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2018-10-29: Dakar 959 tops Porsche sale and Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 heading for Retromobile auction ...
Porsche 959 'Dakar' This weekend's $25 million RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary sale in Atlanta was topped by this 959 'Dakar'. It was one of three examples prepared for the 1985 Paris-Dakar rally where it won two stages before an oil-line rupture prompted a retirement. Today, it is one of just two examples of the five survivors that are in private ownership. As such, Saturday's sale offered a very rare opportunity and accordingly, the final price for the 959 'Dakar' of just shy of $6 million was nearly twice the low estimate.
The 2018 auction season has not quite ended but we can already look ahead to the new year where the Artcurial Retromobile will definitely be one of the early highlights. Not in the least because of the consignment of this formidable Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta. It is a fabulous example of one of the very first supercars. Chassis 412024 was delivered new to an Italian enthusiast and has been in the ownership of the same, Dutch family since 1976. The first opportunity to acquire this car in over four decades is estimated to bring a sale price of Euro 16 to 22 million.
  2018-10-26: Sleek and very fast McLaren Speedtail revealed ...
McLaren Speedtail After months of subtle hints, McLaren have finally taken the wraps off the all-new Speedtail. Slated by the British manufacturer as a 'Hyper-GT', it is the fastest McLaren ever built. In many ways, it is inspired by the legendary F1, it eclipses as it uses a three-seater layout with a centred driver and production is strictly limited to just 106 examples. The slippery design is quite unlike any other McLaren and is clearly aimed at high top speeds. The strikingly long tail is reminiscent of the record breaking streamliners of the 1930s. Underneath the carbon-fibre composite panels, the Speedtail is more closely related to the current range of McLarens. It is powered by a hybrid drivetrain that includes the current four-litre twin-turbo V8 and is good for a combined 1,035bhp. This helps propel the car to a top speed of 250mph. Considering the power available and the extremely aerodynamic design, it seems likely that this is a capped top speed for safety reasons. Inside, the Speedtail boasts a three-seater layout with a symmetrical cockpit. As the gearbox is now controlled by paddles behind the steering wheel instead of a conventional gear lever, the car can be entered by the driver from either side. The passengers are placed slightly rearwards to free up more legroom. On either side of the dashboard screens are placed that are connected to rearward facing cameras that replace the wing-mirrors.
Due be delivered from the start of 2020, all 106 Speedtails have already been spoken for. In the coming months the future owners will be closely involved in creating a bespoke specification for their cars with a white range of custom features, which include hugely expensive white-gold badges.
2018-10-22: Might sports cars headed for auction and new Cyan Racing TCR concept ...
Ferrari 290 MM Leading auctioneer RM Sotheby's have announced the headlining lot for their upcoming Petersen Automotive Museum Sale in the form of this mighty Ferrari 290 MM. One of just four built, this car actually started life as a four-cylinder engined 860 Monza before being update by the factory to 290 MM specification by shoe-horning a massive V12 into the engine compartment. Among the later modifications were the addition of Testa Rossa inspired pontoon-fenders, and in this guise, the 290 MM was driven to two wins at Nassau by Sir Stirling Moss. Now restored to its original 290 MM specification '0628' is estimated to sell for close to $22 million in the early December sale.
Rival Bonhams, meanwhile, also announced an ex-Stirling Moss car for their Scottsdale Auction in January. In this case, it concerns the ex-Briggs Cunningham Lister Costin Jaguar that Moss shared with Ivor Bueb in the 1959 Sebring 12 Hours. Regularly raced by its most recent owners, it was restored to its unique configuration in the mid-2010s with a glass dome on the engine cover and winglets on the roll-over bar. When BHL 123 crossed the block for the last time, it became the most expensive Lister ever sold at auction. Also consigned to the Scottsdale sale is this formidable Maserati A6G 2000 Frua Spider. One of three built by Frua, this is the only one in 'the open' as one of the sister cars was destroyed, while the other is hidden away in Cuba.
Ahead of the launch of a TCR racer and a road-going equivalent, Cyan Racing have revealed a 500hp concept car version of the Link & Co 03. Previously successful with Link & Co's parent company Volvo, Cyan Racing plans to take the Chinese brand to the top level of touring car racing in 2019. The show car offers a first taste of what is to come from this ambitious program.
  2018-10-18: Ultimate Venturi racer, fourth generation Ariel Atom and GTS Panameras ..
Venturi 600 SLM A regular competitor in the Formula E series during the last few years, Venturi used to build fire-breathing racing cars. The ultimate development of these GT racers was the 600 SLM built in 1995. It was the result of continuous development starting in 1993 with the 500 LM. The Venturi racers boasted a twin-turbo V6 that produced well over 600bhp by the time the 600 SLM was introduced. By that time, Venturi faced purpose built racing cars and lost competitiveness. The featured example started life as a 500 LM back in 1993 and was continuously developed and in the opening rounds of the 1996 season served as the works 600 SLM.
British specialist manufacturer Ariel have introduced the fourth generation Atom. Although built using the same philosophy, the Atom 4 boasts the first all-new chassis design since the original car was introduced back in 1999. The Atom 4 is powered by a turbocharged Honda engine that produces 320bhp in its more powerful iteration. Ready for delivery in early 2019, the new Atom is priced at just under GBP 40,000 including VAT.
Porsche have expanded the Panamera range with the GTS and GTS Sport Turismo. Both cars feature a 453bhp version of the familiar twin-turbocharged, four-litre V8 engine, while the chassis has also been refined to improve performance.
2018-10-15: RM Sotheby's Porsche sale preview and new revised Acura NSX racer ...
Porsche 956 To celebrate Porsche's 70th anniversary, RM Sotheby's will host a dedicated auction later this month at Porsche's North American headquarters in Atlanta. A wide variety of Porsches has been consigned and today we take a detailed look at three competition cars.
Our favourite is this ex-John Fitzpatrick Racing Porsche 956. Completed in May of 1983, it raced at Le Mans twice, won at Brands Hatch and also became the only 956 to win a race in North America at the 1983 Watkins Glen Can-Am race. Following its contemporary racing career, chassis 956-110 has had just two long-term owners and is now expected to sell for over $5 million.
Raced extensively and as recently as the Le Mans Classic in the summer was this Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 3.0. It was one just 10 built in 1975 and was campaigned in period by the German Tebernum and Gelo teams. Its most recent owner drover 911 560 9121 to class victories at the Le Mans Classic in July and back in 2016 as well. Ready to go, it can be yours for just over $2 million.
Rarer and far less well known is the 935 K4 consigned. One of two built, this was the Kremer Brothers' ultimate development of the 935. The example on offer was sold new to Ted Field's Interscope team.
Due to debut in 2019, Acura have revealed the Evo version of the NSX GT3. Compared to the original GT3, it boasts revised bodywork and new turbochargers for improved performance. These upgrades can be fitted to existing cars as well but some of the revised electronics and ABS system are only found on freshly built NSX GT3 Evos.
  2018-10-12: The striking Panoz LMP-1 Roadster S and all-new Ligier ...
Panoz LMP-1 Roadster S One of the great driving forces in sports car racing over the last few decades has been Don Panoz, who sadly passed away a couple of weeks ago. He ran the Panoz company, organised the Petit Le Mans race and was also one of the founders of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). The Panoz racing cars were rarely conventional and that was certainly the case for the LMP-1 Roadster S that was raced between 1999 and 2003 with considerable success. While all other Le Mans Prototypes of the day were mid-engined, the Panoz featured a distinct front-engined layout. The V8-engined machines were nevertheless front runners for many seasons and the featured example won the Petit Le Mans in 1999. At this weekend's, 20th anniversary edition of the Petit Le Mans, the late Don Panoz will rightly be honoured.
Last night, Ligier revealed the all-new JS2 R, which is a tribute to the fabulous JS2 that raced at Le Mans in 1975 and also serves as a 50th anniversary celebration of the marque. Aimed at track use only, it is powered by a 330bhp Ford V6 yet weighs only 980kg. The first JS2 Rs should be delivered to customers early in 2019.
2018-10-10: Legendary Volvo and BMW touring cars, and Pagani and Nio supercars ...
Volvo 850 Estate BTCC Although it could do no better than a fifth in a race, one of the most famous cars to compete in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) is the Volvo 850 Estate. Built and run for Volvo by Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR), it was raced in the 1994 season by Jan Lammers and Rickard Rydell. Used for a single year only, it was replaced by the more conventional and successful saloon version from 1995 onwards. Only three examples were built and the first one was demonstrated at the Goodwood Festival of Speed as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations of the BTCC.
Another superb touring car that starred at Goodwood was this BMW M3 that was reunited with original driver Steve Soper for the occasion. He had driven this very car in period to an outright victory in the 1992 Spa 24 Hours together with Christian Danner and Jean-Michel Martin.
In addition to historic racing cars, the Festival of Speed also features brand-new supercars. Among the most spectacular this year was the Pagani Zonda HP Barchetta. Famously priced at $15 million each, this special edition Zonda was built for Horacio Pagani himself. Two further examples of the most powerful road-going Zonda yet went to customers, who had already acquired the car long before it broke cover. Among the very fastest cars on the hill this year was the Nio EP9. The all-electric supercar features four electric motors for a combined 1 MW of power. In the hands of Peter Dumbreck, the EP9 was the second fastest car of the weekend.
  2018-10-08: Aston Martin Vantage GT3 debut and the latest from Bonhams ...
Aston Martin Vantage GT3 This weekend, Aston Martin debuted the all-new Vantage GT3 car during a VLN round on the Nurburgring Nordschleiffe. Not fully homologated, the new Aston Martin was forced to start in the SPX class for prototypes, which meant a relegation on the start grid and lengthened pit-stops. While forced to start at the back of the first group, the Vantage GT3 did set the fastest time in qualifying and ultimately finished fourth overall after a flawless run.
At this weekend's very successful Bonhams Zoute Sale it was another Aston Martin that grabbed the headlines. This DB4 Vantage topped the sale as it found a new owner for just over Euro 1.1 million.
It is a very busy period for Bonhams as the British company will again host a sale today, at the Philadelphia Simeone Automotive Museum. The eclectic mix of cars consigned is headlined by a trio of pre-War machinery. Among them is this lovely Bentley 6-Litre that has had a very colourful life. Its first owner covered a startling 35,000 miles with the car in just 24 months. Accident damage incurred in 1932 prompted a rebuild at the factory during which the All Weather Touring car body that it still wears today was fitted.
Another rare combination is this Isotta Fraschini 8A, which is one of just three chassis by the Italian marque fitted with a body by Lancefield. It has survived in remarkably original condition despite serving as an ambulance during the War.
One of the earliest cars consigned is this Stutz Bearcat from 1913. It was discovered on a farm in Montana during the 1970s by an aerial surveillance pilot, who in his spare time scoured the photographs he had made for hidden away cars. He acquired the car but it would take close to four decades for it be fully restored to its current condition.
2018-10-04: Jaguar XJR-15 in full detail and Bonhams Zoute preview ...
Jaguar XJR-15 One of the highlights of this historic racing season were the Global Endurance Legends high speed demonstrations during the Peter Auto events. These brought out a wide variety of machinery like the Jaguar XJR-15 that ran at both the Spa Classic and Le Mans Classic. Originally owned and raced by Bob Wollek, the featured example was a particularly great specimen of the thinly disguised Group C racer that was built for a short-lived one-make series. Like the prototype racers, it was based on, the XJR-15 features a carbon-fibre composite monocoque and a howling V12 engine.
This weekend, the Belgian North Sea coast town of Knokke-Heist will host the annual Zoute Concours d'Elegance. As part of the proceedings, British auctioneer Bonhams will stage a sale on Friday evening. One of the headliners is this beautifully restored Ferrari 250 GT Coupe. Even though it was earmarked for California, it was actually delivered new to a Belgian enthusiast and as such has come full circle. Chassis 1625GT is estimated to sell for Euro 600,000 - 800,000.
Our eye was also caught by the pair of mighty mid-engined Renault 5 Turbos consigned. The sale includes both a Turbo 1 and the later Turbo 2. The early and more hardcore Turbo 1 is particularly interesting as it is in virtually brand new condition.
  2018-10-02: Paris Motor Show: new Audi R8 LMS racer, 911 Speedster and more ...
Audi R8 LMS Evo Today, the biennial Paris Motor Show or Mondial de l'Automobile kicked off with the first of two media days. The days of a new major car release every fifteen minutes are gone but there have nevertheless been some interesting cars revealed on the opening day. Audi took the wraps off the R8 LMS Evo due to hit the tracks early next year. As the name suggests, it is an evolution of the existing car and customers can opt to buy a new car or fit a 28,000 Euro upgrade package.
Porsche, meanwhile, showed a second 911 Speedster Concept and announced that a production version is due next year. Powered by the same engine as the high performance GT3, the new Speedster will have a production run that is capped at 1,948 examples in recognition of the year the very first Porsche was built.
Among the new show cars revealed in the French capital were the fully autonomous Renault EZ-Ultimo, the Skoda Vision RS and the Smart Forease built to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Smart. Following up on the preview from last week, Infiniti have now released further images of the Project Black S complete with its Formula 1 inspired bi-hybrid engine.
Although not launched yet, Ligier teased the introduction of a new car that may be called the JS42 as the release underlined that Ligier have produced 41 different models so far. It will be powered by a 330 bhp V6 and will officially be launched in Paris on October 11th.