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2017-09-18: The new TVR Griffith and Frankfurt round-up ...
TVR Griffith Last week, the Goodwood Revival hosted a new car release for the very first time. This honour was bestowed on the TVR Griffith, which was displayed in the Earl's Court Motor Show venue together with many great TVRs from the past. The highly anticipated machine has been engineered by the legendary designer Gordon Murray of McLaren F1, and features his proprietary 'iStream' carbon-fibre composite chassis. As a result, the five-litre V8 engined machine tips the scales at just 1,250kg. Devlopment is ongoing but TVR plan to deliver the first all-new Griffiths to customers in the fourth quarter of 2018.
A few days ago we already touched on the high performance highlights from the Frankfurt Motor Show, and today we take a closer look at the various concept cars revealed at the IAA. Providing a glimpse to an autonomous future is the all-electric Audi Aicon. While it features no steering wheel or pedals, it does boast four electric motors. Catering to a less distant future is the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA, which offers a first look at the electric version of the new A Class. Renault on the other hand is looking further ahead with the Symbioz. This is what the French manufacturer believes the car of 2030 may look like. Another 'vision' of the future is the BMW i Vision Dynamics, which is a preview of one of the 12 all-electric models the German company will offer in 2025.
  2017-09-14: 2017 Goodwood Revival report and 350-shot gallery ...
2017 Goodwood Revival report and 350-shot gallery This weekend, the Goodwood Motor Circuit hosted the annual Revival Meeting for the 20th time. One of the best historic race meetings on the calendar, the Revival invites visitors to participate by adhering to a period dress code. As a result, the event provides a time-warp experience. Even though tormented by heavy rain throughout the weekend, the spirits were not dampened and the tens of thousands of spectators were treated to spectacular racing. In addition to race groups, headlined by the one-hour, two-driver Royal Automobile Club TT Celebration, this year's event also included celebrations of the 1957 Grand Prix season and of the Ecurie Ecosse team, while Bonhams staged a GBP 10 million sale on Saturday. Among the many great cars on track for the celebrations were the five Jaguar D-Types that finished first, second, third, fourth and sixth at Le Mans in 1957, the Maserati 250F used by Juan Manuel Fangio to win the 1957 German Grand Prix but also a plethora of Ferraris and Aston Martins.
Our reporters were among those who braved the conditions and have returned with a concise report, which is illustrated by a class-by-class 350-shot gallery.
2017-09-12: High performance stars of the Frankfurt Motor Show ...
Mercedes-AMG Project One This morning, the biennial Internationale Automobil Ausstellung (IAA) or Frankfurt Motor Show kicked off with the first of two press days. While sensible electric cars are the big theme at the show, we singled out five of the high performance cars that were also revealed in Frankfurt.
The most potent of all is the highly anticipated Mercedes-AMG Project One, which features a sophisticated hybrid drivetrain good for over 1,000 hp. Almost literally a Formula 1 car for the road, it features a derivative of the successful F1 team's V6 turbo engine complete with its electric turbo. In addition to this power unit driving the rear wheels, the hypercar boasts a further pair of electric motors that power the front axle. Priced at around $2.5 million, the Project One is set to face a familiar rival in the Red Bull Racing developed Aston Martin Valkyrie.
Where most manufacturers go high tech, Porsche and Audi also recognised the demand for more analog cars with the launch of the 911 GT3 Touring Package and the R8 V10 RWS respectively. The former is, to all intents and purposes, the production version of the limited 911 R, while the latter is a rear-wheel drive only version of the R8.
Audi used the IAA to reveal the latest generation RS 4 Avant. It is powered by a 450 hp version of the familiar twin-turbo V6 engine and boasts an exterior package reminiscent of the very first high performance estates built by the German manufacturer.
As part of the launch of the new Discovery, Land Rover revealed the mighty SVX version, which packs a 510 bhp supercharged V8 punch.
  2017-09-07: Goodwood Revival preview and the latest news ...
Vanwall VW Grand Prix Tomorrow, the annual Goodwood Revival will kick off with the first of its three days of non-stop action. At this year's edition of the time-warp event among the celebrations will be the 1957 Formula 1 season. It was the first year that a British car won its home Grand Prix, kicking off many years of F1 dominance by the Brits. This win was scored by Stirling Moss in a Vanwall and this achievement will be marked with the presences of this Vanwall Grand Prix. It is not the actual winning car but this chassis did won five races in 1957 and 1958 making it the most successful of all Vanwalls. Beautifully preserved, chassis VW11 will be demonstrated during all three days. We will also be on hand as always and you will receive our in-depth coverage with action-packed gallery shortly after the weekend.
Over the weekend exciting new projects were announced. The first was this GT, which is an attempt to revive the ATS brand. It combines styling inspired by the original ATS 2500 GT with thoroughly modern underpinnings and a twin-turbo V8 that is good for at least 650 bhp.
Offering similar performance but in altogether different way is the Alcraft GT. The all-electric machine is in the final design phases and depending on sufficient crowd funding will enter production soon.
At the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show, MINI will cater for two very different markets with the Electric and John Cooper Works GP Concepts. The latter should form the basis for the wildest road-going MINI yet.
2017-09-05: 2017 Monterey Auctions and Ferrari sports racers due to cross the block ...
2017 Monterey Auctions One of the set fixtures during the Monterey Car Week is the barrage of auctions and this year was no exception. As with all events on the Peninsula, we had to pick and choose which auctions to visit and as usual Bonhams, Gooding & Co. and RM Sotheby's have made our coverage. Between them and during just two days, the three specialist companies sold cars for a combined value of over $250 million. Among the highlights was the Aston Martin DBR1 sold for $22.5 million by RM, a one-owner McLaren F1 that went for $15.6 million at Bonhams and Gooding's Porsche 917 K and Ferrari 275 GTB/C that both sold for over $14 million. Our concise report features links to all the results and three separate galleries of the auction previews with a total of 190 shots.
There is little rest for the auctioneers as this week a series of sales are staged in Europe. One of the most highly anticipated is the Ferrari - Leggenda e Passione held in Maranello by RM Sotheby's on September 9th as part of Ferrari's 70th anniversary celebrations. The one-make sale features a superb selection of cars from the legendary Italian manufacturer including a pair of sports cars featured today. The earliest of the two is this 1955 750 Monza. Powered by three-litre, four-cylinder engine, it was raced on both sides of the Atlantic and was only recently restored to its original configuration. Ferrari's last purpose-built sports racer is the 333 SP of which a great, early example has been consigned. One of just a dozen built by Dallara before Michelotto took over production, this particular chassis was never raced in period. Freshly rebuilt by Michelotto, chassis 006 is presented in as new condition and on the button.
  2017-08-31: 2017 Monterey Motorsports Reunion and new Bentley Continental GT ...
2017 Monterey Motorsports Reunion report and gallery One of the headlining events during the car week on the Monterey Peninsula, is the annual Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. At this year's event the 60th anniversaries of host Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with a marque with major race winners and Formula Junior with two dedicated groups were celebrated. Among the long list of superb racing cars that took to the track during the four-day event were gems like the 1921 Ballot, several Porsche 935 K3s and two examples of the all-conquering Toyota-Eagle GTP cars. In addition to the regular track action, two-time World Champion Mika Hakkinen also demonstrated Emerson Fittipaldi's 1974 World Championship winning McLaren M23.
We were on hand during the event and have compiled a concise report that is illustrated by a group-by-group 200-shot gallery.
This week, Bentley released the first details and images of the third generation Continental GT. It is again powered by an evolution of the familiar W12 engine, which is mounted further back in the chassis and is now good for 626 bhp. The styling of the all-new Continental GT is inspired by the design language of the recent and highly acclaimed Speed 6 show cars.
2017-08-28: Mighty front-engined Ferrari racers and new Portofino ...
Ferrari 315 S Last week's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance celebrated Ferrari's 70th Anniversary in style with four dedicated classes. The winners of two of these were a pair of closely related sports racers. Powered by mighty quad-cam V12 engines, they represent the ultimate development of the front-engined sports prototypes raced with great success by Ferrari throughout the 1950s. The earliest of the pair is the 315 S, which features a 3.8-litre engine, good for a hefty 355 bhp. This particular example was a works entry in the tragic 1957 Mille Miglia and was driven to victory by Piero Taruffi in what proved to be the final edition of the historic Italian road race. Having been owned by the same American collector for nearly two decades, it was driven across the ramp to collect its price by none other than Sir Jackie Stewart.
Power by a four-litre version of the same engine, this 335 S is the very last of the group built. Completed in 1958, it was built to special order for an American customer. After being raced extensively in period, it was owned by the likes of Robs Lamplough and Bruce McCaw before the current custodian acquired the car. Shortly thereafter chassis 0764 was entrusted to specialist Paul Russell for a complete restoration. He took particular care to find the right shade of NART blue applied to the car originally. The detailed work was awarded with a best in class.
Late last week, Ferrari also gave a first look at the all-new Portofino road car, which will replace the California T. Built on a brand new platform, it is powered by the latest twin-turbo V8, good for around 600 bhp. The Portofino will make its public debut at next month's Frankfurt Motor Show.
  2017-08-24: 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance report and 310-shot gallery ...
2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance report and 310-shot gallery The big finale of the Monterey Car Week is traditionally the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It is the equivalent of Olympics when it comes to car events and as such participating is already a great honour. For seasoned entrants this is not enough and in a quest for class and special awards no resource is spared. As a result, we are treated to some truly spectacular cars every year, whether it is an exceptionally well preserved specimen or an very accurately restored example. Among the features in the 2017 show were Isotta Fraschini and Ferrari's 70th anniversary, while there were also special classes for American Specials from the 1960s and California built racers that competed at the Pebble Beach road races.
We were on the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach golf links from dawn 'till dusk and have captured our impressions in this concise report, which is illustrated by a 260-shot gallery from the Concours d'Elegance on Sunday and an additional 50-shot gallery from Thursday's Tour d'Elegance, which once again followed the familiar route after last year's detour.
You can expect more reports from the very busy Monterey Car Week in the next couple of days as well as detailed features of the stars of the Concours d'Elegance.
2017-08-21: 2017 Pebble Beach best of show in full detail ...
Mercedes-Benz 700 SS Barker Tourer For us the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is the culmination of a long week on the Monterey Peninsula but for the owners and restorers it represents the finale of often years of hard labour. This was certainly the case with the Mercedes-Benz 700 SS Barker Tourer that was picked for the coveted 'Best of Show' award yesterday afternoon. Built for talented gentleman racer Lord Howe on a show-car chassis, the car was clothed by Barker with a unique design. In addition to Howe's familiar striking blue colour, it also boasted many polished aluminium surfaces and torpedo-shaped running boards. The car did not look nearly as spectacular when it was shown at Pebble Beach in 2012 as it had been painted a monotone white. It then took many years of research and hard work to return the car to its original glory and finished. The work certainly paid off as the car not only won Best of Show but also received a further three special awards, including the Polyphony Trophy, which means it will appear in a future version of the popular Gran Turismo game.
As a warm-up to our coverage from this year's Monterey car week, we have taken a detailed look at the deserved winner. Also included are several shots from the car five years ago to get a real impression of the level of work carried out by Babinsky Automotive Restoration. A full report and gallery from Pebble Beach and the other events will follow in the coming days and weeks.
  2017-08-14: Great 1950s and 1960s sports racers headed for auction ...
Aston Martin DBR1 For this weekend's auctions on the Monterey Peninsula some truly great sports racers have been consigned, three of which are featured today. Heading the trio is this Aston Martin DBR1 that will cross the block at RM Sotheby's on Friday. The consigned example is the first of five cars built of the type that brought Aston Martin the company's first World Championship and Le Mans win. Chassis DBR1/1 contributed to the World Championship with an outright victory in the 1959 Nurburgring 1000 km. Offered from a British private collection, it is estimated to sell for in excess of $20 million!
A contemporary of the DBR1 is this Maserati 300S, which is one of the stars of the well stocked lot list of the Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction. The chassis on offer is believed to have been a works car and was certainly raced to several victories in Brazil in the hands of the great Juan Manuel Fangio. It is offered from long term ownership and has not been seen in public for over a decade. Chassis 3069 is estimated to sell for $6 - 7 million.
Part of the startling Gooding line-up is this lovely Porsche 904 GTS. It is one of 24 examples delivered new to the United States in 1964 and was raced with great success in the Pacific North West. It was restored for historic racing during the 1980s and has more recently been used on the streets of Los Angeles. The beautifully maintained 904 Carrera GTS looks set to find a new owner for $1.5 - 1.8 million.
2017-08-10: A preview of this year's Quail, a Motorsports Gathering ...
Arnott 1100 GT Climax One of our favourite events on the Monterey Peninsula is the annual The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering. At its essence, it is a concours d'elegance but with so many unique features that it really stands out. Among its strengths is the diversity of the field, which last year ranged from this unique Arnott 1100 GT Climax to the Pagani Huayra BC. The former was the ultimate creation of pioneering engineer Daphne Arnott and raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1957. Boasting a highly unusual front suspension design, the miniature marvel was more recently returned to its Le Mans configuration. It will be back on the Peninsula this year as the small Arnott coupe has been consigned to the Gooding Pebble Beach Auctions. Another star from last year was the lovely Lola Mk6 GT prototype, which had just been restored. We also shot the car more recently at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
At next Friday's 15th edition of the 'The Quail' Acura will debut its all new ARX-05 sports racer. Built to IMSA's new DPi regulations, it will be fielded next year by Team Penske and has just started testing. Another car due to star at the highly exclusive and already sold out event is the ex-Bruce McLaren M6 GT. It represents the first road car built by McLaren and as such is the spiritual father of the legendary F1 and the current line-up of production McLarens. As always, we will be on hand to capture all the highlights and you can expect a detailed coverage some time in the weeks after the event.
At the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance a few days later, Infiniti will reveal a Retro Prototype. It is a design of what an Infinity of yesteryear may have looked like.
  2017-08-07: Beautifully engineered racers from Ballot, Maserati and OSCA ...
Ballot 3/8 LC Ernest Henry is one of the great engineers and he can be considered the father of the four-valve engine. After designing Grand Prix and Indy winning cars for Peugeot, he joined Ballot in the late 1910s. Among his best designs was this Ballot 3/8 LC. The Ballot engine designed by Henry featured the first fully enclosed valve-train, making it the first truly modern engine. The cars were raced on both sides of the Atlantic and this one won the first ever Italian Grand Prix, in 1921. Following a lengthy racing career, it remained hidden away in a British collections for many decades. It has now resurfaced in beautiful original conditions and was shown at Villa d'Este and Goodwood. Also featured is the sister car, which debuted in the 1920 Indy 500. It is today part of an American collection and will be raced later this month at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
Also set to star on the Monterey Peninsula is this Maserati 6CM, which has been consigned to the Gooding Pebble Beach Auctions. This particular car was raced with considerable success in period and has more recently starred at Pebble Beach. It is on offer with a pre-sale estimate of $1 - 1.4 million.
After the Maserati brothers left the company they founded, they built some spectacular cars under the OSCA moniker. We were treated to a particularly lovely example at Villa d'Este in the form of this MT4 Vignale Coupe. This lovely machine featured a unique design penned by Giovanni Michelotti and built by Vignale. In period it was raced to a class victory at Le Mans and more recently was in longtime Japanese ownership. The one-off MT4 Coupe has now returned to the limelight for all of us to enjoy.