Volvo PV444/544 – Champion at Lower Torque

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It is said that Volvo doesn’t make ordinary cars. The legendary performance of the PV444 and subsequent PV544 definitely live up to this belief. History of the PV444 and PV544 The very first PV444 was produced by Volvo in 1943. It was originally powered by the Volvo B4B engine. The B4B was a 1.4 L straight-four design, capable of producing up to 40 HP. In 1955 the engine was succeeded by the Volvo B14A, rates in your state, with an improved carburetor design. In 1957, the engine was again replaced with the B16A and B16B. The B16 series engines offered a larger 1.6 L displacement. In 1958 the PV444 was superseded by the PV544. The new PV model was notable for an improved one piece windshield design. The 544 used Volvo’s new B18 engine. The B18 was an improved 1.6 L straight-four engine, capable of producing up to 66 HP. The PV444/544 as a Rally Car The 1.6 L B16B engine matched with Volvo’s high performance suspension system made the PV444/544 a great car indeed. However, many were skeptical of its ability as a rally car. What many failed to recognize was the vehicle’s ability to provide an impressive amount of torque in lower gears. In 1958 a Swedish driver by the name of Gunnar Anderson won the Midnight Sun Rally with a PV444. Anderson would go on to win additional European Rally events in the late 1950’s. Anderson’s driving ability matched with Volvo’s superb engineering turned a family vehicle into a world renowned rally car.

Volvo PV444/544 – Cute and Complex

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Volvo’s PV models were designed during the cataclysmic years of World War II. While Sweden remained neutral in the conflict, material shortages dictated that the cars would be smaller and more efficient than pre-war automobiles. The cars would contain many engineering firsts for Volvo, and would go on to find racing success on rally circuits between 1957 and 1965.

The PV was the first Volvo with uni-body construction, and the first with a four cylinder engine. The car sold well, and became the first model the Swedish company exported. By the time production Read the rest of this entry »

Alpine-Renault A110 1600 Gives Way to Renault

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The Alpine-Renault A110 wowed the public with its beautiful lines when it was introduced in 1961. The car was produced by Alpine, but featured mostly Renault parts, including a range of high performance engines. Known as the “Berlinette”, the car had a rear engine, rear wheel drive layout and would become famous for its rally wins in the early 1970s.

Between 1970 and 1972 the car competed in the International Championship for Manufacturers and scored several victories, including the Monte Carlo Rally in 1971 with Ove Andersson behind the wheel. Renault then completed their takeover of Alpine and entered the A110 in the Read the rest of this entry »

The Rise and Fall of the Alpine-Renault A110 1600

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The Alpine-Renault A110 1600 had a brief but spectacular rally career. Renault had achieved some success in the late 1960s racing the A110 with cast iron Gordini R8 engines, but it was the switch to the aluminum block of the Renault 16 TS motor that turned the car into a world champion. Twin dual chamber Weber carburetors helped the engine to put out 125 horsepower, which translated into a top speed of 130 mph.

The car competed in the new International Championship for Manufacturers with Swedish driver Ove Anderssen behind the wheel. The A110 won the Monte Carlo Rally, the Acropolis Rally, the Rallye Read the rest of this entry »

Ford Focus Keeping Up with the French

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Domestically produced rally cars that are able to compete with their foreign counterparts are an important concern for many race and rally fans. Learning more about the vehicles and drivers that have managed to make the biggest impact on the sport over the years can provide you with plenty of new insight and a renewed appreciation of rally cars and events. For those who take this sport seriously, possessing a better understanding of the vehicles and drivers that have made it great may not be a concern to be taken lightly.

Thanks to the Internet, Read the rest of this entry »

Ford Focus Endures Ups and Downs of WRC

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Between 1999 and 2010, the Ford Focus RS WRC won 44 world rallies and captured two manufacturers’ world titles for the blue oval, but things did not always go according to plan.

The car debuted in the Monte Carlo Rally in 1999 and was an immediate hit. Simon Jean-Joseph and Colin McRae set a blistering pace behind the wheel of the new car, and set the fastest time on several stages. However, an illegal water pump led to the Focus being ruled out of the event. After correcting the problem, McRae would achieve the car’s first win two events later in the Safari Rally in Kenya.I found some more information here.

In 2003, Ford introduced the Focus RS WRC 03,, which was redesigned from the ground up, and Markko Martin piloted the car to two world rally wins. But rapid changes in the high tech world of international rally competition meant that this success was short lived. By 2005 the car was no longer competitive and Ford failed to notch a win.

Ford introduced the Focus RS WRC 06 in the last race of the 2005 season. Featuring a new Duratec engine, the car would go on to dominate. The car scored the first of its 12 wins at the Monte Carlo Rally, which opened the 2006 season. Successive models added to the legacy which would become 142 podium places in 173 events.