Good Oil: Borgward means business
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Borgward cars were built in Bremen, Germany from the late 1920s until 1963, when its founder and managing director Carl Borgward died and the company was wound up.
Fast-forward to the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show where, with the help of Chinese backers, Christian Borgward (grandson of Carl) announced the company's return with the BX7 compact SUV. There were plenty of plans outlaid to match the metal under the car cover; the creation of 100 jobs and more to follow, the goal of 10,000 vehicles per year ...
Jaded journos have heard this sort of chest-thumping before, and Borgward didn't appear to be about to give any of the established brands a fright. So off everyone wandered to the Bentley stand, where a larger SUV filled with champagne and caviar was about to be unveiled.
But it appears Christian Borgward wasn't kidding around. This is no nephew-of-Lancia-Stratos-designer-wants-to-build-Lancia-Stratos-replicas-for-rich-guys deal.
Borgward appears to be very serious about re-establishing itself as a household name. In fact, hot on the heels of news that the brand has poached Mini's former design boss, the company has announced its next phase of manufacturing will commence in Germany.
Responsible for the most recent editions of the Mini hatch, convertible and Clubman, Anders Warming's departure for the Chinese-German carmaker shocked the turtleneck sweater-wearing design community this year.
With a rather ambitious updated sales target of 800,000 vehicles sold by 2020, the firm clearly needs Warming to start scribbling up some new designs.
Now, rather than build cars in China, Borgward has stated it will build its cars in Bremen, its old neighbourhood.
The first model is expected to be a pure electric version of the BX7, which is already on sale in China in plug-in hybrid form.
And just when you think this all sounds rather grandly ambitious, Christian Borgward's next announcement that the company now also has backing from big player Foton, would suggest Borgward is a blast from the past that might just stick.
It takes all sorts
Yes, there really is a reverse car jumping record, and it's been broken by pro skateboarder and reality TV star Rob Dyrdek. He reversed his Chevy Sonic (Holden Barina to us Antipodeans) up a ramp and flew through the air backwards over 89 feet and 3.25 inches, which translates to just more than 27 metres.
The little hatchback is roll-caged and, although we can't find any details on whether its engine has been modified, the exhaust note sounds aggressive ... well, in reverse anyway.
The car lands squarely on the receiving ramp and bounces a couple of times as it comes to a stop. The video of the jump (seek it out on YouTube) suggests that, much like going forwards up a ramp, millimetre precision is the name of the game when you're in reverse as well.
After completing his jump, Dyrdek says it's the scariest thing he's done. Coming from the pro skater and X Gamer, that'd suggest this is one stunt that shouldn't be attempted at home.
World records aren't anything new to Dyrdek, although his other feats have been achieved on skateboards-- the longest 50-50 rail grind (30.62m), the longest board slide (30.62m) and the highest skateboard jump into water (3.29m).
Biggest Mitsubishi collector is in Germany not Japan
A little Japanese car specialist in the Bavarian town of Eckental is well known for its interesting old Mitsubishi EVO rally cars out front. But what the tidily kept building houses inside and around the back is astounding; possibly one of the biggest -- and most obsessive -- collections of Mitsubishi-shaped metal in the world.
The collection is owned by Tilo Macht who, in addition to Mitsis, also services Subarus and Suzukis. Having grown up with a Mitsubishi dealer father, the three-diamond brand is in his bloodstream.
His collection numbers well over 100 cars. In addition to the brightly decaled rally weaponry out front, Macht has Lancers, Colts, Galants, Tredias, FTOs, a gorgeous Sapporo Turbo or two, a J53 jeep, a couple of Cordias, the only Galant coupe thought to be in Europe, racing and road Starions and a rare Lancer 1800 Turbo in immaculate condition.
Macht isn't above a bit of Dr Frankenstein shenanigans either; he has a diminutive Colt that has received an FTO 150kW V6 engine transplant and a Celeste coupe which, for some unexplained reason, features a 2.3-litre diesel engine from a Pajero.