Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Key To Cosworth - Keith Duckworth

by Mike - 

The Double Four Valve (DFV) engine developed by Keith Duckworth (August 10, 1933 – December 19, 2005) at Cosworth is one of the most successful engines in racing history. The DFV engine revolutionized Formula One racing.

Keith Duckworth in 1969.

The Cosworth DFV, and other engines based on this design, became the standard in Formula One and other racing venues.

Cosworth's 176 wins make it one of the most successful engine manufacturers to race in Formula One, second only to Ferrari engines in race wins.

Graham Hill driving at the Nürburgring in 1969 in a Lotus 49, photo by Lothar Spurzem.

In 1955 Duckworth began working for Lotus but after three years Duckworth, along with fellow Lotus employee Mike Costin, founded Cosworth in 1958.

From the beginning Cosworth was associated with Ford and Lotus, and the two companies found early success in the newly formed Formula Junior in the early 1960s. This success motivated Lotus founder Colin Chapman to persuade Ford to finance the production of Duckworth's DFV engine.

Lotus 49 photo by Mikaël Restoux.

Chapman's idea was to reduce the cars weight by using the engine as a stressed part of the chassis attaching it directly to the front monocoque tub. This has been standard in Formula One ever since.

The DFV made its debut in the third race of the 1967 season, at the Dutch Grand Prix. Powering a Lotus 49 it was the winner with Jim Clark driving.

The Cosworth engine then went on to power the winner of 15 out of the next 21 Formula One races.

Lotus 49 photo by Mikaël Restoux.

Cosworth was a subsidiary of Ford between 1998 and 2004 when Cosworth was sold to the Cosworth Group owned by Gerald Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven.

“The chance of things breaking is fairly proportional to the number of bits there are in the engine. The fewer the bits the less likelihood of one breaking” said Keith Duckworth in Road & Track, May 1969.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Cosworth V8 Engine - Champ Car 2004 photo by Jcordle.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Beauty and Style

by Mike -

Beauty and style are a matter of personal taste, this stuff suits my taste.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 and friends.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 alone. See more here.

Ferrari Bertone at Pebble Beach.

Iso Grifo Series 1. See more here.

Ferrari 250 GTO.

Iso Grifo Series 2 in gold.

Ferrari 275 GTB Spyder.

Lamborghini Miura.

Iso concept car.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 drawing.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Iso Grifo For Sale - Ex Mike Hailwood and Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour"

by Mike -

This beautiful 1967 Iso Grifo was bought new by multiple Motorcycle World Champion Mike Hailwood. It is for sale at the Coys Auction, The Spirit of Motoring - Ascot on Saturday 14 May 2011.

The Estimate is £140,000 - £170,000 ($232,000 - $281,000).

The engine is the original Corvette 327 V8 with 350 hp mated to a 5 Speed ZF gearbox. It also comes with the rare factory air conditioning.

This car appeared in the Beatles film A Magical Mystery Tour. The picture below is from the movie.

It is right hand drive.

Mike Hailwood with his prize Grifo below. I wrote about another Grifo formerly owned by Mike Haliwood.

It seems that the Beatles liked Iso cars, I wrote about John Lennon and the Iso Fidia recently.

Now, this is a very special Grifo.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What Ever Happened To These Ideas?

by Mike -

This Mustang station wagon was designed by Robert Cumberford and built by Carrozzeria Intermeccanica.

This seems to defeat the purpose of a sports car.

The Lakester below was a combination all terrain dune buggy with a "semi-hydro hull for lake use" based on Volkswagen power, naturally.

The Chevrolet Astro III had front wheels that were very close together and a rear mounted Allison gas turbine engine. 

I am not sure why we needed this but it was developed at a time when GM had money to spend.

The American Motors AMX/3 was discussed here. It's a long, sad story.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Does anyone still own their kit car from the 1960s?

Now to the future - read about the winners of the 2011 Michelin Design Challenge.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Aston Martin Extremes

by Mike -

Aston Martin is one of the oldest car companies still in business today. Up until 2000 they had produced less than 15,000 cars since the founding of the company in 1913.

Above is their new super car, the one-77. It has a 7.3 liter V12 that produces 750 hp and will accelerate from 0 to 62 MPH is less than 3.7 seconds with a top speed of 220 MPH. 

It has a rear mounted six speed automated, manual paddle shift transmission. Only 77 will be produced and you can imagine that it is very expensive.

The one-77 technical specifications are below.

Aston Martin has had a troubled financial history with many ownership changes. They were acquired by Ford in 1994. Ford sold most of their ownership to a group headed by David Richards in 2007. 

I do not know the actual numbers but I suspect that Aston Martin has produced well more than 15,000 cars since 2000.

An Aston Martin driven by Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959.

Their other new car is the Cygnet shown below - the other extreme from the one-77.

This is a car with a much different purpose than the one-77. Although, it still has the signature Aston Martin grill shape. 

The Cygnet has a 1.33 liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 97 hp and accelerates from 0 to 62 MPH in 11.8 seconds. It has a manual six speed transmission with an optional constantly variable transmission. Top speed is 106 MPH. 

The Cygnet technical specifications are below.

There may be some people who will own both a Cygnet and a one-77 - two cars for different purposes and different driving moods.

I have written about Aston Martins at these links: DB7, V12 VanquishV8 Vantage and DB4 GT Zagato.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Below is the Rapide, a four door sedan introduced in 2010.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The World's Four Fastest Seats Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

by Mike -

Initially it was called the Iso Rivolta S4 when introduced in 1969 but the name was changed to Iso Rivolta Fidia after some initial design and quality problems.

"The World's Four Fastest Seats" was the Iso marketing slogan. This may have been true but the S4 was not well received by the automotive press and some customers.

However, John Lennon liked the Fidia very much. The second Fidia made, and the first with right hand drive, was purchased by John Lennon. It is believed that Apple Corp (the Beatles record company) also owned two Fidias.

John Lennon and his wife meet Piero Rivolta and his wife above. Below John Lennon checks out an Iso Grifo and Fidia respectively.

In January 1969 Road & Track said "brilliant conception with much lost in the execution" and "exotic looking, high performance sedan that misses the mark because of poor details & clumsy low speed handling". 

They complained about the mohair in the interior, the steering, the air conditioning plus a few other items. 

Road & Track wrote another article on the renamed Fidia in May 1969 where the report was much better after Piero Rivolta made a few changes. 

It is surprising that there were any complaints at all after the excellent reviews for the Iso Rivolta GT and the Iso Grifo.

Piero Rivolta discusses the Fidia with Piero Taruffi, a famous and successful race car driver.

The Fidia body style is by Giorgetto Giugiaro when he was with Ghia. The engine is the Corvette 327 cid V8 producing 300 hp with either an automatic or manual transmission.

A total of 192 Fidias and S4s were built between 1969 and 1973. See pictures of other Isos here.

Click on the images for a larger view.