Chris Rees

Chris Rees

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Chris Rees Chris Rees 1987 Porsche 944S vs. 1988 Jaguar XJ-S 3.6 2 months ago

Porsche memories

Several fond memories were brought back when I ready our comparison feature between the Jaguar XJ-S and the Porsche 944 – because as a company director in the late 1980s and early 1990s I actually owned and ran examples of both. My 944 was an early 2.5, and my XJS was a late Celebration convertible, and at the time the two cars seemed so very different in focus. I had a BMW 635 CSi E24 between them, and at the time I thought that it did a good job of bridging the two:more sporty than my Jag and yet more of a grand tourer than the Porker. Do I agree that the Jag’s a better car? 35 year old me with his used 944 in 1988 wouldn’t have thought so, but another decade of life certainly meant that the XJS made more sense in middle age. Nowadays I drive an F-PACE, but part of me wishes I still had a sporty car sitting outside.

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Chris Rees Chris Rees 1962 Lancia Flaminia Coupé 2.5 3B vs. 1964 Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint Coupe Series 106.02, 1966 Fiat 230 7 months ago

BRAKING BAD

Owning an Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the article about the model. My car is a 1964 model that, according to the Certificato di Origine, came off the production line on 8 April 1964 and was delivered to the UK on the 16th of that month (the chassis number being AR 854154). My car has disc brakes on all four wheels, as have all models thereafter. There was no official ‘Mark Two’ but several changes were introduced after my car was manufactured. For example, mine has singlepiece alloy bumpers, whereas the tested car has the later three-piece items, also the dashboard has a ‘grab handle’ on the passenger side whereas earlier cars, such as mine, do not. Also the door handles are different. All of which suggests that the car tested was a late 1964 edition which therefore should have disc brakes all round. I hope you don't consider the above to be too petty, but if the tested car does have drum rear brakes, then it is a bit of a mystery. As I stated above, I thoroughly enjoyed the article and certainly agree with the comment regarding being happier on an autostrada than twisty roads. To cope with this, I have electric power steering fitted which, whilst not standard, has transformed the driving experience.

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Chris Rees Chris Rees 1950 Ferrari 195 Inter 10 months ago

GHIA ENIGMA

Regarding your article about the white Ferrari 195 chassis #0113 S, I would like to offer the following updates. 0113 S is not a ‘Sport’. The Ferrari factory build sheets (in my archive) clearly show it is a normal road car ‘Inter’. 0113 S was not completed 11 December 1950 (that is only the date stamped on the steering box) but actually on the 10 January 1951, one month later. 0113 S was not built with three Weber carbs. Here again the factory build sheets confirm that it was born with a single Weber carburetor of the type 36 DCF. The upgrade was done several years later only. The gearbox and rear axle are of the type 166 S. Also, the car was not sold new to Franco Cornacchia but to WI.PU.CO. Srl, a Milanbased trading company. The original bodywork was by Carrozzeria Ghia and quite similar to chassis #0087 S, 0089 S, 0093 S, 0101 S, 0105 S, 0109 S, 0121 S, 0129 S and 0133 S (all 195 Inter Coupé Ghia and sister cars to 0113 S).

The car featured, chassis #0113 S, was modified (C-pillar and rear window) and the front converted in 1957 only prior to the sale on 1 July 1958 to Vernola. This Italian dealer then exported it to California. I have all factory records as well as the period Italian registration documents in my archive. I also have a number of period photos taken in the 1950s. If you look at a photo of the similarly-styled Fiat Ghia, it is easy to compare it with 0113 S.

The car had three owners in USA, with the last one keeping it for 35 years in his home in Florida, where I carefully inspected the car 11 years ago.

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Chris Rees Chris Rees 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL E9 pre-production prototype 10 months ago

When motor sport achievement was almost essential for performance car credibility, BMW made it count

A deal done in a hotel bedroom by a cigar-chomping Swiss-American to poach the best motor sport brains from Ford Europe and help BMW steal touring car victory. Sounds like the start of a blockbuster film. It certainly should be, because as BMW motor sport boss Jochen Neerpasch reveals in his interview on this page, the simultaneous birth of the works E9 3.0CSL and BMW’s Motorsport division in 1972 would see the underdog team take on the might of Ford in Europe and then Porsche in America.

Spoiler alert – BMW Motorsport wouldn’t be the underdog for long, especially once the CSL gained its, er, spoilers, along with the sobriquet ‘Batmobile’. At a stroke, BMW’s elegant E9 coupé had mutated from swift and refined tourer to bad boy of the autobahns, though it wasn’t allowed to wear full battledress in native Germany. The spoilers had to be supplied for clandestine dealer fit.

Sam Dawson has done a remarkable job, bringing together Motorsport’s first CSL racer, an early carburettor-fed road car, a CSL-powered E3 Kombi Motorsport support vehicle and that interview with Neerpasch for our CSL 50th anniversary special celebration. It’s a fine tribute to one of the great hero cars of the Seventies. The CSL is from a time when results on track or rally stage were essential for pretty much any performance car’s credibility. Porsche has never waivered, relentlessly pounding the world’s circuits, occasionally its rally stages and even desert raid events. Bentley, Jaguar and MG struggled to recapture their motor sport glory days and the Fletcher-Ogle GT never even got to test its potential. For this issue, that leaves Lamborghini, a make that for all its braggadocio has largely avoided proving its cars in competition. For the Miura it’s hardly mattered. As our restoration feature makes clear, the design is riddled with flaws, but as the lengths the owner is prepared to go proves to make it right, the halo of race success is far from an essential ingredient.

The rise of BMW Motorsport is the stuff of cinema legend, but true

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Chris Rees Chris Rees 1965 OSI Ford Mustang 11 months ago

1965 Mustang reimagined by OSI — in colour

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Chris Rees Chris Rees Buyer’s Guide Jaguar XJS 11 months ago

I am currently restoring a 1994 JAGUAR XJS 4.0-litre coupe. I have just dropped the rear subframe out to change the shock absorbers and generally refurbish the rear end, having just replaced and rebuilt the front subframe. Similar to the front, the rear subframe is corroded in several areas and needs to be changed. I have access to several good pre-facelift rear subframes, but am not sure if they are interchangeable, particularly as the facelift cars have the outboard rear brakes. This is my sixth XJS and I have never come across a rotten rear subframe before because usually there is too much oil from diff’ leaks. However, the car was laid up under a car port for three years on an unsealed concrete hard standing and suffered badly from the alkali fumes rising from the concrete, so much welding was required. Thankfully, the car is excellent – both trim and mechanically – other than needing the suspension rebuilds. I would welcome your advice as to whether the rear subframes are interchangeable with those from prefacelift cars. Many thanks.

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Chris Rees Chris Rees 1980 Jaguar XJ-S 5.4 V12 Auto vs. 1978 Corvette Auto C3 11 months ago

Not enough justice

The twin test of an XJ-S versus a Chevrolet Corvette did not do justice to the Jaguar, especially since the example used for your feature is clearly a very special car. To begin with, it almost looks like new. The headlamps are the correct two-bulb pre-HE units, the carpet is unfaded and the bumpers show no sign of distortion, which all these cars now suffer from. Plus, with the power quoted as 300bhp, and looking at the fuel rail on the engine, it would suggest that it is one of the extremely rare P digital cars, which were only produced in 1980 and in very small numbers. It will have a compression ratio of 10:1 and used an onboard computer very similar to the later HE cars. Even Wikipedia does not cover these models, which should have a separate article.

I am a great fan of your magazine and have read every issue from the second edition of Jaguar Quarterly in 1988. I currently own seven Jaguars, the XJ-S being a particular passion. One of my cars was featured in the Autumn 1994 issue of Jaguar Quarterly: the XJ-S pick-up that I had converted, and which I still own, is on of Paul Skilleter’s article on New Zealand by XJ6. I also have a 1977 pre-HE manual.

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Chris Rees Chris Rees Fifth-generation Range Rover L460 revealed 1 year ago

CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION

It isn’t often that a new Range Rover arrives. While most new cars have a shelf life of around six years, Land Rover has managed to stretch out the current model’s life to almost a decade, by the time the latest car – L460 – goes on sale next spring. And while most cars get a mid-life facelift halfway through, Professor Gerry McGovern OBE – Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Creative Officer, to give his full titles – believes in careful evolution, with a series of changes made over a number of different model years, allowing the customer to be carried along the design journey.

I won’t spoil the big reveal on, however, Land Rover’s design team really deserve a big pat on the back for the latest car. There’s so much more to the styling than at first acquaintance, with little touches that really surprise and delight. Like the absence of seals around the windows, the tighter shut lines and the gorgeous simplicity to the rear end. It isn’t until you see the old L405 model and the brand new L460 side-by-side that you begin to notice the differences between the two cars. Like how intricately jewel-like the new headlights are, and the way that they intersect with the front grille.

I had the pleasure of having the new car presented to me by Production Design and Quality Director, Andy Wheel, who went into some detail about how difficult it usually is to get the proportions right on standard and long wheelbase vehicles. It isn’t quite as easy as adding a few centimetres into the rear doors, and the hard work of the design team has paid off, as you will be hard pushed to differentiate the two from each other, aside from an ‘L’ badge on the extended car. For the first time in the flagship car’s history, there’s a choice of five- and seven-seats, and when they say seven seats, they mean seven proper seats, with space to spread out, even for those taller than six foot!

At the launch of L460, the workers at Solihull are starting off building just with petrol and diesel engines. While the D300 and D350 straight six diesel units with mild hybrid technology are familiar, the P530 twin-turbocharged V8 petrol unit is a brand-new, heavily modified BMW-sourced powerplant that has been uprated to cope with the kind of punishment that every Land Rover has to go through before it can be put on sale to true off-road fans. Next year, a pair of plug-in hybrid engines will arrive (P440e and P510e), this time paired to a six-cylinder petrol unit, rather than the 2.0-litre four-cylinder affair from before, boosting refinement enormously. And in 2024, a pure electric drivetrain will go on sale, delivering the most diverse range of powerplants in a Range Rover, ever.

It is with great sadness that the Vogue badge is retired, and that’s due to licensing issues in some markets with the magazine of the same name. Instead, this time around, versions of the Range Rover will simply be called SE, HSE, Autobiography and First Edition in all countries.

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Chris Rees Chris Rees Are car dealers guilty of causing the diesel decline? 1 year ago

Door open for death of diesel? Hope you’re keeping well in the extreme heat. I’ve managed to cope by buying an extra desk fan for the shed. I was at a barbecue over the weekend. One of the chaps at the gathering took great pleasure in telling me that the internal combustion engine is doomed and that I should buy an electric vehicle before my diesel car is run off the road by legislation, taxation and social pressure. He has bought a Polestar electric car, which he was keen to show to me. It looks good, but I’m more concerned about his comments about the death of the internal combustion engine. He said he had read a report in Autocar which suggests the government is being vague, leaving the door open for tighter restrictions. I know you don’t have a crystal ball, but I’d like some reassurances. Do I need to buy an electric car sooner rather than later? Yours concerned.

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Chris Rees Chris Rees Aston Martin DB5 Vantage came in three forms: we try Saloon, Convertible and ’Brake 1 year ago

I am glad that Top Gear tested this on their track so that we have a lap time for this great looking James Bond car. This does bring up the point about the use of non-original tires. Obviously they didn't test it on 45 year old tires, and I am pretty certain that the O.E. model tires are no longer made. I would guess they used a similar style and size tire to the O.E. and that is fine. I don't think that it invalidates the test, and thus this does set a precident for equivalent (yet not original) tires when track testing cars that are older or no longer current models. :)

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Chris Rees Chris Rees 1999 Porsche Boxster 2.5 986 1 year ago

The 2.5 6-flat is a basic engine of all 986 series

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Chris Rees Chris Rees 1954 Glöckler-Porsche 356 Carrera 1500 Coupe heads to auction 1 year ago

GLÖCKLER-PORSCHE 356 CARRERA 1500 COUPE GOES UNDER THE HAMMER

Porsche and motorsport have always been inseparable. It’s almost impossible to imagine a time when Porsches did not compete in — and win — every race, from top-level endurance events to amateur sprints all across the globe. This isn’t to say Porsche always had the resources to fund a world-beating works team, though. Indeed, in its earliest years, while the company was still establishing itself, Porsche relied on outsiders to explore the inherent performance potential of its offerings. Walter Glöckler was one such outsider. A Frankfurt-based Volkswagen and Porsche dealer from the very early days, he had been a motorcycle racer before World War II and, to satisfy his need for speed, he and engineer, Hermann Ramelow, constructed a series of special race cars in the late 1940s. The first used no Porsche components, but things changed when Glöckler recognised the value of Porsche’s engineering. Watchful eyes in Gmünd, then Zuffenhausen, paid close attention to the so-called Glöckler-Porsches. In fact, Glöckler’s lightweight, rear-mid- engine racing spyders, particularly the 1953 Glöckler-Porsche 1500 Super, are acknowledged as inspiration for the famous 550 Spyder.

For his sixth and final Porsche-based car, Glöckler acquired an original 1954 Pre-A 356 chassis, number 12213, direct from Porsche. Power came from a very early example of the Ernst Fuhrmann-designed fourcam ‘vertical shaft’ flat-four, an advanced engine well-suited to this forward-looking vehicle. It was matched to a four-speed gearbox. Conceived to compete in the 1954 Mille Miglia, this special car would be the sole Glöckler-Porsche coupe, an unusual choice in an age when most race cars were open-topped. Frankfurt’s C.H. Weidenhausen, the coachbuilder responsible for the first two 550 RS prototype bodies, executed the coupe’s curvaceous aluminium panels. The bodywork’s overall design would have already stood out for its nearly vertical headlamps (plus a low-mounted central front light) and its tailfins, but the unique coupe roofline made it quite unlike anything else on the road or track. A huge, split backlight gave nearly panoramic views, all the better to spot pursuing rivals, while roof cut-outs for the doors eased entry and exit when a helmet was worn. Unfortunately, the car wasn’t completed in time for the race, instead debuting at the 1954 Liège– Rome–Liège road rally. Walter Glöckler’s cousin, Helm Glöckler, and co-driver, Max Nathan, piloted the sporty coupe over the course of the demanding event. Despite oil supply problems forcing a retirement, the duo is said to have driven the coupe across the finish line.

After the race, the car spent time at the Porsche factory. By the close of 1954, it had been exported to the USA. Later, in the 1970s, the car was acquired by Rudi Klein and was parked in his famous sports and luxury car salvage yard near Los Angeles. It would stay there until Hans Heffels, a Frankfurt-based Lufthansa employee, negotiated the return of the Glöckler-Porsche to its homeland. He was, however, unable to take on the demanding overhaul required, resulting in the car remaining in a decidedly disassembled state until 2005, when classic Porsche collector, Hans Georg Frers, obtained the air-cooled speed machine and commissioned a comprehensive restoration. Ulrich Weinberg of Zetel, Germany, was tasked with repairing the bodywork, preserving all original aluminium, save for the front panel (which is still with the car today). At some point in the first decades of its life, the car’s original engine was replaced by the punchy 1.5-litre four-cam no.P90016, which was originally installed in 550 Spyder chassis 550-0026 (such swaps were not uncommon at the time). This complex engine was entrusted to specialist, Armin Baumann of Switzerland, for a complete rebuild.

Acquired by the current owner in 2016, this remarkable Glöckler- Porsche remains in excellent condition and, accompanied by restoration documentation, correspondence from the Glöckler family and a FIVA identity card, this significant piece of the Porsche motorsport story (and a candidate for many of the world’s top historic rallies) finally resurfaced at RM Sotheby’s Monterey Auction just as we went to print with this issue of Classic Porsche. Congratulations to the winning bidder.

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Chris Rees Chris Rees Corner of Nürburgring to be named after Sabine Schmitz 1 year ago

FIRST CORNER OF NORDSCHLEIFE TO BE NAMED AFTER SABINE SCHMITZ

In a move many of us considered long overdue even before the untimely passing of racing driver, Sabine Schmitz, officials at the Nürburgring have announced the first corner on the legendary Green Hell will be known as Sabine-Schmitz-Kurve following an official ceremony scheduled for September 11th, when a six-hour round of the Nürburgring Endurance Series (the largest grassroots motorsport series in the world) is scheduled to take place.

Schmitz amassed a staggering 33,000 laps of the Nürburgring, not only as a professional racing driver (both with and without her husband, Klaus Abbelen, co-owner of Porsche endurance racing outfit, Frikadelli, by her side), but also as the operator of a BMW E60 M5 ‘Ring taxi. She also hit the track in the Schmitz family car (without her parents knowledge) as a teenager. The Queen of the Nordschleife would go on to become the first and, as yet, only woman to win the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, which she achieved in 1996, before repeating the feat the following season. She also participated in the Nürburgring Endurance Series back when it was known as Veranstaltergemeinschaft Langstreckenpokal Nürburgring (VLN, the Association of Nürburgring Endurance Cup Organisers), winning the series in 1998.

She possessed a natural talent behind the wheel, demonstrated by the various Nordschleife lap records she smashed, including her efforts to achieve a sub-ten-minute lap in a Ford Transit panel van. The resulting coverage on Top Gear made her a household name across Europe and rewarded her with various media and presenting gigs across numerous networks. She may be gone from the grid, but thanks to the introduction of Sabine-Schmitz-Kurve, she will live on at the Nordschleife forever.

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Chris Rees Chris Rees 246bhp 1.8 Turbo engined 1983 Volkswagen Golf Mk1 1 year ago

Nice job for this Mk1 Golf/Rabbit!

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Chris Rees Chris Rees 1955 Aston-Martin DB2/4 DHC 1 year ago

Nice pre-Bond era Aston

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Chris Rees Chris Rees Are electric classics the equivalent of a modern barn conversion? 1 year ago

Meanwhile, in Britain, EV conversion specialist Electrogenic has revealed its own one-off take on a French classic: the Citroën DS. The DS Électronique swaps its four-cylinder petrol engine for a 120bhp electric motor, which is powered by a 48.5kWh battery, giving around 140 miles of range. Only the absence of exhaust pipes gives away the car’s revised mechanicals, with even the original manual gearbox and ‘selflevelling’ hydropneumatic suspension being retained. UK firm has given DS a 120bhp motor and 48.5kWh battery

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Chris Rees Chris Rees 2022 BMW 430i Cabrio M Sport G23 1 year ago

Yes — but bi-turbo + intercooler and a lot of power

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Chris Rees Chris Rees 2023 Alfa Romeo GTV - back as an EV in big line-up revamp 1 year ago

Design of this render is true epic

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