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2014-08-01: 1914 French Grand Prix winning Mercedes and new Toyota rally car ...
Mercedes 18/100 Grand Prix Slated at the time as the greatest race yet, the highly anticipated 1914 French Grand Prix was in many ways a peaceful prelude to the Great War that would sweep over Europe just a couple of days later. Represented by Peugeot and Mercedes, the protagonists of the race were also France and Germany. Built to completely revised regulations, the Germans brought this brand 18/100 Grand Prix. Powered by a 4.5-litre, four-cylinder engine with four valves and spark plugs per cylinder, this was the most sophisticated competition car built to date. After a thrilling 20-lap race on a massive circuit on the roads around Lyon, Mercedes came out as the winner with Christian Lautenschlager heading a historic one-two-three victory. To mark the occasion, Mercedes-Benz brought all three surviving examples, including the actual winner to Lyon earlier this year. We captured the three machines at the Goodwood Festival of Speed where they ran up the hill nose-to-tail. Good news for American enthusiasts; the winning car will be out later this month at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the Monterey Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
With the all-new Toyota GT 86 CS-R3 announced earlier this week, the Japanese manufacturer is set to bring rear-wheel-drive back to the World Rally Championship. Based on the highly acclaimed GT 86 road car, it features a 250 bhp version of the Subaru-built four-cylinder boxer engine. The GT 86 CS-R3 will make its debut in a fortnight at the German round of the WRC and will be available to customers in 2015.

2014-07-30: Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Turbo and two Can-Am 917s in full detail ...
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Turbo 2.1 In preparation for the launch of the 911 Turbo road car and the subsequent 934 and 935 competition cars, Porsche fielded the 911 Carrera RSR Turbo 2.1 during the 1974 season. As the road car was not yet built in sufficient numbers, it was not homologated and raced in the prototype class instead. This was of little concern to Porsche, who were more interested in testing and developing car in a proper racing environment and also welcomed any publicity this would generate for the production model. Despite racing against purpose-built competition cars like the Matra 670 and Alfa Romeo 33, the 911 Carrera RSR Turbo did score some great results, most notably a second place finish at Le Mans. Over the years, we caught up with three of the fours cars built, including the example that finished second at Le Mans, while a sister car is seen in action at the recent Le Mans Classic. The result is this 36-shot gallery, which illustrates our detailed article.
Another rare experimental Porsche is the 917 PA 16 Spyder, which is one of two PA Spyders built. Never raced, it was tested during the 1971 season with a massive 16-cylinder engine with an eye on competing in the Can-Am championship. The complicated and heavy engine was ultimately abandoned in favour of a turbo-charged version of the flat 12 engine. The ultimate development of this engine produced in excess of 1,100 bph and was found in the 917/30. At the Goodwood Festival of Speed, we captured the chassis offered by RM Auctions earlier this years and have used the opportunity to expand our gallery of this mighty machine to 65 shots.

2014-07-28: Marvellous Maseratis and news from Aston Martin Lagonda and McLaren ...
Maserati A6GCS/53 Pinin Farina Berlinetta Legendary Italian manufacturer Maserati is 100 years old this year and this is celebrated at most major events. Among these was the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed where Maseratis starred in separate classes both on the hill and in the concours d'elegance. Fittingly, Best of Show in the concours went to the Maserati A6GCS/53 Pinin Farina Berlinetta brought by Egon Zweimuller Jr. This was one of just four of these created by Pinin Farina back in 1953. They are considered among the most beautiful Maseratis ever built and still influence the design of the most recent models. In edition to the concours winning chassis 2060, we have also added lovely shots of chassis 2056, which was brought by the Panini Collection to Villa d'Este. As a result, the gallery now includes 62 shots.
Among the most interesting Maseratis in action during the Festival of Speed was one of the very rare V8RIs built during the mid-1930s. The name is short for V8 Ruote Indepediente (independent wheels), which aptly describes the key elements of the car's design. Unfortunately, the Grand Prix machine was not quite capable of keeping up with the better funded German opposition but several were raced with considerable success in North America. The example at Goodwood was the first of four built and was seen in action for the first time following an eight-year restoration. Our 41-shot gallery also includes pictures of a sister car, which is regularly raced by its German owner.
Purists will be glad to learn that the rather unfortunate Lagonda SUV concept launched a few years ago will not form the basis for a production car. Instead, the Lagonda name will be revived for a yet to be named Super Saloon. Based on the VH-chassis, it will be built in limited numbers in the same factory as the One-77 was previously manufactured. For unknown reasons, it will however only be available in the Middle East.
McLaren, meanwhile, have released another shot of the P1 GTR, which will be officially launched at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in a few weeks time.

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.