Friday, January 30, 2015

Best Commercial Of 2015

And it's only January!  My nominee is (Best Soundtrack Category):

Unfortunately, there is a problem.  One of these things is not like the other:

The commercial needs different video.  And if Chevy wants to mix the audio from this vid with the audio from their Colorado effort, that's fine.  Or maybe use their sound track for a Camaro or 'Vette commercial:

Brian Johnson of AC-DC owns a Bentley LeMans Replica, so I guess you could say he drives a truck.  ;-)    But he's
better-known for his ownership of, and exploits in, this Lola T 70 at vintage races, including the Goodwood Revival.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Defensive Parking

Here's a news item about a Jerry Seinfeld tribulation on Long Island:

I know the feeling, Jer, although the most expensive car I've owned was worth 10% of your RSR.  It's not the money (mostly), it's about your baby.  It's striking that the woman who crowded Seinfeld's car was simultaneously "very sorry" and puzzled (as I read in another account).  She wouldn't have intentionally upset the owner of another car, but was mystified that he was upset.  "It's just a car, for heaven's sake."

I live in daily fear of people like this.  I don't parallel park for three reasons: 1) I live in the suburbs and don't have to, 2) I lost the ability to do it properly about a nano-second after I passed my driver's license test five decades ago, 3) a driver like the one who found Seinfeld's car will find mine.

My Mustang never gets parked in a "group setting."  I try to avoid driving it in traffic, let alone leaving it stationary where someone can get a good fix on it.  Even when I park it at track days, among (but not too close to) like-minded people, I worry.  So far, so good: seven years and counting, no dings or scratches.

My daily driver always gets parked away from other cars, a good distance from the door at the grocery store/mall/airport.  I justify this as personal exercise, but we all know it's defensive parking.  And sure enough, just like that insurance TV commercial, somebody will park next to me, berths and berths away from other vehicles.  And he's not driving a shiny desirable car.  He's driving a beat-up pickup truck or an old minivan.

If I do have to park next to someone, and my grandsons or octogenarian friends are with me, they fling the doors open.  Young people are heedless and old people can't extend their arms fully without falling out.  My sharp intake of breath is audible.  It's the same sound my grandmother used to make when she thought my grandfather was tailgating and he applied his brakes.  (Were she still alive, my grandmother would refuse to ride with me, as my sister now does.  My Dad taught me to drive, but Grampa taught me some of the finer points.)

Despite my obsessive parking, there's a small dimple on the rear quarter of my daily driver.  It got there within months of leaving the dealer's lot.  I have no idea how.  I wasn't around.  Oh... and there are stone chips on the hood.  I know how they got there: following dump trucks too closely on two-lanes, looking to pass them ASAP.

Monday, January 26, 2015

"Still The One" (GTLM At Daytona 2015)

My little circle of car buffs has lately been batting emails around about how these days are the Good Old Days for high-performance cars.  And they're the Good Old Days for GT racing too.  Every bit as good--maybe better than--the early 1960's.  Try as I might, I can't get interested in the Prototypes.  Even when it was pointed out to me that a Honda-engined car was on pole for Daytona and Fords are in the backs of many others (a "no lose" situation for a marque-rooter like me).

The GTLM (LeMans) class did not disappoint at Daytona.  All the top teams suffered slings and arrows, often of the drivers' making.  It's the grind of endurance racing that makes me an enthusiastic spectator.  I admire perseverance for hours in the face of adversity, especially when it is rewarded--as it was for some GTLM teams at Daytona this year.  They didn't Press On Regardless if they were a couple of laps down: they persevered when they were 6-10-20 laps down.  Oh... and the cars are bloody fast.

What would Daytona be without a Brumos Porsche, even if it ran in the "low rent" GTD (Daytona) class, and was entered
by Wright Motorsports?  Hurley Haywood was in their pit to cheer them on.  Factoid: he shares the record for overall
Daytona wins with Scott Pruett (six, I think the presenters said).

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saved From The Crusher (The Wheeler Dealer Porsche 993)

The last air-cooled 911 had a fatter butt than its predecessors, but it was still lithe: not the wide load that current 911's are.
Teal doesn't work for me on a 911, although I recall liking it on a Honda Accord, and it seemed like just about all the
manufacturers had some variation of it in the  '80's and 90's.  The blue tint of the interior with the sunroof closed is
a bit creepy.  Maybe Porsche could have specified grey tint instead? 

A better view of the roof.  Porsche called this model a "Targa." That was news to me: I thought only the earlier models
with a basket-handle hoop behind the front seats and a removable roof panel were called Targas.

The thing that appealed most to me about the teal Wheeler Dealer car was its glass roof.  I like a sunroof, and I like one that's the entire roof even better.  Yeah, it weighs more than other materials, thus raising the car's center of gravity.  Don't care.

In the Wheeler Dealer episode on this 911, Mike Brewer stressed that it was the most unloved Porsche he'd seen.  The two-piece road wheels were so corroded that they wouldn't have passed an "MOT," the British roadworthiness inspection.  (I was surprised that, brakes aside, the power train and running gear were in fairly good shape.)

I've seen only one 911 in worse condition, back in my Porsche dealership days.  Those were also the days before rust-protection was done at the factory.  It was an early series 911, not more than six years old.  By 1970, it was a rust bucket with a Swiss cheese chassis.  The only thing holding it together, it seemed, were the P O R S C H E side-stripes.  It had been taken in trade and was for sale "As Is--No Warranty."  No takers.  Apparently it was winter-driven and unwashed, with results even worse than the Wheeler Dealer car.  Who treats a car like that, not to mention an expensive sports car?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Why We "Never" Get The Good Stuff

Above and below: the SEAT Leon SC.  The Fifth Gear presenters liked it a lot better than the base model Volkswagen
Scirocco.  The Leon SC is both faster and cheaper in the U.K.  And I think it's better-looking.  Of course we won't see
it over here: VW owns SEAT and the Leon S would be a direct competitor with base Golfs and Sciroccos.

The main thing that appeals to me about this car is its restrained styling and use of creases (except for the "triangulated" front).  It's not a true pocket rocket, but a slightly-optioned entry-level car.  But the Fifth Gear people liked it a lot better than its direct competitor, the entry-level VW Scirocco.

Now and then, I get a bit weepy over the excellent cars available in Europe that don't make it over here: the hard-edged Golf GTI, the Honda Civic Type R, the Citroen and Peugeot hot hatches, previous hot rod Ford Focuses and Fiestas.  (In launching the current Focus ST, Ford stressed that we North Americans were getting "the good car," identical to the one sold in Europe.)

But it makes commercial sense.  The European hot hatches are more hard-edged.  And, in my two trips to France and Belgium, I didn't see one over there.  It's a small market segment with a lot of competitors.  On both continents, a hot hatch is a daily driver, not a weekend toy.  The European versions can be smaller cars than their North American counterparts (the Civic Type R, for example).  A softer-edged car makes more sense for our stop-and-go traffic and long Interstate runs.  My Civic Si is a 4-door and I needed one.

I've not seen figures for sales of the GTI vs. the regular Golf, or the Civic Si vs. the regular Civic, but would not be surprised if the hot rods were outsold 20 or 30 to 1 by the normal cars.  So firms like VW and Honda have to ask themselves "Can we sell even more hard-core cars in North America?"  Firms like Citroen, Peugeot, and Vauxhall aren't even in our market.  When Fiat bought Chrysler, it apparently decided (sensibly) not to sell Fiat 500's and Alfa Romeos through Chrysler dealerships.  Instead, the new Dodge Dart has Fiat engineering and components under its sheet metal.

Give the customer what he wants.  There aren't many of us who want a Nurburgring-capable hot hatch.  And of that small number, many need 4 doors.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Thanks, Sid

Sid Ramnarace

One thing you can glean from watching too much Barrett-Jackson on TV is new factoids.  I learned that Sid Ramnarace led the team that designed the Gen 5 (S-197) Mustang.  Ford's then Senior VP of Design,
J. Mays, called the look "retro-futurism," which sounds like desperate marketing-speak to me.

The executives who approve taking a fashion risk (even a retro one) on a new model deserve all due credit.  But the people who conceive the look and refine it in engineering drawings and models scrubbed from all angles deserve the most credit.

It was the modern powertrain and bang-for-the-buck that sold me a Mustang.  But it was thinking "That's a good-looking car!" that got my attention in the first place.  Thankyou, Sid.

Best of the best: the '08-'09 Bullitt.  The lines of the early S-197 coupes would be hard to improve upon.  The Power Pak
and Ford Racing suspension were standard on the Bullitt.  Ford even checked the "spoiler delete" box for you, and the
only color available was Steve McQueen Green.  Henry would have approved: build a good one, on a take it or leave it
basis, and see if they vote with their wallets.

Without the visual mass and smoothness of the fastback roof, the lines of the convertible are less satisfying.  But this view
shows the fine front end of the early Gen 5's.  Which unfortunately packs air under the hood at very hight speeds, causing
it to flutter.  The aero is hardly state-of-the-art.  But I love the look.  Did I mention that the top goes down?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Another Bite At The DS 19 Apple

This Jay Leno "walk around" is the best explanation of the Citroen DS 19 I've seen.  He gets to the core of the matter much better than I did in my blogpost.  As usual, he's very sympathetic to the philosophy of the engineers behind it:

Anything useful I might say was already said in my previous post about the car.  Oh...  the engineer and car collector mentioned in my post has sold his Citroen SM, which I doubted he would.  He loved the car.  But, he said, "This guy kept pestering me, and eventually he threw so much money at me that I couldn't say no."

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Vision Thing (Again)

I got new glasses this week.  At my age, an eye exam is a hold-your-breath experience.  Bad news from the optometrist could be the beginning of the end for someone who loves to drive fast.  So it's good news that "the eyes (still) have it:" correctable to 20/20 in both, eyes themselves and nerve connections to the brain still good.  As for reflexes, I lost a step or two years ago.

For the new glasses (slight adjustment for astigmatism), I went all-in: transition lenses with anti-glare coating.  Forty years ago I gave up transition lenses when I became a business manager.  I didn't want to send a message to subordinates and clients that I was "hiding behind sunglasses."  (It takes transition lenses 10+ minutes to return to "clear" indoors.)  But now I don't have to worry about the signals my appearance sends.  As if worrying would help.  ;-)  Clip-on sunglasses are a pain when you are in and out of the car all day running errands (or on the Dragon).  The possibility of them getting misplaced, lost, or broken is high.

I'll sill wear my prescription sunglasses ( and a billed cap) in the convertible when the top is down.  But in the sedan, it'll be transition lenses.  I don't have enough experience with the non-glare coatings yet to tell if they help with oncoming headlight glare at night considerably, or only marginally.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Off Topic: "Backward Ran Sentences..." (Book Review)

"Who's Lucius Beebe, and why should I care what he thinks about Studebakers?"  This
was what I wondered as a teenager when I saw this ad.  Fifty-odd years later, Wolcott
Gibbs supplied the answer: an ass, and not at all.

The full title of this book is Backward Ran Sentences: The Best of Wolcott Gibbs in The New Yorker, edited by Thomas Vinciguerra.  Gibbs was an editor for and contributor to The New Yorker for 30 years, until his death at the age of 56 in 1958.

The core of Gibbs's writing was irony and satire, sometimes gentle, sometimes vicious.  He had a perfectionist's contempt for everyone, including himself.  The title of the book comes from his profile of Henry Luce and his magazines, principally Time.  Gibbs satirized the Time writing style as "Backward ran sentences until reeled the mind."  Luce was mightily offended by an advance copy of the piece.  In a meeting with Harold Ross, the Editor of The New Yorker, he said it was riddled with errors, including (obviously wrong, invented) salaries paid to Time's senior staff.  After a long, fruitless, discussion Ross told Luce "The errors are part of the parody of Time.  The piece will run as it is."

Today, Thomas E. Dewey, the Republican presidential candidate in 1940, is remembered fondly (if at all), by historians, as not giving Franklin Roosevelt any trouble over his pro-Allied foreign policy in the run-up to World War Two.  Gibbs saw Dewey as an undistinguished, headline-grabbing, District Attorney who wanted desperately to be president but with no clear idea of his own political principles or what he wanted to do with the office.

For me, Gibbs's profiles in The New Yorker are masterpieces.  If the subject amused or bemused him, the humor was gently ironic and fun-poking.  But for the self-important Lucius Beebe, he wielded a chain saw like a scalpel: nothing remained of Beebe's persona but bloody strips of filet.  For Alexander Woollcott (no relation), his typewriter became a sledgehammer.  The only modern writer of nonfiction who compares with Gibbs is Tom Wolfe in his best and long-ago "new journalism" days of the late '60's and early 70's.  And Wolfe comes off a poor second.

Wolcott Gibbs: the best non-fiction satirist America has produced?

It was a long and winding road that led me to reading Gibbs.  As a teenager, I loved The New Yorker cartoons.    (The mother of a friend subscribed.  She was the most sophisticated woman I knew.  She painted.  Well.)  In college I read and loved James Thurber's The Years With Ross, a book-length profile of the magazine's first editor.  Thurber admired Gibbs and included his 31-point internal document, "Theory And Practice Of Editing New Yorker Articles," which I also loved.  In the 1980's I subscribed to The New Yorker for a couple of years and discovered John McFee, one of its best modern-era nonfiction writers.  But I let my subscription lapse because I couldn't finish a 100+ page magazine that came out weekly.

In the early 2000's I re-subscribed, with the same result.  I probably won't subscribe again, even though The New Yorker under its current Editor, David Remnick, is as good or better as it was under  the legendary Ross.  A few years ago I read Ben Yagoda's About Town: The New Yorker And The World It Made, a history of the magazine up to the Remnick era.  Yagoda's book mentioned Vinciguerra's.  I ordered it, and have not been disappointed.  It's easy to see why Gibbs was admired by pros as diverse as Harold Ross, James Thurber, E.B. White, and Catherine White.

I wonder if he could even be published in our own politically-correct, celebrity-worshiping, achingly sincere era.  Gibbs was not a viewer-with-alarm (or concern).  His perspective was contempt for self-important phonies and posers.  To put it in current events terms, Gibbs would have laughed and laughed at Charlie Hebdo.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Killboy's Project Car Scion FR-S

Darryl "Killboy" Cannon has a fascinating new project car.  He's collaborating with Forged Performance of Marietta, GA, which is well-known to Dragon dwellers.  For those who want to follow the car's development, search on YouTube for and subscribe.  

The first video blog describes the "ECUtek RaceROM" feature.  A paddle-shift box is available on the 
FR-S, but Darryl is running a conventional 6-speed.  That makes his shifts all the more impressive: it surprised me that he's not beating the synchromesh.  To paraphrase the Dire Straits tune Walk of Life, "Yeah, the boy can drive."  Also: I remember when a 0-100-0 time of under 25 seconds was a selling point for the DB 5 ("James Bond") Aston Martin.  Now you can get it in an everyman's car.

A "built" FR-S strikes me as an ideal Dragon Slayer, budget or otherwise.  Just about all the road-testers have noted the car's balance and tossability.  Rear wheel drive allows you to rotate the car in a corner on its gripless stock tires.  As a coupe, it has built-in platform rigidity.  It weighs only 2950 lbs., soaking wet.

Darryl hopes to get 250 to 300 h.p. out of the FR-S.  The former strikes me as entirely possible with some tuning.  The latter might require an impeller turbine and a "fancy radiator," which in turn would require lower compression pistons &c.  Either way, it's in the neighborhood of 10 lbs. per h.p.--enough for the slow, twisty Dragon.  With a set of DOT-legal semi-slicks and upgraded suspension under it, this car could be a killer.  As "The King of the Dragon" says, the key is first to get the front end to stick and then to keep the rear end under you as the car rotates.  How best to do that?  Why not a thoughtfully modified FR-S?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

BIG POWAH Datsun 510

Thanks to Watchtower for this /Drive link.  It makes me nostalgic for my own 510.  But I'm not sure why: it has track-day-worthy running gear and suspension, a full cross-braced roll cage, and 400 h.p. Mine had 96 h.p. and positive camber in its near-stock rear suspension.  And it was a 4-door, often with kiddies in the back seat.  No comparison--different planets.  This car would be a hoot at Willow Springs.  Or on any other road course.  Note that it is street-legal (licensed in California).  Click on the link, and then click again on the video:

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Shout Out To 4-Cylinders I Have Known (One Distantly)

Until he was in his 50's, my Dad bought 6-cylinder cars.  He wanted the family cars to impact the family budget as little as possible.  He didn't cave until 1971, when he had an executive job.  Maybe he finally felt he needed air-conditioning for taking important people to lunch. He bought a Chrysler Newport with a 318 V-8, possibly the worst car he owned (in my estimation).

I learned to drive in 1961, in my Dad's light green Plymouth Valiant with a 101 h.p. (claimed) slant-6 (The best thing about that car was its 3-speed floor shift.)  The Valiant, and Chevy's Corvair, and Ford's Falcon--all 6's--were Detroit's first cut at import fighters.  They were called "compact cars" then. Today they would be considered mid-sized.

Aside from the Valiant, most of my youthful experience was with 4-cylinder cars at the imported car store where I worked summers.  My young adult experience, with (new) cars I bought myself, was mostly with 4's too: a VW Beetle and a Datsun 510.  I took a pass on Detroit's second generation of import fighters, the Chevy Vega and the Ford Pinto.

In my mature years (ahem) I've gone back to 4's: a Ford Escort that "put my kids through college" and my current Honda Civic Si, which I wanted.  I like a 4.  It's cheap to run.  In the pre-computer age, it was cheap and easy to maintain.  A 4 is often short-geared, both in the box and the final drive, which makes you feel like you're going like the hammers of hell, even if you're just keeping up with traffic.  In a hot 4 like the Si, you can leave traffic behind at will.  Modern 4's are engineered to operate as smoothy as a 6 or an 8.  And of course they're Interstate-capable.

When I was young, 4's were exotic, in the sense that you didn't see them often.  Now they're in maybe 30-40% of the cars on the road.  You (I) don't really need more than a 4.  More isn't better--although it can be more fun.

The first 4 I had much experience with was the BMC B-Series 1600 in the MGA.  If in good tune, it was relatively smooth.
If slightly out of tune... not so much...  The ports and manifolds involved some tortuous routing, even with twin carbs.
And the engineering was hardly state-of-the-art: all cast iron, only 3 main bearings, and siamesed exhaust ports for
the 2 center cylinders.  Nevertheless, the MGA and MGB were fun cars for runs in the twisties.

The BMC A-Series, seen here in a Mini, was smaller but almost identical to the B-Series.  Before becoming a minor
(ahem) legend in the Mini-Cooper S as a 1.3 liter, it had done service in the Morris Minor as a 1.0 liter and the Mini
itself as a 0.85 liter.  My own Mini 850, on its 10-inch wheels, was pretty much all-in at 60 m.p.h.  When I drove it
back and forth to college, I avoided Interstates.  Which was fine: the trip was short and the roads were fun.  It died
of a burned exhaust valve (and thus no compression), a not-uncommon problem.

The 2 liter Triumph TR-3 engine was much more torquey, with a rorty exhaust note too, than the BMC B-Series.  But it
was also rougher-running, with a tendency to rock on its mounts.  The dealership I worked for didn't sell Triumphs, but
we took them in trade.  My occasion to drive them was when detailing them before delivery as a used car.   When BMC
dropped the B-Series into the unit-body chassis of the MGB (with roll-up windows!), it was a quantum leap forward in
refinement over the TR-3 (and the MGA, for that matter).

The Alfa Romeo all-aluminum d.o.h.c. 1.3, 1.6, and 1.75 liter, with its lovely cylinder head
(replete with acorn nuts) and two twin-choke Weber carbs.  You could buy this for the
street in the 50's and '60's.  Regular readers of this blog know how in-the-tank I am
for this engine.  Nothing reminds me more of the engine in my modern Honda
Civic Si, although Honda takes the small 4 to a whole new level in power and

Above and below: the VW Beetle's flat-4.  It went from 1.1 liters to 1.7.  A high-school buddy and I had some great times
in his Dad's 36 h.p. Beetle.  In 1970, I bought my own which had a whopping 40 h.p.--and a heater/defroster that even
kinda sorta worked.  Like all European 4's of the day (except for the Italians's) the Beetle's engine was strangled by
its intake and exhaust porting and manifolds.  But the boxer design made it smoother than most.  The widely
spaced gear ratios didn't support fun driving (3rd was direct drive and 4th was overdrive).  But they made
for more relaxed high-speed cruising, which, along with its build quality, explained the Beetle's wide
acceptance among non-enthusiast Americans.

In spite of its overhead cam, decent porting and manifolds, and 96 h.p., the engine in my Datusn 510 was a bit of a
disappointment.  It ran out of revs too quickly (possibly because the head was not crossflow) and was rather rough
at high revs.  Torque was OK and the gearbox was fine, so it was still fun to drive.  "The revolution" in 4's was
yet to come.

The most powerful 4: the BMW 1.5 turbo that powered some Formula 1 cars in the 1980's.  It made (as I recall) 800+ h.p.
in race trim, and 1100+ h.p. in qualifying trim.

The 1.8 liter Ford... er... Mazda engine in my 1993 Ford Escort GT... er... Mazda 3.  I don't remember this engine as a
16-valve: that is, lively.  But the automatic transmission I wanted in the car for urban traffic might have had something
to do with that.  The engine was still running strong and trouble-free when I got rid of the car 10 years it was new.

The revolution has arrived: the 197 h.p. engine of my Honda Civic Si, coupled to a close-ratio 6-speed box and a Torsen
limited-slip differential.  Yes, the car is front wheel drive--and so what?  Huge grin factor.  All-aluminum, crossflow
head with 16 valves, 8000 revs, plenty of power if you're near the VTEC kicking in (at 6200), butter smooth.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Seeing Isn't Necessarily Believing (1973 Targa Florio Pix)

Above and below: Ferrari 312 PB's in the 1973 Targa Florio.  Above is Brian Redman who co-drove
with Jacky Ickx.  Below is the car driven by Arturo Merzario and Nino Vaccarella, a lawyer who
lived in Sicily and was "a Targa Florio specialist" (and repeat winner).  Both cars were DNF
after 2 of 11 laps (90 of 495 miles).

I missed the Ferrari 312 PB the first time around.  In the early '70's I was busy with a new career and babies.  To the extent that I was following racing at all, it was the small-bore class in the Trans Am series here in the States.  (I'd just bought a Datsun 510 and tricked it out in faux BRE livery.)

I caught up with the 312 PB in the 1990's, in Alain de Cadenet's excellent video series Victory By Design.  Here's a link: 

The PB was Enzo Ferrari's revenge on Porsche for domination of FIA sports car racing from 1969 to 1971, with the added grin of blowing away Alfa Romeo's Type 33 too.  The PB was essentially the power train, running gear, and suspension of the current Grand Prix car mounted in a chassis wide enough to accommodate a "passenger seat" and a full-width rear wing.  It was so high-strung, sensitive to set-up, and complex to maintain, that Ferrari refused to make or sell "customer cars."  In 1972, the PB won the championship with 208 points to Alfa's second-place 85.  Ten wins in 10 races: an a**-whuppin' for other legendary marques.

Only 1 PB was entered in the 1972 Targa Florio.  Ferrari may have considered it too delicate to take the Targa's pounding.  It won (Arturo Merzario/Sandro Munari).  By this time, sports cars were running on full slicks (weather permitting) just like Grand Prix cars.  Fans of late '60's-early '70's era of sports car racing will recall that as late as 1969, they were designed to run on treaded tires, with adequate ground clearance for bumpy circuits like Sebring, the Nurburgring, and the Targa.  Aerodynamics amounted to streamlining.  Only 3 years later, Ferrari led the way to thinly disguised GP cars, designed to run on smooth, short, circuits, with the beginnings of scientific aero.

The last Targa Florio was in 1973.  Forty-five miles per lap, over poorly surfaced country roads lined with crowds of uncontrolled spectators, was an unsustainable anachronism.  It's amazing to me that a car like the 312 PB ran in the Targa, much less won it.  The PB was also Ferrari's last racing sports car for decades, until long after Enzo had died.  After the PB, he focused exclusively on Grand Prix racing.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Purdy Car, Purdy Picture(s)

Above and below: Lotus 23.  A vintage car can't be raced now without adequate rollover protection.  But when the 23 was
in its salad days, it had only a small hoop of maybe 3/4-inch tubing behind the driver's head.  Useless, but the look of the
car was even more smooth, crisp, and minimalist.

The Lotus 23 was not only beautiful, it was extremely fast and versatile.  In its first international outing, Jim Clark led all the big bore cars at the Nurburgring until he had to retire.  The 23 was built to take the 1.6 liter Ford 105E pushrod engine.  It was even faster with the twin cam version of the same engine.  George Follmer stuck a 4 cam Porsche engine in a 23 and won the first United States Road Racing Championship.