2014-10-24: Three spectacular Bugattis including the resurrected Type 57 S Torpedo Competition ...
2014-10-22: Four competition Ligiers from the same collection and more on the McLaren P1 GTR ...
Already one of the most exclusive manufacturers, Bugatti stunned the world at the 1935 Paris Auto Salon with two Type 57s clothed not in aluminium but in an exotic magnesium alloy called electron. Very difficult to shape and notoriously volatile, the lightweight electron bodies were not put in production and neither car survived. The most famous of the pair is the Aerolithe Coupe, which was the inspiration for the Atlantic launched a year. Equally impressive, however, was the Type 57 S Torpedo Competition
. Destined to race at Le Mans, it featured a svelte cycle-fender body styled by Jean Bugatti. Ultimately, the electron-bodied Torpedo was never raced as the 1936 Le Mans was cancelled and an even more efficient 'Tank' version of the Type 57 was introduced by Bugatti. Set aside and later disassembled, the Torpedo Competition was thought to be forever lost. That was until Jim Hull resurrected the car using many original components that could very well have been used on the actual car. The full story can be found in our detailed article
, illustrated by a 25-shot gallery
Another striking Bugatti we came across this year was the Bugatti Type 55 Roadster
currently on display in the Revs and Institute in Naples, Florida. Having had just four owners from new, it is hugely original and was one of the prize winners at the inaugural Chantilly Arts & Elegance
Also mechanically highly original is this Bugatti Type 50 Million Guiet Coupe
, which was brought to Pebble Beach
by the Mullin Automotive Museum. We had seen the car before, but it had since benefited from a cosmetic restoration to the exterior and interior.
2014-10-20: The original Jaguar D-Type and new Audi TT cup ...
At various events, we have been treated to the sights and sounds of four fabulous Ligiers this year. Amazingly, each of these distinct machines is owned by the same French collector. The earliest of these, is the sole surviving Ligier JS1
. Originally powered by an FVC Cosworth engine and later modified to accept a more docile Capri RS 2600 V6, this purpose built racer competed at Le Mans and in the Tour de France during the 1970 season. Only very rarely seen in public today, we captured it at the Le Mans Classic where, the JS1
sadly only completed a handful of laps in qualifying.
For 1971, Ligier introduced the all-new JS3
, powered by a Cosworth DFV Formula 1 engine. While it showed great form, it only managed to win once and was abandoned at the end of the year. The unique JS3
also raced at this year's Le Mans Classic, while we also saw it in action at Dijon and Paul Ricard.
Altogether more successful was the Ligier JS2
, which in its ultimate form also boasted a Cosworth DFV engine. One of just two surviving cars, the car seen in action this year won the Tour de France outright in 1974 while still fitted with a Maserati engine and in 1975 placed second overall at Le Mans.
Ligier then switched to Formula 1 and in 1979 came remarkably close to winning the World Championship with the hugely efficient JS11 Cosworth
. Designed by Gerard Ducarouge, it dominated the opening half of the season. Our updated article
now includes two of the four examples produced.
Meanwhile, McLaren have released new pictures of the upcoming P1 GTR
. These include action photography and a look inside the highly anticipated track-day special. For good measure, we have also added a brief video
about the P1 GTR program.
2014-10-17: Two world championship winning Williams F1 cars and turbine Lotus Indy racer ...
One of the big celebrations this year was the 60th anniversary of the Jaguar D-Type
. Using a sophisticated monocoque chassis and very slippery lines, the six-cylinder engined machine would go on to win Le Mans three years running, between 1955 and 1957. Today, we have taken a closer look at the original Works D-Type
as built and raced during the type's first year. These differed in detail to the cars raced from 1955 onwards, which were also sold to privateers. Five were built, three of which were raced at Le Mans with a second overall as the best result. Our detailed article
features a general history of the type and the specifics of each of the five examples produced by Jaguar in 1954. All of them are also included in our spectacular 115-shot gallery
At this weekend's DTM season finale, Audi introduced the new TT cup
. Based on the TTS
production car, the latest Audi racer will compete in the one-make 'Audi Sport TT Cup', which will serve as a support event for the DTM from 2015 onwards. Compared to the road going TT, the TT cup
is considerably lighter and also features a special push-to-pass function that adds a further 30 hp to the 310 hp already available from the familiar TFSI four-cylinder engine.
2014-10-15: A comprehensive look at the all-conquering Toyota Eagle GTP Mk III ...
After a difficult couple of seasons, Williams has bounced back to its form of old this year with consistent strong result. This has prompted us to take a look at two earlier cars produced by the British team that actually clinched the World Championship. The most recent is the FW18 Renault
as used by Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve during the 1996 season. Designed by Adrian Newey, the car won an impressive 12 races out of 16 starts and the drivers placed first and second in the championship with Hill eventually grabbing the title. Over the years we have captured three of the six examples produced in our 42-shot gallery
, including the car in which Hill won the title, scoring four victories. He was reunited with the car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2014 and 2009. We have also added a pair of videos
showing Hill and more recently Valteri Bottas behind the wheel of FW18-04.
Just over a decade earlier, in 1982, Williams did not dominate the championship but instead Keijo Rosberg won the title with the FW08 Cosworth
by very consistent finishes. He famously scored only one victory in what was a difficult season for the sport. We have added four different chassis to our 57-shot gallery
, which includes the very car Rosberg used to win the Swiss Grand Prix.
Later that same year, Williams also created a six-wheel version of the World Championship winning machine known as the FW08B
. It featured four rear wheels, which allowed for ever longer ground-effect tunnels. It was blisteringly quick in testing but never raced as for 1983, six-wheel F1 cars were banned.
An innovative machine that did make it to the track was the STP-liveried Lotus 56
, which was powered by a Pratt & Whitney turbine engine. Also equipped with four-wheel drive, it was the fastest car in qualifying for the 1968 Indy 500. Sadly a crash and two turbine failures put all three examples out of the race. Today we have added pictures of the recently restored example, originally raced by Graham Hill, to our 51-shot gallery
The culmination of a decade-long partnership between Toyota and Dan Gurney's All American Racers (AAR), the Toyota Eagle GTP Mk III
has gone into history as one of the most successful sports racers ever produced. Introduced towards the end of the 1991 season, it featured a new carbon-fibre composite monocoque chassis and hugely sophisticated aerodynamics that provided spectacular levels of downforce. In the hands of Juan Manuel Fangio II, it was virtually unstoppable. The four-cylinder engined machine won 17 races in a row and a total of 21, including the Sebring 12 Hours twice and Daytona 24 Hours. Perhaps even more impressive is that the lap records set during this period, including on the Daytona International Speedway, still stand to this day. For the full story on this fantastic machine, we have compiled a detailed history
of the car and the six chassis produced by AAR. Our 43-shot gallery
features each of the five surviving examples.
An earlier product of the Toyota and AAR collaboration was the Toyota Celica Turbo GTO
campaigned during the mid-1980s. Built around a spaceframe chassis, the silhouette racer proved hugely successful as well, clinching the 1987 driver's and manufacturer's championship in IMSA's highly competitive GTO class. We have today expanded our gallery
to include action photos of the privately owned example, which recently raced at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion
alongside the GTP car.