Paradise Lost - 1968 BRE Toyota JP6 Prototype

Help arrived in the form of American luminary engineer, designer and race driver Pete Brock, the man responsible for the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray and the Ferrari-bashing Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe. Brock had recently given up his position at Shelby after Ford pushed its GT40 program forward, leaving him with little creative input.

Totaru Rikoru - 1996 Dome F105i Mugen-Honda

Sasaki was eager to ride the company’s current wave of success all the way to the top, and instigated the firm’s first ever Formula One project. His dream was to field an all-Japanese Formula One team, something which had not been seen since Honda’s departure from the sport in 1968.

Knocked Out - 1990 Alba AR20 Subaru

Ecclestone had already developed a personal hatred for the lack of professionalism of privateers when F1’s 1989 engine switch had opened the door for a motley crew of underfunded teams. Motivated by this hatred, he finished them off by dissolving the C2 category altogether, citing “reliability problems” as the cause.

Swedish Delight - 2000 Saab 9-3 Viggen Ecopower Pikes Peak

Saab was eager to join in on the fun, since the company had only just become a full subsidiary of American automotive giant General Motors. Keen to expand their new asset’s marketability on their home soil, GM felt a Saab participation in one of the nations most famous motorsport events was nothing short of a masterstroke.

Deadbeat Dad - 1990 Opel Omega 3000 24V DTM

So for the 1990 season, Opel started to develop a new challenger around the recently introduced Omega A2. The move was an unusual one, as the Omega was a rather large family sedan. Compared to the lighter and more nimble BMW M3 Sport Evolution and Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evo, the Omega was positively gigantic.

Preposterous Pioneer - 1931 Campbell-Napier-Railton Blue Bird

As these events were unfolding, one Malcolm Campbell was at the forefront of another great engineering testbed: motor racing. Campbell was the son of a diamond dealer, but he found a much greater interest in the newly developing sport. He started racing motorbikes in 1906 at the age of 21, and switched to cars in 1910.

Dubious Debut - 1985 Minardi M185 Motori Moderni

For a brand new team entering the sport, it was a living hell. As the 1.5L turbo engines were much more complicated and expensive than the increasingly outdated 3.0L naturally aspirated units, finding a competitive means of propulsion was nigh-on impossible. Despite this, Italian Formula Two outfit Minardi Team SpA moved to join Formula One during the course of 1984.

Doomed Dorito - 1986 Mazda RX7S Group S Protype

As the Group B RX7 was reaching its absolute peak, the FISA presented a way out for Mazda. Late in 1985 the governing body announced Group S, a formula intended to replace Group B. The ultimate goal of Group S was not to decrease speeds or limit power, but rather to expand on the formula and allow even more manufacturers to compete.

Stockholm Syndrome - 1996 Mercedes-McLaren F1 GTR Test Mule

After some deliberation, Mercedes settled on trying to buy a used McLaren F1 GTR, the car which had won the final season of BPR. In contrast to the 911 GT1 and Mercedes’ planned racer, the original F1 GTR was nothing more than the world’s fastest car with some tweaks to make it fit for racing.

Reluctant Racer - 1976 Lancia Stratos HF Turbo Group 5

Right in the middle of the rally weapon’s winning streak, Lancia made plans to adapt the car to the new Group 5 Special Production Car GT-regulations taking effect in 1976. This new category was intended to free up technical limitations on production-derived GT-racers, setting the stage for an era of widebody turbocharged insanity.

Dual Wield - 1986 SEAT Ibiza Bimotor Group S Prototype

The Ibiza was a small hatchback in the vein of the Fiat Uno and Volkswagen Polo, with some interesting names involved with its conception. German engineering specialists Porsche had a hand in designing the car’s drivetrain, and Giorgetto Guigiaro’s Italdesign penned the svelte body, which was actually intended as the second generation of the Volkswagen Golf.