Engineering the Ford Cortina Mark I

The 1962-66 Cortina Mark I was a landmark product for Ford of Britain. Watch the engineers torture-test their new creation in this nifty factory film. Introduced to the public on October 20, 1962, the Cortina Mk I represented a major step forward at Ford of Britain—it was “a miracle of packaging, manufacturing efficiency, and price,” proclaimed Auto Express. Initially, a front-wheel-drive system as used by Ford of Germany’s Taunus was considered by the Dagenham engineers, but then rejected in favor of a conventional rear-drive platform. Handsomely styled by Roy Brown Jr., the American designer responsible for the vivacious Edsel, the Cortina was offered in an ambitious variety of body styles—-coupe, sedan, and estate wagon—and in a plethora of models and trim levels, including a GT and a potent Lotus model.

 

 

A popular car in its day, the Cortina (initially called the Consul Cortina, but the Consul label was soon dropped) was produced in more than one million copies in the Mk I version through 1966, and millions more in the successor Mk II through Mk V models through 1982. Take note of the performance statistics in the film. They may not seem terribly exciting today, but they were impressive indeed for an affordable British car of the early 1960s. A series of small but capable four-cylinder engines and a light, modern unit-construction chassis enabled the zippy performance numbers. Let’s tighten our belts and ride along with the Ford test drivers.

 

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The Honda Mean Mower 2

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The Insane 134MPH Mower

If there’s anyone who knows a thing or two about going fast, it’s the folks at Top Gear. And that doesn’t just mean in cars – as was evidenced when they set a Guinness World Record for building the world’s fastest lawnmower with Honda back in 2014. Unfortunately, they were dethroned shortly thereafter. Now, however, they’re looking to ascend again with the Honda Mean Mower Mk. 2.

To be driven in the world-record attempt by stunt driver, Jess Hawkins, this second iteration grass-cutter features some major improvements over the original. For instance, the output has been nearly doubled – that means 190+ bhp from the new 999cc SP1 Fireblade engine onboard. The team building it is also shooting toward a dry weight of only about 440 lbs, which means – when paired with the engine output – this lawnmower may be able to do 0-60 in under 3 seconds. Whether or not they shatter the record remains to be seen, but by all accounts this is promising to be an impressive machine.

 

 

 

TOYOTA SUPRA 4×4 CONCEPT 2020

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The fifth-generation 2020 Supra — code-named A90 — has looks that will put even the bright-orange fourth-generation Fast and Furious movie car to shame.

Toyota made some big waves recently by announcing the rebirth of one of their most coveted sports cars, the Supra, which they’re bringing back after nearly two decades.  The sports car is one of Toyota’s most iconic models, thanks to a star-making turn in The Fast and the Furious. And while some folks were quite pleased with the announcement, others felt the unveiling fell a bit flat. We’re not sure exactly where Estonian digital designer Rain Prisk falls, but we do know he’s already taken the car to task and created this jaw-dropping 4×4 concept.

‘Insane’ might not be a powerful enough word to describe what Prisk has done here, completely overhauling the low-stance Japanese export into a lifted, all-terrain, off-road-ready panther of a car. And the redesign isn’t just a simple lift kit, as that wouldn’t really fit Prisk’s extremely detailed style. No, it’s also got a front-end winch, massive wheel arches to suit beefed-up tires, a step so you can climb in without jumping, a snorkel intake for fording deep water, and even a roof rack. It’s a shame that this beautiful monstrosity will likely never see the light of day, but we’re glad to have seen what could have been.

The Magnificent 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe From the Ralph Lauren Collection

Designer Ralph Lauren is the proud owner of one of the world’s most handsome, interesting and fine specimens – the 1938 Bugatti 57SC Atlantic Coupe.

This gem is one of the rarest and most expensive cars in the world, designed by Jean Bugatti, son of founder Ettore. This beauty is estimated to be worth around $40 million US, why? Besides the fact it’s a visual work-of-art which has been on display in museums such as the Cleveland Museum of Art, there are only three known examples of the Atlantic world-wide.

Apart from Lauren’s, one Atlantic recently changed hands for $38 million and is now in Mullin Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The third and final was destroyed in a train accident in the 1950s.

Lauren added the Atlantic to his considerable car collection in 1988. His collection boasts 60-odd rare cars ranging from a 1958 Ferrari Testarossa to a 1929 Bentley Blower – all housed in a disguised office park-like building in Bedford Hills, New York.

Said to reach speeds of up to 200 km/h the Atlantic has a truly stunning hand-formed aluminium body, low stance and still boasts many of its original features: the original interior upholstery made of goatskin leather, seats stuffed with horsehair and the original EXK6 UK registration.

“I’ve always been inspired by automotive design — the materials, the lines, but also the power and functionality. Cars are like art — moving art — an accomplishment in mechanics and precision.” — Ralph Lauren.

Lauren has so much passion for his Bugatti he took inspiration from it to create his latest watch collection. The Elm burl wood dials, black alligator straps and Amboyna burl wood bezels are reminiscent of the car’s rich interior.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ever Wondered How To Identify The Ford Pickup Models.. From 1948 to 1996

The Ford Motor Company (commonly referred to simply as Ford) is an American multinational automaker headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. It was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. The company sells automobiles and commercial vehicles under the Ford brand and most luxury cars under the Lincoln brand.

The Ford F-Series is a series of light-duty trucks and medium-duty trucks (Class 2-7) that have been marketed and manufactured by Ford Motor Company since 1948. While most variants of the F-Series trucks are full-size pickup trucks, the F-Series also includes chassis cab trucks and commercial vehicles. The Ford F-Series has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States since 1981 and the best-selling pickup since 1977. It is also the best selling vehicle in Canada.

We have many ways to identify generations of Ford trucks, and here is an interesting guide based on their hoods.

Ford Truck Identification Guide

 

1948-1960

 

1961-1966

 

1967-1972

 

The Green Off-Roader Rivians R1S electric SUV unveiled

Rivian R1S electric SUV unveiled

Electric car start-up Rivian has revealed its second model, the R1S. The seven-seat SUV follows the reveal earlier this week of the R1T pick-up truck, with models due for a public debut at the LA motor show.

Rivian is hoping to have the kind of impact Tesla has made in shaking up the established automotive set and believes it has found a niche with the creation of go-anywhere electric vehicles.

The R1T and R1S, the first and second in a series of models eventually planned, are built on a bespoke electric ‘skateboard’ chassis, that’s modular and can be used on all different types and sizes of vehicles. The initial pair are closely related, the chief difference being a slightly shorter wheelbase in the R1S. The R1S is 5040mm long, making it Range Rover-sized, while the 5465mm-long R1-T is marginally longer than the Mercedes-Benz X-Class.

In both cars the lithium-ion battery pack is mounted in the floor, and in the in the R1T is good for a 230-mile range in its standard 105kWh capacity, 300-mile range in a 130kWh capacity, or up to 400 miles with the 180kWh ‘mega pack’. In the R1S, the same battery packs are offered with figures of 240, 310 and 420 miles respectively.

The two models share their drivetrains, too. Four electric motors, one for each wheel, give the electric models four-wheel drive. Each motor produces 197bhp (total combined figures through the gearbox are 754bhp and 826lb ft in the 135kWh version), which allows for prodigious performance. It’s claimed both vehicles can crack 0-60mph in just 3.0sec, and 0-100mph in less than 7.0sec in the 135kWh versions.

Double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension features, alongside air springs and adaptive dampers. Rivian claims the electric drivetrain and chassis set-up allows for both impressive on-road performance and handling and precise off-road control that surpasses any existing mechanical solutions off the asphalt. Its flat floor is also reinforced with carbonfibre and Kevlar to protect the battery pack, while both models get five-star crash test safety ratings in the US.

A distinctive front-end exterior design appears on both cars, while the spacious interiors get premium but durable materials that are easy to clean, in keeping with the cars’ off-road lifestyle brief. Two screens feature inside, that run Rivian’s own software and graphics.

There are packs of novel hidden features and clever solutions in both models, including a 330-litre front storage under the nose, and in the truck a full width storage hole that runs between the rear doors and rear wheels that’s good for housing golf clubs.

Rivian, first formed in 2009, is looking to do things differently to other start-ups by having its entire business plan and funding in place before going public with its intentions, and even then keeping targets conservative.

Company founder and CEO, RJ Scaringe, has already gone through two stillborn versions of the R1T to get to this third, production-ready version.

The US-based company is backed by investors from the Middle East, and employs some 560 people worldwide. It’s design and engineering centre is based in Plymouth, Michigan and other key sites include a battery development facility in Irvine, California. It has opened an advanced engineering centre in Chertsey, Surrey, too.

Manufacturing will take place at an old Mitsubishi plant in Illinois, which Rivian purchased for $16 million (£12.5m) last year. This has a capacity of up to 350,000 units per year.

Rivian’s initial ambitions are much lower than that initially, with plans to be selling some 50-60,000 of its premium electric off-roaders by 2025/26. It does however plan to offer its electric skateboard chassis to other companies, either car makers or indeed any brand looking to launch an electric car, so long as their products do not compete with Rivian’s own. The R1T will go into production in late 2020 with the R1S in early 2021, the former prices from around $70,000 (£55,000). Right-hand drive production for the UK will follow around a year later.

The R1T will go into production in late 2020, with the R1S following in early 2021. Prices for the former will start from $61,500 after federal tax rebates (£48,000), with Rivian accepting refundable $1000 pre-order deposits now. Right-hand drive production for the UK will follow around a year later.

Deliveries of electric pickup truck scheduled to begin late in 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

The Luxury Apartment on Wheels: Camping in Style in a 1930s Jungle Yacht

The Jungle Yacht was created for and used by Italian explorer Commander Attilio Gatti and his wife, who both traveled extensively to the African Congo as a deluxe apartment “for his 1937-1940 (his 10th) and 1947 (his 11th) expeditions” and “equipped them quite lavishly.”

The International Harvester ‘Jungle Yacht’

The expedition used two streamlined trailers designed by Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky and using 1937 International Harvester D-35 chassis, and were 44 feet long and weighed 9 tons. The vehicles were built by the International Harvester company, who was evidently one of the sponsors of the expedition.

The trailers were pretty luxurious accommodations for camping out in the boonies of British East Africa. They were joined together in camp as a deluxe 5-room apartment on wheels, and served as headquarters while the expedition’s personnel sought out the secrets of the dim heart of Africa.

The camps were equipped with electricity and air conditioning and had a workshop, a photographic lab, and a ham radio station (Gatti was an enthusiastic ham radio operator). Electricity was supplied by a 110 volt generator mounted behind the cabs of the trucks. Each night a single wire 4500 volt electric fence was put up to dissuade the large specimens of the local wildlife from approaching the camp.

One of the vehicles in transit from the International Harvester factory to New York.

 

Cocktails in the deepest heart of Africa

 

The living room

 

The Commander’s desk in the living room

 

The bedroom