Stuck in Buffalo in a 1981 930 Turbo

This might be why the new cars come with GPS and WiFi weather alerts! Not that German sports/race car engineers need that sort of stuff anyways.

Buffalo’s Epic Snowstorm Couldn’t Stop This Man and His 560-hp ’81 911 Turbo—Until It Did

Originally posted on Car and Driver November 21, 2014 at 3:25 pm by Andrew Wendler | Photography by JDS-photos.com and Jay Lloyds

Having spent more than 35 years traveling the globe to work on some of the most exotic Porsches of all time, Jay Lloyds probably never figured he’d come close to meeting his demise in a blizzard outside of Buffalo, New York.

Having spent more than 35 years traveling the globe to work on some of the most exotic Porsches of all time, Jay Lloyds probably never figured he’d come close to meeting his demise in a blizzard outside of Buffalo, New York.

Just five days earlier, Lloyds was in his suburban Toronto Porsche performance shop finishing up a custom wastegate for his highly modified 1981 Porsche 911 Turbo before embarking on a marathon 19-hour solo run to Daytona, Florida, for the inaugural “Classic 24 at Daytona” historic sports-car racing event. Although he wasn’t competing, Lloyds had plans to reunite with friends from Germany and generally soak up all the sun and Porsche vibes he could. He figured—and we agree—that the best possible way to arrive was in his bright-orange Jägermeister Porsche 934 tribute. More than just a cosmetic homage, Lloyds’s car packs a 560-hp, turbocharged 3.3-liter air-cooled flat-six and an original four-speed manual transmission­­. “It’s the best transmission Porsche ever made,” says Lloyds. By his account, the weekend was a great success.

Lloyds’s Porsche as of Thursday evening, four days after the storm hit. Buried under up to five feet of snow, another two feet fell later that night. That writing on the roof? It’s just the signatures of Porsche racing drivers Jürgen Barth, Jochen Mass, Kees Nierop, and Altfrid Heger.

Lloyds’s Porsche as of Thursday evening, four days after the storm hit. Buried under up to five feet of snow, another two feet fell later that night. That writing on the roof? It’s just the signatures of Porsche racing drivers Jürgen Barth, Jochen Mass, Kees Nierop, and Altfrid Heger.

When the tents folded in Daytona, Lloyds pointed the car north and set out to repeat his nonstop dash. He figured he might hit some snow, so, using a small kit of tools he had packed, he took the precautionary measure of raising the car’s ride height by an inch or so before departing. On Monday night, as he reached the southern shore of Lake Erie in northwestern Pennsylvania, it became clear the lift was in vain.

“The snow was so deep and the wind so strong they closed all the highways,” Lloyds told C/D in a phone interview. “I had to use two-lane country roads, and it got to the point where the snow was being measured in feet instead of inches. At times, the car slipped 90 degrees sideways, but I never spun it.” An impressive feat in any vehicle, much less a car with a well-known reputation for swapping ends at the most inopportune moments. His choice of rolling stock didn’t help matters, as Lloyds’s handcrafted steel fender flares shroud massive 245/30 front and 315/30 rear Toyo Proxes R888 competition tires—essentially track rubber with just enough tread pattern to remain street-legal—on 18-inch AUTOArt wheels, themselves measuring 9 inches wide in the front and 13 in the rear.

The 911 Turbo in, er, sunnier times in Daytona, just a few days ago.

The 911 Turbo in, er, sunnier times in Daytona, just a few days ago.

“Eventually, some 30 miles outside of Buffalo, the tires would just spin, and I came to the realization I was stuck. I thought, This is it, I’m 58 years old and I’m going to die in the car I love.” Complicating matters further, the Porsche’s heater was operating at 50-percent effectiveness, as Lloyds had disconnected one of the car’s notorious heater boxes before the trip. “Those things don’t make a lot of cabin heat to start with, and one of the exchangers was leaking, which can pump exhaust fumes into cabin,” said Lloyds with characteristic understatement.

As reported by The Buffalo News, that’s when Lloyds encountered Michael Weazer, 24, and his girlfriend, Brittany Leighbody, 23, clearing snow in front of their Brant, New York, home. They offered him shelter from the storm, and he was still there when C/D spoke to him today. “It snowed again last night, and we’re having trouble getting out of the house. I was planning to take more pictures, but the car is even more buried now,” said Lloyds. (Update: The dig out has started! Lloyds sent us a couple more shots, which are at the bottom of this post.)

  Lloyds at work on a 3.6-liter air-cooled engine destined for a 1981 930.

 

Lloyds at work on a 3.6-liter air-cooled engine destined for a 1981 930.

Lloyds, who has a close relationship with Magnus Walker and whose résumé includes stints with the Roitmayer GmbH racing team in Munich and the Zeiss Racing and Flying Tigers teams in Hong Kong, seems to be taking it all in stride. “I can’t overemphasize how grateful I am for the couple’s hospitality, and I’m not sure when the conditions will be right to continue on,” he says. “But I have a lot of adventures in my life, and I’m not interested in wasting away in front of the television in a home. My Porsche shop, Lloyds Autosport in Mississauga, Ontario [motto: "I don’t do cheap, I do good”] has, among other machine tools, a lathe that I use to craft parts on. With any luck, I’ll die behind that lathe.”




Let's Get Technical: Auto Pilot

By Tom Dobush                                                              October 29th, 2014    

The automobile is just over one hundred years old and my how they have evolved over the years. The basics have remained pretty consistent over time, however. Cars still have wheels to roll, engines to power the wheels, and seats for drivers and passengers to be carried in. While evolving into the modern cars we drive today, the automobile became faster, safer and more efficient. A part of this process was that cars began to develop character, a life or traits all to their own. This is why we love our Audis, BMWs, Mercedes, MINIs, Porsches and VWs. Things have gotten better only to become worse and then corrected to improve even further. Today we are seeing the next step in the evolution of the personal transportation device we know and love.

In this age of computers we call phones and GPS that can seemingly guide you anywhere you desire without so much as a second thought, we have become ever more comfortable with the role technology plays in our daily lives. Autopilot is the next big step. The electric car is here, again, to stay. All major manufacturers, including our beloved brands have released cars of incredible efficiency and plug and play ease of use. We can now purchase a vehicle that can drive around all day with zero emissions. In roughly ten years’ time, we won’t just be talking about them or pointing at them when we see one on the road, they will become the new normal. Everyone will be driving them… or will they?

Jeremy Clarkson of BBC's Top Gear tests a semi-autonomous BMW 330 in 2010. This car had to be "taught" the track's ideal line before the demonstration.


You see, in the time it takes for the electric vehicle to become commonplace for the majority of commuters, driving will have gone the way of the dodo. Computer technology and artificial intelligence have been developing so rapidly since the late eighties, we are now starting to see the practical applications in the auto industry. This tech has actually been around since the nineties, but was suppressed by oil and insurance “influences”. Now that influence from Google has helped to sort the liability issues, along with the fact that climate change means carbon emissions are a bad idea, prepare to give up your drivers’ license.

This BMW M235i is claimed to be the next step in autonomous driving: a car that will not only drive itself, but that can perform extreme manoeuvres like drifting. This official BMW video shows the car drifting car with no input from the driver.

So while your next car, or perhaps the one after that may be fully electric or emissions free, chances are you won’t ever drive it. Before the next decade is over, your new A7, S Class, 7 Series, or Panamera will be able valet park itself, after taking you safely over hundreds of miles from A to B, while you take a nap, watch the news or read a book (err, tablet). You will simply sit down or perhaps recline comfortably after telling your “car” where to go. Yes this change won’t happen overnight, but probably faster than you might think. Pretty soon the traffic jam, and maybe even the red light will be ancient history.

Audi has progressed its driver assistance technology so far that you don't even need to be behind the wheel. What better way to terrify other road users than an unmanned car that can find and collect you with a single command from your smartphone?

An adaptive cruise control demonstration about five years ago convinced me the end was near. Cruising on a highway at triple digit speeds in a Porsche Panamera Turbo, the rep says “watch this”, as he began to turn onto an off ramp. Without touching the pedals at all, the radar system saw the guardrails we were closing in on and slowed the car rapidly. As he steered along the path of the ramp we came into traffic, which the car also saw and safely brought us to a stop behind the car in front of us. “Woah…” was all I could muster in response.

The 2014 Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept car is a technology platform with which Audi is exploring the possibilities of piloted driving at its most dynamic.

Now they can steer themselves and make informed, calculated decisions and you can find several autonomous vehicle demonstrations on the internet. Yes, it was funny to laugh at the Volvo demo that completely screwed up and crashed a year or two ago but the bugs have been worked out and it is only a matter of time until we realize how much safer the computers can be than our average (distracted driving) commuter.

So what does that mean for us, as enthusiasts? Time to get into a “vintage” car while you still can or at least get out and enjoy your modern driving device while you still can. Our days are numbered.

What do you think? Are you ready to give up the reigns? I greatly appreciate your questions, input and feedback at BavarianRocketScience@gmail.com. Thanks for reading and happy motoring!

A new RS this way comes!

There has been a lot of speculation about the upcoming latest and greatest offering from Stuttgart. Yes, we are talking about the newest iteration of the GT3 RS for 2015. There have been rumors that the 3.8 Liter flat six engine's internal technology and power output have been maxed out or pushed beyond their limits in lieu of recent rod bolt issues with the current 991 GT3 causing failures (and fires) and a massive subsequent recall. Many have been guessing that the new RS will have to be turbocharged this time around in order to produce reliable horse power gains. Well, hopefully this latest Nurburgring testing "spy" video will put those rumors a side for the time being at least.

If the video below is in fact of the 2015 GT3 RS, which we have no real reason to believe that it isn't, then it definitely sounds naturally aspirated. It also definitely sounds like it is equipped with the PDK semi-auto gearbox for lighting fast shifts and superior lap times.

Now we'll pose the next questions and maybe start some rumors, at least for a few more months, until the RS is officially unveiled by the factory. In the video, we can see the rear quarter panel scoops of the turbo just in front of the rear wheels. Are these merely for disguise purposes or might they be functional for engine air flow and/or brake cooling? Also apparent in the video are some serious aerodynamic bits, like the front dive planes and what appears to be a GT or Cup car style rear wing mounted above the rear deck spoiler.

None of that surprises us, as they fit into the evolutionary design characteristics that Porsche typically follows, however our question is, will they be "active" pieces, either self adjusting like on the turbo or perhaps manually adjustable? And what other tricks might she have up her sleeve? Porsche likes to keep most of their little tricks closely kept secrets until product launch is official, can the same be true for this time around? Will she be the first naturally aspirated Porsche 911 road car to make more than 500 hp? If the "base" GT3 in its current form can lap the Ring in 7:25, where shall this beast fall on the charts?

All we know is, we can't wait to find out! There has always been something special about driving an RS and some things should never, ever change.