Veterans of the Car World

10th October 2017 — by Phil McCusker


“You’re in the desert… why would the car need wind-shield wipers?

Imagine spending the week, looking at impressive builds in the worlds biggest car show, SEMA. Sounds like a dream…. Right?

No. Las Vegas has been the hub of one of the largest Automotive events for several years, the show itself has been going for a lot longer than I have been around, but there are some guys that have been tinkering with cars, for as long as the SEMA show has been around, and probably before.

We were looking for something else, less crazy than the builds we spotted at SEMA…

Cue a 3 Hour drive via the Mojave Desert, to Lake Havasu City, AZ

Next to a Man Made lake in Arizona, stands 43 Square Miles of desert town, steeped in Military history after being founded as an Army Air Corps camp back in the 1950’s so it makes sense that we stumbled upon a Veterans Car meet.

I have always been a fan of the car culture in America, the builds are often insane and I have always had a soft spot for american muscle.

This green ’63 Thunderbird was no exception, the fine attention to every detail was obvious that this car had been built with a lot of love over the last few years, for a car that was over 50 Years Old, it was in better condition than most show cars that I have seen in the UK.

Small Details, when in the Desert, you don’t need everything. The minimal yearly rainfall, means that you can get away with not having wipers, not that I can imagine the torque heavy V8 that breathes life into the Green machine would be fun to drive in the Rain!

This Richard Petty inspired Plymouth Belvedere was a throwback to the ’66 & ’67 NASCAR Grand National Season, was it a genuine Petty Car? I Sadly don’t have the answer for that, perhaps it is, going by the Trophies that were found near the car.

“Fast Toys, aren’t just for the Boys”

I found an amazing atmosphere in Lake Havasu, everybody had the time for everyone else, there was no, I’m better than you Chevy Guys, you Ford Guys, nothing, the feeling of a passion bringing people together in one place was overwhelming, for some of them, this wasn’t the first time they had met, with many having served tours around the world, from Vietnam all the way to some of the most recent campaigns.

As I walked around, having video called some people back home in the UK, scanning the array of metal that surrounded me, I found myself looking for smaller details, oddities and just general cool things

I then spotted something that looked a bit out of place.

When I first cast my eye over towards this Chevy Nova, I noticed a POW MIA Ribbon on the back, nothing unusual to find in the United States, they are very proud as a Nation when it comes to their Military, but as I looked closer I found that there was not one, but two Hummingbirds, one hidden below the Ribbon, signifying the sacrifice that someone has made, for their Country, that they were so proud of, that they felt the need to defend it at the ultimate cost.

This was an unusual sight, but a prime example of the dedication to the cars here, this was a C6 Generation Corvette, but the rear end took a moment, it has a ’63 Stingray rear end, which you would almost take for granted the amount of work that would go into this, the paint, the general thought process to come up with the idea in the first place is just beyond what I could dream up.

I will return one day to Lake Havasu City, hopefully with some cold hard cash and head for the Docks in a piece of American Car history.

Words & Pictures – Phil McCusker


Winter Teddy Bear Run 2016

8th December 2016 — by Kim Pham


WTBR ferrari_front_of_house

I rarely find myself awake at 6am on a Sunday morning, even more so outside of car show season but today was for something rather special. That’s right boys and girls, it was the 5th Annual Winter Teddy Bear Run.

WTBR viper

Organised by hard-working enthusiasts John Rampton, Westley and Nicki Waller, the Teddy Bear Run is a charity car run with the sole mission of raising money for a good cause. On this occasion, the chosen charity was the Chestnut Treehouse,  a children’s charity hospice for Sussex that provides care services and community support for children and young people with progressive life-shortening conditions.


Car enthusiasts from all over the UK (with all types of vehicles) came together, donated and took part in the run delivering gift-wrapped teddy bears from the illustrious Goodwood Motor Circuit to the Chestnut Tree House in the market town of Arundel. An astounding 105 vehicles took part in this year’s run (68 last year) and raised £7,695 (well done guys!)

WTBR drivers-briefing

This year’s participants included a tractor unit and a Tuk Tuk!! (yes I thought I had escaped them back in Thailand). The abundance of Lamborghinis, Ferraris, TVR, and a Mustang made the meeting point and convoy run feel very special, very similar to the Supercar Siege events I participated in earlier in the year. There aren’t going to be many chances where you can run with cars like these and I was lucky enough to have now experience it twice in 2016.

WTBR tuktuk

Similar to Fueltopia’s very own annual Toy Run, it’s an occasion which highlights a growing number of philanthropists amongst us car enthusiasts and how they combine their passion with a sense of duty to help charitable causes. For most of us petrol heads, it’s all too easy to dote over our cars and get lost in the fun and excitement of car events whilst forgetting that spending one day, donating a little time and money really does go a long way towards helping a good cause.

WTBR noble

The experience of meeting at Goodwood Motor Circuit and convoying together to the children’s hospice was an exhilarating yet satisfying one. The general public were clearly bemused by the sudden invasion of the local area by the noisy and extravagant Aston Martins, Porsche and classic supercars.

WTBR tvr

The heart-warming reaction from the children, families and staff at the hospice made all the hard work, organisation and donations worthwhile. The Chestnut Treehouse Charity Hospice costs well over £3.5m a year to provide the support and care for over 300 young people and so events like this really helps not only contribute to the cost, but help bring a little happiness to the children.

WTBR tvr_noble

This was my first Teddy Bear run and no doubt I shall be attending next year’s event. If not for the experience of meeting other enthusiasts and convoying with amazing supercars, the tremendous contribution these events make to local charities should be a good enough reason for more petrolheads to get involved.

To learn more about the Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice and their mission, please visit

More information about the Teddy Bear Run can be found here:

Thank you to John, Westley and Nicki for all their hard work.


Feature: Jan Øivind Ruud’s Stealth B7

3rd December 2016 — by Dave Cox


What is it about race cars that gives us the fizz?


The answer is obvious and simple really. They are more exaggerated, more powerful versions of what we might see on the roads. They have a certain shock and awe about them. Anyone with the smallest drop of petrol in their veins would get excited!


Depending on what class of race car you are talking about, you may or may not have seen the road going variant, this is where Jan Øivind’s Stealth comes into the frame. This car started out as a Stealth B6, one of eight! And three of the eight were road legal! It certainly doesn’t look like any sedan you see on the roads does it? But this particular B6 was a development prototype which came with a few extras. Namely bigger and better everything.


The B6 was to become a B7 at the hands of Stealth Cars Ltd, an English company before it got bought by a Polish company – AutoGroup S.A. it then took part in a few races such as GrandAM and GT-1 before Jan got his hands on it.


With intentions of running in the Gatebil Extreme class it wasn’t long before this race car went on a diet. The entire body work was redone in dry-carbon at the hands of Robin Jonasson from Elite Projects in Sweden. I really like the rear clam shell and the way it tapers over the engine bay towards the huge rear spoiler. As it happens, I helped lift this entire section. Now I don’t know about you but when you see a large section of body work, you expect to be pretty heavy. I nearly launched it into the air when I picked it up. Can you believe it only weighs 13kg!


Bollocks I hear your say. Yeah me too when he told me. Now you can have more of an appreciation of how good Robin is with dry carbon! The whole body work weighs a mere 37kg. That is 37 bags of sugar mate! So you get the picture, it is light, but is it quick?


Powered by a 6.4L Chevy smallblock, the same you would find in NASCAR, the B7 produces just under 700bhp and, this is ridiculous, 790NM of torque. Good numbers in a car that weighs 995kg with all fluids and the driver. It also has a theoretical top speed of 299mph!!! You can see why Jan had spent a further two and a half thousand hours working on this car.


There is nothing on this car that isn’t necessary, it is  all functional, that wing isn’t for scene points, it is there force those huge sticky tyres to the ground. Frankly I am surprised there isn’t more aero on this car, with that power and that weight, I’d want all the downforce I could get my hands on! But this is what this car is all about, old school power and old school mechanical grip.


A trend that is present when you talk to Jan about the car. During Gatebil – Rudskogen as I was shooting this car, he was telling me that there is no traction control to speak of, the only thing that keeps him in Gatebil Extreme and out of Breislad is a steady right foot.


Sat here, checking my notes and verifying things with Jan himself, I can’t help but laugh. Just scroll up and re-read some of these numbers, say them out loud to someone else. You’ll have yourself doubting that you read it correctly. I know I did. And if you ever have the pleasure of meeting him, you’ll note that he is cool and calm, he does have a knowing glint in his eyes.


As you read this, the car is getting torn down to make it even faster for next year. The aim: lose around 30-40kg and make some more power upgrades. Next time I see him, I might ask for a ride along…maybe just on a installation lap though.

Words & Pictures: Dave Cox (ShootingDave)

Chevrolet 350 smallblock (6.4L)
Aluminium Block
Billet Steel Crank
H Profile Rods
Forged Pistons
Bowtie aluminium heads wirh Jesel Shaft
Mechanical roller cams and retainers
Titan Valves
Double valve springs
Single plane inlet with Holly carb
MSD distributor
Custom 18-inch magnesium centernut wheels
Dunlop LM tyres
AP Racing brakes with 384mm rotor upfront and 355mm in the rear
Race Dynamic 3 way suspension
Hewland sequestion 6-speed gearbox
GKN axles

Special thanks to:
Thor Holthe
Steffen Karlstad
Jørn Hansen
Kristine Lange Ruud
Vegard Larse
John Chr. Solberg
Andreas Solli at GKN drivline
Henning Hotran
Bjørn Ohme

BM Montasje
CORIGO Entreprenør
OSLO Lås Servise
Elektriker Gruppen AS
Romerike AUTO
Anders Ringstad Produkter
Vegard Larsen
GKN Drivline
ELITE Projects.