Friday, October 7, 2011

Remembering HOOP

Artist, "Art Car" designer, Mini/microcar aficionado, and co-editor of this blog -- Steve "HOOP" Hooper passed away on September 22, 2011 after a battle with cancer.

Hoop was a person you couldn't miss, overlook, or forget. His art will be remembered -- and some of it will continue driving around.

His last interview, for AOL Auto News, can be seen at:
Artist Behind Coolest Car Sculptures Ever Faces Life's Greatest Challenge

And, to see some of his work, go to Hoop's website:
HOOPMOBILES from the mind of HOOP

He will be missed.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Three Berkeleys Charge up Kop Hill

Check out this video of three Berkeleys taking their runs up Kop Hill. It's a "non-competitive" hillclimb, but they seem to be making a run of it. (It's great to see the reactions of the crowd.)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Microcar im Schnee mit Stadtpelz

I'll have to admit, I don't know where I got this image -- but, it's pretty cool. (Actually, it's pretty cold, judging by the man in the Stadtpelz.)
This is a signed photo -- printed from the negative to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the car.

Can you tell me what the car is and where it's from?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Getting Around - Italian Style

Bumped into this little Fiat wagon on a street corner in Rome.

The streets are full of Fiat 500's -- mostly the new ones, but the old models are still around in pretty good numbers. The streets of Rome are made for small cars -- no room, no rules, and no parking. I don't understand how the bigger cars can get around.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

1957 St. Simons Cup

Not sure exactly where this one came from, but there is a small trophy that's been collecting dust in my office for the past few years.

On the bottom of its plastic (or maybe it's Bakelite) base is the name of the maker -- "Trophies for Champions, by F.N. Noble & Company, Chicago, No. 62".

But, the more interesting information is on the small brass plaque. It is inscribed, "1957 St. Simons Cup, Second H Modified".

Can anyone out there tell me where this race was run?

Better yet...tell me who came in second.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The "Big" DKW

The DKW 3=6 is often described as the big DKW. (Der grosse DKW) It claims room for six, with space for luggage -- all powered by a 2-stroke, 3-cylinder, 891cc engine. (A straight three.)

The car, manufactured from 1953 to 1959 went by many names. It was the DKW 3=6, the DKW Sonderklasse, the DKW F91, and the DKW 900.

One would assume the 3=6 is in reference to the 3-cylinder car with seating for six. But, according to the Audi history site, "Three equals six! This simple mathematical equation greatly impressed the public. A three-cylinder two-stroke engine, since it has twice as many working strokes as a four-stroke engine, therefore benefits from a power flow as smooth as a six-cylinder four stroke."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Auto Union 1000 Sp Rally Car

Some artistic license was probably taken on this image -- making the "baby Thunderbird" look much faster than the 87mph top speed it was credited with.

Introduced in 1958, the sports version of the 4-seater Auto Union 1000 -- it boasted a 3-cylinder 981cc 2-stroke engine with a 4-speed gearbox. About 5,000 of the fixed-head coupe sports cars were manufactured between 1958 and 1965.

MINUTIA compared the 1000 Sp with the Ford Thunderbird back in March 2009.

Friday, March 18, 2011

New Morgan Trike: And Who Wouldn't Want One of These Little Beasts?

The new Morgan 3 Wheeler was introduced on March 1st at the Geneva Motorshow. Apparently the company has received more than 300 advance orders for the car. (It's amazing how much it looks like the original -- unlike the retro Mustang, Camaro or Challenger that Detroit has put out recently.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Racing smart Cars...How Cool Would That Be?

It's a unclear how much these little cars "caught on" here in the States -- but the idea of a racing series with smart cars sounds like a great idea. (They are kind of built like a big crash helmet anyway. So...why not?)

I ran across this ad in the March 3rd issue of AUTOSPORT magazine. It really makes you wish you were in the UK. They have lots of fun with little cars over there.

Check out the 4two cup action.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Mystery of the Missing Fairthorpe Atomota

Fairthorpe Ltd. was founded by Air Vice Marshall Donald Bennett in 1954. One of his first cars, but certainly not one of his most successful, was the Fairthorpe Atomota. The Atomota was powered by a 650 cc BSA in-line twin.

Well...rumors have it that an Atomota made its way to the US -- ultimately to have its frame and engine replaced by a Subaru (probably a 360). But the car (if it ever existed) has disappeared. (Cue the spooky music.)

Have you ever heard of -- or seen -- the mustery US Atomota? Better you know where it is today? (And we certainly hope that changing automotive styles haven't led to the amputation of those wonderful wings.)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Another H-Mod Spotted

You've got to love YouTube. You can find anything there. ('s a little addictive.)

Found this little H-Mod on a trailer in the middle of a video of SCCA racing at Vacavalley in the 1960's.

Anybody know what it is?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Does this look like a Jabro Mk. III to you?

An interesting YouTube clip is making the rounds of racing groups. It's from 8mm footage shot by the late Richard C. White, longtime editor of the Record Herald in Indianola, Iowa.

It shows what appears to be a series of 1964 SCCA club races held at Greenwood Roadway, about 30 miles south of Des Moines, IA.

It's a little tough to identify the makes of the various cars, but the Bugeye Sprites are easy to see in the small bore race about a minute into the clip. And...I can't tell for sure, but there might be some H-Mods in the pack, including a Jabro Mk. III.

Any assistance is welcome.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Crosley Racing at Bridgehampton

Digging through a pile of magazines, we came across another shot of Steve Lansing, driving his Crosley to a 14th place finish at Bridgehampton in 1951.

The posting in May of 2010 linked to a video that seems to show Lansing's car spinning into the haybales -- but he must have jumped right back in the fray.