Jensen to reveal new Interceptor GT in 2012

The latest brand revival to hit the motoring world will see the Jensen Interceptor brought back from oblivion. The Interceptor was a two door GT Coupe/hatch/convertible built by Jensen Motors between 1966 and 1976 in the UK. It was powered by Chrysler-sourced V8 engines and matched up its brawny powertrain with hand-built coachwork. The combination won the Interceptor many fans over the years and has set it up nicely for a comeback.

Now Healey Sports Cars Switzerland, which owns the brand rights to Jensen Motors, are planning to re-launch the company with a spanking new car next year. The car will be the modern day version of the Interceptor built as a four-seat GT car. The new Interceptor will use an aluminium chassis and bodywork but little else is known at this stage.

Founder and co-owner of CPP, Brendan O’Toole, said: “The Jensen design team has respected and honoured the great heritage and attributes of the original Interceptor, while injecting a contemporary edge and advanced technologies that will ensure it appeals to the passionate, discerning motoring enthusiast of today.” Read the rest of this entry »

1972 XA GT Falcon – Fantastic Falcon – 236

One word – Bathurst – instantly conjures up images of decades of nail-biting battles between the two Aussie archrivals, Ford and Holden. In fact, Bathurst was the inspiration behind Ford’s decision to produce such a car as the famous GT Falcon.

During the early years of the ‘great race’ the annual 500-mile event at the mountain road course of Mount Panorama attracted countless entrants driving virtually every known variety of foreign and domestic car, including the very first purpose-built local Ford ‘race’ car, the Cortina GT500. However, in 1967 Ford was keen to promote its current Falcon XR model which, for the first time for an Australian Falcon, was available with a V8 engine. Ford set about planning something rather different. The rest, as they say, is history, as the GT Falcon reigned supreme at ‘the mountain’ during the ensuing years, and was involved in some of the most heavily fought tussles in the event’s history.

Between the years of 1969 and 1973 these mighty machines had a huge impact on the Australian touring car scene, when a young up and coming driver, Allan Moffatt, got behind the wheel of the Phase 1, 2, and 3 GT-HOs, firing up the imagination of Ford fans throughout Australasia as he took the laurels at Bathurst in 1970 and 1971. Read the rest of this entry »

Paul McCartney-owned ’67 Lamborghini 400 GT for auction

A 1967 Lamborghini 400 GT is a special machine however you look at it, but a model that was once owned by Paul McCartney is a rare proposition indeed.

The Lambo is up for sale through British auction house Bonhams which has the rare ride on its books for the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed auction on July 1.

Early estimates are pegging the car to sell for a sum between £100,000 and £120,000 but often cars with famous owners can go for much more than regular rates.

The Lamborghini 400 GT is a 2+2 coupe with a 3.9 litre V12 that produces 235kW of power. The car was originally designed by Carrozzeria Touring, one of the most famous Italian coach-builders of the ’60′s era. Read the rest of this entry »

Ford GT ready for comeback – as a hybrid!

The rumours and speculation is rife about the upcoming Ford GT successor with the supercars powertrain taking a seemingly unlikely turn.

Apparently, the next GT40 inspired supercar from Ford will use hybrid technology to help it achieve break-neck speeds. Like the Porsche 918 Spyder the layout will consist of a standard combustion motor turning the rear wheels with an electric motor powering the front wheels for better low-sped efficiency and to boost high-speed power.

It seems radical but electric-assisted drivetrains are here to stay and are beginning to find applications in all vehicles – even retro-styled supercars.

Before you Ford fans start tearing your hair out, the good news is that the primary engine is set to be a beast. Ford is expected to use a supercharged V8 motor and the total output including the fancy new hybrid system will be in the region of 600 horsepower. That output figure would exceed the last Ford GT’s 5.4-litre dry-sump, aluminum-block supercharged V8, which was rated at 550 horsepower.

If Ford does take the hybrid route for the next GT, the price will be very high, as it will vastly complicate the engineering and production of the car. Given its limited volume production numbers and massive enthusiast appeal that may not prove an issue.

In terms of design Ford’s next GT car is expected to rely less on the retro-themes of the GT40, instead opting for a more contemporary look. This could mean sharper angles, LED lights and a much more futuristic interior style.

With a ultra-modern powertrain, fresh styling and lightweight performance the next Ford GT could prove a real threat to established European supercars. We’ll have to wait and see.

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1974 Ford Capri GT MkI – Back to the Seventies – 229

At NZCC we are always interested to learn of younger people who have a passion for classic cars, especially students who have poured every last cent and countless hours restoring their favourite cars.

Paul Lyons, a 21-year-old student from Rotorua now studying in Wellington, is one such person and he has followed through with his passion for English classics by bringing a 1974 Ford Capri back to life.

First Impressions

Paul’s passion for cars and motor sport started when, at the age of only 12, he began watching the World Rally Championship on TV. Along with his father, Lindsay, he followed local rally events, including the WRC when it came to New Zealand. He loved watching the top drivers competing on local roads, and dreamed of owning a Subaru Impreza WRX, in metallic blue of course.

Like many of us, Paul also started to collect posters of his favourite cars, and one day found himself in the Rally NZ media conference room by mistake. He picked up what he thought was a couple of plastic bags to keep his posters and stickers in, his father took one look at them and realised the bags actually contained media all-access pass vests. They made a hasty exit and managed to get into every rally stage with unlimited access and the best parking spots for the next few years. They recently tried using the same ‘Smoke Free Rally NZ’ (remember them?) jackets at the world rally in Raglan — the first marshal they approached smiled and said “nice try”; their luck had finally run out.

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1964 Ford Cortina GT MkI – Girl Power – 229

Another young reader who we just happened to come across recently was 17 year old Shannon Dunne, a Botany Downs Secondary College 7th Form student.

We caught up with Shannon during her school holidays whilst she was taking a well-earned break from studying for end of year exams. Shannon is no stranger to classic cars, hot rods or drag racing, as you will soon learn, and is the proud owner of this lovely and original 1964 Ford Consul Cortina MkI — a car that made its debut long before she was even a glimmer in her parents’ eyes.

In fact, it was back in September 1962 when the Cortina was first introduced in standard and deluxe form, starting a run of success for Ford that lasted for about 20 years. The initial concept for the Cortina came about when Terence Beckett, its creator, recognised a gap in the market for a budget-priced family saloon car in a segment that was dominated by BMC’s Mini, which was launched in 1959.

Originally it was to be called ‘The Archbishop’, but Ford made the wise decision to stick with the tried and tested formula of the tremendously popular Anglia 105E, which used an overhead valve engine, four speed gearbox, and MacPherson strut front suspension.

Available in either two or four-door saloon configurations, the Consul Cortina was to be one of Ford’s most successful models (it later dropped the Consul name tag).

Until January 1963 all models were fitted with an 1198cc three-bearing crankshaft engine similar to the one in the aforementioned Anglia 105E. The new Cortina’s body styling had an angular, contemporary flair, with tapering flutes along the sides and the immediately recognizable ‘Y’ (or ‘ban the bomb’) taillight clusters. Assembly of the MkI Cortina commenced in New Zealand during January 1963, and the car proved a spectacular success as a popular and reliable saloon for many Kiwi families.

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Trailer for film ‘Reborn’ featuring two Ford GTs competing at Le Mans

Trailer for film ‘Reborn’ featuring two Ford GTs competing at Le Mans

2011 Bentley Continental GT revealed with updates and optional V8

The 2011 Bentley Continental GT represents just the second generation of the popular coupe since it was introduced back in 2003. Back then it represented the first step in Bentley’s renaissance and helped define a whole new market segment. It was a luxury GT offering solid usability that retained much of Bentley’s grand touring spirit.

Now the new Continental GT 4-seat coupe builds on the success of its predecessor, with refreshed design and updated engineering, luxury, craftsmanship, dynamic performance, everyday practicality and refinement.

A  sculptured new body gives the GT coupe a more defined appearance. There are more prominent front guard lines that roll over the headlights and into a more-upright grille, a more pronounced grille treatment that pushes itself into the lower intake, LED running lamps surrounding the main headlight elements and a double-horseshoe rear-end treatment inspired by the Mulsanne. 

Inside the cabin apparently offers new levels of design, comfort and hand-crafted luxury. There’s a sleeker dash and climate-controlled seats that provide more legroom. There is also a new touchscreen infotainment system featuring state-of-the-art navigation, Google Maps and entertainment while playing the tunes is the latest Balanced Mode Radiator speaker technology and Dirac Dimensions digital sound processing which delivers enhanced audio quality.

In terms of power there has been a boost in horses with Bentley’s 6-litre, 12-cylinder, twin-turbocharged powertrain raising output to 423kW and 700N of torque and this is mated to a new Quickshift transmission which enables double downshifts. Thanks to advanced FlexFuel technology it can also run on both standard unleaded petrol (gasoline) and sustainable bioethanol (up to E85) or any mix of the two.

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