Last week I asked why is Lt. Zebulon Pike remembered in motor sport circles? He
gave his name to Pikes Peak, famous for the US hill climb. Incidentally, he
didn’t get to the top of it either!
So to this week. Since Michael Schumacher is the flavor of the month, what year
did Schumi stand on the podium for every race?
For the Automania FREE beer this week, be the first correct answer to email
Will he or won’t he? And then he did!
The motor racing scene is certainly buzzing with the return of seven
times F1 champion Michael Schumacher. With Mercedes now running a ‘factory’ team
(which was once Honda and then Brawn GP last year), the idea of having two
German drivers in Schumacher and Rosberg in the German car against Brits
Hamilton and Button in the British McLaren is the publicist’s dream.
Much has been postulated as to whether Schumacher will still have the ability,
now that he is 41 years of age. Of course he will still have “it”. How does
Schumacher do in the (so-called) Race of Champions? Right up there and beating
the new ‘young Schumi’ hot-shot Vettel. How old was Fangio when he was winning
world titles? He was 40 years old when he won the first of his five world
championships and his final one in 1957 when he was 46. (By the way, never
forget that Fangio won 47 percent of all the races he started in, a record that
still stands today).
Schumacher still has the ability, but does he have the “need”? That is the only
factor which is open for debate. He doesn’t need to race for money, he has more
than he can spend (though he can send some this way, if he likes). Everything
depended upon whether he really wanted to. He did, and we are all now looking
forward to a season which should be electrifying. Only problem he will have is
moving all the Ferrari’s out of the garage at home, so he can fit the AMG SLS
Fancy this in your garage?
One of the regular correspondents, Kevin Maguire, sent me an email
about this German firm called ‘Style Your Garage’ which creates posters for
garage doors that make it look as if it is actually showing the interior of your
garage, and what’s in it!
Prices range from $199 to $399 for the double-door! All but guaranteed to make
passersby take a second look!
I only fly it on Sundays
China buys Sweden
It is goodbye to the solid, dependable, safe Swedish Volvo, to be
replaced by the new bamboo and rice paper model after Ford sold Volvo to Chinese
car maker Geely.
Ford has indicated the definitive accord would be signed early in 2010 with
Geely, a former refrigerator parts supplier that has grown into one of China’s
largest automakers since launching its car business in 1997.
The official release from Ford states: “Ford Motor Company confirmed today that
all substantive commercial terms relating to the potential sale of Volvo Car
Corporation have been settled between Ford and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.”
The ‘sleeping giant’ is no longer sleeping with Chinese automakers having
already eaten MG/Rover and heavy machinery maker Tengzhong buying Hummer brand
from General Motors.
State-owned Beijing Automotive Industry Holding (BAIC) failed in its bids for GM
units Saab and Opel but will purchase the intellectual property rights for some
According to reports in Swedish media and the Financial Times, the price of the
transaction will be around $US2.0 billion, less than a third of what Ford had
paid for Volvo in 1999. Not what you’d call a great decision in retrospect.
Want to give your Vios some extra
There are a number of CK formula one engines available for sale
(5.3 million baht). Due to the nature of these engines, the sellers will
offer complete track/build support.
engines for sale
The CK engine is a 3 liter V10. Max revs 17,800. Max power 840 bhp. Weight 92.5
kg. Lifetime 700 km, more at reduced rpm. These engines were fitted to the late
Stewart Grand Prix chassis, and all Jaguar Racing chassis. Approximate cost of
rebuild per engine 530,000 baht.
If you still have some change left over there is a BMW Megatron engine available
for only 854,000 baht, but the advert says it does need a rebuild! This engine
produced around 900 bhp in the 1988 Arrows A10, but being a four cylinder should
be easier to squeeze into the Vios.
Either engine certainly beats dropping a 4AG twin cam engine in the family
Want a Mk 1 Escort?
Ford Motor Company stopped producing Mk 1 Escorts around 1980,
but up till then they were one of the preferred cars for race and rally. The
record of these cars is almost unsurpassed, and many a young driver has had
an Mk 1 Escort at the start of their careers.
Well, if you have a soft spot for these cars, take a look at these photographs,
taken outside a small workshop in Jomtien (Thepprasit Soi 8) where there were
three Mk 1’s and an Mk 2 Cortina. Some were for sale at around 275,000 baht, and
some were more modified than others. There were no Lotus Twin Cams evident,
which quite frankly is a good thing. The more modern Toyota T/C engines deliver
more power and are certainly more reliable. The favorite engine swap in
Australia was to put a Mazda rotary in the engine bay.
None of the cars was in concourse condition, but good value at the price,
considering the age of these cars now. You can race these in the ‘classic’
category at the 3K meetings at Bira circuit as well. If you want to know more,
give them a ring on 089 009 1730 or email [email protected]
Toyota T/C fits nicely
Escorts for sale
Santa injured in mid-air collision
Another from Kevin Maguire and since it is that time of the year,
I thought you might find it as whimsical as I did. caption No reindeer were
injured in the making of this cartoon.