Jim Russell Junior – 1961 Lotus 20/22

formula junior fj jim russell

Designed to replace the 18, the Lotus 20 was lower, sleeker, shorter, wider and more aerodynamic than its predecessor. It dominated Formula Junior in 1961 with both factory drivers and privateers finding success, and in 1962 it was further improved with the 22, which had a stiffer chassis and Girling disc brakes up front. 1962 saw even more victories with Peter Arundell taking 18 victories in 25 starts. … [Read more...]

Retired Racer – 1964 MGB Project

scca race car project

MG built over 510,000 examples of the MGB Roadster and GT, making it the top selling British sports car ever. It was cheap, fun and easy on the eyes. It was the Miata of the '60s. The B was a popular choice for the track, too, and it remains popular to this day. Thanks to the high number of cars to choose from and the relatively high availability of parts, it's a perfect starter car for people just venturing into classic car ownership as well as … [Read more...]

Formula B Weapon – 1971 Brabham BT35

1971 Brabham BT35 - On The Move

The Brabham BT35 and BT36 were the last tube frame formula cars designed by Ron Tauranac and constructed by Motor Racing Developments in 1971 before they progressed to a stressed skin monocoque design. 1971 was also a formative time in formula car racing, as all the major manufacturers were adapting wings and big slick tires to both new and existing chassis, making cornering speeds rise drastically. But like the BT21, BT29 and BT30 before it, the … [Read more...]

Mini’s Big Brother – 1965 MG 1100 Coupe

bmc ad016

BMC's Alec Issigonis-designed AD016 platform was sold over a twelve year period as an Austin, an MG, a Morris, an Innocenti, a Riley, a Vanden Plas and a Wolseley with either 1.2 or 1.3-liter versions of the venerable A-Series motor. Over 3 million of these badge engineered little cars were eventually sold, making it one of the most popular British cars in history. In the domestic market, it was only available at first as a four-door saloon, but … [Read more...]

Ex-Peter Revson – 1972 McLaren M20 Can-Am

can-am gulf

The orange cars from McLaren were the ones to beat in the glory days of Can-Am, as the M8 and its derivatives steamrolled the competition and as its two star drivers, McLaren and Hulme, put on the "Bruce and Denny Show". That kind of dominance in racing never lasts forever, of course,  and in McLaren's case it was Porsche, a late comer to the Can-Am party, that posed the biggest threat yet seen in the series. McLaren stood up to the … [Read more...]

TD in a Fancy Suit – 1956 Arnolt MG Convertible

bertone roadster

As imported cars became more popular in the United States during the 1950s, some American entrepreneurs became licensed distributors for individual European manufacturers. One such man was Chicago industrialist Stanley H. "Wacky" Arnolt, the distributor for MG, Riley, and Morris in the Midwest. Arnolt was therefore well-connected in the automobile industry, so when in 1952 at the Turin Motor show he saw a stunning pair of cars bodied by Italian … [Read more...]

Runoff Ready – 1962 MG Midget

huffaker race car

The smaller bore production classes in the SCCA can be great because they provide a great range of cars. All sorts of shapes, sizes, ages and countries of origin compete, and often cars from fifty years ago are still competitive (with some modern modifications) even today. It's just very cool to think that you could be as competitive on a national level with a humble old Spridget as you would be with a much newer Miata or Honda CRX. And with this … [Read more...]

Small by Another Name – 1969 Riley Elf

mini bmc sedan

If you've always wanted a classic Mini but wished yours could be longer, heavier and uglier, then you might consider one of these. In 1961, BMC badge engineered the wildly popular Mini for its Riley and Wolseley brands with models called the Elf and Hornet, respectively. These were meant to be the upscale, luxury versions of the Mini, with wood veneer dashboards, extra chrome trim and leather seats. … [Read more...]

Forlorn Frogeye – 1964 Austin-Healey Sprite

bugeye 1275

This mishmash of Sprite parts comes all the way from Nebraska, where we find yet another restoration started but unfinished. The chassis and bodywork are a 1964 example, while the nose is from the much more charming and almost universally adored Bugeye, or Frogeye in the UK (1958-1961). Before stopping due to age and health, the seller had gathered extra doors and fenders, a new convertible top and new interior bits. It also has a side draft … [Read more...]

Picked Clean – 1984 Lotus Esprit Turbo

restoration project

Have you ever seen one of those nature programs where a buffalo gets taken down by a large cat and then is progressively scavenged until all that's left is bare bones and a few hanging strips of flesh? Well, this is kind of like that, but in car form. Once a 1984 Lotus Esprit Turbo, it was bought as a parts car for a rebuild on another Esprit. Now there's not much that remains, just the frame, body (damaged in an engine fire), suspension pieces, … [Read more...]