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Quiz: Can you tell me what this is?


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#1 Speed Demon

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Posted 03 February 2002 - 18:43

Here's a bit of a tough one for you. Found an article on this interesting car while browsing through a box of old magazines the other day. Any sportscar fans able to spot what this is and relate its interesting history?

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#2 Speed Demon

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Posted 03 February 2002 - 19:33

I'll give you a clue - the pic is taken during Le Mans pre-qualifying in 1993. I'll post a second pic later.

#3 Frank de Jong

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Posted 03 February 2002 - 19:34

Must be the MIG 100 GT 1993 GT1 car. Prequalified Le Mans with a Lamborghini engine, turned up with a Motori Moderni V6 3.5 twin turbo engine. Don't know much about the background, really.

#4 Speed Demon

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Posted 03 February 2002 - 19:53

Got it in one. However, it started life as the Monte-Carlo Centenaire, a pipedream of Fulvio Ballabio (remember him?) who also brought out a rather unsuccessful F3000 car in 1986, which completed three slow laps around Imola before being packed away, never to be seen again!

Ironically, his GT car went the same way after MiG got hold of it. They bought the rights and after a slow but steady prequalifying, made wholesale revisions for the race itself. Out went thr trusty Lamborghini V12, in came an old Motori Moderni turbo (why is it that all their engines seemed to be spectacular failures but people still seemed to want them?). Unfortunately, this proved to have around 300bhp too much for the gearbox (from a Porsche) which, like the engine, was on rubber mounts which caused the drivetrain to flex alarmingly. It only ever did one timed lap before the clutch exploded and caused terminal damage to the engine.

#5 Stefan Ornerdal

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Posted 03 February 2002 - 20:50

One driver in the lineup was Aleksandre Mirianachvizi, Georgia. Anyone heard of him? Or any driver from Georgia? Spaniard Jorge de Bagration, was he a Prince of Georgia? Or Bulgaria?

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#6 Speed Demon

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Posted 03 February 2002 - 20:57

Actually, as far as I know, the drivers were Pierre Honegger (US), Philippe Renault (FR) and Giampiero Consonni (I), the latter of which managed to fish around for gears just long enough to complete the only time lap- a full 1m09s off the next slowest car...

Here's the other pic:

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#7 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 03 February 2002 - 21:43

The ride-height of the vehicle gives away it´s roadcar origins...
A strange car, but still interesting...
I wonder where it ended up...?

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#8 Stefan Ornerdal

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Posted 03 February 2002 - 21:49

I found the name of Mr Aleksandre Mirianachvizi (tricky names the Georgians have, I fully understand why old Josef changed his name to Stalin) in Motor Sport august 1993: " --- Fierce independent pride prevailed: the Georgians, including driver Aleksandre Mirianachvizi, though nobody has satisfactory explained how he might have been granted the relevant license, stayed home ---"

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#9 Speed Demon

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Posted 03 February 2002 - 22:47

Yes, you're quite right about Mirianachvizi - he was part of the team but didn't get a visa to travel to Le Mans - along with 15 other team members - so the French/American/Italian crew drove instead.

#10 dmj

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Posted 04 February 2002 - 09:30

Great! I didn't know anything about this car even if I have a Bburago 1/43 model of MCA Centenaire in my collection. I believe it was originaly intended as a celebration of 100th anniversary of motorcars in France (Centenaire means 100th anniversary) - can anyone confirm that?