Brochures Redux – 928 equals more than 911+17

In terms of prose and style, Porsche’s advertising certainly couldn’t keep up with the modernism of the company’s flagship GT. Yet the Swabian virtues persisted. 

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Given the amounts of thought, devotion and creativity that went into the creation of Porsche’s landmark 928 coupé, it comes as a bit of a surprise that the ’78 vintage brochure of the car isn’t terribly advanced in terms of layout or prose.

The overwhelming sense is one of pride and Swabian thoroughness, with just a hint of ’70s glamour and cosmopolitan flair added. Double pages are devoted to the 928’s being awarded ‘Car Of The Year’, obviously, as well as its design and engineering development process.

Continue reading “Brochures Redux – 928 equals more than 911+17”

Theme: Simca – 1966 1000 LS road test

This appears to be a transcript of a review of the 1966 Simca 1000 LS by the well-known motoring author and journalist, Archie Vicar.

1966 Simca 1000: source
1966 Simca 1000: source

[The item appeared in the morning edition of the Minehead Bugle on July 9, 1966. Due to the poor quality of the original images stock photos have been used. Original photos by Ernest Pallace.]

In these increasingly competitive times, it pays for a manufacturer to stay ahead of the game, far ahead. Several marques have established themselves at the forefront of engineering with their recent deployment of rear-engined technology. Of course there is the long-established Volkswagen Beetle and the not dissimilar Porsche 911, both with handling that will challenge Continue reading “Theme: Simca – 1966 1000 LS road test”

Automotive Mayfly

This isn’t much of a Photo for Saturday** more of blue car by the side of the road. What is it?

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It’s a very Was Then sort of car. From 2006 to 2008 BMW made this car in Regensburg. It’s a variant of the E85 Z4 which had a longer life. The Z4M had one engine, a 3.2 litre six cylinder unit and a six speed ‘box. In some ways you could call it an M3 wearing Z4 clothes. If you want a historical reference, it has the same relation to the Z4 as the Triumph GT6 to the mainstream Spitfire. It’s the kind of car that used to be quite common, a pure sports car which is now rather a freak. Continue reading “Automotive Mayfly”

‘Drive Sporty’ – Porsche’s Panamera Redux

Last week, Porsche revealed their second generation Panamera and as predicted it is a good 33% less lumpen than the last one.

Panamera 2. Image: porsche via jalopnik
Better, but better enough? Panamera V2.0 Image: porsche via jalopnik

All of which is fine and dandy, because I’m not here to throw fruit or other perishables at Michael Mauer or his minions. However I will say that to these eyes at least, my boat remains resolutely aground, becalmed, unfloated. Continue reading “‘Drive Sporty’ – Porsche’s Panamera Redux”

Costly Cars, Big Losses

Perplexing this: the market for very costly cars has been booming and Aston Martin have only racked up losses.

2015 Aston Martin DBX: source
2015 Aston Martin DBX: source

Automotive News report that ” a pre-tax loss of £127.9 million ($172.03 million) in 2015, the fifth consecutive year the company has failed to make a profit, as the number of cars it sold fell and as it invests in expansion”. It seems everyone likes Aston Martin but not enough people want to buy them. Hasn’t it always been like this? Continue reading “Costly Cars, Big Losses”

Panamera Precursor

Earlier in the week, several readers cited the Panamera’s missing link, which prompted a closer look.

1989 Porsche 989. Image via krmgk
1989 Porsche 989. Image via krmgk

Porsche have made several attempts at a four seater over the years, from stretched versions of the eternal 911, to a long-wheelbase 928 created for Ferry Porsche’s 75th birthday, but perhaps the most serious attempt was this. Porsche were no stranger to crisis; for decades prey to the changing needs, Continue reading “Panamera Precursor”

Theme : Evolution – It’s Just A Bloody Lump Of Metal!

DTW asks how important is Bloodline?

Beetle Sphere by Ichwan Noor
Beetle Sphere by Ichwan Noor

In the spirit of the biomorphism that we just can’t help applying to so many inanimate objects, with cars we try to emulate natural processes by using the term DNA to describe the hard-to-otherwise-define traits of a particular brand, and speaking of Evolution, a natural process about which we remain relatively ignorant, when one model supplants another.

Real evolution is a painstakingly long-winded process. My own bad back forever reminds me that the human spinal structure is still catching up with our pretentious insistence on scurrying about on two legs. Of course, we are at a point in our understanding of genetics when that situation might begin to change and we can start to tailor future generations to our preferred specification. This makes me relieved it didn’t happen 100 years ago, or I’d have an extra leg now made near-redundant by the ubiquity of automatic transmissions. Continue reading “Theme : Evolution – It’s Just A Bloody Lump Of Metal!”

Fossil Traces: Porsche Panamericana Concept

Porsche’s win at the 1986 Paris Dakar rally with the 959 must have left some residual sand in their shoes, prompting this piece of conceptual frivolity – the 1989 Panamericana.

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Rinspeed couldn’t have made it look any sillier. Panamericana by Porsche – image via carsthatnevermadeit

Part 911, part Baja dune buggy, part Hotwheels toy, Harm Legaay’s Panamericana was Porsche sounding out its fanbase as to the limits of where the 911 concept could be stretched. As we all know now, the answer was not nearly far enough. So while this concept falls some way short of the detestable Cayenne, it marks something of a casting off point on that journey into the heart of darkness.

Apart from demonstrating how precedents litter the automotive landscape like discarded Lunar hardware, the Panamericana also should also warn us that Aston Martin’s recent DBX concept – while abhorrent, at least isn’t abominable – well not yet anyway.

History, as Written by Both Winners and Losers

Museums of the Alternative Motoring Universes of Both Porsche and Tatra

Porsche Gmund 04

A recent visit to Austria was intended to lead to a return by way of Prague and, en route, a further diversion would be made to the Technical Museum Tatra in Kopřivnice. The Tatra company has a long and fine pedigree, and the streamlined 30s Tatras of Hans Ledwinka and his team, as well as their post-War successors, have long fascinated me and, to someone frustrated by cordons, the museum tantalisingly offers that “some of our exhibits and models are available for you to touch”. In the event, time conspired to make the zig-zag trip north impractical, though I strongly hope that I will have another chance.

Continue reading “History, as Written by Both Winners and Losers”

Advertising: Speak My Language

Vorsprung durch… advertising.

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When Sir John Hegarty; doyen of UK advertising (and co-founder of renowned ad-agency, Bartle Bogle Hegarty) took on the Audi creative account back in 1982 the Ingolstadt marque’s image was somewhat woolly.

Continue reading “Advertising: Speak My Language”

Porky Pies

Back in 2010 the media was all over the Wikileaks revelations, but that December another rival site published this shocking indictment of a hitherto unassailable automotive icon. (First published Dec 2010)

Image: arstechnica
Image: arstechnica

Recent revelations from the controversial Autoleaks website have highlighted suppressed tracts from the eminent Dr Herdinband Porke’s journals. These revealing diaries reveal a markedly different personality to the one habitually portrayed by the automotive press. Far from being a dour and serious engineer, Dr Porke was in fact an inveterate practical joker with a highly developed sense of humour. Continue reading “Porky Pies”