Monday, 27 March 2017

A fearless Fiori laughs in the face of danger!

One from a wreckers-run last weekend - a sunny Sunday afternoon hunting Kei..

..because I just have a bit of a thing for every-damn-one of that segment's pint-sized gems the different Japanese manufacturers had somehow managed to justify for Australia.
Wagon R? Mighty Boy? Carry? Copen? Yep, I'm there. Always.

Today's (..well, last weekend's..) little weapon is one I'd mentioned in the past; but due to an absolute array of names it was sold under, hadn't covered specifically with its Australian-market moniker: Fiori!'s 'flowers' in Italian. "but.. uhh.. it's a Japanese car.."? Pah! Small detail...

The 1990 KN5 Subaru Fiori.
Third generation of Subaru's Kei beastie, introduced in Japan in late 1986 as the Rex. These were marketed in Australia as the Sherpa, which for whatever reason then changed to Fiori in 1989.
From "eastern people" to Italian-for-flowers - it was a decorative change regardless - the compliance still says Sherpa!

Relentless name-changing aside, the third generation Rex continued on the Australian market through to the generation's end in 1992, at which point it wasn't replaced. Shame..

Adorable panel-mounted prop on the bonnet.

Although dimensionally a Kei car; not too unusually for the Australian market, these got a much larger engine. This is the 758cc (Kei limit was 660cc) EN08 - a comparatively-vanilla carburetted single-cam four-cylinder, which delivered a screaming thirty-odd kilowatts at ~6000rpm. Fiesty Fiori.

While these were offered with autos and four wheel drive elsewhere; Australian Fioris had drive sent through a four-speed floor-shift to the front wheels only. Basic strut-front with a swaybar otherwise..

 ..while at the back, a trailing independent coil-sprung layout. Someone's pinched the passenger shock here, and just look at that travel! Should've set them up that height standard; a missed opportunity Subaru..!

The dainty 12" steel wheels...

...wrapped in 145/70R12 tyres.

Let's cut some pizzas!

Drum rear and disc front, absolutely adequate for the featherweight (~600kg) Fiori...

..sized to suit though, of course! I haven't seen disc brakes this small since Nissan's Silvia was last on the market!

"FIORI \\"

Another thing the Australian Fioris missed was rear seats. These were sold as a van here, and fitted out to suit..

The small plate up next to that cargo barrier/rack is off the inside of the rear door.

Pop-out rear quarter glass for ventilation. 

Spare wheel carried inside.

Now to hop in and make screaming engine noises? Although I can't help myself, the car certainly tried! Someone had snapped the interior lock pin off in the door.. around we go...

The Honda-esque "OK" inspection decal.

..and the remains of the Fiori's signature pinstripe decals.

Love those headrests. I suppose I'll just slide in and over? It's a small car, but genuinely quite roomy inside..

No, just the bare minimum here.. although the temp gauge could be considered a little bit of luxury!

Interior mirror adjustment and a U13 Nissan Bluebird..

Very basic HVAC controls, and a manual choke over to the right. It's always a laugh seeing the blanks left behind from the top-tier variants!

The four-speed floor shift.
I sometimes feel like I'm painfully alone here, but I love a long throw shifter...

..urgh, now I have to crawl back out? Yep, done deal - I'm bloody cooking in here!

..and that was that. A thorough Fiorinspection done.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Total Aerodynamics, totally: Rays Engineering's "Volk Aero" range... if Work's Equip aero range hadn't quite filled that wheel-manufacturer-branching-into-aerodynamic-accessories sized space in your heart:


...and an era-appropriate Flock of (digital)Seagulls.

Late-1984 Japanese magazine advert for the Volk aero accessories; featuring not only the then recently-introduced AW11 ("MK1") Toyota MR2 - fantasic in itself, and awfully close to my heart - but also what would appear to be one of three spoilers they made for the damn thing! 
Bonus points for the "Volk Racing 84C" decal on the rear window; sadly not quite making it into the shot, but just try and stop me using my imagination...!

Done. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Thirty minutes away? You'll be there in ten. The John-Player-Special-themed 1985 BMW K100 "Wulf Gerstenmaier"... another post that kicks off with "a little more detail on an Instagram post from a couple months ago"..'s a little more detail on an Instagram post from a couple months ago!
To a bit of font fun from yesterday; continuing the somewhat-unintentional 1985 black&gold BBS/JPS/BMW theme of the last few posts. 1985 BMW K100 "Wulf Gerstenmaier"; supposedly (going by the small board placed next to the bike, as those who know me would be *well* aware how little useful information I'd have on the topic of BMW motorcycles..) one of <150 bikes modified/reworked/enhanced by Wulf Gerstenmaier, and only two done by BMW Australia - to celebrate their 1985 ATCC win - in the black&gold JPS livery. I was definitely a little taken by the detailing on this.. from the yellow-pinstriped instrument cluster, to the giant "WULF" logo on the lower fairing/belly: VERY cool...

...and a step back, for the overall bike; to save the likely-failed attempts to google by the curious... 


As mentioned above, I'll be the first to say just how spectacularly little I know about BMW motorcycles..
..yet that's not the end of the shame here. Motorcycles in general? Yeah, nope.. nothing.
It's odd... as it's in no way that I'm not interested. I think they're fantastic. Fascinating. That condensed engineering and details. They're exciting, fast, look great, and - for 1980s bikes in particular - a happy medium between an interest in thirty-year-old Freestyle BMX bikes and the era of pop-up headlamps on cars.
I think some part of me just enjoys the mystery? The equivalent struggle to seeing no difference between a Mondial and 512BB. That sort of innocence where even the most dowdy of 250cc sportbikes can look like a two-wheeled rocket-ship with enough decals. Yeah, I'll go with that..

But ah, yeah.. minus any actually-informative commentary, lets look at some more detailed shots of that BMW I was so damn enamoured with:
That instrument cluster in retina-searing-yellow on black, some tremendous pinstripe work, and that brutal digital clock smack-bang in the middle.

Small JPS (John Player Special) badges detailing the iconic black&gold livery...

...L A S E R T E C...

..and finally 'round to that square-headlight front, of the 1985 BMW K100 Wulf Gerstenmaier (JPS) at Motorclassica 2016. What a machine.