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2019-01-17: Ford RS200 Group B cars and rare Moretti headed for auction ...
Ford RS200 Evo The major auctions in Scottsdale kick off today with the first of the two-day RM Sotheby's sale. Undoubtedly to the delight of Group B enthusiasts the sale offers both a 'regular' Ford RS200 and the ultimate specification RS200 Evo. Designed by F1 engineers and quite possibly the most sophisticated of all Group B cars, the RS200 eventually arrived too late to be a force in the World Rally Championship. The mid-engined RS200 featured a highly unusual front transaxle and for the unraced Evo version a twin-clutch gearbox was under development. The RS200 on offer was cherished most of its life and has been carefully stored since 1989. Accordingly, it has covered only 8,400 miles from new. The Evo due to cross the block was not raced in period and was part of a formidable collection of Group B cars from 1989 through to 2017. It has since been overhauled and is ready to go.
Across town, Bonhams will stage their one-day sale today. Among the most interesting lots in their catalog is this Moretti 1200 Sport Spider. One of two built with this body, it is great example of the lovely machines built completely in-house by Moretti. The chassis on offer was originally shown at the Brussels Motor Show back in 1955 and more recently starred at Pebble Beach.
  2019-01-16: New McLaren 600LT Spider and NAIAS round-up ...
McLaren 600LT Spider Like we predicted last week, the latest addition to the McLaren line-up is the 600LT Spider. Like the Coupe introduced last year, the 600LT is based on the 570S and features a more powerful engine, more aggressive and a 100kg lower weight. Compared to the Coupe, the new 600LT Spider is only 50kg thanks to the strong MonoCell II chassis, which requires no additional strengthening. The 600LT Spider is available to order and production is limited.
Continuing our coverage of this week's NAIAS, we have today added a further four releases from the show in Detroit. First up is the Subaru STI S209. Powered by a 341 bhp version of the familiar boxer engine, this is the first 'S' model STI that is available exclusively on the American market. Production of the high performance machine will be strictly limited to just 200 examples.
Hyundai revealed their latest touring car racer, the Veloster N TCR. Equipped with a 350 bhp engine, the Veloster N racer is due to compete in IMSA's Michelin Pilot Challenge with the works effort run by Bryan Herta Autosport.
The NAIAS also featured a pair of concepts launched by Nissan and luxury subsidiary Infiti. The first of these is the Nissan IMs Concept. The all-electric machine is a preview for a new model in the Nissan range to sit above the Leaf. Infiniti revealed this QX Inspiration show car. This is a mid-sized SUV and serves as the precursor for the Japanese make's first all-electric production car.
2019-01-14: All-new Toyota Supra, Shelby Mustang GT500 and RC F Track Edition ...
Toyota Supra After months, even years of speculation, the all-new Toyota Supra finally broke cover today on the opening day of the 2019 North American International Auto Show. Teased with show cars and camouflaged prototypes, the exterior design of the rear-wheel drive coupe is no surprise. While a four-cylinder engine will also be available for some markets, the top-of-the-range model features a supercharged, straight-six engine that produces 335 bhp. This is fed to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The Supra will be available to order shortly and in the United States prices start below the $50,000 mark.
Another highly anticipated car that debuted in Detroit this morning is the Ford Shelby Mustang GT500. Based on the howling GT350, this is the first Mustang to wear the GT500 moniker in five years. It features a supercharged version of its smaller brother's flat-plane V8 that will produce over 700bhp, making the new GT500 the most powerful production Mustang to date.
Lexus used the NAIAS to showcase an updated of the RC F model. All-new to the line-up is the Track Edition, which is a more hardcore version that uses the same 472bhp V8 but with a reworked chassis and more aggressive bodykit. Another new Lexus release today was the LC Convertible Concept, which undoubtedly offers a first glimpse of the the production convertible version of the LC coupe.
  2019-01-11: Ferrari Friday with four Gooding Scottsdale highlights and new Brabham and Toyota racers ...
Ferrari 275 GTB The third major auction company staging a sale at Scottsdale next week is Gooding & Co.. For their Scottsdale Auctions, the California-based company consigned some fabulous Ferraris. Today we highlight four of them, which are all expected to sell for well over $5 million. The rarest of the bunch is the actual 275 GTB Prototype. Not only was this car shown during the 275 GTB's Paris Auto Show debut, it was later also raced in the 1966 Rally Monte Carlo. It was later restored to its Rally Monte Carlo configuration complete with the driving lights and unique engine cover. The unique chassis 06003 is estimated to sell for $6-8 million.
Also consigned to the sale are a pair from the famed 250 GT family. The earliest of these is this $5.75-6.5 million 250 GT TdF, which last changed hands almost two decades ago. One of the last 250 GTs built is this 250 GT SWB, which was once owned by actor Nicholas Cage.
One of our favourites is this fabulous 250 MM Vignale Spyder. It was among the last Ferraris clothed by Vignale and was raced extensively in period. Now carefully restored, it was last since in public in 2012.
At the Toyota Auto Salon this morning, Toyota Gazoo Racing revealed a styling concept for the Supra it plans to race in the Super GT Championship from the 2020 season onwards. With Super GT and DTM synching regulations, there is a fair chance that the Supra will race in Europe as well.
Other major racing news came from the Autosport International Show yesterday where Brabham Automotive announced their plans to return to Le Mans. The car used will have to be based on a road car and Brabham indicates that this to be released machine will be a further development of the highly acclaimed BT62.
2019-01-09: Porsche 911 drops its top, road legal Brabham and latest LT McLaren ...
Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet Less than two months after Porsche debuted the eighth generation 911, the Cabriolet version has been revealed. Like the coupe version of the '992', Porsche used Carrera S and Carrera 4S versions to debut the Cabriolet. Both are powered by a 450 hp version of the twin-turbo flat-six engine.
Although initially intended as a track-day special, Brabham have now announced the GBP 150,000 option to make the BT62 road legal. For the European market the conversion will be carried out by RML, who can also convert the Aston Martin Vulcan to road-legal specification.
McLaren have offered the first glimpse of the fifth model to wear the LT badge, which will be officially revealed next week. No further details have been released but we are sure that the new car will be the Spider version of the highly acclaimed 600LT.
German manufacturer Audi have launched a facelift of the TTS Coupe and TTS Roadster.
  2019-01-07: Evolution of the Lamborghini Huracan and late Miura SV headed for auction ...
Lamborghini Huracan EVO One of the first major releases of the year is the Lamborghini Huracan EVO announced today. As the name suggests, it is an evolution of Lamborghini's 'entry-level' model. Among the changes is an additional 30 hp from the naturally aspirated V10 engine and a more aggressive aerodynamics package. A first for Lamborghini found on the Huracan EVO is the 'Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Integrata', which combines all the vehicle dynamic controls into one system. This allows the car to anticipate the next move and needs of the driver, interpreting this into perfect driving dynamics. This undoubtedly will make for a faster car but whether it will be as much fun to drive remains to be seen.
For those of you more interested in an altogether rawer Lamborghini, the Bonhams Scottsdale Auction features a very interesting Miura SV. It was one of 13 examples built for the United States market to the ultimate split-sump specification. One of the last built, it remained unsold for several months but eventually found an owner that would go on to cherish this Miura for the next 45 years. He has now finally decided to let the car go and it is estimated to sell for $1.7 - 2.1 million.
2019-01-04: All-new 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport and historic Porsches headed for auction ...
Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport In February, Porsche will start deliveries of the all-new 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. It is the second generation GT4 specification Cayman, the first of which had a stunning production run of 421 cars. The new GT4 Clubsport features a 40hp more powerful engine and is available in competition and trackday trim. More sophisticated, the competition version features among other things adjustable suspension, a larger fuel tank and a built-in air-jack system.
One of the spiritual predecessors of the Cayman is the 904 Carrera GTS racing car of the 1960s. Of this, Porsche's first fibreglass bodied racer, a fabulous example will cross the block in two weeks time at the Bonhams Scottsdale Auction. Originally delivered to the United States, it has survived in largely original condition despite being raced by its second and third owner. Since 1982, 904-012 has had just two owners and is now offered from a Danish Porsche collection. From that same stable comes an equally rare Porsche 356 Carrera 2 GS Cabriolet. One of just 32 drop-tops built with the two-litre engine, the car on offer spent its early life in Germany but has been in the same Danish hands for three decades. Both Porsches will require a seven-figure bid to change hands.
  2019-01-02: Two great Ferraris headline RM Sotheby's Arizona sale ...
Ferrari 250 GT Pinin Farina Coupe Speciale We would like to kick off with wishing you all the best for the new year. As always, the first major events on the international classic car calendar are the barrage of auctions in Scottsdale, Arizona. Among the major sales is the RM Sotheby's auction and today we take a look at two of the headlining Ferraris.
The earliest of the pair is this 250 GT Pinin Farina Coupe Speciale that was built in 1957 to the custom order for Princess Liliane de Réthy, who was the wife of the Belgian king. The second of three one-off Ferraris she would order, this unique Ferraro was effectively a coupe version of the 250 GT Cabriolet that was also built by Pinin Farina. Owned by the Princess for close to a decade, it has since been predominantly in American hands and the most recent custodian has owned 0751GT for over two decades. For the rare opportunity to acquire the royal Ferrari, RM Sotheby's estimates only bids of over $10 million will suffice.
Another top dollar consignment is the LaFerrari Aperta. One of just 210 examples built, this car was delivered to a prominent West Coast supercar collector. Since taking delivery in 2017, the first owner covered just 1,500 miles. Oversubscribed when new, the LaFerrari Aperta is now valued at $6.5 - $8.5 million, which represents a 300% value increase in barely two years.
2018-12-27: Ford GT40 Mk II and Audi R8 return to Le Mans and new Reiter Engineering Xymera ...
Ford GT40 Mk III One of the highlights this year was to see the actual 1966 Le Mans winning Ford GT40 Mk II return to France and race in the Le Mans Classic. The last time we saw the ex-Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon on track at Le Mans was in 2006 and then it was only demonstrated. Since then, it has changed hands, and was comprehensively restored. In addition to racing at Le Mans, the American enthusiast owner also demonstrated GT40P/1046 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Another great racing car that starred at Le Mans was this Audi R8. Strictly speaking this did not constitute as a return as this particular chassis was not raced in period. Now privately owned, '606' is actively raced and we also snapped it in action during the Spa Six Hours later in the year.
Today, German racing car specialist Reiter Engineering revealed a teaser video of the all-new Xymera. No further details were released but it looks like the car may be a mix of the KTM and Lamborghini race cars Reiter is very familiar with.
  2018-12-21: Our fondest memory from 2018 ...
Eagle Mark 1 Weslake Travelling all over the world to capture car events means we are spoilt for choice for fond memories. What stands out this year, though, were the handful of parade laps with the Eagle Mark 1 during the Goodwood Revival with Derek Bell and Jackie Stewart behind the wheel. What made these laps so special was that the car was alone on the track and this allowed us to not only enjoy the sight of the best looking Grand Prix car of all time but also the sound of the glorious Weslake V12 in the back of the Eagle. The reason for these laps was the passing of the great Dan Gurney earlier in the year. A true racing legend and brilliant engineer, Gurney used this particular car to win the Belgian Grand Prix in 1967. This was just one of the many highlights in the American's career that included successes as a driver but also as a constructor. With the fabulous Mark 1 Eagle and the win at Spa all of his talents were combined, making it one of our all time favourite cars.
We would also like to take this opportunity to wish you, our loyal readers, happy holidays and all the best for the new years.
2018-12-19: New entry level Boxster and Cayman, new John Cooper Works and retro Continental ...
Porsche 718 Cayman T Porsche have introduced a hardcore 'T' or Touring version of the 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster models. Based on the entry-level, four-cylinder engined 718s, the Touring features larger wheels, a lowered chassis and lockable rear differential. As part of the Sport Chrono package, the cars can also be equipped with active drivetrain mounts, which improve the driving dynamics without affecting comfort on rough roads.
MINI, meanwhile, have launched the updated versions of the range-topping John Cooper Works in hatchback and convertible variants. They feature a 231hp version of the four-cylinder turbocharged engine, which is mated as standard to a six-speed manual gearbox, while an eight-speed automatic is available as an option. The new John Cooper Works will make its global debut at the upcoming NAIAS in Detroit.
American luxury manufacturer Lincoln will celebrate the 80th anniversary of the legendary Continental model in great style with the limited Coach Door edition of the Continental. Only 80 examples will be built of the lengthened model that crucially features 'suicide' or 'coach' doors. Popular on many classic luxury cars, they were also fitted to the formidable Continentals of the early 1960s. The Coach Door Continental is reportedly priced at around $100,000.
  2018-12-17: Great Group 5 silhouette racers from Porsche, Ferrari and Corvette ...
Porsche 935/77 Works During the second half of the 1970s, manufacturers exploited the relatively lenient Group 5 regulations to the full extent, creating fantastic production based 'silhouette' racers. The dominant force of the era was the Porsche 935 that was derived from the 911 Turbo. It takes a trained eye to discover the shape of the original road car but underneath the massively flared arches and slant-nose, the racer still retains some of the original metalwork. In historic racing the 935s produced for customers are regularly campaigned but at the Le Mans Classic this very rare ex-works 935 from 1977 returned to the track. Raced only once in period, it has been fully restored by Freisinger Motorsport and was raced at Le Mans by factory driver Romain Dumas.
Among the Porsches' rivals was the Ferrari 512 BB LM, which looks even further departed from its road-going equivalent. It was not able to match the Porsches on outright pace and was left to pick up the scraps. The featured example was campaigned at Le Mans twice and earlier this year starred at the Goodwood Members' Meeting, where Group 5 cars took centre stage.
Also in action at Goodwood in March, and a very rare sight on this side of the Atlantic was one of the Greenwood IMSA Corvettes. Built by John Greenwood and further developed by Bob Riley, these wide-body, big-block engined machines were among the fastest of all the Group 5 cars, particularly in a straight line. The Greenwood Corvette highlighted today spent most of its life in North America but has more recently been acquired by a Swedish enthusiast, who demonstrated it at Goodwood and raced at the Spa Classic in 2018.