Friday, 25 November 2016

Superlative Racing Dish: The Takechi Project Racing Hart D/spec..

Bridgestone DTM alloy wheels, styled after OZ Racing wheels used on the DTM AMG 190E....

..err.. actually.. *shuffles papers frantically*.. no, scratch that...

Takechi Project, Racing HART D/spec (D-spec)
15x6.5" +43
4H 100/114.3
October 1994.

A bit of early 90s Europe, out of early 90s Japan. DJGTCM!
1994 introduction (possibly some late 1993 production), basic single-piece cast alloy, 15x6.5 to 17x9"; and silver with black (more of a dark grey) text/caps, or white with red.
Far from the most original design; but these Racing Hart versions have genuinely become a bit of a classic in their own right.
I picked these up sometime late last year. Although only a lowly little 15" set; they were in a useful 4x100 stud pattern, wearing their original paint, and importantly - complete. Sets of these are so often corroded, and/or missing their centre-cap assemblies; quality's-quality, so always worth grabbing. If I ever got around to running them, then great; if not.. they're easy to move on.

It's been 12months so far....

Racing HART

Racing Hart D/spec

Superlative Racing Dish: a Racing Dish of the highest quality or degree...

The somewhat fiddly center-package/cap assembly; required for the uber-90s faux-centerlock look...

Cotter-pin removed, allowing the large steel nut to unscrew off the cast-alloy thread; the matte-black alloy washer piece then lifts off, to reveal the hex-head screws holding the main cap piece to the face of the wheel..

The centre-cap assembly.

Back side of the main piece, dated Wednesday the 6th of July 1994...

That matte-black washer/cap piece, dated the 29th of June 1994 - also a Wednesday!

The face without the cap assembly, showing the dual 4x100 and 114.3 patterns..

A couple detail shots of the back of the wheel; complete with cheeky HART logo within the (surprisingly-rad-yet-unnecessary) cross-hatch pattern.
Final production for the main wheel is dated 24th October 1994 - that was a Monday.

...and we're done.

There we have it: the 1994 Takechi Project Racing Hart D/Spec Superlative Racing Dish... in detail.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

The not-so-fiery Fuego..

A closer look at something I posted on Le télégramme instantané late last week..

..a no-longer-so-fiery, early-80s, French-made sporting coupe. A two(three)-door, four seat liftback, introduced in 1980; with a small four-pot driving the front wheels, and an overall design that's bumper-to-bumper... err... 'French'.

September 1983 build, March 1984 compliance, Renault Fuego GTX.
The Foo-aygo.
The Fway-go.
...The French Mitsubishi Cordia...?

Came across this one at the wreckers at the start of the year; sadly (..? Yeah, I'm happy to go with that) the the only time in recent-ish memory I'd actually seen one of these damn things.
I'd always remembered them to some extent, after having a quirky local relative who'd strangely been eager enough to own a medium blue one. LONG since moved on though, as seemed to be the case for everyone else; so not being part of any European (let alone French!) car clubs/communities, it's just not something I'd really ever get to come across again...

On a vehicle that I loosely remember as a Cordia with interesting detailing; it's pretty safe to say that the detail that MOST stands out, are those slatted/grooved trims that split the car at the belt-line. It's certainly something different, and works well..

Inside, interesting again. Shame it's overall so grubby, as the white on tan combo would've been quite sharp when new.
No console between the seats is a pain, and those pedals look very offset to the centre... but the carpet up the doors? That's a plus. The large buttons on the sides of the gauge binnacle? Bold *and* practical. Great fabrics, and unghf.. the two-spoke fighter-pilot-ey wheel is very nice...

Factory fit, port install, or era aftermarket; Pioneer AM/FM cassette unit. TONE? Yep. VOL? Yep. TUN? You mean TUNE? Ohhh, think of allll the time saved leaving that 'E' off.. for the HVAC unit underneath, I'm going to have to assume the text/markings there have just thoroughly (impressively!) worn off, as there's certainly not a whole lot in the way of identification!

Under the Fuego GTX's clamshell bonnet, it's certainly not the first word in performance. The single-cam, two litre, four banger...

...longitudinally-mounted well ahead of the front wheels. Think shopping trolley full of bricks.
I have no idea why so many of these European manufacturers thought this was a good idea (have seen similar layouts in Saab, Audi...) but ho-ly-hell this thing would get some ferocious understeer. All that weight it just hanging out so far in front of those driven wheels, even quick changes in direction would be frightening: a slalom getting well out-of-hand by the second turn!

Unfortunately that's all the photos I took of this one, and it's very likely long been pancaked now.
So I may be up for another long time between Fuego-sightings.
It's not something I'd ever dream of owning, but something I always love to see. Genuinely. I'm so glad people (somewhere, surely) could still be driving these things; and it is likely.. thanks to what are really just basic underpinnings wrapped up in that stylish package.

So Fuego-away, Fuego-enthusiasts! Please keep at it...

Thursday, 3 November 2016

TTA's GpA '85 ATCC '86...

Because abbreviations are fun.

On display at Sandown for the V8s Retro Round, a couple weeks back...
...actually, 16th-18th September.. so.. what's that, a month-and-a-half?
On display at Sandown for the V8s Retro Round, a month-and-a-half ago:

...Toyota Team Australia's 1983 AE86 Toyota Sprinter, An Australian-spec vehicle (this market only receiving the AE86 with the Levin fixed-headlight front, confusingly sold as simply the 'Toyota Sprinter') built by Toyota in Japan to the recently-introduced Group A specs; and raced (successfully) from late 1984 through 1985 in the Australian Touring Car Championship.

The "Twin Cam 16 valve" 'bigport' 4A-GE, supposedly good for ~180hp; in place of the Australian Sprinter's leisurely single-cam 4A-C. This drove through a Toyota T50 5speed, and into the 4.7:1 solid-axle rear, equipped with a TRD LSD..

..this is getting to the ground with the help of Bilstein shocks, through fin-type 2/3piece alloys, and finally, brought to a stop with AP Racing disc brakes.

Inside; a very basic looking momo-pattern wheel, a pair of fixed-back bucket seats, and a large red arrow pointing directly at the 'things-are-cooking' line on a water temperature gauge.
Oddly nice to see the original two-tone blue doorcards and dash have stuck in there...

Original wing notched to clear the fillers; and in the background, a bit more of a look at the colour-matched roll cage...

..and we're done.

853kg of screaming 4AG-powered, rear-drive, Toyota fury. It'd no doubt be an absolute blast...