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2017-11-16: Striking Ferrari racers and Aston Valkyrie track-day car ...
Ferrari 412 P At this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Ferrari's 70th anniversary celebration was one of the main features with four special classes. Accordingly some of the marque's finest machines were brought out for display. Among them was this ex-Ecurie Francorchamps 412 P, fresh from a ground up restoration at Ferrari Classiche. Raced during 1967 and 1968 by Ferrari's Belgian distributor, the achingly beautiful machine was then sold to singer Dean Martin Jr. Despite the immaculate presentation, the 412 P only placed second in class, highlighting the level of competition at Pebble this year.
Another rare sports prototype that starred on the Pacific shore this year was the Ferrari 365 P2. Sold new to and raced by the North American Racing Team (NART), this 4.4-litre engined beast won the Reims 1000 km outright in 1965. Returned to its original livery many years ago, chassis 0838 has been part of the same, American collection for over three decades.
Ferrari was at the top of their game in Formula 1 exactly 40 years ago with Niki Lauda winning the second of two titles for Ferrari in 1977. His weapon of choice for that year was the 312 T2. To mark that occasion, the seventh and final example built was wheeled out for Pebble. It was driven to Grand Prix victories by Lauda and Carlos Reutemann.
Ahead of the launch of the road car, Aston Martin have already revealed the first details of the track only Valkyrie AMR Pro. With the road car already promising staggering performance, the AMR Pro version should be able to produce lap times similar to that of contemporary LMP and F1 cars. If you were thinking of getting a Valkyrie AMR Pro when it arrives in 2020, you are already too late as all 25 have been spoken for.
  2017-11-13: RM Sotheby's New York Icons preview and all-new Corvette ZR1 ...
Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione Auctioneer RM Sotheby's will return to the Big Apple in December for the very exclusive New York - Icons sale. Headlining the 30-something cars consigned is this Le Mans class winning Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder Competizione. One of nine long wheelbase California Spyders clothed with an aluminium body, this example was sold to an American enthusiast, who won the GT class at Le Mans in 1959. Like so many Ferraris, it was re-painted red but in recent years chassis 1451GT has been re-finished in its Le Mans winning livery. It is estimated to find a new owner for $14-17 million.
Among the slightly more affordable cars consigned, we were particularly taken by this very original Porsche 911 GT2 road car. Originally delivered in Germany, this low mileage example has spent the last dozen years in Japan and has a pre-sale estimate of $1.1 - 1.4.
Certainly the most extravagant car consigned is this Cadillac Series 62 Saoutchik Cabriolet. It is one of just two examples built in an attempt for Saoutchik to break into the lucrative American market. The example on offer was the second of the pair built and should now sell for close to $1 million.
Over the weekend Chevrolet revealed the all-new Corvette ZR1. It is powered by the supercharged 'LT5' V8, which produces a hefty 755 bhp. The ZR1 comes standard with a seven-speed manual but can also be specified with an eight-speed automatic, which is a first for a ZR1. The new Corvette ZR1 will be available in this coming spring as a 2019 model.
2017-11-09: Ground-breaking Peugeot headed for auction and latest news ...
Peugeot L45 Working for Peugeot, draughtsman Ernest Henry and three insightful drivers, known as the 'Charlatans' created what would be the pattern for the modern twin-cam, four-valve engines in the early 1910s. These ground-breking Peugeots won major races on both sides of the Atlantic, including the French Grand Prix and the Indy 500. Of these legendary machines only two are extant today and this Peugeot L45 will be offered for sale for the first time in 70 years this weekend. The occasion is the Bonhams sale of the Bothwell Collection of which it has been part since 1947. In that year, despite being over 30 years old, the late Lindley Bothwell attempted to qualify the car once more for the Indy 500. A true piece of automotive history, the L45 Peugeot is estimated to sell for over $3 million.
Fast forward over a century to the latest racing cars to hit the track. One of these is the all-new and particularly impressive looking Bentley Continental GT3. It is based on the new road car launched at Frankfurt earlier this year, and will be available to customers from June of 2018. The new Continental GT3 is powered by a further modified twin-turbo V8 that produces around 550 bhp in restricted form. Also intended for customers to run is the Citroen C3 R5 designed for the WRC2 series. It is effectively a slightly de-tuned version of the latest Citroen World Rally Car and will debut later this month.
BMW have applied the fabled ClubSport or CS badge to the four-door M3 for the first time. Available halfway through 2018, the new M3 CS features a more powerful engine and a more aggressive aero package. Lotus, meanwhile, have crammed the most powerful version of the supercharged Toyota engine into the Exige to create the Exige Cup 430. With 430 bhp available in a vehicle that barely weighs over a ton, this should make for a particularly potent package.
  2017-11-07: Lamborghini's look at the future, mighty Hennessey Venom F5 and new BMW and VW racers ...
Lamborghini Terzo Millennio With the help of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Italian sports car manufacturer Lamborghini have a created a look at the future in the form of the Terzo Millennio design study. The striking show car offers a glimpse at what a future all-electric Lamborghini could look like. The Terzo Millennio was the result of a one-year collaboration with the newly established MIT-Italy department.
At last week's SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Hennessey finally revealed the highly anticipated Venom F5. Designed by Hennessey from the ground up, it features a bespoke carbon-fibre chassis and body. It is powered by a highly tuned, twin-turbo V8 that produces a staggering 1,600 bhp, which is driven to the rear wheels through a paddle-actuated seven-speed gearbox. Thanks to the extensive use of lightweight materials, the Venom F5 tips the scales at just 1,338 kg. Production of the very quick machine will be limited to just 24 examples.
One of the great new racing cars due to take to the track in 2018 will be this BMW M8 GTE. Based on the upcoming M8 road car, it features the familiar twin-turbo V8, which is limited to around 500 bhp to meet the regulations. The M8 GTE will compete at both sides of the Atlantic in all the major endurance races.
Later that same year, Volkswagen will make the all-new Polo GTI R5 available to customer teams. Built to the R5 regulations, this new rally car features a 270 bhp version of the familiar and highly successful four-cylinder engine.
2017-11-03: Bugatti and Bentley headed for Paris auction and Porsche 550A due for Scottsdale ...
Bugatti Type 35 French specialist Artcurial will stage their annual Automobiles sur les Champs sale on Sunday. Today, we take a look at two of the star lots. The earliest of the pair is this Bugatti Type 35. Delivered new to Italy, this car has had a colourful history but has been largely untouched from the 1930s. Over its long life, the Type 35 has been owned by noted collectors like Count Giovanni Lurani, Rob Walker and Ton Meijer and is offered from a collector who acquired the car back in the mid-1980s. It is estimated to sell for over one million euro.
Also consigned to this sale is this Bentley R-Type Continental. It is one of just 42 built in left hand drive and fitted with the legendary Mulliner Fastback Coupe body. It was sold new to the United States and remained in Californian ownership until 2010. Recently refreshed by PA Wood, this Mulliner Fastback has a pre-sale estimate of Euro 800,000 - 1,000,000.
The 2018 auction season will kick off in Scottsdale and among the very first cars consigned is this 550A RS Spyder. Originally a works car, it scored class wins at Goodwood and the Nurburgring. It also holds the distinction of being the only 550A that raced in a Grand Prix. Right now, there is no estimate but we expect 550A-0145 to sell for over $5 million.
  2017-10-30: Updated Ferrari FXX-K, new A110 Cup and Tokyo round-up ...
Ferrari FXX-K Evo At this weekend's Ferrari Finali Mondiali, the Italian manufacturer revealed the revised FXX-K Evo. The LaFerrari based one-make series racer is further refined with most of the work focusing on the aerodynamics. Not surprisingly, the FXX-K's mighty hybrid drivetrain has not been touched.
As part of the roll-out of the all new A110, Alpine have announced the Cup version of the highly anticipated machine. Available for sale today, it is due to compete during the 2018 in the Alpine Europa Cup. Accordingly, it is the spiritual successor of the GTA V6 Turbo that competed in the Europa Cup during the 1980s.
Last week, the Tokyo Motor Show kicked off and the biennial show featured an eclectic selection of brand new show cars. Mazda offered a glimpse of the future with the compact Kai and Vision concepts. Compact coupe show cars also starred in the Japanese capital with the lovely retro Honda Sports EV Concept and the Toyota GR HV Sports Concept. The latter features an interesting automatic gearbox that can also be used as a regular stick shifter.
2017-10-26: 2017 Dix Mille Tours report and 290-shot gallery ...
2017 Dix Mille Tours report and 290-shot gallery For the finale of the Peter Auto season, the Dix Mille Tours, we ventured to the unique Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France. Due to host the French Grand Prix for the first time in several decades next year, there were signs of changes to the track but the event retained all its familiar traits. Particularly impressive this year were the well stocked grids, which boasted not just quantity but also quality with rare and precious machines taking to the track throughout the weekend. Three of the most legendary people in endurance racing, Reinhold Joest, Derek Bell and Emanuele Pirro were also on hand to enjoy the sights and sounds first hand with the latter two out on track and Joest helping out with one of his former Team Joest Porsche 962C. On Sunday we were reminded why the long straight is named after the strong Mistral winds. They did keep the skies clean, so we enjoyed the final rays of summer sunlight.
We were at the track throughout the event with a detailed report and an action-packed 290-shot gallery as the result.
  2017-10-23: New Porsche performance models and intriguing Polestar 1 ...
Porsche 911 Carrera T During the last week, Porsche have introduced a trio of new performance versions of existing models. For the 911 Carrera, the T or Touring badge has been revived. As in 1968, the Touring name is used for a stripped down, lightweight version of the 911 Carrera. Among the changes compared to the 'base' 911 are a minimalistic interior with less sound-deadening, bucket seats and loops to open the doors. The 911 Carrera T also features shorter gearing for brisker acceleration. While the original 911 T was intended as an entry-level model, the new Touring is actually more expensive than the base model.
Also new in the line-up is the GTS version of the 718 Boxster and the 718 Cayman. The two range-topping models are powered by a further refined version of the turbocharged four-cylinder engine. In GTS trim, it is good for a hefty 365 hp.
Volvo's high performance department, Polestar will branch out to producing bespoke models, which will all feature hybrid or fully electric drivetrains. The first of these will be the spectacular Polestar 1. The striking coupe is constructed from lightweight carbon-fibre composite materials, and combines a turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder engine and a pair of electric motors on the rear axle. Customers can acquire the car outright but Volvo also offers a lease options where customers have the option to temporary use larger Volvo models when needed. The Polestar 1 will be produced in a brand new factory in China due for completion sometime in 2018.
2017-10-16: Mazda Monday with three rotary racers that competed at the Motorsports Reunion ...
Mazda RX-7 GTU At the annual Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Mazda North America always has a strong presence and this year, the 'works' cars were joined by several very successful rotary racers brought by privateers, one from as far away as Switzerland.
The most successful car to take to the track at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was this RX-7 built by Team Highball to the new IMSA GTU specifications of 1985. It was the first spaceframe chassis GTU car and would become the winningest car ever at Daytona with a total of five class wins. Being a silhouette racer, the privately built machine has used both first and second generation RX-7 body designs.
Of a slightly later vintage is this rotary engined Argo JM19. Built for Jim Downing, it was successfully campaigned in the IMSA Lights category. It proved instrumental in dominating the class for Mazda for several years. The featured example scored class wins from 1986 through to 1989.
Also of the same era but predominantly raced in Europe and Japan was this Mazda 757. Like the other two cars featured today, the 757 was mostly in contention for class wins and clinched those at Le Mans in 1986 and 1987. Brought all the way to California from Switzerland, the pictured example was the class winner at Le Mans in 1987 and still boasts those colours.
  2017-10-13: New DB11 Volante and Artcurial Mercedes-Benz sale ...
Aston Martin DB11 Volante Today, Aston Martin revealed the first details of the new DB11 Volante. The drop-top version of the highly acclaimed DB11 Coupe will be available at the launch with the recently introduced twin-turbo V8 engine built by AMG for Aston Martin. It produces 503 bhp and drives the rear wheels through an eight speed automatic gearbox. The achingly beautiful DB11 Volante is also quite a bit lighter than its predecessor.
At the headquarters of Mercedes-Benz France, French specialists Artcurial will stage the aptly named Mercedes-Benz by Artcurial auction this Sunday. As the name suggests, Mercedes-Benz products only will cross the block and quite a few of these come from the reserve collection of Mercedes-Benz France. That includes the headlining 300 SL Gullwing, which is believed to be only the sixth ever 300 SL imported into France. It is still in highly original condition and is estimated to sell for over 900,000 Euro.
Of a slightly earlier vintage is this 540 K Cabriolet B. The example on offer was shown at the 1937 London Motor Show but then disappeared from the limelight until very recently. Having benefited from a recent restoration, it is estimated to change hands for 750,000 - 850,000 Euro.
Somewhat more affordable is this 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II. The beautifully preserved and well maintained machine has covered less than 40,000 km from new and can be yours for around 170,000 Euro.
2017-10-10: Unique 1950s coach-built masterpieces ...
Jaguar XK120 SE Pinin Farina Coupe As Standard Swallow, Jaguar's roots were in coach-building, so a vast majority of the British company's cars were clothed in-house. One of these very rare exceptions is this XK120 SE, entrusted to Pinin Farina. The only XK120 ever bodied by Pinin Farina, it was commissioned by American luxury car importer Max Hoffman. After it was shown at the 1955 Geneva Motor Show, it was rarely seen in public. Having lingered for many years in the hands of a German collector, it has finally been restored by specialists Classic Motor Cars (CMC) in England. Quite possibly making its first public appearance in over sixty years, the XK120 SE Pinin Farina Coupe was then shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance where it placed second in class.
The unique Jaguar was beaten only by this equally unique Alfa Romeo 1900C SS Boano Coupe. It had been shown at Pebble just two years earlier in time-warp condition but was now fully restored.
Boano designs are exceedingly rare but there were three other cars displayed on the lawn at Pebble Beach produced by Italian coach-builder. Among them were two unique Ferraris; the 410 Superamerica Boano Coupe and the 410 Superamerica Boano Cabriolet. Both were brought by the Robert M. Lee collection, which also includes the third Ferrari using the same design; this 250 GT Cabriolet.
  2017-10-06: Striking Porsche 962C and rare Pierce Arrow Silver Arrow headed for auction ...
Porsche 962C While the Group C cars were not out in large numbers at the Hungaroring Classic, we were treated to a freshly restored Porsche 962C. It was one of the very last examples produced and sold new to Japan to compete in the local championship in 1990. The car was retired from contemporary racing at the end of the year and was recently restored by Freisinger Motorsport. While not liveried, it made its first appearance during last year's Le Mans Classic with Porsche works racer Romain Dumas behind the wheel. Chassis 962-147 has now been fully stickered up and was raced in its original colours at the Hungaroring by its new owner.
Canadian auction company RM Sotheby's is at Hershey this weekend for a two-day sale. The headliner for today's sale is a very rare Pierce Arrow Silver Arrow. The example due to cross the block, without reserve, is the very first built and one of just three remaining. Offered for the first time in over three decades, this iconic Silver Arrow is estimated to sell for $2 - $3 million.