2005-12-30: Eight highlights of 2005
With 2005 drawing to an end, it's time to take one final look at eight of the year's automotive highlights before the January Motorshow madness overwhelms us once again. Like many of our weekly news features this 'hot-list' is made up of a varied mix of modern, classic and racing cars illustrated by our own exclusive photography. One of the most anticipated new releases was that of the 1001 bhp Bugatti Veyron 16.4, which like good wine took several years to ripen. Maybe an unlikely candidate, the twin-engined Jeep Hurricane struck us as the wildest concept car of the year. According to our sources the Jeep antics in Detroit next week will outdo their 2005 premiere! Endurance racing saw a year of welcomes and goodbyes. Due to rule changes, Audis already legendary R8 made its final and again victorious appearance at Le Mans. At the same venue we welcomed the return of Aston Martin to the sport with the striking DBR9. An old winner at Le Mans returned to the track this year for the European Classic Endurance Racing series; no fewer than three Porsche 917s raced at most of the season's events.
This past year we've also visited more Concours d'Elegance than ever and captured some absolutely stunning vehicles. After winning its class at Pebble in 2004, the unique Ferrari 375 MM Pinin Farina Sport Speciale scored several more awards this year on both sides of the Atlantic. At Pebble Beach this year the prestigious best of show was awarded to the freshly restored Delage D8-120 S Pourtout Aero Coupe. Making a rare appearance in the inaugural New York City Concours d'Elegance was a recently discovered and completely original Maserati Tipo 60 Birdcage.
The Ultimatecarpage.com team would like to wish you all the best for 2006!
2005-12-21: Bonham's The Ferrari Sale in words and pictures
Held for the eighth consecutive year this past weekend, Bonham's "The Ferrari Sale" is the traditional automotive finale of the year. The Ferrari-exclusive auction offers enthusiasts with a varied budget to buy something in time for the holidays. Covered in a fresh layer of snow, the Palace Hotel located in the heart of the Swiss Alps saw unprecedented fierce bidding for both the Automobilia and Car lots available. Racking up nearly CHF 8,000,000, it was one of the most successful Gstaad auctions of recent years. The sale was highlighted by a 250 GT Tour de France, Ferrari F40 LM and a 400 SuperAmerica Aerodynamico. Remarkably all of these high profile vehicles had found a new owner when the last lot was sold.
Our photographic team was hit by treacherous snowy weather, but reached the glamorous Palace Hotel in one piece. Once arrived they captured all the magic in a 70-shot slidshow and many of the highlights in an indepth report.
The Ultimatecarpage.com team would like to sincerely wish you every happiness for the holidays and the coming New Year.
2005-12-19: F40 LM, Audi R10, Exige GT3, Detroit concepts, unique Sunbeam and more ...
Although Ferrari's F40 is one of the marque's most famous models of recent years, the competition versions are seldom seen or heard about. Prepared by Michelotto, the F40 LM had a career of nearly ten years. One of the reasons for it's scarcity is that most of the nineteen examples produced were purchased new by collectors who rarely show them in public. The featured car is an example of these original beauties, and surfaced briefly this past weekend for Bonham's annual "The Ferrari Sale" where it changed hands for just over $650,000. Later this week a full report of the highly successful auction will be published here.
Last Tuesday Audi unveiled their all-new Le Mans challenger on the Trocadero square in downtown Paris. Dubbed the R10, the striking racer is powered by a 650 bhp V12 diesel engine and will debut on track in the Sebring 12 Hours. Lotus will return to the track next season with the Sport Exige GT3. It is specifically prepared for the new GT3 class where it will face competition from Porsche, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and others.
More news from the upcoming North American motor shows hit our desks each week. The most recent novelties came from Japanese manufacturers who announced a number of new concept cars; the Mazda Kabura Concept and the Nissan Edge Concept.
Following in the footsteps of Caroll Shelby, Sunbeam merged a British chassis with Ford's V8 engine to form the Tiger. Today we take a look at the unique fixed head Tiger Harrington Coupe.
2005-12-12: Ten new cars: Lotus Europa S, Merc super SUV, Fiat Hummer, Carrera winning Porsche and more ...
Lotus' very first mid-engined production car was the ultra low and light Europa of 1966, which was built around their unique back bone chassis. This simple, but efficient design was replaced only recently by the equally unique extruded and bonded aluminum monocoque chassis that debuted in the Elise/Exige range. For their latest offering Lotus have combined the old name with the new chassis design to create the 200 bhp Europa S ready to hit the markets in 2006. More performance news from the British Isles comes from Ascari, who are set to celebrate their tenth anniversary with the 600 bhp A10.
Only one year after the introduction of the new ML class SUV, Mercedes Benz have upped the ante with the even bigger GL Class, which rivals the most voluptuous competitors in the popular segment. Best known for their small city-cars and hatchbacks, Fiat have livened up the introduction of several four wheel drive production models at the recent Bologna show with massive Oltre Concept. Based on sister company Iveco's new light military vehicle the Oltre shares both its roots and looks with America's Hummer.
A few weeks ago we looked at Porsche's first racing car, which formed the basis for the manufacturer's successful racing career. Today we take a look at the Porsche 550 RS Spyder, which was directly derived from that very first 550. Among the featured cars is the 1954 Carrera Panamericana winning chassis, introducing the 'Carrera' name in the Porsche line-up. Of similar vintage is the Arnolt Bristol Deluxe Roadster, which very successfully combined a British chassis with Italian styling.
2005-12-08: Ferrari's legendary 250 TR up close and personal
In the first few decades of the company, Ferrari models were known simply by a three digit number combined with a two letter suffix. The numbers reflected the unitary displacement of the engine and the suffix usually referred to the car's purpose or a specific characteristic. Because of the Maranello based manufacturer's diverse line-up there have been countless combinations. One of the best known is 250 TR, attributed to one of the most successful and beautiful of all Ferraris. The TR suffix was short for Testa Rossa, or Red Head, referring to the red cam covers of the 3-litre V12 engine.
Designed specifically for the World Manufacturer's championship, variants of the 250 TR claimed the title three times between 1958 and 1961. Possibly even more impressive were the four Le Mans victories scored, increasing Ferrari's tally from two to six before the racer was retired.
Today we take a closer look at the most common first version, simply known as the 250 TR, bodied with the iconic 'pontoon' fender Scaglietti body. A 30-shot pictorial is combined with a year by year history to form one of Ultimatecarpage.com's most elaborate features to date. Enjoy!
2005-12-05: Ten new cars: Chaparral 2, four-door Ferrari, new Focus WRC, 350 bhp Volvo S40 and more ...
One of motor racing's all-time great innovators is Jim Hall. His mid-engined Chaparrals successfully debuted a wide variety of technical novelties. Today we take a look at the first of these; the 2A, the first mid-engined racing cars built around a composite monocoque. With over twenty victories in only two years, the 2A remains as one of America's most successful sports racing cars. Another one of America's finest is the iconic Auburn 851 SC Speedster.
This year Pininfarina celebrated their 75th anniversary in style, equaling the festivities of 1980 when the first half century was honoured. Highlighting those celebrations was the unveiling of the Ferrari Pinin, a highly advanced concept vehicle and the first four-door Ferrari. One of Italy's first concept vehicles was the result of a collaboration between Alfa Romeo and Touring. Dubbed the 'Disco Volante', or 'flying saucer', it combined a spaceframe chassis with a voluptuous aerodynamic body.
Last Thursday the doors opened at the Bologna Motorshow where Ford and Citroen debuted the Focus WRC 06 and the funky Citroen C-Airplay Concept respectively. German tuner Heico used last week's Essen Motorshow to debut their first concept vehicle; the stunning 354 bhp Volvo S40 based HS4 Odin. Volkswagen were on hand to launch their renewed assault on Dakar with the revised Race Touareg 2.