2016-02-10: The Porsches that starred at Retromobile and new Ferrari GTC4Lusso ...
As mentioned in our detailed report, Porsches starred at this year's Retromobile Show. One of the very best was a hugely original example of the iconic 904 Carrera GTS brought by German dealer Axel Schuette. Styled by Butzi Porsche, the mid-engined 904 was the first Porsche to use a fibreglass body and was built in sufficient numbers to qualify as a GT. Raced around the world, it was virtually unbeatable in the two-litre category. The example that was shown at Retromobile was originally owned by Hap Sharp and Jim Hall of Chaparral fame but was never raced in period. As a result, it has survived in a beautiful, patinated condition.
Of a slightly earlier vintage was the 718 W-RS displayed by Porsche themselves. This unique car was based on a 1960 718 RS and was modified extensively, eventually gaining an eight-cylinder engine. In this guise, it was instrumental in winning the 1963 and 1964 European Hill Climb Championship. Raced for so long, it was lovingly referred to as the 'Grandmother' by Porsche mechanics. The one-off 718 W-RS was displayed to mark the introduction of the new 718 Boxster and Cayman models.
Although tucked away in a corner, one of the stars on the Fisken stand was an unmolested Porsche 934. Porsche's first turbocharged racer developed for customers, the 911 Turbo-based 934 was the car to have in the Group 4 class during the second half of the 1970s. The example on display at Retromobile was originally owned by Belgian racer Jean Blaton and competed at Le Mans three times.
On Monday, Ferrari revelead the first details of the GTC4Lusso, which will be launched in Geneva and replaces the FF. It retains the shooting-brake design but with a large number of cosmetic and mechanical refinements. In addition to the four-wheel drive, the GTC4 Lusso also boasts four-wheel steering.
2016-02-08: Comprehensive 2016 Retromobile and auctions coverage ...
Every year, the best way to start the season is a visit to the annual Retromobile Show in Paris. The best event of its kind, the show attracts a broad array of exhibitors and spectators from around the world. At this year's edition, the auctions grabbed centre stage, and in particular Artcurial's official Retromobile Sale. The fabulous ex-Bardinon Ferrari 335 S sold for a staggering Euro 32.1 million, which is a new world record. Elsewhere on the show-floor there also was plenty to see, ranging from a T34/85 tank to the sole surviving BMW V12 LM and a very rarely seen Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta. Porsches also grabbed the attention with stars including a beautifully presented Porsche 934 and a highly original 904 GTS.
Our photographers explored every corner of the Porte des Versailles exposition centre and also visited the three auctions to bring you this comprehensive report, illustrated by four different galleries with a total of 370 shots. At the bottom of the article, there is also a link to the results of each of the three auctions.
As always, you can expect several more detailed articles on the individual cars that starred at Retromobile this year in the coming weeks.
2016-02-05: Renault returns to F1, Audi RS Q3 performance and Pininfarina concept teaser ...
At a special event in Paris on Wednesday, Renault officially announced their return to Formula 1 as an entrant. The French manufacturer will use the new R.S. 16, which is built in Enstone, England, and powered by the R.E. 16 engine that hails from Viry Chatillon in France. Signed to drive for the re-branded team are Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer. The Renault R.S. 16 will make its debut at the first official F1 test later this month.
Ahead of the official launch in Geneva, Audi revealed the first details of the RS Q3 performance. Based on the RS Q3, the new 'performance' version features a 27 hp power increase. The chassis of the RS Q3 performance has also been tuned to make the most of the additional power.
At the Geneva Motor Show, Pininfarina will reveal a new show car of which the first teaser image has just been revealed.
Today, the ACO held the annual press conference, announcing the entries for the FIA WEC and the European Le Mans Series. Among them was the Ave-Riley AR-2 due to be entered in the ELMS by Murphy Prototypes. The new American LMP3 racer has been designed by Riley Technologies and assembled by Ave Motorsport. One of the drivers will be Tony Ave himself.
2016-02-03: Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR and $25+ million Ferrari 335 S headed for auction ...
This week the classic car world has gathered in Paris for the annual Retromobile show and the associated auctions. We were also there and will have a detailed report of the all the highlights from the show and sales ready for you early next week. Today, we would like to offer a final preview for two of the auctions, as the RM Sotheby's sale is already in progress as we write this.
One of the star lots of tomorrow's Bonham's sale is the very rare Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR. The example on offer is a road-going version, built to homologate the successful competition cars. Priced at over $1 million, it was the most expensive new car available at the time. The particular chassis consigned to the Bonhams sale was delivered new to Switzerland and is still highly original. We captured it at the auction preview today and it is estimated to sell for close to 2 million Euros.
The absolute star of the Retromobile week is expected to be the Ferrari 335 S consigned to the Artcurial sale from the estate of legendary collector Pierre Bardinon. We got a closer look at this masterpiece today and were quite taken aback by its striking Scaglietti penned body and Vittorio Jano developed mechanicals. Especially the quad-cam, twin-spark V12 is a thing to behold. Artcurial's pre-sale estimate is a hefty 28-32 million Euro and rightly so as we would take it over the similar but more modestly engined 250 TR any day.
2016-02-01: Daytona winning Ligier Honda, Ferraris headed for auction and new Hyundai rally car ...
The road racing circuit kicked off in style this weekend with the Daytona 24 Hours. With close racing throughout the field, the race was an instant classic. What also made it a historic occasion was that the race was won for the first time by an LMP2 car; the Ligier JS P2 Honda entered by Extreme Speed Motorsports. Built and designed by by Onroak Automotive, the JS P2 has been at the sharp end of the LMP2 field since its introduction at Le Mans back in 2014. A spirited drive by Daytona debutant Pipo Derani helped the ESM Ligier JS P2 score the type's first ever outright victory.
Over the weekend, the auction season also kicked off and the sales were topped by this Mercedes-Benz 540 K Spezial Roadster sold by RM Sotheby's for $9.9 million and this Ferrari 166 MM Touring Berlinetta that found a new owner at the Gooding sale for close to $6.5 million.
There is little time to take stock as Paris will host further auctions from Wednesday as part of the Retromobile week. Ferraris once again look set to set centre stage with most of the headlines grabbed by the Pierre Bardinon 335 S that has been consigned to Artcurial auction with a pre-sale estimate of Euro 28-32 million. Also part of the same sale is the very last 250 GT SWB built, which is expected to sell for around Euro 10 million. The RM Sotheby's Paris Auction has this, the very first 400 Superamerica S2 as one of the highlights. Originally shown at the 1962 Earls Court Motor Show, it looks set to sell for Euro 3-3.3 million.
Hyundai meanwhile have released the first images and details of the i20 R5. Based on the recently introduced World Rally Car, it is due to compete in national and continental championships.
2016-01-29: Daytona preview with all-new Ferrari 488 GTE and BMW M6 GTLM ...
This weekend, the international racing season will kick off with the Daytona 24 Hours. The legendary endurance race has seen many great winners and today we highlight a few of those that we have featured in our extensive database. We have also added a few shots from the Ferrari 488 GTE and BMW M6 GTLM, both of which will make their competitive debut at Daytona. In qualifying, the BMW performed best by setting the third fastest time of the sessions. Celebrating BMW's 100th anniversary, the two cars entered by the works supported Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team boast a special livery.
Porsche is the most successful manufacturer at Daytona, winning the first endurance event at the track with a 718 RSK, while this very 911 Carrera RSR 3.0 scored the outright victory in 1975. The only car ever to win both the Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours was also a Porsche; the 935 JLP-3, which performed that feat in 1982.
Ferrari has also done well at Daytona and even, unofficially, named a model after the racing track. Among the outright winners were a 250 GTO/64, a 312 PB and more recently the howling 333 SP.
In the early 1990s, the Japanese manufacturers took control of endurance racing in North America and brought out hugely potent racers like the all-conquering Toyota Eagle GTP Mk III and the Nissan 300ZX IMSA, which also won its class at Le Mans.
2016-01-27: All new Porsche 718 Boxster, Jaguar F-Type SVR and Vauxhall GT Concept ...
Porsche have today released the first details of the all-new 718 Boxster. It is the first time a Boxster is powered by a flat-four engine and the 718 moniker is a referral to the successful RSK and RS Spyder racers of the 1950s and 1960s that were also powered by four-cylinder engines. Both equipped with a turbo, the two-litre version of the engine of the entry-level 718 Boxster produces 295 bhp, while the 2.5-litre 718 Boxster S engine is good for 344 bhp. Even though the latest generation Boxster is fitted with smaller engines, both versions are more powerful and quicker.
Jaguar, meanwhile, offered a first glimpse of the SVR version of the F-Type both in Coupe and Convertible form. Further details and specifications will be revealed in a month's time, a few weeks ahead of the official launch in Geneva.
Also due to be revealed at the Swiss show early in March will be the Vauxhall GT Concept. The compact, front-engine, rear-wheel drive coupe is a tribute to the Opel GT of the 1960s. It is powered by a highly efficient three-cylinder engine that produces 143 bhp. The GT Concept has striking lines but is perhaps let down by the unusual red accents.
2016-01-25: Two very different straight-six engined machines ...
Introduced in 1989, the R32-generation Nissan Skyline GT-R is one of the greatest Japanese cars of all time. Originally conceived strictly as a homologation special to compete in Group A, the R32 GT-R was both a success on the road and track. Highly sophisticated, the new-for-1989 Skyline GT-R featured variable four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering. It was powered by a twin-turbo straight six that, due to a gentleman's agreement between the Japanese manufacturers, was rated at just 276 bhp. Even in stock form, it was more powerful but it could very easily be tuned to at least twice the standard rating. Its successes on the racing track, which included victories at Bathurst and Spa-Francorchamps, the R32 GT-R received the nickname 'Godzilla'. As it was very easily modified, the GT-R was and still is very popular with tuners. As a result relatively few original examples have survived. The featured car is one of these rare unmolested R32 GT-Rs. Consigned by its first owner to this week's RM Sotheby's Scottsdale sale, it has covered less than 14,000 km from new. Offered without a reserve and estimated to sell for just $50,000 - $70,000, it is remarkably good value for the cult legend.
Rarer and not nearly as well known is this OSCA 2000S sports racer. It is one of just a handful of OSCAs built by the Maserati brothers equipped with a straight six engine. This twin-cam unit was jointly developed for a two-litre single seater and sports car. The featured example was one of just three sports cars and has an extensive competition history. It was even raced in the Pikes Peak hill-climb during the 1960s, powered by a Chevrolet V8 engine. We captured this very rare OSCA at last year's Modena Trackdays and Chantilly Arts & Elegance.
2016-01-22: Beautiful Ferrari 250 GT Coupe and March and Matra single seaters ...
From the second half of the 1950s, Ferrari started series production of a road car that shared the underpinnings with the highly successful 250 GT competition cars. Designed and built by Pininfarina, the second version of the road car was this strikingly beautiful 250 GT Coupe. Over a four year period just over 350 examples were built. As they were not quite as sought after as the similar competition models, many were later cut up to build 250 TR or 250 GT TdF replicas. Fortunately, this has now stopped and the surviving examples have gradually risen in value. In today's article, two examples are featured; one fully restored and due to cross the RM Sotheby's auction block in Paris early next month and one beautifully preserved car that starred at Pebble Beach in 2013.
Celebrating its 100th anniversary, BMW has been very successful in motorsport for many of those ten decades. During the 1970s, the German manufacturer was a prominent engine supplier for sports cars and single seaters. Among them was the BMW-powered March 782 Formula 2 car. Developed by March with factory backing, it helped BMW drivers Bruno Giacomelli and Marc Surer place first and second in the highly competitive 1978 F2 championship. We have added two chassis, one of which was retained by BMW and has been recently restored.
A decade earlier, French aeronautical company Matra burst onto the scene with some highly competitive single seaters, including this MS5 Ford. It featured a sophisticated aluminium monocoque and could be run in both F2 and F3 configurations. Of the 12 cars built, we have highlighted four survivors, including the car raced by Jackie Stewart for Ken Tyrrell.
2016-01-20: Rare Fiat 8V and Alfa Romeo 1900C headed for auction and new Ginetta G57 ...
Among the most successful of the Fiat 8V racing cars were the examples clothed by Zagato. Before the Milanese company created a run of complete bodies for the V8-engined sports car, Zagato also re-worked five of the 'standard' bodied cars. These very rare machines were aptly named the 8V Zagato Elaborata for reworked. While retaining the overall shape of the Rapi designed originals, the Elaboratas received Zagato's trademark double-bubble roof, lightweight bumpers and plexiglass windows. The featured example was sold new in Italy and after a long spell in France is now in American hands. It has been consigned to the upcoming Bonhams Scottsdale sale. The estimate is on request but it will no doubt require a seven figure sum to pry it away from the owner.
Another rare Italian thoroughbred due to cross the block is this one-off Alfa Romeo 1900C SS Boano Coupe. Shown at the 1955 Turin Motor Show, this is striking machine not only features a one-off body by Boano, it also boasts a competition inspired engine. Although repainted once, it has survived in remarkable original condition. Consiged to the Gooding Scottsdale Auctions, the Boano Coupe also has an estimate on request but is also offered without reserve!
At last week's Autosport Show, Ginetta revealed the new G57 Chevrolet. Based on the successful LMP3 car, this is a track-day only machine and as such not bound by any rules. With 580 bhp on tap, the G57 should make for a startlingly quick 'toy'.
2016-01-18: 2016 Interclassics Maastricht report and 120-shot gallery and the very first Benneton ...
This weekend the MECC exhibition centre in Maastricht hosted the 23rd annual Interclassics Maastricht. This is the largest event of its kind in the Benelux area, and attracted close to 30,000 visitors over days; a 10% increase over last year. In addition to the dealers, clubs, restorers and automobilia merchants, the show floor boasted a special display celebrating the 100th anniversary of the BMW brand and also a selection of fine Bentleys and Rolls-Royces as part of a dedicated British Royals display. Auctioneer Coys also hosted a 57-lot sale with a colourful mix machines that was well matched to the cars on display in the main show halls. Our photographers kicked off the 2016 season in Maastricht and have returned with a 120-shot gallery featuring all the highlights and illustrating a concise report.
Part of the BMW 100th anniversary display and one of the absolute highlights of the show was this Benetton B186 BMW. One of the most powerful F1 cars ever built, it was also the very first to use the Benetton name. It was designed by a young Rory Byrne and already showcased his talents. Gerhard Berger used one to great effect and scored his maiden Grand Prix win that year. Wheeled out by a Belgian enthusiast, the featured example is the very first chassis built and one of just five survivors.
2016-01-15: Very first Chevron, new Avatar Roadster and MINI JCW Convertible ...
Chevron had a remarkable run of debut victories for a new model, which started with the very first model; the Chevron B1 that debuted in 1965. Although, it was not the first car designed and built by Derek Bennett, the Chevron B1 broke new ground as it was earmarked for production. The featured example was the very first one, which was commissioned by Brian Classick and raced with great success alongside the sister car campaigned by Bennett himself. Beautifully restored, the B1 was demonstrated at last year's Goodwood Festival of Speed to celebrate Chevron's 50th anniversary.
Following a first peak on Wednesday, we can now present the Avatar Roadster from every angle. The mid-engined sports car was unveiled yesterday at the Performance Car Show in Birmingham, and will enter production shortly.
Meanwhile, MINI announced the new range-topping John Cooper Works Convertible. Compared to the Cooper S, the JCW version is 39 bhp more available thanks to a retuned two-litre turbo engine. The John Cooper Works will be available with either a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox.