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2017-12-15: Great British sports cars that starred in 2017 ...
Jaguar XJR-6 During our ventures to the great events, we come across many Jaguars, ERAs, Chevrons and Aston Martins but this year we nevertheless shot a few great examples that we had not seen before. Today we have a taken look at five of these machines.
The newest of these is the Jaguar XJR-6, which was the first in a long line of Group C cars built for Jaguar by TWR. The subsequent Le Mans and World Championship winning machines were a direct evolution of the XJR-6. The example that starred at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed was the very first and retains the British Racing Green livery used in the effort's debut season.
Chevrons are regular feature at most classic meeting but we had never seen this B6 before. Chevron built only a handful of these during 1967 before switching to the similar and more common B8 for 1968. The the pictured example is the second of seven built. A spiritual predecessor of the Chevron sports cars is the Lotus 15 of the late 1950s. At the Goodwood Revival we shot chassis 627/3, which is one of the very last built and was originally delivered to the United States.
At the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este we were treated to a great example of the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato. This particular example was built to special order and includes many custom features.
The earliest car featured today is the final ERA B-Type built. It was raced with great success in period by Johnny Wakefield and was later owned and raced for many decades by Donald Day. The current owner acquired R14B last year and raced it at on both sides of the Atlantic in 2017.
  2017-12-12: Historic V8-engined American racing cars ...
Chaparral 1 Chevrolet Now that 2017 is nearing its end, it is time for us to take a look back at some of the great cars we saw during the year. For today's news feature we have highlighted three great V8-engined American sports cars that competed at this year's Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
The earliest and rarest of the trio is the third Chaparral 1 Chevrolet built by Troutman-Barnes. First raced in 1962 by the Chaparral team, this mighty machine won its class at the Sebring 12 Hours and later also scored an overall win at the Road America 500. Among the last of the great front-engined racers, this Chaparral is today part of a prominent American collection and is regularly raced.
Built a few years later is this Ford Shelby Mustang GT350 R, which was acquired new by Texan Ford distributor Gene Hamon. It was the very last of the first series of the 'R' built, which was raced in period with great success by none other than Pedro Rodriguez. For its next owner, it was finished in Mexican national colours and it remained in this guise until it was acquired by the current owner last year. Chassis SFM5R108 has since been restored to its original colours and raced at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Also re-finished in its original colours was this Chevrolet DeKon Monza, which was raced in period by Huffaker for owner Tom Frank. Thanks to the expert preparation by Huffaker, it was one of the most reliable of the tube-framed Monzas. We have previously only seen chassis 1004 in a red and gold livery but it once agains wears the period correct white and green colour scheme.
2017-12-10: All-new McLaren Senna supercar ...
McLaren Senna Last night, McLaren debuted the all-new Senna road legal trackday car. During the design process function certainly dictated over form as the Senna comes equipped with a rather wild aerodynamics package that includes a deep front splitter, a tall rear wing and a double diffusor. Another striking exterior design feature is the abundant use of glass, not only in the dome like cockpit but also in the doors. Underneath the extreme body, the Senna shares many key design features with the recently introduced 720S road car. For this application, the most powerful McLaren internal combustion engine yet is fitted, the 789 bhp M480TR twin turbo V8. The car also boasts the active hydraulic suspension used on the 720S. With a dry weight of 1,198 kg, it is also the lightest McLaren road car since the F1.
Production of the 750,000 Senna will be limited to just 500 examples. At last night's launch an unallocated example was auctioned for 2 million with the proceeds going to the Senna Foundation.
McLaren's latest offering is of course named after the legendary Brazilian Grand Prix driver Ayrton Senna, who won three World Championships with McLaren in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The first of these titles was scored with the all-conquering MP4/4 Honda. Along with team-mate Alain Prost, Senna used that twin-turbo V6 engined machine to win all but one of that year's Grands Prix. Our detailed feature includes three of the six examples built.
His third and final title came in 1991 with this V12-powered MP4/6 Honda. The glorious Japanese 3.5-litre engine in the back of the MP4/6 could run up to 15,000 rpm. McLaren built 11 of these and the featured example is demonstrated regularly at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
  2017-12-08: Fabulous Italian racing cars we shot in 2017 and the first Chiron sold at auction ...
Alfa Romeo 33/TT/12 During the year, we have seen some fabulous classic Italian racing cars and today we take a closer look at three of them. The single most successful of these is this Alfa Romeo 33/TT/12, which was first raced at the recent Dix Mille Tours following a complete restoration. This particular example scored a debut victory at Monza in 1974 in the hands of Mario Andretti and Arturo Merzario and would go on to score many more wins during the 1975. Quite possibly the single most successful of all Tipo 33s, chassis 008 was raced at Paul Ricard for the owner by Derek Bell and Sam Hancock.
Also in action during the Dix Mille Tours was this very rare Maserati Tipo 63 Birdcage. One of just a handful of mid-engined Birdcages built, this particular example was fielded by Team Camoradi in period for the likes of Stirling Moss and Graham Hill. Now beautifully prepared for historic racing, the Tipo 63 was one of the front runners in the Trofeo Nastro Rosso.
An interesting Ferrari to return to the track is this 250 GT SWB Comp/61. Raced in period by Garage Francorchamps, this SWB was heavily damaged at Le Mans in 1962 and later rebuilt with a brand new Drogo body. In this guise it survived the next 50 years and was also raced in historic events in more recent years. The new owner had 2445GT restored to its original configuration by Edi Wyss with a brand new body.
The 2017 auction season ended on a high this Wednesday with the $45.6 million RM Sotheby's New York - Icons sale. Among the great cars sold in the exclusive auction was this Bugatti Chiron; the first built for the American market. It was also the first ever Chiron to cross the block and it sold for a hefty $3.7 million.
2017-12-06: A detailed look at the legendary Jaguar C-Type ...
Jaguar C-Type Today, we have taken a closer look at the first ever purpose-built Jaguar competition car; the C-Type. Initially known as the XK120 C (for Competition), the new-for-1951 sports racer was loosely based on Jaguar's breakthrough sports car. It did feature a bespoke chassis and lightweight aluminium bodywork but retained the 'XK' straight six that made the XK120 an instant classic. Good for over 200 bhp in race trim, the twin-cam engine also proved competitive on the track. The C-Type debuted with an outright victory at Le Mans and won the classic road race again in 1953. In addition to scoring many other victories, most of them in private hands, the C-Type also holds the distinction of being the first racing car to be fitted with disc brakes and also the first to score an international victory with these brakes that were developed together with Dunlop.
One of the many reasons for us to highlight the C-Type today is the fact that this fabulous example will cross the block tonight in the RM Sotheby's New York - Icons auction. Chassis XKC 007 was the first C-Type delivered to the United States and it was raced with considerable success by the late, great Phil Hill. Beautifully restored to its original colours and configuration, this early production C-Type is estimated to sell for $5.5 - 7 million.
  2017-12-04: All-new Lamborghini Urus, a lovely LM002 and other news ...
Lamborghini Urus This evening, Lamborghini published the first details and images of the all-new Urus SUV. Built, around an aluminium and composite unitary construction, it features a twin-turbo V8 that sends 650 hp to all four wheels. Among the advanced features fitted to the Urus is rear-wheel steering. The styling is reminiscent of Lamborghini's current range of sports cars and features a sloping instead of an upright rear window.
One of the Urus' predecessors is the very wild LM002 of which a fabulous example has been consigned to Wednesday's RM Sotheby's New York - Icons auction. The LM002 in the sale is a rare American specification car and has recently been completely restored and should be one of the very best examples in existence. Another Lamborghini from the same period available in the auction is this Countach 25th Anniversary. It was ordered new in the launch colours of white over white, which may not be to everyone's taste. With less than 16,000 km on the odometer, it is in a remarkably original condition.
At the launch of the production road car, Volkswagen also revealed the Polo GTI R5. Built for privateers to race, the new GTI R5 is laced with the DNA of its World Rally Championship winning predecessor.
2017-11-30: LA Auto Show news and a look ahead to the Bonhams Bond Street sale ...
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible At this week's Los Angeles Auto Show, Chevrolet revealed the first Convertible version of the recently announced ZR1 Corvette since the 1970 model year. Like its fixed head counterpart, the new ZR1 Convertible features a 755 hp, supercharged V8 engine. Despite the intrinsically heavier Convertible bodywork and reinforcements, the drop-top ZR1 is only 60 pounds heavier than the Coupe.
BMW, meanwhile, launched a revised i8, which is now available as a Roadster for the first time. It uses the same three cylinder petrol engine but the electric motor and lithium-ion battery have been uprated, bringing the combined power of the sophisticated drivetrain up to 369 bhp. This allows the i8 Roadster to accelerate to 100 km/h in just 4.4 seconds.
On Saturday, British auctioneer Bonhams will host their final flagship sale of the year at their Bond Street headquarters. The exclusive sale features several very interesting machines, including the Aston Martin DB5 ordered new by none other than Paul McCartney. The legendary Beatle enjoyed the car and covered over 40,000 miles in it before selling it on. Among the subsequent owners was former Top Gear host Chris Evans. Chassis DB5/1653/R was recently comprehensively restored and is now expected to sell for over GBP 1.2 million.
Even more expensive will be this beautifully preserved Ferrari 288 GTO. Having barely covered 23,000 km from new, it should change hands for more than GBP 2 million.
  2017-11-27: Four fabulous Porsche racers we shot this year ...
Porsche 904 GTS Today we have taken a closer look at four great Porsche competition cars that we saw in action this season. The earliest of the quartet is this 904 GTS. Finished in what the British press described as 'vomit green', it was delivered new to the Stirling Moss Automobile Racing Team (SMART). Unfortunately, it crashed in testing after just a single contemporary outing at Goodwood. For the remainder of the year, the team used a replacement chassis and the original 904-025 was stored for many years by a Porsche mechanic. It was eventually restored by Freisinger Motorsport and has since been run in historic racing by Mario Linke's team.
One of the 904's immediate replacements was the 906 of which the featured example was raced extensively in North America. First raced by Le Mans winner Ed Hugus, it made four appearances in the Sebring 12 Hours. The last few of these were in the hands of Indy winner Bobby Rahal's father Mike. chassis 906-113 is today owned and raced by a Japanese enthusiast.
Although built to homologate the competition cars, many examples of the 911 Carrera RS 3.0 were also raced. Among them was this example, which was delivered new in France and won the Group 3 class in the Tour de France and also placed second in class at Le Mans. The highly original 911 Carrera RS 3.0 recently returned to the track in the hands of a new owner.
One of the highlights of our seasons was seeing this ex-Team Joest 962C under the supervision of Reinhold Joest once more. Campaigned only briefly in period, chassis 962-144 was raced by the current owner for the first time at the recent Dix Mille Tours.
2017-11-24: Dallara Le Mans Prototypes old and new, and new Aston and McLaren GT racers ...
Dallara SP1 Judd Working for the likes of Lancia, Ferrari and Audi, Dallara usually operated in the background. In the early 2000s, the Italian specialist developed a sports prototype, which was briefly raced in 2001 as the Chrysler LMP. When the American company withdrew its support, the cars returned to racing as the altogether more successful Dallara SP1 Judd. Raced on both sides of the Atlantic, the striking Le Mans Prototype won the Daytona 24 Hours outright in 2002 and also finished best of the rest in that year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was raced through to the 2005 season. As can be seen in our 54-shot gallery some of the cars are still raced to these days. The history of each of the six chassis is also chronicled. For the first time since then, Dallara have again produced a top level prototype in the form of the BR1 that will compete in next year's FIA World Endurance Championship. At least three cars will race with a choice of a newly developed naturally aspirated Gibson V8 or an evolution of the AER twin-turbo V6.
Shortly after the road-going Vantage broke cover, Aston Martin also revealed the GTE version, which will compete in the FIA WEC as well. The very aggressive looking machine is powered by a re-tuned version of the twin-turbo V8 and features a sequential six-speed gearbox. The Vantage GTE has already been testing extensively during the last few months, so should be instantly competitive.
Not quite ready to hit the track but already teased is this McLaren 720S GT3. Due to be offered to customers in 2019, the GT3 version of the highly acclaimed 720S will be submitted to an extensive test and development program in 2018.
  2017-11-21: All-new Aston Martin Vantage, Dallara Stradale and SCG 004S ...
Aston Martin Vantage Aston Martin Lagonda have today revealed the all-new Vantage, which is the replacement of the V8 Vantage introduced back in 2003. Built around a bonded aluminium spaceframe, it is powered by a twin-turbo V8 developed for Aston Martin Lagonda by Mercedes-AMG. The all-aluminium, four-litre unit is good for 503 bhp. Designed with aerodynamics in mind, the exterior boasts both cues from the larger DB11 and traditional elements like the shape of the grille. The Vantage is available for order immediately. Pictures of a camouflaged GTE version have already surfaced and will line up in next year's FIA World Endurance Championship.
Among the future rivals on the track for the new Vantage will be the SCG 004S. Announced over the weekend, this is the second offering from Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, which is now an approved United States Low Volume Manufacturer. The very first examples of the twin-turbo V8 engined 004S will be available late in 2018.
Best known for producing competition cars, Dallara have now introduced a road car, which is suitably dubbed the Stradale. Built around a carbon-fibre composite monocoque, the versatile sports car can be converted from a coupe to a convertible and a roadster. The Stradale is powered by a mid-mounted EcoBoost Ford engine that produces 400 bhp.
2017-11-20: 2017 Interclassics Brussels report and 110-shot gallery ...
2017 Interclassics Brussels report and 110-shot gallery This weekend, we were in Brussels for the annual Interclassics Brussels show. With over 1,000 exhibitors spread over four halls, this is the largest classic car show of the Benelux. This year's edition was opened by the Argentinean Zapp family who have spent the last 17 years traveling the world in their 1928 Graham Paige. They did so on the pavilion reserved for the 'Big Five', which in this case refers to five large, multi-marque automobile museums from around Europe. For the occasion, they each brought three great cars from their respective collections. There also was another special display dedicated to the great pre-War cycle cars. Further highlights included rarities such as the unique Bizzarrini BZ 2001 from 1992 and also an immaculate Ferrari 275 GTB, which was awarded best of show.
We were at the Brussels Expo exhibition centre during the opening morning and have compiled a concise report, illustrated by a 110-shot gallery.
  2017-11-16: Striking Ferrari racers and Aston Valkyrie track-day car ...
Ferrari 412 P At this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Ferrari's 70th anniversary celebration was one of the main features with four special classes. Accordingly some of the marque's finest machines were brought out for display. Among them was this ex-Ecurie Francorchamps 412 P, fresh from a ground up restoration at Ferrari Classiche. Raced during 1967 and 1968 by Ferrari's Belgian distributor, the achingly beautiful machine was then sold to singer Dean Martin Jr. Despite the immaculate presentation, the 412 P only placed second in class, highlighting the level of competition at Pebble this year.
Another rare sports prototype that starred on the Pacific shore this year was the Ferrari 365 P2. Sold new to and raced by the North American Racing Team (NART), this 4.4-litre engined beast won the Reims 1000 km outright in 1965. Returned to its original livery many years ago, chassis 0838 has been part of the same, American collection for over three decades.
Ferrari was at the top of their game in Formula 1 exactly 40 years ago with Niki Lauda winning the second of two titles for Ferrari in 1977. His weapon of choice for that year was the 312 T2. To mark that occasion, the seventh and final example built was wheeled out for Pebble. It was driven to Grand Prix victories by Lauda and Carlos Reutemann.
Ahead of the launch of the road car, Aston Martin have already revealed the first details of the track only Valkyrie AMR Pro. With the road car already promising staggering performance, the AMR Pro version should be able to produce lap times similar to that of contemporary LMP and F1 cars. If you were thinking of getting a Valkyrie AMR Pro when it arrives in 2020, you are already too late as all 25 have been spoken for.