Today’s topic : ‘Car’ma
The world’s dying. How do I know that? Not because the world has more iphones and tablets than corals in the Great Australian Reef. Not because humans slaughter they’re own siblings in the thirst for revenge/lust/greed and the remaining 7 sins I can’t remember right now. Not because my children will substitute virtual New York Zoo trip on their ipad for physically being there (as there wouldn’t be half the fauna alive).
As an automotive gearhead, the fact that real hardcore inch-to-inch racing will never take place again because of all the safety and environmental issues and that setting a land speed record on the Bonneville salt lake is no more than installing Intel Atom processor chips in your streamliner and the worst of all is this –
Very little will ever be known about cars that were once legendary. The world will be oblivious to some “unusual rarities” because somewhere between scanning and digging the entire Earth for fuel and making driverless cars a reality, these secretly powerful machines get hidden behind the curtains of time. That’s how I know the world’s coming to an end.
As a pure, unadulterated car lover I would treat my car as a humble spouse, caress her well, love her, buy her a dress and even go on sunday dates with her on a soothing road trip. It’s a natural reaction I presume for people out there like me. I would also presume that it enrages you to know how people in today’s world mistreat those cars that you’ve had wet dreams about as a young teenager.
All around us there is felony in the automotive world. You’ll find endless articles and websites talking about the money that oozes out of the people’s pockets from the Middle East and how Bugatti Veyrons and rare Ferraris are either sold second hand the very next week of purchase or collecting desert sand. Rappers chroming the entire body of a Murcielago, tuning companies and enthusiasts adding unproportionate body kits to Porsches. It sickens me.
Recently a Chinese entrepreneur hired a crew to smash his Lamborghini into pieces only because he was unsatisfied with Lamborghini Gallardo service.
All of this makes me wonder. I think I like the fact that some companies limit the production of certain models to just a handful. And if Ferrari handpicks a set of drivers to buy the Ferrari Enzo after a series of rigorous tests (like a job interview) only to decide the best lot of customers to join the elite club of Enzo owners, then I’m completely in sync with their efforts and highly appreciate it because now I see what they were trying to do- This is how they respond to those above mentioned filthy car owners.
So if I were to have a RED BOOK for cars, a list of extra special endangered species of supercars, then I would have just these-
5) Lancia Aurelia GT 1951:
I remember I first stumbled upon this beauty when I was searching about a jellyfish called “Aurelia”. Alright, you might think it’s a wrong car to begin with. So it’s a car back from the 1950′s and it uses a humble 2.0L V6 engine. Lancia sold easily about 20,000 of them and so it doesn’t deserve to fit into the red book as there is nothing rare about it. But you may be wrong about that.
This is one of the first cars to use radial tires and also one of the first to use a complex rear transaxle design that even included inboard-mounted drum brakes which proved successful when taking second place in the 1952 Mille Miglia race and swooped the entire podium in the same year’s Targa Florio race. And you have to admit, it’s the best vintage car you’ve seen in a long time.
4) De Tomaso Mangusta:
The year of 60′s was a flamboyant year for supercars. Lamborghini Miura, Alfa Romeo Montreal, Ford GT40, Ferrari 250 GTO and so many others that striked the world with it’s undeniable looks. The Mangusta hits the list too for me. Primarily because of it’s gull wing doors on it’s hood, a concept never to be seen before. The name “Mangusta” also reflects a slight bitter history between De Tomaso and Carroll Shelby. The mean eye-browed front view like it’s poised to attack a cobra is so intimidating and it only gets better when you get around the back of the car. An Italian company that once flourished with “back to the future” design cues is now somewhere buried. This saddens me.
3) The Bugatti EB110 :
The world’s too busy still criticizing the Veyrons. I was too until I first came across this in a magazine, I thought it look disfigured from the front. But it was also the first time I came across a V12 with four turbochargers and a unique 5 valves per cylinder belting out almost 611 BHP. The whole car then just transformed for me and I only began to appreciate it more. The fact that it was one of the fastest production cars in the world back in it’s ripe days and that Bugatti made only 139 or so of these and that this car was a celebration to Ettore Bugatti’s 110th birthday can be easily found out and you don’t need me to particularly say it.
But what is more exciting is the fact that Michael Schumacher once owned this machine.
2) Alfa Romeo Canguro :
As Jeremy Clarkson and his team on Topgear unanimously agree that “you can never be a petrolhead without truly being an Alfa Romeo fan”, I had to surrender to that. Ever since I played “Squadra Corse Alfa Romeo” on my computer back when I was a kid, I’ve been struck by cupid. This car here says it all.
As a concept it was revealed in October of 1964. The public responded positively as always to an Alfa, but Giugiaro and his men weren’t convinced. The only prototype they had made was wrecked by a journalist during testing and that was the end of it. Luckily some Japanese chap resurrected it almost 40 years later and so there’s at least one version of it somewhere around.
And that’s how rare it can get. It doesn’t have an ear-splitting, life-threatening, heart-numbing, blood thirsty Italian engine, just a humble 1.57L straight four producing 117 BHP. But it looks so magnificent, it makes my eyes bleed.
It’s low chassis which is based on the Alfa TZ’s chassis helps keep the frontal area minimal, hence able to reduce drag.
1) The Lamborghini Reventon Roadster:
When a company excercises it’s math/probability skills by making an advert on what your chances are to own a the Reventon Roadster, it speaks for itself. This would be the cover page of my red book for supercars. This is the ultimate end that a company can stretch it’s limits to. It’s the farthest part of the spectrum of most extreme engineering lunacy. The tie-up of Lamborghini with the aeronautical industry is clearly visible from every angle slashed on this car. It’s probably the only car to have the most redundant gadget on it’s cluster panel, and that is the altimeter. But no one criticized it, and I for one surely wouldn’t, because “Lamborghini is the world’s most politically incorrect car company in the world”. Let’s face it, we all expect this level of insanity only from the raging bull.
I’ve mentioned are the ones that came in to my mind right after I thought about this topic. So what cars would you list in your red book? Leave a comment and let’s find out what new cars we stumble upon.