February 6, 2012
The Ferrari Dino 206 SP of 1966 was one of only 18 built, largely due to financial constraints of the time. Ferrari needed to build 50 for FIA Group 4 racing homologation purposes but with the little Dino-powered 206 S falling short of the production mark, it was later designated the 206 ‘SP’ – the SP standing for ‘Sports Prototype’.
Essentially a scaled-down/shortened version of its V12’d 330P big-brother, the little Dino-powered (V6) 206 was just as beautiful yet weighed a scant 580kg allowing its 215 bhp 2.0L V6 to propel itself and driver along at a rather brisk pace.
December 21, 2011
Back in October of 1966, a team of Toyota speed wizards showed up at the Yatabe Test Track in Japan (now long-gone, sadly) with a lightly modified Toyota 2000GT in an attempt to smash a whole load of various Land Speed records. Their aims and goals were set high for this occasion – 3 days and 6 hours of successful, non-stop running would help in achieving those goals.
With the debut of the Toyota 2000GT prototype at the 1965 Tokyo Motor Show, four development mules were constructed around the ‘280-A1’ prototype with various racing and speed testing in mind. Some bodies were lightweight versions made from hand-beaten aluminium (for racing purposes) and some were constructed from steel (for the high-speed trials).
The car you see in these pictures (and video below) is rumoured to be the actual prototype ‘280-A1’ that was originally shown at the ’65 Tokyo Motor Show, albeit completely rebuilt and modified after catching fire during testing at Fuji Speedway in ’65 (after its lightweight/highly flammable magnesium wheels erupted in flames… oh dear). With a burnt-out shell on their hands, the Toyota Technocraft team set about rebuilding the car with the aim of obliterating the existing Land Speed records the following year in ’66…
And obliterate those records, it did – The 2000GT ran for 78 hours and in those 3.25 days it broke 13 International records and 3 World records for endurance and speed in the 1500-2000cc class with speeds averaging in the 206 km/h region.
After setting these impressive new records, the same car used to extract those world-record figures/numbers at Yatabe Test Track was eventually converted into a circuit racing car. Sadly, shortly thereafter the car was involved in a horrible crash whereupon it also caught fire and was subsequently destroyed.
An exact replica of the original record-breaking Green and Yellow 2000GT exists nowadays and can usually be seen at various motoring shows and exhibitions throughout Japan.
December 5, 2011
Not a lot to add here, really… What a gorgeous car. Love how the red pin-stripes on the tires and lower sills work so well against the grey/granite paintwork.