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The “Grand Prix” car, then and now

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013


I recently watched the 1966 movie “Grand Prix” with James Garner, and really enjoyed seeing it again. I had seen it when I was quite a bit younger and I still remember how exciting it was to see then. You should check this one out. It’s out on DVD with Netflix now, or on Amazon Instant Video. Its re-release was in 2006 and released on Blu Ray in 2011 .
You don’t have to be a car guy to like it either, my wife liked it too. But she likes anything from the 1960s. “Grand Prix” not only has great cars and race sequences it demonstrates the most exciting period of Formula One racing, with actual racing footage and cameos by some of the best drivers of the time. The movie also stars Eva Marie Saint, Yves Montand, Antonio Sabato and Jessica Walter, who now is very popular in the Arrested Development series. Hmmm.. maybe the connection between her and the Arrested Development’s Executive Producer and Narrator, Ron Howard, prompted him to make his most recent Formula One racing movie “Rush”. Maybe. Can’t wait to see that one too!

The car driven by James Garner is a 1961 Lotus 20. This car, as well as other cars in the movie, were 4 cylinder cars made to look like Formula One race cars.   They had to put oil on the tires to make it appear like the tire spin of the more powerful cars when taking off. The result was certainly realistic.
I was recently lucky enough to be in contact with the person who owns the Lotus 20 James Garner drove in the film. Here are some photos of the Lotus 20 then and now.
You’ll notice it now has very different bodywork than was used in the film. This is the actual car that James Garner drove. It is part of a collection of older Race Cars that will be coming to market.


52 years later it is ready to take out on the Race Track.

2013-03-20  Lotus 20-22 a


2013-03-20  Lotus 20-22 h

It’s simply cool to see this car again!

2013-03-20  Lotus 20-22 b

2013-03-20  Lotus 20-22 g

Cutlass 442 W-30 found in original condition

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

1971 Olds 442 W30 001 1971 Olds 442 W30 003 1971 Olds 442 W30 006 1971 Olds 442 W30 008 1971 Olds 442 W30 010 1971 Olds 442 W30 011 1971 Olds 442 W30 013 1971 Olds 442 W30 021I see many restored and built up ones from who knows what. Seeing an original one with the same owner for over 35 years is cool. These are great Muscle cars that are starting to be aware of by people. Growing up around a car lot with many muscle cars coming and going I do remember when these cars were only a year or two old. Many considered these the Luxury Muscle car similar to the Buick GS models. They had good Horsepower and a whole ton of torque. One of my first Cars was a ’71 Olds 455 V8, but it was the Delta 88 2 door model. I still surprised many others wanting race. The Automatics would downshift into passing gear at 95-100 mph. I can remember having to swap the rear tires out on Fridays as I had roasted the previous ones off during the previous weeks of showing off. I would have loved to have had the extra $$$ for a Cutlass like this one back then.

Bullitt Mustang in the waiting.

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

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This would make a nice and quick conversion to the Bullitt Mustang movie car. Highland Green with the 390 and 4 speed Transmission. This car has the GT package which was a rare factory option. Cost for a car equipped like this one was not too far off from what a Shelby GT350 would cost.
A reminder of that famous Bullitt chase scene can be seen here.