Tyred And Emotional
At Brands Hatch’s American Speedfest, some of the Street Machine Street’n’Strip Display entered the daily burnout contest, sponsored by Nankang Tyres UK. The winner was Colin Theobald in his gorgeous ’69 Camaro, Bruce. Colin is, of course, the voice of Santa Pod, so, at the Mopar Euronationals, he was presented with his prize: a pair of tyres from Nankang. He chose some 255/60ZR17s – they’ll look great on Bruce!
In mid-July, Chevrolet announced that the all-new 2020 Corvette C8 will be mid-engined, and will go into production later this year. The dry-sump, direct-injection 6.2-litre LT2 V8 will give 495bhp in base spec, mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, and start at under $60,000. Interestingly, it will also be available in right-hand drive…
The recently-announced Lotus Evija hypercar looks set to be the world’s most powerful series production car, with a projected 2,000ps, or 1,973bhp. The catch? It’s 100% electric.
Game Changer II
A recent publicity stunt showed Ford’s prototype all-electric F-150 towing 10 double-decker rail freight cars and 42 2019-model production F-150s. That’s over 1,000,000lbs, or over 453 metric tonnes. I wonder if they’ll rate the production truck to tow that much?
It’s been 30 years since Mazda’s little Lotus-Elan-done-properly MX-5 came to the UK, and in that time they’ve sold more than 130,000 of them here – we’re one of the world’s biggest markets for the MX-5. Recently, Mazda announced that they’d be making 3,000 special 30th Anniversary Edition MX-5s, and that the UK would get 550 of them – 370 convertibles and 180 ‘retractable fastbacks.’ They’ll all be Racing Orange with special trim and Brembo brakes, and a surefire future classic.
Street Machine’s mantra is ‘Dare To Be Different,’ but the recent Hagerty Insurance Festival Of The Unexceptional celebrates “automotive averageness,” the sort of humdrum everyday cars that slip into extinction almost unnoticed, and we love it. This year’s winner was a 1977 Morris Marina 1.3 Deluxe estate, with a 1978 Vauxhall Chevette E saloon as runner-up. Junior judges picked a 1989 Citroen BX diesel minicab, while People’s Choice went to a 1982 Peugeot 305.
Research by What Car? has shown that more than 210,000 motorists were caught by police, between 2015-2018, for driving a vehicle without a valid MoT certificate – that’s 144 drivers a day. The keenest coppers are Police Scotland, writing 55,000 tickets for no ticket; second busiest bizzies were the Met, with 40,000. Is your test up to date?
SM Hits Suffolk!
Mark Thursday, September 5th in your diary, because there’s going to be a Late-Nighter Street Machine evening meet-up at Krazy Horse! Head along to KH’s Bury St Edmunds HQ, and, from 7-10pm, their showrooms (full of cool motorbikes, Morgans, even Dodges) will be open. There’ll be live rock tunes from Swamp Truck, and a gathering of some of the coolest cars and trucks in the east. Note the date, then stick IP32 6NU in the prat-nav, and let’s have a fun Thursday.
On July 31st, the scene said goodbye to Simon ‘Nefarious’ Pollock at Santa Pod. Simon suddenly and unexpectedly passed away from an aneurysm on July 2nd; he was just 52. He was very well known on the kustom and VW scene, not just for his tremendous skills as an artist and pinstriper, but also for being a genuinely pleasant and fun bloke.
Naturally, a guy like Nefarious wouldn’t want a traditional, sombre funeral, so many of his friends and their cars lined up along the strip as an honour guard, dressed “as they’d dress if they were going out for a drink with him.” His coffin, sticker-bombed with stickers and messages from his friends, was placed on the back of a hot rod hearse, and, with his roller-skate-wearing daughter and best friend holding onto the back, drove slowly up the strip into the sunset.
What a superb and appropriate send-off for such a well-loved figure, taken too soon but never forgotten. And what a hearse for a hot rodder, courtesy of County Funerals, Herts (www.countyfunerals.co.uk).