Triumph T110

When Gentleman Joe Raced a Works Greeves at Daytona

Legendary Manx Norton tuner Francis Beart once prepared a two stroke racer, and just as successfully.

Sixties road racing ace Joe Dunphy, who returned this year to the Manx Grand Prix as guest of honour to celebrate 50 years since his first victory there in 1962, is well known for his Isle of Man exploits on the immaculate Manx Nortons prepared by legendary tuner Francis Beart.

Less well documented is that Joe was, for a while, equally dominant in the 250cc class on a Beart-tuned two-stroke, clocking up race wins and lap records. He campaigned a factory-supplied Greeves and, more remarkably, raced the bike in North America to pick up the factory s first road racing world championship points.

A dignified grandfather, who belies his 74 years, we caught up with Joe and wife Valerie-who he met at Brands Hatch and later married in 1964-at his South London home, not far from the old Crystal Palace circuit, where he was so dominant, to find out more about the Greeves connection. Read more »

Chrysler rolled

Beautiful brute

When Chrysler rolled out its 300 back in 1955, it was dubbed the beautiful brute thanks to its powerful styling and its 300bhp V8, making it the muscle car of its era. Some 57 years later, and the latest 300C SRT8 carries on the tradition. Revealed more than a year ago at the New York motor show, the SRT8 version of the 300 is still a brute but a more rounded type of slugger this time, thanks to some added sophistication to go with the injection of even more muscle.

All muscle cars are defined by their engine and the big lump of iron under the SRT8bonnet has grown, but only in size, not in appetite. Well, officially anyway. Itclaimed to go easier on the juice thanks to cylinder de-activation which puts four of the Hemieight slugs to sleep when the full complement isnneeded. Though with a combined average of 13.0L/100km, itno planet saver. When the system is working, an Eco light illuminates on the dash, and a well-tuned ear will detect a change in the exhaust note. It works at both town speeds, and on the motorway, changing constantly, and unlike other systems wetried (read the GM V8) you can actually accelerate, very slowly, in four cylinder mode. Read more »


Falling from Grace

It has been nearly 40 years since I can remember feeling so sideswiped. My recollection of the day at Silverstone remains vivid. I was at the race to witness a rare treat indeed: four Kiwi drivers on a Formula One grid.

I expected big things from Graham McRae. After watching him dazzle in New Zealand and Australia, there were real hopes of him putting on a good show behind the wheel of one of Sir Frank Williams’cars.

My thermos hadneven been opened when Jody Schekter spun on the first lap. The resulting pile-up claimed nearly half the field, including Chris Amon. While Howden Ganley, who finished ninth, and Denny Hulme, third-placed, went on to further sucess, McRae went missing. A broken throttle on the opening lap didnjust end his race but McRaewhole F1 career. He didneven say goodbye to Sir Frank; he just got out of the stricken car, grabbed his bag and left. They called him Cassius back then, and this was one of the knockouts. Read more »

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Gender bezder

Some companies like to watch and wait. They check out what the competition develops, and then come up with something thatclearly different.

Honda is a good example with its Jazz. The engineers moved the fuel tank under the front seats and instantly achieved the most luggage space in the class. Moreover, the engine was designed not so much for performance but peak economy and ease of driving.

And the relevance to the bike you see here, HondaNC700S? Well, it uses half a Honda Jazz engine. No, really.

In what is a rare undertaking, people from the car and bike divisions of the same finn decided to talk to one another and produce a what-if scenario, perhaps encouraged to do so by the general economic malaise. Whatever, the NC700S is a good example of Honda thinking laterally, using existing engineering to get the job done. The 670cc displacement of the NCengine is half the size of the 1340cc Jazz, but the SOHC, long-stroke architecture remains. Read more »

Sleeker Cerato

Sleeker Cerato

Due for its official unveiling soon at the LA Motor Show and to arrive here in New Zealand in the autumn of 2013, Kiathird-generation Cerato sedan has broken cover. A matching hatch and Koup replacement should appear shortly after that.

If the sedan seems to incorporate hints of the Optima, then thatno bad thing. Kia is keeping mum on the mechanicals at present and has also been cagey on details of the interior styling. The company does say, however, that the new Cerato sedan is longer, wider and lower than the current version, and that it rides on an extended wheelbase. A larger cabin and more boot space are likely outcomes.

The new Cerato has been styled mainly in Europe by Peter Shrayer, with input from Namyang, Korea. It was developed alongside its kissing cousin, the i30, and will feature LED front and rear lamps. Given its relationship to the i30, it is likely to share that carMac strut and torsion beam underpinnings, along with its electric steering. Read more »

Transition Machine

Transition Machine

The history of Honda is connected to racing like few other brands. The founder of the world s largest and most successful motorcycle empire, Soichiro Honda, knew that victory on the racetracks was synonymous with media coverage. Mr Honda also knew well that it did not help to only win on the home turf in Japan, so in the late Fifties he set his eyes on the most prestigious race of them all; the TT races on the Isle of Man.

At that time hardly anybody knew anything about the Japanese automobile or motorcycle industry. The first news of Honda s participation was in the February 1959 British motorcycle press, where Honda engineer Ichiro Niisuma, along with rider William Hunt, had discussed the possibility of participating in the 125 race.

Honda was using RC141 s and RC142s which were of 125cc capacity. It was hoped to race them on the 37.75 mile TT circuit but that was limited to 350 and 500cc motorcycles, with the Clypse course being used for 125cc, 250cc and sidecars, so Honda s debut in the Isle of Man was on that course instead. Read more »