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2014-07-24: Indy winning March, Lola Mk6 and Ford GT Roadster to cross the block ..
March 86C Cosworth The annual car week on the Monterey Peninsula is quickly approaching and all major auctioneers have managed to consign an unprecedented array of high quality machines. In the coming weeks, we will take a closer look at some of the very and today we start with RM Auctions. The Canadian company traditionally hosts their sale in downtown Monterey on Friday and Saturday.
Among the most important machines to cross the block during the first evening is the 1986 Indianapolis winning March 86C Cosworth. Designed and engineered by Adrian Newey, the Truesports entered and Bobby Rahal driven March was among the fastest all season long. Accordingly, Rahal did not only win Indianapolis but was also crowned champion at the end of the year. For good measure, a your-old March 86C won again at Indy in 1987. The ex-Rahal March 86C was acquired directly from the team by the vendor and comes complete with its Indy winning engine. It is estimated to sell for between $1.75 and $2.5 million.
Also due to cross the block at RM on Friday is the unique Chevrolet-engined Lola Mk6 GT. The third and final Mk6 built, this example was sold to John Mecom, who briefly raced it with a Chevrolet V8, while the other two actually featured Ford engines. Following a long spell in the Rosso Bianco museum, it was acquired by the consignor, who had it completely restored. We saw the Mk6 GT Chevrolet at Retromobile some years ago and genuinely hope the new custodian will take it racing.
Whereas the Lola formed the basis for the subsequent GT40, the Ford GT Roadster consigned for Friday is one of the actual GT40 prototypes. One of just four open GT40s built, the auction car was used exclusively for testing and as such is the most original of all surviving GT prototypes. We captured chassis GT/108 in full detail at a recent Quail, a Motorsports Gathering. Its pre-sale estimate is an ambitious but not unfathomable $8 - $10 million.

2014-07-21: Coach-built Ferrari and Alfa Romeo, and the Parnelli F1 car ...
Ferrari 212 Inter Vignale Notchback Coupe Over the past decades New York-based collector Peter S. Kalikow assembled a superb selection of machinery. One thing they all shared was that Kalikow saw them in person when new, and a vast majority were also Ferraris bodied by Pininfarina. The first true exception to this rule was this Ferrari 212 Inter Vignale Notchback Coupe. It had escaped from Kalikow's attention as it had been delivered new to a customer in Portugal. Setting it apart from the other 212 Inter Ferraris clothed by Vignale was the unique combination of a Cabriolet body with a fixed hard-top roof. Following a complete restoration the one-off 212 Inter Vignale Notchback Coupe was shown by Kalikow at Pebble Beach 2013 and Villa d'Este in 2014.
Also brought to these exact events was this Alfa Romeo 1900C SS Ghia-Aigle Cabriolet. This is the very first of just eight 1900C Alfas bodied by the Swiss carrozzeria. It remained in Switzerland for most of its life and was displayed in a Swiss museum for several years. In more recent years, it was acquired by the current owner from the spectacular Gene Ponder collection. Following a full restoration, the 1900C SS Ghia-Aigle Cabriolet looked right at home on the 18th fairway at Pebble and on the shores of Lake Como.
Of a completely different order is the Parnelli VPJ4 Cosworth, which was a rare American foray into Formula 1. Headed by Parnelli Jones, the team did use European influences, most notably French designer Maurice Philippe, who had previously penned the World Championship winning Lotus 72. Tasked to drive the car was Vel's Parnelli Jones regular Mario Andretti. He finished in the points during the car's 1974 debut season but ultimately a lack of funding for proper development let it down. Over the years, we captured one of the surviving Parnelli VPJ4s on both sides of the Atlantic, resulting in an action-packed 28-shot gallery. Hopefully, the upcoming American Formula 1 team will last a little longer.

2014-07-17: Rare F1 racers that starred at the FoS and Roadster V12 Vantage S ...
Lec CRP1 Cosworth Each year the Goodwood Festival of Speed attracts some of the world's most significant and successful competition machines. Fortunately, there is also room for the lesser known but perhaps even more interesting footnotes of our sport's history. This year two Formula 1 cars attended that were very much a product of the 1970s 'kit car' era and were not seen in action again since they were new, although for varying reasons.
Best known of the pair was undoubtedly the Lec CRP1 Cosworth, raced in period by David Purley. Designed by Mike Pilbeam, it was constructed in the off hours at the Lec refrigerator factory owned by Charles Purley. The car briefly led the 1977 Belgian Grand Prix but is best known for a massive head-on incident, which for many years was the crash with the highest g-forces survived by the driver. At Goodwood, the second Lec CRP1 built was demonstrated for the first time after a complete rebuild.
Shrouded in more mystery and altogether more exotic is the Maki F101A Cosworth. Launched at a high profile event in 1974 at a prestigious London hotel, the project promised a lot but ultimately, no Maki ever qualified for a Grand Prix. In its original guise the Maki was at its most interesting and fortunately, the prototype has survived in this specification. It was this Maki F101A that was on hand at Goodwood. This was the first ever venture abroad for this particular car.
Perfectly timed for the summer, Aston Martin have launched the V12 Vantage S Roadster. It shares the same 565 bhp version of the familiar V12 engine with its fixed head counterpart. This enables the wind-in-your-face Aston Martin to accelerate to 60 mph in four seconds and then continue on to reach a top speed of just over 200 mph.

2014-07-14: The most extreme Porsche 935 of all and new Mercedes-Benz S 65 AMG Coupe ...
Porsche 935 JLP-4 Faced with a new generation of purpose-built, ground-effect GTP cars, teams running Porsche 935s in the IMSA GT Championship looked at ways to prolong the career of the venerable turbo-charged Porsche during the early 1980s. The most extreme was of these was the Porsche 935 JLP-4 created for John Paul Sr. by Fabcar. Built around an aluminium monocoque, it was the only 935 to use ground-effect aerodynamics and it was even fitted with sliding skirts much like the Fomrula 1 cars of the day. On par with the GTP cars of the day, the spectacular machine's career was only short lived but it did propel John Paul Jr. to two outright wins in 1982 on his way to becoming the youngest ever IMSA champion. Following its final outing in 1983, it has always been very well cared for. Its current Italian owner brought the unique Porsche 935 JLP-4 to the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed to raise awareness for the John Paul Jr vs Huntingtons Disease fund. It was driven by the owner and one of Paul's former rivals, John Fitzpatrick.
Most famous of all privately built 935s is undoubtedly the 935 K3 produced by the Kremer brothers. At the last week's Le Mans Classic we caught up with yet another chassis, which has allowed us to expand the gallery to 177 shots.
Mercedes-Benz, meanwhile, has released the first details of the range-topping S 65 AMG Coupe. Powered by a 620 bhp V12 engine, it replaces the CL 65 AMG. Available from just under 245,000 Euro, the S 65 AMG should hit the showroom floors in September.

2014-07-10: Three magnificent McLarens that starred at Goodwood ...
McLaren MP4/2 TAG Porsche The McLaren story will forever be connected to Goodwood and this year, the British manufacturer was particularly well represented at the Goodwood Festival of Speed where the new 650S GT3 was launched and also many historic McLarens took to the hill.
Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Formula 1 World Championship campaign, McLaren brought Niki Lauda's MP4/2 TAG-Porsche. Freshly restored by the team headed by longtime McLaren employee Neil Trundle, the Porsche V6-engined machine was used throughout the 1984 season by Niki Lauda, who scored four wins and beat his team-mate by half a point. At Goodwood the MP4/2 was demonstrated by two of McLaren's junior drivers.
Former and future engine supplier Honda shipped over their McLaren MP4/4 for the occasion. It was one of the cars used by Ayrton Senna during the 1988 season, when McLaren won all but one of the Grands Prix. One of only two MP4/4s not owned by McLaren, Honda's MP4/4 is the most successful of the six chassis built.
Driven with great verve by Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack was the first of ten F1 GTR Longtails built for the 1997 season. Raced exclusively and extensively in Japan, it was not retired from contemporary racing until 2005. Chassis 19R was presented at Goodwood in the unique launch livery.