Archive for the ‘Classic Cars’ Category

PostHeaderIcon The New Ford v. Ferrari Movie, The History Behind It, and Why That GT40 On the IMAX Poster is Inaccurate

“This is David vs. Goliath vs. Goliath,” said leading actor Christian Bale that plays veteran sports car racing ace Ken Miles in the upcoming ’Ford v. Ferrari’ movie that’ll park in a cinema near you from November 15. It’s a story about racing as much as it is a story about business affairs that become personal and about what you can achieve if you’re willing to throw infinite amounts of cash at a problem. It’s the story about Ford’s first outright success in the 24 Hours of Le Mans that ended a six-year winning spree for Scuderia Ferrari.

’Ford v. Ferrari’ (or ’Le Mans ’66’ in Europe and other places) is the first movie to take us back to Le Mans since 2003’s Michel Vaillant. Those scenic country roads in France that play host to the most famous sports car endurance race in the world over a weekend in June were first showcased to moviegoers almost 50 years ago when Steve McQueen put his fortune and reputation on the line to create ’Le Mans’. ’Ford v. Ferrari’ looks at the 1966 edition of the race but you can’t tell that by looking at the recently released IMAX poster. So, why are Bale and co-star Matt Damon seen propped up against a weird-looking Ford GT40?

PostHeaderIcon Shelby 427 Cobra

In 1965, Ford won the World Manufacturer’s Title in the GT ranks with the Cobra Daytona Coupe. But you wouldn’t have found the aerodynamic Kamm-tailed endurance racer on almost any bedroom wall around that time. Instead, everyone was hooked on Shelby’s new roadster – the Cobra 427. Sporting the ’side-oiler’ big block 7.0-liter V-8 good for at least 500 ponies, the revised Cobra was five inches wider than the AC Ace-based examples before it, handled slightly better due to an all-new chassis with independent suspension, and was one of the fastest cars you could register in 1965. With a 0-60 mph time of four seconds flat and tires that would go alight at the lightest depressing of the gas pedal, the 427 was unruly but that’s what made it a legend.

Think about what American cars you have loved throughout your life. It’s almost certain that the Cobra 427 was (or still is) in amongst your favorites. With rounded, flared arches, a gaping mouth and a scoop on the hood, and a pair of racing stripes traversing the (usually) blue paintwork, the baddest Cobra found its place in the history books from the moment it entered production. It was as loud as a pack of lions – if lions were ever to attack in packs – and more unruly than a teenager who’s going through a phase that’s “totally not a phase”. The first 50 cars made were Competition or Semi/Competition-spec while the other 260 copies built until late ’67 were tuned to be more street-oriented, although even this can be considered a stretch. That’s why probably no other car can boast with such a wide variety of replicas quite like the Cobra and, naturally, most try to copy the look of the Cobra 427.

PostHeaderIcon The Top Muscle Cars of the 60s and 70s

The early 60s all the way up to the 70s was a golden age for the American automotive industry if only for the simple fact that muscle cars were growing not just in number, but in overall stature.
The muscle car arms race of the that time yielded plenty of options for customers looking for more power and metal-twisting torque from these vehicles.
And the models only grew in popularity as more and more people began clamoring for the biggest, baddest, and most powerful machines.

The general appeal these muscle cars offered to the growing American car culture of the time was the opportunity to own powerful cars that could be used for drag racing while also keeping costs at bay. At that time, a number of brands began developing their own models, including legendary names like the Ford Mustang, the Chevrolet Camaro, the Plymouth Barracuda, the Pontiac Trans-Am, and the Dodge Charger, to name a few.

While the golden age of American muscle was limited to parts of these two decades, the industry has enjoyed a renaissance of sorts in recent years. It’s not going to compare to the 60s or the 70s, but as proven by customer clamoring, the culture of American muscle cars is far from bearing its last legs.

To pay tribute to the time where muscle was king of the road – and the drag strip – we have compiled a list of the 10 most memorable muscle cars of the golden age.

PostHeaderIcon Ferrari 250 California SWB Spider by Scaglietti

The entire Ferrari 250 line seems to have secured its place in the palace of automotive royalties for generations to come. With unmistakable lines, a variety of powerful but also reliable Colombo V-12s, and limited-run production, almost all of the late-50s to early-60s Ferrari 250 models command astronomical values at auction nowadays.

There are, of course, some stars that shine brighter than others, such as the 250 GTO, the 250 GT SWB, and, lastly, the 250 California SWB Spider built between 1960 and 1962. This is one of those short-wheelbase California Spiders but, despite its originality, it lacks the aura of the ex-Alain Delon ’barn find’ that sold for $18.5 million four years ago.

Besides the fact that Alain Delon once owned and thrashed that particular 250 California SWB Spider, what made it even more desirable were its covered headlights. Amazingly, the more sought after variant is, actually, the one Ferrari made more of: a total of 37,250 California SWB Spiders left the factory with covered headlights and just 19 were optioned without the glass over the twin circular headlamps. Read on to learn more about the strange case of a buyer-induced trend that goes against the otherwise untouchable principle of rarity.

PostHeaderIcon You Finally Have a Chance to Own a 1929 Bentley Blower… Kind of

While we were waiting for new debuts at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, Bentley made a surprising announcement at the 2019 Salon Prive Concours d’Elegance in Crewe, England. The British firm launched a continuation series of the iconic Bentley Blower, a car it originally sold back in 1929. Yes, Bentley is doing exactly what Jaguar did with cars like the E-Type Lightweight, D-Type, and XK-SS, but with a much older car. The Blower will thus become the world’s first pre-war race car continuation series.

PostHeaderIcon Porsche 718 RS 60 Werks

How often do you see an ex-works Porsche race car hit the auction block? It rarely happens and this is one of the few that were sold publicly in recent history. This is a 1960 Porsche 718 RS 60, member of the 718 RS family of open-top sports cars built and raced by Zuffenhausen for half a decade beginning with the RSK in 1957. The RS 60 appeared at a time when sports car manufacturers started realizing that mounting the engine behind the cockpit might be beneficial to the performance of the car after witnessing Jack Brabham muscling his way to the title in F1 in 1959. Porsche was already doing it and had been doing it for years, beginning with the 550 Spyder, a car infamous for having an important part to play in actor James Dean’s death but one that was, more importantly, a successful car in road racing.

The RS 60 Spyder raced everywhere around the world, following the trek of the World Endurance Championship and, along the way, ticking starts at Le Mans, the Nurburgring, and Targa Florio. Only 18 were built in period and the factory kept for its own use a mere four examples and this, according to RM Sotheby’s, was “the only to likely become available”. Powered by a four-cam engine – first a 1.6-liter mill and, in 1961, a 2.0-liter one – the car you see in the pictures, chassis #044, doesn’t boast with the most enviable of racing records having retired out of both the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans race and all of the three major races it contested in 1961: the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 1,000-kilometer race at the Nurburgring-Nordschleife and the Targa Florio in Sicily. Having said that, it must be said that the car was fast, taking pole position outright in the Italian road race before being raced extensively by Bob Holbert, father of Porsche legend Al Holbert, an amazing driver in his own right – both behind the wheel of Porsches and, later, Cobras. It is, then, no wonder that chassis #044 sold for over $5.0 million back in mid-August during the Monterey sale. That’s one expensive aluminum Spyder!

PostHeaderIcon If Kevin Hart Is Sued Over Lack of Modern Safety Equipment In an Old Car – Does That Set a Precedent for Future Lawsuits?

By now, you surely know that The 1970 Plymouth Barracuda that Kevin Hart commissioned from Speedkore has been crashed. Hart was, reportedly, not the driver and for now we don’t know exactly what happened until a full investigation comes forth, but it looks like he’s still staring down the barrel of yet another lawsuit. Yup; despite the fact that Hart wasn’t driving the car when it crashed, the two passengers in the car, one of which was also seriously injured, could actually file a lawsuit for negligence against Hart because the car didn’t have safety equipment.

The lack of safety equipment comes into question because the car was so powerful – 720 horsepower to be exact. And, as such, lawyers are claiming that the car should have had numerous pieces of safety equipment including but not limited to five-point safety harnesses, airbags, and a roll cage. Hart could, in theory, also turn around and sue the company that tuned the car for selling him a car without what some claim to be required safety equipment. Now, this raises the question of future precedent that leaves tuning and custom car companies, as well as owners of said cars, liable in the future. Here’s some food for thought.

PostHeaderIcon Ferrari 196 SP by Fantuzzi

The Drake, a man who honed his craft as the team boss of Alfa Corse in the ’30s, carried some of the old adages over when he started his own automotive company. It’s no wonder, then, that he was reluctant to jump on the rear-mid engine train when it boomed two decades after the last pre-war Grand Prix but when his Prancing Horses finally rolled out with the engine aft of the driver they proved overwhelmingly good: in F1, the 156 steamrolled its way to both the Constructor’s and the Driver’s F1 title in 1961 and, in long-distance racing, the 196 SP, as a direct descendant of the 246 SP, foresaw what was to come in sports car racing.

The 196 SP is an incredibly rare and incredibly gorgeous beast. With a low-slung body and a nose very similar to that of the 156 F1 car, it carried what was good about the 246 SP, the first Ferrari mid-engined sports car that was unveiled in 1961, and improved on the formula. Under the rear deck, there was, effectively, half of a Colombo V-12, and not the Dino V-6 although the 196 SP has been referred to as the Dino 196 SP in some circles. Five were built for 1962 and this one, chassis #0806 is the only that has survived. RM/Sotheby’s tried selling it during the Monterey Car Week but failed. Still, the car is valued at anywhere between $8 million and $10 million. Keep reading to find out why this V-6-engined Ferrari is worth more than twice the price of a LaFerrari, Maranello’s V-12 hybrid wonder.

PostHeaderIcon Ferrari 196 SP by Fantuzzi

The Drake, a man who honed his craft as the team boss of Alfa Corse in the ’30s, carried some of the old adages over when he started his own automotive company. It’s no wonder, then, that he was reluctant to jump on the rear-mid engine train when it boomed two decades after the last pre-war Grand Prix but when his Prancing Horses finally rolled out with the engine aft of the driver they proved overwhelmingly good: in F1, the 156 steamrolled its way to both the Constructor’s and the Driver’s F1 title in 1961 and, in long-distance racing, the 196 SP, as a direct descendant of the 246 SP, foresaw what was to come in sports car racing.

The 196 SP is an incredibly rare and incredibly gorgeous beast. With a low-slung body and a nose very similar to that of the 156 F1 car, it carried what was good about the 246 SP, the first Ferrari mid-engined sports car that was unveiled in 1961, and improved on the formula. Under the rear deck, there was, effectively, half of a Colombo V-12, and not the Dino V-6 although the 196 SP has been referred to as the Dino 196 SP in some circles. Five were built for 1962 and this one, chassis #0806 is the only that has survived. RM/Sotheby’s tried selling it during the Monterey Car Week but failed. Still, the car is valued at anywhere between $8 million and $10 million. Keep reading to find out why this V-6-engined Ferrari is worth more than twice the price of a LaFerrari, Maranello’s V-12 hybrid wonder.

PostHeaderIcon Aston Martin DB3S Works

The Aston Martin DB3S is a special car although it may have been overshadowed as years came and went by a certain finned Jaguar and the DBR1/300 that won at La Sarthe for David Brown’s marque. However, its status as a bit of a giant killer and the fact that the boys in Feltham kept using it for four seasons in international competitions puts the DB3S in a unique spot in Jaguar’s racing history. This car, chassis #2, is one of only 11 works cars ever built and it won the Goodwood Nine Hours ahead of the D-Type and Ferrari’s 750 Monza. It is, then, no wonder that RM/Sotheby’s hoped it would sell for anywhere between $8.75 and $10 million when it crossed the block last Thursday during the Monterey Car Week. Well, it didn’t but you can’t deny this is one rare, gorgeous, and expensive product of the ’50s. Need further proof? A copy of the definitive book on this car sold 14 years ago for some $1,500.

When you talk ’50s sports cars, your mind slaloms between William Haynes’ C-Type and D-Type, together amassing five overall 24 Hours of Le Mans wins, the classic 250 Testa Rossa, the dominant but also infamous 300 SLR, and also the Lister Knobbly and Maserati’s 300S. Aston Martin isn’t among the names on the tip of your tongue despite it racking up quite an impressive number of wins between 1953 and 1959 with the DB3S and the DBR1 respectively. That’s because the Aston Martins were always seen as underdogs, always seen as members of the pack, those that’ll play second fiddle to the big fish when, in fact, it wasn’t like that at all. David Brown employed some of the best engineers and drivers at the time and his cars were some of the best. Yes, most often down on power, yes, most often with an Achilles’ heel (cough, the DBR1’s gearbox and ergonomics) but they were good cars. And now we’ll talk about the first one of those, the DB3S, offspring of the DB3 and a car that’s getting a bad rep for being actually friendly on the road.

PostHeaderIcon Porsche Type 64 Fails to Sell After Massive Auction Blunder

RM Sotheby’s is in a world of trouble after its auction of a 1939 Porsche Type 64 went off the rails. Confusion and embarrassment reigned as the auction turned into a farce over as an upset crowd booed the attempted sale of the high-value model. In the end, the Type 64, otherwise known as Ferdinand Porsche’s “Nazi car’ failed to meets its reservation price. It is currently marked as “still for sale” on RM Sotheby’s online auction catalog, though given everything that transpired during the actual auction, it’s unlikely that anyone’s going to touch the Porsche Type 64 anytime soon. As for RM Sotheby’s reputation, well, that’s up in the air, too.

PostHeaderIcon The 10 Best Cars You Can Buy at the 2019 Monterey Car Week

The Monterey Car Week is arguably the most important week for a lot of auto collectors. More than your typical car shows, this week-long extravaganza plays host to must-attend events like the Monterey Motorsport Reunion, the Quail, A Gathering, and the world-famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, so there’s no shortage of things to do and places to visit during the event. One highlight — or is it seven highlights? — that I have yet to mention is the car auction aspect of Monterey Car Week. These auctions are where the heavy-hitter collectors usually come out and play. Whether it’s RM Sotheby’s, Mecum, Russo and Steele, or Bonham’s, millions of dollars fly around during these events. Perhaps we might even see a record-breaking sale this year, just as we did last year when a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold for a world-record $48.4 million. It’s going to be difficult to approach that figure, but, who knows, right? In the absence of a Ferrari 250 GTO, we picked out 10 cars that will likely fetch king’s ransoms when they’re auctioned off during the 2019 Monterey Car Week.

PostHeaderIcon 1939 Porsche Type 64

The 1939 Porsche Type 64 is the first automobile to carry the iconic “Porsche” script. Based on the Volkswagen Beetle, also developed by Ferdinand Porsche, the Type 64 is the oldest surviving Porsche. The coupé was developed in a time when Porsche offered vehicle development work and consulting, but wasn’t building cars under its own name. The Type 64 debuted almost 10 years before Porsche launched its first official car, the 356.

80 years later and the Type 64 goes on public auction for the very first time. Despite its age and the many owners it had, the Type 64 is as original as it was in day one. It doesn’t look as pristine as some classic cars do, but that’s because its previous owners went with sympathetic restorations that preserved its aged finish and unique patina of its silver paint. How much will it change hands for? Well, RM Sotheby’s is mum on the price estimate, but we will find out more later in August.

PostHeaderIcon Ferrari 375 MM Coupé Speciale by Ghia

The 1955 Ferrari 375 MM Coupé Speciale is a one-off version of the iconic 375 MM bodied by Italian coach builder Ghia. The Ferrari 375 MM was built from 1953 until 1955. It was developed as a race car, but some were converted to road use. One of only nine road-going coupés built on the 375 MM chassis, the Coupé Speciale is also the only 375 design by Ghia and the last Ferrari built by the company. The car was showcased at the 1955 Torino Motor Show and was then shipped to Robert Wilke, owner of the Leader Card Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

A racing fan, Wilke, who sponsored an IndyCar team from the 1930s until his death in 1970, was also a personal friend of Enzo Ferrari. The 375 MM Coupé Speciale was one of seven unique vehicles that Ferrari built for the businessman, but it’s the most historically significant vehicle owned by him. Also one of the most documented Ferraris in existence, the Coupé Speciale changed hands several times since the 1970s. Come 2019 and it’s going under the hammer to find a new owner at RM Sotheby’s car sale in Monterey on August 15-17.

PostHeaderIcon Lincoln Indianapolis Concept by Carrozzeria Boano Torino

The question of where to take Lincoln’s styling was top-of-mind for Ford during the mid-1950s, and the net it cast was to both the internal styling teams and one special dream car creator of Italy. Turbulent times for all the Blue Oval brands followed the market flop of their Edsel series, and Chevrolet was lighting up newsprint and auto shows with their swanky Motorama events and the original Corvette-concept of 1953.

The desire for miraculous styling direction and stunning concept cars led to all the non-GM American car brands to pair off with Italian styling houses. During this flurry of deals, Ghia signed up with Chrysler, Bertone for Packard and Carrozerria Touring with Hudson. Lincoln went with a less-renowned name of Felice Paolo to dress a rolling chassis with bespoke coupe bodywork ahead of the Turin motor show. The orange lacquer paint was barely dry on the 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis Exclusive Study by Carrozzeria Boano Torino when it was rolled onto the rotating platform of the Turin auto show.

This stunning concept car hit the auction block quite often in recent years. It changed hands in 2006, it failed to sell in 2013, and it found a new owner in 2015. Come 2019, and the Lincoln Indianapolis is set to go under the hammer at RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction on August 15 to 17.

PostHeaderIcon Jay Leno Drives a Hand-Built Replica of the Missing 1934 Bugatti Aérolithe – Can it Live Up to His Expectations?

Bugatti built the Aérolithe in 1934 as a one-off concept whose aim was to show the way forward not only for the French automaker, but for the automobile in general. And it succeeded, as it inspired the Type 57 grand tourer, of which Bugatti built a total of 710 examples between 1936 and 1940 and these are now some of the most expensive and highly coveted interwar classics in existence. There was only one problem with this picture: the Aérolithe design study disappeared under mysterious circumstances just as the clouds of war were gathering over Europe.

PostHeaderIcon Porsche 911 Wide Track Phantom Speedster by DP Motorsport

The Porsche 911 is a lot like wine. The older it is, the more desirable it becomes. That appeal has stretched bounds that we previously thought didn’t exist. No more is that clear than in the aftermarket tuning world, for example. There once was a time when the mere thought of modifying an original Porsche 911 was tantamount to automotive treason. But now? It’s not only become a big business, but it’s also evolved into a what-you-can-do-I-can-do-better competition among aftermarket companies. Take this 1989 Porsche 911 Targa 3.2, for example. Traditional convention suggests that this classic 911 Targa should be kept in stock condition, preserved in its OG state for all eternity. German tuner DP Motorsports had other plans. It’s not the Porsche 911 Targa 3.2 anymore. It’s the Porsche Phantom Speedster, and guess what, it looks spectacular.

PostHeaderIcon This is not an original Mercedes SL Gullwing, but you can’t tell and it packs a modern secret under its hood

We all hate kit cars that try to resemble a famous established automotive shape but just fall short. Enthusiasts can spot these a mile away and… they choose to stay a mile away to avoid the horror of having to look at them. However, this amazing Mercedes SL Gullwing recreation is not like that, in fact, it’s the exact opposite of that and it’s a car most enthusiasts would be thrilled to own.

PostHeaderIcon This is not an original Mercedes SL Gullwing, but you can’t tell and it packs a modern secret under its hood

We all hate kit cars that try to resemble a famous established automotive shape but just fall short. Enthusiasts can spot these a mile away and… they choose to stay a mile away to avoid the horror of having to look at them. However, this amazing Mercedes SL Gullwing recreation is not like that, in fact, it’s the exact opposite of that and it’s a car most enthusiasts would be thrilled to own.

PostHeaderIcon Car For Sale: 1939 Porsche Type 64

When you think of the first Porsche, you probably have in mind the 1948 Porsche 356/1 also known as the “Porsche No. 1”. Indeed, that was the first car to wear the Porsche badge, but you’d have to go back almost a decade to find the first Porsche-named car, and that is the streamlined vehicle that stands before your eyes now. It’s called the Type 64, and three were built precisely 80 years ago of which two survive now, and only this one has the original sheet metal on it. Mechanically, it is a strengthened and tuned Beetle but, as far as looks are concerned, it has the 356’s DNA written all over it. Now, it’s up for auction, and if somebody other than the Porsche Museum buys it, I’ll be shocked.

Porsche’s crazy about its history. The German company has built its reputation via winning races – much like Ferrari has – and it can’t stop reminding everyone about its landmark moments. There are multiple events dedicated to the history of Ferdinand Porsche’s company, such us Luftghekult or the Rennsport Reunion. If you arrive in Stuttgart, the first thing you stumble across is the Porsche Platz, and there, on one side of the roundabout at the entrance of the city, there’s a futuristic-looking building. That’s Porsche’s own museum that’s filled to the brim with everything Porsche both new and old. But Porsche doesn’t currently own this car, the Type 64 chassis #38/41. It was designed by Ferdinand Porsche as a marketing ploy to showcase that you can extract genuine performance from the unassuming platform of the Beetle. If Porsche wants it back, it’ll have to join the crowd at the RM/Sotheby’s auction in Monterey, California, that’s scheduled for August 15th through to the 17th.

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