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Showing posts with label Classic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Classic. Show all posts

Thursday, January 21, 2021

The lost Czechoslovakia' classic Ferrari-like sports car

After the end of the 2nd World War, it didn't immediately end all conflicts between existing countries. Its condition slowly and surely then ushered into the Cold War era. Well, at that time what happened was not a war in the real sense but an ideological competition between the United States and the Soviet Union in fighting for the influence of countries in Europe, resulting in two major groups of supporting countries, namely the Western bloc and the Eastern bloc.
The Tatra JK 2500 in original condition as a two-seater coupe designed and built by Július Kubinský in between 1951 to 1955. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/3oKTRI9)
Not only that, the Cold War era which began since the 1950s also affected all countries in the world, especially in Europe. At that time, the Eastern bloc countries had governments affiliated with communism because they were strongly influenced by the Soviet Union. This in turn caused all aspects of life in these countries to be tightly controlled by the communist government, including the machinery and motor vehicle manufacturing sectors.

It is not surprising that the Czechoslovakia's communist government (a country located in eastern Europe which is included in the Eastern bloc) considers everything of the Western bloc's neighboring countries including sports cars or grand tourers is something prohibited because it is incompatible with the communist government. Not only that, many domestic similar motorized vehicles developments have always failed and abondoned due to state intervention.
The Tatra JK 2500 chassis with front axle taken from the German's KdF Type 82 "Kubelwagen" military vehicle. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/3oKTRI9)
You can be seen on the 1969 Škoda 110 Super Sport or even older one such the Škoda 1100 OHC of the 1950s, all of them are those country's beautiful concept car examples wasn't ever produced because didn't have permission from the communist government. The same thing happened to a beautiful concept car called the Tatra JK 2500 which is designed and made by Július Kubinský, an automotive designer who worked at the Karosa bus factory in Brno in the first half of the 1950s.
At first, the Tatra JK 2500 uses a six-cylinder DOHC Alfa Romeo sat behind the oil and water coolers. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/3oKTRI9)
The Tatra JK 2500 designer is known to have years of experience working on other cars, including those built on the basis of the KdF Type 82 "Kubelwagen" military vehicle which was widely used in the country after Nazy lost in the 2nd World War, and he has also designed and built the Mono JKs racing cars with Alfa Romeo and BMW engines for a few the country's bonafide Grand Prix racer in Brno shortly after the 2nd World War ended.
The Tatra JK 2500's rear axle of the De Dion type with torsion bars to ensure the the car's two rear wheels have the same deflection at all times. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/3oKTRI9)
And for Július Kubinský, the Tatra JK 2500 concept car was the ninth car of he had ever built. He began to outline plans for a steel tube frame chassis based around the Tatra T603A V8 engine in 1951. The chassis construction and entire parts of the car was done by hand by Kubinský in his spare time. In order to speed up the development process of the car, he took directly many parts from the German KdF Type 82 military vehicle such as the front torsion beam axle and the steering linkage.
The Tatra JK 2500's body frame was made of wood and steel tubes and done by the local coachbuilder Jan Heger. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/3oKTRI9)
At the rear, there is a De Dion axle, which has a differential that is firmly attached to the chassis of the car, with two swing axes called the De Dion tube. In short, this is meant to ensure the the car's two rear wheels have the same deflection at all times, somekind of independent suspension in today vehicles. If one wheel experiences unevenness, the other wheel will also tilt, but remain in contact with the asphalt. And if both wheels experience unevenness at the same time, for example the car passing through the bumpy road, it is this tube that ensures that they have the best contact with the road.
A typical feature of the original Tatra JK 2500 Coupe was the small rear window. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/3oKTRI9)
Because at the beginning of its development, the JK 2500 was designed to carry a powerfull V8 engine under the hood. However, at that time the engine was very difficult to find, so for the time being, a 2.5-liter inline Alfa Romeo six-cylinder engine was installed, which could provide up to 90 horsepower combined with the Alfa Romeo's four-speed manual gearbox. 
Július Kubinský posed along with his supersport Tatra JK 2500 coupe in 1958 at Kopřivnice in 1958. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/3oKTRI9)
And after trying hard, finally he found an air-cooled V8 engine with a capacity of 2.5 liters which was taken directly from the Tatra 603, then those engine installed under the hood of the JK 2500, but still using the Alfa Romeo's manual gearbox after some parts had to be modified and intermediate parts had to be made to fasten the Italian gearbox, but they fit in the end. Even large radiators can be thrown away because that the new engine is an air-cooled one and so a spare wheel can be placed there instead.
Besides that there's the hot air features which is needed especially in winter to heat up the car' cabin, is came out behind the windshield and supplied directly by the engine. However, the exhaust was considered insufficient, and then the chrome vents were placed behind the front wheels to help remove hot air from the engine. 
The Tatra JK 2500 supersport coupe uses an air-cooled V8 engine with a fan from Praga V3S. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/3oKTRI9)
And due to the engine is the reason why this car was later named Tatra even though the car's actually did not come from those Czechoslovak car factory and was misunderstood sometimes. The car name then was followed by the initials of the maker, ie JK and the figure 2500 in turn refers to the car's engine capacity in cubic centimeters.
A spare wheel fit in front of the air-cooled eight-cylinder of the Tatra JK 2500 supersport coupe. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/3oKTRI9)
Meanwhile there are two fuel tanks with a capacity of 30 liters each are mounted onto the chassis and placed behind each of the rear wheels. The car's rear overhang isn't exactly small, with the wheelbase of 2,300 mm and a length of 4,050 mm. In comparison, Favorites have a wheelbase of more than 2.4 meters. And what about its weight? The JK 2500 has an empty weighs of 1,160 kg and the weight distribution ratio is 51:49 on the front and rear axles.

By the completion of the lower part of the Tatra JK 2500 chassis, then the beautiful body of the car was done by Július Kubinský and assisted by local coachbuilder Jan Heger by creating the wooden superstructure on which the handcrafted body panels would be placed. As for the legs, initially using the 16-inches in diameter classic wire wheels and coupled with the drum brakes taken from the Lancia Aurelia B20.
The Tatra JK 2500 supersport coupe with a compact-sized V8 engine and the Tatra inscription in 1958. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/3oKTRI9)
The works on the car construction was entirely completed in 1955, and it was appeared in the January 1956 issue of the World of Engines magazine and the article was entitled with the evocative title "We Also Do It". Unfortunately, its appearance on the magazine was not followed by a physical exhibition until two years later.

At the invitation of Tatra's management, Július Kubinský and his JK 2500 car were came and visited the company's headquarters in Kopřivnice in 1958. The public response was very positive, prompting Tatra officials to propose an initial production of 5 samples. In short, the car was in Kopřivnice for two weeks for a performance upgrading process, and as result, the JK 2500 engine was able to spew a full 140 horsepower, like the Tatra 603 on which also uses the same engine under the hood.
Tatra JK 2500 after used the upgraded eight-cylinder by Tatra, new fifteen-inch alloy wheels were installed and the air vents were added to the front fenders in 1958. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/39ukpHf)
At that time, new fifteen-inch alloy wheels were installed in the car, with a row of holes that functioned to channel cooling air to the drum brakes while driving. The new wheels have a smaller diameter than the original, but are said to be more effective. And in the road tests done by the Tatra's test drivers, this car was able to pace to a top speed of 200 kph, likely making it the fastest car in the country in the time.

Despite the positive test results, the car production never been done. Allegedly, internal pressure within Tatra and the heavy hands of the communist government were one of the main factors behind the Tatra JK 2500 project's abandonment, as a flashy sports car clashed heavily with the sober image they wanted to exude.
The Tatra JK 2500 supersport coupe with a V8 engine and was able to pace to a top speed of 200 kph, likely making it the fastest car in the country in the time. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/3oKTRI9)
Disappointed, Július Kubinský back home to Brno and worked at the Karosa bus factory. He still owns and drives the Tatra JK 2500 Coupe for approximately 13 years under normal operation, and in 1971 Kubinský sold the car. After that the car immediately seemed to disappear and until today no one knows to whom he sold it.
Unfortunately, the Czechoslovakia best car has ever seen, and the result of 4 years of hard work seems to have dissipated into smoke and disappeared without a trace. Since its creator has long since passed away, one can only hope that the beautiful Tatra JK 2500 will soon be found hiding smewhere in a remote forgotten warehouse, and eagerly awaiting a careful restoration to its former glory.

That's it, and if the article above is still considered inadequate or inaccurate, or if you have additional information related to the lost east bloc' classic Ferrari-like sports car called 1955 Tatra JK 2500, please don't hesitate to let us know via the comments column below this article. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | AUTOFORUM | AUTOMOBILEREVUE | DRIVETRIBE | WIKIPEDIA ]
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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The story of one of the most iconic cars ever, Shelby Cobra

The Shelby Cobra is one of the world's iconic cars that are familiar to the automotive enthusiasts all over the world. These beautiful, powerful cars is the design of a former racing driver and legendary American automotive designer named Carroll Shelby by using the engine supplies from the Ford Motor Company, and was first introduced in 1962.
1962 Shelby 260 Cobra 'CSX2000' uses a 159-cubic-inch (2.6 L) Ford Zephyr inline 6 engine. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/3oGSXML)
His work is quite classy in the world of racing with his success in winning the Le Mans 24-Hours endurance race in France, by beating Ferrari, who was so dominant at that time. With consecutive victories from 1966 to 1969 with the legendary Ford GT40.

The Shelby Cobra is could be said as a British-American sports car uses a Ford V8 engine, is produced only briefly in Britain and the US since 1962. Well, this car is also known as the AC Cobra because it was originally made at a British manufacturer called AC Cars, which was later sold in the United States as Shelby Cobra.

The Early Models
Like most British manufacturers at the time, AC Cars used the straight-6 engine from Bristol (known as a pre-war designed engine by BMW) for its small production including the AC Ace (a two-seater roadster). This car has a handmade body with a steel tube frame, and aluminum body panels made using the English wheel engine. Until 1961, Bristol decided to discontinue production of its engine and instead used a Chrysler 313-cubic-inch (5.1 L) V8 engine. And the AC Cars later started using the 159-cubic-inch (2.6 L) Ford Zephyr engine for its production cars.

In September 1961, Carroll Shelby, an American automotive designer wrote a letter to AC Cars asking them to make him a modified car to accept a V8 engine. AC Cars agreed, provided a suitable engine could be found immediately, as previously the Bristol's engine for their two-seat sports car (AC Ace) was discontinued.
1962 Shelby 289 Cobra 'CSX2001' uses a Ford's 289-cubic-inch (4.7 L) V8 engine. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/3qdjCBi)
To get the V8 engine for his car, Caroll Shelby contacted Chevrolet, one of the American car manufacturers to see if they could provide him with a V8 engine. But unfortunately they said no because they didn't want to increase the number of potential competitors for their Corvette car model.

After that he contacted another American manufacturer Ford (who was basically desperate for a car that could compete with the Chevy Corvette) and just happened to have a new V8 engine that could be used in this venture, namely a new lightweight small-block V8 engine named the Windsor 221-cubic-inch (3.6 L). In short, Ford agreed to give Caroll Shelby two units of their new V8 engine.
1962 Shelby 289 Competition Cobra 'CSX2011' uses a Ford's 289-cubic-inch (4.7 L) V8 engine. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2XWRoP3)
In January 1962, the AC Cars mechanics at Thames Ditton, Surrey designed a prototype called AC Ace 2.6 with chassis number CSX2000. AC had done most of the modifications needed to apply the small block V8 engine when they installed the 159-cubic-inch (2.6 L) Ford Zephyr inline 6 engine, including extensive rework of the AC Ace front end bodywork. The only modification of the first Cobra (AC Ace 2.6) front end was the steering box, which had to be moved outside to make spacious room for the Ford's new V8 engine.
1962 Shelby 50th Anniversary Cobra 289 'CSX8983' uses a Ford's 289-cubic-inch (4.7 L) V8 engine. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2LMHTiU)
And the most important modification is the installation of a stronger rear differential to handle the increased engine power. The Salisbury 4HU unit with deep disc brake for reduced the weight was chosen as a replacement for the old ENV unit. It is the same unit used in the Jaguar E-Type.
After testing and modification, the engine and transmission were removed and the chassis was airlifted to Shelby in Los Angeles on February 2, 1962. At this time the displacement of the small block was increased to 260 cu in (4.3 L). Shelby's team paired this engine along with the transmission into the CSX2000, in less than eight hours at the Dean Moon workshop in Santa Fe Springs, California, and started road testing.

The Production Models (CSX/CS 2001-2602)
Furthermore for the production model (CSX/CS 2001-2602), there were some significant changes made such as the position of the inboard brakes being moved out to reduce costs, then the fuel tank filler was moved from the fender to the trunk center, and the trunk lid had to be shortened to accommodate those changes.
1963 Shelby 289 Cobra Mk II uses a Ford's 289-cubic-inch (4.7 L) V8 engine. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/38Enrtn)
Then the AC Cars exported the finished, painted, and trimmed (minus engine and gearbox) cars to Shelby. After arriving in America, Shelby then finished his cars at his workshop in Los Angeles by installing engines and gearboxes and repairing any bodywork deficiencies caused by the car's shipping by the sea.

A small number of cars were also completed on the East Coast by Ed Hugus in Pennsylvania, including the first production car; CSX2001. Following later the first 75 Cobra Mk1 models (including the prototype) were paired with 260 cu in (4.3 L). And the remaining 51 Mk1 models were paired with a larger version of Ford's Windsor engine, ie the 289-cubic-inch (4.7 L) V8.
1963 Shelby 289 Cobra 'COB6004' uses a Ford's 289-cubic-inch (4.7 L) V8 engine. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/38EO1mg)
In late 1962, Alan Turner, the AC Cars's chief engineer completed a major design change from the car's front-end to accommodate rack and pinion steering while still using transverse leaf spring suspension (with double leaf spring as the top suspension link). The new car entered production in early 1963 and was designated as the Mark II. The steering rack is borrowed from the MGB while the new steering column comes from the VW Beetle. About 528 units of the Mark II Cobra were produced in the summer of 1965 (the last US-made Mark II was produced in November 1964).

The European Models (COB/COX 6001-6062)
As for the Cobra's European models, (COB/COX 6001-6062) carried out since 1963 after the Ruddspeed Ace production was discontinued, it was done to keep the company's production activities focused on the Shelby American Inc. car production. And the AC Cars took the  marketing and selling portions of the Cobra models for the European's market with the advertisement's statement that Cobra is designed to meet Shelby American Inc.'s requirements.
1964 Shelby Cobra 427 'CSX2196' or Fliptop Cobra uses a 390 cu in (6.4 L) Ford FE engine. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/38Enrtn)
Besides that, there was also a 390 Big Block Cobra, which was originally done to facilitate the Shelby's experiments with a 390 cu in (6.4 L) Ford FE engine on the car with chassis number CSX2196 was intended to overpass the Ferrari's models in the GT class. Unfortunately, The car development failed and was discontinued.

It was decided after Ken Miles drove and raced the FE-powered Mark II at the 12 Hours of Sebring and said the car almost unsavable, and named it the Turd. It failed to touch the finish line and must stop in early due to engine (damper failure) problem.
1967 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C Roadster uses a Ford's 289-cubic-inch (4.7 L) V8 engine. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/35D4zcb)
Subsequently CSX2196 was revised and prepared for the fight in Nassau which allowed for a more relaxed class division. It allowed the Cobra GT to run on the prototype Ford GT, GM Grand Sport Corvettes, and Lola Mk6. And for the 1964 event, the Fliptop Cobra was used with a 390-cubic-inch (6.4 L) aluminum engine. That's very fast and at the end of the first lap, it has the long straight start-finish advantages. However, at the end the car failed to finish due to the brake problems.

Unique Facts of the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe CSX2286
There is a unique fact regarding the Shelby Daytona Coupe. As it is known, Caroll Shelby from the start had a strong ambition to beat Ferrari cars in the world famous 24-Hours of Le Mans racing event. At the time, due to his racing car could not be completed in time and not able to appear at the racetrack, so (reportedly) to save face, then he made up a story that the Peter Brock-designed Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe with chassis number CSX2286 especially for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the 1964 was badly damaged after being involved in a road traffic accident while being transported to the racing circuit.
This is one of the six of the famous 1964 Shelby Brock Cobra Daytona Coupe 'CSX2286' while at the 2007 Monterey Historic Automobile Races. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3sfYtbD)
Even so, Caroll Shelby finally succeeded in completing and fulfilling his dream at the 24 Hours of Le Mans racing event two years later (in 1966) by defeating the Ferrari cars with the legendary Ford Motor Company-owned, the Ford GT-40 racing car. And all of those triumph momments are pictured beautifully in the Hollywood's movie titled 'Ford vs Ferrari' and that can be a reference to find out one version of the story.
Finally, even though it's more than half a century old, the Shelby Daytona Coupe still shows a strong charisma. Even if the other cars price continues to fall from year to year, but not for it, this Cobra still has high value and exorbitant price. And today, the car estimated has the price reaches of Rp. 78.7 billion. Wow! As quoted of Carbuzz, the mentioned car is one of the 6 units of the Peter Brock-designed Shelby Daytona Coupe ever built specifically for the racing events in 1964. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | CARBUZZ | MOTORAUTHORITY ]
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Monday, January 18, 2021

Rare Corvette Corvair Fastback

While we were surfing in cyberspace, for a moment we were amazed at a beautiful classic car called the Chevrolet Corvette Corvair Concept released in 1954. Uniquely, even though it carries the big name of Corvette, it has something unique appearing on the back that makes it more similar to the Ferrari 250 GT SWB 'Breadvan' Drogo.
1954 Chevrolet Corvette Corvair Concept combines two separable items, in this case the Corvette and the Bell Air, which its debut at the 1954 Motorama in New York. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/38wkeMo)
It's exciting that the Corvette also has a fastback variant, even though it's only a concept car. After doing some searching on the internet to resolve the curiosity of this car, we finally got quite valid information about it from several sources. Yes, this car appeared long before there was the Corvair of the 1960s
1954 Chevrolet Corvette Corvair Concept's top is said to be inspired by an airplane, which sweeps backwards and tapers gracefully into the rear design. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/38wkeMo)
As quoted of the Rare Car Network website, the Corvette Corvair is a very creative concept, a flowing fastback style exercise, which made its debut at the 1954 Motorama in New York. The name portmanteau combines two separable items, in this case the Corvette and the Bell Air.
1954 Chevrolet Corvette Corvair Concept. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/38wkeMo)
According to the GM Heritage Center, the production version of the model was then stalled and abandoned, due to slow sales figures for the Corvette at the time (1954). And usually concept cars that had expired in that era would be destroyed, but this Corvette Corvair fastback coupe reportedly survived the crusher, but strangely there was no trace of it.
1954 Chevrolet Corvette Corvair Concept seats appear to have a fiberglass-made divider between them, in a similar way to the Corvette roadster. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/38wkeMo)
There is also news that more than one car was actually built, but no document appears as verification. Until now, it is not certain how many units of the Corvette Corsair concept car was made by the American car manufacturer.

Apart from these two stories, there are a number of sources who say that the original 1954 Corvette Corvair concept was destroyed in that period, and then an authentic restoration project was carried out using the original 1954 Chevy Corvette chassis.
1954 Chevrolet Corvette Corvair Concept uses a 235.5 cubic-inch six-cylinder engine that offers 150 horsepower accompanied by a 2-speed Powerglide transmission system. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/38wkeMo)
It is necessary to determine which one is correct among all the information above, but what is certain is as quoted from the Rare Car Network that the cars that exist today (at least those discussed by him) are only limited to replicas. And the Corvair name, however, came to be used in the 1960 Corvair rear-engined compact car.

The beautiful appearance of this two-door fastback is exuded, as it has the front end of the Corvette, the enveloping windshield and design details on the rear that resemble a jet-fighter exhaust port. While the cut tail seems to be influenced or inspired by European designs (maybe the Ferrari 250 Breadvan Drogo).
1954 Chevrolet Corvette Corvair Concept's cut tail seems to be influenced or inspired by European designs (maybe the Ferrari 250 Breadvan Drogo). (Picture from: http://bit.ly/38wkeMo)
Furthermore, the top is said to be inspired by an airplane, which sweeps backwards and tapers gracefully into the rear design. Apart from that the roof also provides a glimpse of the quarter windows and C-pillar treatments of the 1958 Corvette.

The car, which is built on the original chassis of the Corvette, has a 102-inch wheelbase and uses a 235.5 cubic-inch six-cylinder engine that offers 150 horsepower accompanied by a 2-speed Powerglide transmission system to distribute power to drive its rear wheels. 
On the interior, the seats appear to have a fiberglass-made divider between them, in a similar way to the Corvette roadster. Much of the interior is largely stock, and the roof appears to have been grafted directly onto a production Corvette. No storage behind the seats. Even though it has a fastback design, it doesn't change the interior layout of the Corvair Concept. 
After not being seen in public for a long time, it was discovered that one of the beautiful cars (sea foam green color) was seen on the back of a trailer at the Bloomington Gold Corvette show in St. Charles, Illinois in 2011 (you can see on the Manonthemove website). And the last one of the replica cars (in red) also appears to be on display in a collection of the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | MANONTHEMOVE | RCNMAG | CONCEPTCARZ ]
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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Zora Duntov's Corvette SS race car concept of 1957

The beauty of the design, the powerful engine and the compact dimensions were the reasons of many people fall in love with the Corvette legendary roadster made by Chevrolet. Might be this was what the auto engineers and designers at the one of American automotive giant subsidiaries tried to promote when they first launched the legendary model.
1957 Chevrolet Corvette SS encounters smoke at Indy’s Brickyard Invitational in 2014. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2XqMqtD)
This can be seen in the Chevrolet Corvette SS, a gorgeous and powerfull as well concept car that was deliberately made initially with the aim of competing in the 24-Hours of LeMans, but was later touted as the forerunner of many Corvette sports/racing car models.
1957 Chevrolet Corvette SS sat on display at the 17th Annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance in 2012. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/3buFGmZ)
The concept car's design and construction process was carried out by the GM's  team of engineers and designers led by the talented Zora Arkus-Duntov, to create a lightweight and powerful racing car and took the Mercedes 300SL as their based template.

Before we discuss more about the car, it's good for us to get to know a little about Zora Arkus-Duntov. He is a Belgian-born American engineer whose work at the Chevrolet Corvette earned him the nickname "Father of the Corvette."
The talented engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov sat behind the wheel of his creation 1957 Chevrolet Corvette SS. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2XEcAJL)
As a result, the car was lightweight thanks to using the magnesium made bodywork (with only a weight of 1,850 lbs) enveloping the tubular steel frames, it also features with the front suspension of coil-over-shocks, de Dion rear axle and built-in aluminum drum brakes.

The Duntov's team only made two chassis, the first was a test car dubbed the 'Mule' and the other to be a race one. Then as their drivetrain, it's pinned under the hood a small block V8 engine with fuel injection which can produce power reaching of 307 horsepower at 6,400 rpm.
1957 Chevrolet Corvette SS sat on display at the 17th Annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance in 2012. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/3buFGmZ)
After the cars completed in 1957, the first test would not be carried out at the 24-Hours LeMans, but in an almost similar race but shorter in America, namely the 12-Hours of Sebring. Although the racing results of the Corvette SS for the first time at Sebring were not going well, where suspension problems and another mechanical failure forced it stop after speedy only in 23 laps.

However, the Chevrolet Corvette 'SS' managed to set a new lap record in that race. So General Motors is very enthusiastic about the potential of the SS based on those results of the training and the speed of the laps.
1957 Chevrolet Corvette SS sat on display at the 17th Annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance in 2012. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/3buFGmZ)
Not only that it turned out, Juan Manuel Fangio, the winner at the 12-Hours Sebring of 1957, was quite impressed with the car, and then tested the Corvette SS in training sessions. The results were astonishing, Fangio completed his one full lap of 3: 27.4 seconds, that's faster in a car he had never driven before than any other driver could in a car they had driven before.

Despite GM's enthusiasm, unfortunately the Corvette should be scrapped several months later, as the American auto-making community band together to ban the manufacture of factory-produced racing cars. This was triggered by a great accident that occurred at the 24-Hours Le Mans of 1955 which claimed the lives of 83 people, since then the public attitude towards automotive racing has changed drastically.
1957 Chevrolet Corvette SS sat on display at the 17th Annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance in 2012. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/3buFGmZ)
Protests forced many companies to withdraw from racing, organizers reviewed safety rules, and Mercedes, which was accused to involve directly to the accidents mentioned above then decided to refuse to participate in any auto races until the 1970s.
But it won't stop GM from launching the Corvette as a sports car for the layman who likes to combine the look and feel of a race car with the comfort of a daily-using vehicle. Then Zora Arkus-Duntov, those car's engineer-designer, presented it to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 29, 1967, during the drivers meeting before the 51st Indy 500 mile race started, paced by the Chevrolet Camaro.

And then it's no surprise that to this day, the Corvette is renowned for producing some of the finest cars not only in the United States, but all over the world... *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | HEMMINGS | CONCEPTCARZ | WIKIPEDIA | RCNMAG | CORVETTEBLOGGER ]
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Thursday, January 14, 2021

A marriage of beauty and style into an impractical Dodge Charger III

As we all know that Chrysler now FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobile), one of the three giant American automotive companies has built many unique and interesting concept cars in the past few decades. So on this occasion we try to present a future concept car made in 1968 by Dodge (an American car brand under Chrysler) which is named Dodge Charger III. 
1968 Dodge Charger III concept car appeared as a two-seater sportscar with a very slim body profile like an arrow. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/3nln8rv)
This car is a classic two-seater sportscar concept with a very slim body profile like an arrow, so it's no exaggeration if the American company then claims it to be the most aerodynamic car has ever built.

Despite having such an aerodynamic shape, but infact, it was simply impractical. Because the cabin feels narrow and cramped, and you could not be to lower the side windows so that fresh air enters the cabin. Because, instead of having the normal windshield and separate side windows, in fact the Dodge Charger III only has a circular one-piece glass fixed permanently in a fiberglass canopy.
1968 Dodge Charger III concept car has no normal doors and to get into the cabin You have to lift the air spring-based canopy. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2MCGKKV)
Uniquely, the Charger III doesn't have normal doors and windows, so to get into the cabin, you have to lift the air spring-based canopy by pressing a special button. As the entire canopy is lifted, the bucket seats will automatically rise by 8 inches, the steering wheel and instrument panel will swing upwards to allow easier access for the driver and passenger. Looks fancy? Maybe, but it's definitely impractical.
1968 Dodge Charger III concept car has narrow and cramped cabin with only two bucket seats to accomodate the driver and passenger inside. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2MCGKKV)
Even so, the concept car, which was completed in 1968, still looks modern today. This concept car is actually part of a Dodge promotion, designed to showcase all of the company's latest technology and engineering advancements, particularly in the aerodynamics
1968 Dodge Charger III concept car has the hidden headlights under its long sloping hood that resemble to the Corvette front-end. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2MCGKKV)
In 1969, Robert B. McCurry, the Dodge's general manager at the time said, "The Charger III is an idea car. Or, better call it an idea exchange. This experimental vehicle is our way of showing the public some of the design concepts and techniques we have developed. From the public, we learn what they want (or don't like) to see in future cars. That's why we conducted a special consumer survey at auto shows Many of the features seen in the Charger III may also be included in our cars in the not too distant future. long time."
1968 Dodge Charger III concept car has special experimental braking system with three air brake flaps synchronized with the regular braking system. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2MCGKKV)
The Charger III concept has hidden headlights under its long sloping hood that resemble to the Corvette front-end. While, the car's rear-end reminds us to the Pete Brock-designed Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, and then the roofline and chopped-off tail reminds of the Ferrari Breadvan. It definitely, those aerodynamic designs intended to make the car can run really fast on a race track.

The Dodge Charger III concept is equipped with a 426 cubic-inches dimensioned V8 Hemi engine and is installed in front of the passenger compartment under the long hood. Uniquely, the Dodge Charger III features a service access panel located just behind the front left wheel.
Some said that the 1968 Dodge Charger III concept car equipped with a 426 cubic-inches dimensioned V8 Hemi engine. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2MCGKKV)
This seems to make it easier for the driver to check at a glance the engine oil, coolant and battery fluid levels, and also to house the fuse panel. So, anyone can do a complete inspection to the engine without opening the hood.

Then there is also, an experimental braking system by using three air brake flaps synchronized with the regular braking system and acting as an air foil brake (like an airplane). This is not to slow down the speed of the car, but to help the car's stability during sudden braked. And under this brake cap are two gas filler caps. 
Although the 1968 Dodge Charger III concept is quite eye-catching, it looks like this car is too complicated and impractical for mass production. Therefore, the 1968 Dodge Charger III only ended up as a very unique concept car, of course. 

The Charger III remains a stillborn dream machine, and it took more than 25 years to bring its basic design into the Viper GTS form. This proves that even a good idea may take some time to find the light of day.*** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | MYCARREQUEST | CONCEPTCARZ ]
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