Our next road car adventure has begun. Here’s what’s up.
For 42 years I’ve been driving exotic cars. I’ve always loved race cars especially when race cars looked beautiful and without too much work could be driven both at the track and on the street. I’ve also Loved Supercars which have now become “Hypercars”. My adventures with designing and building/modifying cars really began with my ex Donohue/Pensky Lola T 70 which won 7 major races and I bought as a full on Can Am racer in 1971. I immediately made a few minor changes, cooling fans etc. and put it on the road. After a while I converted it to endurance racing coupe form and added more road equipment. The process of turning a flat out race car into a road car was what I came to enjoy. A few years later I realized that original history was important so the modifications I made to my Ford MK-IV that Donohue and McLaren drove to 4th OA at Le Mans very very mimimual as were the modifications I made to my P 3/4 and my 412P. Just enough to make them road legal and able to take a few minutes of traffic without melting down.
When Pininfarina found me they were looking to restart their “Special Project” division and start building one off’s again. I think they also wanted to show that they could build beautiful cars and were tired of hearing that the latest Ferrari’s showed they had “lost it”. They also needed a customer who in addition to being able to write a check wouldn’t be afraid of what Ferrari would do to them for daring to work totally outside of the system. I thought about it and said: “I want a modern Hommage to my P 3/4 on a new Enzo platform.” The entire experience was amazing. I met Paolo Garella who was in charge of Special Projects and he showed me the entire process of how a car was made, tested and produced. I learned about CAD, windtunnels and that not all cool drawings can become cars that you can fit in, see out of, and drive.
After Ferrari P 4/5 by Pininfarina Paolo and I turned to a race version that became P 4/5 Competizione. That too was an amazing experience and I must say that real racing is a lot different than bench racing or racing on internet forums. Eventually we fit KERS and that too was an amazing experience. KERS works best in short bursts to provide torque until the petrol engine can rev into it’s torque range. At the Ring we were able to make 50 seconds of 50HP by recovering energy that otherwise would be turned into heat by braking the rear wheels. Eventually we used GPS to trigger the system for a four second burst on the next full throttle application after hard braking and coming out of a turn. Year over year we were 15 seconds a lap faster. We Won the FIA Alternate Cup and I was happy that the next group of Hypercars (P1/La Ferrari/918) would use KERS and be eligible to race us.
Then I realized that none of them were going to. The cost and complexity of KERS and their 1000HP had turned them into monsters, but not monsters like the 917-30 that were going to see real racing after they set sub 7 minute Ring times. I began thinking about my cars. My P 3/4 that weighs 1800 LB and has 430 HP. Dino Competizione that weighs 1300lb and has 230 HP and how much fun they were to drive and maybe how Hypercars were losing their way especially as they were never going to race in anger.
What if I stepped back? Simpler. Lighter. Smaller? Could it be that “Less is really more?” That’s what our new road car is going to be. Lighter, smaller, simpler and very beautiful. Our goals are similar HP/LB to my P 3/4 and something that is a new, forward design where it’s three wing are integrated into the form as a Porsche 959′s rear wing is. I’m calling it 003 as it’s our third one off and it will have three integrated wings. It will be Dino Competizione sized. We’re thinking CF tub, a TTV6 and a very sexy shape. Paolo will be heading up the team again and my long time friend and chief mechanic Sal Barone will be making sure it all works and Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus and it’s associates will be designing, engineering and building 003. 003 will be badged as an SCG as is P 4/5 Competizione. From the day I took the Ferrari Badge off of P 4/5 Competizione (something viewed by millions of people on our FB site) I haven’t looked back.
When we have a sketch we’re happy with we’ll share them with you.