Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Back to the Future Pantera

I love everything about this. Killer rendering. A++ would post again.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Like This, Please

I love a good blue interior. If this is a flip-light NSX I'm done.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Pre-GM Saab 900 Production Footage - Dirty Socialists

I've been seriously considering a Saab as my next old car. Cheap, weird and fun, they tick all the right boxes and might provide a nice change from all the Japanese stuff I've owned over the years.

This 1980's video of 900 production at Malmo shows a surprisingly relaxed, hand intensive build process, with more than a touch of Northern European style progressive politics mixed in. I'm sure that once GM entered the scene it quickly became all robots and tiered administration, but it's nice to see how truly unique Saab was in the good old independent days, including the rotating, unisex, self-supervising floor worker management system.

Per Eklund's Smashed Saab

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Esoteric Mechanisms

A new, even nerdier project of mine.

Yes, it's very sparsely designed and that's probably how it will remain--HTML is a nightmare and I don't have time or patience to make another pretty site.

Don't fret, ANF lives and may even see more frequent posting. In the meantime run around the corner and check out the new shit.

Slammed Zaporozhets ZAZ 968

No, these cars' little air-cooled V4's didn't actually run Bakelite internals. Yes, they really were used as Soviet tank starter motors,

I'm not normally a fan of this style, but this thing looks incredible. I'd probably feel differently if it was something more pedestrian. Russian me would hate it, but he's a drunk Imperialist.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Turbine New Yorker - It Almost Happened

Automotive history is scattered with experimental oddities, technically intriguing engineering exercises, mechanical oddities, bizarre engine configurations, over-the-top, blue-sky novelties of design and construction—pure engineer's dreams unfettered by the cold economic realities of a manufacturer's bread and butter product lines.

Many of these experiments—fixed crankshaft, rotating cylinder radials, opposed piston engines, double sets of counter-rotating reciprocals (what?), sleeve valves, rotary valves and moredate from the dawn of the industry. Like with any nascent technology, these were times for wild experimentation, when nebulous ideas had only just begun to deposit their best attributes, sediment-like, into the soil of impending rules and standards.

Not all of them, though. Born on the drafting tables of one of the world's largest car builders during an era when the norm had already been cemented for nearly four decades, arguably the most ambitious design experimentation of them all still resonates 30 plus years after its unceremonious cancellation.

Chrysler began experimenting with turbine-powered cars as early as the first years of the 1950's, with engines ran on test cell dynamometers and in stock-looking sedans racking up thousands of largely trouble-free hours and miles of operation.

Encouraged by an unexpectedly straightforward and successful development program—including the small, glorious run of now-legendary semi-production cars—Chrysler came within what was likely weeks of building turbine-powered New Yorkers on a large scale in 1981. Design was complete, tooling was underway, and Iacocca had given the green light. 

Unfortunately, continuing government oversight put in place two years earlier as part of Chrysler's first once-in-a-lifetime financial bailout thought it too risky, putting the kibosh on the most exciting and ground-breaking development in wheeled transport since the advent of mass-production itself.

The poster car for the Malaise Era came within striking distance of being one on of the most important and desirable automobiles ever built, anywhere, at any time. Marinate on that.

You can read much more about this, as well as the Mopar turbine's near 30-year long development program here on Allpar's excellent history write-up.

picture a world where this is a desirable classic