Ken Block: My Modern Day Superhero

Now the dust has quite literally settled upon the sun-baked streets of Los Angeles, and Ken Block’s snorting ’65 Mustang is stabled and resting, I can reflect on Gymkhana 7 and how it turned back my metaphorical clock by three decades or so.

To elucidate on the actual driving that went on in L.A., I penned an article for Motorward magazine along with the video, ignoring all of the details such as driving techniques and listing reams of technical data, instead harping on about how Block and his fantastical machine took me back in time for 12 minutes, leaving me a little confused and angry at the fact I found myself back in 2014 as a 36 -year-old afterwards.

Rally purists may criticise Block and his Rally X/Drift hybrid style, but this is 2014 – if X Games dirt bike riders can get away with grabbing massive air, opening their legs and calling the move the ‘Paris Hilton’, then Block is doing the right thing here – it simply boils down to exciting and impressive viewing. Don’t get me wrong though; I’m a massive fan of the X Fighters bike format, along with all the X Games sports, and adding cars with 80’s Group B rally power to the list is obviously a recipe for success.

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Big power and exciting viewing leads me neatly onto the superhero/stuntman angle I’m pushing here – for those 12 minutes I sat gawping as the Block’s Hoonicorn tore up the streets of L.A., miles of internal wiring fused inside my head, leaving me experiencing waves of nostalgia, seamless flashbacks of stars and stripes, bleating dixie horns, and a whole fleet of toys I put through a similar ordeal to the car on my computer screen.

Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle

Dukes of Hazzard Wrist Racer

Dukes of Hazzard Wrist Racer

007's Underwater Lotus Esprite

007’s Underwater Lotus Esprite

The toys pictured above were my favourites, and I think it was the combination of terrific film producing, the smoking and squealing of tyres, that evil Mustang, and of course its superhuman pilot that evoked their memory.

Dressed in a retro style leather jacket and donning a glittery patriotic race helmet along with meridian goggles and skull face scarf, Ken Block was my childhood Bo Duke, my Evel Knievel, my James Bond, my Bandit, and perhaps even my Superman all wrapped up into one super-being.

So now it’s all over, do I watch it again and go back to 1982, or do I face reality and help my wife lay the table?

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Road Going Le Mans Car… Sort Of

Now this is one British car that immediately grabbed my attention, a Le Mans-based racer with a power-to-weight-ratio similar to a Ferrari F50 and actually more than a Maserati MC12. The best bit? For £90,000, you can actually drive it on the road.

Hard to believe when you look at the thing – it’s aggressive, poised, built for pure racing and speed. The front arches, headlights and gaping air ducts will look a little out of place when you drive to the Post Office to renew your tax disc, but in a good way I suppose.

British makers Radical claim it has the capacity to produce 50 of these RXC rockets every year.

The 380-bhp 900-kg lightweight’s initial concept came four years ago when looking at the Peugeot Le Mans car.

The heart powering this savage is a 3.7-L V6 from a Ford Mustang, the 380-bhp combined with its 900-kg giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 422hp per tonne. This engine will be mated to a seven-speed Quaife gearbox with paddle shifters driving the rear wheels and helping to propel the RXC from 0-100km/h in just 2.8 seconds – that’s not just stupid fast, it’s grab the Xanax fast. If that wasn’t silly enough, Radical claim they will introduce an even lighter V8 engine from the Mustang with 500-bhp!

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Shelby Mustang Super Venom

Shelby Super Venom

Shelby Super Venom

This is what happens when a German tuning company get hold of a Super Snake. Tuners Anderson Germany decided the Mustang Shelby Gt500’s exterior doesn’t represent the true monster that lives under the hood. Giving it the look of a poisonous Amazonian creature, the Super Venom Edition looks truly menacing with its flat back wrap and red stripes The red cobra insignias feature throughout, not that you need reminding what edition this is.

The great asset this Super Venom possesses is its body kit and stance. Anderson Germany added a wide body kit that includes a front spoiler, massive flared wheel arches, a carbon fibre hood vent, side skirts, and a new rear diffuser with unique tailpipes – this is what a mustang looks like after some serious time spent in a gym.

Shelby Super Venom

Shelby Super Venom

Shelby Super Venom

Shelby Super Venom

With the evil exterior perfected, the Germans went to work on the interior, using the same black and red colour scheme. Anderson Germany love carbon fibre, and it can be seen here on the console, steering wheel and gear knob.

Shelby Super Venom

Shelby Super Venom

Something Anderson Germany felt didn’t need tweaking was the Mustang’s 662-bhp 5.8-L V8 – this snake can hit 60 mph in 4 seconds, whilst offering up to 24 mpg highway.

Fancy Owning Sir Stirling Moss’ Mustang GT350?

Not only is this car the mechanical equivalent of Marilyn Monroe, this very special Shelby Mustang GT350 once belonged to and was raced by a certain living legend, Sir Stirling Moss.

Ford Mustang GT350

Image Mecum Auctions

1965 Shelby Mustang GT350

This gorgeous piece of automotive history will be auctioned off at Mecum auction house at their Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance next month, where I’m sure the serious collectors will bid high to have this added to their garages.

Image Mecum Auctions

Image Mecum Auctions

Moss drove this 350GT from 1991 through 1997, racing at nine venues across Europe and at Australia’s Targa Tasmania.

Not only does the car come with huge documentation, but it also comes with photos taken during races Moss was competing in and pictures of the late and great Carroll Shelby himself.

Underneath her hood beats a 4.7-L (289 cubic inches) V-8, pumping out a respectable 430-HP. This power is sent through a four-speed manual transmission.

Image Mecum Auctions

Anyone care to hazard a guess as to what they think she’ll go for?

1967 Ford Mustang Obsidian SG-One

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OB-SID-I-AN

N. A usually black or banded, hard volcanic glass that displays shiny, curved surfaces when fractured and is formed by the rapid cooling of lava.

Being one highly-strung machine, capable of releasing a 900-strong stampede of wild mustangs, “Obsidian Sg-One” has only covered 500 miles since it’s creation. Just check out that bulging hood, a custom made and duel purpose intake for cooling its superchargers and twin intercoolers. Its muscles come from custom-made side skirts and flared front and rear fenders. “Obsidian One’s” heart consists of a fuel-injected 392 Cubic Inch V-8, with twin Rotex superchargers. Adding to its menacing looks, California Mustang smoke-tinted glass has been fitted, and finishing touches such as its L.E.D. sequential tail lights, a functional rear diffuser, and its gorgeous Front Couper GT wheels make this a one-off classic any collector would kill to have in their garage.

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Specifications

Engine: Obsidian 6.4L (392 Cubic inch) V-8, twin Rotex

Supercharged/Intercooled with programmable fuel injection

Horsepower: 900HP (with 1,000HP+ obtainable with tuning)

Torque: 750 lbs. ft.

0-60MPH: 4 Seconds

Transmission: 6-Speed Manual

Weight: Approx 1,364 KGs (3,000 lbs)

Wheels: 18? x 8.5? Front & 20? x 10? Rear CoupeR wheels /BF Goodrich KDW tyres