Good Oil: The ones that got away ... twice
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Jaguar Land Rover’s head office in the UK has revealed that at the end of last month, thieves used “official-looking” paperwork to gain access to the manufacturer’s Solihull plant, before backing a truck up to a delivery bay, filling it with finished engines, and driving off.
The exercise took six minutes to execute. The thieves judged the caper so easy they returned the same day with the same “official-looking” paperwork and filled another truck full of engines; the exact circumstances the word “brazen” was invented for.
The theft amounted to £3 million (about NZ$5.2 million) of Jaguar Land Rover engines. Police later found the thieves’ truck abandoned and without its ill-gotten cargo.
JLR is refusing to comment (that police are yet to solve) but UK media reports a reward is offered for information leading to the capture of the engine enthusiasts.
If you’re looking for a modern Jaguar engine to give that classic Mk 2 Jag project a 21st-century horsepower kick, you might want to study the documentation your donor donk arrived with, just to be on the safe side.
Brown off to a running start
He might have swept to power following something of a coup d’etat at McLaren, but new head honcho Zak Brown has already found favour in many corners by suggesting the supercar manufacturer could make a return to top-level endurance motorsport at the Le Mans 24 Hour race.
There was a lot of sympathy for previous team boss Ron Dennis after he was ousted by fellow McLaren shareholders Mansour Ojjeh and the Bahraini Mumtalakat wealth fund, who suspended him until his contract expires next month.
This was due, in part, to the team’s poor performance in Formula 1 over the past few years.
Brown told British media that “Going back to Le Mans is something we have identified and are discussing. I would love to see us go to Le Mans and I’m not the only one with those views.”
McLaren was the outright winner of the 1995 iconic endurance event, with its McLaren F1 GTR crossing the line first.
There is a catch to these exciting comments; rather than compete in the headlining LMP1 category — where the likes of Porsche, Audi and Peugeot have competed — any entry from McLaren would likely appear in the lower GTE (Grand Touring Endurance) category; think FIA Formula 2 rather than Formula 1.
But any entry at Le Mans will give the road car side of the business licence to build some sort of homologation special. We’re looking forward to a McLaren 650S Le Mans edition we can’t hope to afford.
New Morgan is child’s play
Those mad-hatters at Morgan aren’t restrictive in their insistence that cars are better with three wheels, rather than four.
The boutique British carmaker has released a kiddie version of its electric EV3 trike, which can travel at a heady 16km/h and cover 16km — or about an hour’s driving — before fizzing to a halt.
But don’t worry; the kiddie car can be fully recharged using a normal plug socket in your house in under four hours.
The Morgan EV3 Junior is a scaled-down version of the full-size EV3 and is hand-built (presumably by men in brown shop coats with roll-your-own cigarettes tucked behind their ears and a firm reliance on clipboards) at the company’s manufacturing headquarters in Malvern, Worcestershire.
The EV3 Junior is a shrunken version of the “real” thing, featuring working lights, full suspension and even a reverse gear.
Customers can specify their EV3 Junior in any colour they like; preferably matching the full-sized one the lucky child’s parent has bought, we assume.
For a pedal car, it’s pricey; £6663 (over $11,000) plus freight.