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2017-08-31: 2017 Monterey Motorsports Reunion and new Bentley Continental GT ...
2017 Monterey Motorsports Reunion report and gallery One of the headlining events during the car week on the Monterey Peninsula, is the annual Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. At this year's event the 60th anniversaries of host Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with a marque with major race winners and Formula Junior with two dedicated groups were celebrated. Among the long list of superb racing cars that took to the track during the four-day event were gems like the 1921 Ballot, several Porsche 935 K3s and two examples of the all-conquering Toyota-Eagle GTP cars. In addition to the regular track action, two-time World Champion Mika Hakkinen also demonstrated Emerson Fittipaldi's 1974 World Championship winning McLaren M23.
We were on hand during the event and have compiled a concise report that is illustrated by a group-by-group 200-shot gallery.
This week, Bentley released the first details and images of the third generation Continental GT. It is again powered by an evolution of the familiar W12 engine, which is mounted further back in the chassis and is now good for 626 bhp. The styling of the all-new Continental GT is inspired by the design language of the recent and highly acclaimed Speed 6 show cars.
  2017-08-28: Mighty front-engined Ferrari racers and new Portofino ...
Ferrari 315 S Last week's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance celebrated Ferrari's 70th Anniversary in style with four dedicated classes. The winners of two of these were a pair of closely related sports racers. Powered by mighty quad-cam V12 engines, they represent the ultimate development of the front-engined sports prototypes raced with great success by Ferrari throughout the 1950s. The earliest of the pair is the 315 S, which features a 3.8-litre engine, good for a hefty 355 bhp. This particular example was a works entry in the tragic 1957 Mille Miglia and was driven to victory by Piero Taruffi in what proved to be the final edition of the historic Italian road race. Having been owned by the same American collector for nearly two decades, it was driven across the ramp to collect its price by none other than Sir Jackie Stewart.
Power by a four-litre version of the same engine, this 335 S is the very last of the group built. Completed in 1958, it was built to special order for an American customer. After being raced extensively in period, it was owned by the likes of Robs Lamplough and Bruce McCaw before the current custodian acquired the car. Shortly thereafter chassis 0764 was entrusted to specialist Paul Russell for a complete restoration. He took particular care to find the right shade of NART blue applied to the car originally. The detailed work was awarded with a best in class.
Late last week, Ferrari also gave a first look at the all-new Portofino road car, which will replace the California T. Built on a brand new platform, it is powered by the latest twin-turbo V8, good for around 600 bhp. The Portofino will make its public debut at next month's Frankfurt Motor Show.
2017-08-24: 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance report and 310-shot gallery ...
2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance report and 310-shot gallery The big finale of the Monterey Car Week is traditionally the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It is the equivalent of Olympics when it comes to car events and as such participating is already a great honour. For seasoned entrants this is not enough and in a quest for class and special awards no resource is spared. As a result, we are treated to some truly spectacular cars every year, whether it is an exceptionally well preserved specimen or an very accurately restored example. Among the features in the 2017 show were Isotta Fraschini and Ferrari's 70th anniversary, while there were also special classes for American Specials from the 1960s and California built racers that competed at the Pebble Beach road races.
We were on the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach golf links from dawn 'till dusk and have captured our impressions in this concise report, which is illustrated by a 260-shot gallery from the Concours d'Elegance on Sunday and an additional 50-shot gallery from Thursday's Tour d'Elegance, which once again followed the familiar route after last year's detour.
You can expect more reports from the very busy Monterey Car Week in the next couple of days as well as detailed features of the stars of the Concours d'Elegance.
  2017-08-21: 2017 Pebble Beach best of show in full detail ...
Mercedes-Benz 700 SS Barker Tourer For us the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is the culmination of a long week on the Monterey Peninsula but for the owners and restorers it represents the finale of often years of hard labour. This was certainly the case with the Mercedes-Benz 700 SS Barker Tourer that was picked for the coveted 'Best of Show' award yesterday afternoon. Built for talented gentleman racer Lord Howe on a show-car chassis, the car was clothed by Barker with a unique design. In addition to Howe's familiar striking blue colour, it also boasted many polished aluminium surfaces and torpedo-shaped running boards. The car did not look nearly as spectacular when it was shown at Pebble Beach in 2012 as it had been painted a monotone white. It then took many years of research and hard work to return the car to its original glory and finished. The work certainly paid off as the car not only won Best of Show but also received a further three special awards, including the Polyphony Trophy, which means it will appear in a future version of the popular Gran Turismo game.
As a warm-up to our coverage from this year's Monterey car week, we have taken a detailed look at the deserved winner. Also included are several shots from the car five years ago to get a real impression of the level of work carried out by Babinsky Automotive Restoration. A full report and gallery from Pebble Beach and the other events will follow in the coming days and weeks.
2017-08-14: Great 1950s and 1960s sports racers headed for auction ...
Aston Martin DBR1 For this weekend's auctions on the Monterey Peninsula some truly great sports racers have been consigned, three of which are featured today. Heading the trio is this Aston Martin DBR1 that will cross the block at RM Sotheby's on Friday. The consigned example is the first of five cars built of the type that brought Aston Martin the company's first World Championship and Le Mans win. Chassis DBR1/1 contributed to the World Championship with an outright victory in the 1959 Nurburgring 1000 km. Offered from a British private collection, it is estimated to sell for in excess of $20 million!
A contemporary of the DBR1 is this Maserati 300S, which is one of the stars of the well stocked lot list of the Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction. The chassis on offer is believed to have been a works car and was certainly raced to several victories in Brazil in the hands of the great Juan Manuel Fangio. It is offered from long term ownership and has not been seen in public for over a decade. Chassis 3069 is estimated to sell for $6 - 7 million.
Part of the startling Gooding line-up is this lovely Porsche 904 GTS. It is one of 24 examples delivered new to the United States in 1964 and was raced with great success in the Pacific North West. It was restored for historic racing during the 1980s and has more recently been used on the streets of Los Angeles. The beautifully maintained 904 Carrera GTS looks set to find a new owner for $1.5 - 1.8 million.
  2017-08-10: A preview of this year's Quail, a Motorsports Gathering ...
Arnott 1100 GT Climax One of our favourite events on the Monterey Peninsula is the annual The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering. At its essence, it is a concours d'elegance but with so many unique features that it really stands out. Among its strengths is the diversity of the field, which last year ranged from this unique Arnott 1100 GT Climax to the Pagani Huayra BC. The former was the ultimate creation of pioneering engineer Daphne Arnott and raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1957. Boasting a highly unusual front suspension design, the miniature marvel was more recently returned to its Le Mans configuration. It will be back on the Peninsula this year as the small Arnott coupe has been consigned to the Gooding Pebble Beach Auctions. Another star from last year was the lovely Lola Mk6 GT prototype, which had just been restored. We also shot the car more recently at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
At next Friday's 15th edition of the 'The Quail' Acura will debut its all new ARX-05 sports racer. Built to IMSA's new DPi regulations, it will be fielded next year by Team Penske and has just started testing. Another car due to star at the highly exclusive and already sold out event is the ex-Bruce McLaren M6 GT. It represents the first road car built by McLaren and as such is the spiritual father of the legendary F1 and the current line-up of production McLarens. As always, we will be on hand to capture all the highlights and you can expect a detailed coverage some time in the weeks after the event.
At the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance a few days later, Infiniti will reveal a Retro Prototype. It is a design of what an Infinity of yesteryear may have looked like.
2017-08-07: Beautifully engineered racers from Ballot, Maserati and OSCA ...
Ballot 3/8 LC Ernest Henry is one of the great engineers and he can be considered the father of the four-valve engine. After designing Grand Prix and Indy winning cars for Peugeot, he joined Ballot in the late 1910s. Among his best designs was this Ballot 3/8 LC. The Ballot engine designed by Henry featured the first fully enclosed valve-train, making it the first truly modern engine. The cars were raced on both sides of the Atlantic and this one won the first ever Italian Grand Prix, in 1921. Following a lengthy racing career, it remained hidden away in a British collections for many decades. It has now resurfaced in beautiful original conditions and was shown at Villa d'Este and Goodwood. Also featured is the sister car, which debuted in the 1920 Indy 500. It is today part of an American collection and will be raced later this month at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
Also set to star on the Monterey Peninsula is this Maserati 6CM, which has been consigned to the Gooding Pebble Beach Auctions. This particular car was raced with considerable success in period and has more recently starred at Pebble Beach. It is on offer with a pre-sale estimate of $1 - 1.4 million.
After the Maserati brothers left the company they founded, they built some spectacular cars under the OSCA moniker. We were treated to a particularly lovely example at Villa d'Este in the form of this MT4 Vignale Coupe. This lovely machine featured a unique design penned by Giovanni Michelotti and built by Vignale. In period it was raced to a class victory at Le Mans and more recently was in longtime Japanese ownership. The one-off MT4 Coupe has now returned to the limelight for all of us to enjoy.
  2017-08-03: Great and rarely seen Italian machines headed for RM Sotheby's auction ...
Ferrari 121 LM Canadian auctioneer RM Sotheby's have released the full lot list of the upcoming, two-day Monterey sale. As each year, the line-up is very impressive and includes these four truly fantastic Italian sports and racing cars from the 1950s and early 1960s that have rarely been seen in public during the last couple of decades.
Rarest of the bunch is this Ferrari 121 LM, which is one of just a handful of straight six Ferrari sports racers built. These cars were hugely powerful but equally fragile. The consigned example raced in the Mille Miglia and at at Le Mans but was also involved in Ernie McAfee's fatal crash in the Pebble Beach Road Races. Not seen in public for many years, this 121 LM is estimated to sell for $6.5 - 7.5 million.
During the 1950s, Ferrari offered small production bespoke road cars for the American market, which were suitably dubbed 'America'. One of the earliest of these was this 342 America Vignale Cabriolet produced in 1952. It was the first of six 342 Americas built and the only one clothed by Vignale with this Cabriolet bodywork. Chassis 0232AL was recently restored and has not been shown yet at a major event. It is now estimated to sell for in excess of $2.2 million. The model gradually evolved into the 410 SuperAmerica of the late 1950s. One of 12 Series III examples built, the consigned example was sold new to an American based in Switzerland. It has been part of the same, secluded collection since the late 1990s.
Maserati catered for much the same clientele with the 5000 GT. One such customer was Briggs S. Cunningham, who commissioned this unique 5000 GT Michelotti Coupe. His design brief was clear; make the car as close to the 450 S racing cars the mechanicals were derived from. With the help of a wind tunnel, Michelotti succeeded in creating both a very striking machine and the fastest of all 5000 GTs. Compared to the Ferrari's, the unique 5000 GT represents a bargain with an estimate of $1.1 - 1.5 million.