The Roundup: February 2016

What do discarded fuel tanks from WWII military planes have to do with hot rods? In this month’s web roundup, we take a look at articles profiling the history of “belly tanks,” the British racecars of Downton Abbey, the Duray U16 engine, chocolate maker William Walter’s “Waltomobiles” and more.

A Purpose-Built Missile


This month, Hot Rod Network writer Chris Shelton gives readers a history look at the origins of “belly tanks”—the iconic, torpedo-shaped cars of Bonneville. After World War II, these cast off auxiliary fuel tanks used by military aircraft provided racers with top speed at the lowest possible cost. Shelton’s extensive retrospective offers a lot of great, old pictures along with fascinating details about the record-setting men who made streamline belly tanks synonymous with speed. Click here to check it out.

A Most Remarkable Engine

Motor City Garage
[source: macsmotorcitygarage]

A Detroit cab driver turned American auto racing legend, Leon Duray, set a qualifying record at Indianapolis in his front-drive Miller in 1928 that stood until 1937. He also was the creator of one of the most fascinating racing engines ever built. Mac’s Motor City Garage brings readers the story of this supercharged, 16 cylinder two-stroke. Click here to read it.

The Chocolatier Who Built Cars

The Old Motor

How did a turn-of-the-century chocolate maker become an early pioneer of American cars? This month The Old Motor looks at the story behind William Walter and his exceptional automobiles. Click here to read it.

Porsche 911: 53 Years OF Evolution In 70 Seconds


If you want to know the major design differences that separate one model year 911 from another, you could read the millions and millions of words dedicated to the history of this iconic car. Or you could take a little over a minute and watch this cool video from Autoweek. Click here to check it out.

Faster Pace Theater


In case you missed it, Season 6/Episode 7 of PBS’s hit period drama Downton Abbey featured at trip to the classic car racing Mecca of Brooklands for a heaping helping of some serious automotive eye candy. Writing for Jalopnik, self-described automotive geek Jason Torchinsky put together a great article identifying many of the 1920s-era British racing cars featured in episode. Click here to check it out.