Stikkord: Petrolicious

Petrolicious: 1971 Mazda RX-2 video

Rotary engines scream to the heavens in the best way possible. To hear a wonderful example of the Wankel’s battle cry, turn up your speakers and watch Petrolicious highlight an immaculately clean 1971 Mazda RX-2 in Australia.

Owner Jason Humble took three years to build his RX-2 from a bare shell, and he started competing with it in vintage racing in 2005. The little coupe’s class pits it on track against Mustangs and Camaros, but Humble claims that he’s regularly near the top of the pack thanks to the Mazda’s communicative chassis.

We don’t get to see the RX-2 mixing things up on track in the Petrolicious video, but Humble does treat us to a drive through the Australian countryside. He’s happy to let the coupe’s rotary rev, and the little engine is capable of making a wonderful noise. It’s great to see Petrolicious continue to give the spotlight to these sometimes overlooked classic Japanese sports cars.

Petrolicious carves up the road with a pumpkin-colored BMW 2002

Sometimes the best way to learn a skill the right way is to completely screw things up the first time. Carter Kelly Kramer figured out that lesson during years of restoration work on his 1976 BMW 2002. What he lacked in talent, Kramer made up with dogged perseverance until he had the pumpkin-colored BMW in this week’s video from Petrolicious.

The problems started the moment Kramer bought the 2002 on eBay. It turned out to have rotten floors, no brakes, and plenty of other issues. However, Kramer was 16 and thought he could fix everything that was wrong. It was long repair process with a multitude of problems. Kramer even briefly sold the car.

Kramer’s tenacity eventually resulted in the orange 2002 that he has today. After all the work, the classic BMW is now far from stock, but the mods express Kramer’s dream for the car. This engrossing story of determination also introduces a new opening for Petrolicious’ videos. It also has a redesigned website.

Petrolicious geeks out off-road in Toyota FJ40

Vehicles don’t come much more legendary or iconic than the Toyota FJ40. Little wonder that it’s bred not one, but a whole slew of modern incarnations. The FJ Cruiser was a revival of the original, the Land Cruiser remains the modern evolution of the breed, and the Land Cruiser Prado (known to us as the Lexus GX) owes its lineage to the original FJ as well. Heck, Toyota might not even be in the SUV business altogether, with its proliferate offerings, if not for the original FJ40. So it’s about time that Petrolicious gave it is due.

This particular example hails back to 1976, which puts it smack in the middle of the second-generation Land Cruiser’s lifecycle. That’s when this example’s owner, Josh Commons, was just a kid, and had a toy version of the FJ40 he would later come to own – the exact same model, same year, same color, everything. It evidently stuck with him, so when he was old enough, he bought one in 1992 – and it’s been in his family over the decades since, passing from him, to his sister, to his parents, and ultimately back into his own loving hands.

Josh uses it like it was intended, taking it off-road and keeping it as true to the original as he can. The addition of power steering is a notable exception, but if that’s what it takes to make it drivable day to day, far be it from us to pass judgement. Especially when he actually takes it off the beaten path and up to long-forgotten sites like the ghost town that is Boulder City, ID. Hear his story in the video above.

«One of my favorite things about this vehicle is the total pure utility of it,» says Josh Commons, «…the only creature comforts—apart from a heater—is that the seats are padded.»

Built to be rugged, long-lasting, dependable, and easy-to-repair, the Toyota FJ40 has earned a reputation for being one of the world’s best vehicles for going off-road, anywhere, any time. Family owned since 1992, Commons had it for 10 years before selling it to his sister, who sold it to their parents. After a time, it was passed back to Josh and hasn’t left his possession since.

«I’ve owned it long enough to go full cycle to where the brakes and the wheel cylinders wore out and needed to be rebuilt,» Commons says. «You’re turning the same screw you turned 20 years ago…it’s kind of special.»

8,000 feet up, Commons takes us to the beautiful mining ghost town, Boulder City. Not many vehicles—let alone off-roaders—can survive the journey, but the FJ40 almost makes it look like a piece of cake.

«I don’t see these as disposable, I see them as infinitely rebuildable,» he says. «It’s definitely an heirloom now.»

Petrolicious relives history with Stirling Moss and his Mercedes SLR

Few triumphs have inspired drivers like Sir Stirling Moss’ victory at the 1955 Mille Miglia. Then just 25 years old, driver Moss and co-driver Denis Jenkinson roared through 992 miles of Italian countryside in just 10 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds. Average speed? 98.53 miles per hour.

Here, Moss tells the story of his victory in his own words.

“Once the flag fell, I went flat out,” said Moss. “Obviously, when I’d see a car I caught up with, I really felt great about it, but I had no idea of the enormity of what it meant to myself because it’s really—it’s quite the thing to have on your CV.”
Finishing ahead of the then-two times Grand Prix World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio, Moss’ achievement has long since been labeled “The greatest race”—a title that probably won’t be applied to any other motorsport event ever again. The 1955 Mille Miglia had it all: incredible drivers, now-iconic machines like the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR #722, and a harrowing course that was dangerous beyond belief.

How dangerous? Moss said he had to wiggle the car from left to right on the road so that spectators would take a few steps back as he flew through the often small Italian towns along the route.

“Oh, I’m certain it’s my greatest win,” said Moss. “I can’t think of any other car in the world that would have given me the opportunity to achieve the speeds we did.”

Called SLR for Sport Leicht-Rennen (“Sport Light-Racing” in English) the 300 SLR was the world’s most advanced race car of its time: direct fuel-injected straight-8 engine, roughly 310 horsepower, and a top speed of around 180 mph (290 km/h).

“The 722 is a really strong car…” said Moss. “The fact the car’s really old doesn’t matter—that car, the way it is now, I reckon we’d beat any other cars, anyway!”

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