2017-04-26: The stars of the 2017 Tour Auto ...
This week, the annual Tour Auto snakes through France, finishing on Saturday in Biarritz. Unfortunately, we could not make it out this year but in honour of this great event, we today look at three of the star car of this year's edition.
The most modern of these is the third and final competition Ligier JS2 built. It was raced in the Tour de France and at Le Mans in period and again starred there yesterday when its French owner drove it to victory in the race at the Bugatti circuit. This JS2 is pictured during earlier editions of the Tour Auto and also during the Le Mans Classic.
Racing in an earlier class is this German owned Ford GT40. A period racing car, it was raced during the late 1960s on the British Isles with limited success. Chassis GT40P/1023 has been more successful in historic racing and should be one of the favourites for the Tour Auto win this year.
Among the most historically significant machines entered is this Ferrari 250 GT SWB Competizione. Built in the summer of 1960, this very car was driven to the outright victory in that year's Tour de France by Willy Mairesse. Its current, British owner is a regular in the Tour Auto.
2017-04-24: McLaren P1 GTR, Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder all headed for auction ...
In a world first, RM Sotheby's have managed to consign an example of each of the three most recent hypercars for their upcoming Villa Erba sale. Rarest of the trio is this McLaren P1 GTR. One of just 58 examples built, the consigned car has only been used for one track-day session and has more recently been entrusted to Lanzante Motorsport for a conversion that makes the P1 GTR fully road legal. It is the first P1 GTR that has been consigned for a major auction and is estimated to sell for well over Euro 3 million.
Not quite as rare but boasting similar performance is the Ferrari LaFerrari. An early example, the consigned example has had just two owners from new and covered just 200 km since 2013. Chassis 201167 is estimated to sell for over Euro 2.6 million.
Completing the hypercar triad is this Porsche 918 Spyder. Finished in a striking paint-to-sample blue, this 918 comes complete with the high-performance Weissach package. A single owner car, the 918 Spyder was actually used and has 11,000 recorded kilometres on the odometer.
2017-04-21: High performance BMW M4, Callaway Corvette shooting brake and new Exige version ...
While the Auto Shanghai was dominated by concept cars, BMW used the opportunity to reveal the M4 CS. That is short for Club Sport and offers both performance and cosmetic upgrades compared to the 'base' M4. The output of the twin-turbo, straight-six engine has been raised by 29hp to 454hp. The M4 CS will be available in limited numbers later this year.
American 'enhancer' Callaway have released one of the coolest improvements for the Corvette in the form of the C7 AeroWagen. This $14,990 option turns a standard Corvette in a very striking shooting brake. The top-of-the-range AeroWagen features Callaway's supercharged V8, which produces 757hp.
Lotus have introduced yet another version of an existing model in the form of this Exige Cup 380. It is based on the Sport 380 with which it shares the 380hp supercharged V6 engine. Where the Cup 380 is the reduced weight thanks to the exotic materials used. As a result, the new Exige version tips the scale at just 1,057kg.
2017-04-19: Mighty Lister Chevrolet and the latest concepts from Auto Shanghai ...
Of Brian Lister's many great creations none quite combine sheer elegance and brute force better than the Lister Costin Chevrolet built in 1959. As the name suggests, this fabulous machine combines the flowing lines of the new-for-1959 Lister body styled by Frank Costing with a mighty Chevrolet small-block V8. These cars were mainly raced in the United States and gave far more exotic machinery a proper run for their money. Today we feature three different examples that are still regularly raced, which include the very first Costin-bodied Lister and one that had originally been earmarked for a Maserati 450S V8 engine.
At this week's Auto Shanghai, concept cars take centre stage and all offer a glimpse into the future. The furthest look ahead is provided by the Renault R.S. 2027 Vision, which has been created to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Renault's involvement in Formula 1 and to give an idea what a Grand Prix car could look like in a decade.
Far less outlandish are the Audi e-tron Sportback, Mercedes-Benz Concept A Sedan and the Volkswagen I.D. Crozz, all three of which should form the basis of production models in the near future.
2017-04-18: A renewed look at the legendary Porsche 917 K ...
After a difficult debut season for the original 917 in 1969, the Porsche 917 K brought the German manufacturer to the absolute forefront of international sports car racing. Key to turning the 917 into a winner was the adoption of a the Kurzheck or short-tail that cured the handling issues. Raced for Porsche by several satellite teams and privateers, the 917 K won almost every major race in 1970 and 1971, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Today, we have taken a closer look at four interesting examples of this legendary racer. Seen in action more recently was 917-037, which was raced in the Jarama Classic earlier this month. This car started life as a spare chassis and was more recently restored to the striking Martini livery it wears today. Certainly boasting a strong racing pedigree is 917-016, which is understood to be the only car campaigned by Team Gulf that has survived with its original chassis. Raced predominantly during the 1970 season, it scored three outright wins that year. Also wearing Gulf colours and one of the stars of the movie Le Mans is 917-022, which is now part of comedian Jerry Seinfeld's fabulous Porsche collection. Certainly unique is 917-030; the only road-legal 917. Raced in period, it was later sold to the Rossi family of the Martini & Rossi company. Count Rossi had the car modified and registered for road use. It has survived in this guise and is today still part of the Rossi family.
2017-04-13: The stars from the Techno Classica and the most SUV yet ...
At last week's Techno Classica there were literally thousands of cars on display but today we take a detailed look at the two of the most interesting.
Taking centre stage on organiser SIHA's stand was the very Maserati 250F Lightweight that Juan Manuel Fangio drove to victory in the 1957 Monaco Grand Prix. One of just three 250Fs built to Lightweight specification, this car has survived in remarkable original condition. Owned by the same collector for over 40 years, it has not been seen in public for around two decades.
Equally rare was this Kremer K8 Porsche, which represents the ultimate development of the Porsche 956/962 design. It was brought into the LMP1 era from Group C by adding a flat floor and removing the roof. The featured example was the second of three all-new cars built by Kremer and features a carbon-fibre composite monocoque. It was raced at Le Mans four times and its second in class in 1998 ranks as the final result of note for the venerably Porsche design, sixteen years after its debut. Boasting Repsol colours most of its life, chassis WSC02 has more recently been returned to the Motul colours of its 1995 Le Mans debut.
Jeep launched the perfect companion to the Challenger Demon we featured earlier this week in the form of the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. It combines the familiar Grand Cherokee shape and all-wheel drive underpinnings with the 707 horsepower engine from the Hellcat models. As such, it is the most powerful regular production SUV in the world.
2017-04-12: The latest from the New York Auto Show ...
Today, the New York International Auto Show has kicked off with a special press-preview day. One of the most talked about cars on show is the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. True to its name, it is powered by a fire-breathing 840 bhp version of the American company's familiar supercharged HEMI engine. This helps the car to be the fastest regular production drag car with a quarter mile time of under 10 seconds. Ready for delivery later this year as a 2018 model, this limited production, single year Demon will be available to just 3,000 enthusiasts in the United States and 300 in Canada.
Audi used the show in the Big Apple to reveal the R8 LMS GT4. The latest edition to the German company's customer racing program is very close to the stock car, sharing around 60% of the regular production components. Among the first outings for the R8 LMS GT4 will be at the Nurburgring 24 Hours next month.
Following a small preview last week, Lexus have now taken the wraps off the LS 500 F Sport. The performance oriented version of the luxury sedan features the same twin turbo V6 as the 'base' version.
The big news today was of McLaren's plan to return to the Indy 500 with two-time World Champion Fernando slated to drive an Andretti run and Honda-engined Dallara. The car will be liveried in the same classic colours of the McLaren M16 that was driven to victory by Johnny Rutherford at Indy back in 1974.
2017-04-10: 2017 Techno Classica Report and 190-Shot Gallery ...
This weekend, the larger than ever Messe Essen hosted the 29th Techno Classica. Unrivalled in size, the annual classic car show attracts over 200,000 visitors during just five days. They are treated to 2,500 exhibitors that range from dealers and manufacturers to parts and supplies vendors. This year's edition did not have a problem to fill the expanded grounds of the vast exhibition centre and exploring all halls required proper exercise. As always, there was a lot to see and amidst the dozen of Mercedes-Benz 300 SLs, we found some true gems. Among them was the very Maserati 250F that Juan Manuel Fangio drove to victory in the 1957 Monaco Grand Prix and a unique all-electric Porsche 910 replica.
Our photographers got a week's worth of exercise to pick out all the highlights. The result is this 190-shot gallery that serves to illustrate a concise report.
2017-04-07: Benetton headed for auction, Porsche and Lola that starred at Jarama and the latest news ...
At the upcoming Bonhams Spa Classic sale, one of the star lots will be this Benetton B191. Raced for most of the 1991 season, it was piloted by Roberto Moreno, Nelson Piquet and Michael Schumacher. It was driven to the team's only victory in the Canadian Grand Prix by Nelson Piquet. This was also the great Brazilian's final Grand Prix win. Recently restored, chassis B191-02 is estimated to sell next month for over Euro 750,000.
At this week's Jarama Classic there were many great cars out on track. Among them was this Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 3.0, which has spent most its life in North America. It was raced extensively in period, starting with original owner Hector Rebaque at the wheel in 1974. Chassis 911 560 9115 has now been repatriated and is owned and raced by a German enthusiast.
Also out on track was this early Lola T210. During the early 1970s, it was raced by successive owners in Italy. Since the late 2000s, chassis SL210/06 has been campaigned in historic events.
At the upcoming New York Auto Show, Lexus will debut this LS 500 F Sport, while Mercedes-AMG will showcase this GLC 63 S and its Coupe counterpart.
2017-04-04: 2017 Jarama Classic report and 250-shot gallery ...
Historic motor racing on the European continent kicked off this weekend just north of Madrid with the second annual Jarama Classic. Organised by Peter Auto, it featured all the familiar grids like the Classic Endurance Racing and Group C fields. Among the many interesting cars out on track were the likes of a Porsche 917 K, a Toyota 92C-V, no fewer than three Lancia Beta Montecarlo Group 5 cars and the ever impressive Sauber-Mercedes C11. In addition to the great cars on track, we were also treated to the driving prowess of the likes of former F1 racer Alex Caffi and five-time Le Mans winner Emanuele Pirro.
Over 10,000 enthusiast flocked to the much loved, undulating track, which basked in the early spring sunshine for which the Peter Auto organisation ventured to Spain in the first place. We were also on hand throughout the weekend and have returned with our first sun tan of the year but more importantly a concise report, illustrated by an action-packed 250-shot gallery.
2017-03-30: One of the very last Chevron B16s, Lotus Esprit GT1 and one-off Arrows A9 ...
Following up on our preview earlier this week, we have now highlighted one of the Chevron B16s entered. This particular car has a relatively straightforward history, which is chronicled here.
Lotus racing cars have often been very successful. One exception is the Lotus Esprit GT1 built for the 1996 BPR Endurance Championship. Unusually for a Lotus, it was built following the letter and the spirit of the regulations and as a result featured many stock components. By 1996, the likes of Porsche had already raced the bar with purpose built racing cars that only followed the letter of the law. The Esprit GT1 did score one second place finish against better developed and funded machinery. The featured example at one time served as a spare parts bin for a sister car but it is now owned by a true enthusiast, who is gradually rebuilding it to its original glory.
The Arrows A9 BMW quite possibly has one of the shortest Formula 1 careers in recent history. Only one example was built and this car was raced only three times. The A9 is nevertheless significant as it was the last Arrows designed by Dave Wass, who was one of Arrows' co-founders. The one-off machine is current for sale with Duncan Hamilton.
2017-03-29: 2017 Jarama Classic preview and new Alpine LMP2 car ...
This weekend, we will be at the Circuito del Jarama just north of Madrid, Spain for the second annual Jarama Classic. The event boasts the familiar Peter Auto grids including Group C and Classic Endurance Racing. To get you in the mood, we have taken a closer look at three of the great sports racers due to hit the track this weekend.
Rarest of the three cars is the TOJ SC303. Built in 1978 by Jorg Obermoser's team, it is one of the very last TOJs built. Powered by a Cosworth DFV V8 engine, the featured example was raced with considerable success in 1978 and also appeared at Le Mans. In recent years, it has been restored to its original livery.
The earliest of the trio is one of the very last Porsche 550A Spyders. This car was sold to a Brazilian, who raced it in Europe first before shipping it back to South America. Chassis 0143 was only very recently repatriated to Europe and has been raced in Peter Auto event since 2016.
Also re-appearing on track last year was this Porsche 962C. In period, this car was raced by a Swiss privateer. In 1989, it featured a particularly striking livery, which 962-131 still wears today.
Monza is this week the scene of the official ELMS and FIA WEC tests. Before the action started, Alpine revealed the A470 LMP2 car. Based on an Oreca design, it features a spec Gibson V8 engine, good for around 600 bhp.