2015-05-28: 2015 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este report and gallery ...
2015-05-26: 2015 Spa Classic Report and 280-shot gallery ...
This weekend not only featured the Spa Classic
but also the altogether more relaxed Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este
. The annual event is one of the most prestigious and exclusive events of its kind, attracting a field of cars that stands out not by its size but by its quality. The 50-car strong field was more diverse than ever before with an ever impressive Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 lined up alongside striking show cars like the Pegaso Cupula and the six-wheeled Panther Six. In addition to the classic cars, the Concorso d'Eleganza also boasts a tradition of old by inviting brand new (show) cars. Making their world debut at Villa d'Este this year were the BMW 3.0 CLS Hommage
and the Zagato styled and built Maserati Mostro
. The weekend also featured the biennial RM Sotheby's auction, which like the main event had an exclusive character with less than 40 lots. Topping the record-breaking sale was the Ferrari 212 Export Touring Barchetta
, we featured last week and changed hands for just over Euro 6.7 Euro.
Our reporters were at Villa d'Este throughout the weekend and have returned with a concise report
, illustrated by an all encompassing 230-shot gallery
As always, more detailed features of the individual cars will follow in the coming days and weeks.
2015-05-21: Spa Classic preview with Nissan R90 and Jaguar XJR-16, and new Zagato Maserati ...
Over the weekend, the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps hosted the fifth annual Spa Classic
. Organised by Peter Auto, it featured all of the familiar grids like the Classic Endurance Racing and Sixties' Endurance, complemented by the ever impressive Group C series. Taking centre stage this weekend were the touring cars, which celebrated the rich history of the Spa 24 Hours with a pair of one hour races; one during the day and one at the end evening for each of two grids. In addition to the action on the track, the event also boasted a Bonhams auction and over 1,500 vehicles were displayed by the various clubs. Our eyes were firmly set on the track and we have hiked around the undulating circuit to capture all the action. Among the many fine machines out on track were such rarities as the unique Ferrari 250 GT Breadvan, a howling Jaguar XJR-14 and a pair of Porsche 934s. The result of our labour is this concise report
, illustrated by a 280-shot gallery
. In the coming days and week, we will surely highlight several of the finest cars that took to the track during the weekend.
2015-05-20: Austin Healey 100S and Villa d'Este Alfa Romeo headed for auction ...
This weekend, the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit will once again host the annual Spa Classic. Organised by Peter Auto, the event boasts all the familiar grids with the Historic Group C Championship as the icing on the cake. Among the cars due to line up is one of the mighty Nissan R90CKs
, which were raced at Le Mans in 1990. Built for Nissan by Lola and powered by a roaring twin-turbo V8, the R90 was among the fastest cars of its generation. This was underlined by Mark Blundell, who claimed pole position at Le Mans in one 25 years ago. Although a repeat of that feat is unlikely this year, Nissan will race at Le Mans again this year. However, the new cars are not quite as good looking as the pair of Nissan R90CKs
featured today. One of these will race at Spa this weekend, joined by the ultimate development of the model, the R91CP
Another great Group C / GTP machine to take to the track this weekend is the sole surviving Jaguar XJR-16
. Finished in the less famous but nevertheless very stunning Bud Light livery, it defended Jaguar's honour in North America during the 1991 season. Facing the very well funded Nissan and Toyota teams, the six cylinder engined machine was nevertheless driven to four outright victories by Davy Jones. He used the featured example
for every one of these wins and in more recent years, it has become a set fixture in the Historic Group C Championship.
Another major event being held this weekend is the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. In addition to the classic cars that will fill the Villa d'Este hotel's gardens on the shores of Lake Como, there will also be several world debuts. Among them is this menacing Maserati Mostro
, designed and built by Zagato. Powered by a Maserati V8 engine, this race-bred Coupe is inspired by the unique Maserati 450S Coupe
raced at Le Mans by Stirling Moss in 1957. Zagato will produce just five examples of the Mostro
, all of which are already spoken for.
2015-05-18: Sixth generation Camaro and RM Auctions' Villa d'Este sale preview ...
Built in 1955, the Austin Healey 100S
ranks as one of the greatest British sports cars of the 1950s. Carefully developed to promote the fledgling Austin Healey brand, the 100S was raced with great success on both sides of the Atlantic. It featured a tuned version of the Austin four-cylinder engine, benefiting from an alloy head developed by the great Harry Weslake. In addition to the hike in power, the 100S was also considerably lighter than the production Austin Healey 100. The small British manufacturer hand-built 50 examples of the 100S in five batches of ten. Today we have taken a detailed look at the most sought after of all Austin Healeys. Our 94-shot gallery
includes eight different examples. Among them is chassis AHS 3707
, which will be offered by RM Sotheby's at their Villa d'Este sale on Saturday. The pre-sale estimate is a hefty Euro 900,000 - 1.1 million.
Named after the Concorso d'Eleganza it was introduced at back in 1948 is the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Villa d'Este Coupe
. The car combined the proven Alfa Romeo chassis with an elegant Coupe body crafted in alloy by specialist Touring of Milan. The Villa d'Este style can be easily recognised by the driving lights, which are immediately next to the tall, narrow grille. Of the 32 examples believed to have been built, it is believed only half have survived. Of these five are pictured in our 35-shot gallery
. Fittingly, one of these
will also cross the block at RM Sotheby's in the Villa d'Este sale.
This weekend, Chevrolet launched the sixth generation Camaro
at a special event in Belle Isle, Detroit. Although still unmistakably a Camaro, the new car is smaller and lighter than its immediate predecessor. As before, the Chevrolet's Pony Car comes with a choice of a V8 or a V6 but now with a new entry-level turbocharged four-cylinder engine added to line-up. The smallest and most frugal of engines is still good for an impressive 275 bhp, while the range-topping SS boasts a 455 bhp V8. The most sophisticated iteration yet, the sixth generation Camaro
should be at Chevrolet dealerships before the end of the year.
A biennial addition to the annual Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este is the RM Sotheby's auction, staged for the third time this weekend. This is a particularly exclusive sale
with just over three dozen carefully selected lots. Among them are three Italian thoroughbreds, which look set to break the bank. Rarest of the three machines featured today is the Fiat 8V Vignale Cabriolet
from 1953. It is one of only very few 8Vs fitted with open coachwork and this is the only one of these clothed by Vignale. Rarely seen since it was restored in the early 1990s, it has a pre-sale estimate starting over one million Euro.
Ferraris will not surprisingly feature strongly and among the most valuable consigned is one of eight 212 Exports
clothed by Touring with the ever attractive Barchetta body. In addition to the example estimated to sell for between Euro 5.5 and 7 million, we have also featured a sister car that recently starred at Villa d'Este and Pebble Beach.
One of the absolute top sellers on Saturday is bound to be the alloy bodied 250 GT SWB
(s/n 1953GT) in the lot list. Although not raced in period, we have captured it in recent years being pounded around tracks like Goodwood and Spa-Francorchamps. The estimate is available on request but it would not surprise us if it finds a new owner for an eight-figure price!
As always, we will be at Villa d'Este and should have a full report and gallery of both the Concorso d'Eleganza and RM Sotheby's auction ready some time next week.