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2016-07-25: RM Sotheby's Monterey preview with lovely Alfa 8C, Ferrari Monza and Shelby Mustang ...
Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Touring Spider The major auctions at Monterey have become an event in their own right and this year certainly looks like it won't be an exception. The RM Sotheby's catalog for their August 19 and 20 auction promises to be one of the highlights. We were particularly taken by the striking Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Spider consigned by Sam and Emily Mann. The 'Two-Nine' was the 250 GTO of its era and this particular example has a period racing history. It was restored in the 1990s and has since been both shown and driven extensively. Estimated to sell for $20-25 million, it looks set to become most expensive pre-War car ever sold at auction.
Another one of our favourites is the Ferrari 750 Monza offered by living legend Jim Hall of Chaparral fame. The car was raced in period by Carroll Shelby and Phil Hill and was then acquired by Hall, who like his legendary compatriots also added victories to the car's tally. Hall retained chassis 0510M for sixty years and had it fully restored during the 1990s, while retaining every major component with the exception of the bell-housing and the starter. Also offered by Hall is the very first Chaparral, which he has owned from new.
The late Carroll Shelby is a prominent feature in the catalog, not in the least because the very first Shelby Cobra will be offered. Another one of his creations is the Shelby Mustang GT350 R that was raced in period by Pedro Rodriguez. It was then campaigned by a fellow Mexican with a red, white and green stripe. He was hugely successful, winning SCCA championships and also his class at Sebring in 1967. Beautifully restored, chassis SFM5R108 is estimated to sell for $850,000 - $950,000.

2016-07-21: Mighty Porsche headed for auction and McLaren and Porsche GT1 cars ..
Porsche 935 For the 1979 season, Porsche officially only produced a handful of 935s powered by single turbo engines for the American market. Through the backdoor, the German manufacturer also supplied a pair of 935s fitted with the more potent twin turbo engine. Of these chassis 009 0030, delivered to Dick Barbour was the most successful. Sharing with Paul Newman and Rolf Stommelen, Barbour drove it to second overall at Le Mans in 1979. It then evolved into a 935 K3 and was later downgraded to 934 specifications, winning the Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours in these respective guises. Restored to its original guise, this hugely successful car has now been consigned to the Gooding Pebble Beach Auctions. The second example was sold to Bruce Canepa and he still races the car to this day in historic events.
At the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed, we were pleasantly surprised to see this Porsche 911 GT1 '98 restored to its original Zakspeed / Jever. In this guise, the car competed in the FIA GT Championship before it was returned to Porsche. It was then painted in the colours of the Le Mans winning sister car. As we could see at Goodwood, its period racing history is now reflected once more.
A couple of the Porsche's former rivals were also on hand. These included this Gulf Davidoff liveried F1 GTR Longtail. We last saw this car in North America when it failed to sell at the 2012 Bonhams Quail Sale but it does have a new owner now. Amazingly, a second Longtail was also on hand. This example was brought by BMW and finished in the familiar factory colours.

2016-07-18: Carl Haas remembered and new sports cars ...
Beatrice-Lola THL2 Ford While we were in Le Mans, the sad news reached us of the passing of Carl Haas. This larger than life figure of American road racing was best known as an entrant but also as the distributor for Lola in North America. Haas (no relation to Gene Haas) also had a foray in Formula 1 with this Ford-backed Beatrice-Lola THL2 Ford in 1986. A Lola in name only, the car was designed and built by an all-star crew that included Ross Brawn, Neil Oatley and Adrian Newey. Unfortunately, the all-new Ford Cosworth twin-turbo V6 arrived late and by the time it did, the funding dried up. Featured is the first of five THL2s built, which was demonstrated at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last week.
The Festival of Speed also featured a choice of all-new sports cars. Breaking cover was the no-nonsense Elemental RP1. Built around a carbon-fibre composite monocoque, it is powered by a 320 bhp Ford Ecoboost engine. The track-day ready machine weighs just 580kg and is capable of accelerating to 60 mph in under 3 seconds.
Another racer for the road that starred at Goodwood was the Polish Arrinera Hussarya GT. This striking machine boasts a steel tubular spaceframe and a GM-sourced LS3 V8 engine.
Making its first public appearance was the one-off Ferrari 458 MM Speciale. Announced a few weeks earlier, this 458-based machine was built to custom order of a British client.
Techart have offered the first glimpse of the all-new GTstreet R. Based on the latest 911 Turbo S, it is due to be officially launched later in the year.

2016-07-14: 2016 Le Mans Classic report and 300-shot gallery ....
2016 Le Mans Classic report and 300-shot gallery This weekend, Peter Auto and the ACO staged the eighth Le Mans Classic. First held in 2002, the biennial event is without equal and this year attracted a record breaking 123,000-strong crowd. New this year was a 'support race' for Group C cars, which attracted over 40 examples of these much loved machines. This was just the warm-up for the main event, which saw over 400 historic racing cars from 1923 through to 1981 spread over six groups compete between 4pm on Saturday to 4pm on Sunday. These were not only driven by their enthusiastic owners by also by many former Le Mans winners, the likes of Henri Pescarolo, Emanuele Pirro and Andy Wallace. Another entertaining side-dish was the Artcurial Motorcars sale, which was topped by a beautifully preserved Porsch 935.
We were at the track throughout the weekend, and have captured all the action in a highly entertaining 270-shot gallery, which serves to illustrate a concise report of the eighth Le Mans Classic. Also include is a separate 30-shot gallery from the Artcurial sale.

2016-07-13: Three fabulous Bugattis and a Matra engined Ligier ...
Bugatti Type 57 SC Atalante Coupe Today we try to boost France's morale after their defeat in the EURO 2016 final in Paris on Sunday and ahead of the national holiday on Wednesday by highlighting four fantastic French cars. Among them are three Bugattis, headlined by an exquisite Type 57 SC Atalante. The two-door coupe shape of the 'standard' Atalante design worked particularly well on the underslung 'S' chassis and the handful of examples produced rank amongst the highly sought after of all Bugattis. This particular example was most recently shown at Villa d'Este but we also shot it nearly a decade ago at Pebble Beach when it featured an altogether different paint-scheme.
Responsible for the most successful competition car of all time, the Type 35, Bugatti struggled during the 1930s to keep up with the rapid pace of development of their rivals. Among the final Grand Prix cars built in Molsheim was the Type 59 of which only six are believed to have been built. The featured example is a rare survivor and was driven in public for the first time in many years during last month's Goodwood Festival of Speed. Making its dynamic debut at Goodwood was the all-new, 1,500 hp Bugatti Chiron, which was named after one of Bugatti's Grand Prix drivers.
Flying the French flag in Formula 1 during the 1970s and 1980s were teams like Ligier and Matra, who also worked together on two separate occasions. The most successful of these was to create the Ligier JS17 Matra of 1981. Although somewhat overweight, the car won two rounds of the World Championship that year. These were also the very last victories for the venerable Matra V12 unit. The pictured JS17 is still in fighting form as illustrated by ace historic racer Rob Hall, who briefly led one of the two Formula 1 races during the 2015 Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort.
We will continue our French theme later in the week with a comprehensive and very well illustrated report from this weekend's Le Mans Classic.