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mad cars of yesterday

After reading the thread"lotus carlton" i think its time we had a list of favorite "crazy cars" of yesteryear.
ill start with the opel manta!!!!! what a monster from showroom to hedge bottom. any thoughts??

Comments

rg    on 14 March 2004

BMW M5 c. 1981. (535 IIRC)

No traction control.

My sister let me loose in it from time to time at age of 21 and with 18 months car experience.

(What had she been taking?)

and also..

Citroen CX Turbo II

Citroen SM

rg

Pugugly {P}    on 14 March 2004

Capri 3 litre.....the original one; all unprovoked power slides if it was even slightly damp, even on a dual carriageway..

Thommo    on 14 March 2004

Nissan Silvia 1.8 turbo.

Nothing happens until 3,000 revs, then the turbo kicks in and it tales off like a scalded cat.

Handles like a tractor with bald tyres and has wierdly weighted power steering.

Very very fast for such a small car but in anything but a straight line in the dry keep it below 3,000 revs or you will be seeing the inside of A&E.

As expensive to insure as a Porshce 911 and for good reason.

bartycrouch    on 14 March 2004

Even worse with the automatic option in some markets, when kickdown on a wet corner could start the Grim Reaper sharpening his scythe...

dieselhead    on 15 March 2004

I can confirm everything that's been said about the Nissan Silvia turbo. Faster than any modern seat ibiza cupra/focus Rs etc. in a straight line but has the handling of a wheelbarrow.

Bought one of these recently as a second car and it has nearly put me in hospital. Hit a patch of ice at 60 mph on a straight road and the back end comes round without any warning .Great fun!.
Wouldn't get away with it now i'm sure

Thommo    on 15 March 2004

I too run one of these cars as a second car but its rapidly becoming my first choice.

Its raw power and sheer inability to go in the direction its pointed hold some kind of wierd fasination for me.

A very 'challenging' drive...

Martin Devon    on 14 March 2004

Capri 3 litre.....the original one; all unprovoked power slides if it
was even slightly damp, even on a dual carriageway..

Couple of bags (old size!), of cement in boot, like the triumph Vitesse needed.

Happy days.

Altea Ego    on 15 March 2004

>> Capri 3 litre.....the original one; all unprovoked power slides if
it
>> was even slightly damp, even on a dual carriageway..
>>
Couple of bags (old size!), of cement in boot, like the


AH yes - How did I live thro that experience. The cement bags needed to be left outside in the rain to harden up. A good tank slapper would hurl the bags from side to side and they would split.

Vansboy    on 15 March 2004

Wasn't there a 3.100E also?

Remember test driving the 3ltr, when I had a 2.0 GTXLR,(wonder what all those letters meant?)fright of your life, at only 18!!!

VB

Altea Ego    on 15 March 2004

Yes sometimes called the RS3100. Usually in black with gold JPS type styling lines (ala the old F1 lotus's)

Altea Ego    on 15 March 2004

the letters were trim packs. usually stick on style type bits or fancy seats, and a rev counter, you know the drill.

Clanger    on 14 March 2004

sp30, what exactly was mad about the Opel Manta?
Choice of 1.6 ohv or 1.9 ohc GM engines in a coupe body.

My mum had a 1.9 between 1972 and 1974 which I used to drive. It was brisk, with a nice driving position ut hardly mad.
Hawkeye
-----------------------------
Stranger in a strange land

Pugugly {P}    on 14 March 2004

Opel Manta was rwd and consequently anyone brought up on a diet of fwd drive might indeed declare it a monster.

sp30    on 14 March 2004

sp30, what exactly was mad about the Opel Manta?
Choice of 1.6 ohv or 1.9 ohc GM engines in a
coupe body.
My mum had a 1.9 between 1972 and 1974 which I
used to drive. It was brisk, with a nice driving position
ut hardly mad.
Hawkeye
-----------------------------
Stranger in a strange land



seemed mad to me back in those halcycon days when standard cars were chevettes,asconas,cortinas etc etc, perhaps my memorys are jaded by a rather big wipeout i experienced in one, but lets change it to the lancia hf delta intergrale or the fiat supermirriifalio (could never spell that) .

Pugugly {P}    on 14 March 2004

Ahhhhh Ford Cortina 2.3s, Vauxhall Magnum it all comes flooding back....

frostbite    on 14 March 2004

The limited edition Ford 107E - 100E Prefect with 105E Anglia engine and gearbox - was quite a teenagers dream in the dark ages.

Imagos    on 14 March 2004

or the fiat supermirriifalio
(could never spell that) .



it must be SUPERMIROFIORI if i'm very not much mistaken..

Mark (RLBS)    on 14 March 2004

>>it must be SUPERMIROFIORI if i'm very not much mistaken

I think you might be.

supermirafiori

Imagos    on 14 March 2004

supermirafiori >>


well it was an educated guess, pretty close considering my spellings awfull. :-)


superstyler    on 14 March 2004

and of course the audi quattro , making road travel just like rail travel!!!

spikeyhead {p}    on 14 March 2004

How about the Lotus 7

still going in the guise of a Caterham

and then there's the Fiat Croma Turbo that I bought a couple of years back for £500. 0-60 in 6.5 and almost handled as well!
--
I read often, only post occasionally

AdrianM    on 14 March 2004

Sorry to be boring but my first car was a '72 mk3 2.0lt Cortina. I had no idea about cars at the time - it went pretty quick but was as much use round corners as a chocolate teapot. At 17 yrs of age, I loved it!!!

BobbyG    on 14 March 2004

I remember when I was 17 I had a Talbot Samba and one day when my dad was away I took his E reg Carlton 2.0 litre out for a spin. Literally.
I turned left at traffic lights and the road then went up a hill, I took it in 2nd gear and floored the accelerator half way round and ended up doing a 180 and facing back to the traffic lights!

Then I came out a side road from an ind estate, floored the accelerator in first gear (the car was RWD) and absolutely showered the car behind me with loose stones from the road!!

After that, I decided I'd better stick to the Samba!

THe Growler    on 15 March 2004

Lotus Cortina on Pirelli Cinturatos (when radials were a novelty). I always lusted after one every time I watched the revered Jim Clark at Brands lifting the front wheel round Paddock Bend.

3500S    on 15 March 2004

Growler, How about the Chrysler/Sunbeam/Talbot Lotus' with the firebreathing Lotus Cosworth 911 engine? 2-litres and 155bhp in 1981 !!

I remember watching those in rallying and I think they were the last two wheel winners before the all-conquering Quattro's turned up.

focussed    on 23 March 2016

I know this is ressurecting an old thread, but I got curious about Caterhams recently. Aswered a local for sale advert here in France for a twin-cam Caterham. The english owner took me for a ride in in it, I don't want one any more - why people own them is a mystery, and I am a dyed in the wool motorcyclist so am used to noise, wind blast, cold, sore bum etc!

Kuang    on 15 March 2004

The Metro 6R4 has to be up there in the 'too fast to live, too mental to die' list. A 400bhp V6 chopped from a rover V8, driving all wheels, mounted in the middle of a lightweight metro body built on a Maestro floorpan? Sheesh...

Altea Ego    on 15 March 2004

Which is why that entire group of rally cars was banned when the Metro 6r4 arrived. And the ford got caught as well cant remember its name rx2000?

Kuang    on 15 March 2004

That was the RS200. Little perky RWD thing with round headlights, looked vaguely like a Mk2 Toyota MR2 from the side. There are a fair few of those still running in hillclimbs and the like, and shedloads of replicas. I think that wave of regulations also put paid to the rally 205 which was no less insane than the metro :)

Garethj    on 15 March 2004

That was the RS200. Little perky RWD thing with round headlights,
looked vaguely like a Mk2 Toyota MR2 from the side. There
are a fair few of those still running in hillclimbs and
the like, and shedloads of replicas. I think that wave of
regulations also put paid to the rally 205 which was no
less insane than the metro :)


No, it was 4WD, not RWD.

My vote for maddest car goes with the Panther Six too, but the Panther Solo was a heroic failure

Gareth

Kuang    on 15 March 2004

Yup, I stand corrected! :)

I must have still been thinking of the 6R4, which started life as a 250bhp RWD and then grew hairs on it's chest as time went on :)

trancer    on 15 March 2004

1978 6.6 litre Pontiac Trans-Am with rear tyres that probably out-dated the car. First ever car at age 17 and first time ever driving in winter conditions. On more than one occasion I can recall driving at a steady 40-50 and suddenly find that I needed to look through the side window to see in the direction I was going.

That was the car I learned to "power-brake" in. Light pressure on brake pedal with left foot, floor the accelerator with the right and melt the tyres down to the threads or until the interior of car is so filled with smoke that you cannot see or breathe. Limp off to the scrapyard and purchase replacements (mounted on rims) for the equivalent of 6 pounds each.

Focus {P}    on 15 March 2004

As a school kid subscribing to Motor magazine in the 70s, I remember getting quite excited following the progress of the Panther 6 development - that's 6 as in 6 wheels. With a mid-mounted 8 litre Cadillac V8, the lucky journalist who claimed to have driven it wrote that it was like driving a pendulum.

tinyurl.com/yrbx3

Archie    on 15 March 2004

In the mid 70's I worked for GKN Vandervell. As well as the Mazda and NSU rotary engined development cars there was GKN 47D, a V8 Lotus Europa. I was lucky enough to get a ride in it to the Cardiff factory and I'll never forget taking a E type to 140 mph and then changing up a gear! Looks like it's in the US now.

tinyurl.com/27prd

Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}    on 15 March 2004

A 1968 Sunbeam Rapier H120. Holbay engine , twin 2 choke Webers, gas flowed head, tubular exhaust manifold,lightweight balanced clutch, straight through exhaust and crucially, boy racer stripes.
Taught me a lot about axle tramp and zero grip from Dunlop C41 crossplies on wet granite setts.
At 17 I always volunteered to drive my granny home.
At every traffic light on the way back I could re-live Two Lane Blacktop.
I've still got the old, leaky, quick release fuel cap on my desk.
Did HSY 948G come to a sticky end?

Algernon    on 15 March 2004

The 1980 Maserati Khamsin in April Classic Cars deserves a mention.

Briefly, 5 litre quad cam V8 with Citroen hydraulics giving super light steering and a full brake application if you just touch the pedal.

Mind you, it looks wonderful - I almost fell out of love with Supra!

Kuang    on 15 March 2004

Not a bad looker, that, and not one I'd come across before. It looks like it has a hint of the Daytona about it.

Algernon    on 15 March 2004

GT 40, even?

Morris Ox    on 15 March 2004

Don't forget the good old Sierra Cosworth, chaps. Not so much the 4x4, because that was actually a nice, rounded performance machine.

No, the maddest of the lot was the RS500, supposedly the even faster daddy of the original Sierra Cosworth, but to all intents and purposes slower than its predecessor. The reasons? An absolute windmill of a turbocharger which did wonders when you cranked everything up and went racing, but gave very little boost below 5,000 revs on the road.

Proof if proof were needed that homologation specials rarely make good road cars.

stackman    on 16 March 2004

How about the Lancia Thema 8.32. Totally hatstand !

Lancia's Type 4 (Croma/Saab 9000/ Alfa 164) body with Ferrari V8 engine and FWD.

I was working for the company that transported them in the late 80's and they were all parked up in a special compound. Had a ride with on of the Lancia people and it went like stink. Also had a retractable boot spoiler operated by a button on the dash.

The engine bay was completely crammed. Sounded awesome but was tricky to steer.

helicopter    on 16 March 2004

OK - I nominate the Triumph Dolomite Sprint as a wolf in sheeps clothing, even now at 30 + years old it'll give you a brown trouser experience and in its heyday in the seventies it would even beat up the old Capri 3 litre nominated above.

It had four doors so you could run it as a company car and two of the company directors had them.

I used to borrow one at every opportunity and get it out on the open road.

Accelleration was phenomenal for the time IIRC 0-60 in around 8.6 seconds and it would cruise all day at over 100mph top speed around 120.

Great Motor.

superstyler    on 18 March 2004

fiat uno turbo deserves a shout here

bartycrouch    on 18 March 2004

It certainly does, I seem to remember it being cheaper than the other hot hatches and because it was flimsy and light it was like being in a shoebox with warp drive.

I also remember being stuck in traffic outside Winchester as a uno turbo self-immolated in front of us. There was this huge black cloud, you would never think one car could produce that amount of smoke.

stavros    on 18 March 2004

The first Renault 5 Turbo.
My father had it for a summer back in the early ´80s. Was the only time I saw the tarmac coming on my face....Uhhhhhiiiiii

superstyler    on 18 March 2004

the 5 was stupidly fast!!!!!! and the uno was a plastic rocket!!! mk 2 golf gti hmmmmmm thats more like it.. not as quick, but still alive and well, the turbo graveyard is full!!!!!

John Shelton    on 18 March 2004

My nomination is the Yugo 55A GLS, once saw 120 mph out of one on the M1. The "A" stood for American spec, but basically it was a Fiat 127 chassis with a Jugoslavs body. That little Fiat engine was fabu;lous though

stavros    on 18 March 2004

"the 5 was stupidly fast!!!!!!"

Yes, yes, YEEEEEESSSSSSSSS..............

Morris Ox    on 18 March 2004

Aren't we straying a bit off-thread here? Nothing against hot hatches at all, but I'd struggle to call them mad.

Not an entirely inappropriate way of describing the claim about the Yugo, however.

Mind you, I beat that Nigel Mansell away from the lights in my Allegro once...

John Shelton    on 18 March 2004

Its true mate the speedo said 120, but it didnt have a rev counter and the fiat engine was way better than any of it competitors. I recently saw 115 mph out of a 3 speed auto Proton Mpi saloon according to the speedo........

Morris Ox    on 18 March 2004

You must be a hell of a driver...

John Shelton    on 18 March 2004

No mate just a reminder of the heady 80's. Biggest surprise ever was when I was overtaken by a Dodge K850 pump fire appliance and I was doing 80 at the time (another M1 adventure from 1989) I was in the middle lane and he bounced by on lane 3

keo-the-dog    on 18 March 2004

any yugo at over 70 is totally insane they dont handle ... none of them ,drive one every year on holiday excellent beach car and can out manouvre some of the locals 4x4's (my driving). but please dont drive them fast you will die.

John Shelton    on 18 March 2004

At the time I was going in a very straight line on the M1, downhill. I saw an identical 55 hit a bridge parapet at about 20mph and the driver died!

Nsar    on 19 March 2004

Maddest car of all time? Suzuki Xc90. If that car is the answer, what on earth was the question?

redpuma    on 19 March 2004

Arrived in London c1977 with a friend looking for work and had nowhere to sleep.
We saw that lovely 1970 Citroen DS Pallas(estate) in white that could accomodate both of us. Sadly we found a room for £5 pw.

machika    on 19 March 2004

I would like to nominate the Alfa 75 3.0 V6.

Tremenous acceleration.

Jimmytrafic    on 1 April 2016

My madest car was a vauxhall viva brabham with a 2.2 magnum that would switch ends in a heartbeat and a heavy foot.

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