|Not much CycleKart activity this year so far, but a fair amount of other stuff happening. Peter has been working on the 500cc car some more, and the car is now into its third iteration: The Hulot! This time it really fits the car the Baillila was too swoopy and just never gelled, and the Buffy-Porson was nice but the spindly wheeels and visually non-existant brakes didn't really work with the mini-Bentley look. If you're familiar with Hulot you'll recognise the need for a really marginal machine, and this car fits the bill perfectly (seeing as how it's wilfully minimal.) If you're not familiar with the film Mr. Hulot's Holiday, I suggest you order this right away and watch it at the first chance you get (I'm not kidding; it's pretty much essential viewing.)|
|As you can see, larger lamps have been fit, a new ugly-cute (but Hulot-esque) windscreen and top are underway, and Salmson-inspired grill-cross-supports are being tested out (the ever-useful duct-tape, or in this case: grill tape!) Purists will wonder about the rear not being very Hulot-ish; Peter may do a slip-on plywood rear to finish it off, but he's going to stick with the rear from the Buffy as it's really handy (remember it was done up as a mobile ice-chest and general cargo bin.) The chance to get the plates was too good to pass up.|
|There has been some not-entirely unexpected mumbling about the loss of the sleeker windscreen of the Buffy-P. It's a fairly universal response, but there's also a grudging consensus that the Hulot-isation has been worthwhile also. Besides the windscreen tips down and the car still looks fairly sporty that way.
It just sort of makes more sense this way...as much sense as it can make.
|The Hulot shrine. Bits and pieces built up over the years...|
The MG has seen more attention also: The temporary masonite grill fitted thirty years ago has finally been replaced! And the plate has been frenched in ala the Barchettas. The new brakelights also help, and plans are afoot to fit sleeker lenses too. Over a huge improvement to the ends of the car.
The Louwerse AWD Corvair
We finally got ourselves up Oakland to check out Alan Louwerse's new digs. A great spot right on the water with a truly inspirational amount of funkitude all around the area. Alan has several interesting projects in the works, the Corvair being the closest to hitting the road. The '46 Ford is already there, having been at the Santa Cruz Woodie show the day before we ran up. The Corvair is an wild project: Alan being a Porsche man, it has a 993 engine and trans fit to a 964 front end. The two are connected with a lengthened driveshaft, as the wheelbase is a full 18" longer than the Porsche's! The Corvair was gutted and Porsche front and rear clips were welded inside the openings in the Corvair and tied into the subframes. The stock Porsche climate control system is up forward, and the chin spoiler produces a slight negative pressure to help pull air from the front-mounted horizontal heat exchanger for the A/C. The interior has the Porsche dash and seat fitted, and the wheels (which I think really look great on the car) are Porsche spare wheels from a couple different models.
The business end. The 3.6L is stuffed in there admirably. The car retains its aircooled six-cylinder heritage, but gains more than double the power and an extra set of drive wheels! Alan says the handling so far seems great, but it hasn't been out of the immediate area so there will likely be some shake-down tales to come. We were suitably impressed by the level of weirdness which perhaps exceeds our own. Those of you coming in for the August race-week may get a chance to check it out as Alan's planning to drive it down on Thursday for the Concours drive. We'll be at Pete & Sus' house at 8:30 or 9:00 to go over to the usual spot to watch the fun.
Alan also has a penchant for Simcas as we do. He has a Topolino (!! cool. I think his is a Fiat while ours is a Simca) which is slated to receive a Fiat-OSCA engine. This will push the Topolino from about 20-some-odd horsepower to the middle 100's. A new frame will be needed, and we're helping all we can (we've got dibs on the old frame and Peter already knows what he wants to build on it!) Coincident with the Topo project, Alan is going to be rebuilding his Simca 8, an elegant machine. We're looking forward to seeing these come together! One of these days Alan and Sarah may get around to a CycleKart, but I think if it were me I'd push ahead with the three road-going projects first! Besides, the Benson chapter of the AMCK in Rhode Island has a couple they can use already!