2014-07-30: Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Turbo and two Can-Am 917s in full detail ...
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 ...
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 ..
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 ...
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.
2014-07-17: Rare F1 racers that starred at the FoS and Roadster V12 Vantage S ...
Each year the Goodwood Festival of Speed attracts some of the world's most significant and successful competition machines. Fortunately, there is also room for the lesser known but perhaps even more interesting footnotes of our sport's history. This year two Formula 1 cars attended that were very much a product of the 1970s 'kit car' era and were not seen in action again since they were new, although for varying reasons.
Best known of the pair was undoubtedly the Lec CRP1 Cosworth, raced in period by David Purley. Designed by Mike Pilbeam, it was constructed in the off hours at the Lec refrigerator factory owned by Charles Purley. The car briefly led the 1977 Belgian Grand Prix but is best known for a massive head-on incident, which for many years was the crash with the highest g-forces survived by the driver. At Goodwood, the second Lec CRP1 built was demonstrated for the first time after a complete rebuild.
Shrouded in more mystery and altogether more exotic is the Maki F101A Cosworth. Launched at a high profile event in 1974 at a prestigious London hotel, the project promised a lot but ultimately, no Maki ever qualified for a Grand Prix. In its original guise the Maki was at its most interesting and fortunately, the prototype has survived in this specification. It was this Maki F101A that was on hand at Goodwood. This was the first ever venture abroad for this particular car.
Perfectly timed for the summer, Aston Martin have launched the V12 Vantage S Roadster. It shares the same 565 bhp version of the familiar V12 engine with its fixed head counterpart. This enables the wind-in-your-face Aston Martin to accelerate to 60 mph in four seconds and then continue on to reach a top speed of just over 200 mph.
2014-07-14: The most extreme Porsche 935 of all and new Mercedes-Benz S 65 AMG Coupe ...
Faced with a new generation of purpose-built, ground-effect GTP cars, teams running Porsche 935s in the IMSA GT Championship looked at ways to prolong the career of the venerable turbo-charged Porsche during the early 1980s. The most extreme was of these was the Porsche 935 JLP-4 created for John Paul Sr. by Fabcar. Built around an aluminium monocoque, it was the only 935 to use ground-effect aerodynamics and it was even fitted with sliding skirts much like the Fomrula 1 cars of the day. On par with the GTP cars of the day, the spectacular machine's career was only short lived but it did propel John Paul Jr. to two outright wins in 1982 on his way to becoming the youngest ever IMSA champion. Following its final outing in 1983, it has always been very well cared for. Its current Italian owner brought the unique Porsche 935 JLP-4 to the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed to raise awareness for the John Paul Jr vs Huntingtons Disease fund. It was driven by the owner and one of Paul's former rivals, John Fitzpatrick.
Most famous of all privately built 935s is undoubtedly the 935 K3 produced by the Kremer brothers. At the last week's Le Mans Classic we caught up with yet another chassis, which has allowed us to expand the gallery to 177 shots.
Mercedes-Benz, meanwhile, has released the first details of the range-topping S 65 AMG Coupe. Powered by a 620 bhp V12 engine, it replaces the CL 65 AMG. Available from just under 245,000 Euro, the S 65 AMG should hit the showroom floors in September.
2014-07-10: Three magnificent McLarens that starred at Goodwood ...
The McLaren story will forever be connected to Goodwood and this year, the British manufacturer was particularly well represented at the Goodwood Festival of Speed where the new 650S GT3 was launched and also many historic McLarens took to the hill.
Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Formula 1 World Championship campaign, McLaren brought Niki Lauda's MP4/2 TAG-Porsche. Freshly restored by the team headed by longtime McLaren employee Neil Trundle, the Porsche V6-engined machine was used throughout the 1984 season by Niki Lauda, who scored four wins and beat his team-mate by half a point. At Goodwood the MP4/2 was demonstrated by two of McLaren's junior drivers.
Former and future engine supplier Honda shipped over their McLaren MP4/4 for the occasion. It was one of the cars used by Ayrton Senna during the 1988 season, when McLaren won all but one of the Grands Prix. One of only two MP4/4s not owned by McLaren, Honda's MP4/4 is the most successful of the six chassis built.
Driven with great verve by Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack was the first of ten F1 GTR Longtails built for the 1997 season. Raced exclusively and extensively in Japan, it was not retired from contemporary racing until 2005. Chassis 19R was presented at Goodwood in the unique launch livery.
2014-07-08: 2014 Le Mans Classic report and 280-shot gallery ...
This weekend, the Circuit de la Sarthe hosted the 7th Le Mans Classic. The biennial event celebrates the rich history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a twice-round-the-clock event for historic cars. The field of 450 machines was split in six groups, which each ran three 43-minute races between 5 pm on Saturday and 5 pm on Sunday. Among the many great cars out on track were the likes of a Porsche 911 Turbo RSR, a Ferrari 250 LM and a choice of Bentleys and Ford GT40s. In addition to the cars that had starred at Le Mans in the past, the field also featured many winning drivers like Gijs van Lennep, Andy Wallace and Emanuele Pirro. As part of the event, there was a village with shops, numerous club displays and a highly successful Artcurial Motorcars auction.
Despite the poor weather conditions predicted, over 110,000 enthusiasts flocked to the Circuit de la Sarthe to witness the spectacle first hand. We were among them and braved the conditions throughout the night to produce this concise report, illustrated by a 280-shot gallery.
As always, we will follow up this article with detailed features on the cars but we trust that our report will keep you busy for quite some time!
2014-07-03: 2014 Le Mans Classic preview with record setting Rondeau and Frazer Nash LM rep ...
Barely recovered from the Goodwood Festival of Speed, we now set our sights on the upcoming Le Mans Classic. The biennial event uses the same 13.6 km long Circuit de la Sarthe for the legendary twice-round-the-clock race. Before we start our coverage, we today would like to warm you up with a closer look at two machines that starred at Le Mans in the past and will be out on track again this weekend.
The most recent is the unique Rondeau M378 Cosworth. Powered by the venerable DFV V8 engine, it was first raced at Le Mans in 1978 and would return a further nine times, making it the car with the most Le Mans starts of all. It was also very successful, winning the GTP class at its debut and also placing third and second overall in 1980 and 1981 respectively. Restored to full running order ahead of this season, we captured the striking Rondeau at the Mugello Classic in April and the Spa Classic in May.
British specialist manufacturer Frazer Nash impressed at the first post-War running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the new High Speed model, which finished first in class. From then on the BMW-engined car was known as the Le Mans Replica. It was raced with great success around the world thanks to its well honed straight-six engine and lightweight cycle-fender body. Many of the cars have been raced throughout their lives and are still machines to be reckoned with in historic events. Our 34-shot gallery pictures three of the original Le Mans Replicas built, two of which will line up for the Le Mans Classic come Saturday afternoon.
A full report with a comprehensive, class-by-class gallery will follow early next week.
2014-07-02: 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed report and 340-shot gallery ...
The 22nd annual Goodwood Festival of Speed held this weekend had the theme 'Addicted to Winning - The Unbeatable Champions of Motorsport'. Fittingly the major celebrations included 120 of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, the Maserati centenary and 50 years since John Surtees won the Formula 1 World Championship. Mercedes-Benz starred on the central feature while the other two were marked with separate classes. Among the other highlights of the weekend were the return to the track of the LEC CRP1 Cosworth, a very rare appearance of the little Maki F1 car and a pair of spectacular runs by Sebastien Loeb in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb winning Peugeot. In addition to the action on the track, the event also featured a concours d'elegance and another successful Bonhams sale, highlighted by the Ferrari 375 Plus that sold for over GBP 10 million.
Our reporters were on the Goodwood Estate throughout the weekend and have worked to compile this detailed report, illustrated by a comprehensive, class-by-class 340-shot gallery.
As always, we will follow up with up-close features on many of the star cars of the event but first up is the Le Mans Classic, which will kick off this Friday.
2014-06-30: One-off Ferrari and Koenigsegg One:1 in action and new McLaren launched at FoS ...
We have just returned from this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed and are working hard to create our most comprehensive report on the annual event yet. For a first impression, we have now taken a closer look at three supercars that particularly grabbed our attention. Making a surprise appearance was the new, one-off Ferrari F12 TRS. This has allowed us to replace the remarkably poor image released by Ferrari last week with a a set of 12 images of the unique machine in action on the hill. In related Ferrari news, we can also report that the 375 Plus Pinin Farina Spyder we featured last week has sold for over GBP 10 million during the official Festival of Speed auction.
One of the most potent road cars at Goodwood during the weekend was undoubtedly the Koenigsegg One:1, which was originally launched in Geneva earlier this year. The name refers to the power to weight ratio of one hp for every one of the V8-engined machine's 1,360 kg. That means that the bespoke engine is good for 1,000 KW or 1 MW. We captured the Koenigsegg One:1 from every angle at speed.
McLaren had a very strong presence at the Goodwood Festival of Speed with one eye on the past and the other on the future with the introduction of the 650S GT3. Replacing the MP4-12C GT3 in 2015, it is an evolution of that successful racer with further refinements and a revised bodykit to match the 650S road car. McLaren will deliver 15 650S GT3s early next year while existing McLaren GT3 owners can upgrade their cars to the latest specification.
2014-06-26: The car that saved Aston Martin will cross the block ...
In 1947 wealthy industrialist David Brown answered a 'For Sale' ad in the newspaper, which simply read 'car company for sale'. The car company in question was Aston Martin and the only real asset was the Atom development car. This hugely sophisticated machine featured a tubular spaceframe chassis and a 'superleggera' style bodywork. It had been completed just before the War and was extensively driven on the road although only rarely shown in public. David Brown sampled the Atom and was so impressed that he immediately bought Aston Martin. The subsequent DB2 production model incorporated many of the Atom's technically advanced features. So it is safe to say that Aston Martin would probably not have existed today if not for the Atom. Although its influence was felt for many years, the Atom was actually sold before the end of the decade. Since then it only has had a handful of owners. The most recent acquired it in 1986 and has now decided to consign this unique piece of Aston Martin to tomorrow's Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed auction. The pre-sale estimate of the Atom is a relatively modest GBP 600,000 - 1 million.
Already highlighted last week, we have now added some additional images of the Ferrari 375 Plus Pinin Farina Spyder straight from the auction room floor. It will also cross the block tomorrow and should be the top lot in the sale.