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2016-04-29: Formula 1 Friday with striking March, rare March and unique McLaren ...
March 711 Cosworth To mark Formula 1 Friday, we today take a look at three very distinct Formula 1 cars. The first is the March 711 Cosworth built for the 1971 F1 World Championship. March's interpretation of the Lotus 72 design, it features a very distinct front wing that was commonly referred to as the 'tea tray' or 'Spitfire-wing' in period. Six were built and although a young Ronnie Peterson came close on several occasions, no victories were scored. Our detailed article features three different examples. Among them is chassis 711-2, which has been beautifully preserved in Swiss ownership for four decades and will be offered at the upcoming RM Sotheby's Monaco sale. It has a pre-sale estimate of Euro 550,000 - 650,000.
Of a slightly later vintage is this unique Maki F101C Cosworth, which returned to the track earlier this month at the Zolder Masters Festival. The car's identity was used for the only Maki to turn a wheel in anger. As a F101A, it was raced during the 1974, until it was crashed. Rebuilt with a spare chassis, it returned to action in 1975 in the F101C configuration it was again restored to ahead of this season after it was displayed in a museum for two decades.
Rarer still is the one-off, four-wheel drive McLaren M9A Cosworth, which was raced by Derek Bell during the 1969 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Following its single outing at Silverstone, it was retired and soon after sold to Tom Wheatcroft for his Donington Grand Prix Collection museum. As can be seen in our 23-shot gallery, it has recently been carefully restored by Hall & Hall.
  2016-04-27: Two very rare Porsche Le Mans racers ...
Porsche 904/8 While the 904 GTS is most commonly seen with a four-cylinder engine, Porsche also fielded six and eight cylinder engined examples. Based on the engine developed for Formula 1, the flat eight used in the 904/8 displaced just under two litres and produced a hefty 240 bhp. Only two of the 904 Coupes were fitted with this engine, so unlike the four-cylinder engined cars, they 904/8s were never homologated and were forced to run in the prototype class. They were nevertheless quite successful with class wins in the Targa Florio and twice at the Nurburgring. Our 17-shot gallery includes both examples built. One of these is on display in the Porsche Museum, while the other is in private hands and has been reunited with the very rare eight-cylinder engine.
Long after Porsche had ceased developing the 962, privateers continued to extend the Group C machine's lifespan with modifications. This was a win-win situation for Porsche as the German manufacturer still supplied the running gear for these cars that remained competitive. Among the first of these was Richard Lloyd Racing, who commissioned Nigel Stroud to design a honeycomb aluminium monocoque to replace the sheet aluminium tubs originally used for the 962C. In doing so, they created the 962C GTi of which five chassis were built. Four were built to Group C specifications, while the fifth was sold to Dyson Racing and campaigned in the IMSA GTP series. The featured example was the last of these and did not debut until 1992 when it was shared by father and son Derek and Justin Bell in their first ever joint Le Mans effort.
2016-04-25: Auto China round-up with new Porsche 718 Cayman, Audi TT RS and Infiniti Concept ...
Porsche 718 Cayman S Porsche used this week's Auto China in Beijing, to reveal the new 718 Cayman and 718 Cayman S. Like the 718 Boxster models launched earlier this year, the new Caymans are powered by turbocharged four cylinder engines, which are both more powerful and efficient than the flat sixes used in the previous generation models. The all-new 718 Cayman and Cayman S can now be ordered and will be available later in the year.
Sister company Audi revealed a new generation TT RS Coupe and Roadster. Both use an evolution of the multiple award winning five-cylinder turbo engine. In its latest guise, the 2.5-litre unit is good for an impressive 400 hp, which represents a 60 hp increase compared to its predecessor. This helps the Coupe accelerate to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds, while the Roadster completes the same sprint in 3.9 seconds. Like the 718 Cayman, the new TT RS will be available in the second half the year.
Also revealed in Beijing was this QX Sport Inspiration Concept. It represents a preview of an upcoming mid-size SUV from Nissan's luxury arm. For its design, Infiniti used inspiration from the local cultures of the network of global design studios the manufacturer has.
  2016-04-22: V8 Friday with Can-Am Lola, Shelby Mustang and F5000 Shadow ...
Lola T70 Mk3B Spyder Chevrolet John Surtees won the inaugural Canadian-American Challenge Cup (Can-Am) fifty years ago with a Lola T70 Spyder. The ultimate evolution of this car was the T70 Mk3B Spyder of which just four were built in the summer of 1967. Compared to the regular production Mk3 Spyders, these four examples were lighter thanks to an extensively drilled chassis. Three of these were fitted with Chevrolet small-block V8s and were raced by Surtees and Team Penske. All three are featured in our 34-shot gallery.
With only 36 built and a thoroughbred racer, one of the most sought after of all Mustangs is undoubtedly the Shelby Mustang GT350 R. At the recent Jarama Classic, chassis SFM5R096 made its debut in the Sixties' Endurance race. Originally delivered to Comstock Racing, it has some unique features.
Our V8 Friday is not complete without a MOPAR, so we also added the Shadow DN6 Dodge F5000 car. Going up against the dominant Chevrolet V8-engined cars, the DN6 was driven to victory at Road America by Jackie Oliver. The featured example is the first of the Shadow F5000 cars.
Today, we have also added a further Chevron B19 to our article. Originally raced in South Africa, it has been campaigned in historic events almost without a break since the early 1980s.
2016-04-20: Fabulous Ferraris consigned to RM Sotheby's Monaco sale ...
Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spyder Auctioneer RM Sotheby's have just released the complete catalog for their upcoming Monaco sale. Ferraris are due to take centre stage in the auction and none more so than this 275 GTB/4 Nart Spyder. The tenth and final example built, it has been in the collection of no fewer than five Ferrari 250 GTO owners. Highly sought after in its own right, the rare Nart Spyder is estimated to sell for Euro 19-23 million.
Of a slightly later vintage is the Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider. The example consigned to the sale was one of just 18 left-hand drive examples built to European specifications. It was delivered new to Lebanon and has since been part of French and Dutch collections. Beautifully restored, chassis 15535 has a pre-sale estimate of Euro 2.4-2.8.
Rarer still is this one of four 212 Inter Vignale Cabriolet, which was delivered new to an Englishman living in Paris. Having subsequently spent many years in North America, it was more recently owned by Dutch collector Frits Kroymans. Since then the Vignale Cabriolet has been fully certified by Ferrari Classiche.
Among the other Ferraris on offer is this fabulous 340 America Touring Barchetta we already featured a few weeks ago. RM Sotheby's have now also revealed the estimate: Euro 7.5-9 million.
  2016-04-18: Le Mans class winning Porsche 911s and road-going Porsche 935 K3 and 911 GT1 ...
Porsche 911 ST 2.5 One of the stars at the recent Techno Classica was this Porsche 911 ST 2.5 that was restored over a 2 1/2 year period by Porsche Classic themselves. One of around two dozen built in 1971 and 1972, this car was acquired new by American Michael Keyser, who raced it in the World Championship together with Porsche's Jurgen Barth. It also served as a camera car for Keyser's fantastic documentary 'Speed Merchants'. An absolute highlight of the season was a class win at Le Mans. Found in rather derelict condition, the rare and very successful 911 ST 2.5 has been brought back to its Le Mans winning glory.
One of the ST's successors was the 911 Carrera RSR 3.0 and at the Jarama Classic, we were treated to the very example that won its class at Le Mans in 1975. Having spent over three decades in Portugal, it has now finally been resplendent in its Le Mans winning colours.
Another very rare Porsche on display in Essen was this 935 K3, which is the only one finished in road legal specification. Built for F1 team principal Walter Wolf, it features a full upholstery but was still capable of speeds of over 330 km/h on the Autobahn during a pre delivery test. Beautifully preserved, this unique 935 K3 was offered for 2 million Euro.
Equally rare is the Porsche 911 GT1 Evolution consigned to the upcoming RM Auctions Monaco sale. Raced extensively in North America, this was the only Evolution model supplied new to a customer. In more recent years, it was made completely road legal by Lanzante and has a pre-sale estimate of Euro 2.7 - 3 million. Our 29-shot gallery also includes shots of one of the three works cars.
2016-04-15: Zolder winning Tyrrell, lightweight V8 Aston Martin, first look at new Polo R WRC and more ...
Tyrrell 010 Cosworth What was originally started as the Tyrrell team is now known as Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix and is still winning contemporary F1 races. Tyrrells themselves as still raced in historic events, like the 010 Cosworth that was driven to back-to-back victories at the Zolder Masters Festival last weekend. The third of three examples built, this Tyrrell was used during the 1980 season with limited success. Slightly improved for the opening rounds of the 1981 season, the Tyrrell 010 proved more competitive.
Aston Martin have introduced a severely stripped down version of the V8 model. Dubbed the Vantage GT8, it is the lightest version of the model yet. Thanks to substantial weight saving throughout, it is 100 kg lighter than the model it was based on. The Vantage GT8 does retain most of amenities of the road. Ready for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2016, it is strictly limited to just 150 examples.
This week, Volkswagen offered a first glimpse of the 2017 evolution of the Polo R WRC. Built to revised regulations, it will be quite a bit wider and more powerful than the car currently competing in the World Rally Championship.
Catering to a client's needs, Audi have created a one-off Extended A8 L, which features three rows of seats. Thanks to the lightweight aluminium construction the very long A8 is still relatively light.
At this weekend's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Lexus will demonstrate the RC F GT Concept. Powered by a mildly modified version of the production car's V8 engine, it holds the middle between the road car and the GT3 racer expected to hit the track later in the year. Whether a production version of the RC F GT will become available remains to be seen.
  2016-04-13: 2016 Zolder Masters Festival report and 170-shot gallery ...
2016 Zolder Masters Festival report and 170-shot gallery Top level historic racing returned to Zolder this weekend in the form of the Masters Festival. The bulk of the programme was formed by four Masters grids, which included Historic Formula One and Historic Sports Cars. In addition to the Masters fields, the schedule featured two Belgian championships; one for modern and one for classic cars. The prospect of seeing historic Formula 1 cars in action at Circuit Zolder once more, and the lovely weather prompted over 10,000 spectators to come to the former Belgian Grand Prix venue. They were treated to a great show and some fabulous racing throughout the two-day meeting.
Our photographers also ventured to Circuit Zolder, for the first time since 2009. The result of their efforts is this detailed report, illustrated by an action packed 170-shot gallery.
2016-04-11: 2016 Techno Classica Report and 150-Shot Gallery ...
2016 Techno Classica Report and 150-Shot Gallery This week, the Messe Essen hosted the 28th annual Techno Classica. The world's largest indoor classic car show attracted just over 200,000 visitors over just five days, which is a new world record for a show of this type. These enthusiasts were treated to 1,250 exhibitors ranging from major manufacturers to car clubs, dealers and a wide range of vendors, spread over all 21 halls of the Messe Essen. Among the many great cars on display were rarities such as the Audi Avus Quattro, the only road legal Porsche 935 K3, an ex-works Porsche 911 GT1 Evolution and a Lancia Beta Montecarlo Group 5.
We spent the better part of the preview day at the Messe Essen and after quite a hike, we snapped most of the highlights for our concise report, illustrated by a 150-shot gallery.
  2016-04-08: Peugeot 905 Evo 1 Bis, DFV-engined Chevron B23 and more of the 250 GT SWB ...
Peugeot 905 Evo 1 Bis One of the absolute stars that competed at last weekend's Jarama Classic was this Peugeot 905 Evo 1 Bis. It is one of the seven examples built and raced between 1990 and 1993. While the sister cars won Le Mans twice, the featured example could do no better than two seconds in period. Beautifully prepared, it was campaigned at Jarama in the Group C race. With the addition of this chassis, we now feature all seven examples of the first generation 905s.
Also out on track at Jarama was this unique DFV-engined Chevron B23 that competed in the CER2 race. Sold to Italy in period, it was originally intended to be fitted with a flat-eight Tecno engine. After this proved more than troublesome, the car was returned to England where it was fitted with a Cosworth DFV V8 engine. In this guise, it was raced extensively in Italy, mainly in hill-climbs. In the early eighties, it was also raced in South Africa, powered by a Mazda rotary engine. Recently restored to its original configuration, the unique Chevron B23 proved fastest of all during qualifying in the hands of Martin O'Connell.
At this week's Techno Classica we caught up with the Ferrari 250 GT SWB due to be auctioned by Artcurial at the Le Mans Classic. Offered from 47-year single ownership, it has a pre-sale estimate of Euro 8.5 - 10 million.
2016-04-06: Manual V12 Vantage S, more power for Continental GT Speed and SWB headed for auction ...
Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Underlining the notion that Aston Martin is run by purists, the British manufacturer has made a manual gearbox available for the range topping V12 Vantage S. The new seven-speed gearbox uses a 'dog-leg' first gear, which allows the next six gears to be placed in a traditional double H pattern. While it is a proper manual gearbox, the driver can opt to engage AMSHIFT, which mimics double-de-clutch or heel-toe downshifts. The manual gearbox will be available on the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S as a no cost option in most markets. For the United States market however, production of the manual gearbox equipped V12 Vantage S will be limited to just 100 cars.
Bentley have further refined the range topping Continental GT Speed. It now features an even more powerful and torquier version of the twin-turbo W12 engine. Also new to the Continental GT Speed is the 'Black Edition', which boasts several unique visual cues both for the exterior and interior.
French auctioneer Artcurial Motorcars have announced the first major lot for their upcoming Le Mans Classic sale; a Ferrari 250 GT SWB that has been in the same ownership for the past 47 years. Originally shown at the 1961 Paris Motor Show, chassis 2917GT has never left France and has been beautifully maintained and regularly used on the road by its enthusiast owner.
  2016-04-04: 2016 Jarama Classic report and 240-shot gallery ...
2016 Jarama Classic report and 240-shot gallery This weekend, the Peter Auto organisation kicked off their season with the first ever Jarama Classica. It was staged at the undulating Circuito del Jarama, just north of Madrid, Spain. Opened 50 years ago this year, the track was designed by John Hugenholtz of Zandvoort and Suzuka fame. Peter Auto ventured south to find a more friendly climate, and while it was sunny most of the three days, it was also very cold. Among the grids that took to the track were all of Peter's familiar groups, which from this year also includes the much loved Group C. Although not all grids were full, we were treated to some spectacular racing and also some very neat machines like a freshly restored Lancia Beta Montecarlo Group 5, a Peugeot 905, a rarely seen Maserati Tipo 60 Birdcage and the Rondeau that won the very first race run under the Group C regulations.
Our photographers also ventured to Jarama, for the first time in a decade, to capture all the races in full detail. The result is this class-by-class report, illustrated by a spectacular 240-shot gallery.