The twists and turns of crowdfunding

3 July, 2017

It seems every second article you read has a crowdfunding appeal attached. Of course, some are to help cure disease or help out those in need — and we tip our hats to those noble causes — but this one seems so pure and ridiculous in its simplicity, we can’t help but applaud the team behind it.

In 2011, Dominik Farnbacher drove a 2010 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR around the main 12.9-mile circuit at Nurburg in just 7:12.13, breaking the road car track record in the process.

But a lot of water and horsepower has flowed under the bridge since then with the Lamborghini Huracán LP 640-4 Performante, the Porsche 918 Spyder, the Lamborghini Aventador SV, the Nissan GT-R Nismo and the Mercedes-AMG GT R having walloped the Viper’s time. But since the 5th generation Viper was introduced, staunch Viper fans have been desperate to get the newest generation ACR back to The Ring for another crack at the title.

With no appetite from the factory to break the record again, a few hardy souls led by Russ Oasis took a truly 2017 approach, started a GoFundMe account and threw their hat on the pavement. They had managed to convince Viper Exchange (a Viper dealer in Texas) to stump up a couple of 2016 ACRs should they raise enough money.

The fund was to cover the costs of getting the cars to Germany as well as a whole lot of gear and a couple of reputable drivers capable of taking the Viper back to number one (Farnbacher is back alongside Luca Stolz). The US$156,000 target was hit last month, and now an extra few grand sits in the account which should keep the Vipers on track for an extra half a lap or so.

Given that the Lamborghini Huracan Performante managed to knock around 20 seconds off the 2010 Viper’s lap time, we wish the newer Vipers godspeed and look forward to hearing the result later this month.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.

Super Leicht Gullwing

It’s fair to say that nothing much in the classic Mercedes world gets past Mercedes-Benz Club stalwart Garry Boyce so it wasn’t surprising to learn that around 15 years ago he had sniffed out an extremely rare 300SL lightweight Gullwing as well as a 1958 300SL Roadster hiding away in the Waikato. The cars were not for sale but Garry eventually managed to persuade the owner to allow him and his restoration team to take a look at the Roadster. They discovered a very distressed but largely unmolested car. The car was so original that the body had never been off the chassis, meaning most of the parts and fittings were still present and correct, as they had been fitted by the factory.