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Friday
Aug172018

Morgan Expands its Mobility Offerings

Britain’s oldest continuously operating automaker (Morgan) and bicycle builder (Pashley) have joined forces to produce a range of Pashley-Morgan  bicycles. The first two bikes are the Pashley-Morgan 3 and the Pashley-Morgan 8, both of which will be built at Pashley’s factory in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The bikes are built around a fillet-brazed Reynolds 631 aluminum frame, and feature a new curved top tube design. Other unique elements include a frame-mounted race plate, S-bend seat stays, and unique track ends with faces of etched stainless steel.

Buyers of the “8” will get a light pearl gray finish with a livery inspired by Morgan’s racing heritage. The hand-stitched black leather handgrips are finished with aluminum end caps based on the design of Morgan’s switchgear, while the matching mud and chain guards are built by Morgan craftsmen from black ash. An internally geared, eight-speed Shimano Nexus rear hub is joined by a Shimano Nexus dynamo front hub that drives the classic domed headlamp. In addition, there’s a Brooks Black Cambium C15 vulcanized rubber saddle with an organic cotton cover. The price for this extravagance? $2021.

If that’s a bit much, Pashley-Morgan’s 3, priced at $1,895, may be more your speed. Finished in British Racing Green with Morgan racing livery, this bike features honey leather grips with Morgan end caps, minimalist laminated walnut wood veneer mud and chain guards, and a Brooks B17 saddle. It has a Sturmey three-speed internally geared rear hub paired with a dynamo hub from the same maker. Just like on the Pashley-Morgan 8, it drives a domed headlamp. — CAS


Friday
Aug032018

New Life for an Old Cat

The Series 3 has been the unloved member of the E-Type family. More boulevard cruiser than sports car, it was wider, longer, powered by Jaguar’s 5.3-liter V12, and aimed at the luxury buyer in the American market. This gave it a “white belt and shoes” or “full Las Vegas” image it probably didn’t deserve then or now.

If the current restomod Series 3 from E-Type U.K. is anything to go by, that may be about to change. A 3,000-hour restoration of an overseas client’s 1974 Series 3 E-Type has created a high-performance yet luxurious grand tourer that should be capable of showing its heels to many modern cars.

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Friday
Aug032018

Rollin’ Out the Sound

We last wrote about iXOOST in December 2016 when the Italian company created a Lamborghini Aventador-inspired speaker system that, at the time, cost an eye-watering $20,700 ($23,200 today). Now the Modena-based firm has joined up with Pirelli to create a Bluetooth speaker within a scale-model F1 wind tunnel tire that is a more reasonable $2,800.

The half-scale tire and wheel assembly measures 13 x 7.5 in., has a 6.5-in. aluminum wheel, and weighs 21 lb. It’s available in one of nine different colors that correspond with the different F1 racing compounds, and carries Pirelli P Zero markings. The speaker can connect wirelessly through 4.0 Bluetooth APTIX technology, and features a 100-watt digital signal processor, 3.94-in. mid-woofer, and 1.0-in. silk tweeter. — CAS

Friday
Aug032018

Ferrari: Race to Immortality

The documentary Ferrari: Race to Immortality is based on Chris Nixon’s seminal work, Mon Ami Mate, a book about best friends and Ferrari F1 drivers Peter Collins and Mike Hawthorn. Theirs was a friendship that frustrated Enzo Ferrari, a man who motivated his drivers through fear, and pitted one against the other in order to make them faster. Collins and Hawthorn, however, did not succumb to the Machiavellian ministrations of Ferrari, and were almost happier when the other took the checkered flag first.

It’s inconceivable to the modern fan why anyone would willingly get into one of the frail, high-powered cars Collins, Hawthorn and others drove as safety wasn’t even an afterthought at the time. There were no roll hoops or crash structures. Roadside obstructions were fronted by hay bales that often caught fire and fed the conflagration when the unprotected fuel tanks (ballistic rubber fuel cells were a distant dream) ruptured. Crash helmets looked like brimmed upside down dessert bowls that offered very little protection. And seat belts? No one wore them for the simple reason that they did not want to be trapped in a crash and incinerated. It was better, they felt, to be thrown clear, and hope for the best.

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Friday
Jul202018

Austin and the Healey

We stumbled across these videos while wasting time, er, doing research on YouTube. King Rose Archives put together these videos, which — if readers remember — often were shown on the old Speedvision channel with introductions by David Hobbs. What makes them interesting is our Virtual Collection feature on Jensen, which features prominently in the history of the Austin Healey. Jensen produced the bodies for the Austin Healey (and the early Volvo P1800, for that matter), but it could have been very different had the small specialist just been a bit more punctual. Austin had asked Jensen to produce a sports car concept for the 1952 London Motor Show to be shown on the Austin stand. Unfortunately for Jensen, the car was not completed in time, which meant BMC's Leonard Lord was free to do a deal with Donald Healey for the 100-4 sports car he spotted on the Healey stand.

Gerry Coker, seen at the beginning of the video, was not quite 30 years old when he designed the Healey 100-4. Coker also did the preliminary work on the Austin Healey Sprite, which included hidden headlamps that were cranked into place from the driver’s seat. Budget constraints meant this aspect of the design never made it to production, giving the car its “Frogeye” (England) or “Bugeye” (U.S.) nicknames. Soon thereafter, Coker moved to the U.S. where he spent five years at Chrysler before finishing his career at Ford where, among other things, he co-designed the dual-action tailgate for station wagons.

The sound on the video is a bit soft, punctuated by an almost stereotypically laconic British-accented voiceover and Greensleeves. Plus, there's an inadvertently comical dubbing of engine sounds. Enjoy! — CAS