Tag Archives: Gran

F687/S – Lotus Honda 99T

1987 brought about several changes for the Lotus team firstly their hitherto sponsor John Player Special withdrew from the sport and secondly their hitherto engine supplier Renault followed suit.

Fortunately for Lotus Williams, who had an exclusive contract with Honda for the supply of motors in 1986, let the 1986 World Drivers Championship slip away by allowing their drivers Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell to take points off one another by refusing to issue team orders or nominate one over the other as preferred winner. This did not go down well with Honda or their preferred driver Nelson Piquet.

Lotus Honda 99T, Goodwood Festival of Speed

As a consequence Honda came to an arrangement with Lotus to supply year old 1986 motors to Lotus for 1987 and at the same time did a deal with McLaren to supply top spec motors for the 1988 season with Ayrton Senna as their preferred driver. Meanwhile Senna was partnered by Saturo Nakajima in the Lotus team at the behest of Honda whom Honda had tried unsuccessfully to place at Williams in place of Mansell in 1986.

Furthermore Lotus managed to secure sponsorship from the new big spenders on the Formula One block Camel.

Lotus Honda 99T, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Despite being already down on power on the Williams team thanks to the year old motors being used, Gerard Ducarouge took the brave decision to use active suspension on the 99T which although offering advantages to consistent ride height, pitch and roll added 25kgs/55lbs in weight an required 5% of the motors power to keep it working.

Lotus Honda 99T, Goodwood Festival of Speed

By the end of 1987 Senna had won two races, just as he had in ’85 and ’86, both on street circuits at Monaco and Detroit. The Detroit race would prove to be the last victory for a car built by the Lotus team founded by Colin Chapman. With 57 points, two more than in ’86 Senna finished 3rd in the World Championship in 1987 while Nakajima’s additional 7 points helped Lotus secure third in the Constructors championship.

The 1987 season marked a high point for Team Lotus since the death of Colin Champman in 1982 and from there until 1994 when the team founded by Chapman made it’s final appearance in the sport.

Players in Japan and the United States of the Gran Turismo 3 game will be familiar with the Lotus Honda 99T which was given the alias “F687/S”.

Thanks for joining me on this “F687/S” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to came back now !


Easy Handler – Ford Gran Torino

For 1972 Ford stepped back in time and revived the separate chassis frame and body technique to build the Torino and Gran Torino models that were made both wider and heavier in Ford’s relentless pursuit of a comfortable quiet ride, ‘easy handling‘ and not forgetting a good profit.

Ford Gran Torino, Bristol Classic Car Show

Behind the basking shark like mouth of this particular Gran Torino sits a mid range 5.8 litre / 351 cui Windsor or Cleveland V8.

Ford Gran Torino, Bristol Classic Car Show

The Torino’s improved ride was said in Ford’s publicity to be down to the ‘computer tuned’ suspension and was well received in contemporary press reports.

Ford Gran Torino, Bristol Classic Car Show

Styling of the ’72 was typical for the period long bonnet / hood, short boot / deck. The two and four door models were built on 114″ and 118″ frames respectively, allowing Ford to make significant savings in interchangeable body panels.

Ford Gran Torino, Bristol Classic Car Show

In a nod to advances in braking technology that had been widely available in Europe for five or six years the Torino along with its Mercury Montego twin became the first US mid size vehicle to have front disc brakes fitted as standard. It’s hard to imagine FIAT, the Italian automobile manufacturer, naming a model ‘Great Detroit’ after the USA’s great motor city but it is probably best not to tempt fate.

Ford Gran Torino, Bristol Classic Car Show

Recessed door handles were a new safety feature for the ’72 Torino models. The vehicle seen in these images at the Bristol Classic Car Show belongs to a member of the Norton Radstock Classic Vehicle Club.

Ford Gran Torino, Bristol Classic Car Show

The success of the 9 model ’72 Torino range can be judged by nearly 500,000 sales that for the first time since 1964 allowed Ford to eclipse the Chevrolet Chevelle to claim top spot in the mid size market segment. It was probably not by accident that Clint Eastwood chose a ’72 Gran Torino as an analogous model for his 2008 film of the same name to chart the decline of public civility in Detroit.

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


Gundam vs Godzilla – Nissan GTR

In 2007 Nissan re launched the Nissan GTR, currently this model is marketed as the first true supercar for anyone, anytime, anywhere with the disclaimer that “Driving is a serious business and requires your full attention. At all times obey traffic laws. Not intended for unpaved off road use. Always wear your seatbelt, and please do not drink and drive.”
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My only experience with any kind of GTR was with the Gran Turismo GT2 and later GT 4 games in which super car performance for the 3 box Skyline GTR could be obtained with 1000 plus hp tunning kits. Polyphony Digital the makers of Gran Turismo were responsible for designing the multifunction display inside the real GTR.

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This car is a must for anyone into hi tech abbreviations, for example the GTR is powered by a 485hp VR38DETT DOHC V6 engine fitted with two parallel IHI turbochargers that meets California Air Resources Board Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) standards.

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Like the motor the rear mounted Borg Warner designed six speed gear mounted gearbox is built by hand and coupled to a dual clutch, with Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All-Terrain (ATTESA) and Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC-R) systems to aid stability come as standard.

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The performance of this model, so long as it is not in Japanese limited to a 112 mph spec, on the track is right up their with the Lamborghini Gallardo, Porsche GT3 and Ferrari 430 Scuderia, the GTR can cover 402 meters in 11.6 secs from rest and has been tested to 195 mph.

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Nicknamed Godzilla, the GTR takes it’s rear end styling cues from the giant robots featured in the popular Japanese Gundam animated TV series.

My thanks to the petrolhead who bought this Godzilla to the Sunday Service back in January.

I am sure you will all want to join me in wishing all those who are coming to terms with the devastation in Japan condolences and best wishes for the future.

On a happier note I’d like to wish one of GALPOT’s earliest followers Cheryl a Happy Birthday !

Hope you have enjoyed today’s ATTESA edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !