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2017-08-14: Great 1950s and 1960s sports racers headed for auction ...
Aston Martin DBR1 For this weekend's auctions on the Monterey Peninsula some truly great sports racers have been consigned, three of which are featured today. Heading the trio is this Aston Martin DBR1 that will cross the block at RM Sotheby's on Friday. The consigned example is the first of five cars built of the type that brought Aston Martin the company's first World Championship and Le Mans win. Chassis DBR1/1 contributed to the World Championship with an outright victory in the 1959 Nurburgring 1000 km. Offered from a British private collection, it is estimated to sell for in excess of $20 million!
A contemporary of the DBR1 is this Maserati 300S, which is one of the stars of the well stocked lot list of the Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction. The chassis on offer is believed to have been a works car and was certainly raced to several victories in Brazil in the hands of the great Juan Manuel Fangio. It is offered from long term ownership and has not been seen in public for over a decade. Chassis 3069 is estimated to sell for $6 - 7 million.
Part of the startling Gooding line-up is this lovely Porsche 904 GTS. It is one of 24 examples delivered new to the United States in 1964 and was raced with great success in the Pacific North West. It was restored for historic racing during the 1980s and has more recently been used on the streets of Los Angeles. The beautifully maintained 904 Carrera GTS looks set to find a new owner for $1.5 - 1.8 million.

2017-08-10: A preview of this year's Quail, a Motorsports Gathering ...
Arnott 1100 GT Climax One of our favourite events on the Monterey Peninsula is the annual The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering. At its essence, it is a concours d'elegance but with so many unique features that it really stands out. Among its strengths is the diversity of the field, which last year ranged from this unique Arnott 1100 GT Climax to the Pagani Huayra BC. The former was the ultimate creation of pioneering engineer Daphne Arnott and raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1957. Boasting a highly unusual front suspension design, the miniature marvel was more recently returned to its Le Mans configuration. It will be back on the Peninsula this year as the small Arnott coupe has been consigned to the Gooding Pebble Beach Auctions. Another star from last year was the lovely Lola Mk6 GT prototype, which had just been restored. We also shot the car more recently at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
At next Friday's 15th edition of the 'The Quail' Acura will debut its all new ARX-05 sports racer. Built to IMSA's new DPi regulations, it will be fielded next year by Team Penske and has just started testing. Another car due to star at the highly exclusive and already sold out event is the ex-Bruce McLaren M6 GT. It represents the first road car built by McLaren and as such is the spiritual father of the legendary F1 and the current line-up of production McLarens. As always, we will be on hand to capture all the highlights and you can expect a detailed coverage some time in the weeks after the event.
At the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance a few days later, Infiniti will reveal a Retro Prototype. It is a design of what an Infinity of yesteryear may have looked like.

2017-08-07: Beautifully engineered racers from Ballot, Maserati and OSCA ...
Ballot 3/8 LC Ernest Henry is one of the great engineers and he can be considered the father of the four-valve engine. After designing Grand Prix and Indy winning cars for Peugeot, he joined Ballot in the late 1910s. Among his best designs was this Ballot 3/8 LC. The Ballot engine designed by Henry featured the first fully enclosed valve-train, making it the first truly modern engine. The cars were raced on both sides of the Atlantic and this one won the first ever Italian Grand Prix, in 1921. Following a lengthy racing career, it remained hidden away in a British collections for many decades. It has now resurfaced in beautiful original conditions and was shown at Villa d'Este and Goodwood. Also featured is the sister car, which debuted in the 1920 Indy 500. It is today part of an American collection and will be raced later this month at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
Also set to star on the Monterey Peninsula is this Maserati 6CM, which has been consigned to the Gooding Pebble Beach Auctions. This particular car was raced with considerable success in period and has more recently starred at Pebble Beach. It is on offer with a pre-sale estimate of $1 - 1.4 million.
After the Maserati brothers left the company they founded, they built some spectacular cars under the OSCA moniker. We were treated to a particularly lovely example at Villa d'Este in the form of this MT4 Vignale Coupe. This lovely machine featured a unique design penned by Giovanni Michelotti and built by Vignale. In period it was raced to a class victory at Le Mans and more recently was in longtime Japanese ownership. The one-off MT4 Coupe has now returned to the limelight for all of us to enjoy.

2017-08-03: Great and rarely seen Italian machines headed for RM Sotheby's auction ...
Ferrari 121 LM Canadian auctioneer RM Sotheby's have released the full lot list of the upcoming, two-day Monterey sale. As each year, the line-up is very impressive and includes these four truly fantastic Italian sports and racing cars from the 1950s and early 1960s that have rarely been seen in public during the last couple of decades.
Rarest of the bunch is this Ferrari 121 LM, which is one of just a handful of straight six Ferrari sports racers built. These cars were hugely powerful but equally fragile. The consigned example raced in the Mille Miglia and at at Le Mans but was also involved in Ernie McAfee's fatal crash in the Pebble Beach Road Races. Not seen in public for many years, this 121 LM is estimated to sell for $6.5 - 7.5 million.
During the 1950s, Ferrari offered small production bespoke road cars for the American market, which were suitably dubbed 'America'. One of the earliest of these was this 342 America Vignale Cabriolet produced in 1952. It was the first of six 342 Americas built and the only one clothed by Vignale with this Cabriolet bodywork. Chassis 0232AL was recently restored and has not been shown yet at a major event. It is now estimated to sell for in excess of $2.2 million. The model gradually evolved into the 410 SuperAmerica of the late 1950s. One of 12 Series III examples built, the consigned example was sold new to an American based in Switzerland. It has been part of the same, secluded collection since the late 1990s.
Maserati catered for much the same clientele with the 5000 GT. One such customer was Briggs S. Cunningham, who commissioned this unique 5000 GT Michelotti Coupe. His design brief was clear; make the car as close to the 450 S racing cars the mechanicals were derived from. With the help of a wind tunnel, Michelotti succeeded in creating both a very striking machine and the fastest of all 5000 GTs. Compared to the Ferrari's, the unique 5000 GT represents a bargain with an estimate of $1.1 - 1.5 million.

2017-07-31: Fabulous single seaters from Lotus and Ferrari due to cross the Bonhams block ...
Lotus 34 Ford For the company's upcoming Quail Lodge Auction, Bonhams have consigned an impressive collection of competition cars. These are headlined by a pair of single seaters. The rarest and most successful of the pair is this Lotus 34 Ford, which is the winningest of all Lotus Indy racers. The Type 34 had a disastrous debut at Indy due to a tyre choice that proved too ambitious. On proper tyres, the consigned example would go on to win four USAC races in the hands of Parnelli Jones and AJ Foyt. The latter also qualified it on pole for the 1965 Indy 500. Foyt would continue to own the car through to 1992 and it is now offered from its third owner. With the other surviving car part of the Indy Hall of Fame Museum collection, this represents a unique opportunity to acquire chassis 34/2. It is estimated to sell for over $1.8 million, which would make it the most expensive Lotus sold at auction in recent years.
Also due to cross the block is this Ferrari 312 T5. While not particularly successful, this car represents the last of a great line of flat-12 engined Ferrari single seaters that brought the team three drivers' world titles. Defending champion, Jody Scheckter, used this car in eight races during the 1980 season. It was subsequently sold to Luigi Chinetti and then on to the vendor in the late 1990s. He has used the car for historic racing and it is still ready to go would the next owner choose to take to the track once more. Its estimate is available upon request.