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2017-06-27: Porsches that starred and will star at the Goodwood Festival of Speed ...
Porsche 935/2.0 Baby On Thursday, this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed will kick off with the first of four public days. Always assembling a formidable selection of road and racing cars, it is one of the absolute highlights of the year. Among the many great cars that went 'up the hill' last year was this Porsche 935/2.0 'Baby'. Effectively built for a single race, this is one of the most extreme Group 5 racers built and boasts the smallest six-cylinder engine ever produced by Porsche with a displacement of just 1.4 litres. We have taken a detailed look at the car's fascinating history, which is illustrated by a 34-shot gallery of this formidable machine.
In the official Goodwood Festival of Speed sale, staged by Bonhams, two Porsches are also set to take centre stage. Rarest and most valuable of the pair is this 356 A Carrera Speedster. While Porsche only built 152 Speedster with the four-cam Carrera engine the example consigned is rarer still as it is one of just three right-hand drive Carrera Speedsters. All three were sold to Australia, and this car is the only one back in the Northern Hemisphere, which explains why it is estimated to sell for close to GBP 1 million.
In the early 1970s, the Carrera name was revived for the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 homologation special. Of these, 200 were built to 'Lightweight' specification and the example on offer was one of just 17 in right-hand drive. Comprehensively restored some years ago, it is estimate to sell for GBP 750,000 - 850,000.
We will be on hand throughout the weekend and will return with a detailed report of this year's Festival of Speed early next week.
  2017-06-26: 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans report and 150-shot gallery ...
2017 24 Hours of Le Mans report and 150-shot gallery Rarely has a 24-hour race been more riveting with more plot twists than a season of House of Cards than this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was the first edition in nearly two decades without an Audi on the grid and Toyota looked set to finally break their duck in the world's most prestigious endurance race. Further down the order the race featured a brand new generation of very fast LMP2 cars and five closely matched manufacturers in the LM GTE Pro class. While it was expected to be a historic race, few would have predicted that with two hours to go the overall leader was an LMP2 car.
How this all came about can be found in our concise report, which is illustrated by a 150-shot gallery provided by Bob van der Wolf.
2017-06-23: Ex-Le Mans Porsche 917 K and Alfa Romeo 33/TT/12 consigned for Gooding Pebble Beach auctions ...
Porsche 917 K For the upcoming Pebble Beach Auctions, American company Gooding & Co. have announced some truly spectacular consignments already. One of the absolute headliners is this Porsche 917 K. Freshly restored and finished in iconic Gulf colours, it is a great example of one of the most iconic sports racers. Although it was not raced in period, the consigned 917-024 did set the fastest time in the 1970 Le Mans Test with Brian Redman at the wheel. It later also starred in Steve McQueen's legendary movie Le Mans, which explains why it is painted in Gulf colours. At that time, it was owned by Swiss racer Jo Siffert and it served as the lead car of his funeral parade late in 1971. Hidden away for many years, chassis 917-024 has been completely restored and is now estimated to sell for between $13-16 million.
Another fantastic sports racer consigned is this Alfa Romeo 33/TT/12, which helped win the 1975 World Championship. Entered by the works supported Willy Kauhsen Racing Team, it was driven to three wins by Derek Bell and Henri Pescarolo. It was sold by Autodelta to the current owner in 1980 and chassis 11512-010 will now be offered on public sale for the first time in nearly 40 years. The privilege of owning this glorious racer will cost at an estimated $2.4 - 2.8 million.
  2017-06-21: 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed and Bonhams sale preview ...
Brabham BT52 BMW Next week, we will be at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which this year will celebrate the long and colourful career of former Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. Among his many roles in the sport was owner of the Brabham team. Among the absolute highlights of his time at the helm of the team was the World Championship victory with the BMW-engined Brabham BT52. One of the all time great Grand Prix cars, the BT52 combined the brilliant chassis design of Gordon Murray with the similar talents of BMW's engine designer, the late Paul Rosche. We captured the BT52 at two earlier editions of the Festival of Speed, where it was reunited with former drivers Nelson Piquet and Riccardo Patrese. The car is set to make an appearance again this year.
An intricate part of the Festival of Speed weekend is the Bonhams Sale, scheduled for Friday, June 30th. Among the top lots consigned this year is this Ferrari F40, which was bought new by Pink Floyd's lead guitarist and singer David Gilmour. He actually took delivery of the car together with his bandmate Nick Mason, who had ordered an identical F40. The ex-Gilmour F40 has recently been restored from the ground up and is in virtually as-new condition. For enthusiasts looking to compete in the Goodwood Revival Meeting later this year, Bonhams also has this McLaren M1B on offer. Fitted with a Mercury engine, it competed in several rounds of the inaugural Can-Am championship and more recently has been completely restored to its 1965 specification.
We will of course create an in-depth report about the Festival of Speed after the event but if you want to attend in person, there are still some tickets available on the official Goodwood website.
2017-06-19: A detailed look at the original all-conquering Audi R8 ...
Audi R8 Even before the start this weekend's 24 Hours of Le Mans was set to be a historic one, and as it turned out, it would be one for many more reasons than highlighted today but that will be addressed later this week. The 2017 edition was always going to be a historic one as it was the first without an Audi at the start since 1999 and accordingly represented the end of a hugely successful era. To mark that occasion, we have today taken a detailed look at the original Audi R8 that debuted in 2000 with outright victories in the Sebring 12 Hours and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The writing of Audi dominance was very much on the wall as these debut wins were a one-two and a one-two-three respectively. Designed by Audi Sport engineers in Germany and built by Dallara in Italy, the R8 was not particularly revolutionary but was developed to be a hugely efficient endurance racer that was easy to work on and hugely reliable. In 2001, the R8 did feature a new direct-injection FSI engine, which would further increase the car's efficiency.
In today's feature we have taken a look at three of the cars that raced in 2000. In addition to the winning car, we have also included the unique alligator liveried machine and the the ex-works and ex-champion chassis 405, which was recently demonstrated at the Spa Classic.
  2017-06-16: New McLaren and Audi R8 roadsters and Ligier's latest prototype racer ...
McLaren 570S Spider Perfectly timed for the summer, McLaren revealed the Spider version of the 'entry-level' 570S sports car. Powered by a 570 hp version of the familiar twin-turbo V8 engine, the Spider features a retractable hard-top roof. The McLaren 570S Spider will make its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed later in the month.
German manufacturer Audi had much the same idea and introduced the R8 Spyder V10 plus. As the name suggests, it is open version of the range-topping 'plus' version of the R8, which boasts a 610 hp V10 engine that drives all four wheels. This allows the R8 Spyder V10 plus to accelerate to 100 km/h in 3.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 328 km/h.
At this week's 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ligier announced the JS P4 as a new entry level prototype racer for a yet to be defined LMP4 category. Built around a carbon-fibre monocoque, it is powered by a 420 hp Ford V6 that is mated to a six-speed gearbox provided by Quaife. The Ligier JS P4 can be used at trackdays to build experience and is also eligible for VdeV races and the Creventic organised long-distance races.
2017-06-13: 2017 Grand Prix de l'Age d'Or report and 270-shot gallery ...
2017 Grand Prix de l'Age d'Or report and 270-shot gallery This weekend we were at the undulating Circuit de Dijon-Prenous for the 53rd annual Grand Prix de l'Age d'Or. Organised by Peter Auto, the event featured all of the familiar grids like Group C and Classic Endurance Racing but also additional single seater classes and high speed demonstration runs for the Global Endurance Legends. Among the many great cars in action were the likes of a Porsche 917 K, Howmet TX turbine racer and the ever impressive Sauber-Mercedes C11. When at Dijon, the mind automatically wanders to the legendary fight between Rene Arnoux and Gilles Villeneuve in the 1979 French Grand Prix. This year even more so as Arnoux himself was back behind the wheel and raced a Shelby Cobra and a BMW M1 Procar together with its owner.
Our photographers were on hand throughout the weekend and have captured all the highlights in a 270-shot gallery, which serves to illustrate our concise report.
  2017-06-08: Rare Bertone Aston Martin, Viper GTSR and TOJ that will star at Dijon ...
Aston Martin DB2/4 Bertone Spider This weekend we will be at the legendary Dijon-Prenois circuit in the French Bourgogne region for the annual Grand Prix de l'Age d'Or. Many great cars will take to the undulating track and as a preview we have selected three of the most interesting.
The earliest of the trio is a very rare Aston Martin DB2/4 Bertone Spider. One of just three built during the early 1950s by Bertone for 'Wacky' Arnolt and offered alongside his better known Bristol-engined Arnolts. This particular example was sold new to the United States. Although used by most of its custodians, it never accumulated a high mileage and has survived in lovely original condition. At Dijon as it did at Spa three weeks ago, it will compete in the Trofeo Nastro Rosso.
A race winner at last month's Spa Classic was a TOJ SC304. Two were built by Jorg Obermoser, and they were the first three-litre engined TOJs. Both cars are pictured in our 90-shot gallery, while the Spa winning chassis will race again at Dijon and should once again be among the top contenders in the CER 2 race.
Among the cars entered in the popular Global Endurance Legends demonstration runs is this Dodge Viper GTS-R. Built in 2000, this car was raced in period by Paul Belmondo and his team, and won FIA GT rounds at the Hungaroring and Silverstone. It was last raced as late as 2005 and C25 was restored in 2008 to the livery it wore in 2002.
2017-06-06: Maserati 300S, Lamborghini Miura and Lagonda Rapide that starred at Villa d'Este ...
Maserati 300S Among the many great cars that starred at last week's Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este were three striking machines featured today.
Earliest of the trio is this Maserati 300S, which was built for works driver Stirling Moss. This particular car represents the ultimate development of the model with larger, 450S derived brakes and five-speed gearbox. Moss drove the car to two wins during the 1958 season. Renumbered to 3083 it was sold to the United States ahead of the 1959 season. More recently, it was comprehensively restored in Austria with spectacular results.
Not quite as well known but equally rare was this Lagonda Rapide. Effectively a four-door version of the Aston Martin DB4, the Rapide was built in very small numbers between 1961 and 1964. The example on display at Villa d'Este is one of just eight left-hand drive cars and when it was new, it was displayed at the New York Auto Show.
Also benefiting from a recent restoration was this Lamborghini Miura P400. It was ordered new by the son of Sherlock Holmes author Adrian Conan Doyle and finished to his specification in red with green and gold stripes. The stripes were eventually removed but fortunately rare, colour photographs were found to allow the Italian restorers to restore 3480 to its unique, original configuration.
  2017-06-02: Funky Ferrari Friday and the latest news ...
Ferrari 365 GT4 BB At last weekend's Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este one car that was impossible to miss was this Ferrari 365 GT4 BB. What made this fine example of Ferrari's first mid-engined, flat-12 Grand Tourer stand out was its striking yellow-green colour known officially as Verde Germoglio. The example on display was the only 365 GT4 BB painted this colour and was recently restored to its unique, original configuration.
Breaking cover at Villa d'Este, was this one-off Rolls-Royce Sweptail. Built to custom order of an Asian customer over the last couple of years, the Sweptail was not only revealed at Villa d'Este but also delivered there to the new owner and came complete with the '08' license plate.
While we were at Villa d'Este, BMW showed a camouflaged version of the upcoming M8 at the Nurburgring 24 Hours. Alongside the production road car, BMW are also developing a GTE competition version, which will race at Le Mans in 2018.
For the new model year, Lotus have further refined the Elise Coupe 250. While the 250hp engine is carried over, it features a more efficient aerodynamics package and is also slightly lighter. Customers can further lighten the Elise Cup 250 by ordering special carbon-fibre composite body-parts.
2017-05-30: 2017 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este report and 220-shot gallery ...
2017 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este report and 180-shot gallery The fabulous Grand Hotel Villa d'Este hosted the annual prestigious Concorso d'Eleganza this weekend, once again under BMW patronage. The highly exclusive event was as always open to just over four dozen cars. Each of these was carefully selected and we greatly enjoyed discovering the background stories of each. Among them was the oldest surviving Lancia, the only Ballot to win a major race, the first 500cc car to exceed 100mph and the ultimate development of the fabled Maserati 300S.
Later on Saturday, RM Sotheby's also staged a sale at the nearby Villa Erba. This was topped by a Talbot Lago while the 10km from new Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 3.8 sold for Euro 2 million and a Jaguar E-Type defied the estimate by going for Euro 580,000.
Our reporters braved the scorching conditions and have captured the highlights in this concise report, which is illustrated by a 180-shot gallery of the Concorso d'Eleganza and an additional 40-shot gallery from the RM Sotheby's sale.
  2017-05-26: An exciting look into the future from Jaguar, Renault and BMW ...
Jaguar XE SV Project 8 At three major events around Europe, Jaguar, Renault and BMW have provided a first glimpse at exciting future models. Fittingly, the most outrageous of all was unveiled at the Nurburgring 24 Hours; Jaguar's XE SVO Project 8. Based on the XE sedan, It is the spiritual successor of the Project 7, which was also created by Jaguar Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations. Although no detailed specifications have been released, it will have at least 600 hp. Strictly limited to 300 examples, the Project 8 is currently being submitted to extensive on the 'Ring.
Renault used an equally legendary backdrop, the Monaco Grand Prix, to offer a first, be it disguised, look at the next generation Megane RS. It was driven on the track by current Renault F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg still with a camouflage livery. The full wraps will be taken off the Megane RS at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Finally, here at Villa d'Este, BMW revealed the 8 Series Design Coupe on the eve of the famous Concorso d'Eleganza. Although still a design study, the large Coupe does offer a very clear indication of the final design of the all-new 8 Series due in 2018.
As always, you can expect a complete report with extensive gallery from the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este early next week.