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Archive for the ‘auctions’ Category

PostHeaderIcon First-Production Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Will Be Auctioned Off For Veterans

The Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Edition is a saucy little number, isn’t it? Thanks to General Motors and the George W. Bush Presidential Center, you now have a chance to become the first owner of the special edition sports car when it goes up for auction at the upcoming Barret-Jackson Scottsdale event this coming January. Proceeds from the sale from the auction will go to the Bush Center’s Military Service Initiative, a charity that focuses on supporting post-9/11 veterans and helping them transition back to civilian life. The charity is supported by no less than former US President George W. Bush.

The Corvette Carbon 65 Edition made its debut at the 2017 New York Auto Show in April, created in no small part to Chevy’s motivation to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the legendary sports car. The car itself isn’t a special edition in the traditional sense of the phrase. Instead, the Carbon 65 Edition is a package that can be added to either coupe or convertible versions of the Corvette. The package consists mainly of exterior and interior upgrades, and Chevy is only creating 650 of them. That “numbered” status is a big part of the Corvette Carbon 65 Edition’s appeal, and the fact that the first-of-its-kind is headed to the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction makes this specific model all the more desirable. So is the fact that it will be signed by President Bush himself. That’s an extra shot of provenance for a special edition package that breathes new life into the iconic American sports car.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Start the new year off with an auction score!


First-Production Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Will Be Auctioned Off For Veterans - image 712469
“Proceeds from the sale from the auction will go to the Bush Center’s Military Service Initiative, a charity that focuses on supporting post-9/11 veterans and helping them transition back to civilian life”

I don’t suppose that there any more lingering doubts about the appeal of the Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Edition. It’s numbered to just 650 units all over the world, so there’s a specific figure attached to its status of exclusivity. It also comes with plenty of exclusive features, beginning with significant modifications to the Corvette’s body. Some of the more obvious of these exclusive options include a Ceramic Matrix Grey finish on all the visible carbon fiber elements in its body. Coupe models of the Corvette Carbon 65 Edition also gain a carbon fiber hood section, carbon fiber roof, and blacked out wheels with their own carbon fiber logo center caps. On the other hand, convertible models stand to get carbon tonneau inserts. Step inside, and the cabin of the Corvette Carbon 65 Edition is treated to a Jet Black suede upholstery with matching gloss carbon fiber trim and a carbon fiber steering wheel. Blue stitching throughout adds color while the “Carbon 65 Edition” sill plates make for perfect identifiers of the car’s special edition status.

Each of the 650 units of the Corvette Carbon 65 does not come with any engine upgrades. The good news is that, as well as coming in either coupe or convertible versions; the package is also available to different versions of the ‘Vette. If you opt for the Corvette Grand Sport, you stand to get a 6.2-liter V-8 engine that produces 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. Spend a little more on the car, and you can get the Corvette Z06 that comes with a supercharged LT4 engine and an output of 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. Both variants of the Corvette include options for a seven-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission.


First-Production Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Will Be Auctioned Off For Veterans - image 712470
“Prices for the Corvette Carbon 65 Edition vary depending on the variant, though the cost of the package itself is fixed at $15,000”

Prices for the Corvette Carbon 65 Edition vary depending on the variant, though the cost of the package itself is fixed at $15,000. Get the Grand Sport 3LT trim that starts from $76,190, and you’re looking at total cost of $91,190. Loosen those purse strings a bit more, and you can avail of the Z06-based Corvette Carbon 65 Edition in either coupe or convertible versions for a total cost of $104,390 and $108,390, respectively.

Then again, the best way to get some provenance to go with your Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Edition it to make a run at the first-production model that’s signed by a former POTUS when it goes under the hammer at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale on January 2018.

References

Chevrolet Corvette


First-Production Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Will Be Auctioned Off For Veterans - image 712469

Read our full review on the 2018 Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Edition.



Read more Chevrolet news.

PostHeaderIcon Craziest Thing This Week: The Pope Blesses a Lamborghini Huracan

Pope Francis is no stranger to receiving gifts. That comes with the territory of being the leader of the Catholic church and arguably one of the most powerful men in the world. But the famously frugal pontiff isn’t one who enjoys the lavish side of life so when he recently took possession of a one-off Lamborghini Huracan, a gift from the Italian automaker itself, the pope did what the pope usually does: he donated it away.

It’s a bitter blow for papal paparazzi who were hoping to see the pope roar around the cobbled streets of Rome, aviator sunglasses in tow. But the pope’s preference for the simple things in life isn’t anything new. This is a man who traditionally opts to get driven around in Fiats and Fords when he’s on the road so getting inside a Lamborghini is a non-starter to begin with. So instead of taking ownership of the one-off Huracan, the pope decided to receive it from Lamborghini out of courtesy, sign the hood, and give it to RM Sotheby’s, which will then auction the supercar with the proceeds going to three of the holy father’s favorite charities. Considering how much value is placed on items that carry the pope’s signature, expect this one-off Lamborghini Huracan to fetch way more than it’s usual price of $200,000.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Nothing out of the ordinary for Pope Francis


Craziest Thing This Week: The Pope Blesses a Lamborghini Huracan - image 745571
“RM Sotheby’s will auction the supercar with the proceeds going to three of the holy father’s favorite charities”

You have to admire Pope Francis for resisting the urge to take ownership of this Lamborghini Huracan. I certainly wouldn’t do it, though I suppose that’s why he is who he is and I am who I am. Acts like this aren’t entirely new for the men who have assumed the role of the papacy. Francis himself has given away plenty of gifts in the past, including a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in 2013. Just like with the Huracan, Francis declined to receive the gift, opting instead to sign it and send it to a Bonhams auction. That bike ended up fetching a whopping $327,000 with the proceeds going to a hostel and soup kitchen for the homeless at Rome’s main train station.

And who can forget St. John Paul the Great (formerly Pope John Paul II) declining Ferrari’s gift of a 2005 Ferrari Enzo? It wasn’t just a “standard” Enzo either; it was actually the 400th and last Enzo ever built. The provenance alone propelled that particular Enzo to sell for $6.05 million at an RM Sotheby’s auction.


Craziest Thing This Week: The Pope Blesses a Lamborghini Huracan - image 745574
“This one-off Huracan features a a predominantly white body with matching papal gold trim all throughout.”

It’s hard to estimate how much this one-off Huracan is going to sell for, but I expect it to handily exceed its retail price of $200,000. Apart from the fact that it has Francis, signature on the hood, this particular example also went through the Italian automaker’s Ad Personam division. That’s why it’s wearing a predominantly white body with matching papal gold trim all throughout. There hasn’t been any mention of it wearing any badges or decals signifying its association with Pope Francis, but if it did, those are going to drive the price up even more.

Let’s not forget either that the Huracan is powered by a 5.2-liter V-10 engine that produces north of 600 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Yep. Underneath all that provenance is a car that can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in under three seconds and hit a top speed of 211 mph. It’s still a supercar, folks, so bid accordingly.


Craziest Thing This Week: The Pope Blesses a Lamborghini Huracan - image 745578
“The Huracan is powered by a 5.2-liter V-10 engine that produces north of 600 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque.”

Besides, the higher the figure the Huracan sells for, the better it’s going to be for the three charities that will likely split the proceeds. One of these charities helps rebuild homes and churches for Christians who were displaced out of Iraq by Islamic State terrorists while the other two focuses on providing medical aid in Africa and helping migrant women who are trafficked and forced into prostitution.

References

Lamborghini Huracan


2015 - 2016 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 - image 674398

Read our full review on the 2017 Lamborghini Huracan.


GQ Talks Shop With The Boys From The Grand Tour: Video - image 733375

Read more celebrity news.

PostHeaderIcon You Can Buy This Ferrari Book For The Price Of A New Sports Car

Any type of merchandise associated with Ferrari usually commands a steep price. A Ferrari-branded polo shirt, for example, costs $95. A pair of Ray-Ban for Scuderia Ferrari glasses can go for as much as $300. Dive into the world of high-end opulence, and you can buy a Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari Sapphire Watch for $300,000. All items have one thing in common, and it’s in that same breath that I present to you this 80-pound, 852-page book called the The Official Ferrari Opus Diamante Edition. It’s set to be auctioned off at the RM Sotheby’s auction in New York on December – the same setting of the Bugatti Chiron Number One auction – and if you’re willing to spend for this book, you’re going to need to part ways with around $150,000. Oh, yes. This book costs more than a second-hand Ferrari. What the heck is going on, right?

As ridiculous as a six-figure book sounds, there is a reason why The Official Ferrari Opus commands such a high price. For one, it was published by UK-based Kraken Opus, one of the publishing world’s go-to places for high-end works of the literary world. It’s also the range-topping version of a book that comes in many different forms. The base Classic version, for example, costs “only” $4,100 while the premium Enzo Edition was sold in 2011 – the year the book came out – for a whopping $37,500. The version that RM Sotheby’s is selling, though, is above and beyond any kind of book you’ll ever see, and some of its features serve as good examples on why it costs the price of a brand-new Porsche 911 Turbo. Interested? You better read on then because you’ll need to know where you’re money’s going if you buy this book.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

The Official Ferrari Opus


You Can Buy This Ferrari Book For The Price Of A New Sports Car - image 744595

I’m going to assume that if you made it this far, you’re either interested in the Diamante Edition of the Official Ferrari Opus or you’re just curious to know why something like it can command such a price tag. I’ll venture a guess it’s the latter because I can’t, for the life of me, understand why someone would buy it. In the event that you are interested, you should be pleased to know that there is some justification for the price of the tome.

The truth is that this isn’t just a book, at least in the traditional sense of one. Take for example the red leather binding. It’s not just leather you’ll see there; there’s also a Prancing Horse emblem that’s encrusted with diamonds. The book itself is also hand-signed by former CEO Luca di Montezemolo and the Ferrari Formula One drivers at that time, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. As far as safekeeping is concerned, owners need not worry about the book collecting dust because it can be stored in a clamshell case made completely out of carbon fiber. You can still bring it out to show off to others though, and on the rare instances that you do, a pair of white gloves should come in handy when you decide to actually open the damn thing.


You Can Buy This Ferrari Book For The Price Of A New Sports Car - image 744597

I don’t expect this book to actually get many offers at that price, but you never know, someone could scoop it up, especially if he knows what Kraken Opus initially charged for it. Yes, believe it or not, the $150,000 price tag was actually bargain because, when it first came out, the publisher only made 200-or-so copies – officially, it said “one for each country” – with each piece priced at $275,000.

There is a great level of absurdity that comes with this item. From its value to its purpose to pretty much everything that comes with it. But, it is a Ferrari product, and history tells us that any item that comes with a Prancing Horse badge on it is worth premium money. Still, $150,000 for a book? I can think of 150,000 different ways to spend that money on something else.

References



Read more Ferrari news.

PostHeaderIcon Bugatti Chiron “Number One” Edition

2018 Bugatti Chiron

In case you’re still in the market for a Bugatti Chiron, now’s as good a time as any to bring out the checkbooks because one particular example of the Chiron is scheduled to go up for auction at the RM Sothebys event in New York City this coming December 6. Even better, this isn’t just a “standard” Chiron; it’s been decked out in a special livery, has only 250 miles on the odometer, and hasn’t even been registered for road-use here in the U.S. All that and I still haven’t gotten to the best part as this Chiron is also the very first production Chiron and the first ordered for the U.S. market. There’s a reason, after all, why it’s called the Bugatti Chiron Number One.

Having said all that, the Chiron Number One’s estimated selling price sits at $3.5 million to $4 million. It’s a premium price compared to the supercar’s retail price of about $3 million, but don’t be surprised if it surpasses its own estimate, owing to the significance of this particular model as the first of its kind to come out of production. Should any of you be interested, you’re going to need to give yourselves some kind of latitude as far as how much you’re willing to bid for the car. I can’t speak for everyone else, but if I had the money to spend for this potentially historic Bugatti Chiron, I’d be all over it considering its historical potential as the first-production unit of its kind. And I’ll be honest. The 1966 Batmobile-inspired colors look pretty cool too.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Bugatti Chiron Number One

What makes the Bugatti Chiron Number One special?

  • First Buggati Chiron to roll off the production line
  • First Buggati Chiron ordered for the U.S.
  • Est selling price $3.5-4 million
  • 250 miles on odometer (Testing only)
  • 1966 Batmobile-inspired livery
  • Unregistered in the U.S.
  • 1-of-500 plague
  • Black leather interior with read stitching
  • 8-liter, quad turbo, W-16 engine
  • 1,500 horsepower & 1,180 pound-feet of torque
  • 0-60 mph in 2.3 seconds
  • 0-120 mph in 6.5 seconds
  • 0-190 mph in 13.6 seconds
  • Top speed rated at 261 mph
  • Lots of extras included with sale!

2018 Bugatti Chiron "Number One" Edition - image 744546
“The Chiron Number One’s estimated selling price sits at $3.5 million to $4 million”

Unless special work is done on a Bugatti Chiron by Bugatti itself, I don’t know if there’s any Chiron in the market right now that can claim to have more historical significance attached to it than the Chiron Number One. Let’s face it: a car like this can have numerous special editions or dressed up in fancy colors to go with the most premium of premium add-ons. That’s all well and good, but the fact remains that only one Chiron in its existence, however long it lasts, will be able to say that it has the “1 of 500” plaque in it. This is the model that has that. The only one.

So yeah, that $4 million estimate that RM Sotheby’s has for this supercar could turn into a pittance of an amount relative to the kind of price it could actually go for. I’m not saying that simply because it’s a Chiron; I’m saying that because it’s a Chiron that has tremendous historical value attached to it. The fact that it also just has 250 miles in it adds to its appeal, maybe even more than what I’m expecting because all those miles were accrued when the car was in its testing phase. That means that pretty much every element in this example of the new Bugatti supercar is still brand-new, or close to it at least. That includes the set of tires, which we know could go for upwards of $20,000 per set by itself.


2018 Bugatti Chiron "Number One" Edition - image 744544
“The interior gets a predominantly black leather treatment with contrasting red stitching on the sports seats, center tunnel, steering wheel, and doors”

Beyond its status, the Chiron Number One also has a number of cool features attached to it. None is more visible than the two-tone, black and red paint scheme that evokes memories of George Barris’ iconic 1966 Batmobile. Whew! What a beauty! Likewise, images of the interior also show a .

As expected, the Chiron Number One features Bugatti’s otherworldly 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16 engine that produces a scintillating 1,500 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque. All that power allows the Chiron to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.3 seconds, 0 to 120 mph in 6.5 seconds, and 0 to 190 mph in 13.6 seconds. At the moment, the supercar’s top speed is capped at 261 mph in order to preserve those all-too previous tires, but rumors have indicated that the Chiron is fully capable of reaching a knee-buckling 288 mph.


2018 Bugatti Chiron "Number One" Edition - image 744554
“The Chiron sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.3 seconds, 0 to 120 mph in 6.5 seconds, and 0 to 190 mph in 13.6 seconds”

Should you end up winning the auction for this special Chiron, you’re not just taking home the car itself. You also stand to get a host of accessories, including a 1:8 scale model of the exact model, dressed up in the exact same colors. An aluminum Bugatti crate counts as another freebie, containing an assortment of other goodies, including a leather box with an extra key, speed key, flash drive, car cover, and a trickle charger. Bugatti’s even throwing in an owner’s manual and reference guide for good measure.

No matter what happens in the RM Sotheby’s auction, I should point out that if there was a Bugatti Chiron to own, it’s definitely this one. What you do with that information though is all up to you.

References

Bugatti Chiron


2018 Bugatti Chiron - image 667477

Read our full review on the 2018 Bugatti Chiron.



Read more Bugatti news.

PostHeaderIcon Porsche 908

Introduced in 1968, the Porsche 908 was created as Stuttgart’s more-focused shot at competition success in the FIA’s Group 6 Prototype-Sports Cars class. The car is simple and completely stripped of any fluff whatsoever. Outside, the 908 gets a short, flat body made from fiberglass (both coupe and spyder variants were created), as well as simplified aerodynamics. The driver sits very far forward, his or her feet hanging ahead of the front axle to make room for the 3.0-liter flat-eight engine. With as much as 350 horses on tap, the 1,100-pound 908 was basically like a big racing kart, beating its heavier, more powerful competition on the twisty, more narrow tracks of the sports car series.

Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche 908.

Exterior

  • Includes both a coupe and spyder version
  • Very simple, flat design
  • Rear stability fins added in 1971
  • 15-inch wheels

1970 Porsche 908 - image 727852
“The 908 is like a smooth, short, slap of speed, a wedge that cuts into the atmosphere with purpose and poise”

Like just about any other successful, self-respecting race car, the 908 is all business, all the time. You won’t find an ounce of fat or fluff on it, all the way down to the exterior styling. Simplicity is the name of the game here, simplicity and lots of flat, straight lines. The 908 is like a smooth, short, slap of speed, a wedge that cuts into the atmosphere with purpose and poise.

The nose rises up in a single sweeping motion, housing the wheels underneath a single body panel stretching towards the rear of the vehicle. The flanks take a 90-degree turn at the shoulder line, falling straight towards the pavement in a single, uniform panel. Towards the rear, the tail flicks upwards, forcing the air to push the rear end into the ground.


1970 Porsche 908 - image 727829
“In 1971, the 908 was modified to include twin rear fins.”

The whole thing was made from fiberglass, which keeps the curb weight remarkably low. Although the first 908 models (also known as the 908 LH) used a hardtop coupe body style, a design that created the kinds of low of drag preferred for high-speed tracks, the more popular 908/02 (produced from 1969 and onwards) used a more lightweight, open top spyder body style. Long tail versions were also in use, both for coupe and spyder iterations, offering even more high-speed capability. The standard vehicle length was measured at 190.5 inches.

In 1971, the 908 was modified to include twin rear fins, a feature that undoubtedly increased the vehicle’s lateral stability significantly.

Finally, the wheels are measured at 15 inches in diameter, a relatively small size compared to the mammoth rollers used on modern performance vehicles. Keeping them in place is a center lock device.

Interior

  • Simple layout
  • Tight squeeze in the driver’s seat
  • Seating position hangs the driver’s feet ahead of the axle

1970 Porsche 908 - image 727841
“Like the car’s exterior, the 908’s interior is about as basic as simple as they come”

Like the car’s exterior, the 908’s interior is about as basic as simple as they come. You only get what’s needed to go fast, which, as it turns out, isn’t a whole lot. Pilots are secured in place thanks to a racing harness and fixed-back racing seat, while gripping a thin-spoke, flat-bottom steering wheel. To the right is the shifter knob, while a single rearview mirror is placed to the left on top of a tall, thin spoke. A large tachometer is mounted just behind the steering wheel, while a few other gauges are placed in close vicinity to provide all the pertinent info. The rest of it is a crisscross of metal bars and supports, surrounding the driver in a spider web of metal.

“The driver is so far ahead in the chassis, his or her feet actually hang ahead of the front axle.”

Interestingly, the driver’s position is very much towards the nose in the chassis, thus allowing the heavier engine to be placed more towards the middle of the car and evening out the weight distribution. In fact, the driver is so far ahead, his or her feet actually hang ahead of the front axle. The design also places the driver a bit to the right in the chassis, which helps the car slinging around right-hand turns with more agility (the 908 tackled tracks where the majority of turns were to the right, for example, the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the Circuit de La Sarthe in France).

Drivetrain

  • Naturally aspirated 3.0-liter flat-eight
  • 350 horsepower
  • Topped out at 170 mph
  • Later equipped with a turbo 2.1-liter flat-six

1970 Porsche 908 - image 727844
“The real party piece for the 908 is placed right behind the driver’s seat, where Porsche mounted a naturally aspirated 3.0-liter (2,990 cc) flat-8 engine”

The real party piece for the 908 is placed right behind the driver’s seat, where Porsche mounted a naturally aspirated 3.0-liter (2,990 cc) flat-8 engine. This was the original lump found in the 908/01, /02, and /03, offered as a follow-up to the preceding Porsche 907, which got a 2.2-liter (2,200 cc) flat-eight engine making about 270 horsepower. By contrast, the new flat-eight engine produced peak output of 350 horsepower at 8,400 rpm, a substantial increase by any measure.

Standout features include air-cooling, plus 2 valves per cylinder. While the Porsche engine was similar in many respects to contemporary F1 engines, the 908’s 3.0-liter flat-eight produced about 50 horsepower less than the GP cars. However, this lower peak output was offset with greater long-term reliability, with the 908 managing to put in the time during lengthy endurance stints compared to the F1 equivalent’s relatively short sprints.

“While the Porsche engine was similar in many respects to contemporary F1 engines, the 908’s 3.0-liter flat-eight produced less power”

Further standout features included mechanical fuel injection and dual overhead cams. Critically, the engine weighed less than 400 pounds, an important characteristic considering the 908’s primary role as a lightweight corner carver, as opposed to a brute force, straight-line super star like the Ford GT40. However, with a long enough strip of pavement in front of it, the 908 could still reach a top speed of 170 mph. Routing the power to the rear wheels was a five-speed manual transmission.


1970 Porsche 908 - image 727846
“With a long enough strip of pavement in front of it, the 908 could reach a top speed of 170 mph.”

Later lightweight open-top versions of the 908 saw its top speed decreased slightly, due to the increased drag created by no roof. The later 908/03 version also got a power increase, up to 370 horsepower. Even later, the 3.0-liter eight-cylinder was replaced by a 2.1-liter turbocharged flat-six with the 908/04 model, and some examples produced upwards of 500 horsepower or more thanks to the forced induction.

Chassis And Handling

  • Weighed just 1,100 pounds
  • Aluminum tube frame chassis
  • Fiberglass body
  • Short wheelbase iteration came later

1970 Porsche 908 - image 727830
“Under the fiberglass body panels, the 908 uses aluminum tube frames for the chassis.”

Under the fiberglass body panels, the 908 uses aluminum tube frames for the chassis. One of the 908’s greatest strengths was its incredibly low weight. Even in its race ready configuration, the 908 managed to tip the scales at just 1,430 pounds. The racer got further help in 1969 thanks to a rule change to the Group 6 prototype class, wherein Porsche managed to cut out as much as 220 pounds by removing the of roof and long tail body work. It was changes like this that ultimately made the 908 the preferred choice when taking on tight tracks, at least compared to the larger, more powerful Porsche 917, which was better suited to high speeds and longer straights.

This characteristic was reinforced when Porsche introduced the 908/03, shortening the wheelbase and giving the car an even nippier attitude. What’s more, the open-top 908/03 weighs in at just 1,100 pounds, a substantial 800 pounds less than the Porsche 917K.


1970 Porsche 908 - image 727831
“The open-top 908/03 weighs in at just 1,100 pounds, a substantial 800 pounds less than the Porsche 917K.”

Helping the 908 stop are disc brakes, while a rack-and-pinion steering system helps pilots turn the thing. In the corners, the suspension set-up utilizes double wishbones in front, including coil springs, hydraulic shocks, and an anti-roll bar. Meanwhile, the rear gets reversed lower wishbones, plus top links, twin radius arms, coil springs over hydraulic shocks, and an anti-roll bar.

Prices


1970 Porsche 908 - image 727833

With its long, successful career in motorsport, it should come as no surprise that the Porsche 908 has become quite the collectible automobile. Some examples easily reach into the seven-figure range, with desirability depending on factors like individual vehicle condition and history.

The particular example draped in yellow that you see here is a 1970 Porsche 908/03, the same car that was driven by Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood at the 1970 Nurburgring 1000 KM for a second-place overall win. It’s one of only 13 examples built in 1970. One lucky collector snagged it at the 2017 edition of the RM Sotheby’s auction in Monterey for $3.575 million.

Competition

Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 (33TT3)


1970 Porsche 908 - image 740385

Alfa was quite active in sports car and prototype racing in the ‘60s and ‘70s, most notably with the Tipo 33 racer. As the Italian brand’s racer, active between 1967 and 1977, the 33TT3 generation was the 908’s primary competition, introduced in 1969 as a followed-up to the 33/3 from 1967. Like the 908, the Alfa Romeo 33TT3 also got a 3.0-liter V-8 engine. Output in the Alfa comes to 440 horsepower at a screaming 9,800 rpm, a substantial wallop considering the car’s feathery 1,500- pound curb weight. What’s more, the Tipo also secured some screen time in Steve McQueen’s Le Mans. All told, the 33TT12 managed to take the win for Alfa in 1975 in the World Championship For Makes.

Ferrari 312 PB


1970 Porsche 908 - image 740384

Ferrari introduced the Ferrari 312 PB in 1971 to participate in the Group 6 Prototype-Sports Car class, then continued on into 1972 and 1973 in the Group 5 Sports Car class. Originally dubbed simply the 312 P, the car was renamed “PB” to help differentiate it from the previous 312 P model. The Ferrari 312 PB came equipped with an aluminum monocoque and steel spaceframe, as well as double wishbones in front. Power was generated by a mid-mounted 3.0-liter flat-12 powerplant, which fed the rear wheels by way of a five-speed manual transmission. Similar in layout to the flat-eight of the Porsche 908, the Ferrari engine differed thanks to water cooling and four valves per cylinder. The Ferrari was also more powerful, but weighed more than the rival Porsche at a little over 1,400 pounds. The model was hugely successful in 1972, winning every single race it entered in the World Sportscar Championship.

Conclusion


1970 Porsche 908 - image 727828

While throwing gobs of power at a racer is usually a relatively easy, simple solution to going faster, the more difficult (but ultimately, superior) method is to make it handle brilliantly. Simply, add lightness, and all that.

That’s what we like about the 908. In some ways, it’s like the Lotus Elise of Porsches – low weight, no fluff, great handling, and capable of winning even when down on power. Although it took some time to perfect, the 908’s subsequent winning career is proof enough of its ability.

“That’s what we like about the 908 – low weight, no fluff, great handling, and capable of winning even when down on power.”

This is the sort of philosophy we want to see from Porsche’s future models – pure driving enjoyment, with a focus on cornering, not straight-line power. Indeed, this approach is already seeing a focus from folks like Andreas Preuninger, the head at Porsche’s GT division, who called for an “end to the horsepower wars” back in 2015.

All told, this is what sports cars are supposed to look like.

  • Leave it
    • Underpowered compared to competition
    • Rough start to career
    • Absurdly dangerous to drive

History And Background

  • Saw racing success after lengthy development
  • Raced against icons like the GT40
  • Took wins at the 1000 KM of Nurburgring in three separate decades

1970 Porsche 908 - image 727827
“The Porsche 908 was introduced in 1968 as response to the FIA’s rule change for Group 6 Prototype-Sports Cars”

The Porsche 908 was introduced in 1968 as response to the FIA’s rule change for Group 6 Prototype-Sports Cars. Preceded by the Porsche 907, the 908 was essentially a more serious continuation of an original design created by Ferdinand Piech, also known as the grandson of Porsche founder Ferdinand Porsche.

The rule changes saw engine displacement limited to 3,000 cc, similar to the engine spec used in Formula 1, thus giving the typically low-power (and low weight) Porsches a real shot at success in competition.

Thus, the 908/01 was born. Equipped with a 3.0-liter flat-eight engine, the 908 was capable of outmuscling the preceding 907, which came equipped with a 2.2-liter flat-eight making just 270 horsepower compared to the 908’s 350 horses. Interestingly, the 908 was the first Porsche sports car designed to use the maximum engine size permitted under homologation standards, signaling Stuttgart’s renewed commitment to winning.


1970 Porsche 908 - image 727843
“Equipped with a 3.0-liter flat-eight engine, the 908 was capable of outmuscling the preceding 907, which came equipped with a 2.2-liter flat-eight making just 270 horsepower compared to the 908’s 350 horses.”

Although showing promise right out the box with a win at the 1000 KM Nurburgring in its debut year, the preceding 907 managed to prove itself as the more successful model than the developing 908, winning more consistently over the course of the 908’s breakout year.

One of the 908’s biggest threats came from America – indeed, the Ford GT40 was on a rampage in the late ‘60s, outpacing the 908 thanks to its larger, meatier V-8. The more powerful Ford secured numerous wins on tracks where it could really open the taps, most notably the huge straights of the Circuit de la Sarthe, ground zero for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Although it was postponed from June to September due to May Day protests in France, the 1968 running of the famous endurance event saw the 908 challenge the GT40 for dominance. Although Long Tail variants of the Porsche managed to grab top qualifying spots and run at the front for the outset of the race, Porsche’s technical problems saw several of the 908’s drop out, handing the win to Ford, followed by a 907 Long Tail and the one and only 908 that managed not to break over the course of the endurance event.


1970 Porsche 908 - image 727838
“At the 1968 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 908 challenged the GT40 for dominance.”

The 908 experienced ever more problems in 1969 at the 24 Hours of Daytona, wherein each of the three Porsche 908/02’s entered failed to complete the race. In the following 12 Hours of Sebring, the Ford GT40 once again secured a win, beating the three competing 908/02’s.

It was around this time that the Porsche 917 arrived, and considering the 908’s track record, most assumed it would be retired to the history books. Amazingly, the exact opposite happened – the 908 started to win, sweeping the podium in the BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch, beating the Ferrari 312P in the process. The 908 scored follow-up wins at such prestigious events as the 1000 KM Spa, 1000 KM Monza, and Targa Florio, and even managed to grab an impressive 1-2-3-4-5 finish at the 1000 KM Nurburgring. By the end of the 1969 racing season, Porsche had managed to secure the International Championship for Makes.


1970 Porsche 908 - image 727831
“Around the time the Porsche 917 arrived, most assumed the 908 would be retired to the history books, considering its rough career thus far.”

Porsche also managed to make a better showing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year, and although Ford once again grabbed the win, the 908 was near the front for much of the race, with Hans Herrmann snagging second-place in his 908. As the story goes, towards the end of the race, the 908 was running down its brake pads, and the Ford managed to sneak by under braking, giving the Blue Oval the win.

The follow-up 908/3 debuted in 1970, which was smaller than the preceding /02. As such, Porsche ran it as a preferred option on tighter, more twisty tracks over the much heavier Porsche 917. What’s more, Porsche continued to develop the 908, creating a new lightweight open-top spyder iteration that ultimately proved to be the more popular option over the course of the 908’s career. Based on the Porsche 909, the lightweight spyders offered team less weight than the already feathery coupes.


1970 Porsche 908 - image 727829
“Porsche continued to develop the 908, creating a new lightweight open-top spyder iteration that ultimately proved to be the more popular option over the course of the 908’s career.”

The 908 continued its streak of success on the track, managing to secure wins in the Nurburgring 1000 KM and the Targa Florio in 1970. At this time, the 908/02 also saw a win at the 12 Hours of Sebring, driven by the King of Cool himself, Steve McQueen. The actor/race driver was so impressed, he even decided to use the 908 as a camera car in his iconic film Le Mans.

In 1971, Porsche added a twin set of aero fins to the back end, significantly altering the car’s look in the process. That year, the 908 once again retuned to the Targa Florio. Although two of the entries failed to finish race, both crashing out on the first lap, the 908 still managed to set the fastest lap record. The following race was at the Nurburgring, where the 908 managed to sweep the podium in convincing fashion. As a result, Porsche ended up once again securing the International Championship for Makes, giving Stuttgart three straight titles between 1969 and 1971.


1970 Porsche 908 - image 727832
“Porsche ended up once again securing the International Championship for Makes, giving Stuttgart three straight titles between 1969 and 1971.”

By 1972, the rules had changed once again. The 908 was placed in the Group 5 Sport Car class, wherein the minimum weight was drastically increased, reducing the 908’s inherent advantage by a huge margin. What’s more, the Porsche saw heavy competition from a variety of powerful competitors. Rivals like Alfa Romeo and Ferrari suddenly held the advantage, and as a result, the 908 was sold to privateer racers while Porsche shifted its focus to development of the 917 for Can AM racing. Even still, Reinhold Jest managed a third-place finish at the 1972 24 Hours of Le Mans with a three-year-old 908.

By 1975, the 908 get a new turbocharged engine, similar in set-up to the lump found in the 934 GT. The 936 was also introduced around this time, slated for competition in high-profile races like Le Mans. In response, a variety of 908 owners decided to update their car with 936 bodies.

“By 1972, rivals like Alfa Romeo and Ferrari suddenly held the advantage, and as a result, the 908 was sold to privateer racers while Porsche shifted its focus to development of the 917 for Can AM racing.”

Between 1976 and 1981, the 908 participated in the Group 6 Two-Seater Racing Car class. And although the 908 was succeeded by the Porsche 936, some 908s were in competition straight into the ‘80s, coming equipped with a smaller turbo 2.1-liter flat-six engine. Incredibly, the 908 even managed to get a win at the 1000 KM of Nurburgring in three separate decades, nearly unheard-of accomplishment in the fast-paced world of top-shelf sports car competition.

References


1966 Porsche 906 - image 677949

Read our full review on the 1966 Porsche 906.


1969 - 1971 Porsche 917K - image 648494

Read our full review on the 1969-1971 Porsche 917k.


Trucks & SUVs Are The New High-Dollar Collectables - image 740178

Read more auctions news.

PostHeaderIcon Trucks & SUVs Are The New High-Dollar Collectables

Antique vehicle prices are a good indicator as to how popular and culturally esteemed a vehicle has become over the decades. While Ferraris, Porsches, and other exotics can pull seven-figure bids at auction, they’re old news. These days, classic pickup trucks and SUVs are exploding in value – especially those with exceptionally low miles and all its factory-supplied parts. A perfect example of this just rolled across the Barrett-Jackson stage in Vegas this past weekend. Check out this 1989 Ford Bronco.

This two-door SUV didn’t need a reserve to push its price skyward; it saw an organic auction end with the winning bid of $40,700. That’s a 146-percent increase over its original MSRP of $16,526! That same money would have bought 2.5 Broncos back in the day.

There are two factors for this Bronco’s high bid: one, yes, SUV and pickup prices are beginning to rise dramatically and two, this Bronco was practically perfect. It only has 1,606 actual miles, still rides on the original Goodyear Wrangler tires, has zero damage, and has tons of factory options. Making it even more special is its listing as a “promotional vehicle.” It was likely used by Ford for marketing purposes, perhaps at auto shows or advertising, and bought by a collected rather than being sold to the general public. We’ve got more information on this true survivor down below.

Continue reading for more information.

1989 Ford Bronco XLT


Trucks & SUVs Are The New High-Dollar Collectables - image 740182
“This special Bronco is fitted with the XLT trim package, which in 1989 was a near-luxury trim”

This special Bronco is fitted with the XLT trim package, which in 1989 was a near-luxury trim. It has its original Raven Black paint and Dark Charcoal cloth interior. Outside, the Bronco has the wagon-wheel-style, 15-inch steel wheels wrapped in the original Goodyear Wrangler AT tires with outline white letters. It also has the removable fiberglass roof with privacy glass. The power-operated, tailgate-mounted rear glass is also tinted and has the optional defrost feature. The rear bumper has the center step with a ball mount for towing.

Inside, this Bronco has front bucket seats with the center console and rear bench seat. It’s got tilt steering, the factory tachometer, electric shift 4WD, cruise control, A/C, an AM/FM/cassette radio, power locks, and power windows.


Trucks & SUVs Are The New High-Dollar Collectables - image 740183
“The Windsor V-8 was good for 185 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque”

Under the hood is Ford’s classic 5.0-liter V-8 with fuel injection. A four-speed automatic with overdrive sends power to the two-speed transfer case and then to the rear axle, which has a 3.55:1 gear ratio. The Bronco also came equipped with the heavy-duty battery and “super engine cooling” system. The Windsor V-8 was good for 185 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque back in 1989, which was pretty good for those days.

A Future Collectable Today


Trucks & SUVs Are The New High-Dollar Collectables - image 740180
“Not too many folks were thinking SUVs and pickups had that same potential value”

It’s somewhat common for someone to store a Corvette, Camaro, or Porsche in a garage for 30 years hoping to get a big return on their investment. Not too many folks were thinking SUVs and pickups had that same potential value, so there are considerably less factory-fresh examples floating around. That, combined with the rise in popularity of the category, has antique examples in Concourse quality condition to go for top dollar.

Needleless to say, if an automotive investor is looking for something besides muscle cars, imports, or exotics, the American workhorse might be a great place to look.

References

Ford Bronco


2020 Ford Bronco - image 705394

Read our full speculative review for the 2020 Ford Bronco.


2016 Ford Mustang Convertible Neiman Marcus Limited-Edition - image 649848

Read more auction news.

PostHeaderIcon Trucks & SUVs Are The New High-Dollar Collectables

Antique vehicle prices are a good indicator as to how popular and culturally esteemed a vehicle has become over the decades. While Ferraris, Porsches, and other exotics can pull seven-figure bids at auction, they’re old news. These days, classic pickup trucks and SUVs are exploding in value – especially those with exceptionally low miles and all its factory-supplied parts. A perfect example of this just rolled across the Barrett-Jackson stage in Vegas this past weekend. Check out this 1989 Ford Bronco.

This two-door SUV didn’t need a reserve to push its price skyward; it saw an organic auction end with the winning bid of $40,700. That’s a 146-percent increase over its original MSRP of $16,526! That same money would have bought 2.5 Broncos back in the day.

There are two factors for this Bronco’s high bid: one, yes, SUV and pickup prices are beginning to rise dramatically and two, this Bronco was practically perfect. It only has 1,606 actual miles, still rides on the original Goodyear Wrangler tires, has zero damage, and has tons of factory options. Making it even more special is its listing as a “promotional vehicle.” It was likely used by Ford for marketing purposes, perhaps at auto shows or advertising, and bought by a collected rather than being sold to the general public. We’ve got more information on this true survivor down below.

Continue reading for more information.

1989 Ford Bronco XLT


Trucks & SUVs Are The New High-Dollar Collectables - image 740182
“This special Bronco is fitted with the XLT trim package, which in 1989 was a near-luxury trim”

This special Bronco is fitted with the XLT trim package, which in 1989 was a near-luxury trim. It has its original Raven Black paint and Dark Charcoal cloth interior. Outside, the Bronco has the wagon-wheel-style, 15-inch steel wheels wrapped in the original Goodyear Wrangler AT tires with outline white letters. It also has the removable fiberglass roof with privacy glass. The power-operated, tailgate-mounted rear glass is also tinted and has the optional defrost feature. The rear bumper has the center step with a ball mount for towing.

Inside, this Bronco has front bucket seats with the center console and rear bench seat. It’s got tilt steering, the factory tachometer, electric shift 4WD, cruise control, A/C, an AM/FM/cassette radio, power locks, and power windows.


Trucks & SUVs Are The New High-Dollar Collectables - image 740183
“The Windsor V-8 was good for 185 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque”

Under the hood is Ford’s classic 5.0-liter V-8 with fuel injection. A four-speed automatic with overdrive sends power to the two-speed transfer case and then to the rear axle, which has a 3.55:1 gear ratio. The Bronco also came equipped with the heavy-duty battery and “super engine cooling” system. The Windsor V-8 was good for 185 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque back in 1989, which was pretty good for those days.

A Future Collectable Today


Trucks & SUVs Are The New High-Dollar Collectables - image 740180
“Not too many folks were thinking SUVs and pickups had that same potential value”

It’s somewhat common for someone to store a Corvette, Camaro, or Porsche in a garage for 30 years hoping to get a big return on their investment. Not too many folks were thinking SUVs and pickups had that same potential value, so there are considerably less factory-fresh examples floating around. That, combined with the rise in popularity of the category, has antique examples in Concourse quality condition to go for top dollar.

Needleless to say, if an automotive investor is looking for something besides muscle cars, imports, or exotics, the American workhorse might be a great place to look.

References

Ford Bronco


2020 Ford Bronco - image 705394

Read our full speculative review for the 2020 Ford Bronco.


2016 Ford Mustang Convertible Neiman Marcus Limited-Edition - image 649848

Read more auction news.

PostHeaderIcon An Old Entry To Neiman Marcus’ Christmas Book Will Hit The Auction Block In Vegas Next Month

It’s become somewhat of an annual tradition for the auto industry to wait with baited breath to find out which car is making its way into Neiman Marcus’ Christmas Book. We’re going to have to wait a little longer to see who makes it on the catalogue this year, but fret not because if you’re itching to own a previous entry in the Christmas Book, a 2016 Ford Mustang Convertible that was featured in the 2015 edition of the Christmas Book is now on the auction block, lined up to hit the hammer at a Barrett-Jackson event in Las Vegas next month.

The Mustang Convertible’s inclusion to the 2015 Christmas Book was a huge deal, in part because it joined a list of other exotics to have had the privilege to be featured in the holiday catalog. Other cars to have graced the pages of Neiman Marcus’ book include a Jaguar XJL Supercharged, Chevrolet Camaro Convertible, Aston Martin Vanquish Volante, and an Infiniti Q60. Safe to say that the Mustang Convertible is in good company among that roster of models. As far as this particular model is concerned, Barrett-Jackson describes it as one of only four Mustang Neiman Marcus Edition models in existence. It has, among other things, a Neiman Marcus badging includes #004 badge on the dash, Neiman Marcus illuminated door-sill plates, and a framed Certificate of Authenticity. Oh, and it also has just 73 miles tacked onto it so it’s still as good as new.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

There’s more to the 2015 Ford Mustang Convertible Neiman Marcus Edition than meets the eye


2016 Ford Mustang Convertible Neiman Marcus Limited-Edition - image 649848

If you missed out on owning one of the four 2015 Ford Mustang Convertible Neiman Marcus Editions back in 2015, now’s your chance to redeem yourself. The Barrett-Jackson listing does not indicate a reserve price either so you better be prepared to make your bids count should you decide to take a stab on buying it.

For those who need a refresher, this particular Mustang Convertible is unlike most of its standard peers. It has all of the identifiable markings of a Neiman Marcus Edition car – the badging, door-sill plates, and COA all scream “Neiman Marcus!” – and, more importantly, it also benefits from having its 5.0-liter V-8 engine tuned by no less than Roush Performance, which provided it with an engine upgrade that resulted in the car having 727 horsepower at its disposal. It’s safe to say that with that kind of credential, this Mustang Convertible is going to attract a lot of bids when it goes up for auction next month.

A brief refresher on our favorite Neiman Marcus Edition models to make it to the Christmas Book

It’s become an annual tradition for the luxury department store to feature a car on its Christmas Book. I don’t know how long the tradition dates, but we’ve seen all of them from the last decade, beginning with the 2007 BMW M6 Convertible from the 2006 Christmas Book all the way up to the 2017 Infiniti Q60 from last year’s catalog.

We’re going to save our comprehensive rankings of the best Neiman Marcus Edition models for another day. For now, though, we’re putting a spotlight on our five favorite models to be featured in the retailer’s annual holiday gift book.

5) Maserati Ghibli S Q4 100th Anniversary Neiman Marcus Limited Edition (2014 Christmas Book)


2014 Maserati Ghibli S Q4 100th Anniversary Neiman Marcus Limited Edition - image 572118

In my mind, the Maserati Ghibli S Q4 is one of the most underrated performance sedans in the market today. I’ve had that sentiment for a long time now, so it was very reassuring to see it grace the pages of the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book back in 2014. Like most of its kind, the special edition Ghibli S Q4 received unique exterior and interior details to separate itself from standard Ghiblis. For one, it was dressed up in a Grigio Maratea exterior paint finish with gloss black door handles, a Shadowline exterior trim, and commemorative center caps acting as complementary style cues.

Inside, it received Cuoio premium leather dress-up, complete with a Piano Black lacquer trim and black contrast stitching on the seats, dashboard, and armrests. The stitched treatment continued on the tridents found on the headrests while a special Neiman Marcus Edition number badge and 100th-anniversary logo can be found on the center console, emphasizing the special edition stature of this model.

4) Aston Martin Vanquish Volante Neiman Marcus Edition (2013 Christmas Book)


2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante Neiman Marcus Edition - image 532252

There was a four-year run a few years ago wherein all four cars featured in the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book were European in heritage. One of those cars, the Aston Martin Vanquish Volante that appeared in the 2013 catalog, came with arguably the sexiest-looking paint job of any car I’ve seen in a long time. For those who don’t remember, the color chosen for the special edition Vanquish Volante was Seychelles Blue.

It’s hard to properly describe it, but it had a rich and shiny look to it that brought out the best of the Vanquish Volante’s design. Complementary design elements like the Atlantic Blue roof and the Aurora Blue stitching in the interior helped aid in enhancing the convertible’s character.

3) BMW M6 Convertible Neiman Marcus Limited Edition (2006 Christmas Book)


BMW Creates 2007 Limited Edition Individual M6 Convertible - image 739355

One of the first cars to grace the pages of Neiman Marcus’ Christmas Book was the 2007 BMW M6 Convertible. The best compliment I can give is that it set a good precedent for all succeeding cars. Even as far back as 2006, using exclusive paint colors was already in vogue. The M6 Convertible certainly had one in the form of a custom Ruby Black exterior finish remains a sight to look at to this day.

In addition to the fancy body color, the M6 Convertible Neiman Marcus Limited Edition also came with Piano Black trim elements and power sports seats wrapped in a custom Gold Brown shade of BMW Individual’s Merino leather material. As old as it looks now, this early offering to the Christmas Book remains as one of the best-looking ones.

2) Ferrari FF Neiman Marcus Limited Edition (2011 Christmas Book)


2012 Ferrari FF Neiman Marcus Edition - image 421060

Neiman Marcus really took it up a notch in 2012 when it identified the Ferrari FF as that year’s car showcase on its Christmas Book. Not that the FF needed any convincing to do so, but it was cool for Neiman Marcus to work on refining the Ferrari supercar’s aesthetic, including giving it a Grigio Caldo paint finish and a special interior plaque to properly identify it as a true special edition model.

Arguably the best feature of the FF Neiman Marcus LE though is tied into the other goodies that came with buying any one of the of 10 cars that Ferrari created specifically for the occasion. A lot of you may not remember this, but those lucky enough to buy the FF Neiman Marcus Limited Edition also received a spot at the 2012 Ferrari Winter Driving Experience in Aspen, Colorado.

1) McLaren 12C Neiman Marcus Limited Edition (2012 Christmas Book)


2013 McLaren MP4-12C Spider Neiman Marcus Edition - image 477145

The best of the best in my opinion. The McLaren 12C Neiman Marcus Limited Edition was offered in the 2012 Christmas Book and not only was it dressed for the holiday occasion – a Volcano Red body paint was a perfect shade for the Christmas season – but it also outgunned the Ferrari FF in terms of the added extras it came with.

Think a stop at the Ferreri Winter Driving Experience was exciting enough? Consider then what McLaren offered the year before: a McLaren luggage set, a business class trip to England, a VIP dinner with no less than former McLaren chairman Ron Dennis, and a tour f the McLaren Technology Center. As far as customer service was concerned, McLaren’s Christmas Book offer back in 2012 remains as one of the most memorable ones.

References

Ford Mustang


2016 Ford Mustang Convertible Neiman Marcus Limited-Edition - image 649842

Read our full review on the 2016 Ford Mustang Convertible Neiman Marcus Limited-Edition.


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702950

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.

PostHeaderIcon Hugh Hefner’s 1969 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman

The death of Hugh Hefner has caused the world to turn its attention to the Playboy Magazine founder and publisher. Aside from his lavish lifestyle, infamous mansion, many wives, and countless mistresses, Hefner was also known for his car collection. From Corvettes to Ferraris, his garage was almost exciting as the pool’s grotto on a Friday night. But perhaps one of Heff’s classiest, rarest, and most highly regarded is his 1969 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman.

Mercedes began making the 600 limousine in 1963 and carried the car to 1981. Despite this 18-year production run, only 2,677 examples were built. That number is further divided into three thanks to the three body styles Mercedes offered. There was a short wheelbase, of which 2,190 were built. There was also a Landaulet (convertible rear top), of which only 59 were built. Then there’s Heff’s car – the long wheelbase version. While not as rare as the Landau, only 428 exist in the world. Adding to the 600’s worth is Mercedes’ over-engineering of nearly every component. Everything that moved was hydraulically operated, including the windows, sunroof, seat adjustments, trunk lid, and doors. It even has a load-leveling suspension, which of course, ran off hydraulic pressure. Powering the car and its 2,176-psi hydraulic pump was a massive 6.3-liter V-8 developing 300 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. It was more than adequate for hustling the limo at speeds over 130 mph.

Heff’s six-door 600 was last known to have been sold in 2001 at a Barrett-Jackson auction. While that was 16 years ago, its price might surprise you. Keep reading for more.

Continue reading for more information.

Hugh Hefner’s Icon Status


Did You Know That Hugh Hefner's Playboy Has Roots To The Auto Industry? - image 734916

Naturally, having been owned by Hugh Hefner certainly gives this Mercedes even more clout than it would normally have. Hefner, the well-known publisher of Playboy Magazine, started the publication back in 1953 with a target towards young, wealthy, single men. Racy photos of pin-up models was its focus – something that wasn’t widely accessible or accepted in those days. Playboy’s first issue featured photos of Marilyn Monroe, which was soon discovered to have been used without Monroe’s permission.

“Love or hate him, it’s impossible to deny his influence on modern Western culture.”

That wouldn’t be the last of Hefner’s run-ins with legal troubles or head-buts with societal norms. Through the 1950 and 1960s, Playboy played a pivotal role in reshaping America’s view on sexuality, nudity, and women’s rights. Aligned with the free-spirited Hippie movement of the 1960s, Playboy helped transition the country from socially conservative to a more liberal attitude. Even till his death on September 28, 2017, at 91 years of age, Hefner’s status as an icon remained strong. Love or hate him, it’s impossible to deny his influence on modern Western culture.

What Makes This Mercedes Special


Hugh Hefner's 1969 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman - image 735167

As for Heff’s car, well, the Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman is special in its own right. It hails from the days when Mercedes over-engineered and over-built everything. This not only set the precedent for German engineering, but also for Mercedes being synonymous with quality and luxury.

“Accompanying Hefner in 600 ownership were people like The Pope, Queen Elizabeth II, John Lennon, Elvis Presley, Coco Chanel, Elizabeth Taylor, Jack Nicholson, and Jay Leno”

It’s no wonder why most 600s were owned by dignitaries, royalty, and celebrities the world over. Accompanying Hefner in 600 ownership were people like The Pope, Queen Elizabeth II, John Lennon, Elvis Presley, Coco Chanel, Elizabeth Taylor, Jack Nicholson, and Jay Leno. Even Jeremy Clarkson has one. But not every 600 went to respectable people. A few notorious world leaders had keys, including Fidel Castro, Kim Jong-un, Saddam Hussein, and Pablo Escobar. There were even a few James Bond villains who had one – fictionally, of course.


Hugh Hefner's 1969 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman - image 735164

Hugh Hefner's 1969 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman - image 735163

At the 600’s heart was a stout 6.3-liter V-8 engine known as the M100. It was far from agricultural, having incorporated cutting edge technology like sodium-filled valves, fuel injection, and a dry sump oiling system. Interestingly, sodium-filled valves were first seen in piston-driven aircraft engines. The W100 featured a cast-iron engine block and single overhead cam over each bank. Forged connecting rods and pistons boosted strength and longevity. The result was 300 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque that hardly needed more than just basic maintenance. It was mated to a four-speed automatic transmission and sent power to the rear wheels.

“The W100 featured a cast-iron engine block and single overhead cam over each bank”

As mentioned, most everything that moved inside the 600 was actuated by an intricate, high-pressure hydraulic system. While leaks might be a concern, owners never had to worry about a window regulator shorting out or a fuse blowing on these items.

As for the price when new, the Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman sold in the U.S. for $24,000 in 1965. In today’s money, that’s roughly $185,700. Interestingly, a 2017 Mercedes-Maybach S560 4Matic costs $173,495, meaning Mercedes has kept its high-end limousine at a relatively stable price. Compare that to any pickup truck or sports car today versus its predecessor, and you’ll see how impressive that is.

As for Heff’s 1969 600, it sold in 2001 at a Barrett-Jackson auction for $78,100. Though that was 16 years ago, that’s not a bad price at all. In fact, a quick online search resulted in one 1969 Mercedes 600 Pullman, though impeccably restored, selling for a dizzying $895,000! Needless to say, the 600 Pullman might be one of the most collectible Mercedes in history.

References


2016 Pagani Huayra Tempesta - image 727810

Read more auction news.


The Mercedes S-Class Family Grows with the Addition of the S 560 e Plug-in Hybrid - image 731096

Read more Mercedes-Benz news.

PostHeaderIcon Fiat 500C Missoni by Garage Italia Customs

The fashion and automotive worlds have crossed paths many times in the past, often in the form of special edition creations such as this Fiat 500C. The ventures have not always yielded good results, but all of them are magnets for attention, for better or worse. The latest in a long line of these special editions come by way of Garage Italia Customs, which created this bedazzling 500C in the name of fashion designer Angela Missoni, the creative director of the Italian brand that wears the same name.

Those who are familiar with the Missoni fashion brand will know that it prides itself on colorful design palettes, something that we see in all its glory on the 500C. Garage Italia Customs’ treatment is also what you’d expect from an automotive custom shop whose past design works include the Fiat 500 Paco Rabanne Edition, another glistening collaboration with the fashion and automotive industries. The Missoni-inspired 500C is colorful to a hilt, and whether you like it or not, it received enough attention to gather what Garage Italia Customs called a “generous” bid when it was auctioned off at the ninth annual charity event organized by amfAR in Milan, Italy last September 21. The proceeds of the car’s auction are earmarked for AIDS research, so whoever ended up paying the “generous” amount to take home this one-off 500C should be happy that his money is going to the right place. Even better, he gets to take home arguably one of the most colorful Fiat 500Cs to come out in recent memory.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Fiat 500C Missoni by Garage Italia Customs

What makes the Fiat 500C Missoni by Garage Italia Customs special


2017 Fiat 500C Missoni by Garage Italia Customs - image 733753

One of the things that make collaborations between the fashion and auto worlds unique is how much inspiration is taken from the fashion brands and how those inspirations are used in designing a specific car. The aforementioned 500 Paco Rabanne Edition made use of a Metallic Sun Gold body finish because the French designer had a thing for the color. It wasn’t meant for the conservative fashionistas, but it definitely made an impression when it was unveiled last December.

“One of the things that make collaborations between the fashion and auto worlds unique is how much inspiration is taken from the fashion brands and how those inspirations are used in designing a specific car”

There are other examples of this that I’ll talk about in a bit, but for now, the focus, rightfully so, is on the 500C Missoni. If anything, it’s the complete opposite of the 500 Paco Rabanne Edition in its use of color. The car’s body actually features a rainbow-like palette, distributed as horizontal stripes that run across the entire body of the small convertible. It’s a fitting nod to the visual style that the Missoni brand has used over the years to great success.


2017 Fiat 500C Missoni by Garage Italia Customs - image 733754

2017 Fiat 500C Missoni by Garage Italia Customs - image 733755

Likewise, the interior of the car is dripping with Missoni-styled elements, right down to the custom upholstery on the seats, floor mats, and interior trim. Seems fitting then that Missoni itself provided the materials for the exterior and interior of the car, ensuring that the colors used are exactly the ones the fashion label uses on its products.

“It still carries 100 ponies, which isn’t powerful by any means but should be enough to go around the urban landscape with everyone’s attention focused squarely on the car”

Like it or not, the 500C Missoni isn’t going to be confused for a boring car. It’s far from one from a visual standpoint, even though its engine – a 1.4-liter four-cylinder – received no engine upgrades. It still carries 100 ponies, which isn’t powerful by any means but should be enough to go around the urban landscape with everyone’s attention focused squarely on the car.

More examples of fashion-inspired Fiat 500s

One of the Fiat 500’s greatest claims to fame is its versatility. No, I’m not talking about “versatility” in terms of performance and handling, but “versatility” in the sense that it’s easily customized from an aesthetic point of view. We’ve seen so many examples of this in the past, with some examples being better than others.

One such creation that falls on the “nay” side is the 500 “I Defend Gala 2015” Edition. Designed by no less than craftsman Stefano Canticelli, the 500 “I Defend Gala 2015” actually used calfskin and mahogany wood on the exterior of the car. The treatment worked in the cabin, but on the body of the 500? Seems like a waste of material to me.


2015 Fiat 500 "I Defend Gala 2015" One-Off Edition - image 637405

On the “yay” side of my preference sits the 500 Ron Arad Edition. It may be conservative in terms of its design compared to others we’ve seen of its kind,
but the all-black body and the special white outlines drawn on the sides of the car are nice and classy touches. Look closer, and you’ll notice that the white lines actually create a silhouette of the 1957 Fiat 500. The interior also gets a similar treatment, and it works in emphasizing the unique design that Arad was going for.


2015 Fiat 500 Ron Arad Edition - image 571322

All that said, my favorite 500 that was given a fashion brand collaboration remains the 2014 Fiat 500 Gucci Edition. Made available for both the 500 and 500 C variants a few years ago, the 500 Gucci Edition came with an all-black interior that was only interrupted by Gucci’s iconic green-red-green design stripes running down the four seats and the seat belts. That one stood out because it played well with Gucci’s own colors without going overboard with its use of them.


2013 Fiat 500 and 500C by Gucci - image 510297

PostHeaderIcon The Ferrari LaFerarri Aperta #210 Did Sell For Almost $10 Million

The Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta #210 didn’t sell for €8.32 million ($10 million) as I predicted, but it might as well have after fetching a winning bid of €8.3 million ($9.98 million) in RM Sotheby’s “Legend e Passione” auction at Ferrari’s Fiorano race track as part of the automaker’s 70th anniversary celebration. The total amount bid for the LaFerrari Aperta is made more impressive by the fact that it surpassed the winning bid ($7 million) for the LaFerrari #500, a similar last-second creation that was auctioned off $7 million to benefit victims of the Italy earthquake in 2016.

As has been mentioned before, proceeds of the auction for the LaFerrari Aperta #210 will also go to a good cause, specifically to the “Save the Children” charity. Beyond the obvious significance of the money going to charity, the auction price of the LaFerrari Aperta #210 puts to rest any lingering doubts of the convertible hypercar’s appeal among Ferrari collectors. The truth painted a far different picture, establishing the LaFerrari Aperta as a modern-day classic that financially-endowed Ferrari collectors were more than willing to pay way over its supposed market value. It not only sold for almost four times the actual price of a “standard” LaFerrari Aperta but the price it did go for immediately shot the convertible hypercar up the rankings as one of the most expensive Ferraris in the world. Not too bad for a car that wasn’t supposed to exist in the first place.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta #210

The last Ferrari Laferrari Aperta is headed to the auction block this weekend. That alone should be enough to warrant headlines, but as most of you already know, the auction-bound LaFerrari Aperta is special in its own right. This unit isn’t supposed to exist in the first place. This is the 210th LaFerrari Aperta, a last-second creation by Maranello that isn’t a part of the initial lot of 209 units that the automaker planned to launch but was nonetheless built as an auction piece to benefit the “Save the Children” charity.

The auction is set to take place at Ferrari’s Fiorano track and is part of RM Sotheby’s “Legend e Passione” event being held as part of the Italian automaker’s 50th anniversary. Befitting the event on September 9, Ferrari gave the LaFerrari Aperta a unique look no other model of its kind had when they all came out of production. These features firmly establish the 210th model as a legitimate one-of-a-kind LaFerrari Aperta, the kind of car that Ferrari collectors will trip over themselves to get a hold of. It’s no surprise then that neither Ferrari nor RM Sotheby’s has released an estimate for the car. Considering that the 500th LaFerrari – the precursor of the 210th LaFerrari Aperta – fetched $7 million in a similar auction setting last year, the sky really is the limit as to how much the 210th LaFerrari Aperta is going to sell for this weekend.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Rogert Daltrey’s One-Off Rolls-Royce Wraith “Inspired By Music” Hits The Auction Block

Roger Daltrey may not be on the level of John Lennon or Mick Jagger in the annals of British rock star legends, but The Who frontman is still a legend in his own right. His status as a rock icon is one of the reasons why he was part of the Rolls-Royce Wraith’s “Inspired by Music” tribute. Nine total one-off versions were created, two of which were dedicated to Daltrey and The Who. One of those models, the “Tommy” Edition, recently hit the auction block, pulling in £208,000, or about $270,000 based on current exchange rates.

Like most celebrity cars, proceeds from the sale of the Wraith Inspired by Music Tommy Edition didn’t go to Daltrey’s pockets. Instead, it’s going to the Teenage Cancer Trust, a U.K.-based nonprofit organization that provides specialist support to young people diagnosed with cancer in the U.K. Daltrey is an “honorary patron” of the charity so it’s no surprise that he’d pick the Teenage Cancer Trust as the beneficiary of the auction. In his own words, he said: “Seven young people are diagnosed with cancer every day in the U.K. This car has become an incredible collectors’ item, and it’s gratifying to know that the proceeds of the sale will support such a worthy cause.” In the end, the car itself may have sold for less than the £235,416 ($304,700) price of a brand-new Wraith, but don’t get it twisted. $270,000 is still a significant sum for anybody, let alone an organization like the Teenage Cancer Trust that needs all the help it can get to function the way it wants to.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Would You Pay $380,000 For A Ferrari Wind Tunnel Model?

The Ferrari 812 Superfast is super cool, super powerful, and super expensive. It’s priced from $335,275, which is more than an arm and a leg for most of us. But if you have the money to do it, why not spend on a Ferrari 812 Superfast with no engine, no drivetrain, and no steering wheel for a price that’s higher than the actual car itself. It’s strange times we’re living in, right?

Don’t think this is a joke either because this is completely legitimate. The 812 Superfast in question isn’t even an actual car; it’s a scale model finished in hand-sculpted carbon fiber that also includes materials described only as “prototypes.” The 1:2 scale model was sculpted by noted designer Ignacio Albera and was used by Ferrari throughout the development process of the 812 Superfast, including gathering the results of computational fluid dynamics that were done inside the wind tunnel. Adding to the appeal of the model is the fact that it’s maintained its original modularity since it went through the ringer. Should this model be of interest to you, RM Sotheby’s will be selling it during its Leggenda E Passione sale on September 9 at Ferrari’s own headquarters in Modena, Italy. Bring those checkbooks if you end up going because early estimates for the car say it could sell for as much as $380,000, more than $40,000 higher than what you’ll pay for an actual 812 Superfast.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Monterey Car Week Once Again Brings The Goods In 2017

I’ll admit it – I’m pretty spoiled when it comes to car stuff. Of course, that’s the sort of thing you’d expect given my line of work. When unicorns and exotic metal become the routine, it’s easy to lose your perspective.
But even with my drastically skewed sense of what four-wheeled “normalcy” is supposed to be, Monterey Car Week manages to impress. For starters, there’s the sheer scope of it. Think seven days of events and practically endless things to do, ranging from shows, to auctions, to racing, to cruises. There’s excess of every kind when it comes passion-inspiring rides to enjoy. Then there’s the backdrop. The California central coast is without a doubt one of the most spectacular places on Earth, with jaw-dropping scenery and rich history at every turn. But probably the best thing about MCW is the superiority of the cars on hand. Not only is the quantity over the top, but so is the quality, a rare combination to which I have yet to find an equal in all my auto-themed adventures. I’ve been covering this thing for several years now, but 2017 still managed to bring the goods in a big way.

If you’ve been thinking about going, but you’re still on the fence, then we hope this will convince you to get out there in 2018. If you wanna go, but haven’t had a chance, then we hope our account of the action will assuage your longing – for now, at least.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Monterey Car Week.

PostHeaderIcon Ferrari Isn’t Done Building LaFerrari Apertas

If any of you missed out on scoring any one of the 209 Ferrari LaFerrari Apertas, fret not because the Prancing Horse is building a 210th model. The only catch is that you might have to pay more than the reported price of $4 million for the roadster version of the LaFerrari. See, unlike the first 209 models, the 210th LaFerrari Aperta will be auctioned off at RM Sotheby’s auction on September 9 to benefit a yet-to-be-named charity.

The decision to add another LaFerrari Aperta to the mix comes in the wake of a similar move by Ferrari to build a final production LaFerrari – the 500th model – to help raise funds for the National Italian American Foundation’s Earthquake Relief Fund back in December 2016. That auction took place to help victims of a deadly earthquake that floored Central Italy last September. With the LaFerrari Aperta actually being a rarer model than its hardtop counterpart, there are expectations that the car will sell for a much higher price than the $7 million somebody paid for the 500th LaFerrari. Still, RM Sotheby’s is keeping a conservative estimate on the car, even going so far as to peg its sale at a price between $3.5 million to $4.7 million, or right around the same amount that all 209 standard production models cost. Regardless of how much it goes for, the mere fact that there’s another one up for grabs should be enough to invite a bidding frenzy. At the very least, those who felt they got the short end of the stick when the car was launched will now have the opportunity to get their hands on one.

Continue after the jump to read the full story

PostHeaderIcon Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza

While there may have been 188 units of the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 built for road use, it was initially designed as a race car. The “2300” in the car’s name was a reference to the 2.3-liter straight-eight engine that was hidden under its long hood. The 8C was built in several different series’ in its first few years of production, with some (the 188 road cars) serving as luxury vehicles and the rest serving as dedicated race cars. By now, you’ve probably noticed that the model here also sports the “Monza” name. This name was given to the shortened, two-seater GP cars after an early model emerged victorious during the 1931 Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Throughout the car’s production, it was rather successful on the track, including four consecutive wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the consecutive wins at Mille Miglia and Targa Florio, and back-to-back wins at the 24 Hours of Spa. On top of that, the car also led to the development and introduction of the Monoposto Tipo B, which, as you may or may not know, dominated Grand Prix racing with 46 wins between 1932 and 1935.

The model you see here has had several owners, but was raced quite a bit between 1934 and 1948, securing 7th in Class at the Klausen Hillclimb in 1934, 3rd Overall at the Circuito di San Remo in 1947, 2nd Overall and 1st in Class at the Sassi-Superga Hillclimb in 194, and 1st in Class at the Cantania-Etna Hillclimb in 1948, among others. It is Chassis No. 2311218 and was sold new in Italy back in the 1930s. And while it changed hands on a somewhat regular basis, it’s racing DNA kept in on the track even recently as the owner prior to this auction used it to participate in Euro and US. Tours – this isn’t a car you just lock away in a dark garage.

This Monza recently went up for auction at the Gooding & Company Auction during Monterey Car Week, exchanging hands for more than $10 million. It’s only fitting that we do a full review of such an amazing car, so keep reading to take a closer look at it.

Updated 08/24/2017: We added a series of images taken during the 2017 Monterey Car Week.

Note: Official images copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Photos by Brian Henniker.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza.

PostHeaderIcon Replica Go Karts Fetch Tremendous Prices At Mecum Auctions

Millions upon millions of dollar flew all over the place over the weekend during the Mecum auction at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. A 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 had top billing when it sold for a whopping $22.5 million, becoming the most expensive British car in history. A collection of road-going Ferraris combined for $16.5 million, including a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB that sold for $8.3 million. Even Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s 2010 Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita found a new owner who paid a cool $2.8 million for it. Lost in all the hoopla surrounding the auction were four vehicles that look the part of classics from yesteryear, but are actually miniaturized replica go-karts. It’s quite amusing considering that of all the cars that did sell for at least seven figures, these four go-karts were stars of the show in their own right.

Don’t feel bad if you mistake any of these cars – a Ferrari 330 P2 Le Mans, a 1956 “Baby Ferrari” Bimbo Racer, a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR, and a 1961 Jaguar E-Type Junior – for the real things in the pictures. Look at them in person, though, and it’s clear that they’re mini replicas. Still, it doesn’t take away from the sheer awesomeness of these cars, which really aren’t your typical go-karts either, since some of them do carry materials like a steel chassis and a fiberglass body. And for what their worth, they were actually sold for impressive prices, including one that fetched a price tag that would’ve otherwise been close enough to buy an actual, brand-new Mercedes CLA-Class Coupe.

Continue after the jump tor read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon 2017 Monterey Car Week – Preview

As I write this, dear TopSpeeders, I sit just a handful of miles east of the Pacific Ocean. Through my open window, I can hear the sound of exotic internal combustion drifting through the air. Just down the road lies Laguna Seca, the battleground where hundreds of historic racers will once again pound the pavement in search of lower lap times. In the other direction is Pebble Beach, the ultimate destination for elegant collectible automobiles. In between is an assortment of auctions and auto-themed events, a vast, sprawling cornucopia of four-wheeled goodness the likes of which you’re unlikely to see anywhere else in the world. That’s right, TopSpeeders, I’ve made it to Monterey Car Week.

Once again, TopSpeed has sent me as point man to cover this thing, and I’m cleaning the lenses and juicing up the batteries in preparation for five straight days of car indulgence. I can’t wait to get out there and jump into the action, but before I do, I wanted to give you a quick breakdown on what to expect. So read on for a few brief blurbs on each of the events on our schedule, plus links back to our individual preview pieces for more info. And let us know – what are you looking forward to seeing? Tell us in the comments, and we’ll do our best to make it happen.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Monterey Car Week.

PostHeaderIcon 2017 Monterey Car Week – Preview

As I write this, dear TopSpeeders, I sit just a handful of miles east of the Pacific Ocean. Through my open window, I can hear the sound of exotic internal combustion drifting through the air. Just down the road lies Laguna Seca, the battleground where hundreds of historic racers will once again pound the pavement in search of lower lap times. In the other direction is Pebble Beach, the ultimate destination for elegant collectible automobiles. In between is an assortment of auctions and auto-themed events, a vast, sprawling cornucopia of four-wheeled goodness the likes of which you’re unlikely to see anywhere else in the world. That’s right, TopSpeeders, I’ve made it to Monterey Car Week.

Once again, TopSpeed has sent me as point man to cover this thing, and I’m cleaning the lenses and juicing up the batteries in preparation for five straight days of car indulgence. I can’t wait to get out there and jump into the action, but before I do, I wanted to give you a quick breakdown on what to expect. So read on for a few brief blurbs on each of the events on our schedule, plus links back to our individual preview pieces for more info. And let us know – what are you looking forward to seeing? Tell us in the comments, and we’ll do our best to make it happen.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Monterey Car Week.

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2012 Ford Mustang GT Coupe 2-Door 2012 FORD MUSTANG GT 5.0 AUTO LEATHER HID LIGHTS 41K MI #218165 Texas Direct
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2015 Chevrolet SS Base Sedan 4-Door 2015 CHEVY SS 415HP 6-SPEED CLIMATE LEATHER HUD NAV 20K #116583 Texas Direct
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2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Coupe 2-Door 2013 CHEVY CAMARO ZL1 S/C 6-SPD SUNROOF NAV HUD 35K MI #803573 Texas Direct Auto
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2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CAMARO ZL1 CONVERTIBLE 6-SPD RECARO NAV 1K #163560 Texas Direct Auto
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2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2015 CHEVY CAMARO 2SS RS HTD LEATHER NAV HUD 20'S 8K MI #154543 Texas Direct
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2012 Ford Mustang GT Coupe 2-Door 2012 FORD MUSTANG GT FASTBACK 5.0 6-SPD SPOILER 36K MI #281725 Texas Direct Auto
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1977 Chevrolet Other 2 Door 1977 Chevrolet Vega - California Rust Free Car - V8
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1968 Ford Other Pickups Custom 1968 Ford F-600 Ramp truck Classic Car Hauler
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1951 Chevrolet Other Pickups 1951 Chevy 3100 prior Store Prop truck, rolling chassis for frame swap project
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