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2016-04-27: Two very rare Porsche Le Mans racers ...
Porsche 904/8 While the 904 GTS is most commonly seen with a four-cylinder engine, Porsche also fielded six and eight cylinder engined examples. Based on the engine developed for Formula 1, the flat eight used in the 904/8 displaced just under two litres and produced a hefty 240 bhp. Only two of the 904 Coupes were fitted with this engine, so unlike the four-cylinder engined cars, they 904/8s were never homologated and were forced to run in the prototype class. They were nevertheless quite successful with class wins in the Targa Florio and twice at the Nurburgring. Our 17-shot gallery includes both examples built. One of these is on display in the Porsche Museum, while the other is in private hands and has been reunited with the very rare eight-cylinder engine.
Long after Porsche had ceased developing the 962, privateers continued to extend the Group C machine's lifespan with modifications. This was a win-win situation for Porsche as the German manufacturer still supplied the running gear for these cars that remained competitive. Among the first of these was Richard Lloyd Racing, who commissioned Nigel Stroud to design a honeycomb aluminium monocoque to replace the sheet aluminium tubs originally used for the 962C. In doing so, they created the 962C GTi of which five chassis were built. Four were built to Group C specifications, while the fifth was sold to Dyson Racing and campaigned in the IMSA GTP series. The featured example was the last of these and did not debut until 1992 when it was shared by father and son Derek and Justin Bell in their first ever joint Le Mans effort.

2016-04-25: Auto China round-up with new Porsche 718 Cayman, Audi TT RS and Infiniti Concept ...
Porsche 718 Cayman S Porsche used this week's Auto China in Beijing, to reveal the new 718 Cayman and 718 Cayman S. Like the 718 Boxster models launched earlier this year, the new Caymans are powered by turbocharged four cylinder engines, which are both more powerful and efficient than the flat sixes used in the previous generation models. The all-new 718 Cayman and Cayman S can now be ordered and will be available later in the year.
Sister company Audi revealed a new generation TT RS Coupe and Roadster. Both use an evolution of the multiple award winning five-cylinder turbo engine. In its latest guise, the 2.5-litre unit is good for an impressive 400 hp, which represents a 60 hp increase compared to its predecessor. This helps the Coupe accelerate to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds, while the Roadster completes the same sprint in 3.9 seconds. Like the 718 Cayman, the new TT RS will be available in the second half the year.
Also revealed in Beijing was this QX Sport Inspiration Concept. It represents a preview of an upcoming mid-size SUV from Nissan's luxury arm. For its design, Infiniti used inspiration from the local cultures of the network of global design studios the manufacturer has.

2016-04-22: V8 Friday with Can-Am Lola, Shelby Mustang and F5000 Shadow ...
Lola T70 Mk3B Spyder Chevrolet John Surtees won the inaugural Canadian-American Challenge Cup (Can-Am) fifty years ago with a Lola T70 Spyder. The ultimate evolution of this car was the T70 Mk3B Spyder of which just four were built in the summer of 1967. Compared to the regular production Mk3 Spyders, these four examples were lighter thanks to an extensively drilled chassis. Three of these were fitted with Chevrolet small-block V8s and were raced by Surtees and Team Penske. All three are featured in our 34-shot gallery.
With only 36 built and a thoroughbred racer, one of the most sought after of all Mustangs is undoubtedly the Shelby Mustang GT350 R. At the recent Jarama Classic, chassis SFM5R096 made its debut in the Sixties' Endurance race. Originally delivered to Comstock Racing, it has some unique features.
Our V8 Friday is not complete without a MOPAR, so we also added the Shadow DN6 Dodge F5000 car. Going up against the dominant Chevrolet V8-engined cars, the DN6 was driven to victory at Road America by Jackie Oliver. The featured example is the first of the Shadow F5000 cars.
Today, we have also added a further Chevron B19 to our article. Originally raced in South Africa, it has been campaigned in historic events almost without a break since the early 1980s.

2016-04-20: Fabulous Ferraris consigned to RM Sotheby's Monaco sale ...
Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spyder Auctioneer RM Sotheby's have just released the complete catalog for their upcoming Monaco sale. Ferraris are due to take centre stage in the auction and none more so than this 275 GTB/4 Nart Spyder. The tenth and final example built, it has been in the collection of no fewer than five Ferrari 250 GTO owners. Highly sought after in its own right, the rare Nart Spyder is estimated to sell for Euro 19-23 million.
Of a slightly later vintage is the Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider. The example consigned to the sale was one of just 18 left-hand drive examples built to European specifications. It was delivered new to Lebanon and has since been part of French and Dutch collections. Beautifully restored, chassis 15535 has a pre-sale estimate of Euro 2.4-2.8.
Rarer still is this one of four 212 Inter Vignale Cabriolet, which was delivered new to an Englishman living in Paris. Having subsequently spent many years in North America, it was more recently owned by Dutch collector Frits Kroymans. Since then the Vignale Cabriolet has been fully certified by Ferrari Classiche.
Among the other Ferraris on offer is this fabulous 340 America Touring Barchetta we already featured a few weeks ago. RM Sotheby's have now also revealed the estimate: Euro 7.5-9 million.

2016-04-18: Le Mans class winning Porsche 911s and road-going Porsche 935 K3 and 911 GT1 ...
Porsche 911 ST 2.5 One of the stars at the recent Techno Classica was this Porsche 911 ST 2.5 that was restored over a 2 1/2 year period by Porsche Classic themselves. One of around two dozen built in 1971 and 1972, this car was acquired new by American Michael Keyser, who raced it in the World Championship together with Porsche's Jurgen Barth. It also served as a camera car for Keyser's fantastic documentary 'Speed Merchants'. An absolute highlight of the season was a class win at Le Mans. Found in rather derelict condition, the rare and very successful 911 ST 2.5 has been brought back to its Le Mans winning glory.
One of the ST's successors was the 911 Carrera RSR 3.0 and at the Jarama Classic, we were treated to the very example that won its class at Le Mans in 1975. Having spent over three decades in Portugal, it has now finally been resplendent in its Le Mans winning colours.
Another very rare Porsche on display in Essen was this 935 K3, which is the only one finished in road legal specification. Built for F1 team principal Walter Wolf, it features a full upholstery but was still capable of speeds of over 330 km/h on the Autobahn during a pre delivery test. Beautifully preserved, this unique 935 K3 was offered for 2 million Euro.
Equally rare is the Porsche 911 GT1 Evolution consigned to the upcoming RM Auctions Monaco sale. Raced extensively in North America, this was the only Evolution model supplied new to a customer. In more recent years, it was made completely road legal by Lanzante and has a pre-sale estimate of Euro 2.7 - 3 million. Our 29-shot gallery also includes shots of one of the three works cars.

2016-04-15: Zolder winning Tyrrell, lightweight V8 Aston Martin, first look at new Polo R WRC and more ...
Tyrrell 010 Cosworth What was originally started as the Tyrrell team is now known as Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix and is still winning contemporary F1 races. Tyrrells themselves as still raced in historic events, like the 010 Cosworth that was driven to back-to-back victories at the Zolder Masters Festival last weekend. The third of three examples built, this Tyrrell was used during the 1980 season with limited success. Slightly improved for the opening rounds of the 1981 season, the Tyrrell 010 proved more competitive.
Aston Martin have introduced a severely stripped down version of the V8 model. Dubbed the Vantage GT8, it is the lightest version of the model yet. Thanks to substantial weight saving throughout, it is 100 kg lighter than the model it was based on. The Vantage GT8 does retain most of amenities of the road. Ready for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2016, it is strictly limited to just 150 examples.
This week, Volkswagen offered a first glimpse of the 2017 evolution of the Polo R WRC. Built to revised regulations, it will be quite a bit wider and more powerful than the car currently competing in the World Rally Championship.
Catering to a client's needs, Audi have created a one-off Extended A8 L, which features three rows of seats. Thanks to the lightweight aluminium construction the very long A8 is still relatively light.
At this weekend's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Lexus will demonstrate the RC F GT Concept. Powered by a mildly modified version of the production car's V8 engine, it holds the middle between the road car and the GT3 racer expected to hit the track later in the year. Whether a production version of the RC F GT will become available remains to be seen.