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2016-05-05: Small displacement Maserati and DeTomaso racers and news from VW and Donkervoort ...
Maserati Tipo 60 Birdcage Maserati's legendary 'Birdcage' sports racer came with a choice of two engine sizes. Fitted in the rarer Tipo 60 Birdcage was a two-litre version of the familiar four-cylinder engine. Breathing through a pair of Weber carburettors, it produced 200 bhp. Predominantly raced in Italy, the two-litre cars proved particularly successful in their class of the Italian hill climb championship. The three examples featured in our new 71-shot gallery won three Italian Championships between them. The most striking among them is chassis 2460, which has survived in impeccable original condition.
Boasting an engine half the Tipo 60's size is the unique DeTomaso Sport 1000. Although it was built to full running order, it is understood only to have been used as a show car following its debut at the 1966 Turin Racing Car Show. Retaining its very rare BRM engine, the Sport 1000 was displayed in the DeTomaso Museum for many years.
Using the Golf GTI Clubsport S and with a time of 7:49, Volkswagen set a new lap record for a front-wheel drive car at the Nurburgring. Compared to the Clubsport it was based on, the 'S' is lighter and more powerful, which greatly contributed in breaking the record. Production of the Clubsport S is strictly limited to 400 examples, 100 of which will be reserved for the German market.
Ahead of the official debut, Dutch niche manufacturer Donkervoort released the first images and details of the D8 GTO-RS. Not many specific performance numbers were published but it will certainly be faster than the already ludicrously fast 'standard' D8 GTO. Only 40 D8 GTO-RSs will be built and 21 are already spoken for.

2016-05-02: Rare Italian supercars headed for auction and McLaren F1 for sale ...
Lamborghini Diablo SE30 Jota One of the very last of the analogue supercars was the Lamborghini Diablo SE30 built to celebrate Lamborghini's 30th anniversary. It was not a straightforward limited edition model but instead, it was a carefully developed, lightweight version of the Diablo. As such, it boasted a stripped out interior, more aggressive carbon-fibre body and tuned V12 engine. It was intended to form the basis for a new competition version but this never materialised. Lamborghini did create the rarer still Diablo SE30 Jota, which featured an even more powerful engine and was limited to just 28 upgrade kits of which only 14 were fitted at the factory. The featured example, is one of those fitted from new with the Jota package and will be offered at the upcoming RM Sotheby's Monaco sale.
Also due to cross the block in the small Principality but a day earlier and at the Bonhams auction is this one owner Ferrari 288 GTO. Equipped with both options that were available at the time, air-conditioning and electric windows, it was picked up by the first owner in Maranello and driven back to his home London. The privilege of becoming this car's second owner comes at the a hefty Euro 1.3 - 1.7 million.
That is peanuts compared to the McLaren F1 on offer from McLaren Special Operations. Recently refurbished and repainted at the factory, this late F1 has covered just 2,800 miles from new. Although no price was officially listed, we understand that an interested party is expected to fork over in excess of $12 million to acquire the F1 chassis 069.

2016-04-29: Formula 1 Friday with striking March, rare March and unique McLaren ...
March 711 Cosworth To mark Formula 1 Friday, we today take a look at three very distinct Formula 1 cars. The first is the March 711 Cosworth built for the 1971 F1 World Championship. March's interpretation of the Lotus 72 design, it features a very distinct front wing that was commonly referred to as the 'tea tray' or 'Spitfire-wing' in period. Six were built and although a young Ronnie Peterson came close on several occasions, no victories were scored. Our detailed article features three different examples. Among them is chassis 711-2, which has been beautifully preserved in Swiss ownership for four decades and will be offered at the upcoming RM Sotheby's Monaco sale. It has a pre-sale estimate of Euro 550,000 - 650,000.
Of a slightly later vintage is this unique Maki F101C Cosworth, which returned to the track earlier this month at the Zolder Masters Festival. The car's identity was used for the only Maki to turn a wheel in anger. As a F101A, it was raced during the 1974, until it was crashed. Rebuilt with a spare chassis, it returned to action in 1975 in the F101C configuration it was again restored to ahead of this season after it was displayed in a museum for two decades.
Rarer still is the one-off, four-wheel drive McLaren M9A Cosworth, which was raced by Derek Bell during the 1969 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Following its single outing at Silverstone, it was retired and soon after sold to Tom Wheatcroft for his Donington Grand Prix Collection museum. As can be seen in our 23-shot gallery, it has recently been carefully restored by Hall & Hall.

2016-04-27: Two very rare Porsche Le Mans racers ...
Porsche 904/8 While the 904 GTS is most commonly seen with a four-cylinder engine, Porsche also fielded six and eight cylinder engined examples. Based on the engine developed for Formula 1, the flat eight used in the 904/8 displaced just under two litres and produced a hefty 240 bhp. Only two of the 904 Coupes were fitted with this engine, so unlike the four-cylinder engined cars, they 904/8s were never homologated and were forced to run in the prototype class. They were nevertheless quite successful with class wins in the Targa Florio and twice at the Nurburgring. Our 17-shot gallery includes both examples built. One of these is on display in the Porsche Museum, while the other is in private hands and has been reunited with the very rare eight-cylinder engine.
Long after Porsche had ceased developing the 962, privateers continued to extend the Group C machine's lifespan with modifications. This was a win-win situation for Porsche as the German manufacturer still supplied the running gear for these cars that remained competitive. Among the first of these was Richard Lloyd Racing, who commissioned Nigel Stroud to design a honeycomb aluminium monocoque to replace the sheet aluminium tubs originally used for the 962C. In doing so, they created the 962C GTi of which five chassis were built. Four were built to Group C specifications, while the fifth was sold to Dyson Racing and campaigned in the IMSA GTP series. The featured example was the last of these and did not debut until 1992 when it was shared by father and son Derek and Justin Bell in their first ever joint Le Mans effort.

2016-04-25: Auto China round-up with new Porsche 718 Cayman, Audi TT RS and Infiniti Concept ...
Porsche 718 Cayman S Porsche used this week's Auto China in Beijing, to reveal the new 718 Cayman and 718 Cayman S. Like the 718 Boxster models launched earlier this year, the new Caymans are powered by turbocharged four cylinder engines, which are both more powerful and efficient than the flat sixes used in the previous generation models. The all-new 718 Cayman and Cayman S can now be ordered and will be available later in the year.
Sister company Audi revealed a new generation TT RS Coupe and Roadster. Both use an evolution of the multiple award winning five-cylinder turbo engine. In its latest guise, the 2.5-litre unit is good for an impressive 400 hp, which represents a 60 hp increase compared to its predecessor. This helps the Coupe accelerate to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds, while the Roadster completes the same sprint in 3.9 seconds. Like the 718 Cayman, the new TT RS will be available in the second half the year.
Also revealed in Beijing was this QX Sport Inspiration Concept. It represents a preview of an upcoming mid-size SUV from Nissan's luxury arm. For its design, Infiniti used inspiration from the local cultures of the network of global design studios the manufacturer has.