2015-03-27: Two classic Lotus GT racers from the 1960s ...
2015-03-25: One-off American sports cars and all-new McLaren 570S and Jaguar XF ...
With the Elan, Lotus created a car suitable for road and track. After several privateers created competition cars of their own, a factory racing car was created. Dubbed the 26R, it featured a tuned engine, covered headlights and knock-off wheels. The cars were also equipped with a removable hard-top but privateer racer Barry Wood figured the Elan would perform even better with a more aerodynamic roof. The result was the Shapecraft Coupe
, which was available for the road-going Elan and the 26R. One of these competition cars was driven to the British GT Championship in 1965. It is believed as few as three Elan 26R Shapecraft Coupes
were built. Our detailed article is illustrated by a 74-shot gallery
that features two of these rare machines.
Lotus replaced the Elan 26R with the 47 GT
, which was derived from the mid-engined Europa road car. Built to the Group 4 regulations, the diminutive machine often punched well above its weight, scoring numerous class and outright victories. Around 55 were produced of what remains as the last truly successful Lotus sports racer. We have today added three of these, pictured in a 50-shot gallery
2015-03-23: Porsche sports cars and new Caterham range ...
The first Ford to wear the Mustang name and badge was not a roaring 'Pony Car' but this delicate, mid-engined Roadster
. Powered by a diminutive V4 engine, it was a thinly disguised racer for the road. Appropriately, the Mustang Roadster I
was first demonstrated during the 1962 US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen by Dan Gurney. Following its show duties, the compact roadster was added to the collection of The Henry Ford
museum in Dearborn, Michigan. We captured it
at a rare outing in August of 2014.
Another one-off American sports car is this Bosley Mark I G/T
, which was built over a two-year period by Richard Bosley in his garage. Although he was a horticulturist by trade, Bosley managed to create a formidable machine, powered by a HEMI V8. Like the Mustang I, the unique Bosley
has been preserved in a prominent American museum; the Petersen Automotive Museum
. We shot every detail
when it was displayed at Pebble Beach in 2011.
Last night, Jaguar unveiled the second generation XF
in dramatic fashion; to underline its reduced weight, it completed a spectacular high-wire water crossing. Compared to the original XF, the almost all-aluminium XF is a full 80 kgs lighter. Among the engines available at the launch is a 375 bhp V6 in the XF S
. We expect a V8-engined 'R' model to follow shortly.
Also due to be released in New York is McLaren's all-new 570S Coupe
, which is the first of the manufacturer's new 'Sports Series'. As revealed by the teaser image, the sports car will boast flying buttresses and as the name suggests will be powered by a 570 ps (562 bhp) version of the familiar eight-cylinder engine.
2015-03-20: Rare Frazer Nash headed for auction, new Audi R18 and Chaparral Camaro ...
If the persistent rumours prove to be correct, Porsche's entry level models will be powered by a four-cylinder engine in the near future. As most enthusiasts know, Porsche is no stranger to four-cylinder engines and in fact all of the early production and competition cars were equipped with them. Among them was the 550A RS Spyder
competition car built between 1956 and 1958. It was the second generation of Porsche's first purpose-built racer and featured a new tubular spaceframe chassis in combination with the very powerful, twin-cam 'Carrera' engine. Over a two-year period, Porsche produced close to 50 examples, which were raced the world over by the factory team and numerous privateers. Featured in our revised article
are six different examples
It is hard to image that the Porsche 907K
was built just a decade later and it underlines the enormous progress made during the 1960s by the German manufacturer in particular and the whole industry in general. Powered by an eight-cylinder engine, the 907 provided Porsche with machine that could vie for outright victories rather than class wins at most major events. Accordingly, the 907K
brought the German manufacturer's first outright win at Sebring and also won the Targa Florio. It would serve less than a full season as it was replaced halfway through 1968 by the more potent still 908. A rare sight today, we feature three different
chassis, pictured on both sides of the Atlantic.
Caterham Cars has today launched a line of three new models that fit between the range-topping Seven 620R and the entry-level Seven 160. These are respectively the 210 bhp Seven 420
, the 180 bhp Seven 360
and the 135 bhp Seven 270
. Each of the new models can be ordered with the optional 'S' and 'R' packages, which have the aim to further improve the handling and feel of the Seven.
2015-03-18: Legendary Lancia 037 Rally and record-breaking Jaguar XK120 ...
Best known for the company's cycle-fender sports cars, Frazer Nash also produced a small series of fixed-head machines known as the Le Mans Coupe
. It combined the steel tubular frame first introduced on the Mk2 Le Mans Replica with a slippery body designed specifically for high-speed circuits like Le Mans. It worked formidably well as its first attempt the Le Mans Coupe won its class in the legendary endurance race. Our detailed article
features two of the nine examples built; the actual Le Mans class winner and a sister car that will be offered by Bonhams at the Goodwood Members Meeting this weekend.
At a spectacular event this week, Audi introduced the new-for-2015 R18 e-tron quattro
. Due to compete in this season's FIA WEC, it features substantial updates to the drivetrain and the aerodynamics to hopefully get on the pace with the German manufacturer's rivals.
At this weekend's Sebring 12 Hours one of the guests of honour is the Chaparral 2 Chevrolet
that won the race outright exactly 50 years ago. This occasion cemented the relationship between Chaparral founder Jim Hall and General Motors, which later led the innovative team to be awarded the opportunity to prepare the factory-back Chevrolet Camaros
for the 1970 Trans-Am season. This proved to be quite a different ballgame compared to Can-Am but the white and blue Camaro
nevertheless managed to win a round. Chaparral only ever built three Camaros and the featured example
is the one driven to the type's sole victory by Vic Elford also believed to be the sole survivor.
It is two decades ago this year that Lotus launched the ground-breaking Elise at the Frankfurt Motor Show. To mark the occasion, the British manufacturer has created the suitably dubbed Elise 20th Anniversary
, which is slightly lighter and more poised than the regular production model.
Introduced in 1982, the Group B regulations yielded some of the greatest rally cars of all time. Among them is the Lancia 037 Rally
, which also debuted in 1982. Very loosely based on the Montecarlo road car, the 037 was powered by a supercharged four-cylinder engine. The car was not an instant success but in 1983, it scored sufficient wins for Lancia to be crowned constructors' World Championship. As it turned out, this would be the very last World Championship won by a rear-wheel drive car. The featured example
was used as a spare and reconnaissance car by the works team during the 1982 season and was later used by a privateer in the Portuguese rally championship. Following a spell of 25 years in a Las Vegas museum, it has recently been restored to full running order.
To homologate the 037 for the Group B class, Lancia also produced the road-going Lancia 037 Stradale
. 200 examples of this thinly disguised road racer were constructed. Pictured in our 20-shot gallery
is a beautifully preserved example that recently sold sold for EUR 336,000.
In 1949, Jaguar set a new world top speed record with an XK120 for a production road car at 126 mph. A couple of years later, a Pegaso Z102 went faster still, which prompted Jaguar to return with this specifically prepared XK120
. Among the modifications fitted were a streamlined canopy roof and a full-length underbody. Piloted by legendary Jaguar test-driver Norman Dewis, it was clocked at a staggering 174 mph to reclaim the record. The very Jaguar XK120
used at Jabbeke has recently been beautifully restored by JD Classics and shown at events at both sides of the Atlantic, usually accompanied by Norman Dewis OBE himself.