• PROTOTYPE ENGINES: OLDSMOBILE ‘ROCKET’ SCIENCE!

    PROTOTYPE ENGINES: OLDSMOBILE ‘ROCKET’ SCIENCE!

    These lightweight multi-carb, four-cam and even Hemi engines were being developed for future production engine research and, in some cases racing projects.

    PROTOTYPE ENGINES: OLDSMOBILE ‘ROCKET’ SCIENCE!PROTOTYPE ENGINES: OLDSMOBILE ‘ROCKET’ SCIENCE!Between 1969 and 1970, Oldsmobile Engineering was responsible for creating powerful ultra-efficient 350 to 455 cubic-inch V-8 engines rated up to 700 horsepower! Some were naturally aspirated and fitted with single Quadrajet four-barrel or Weber carburetors; others were fuel-injected and turbocharged. Most had aluminum blocks and heads. It was hard to imagine that these engines were anything other than veiled attempts at building pure racing engines, but they actually were. Oldsmobile engineering used these engines as prototypes for developing lighter, more fuel-efficient and “cleaner” production engines.

     Olds engineers were responsible for the radical OW-43, above, a racing-only, four-cam 455 tested with four Weber carburetors and fuel injection with three-inch ram stacks. The OW-43 was developed at the same time Chevrolet Engineering was working on the ZL1 for Corvette and Camaro applications and Can-Am racing. The OW-43 was tested in a Can-Am racecar, but never used in competition.

    Based on the same bore-stroke configuration of a production 455, the OW-43 had heads and block with steel cylinder liners cast from Reynolds 356-T-6 heat-treated aluminum. With a redline of just under 8,500 rpm, it produced 600 horsepower at 6,000 rpm with Webers and 700 horsepower at 6,800 rpm with Lucas direct-port fuel-injection. The DOHC prototype had Forged-True 12.20-to-1 pistons, Carillo billet steel rods and a forged steel crank. It weighed 50 pounds less than a production cast-iron 455.

    The mildest of the group was an all-aluminum 350 small-block, displacing 389 cubic inches and utilizing dual-throat Weber 48IDA carburetors, above, right. The alloy 389-inch engine ended up in a Cutlass that was driven to the C/Production record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1968. A friend and editor at Hot Rod, Lee Kelley, drove a factory-supplied Cutlass 169.133 mph to set the record. Apparently during impound, SCTA officials never detected that the engine was an all-aluminum prototype.The engine in Lee Kelley’s record-setter was a one-off, rated at close to 500 horsepower and built in Lansing by Dave Maurer, a special projects engineer. At Bonneville, the Cutlass was crewed by Maurer along with racing legends, Ak Miller, Jack Lufkin and Ed Iskenderian.

    PROTOTYPE ENGINES: OLDSMOBILE ‘ROCKET’ SCIENCE!One of the most interesting engines was the 455-inch W-43 Hemi. There were cast-iron and aluminum iterations with four-valve, Hemi-chamber heads. The W-43 engine was designed to be easily converted to chain or gear-driven overhead camshafts. Fitted with a single Quadrajet, it produced in excess of 500 horsepower at 6,500 rpm. The aluminum version weighed 75 pounds less than the then current production 455 engine. This engine found its way into Mule cars tested at the Milford Proving Ground.

    PROTOTYPE ENGINES: OLDSMOBILE ‘ROCKET’ SCIENCE!Oldsmobile engines displacing 389 to 455 cubic inches had powered Can-Am Series cars, like Bob McKee-built Cro-Sal racers in 1967. The highest output Can-Am Olds was an all-aluminum, single-cam 455 with injection and twin turbochargers. It generated 659 horsepower at 6,250 rpm and 554 pound-feet of torque at 6,200 rpm.

    Oldsmobile Rocket Science

    This story is from DAY ONE, An Automotive Journalist’s Muscle-Car Memoir, covering domestic 1962-1974 high-performance vehicles, https://www.amazon.com/Day-One-Automotive-Journalists-Muscle-Car/dp/0760352364/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1493561421&sr=1-1&keywords=Day+One+by+Martyn+L.+Schorr

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  • ZAGATO CENTENARY: ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT & DBS GT!

    ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT & DBS GT!

    DBZ Centenary Collection showcases DB4 GT Zagato Continuation and DBS GT Zagato, with production limited to 19 pairs. None sold separately.ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT & DBS GT!ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT & DBS GT!In 2019, legendary Italian design house Zagato celebrates its centenary. For 58 of those hundred years, Aston Martin and Zagato have enjoyed a remarkable creative partnership. One in which these two iconic brands have created some of the world’s most desirable and stimulating cars, from the first DB4 GT Zagato to the latest Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake.

    To commemorate this landmark year, Aston Martin and Zagato are continuing their historic partnership with a truly unique collaboration: The remarkable DBZ Centenary Collection pays tribute to an icon of the past and creates a future classic.

    Andy Palmer, Aston Martin President and Group CEO, added: “The partnership between Aston Martin and Zagato is one of the most fruitful and enduring in the automotive world. With Zagato celebrating its centenary next year, what better way to celebrate this landmark – and the long-standing bond between our two great companies – than creating these 19 pairs of cars. As an engineer I would always say my favorite Aston Martin is the next one, but I have to say I’m struggling to think of a finer two-car garage than this!”

    Andrea Zagato, head of the Milan-based design house, founded by his grandfather in 1919, continued: “Great Britain has always appreciated our work. In particular, I must say I’m honored and very proud that Aston Martin has chosen to celebrate our long-standing partnership with this unique DBZ Centenary Collection.”

    ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT & DBS GT!With a build run strictly limited to just 19 pairs, this exceptional duo comprises a new, track-only DB4 GT Zagato Continuation and a new, road-legal DBS GT Zagato. The DB4 GT Zagato will be built at Aston Martin Works, Newport Pagnell – the original home of the DB4 – while the new DBS GT Zagato will be produced at Gaydon, Aston Martin’s global headquarters. Perfectly bookending Aston Martin and Zagato’s shared history, the DBZ Centenary Collection will be sure to take their place among the most coveted cars in the world.

    Built to race against the might of Ferrari in the 1960s, the DB4 GT Zagato was a thoroughbred machine. Evolved for the rigors of motor racing and blessed with breath taking beauty, just 19 were built. Drawing on Aston Martin Works’ unrivalled knowledge and expertise, DB4 GT Zagato Continuations will be completely authentic and meticulously crafted cars that are true to original Zagato-bodied DB4 GTs produced by Aston Martin and Zagato in 1960.

    ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT & DBS GT!Originally built as an evolution of the short-chassis DB4 GT, the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation follows the same recipe, with thin-gauge aluminum body panels, dressing a lightweight tubular frame. To improve the accuracy and consistency of the panels, the continuation car’s bodywork uses state-of-the-art digital scanning technology, before being hand-finished. Beneath the bonnet sits a version of the celebrated Tadek Marek-designed straight-six cylinder engine with two spark plugs per cylinder, transmitting 380 horsepower to the rear wheels through a four-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential, for an authentic and unforgettable driving experience.

    Paul Spires, Managing Director at Aston Martin Works, said of the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation: “It has been my pleasure and privilege to oversee many exceptional projects here at Aston Martin Works, but creating nineteen DB4 GT Zagato Continuations as one half of the DBZ Centenary Collection is a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We will bring all our hand-craftsmanship and expertise to bear in building these 19 Continuation cars, sympathetically incorporating the very latest engineering advancements and performance enhancements, but remaining true to the purity and authenticity of the original design.”

    ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT & DBS GT!The second half of the DBZ Centenary Collection is the DBS GT Zagato, which takes Aston Martin’s most potent series production car – the brand new DBS Superleggera – as the starting point for Aston Martin and Zagato’s latest and most exclusive offering. Created to embody the next evolution in Aston Martin Zagato design language, the exterior of the car will be characterized by a new proportion featuring a fresh interpretation of the iconic double-bubble roof. Together with a striking front grille treatment and a dramatically truncated tail the DBS GT Zagato will present an amplified physique and an unmistakable presence that combines classic Zagato hallmarks with spectacular new signatures. Paired to the build run of 19 DB4 GT Zagato Continuations, the DBS GT Zagato will also be the rarest of all the modern-era Aston Martin Zagatos.

    ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT & DBS GT!Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s Chief Creative Officer, said: “Aston Martin and Zagato is a uniquely dynamic union. One that unites the former’s love of proportion and clean, simple forms with the latter’s daring and maverick eye. Never afraid to push the boundaries, the partnership has resulted in some fabulous cars including the quartet of Vanquish Zagatos – Coupe, Roadster, Speedster and Shooting Brake. However, Zagato’s centenary demanded something extra special, and the Zagato Collection is just that: One car that pays tribute to a timeless icon; another that writes a fearless new chapter for future generations to admire.”

    The DBZ Century Collection will be priced at £6m (approximately $7.9m USD) plus taxes. First deliveries to customers will commence QTR 4 2019 for the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation and QTR 4 2020 for the DBS GT Zagato.

    For the latest luxury-performance vehicles from Aston Martin, please visit https://global.astonmartin.com/en-us/

    https://global.astonmartin.com/en-us/For more information about Zagato products and services, check out https://www.zagato.it/

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  • MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!

    The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering is not your average 16-year-old. Yes, the swagger is there but it’s less arrogant, more confident. And if she exhibits any aggressive behavior it’s in the way she is determined to please all within her intoxicating embrace, blogs photojournalist Jim Palam.

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!So how did I get so lucky to gather here in the manicured splendor of the Quail Lodge & Golf Course in Carmel, floating among the magnificent motorcars, bounteous buffets and beautiful people? Ah yes, I am here to shoot the pictures and tell the stories of the event, now in its 16th year, that many consider the Crown Jewel of all Monterey Car Week events.

    So grab a glass of champagne and come-along with me for Part II of my three-part Monterey Car Week report – a peek into the pomp, polish and pleasure that is The Quail. The Rolex Circle of Champions – Best of Show 1953 Lancia Aurelia PF200C, above, was the first car I photographed, not because I’m a predictor of outcomes, but because it truly has magnetic appeal – and it was parked close to the entry point of the show!

    You know you’re about to experience something special when it’s not even 8 AM and they’re handing out champagne under the towering entrance gate to The Gathering.

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!A feature of the show-winning Lancia that first caught my eye was the chrome bumpers where rear lights would normally be. With seating and controls far forward one appears to be piloting the Lancia rather than driving it.

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!“Everything Else Just Became Transportation.” The folks behind the Genesis Essentia Concept Car know how to write a good tagline – and how to dazzle the Quail crowd with a big-screen video backdrop that looped stunning high-definition black & white graphics and cityscapes behind their sleek and sinister showstopper.

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this icy-blue Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic Coupe – other than it’s more Pacific on display at The Quail – and a galactic gem wherever it dazzles!

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!Porsche hopes to flip the Sizzle-Switch again in 2020 with it’s all-electric Mission E Taycan, which sat book-ended with ‘48 Porsche No. 1 Type 356 on the heavenly white 70 Years of Porsche stage.

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!Jose Fernandez of Mexico City had a dream – to build a traditional, handcrafted, coach-built ‘Speciale’ as an homage to the Michelloti-designed, Vignale-bodied racing Ferraris of the early-1950s. With deep pockets, determination and the skills of The Creative Workshop, his Custom Coachworks 1966 Ferrari 330 GT Speciale was unveiled at The Quail. Simply WOW!

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!The heart of Mr. Fernandez’s dream car – a matching numbers, modified Ferrari 330 Columbo 60-degree V12, 3,967cc, SOHC, 24 valve motor. It’s a treat for the ears and eyes.

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!Ever been too early for something – like the unveiling of the custom-built Hennessey 7.6 Liter Twin-Turbo V8 engine capable of achieving more than 1,600 horsepower at 7,200 rpm? Me neither, until The Quail. I did get to photograph the awesome Supercar she’ll be powering though. I’m good with that.

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!You’re looking at Zora’s #58053, the first L88 Corvette prototype development car and Ken Kayser, the insider, one of its owners, and author who has written the definitive story (http://www.tachometerpublishing.com/order/zoras-58053) of this legendary build. It’s believed to be the first St. Louis assembled Corvette with the big-block Mark IV 427 RPO-L72 engine.

     http://www.tachometerpublishing.com/order/zoras-58053 This impressive lineup of legendary Lancias sat ready to rally in front of the winner’s ramp at The Quail. The successful Martini Racing sponsorship with the works Lancia team lasted for over a decade, starting in 1982.

     http://www.tachometerpublishing.com/order/zoras-58053 Chasing Classic Car’s Wayne Carini describes the size a wad of car restoration cash needs to be to bring a classic to The Quail in show-winning condition!

     http://www.tachometerpublishing.com/order/zoras-58053 The gent representing the Jim Glickenhaus SCG 003S Supercar was somewhat tight-lipped about details. There’s nothing sleepy about this Sleepy Hollow, NY- based, 800-Horsepower, 2,700-pound Stradale.

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!This ‘78 Dome ‘Zero’ was one of the road-going Supercars developed in Japan by racing aficionado Minoru Hayashi. Dome prototypes were intended to offer an alternative to exotic European Supercars.

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!When Curtiss Motorcycles CEO Matt Chambers unveiled the unpainted, all electric Zeus motorcycle at The Quail Motorcycle Gathering back in May he was wearing a suit, albeit without a tie. Just three months later he has added color and performance enhancements to the Zeus and ditched the suit. I like your style, Matt!

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!Even though there were only 435 Kaiser Darrins produced, many of you car guys are familiar with its quirky exterior design and sliding channel doors. So I thought you might enjoy this look at this ’54 K-D’s soothing Seafoam interior. Designed by Howard “Dutch” Darrin, power came from 161-inch Six.

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!The Senna is the most track-focused McLaren ever built, delivering a power-to-weight ratio of 668 PS-per-tonne (659 bhp). Impressive – but not to the two ‘Twenty-Somethings’ standing next to it at The Quail. “Yeah, it’s fast but this one is just boring looking.” Apparently, the monotone color scheme left them wanting!

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!How to standout in a field of Porsches: Go small. This stunning ½-scale, gas-powered 356 ‘Speedster’ is a highly-detailed, fully-functional driver!

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!Croatian EV manufacturer Rimac Automobili brought its beautiful blue California Edition C–Two to The Quail. With a sticker price of over $2 million this hyper-EV delivers 1,888 horsepower, goes from 0 to 60 in 1.85 seconds and has an advertised top speed of 258 mph!

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!Well guys, I was hoping to finish this report with a cool shot of this wicked ’65 GT350 Mustang. But darn it, this visitor from Belarus walked into the picture. I’m sorry. Stay tuned for the final installment of my Monterey Car  Week coverage – coming soon!

    Words & Photos: Jim Palam, https://www.jimpalam.com/

    For more information about The Quail Motorsports Gathering and details about next year’s event, please visit https://whatsupmonterey.com/events/monterey-car-week/the-quail-a-motorsports-gathering/457

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  • Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day

    You never know who might turn up for a quick blast at a track day. As demonstrated when former Grand Prix and World Superbike legends Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi ride at an Aprilia track day along with the regular attendees. It happened at one of the Aprilia Racers Days 2018 events, with the 16th date of the calendar taking place at Mugello in Italy. So you can imagine the Noale-based motorcycle manufacturer invited the two stars along.

    Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day

    Capirossi is currently the Safety Advisor to Dorna Sports for MotoGP. He won two 125cc GP titles, and a 250cc world championship with Aprilia in 1998 before switching to the 500cc class, and then MotoGP until his retirement in 2011. Now 45 years old, he was joined by Max Biaggi, who he often raced against. Biaggi dominated the 250 world championship from 1994 to 1997, taking four titles, and three of those were on an Aprilia. He arrived in the top class in 1998, and competed until 2005 before switching to World Superbikes. Riding again for Aprilia he took two WSB titles in 2010 and 2012, before ending his competitive international career in 2015.

    Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day Capirossi Pits

    The former GP rivals were riding at Mugello on both an Aprilia RSV4 RF and an RSV4 which had been fitted with a Factory Works kit and then tuned by Aprilia Racing. So the normal track day riders had a bit of an excuse when their lap times didn’t quite match up.

    Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day - Biaggi Action

    In addition to enjoying the Mugello track, the pair also chatted with riders and fans. Along with photo opportunities, they were able to suggest bike set-up advice and how to set a good time around the circuit.

    Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day - Biaggi Cornering

    Max Biaggi: “Fantastic! Of course, the things we did when we were racing cannot be repeated, but with this bike you really go fast and Loris still has his style, so it was like taking a ride down memory lane. This RSV4 is a bike made for the track. It felt like I was back on my SBK. You really go fast and it is a lot of fun. An experience to repeat.”

    Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day - Capirossi Action

    Loris Capirossi: “Having the track all to ourselves and precisely here at Mugello was an emotional experience. As always, Max never gives in and he really opens up the throttle. I enjoyed the RSV4 very much, especially in the Factory Works version. At Mugello, power and torque count for a lot and I truly had a lot of fun.”

    Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day - Max Biaggi

    The Aprilia Racers Days take place throughout the year, and allow enthusiasts to test the top models in the Aprilia RSV4 RF and Tuono V4 1100 Factory ranges. The ‘season’ takes place on 18 dates at a variety of top tracks in Italy, including Imola, Vallelunga, Misano and Mugello. Although this particular event was the 16th, and the calendar is winding down, apparently Biaggi and Capirossi have already promised to return in 2019.

    Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day - Pits

    Given the fact that two top Italian rivals were on track, perhaps the biggest surprise was the lack of incidents on track. But you never know who might turn up on your next track day, and it’s best not to underestimate a pair of Italians in their mid-to-late 40s if you happen to see them rock up on some Aprilias…

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  • INDY: USAC MIDGET RACING AT THE BRICKYARD?

    INDY: USAC MIDGET RACING AT THE BRICKYARD?

    Stephen Cox blogs about a new event designed to draw short-track fans back to the mecca of motorsports.

    INDY: USAC MIDGET RACING AT THE BRICKYARD?INDY: USAC MIDGET RACING AT THE BRICKYARD?The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has announced a new event that will be held in the first week of September and hopefully pump up sagging attendance at the Brickyard 400 stock car race. A quarter-mile dirt track will be constructed inside Turn 3 for a USAC midget race,

    Speedway president J. Douglas Boles told the Indianapolis Star, “The short track community in a lot of ways is the heart and soul of racing, so… we thought, ‘Is there a way we could connect with that short-track guy or gal who spends their weekend at the local track on Saturday?’ And we thought this was a good way to experiment with connecting with that fan base.”

    I have an idea that might help. It’s not original, but it’s effective. Let’s start with the track’s biggest event – the Indianapolis 500 – and see if the results don’t trickle down to the Brickyard 400 and every other event held at the Speedway.

    If the Indianapolis Motor Speedway wants short track fans to return to the grandstands, why not allow short track drivers to participate in their premier event, the Indy 500? That concept worked quite well for over half a century. But in recent years the Speedway has promoted a new “ladder” concept and a top tier spec racing formula that has all but barred short-track drivers from participating in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

    In late-2016 I asked Boles if he wanted short-track drivers returning to the Speedway. He responded, “First and foremost in my mind is just really safety… I’d love to see 50 or 60 or 70 cars entering and guys just being able to decide that they have a driver who’s running at Putnamville and we’re going to give him a shot to run at the Speedway. I just don’t think it’s practical anymore.”

    The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is now paying the price for that attitude. Yes, the short-track community is the heart and soul of racing, and no, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has not the slightest connection to that fan base. At least they openly admit it now.

    INDY: USAC MIDGET RACING AT THE BRICKYARD?The cure is simple. Open up the Indy 500 formula and end the spec car era. Encourage short-track drivers to make the Indy 500 their career aspiration. Then you won’t have to beg short track fans to return to the grandstands in May or September. You won’t have to construct special dirt tracks and hold special midget races to con short-track fans into buying weekend tickets to major events that otherwise hold little interest for them. If short-track drivers race at Indianapolis, their fans will follow. No gimmicks required.

    Is there anyone in the halls of power at IMS with the will to make that happen? I’m not holding my breath, but there’s always hope. For the first time, the Speedway’s president is openly admitting that they’ve managed to utterly destroy their once inseparable bond with the short-track community. At least they see the disaster that’s resulted from 25 years of bad decisions that have alienated short track drivers and, inevitably, their fans.

    That’s worth something. Perhaps it will eventually spawn the best news we’ve heard from Indianapolis in a long time.

    Stephen Cox: FIA EPCS sportscar championship & Super Cup Stock Car Series sponsored by http://www.mcgunegillengines.com/and http://www.boschett-timepieces.com/index.php Sopwith Motorsports Television Productions, Co-host, Mecum Auctions on NBCSN

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