MIKE COOK: LOSS OF A LEGEND!

MIKE COOK: LOSS OF A LEGEND!

Mike Cook had spent a lifetime immersed in the British automotive industry as a PR and advertising executive, in the hobby as a racer, and later in his retirement as an archivist for Jaguar Land Rover. He passed away this week.

MIKE COOK: LOSS OF A LEGEND!MIKE COOK: LOSS OF A LEGEND!When I was a magazine editor in the 1960s and 1970s, I often interfaced with Mike Cook and regularly saw him at International Motor Press Association (IMPA) lunches and events. While my passion was Corvettes and high-performance American cars with big V8 engines, Mike had become the champion of British sports cars. On the surface it was “apples & oranges.” But we often spent time simply sharing car guy experiences.

In his retirement years he was responsible for archiving vintage Jaguar and Land Rover advertising, racing news and press materials. He became the go-to guy for journalists, collectors and enthusiasts researching the history of these storied brands. Without Mike and his endless enthusiasm for these vehicles and British car history, Jaguar Land Rover North America would not have the ability to serve the needs of the media as well as the hobby.

My son, Stuart Schorr, Vice-President Communications, Jaguar Land Rover North America, wrote the following tribute:

On Tuesday, November 27, Jaguar Land Rover lost a dear friend and passionate lifelong advocate, Michael Cook, to pneumonia at the age of 85. Mike had a storied career in advertising and public relations for a murderer’s row of British brands: Rover, Land Rover, Austin, MG, Jaguar and his beloved Triumph. He retired from Jaguar as Director of U.S. Public Relations in 1991.

 Up until this very week, Mike had been a constant, determined and cheerful fixture at the Jaguar Land Rover North American headquarters, running our JLR U.S. historical archives department, which he created with Karen Miller in the 1980s. For many of those years, Mike ran the Archives department like a carmakers’ skunk works operation: he was going to keep it going whether anyone officially knew about it or not. Mike personally kept the Rover and Land Rover (and Triumph) archival material at his home before anyone in the company ever thought it might be something we needed. Is there a stronger word than dedicated?

 A visit to the Archives or an email exchange with Mike quickly revealed the impressive depth of Mike’s knowledge and affection he had for these unique cars, and the people that made, marketed, raced and owned them. It was always a pleasure for Mike to assist someone, and a greater pleasure to be helped by him.

 In addition to his second career as Jaguar (and eventually Land Rover) archivist, Mike was prominent in the Jaguar and Triumph Club worlds, and a prolific author and editor of historical publications. Did I mention he was a racer himself and publicist for numerous Jaguar and Triumph racing teams? Talk about being a “car guy”!

 It’s one of those career clichés we often hear: Do something you love. Mike Cook loved working with our company and British automobiles so much that he dedicated his entire career to it. We are all honored to have worked with him, we thank him again, and we will miss him dearly.

 Mike passed away peacefully, in the company of his family, with his favorite Miles Davis playing in the background.

The post MIKE COOK: LOSS OF A LEGEND! appeared first on Car Guy Chronicles.

Continue Reading…

New Gladstone Motorcycles SE Bobber Unveiled

The new Gladstone Motorcycles SE has been unveiled, and it looks rather nice. The company was founded back in 2012 by TV presenter and biking enthusiast Henry Cole as a bespoke British motorcycle brand. And the SE is the follow-up to their original model, the Gladstone No.1 bobber, which appeared in 2013.

Although the SE shares some of the key components and features from the No.1, the SE changes things a bit. Designer Guy Willison describes it as a “slightly lazier, earthier version of the No.1. We wanted to build a bike where we didn’t have any customers for it – this is what I’d build for myself as a personalised bike on the road. No outside influence – just me and Henry building what we want to ride”

The Gladstone Motorcycles SE
The new Gladstone Motorcycles SE bobber

It turns out what Willison and Cole want to ride is a bobber which features some Gladstone trademarks. Those include a Metisse nickel-plated rigid frame, a bespoke alloy petrol tank and fake oil tank, and a 5″ Smiths analogue speedometer.

Gladstone Motorcycles SE Rear Three Quarters View
The new Gladstone Motorcycles SE uses a rigid Metisse frame

But there are some significant changes from the nine hand-built No.1s that the company previously produced. Most noticeable is the paint, with the new model adorned in Aston Martin Rosso Red. That’s a bolder look than the original model, which came in black.

The Gladstone Motorcycles SE also swaps out the 750cc Triumph T140 engine of the No.1, which came with a 5-speed left foot gear shift. Instead, you get a refurbished 650cc 4-speed Triumph T120R motor, with a right foot gear shirt and single carburetor.

Gladstone Motorcycles SE Triumph T120R Engine
The Gladstone Motorcycles SE Triumph T120R Engine

There are now Norman Hyde M-bars, rather than the flat examples from the No.1. And the Gladstone Motorcycles SE also gets shorter, 720mm Ceriani front forks. Another change is that a Norton TLS front brake replaces the Ceriani replica Grimeca 4-leading shoe drum.

Gladstone Motorcycles SE Seat
The Gladstone Motorcycles SE Seat in Alcantara

Rather than the Monza design used on the NO.1, the SE gets a flush-fitting petrol cap. And there are Doherty levers, plus natural rubber Tommaselli handlebar grips. The Alcantara seat comes with red stitching to match the Aston Martin paint. And the headlamp and tail light get brass bezels.

Gladstone Motorcycles SE Brake Light
The Gladstone Motorcycles SE Brake Light With Brass Bezel

As a bespoke British motorcycle manufacturer, customers get to tailor the Gladstone Motorcycles SE to their preference. Which means you can request changes to the colour finishes, grips, saddle and more. But you also need to be a little patient, as there’s a 12-month delivery time from when you order.

Gladstone Motorcycles SE Side View
The new Gladstone Motorcycles SE

Following the release of the 9 Gladstone No.1 models, the waiting list started for the new SE. And it’s a bit of an investment, with prices starting from £40,000. Hence why the company describe their customers as ‘discerning hooligans’.

Gladstone Motorcycles Designer Guy Willison
Gladstone Motorcycles Designer Guy Willison

But you do get something created with the iconic classic Triumph engine, a rather lovely frame, and numerous other hand-made and bespoke features for things like pipes, brackets and more.

Gladstone Motorcycles Founder Henry Cole
Gladstone Motorcycles Founder and CEO Henry Cole

So if you fancy ordering the new Gladstone Motorcycles SE bobber, and you have the finances, you can contact the company via their website to get the building started.

Continue Reading…

Get Trials Style With The New Watsonian International Sidecar

We all know how popular adventure sport and off-road style motorcycles have become. But what if you want to take more passengers or luggage than a motorbike can manage? Whether it’s for a round-the-world expedition or picking up the weekly shop? Well, now you can go trials style, with the new Watsonian International Sidecar.

The New Watsonian International Sidecar

The prototype version pictured will be close to the final release. It’s shown fitted to the Royal Enfield Himalayan, and Watsonian have also been hard at work creating a universal fitting kit for their current sidecars for the Enfield.

Although it’s got off-road trials style, the new Watsonian International sidecar has been created primarily to use on the roads. As a result, it’s got a glass fibre body to be durable and easy to maintain. But it does have aluminium panels to echo the style of the original International, which was around in the 1940s and 1950s. And there’s an aluminium mudguard holding the indicator and brake light.

There’s the off-road bench seat, under which you get your spacious luggage locker. And the the black metal rim for passengers to grab to keep them stable. Underneath the new Watsonian International sidecar is the tubular steel platform chassis Watsonian have been using for a long time, with elded joints and epoxy power coating.

To keep things comfortable there’s  hydraulic suspension with a rising rate spring. And the sidecar is mounted on a 16″ stainless spoked wheel with a black powder coated steel rim and a Bridgestone Trail Wing dual sport tyre.

The new Watsonian International Sidecar will be available in Spring 2019 and will cost £3,995 including VAT. The Royal Enfield Himalayan Watsonian fitting kit costs £450.

The Original Watsonian International Sidecar:

Inspiration for the trials and off-road style of the new Watsonian International sidecar actually comes from the firm’s original creation launched in 1938.

The first International featured a lightweight all-aluminium body. But production was interrupted due to the outbreak of the Second World War. So it didn’t actually become available to buy until 1950.

The original 1950s Watsonian International Sidecar

But when the original aluminium Watsonian International did reappear in 1950, it competed in the International Six Days Trail at Llandrindod Wells. And was regularly used by the company management team of Ron Watson and Cliff Bennett in a variety of trials events during the early 1950s.

You can certainly see echoes of the original outfit in the new Watsonian International sidecar. And while it might not be suitable for off-road competition, it should be rugged enough to cope with whatever adventure you might fancy on the roads.

Continue Reading…

SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!

SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!

Recommended reading from Keith Cornett, CorvetteBlogger and founder of VetteFinders. Not only a ‘pretty face’, CORVETTE SPECIAL EDITIONS is an invaluable resource for information about iconic and collectible performance models.

SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!At first glance, Keith Cornett’s new book is a little misleading. The title does not reveal the wealth of photography and information that goes well beyond Special Editions. To many, Special Editions often refers to Indy Pace Car replicas, commemorative models celebrating racing victories, anniversaries, performance achievements, regional editions, or a particular individual who has devoted a great deal of his life to elevating the status of the Corvette. It is all that, but so much more.

CORVETTE SPECIAL EDITIONS is way beyond the 43 official Chevrolet limited production, special edition Corvettes starting with the 1978 Silver Anniversary and Indy 500 Pace Car replica and ending with the 2018 Carbon 65 I found the most interesting sections of this book are devoted to the history of the Corvette and iconic road and track performance models that are coveted by serious collectors.

SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!Even the first Corvette in 1953 must be considered a “special edition” since only 300 were built! Coverage of low-volume, track-oriented Corvettes started when Zora Arkus-Duntov convinced the powers at Chevrolet of the value of being involved in sports car racing. Nothing showcases Duntov’s position more than the first fuel-injected, four-speed, 283/283 ’57 Corvette with RPO 579D “Airbox” option. Just 43 were built and they led the charge to the Corvette earning America’s Sports Car cred! Great coverage on a black Airbox car, above, with coke-bottle hubcaps tells the unique option’s story.

SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!After Keith runs out of actual factory production Special Editions, like the Grand Sport, Z06 Sting Ray, 1967-1969 aluminum-head big-block L88s, above, the yellow all-aluminum big-block ZL1, above, and Zora’s hardcore ZR1small-block and ZR2 big-block Stingrays, he focuses on low-volume, very-special-edition “tuner” Corvettes that go one step beyond what the factory could do. Corvette-based, tuner cars and their builders make up one of the most interesting chapters, Chapter 6, DEALERS, TUNERS, AND THIRD-PARTY SPECIAL EDITIONS.

SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!Many, like the Baldwin-Motion Phase III, Maco Shark, Manta Ray, Can-Am Spyder and the ultimate Phase III GT Corvette, above & right, were created by Joel Rosen between 1968 and 1974, were built to order. Horsepower started around 500 and, like Alice’s Restaurant, “you could get anything you want!”

In addition to Joel Rosen’s Baldwin-Motion, there’s coverage on John and Burt Greenwood’s extensive lineup, Reeves Callaway who is still producing tuner Corvettes, Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, American Custom Industries’ Duntov Turbo, Dick Guldstrand GS80/GS90, Avelate Corvette, Larry Shinoda/Rick Mears Special Edition, Pratt & Miller C6RS and others. This chapter is a treasure trove of seriously high-performance, some over-the-top, fantasy rides.

SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!2018 Carbon 65

Well-written and beautifully illustrated, CORVETTE SPECIAL EDITIONS presents the cars as a group instead of chronologically. It’s organized into six categories: Anniversary Editions, Indy 500 Pace Cars, Commemoratives and Tributes, Special Editions, Historic Corvettes, and Third-Party Special Editions. This 192-page coffee table book is available at https://www.amazon.com/Corvette-Special-Editions-Pace-Callaways/dp/1613253931/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1537450923&sr=8-1&keywords=Corvette+special+editions&linkCode=sl1&tag=corvettespeci-20&linkId=a53cda67c42cfbbc1a9c4e2349fde608

If you are interested in a signed copy, please visit https://www.corvettespecialeditions.com/

The post SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER! appeared first on Car Guy Chronicles.

Continue Reading…

’19 COPO CAMARO: SPECIAL EDITION GOLD!

’19 COPO CAMARO: SPECIAL EDITION GOLD!

Chevrolet celebrates the golden anniversary – 50 years strong – of the legendary COPO Camaro at the SEMA Show.

’19 COPO CAMARO: SPECIAL EDITION GOLD!’19 COPO CAMARO: SPECIAL EDITION GOLD!An anniversary-themed ‘19 COPO Camaro racecar introduced today at the SEMA Show celebrates the 50-year milestone of the special order, ultimate performance models and launches the 2019 COPO Camaro program.

“Chevrolet is proud to celebrate 50 years of the COPO Camaro legacy,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “It’s one of the most enduring legacies in drag racing, with a powerful past and fast future.”

Featuring a special Anniversary Blue Metallic exterior color that pays homage to the original Laguna Blue offered in 1969, the SEMA show car previews the special color and graphics of the COPO Camaro 50th Anniversary Special Edition package offered for 2019. A 50th Anniversary Engine Appearance Package that emulates the look of vintage Chevy performance engines, with an orange engine block, chrome valve covers and a black high-rise intake manifold, is also available for the naturally aspirated LSX-based 427 racing engine.

’19 COPO CAMARO: SPECIAL EDITION GOLD!The ‘19 COPO Camaro’s available engine lineup includes a revised version of the supercharged, LSX-based 350 engine, now featuring a 2.65L Magnuson supercharger as well as a 302-cubic-inch engine. The COPO Camaro also features a distinctive and exclusive front-end design not shared with other production Camaro models. Only 69 ‘19 COPO Camaro racecars will be built — the same number of ‘69 COPO Camaro models that were built with the all-aluminum 427 ZL1 engine.

 COPO CAMARO HISTORY

The COPO Camaro program got its start in 1969 and was inspired by Illinois-based Chevrolet dealer Fred Gibb, who used the company’s special order system to build what wasn’t already offered in the Camaro. The goal was to make the car more competitive in Stock Eliminator drag racing, which was rooted in production-based vehicles.

Racers scraped for every extra horsepower the factory could give them, and it occurred to Gibb that Chevrolet’s in-house special order system, known as Central Office Production Order (COPO), could provide an advantage. Typically, the COPO system was used for fleet vehicle services such as special paint or truck equipment, but Gibb used it to equip the Camaro with the all-aluminum ZL1 427 racing engine, below. With its lightweight block and heads, the ZL1 427 engine weighed about 100 pounds less than the iron-based 396 big- block engine offered in the Camaro and produced more power. It was the perfect solution for the drag strip.

’19 COPO CAMARO: SPECIAL EDITION GOLD!Chevrolet didn’t simply rubber-stamp Gibb’s request. It took plenty of convincing and some cajoling from Vince Piggins, who was responsible for the Camaro Z28 at the time, to get the project approved. There was also another catch: To make the engine eligible for NHRA competition, at least 50 examples of the car had to be offered for sale to the public.

’19 COPO CAMARO: SPECIAL EDITION GOLD!Gibb ordered them, but knew he’d have a hard time selling the pricey muscle cars, which were essentially twice the cost of a standard Camaro. He sold 13 and the remaining 37 were redistributed to other dealers. In the meantime, more dealers found out about the ultimate performance COPO Camaro models and ordered their own. A total of 69 COPO Camaro models with the ZL1 engine were built.

The 1969 COPO Camaro program included a number of models equipped with an iron-block version of the 427 engine. In the years after, drag strip success evolved into collector car distinction, with the comparative handful of ZL1-engined models among the most coveted muscle cars with collectors today.

’19 COPO CAMARO: SPECIAL EDITION GOLD!Chevrolet opened the next chapter in the COPO Camaro anthology in 2011 with the introduction of a COPO Camaro racecar concept at the SEMA Show. The overwhelming response helped Chevrolet make the decision to build the new COPO Camaro racecars in 2012. The contemporary COPO cars quickly picked up what their predecessors laid down on the drag strip half a century earlier, setting national records with eight-second ets.

’19 COPO CAMARO: SPECIAL EDITION GOLD!The ‘19 COPO Camaro joins the eCOPO Camaro Concept — an electrified racecar based on the ‘19 COPO Camaro — and approximately two dozen additional Chevrolet concepts and show vehicles at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas through November 2nd.

Customers can register for a chance to purchase a ‘19 COPO Camaro at https://www.chevrolet.com/performance/copo-camaro

The post ’19 COPO CAMARO: SPECIAL EDITION GOLD! appeared first on Car Guy Chronicles.

Continue Reading…

dd