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2015-11-27: Ferrari Friday with six of the 2015 Pebble Beach stars ...
Ferrari 400 Superfast II At this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Ferrari was one of the featured marques with four dedicated classes. Among the most striking examples on display was the one-off 400 Superfast II show car. First shown at the 1960 Turin Motor Show, it offered the first glimpse of what would be lovely Aerodinamico design used for the production 400s. Retained by Pininfarina, it was later modified twice and at one point even featured the twin-headlights that would be used for the 330 GT 2+2 production model. Over the last few years, the unique Superfast II has been restored to its original configuration. Slightly further along the Pacific Coast shoreline one of those 400 Superamerica Coupes was also shown. Originally owned by Count Volpi, of Scuderia Serenissima fame, this early example was presented in highly original condition.
The earliest of all Ferrari road cars on display this year was the 195 Inter Ghia Coupe brought by a Belgian collector. Other lovely road cars on display included superb examples of the 250 GT LWB California Spyder and the 250 GT Pinin Farina Cabriolet, which both had benefitted from a recent restoration.
One of the special classes was for Ferraris that had raced in the Pebble Beach road races. One of these was a 340 MM Vignale Spyder of which ten were originally made and just five with this bodystyle. While a sister car won the Mille Miglia outright in 1953, the example on display actually won the 1954 Pebble Beach Road Races and more recently resided in the fabulous collection of the late Sherman Wolf.
  2015-11-25: McLaren and Duckhams sports racers created for Alain de Cadenet ...
McLaren M8C Cosworth Alain de Cadenet raced a wide variety of machines from the second half of the 1960s, including a Ferrari Dino and Porsche 908. He not only drove himself but also regularly fielded cars for others, included the talented Chris Craft. To compete in the 1970 season, he commissioned the unique DFV-engined McLaren M8C. Built around the first chassis constructed, De Cadenet's M8C was slightly different compared to the Can-Am specification cars built later in the year. Like many of the DFV engined sports cars, the Ecurie Evergreen M8C was not often reliable but certainly very quick. It did win in the Swedish Grand Prix at Karlskoga with Craft behind the wheel. Following the 1971 Buenos Aires 1000 km, it was sold to Argentinian, who raced it with a small-block V8. Following a sojourn in North America, the unique McLaren M8C Cosworth is back in Europe and was raced this year at two CER events by the current owner.
For the 1971 season, De Cadenet campaigned a year-old Brabham for Craft in Formula 1 but for 1972 set his sights back on sports cars. He asked a very young Brabham engineer, one Gordon Murray, to build him a new DFV engined sports car using the the Brabham's suspension and other salvageable parts. The result was this Duckhams LM Cosworth, which was named after De Cadenet's primary backer. This striking and again unique machine was campaigned by Craft, often joined by De Cadenet for the better part of three seasons. It was raced at Le Mans three times but, sadly, with little success. Later in the decade, the chassis was fitted with a VW Beetle style body for British club racing. It has since been restored and as can be seen in our 41-shot gallery, it has regularly been raced in historic events.
2015-11-23: RM Sotheby's Driven by Disruption sale preview ...
Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato A long and busy auction season will draw to a close on December 10th with RM Sotheby's very exclusive Driven by Disruption sale in New York. Only 31 cars have been consigned but the average lower estimate is close to $3 million! Headlining the sale is this ex-Fangio Ferrari 290 MM Scaglietti Spyder, which we featured in full detail last month and has a mesmerising pre-sale estimate of $28 - 32 million. Also expected to grab a lot of attention is one of 19 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagatos built. These cars were created by the British manufacturer and Italian coach-builder to challenge Ferrari in the highly competitive GT class. Although faster than the 'standard' DB4 GT, the Zagato-bodied cars only rarely managed to beat the dominant Ferraris. The DB4 GT Zagato nevertheless ranks as one of the most sought after of all Aston Martins and a genuine one has not crossed the auction block for over a decade. The example on offer was originally delivered to Australia and is generally considered one of the finest in existence. Accordingly, it is estimated to sell for $15 - 17, which would make it the most expensive Aston ever sold at auction.
Somewhat more modestly priced is this Bugatti Type 57 C Atalante Coupe. This car features the very last Atalante body built and was famously found in a barn in the mid-2000s, having been stored for over 40 years. We have captured the car in both its barn-find and completely restored conditions. Chassis 57766 is expected to change hands for $2.2 - 2.5 million.
No auction seems complete without a Jaguar E-Type and the Driven by Disruption sale is no exception. To match the quality of the other 30 lots, the E-Type 4.2 Roadster is an absolute stunner, which has been cherished by its three owners and has benefited from a ground-up restoration.
  2015-11-20: DeTomaso Vallelunga in full detail and LA Auto Show round-up and another 3.0 RSR 911...
DeTomaso Vallelunga In 1963, DeTomaso launched its first production road car, the Vallelunga. Perhaps even more importantly, the compact machine was also the first mid-engined Italian road car. Clearly inspired by the DeTomaso competition cars, the Vallelunga was built around a steel backbone chassis, featured a Ford Cortina-sourced engine and a lovely Ghia-built coupe body. DeTomaso only produced a few dozen cars as there were problems with chassis rigidity and build-quality. Very rare today, the Vallelunga remains as one of the great could-have-beens. We have taken a very detailed look at one of the finest survivors in this 29-shot gallery.
Rounding up our coverage of this week's LA Auto Show, we have added additional shots of the Fiat 124 Spider, which show the new roadster in its natural environment.
Also added today are two new Japanese concepts launched in LA: the Subaru Impreza Sedan, which follows in the footsteps of the hatchback launched last month in Tokyo, and the Scion C-HR that may inspire a new model-line of compact cross-overs.
Finally rounding off today's news feature is another Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 3.0 we have added to our ever expanding article. The featured chassis 911 460 9074 was raced extensively in period and returned to the track recently for the very wet Dix Mille Tours early last month.
2015-11-18: LA Auto Show round-up with new Fiat 124 Spider, RWD Huracan, Cayman GT4 Clubsport and new SL ...
Fiat 124 Spider Today, the annual Los Angeles Auto Show kicked off with the traditional media day. One of the most highly anticipated releases was that of the Fiat 124 Spider. The front-engined, rear-wheel drive machine shares its underpinnings with the recently introduced Mazda MX-5, combined with a unique exterior design and Fiat's own MultiAir engine. Good for 140 hp and 240 Nm of torque, it will ensure the 124 Spider will be a blast to drive. We, however, can not wait to see the Abarth version!
Fellow Italian manufacturer, Lamborghini, used the LA Auto Show to reveal the Huracan LP580-2. The stripped down, and more importantly rear-wheel drive version of Lamborghini's entry-level model will be available for 150,000 Euro, excluding taxes.
Already announced earlier this year but, until today, not yet revealed was the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport. This track-only machine is based on the highly acclaimed Cayman GT4 and can be used in the entry-level classes or as a very potent track-day car. One of the races it will also be eligible for is the Nurburgring 24 Hours. The GT4 Clubsport's order books have opened today.
Mercedes-Benz have given the ever popular SL class a mid-generation facelift. Coinciding with these changes is the introduction of the Mercedes-AMG SL 63 and the Mercedes-AMG SL 65. While the V12-engined SL 65 is mechanically identical to its predecessor, the V8-engined SL 63 benefits from a slight hike in power to 585hp.
  2015-11-16: New and old BMW GT racers and updates for the Lotus Elise ...
BMW M6 GTLM Ahead of the public debut at the two-day at Daytona on Tuesday and Wednesday, BMW have released the first images of the all-new M6 GTLM from a three-day test at Sebring a few days ago. Based on the M6 road car, the new GT racer replaces the Z4 GTE and will be raced by BMW Team RLL in the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Although no technical details have been released yet, the M6 GTLM will undoubtedly feature a modified version of the production car's twin-turbo V8.
The launch of the M6 GTLM has prompted us to take a renewed look at one of its hugely successful predecessors; the M3 GT2. Based on the E92-series M3, it used the road car's race-bred V8 engine to great effect. It was raced on both sides of the Atlantic, winning the ALMS title twice and also scoring an outright victory in the Nurburgring 24 Hours. One of the car's most famous outings came at Le Mans in 2010 when one of the M3s was finished in an art-car livery created by Jeff Koons. Over the years we have seen six different examples in action and they star in our spectacular 161-shot gallery.
Over the weekend, Lotus released new Sport variants that will replace the current Elise models. The entry level Elise Sport features a 134 bhp naturally aspirated engine and like its bigger brother is 10 kg lighter than its predecessor and also slightly cheaper. That bigger brother is the Elise Sport 220, which boasts a 217 bhp, supercharged engine.
2015-11-13: Ferrari Friday with two rare F1 cars and the mighty F40 GT ...
Ferrari 126 C2 Since the re-introduction of turbos in Formula 1, Ferrari have taken their time to come to grips with the new engines. It was much the same some 35 years ago when turbos first came to fore in F1. With the 126 C2, Ferrari had crafted a winner. It featured a Dr. Harvey Postlethwaite designed chassis and a 600 bhp, twin-turbo V6 engine. With Didier Pironi and Gilles Villeneuve, the team also, arguably, had the best line-up in the paddock. Despite ultimately winning the constructors' trophy, the year of promise quickly turned very sad with Villeneuve's fatal accident at Zolder, followed by Pironi's career ending crash at the Hockenheimring. Of the seven cars built for the 1982 season, only the featured example has survived. We captured it earlier this year at the Modena Trackdays, where it was demonstrated one final time before it was shipped to its new owner in the Far East.
Another rare Ferrari Grand Prix car we saw in action this year was the 340 F1 of 1950. Originally powered by a supercharged version of the Colombo-designed 'short-block' V12, it embodies Ferrari's shift from supercharged to naturally aspirated engines, which ultimately led to the first Grand Prix victories in 1951. Powered by an interim 4.1-litre V12, this car never competed in a World Championship round but was raced by Alberto Ascari and Piero Taruffi in minor events. It was eventually sold to South America but resurfaced in the 1970s. The rare 340 F1 has since been owned by the same Dutch family and was raced at the Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort in August.
Of a more modern vintage is the Ferrari F40 GT, which was built by Michelotto for the Italian GT Championship. Although visually not quite as extreme as the F40 LM and muzzled by restrictors, these were proper racing cars and won the Italian GT Championship in 1993 and 1994. Among the featured examples is the 1993 championship winning car, which claimed victory in eight of the nine rounds it competed that year.
  2015-11-11: Rare Panoz and BMW homologation specials ...
Panoz Esperante GTR-1 Le Mans Among the most spectacular road cars, many are often born out of necessity to homologate a racing car. In recent years, these were usually thinly veiled competition cars. This was certainly the case with the Panoz Esperante GTR-1 Le Mans, which was built in 1997 to homologate the virtually identical Esperante GTR-1 for the GT1 class. Developed together with Reynard, the highly unconventional machine had a front-mounted engine even though the mid-engine configuration had been the norm for close to four decades. The V8-engined competition cars were nevertheless quite successful. Panoz only needed to build a single road car to meet the requirements and this unique machine was retained by the Braselton, Georgia based manufacturer. Especially for this year's Dubai Motor Show, the one-off Esperante GTR-1 Le Mans was meticulously restored. The press release sent along with these lovely studio images also mentioned that Panoz will now build additional examples, using the original chassis and body moulds. These 'replicas' will not come cheaply as prices start at $890,000.
A slightly more recent and equally elusive homologation special is the BMW M3 GTR Strassen Version. This car was created to allow BMW to run a V8-engined version of the E46 M3 in the American Le Mans Series. Winning seven races in a row, the car promptly won the constructors' and drivers' titles during the 2001 season. Porsche protested and instead of a limited run of ten cars, BMW had to produce 100 road cars and a total of 1,000 engines within a 12 month period to be permitted to run the cars in 2002. The German manufacturer was unable and perhaps also unwilling to meet the more stringent regulations and ended the ALMS campaign after a single season. None of the road cars were ever sold and of the six examples built, just three survive. The featured example made a very rare public appearance at this year's Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
Already featured earlier this year but still one of our all-time favourite homologation specials is this Toyota GT-One Road Car. Toyota built one or two and these were also never offered to the public after they fulfilled their homologation purpose.
2015-11-09: 2015 Interclassics Brussels coverage and new Ferrari 488-based racers ...
2015 Interclassics Maastricht report and 100-shot gallery Moving across the border, the organisers of the annual Interclassics Maastricht have staged their first event in Belgium this weekend. Known as Interclassics Brussels, the inaugural, three-day edition was hosted by the Brussels Expo at the base of the legendary Atomium monument. Attracting a capacity 180 exhibitors, Interclassics Brussel was instantly one of the largest events of its type in Belgium. At this year's edition, there were special features celebrating Bugatti and also the 60th anniversary of the Citroen DS. Among the other highlights were several very rare, small capacity Italian sports cars and a choice of early and more recent Porsches. Our reporters ventured to the Belgian capital and have returned with a concise report, illustrated by a 100-shot gallery.
This weekend also saw Ferrari's annual season ending Finali Mondiali event, hosted this year by the Mugello circuit. The big news from the track was the first glimpse of the all-new 488 GTE and 488 GT3 racers. Based on the new 488 GTB road car, both GT racers will feature a version of the twin-turbo engine, and are scheduled to make their competition debut in 2016.
  2015-11-06: Two stunning privately built Porsche 935s ...
Porsche 935 JLP-3 Although Porsche had officially ceased building new 935s at the end of the 1979 season, customers continued to race and even build newer cars with great success for several more seasons. Perhaps the very best and most successful of these private 935s is the 935 JLP-3 built for John Paul Racing by GAACO. Powered by the latest evolution of the twin-turbo, flat-six engine, it was built around a lightweight spaceframe. This was both lighter and stronger than the standard 911 chassis used for the regular 935s. To meet the homologation requirements, the roof and windshield for an early 1970s 911 were included in the design. Raced by John Paul and his son John Jr., it became, in 1982, the first car to win both the Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours in one year. John Paul Jr. was also crowned IMSA GT Champion that year. The unique JLP-3 was replaced by the even more sophisticated, aluminium monocoque 935 JLP-4 but this was not quite as successful.
Not quite as well known but just as special was the 935 L1 'Baby' built for and by Jan Lundgardh with the help from Porsche. As the name suggests, this spaceframe car was powered by the same 1.4 litre engine used in the works 'Baby' from 1977, which allowed the car to compete in the 2-litre class. In fact the engine used by Lundgardh was the spare for the works campaign and provided to him by Porsche. The Swedish driver campaigned the car in several World Championship rounds during the early 1980s and also at Le Mans but was not particularly successful. Eventually, he replaced the rare and fragile 1.4-litre with a more conventional 3-litre engine, which is still in the car today. Beautifully restored the one-off 935 L1 'Baby' is regularly raced in historic events all over Europe.
2015-11-04: Mazda MX-5 concepts, Ginetta LMP cars and Ferrari 625 LM ...
Mazda MX-5 Speedster At this week's SEMA Show, Mazda introduced a pair of MX-5 concepts. Dubbed the Speedster and the Spyder, the two cars are based on the freshly launched production MX-5. Both concepts are stripped down with the Spyder featuring a 'bikini-top', while the even more minimalistic Speedster even features carbon-fibre doors bringing the weight down to just 943 kg.
Today, Ginetta Cars announced the G57 Chevrolet prototype racer. Not built to a specific rule-set, the 580bhp machine offers amateur racers a fantastic opportunity to get to grips with a modern sports racer. Perhaps even more significantly, the announcement also included the news that the factory LMP3 effort will not return in 2016. Running the Ginetta Juno LMP3, the works team dominated the class during this year's European Le Mans Series. Ginetta will continue to offer existing customers support. To mark the occasion, we have featured the inaugural LMP3 championship winning Ginetta Juno LMP3.
During the 1950s, Ferrari fielded a wide range of four-cylinder engined sports cars. Rarest among them was the 625 LM, which was raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The works cars were based on the smaller engined 500 TR and featured lightweight Touring bodies. Of the three examples built only the featured example has survived. In addition to the Touring clothed examples, there was also one Scaglietti Spyder that featured the 625 LM's 2.5-litre engine.
  2015-11-02: Celebrating 35 years since Williams' first World Championship ...
Williams FW07B Cosworth One of the most successful teams in Formula 1 is Williams Grand Prix Engineering, which was established by Frank Williams and Patrick Head during the second half of the 1970s. Designed by Patrick Head, the new-for-1979 Williams FW07 proved very quick and racked up five victories that year and another one in 1980. It was superseded by the Williams FW07B, which added a further five wins to Williams' tally. Four of these were scored by Alan Jones on the way to score his and the team's first World Championship. Williams also ended the year as Constructor's champion. Head's FW07B's was so superior due to its ability to harness the massive pressures generated by the ground-effect tunnels and effectively convert it into downforce. On what is not only the 35th anniversary year of Williams' first World Championship winning season but also Alan Jones' 69th birthday, we today take a renewed look a the Williams FW07B. Featured in our 57-shot gallery are 3 different examples, including the two chassis used by Jones to score his four Grand Prix wins that year.
One of the first demonstrations of Jones' talent came at the wheel of a Shadow DN8 Cosworth, which he drove to the American team's first and only Grand Prix win at Austria in 1977. Shadow's most successful F1 season, it was a year of highs and very deep lows as team leader Tom Pryce crashed a DN8 fatally at the South African Grand Prix early in 1977. Our new DN8 feature includes four of the six cars produced.