I'm starting this last post from the 2010 Old/Now Car Festival with a look at what is one of my favorites cars ever. I've always been a massive fan of the Ferrari F40 so temporarily lost the use of my legs at Tsukuba when I saw this drive in. This is a very rare F40 LM, a race-ready special version of the legendary twin turbo V8 supercar built by Michelotto. The LM was pretty much eligible to compete in a variety of race series like Group B and the IMSA GT championships. I just couldn't believe the owner road-registered this thing and drives it around like any other supercar! The LM is obviously a lot different from the road going F40 sporting a more aggressive and lighter carbon fiber body with lots of extra NACA ducts for cooling. The pop-up front lights were eliminated and replaced with fixed items…
…while the rear spoiler was modified and fitted with an adjustable main wing. If you look carefully you can also spot an additional small Naca duct on the side skirts, probably there to cool the bigger rear brakes with fresh air. This particular car looked like was fitted with forged Neez magnesium alloy center-locking wheels.
The LMs got a more powerful modified version of the 3L V8 (Tipo F120 B compared to the Tipo F120 A of the normal F40) which had a higher compression ratio (up to 8.0:1 from 7.7:1), more advanced engine management and bigger more efficient twin intercoolers, there to cool the compressed intake charge coming from the IHI turbines. Boost pressure was raised from 1.1 bar to 2.6 bar, which gave around 720 HP. In qualifying additional boost was said to give up to 900 HP.
If you consider the car weights in at 1,050 Kg that translates to pretty incredible performance!
After the qualifying session in the morning the Super FJ racers…
…were lined up in the paddock ready to go out on track for the race.
After lunch the Toyota 2000GT went out for a parade lap, but unfortunately I didn't see the rare convertible that participated at the event last year. Nonetheless, it was quite a sight seeing these beautiful classics out in action.
We will be seeing more of this K-project Racing Karman Ghia later on in the year when I check out one of the Idlers events.
You can always expect to find a massive turnout of Lotus Europas at the Old/Now even and this year the guys from the Group Lotus Japan and Body Shop Happy really filled up their usual area of the paddock.
I've always been very surprised at how popular the Europa is in Japan as I've never seen so many out on the roads as over here, even compared to the UK.
British Racing Green racing stripe, very cool!
The owner of the Caterham we saw in Part 2 told me to go and have a look at the dark blue Europa with the opened hood…
…as it was running the rare twin-cam Ford Cosworth engine.
It's not every day you see a RUF CTR, the star of the crazy "Faszination" video where Stefan Roser drifts the "Yellowbird" for a whole lap of the Nordschleife.
An F430 Scuderia in its environment.
Seemed a lot of you liked the RSR replica so here is a shot of it as it tackles the first corner at Tsukuba. I'll post up a desktop of the static shot I took in the paddock soon!
Spaceship, or car?
I wonder how many of the 349 F50s were sold in metallic silver.
I was stuck behind one of these Cosmos on the way to Tsukuba and had to open up the window to enjoy that unique rotary buzz.
Mazda has recently announced that the RX-8 will be killed off in 2011 in the US market and another rotary powered car won't be offered until at least 2013 when, hopefully, the next generation RX-7 arrives. I can't wait to see what they come up with!
This 1978 Savanna Silhouette 252i replica based on an SA22C RX-7 was the most outrageous looking car in the paddock.
Mazda never really had much success with the three generation of Silhouette racers it created. The 252i and 253 were plagued with problems and never managed to do much in the IMSA GTX class it participated in. In 1982 the 254 managed to finish the Le Mans race in 14th place overall which was the best result it ever obtained.
The interior was completely stripped out and reinforced by a roll cage. The naturally aspirated 13B up front didn't sound very healthy when out on track, spluttering and misfiring at low to mid rpm and throwing out dense clouds of blue smoke.
From this angle it looked like the SA22C base car was literally wearing the widebody Silhouette body kit!
This concludes the coverage from the 2010 Old/New Car Festival. It will have to be another year until we see so many exotics and classics out in action at Tsukuba!
-Dino Dalle Carbonare