Tag Archives: Action

Worlds Best Handling FWD – Lotus M100 Elan SE Turbo

When General Motors acquired Lotus Cars in 1986 it committed to investing £35m / US$55m in to a new affordable car that was to be built on the reputation of the Lotus Elan which was discontinued in 1973.

Lotus M100 Elan SE Turbo, Classic Sports Car and Action Day, Castle Combe

Unlike the original rear wheel drive Elan the new Peter Stevens designed M100 Elan featured front wheel drive, and was powered by a development of an Isuzu motor that produced 130 horsepower in normally aspirated form and 162 hp in SE Turbo form.

Lotus M100 Elan SE Turbo, Classic Sports Car and Action Day, Castle Combe

The rest to 60 mph time of 6.5 seconds and top speed of 137 mph was matched by the handling described by some sources as ‘the finest front wheel drive car bar none’.

Lotus M100 Elan SE Turbo, Classic Sports Car and Action Day, Castle Combe

Unfortunately as the Lotus M100 Elan came to market in 1989 Europe and the USA were entering a recession and Mazda had already flooded the market with it’s retro ‘Elan’ the MX5/Eunos/Mita series and so Lotus ended up selling just 3,855 M100 Elan’s between Nov 1989 and July 1992.

Lotus M100 Elan SE Turbo, Classic Sports Car and Action Day, Castle Combe

Second series of 800 155 hp Elan’s were built between June 1994 and and July 1995 featuring mandatory catalytic converters and slightly longer and heavier body work to accommodate the latest US spec safety features including airbags.

Lotus M100 Elan SE Turbo, Classic Sports Car and Action Day, Castle Combe

General Motors had sold it’s interest in Lotus to Bugatti by this stage and the new Lotus owners did a deal with Kia Motors to license the manufacture of an updated Kia Elan complete with a Kia sourced power unit. Kia wound up production of it’s M100 Elan in 1999.

Today’s featured M100 Elan SE Turbo seen at last years Classic Sports Car Action Day at Castle Combe was built in 1991.

Thanks for joining me for this “Worlds Best Handling FWD” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now.


Blingin’, Slamin’, Surfin’ ‘n’ Driftin’ – Spring Performance Car Action Day Castle Combe

A week ago on Saturday immediately after the Bristol Italian Auto Moto Festival I proceeded to Castle Combe thanks to David Roots who gave me a couple of tickets to go to the Performance Car Action Day.

Mitsubishi EVO, Castle Combe, SPCAD

On arrival aft Castle Combe I couldn’t help but notice a lot of bling on an otherwise cold and rainy day dry and shiny metal work stands out like a sore thumb as can be seen from the Mitsubishi Evo above.

VW Golf Driver, Castle Combe, SPCAD

Slammers, car with lowered suspension like the 1989 Volkswagen Golf Driver above were picking their way carefully through the mud,

Peugeot, 206 GTI, HDI, Castle Combe, SPCAD

while the surfers had to be the only ones dreaming of a wetter environment than that experienced at Castle Combe last weekend. Note the F, denoting France on the European Union Style number plate, on the 2005 Peugeot 206 GTi above, an odd choice for a car registered in, and that may well have been at Ryton, in the United Kingdom.

Nissan Skyline, Castle Combe, SPCAD

I have kept an open mind on drifting, never having seen it in person before last Saturday, until then I had the feeling drifting was akin to sheer hooliganism but with some entertainment value. Saturdays demonstrations of varying degrees of skill included a hand full of cars like the Nissan Skylines above running the wrong way round part of the Castle Combe track. With temperatures barely above freezing the entertainment value of the drifting demonstration was significantly diminished by the absence of smoking tyres which are usually associated with the ‘sport’.

HSV Maloo,Castle Combe, SPCAD

Further delights to be found in the car included vehicles of antipodean GM descent inclding this 2004 HSV Maloo.

Vauxhall Carlton Club, Castle Combe, SPCAD

Back in the day when I worked in the motor trade I used to delight in taking on near worthless cars and seeing how far I could drive them. My best effort was to drive 10,000 miles in a £50 Volvo, the legend on the door of this 1993 Vauxhall Carlton Club Estate asks “How far can a £250 car take you ?” and points readers in the direction www.streetsafari.com worth a visit if you have ever had an inkling to take part in a banger rally. Something I have filled away in my to do before I die list.

Mazda MX5 Le Mans Special, Castle Combe, SPCAD

The 1991 Mazda MX5 Le Mans Special above celebrates what was probably the nosiest victory, certainly the noisiest I have ever witnessed, at Le Mans in 1991 by the Wankel rotary powered Mazda 787B driven by Volker Weidler, Johnny Herbert and Bertrand Gachot.

Ford Transit 100D SWB, Castle Combe, SPCAD

Sadly there were not many in need of engines needing their engines cooled down last Sunday but this Cars themed 1993 Ford Transit D 100 SWB ice cream van was a nice touch.

Ford Cougar, Castle Combe, SPCAD

Among the 111 cars clubs present at Castle Combe was the Ford Cougar Owners Club, several with cars displaying Mercury brand badges as these New Edge styled cars were marketed in the USA. Was it really 14 years ago that Denis Hopper appeared in the Cougar television advertisement seems like only yesterday ?

Skoda, Castle Combe, SPCAD

Another club with a large number of members present was Briskoda.net the Bristol based Skoda Forum and Community, could be handy folks to know when I get round to participating in a banger rally if there are any £100 Skoda’s left.

Subaru Impreza Sport AWD, Castle Combe, SPCAD

Ampng the predictable masses of Subaru’s one might expect to see at a Performance Car Action Day, this Impreza Sport AWD combo really caught my attention, I wonder how difficult it would be to add drive to the trailer wheels ?

Rage Against The Scene, Castle Combe, SPCAD

I left the Spring Performance Car Action Day with a head full of ideas as to how I might personalise my recently acquired Golf Estate.

My thanks to David Roots for passing on the tickets so that I could attend the Spring Performance Action Day at Castle Combe.

Thanks for joining me on this “Blingin’, Slamin’ ‘n’ Drifting” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at an early monocoque racing car. Don’t forget to come back now !


Two Lane Blue Top – Pontiac Le Mans Sport

When I first saw this car I thought cool a GTO from 1970 similar to the one that starred in Two Lane Black Top.

Pontiac LeMans Sport

Then when I started to write this blog I noticed the colour coded front bumper did not look like the low impact Endura urethane safety bumpers found on the 1970 GTO, though these could be deleted from factory orders which were then supplied with chrome bumpers from the Pontiac Le Mans.

Pontiac LeMans Sport

I also noticed the missing air scoops on the bonnet which was also standard on the GTO, and so it dawned on me that what we are really looking at is not ‘The Humbler‘ with Vacuum Operated Exhaust (VOE) but a 1970 Pontiac Le Mans with a non standard colour coded front bumper.

Pontiac LeMans Sport

This Le Mans model is fitted with a 5.7 litre 350 CUI V8 which despite being the base motor of the Le Mans Sport line up will impress the ladies at the local kebab stand plenty, even without the VOE of it’s illustrious GTO sibling. Bearing in mind it costs around US$ 9.54 for an imperial gallon of fuel or US$ 7.93 for a US Gallon in the UK at the moment just starting this car up must be a severe drain on the finances of all but the extremely brave.

Pontiac LeMans Sport

Seen earlier this year at the Classic and Sports Car Action Day held at Castle Combe the owner of this car belongs to the Old Skool Trackers a group of enthusiasts whose future outings are posted on the link.

Thanks for joining me on this “Two Lane Blue Top” edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS Don’t forget …

Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz

Automobiliart, Paul Chenard

December 26th – January 2nd

Win a set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards

Sports-GT cars set, Paul Chenard

Set 1 Sports & GT Cars

Phil Hill, Sharknose Ferrari Set, Paul Chenard

Set 2 Phil Hill World Drivers Championship 50th Anniversary Edition

1934 GP Season Card set, Paul Chenard

Set 3 1934 Season

1950s Grand Prix Engines

Set 4 Grand Prix Engines of the 1950’s


Mike Hawtorns racecars Card set, Paul Chenard

Set 5 Mike Hawthorn’s Race Cars

The Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will comprise 8 categories.

Overall winner chooses one set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards from the five sets shown above.

The cards measure 15.24cm x 11.43cm, come in packs of 12 with 3 copies of 4 designs in each set, plus A6 envelopes.

Which set will you choose ?

The free to enter Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will run from December 26th – January 2nd Entries close January 8th 2012, Winner announced January 16th 2012.

Full details on December 26th at GALPOT.

Looking for Automotive Seasonal Gift Idea’s? Visit Automobiliart Now !