story and images by Remco Natrop

1416 - 99 Porsche 911 CarreraThe people working for the German motorway patrol are probably some of the luckiest law enforcement officers alive. And who wouldn't be when they got to drive a Porsche at high speed through regular traffic for a day-time job? Well trained and very aware of the limits of their equipment these men are a sight to see racing over the autobahn for those that are innocent and a pain in the behind for getaway-car drivers.

Siku did quite a number of cars in the colors of their nations' police force, but none are as interesting as the Porsche, which has now reached it's fifth generation with the 1999 issue of the 911 Carrera. But lets start at the beginning...

by Brian Willoughby,
images by Doug Breithaupt and Brian Willoughby

U-Universal - Mercedes-Benz C-111Searching for the next form of motive power for automobiles, most major car-makers began experiments with new and/or improved engine designs throughout the 1960s. During this period, many experts and automobile companies firmly began to believe that the savior of the industry was Dr. Felix Wankel's ingenious and innovative rotary engine. Having settled upon this design as the future and great hope of the internal combustion engine, Daimler-Benz invested millions of Deutschmarks to engineer and develop its perfected Wankel for eventual production. Intended for use in otherwise conventional Mercedes sedans, the largely unproven Wankel still needed to prove its mettle to Benz's demanding engineers, prior to being approved for sale to the public. The solution arrived in the form of an incredible series of experimental test-beds known, collectively, as the C-111.

 

By David Cook

Lotus 9 - ChampionOur story about Graham Hill and his cars will take us back to a couple of recent articles as well as show some new small-scale cars. The triple crown we speak of here is the unique combination of Formula One champion, Indy 500 winner and LeMans winner. In the era that Hill accomplished his feat it was common for drivers to race in different series all over the world.

 

Toyota 2000GT in Miniature

by TalesofToyCars

by Brian Willoughby

Toyota 2000GT -yatming lateThirty-five years ago, it would have been hard to imagine that Toyota would some day become the maker of the best selling car in the United States as well as one of the five largest automobile producers in the world. After all, during the mid-1960s, the imported car market in the United States was still dominated by Volkswagen and a select group of other European makes with Toyota and Datsun essentially being relegated to minor roles on the West Coast. At the same time, Detroit was proving that it too could produce compact cars capable becoming popular sellers even if, like the Corvair, they were hardly engineering masterpieces.

Concurrently, Toyota was, through the rather small quantities of cars it was selling outside of Asia, quickly building a reputation for producing a line of very well-made and long-lasting vehicles. The legendary Land Cruiser was the first Toyota to make its presence widely known outside of Japan and it quickly began giving the established makes of Jeep and Land-Rover some very fierce competition. Yet during the 1960s, off-road "field cars" had not evolved into the trendy SUVs that seem so ubiquitous today and Toyota eagerly sought a distinguished product that would truly show the world that it had arrived. The 2000GT would prove to be just the car Toyota was looking for.

by Brian Willoughby
images by Doug Breithaupt

During the 1950s and continuing until the late 1970s, a unique breed of automobile emerged in Europe that sought to provide the best of all worlds. These cars were the hybrids, an intriguing type of car that combined exclusive European design and coach building with mass-produced American-made power trains. Typically, the resulting marriage concluded in a vehicle whose performance could nearly equal that of the true thoroughbreds from Aston Martin and Ferrari while concurrently costing considerably less for their manufacturers to build and for their buyers to purchase, own and maintain.

Economically, hybrids offered several benefits to their invariably small, underfinanced manufacturers. Frequently lacking the funding to design a new car from the ground up, the classic hybrid evolutionary scheme centered around a chassis engineered by the hybrid manufacturer, bodywork executed by a famous designer or design house (usually, though not always, working out of Italy) and an American V8 engine sourced from Chrysler, Ford or one of the General Motors divisions. After investing everything they could muster into creating a competent chassis and body shell, hybrid makers were left with no choice other than to use an off-the-shelf engine from America, which, while cruder and less efficient than the leading European designs, were, nonetheless, inexpensive, well-made, well-respected and, perhaps most importantly, thoroughly proven. By using such engines, hybrids were able to offer immediate reliability for their products, something that the high-strung true exotics with their sometimes temperamental and always maintenance-intensive drive trains could never provide. Essentially, hybrids gave their owners the best of both worlds with their hand-made bodies and hand-stitched upholstery mated to bulletproof Detroit power.

CanAm Racing in Miniature

by TalesofToyCars

by David Cook

It's a quiet late 1960's Friday morning at any road-racing track in North America; the smell of fast food cooking permeates the peaceful, though expectant, atmosphere. Suddenly an unholy sound shakes the earth in an ear-splitting, headache-inducing roar; the Can-Am cars have begun practice!

The cars pictured here represent the pinnacle of big-bore sports car racing in North America. The Can-Am series dominated motor sport on this continent from 1966 through 1974. The cars were monsters, true dinosaurs who made the ground tremble! Falling under the FIA's Group 7 regulations, they had no maximum engine capacity, no minimum weight, no maximum tire size, and wide-open use of any structural materials. Un-like LeMans cars, CanAm racers featured open cockpits. They were actually faster than the Formula One cars of the era.