Posts in Racing History
Deadly Dwarf - 1977 Porsche 935/2.0 "Baby"

As the 935 was the only car homologated for Group 5 racing, the company would have to find a way to bring it down to the correct specification. Porsche’s head designer Norbert Singer was given the arduous task of converting the 2.9L, twin turbo flat six, 630 horsepower and 970 kg (2,139 lbs) monster into something a lot less intimidating.

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Boxed In - 1985 Daihatsu Charade DeTomaso 926R Group B Prototype

In order to meet the limit, the engine was taken down to 926 cc, giving rise to the name 926R. After extensive fettling, the mini monster produced some 118 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 147 Nm at 3500 rpm. The IHI RHB32 turbocharger used was so small, the car had no need for an intercooler. This freed up space and saved weight.

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Silent Savior - 2007 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP

In the R10, Audi used a traditional Vee-angle of 60 degrees between the cylinder banks. For a V12, this was the ideal layout, giving smooth power delivery from evenly spaced firing intervals. Peugeot on the other hand, decided differently. Keeping in mind the weight penalty of a diesel engine over a petrol-fed unit, the company opted for a 100 degree angle, making the engine nearly flat.

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Beautiful Nightmare - 1968 Alpine A220

Luckily, French engine wizard Amédée Gordini had a perfect solution to this problem. The last prototype Alpine had raced, the A210, featured a 140 horsepower 1.5L twin-cam four cylinder developed by Gordini himself.

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Fridge Magnet - 1974 Maki F101 Cosworth

The car looked unlike anything the paddock had ever seen. Its bulky oversized bodywork made it appear much bigger than it actually was. With its sizable airbox and gigantic sidepods, the car looked as gracious and nimble as a block of freshly hewn granite.

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Big Fish - 1983 BMW 635 CSi Group A

In an effort to counter the 400 horsepower V12 Jaguar, the 3.5L M30B34 from the 635 CSi was taken as a starting point. Since BMW still hadn’t committed to a full factory effort, engine tuning was handled by specialists Alpina and Schrick, while final assembly fell into the very capable hands of Team Schnitzer.

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Natural Desperation - 1990 Peugeot 905

Seeking a perfect balance between power, packaging and efficiency, Peugeot had gone for the still brand-new V10 layout. This type had only been introduced two years prior by Alfa Romeo in their ill-fated 164 ProCar, but it was already busy conquering F1 in the back of the Honda-propelled McLaren MP4/5. Tuned for long distance use, the SA35-A1 80 degree V10 produced a whopping 650 horsepower at an ear-splitting 12.500 rpm.

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Natural Desperation - 1990 Peugeot 905

Seeking a perfect balance between power, packaging and efficiency, Peugeot had gone for the still brand-new V10 layout. This type had only been introduced two years prior by Alfa Romeo in their ill-fated 164 ProCar, but it was already busy conquering F1 in the back of the Honda-propelled McLaren MP4/5. Tuned for long distance use, the SA35-A1 80 degree V10 produced a whopping 650 horsepower at an ear-splitting 12.500 rpm.

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Absurd Annexation - 1998 Vector M12 ASR GT2

This situation put MegaTech in a bit of a pickle, as they now had no car to put on sale and no-one to design a new one. Luckily the company has recently acquired Vector’s biggest rival, Lamborghini. Seeing an easy way out, MegaTech brought the two brands together. The ungainly product of this arrangement appeared in 1994 as the M12.

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Small Soldier - 1993 Subaru Vivio Sedan 4WD Super KK

Featuring permanent four wheel drive and a Rootes-supercharged , double overhead cam 16-valve EN07Z four cylinder engine limited to the mandatory 64 horsepower, the RX-R perfectly represented the technological arms race being fought in the lowest ranks of the automotive world

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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