Video: Porsche 911 onboard - East African Safari Classic

Written by Kurt Schleier | Sunday, 29 December 2013 18:02

Winter is a good time to drive a rally, especially when the rally is held in November and called the 'East African Safari Classic'. At the end of November this year hordes of classic cars and owners/drivers flocked to Mombasa, Kenya to start the 9 day rally going through Kenya and Tanzania. Interestingly the rally saw the participation of a couple of rally legends from an earlier era; Stig Blomqvist and Björn Waldegård. Blomqvist failed to win, coming second in a Porsche 911, while Waldegård crashed out of the competition on day 3. Another high-profile competitor was seen in the shape of Pink Floyd drummer and car collector Nick Mason. Mason took part in a Nissan 240Z, but failed to make much of an impression and finished at the end of the pack after a couple of action-filled days. Surprising was perhaps the large number of Porsche 911s taking part. One such 911 was driven by Bernard Munster and co-driven by Johan Gitsels. Fortunately the car was kitted out with an onboard camera, of which you can see the result in the video above. A 36 minute video of a 911 tearing right through a beautiful piece of african Savanna, what's not to like?

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Magic Body Control vs Citroën DS

Written by Kurt Schleier | Sunday, 29 September 2013 15:13

If you've been onto a contemporary car blog this week chances are you might have bumped into Mercedes-Benz' ad propagating its new Magic Body Control system through the medium of a chicken (made by ad agency Jung von Matt). A chicken? Yes, several chicken in fact. It illustrates Mercedes-Benz' intelligent suspension system which makes sure that the body stays level whatever surface might be thrown at the car. Or as Mercedes-Benz put it: "MAGIC BODY CONTROL combines the advantages of the active suspension system Active Body Control (ABC) with the globally innovative ROAD SURFACE SCAN function – a stereo camera that scans the road ahead and registers the road surface and its condition." Indeed, very much so, fortunately they made an ad illustrating the concept in a way that even the most out of touch with car technology can understand (see above). It actually made me think of another car, a car famed for its ability to cross even rough terrain smoothly. If we go back into time a little, well quite a bit actually, and stop in the 1950s, the French produced a certain car called the Citroën DS (that sculpture car we exalted not long ago in another post). You know, that car with the hydropneumatic suspension system, arguably enabling the smoothest ride of the time. Remember the videos (if you speak German then look here)?

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Video: Le Mans 1956 onboard with Mike Hawthorn

Written by Super User | Saturday, 16 March 2013 16:31

hawthorn1956lemansOnboard at Le Mans is always a special thing to witness, the long sweeping straights, the tight corners, the images of dusk and dawn and the more often than not insane speed differences between the cars on the track make it a firm favourite among motorsport fans. The video in this post (see below) should be no different, it should be even more special really since it was filmed on one of the days before the 1956 Le Mans 24 hours race, and significantly, features Jaguar D-Type driver Mike Hawthorn. Hawthorn has come to be known over the years as the instigator of the horrific crash of the 1955 race. More than 83 were killed after Hawthorn violently braked just before the main straight to get into the pits just after overtaking an Austin-Healey, the Healey, driven by Lance Macklin, had no other opportunity than swerving across the track and into the path of the charging Mercedes 300 SLR of Pierre Levegh who in turn stormed into the grandstand with the dreadful consequences mentioned before. In this light this onboard video from 1956 takes on another dimension, especially if we take into account the commentary he gives in this video: "Just up here on the left where the terrible accident occured last year," then a surprisingly long moment of silence follows. Was he contemplating, reflecting his own actions of 1955 at this point? On that note one should perhaps ask the question; if he cared about accident, why on earth did he choose to take the completely pointless and raucous act of overtaking a car moments before going into the pits himself? Sadly it is a question that cannot be answered anymore, one thing we do know is that Hawthorn was disliked intensely by a part of the motorsport fraternity at the time (the rivalry with Luigi Musso is well documented), and known for being a reckless, arrogant and unpleasant character. Perhaps though, that was a prerequisite for some to cope with looking death into the face each time you got into a race car?

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Video: Designing the 1983 Lotus 93T

Written by Kurt | Thursday, 07 February 2013 01:32

lotus-deangelisCream-coloured shirts, check. Ties with fantastical patterns, check. Subtly flared trousers, check. Huge glasses, check. Cue cheesy synthesizer music and there we go, a documentary from the early 1980s (see below). A documentary on the production of the 1983 Lotus 93T F1 car. Lotus at the time was doing badly in Grand Prix racing, although it did not achieve the success they had in the past; so, a new weapon was needed. As the video shows, Lotus for the 1983 season focused on a radically new design to incorporate the immensely powerful Renault EF1 V6 Turbo engine. The party piece really. The video mentions 100 extra horsepower over a DFV, which is questionable since other sources speak of at least 700 horsepower by 1983. The new design did not stop there though, much attention was directed to improving the Lotus F1 car as a whole. More sophisticated chassis made out of kevlar and baked in autoclaves meant another new dimension for Lotus racing cars.

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Video: Onboard 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Drogo

Written by Kurt | Thursday, 27 December 2012 23:29

The Goodwood Revival usually yields some interesting Youtube clips, this year was no exception. A search just threw this fantastic onboard video of a Ferrari 250 GT Drogo up. It's a shame of course you can't see the beautiful exterior of this suave Italian racing machine, but hey, at least there is those gorgeous clocks draped all over the dashboard. And then there's the sound of course, the 12 cylinders of the 2953cc engine create a very impressive snarl. Though, for some reason, it seems to have some connotations with a NASCAR V8, but that might be just due to the quality of the microphone used. The lucky driver of this car is Hans Hugenholtz, who puts up a great show. Taking it by the scruff of the neck Hugenholtz majestically guides this, apparently, short wheelbased 250 over the fast Goodwood track in the RAC TT celebration. Hugenholtz is well known for being a good and fast driver, though, that might have something to do with the fact that he always seems to have the fastest cars. Owning an eclectic range of cars he surely knows what's good (we're still looking forward to seeing him take his newly-acquired Hirondelle sports car from the 50s to the track). There are actually two parts to this video so do take a look at the one underneath, where the steering wheel is handed to former Indycar ace Danny Sullivan. So, in total about an hour of Ferrari video material, we don't expect you to watch all of it though, you would have to be the most extreme of V12 fans to sit through that..

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