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Formula Autos

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    old Fords mostly, but any old shite'll do


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  1. I keep seeing VAG group crossovers that I didn’t know existed. Skoda and VW in particular seem to have a bewildering array of almost identical looking models. Plus there’s now the Cupra range, where there seems to be some kind of overly-styled crossover that doesn’t have a corresponding model of SEAT. The only coherent range of crossovers in the VAG group seem to be Audi’s, where at least the number following Q in the model name gives an indication of its size, relative to the others in the range. Yesterday I saw a two door convertible VW crossover. The badge on the back seemed to say T-oss, or something ….
  2. There was a factory Jaguar XJ convertible (well, technically a Daimler - called the Corsica), based on the next-gen X300. It was most definitely a touch* more professionally built. Never made production, and remained a concept car (or cars? - it seems like there are others/replicas around, as well as the metallic green original one).
  3. A brilliant YouTube channel Rich runs - mostly about his ever-evolving model railway, and sometimes about this Granada. Well worth a look if you’re into either subject. Recent uploads have included the building of a chod-tastic scrapyard as part of the model railway.
  4. The model sat in the Marina is Ayshea Brough, is it not? She appeared in Gerry Anderson’s series UFO (in fact it’s her arse that is pervily lingered on in the title sequence as she walks away from camera, down a corridor of SHADO’s base). This just further backs up the Gerry Anderson/Marina/Ital connection. Rumour also has it that the self-driving colour-changing car in Terrahawks, known as Hudson, was originally to have been an Austin Montego. The car was set to be launched around the same time as the series was due to go on air in the UK, and a cross-promotion deal to include the Montego in the show was being worked out with Gerry Anderson’s co-producer Christopher Burr. Gerry was so incensed with Austin-Rover/BL’s antics in the past though that he tore up the agreement, and so Hudson became a Rolls-Royce.
  5. When the Maestro was delayed yet again in 1981, BL ended up with a crate of voice synthesiser microchips lying around. These had been bought in advance of Maestro production as the same chip was used in the BBC Micro computer; BL feared that if that became a sales success they would struggle to source the chips required for top of the range Maestros. The Allegro was still in production at this point, so a plan was hatched to launch a special edition Allegro Micro, using the chips and their speech capability, and using the owl logo that the BBC were using to promote the Micro as the logo for this special edition. The interior plastics of the car were to be in the same off-white plastic as the Micro computer, with black instrument surrounds and a smattering of red buttons - to ape the colour scheme of the computer. Owners were also to be given a money-off voucher to buy a discounted BBC micro with, and an owners manual was also to be supplied on a data cassette that could be viewed via a BBC Micro. The voice chip was to have the dulcit tones of Ian McNaught-Davis, who at the time was presenting The Computer Programme, where the BBC Micro was being promoted. External paint colours would have been limited to off-white, black or red, and a choice of one of the other colours as a contrasting front grille. The BBC refused to license the owl logo and name though, so this idea was only ever realised in three prototypes (all were four door versions - though two door and estate versions would have been available had this edition reached production). The bugs in the Maestro’s speech chip were worked out in these cars, which were used by lower management as pool cars/test hacks, and their use led to additional features like seatbelt warnings being tried and tested by the time of the Maestro’s eventual launch.
  6. Given the recent slew of retro styled EVs announced recently, such as the new Renault 5, Tesla has decided to get in on the game. They’ve acquired the rights to the styling of the Horsey Horseless and an electric version is due for release sometime in 2024, based on the chassis of their Model X. The top of the range Pegasus edition is to have the rear gullwing doors of the Model X repurposed to resemble actual wings.
  7. What does everyone reckon the engine bay tinware being painted dark green was all about then? Just them winding everyone up? A nod to the colour of the original A-series block? Or just a need to get some paint on a few bits and bobs, and green was what happened to be lying about? I was convinced Binky was going to be BRG, having seem hints of it on newly painted parts in the engine bay.
  8. Run out models, often loaded with kit, sometimes seem to have some desirability - Cortina Crusaders being the example that springs to mind.
  9. Nicely done, but you forgot to add the bit about it being launched as a FWD model, then converted to RWD for no apparent reason a few years later.
  10. This. Marina Coupe shell, Ital front, Turbo’d A-plus. The perfect ingredients for the ultimate driving machine. Actually, mild piss-taking aside, would that be such a bad car? Priced at the same level as, say, a 1.6 Capri, and with a bit of fettling to the suspension to make it vaguely sporty in feel, and it could have been the early ‘80s equivalent of a Rover Tomcat. All the ingredients were there, save for the suspension development (which could have been applied to the main Ital range anyway), so would it have been worth a roll of the dice for BL? It would have been no more outdated than a Capri really, and they sold healthily enough in the UK around that time. Stick a few trinkets like red seatbelts, alloys, and a decent stereo on it, and it wouldn’t have been entirely unappealing.
  11. As the originator of this thread, I can’t help but think it’s degenerated into a catalogue of eBay listings terminology. Oh well ....
  12. How about a tie up with a tool company/supplier? That would be pretty easy sponsorship to get into the videos without too much faff (by, say, putting a banner of theirs up on the unit’s wall behind the Sana, and by actually using the tools). Plus it would save you having to buy your own tools, and might solve a few issues along the way if they could give you bespoke tools for specific jobs on your cars, or give you something like a generator so you can kind-of have power in a far-flung unit. Win-win? Provided you could find a company who would do that. HubNut viewers are probably a good demographic for a tool company to target though. Probably wouldn’t feel like selling out either, if you were actually using the tools.
  13. No more Holden!? https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51499775 edit: juuuust beaten to it!
  14. There was a MadMax replica Falcon coupe in a front garden in Whitehaven, Cumbria for a few years. The guy who owned it always had some interesting classics in his garden, in various states of disrepair, and as this is opposite a petrol station I used to have a look when I was filling up to see what he had. The Falcon disappeared about 5 years ago, but could well be in his garage being restored. No reg or pics, sadly. I’d be surprised if it was one of the two Scottish Falcons - it didn’t seem anywhere near that rusty. It was almost a full-on replica too, with the droopsnoot style nose, and the boot lid spoiler. No supercharger sticking through the bonnet from what I can remember though. It also had a piece of cardboard stuck in the windscreen with “no, it’s not a genuine one from the film and no, it’s not for sale” scrawled on it.
  15. The Asquith, a Ford Transit derived “retro” van from the early ‘80s was originally a movie prop, designed for a reboot of the “Confessions of” series of films which was to be called “Confessions of a Kit Car Builder”. The proposed star of the film, Robin Asquith, reprising earlier roles, stipulated the name of the vehicle in his contract. Although the film never materialised, canny old Robin received royalties on every Asquith produced.
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