2017-01-18: Magnum P.I.'s Ferrari and Bonhams Scottsdale preview ...
The 2017 auction season is about to kick off at Scottsdale with a series of major auctions. The first of these is the Bonhams The Scottsdale Auction that will start Thursday afternoon local time. We were at the preview yesterday and have now illustrated our lot list with a 90-shot gallery.
Among the star lots is this Ferrari 308 GTSi qv. It is more special than most as it was one of around five examples of the type used during the filming of the popular television series Magnum P.I. Having survived unmolested, chassis 51941 is now offered by its second owner with less than 40,000 miles on the odometer.
Other highlights due to cross the block in the Bonhams sale are a beautifully preserved Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Roadster, a very rare Ferrari 340 American Vignale Spyder and a highly sought-after Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder.
We have also taken a closer look at the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Competizione that starred at last weekend's Interclassics Maastricht.
2017-01-16: 2017 Interclassics Maastricht report and 100-shot gallery ...
This weekend, the 24th annual Interclassics Maastricht show officially kicked off the season for us. The largest show of its kind in the Benelux area, the four-day event attracted just over 25,000 visitors, who were treated to 35,000 m2 of car and car-related displays. Among this year's features was a tribute to Facel Vega with an exhibition of ten distinct examples and the celebration of Ferrari's 70th anniversary. Among the many great cars on show from the famous Italian marque was a rare 250 GT SWB Competizione and a pair of Ferraris that had been originally commissioned by the Dutch Prince Bernhard. Further highlights included a very rare Bizzarrini Europa 1900 GT and the Alfa Romeo Tipo B due to be offered by RM Sotheby's early next month in Paris.
We ventured to the most southern tip of The Netherlands and have captured the 2017 Interclassics Maastricht in a 100-shot gallery that serves to illustrate a concise report of all the highlights.
2017-01-13: Lovely Chevron racer, another new Lotus Exige and new Mercedes-AMG hypercar ...
Up until the end of the 1973 season, Chevrons were relatively straightforward machines built around a spaceframe chassis. Then the small British specialist manufacturer stepped up to produce the Chevron B26, which featured a full aluminium monocoque. Like its predecessors, it was a successful machine in the two-litre class around the world. Today we take a detailed look two Hart-engined examples. Among them is chassis B26-74-10, which is better known as 'Chocolate Drop' thanks to its unusual brown colour. It was a works car and raced by the likes of Brian Redman and Peter Gethin.
Following hot on the heels of the Sport 380 announced last month, Lotus have now revealed the track-only Exige Race 380. It shares the same 375 bhp engine with the road going car but is further stripped down to bring the weight down to just 995 kg. The Race 380 will also come with adjustable suspension and a sequential XTrac gearbox.
The highlight of the 50th anniversary celebrations of Mercedes-AMG will undoubtedly be the introduction of the Project One hypercar later in the year. Using Formula 1 technology, it will feature a hybrid drivetrain that should be good for around 1,000 bhp. We will keep close tabs on the development and bring more news once it is available.
2017-01-11: Italian masterpieces from Ferrari and Alfa Romeo headed for auction ...
At next week's Scottsdale auctions one of the absolute stars on offer will be this Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder due to cross the block at Bonhams next Thursday. Shown at the 1961 Brussels Motor Show, it was originally finished in a very rare rust colour. It is also believed to have starred in an Italian movie where it was featured in a particularly exciting chase scene along with a Miura. Today, chassis 2277GT is finished in red and has been maintained to full running order by its British owner.
Bonhams also has a fabulous example of the Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Zagato Spider on offer. One of the great 1930s Alfa Romeos, the car on offer has a known history from new. Following an early life in Switzerland, it was part of the same American collection for four decades from 1962 onwards. The Zagato Spider has more recently been in British hands.
Much rarer than the Zagato coachwork, is the one-off Figoni body fitted on this 6C 1750 GS that is due to cross the block at the Gooding Scottsdale Auctions. This striking machine was shown by Figoni at the 1933 Paris Auto Salon and returned to the city of lights for the 2016 Retromobile show where we captured it. The Figoni Roadster is expected to sell for around $2.5 million.
2017-01-09: 2017 NAIAS day one round-up ...
The first big event of the year is the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This year's NAIAS kicked off today with the first of a pair of press days. The Volkswagen Group was out in force with several interesting releases. Among them was the new Porsche 911 Carrera GTS. Powered by a 450 hp version of the new twin turbo engine, it is available as a Coupe, Cabriolet and Targa versions. The former also in two- or four-wheel drive versions.
Audi, meanwhile, introduced the second generation SQ5 and previewed the upcoming Q8 in concept form.
Combining a retro design with a cutting edge electric drivetrain is Volkswagen funky I.D. Buzz Concept. As the name suggests, it is a modern take on the legendary Microbus.
Our eye was certainly caught by the all-new Kia Stinger GT. This rear- or all-wheel drive saloon features a range-topping 3.3-litre twin turbo V6, good for 365 bhp.
Japanese luxury manufacturer Lexus used the Detroit show to take the wraps off the fifth generation LS. Larger than ever before, the LS 500 model will be powered by a twin-turbo V6 engine.
AMG kicked off their 50th anniversary celebrations by revealing a substantially updated Mercedes-AMG GLA 45. The compact cross-over boasts a compact four-cylinder that at 375 bhp produces almost 200 bhp per litre.
2017-01-06: American muscle headed for auction and most powerful Bentley road car yet ...
Thoroughbred American muscle cars will be strongly represented in the upcoming Scottsdale auctions. The most exotic of these is the AMC AMX/3, which is one of the headliners at the Gooding sale. One of just five or six built, the example on offer was tested extensively during 1969 and has several unique features. It also boasts a known history from new and was recently shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
RM Sotheby's will offer this fabulous AC Shelby Cobra 427. It is one of the very last Shelby Cobras built and has had the original, more docile Ford 428 replaced by the more potent 427 fitted to first big block Cobras.
One of the rarest and most sought after Corvettes is the L88 and a beautifully restored Roadster is on the Bonhams lot list.
British manufacturer Bentley has started the year on a high with the introduction of the Continental Supersports. Powered by a 700hp version of the familiar W12 engine, it is the fastest ever regular production Bentley road car. To cope with the added power, the Supersports also boasts uprated suspension and brakes.
2017-01-04: New Ginetta LMP1 racer for 2018, high-tech Chrysler concept and another Porsche 962C ...
Shortly after the ACO announced a rule freeze for the next five seasons, Ginetta revealed their plans to produce an LMP1 car that is due to make its competitive debut in 2018. The British niche manufacturer called in the services of renowned designers Adrian Reynard and Paolo Cantone to help pen the sophisticated aerodynamics. Talks are also under way with Mecachrome and XTrac to supply the drivetrain for the new prototype racer. Ginetta expects to build and sell no fewer than ten LMP1s. Testing is set to commence shortly after this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans
At this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Chrysler took the wraps off this Portal Concept. Packed with sophisticated electronics and boasting very flexible seating and cargo configurations, it is aimed squarely at millennials. The Portal is driven by a single electronic motor that powers the front wheels.
We also found it was time to take a closer look at yet another Porsche 962C. This time, our focus is on chassis 962-141, which was delivered new to Jochen Dauer. He raced the car in striking Tic Tac colours for two seasons in Europe. At the start of 1990, it also made four starts in North America with the likes of Raul Boesel and Bobby Unser tasked with the driving duties. Today, this 962C is owned by a Danish historic racer, who regularly campaigns the car in the Historic Group C Championship.
2017-01-02: Striking Mercedes-Benzes headed for auction in Scottsdale ...
Let us start off by wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year. We look forward to providing you with the quality automotive content you have come used to from us over the past years.
The automotive world has a busy start to 2017 with the upcoming NAIAS in Detroit and the various auctions that will take place in the Scottsdale area later this month. Today, we have taken a first look at a couple of the most interesting lots, all bearing the famous three-pointed star.
RM Sotheby's sale is headlined by this Mercedes-Benz 540 K Spezial Roadster. These cars were already built to order but the chassis on offer is even more special. Many of the car's detail features were created with the help of first owner Rolf Horn. It is estimate to sell for in access of $7.5 million.
Another lovely Mercedes-Benz offered by RM that is more modestly priced is this 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II. Created with the help of Cosworth as a homologation special for the DTM racers, only 502 examples of this particular model were built. The car on offer is the first offered publicly in North America and has only covered 5,000 km from new.
Of an earlier vintage is this Mercedes-Benz 680 S Erdmann & Rossi Tourer that will cross the block during the Bonhams Scottsdale Auction. A very rare model with several unique features, the chassis on offer was delivered new to the United States but has spent the last couple of decades in Europe.
2016-12-29: The top sellers of the 2016 auction year ...
Rounding off the year, we today take a look at the top sellers of another record breaking auction year. Topping the list is the phenomenal Ferrari 335 S sold for just over $35 million at the start of the year by Artcurial. Although some erroneous reports suggested it was sold to football star Lionel Messi, it was actually acquired by an American collector and has more recently made its first public appearance Stateside earlier this month.
RM Sotheby's features strongly on the list with this Le Mans winning Jaguar D-Type, which found a new owner for well over $20 million. At the same sale, the Canadian/British auctioneer also sold the very first AC Shelby Cobra for just under $14 million.
With five cars in the top ten, Gooding & Co. is also very well represented. The best result for the California based auctioneer was this Ferarri 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione at $18 million. Another notable result was for this Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza, which changed hands for $11.9 million.
The top Bonhams seller sits at number 11 and is this Bugatti Type 57 SC Vanden Plas Roadster. This unique machine was picked up for just under $10 million back in January.
2016-12-27: Evocative Alfa Romeo and awe-inspiring Porsche ...
With the year winding down, we take the time to take a look at two of the more though provoking cars we saw this year. On top of that list is undoubtedly this Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ Coda Tronca. The car itself is already very interesting as it is the development prototype of the second generation SZs, which featured a cut-off 'Kamm' tail and it had disappeared from sight for many years only to resurface recently. What the new owner then did with the already rare Alfa Romeo earned him the FIVA preservation trophy. Instead of restoring the car in a conventional, he decided to treat half of the car to preservation methods normally used for paintings. As can been seen in this gallery from the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este was intriguing indeed.
In the year we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Canadian-American Challenge Cup or Can-Am, we can't do with at least a mention of the all-conquering Porsche 917/30. We have expanded our gallery with fresh shots of both cars used during Mark Donohue's 1973 championship winning run. Among them are pictures of 917/30-002 with among others Gijs van Lennep at the wheel during the Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort. Now in his seventies and a two-time Le Mans winner, the former Porsche works had always wanted to try the successful Can-Am racer and finally got a go for three very spirited demonstration runs. He even drove the car in the wet, sliding the beast around his home track.
2016-12-23: One-off Ferrari, new Citroen WRC car and Audi concept ...
Although the year is coming to a close, several manufacturers have some last minute news. Among them is Ferrari, who have officially announced the one-off SP 275 RW Competizione, which was previewed earlier this month at the Finali Mondiali at Daytona. Based on the F12tdf, it is inspired by this ex-Ecurie Francorchamps 275 GTB Competizione Speciale, which some reckon is the most valuable Ferrari in the world, reputedly worth between $75 - $100 million. Among the many subtle design changes are revised headlights and additional vents behind the front wheels. The unique SP 275 RW Competizione was built for an American customer, who is not the owner of the 275 GTB it is inspired by.
Ahead of its competition debut next month, Citroen revealed the C3 WRC, which is the French manufacturer's first new World Rally Car in over half a decade. Built to the revised regulations, it features an aggressive body-kit and is powered by a 380 bhp engine. Among the drivers tasked to pilot the C3 WRC are Kris Meeke and Stephane Lefebvre.
With the Q8 Concept, Audi will offer a first glimpse of an all-new model in the company's line-up. For now, we only have a pair of renderings of the show car due to make its debut early next year in Detroit.
We would also like to use this opportunity to wish you, our highly valued reader, happy holidays and all the best of the new year.
2016-12-21: The year of the Lancia Astura ...
At a time when Lancia is slowly withering away, it was great to see its fabled products of the past star at the major Concours d'Elegances, and in particular two versions of the Astura. In May, this particularly striking Astura Castagna Aerodinamica Coupe won the coveted Copa d'Oro at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. One of four built, and the only one using a short wheelbase chassis, this car combines the V8-engined Lancia underpinnings with a very slippery Castagna bodywork. The Astura Aerodinamica Coupe was both used for races and Concours d'Elegance in period.
A few months later this Astura won the equally desirable Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Fitted with a particularly striking Pinin Farina cabriolet body, it had previously been part of the collections of legendary musician Eric Clapton and Pininfarina themselves. Ahead of its appearance at Pebble the Astura 'Bocca' Cabriolet was completely restored, which took over five years. Remarkably, it was the very first time the owner ever entered a car at Pebble.