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2010-08-30: Pebble winning Delage, new Citroen DS4 and Lotus Evora S headed for Paris ...
Delage D8 S de Villars Roadster At the recent Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, the highly coveted 'Best of Show' award was won by this spectacular Delage D8 S de Villars Roadster. It is one of just 99 Delages of this type built, which featured a more powerful engine and lower chassis than the 'standard' D8. The latter is what made the D8 S such a popular choice with the most prominent custom coach-builder. Many of these rare cars were entered in contemporary concours d'elegance with considerable success. Our feature car was described by a French magazine as 'triumphant in any concours d’elegance' in the fall of 1934. That was the result of its highly exclusive coach-work by de Villars in Paris. During the 1950s the all-white car was owned by an luxurious hotel in Madrid, Spain. It then disappeared from the radar for almost half a century. Beautifully restored, it surfaced again at RM Auctions' Monterey sale where it sold for a staggering $3.7 million. Three years later the Delage D8 S de Villars Roadster reaffirmed its 1934 reputation by claiming the 'Best of Show' award at Pebble.
The Pebble winning Delage made its very first public appearance at the Paris show back in 1933. Two of the stars of this year's show will be this Citroen DS4 and Lotus Evora S. The all-new Citroen is the second 'DS' launched, following the much praised DS3 introduced last year. The DS4 is quicker and more luxurious than the standard C4 it is based on. The most potent engine available is a 200 bhp, direct injection 1.6 litre 'four', which comes as standard with a six speed gearbox. It will makes its showroom debut early in 2011. As the name suggests, the Evora S is a more poised version of the highly acclaimed Evora. The Lotus engineers have tweaked the Toyota-sourced engine to produce 350 bhp, instead of the 280 bhp available in the standard model. In Paris, Lotus will also debut an automatic six speed gearbox, which is at the moment is only available on the 280 bhp Evora.
  2010-08-26: 2010 Monterey Motorsports Reunion report and gallery ...
Monterey Motorsports Reunion Report and Gallery Under a new name but with many of the same ingredients the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion once again saw hundreds of classic racing cars gather at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Apart from the name change, the event also expanded to a fourth day to give all groups an additional practice session. From well over 750 applications a staggering 600 entries were picked, which were spread over 19 different groups ranging from pre-War Grand Prix machinery to Formula 1 and GTP cars of the 1980s. New for this year were special groups for Bugattis, National Stock Cars and under 2.5 litre Trans-Am cars. Guest of honour this year was American Racing Hero Dan Gurney. As a driver the tall American was highly respected and won numerous races in a wide variety of categories. He went on to produce many successful racing cars under the Eagle name, scoring three Indy 500 victories and dominating sports car racing in the early 1990s. His achievements were celebrated by bringing together a spectacular collection of the cars he drove and built.
Although the Monterey schedule gets busier every year, we managed to find/create enough time to shoot every group at least once on track. Our three days at the track have resulted in this detailed report and a spectacular 260-shot gallery.
If you would like to save all images in our galleries, we invite you to take a look at our premium subscriptions. One of the exclusive features allows you to download all images in one big zip-file.
2010-08-23: New car round-up: Lotus track-day car, new CLS and more ...
Lotus 125 Exos Cosworth After previews at the Monterey Motorsports Pre-Reunion and the McCall Jet Center Party, Lotus officially revealed their all-new 125 Exos Cosworth on the Concept Car Lawn of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Like the Ferrari FXX, the Exos is a track-day car only and can not be used in sanctioned races. Unlike the FXX, the new Lotus is a single seater, open wheel machine. Surprisingly, it has been developed by Lotus Engineering and not the Lotus F1 team. The 125 is powered by a 3.5 litre, 650 bhp Cosworth V8 engine. Despite its exotic specification, the Exos does not need a team of mechanics to run; a simple push of the start button will get the car going. The Lotus shared the lawn with the Jaguar XJ75 Platinum Concept. Based on the latest XJL, this one-off was built to celebrate the company's 75th anniversary and also to showcase Jaguar's bespoke program.
At the upcoming Paris Motor Show (Oct 2 - 17), Mercedes-Benz will launch the second generation of the CLS. Introduced in 2003, the original CLS created a new niche segment; the four-door coupe. This latest version combines the unusual bodystyle with Mercedes' latest styling elements. Especially the head and tail lights stand out. An AMG version of the car should be follow shortly. Paris will also feature the Kia Pop Concept. The tiny machine promises zero-emissions and an innovative three-seat layout.
Volkswagen will return to South America in January of 2011 to defend their Dakar rally title and add a third consecutive victory to their tally. As a response to the ever growing competition, the Germans have recently debuted the heavily revised Race Touareg 3. Every aspect of the car has been refined, including the diesel engine, which now produces 310 bhp.
  2010-08-19: 2010 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance report and galleries ...
2010 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance report and galleries This Sunday over a week of automotive activities on the Monterey Peninsula culminated with the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Held for the 60th time, the annual event is the most famous and important of its kind, attracting a fantastic selection of cars every year. The 2010 edition was certainly no exception as it celebrated Alfa Romeo's 100th anniversary, Pierce-Arrow, 75 Years of Jaguar, the 50th anniversary of the Ferrari 250 GT SWB, custom coach-work by Ghia and the Centennial of the Indianapolis 500. Highlights included a line-up of twelve of the sixteen XKSS Jaguars built and a spectacular collection of Indy 500 racers. As always the big question hanging over the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links was; "which car will be crowned 'Best of Show'?" The answer came late in the afternoon and was hard to argue against. The build-up to the Concours had already started on Thursday when nearly 200 of the entrants ventured out on public roads for the traditional Tour d'Elegance on some of the most scenic roads of the country.
For the seventh consecutive year our reporters were at Pebble Beach to capture all the fabulous machinery that cruised down Highway 1 and subsequently lined up along the shore of the Pacific Ocean. This has resulted in a detailed report and two exclusive galleries with a total of 390 shots.
You can expect more features from the Monterey events in the coming weeks, followed by in-depth features on the finest cars present.
2010-08-13: All new Ford Mustang Boss 302 revealed ...
Ford Mustang Boss 302 During today's lunch break of the Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Ford revealed the all-new Mustang Boss 302. The revival of the legendary Boss coincides with the 40th anniversary of the first ever Trans-Am victory of the original Boss Mustang at Laguna Seca in the hands of Parnelli Jones. Like its illustrious predecessor, the 2012-model Boss is a high performance version of the existing Mustang V8. It features a carefully tuned version of the recently introduced 5-litre, twin-cam engine. The tweaks have lifted the performance from an already impressive 412 bhp to a hefty 440 bhp. This power is transferred to the rear through a six-speed manual gearbox. The engineers have spent much time making sure the Boss sounds as it good as it looks. It sports a quad-exhaust unique to this model with two outlets at the back of the car and two out the side, which greatly enhance the V8's rumble. To provide the passengers with the same soundtrack a total of 11 pounds of sound-deadening material has been stripped from the interior. The suspension and brakes have also been tweaked to match the added engine performance. On the outside the Boss can be easily distinguished from the standard model by the signature black or white roof panel and familiar logos on the sides.
The Ford Mustang Boss 302 should arrive at the showrooms in the spring of 2011 as a 2012 model.
  2010-08-12: Exquisite Delahaye headed for the auction block ...
Delahaye 175 S Saoutchik Roadster This weekend all around the Monterey Peninsula, hundreds of collector cars will cross the block at over half a dozen different auctions. One of the biggest sales is the RM Auctions Sports & Classics of Monterey held in downtown Monterey at the Portola Plaza hotel, which is spread over three evenings. While browsing through the sizable catalog, our eye was caught by this Delahaye 175 S Saoutchik Roadster, which we had already seen three years ago at Pebble Beach. Built in 1949 it is one of the final representatives of the great French custom coach-building era. Reportedly inspired by the Lockheed Constellation airliner, the body's design ranks among Jacques Saoutchik's most extravagant. Unlike most earlier Delahaye chassis, the Type 175 was quite sophisticated, combing a large six cylinder engine and all-round independent suspension. Fitted with three Solex carburettors, the new for 1948 engine produced a hefty 165 bhp. Unfortunately the demand for more modest vehicles was much higher at the time and only 51 examples were built. The spectacular Saoutchik Roadster was one of them and was originally ordered by Sir John Gaul. He showed the car at contemporary concours d'elegance with great success before selling it to British film star Diana Dors. The car eventually ended up in the United States where it was extensively and subsequently restored to its original condition. As it did in period, the 175 S starred again at various concours, including Pebble Beach where it clinched a class award. And now it will be offered in Monterey on Saturday the 14th with a startling estimate of $4-6 million.
2010-08-09: Fabulous Ferrari 250 P sports prototype racer ...
Ferrari 250 P A few weeks ago we highlighted the Ferrari 330 TRI/LM, which was the last front-engined car to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This past weekend we had the good fortune to run into a Ferrari of the type that scored the very first mid-engined win at Le Mans a year later. The occasion was the Monterey Pre-Historics at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the car in question this 250 P. It was one of the three works cars entered for the 1963 Le Mans and held a commanding lead until a fire brought about a premature end to the sports racer's race. Fortunately one of the other 250 Ps survived long enough to take the checkered flag. By that time it had already taken a second at Sebring behind a sister car and scored a victory in the grueling Nurburgring 1000 km.
It was clear that Ferrari had made the rather big jump from the front-engined TR to the mid-engined P with incredible ease. The Italian manufacturer's secret was the continued use of the powerful and ultra-reliable 'short block' V12 engine. Most of the other mechanicals, like the chassis, had also already been used for the V6 and V8 engined prototypes. Combining the two could just as likely have led to far more problems.
After Le Mans, our feature car was repaired at the factory, and was not to return to the track until the start of the 1964 season with a victory in the Sebring 12 Hours as the immediate result. The 250 P was raced for another season before it was retired into the stable of Ferrari's man in America, Luigi Chinetti. He later had the car fitted with a rather unusual body by Michelotti but that oversight has thankfully been rectified. In recent years the car was in Italy for a complete restoration and we know of no other event where the car appeared before this week.
We took the rare opportunity to get enough shots for a 12-shot gallery to illustrate our detailed article. All of you eager to see the car in action will get a second chance this weekend as the 250 P has also been entered for the inaugural Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
  2010-08-04: Kremer K8 Porsche and Scarab Mk1, which starred at Monterey last year ...
Kremer K8 Porsche The Monterey Historic Automobile Races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has been one of the headliners of the Pebble Beach weekend for decades. For 2010 the organisation behind the event and the name has changed but the Monterey Motorsports Reunion will nevertheless feature all the familiar ingredients and exciting special themes. During this year's event Dan Gurney and his Eagles will be honoured and there will also a race exclusively for Bugattis. To warm you up, a week before the activities are scheduled to kick-off, we have taken a closer look at two of the cars that starred last year.
Making their debut in 2009 were the fantastic IMSA GTP cars that were originally raced in the 1980s and early 1990s. The race was won by Gunnar Jeannette in the Kremer K8 Porsche, which was one of the ultimate developments of the period. Built for the 1994 Le Mans, it was originally raced by the legendary Derek Bell in the even more famous Gulf livery. Bell grabbed the lead early on but eventually dropped down the order with technical issues. A sister car of the Porsche 962 based machine did manage to score an impressive win in the 1995 Daytona 24 Hours race. The featured K8 was raced up until the 1999 season. In recent years the car was restored to its original configuration and beautifully prepared by Gunnar Racing with a victory in the 2009 Monterey Historics as a result. At the bottom of the article you can find an on-board video of the K8 being driven around Moroso Park.
A few hours earlier, Robson Walton skillfully piloted his Scarab Mk I Chevrolet to victory as well and in spectacular fashion. His steed was the very first of the fabulous Scarabs, which were developed by Lance Reventlow and provided rare American opposition to the European exotica from the likes of Ferrari, Maserati, Lister and Jaguar. Reventlow later used the car on the road before it was returned to racing order in the 1980s. Our 18-shot gallery includes photography from the 2005 and 2009 Historics.
2010-08-02: Unusual Iso Daytona, potent Porsche 917 Spyder and important Maserati 200SI heading for auction ...
Iso Daytona Next week the scenic Californian city of Monterey will be flooded with car enthusiasts eager to attend one or more of the many fantastic events like the Monterey Motorsports Reunion and the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Over the years the ever expanding auctions have become events in their own right, many of them lasting for more than one day. As our first preview of the Monterey Motoring Week, we today take a look at three cars to be offered by the three biggest auctioneers; RM Auctions, Bonhams and Gooding & Co.
One of the more unusual cars in the RM line-up is this Iso Daytona. Built for an Italian exotic car dealer by Neri & Bonacini, it was destined for series production. Sadly only two to five examples were constructed. This is the prototype, which has been carefully prepared for racing. The rare and beautiful machine is estimated to sell for a hefty $550,000 - $750,000.
For their annual auction at the Quail Lodge, Bonhams has consigned the complete collection of noted Porsche collector Michael Amalfitano, who passed away in December of last year. The star car of the collection is this Porsche 917 Interserie Spyder. The chassis actually started life as one of the John Wyer / Gulf 917K Coupes, taking two wins before crashing heavily at Le Mans in 1970. The repaired chassis re-appeared in its current configuration in the 1972 Interserie championship in the hands of Ernst Kraus. It raced for the better part of two seasons with commendable results against very stiff competition. Amalfitano acquired the car in 1987 and it has since been completely overhauled by Gunnar Racing. The spectacular 917 is offered ready to race.
Gooding traditionally provides the week's finale with their Pebble Beach auction. One of the many great cars in their catalog is this Maserati 200SI Prototipo. As the name suggests, it was the very first of the line and it was used for development purposes for three seasons during which it was driven by almost all of the company's works drivers with considerable success. Because of its regular upgrades, the car was often raced with bare metal panels. It has been restored to this configuration and regularly raced before the current owner decided to part with it. Chassis 2401 has a stiff $2.4 - $2.7 million pre-sale estimate.