2011 Pikes Peak World Record

Two words….Holy Mother….

Nobuhiro ‘Monster’ Tajima has been trying to break his Pikes Peak record since 2007, and moreover has sought to be the first to break the 10 minute mark in the treacherous hill climb. 2011 Saw that happen…

‘Monster’ Tajima set the standard in 2007 by breaking Rod Millen’s 13 year old record with a time of 10:01.408. Since then he has made attempts to best the 12.42 mile run that ascends roughly 4,700 feet through the length of the course. The ultimate goal was to break the 10 minute barrier, and set a new all time record in the Unlimited Class.

Below is the video if Tajima doing just that:




Das Vette

German builder Endora-Cars has shown us their renderings of their retro-futuristic (“Klassisches Sportwagen-Design mit modernster Technik”) Corvette-based supercar the SC-1.

Designed to be reminiscent of past concept cars from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, the SC-1 will avail itself of modern touches such as LED lighting and supercharged Detroit iron.

There are three power options to choose from: the base 6.2-liter aluminum V8 with 437 hp, 7-liter powerplant with 512 hp and a supercharged 6.2 liter V8 that sends 647 hp to the rear axle. All engines are coupled to a manual transaxle design with six gears and the base unit is optionally available with a six-speed automatic includes shift paddles on the steering wheel.

Endora cars will announce pricing and a production schedule at a later date.

April 2011 Cars & Cafe

Now that winter has finally loosened its crushing grip enough to allow people to remember what spring is, one of my favorite events to attend has returned. Cars & Cafe is a monthly car gathering that happens on the first Saturday of the month that attracts every imaginable variety of automotive spectacle in the state of Minnesota. There is always something new to see every time I make the drive to the Automotorplex, and this time wasn’t any different. The notable cars ran the gamut from a 2011 Maserati Gran Turismo MC Stradale, to a 1932 Ford Roadster, to a Monster Miata, to a Volvo with a Chevy V8 swap. Cars that would satisfy every type of enthusiast braved the road grime left behind by the melting snow. Even a decent number of motorcycles showed up, although I’m not sure I would have made the same decision knowing the temperature was only in the mid 30’s. All in all, it was a great gathering considering the weather and gives promise to another year of great mornings at Cars & Cafe.

C’était un Rendezvous..The original.

If you’ve seen Jeremy Clarkson’s latest film ‘The Italian Job’, and the behind the scenes footage of that film, you’ll undoubtedly be aware of the clip below. You may not know a few things about it though.

The film was created in 1976 by Claude Lelouch, and depicts a car racing through the center of Paris early in the morning. C’était un Rendezvous translates to “It was a date”.

There have been a healthy number of references to this film in the past, as well as homages created to pay tribute. It’s an amazing film in and of itself, but there are some details that need be mentioned. From the director himself, the car was actually a Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9. and not a Ferrari. The soundtrack, or engine and tire sounds, were dubbed in from Lelouch’s own Ferrari 275GTB. From an interview, the director stated that he was in fact the driver, and that there was only one person posted at a blind intersection with a radio to aide him, but that the radio was not operable at the time the film was shot. He had stated that he received no instruction from that lookout, and indicated that he would have ceased should he find the run too dangerous. I guess that’s a matter of perspective. The length of the film itself was limited by the 1000ft capacity of the 35mm reel loaded into the camera.

What you’re watching is essentially the grand-daddy of ‘underground’ or ‘street racing’ films. I believe this is the remastered version that was re-released on DVD.

Covini C6W Six-Wheeled Supercar

For those of you who don’t feel safe in your normal supercar, engineers at Italy’s Covini have taken a page from the 1976 Tyrrell P34 Formula 1 mutant.

Covini C6W Spider
Covini C6W Spider

This time there aren’t any design restrictions sanctioned by the FIA on road cars (that we know of) so is this a solution without a problem?

Covini chalks it up to safety in poetic translated-to-English marketing-speak:

C6W project is pointed in the direction of new research into active and passive safety. This aspect encouraged the interest of many companies in its development.

… and performances …

4 steering front wheels permit to increase braking, comfort and directional stability. Besides, the lightness of the car (less then 1200Kg), due to its essentiality, can give superb driving sensations.

… without compromises.

UH huh. Sure.

C6W Specs and background on Wikipedia.

Covini C6W Spider
Covini C6W Spider

Mitsubishi Live Drive: World Record Idiocy

Ninety-one miles in 24 hours, via online remote control, sets the Guinness World Record books.

Yeah, we’re impressed too. *yawn*

5,000 drivers from across the United States plus one Mythbuster-esque Outlander Sport equaled 38 drivers spending the entire test drive doing doughnuts. Perhaps they fell asleep at the wheel. We were excited to see the Sport announced in the United States with a 4B11 and the potential to carry the 4B11T from the Lancer Evolution X. Alas, the Sport is, well, more jockey than prancing horse.

Seems like this was a step backwards for Mitsubishi… and eleven virtual drivers agreed… by staying in reverse for the entirety of their test drives.