The Good Oil: 50 years of the blue worm

The CSX7000 
Shelby 289 FIA Cobra 
will be limited to just 
50 units.
The CSX7000 Shelby 289 FIA Cobra will be limited to just 50 units.

The car is designed to be the lightest Cobra so far.

To celebrate 50 years of jamming huge engines into tiny, tiny cars, Shelby American jammed a huge engine into a tiny, tiny car.

Although, to be accurate, it has created a car that you can jam your own huge engine into.

The CSX7000 Shelby 289 FIA Cobra will be limited to just 50 units and is designed to "mimic" the design of the legendary 1964 Shelby 289 FIA Cobra. Its use of modern materials and build processes will make it the "lightest Shelby Cobra ever", according to the company. Just 950kg, the CSX7000 will no doubt be terrifyingly fast regardless of what huge engine you choose to jam in it.

And the choice truly is yours - sort of - as the CSX7000 comes as a kit complete with an exhaust for a small block Ford V8, so you can terrify yourself in any way you like. As long as it is a Ford.

The CSX7000 will start at US$95,000 ($114,000) for a fibreglass version or US$160,000 for an aluminium version. Excluding drivetrain, of course.

Mugen steals fun from Honda generation gap

It is nice to know that the slightly unbalanced DNA of Honda still exists in its pure form somewhere. While the main company has come over all dull and mainstream as of late, the ''other'' company started by Soichiro Honda's son, Hirotoshi, is still pretty mental.

We are referring, of course, to Mugen Motorsports, the company responsible for even more mental versions of some of Honda's most brilliantly mental cars of old, and lately, mental versions of their dull cars.

Mugen Honda Vezel
Mugen Honda Vezel

Honda's biggest news from the recent Tokyo Motor Show was its entry into the baby SUV segment, the Jazz-based Vezel. While that would evoke yawns from most motorsport/
tuner companies with strong associations with a company, Mugen - as we may have mentioned - are mental, so they did a version of their own. A completely mental version.

The Mugen Vezel concept debuted at Tokyo Auto Salon earlier this month. As usual with Mugen, Honda seems to have tried to reel it in and, aside from a custom dual exhaust system, no engine mods have been made public/been allowed, but the sports suspension, 20-inch alloy wheels, an interior re-trim and that mental body kit are more than worth a look.

Dirt trucks get frozen wings

Ricky Johnson in action during qualifying at Red Bull Frozen Rush at Sunday River in Newry, Maine.

Never a company to do things by halves, Red Bull pulled something a bit different out of its hat for a Pro 4 off-road truck race.

The monstrous Pro 4 racing trucks are generally more at home in the deserts of Baja, the slopes of Pikes Peak and stadiums, where their 670kW mid-mounted engines and massive suspension travel make for spectacular dirt racing.

So, of course, it would make perfect sense for Red Bull to take a bunch of the beasts to sub-zero temperatures, ice and snow of Maine's Sunday River Resort to race around a specially designed track complete with jumps and slaloms. At least it made sense to
someone at Red Bull ...

The Frozen Rush event was previewed last year when the energy drink company took Pro 4 2012 champion (and seven-time AMA motocross champion) Ricky Johnson to the remarkably unimaginatively-named Mt Snow in Vermont for a demonstration; this year it was all on, with eight of the Pro 4 monsters descending on Sunday River Resort.

Wearing special studded BFGoodrich tyres, the trucks competed in a number of rounds
and, despite bone-chilling sub-zero temperatures, drew an impressive crowd of 10,000 spectators to watch Johnson edge out long-time rival Ricky Greaves to claim the title
of ''Most Insane Man on Snow''. Or something like that ...

We are the world ...

*An American man has discovered a unique way to avoid being arrested for drunk driving - climb a tree and pretend to be an owl. Tony Prockett - aged 37 - recently ran from the police after being spotted weaving all over the road. He abandoned his car ran into the woods and climbed a tree. When police found him he first asked them if they ''had caught the guy who was driving,'' before climbing higher up into the tree and claiming he was an owl. This wasn't as convincing as it might seem and Prockett was eventually arrested.

*In a story that is becoming increasingly common in the US, it seems that yet another car theft was thwarted because the potential thieves couldn't drive a manual ...

Three would-be car thieves in Massachusetts robbed a delivery driver and tried to take off with his car, except not one of them knew how to change gears.

DB is back, but not David Brown that 007 knew

True fans of high-performance sports cars should recognise the name David Brown. His initials have graced the rumps of some of the most lust-worthy British cars and propelled the world's most famous secret agent through some of his best on-screen chases.

The ''DB'' in Aston Martins like the DB5, DB7 and DB9 stands for David Brown, the saviour of the company in 1947 when his tractor company bought Aston Martin and Lagonda and combined the two into the company we know today.The name is about to make another
venture into the motor car market with the launch of David Brown Automotive, a company that promises to ''refresh the classic British sports car for the 21st century''.

David Brown British Sports Car will be unveiled early this year
David Brown British Sports Car will be unveiled early this year

Except it's not ''that'' David Brown. Considering his company sold Aston Martin in 1972 and he died in 1993, it would be a neat trick to pull off. This David Brown is a ''successful British businessman and car enthusiast'' who has decided to create a new British sports car under his own name. That just happens to be exactly the same as the name of the bloke who was responsible for one of the most celebrated British sports cars.

Brown says he has commissioned an original exterior and interior design, sourced
bespoke British suppliers for interior trim and materials and the car has been engineered for low-volume production, combining the latest manufacturing techniques with traditional craftsmanship.

''I wanted all the impact and style of a classic sports car, but with modern capabilities and conveniences,'' he said. ''This is what I want in a car, but it's not something anyone really offers. So, I've created it myself.''

They say that the quickest way to make a small fortune is to invest a large one in motorsport. The Good Oil reckons developing and building your own sports car would be a very close second.


Number Crunching

1 NAMEPLATE There was no Aston Martin officially named the DB1.

3 NAMEPLATE There was never a DB3 and the road car often called that was the DB Mark III.

8 NAMEPLATE There was never a DB8 because the company was
afraid people would think it only had a V8 engine.

10 NAMEPLATE The successor to the DB9 may make the jump into double figures with its name.

- NZ Herald

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