Toyota’s robust JZ-series of engines has long been known as a great platform for reliable horsepower. While the 2JZ has reached near-mythical status as the heart of plenty of 1,000+ hp Supras, it’s older brother, the 2.5-liter 1JZ hasn’t shared the limelight for making reliable 4-figure horsepower. That’s why Minneapolis-native Don Groff bought two 1JZs and started hacking them apart with a bandsaw before welding them together at the crank to make his own twin-turbo, 5.0-liter V12. Now, most people undertaking such a laborious project would have a vehicle in mind to swap just such a crazy engine into, but not Don. He decided to build his dream engine first and later decided to fabricate his own tube-chassis in the shape of an old ’60s Formula 1 car to match. The project has taken just shy of 10 years, but according to Don, he’s right on schedule. To learn more about the build, head on over to Road & Track where they have a video of the engine firing up for the first time.
Speaking of wild and crazy race cars, Petrolicious has a nice feature on three of the wildest race cars to ever come out of Italy that never had a chance to race in anger. Personally, my favorite is the Alfa Romeo 164 ProCar because it came from Bernie Ecclestone’s failed plan to create the ultimate support series for Formula 1 by cramming F1 engines into production-based cars and letting them rip. In this case, Alfa Romeo took the basic 164 shape, replaced everything with carbon fiber, and gently tucked a 620-hp, 3.5-liter V10 where the rear seats would’ve been. Despite the pedestrian bodywork, the 164 ProCar didn’t give up much, if any, performance to the F1 cars of the era, going from 0-60 MPH in about 2 seconds on the way to a top speed around 210 MPH, thanks to its light weight of 1,650 lbs.
Many moons ago, BMW held the record for the longest continuous drift. After Toyota beat the record, then beat their own record again, BMW wanted to get back on top. Instead of fitting a larger fuel tank to sustain fueling during their drift record attempt like Toyota had done with their GT86, BMW decided to one-up the Japanese automaker and have a chase car that would refill the lead car as they both drifted in tandem around a wet skidpad. If that’s not cool, then call me a dork.
I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for cool automotive-themed artwork to decorate my home office, garage, bathroom, kitchen, or just about anywhere I have a blank wall. Lucky for me (and unlucky for my wallet), I just found the work of Jean-Yves Tabourot, an automotive engineer who has spent most of his career working for various F1 and rally teams in addition to helping build Singer 911s and James Bond cars. But now he spends his time painting gorgeous cars on canvas and the results are pretty amazing.
The 1954 Plymouth Belmont isn’t your usual concept car. Aside from being jaw-droppingly beautiful, this car has lived an unusual, pampered life, well beyond what most concept cars are afforded. After being designed and built by Briggs Manufacturing, the swoopy fiberglass-bodied beauty found a home with Plymouth’s VP of Design after the project was scrapped. Although most concept cars of the day would’ve been scrapped or squirreled away in some warehouse or museum, the Belmont was just too beautiful to share that fate and the car has stayed in private hands ever since, once selling at Barrett-Jackson in 2014 for $1,320,000. It makes you wonder how many other concept cars are still out there in private collections, still being driven by their caretakers…