blacktopmedia

Cars, Bikes & Everything

Are electric vehicles the devils work?

This is a difficult subject for BlackTopMedia.

We have, up until now, always ignored EV’s (Electric Vehicles) and classed them as the devils work.ev2

We have generally considered them a marketing exercise and not remotely green once you factor in whole life costs and not just tailpipe emissions.

With the continued growth and development of the EV sector, we thought we couldn’t put this off any more and had to go and take a peek, find out what all the fuss was about.

One of our issues has always been batteries. Horrible to make, can’t be recycled when the short vehicle life is over. How green is that? Not very.

The reality is nothing like that. Battery ‘ownership’ has many solutions. Rental, leasing, lifetime warranties, whatever. That means that EV ownership now doesn’t have to be a short and painfully expensive ordeal. When the battery starts to loose efficiency and hold less charge, it’s changed at no additional cost.ev3

Ok, but they are finished with and can’t be recycled. That’s terrible for the environment…..isn’t it?

No, another one of our anti-EV weapons explodes in our face. Hold that thought though……

So, just for a moment, let’s go off topic slightly and look at renewable energy. One of the main issues with renewable energy such as wind and solar is storing the energy. It’s produced largely during the day when we are at work and don’t need it, but is gone when we do as we can’t store it.ev5

If only we had a source of batteries we could use to store that energy…….hold on, I see a plan coming together.

The plan is to use old EV batteries as second life in storing renewable energy. These batteries are not ‘done’ when removed from the vehicles, they just don’t charge as well as they used to. Say they used to do 100 miles fully charged, when at the end of their useful vehicle life they do 70. Still plenty of life in the batteries, in fact as much as 10-15 years of second life is estimated if used as renewable energy storage. A much more green solution!

We know many companies are looking at these batteries as an option to reduce energy bills. A great solution.

This is all based on current battery technology too. It is assumed that the next big technology advances will be in battery technology. There is a huge amount of resource being invested in this area so keep an eye out.

Ok, so what about the nasty little cars? I like my cars simple and old school. Well, let’s look at that. Modern internal combustion (IC) cars are far from simple. Crammed with so many electric aides and strangled to meet emissions.

Electric vehicles have been around since the 1830’s! Is that old school enough?ev1

In terms of simplicity, can it get any simpler than forward/backward gears and stop/go pedals?

Admittedly, some manufacturers are making them very complicated but as a simple, fun mode of transport, they are great.

Clearly there are limitations. Charging can be inconvenient, range can be limiting and so on. But there are a growing number of new players in the market, all with innovative solutions to these issues, so watch this space.

Let’s consider the future of conventional cars? We’re currently on Euro6 emissions regulations which are tough, just ask VW.ev4

Euro7 will come in to play at some point. We have worked with some of the fuel system manufacturers who say Euro7 is almost impossible to meet with current diesel technology. Past that, it is a real possibility we won’t be able to produce diesel engines that can meet future emissions regulations, with petrol engines close behind. So then what? What else is there? Hybrids and EV’s that’s what.

BlackTopMedia have dipped their toe in the EV waters recently and have genuinely had our eyes opened. They are not the devils work and actually fit quite well in to BlackTopMedia’s ethos.

We’re looking forward to trying some more and seeing what there is out there. Of course we’ll report back to you with all the juicy details!ev6

TinTops kicks up a fuss in a Polaris buggy

The phone rang and the voice on the other end asked, ‘do you want to drive an off road buggy?’.

Blacktopmedia tintops buggy

The reply was obviously yes which lead me to being in Lincolnshire on a windy and cold August morning.

Before that though, let me introduce myself.
My name is Nick and I’m better known by my Social Media alter ego @TinTopsUK.

I really like cars and driving very quickly. I’ve done rallies, 24 hour kart races and tested various race cars but my heart really lies in off road.

I blame my dad, the mysterious voice on the phone that started this particular adventure. He rallied Escorts in his twenties and the fire was passed on to me!

We spotted the SXS Racing Polaris at Goodwood Festival of Speed and knew we had to have a go. A few emails and phone calls latter we were in an active quarry in Lincolnshire, ready to drive an off road buggy.

Blacktopmedia tintops dirt

The race format was a straight 2 hour endurance, last drivers standing would probably take home silverware and the course was a rough mix of rocks, jumps and steep climbs and drops, perfect for the 900cc Polaris buggy.

The buggy itself is basically a roll cage with a 900cc bike engine and two seats, it’s not hard to have fun it in. That said, to drive it fast, commitment is needed.

Being on dirt means that every lap is different as the surface cuts up and the rocks are thrown about.

Blacktopmedia tintops buggy

The joy of drifting a buggy across dirt
whilst heading for a jump is difficult to describe but it’s something you won’t ever experience on a racing circuit! The feeling of freedom as you race at full speed through over a quarry surface is truly inspiring.

Unsurprisingly this is incredibly hard on both buggy and driver. A number of punctures, mechanical failures and crashes lead to a high attrition rate, but for those who finished it was well worth all the effort!

Blacktopmedia tintops buggy inside

The buzz was incredible and I want to get myself back in the seat as quickly as possible!

A big thanks goes to SXS Racing for giving me the opportunity to try the buggy and a special mention goes to Kunstvoller for making kit that can survive whichever daft extreme motorsport I try next!

Blacktopmedia tintops buggy run

The next round is in Swindon in a few weeks and a plan has been hatched to get me back in a seat. If you are a bit bored of your current race series give it a go, I promise you will be smiling when you hit the first jump!

Royal Enfield Sees A Record 42% Increase In Sales.

Royal Enfield has just released its latest set of record breaking results.
Royal Enfield Continental GT
CEO Siddhartha Lal has overseen a monumental transformation of the brand since taking over in the early 2000s when Royal Enfield was selling around 25,000 bikes per year. For the financial year ending April 2015, over 500,000 motorcycles were sold and demand for the new Royal Enfield bikes continues to increase.

In order to meet demand, Royal Enfield aims to manufacturer 675,000 motorcycles in the financial year ending April 2017.
Royal Enfield Classic Chrome
Royal Enfield recorded its highest ever increase in sales, showing a 42% year on year growth. Outstanding.

In addition, Royal Enfield plans for UK expansion continue to progress as the new R&D facility in Leicestershire is on course to be fully operational by early 2017.

Royal Enfield Classic 500

Commenting on Royal Enfield’s performance, Mr. Siddhartha Lal, Managing Director & CEO Eicher Motors Ltd said said, “Royal Enfield has maintained its strong volume growth in the first quarter of FY 2016-17 and we continue to take more orders than our monthly supply. The response to Himalayan- Royal Enfield’s first adventure-tourer, has been extremely encouraging and it is now available for booking across the country. We continue to expand our footprint in India with 566 dealerships now open across the country. Our immediate business outlook remains strong and Royal Enfield continues to grow consistently, competitively and profitably towards leading and expanding the mid-sized motorcycle segment globally.”

Royal Enfield Classic Battle Green

In June 2016, Royal Enfield opened its store in Manila, Philippines. Phlippines is among the largest two-wheeler markets in the world. With a large chunk of the population using commuter motorcycles, there is an enormous potential for customers to upgrade to mid-sized motorcycles, perfect hunting ground for Royal Enfield.

In Europe, Royal Enfield participated in Wheels & Waves, one of the most popular motorcycle customisation and surfing festival organised in Biarritz, France.DSC_0542b

 

In India, Royal Enfield successfully conducted the 13th edition of the Himalayan Odyssey where it introduced the first ever women only edition of the epic ride. Riders from nine different nationalities, including 20 women riders participated in this year’s ride. In June 2016, Royal Enfield announced its tie-up with Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce marketplace to sell Royal Enfield Gear and accessories. This partnership allows Royal Enfield to sell its apparel and accessories outside its network, to a much wider audience.Royal Enfield Classic Squadron Blue

What next for Royal Enfield? How do you top 42% growth? Have a look at the great new range of bikes and you tell us. http://royalenfield.com/uk/Royal Enfield Classic Desert Storm

 

 

Royal Enfield – Mo Powa

DSC_0505Royal Enfield’s have been standard fair on the menu of motorcycle custom houses for decades.
Think of a flavour and someone, somewhere will probably have made it out of a Royal Enfield.
Fast, slow, off road, on road, low, high and everything in between, to say the Royal Enfield brand is versatile doesn’t do it justice.

Royal Enfield have been manufacturing motorcycles of various kinds since 1899 and are credited with the longest production run of any motorcycle, the Bullet, which has been in continuous production since 1931.

DSC_0583bThey say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but they don’t say anything about an old dog teaching us new tricks. Royal Enfield have taken the opportunity to do just that. Prepare to be educated.

The basis for this lesson is the Classic 500, a post war styled bike, traditional, sedate, pretty and unassuming.

From front to back, there is little that hasn’t been uprated, upgraded or modified to transform this post war cruiser in to a drag inspired, post-apocalyptic machine.

DSC_0542bWith what was to come, the standard front brake was junked and replaced with a funky Brembo calliper with billet calliper mount. This bites hard into a floating wave disc.

To create the drag bike stance, the standard front forks have been lowered and stiffened and the standard, classic style raised bars have be re-worked and flattened, tracker style. The standard classic style, comfortable, wide sprung seat has been reworked and upholstered in deer skin with racing foam accents.

The stock single downtube frame with the engine as a stressed member was retained and was subtly reworked with the rear foot peg hangers removed and the rear shock mounts extended to improve the geometry of the rear suspension.
That weedy, Classic 500 swing arm was resigned to the skip and in it’s place Royal Enfield have slotted in a stretched swing arm from the Continental GT, resulting in a longer wheelbase.

DSC_0528To strengthen the attitude, the lower shock mounts were flipped and re-located from the top of the swing arm to underneath, giving the bike that slammed, drag bike stance. The rear rides on a pair of K-Tec, remote reservoir, fully adjustable shocks and a wide Excel rim. Both front and rear rims are fitted with knobblies for that post apocalyptic look.

Stance, attitude & style are all essential characteristics for a modern custom bike but one of the stand out features of Mo Powa is it’s heart.
Royal Enfield have taken the dramatic step of turbocharging the standard 499cc engine.
It sucks air through a carb, with the standard efi and airbox junked and the gases exit through a gorgeous Harris Performance, MotoGP inspired, hand crafted exhaust.

DSC_0549

Today’s lesson……’Mo Powa’

Hard Core Yamaha XSR700 by AdHoc Cafe Racers

2016_YAM_XSR700ADHOC_EU_CUSTOM_STA_006_preview_tcm269-660223Yamaha’s ‘Yard Built’ series of custom bike builds has reached Spain. They dropped on to the doorstep of acclaimed custome builder David Gonzalez of AdHoc Cafe Racers.

If you’re unfamiliar with AdHocs work, take a few minutes to check it out. It is a wild and breathtaking interpretation of the Cafe Racer genre. http://www.adhocaferacers.com

This build starts with a standard Yamaha XSR700 and AdHoc transform it in something truly unique. May I introduce…….Otokomae.

custom-yamaha-xsr700-2-625x625

AdHoc’s relationship with Yamaha is a well trodden path. His XJ650 & XJ750 builds have received international recognition.

This build sees a standard XSR700, a cool street bike in standard trim, stripped and reinvented as the ‘Otokomae’, a mash up of cafe racer cool, street fighter tough and track bike hard that refuses to conform.

“I really like this crazy style David has created,” commented Yamaha Motor Europe Marketing Coordinator Cristian Barelli. “The tough ‘street tracker’ feel really fits well with the XSR750 and the paint job is something totally unique. He made sure to follow our golden rule of no cutting or welding to the frame of the bike, so it really does prove with this build that you can customise your XSR to really stand out from the crowd without any major fabrication work. The custom detail is very well crafted without compromising the rideability of the XSR700, keeping the fun factor!”

yamaha-yard-built-xsr700-otokomae-by-ad-hoc-is-a-minimalist-cafe-racer-109134-7

The AdHoc transformation borrowes from the extensive Yamaha parts bin, from the track focused YZF-R6 front end to the MT-01 front light and the MT-09 bars.

Otokomae rolls on Borrani rims with Michelin rubber and has had the bulky air box removed and replaced with ‘power filters’ to further enhance the street fighter look.

The original fuel tank is retained and disguised by a custome built four piece shell and the standard XSR700 exhaust is long gone, instead, in it’s place sits a full SC Project system.

custom-yamaha-xsr700-5-625x417

Adhering to the Yamaha top brass’s instructions of ‘no cutting or welding to the frame’ a custom bolt on rear subframe has been fabricated, allowing access to tools and battery.

A Gears Racing shock lifts the ride height 15mm and the hand made seat is upholstered in high quality cowhide. Appropriately, this hard core bike wears the old school blue and yellow Yamaha Racing colours.

Automotive Industry make their position clear about the EU referendum!

smmt

  • UK automotive industry delivers clear statement on Europe position days before key referendum.
  • Leading British automotive manufacturers stress importance of remaining in Europe.
  • Widespread concern that a “Brexit” could jeopardise current jobs and investment success.

Overwhelming majority (77%) of SMMT member companies favour remaining in the EU.1
Monday 20 June, 2016 The UK motor industry has today restated its view that staying in the European Union is best for its business and best for British jobs, just days ahead of the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which represents the UK automotive industry, wants to ensure there is absolute clarity on the sector’s position given recent misrepresentations in the Europe debate.

The industry is a huge employer, supporting 800,000 jobs across the UK and contributing £15.5 billion annually to the economy. It has emerged from the recession stronger, more productive and more competitive and is now a leading global player, with exports at record levels and vehicle production at the highest level for over a decade.

The industry is export led with around 80% of vehicles heading abroad and over half of those (57.5 percent) destined for the rest of the EU. Unrestricted access to the world’s largest single market, the negotiating strength of the EU to secure international trade deals, the ability to shape technical regulations and free movement of labour all provide significant benefits to UK businesses. This is why SMMT member companies large and small are overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the EU.

Before the start of the campaigning period, SMMT commissioned a survey of its members – which includes car and commercial vehicle manufacturers, parts suppliers, aftermarket companies and other companies large and small. An overwhelming majority of 77% firms surveyed said remaining in Europe would be the best for their business, with only a minority 9% saying leaving would be best. Notably no large company said that an exit would be in their business’ best interests.

UK auto 2

 

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “UK Automotive is globally competitive, securing record levels of investment, creating tens of thousands of jobs annually and exporting to over 100 countries. We want this success to continue rather than jeopardise it by increasing costs, making our trading relationships uncertain and creating new barriers to our single biggest and most important market, Europe. Remaining will allow the UK to retain the influence on which the unique and successful UK automotive sector depends.”

There should be no ambiguity about the sector’s views ahead of such a critical vote. Senior figures from a wide range of UK-based automotive companies have reinforced this message.

Ken Gregor, Chief Financial Officer of Jaguar Land Rover, said, “Remaining in the EU – our largest market – will increase Jaguar Land Rover’s chances to grow, create jobs and attract investment in future technologies. Our European supply chain has been fundamental in helping us to meet customer expectations worldwide and achieve sustainable, profitable growth.”

Tony Walker, Deputy Managing Director, Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK, said, “After considered review, we believe that continued membership of the European Union is best for our business and for our competitiveness in the longer term.”

Dr Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management, BMW AG, said, “We firmly believe Britain would be better off if it remained an active and influential member of the EU, shaping European regulations which will continue to impact the UK whatever the decision on Thursday.”

Rory Harvey, Managing Director and Chairman of Vauxhall, said, “We are part of a fully integrated European company where we benefit from the free movement of goods and people. We believe not to be part of the EU would be undesirable for our business and the sector as a whole.”

Nigel Stein, Chief Executive, GKN PLC, said, “We see a real benefit in remaining in the EU. A vote to leave will not mean manufacturing investment disappears overnight, but over time a UK outside the EU will be disadvantaged and will lose the investment it needs to maintain our industries.”

Gamil Magal, Group Chief Executive, Magal Engineering Limited, a medium-sized Tier 1 components supplier, said, “Full unhindered access to the European single market is essential for Magal Engineering’s UK operations and growth.”

UK auto

The 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport – It’ll take your breath away

Peugeot 208GTi by Peugeot Sport 2

The 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport

I’ll be honest, the 208 is a fine looking car……..but……..it’s all a bit subtle.

I haven’t driven a 208 GTi before, just a diesel, which was great. Perky handling, enough performance and I love the minimalist interior.

The GTi is almost too understated and for that reason I’ve never shown much interest in it.
You see, I grew up in the hot hatch heydays with 205GTi’s, R5 turbos, RS Turbos, Astra GTE’s and all that fun, pre airbag, pre traction control, pre stability control, characterful, easily stolen, often crashed stuff.
Due to the issues of the day, we then had to watch as all of the fun was gradually engineered out of our cars.

Peugeot_208_GTi_by_Peugeot_Sport

Anyway, back to today. I picked up the keys to the 208GTi as a bit of an afterthought whilst waiting for another car to become free.

This black 208GTi by Peugeot Sport looks good. Not outrageous, very subtle, but low, mean and purposeful. It’s like that quiet, unassuming guy stood in the corner, watching everyone, not making a fuss, just standing there quietly drinking his beer. Maybe he’s Special Forces or some kind of martial arts guru? There’s definitely something about him that makes everyone leave him alone.

Peugeot 208GTi by Peugeot Sport

As I slipped in to the Peugeot Sport bucket seats I was struck by the realisation that I had been missing out by not paying more attention to these Peugeot GTi’s.

Pulling out of the car park on to the road was simplicity itself, no fuss, just a lovely exhaust note.
The road opened up and transformed in to the twisty and testing alpine course at Millbrooks proving ground and the 208GTi came alive. This car was in its natural habitat.

The 208GTi by Peugeot Sport has 208hp. Some of the big boys in the hot hatch paddock have more these days, but it’s a chunk more than the other supermini hot hatches it goes up against ………and man it uses them well.

 

Peugeot 208GTi by Peugeot Sport 4

This thing is awesome. The 208GTi took my breath away it was so good. It’s a perfect balance of a fantastic chassis and great engine. I pushed and pushed as much as I could (with marshals waving flags at me telling me to slow down) and this thing was brilliant. No under steer, no moving about, it didn’t need frantic gear changes to keep it on the boil, it just ate up that alpine course and asked for seconds.

It was over all too soon and left me a little shell shocked. I felt like I had discovered some kind of secret that I need to tell everyone about. So now I’m telling you.

Civic Duty – David Moses

Z-IMG_0854

DAVE MOSES’ CIVIC DUTY

David Moses is as unique and individual as his Civic.

I could have easily forgotten to shoot the car getting wrapped up in tales of cars and mods, scrapes and adventures. He’s a fascinating guy and it’s fair to say he’s been around.

Dave’s 46 and has been modifying cars since he started to drive in ’86. He’s a VAG man at heart but has had most cars you can think of at one time or another.

IMG_0624

He is highly skilled and fabricates, modifies and improves pretty much everything himself.

Not so long ago this red hot Civic coupe was a one careful lady owner, full service history, well cared for car.

That was until Dave Moses got his hands on it.

All of the work, all of the mods, all of the blood sweat and tears invested in this Civic came from Dave. He has carried out all of the work himself and there’s been plenty of it.

Dave’s Civic started life as a standard EJ2 1.5 LSi coupe but now thrust is provided by a B18C4 with S9B LSD gearbox.

Z-IMG_0810

The B18 boasts a DC manifold and full 2.5” Powerflow exhaust system and sucks through a beautiful Password carbon fibre whale willy induction kit.

There’s an Aladdin’s cave of details on and in this car. Too many to list such as the Cuzco oil catch tank, D1 spec rad cap and oil cap and

The interior has also received Dave’s full attention with a superbly executed Honda Prelude front and rear seat install. The install looks factory but there was a whole lot of work and fabrication to mount the rear seat.

IMG_0693

There’s a beautiful Kode suede steering wheel, carbon wrap everywhere, JDM centre console and so much more.

Dave has fitted Mugen pedals and has installed red LED’s to bathe the driver’s foot well in soft red light.

Planted firmly in the supportive Prelude drivers seat, firmly holding the Kode suede steering wheel, my hand falls naturally to the leather covered gear lever and the Tegiwa short shift feels tight.

Externally, as you would expect, there’s even more good stuff. There’s a carbon wrapped MK2 CRX rear spoiler, beautiful Spoon carbon fibre door mirrors, carbon wrapped Type R front lower spoiler and the list goes on.

The low, purposeful stance is thanks to Miester R coilovers and lightweight Rota rims wrapped in Yoko Prada 40’s.

Z-IMG_0881

The devil is in the detail but there simply isn’t time and space to tell you about it all. I haven’t mentioned the black headliner, the ultra rare drinks holder, roof lip spoiler, colour matched nuts and bolts throughout the engine bay and more………

You want an adrenaline rush? Civic Type R

Civic Type R Pan-European launch

Honda Civic Type R

“Christ on a bike” I said to myself as I accelerated hard out on to Millbrooks alpine course in the Honda Civic Type R.

For the previous couple of minutes I had been pottering around the access roads, admiring the interior of the 2016 Honda Civic Type R, and looking for road signs to point me to the fun zone they call the alpine course at Millbrook proving ground.

As I left the restrictions of the access roads and met the freedom of the alpine course I was taken by surprise by the savage pace of the Type R. It is a very fast car with around 300bhp, a 0-62 time of 5.7 seconds and an insane top speed of 167mph which is near as damn it a match for a Porsche 718 Boxter.

Civic Type R Pan-European launch

Civic Type R

The alpine course is tight and undulating with flowing sections that test all aspects of a car. You don’t get a minute to rest in the Type R and the experience is exhilarating and intoxicating.
The Type R is fast. A 300bhp fwd chassis sounds like a recipe for disaster. You would expect lots and lots of understeer but not so. On the alpine course I didn’t feel any understeer. Even accelerating hard out of tight corners, it was fuss free, fast and very effective. The type R is fitted with a helical limited slip differential. Helical LSDs use gears and not clutch packs, hence do not require servicing. Another benefit of helical differentials is that they react much quicker than viscous LSDs. This is complimented by Vehicle Stability Assist system which applies a light braking force, imperceptible to the driver, to the inner wheels when the steering wheel is turned. All of this keeps the front going exactly where you point it, and damn effective it is too.

Civic Type R Pan-European launch

Honda Civic Type R

Once or twice the rear stepped out when braking hard in to a corner but it just lets you know you’re having fun. The chassis is brilliant. Honda employs all sorts of tricks to tame the savage beast.
Advanced dual axis strut front suspension with four-wheel adaptive damping is one. Basically that means there are electromagnetic coils inside the dampers that alter the oil flow channels and thereby controlling the damping force. It’s very cool, very fast acting and usually found on supercars.

The Brembo brakes on the type R are fantastic. The 4 piston callipers and 320mm discs were brilliant on the demanding and tight alpine course.

Civic Type R Pan-European launch

Honda Civic Type R

So, that was my little run out in the Civic Type, Unfortunately it was all over far too soon. Hopefully I’ll get another chance soon but for now, trust me, this is a great car.

Be a voice not an echo.

Stevie Basset JPS Capri BlacktopmediaShaun Watts is a lucky lad. His dad, Daz owns this jaw dropping, one of a kind Capri. Daz is a serial pertrolhead who has had a long string of cars including everything from a Supra to a Defender to a Z4 to a Calibra and many many more. The guy has a serious problem….in a good way.

The car is an ’85 Mk3 Capri that is one mans vision of what a Mk3 JPS touring car would look like. That man is Steve Basset.WP_20140712_007

Steve built the Capri over a 6 year period and he freely admits the car, rather than driving him mad, actually kept him sane.

Steve has been working on cars since he was 6 years old and is truly a craftsman. These days he runs BRC Restorations where they provide high quality, affordable restoration service.

Steve’s passion is keeping classic and retro cars alive. His work is second to none but he doesn’t charge the Earth. Steve is not financially motivated and instead gets satisfaction from helping owners to keep their cars alive.WP_20140819_001I know it sounds a cliché but when you speak to him you will see for yourself. He is a mild mannered, humble guy who doesn’t see himself as any different to you and me….but he is. He is an artist who creates masterpieces every day. A MK1 Escort Mexico one day, an E Type Jaguar another and all finished to a fantastic standard.

Once upon a time the Capri was a blue 2.0S. Steve bought it from a friend as a matte black 2.0, basically sound and a great base for a project.FB_20160124_00_09_02_Saved_PictureFrom here, things just spiralled out of control. Like a lot of projects, it started with some relatively small mods and grew to the beautiful creation you see here.

Steve’s primary objective was to create something unique. Zakspeed; done, X-Pack; done, Thunder saloon; done. Time for something new.

The list of modifications is huge. Let’s start with the obvious, the MK2 Escort forest arches. They only needed minor work to fit (by Steve’s standards), in fact there are a few MK2 Escort bits; front quarter bumpers and rear bumper plus a MK2 escort roll cage modified and cut down to fit the lower Capri.WP_20140712_004

Other external mods include striking front end consisting of a heavily cut and reworked RGA front spoiler combined with an Escort Cosworth front spoiler and aero stabilisers.

At the rear there is a diffuser which is tuned and height adjustable and actually works. This is combined with a large rear spoiler, positioned to overhang the rear end in order to catch some clean air. Together these provide real downforce which helps to keep the Capri arse firmly in place.

Underneath things get serious. The Capri still runs an atlas axle but Steve has heavily reworked the rear suspension, grafting in a 4 link and watts link with the 4 link bars. There are Cosworth rear discs and calipers and coilovers replace the leaf spring setup. This suspension work meant a huge amount of cutting and fabrication to create mountings, brackets and clearance. One area that didn’t need to be fabricated was the rear turrets. Steve was told you can’t fit coilovers in to the standard turrets. Yes you can!FB_20160124_00_11_14_Saved_Picture

One consequence of all this work was there was no room left for the exhaust but Steve had the perfect solution; a side exit exhaust.

The front end received just as much attention and has been treated to 2.8 Bilstein front struts, expertly converted to coilovers by Steve. These are fitted with Willwood 4 pot calipers, fully rose jointed suspension with adjustable insitue lower arms with eccentric top mounts.

The Capri has been retro fitted with electronic power steering from a Corsa B to enable the driver to turn the huge front wheels without the need for Hulk arms. A Capri rack does the necessary up front but as you would expect, it has been completely custom rebuilt with bronze bushes and rose joints to handle additional strain from the grippy, wide front tyres.WP_20140622_009

After a lot of trial and error, Steve settled on 380lb rear springs / 500lb front springs which, combined with the suspension mods, the aero and the super sticky tyres make the Capri a real weapon.

Originally the interior of the Capri was stripped, race car style. All carpets and soundproofing was removed but, like most of us, Steve isn’t 18 anymore and quickly found out that a race car on the road, running a side exit exhaust with no soundproofing is not as much fun as it seems.

Typically, the surplus interior bits had long since been sold so Steve did no less than sound proofed the car (again), made all new custom door cards and interior trim all covered in polar fleece, made new carpets and repaired then flocked the dash.FB_20160124_00_10_31_Saved_Picture

You won’t be disappointed by the drive train. The old 2.0L pinto has been junked and replaced by no less than a 2.9L 24v Cosworth lump (BOA) mated to a BorgWarner T5 ‘box from a Sierra Cosworth.  There’s a custom cold air intake plus a tweaked ECU resulting in 238 bhp and 200+lb/ft torque.

Steve had to sell the Capri so it now belongs to Daz. There are plans in the making for the next evolution of this unique car. Nothing set in stone yet but maybe we’ll see the Cossie V6 sprout a pair of turbos or even a Cosworth YB.  So far Daz has hydro dipped some engine components added some retro window louvres and a few other personal touches.WP_20140621_009

There is simply no room to detail all of the unique and individual mods on the Capri. I haven’t mentioned the huge Minilite wheels or the custom boot mounted fuel tank with cut out floor, racing mirrors, the way Steve integrated the donor cars tacho in to the Capri dash or a million other touches.

If you want to see the car in the flesh, it will be taking pride of place at Modfest2016 on Feb 20th in Essex. www.modfest.co.uk. Why not call over and have a chat.

If you want some high class restoration work done at a reasonable price by a gentleman who won’t rip you off, give Steve a call www.brcrestorations.co.uk

Thanks to Steve Basset and Shaun Watts for the help and a mention needs to go to Jonathan Moore from Speedhunters for one of the pics.

« Older posts

© 2016 blacktopmedia

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: