January Editorial: <br /> Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

Happy New Year! It’s 2015, and according to Marty McFly and the good Doctor, that means we’ve officially arrived in the future (this time, for real, not like the four or five times a year people get duped by a photoshopped screenshot from the movie!).

When it comes to predictions about life in 2015, Back To The Future II got a lot of stuff right, and plenty wrong in the late ’80s when the blockbuster hit screens. But what about the cars? How close did director Robert Zemeckis and his team get when conceptualizing and putting together vehicles destined to populate a futuristic Hill Valley, California? Well, obviously our cars aren’t flying just yet, but besides that small issue, thankfully, the prop cars were also hilariously off base. You can check some of them out and where they ended up here.


Would a flying car really be all that great anyway? Although I appreciate all the advances in technology and how far the automotive industry has come since the ’80s, but VTOL-capabilities or otherwise, I’m not sure they’re for me.


I get that cars are better, faster, safer and more reliable that ever – especially after recently spending a weekend behind the wheel of a 991 GT3 in East Germany, which I’ll be publishing a story about next week. But that’s only part of what four-wheeled machines are for me. I know that everyone is different, which is what makes our community so great, but for me personally, it’s not all about face-melting acceleration or warp-speed cornering. If I’m going to be head-over-heels in love with a car, it needs to have a soul, and for the most part I struggle to find one in a modern vehicle.

Porsche Driving School33

Though with that said, I must say the staggeringly fast and raw GT3 comes far closer than any other modern car I’ve experienced.


And yet, I still find myself fixating on the past. It must surely be a sign of no longer being in my 20s, but everything of a certain vintage just appeals to me in a more primal, perhaps even emotional way. Just starting a nostalgic car, like my wife’s Nissan S30 for example, is a finely planned out routine that only the owner knows. Run the fuel pump for two seconds, three solid pumps on the accelerator, crank it over modulating between 10 and 30 per cent throttle for that perfect, ball-tingling fire up. Anyone that loves their carb-fed cars will know exactly what I mean.


Of course, you can’t have it all, and driving a ‘soulful’ car certainly has its drawbacks. I’m currently back in my home country of New Zealand as I write this, swapping the harsh Scandinavian winter for a classic Kiwi summer spent cruising the beach towns and, inevitability, making running repairs to vintage cars.


It’s an acceptable cost, but thanks to good local and clearly JZX-obsessed friends with the right tools, there’s nothing that can’t be fairly easily diagnosed and rectified on a simple old vehicle (knock on wood).


While it’s far from vintage and almost contradictory to this editorial, I can’t resist showing you one of the hard-as-nails Toyotas on the property. How tough is this JZX110?


There’s certainly plenty of angry high-tech machinery like the JZXs above floating around this country – in fact I can hear a Nissan RB revving its guts out somewhere in the distance as I write this. But there’s just as many people like me, driving all manner of vintage tin over the summer holidays. Although antiquated cars can be a pain in the ass and there’s certainly times I find myself wishing I was dealing with the modern fuel injected motor, there’s nothing like the sounds and smells of a well setup carburetted machine sucking down some air and fuel – whether it’s howling Mikuni sidedrafts feeding a highly-strung four cylinder or a gulping Holley sitting on top of a big block bent eight.


With that in mind, amongst plenty of amazing feature cars, events and other stories scheduled for January, we’re also planning to run a ‘Carbs Only’ theme later in the month, which will showcase some amazing machines, plus some fascinating special features based around the humble carburettor and all its quirks.

So what is it for you? Is it the sights, smells and sounds of a nostalgic automobile that gets you going, or is the allure of knowing you’re going to actually make it to your destination in a modern machine too strong? Or perhaps, like me, you try embody the spirit of Doc Brown’s improved airborne DeLorean and straddle both worlds as best you can. Vintage or otherwise, as long as you’re out there enjoying all the pleasures that a project car can bring, Speedhunters is happy. Enjoy your January, and as always, feel free to fire me an email or comment below if you’ve got something to say!

Peter Kelly
Instagram: speedhunters_pedey



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Happy New Year, Pedey! I enjoy modern cars more than older era machines with the only exception of restomods. I might be slightly ignorant and audacious, but if I was a young billionaire, I would throw a twin turbo LS set on low boost in a Testarossa or a Countach and replace their coilovers with bags for more ground clearance. The allure of actually making it to my destination is rather strong with me, while I am a firm believer that chrome does get you home. Fuel injection>carbs


@TROLLS ROYCE It seems that the Testarossa does not have carbs...


Myself I like the classic bodys with modern tech under them. At least for a fun summer car. For a daily beater I'll drive anyting turbocharged and somewhat economical. (Golf Mk4 TDI för the last 7 years)

This is my project since the last 2 years, finally past rock bottom and building up again with lots of new goodies under the fresh paint.


This is exactly what I think. It is so hard for me to find or think about a modern car that has some excitement or soul. Of course budget plays heavily into this thought process. This is the way I think about it. Which modern car can stand the test of time and be cool and fun 30-40-50 years from now? Of course it won't be in the same design as it is now exactly but it still retains the "bones" of what it always has been. For the most part anyway. For me there are probably only 4 cars that fit this bill. 

1. Fairlady/Z
2. 911
3. GTR
4. WRX/STi

What do you say? Other candidates?


The One Otaku Civic Type-R/Prelude....70's Celicas....


We don't need flying cars today, we have lots of tuned GTR's, they fly low.


@TROLLS ROYCE I agree. I'd go the Testarossa route, too - it's always been the first car that comes to mind when I hear the word "Ferrari." 

It's such a sleek, outrageous spaceship of a car, and the sort of vehicle that should some to mind upon hearing the word "exotic."

Personally, I'd try to figure out what made the car unreliable (was it the electronics? The electrical systems? The gaskets?) and correct those problems with modern technology, because I'd want to keep the flat-12.


The One Otaku

Considering that on this site, I've marveled at people taking cars that I hated and turn them into vehicles I actually wanted (I'm thinking Mad Mike's RX-8 and EVERY Volvo 240), I'd say pretty much anything with wheels that'll net you a bunch of Equipment Violations and speeding tickets.

I seriously NEVER thought a 20-year-old Volkswagen could be desirable until I found this site.


MatsKarlsson Restomodding is definitely a great option! I may consider heading down that path for my next build. Interested to know more about the project - what driveline set up will you be running?


@TROLLS ROYCE I'm not sure why, but the idea of an American motor in a Ferrari bothers me, but I'm totally on board with the idea of a dependable eighties Ferrari! Then again I seem to have no problems with English V8s in Ferraris, so call me conflicted. http://www.speedhunters.com/2014/08/ferrari-f355-built-climb/


The One Otaku So to clarify, do you mean models that will still be in production in 30 years time (like the Mustang for example) or cars that are available now and are destined to become true classics in the future?

If it's the latter I'd definitely have to include the FD RX-7 in that list of guaranteed future classics!


Peter_Kelly @TROLLS ROYCE A couple of things spring to mind here, one is the Detomaso Pantera and it's American engine/Italian bodywork combo, and the other is an LS engined Ferrari 400. Because it runs a TH400 as standard and I reckon you could see the lunched Ferrari motor and get most of your money back on the completed job...



Speedhunters_Bryn Peter_Kelly I would definitely drive an LS Ferrari 400, I love the shape of the 365/400/412s.


Peter_Kelly I got the idea from this guy. Check the last pic :)



Great article, remembered me a lot of things.
Concerning modern cars, I want to believe that Toyota/Subaru won't be the only one to bring a "driving oriented" car (hello Nissan, where is your IDx? :p).
Maybe those small rear wheels drive coupé could be a good compromise between the two style.


Looks good!


Peter_Kelly  I was thinking of models out now that that have been and continue to be fun. I kind of agree with the RX-7 but it doesn't really qualify as they don't make it anymore. It will be an awesome classic down the road but I was talking about new cars from the dealer.


Summernats coverage??


Peter_Kelly MatsKarlsson 
I will be keeping the aircooled fourcylinder for now. The main reason being that I want to be able to participate in the Porsche club autocross events. For the first version of the engine I will be throwing the old Djet injection out and do an ITB conversion with aftermarket fuel injection capable of later running E85. This is a bit of a shortcut since I hope to get the engine started and perhaps even drive the car during this year. If all works out I'll take the engine out the coming winter for some increase in engine volume and compression ratio. 
Since alot of other 914 owners are doing widebody 914-6 conversions I'm the backwards guy staying narrowbody and keeping the fourcylinder.....for now.:) Have a look at matsgarage.com for more details.


GregFentonHNHS Peter_Kelly I've got plenty of photos from Summernats if you want them :)


MatsKarlsson Peter_Kelly Thanks for the info, having a look at matsgarage.com now


Wouldn't blame you to go for "soulful" models. A vintage car is definitely significant as it is, but well, the downside would be its performance. It won't really be as efficient as updated ones. Then again, just as you said, it all depends upon you as the driver whichever your preference is.


We don't have flying cars yet but some fast cars like this S30 can give us wings !
Happy New Years Speedhunter !


This isn't an event we covered this year, sorry GregFentonHNHS


Speedhunters GregFentonHNHS maybe in the future I would love to see your perspective on the event.

(fingers crossed)


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Jzx110 feature car please. Iove it.