ORIENT EXPRESS by Mark Walton
After thirty years hidden in Japan, a lost GT40, built directly after the famous Le Mans cars in 1968, is back in the UK, and beautifully restored. We drive it at Brands Hatch.
Gulf spec. Meaningless, to anyone who doesn’t know much about cars: gobblegook, in fact, if you don’t know anything about sports car racing: gibberish if you’ve never heard of Le Mans. ‘Gulf spec’ is not a phrase you’ll find in the English dictionary. And yet, if GT40s or Porsche 917s have only one colour scheme in you mind, then Gulf spec might mean rather a lot to you. Gulf spec to those who know, is shorthand for the cars that took part in one of the greatest periods of international sports car racing, when the orange and blue livery of the Gulf Oil Corporation dominated Le Mans and the sports car World Championship. Gulf spec means iconic, race winning cars; endurance; Mulsanne; headlights sparkling in cold morning air: and Steve McQueen. Continue reading
HIGHLANDER by Ian Young
lan Young boards one of the great ships in motor racing history, the Ecurie Ecosse transporter
It was quite reliable,” says Stan Sproat. “Only the engine was a disaster; we would be lucky if we got 50mph out of it.” I have to agree with him: even today, shining in the wake of a better-than-new restoration, the official racing transporter of Ecurie Ecosse really doesn’t look up to much. In fact, as I approached this famous bus for the first time in my life, I only barely resisted the impulse to reach into my pocket for a library card. Continue reading
THE CAT THAT STRAYED by Art Eastman
Sadly, many words lose their true meaning with frequent misuse and the passage of time. As an example, what does “original” mean when it’s used to describe a race car? The word “original” in the proximity of “race car” creates an oxymoron and little else. During the competitive life of a race car, the state of originality is a moving target, a single frozen frame of a moving picture, a fleeting moment bracketed by change. A ‘race car’s originality is a reference to a precise moment in its history, and authenticity must be judged from within that single frame of time. There are precious few race cars that truly deserve to be called “original,” as most opportunities for the preservation of originality are forever lost to ground-up restorations or extensive modifications. The following is the story of a significant race car that escaped this fate with its originality intact. Continue reading
TRANSPORT OF DELIGHTS by Paul Hardiman
A two-stroke? A three-cylinder two-stroke. With six pistons. Supercharged. Diesel. Huh? All true, and this oddball lump powers one of historic racing’s most fabled machines, the Ecurie Ecosse transporter. It was thought lost but now, restored to its former glory, it’s working for a living. Paul Hardiman gets a lift.
In the ’60s, a time when race teams used trailers or chopped-down buses to carry their cars, the Ecurie Ecosse transporter was something special – purpose-built, based on a Commer bus chassis and with that amazing TS3 flat-six engine to ensure a low floor, it could carry three D-types in one go. A clever system of hydraulic rams and cables lifted the ramp to put two cars up top (one over the driving cab) and one snuggled in the back of the ‘bus’ bodywork. Continue reading
MORE THAN A PRETTY FACE by Ian Kuah
The 250GT Lusso is widely considered one of the most beautiful Ferraris ever. Better still, says IAN KUAH, it drives as good as it looks.
Over Ferraris 50-plus-year history, the company has built cars of all shapes and styles, from beautiful and elegant to purposeful and even brutal. One particular series, the 250 GTs built between 1953 and 1963, evolved to encompass the entire aesthetic range. Continue reading
THE CLASSIC RESTORERS by Gordon Cruickshank
As famous for improving new cars as for its reproductions of a great fifties sports-racer, Lynx also restores and maintains some of the rarest racing Jaguars. but, as Gordon Cruickshank discovers, it doesn’t have to come from Coventry to be sent here.
The name on the front wall gives a pretty clear hint as to the firm’s long-time allegiance – Lynx, Jaguar, both elegant big cats. Certainly, the Coventry marque is what comes to mind when the Sussex company is mentioned. But inside the green-painted building on a Hastings industrial estate there’s plenty going on not graced by the Leaping Cat.
ONE FOR THE ROAD by Ian Kuah
John Mayston-Taylor loved his Lusso but wanted a better driver’s car. His choice? A 275 GTB/4
John Mayston-Taylor’s first Ferrari was a 250 GT Lusso. That car was featured back in FORZA #58’s “More Than a Pretty Face,” but those who have not read the story may already know that Ferrari from its concours success: In 2004, it received the prestigious Prix d’Elegance at the Louis Vuitton Concours.
Soon after the show win, however, Mayston-Taylor decided the car wasn’t for him. “It handled extremely well, but was lacking in overall torque and a fifth gear for high-speed cruising,” he explained. “I decided upon the 275 GTB, which, for me, is the ultimate expression of the 1960s GT Berlinetta, with a race-bred engine and well-balanced and refined handling. It’s a purposeful, masculine style of car.”
FEVER PITCH by Martin Buckley
If Ferrari’s first production quad-cam V12 doesn’t turn you on, there’s no hope, reckons Martin Buckley – the sensational 275GTB/4 could well be its best road car…
In this lucky profession, you encounter great, interesting or charismatic cars daily – and sometimes forget them just as quickly. But if you can’t get excited by a car like this Ferrari, then what’s left? Pop open the light door and slide into the restrained glamour of the 275’s neat, narrow cabin. It is merely a car, yet it is hard not to feel reverential towards it, the front-engined Ferrari GT-12 cylinders, four camshafts and two seats – in perhaps its most essential form.