Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Targa Newfoundland Sets 2013 Dates, Adds New Stages

Targa Newfoundland 2012 start by Kate Tompkins

The 12th annual Targa Newfoundland will be running this September from Saturday the 15th through to Saturday the 21st. That’s 2,000 kilometres of Newfoundland’s scenic but challenging roads, including 450 kilometres that are closed for the Targa, allowing drivers and cars to go all out. Having caught some of last year’s Targa during a trip to St. John’s, I can assure you it’s well worth the trip, but Newfoundland’s well worth a trip anyway. It’s stunningly beautiful even in bad weather, and the people are friendly.

The organizers like to change things up a bit each year, and this year is no exception. According to rally organizer (and one of the founders) Robert Giannou, “As we’ve discovered over the years, the Targa route is a living, breathing thing. It is always a mix of the best of past events and enticing new roads and communities. That’s what makes Targa a unique driving challenge, and what keeps competitors coming back.”

That and Newfoundland itself, I suspect. This year’s rally will feature six new stages on Wednesday the 19th, venturing into the Bonavista Peninsula for the first time. There will be 11 stages in all that day. The Targa Newfoundland press release says the day “will begin at Port Blandford and travel to the communities of Lethbridge and Brooklyn in the Bonavista Bay area before continuing on to the Trinity Bite region where the historic town of Trinity will host a competitors’ lunch. The afternoon will begin in Trinity and continue in the Bite area, going through Goose Cove to Trouty and New and Old Bonaventure. The teams will then reverse the route and continue on to Port Rexton and Champneys West, finally completing the day in Clarenville with two stages and the car show at the Clarenville Events Centre to benefit the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador.”

“We are absolutely delighted to be welcomed into the Bonavista Peninsula. We have known that there are a number of very challenging roads in the area for some time. We chose this year to enter the lower part of the peninsula and the Trinity Bite area which is one of the most picturesque and historic in Newfoundland,” says Giannou. “The stages in Port Blandford, Lethbridge and Brooklyn are beautifully situated in the bottom of Bonavista Bay while the stages in the Bite area are in Trinity Bay and very exposed and rugged. In short they will take us to new communities with new fans and offer competitors a new driving challenge in the heart of the event.”

One of the ways Targa Newfoundland reaches out to the communities it passes through is by the car show it hosts each night. The nightly shows raise money, as noted above, for the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador. Competing teams are also invited to raise money for their charities of choice and many do so. I went to the opening night show last year in St. John’s, and I can tell you there were some very excited kids getting their pictures taken with the cars. Maybe a few excited adults, too.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Build Your Own Mustang Cobra Jet

The intake from the 2013 Cobra Jet program

is now available from Ford Racing.
The composite intake fits the 2011-2013 
Mustang GT 5.0L Ti-VCT engine. 
Photo courtesy Ford Motor Company. 

Or maybe restore a classic Ford. Either way, you can probably find what you need in the 2013 Ford Racing catalog. Among the other goodies in the new catalog is a 5.0 litre Aluminator V8 crate engine based on the naturally aspirated version of the 2013 Cobra Jet engine. If you couldn’t get your hands on one of the limited production originals (only 50 were produced), this engine is ready to install and will boost your Ford to over 500 horsepower, which should certainly help at the track.

If classic muscle’s more your style, Ford Racing offers the small block X302D crate engine. It’s ready to go with a Holley carburetor, Edelbrock intake manifold and MSD distributor already equipped. While not exactly traditional, you could also install one of the EcoBoost engines, improving power and efficiency.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

1966 Mustang Driven by Clint Eastwood

1966 Ford Mustang from Trouble with the Curve
courtesy of Russo and Steele

I’ve got time for one more featured car from Russo and Steele, before their 13th Annual Scottsdale Auction starts tomorrow. And this one’s definitely going to make someone’s day. Up for sale is a 1966 Ford Mustang convertible, VIN 6F08T216371, slated to cross the block this Saturday around 10:30 pm.

While the Mustang wasn’t owned by Eastwood, Russo and Steele say it’s one of two he drove in the 2012 movie “Trouble with the Curve.” They specifically refer to a scene where he comes out of a garage and dents the fender—the dent’s still visible on the car.

While the car seems to be in rough shape at first glance, apparently it was painted by the studio to look like it had rust and damage. Cool. The new owner could always have it painted back to its original red, but that would take away the Hollywood mystique.
1966 Ford Mustang from Trouble with the Curve
courtesy of Russo and Steele

Russo and Steele note that the Gran Torino from the same film sold for six figures, and Eastwood only sat in that car. This one he actually drove.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429
courtesy of Russo and Steele

I’ve featured a Pontiac and a Plymouth, so I figured it was time I talked about a Ford from the upcoming Russo and Steele Scottsdale auction (January 16-20). And what could be nicer than a Mustang Boss? This one’s slated to go on the block next Saturday night. It’ll probably go high, because it seems to have everything and then some.

It’s a 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Sportsroof 'KK1431' VIN  9F02Z164789 in Candy Apple Red. Russo and Steel say it’s a completely documented, original matching numbers, rotisserie restored car and comes with its original build sheet and owner’s manual. It still has the factory original motor, a NASCAR “S”, and is one of only 279 cars built with it. It’s also got all of the BOSS 9 components. It not only looks great, it’s in working order and only has 51,140 original miles.

As for the “KK,” that stands for Kar Kraft. According to Wikipedia, they were hired by Ford to modify existing Mustang Cobra bodies so that the Boss 429 engine could fit into them. Why? So Ford could compete against Chrysler in NASCAR’s sprint cup division. The Boss 429 Mustang was only offered in 1969 and 1970.

There’s more information on Boss 429s in this September 2007 article from Mustang Monthly. It talks about why they were built, some of the prices reached at auction, and why some may be worth more than others.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Unrestored Original 1970 Plymouth Barracuda Up for Grabs

1970 Plymouth 'Cuda
courtesy of Russo and Steele

Another in my series of featured cars for Russo and Steele’s upcoming Scottsdale auction. Time to look at some Mopar muscle, a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda coupe, VIN BS23R0B146640. It’s a big beast, with a 108 inch wheelbase. Russo and Steele note that the ‘Cuda had been restyled by John E. Herlitz for 1970, using the long hood and short deck that had worked so well for the Mustang. I do like its lines.

Chrysler had three versions of the Barracuda for the 1970 model year, the base model (yawn), the luxury model Gran Coupe, and the high performance sport model ‘Cuda like this one. The larger engine bay of the new model meant there was room to tuck in a 426 cubic inch hemi, one of nine available options (actually, you could also get it with a 440 for less than the price of the hemi--see conceptcarz).

Yes, this car has the 426, along with a manual four-speed transmission, shaker hood scoop, rally instrument cluster, front disc brakes and power brakes. It also has a vinyl roof and, of course, sports stripes. According to Russo and Steele, the base price on this model was $3,164. With all the extras, it cost $5,361.85, a lot of money at the time. Perhaps that’s why it was repossessed shortly after it was sold. Its second owner held on to it until 2009, and obviously took good care of it. It has only 49,390 miles on the odometer and “has been maintained in showroom condition and is an original unrestored example with no alteration or modification of any type.” It even has its original license plate frame.
1970 Plymouth 'Cuda
courtesy of Russo and Steele

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

1969 Chevrolet Yenko Camaro Coupe on the Block

1969 Chevrolet Yenko Camaro Coupe
courtesy of Russo and Steele

Figured I might as well continue my coverage of some of the feature vehicles at the upcoming (January 16-20) Russo and Steele Scottsdale auction. So today’s car is a 1969 Yenko Camaro in Fathom Green, VIN 124379N616132. Got to admit I really like the colour and the striping.

There’s a lot of other things to like about this car. It’s been fully restored by Flying “A” Restoration in Omaha, Nebraska, using all GM parts, many of them NOS. According to Frank Payne, who was the owner of the shop at the time, there was very little bodywork needed as not much rust was present. He said the only missing major component was the engine (the original distributor and alternator were present), which had been replaced with a 512 short block out of a 1969 Corvette, since rebuilt with new parts. The CX Turbo 400 is original, as is the Dual Gate Hurst shifter and the Stewart Warner gauges.

Not surprisingly, the Camaro’s done well on the show circuit since its restoration, winning Outstanding Restored at World of Wheels and Top Gun ad Vettefest. Payne says it’s been confirmed to be an original Yenko by Ed Cuneen of the COPO Connection. You can check it or any other Yenko out at, where you’ll find all the Yenko serial numbers posted. They’re not in numerical order, so you’ll have to scroll down a bit, but it is there.

Note, the site does say that it’s possible for people to fake numbers, so if you’re looking to buy a “genuine” Yenko from an unknown vendor, do look for more confirmation before clinching the deal.