Classic look, Modern drive : 2009 ERA Cobra 289 F.I.A.

     The sixties were a generation to remember. Not just in terms of cultural revolution, but in automotive advancements and development. The decade bred some of the most iconic cars in history. Cars that emanated a sense of nobility and a demand for respect, right from the start. 

     Jump forward to today, and you realize that those iconic beasts were made in low numbers. How does one go about enjoying those cars when running examples cost no less than six figures? Thats where replicas enter. One of the most popular replicas in this day and age is none other than the Shelby Cobra. All the styling cues are present, but when it comes to running gear everything is up to date. Not to mention the fact that the price of a completed replica is about ten percent of what a real model would cost.

     Being able to build the complete car from the ground up in your garage is one of the most alluring features of the replica kits. And that is exactly what Mike and his son did in 2009. They were able to create an icon in their garage, taking as much time as they needed to make sure all of the minute details were in order. The end result is a stunning road ready warrior thats sole purpose is to be driven and enjoyed. Just like the originals, but at a fraction of the cost. 

     Mike brought us his Cobra to tighten up a few odds and ends that would make it dead reliable and perform up to a standard that would make the original cars proud. Being one of the few shops in Colorado that can precisely set up and synchronize multiple carburetor setups, we were able to bring its running quality from satisfactory to near perfection. Which was the last step in the process. From everyone here at Concours Cars, thank you Mike. For trusting us with your pride and joy. Happy motoring! 

1 of 420 : 1972 Fiat Dino 2400 Spider

     Over the years, Homologation for Motorsport has given us as enthusiasts some of the worlds most interesting and unique vehicles. Whether that be from partnerships between iconic brands, or vehicles that started as racing platforms and were fitted with barebones "interiors" to satisfy a road going demographic, the roots of the purpose are all the same. Manufacturers do whatever is necessary to get their name on track. 

     One of the more interesting homologation stories of the late sixties revolves around Ferrari and their need to revise and develop a new motor to compete in the FIA Formula 2 series. The engines could have no more than six cylinders, and had to be derived from a production engine for a GT class vehicle which had at least 500 units made per year. Since Ferrari was such a low volume manufacturer at the time, they did not have the capacity to produce the required number of vehicles. This led to Enzo Ferrari coming to an agreement with Fiat in 1965. They would produce the engines and install them into a GT car that had yet to be named. Speculation states that Enzo Ferrari's late son Alfredo, nicknamed Dino, was behind the concept of the F2 V6 Ferrari engine, and as a tribute to him, a new GT car under the name "Dino" was introduced in 1968. Fiats Dino vehicles would all be front engine/ rear wheel drive, and Ferraris Dino would all be mid engined rear wheel drive. 

     Nik's particular Dino Spider is one of 420 made from 1969 to 1973. Being the second generation car, it has the 2400 engine which featured a cast iron engine block instead of aluminum. Other notable changes included independent rear suspension, larger diameter clutch, dogleg ZF gearbox, larger brakes and wider tires. 

     After sitting dormant for two and a half years, Nik wanted to restore this Dino to be a reliable weekend driver. It had not ran for some time, and had a laundry list of repairs needed to make driving it a safe classic motoring experience. Initially, a complete classic vehicle inspection was performed. This means going through every system, brakes, suspension, drivetrain, electrics, and motor health, and seeing what works and what needs attention. A few weeks and numerous repairs later, Nik was presented with exactly what he asked for. A safe, functional, well sorted classic, ready to be enjoyed. We are grateful to be the trusted source to provide such care for these rare birds. Thank you for the opportunity Nik, and Happy Motoring! 

 

 

Undeniable Sleeper : 400hp Audi S6

Bruce brought us this 1995.5 S6 with all of the Euro RS2 bits you can get for the 20v already installed. He wanted us to take it a step further and build this S6 into a solid daily driver, that also doubles as a speed demon. Before we tackled the power side of things, we refreshed and repaired a laundry list of items relating to drivability and convenience. Repairing gauges, replacing worn out control arms and various other odds and ends. Then it was time for the power build. We put together a comprehensive modern turbo kit thanks to EFI Express. This kit included a Borg Warner EFR ball bearing turbo, stainless dowpipe, larger injectors, uprated DW fuel pump, new stainless braided feed lines for coolant and oil supply, custom chip tune via EFI Express and a full stainless Stromung exhaust system. With this kit, the engine spools 25psi right at 3200rpm. You couldn't ask for a better setup on a street car. Still tame enough to drive every day, but when you want the power it's very much there in all its five cylinder glory.

Citroen Traction Avant restoration and upgrades

The Traction Avant, French for "front wheel drive", was designed by André Lefèbvre and Flaminio Bertoni in late 1933 / early 1934. While not the first production front wheel drive car, it was the world's first front-wheel drive steel unitary body frame production car. The Traction Avant used a longitudinal, front-wheel drive layout, with the engine set well within the wheelbase, resulting in a very favourable weight distribution, aiding the car's advanced handling characteristics. The gearbox was placed at the front of the vehicle with the engine behind it and the differential between them.

Another technical significance of Tranction Avant was the cast aluminium alloy transaxle, which was pioneered by Hans Ledwinka in the early 1930s for Tatra V570 used in front of the engine located in the rear, but was quite radical at the time.

As well as being a considerable part of the weight savings, the manufacturing facility for this transaxle contributed to the below mentioned financial crisis. But when John Cooper looked for a light transaxle case for Formula One rear engine revolution.

This Traction Avant was cosmetically very nice, but the mechanicals were poor. We rebuilt the transaxle, rebuilt the entire braking system and then on to the motor. These produces 35hp originally and up at 6,000ft it was severely lacking in power. We start off with custom JE high compression pistons, larger valves, Weber carburetor and porting the cylinder head. With these upgrades, this Traction Avant will do 60 mph with ease on the highway and cruise the colorado mountains!

Austin Healey Bug Eye Race Car

Our office manager has been racing British cars for decades and she wanted something that would be competitive against new cars.  She settled on a Bug Eye Sprite. They weight nothing and we put a 125 hp  motor in it with big brakes and significant suspension upgrades. It also has very wide R compound tyres. She regularly takes it to autocrosses and wins against Porsches and Corvettes!

Jaguar E Type Series II Restoration

As some of you know the Pebble Beach Concours d' elegance took place recently and we had a gentleman that was there and bought this very pretty Jaguar E Type. It had a noise in engine and gearbox. That is how these projects generally start. The fix for the engine rattle was to install tappet guide retainers. The gearbox has a noisy input shaft. Maybe a five speed in the future? In the mean time with put a vintage looking radio in, with all the modern hook up for an Ipod, with accompaning speakers. Next we went to the underside. The whole rear suspension needed to be dissambled and rebuilt. While we are at it, why not the front? Now the hardest part of all, the windscreen squirters. Some of you may scoff but those little bits took close to four hours and special tools!! Fishing welding wire and your index finger thru tiny holes and then trying to put it together, good luck. But yes we accomplished it by distorting time and space. Next we did a stero install. The trick to a vintage install is make it look period correct, hear it with the top down and plug in an iPod. The finished product looks pretty incredible.