NEW FILM SERIES: Take A Sneak Peek At ‘Homologation Specials’ Hosted By Alain de Cadenet And Sam Hancock
In summary, a homologation special is a road car that belongs on a race track. Built in extremely limited numbers, these machines exist solely so that their manufacturers could challenge each other in the arena of motorsport. Some are almost comically unfit for the banality of driving slower than 100MPH, while others are more aptly described as once-normal cars on the other end of an aggressive schedule of steroids.
Among more new film series for Petrolicious Members arriving in April, Homologation Specials dives into the fascinating backstories and the modern context of these exceptional automobiles; from the sand-thrashing Mitsubishi Pajero Evo to the lightweight BMW CSL, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce Alleggerita to the twin-turbocharged Ferrari 288 GTO.
We cast a wide net for this series with our hosts Alain de Cadenet (the ex-F1 and endurance driver known for Victory by Design as well as building and racing cars with his own name on them at Le Mans) and Sam Hancock (racing driver, historic car consultant, another Le Mans veteran, and all-around good guy to have at your dinner table), and the cars that we’ve chosen for the first season of Homologation Specials were all built by their manufacturers to gain access to all sorts of different disciplines of competition—sometimes the end result was a trophy, sometimes a complete failure to launch, but the road cars left behind in the wake of the racing versions are invariably important today.
Bred to support their racing siblings in the exhausting tribulations of the Dakar Rally, the dogfights of the DTM, the heyday of silhouette circuit racing, and, among others, the radical “hatchbacks” of Group B era rallying, these are all highly collectible pieces of automotive history today, but we didn’t tip toe in them for this series.
In the course of exploring the road-going counterparts to these racing legends, we traveled across Europe with our hosts—Alain de Cadenet and Sam Hancock, neither a stranger to the seat of a racing car—to lakeside locales in Italy, twisting Alpine ranges in Bavaria, the Portuguese coast, snowy forest roads in Switzerland, and the hills above Monte Carlo to put these cars in environments equally as special as they are.
The films themselves are focused on one machine at a time, but as we plumb their histories you’ll find more than a few overlaps, and sometimes a direct competitor. Whether it’s a wedge-shaped supercar in front of the lens or a one-time econobox that’s had its engine and differential shoved in space between its bulging rear fender flares, even if the subjects in these films are separated by decades and racing disciplines, they all share the same fundamental purpose of making motorsport possible. The fact that we can drive them on the street is just a wonderful externality of their raison d’être.
As you can probably guess, we had an absolute ball of a time putting this series together, and we can’t wait to share the final cuts with Petrolicious Members beginning this April—we’ll see you in the passenger seat. To learn more about becoming a Petrolicious Member, please click here for more information.