Whatever Happened to Homologation Specials?

Ask any petrol head to draw up a shortlist of their all-time favourite cars and it’s likely to include one or more of the famous ‘homologation specials’; machinery like the ‘whale tail’ Sierra Cosworth RS500, the outrageous 1969/70 NASCAR models like the Plymouth Superbird/Dodge Charger, or the exquisite Lancia Stratos with its Ferrari Dino V6….

Audi pulls the plug

My first Le Mans coincided with the first time Audi brought a diesel car to the race. I was working at Zytek at the time (now Gibson) and we went with high hopes having qualified 3rd in the previous outing and sat on pole until a few minutes from the end of the session. 2006…

Automotive brand-defining events; coincidence or genius?

Capture the imagination, conjure enduring images then reap the benefits; it’s a marketeer’s dream. Strong associations have been formed between event and manufacturer ever since Henry Ford realised how much money could be made from selling motorcars, and that public aspiration was the key to success. There’s a chasm that separates quiet association and truly…

Aston Martin to F1?

If you are a sports car manufacturer that wants to compete with Ferrari and Porsche, what do you need in terms of brand equity? Quality, Style, Heritage, Performance… Aston Martin certainly has three of the four. The quality, I am told, has improved significantly over the past 5 years and the cars are certainly stylish…

The Goodwood Revival: A legend at lunch

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to step back in time? To dress to impress, meet your childhood heroes, soak up the vintage aroma of classic cars and Castrol R, and sit back and revel in good old-fashioned motor racing. Now, I’m not suggesting I stepped into Doctor Who’s Tardis and woke…

Historic racing’s modern saviour?

As I made my daily commute through the twisty Cotswold lanes on the way to the office this morning, I was pondering the rise in recent years of historic racing. Race Tech has just launched a dedicated magazine named Historic Racing Technology, a number of top teams (such as Fortec Motorsport) are turning their expertise…

Technology: The road from motorsport to consumer vehicle

In the automotive world the potential benefit of trying something radically new is more often than not outweighed by the risk. Vehicle manufacturers cannot afford to try different technologies on a whim, it requires huge investment in testing and development. They need to be absolutely sure it will work before the Chief Executive signs off…

A Partnership Begins in Spa

On Thursday morning I shall board the Eurotunnel to Calais and drive the three-or-so hours through northern France and Belgium to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the heart of the Ardennes. This trip is the result of the work that we have been putting in for the past four months to broker an exploratory technical partnership…