Jay Leno gets a close look at the coolest hybrid you’ve never heard of.
Did you know Briggs & Stratton built a car? Yes, that Briggs & Stratton, the company best known for the small engines used on lawnmowers. And it’s not just any car, but a hybrid … built in 1980 no less. Honestly, we didn’t know such a machine existed until this video cropped up at Jay Leno’s Garage, but when we saw this six-wheeled hatchback with styling not unlike a 1980’s L-Body Dodge Charger, we couldn’t not click on it. And once we watched the video, we knew we couldn’t not share it with you because it’s actually very impressive.
This is strictly a one-off concept car designed to be a technology demonstrator, and actually, its top speed isn’t so impressive. According to the video, Richard Petty managed to get this car to a whopping 68 mph on a closed course. On the streets of California, Leno and Briggs & Stratton Engineering Technician Craig Claerbout achieved 60 mph, but when you realize there’s just an 18-horsepower (13-kilowatt) air-cooled twin-cylinder Briggs engine under the hood, that’s not such bad speed. An electric motor is connected to the engine, which then connects to a four-speed manual transmission sending power to the first set of rear wheels
If you’re shopping for a well-preserved Corvette or Mercedes-Benz SL, the market’s probably got you covered one way or another. People just don’t ever throw those cars away and most were a second or third car when new, so they largely got taken care of. But, what if your tastes run to something that was, back in the day, just a little different, and, perhaps, not that well received by the marketplace?
Well, have we got something for you.Bid to win this 1980 AMC Concord D/L two-door sedan, currently offered on Hemmings Auctions, and you will surely be taking the road less traveled. Though not truly super rare, this AMC is still a remarkable survivor. Originally purchased by an AMC dealer for his wife, this little sedan seems to have survived so well due to careful ownership, years in the salt-free environs of the Pacific Northwest, and what appears to be an intact layer of undercoating on the rather clean undercarriage.
The Navy Blue finish looks to be in pretty fine shape, as does the partial vinyl roof. Don’t forget to check out that light blue “Sculptured Rochelle Velour” interior, as plush-looking a fabric as American car companies offered at the time, well this side of a buttoned-leather seat, anyway.
Including the carpets, door cards and seatbelts, there’s a whole lotta’ blue going on in this Concord. About the only thing non-standard would be the raised white letter Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 tires on bare steel wheels. But AMC wheel covers were nothing to write home about in 1980 anyway.Whether you want to call cars on this end of the hobby entry-level or a bargain, most family cars of the era are hardly in the condition this Concord is. And that makes it really easy to appreciate not only the car, but the care and effort that went into keeping it the way it is today.
After a one-year absence, the Capri returned to Mercury dealers in 1979, this time as a badge-engineered Fox-body Ford Mustang. To promote the model’s sporty nature and highlight the performance potential of a four-cylinder engine, Mercury borrowed a page from Ford’s playbook, building a race car-inspired, Cosworth-powered show car. Never considered for production, just one 1980 Mercury Cosworth Capri was built, and on January 12, this unique piece of Ford history will cross the auction block, part of the Waterford Collection at Mecum’s 2019 Kissimmee, Florida, sale.
Interesting video on the history of the Buick Turbo 3.8 V6 of the late 70’s early 80’s. Very much ahead of its time. Buick nearly didn’t have the opportunity to leverage the engine having sold the engine to Kaiser to be used in the Jeep. Buick eventually realised its mistake and bought the V6 back. The turbo equipped unit had an output of 170hp in 1980. Watch the video to see the full story
Joe Jagersberger came to the USA from Austria and began working for Case Corporation in Racine Wisconsin to assist in developing a race car programme.
Whilst working for Case Jagersberger was a regular race competitor including racing at the Indianapolis 500. He continued to race until 1911 eventually becoming victim to a career ending crash after which he spent several months in hospital and resulted in an amputation of his right leg.
Despite his injuries he continued to work at Case as a consultant. He continued to design cylinder heads and other peripherals eventually starting his own company under the famous Rajo brand. The name of the brand was formed from the RA of Racine and the JO from his first name.
Rajo started off by producing spark plugs and various other items. They then moved into producing performance cylinder heads for Ford Model T and Model A cars.
The first design was the Model 30 which had 4 exhaust ports and one intake port all on the right side of the head. The Model 31 had two intakes on the right and four exhaust on the left. The Model 35C, first known as the “Improved Rajo Valve-in-Head” and later as the Model C had two intakes and three exhausts on the right. The Model A used the stock intake ports on the block. It had two exhaust ports on the right. His Model B two intakes on the right and four exhausts on the left. It came in three versions. The BB featured a higher compression ratio and the BB-R also included two spark plugs per cylinder.
He also offered a modification to the 1941-52 Chevrolet “stovebolt” L6 OHV 15 bolt head, which added another set of 3 intake ports above the 3 originals, to permit adding (an) extra carburetor(s) on a separate manifold.
Jagersberger died in 1952. The company closed in 1980.
Rajo equipment is still very much sought after and command very high prices amongst the traditional hot rod community
Here on Hemmings are some great examples of period Rajo powered racers