2016-06-28: 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed report and 380-shot gallery ...
This weekend Charles Lord March hosted the 24th annual Goodwood Festival of Speed on his fabulous estate. Going from strength to strength, it is now much more than the celebration of motorsport it started out as. Today it also serves as the de facto British Motor Show. This year's theme was 'Full Throttle - The Endless Pursuit of Power', which was very appropriate as it was the 50th anniversary of the popular Can-Am Challenge Cup, while throughout the field large engined and very powerful machines starred, whether it was the Fiat S.76 'Beast of Turin' or the brand new Bugatti Chiron. On Friday, Bonhams stated their traditional Festival of Speed sale. Perhaps hampered by the turmoil of the 'Brexit' only 60% of the lots sold for a total of just under GBP 7 million.
A sell-out crowd braved the changeable weather conditions and the resulting mud to enjoy another great fantastic Festival of Speed. We were among them for the full four days and have captured all the highlights in a 340-shot gallery of the event itself and another 40-shot gallery of the Bonhams auction, which serve to illustrate our concise report. In the coming days and weeks, you can find many detailed features on the great cars that starred at this year's Festival of Speed.
2016-06-23: Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed sale preview ...
At the Festival of Speed, the Bonhams auction is a set fixture. This year is certainly no exception, and today we take a closer look at three of the finest cars in their lot list. Certainly causing a stir was the second of four Aston Martin DB2 Prototype. Not only did it compete the first 24 Hours of Le Mans race after the War, it is also one of just two DB2s fitted with a four cylinder engine. It has had an eventful life and will be offered in a 'barnfind' condition. With the addition of this car, we now feature three of the four Prototypes, which are pictured in a 46-shot gallery.
A more unusual car consigned is one of the five Bugatti Type 73Cs. Developed immediately after the War, the work on this four-cylinder engined racer stopped shortly after Ettore Bugatti's passing in August of 1947. It is still not entirely clear whether one of the cars was fully assembled in 1947 but what is certain is that parts for five were made. Over the years these have been built up into complete cars. The example consigned was built around engine number 4 and is one of three featured in our detailed article.
In a year during which the 50th anniversary of the Can-Am Challenge Cup is celebrated, a McLaren is a more than appropriate lot. In this case it is the ex-Pacesetter Homes M1B Chevrolet, which was raced by Masten Gregory in period and has more recently been one of the stars during the Whitsun Trophy races during the Revival on the nearby Goodwood Motor Circuit.
2016-06-22: 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans report and 200-shot gallery and new track-day McLaren ..
This weekend's 24 Hours of Le Mans was one for the history books. Ford returned with a works effort for the first time since the early 1980s to mark the 50th anniversary of the company's first outright victory with the GT40. Although now vying for class honours only, Ferrari was the main rival just like it had been in 1966. The fight between the two manufacturers lasted until the dying stages of the race. The same could be said for the battle between Porsche and Toyota for the outright victory. Just when the win seemed secure, the tables turned dramatically. Bob van der Wolf was on the scene for us and returned with a 200-shot gallery that serves to illustrate a concise report.
We are now off to England for the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed. In addition to the classic and modern racing cars out on the hill, this year's sell-out event will feature a record number of 50 national and world debuts. Among them is the McLaren 570S Sprint. This track-day only machine is derived from the recently introduced GT4 version of the company's entry level 570S. The new Sprint will be among several McLarens expected to feature at Goodwood in the coming days.
Do keep an eye out on this page for further releases followed by a complete report and gallery from the event early next week.
2016-06-20: Festival of Speed preview, more from Le Mans, F1 GTR for sale and NSX-based Pikes Peak racer ...
One of the absolute highlights on the calendar is the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed and we are confident that this year will be no exception. Among the featured celebrations will be BMW with the central feature display marking the company's 100th anniversary, while many current and past racers and riders will also make an appearance. We will be there to capture the event in its entirety and you can still join on Thursday and Friday for which there are still tickets available on the Goodwood website.
To get you in the mood for the event, we have today taken a closer look at three very different machines that starred at previous editions. Among them is the glorious Matra MS650, which stretched its leg at the Festival of Speed in 2015. That year, we were also treated to the first ever public appearance of both LEC CPR1 F1 cars. A previous visitor and one to star again this year is the Ferrari 375 Indy from the Louwman Museum. It is one of just four Indy cars ever built by Ferrari. For a further impression of what to expect you can explore our previous event features, which at the bottom have links to many of the great that starred in that specific year.
This weekend's 24 Hours of Le Mans was one for the history books with many winners but also a big loser. We will follow up on this later in the week but for now have added new images to the galleries of the Ford GT LM GTE, which won its class exactly 50 years after Ford's first overall win and the Toyota TS050 Hybrid, which came so achingly close to the company's first outright victory.
At the upcoming Pikes Peak Hill Climb, Acura will field this all-electric EV Concept. Powered by four electric motors, it is based on the new NSX road car.
We have today also added the ninth F1 GTR Longtail of a total of ten built to our feature. Raced in contemporary events until 2005, it is today offered for sale on behalf of only its third owner by specialists Kidston SA from Geneva, Switzerland.
2016-06-17: The 2016 Le Mans protagonists and Rolls-Royce vision for the future ...
This weekend, the 82nd 24 Hours of Le Mans will be staged. Vying for the outright victory are three major manufacturers, Audi, Porsche and Toyota. Topping the charts after the rain affected qualifying sessions are the two Porsche 919 Hybrids entered. This year's car is a subtle evolution of the 2015 winner, which is still quick enough to outpace the two brand new rivals. The second row is for the two Toyota TS050 Hybrids, which look to score the second ever victory for an Asian manufacturer. The first ever win was for the howling Mazda 787B, which scored the breakthrough victory 25 years ago. The new-for-2016 TS050 is powered by a twin-turbo V6 combined with a pair of electric motors. Slowest of three protagonists was Audi, whose R18 e-tron quattros will line up fifth and sixth. Sunday at 3 pm, we will know who the 82nd car on our list of winners will be. Keep an eye out on this space for a full report of the event.
At a special event in London, Rolls-Royce offered their vision of the future with the EX103 Vision Next 100 show car. The striking machine boasts a zero emissions powertrain and also features autonomous drive technologies.
2016-06-15: Fiat 8V Zagato, Siata 208S and hardcore MINI ...
Best known for their four-cylinder engined city cars, Fiat briefly produced a V8-engined sports car during the early 1950s. It was aptly dubbed the 8V or 'Otto Vu' because Fiat believed Ford had patented the V8 name. The very first examples were bodied by the factory but later in the production run, Fiat made rolling chassis available for specialist coachbuilders to cloth. Among the most prolific and successful of these is the 8V Zagato Coupe of which around two dozen were built. The lightweight and slippery body made the Zagato bodied cars particularly successful in racing. Among the three featured examples is the very car that won its class in the Mille Miglia of 1957.
The 8V was not cheap and Fiat struggled to find sufficient buyers. Siata offered a helping hand by creating a car of their own around the two-litre V8 engine. Among the most famous of these is the 208 S Motto Spider. Most of these striking roadsters were sold to the United States where they were often raced. The example highlighted today was bought new by a San Diego fireman, who also raced it. Since then, it has had a very colourful history and it has only recently been restored to its original glory.
Especially for the British market, MINI has created the John Cooper Works Challenge. Limited to just 100 examples, it uses the same drivetrain as the 'regular' John Cooper Works. It stands out instead due to further refined suspension, which allows the Challenge to handle even better both on the road and track.
2016-06-13: Rare four-cylinder Porsche racer and ultimate Spice GTP cars ...
Having visited Peter Auto events for many years, we are still amazed at the number of 'new' cars that show up at every event. Among those at the recent Grand Prix de l'Age d'Or was one of just a handful of genuine 924 Carrera GTRs built by Porsche ahead of the 1981 season. Based on the road going 924 Carrera GTS, the GTR featured a turbocharged version of the 924's four-cylinder engine, which produced an impressive 375 bhp. The factory entered car won the IMSA GTO class. The featured example was not actually raced in period but sold directly to the Matsuda Collection in Japan. The Grand Prix de l'Age d'Or may very well have been the first time the car turned a wheel in anger.
From the second half of the 1980s, Spices were regulars on the Group C and IMSA GTP grids. Most successful in the junior categories, Spice customer also raced against the works teams. The ultimate and very last of the top level GTP Spices is this SE92P Chevrolet. Compared to the earlier cars, it featured a narrower cockpit and much larger, twin-tier rear wing. Although run by a privateer effort, it proved both fast and reliable, placing third four times during the 1992 and 1993 season. Recently re-painted to its original livery, the unique Spice SE92P made its competition debut with its new owner at Dijon.
2016-06-10: Two small Italian marvels and a news round-up ...
One of the specialities of Italian manufacturers is to build pocket-sized cars, while another is to build very fast cars. With the to small marvels featured today, these attributes have been combined. Arguably the least known of the pair is the Fiat Moretti 850 Sportiva. As the name suggests, it is based on the underpinnings of the Fiat 850 but it features a tuned engine and a striking body that was styled and built in-house. Although some sources suggest as many as 300 were built, we are told that the production number is a closer to three dozen and the pictured example is one of just a handful of survivors.
Also shown at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este was this Bizzarrini GT Europa 1900. Perfectly downsized from the 5300 GT design, this last grasp model was powered by an Opel-sourced four-cylinder engine. Sadly production never really started and only 12 examples were believed to have been built. The fabulous example on display on the shores of Lake Como was the fourth.
While we were away at Dijon, several new interesting cars were released. Among them was the first all-new Audi S5 Coupe since the model was originally introduced back in 2007. It is powered by the familiar supercharged V6 that produces 354 hp in the S5.
Rival Mercedes-AMG introduced their take on the newly introduced E-Class estate with this E 43 Estate 4MATIC. Like the S5, it features a V6 engine but this one is twin-turbocharged and produces just over 400 hp.
An altogether more modest machine is Renault's new Twingo GT, which boasts a 110 hp, rear mounted engine.
2016-06-08: 2016 Grand Prix de l'Age d'Or report and 300-shot gallery ...
This weekend we were at the Circuit Dijon-Prenois for the 52nd annual Grand Prix de l'Age d'Or, which is the oldest event of its kind in Europe. Whereas the last two editions were scorching hot, the 2016 event started off with grey skies and rain. The grey skies remained but fortunately, the rain stopped after the lunch break on Friday. This resulted a perfect track for the 280 cars spread over nine grids to race on. Excluding the practice and qualifying session the event featured over 10 hours of racing. Among the very diverse machines on track were early Bugattis and Alfa Romeo 8C 2300s through to Capris and Escorts of the 1970s and Group C cars of the early 1990s.
Once again braving the weather, our photographers were trackside from the start to the finish of the event. Their combined efforts have resulted in an action-packed 300-shot gallery, which serves to illustrate this concise report.
2016-06-06: The Lamborghinis that starred at Villa d'Este ...
At last month's Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, three of the cars entered were Lamborghinis. The earliest of these was a Miura SV, which represents the ultimate development of the company's first mid-engined supercar. The example shown was an early prototype and is also the very first Lamborghini restored in house by the newly established Polo Storico department. At their upcoming Pebble Beach Auctions, Gooding & Co. will also offer a beautifully restored Miura SV. It is offered along with several other fine Italian sports cars from a private California-based collection.
Of a slightly later vintage was the striking Countach LP400S Prototipo, presented on behalf of the owner by Valentino Balboni himself. This particular car was built specifically for Walter Wolf and was the first Countach to be fitted with a wing. It was shown for many years in the now defunct Rosso Bianco Museum and has been beautifully preserved.
The most modern of the Lamborghinis shown, and in more ways than one, was the Athon Concept, shown at the 1980 Turin Motor Show. As an act of loyalty and support, it was created by Bertone to support the ailing Lamborghini company. Ironically, while Lamborghini now thrives, the current owner bought the Athon at an auction where Bertone's prized possessions were offered in a last attempt to prevent the company from going under.
2016-06-01: 2016 Grand Prix de l'Age d'Or preview and new one-off Ferrari ...
This weekend, the undulating Dijon-Prenois circuit will host the annual Grand Prix de l'Age d'Or, which is one of the oldest historic race meetings in the world. A new addition for this year is the Group C grid. Among the cars entered is this Rondeau M382, which won the very first Group C race back in 1982. Based on the same design as Rondeau's 1979 Le Mans winning machine, the M382 was run as both a Group C and an IMSA GTP car. The example entered is the very car that won at Monza and has been beautifully preserved.
Perfectly suited to the Dijon track is certainly the Lotus Elan 26R, which is due to compete in the two-hour Sixties' Endurance event. This particular car has been restored to its 1965 Sebring 12 Hours livery but was raced most successfully at several editions of the Nassua Speed Week on the Bahamas.
Porsche 911s are common place in the Classic Endurance Racing grids, and this rare 911 Carrera RSR 2.8. Fielded by Brumos Porsche, it was extensively raced from 1973, making numerous appearances in the Sebring 12 Hours and Daytona 24 Hours. Chassis 911 360 0865 has recently been restored to its original configuration and colours.
Especially for a British collector, Ferrari created this 458 MM Speciale. Based on a 458 Speciale, it features a bespoke body kit and wheels. It is finished in 'Bianco Italia' and features blacked out A-pillars, which gives the impression of a warp-around windshield.
2016-05-30: Maseratis and Porsches that starred at Villa d'Este ...
This year's Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este featured an eclectic mix of 1950s competition cars, which included the pair of striking Maseratis and the unique Porsche featured today.
Clinching the Trofeo BMW Group for the Best of Show by Jury vote was this Maserati A6GCS/53 Pinin Farina Berlinetta. Just four of these race-bred chassis were fitted this fabulous Pinin Farina design in period, and are today considered among the most beautiful of all Maseratis. The car shown at Villa d'Este is the only one of the quartet to have survived completely unscathed. Freshly restored, we captured the Pinin Farina Berlinetta from every angle.
A little less conspicuous was this beautifully preserved Maserati 200S that also lined up at Villa d'Este. Although it was extensively raced in period, this car has survived in a time-warp condition. We understand chassis 2413 is the only Maserati sports racer of this period that still boasts its original finish and as such is regularly used to determine the correct colour for its restored sister cars.
Definitely impossible to miss was this Porsche 550 RS Spyder. During the 1956, it was modified for its owner by young engineer Michael May and fitted with what would be the first ever wing designed to generate downforce. It was so effective that it beat the works cars by several seconds during practice at the Nurburgring. To avoid further embarrassment, Porsche used the company's pull to have the wing banned on the grounds of being too dangerous. During a recent restoration, chassis 550-0031 was finally refitted with the ground-breaking wing.