2016-12-05: Fabulous Group A BMW 635 CSi in full detail ...
Throughout this year, we have been to many events that celebrated BMW's centenary. At these events we have seen many great examples from the Bavarian company and among them was the 635 CSi Group A. Built in the early 1980s, it was designed to compete in a choice of touring car championships all around the world. It was based on the 'E24' 6-series coupe and was powered by a straight six engine, which produced just shy of 300 bhp. Pitched against a wide variety of machinery, the 635 CSi more than held its own both in the hands of the works (supported) and privateer teams. Today, we have taken a renewed look at this legendary touring car with a 243-shot gallery featuring no fewer than eleven examples of this particularly lovely BMW.
2016-12-02: Lightweight E-Type headed for auction and new Cadillac and Hyundai racers ...
One of the most revered and sought after Jaguars is the E-Type Lightweight Roadster. So much so that Jaguar built six additional cars a few years ago using chassis numbers that were originally allocated but not used in period. The original cars are all in major collections and only very rarely come up for sale. One of the exceptions will be at the upcoming Bonhams Scottsdale Auction where chassis S850667 is set to cross the block. It has had just three owners from new and has been with the current custodian since 1999. Bonhams estimates the car will change hands for at least $7.5 million. We have used this occasion to also expand our Lightweight E-Type feature, which now consists of 132 shots of eight different examples.
Hot on the heels of Mazda's new IMSA prototype, Cadillac have introduced their rival, the DPi-V.R. It is based on the new Dallara LMP2 car and features bespoke Cadillac styling and a rumbling 600 bhp V8. Among the drivers due to line up with the striking DPi-V.R at its Daytona 24 Hours debut is none other than multiple NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon.
Another exciting racing car to break cover is the new-for-2017 Hyundai i20 WRC. It is built to heavily revised regulations, which combines a 20% power increase with a more aggressive aerodynamics package. With Volkswagen retired from the World Rally Championship, the new i20 WRC should certainly be among the rally winners next year.
2016-11-30: Bonhams Bond Street preview with rare Vauxhall and 300 SL Roadster ...
Still reeling from last weekend's estimate shattering Duemila Ruote sale, we today take a look at the last major auction of the year; Bonhams' Bond Street Sale this coming Sunday. Limited to less than three dozen lots, the auction includes a fine selection of sports cars from all eras and for all tastes. The earliest car and one of the most interesting consigned is this Vauxhall Prince Henry. Built as a replica of the Laurence Pomeroy design Prinz Heinrich trial cars, it can be considered on of the first true sports cars. The example on offer has had just four owners during its 102-year life, including son of the designer and noted journalist Laurence Pomeroy Jr. It has also been enjoyed thoroughly throughout its life as by the early 1930s, it had already covered over 140,000 miles.
Judging from the estimates, the most valuable car in the sale is this Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster. Delivered new to the United States, this lovely example has only had a handful of owners during the last 60 years and in recent year has been under the virtual constant care of marque experts HK Engineering. This 300 SL Roadster is expected to sell for just over GBP 1 million.
2016-11-28: RM Sotheby's formidable Duemila Ruote results and new VW ...
This weekend, RM Sotheby's staged the massive Duemile Ruote sale in Milan. The three-day auction featured over 800 lots from a singe collection that were all offered at no reserve and included over 400 cars. With the prospect of all cars selling no matter what and very conservative estimates, the sale attracted a lot of attention and ultimately totalled over Euro 50 million.
Topping the sale was this Ferrari 275 GTB. Fitted with an alloy body, six-carburettor engine and torque tube, this was the highest specification at the time. Chassis 08311 was offered for the first time since 1980 and ultimately found a new owner for Euro 3.4 million.
A close second on the result sheet was this Maserati MC12 Stradale. Having covered just 6,000 km from new, this Italian delivered example sold for Euro 3 million.
The Lancia LC2 we featured last week had a result very typical for this auction as it sold for three times the top estimate at Euro 851,200.
Volkswagen will add a new four-door Coupe to the line-up next year. Dubbed the Arteon, it will make its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
2016-11-25: Button bows out and fastest Exige ever ...
This weekend, 2009 World Champion Jenson Button will compete in what looks set to be his last ever Formula 1 Grand Prix. To celebrate his successful single seater racing career, we have today taken a renewed look at the Brawn GP BGP001 Mercedes he used to win the 2009 World Championship. The car's history looks to come straight out of a Hollywood movie with a team on the verge of demise rising from the ashes to stage the most unlikely World Championship campaign of the last decades. Featured today is the BGP001 that Button drove throughout the year and is today owned by Ross Brawn himself. It was certainly not a fluke for the team as at the same Grand Prix that Button bids farewell, the team's current iteration, Mercedes GP, will see one of its two drivers crowned World Champion for the third year in succession.
Lotus, meanwhile, have announced the fastest ever Exige in the form of this Sport 380. As the name suggests, it is powered by a supercharged V6 that produces around 380 bhp. This allows the compact sports car to accelerate to 100 km/h in well under four seconds and onto a top speed of 284 km/h. The Exige Sport 380 is available as a Coupe or a Spider with a removable hard-top.
2016-11-23: 1980s marvels offered in largest car auction ever ...
This weekend, RM Sotheby's will stage the three-day Duemila Ruote sale; the largest ever auction of its kind. All 800+ lots are offered without reserve and from the same, private Italian collection. Included in the auction are automibilia, bikes, motorcycles and over 400 cars. We invite you to browse the lot list and have selected three of the best cars on offer.
A very rare sight is the very last Lancia LC2, which was constructed by Dallara for an Italian privateer racer. It raced at Le Mans and at several other rounds of the 1991 World Championship. Chassis 0009 is a very interesting prospect for the revived Group C championship and is estimated to sell for around 250,000 Euro.
Also included in the sale are low mileage examples of rivals of old, the Ferrari F40 and Porsche 959. Both cars are offered freshly serviced and with less than 30,000 km on the odometer.
2016-11-21: Porsche, Ferrari and Austin Healey headed for Bonhams' Scottsdale auction ...
Although the 2016 auction season has not ended just yet, we are already getting word of the first consignments for the January 2017 Scottsdale auctions. The first cars on the Bonhams list are very interesting indeed and today we highlight three of the early consignments.
A rare find indeed is this Porsche 904 Carrera GTS. Delivered new to Brumos Porsche in Jacksonville, it was only briefly raced in period and has been preserved remarkably well. Chassis 904-098 is offered from the European collection it has been part of for the last 28 years.
Another notable consignment is this Ferrari 340 America Spyder. Originally raced in many of the great events by Scuderia Ferrari, this car has been owned by some of the best known collectors. Its most recent custodians raced the car in events like the Le Mans Classic, Goodwood Revival and Monaco Historic Grand Prix as can be seen in this 24-shot gallery.
Offered from the same ownership of 60 years, this Austin Healey 100S has only very rarely been seen in public during that period. It was fully restored in the early 2000s to its original configuration.
We will add more cars and previews for the highly anticipated Scottsdale sales in the coming weeks.
2016-11-17: LA Auto Show round-up with new Mazda and Porsche racers ...
At the Los Angeles Auto Show, our eye was particularly caught by a couple of new racing cars brought by Mazda and Porsche. The most striking of the pair is undoubtedly the Mazda RT24-P. Built to IMSA's new DPi regulations, it is based on a chassis developed by Riley and Multimatic and is powered by an evolution of Mazda's two-litre turbocharged engine. As part of the DPi regulations, Mazda was allowed to provide a bespoke exterior design, which the Japanese company did with great verve. The Mazda RT24-P, like the other DPi machinery, are expected to be considerably faster than the outgoing LMP2 and Daytona Prototype cars.
Porsche also broke new ground with the all-new 911 RSR. While it retains the familiar profile of the 911 road car, it is actually mid-engined. This allows for a better weight distribution and frees up space for a much larger rear diffuser. The new-for-2017 911 RSR will race on both sides of the Atlantic.
Also breaking cover at LA was the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, which is the Italian manufacturer's first SUV. It was displayed in the range-topping, 505hp Quadrifoglio guise.
McLaren Special Operations, meanwhile, used this opportunity to announce the development of a new three-seater supercar. It is code-named the BP23, and like the McLaren F1 it was inspired by, production will be limited to 106 examples. Although the first BP23 is not due to be delivered until 2019, all 106 available cars are already spoken for.
For the upcoming Dakar Rally, MINI will field the newly developed John Cooper Works Rally. Like its predecessors, it is powered by a very potent twin-turbocharged, straight six diesel engine.
2016-11-16: Los Angeles Auto Show preview with new Lamborghini, Aston Martin and more ...
Later today, the annual Los Angeles Auto Show will kick off with the first of two press preview days. As has become the norm these days, many manufacturers have already revealed details of their debuts.
At Lamborghini, the Huracan RWD Spyder will take centre stage. As the name, which is a departure from recent Lamborghini nomenclature, suggest, this is the drop-top version of the hardcore, rear-wheel drive Huracan. It shares the same 580 hp engine with its fixed head counterpart.
Aston Martin have upped the ante with this Vanquish S. The new top-of-the-range model features a 600hp version of the howling V12 and will be available to customers from December.
Another high-end machine to make its debut in LA is the Mercedes-Maybach S 650 Cabriolet. It is the first drop-top model in the Mercedes-Maybach range and is powered by the same tarmac shredding twin-turbo V12 that powers the AMG version of the luxurious Cabriolet.
With the I-Pace Concept, Jaguar offers a first glimpse of the company's first all-electric road car. Based on the F-Pace, the new production car is set to hit the streets in 2018. The concept car features a pair of electric motors, one on the rear and on the front axle, which provide a combined output of 400 hp.
Across the Pacific, Nissan released the first details of the new-for-2017 GT-R Nismo GT500. It is built to revised SuperGT regulations and features considerably less downforce compared to the outgoing version. Lexus and Honda are also set to reveal their new SuperGT weapons.
2016-11-14: First Porsche 911 racer, Ferrari Testarossa Spider and oldest Pegaso ...
At the Los Angeles Auto Show, later this week, Porsche will reveal an all-new 911 racer, which promises to be a revolutionary machine. We will of course keep tabs on that but in the meantime have taken the opportunity to take a detailed look at the very first 911 competition car. Developed towards the end of 1964, the featured example was the first of four cars built to this specification. It debuted with a class win in the 1965 Rallye Monte Carlo, while one of the sister cars also scored a class win at Le Mans. The 911 Monte Carlo was recently restored by Porsche's classic department and starred at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este earlier this year.
Another star displayed at the shores of Lake Como in 2016 was this unique Ferrari Testarossa Spider. It was built specifically by Ferrari and Pininfarina for the late Gianni Agnelli to mark his 20th anniversary as president of Fiat. Before being shown at Villa d'Este, the striking Testarossa Spider passed to its current owner for a hefty Euro 1.2 million.
Of an altogether earlier vintage was this Pegaso Z102 Enesa Coupe that was also part of the 50-car strong line up at Villa d'Este. Bodied in-house, this particular car was one of the development prototypes for the hugely sophisticated Spanish GT car. It is actually understood to be the oldest surviving example of the brand.
2016-11-11: BMW centenary celebration with three great competition cars ...
At this year's Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, BMW was the featured marque as part of the German manufacturer's centenary celebrations. Naturally, this attracted a superb selection of historic racing BMWs and today we have highlighted three.
Earliest of the trio is the BMW 3.0 CSL IMSA. Five of these cars were built and raced with great success in the IMSA series from 1975. Powered by a twin-cam, 24-valve, 3.5-litre straight six engine, they represent the ultimate development of the legendary 'Batmobile' BMWs. These cars scored outright wins in both the Sebring 12 Hours and Daytona 24 Hours. Four of these CSLs were at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and are now all featured in our 90-shot gallery.
During the mid-1990s, BMW returned to sports car racing as an engine supplier for the McLaren F1 GTR program. Following the successes scored in 1995, the German manufacturer offered substantial backing to the Italian Bigazzi team from 1996 onwards. One of the works supported F1 GTRs is now part of the BMW North America collection and was demonstrated during the weekend. Chassis 17R was raced at Le Mans in 1996, where it finished eighth overall.
Using a development of the V12 engine fitted to the McLaren F1 GTR, BMW scored a debut victory with this very V12 LMR in the 1999 Sebring 12 Hours. It was then also raced at Le Mans and scored a further two ALMS wins in 2000. Chassis 002/99 is today also part of the fabulous BMW North America collection and was actually raced in during the weekend.
2016-11-09: Ferrari competition cars that starred at Pebble Beach ...
A set fixture at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is the special class for Ferrari competition cars. At this year's edition one of the star cars and class winner was the Ferrari 330 P4 we featured a few weeks ago but there were other very noteworthy competition Ferraris that we would like to highlight today.
Runner up in class M2 was the this strikingly liveried 250 GT SWB Competizione. Owned by a Swiss team, it was raced extensively and successfully for several seasons. It has recently been restored to its original, gold finish after being red for most of its life. Much the same can be said of this, the third in class 250 GT Tour de France, which was originally painted blue for its French owner. It debuted in period with a fourth overall in the Tour de France. From the 1970s, it was part of the fabulous collection of the late David Love from whose estate it was acquired by the current custodians. Having also benefited from a recent change in colours was this 250 MM Vignale Spyder. Owned by the same collector since 1997, we had already seen it painted dark blue and white back in 2007 but it now sported a deep red finish. Not seen for many decades was this lovely 225 S Vignale Berlinetta. It is the fifth of six similar cars produced and with the addition of this recently restored example, we now feature all six of them.