The fifth round in the home international rally championship series sponsored by Sedan Products was the unique Manx event on September 14th/15th. Held over 270 miles of closed public roads in and around, but not part of, the TT course this year’s Manx, the latest in a line born in 1963, had a top class entry from Ford, Saab, Dealer Team Vauxhall, Talbot Sunbeam and Leyland ST.
Within the first three stages all top three seeds were eliminated! Stig Blomqvist’s SAAB turbo broke a driveshaft after seven miles; Hannu Mikkola’s Escort broke a steering arm (as did Malcolm Wilson’s similar car later in the event), while Pentti Airikkala had a considerable accident in the DTV Chevette.
The first day was all about Tony Pond and his 2.2-litre Talbot Sunbeam Lotus. Unfortunately the engine expired while Pond was leading comfortably, leaving Russell Brookes (works Escort RS) and DTV number 2 driver Jimmy McRae to fight for victory on the final Saturday. Despite heroic efforts from McRae — including a time 5 sec. faster than Brookes over the longest stage, that saw the Vauxhall’s gear lever fall out at one point — Russell Brookes came home to a 14 sec. victory.—A.A.W.
Porsches for 1980
Porsche announced a new 155 m.p.h. “S” version of the 928 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, with a 300 b.h.p., 4.7-litre development of the all-aluminium V8, 60 b.h.p. more powerful than the 4.5-litre standard car. Despite the extra power and performance the 928S is claimed to be more economical than the 1978/79 928.
The 928S should reach 60 mph. from rest in 6.5 sec. and 100 m.p.h. in 14.6 sec. paring 4.3 sec. from the 928’s time. Torque is raised by 16% to 318 lb. ft. at 4.500 r.p.m. Additional mechanical modifications include cross-drilled brake discs, larger brake pad area and a thicker front anti-roll bar. A new pattern of 7J x 16 alloy road wheel is fitted, a deeper air dam distinguishes the front of the car and a polyurethane rear spoiler is similar to that of the 924 Turbo. Detail changes include automatic temperature regulation for the air-conditioning, electrically heated seats, a smaller diameter steering wheel, protective side strips and red warning lights in the trailing edges of the doors.
When the 928S becomes available on the British market in March 1980 the projected price will be £25,250, with the choice of three-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission.
The engine of the “ordinary” 928 has been modified to give vastly improved fuel consumption — an average of 24%. This results largely from raising the compression ratio to 10:1 from 8.5:1 and revising the camshaft lift. The torque rating increases from 253 lb. ft. at 3:600 r.p.m. to 275 lb. ft. at the same engine speed, power remaining unchanged at 240 b.h.p. It requires four-star fuel.
Other Porsche news is that the 924 Turbo is available on the British market from this month, priced at £13.629. Many improvements have been made to the 924 and 924 Lux, including a brand-new five-speed gearbox as standard, with automatic transmission as an option, a 9″ brake servo, new interior trim and better underfloor soundproofing and a cover for the petrol filler cap. Prices are unchanged. The 911 SC gains an extra 8 b.h.p. and 10.4% fuel consumption improvement from minor modifications, in particular to the ignition timing. The standard SC is increased in price to include a Panasonic digital stereo radio/cassette set and electric aerial, already standard on the Sport version, the price of which is unchanged. All six-cylinder cars are given a new type of oil cooler. The 300 b.h.p. 3.3-litre Turbo has a new and quieter exhaust system and the Blaupunkt stereo equipment is superseded by the Panasonic digital system. The Turbo’s price is unchanged, at £27,950. — C.R.
Running from October 25th to January 13th at the Hayvvard Gallery, South Bank, London SW1, the Arts Council’s “Thirties” Exhibition will contain much of motoring and aviation interest, including a 1:51-scale model of Sir Malcolm Campbell’s LSR Bluebird and a full-size modern replica of that car in its 1935 form. Admission costs £1.20 a head, or 60p all day Mondays and from 6-8 p.m. on Thursdays.
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The “Amazing Bugattis” Exhibition sponsored by The Observer and Moet Chandon opens at the Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London from October 9th to November 18th. Admission £1.50 for adults, 75p Students, Children and OAPs, open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
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The Midland Motor Museum at Bridgnorth, Salop announces that its 8-acre Bird Garden (feathered birds!) adjacent to Stanmore Hall, is now open daily and that the Motor Museum has increased its vehicle display. — W.B.