Vintage & Classics

October hot rod races to once again pit vintage cars against sandy South Wales

This 1929 Ford Model A is driven by Matt Ferrant on the beach ahead of the annual London Concours and Pendine Sands Hot Rod Races.

Photo by James Mitchell

With track racing all by halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pendine Sands Hot Rod Races October 3-4 dates on the calendar are something unique to look forward to.

The event sits squarely at the intersection of vintage vehicles and speed. On Pendine Sands, it's about hitting top speed rather than a short sprint.

At the event over 150 pre-1949 modified American cars meet on the beach to compete for class records and entry to the 100 mph club. One participant will be crowned "King of the Beach".

Malcolm Campbell Pendine SandsCrowds surrounding Sir Malcolm Campbell (1885 - 1948) on July 21, 1925 in his Sunbeam after he had broken the world record for the mile and kilometer at a speed of 150.368 mph on Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire.Photo by Getty Images

TheSands have a rich history when it comes to auto racing. The seven miles of shoreline that meets Carmarthen Bay in Southern Wales served as the host of the annual Welsh TT motorcycle event starting in 1922. Its firm, flat surface was considered straighter and smoother than most any major road at the time, making it an ideal setting for car racing.

Malcom Campbell, a British speed racing enthusiast, set the world land speed record of 146.16 mpg on the beach in his Sunbeam 350HP car nicknamed Blue Bird in 1924. That car now sits in the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire, England. Campbell would go on to set nine records through 1934 culminating in a run at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, which saw him become the first person to surpass 300 mph in a car.

The Vintage Hot Rod Association (VHRA) brought speed back to the sands starting in 2013 with their annual Hot Rod Races. Ahead of the races, several of the models will be shown off at the London Concours, slated for August 19-20, 2020.

According to a release, Matt Farrant, the three-time King of the Beach will be bringing his 1929 Ford Model A Roadster pick-up to display. The car is an early 1960s style street roadster. His goal is to run a 12-second quarter mile on a dragstrip. He's already clocked 119 mph on the sand. Despite being race-ready, the car serves valiantly during the year as a daily driver, often taking Farrant and his family on road trips.

Rebecca Dunn 1930 Ford Model ARebecca Dunn has piloted this 1930 Ford Model A on the sand.Photo by James Mitchell

Rebecca Dunn, will bring her 1930 Ford Model A Coupe to the London Concours. The Model A is a mishmash of brands underneath. It has a Desoto Hemi 330 cu-in engine at its heart with Lincoln brakes, Buick finned drums, and other parts from Ford and Plymouth. According to a release, "On the sand, there are only two women who have managed to break the 100 mph barrier in their own cars and Rebecca is one of them."

Chris Rawlins has a 1932 Ford Streamliner that takes its styling cues from 1940s-era California dry lakes modified hot rods. It gets its power from a Ford Flathead V8 and has a Ford gearbox and rear axle. It features a modified canopy from a WW2 T6 Texan aircraft. For a number of years, Rawlins has pushed the limits of his hot rod, entering the 100 mph club and securing a number of class wins.

Tickets for the London Concours are now available and start at £40. The Pendine Sands Hot Rod Races are free to spectators.

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The Sport Classic comes to the U.S. for the first time next year.

Porsche

Porsche's bringing the 911 Sport Classic back to market, and it's headed to the United States for the first time. The car features distinctive styling, a rowdy twin-turbo flat-six engine, and plenty of go-fast gear from the 911 Turbo S upon which it is based. The car is scheduled for limited release late in 2022 as a 2023 model year.

2021 Porsche 911 Sport ClassicThe Sport Classic comes exclusively with a manual transmission and RWD.Porsche

The Sport Classic gets the Turbo S powertrain, which means a 3.7-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six engine producing 543 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. It's paired exclusively with a seven-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. Porsche says the combo makes the car the most powerful 911 with a manual gearbox currently on sale. The Sport Classic also gets a laundry list of parts from the Turbo S, including Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes, rear-axle steering, a sport exhaust, and an active sport suspension system.

2021 Porsche 911 Sport ClassicThe car comes with an interior not seen since the Porsche 918 Spyder.Porsche

The car' comes with Sport Grey Metallic paint with grey accent stripes, a carbon fiber reinforced plastic hood, and unique graphics on both sides. It rides on 20-inch wheels up front and 21-inch wheels in back, which are designed as reinterpretations of the old-school Fuchs design. In back, the Sport Classic gets unique bodywork that sets it apart from the 911 Turbo, such as deleted air intakes and a large ducktail spoiler. Inside, the 911 gets open-pore wood trim and semi-aniline leather upholstery in cognac and black. Porsche says the Sport Classic is the first car to get that type of leather since the iconic 918 Spyder.

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The Supra finally gets a manual transmission for 2023.

Toyota

After an almost nonstop chorus of enthusiasts and journalists asking for a manual transmission in the new Supra, Toyota has gone and done it. The car will get an available six-speed manual transmission that will be available on both variants of the GR Supra 3.0, plus a limited-edition model on the U.S. market next year.

2023 Toyota Supra 3.0 MTToyota had to modify the car's interior for the new gearbox. Toyota

The A91-MT Edition Supra will be limited to 500 units, and gets two exterior colors with an exclusive Cognac leather interior. All 2023 Supras come with a 3.0-liter straight-six engine that makes 382 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque. Toyota says the six-speed manual has been specially tuned to work with the car's engine, and notes that it modified an existing transmission housing to come up with the design. The gearbox's final drive ratio is shortened to improve response and take-off.

Toyota had to modify the car's interior to accommodate a gearshift lever, so the iDrive controller and other buttons had to be relocated. The automaker says that it focused on the feeling of shifting, from the weight of the knob to the ergonomics and location of the component.

2023 Toyota Supra 3.0 MTThe limited-edition A91-MT trim gets an exclusive cognac leather interior.Toyota

A Supra with a manual gearbox is reason to celebrate, but availability is limited to the top Supra 3.0. The "base" Supra 2.0 won't get the transmission. Toyota says pricing and other information will be available later this year.

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