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2015-07-29: All new Ferrari 488 Spider and early Ferraris headed for auction ...
Ferrari 488 Spider Ahead of the official launch in September, at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA), Ferrari released the first details of the new 488 Spider. It shares the twin-turbo V8 engine with the 488 GTB launched earlier this year. Displacing just over 3.9 litres, it produces a hefty 670 hp. What sets the new Spider apart from the GTB is the steel roof that can be folded away neatly behind the passenger compartment. Ferrari spent a lot of time fine-tuning the 488 Spider's aerodynamics, making it the most efficient car produced by the Italian manufacturer yet.
At the upcoming Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction, Ferraris will once again take centre stage, one year after a new world record was set when the ex Maranello Rosso Ferrari 250 GTO found a new owner for over $35 million. This August, the sale is headlined by this 250 GT LWB Interim Berlinetta. One of seven built in 1959, it combines the long wheelbase chassis with the design that was due to be used for the upcoming SWB; hence the Interim type name. The car on offer was raced extensively in period and following a crash was not seen in public for nearly fifty years. Beautifully restored and Ferrari Classiche certified, it was first shown at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in 2014 and later also appeared at the Goodwood Festival of Speed to show it goes as well as it looks. The pre-sale estimate for the rare Interim is $9 - $12 million.
A slightly earlier Ferrari due to cross the block is this 212 Vignale Cabriolet. Of the 79 212 Inters built, just four received this body-style. This particular car spent most of its time in Switzerland and between 1972 and 2012 in the hands of just one owner. The new owner restored the car himself and his lovely work was awarded a second in class at Pebble Beach, behind the Ferrari that would go on to win best of show. The lovely Vignale Cabriolet can be yours for an estimated $2.4 - $2.8 million.
  2015-07-27: Mazda Monday with six rotary engined sports racers ...
Chevron B16 Mazda Mazda, literally, took centre stage at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed. All eyes were of course on the 1991 Le Mans winning 787B, which was driven by among others Valentino Rossi. Our attention, however, was grabbed in particular by this Chevron B16 Mazda that sat stationary in the paddock. Powered by a Mazda 10A engine, this was the very first car to race at Le Mans equipped with a Mazda rotary engine. It proved quick but fragile and after little over a season of racing, the unique Mazda-engined Chevron was retired from contemporary racing by its Belgian owner. He sold the car to the current owner over two decades ago, and he has only cleaned the car. It is believed that the Mazda-engined B16 has not run since 1971, which should make it one of the most original B16s in existence.
Another British sports racer powered by a rotary engine that starred at Goodwood was this Tiga GT286. It was one of two built in this configuration for the 1986 IMSA Lights championship and features a striking Rusty Jones livery. The best result for this GT286 Mazda was a second in class at Riverside.
In addition to the Le Mans winning 787B, Mazda also brought a slightly earlier 787 and the RX-7 GTO and RX-792P that originally raced in the IMSA GT Championship. The latter three are still run by Mazda North America and will again be campaigned at the upcoming Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
2015-07-24: An all-encompassing look at the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR ...
Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Roadster Having travelled the world for the better part of 15 years to visit the finest automotive events, we are not easily stunned any more. We definitely were at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed were all but one of the surviving Mercedes-Benz 300 SLRs were lined up side by side. The occasion was the 60th anniversary of the World Championship winning 1955 campaign with the 300 SLR. Well ahead of its time, the Mercedes-Benz sports racer was derived from the equally successful W196 Formula 1 car. In addition to the two-seater body, it also featured a three-litre version of the eight cylinder engine. This remarkable unit featured desmodromic valves and direct fuel injection. Highlighted by Stirling Moss' record breaking performance in the Mille Migla, the 300 SLR absolutely dominated. Sadly, the car will also be forever linked to the deadliest accident in motorsport history, which saw Pierre Levegh launch off the back of another competitor into the crowd at Le Mans, killing himself and 80 spectators. Mercedes-Benz withdrew the other cars from the race shortly after the accident. It would be the only race the German manufacturer entered in 1955 that they did not win.
So seeing just one of these priceless machines is special but seeing five of the six surviving examples lined up side-by-side was more than spectacular. Three of the cars also ran throughout the weekend, which has enabled us to further expand our 300 SLR gallery, which serves to illustrate a comprehensive article with car-by-car histories of each of the seven Roadsters built.
  2015-07-21: V8-engined BRM Can-Am racer and Isdera Imperator ...
BRM P167 Chevrolet Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen two very different machines that both clearly boasted the distinct rumble of a V8 engine. The earliest of the pair is the very rare BRM P167 Chevrolet. Built for the 1971 season, it was an evolution of BRM's original Can-Am design and featured more aggressive aerodynamics. First raced in the European Interseries championship, it scored a pair of wins in the hands of Brian Redman. The car did not fair quite as well in the Can-Am series, which prompted BRM to abandon the project. The cars were then raced by the late David Hepworth in Europe. His family has retained both P167s along with all but one of the other BRM Can-Am cars. This year, the featured P167 was restored with the help of original mechanic John Brooke. The work was completed, literally in the paddock of the Goodwood Festival of Speed and as can be seen in this 19-shot gallery, the very rare BRM was run to the top on each of the event's three days.
Powered by an altogether more sophisticated but similarly sounding V8 is the Isdera Imperator 108i, which we captured at last month's Modena Trackdays. This rare, German supercar was created by the highly talented engineer Eberhard Schulz. His skills were so diverse that he was offered jobs in both the engineering and design departments at Porsche. Following his spell at the German company, he started to produce cars of his design. Among them was the Imperator, which was built in very small numbers between 1983 and 1991. Inspired by the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, it featured a spaceframe chassis, gull-wing doors and a Mercedes-Benz or AMG V8 engine. The pictured example is the fourth Imperator built and was originally owned by a German Olympic gold medal winner. In its current ownership, it was restored and subtly modified with the help of Eberhard Schulz himself.
2015-07-15: F1 Friday with French-engined Williams and Shadow, and Fittipaldi ...
Williams FW13B Renault During the 1989 season, Williams and Renault started what would be one of the most successful collaborations between a team and an engine manufacturer in F1 history. The first Renault engined Williams was an adaptation of an existing design before the all-new FW13 was introduced late in 1989. It suffered from some reliability woes, which were addressed over the next winter to create the Williams FW13B Renault. Driven by Riccardo Patrese and Thierry Boutsen, the FW13B clinched two wins in a season dominated by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, racing for McLaren and Ferrari respectively. The foundation for success was however in place and between 1992 and 1997, the Renault-engined Williams were the fastest cars in the field. At the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed, we had the opportunity to shoot not one but two FW13Bs. Williams Heritage brought a fully functional machine, the Hungarian Grand Prix winning chassis, which was demonstrated throughout the weekend by Felipe Massa and test-driver Alex Lynn. We used this chance to capture every detail as can be seen in 27-shot gallery.
Another French-engined Formula 1 car that more than caught our attention at Goodwood was this Shadow DN7 Matra. Intended to give Shadow an edge over the Cosworth-engined rivals, the one-off DN7 was used only twice during the 1975 season. We, however, found that it was a very serious effort, particularly on Matra's part; the V12 used was a purpose-built unit that was quite different from the Matra engines used before and after. The current owner acquired the car, and one of just three of the Shadow-spec V12s, directly from Don Nichols, and has spent the last couple of years restoring it to its former glory. The result of this labour of love can be admired in this 19-shot gallery.
To continue the 'F1' theme of today's news feature, we have also taken a closer look at the Fittipaldi F8C we caught in action during this year's Modena Trackdays. One of the very last Fittipaldis built, this car was raced with little success during the 1981 season.
  2015-07-14: 2015 Monza Historic report and 250-shot gallery ...
2015 Monza Historic report and 250-shot gallery Under absolutely scorching conditions, the legendary Autodromo Nazionale Monza hosted the inaugural Monza Historic over the weekend. Although officially not staged by Peter Auto, the event did feature all of the French organisers familiar grids like the Classic Endurance Racing 1&2 and the Trofeo Nastro Rosso, complemented by the Alfa Revival Cup and the U2TC. Ferraris featured particularly strongly over the weekend, not only in the Trofeo Nastro Rosso, which included a 250 LM, a 330 GTO and the 250 GT SWB Breadvan, but also in the CER 1, which saw a pair of glorious 512s fill the front row of the grid. The racing was impressive throughout but the heat did affect both the drivers and the cars, underlined by the high attrition rates in all races.
As at Dijon a few weeks ago, we braved the high temperatures and spent the weekend trackside. The result is a concise report, illustrated by a spectacular 250-shot gallery, which includes all the action.
2015-07-09: Touring Car Thursday with classic Volvo and Rover, and new VW Golf ...
Volvo 240 Turbo Group A Touring Car Racing, at times, brings some of the most unlikely machines to the racing track. One prime example is the Volvo 240 Turbo, which was raced during the mid-1980s throughout Europe. Obviously, aerodynamics were not the chunky Volvo's biggest assets but the well-honed turbocharged four-cylinder engine managed to pull the 240 down the straights at formidable pace. So much so that in 1985, Volvos won the European and German Touring Car championships. The featured example is one of the cars used during the 1984 season. It was the very car that scored Volvos first European Touring Car win and also the first for a turbocharged car. This year, it is a regular in Peter Auto's Heritage Touring Cup and actually is in the lead of the championship. It will be raced again this weekend at the inaugural Monza Historic.
One of its main rivals at Monza will be the very rare Rover SD1 3500 Group 2. Although based on the Group 1 Touring Car built by David Price racing, this car was destined for endurance racing. Fitted with a slightly more powerful engine and wider wheels, it was campaigned in four consecutive Kyalami 1000 km races against contemporary Group C cars. One of the fastest cars in the HTC, the striking Rover has suffered from gearbox issues in the races. Hopefully, there will be no such issues this weekend. We will be on hand all weekend and will have a detailed report and gallery ready early next week.
Today, Volkswagen revealed the first details and images of the Golf TCR. As the name suggests, it is built for the Touringcar Racer International Series. Based on the Golf R road car, it features a tweaked engine, good for 330 hp, and a considerably wider track. This weekend, the new Golf Touring Car will make its competition debut at Spielberg in Austria.
  2015-07-08: Swooping 1969 Ferrari and Mirage sports cars and new BAC Mono ...
Ferrari 312 P Berlinetta Towards the end of the 1960s, a regulation change restricted prototype sports cars to a maximum displacement of three litres. This placed significantly more emphasis on aerodynamic efficiency and resulted in some of the most striking and swooping sports racers. Among the most beautiful of these is undoubtedly the Ferrari 312 P Berlinetta that debuted in 1969. Effectively a Formula 1 car with fenders and a roof, the 312 P was powered by a fabulous three-litre V12 engine. Unfortunately, this Ferrari was not nearly as successful as it was beautiful. This was in no small part due to the arrival of the Porsche 917, which skirted the regulations as it qualified as a production sports car, which meant it could use a larger engine. Ferrari also stepped up to the plate with the 512 and the 312 Ps were sold off. The featured example is one of just two survivors and is raced and demonstrated at select occasions like the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed. It will also race at this weekend's Monza Historic, where it should do very well considering its very slippery shape.
One of the 312 P's 1969 rivals, the Mirage M2 BRM, was also on hand at the Festival of Speed. Designed by Len Terry, it also featured a Formula 1 derived V12 engine and very swooping lines. Liveried in the striking Gulf colours, it was built and raced by John Wyer Automotive alongside the team famous Ford GT40s. The M2's career was short-lived as it was surpassed by the Cosworth DFV engine M3 halfway through the season. For 1970, JWA was enlisted by Porsche to run the latest 917s, which meant both the M2s and M3s were sidelined. The very rare M2 BRM is today part of the fabulous ROFGO Collection, which is dedicated to Gulf liveried machines.
Described by some as the most ego-centric supercar, the BAC Mono has been updated for the 2016 model year. The single-seater machine is now powered by a 2.5-litre Mountune-prepared Ford engine. The prototype debuted at Goodwood and, although not officially timed, completed a run in just 47.9 seconds, which was faster than any of the road-legal cars that were timed.
2015-07-06: More Goodwood highlights; Porsche 936, Aston Martin Ulster and new British sports cars ...
Porsche 936 Among the absolute highlights at the Goodwood Festival of Speed was the celebration of Derek Bell's fabulous career on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the first of his five Le Mans wins. He won for a second time in the Porsche 936 in 1981. The actual winning car was brought to Goodwood, which allowed us to complete our gallery, which now has action shots of the three examples raced to a Le Mans victory each by the factory team and also the two cars built for Joest and Kremer. The 131-shot gallery serves to illustrate a very comprehensive article about this endurance racing legend.
Also making headlines at Goodwood was the Aston Martin Ulster we featured a few weeks ago. In particular chassis LM19, which was sold for a record-breaking GBP 2.9 million. We have also expanded our gallery with images of chassis B5/549/U, which was one of the participants in the hill climb.
As always, the Festival of Speed featured the dynamic debut of a wide variety of machines, including several British sports cars. Although already seen last year, we got a better look at the unusual Arash AF8, which is now ready to enter production. Aston Martin Lagonda ltd. was very strongly represented at Goodwood and among the company's debuts was the very exclusive Lagonda Taraf luxury saloon. Initially only destined for the Middle East, it has more recently been announced that it will also be available in the United Kingdom and continental Europe. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of McLaren's debut victory at Le Mans, the British manufacturer has created the McLaren 650S Le Mans. Only 50 examples will be built of this special edition. The Festival of Speed was also the first opportunity to see the fifth generation Morgan Aero 8 in motion.
  2015-07-03: Mighty Goodwood highlights and the latest news ...
Ferrari FXX K A set fixture of the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed is the Michelin Supercar Run, which sees some of the most exclusive new machines take to the hill. This year, the Supercar Run saw the latest generation of hugely potent track-day specials make its dynamic debut. One of the most evocative of these was the latest addition to the Ferrari XX program; the FXX K. Based on the LaFerrari, it features a hybrid drivetrain that produces well over 1,000 bhp. It is hard to fathom that this type of performance will be unleashed not by professional racing drivers but instead by Ferrari's richest of customers. On par with the FXX K is the McLaren P1 GTR, which also packs around a 1,000 bhp punch. We first saw the mighty track-day special at Geneva and the example running up the hill sported the same classic Harrods livery. Completed just days before the event was the first Aston Martin Vulcan. Again only available for track-days, it features a carbon-fibre chassis and a seven-litre V12 that produces up to 800 bhp. Actually fully road legal, yet also track-bound, is the SCG 003S. The example demonstrated at Goodwood is the same chassis that raced at the Nurburgring and was also driven on the road to Villa d'Este a week later.
Making its world debut at Goodwood this year was the Nissan Juke R 2.0. As the name suggests, this is the second version of the GT-R powered Juke originally created back in 2011. In its latest guise, it has 600 bhp available and in the hands of Jann Mardenborough was quicker than most thoroughbred supercars up the hill. Another debut at the Festival of Speed was the Lotus 3-Eleven, which sadly was not actually driven up the hill. Powered by a 450 bhp V6, the minimalistic machine will be available in road legal or track-ready configurations.
While we were away at Goodwood, the all-new Alfa Romeo Giulia was introduced. The top-of-the-range model will be powered by a 500 bhp V6, so we are confident that it will be as much fun to drive as it beautiful to look at.
2015-06-30: 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed report and 340-shot gallery ...
2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed report and 340-shot gallery Over the weekend, a record crowd visited the sun-soaked Goodwood estate in the South of England for the 23rd annual Festival of Speed. The annual high octane garden party once again brought out the best classic, modern and competition cars, which were shown and/or driven up the 1.1-mile hill climb in front of the Goodwood House. The featured marque was Mazda, marked with a massive rotary engine inspired Gerry Judah statue, while among the many anniversary celebrated were the 60th anniversary of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR (with seven of the eight existing cars in attendance), 60 years of Alpine and the Chevron's 50th anniversary. Local lad Derek Bell's fabulous career was marked as well with a separate class that underlined the wide variety of machines he raced. Further highlights included the first public appearance of the fire-breathing Fiat S.76, the Michelin Supercar Run and the Cartier Style et Luxe Concours d'Elegance. Valentino Rossi made his Festival of Speed debut and was welcomed by a very enthusiastic crowd. Complementing the action on the hill was the traditional Bonhams sale. The headlines of the successful auction were grabbed by the Aston Martin Ulster Team Car (GBP 2.9 million) and the Sir Stirling Moss consigned Porsche 718 RS 61 (GBP 1.9 million).
Our photographers were at Goodwood for four days to capture all the highlights in full detail. The result of their labour is this comprehensive report, illustrated by a mouth-watering 340-shot gallery.
In the coming weeks and months, you can expect many features showcasing the highlights in more detail.
  2015-06-25: Final 2015 Festival of Speed preview ...
McLaren F1 GT Tomorrow, the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed will kick off. Today was the Moving Motor Show, which allowed us to get a first look of what is to come. What certainly captured our eye is one of just three McLaren F1 GTs. This car was commissioned by a Japanese collector and is one of just two delivered to a customer. Rarely seen, chassis 58F1GT was loaned to McLaren by the owner and will be on display on their stand throughout the weekend. There should be at least three more McLaren F1s on the ground.
An even more impressive sight was a line-up of seven of the surviving eight Mercedes-Benz 300 SLRs. Among them are both Uhlenhaut Coupes, one of which will be driven up the hill over the weekend.
One of the special classes this year is for low budget Formula 1 efforts. Among the most promising of these was the Lec CRP1 of which both examples built are seen together in public for the first time ever.
Also very highly anticipated will be the Fiat S.76, better known as 'The Beast of Turin'. It was a non-runner last year but should roar up the hill this year.
As always, we will capture every detail for our detailed report about this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed, which will be ready early next week.