARSTYLING.RU ]
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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Stola S86 Diamante: The Pinnacle of Rapid Automotive Engineering

One-Off - Since its inception in 1919, Stola has carved a niche for itself in the automotive industry, consistently demonstrating its prowess in vehicle manufacturing from initial concept to final production. This heritage of excellence was epitomized at the 75th Geneva International Motor Show in 2005, where Stola unveiled the S86 Diamante, a new show model designed by the legendary Marcello Gandini.
The Stola S86 Diamante showcases the Italian brand's exceptional ability to deliver rapid, tailor-made engineering solutions, designed by the legendary Marcello Gandini. (Picture from: ArchivioPrototipi)
The Stola S86 Diamante showcases the Italian brand's exceptional ability to deliver rapid, tailor-made engineering solutions. This model is a testament to Stola's capability to execute a complete vehicle development plan—from stylistic feasibilities to small-series production—within an impressively short period. Remarkably, the S86 Diamante was completed in just five weeks before its debut at Geneva, highlighting Stola’s efficiency and dedication.
The remarkable feat of producing the S86 Diamante in just five weeks illustrates Stola’s unparalleled efficiency and the seamless integration of design and engineering. (Picture from: UltimateCarPage)
Marcello Gandini, renowned for his iconic designs for Lamborghini, including the Espada, Jarama, Urraco, Miura, and Countach, embraced this ambitious project despite the tight schedule. While some critics might argue that the S86 Diamante lacks the refinement of Gandini’s earlier works, likely due to the rush, the vehicle’s design still captures attention with its modern and dynamic aesthetic. The craftsmanship, especially in the interior, is a testament to Stola’s commitment to quality, even under time constraints.
The dimensions of the Stola S86 Diamante—a length of 4,275 mm, a width of 1,930 mm, a height of 1,225 mm, and a wheelbase of 2,600 mm. (Picture from: Supercars.net)
The S86 Diamante is more than just a showpiece; it embodies Stola’s philosophy of "Tailor Made Engineering." This approach allows Stola to develop projects from the initial stylistic feasibility phase to small-series production efficiently and precisely. The dimensions of the S86 Diamantea length of 4,275 mm, a width of 1,930 mm, a height of 1,225 mm, and a wheelbase of 2,600 mm—contribute to its balanced and sleek profile. The front and rear tracks, measuring 1,535 mm and 1,555 mm respectively, enhance its stability and performance.
The craftsmanship, especially in the S86 Diamante's interior, is a testament to Stola’s commitment to quality, even under time constraints. (Picture from: UltimateCarPage)
Stola’s achievement with the S86 Diamante underscores its ability to meet customer needs swiftly and effectively. This model serves as a tangible demonstration of Stola’s capability to produce high-quality vehicles under tight deadlines, maintaining competitive development costs and ensuring rapid time-to-market. The S86 Diamante is neither a mere stylistic exercise nor just a show car; it is a clear example of Stola’s dedication to engineering excellence tailored to specific customer requirements.
The Stola S86 Diamante stands as a beacon of its expertise and commitment to quality. (Picture from: UltimateCarPage)
As Stola continues to innovate and push the boundaries of automotive engineering, the S86 Diamante stands as a beacon of its expertise and commitment to quality. The company's ability to adapt and deliver, even under the most challenging timelines, solidifies its reputation as a leader in the industry. The unveiling of the S86 Diamante at the Geneva Motor Show not only highlighted Stola's rich history but also paved the way for future innovations, demonstrating that with passion and precision, anything is possible. | GaRjbCPFlXE |
The remarkable feat of producing the S86 Diamante in just five weeks illustrates Stola’s unparalleled efficiency and the seamless integration of design and engineering. This achievement is a promising indication of what the future holds for Stola and its potential to continue setting benchmarks in the automotive world. With a legacy built on innovation and excellence, Stola is well-positioned to meet the evolving demands of the automotive industry, ensuring that it remains at the forefront of vehicle manufacturing for years to come. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | CARROZZIERI-ITALIANI | ULTIMATECARPAGE | SUPERCARS.NET | ARCHIVIOPROTOTIPI ]
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Friday, July 12, 2024

Custom Automotive Artistry: The Fasana Topolino Spider Story

Rare Gems - In the realm of automotive history, few vehicles have captured the imagination quite like the Fiat 500 Topolino. Emerging in the wake of Dr. Ferdinand Porsche's creation, the Volkswagen Beetle, Italy introduced its own marvel: the Fiat 500 Topolino, affectionately named after Mickey Mouse for its compact charm. Spearheaded by Antonio Fessia and Dante Giacosa in the 1930s, this car wasn't just a vehicle; it was a symbol of accessible mobility for the masses.
The Fasana Topolino Spider built by Michele Fasana in 1957 based on the Fiat 500 Topolino. (Picture from: OcalaAutoRepair)
Measuring a mere 3.2 meters long, the Fiat 500 Topolino packed a punch with its 569 cc engine generating 13 horsepower, cruising at a modest 85 km/h. It marked Fiat's foray into mass production from 1936 to 1955, paving the way for a lineage of modern city cars that still dot our streets today.
The Fiat 500 Topolino, celebrated as the world's first city car, was produced from 1936 to 1955 and laid the foundation for a series of modern Fiat city cars that continue to this day. (Picture from: AutoUniversum)
Beyond its utilitarian roots, the Fiat 500 Topolino found itself on unexpected stages. It served as the blueprint for racing machines and became a canvas for custom projects, none more striking than the 1957 Fasana Topolino Spider. Crafted by Michele Fasana, an employee in Fiat's Special Bodies Department, envisioned and brought this remarkable vehicle to life in 1957. His passion for car design and his innovative approach have left an indelible mark on automotive history.
1938 Fiat 500A Topolino Hard Top by Zagato participated on the 1938 Mille Miglia (B&W photo colorized). (Picture from: MrScharroo's Weird Car Museum)
He began this project by sketching a design inspired by the jet age aesthetics of the 1950s. By using the chassis and mechanical components of the Fiat 500 Topolino, Fasana meticulously crafted the bodywork by himself during his free time. The result was a car that not only captured the futuristic design trends of the time but also showcased Fasana's exceptional skill and attention to detail. The front bumper featured a jet-themed intake and a large elliptical grille flanked by several lights, giving the car a distinct and memorable look.
The Fasana Topolino Spider, in its heyday, was used by its creator as a daily vehicle. (Picture from: WorldCarsFrom1930sTo1980s)
The rear design of the Fasana Topolino Spider was equally impressive, with small fins and three tiny lights that added to its unique character. This combination of elements made the car stand out, evoking comparisons to the FMR Tg 500 'Tiger', another small car from a German manufacturer. The resemblance to the tiny car from "The Jetsons," a classic television cartoon series, further underscored its futuristic appeal. The car's design was a perfect blend of innovation and nostalgia, making it a true masterpiece of its time.
During its heyday, the Fasana Topolino Spider was not just a showpiece but a functional vehicle used by Michele Fasana as his daily driver. This personal connection to the car added to its charm and significance, as it was a practical realization of Fasana's design vision. The car's performance and unique design made it a head-turner on the streets, embodying the spirit of innovation that drove its creation.
While sat on diplay at the AutomotoretrĂ² 2016, the Fasana Topolino Spider in a dilapidated state, with rust covering most of its body. (Picture from: OcalaAutoRepair)
Despite its initial glory, the Fasana Topolino Spider's current condition is a cause for concern. Photos circulating on the internet show the car in a dilapidated state, with rust covering most of its body. It is a stark reminder of the passage of time and the need for preservation. This rare automotive gem deserves to be restored to its former glory, allowing future generations to appreciate its historical and artistic significance.
While sat on diplay at the AutomotoretrĂ² 2016, the Fasana Topolino Spider in a dilapidated state, with rust covering most of its body.  (Picture from: Pinterest)
Restoring the Fasana Topolino Spider would not only preserve a piece of automotive history but also celebrate Michele Fasana's ingenuity and craftsmanship. It would serve as an inspiration to car enthusiasts and designers, showcasing the potential of custom automotive design. The restoration process would require meticulous attention to detail, ensuring that every aspect of the car is faithfully recreated to honor its original design.
While sat on diplay at the AutomotoretrĂ² 2016, the Fasana Topolino Spider in a dilapidated state, with rust covering most of its body.  (Picture from: OcalaAutoRepair)
As we look forward to the potential restoration of the Fasana Topolino Spider, we invite anyone with pictures or information about this unique car to share them. By bringing together the collective knowledge and resources of the automotive community, we can ensure that this remarkable vehicle is preserved and celebrated for years to come. The Fasana Topolino Spider is not just a car; it is a symbol of creativity, innovation, and the enduring legacy of custom automotive artistry. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | OCALAAUTOREPAIR | BRICE HOUSTON | SILODROME'S INSTAGRAM | WORLD CARS FROM 1930S TO 1980S | AMAZINGCLASSICCARS | AMERICASBESTPICS | PINTEREST | AUTOPUZZLES ]
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Thursday, July 11, 2024

Ford's F3L/P68: Alan Mann's Ambitious Yet Unlucky 1960s Racer

Less Fortunate Speedy Beast - The 24 Hours of Le Mans race holds a prominent place in automotive history, with a pivotal moment occurring in 1966. This year marked the first time cars manufactured by the Ford Motor Company triumphed on the championship podium, disrupting the dominance of the Italian Prancing Horses with three Ford GT40 cars. This victory not only cemented Ford's status in the racing world but also fueled the company's ambition to develop more competitive racing cars, including models that bore a striking resemblance to their rivals Ferrari 330 P3/4.
This is the Ford P68, also known as the Ford 3L GT or F3L, often regarded as one of the most visually appealing racing cars ever crafted by Ford during the 1960s. (Picture from: Alan Mann Racing)
One such creation was the Ford P68, also known as the Ford 3L GT or F3L. Introduced in March 1968, the P68 was a prototype racing car engineered by Len Bailey. This innovative car was constructed at Alan Mann Racing in Weybridge, Surrey, England, with financial backing from Ford Europe. Despite its promising design, the F3L faced numerous challenges that ultimately limited its success on the racing circuit.
The shapely Ford/Castrol 3 Litre Sports, also known as the P68 prototype, features a non-homologated bonnet line provided by the curvaceous GTX model.. (Picture from: Pedal2TheMetal)
The Ford 3L prototype made its debut at the BOAC 500 race at Brands Hatch, Kent. Although it demonstrated impressive speed capabilities, the F3L was criticized for its instability at high speeds. Mechanical and electronic failures plagued the car, preventing it from completing any race it entered. These issues highlighted the difficulties in balancing speed with reliability in high-performance racing cars.
The Ford P68, also known as the Ford 3L GT or F3L prototype made its debut at the BOAC 500 race at Brands Hatch, Kent. (Picture from: Pedal2TheMetal)
Designed to meet Group 6 regulations, the F3L featured a 2-seater layout without a roof, which led to several design flaws. The resulting narrow roof and driver space, combined with limited rear visibility, posed significant challenges. Bailey's extreme design aimed to achieve optimal aerodynamics, resulting in a low, long, and sinuous form. With a 3000cc engine, the P68 was intended to reach top speeds of 350 km/h, surpassing even the Formula One cars of its era.
Despite demonstrating impressive speed capabilities, the Ford P68/F3L faced criticism for its instability at high speeds and was plagued by mechanical and electronic failures, hindering its ability to finish any race it entered. (Picture from: Pedal2TheMetal)
However, the pursuit of aerodynamic efficiency came at the cost of driver comfort. The cramped and uncomfortable driver's cabin was a significant drawback. To address some of the aerodynamic issues, Bailey added a vortex-generating tail scoop. While this modification improved aerodynamics, it was deemed insufficient, as the front wheels of the F3L remained unstable at high speeds. This instability led renowned drivers John Surtees and Jack Brabham to refuse to drive the F3L, citing safety concerns.
The Ford P68/F3L's instability prompted renowned drivers John Surtees and Jack Brabham to decline driving it due to safety concerns. (Picture from: Silodrome)
Ultimately, the design flaws and persistent problems led to the F3L's relegation to the Ford Museum. Today, it makes occasional appearances at special events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Ford Fest, serving as a reminder of its ambitious origins and the challenges faced in the quest for racing supremacy. | AquI49zoaAo |
Despite its shortcomings, the F3L remains a testament to Ford's innovative spirit and determination to push the boundaries of automotive engineering. The unique design of the Ford P68 also inspired the Fi GTP-13 Supersports custom car, created by Austrian father and son Rudolf and Alexander Fillafer. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | ALAN MANN RACING | PEDAL2THEMETAL | SILODROME ]
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