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2016-12-29: The top sellers of the 2016 auction year ...
Ferrari 335 S Scaglietti Spyder Rounding off the year, we today take a look at the top sellers of another record breaking auction year. Topping the list is the phenomenal Ferrari 335 S sold for just over $35 million at the start of the year by Artcurial. Although some erroneous reports suggested it was sold to football star Lionel Messi, it was actually acquired by an American collector and has more recently made its first public appearance Stateside earlier this month.
RM Sotheby's features strongly on the list with this Le Mans winning Jaguar D-Type, which found a new owner for well over $20 million. At the same sale, the Canadian/British auctioneer also sold the very first AC Shelby Cobra for just under $14 million.
With five cars in the top ten, Gooding & Co. is also very well represented. The best result for the California based auctioneer was this Ferarri 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione at $18 million. Another notable result was for this Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza, which changed hands for $11.9 million.
The top Bonhams seller sits at number 11 and is this Bugatti Type 57 SC Vanden Plas Roadster. This unique machine was picked up for just under $10 million back in January.
  2016-12-27: Evocative Alfa Romeo and awe-inspiring Porsche ...
Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ Coda Tronca With the year winding down, we take the time to take a look at two of the more though provoking cars we saw this year. On top of that list is undoubtedly this Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ Coda Tronca. The car itself is already very interesting as it is the development prototype of the second generation SZs, which featured a cut-off 'Kamm' tail and it had disappeared from sight for many years only to resurface recently. What the new owner then did with the already rare Alfa Romeo earned him the FIVA preservation trophy. Instead of restoring the car in a conventional, he decided to treat half of the car to preservation methods normally used for paintings. As can been seen in this gallery from the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este was intriguing indeed.
In the year we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Canadian-American Challenge Cup or Can-Am, we can't do with at least a mention of the all-conquering Porsche 917/30. We have expanded our gallery with fresh shots of both cars used during Mark Donohue's 1973 championship winning run. Among them are pictures of 917/30-002 with among others Gijs van Lennep at the wheel during the Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort. Now in his seventies and a two-time Le Mans winner, the former Porsche works had always wanted to try the successful Can-Am racer and finally got a go for three very spirited demonstration runs. He even drove the car in the wet, sliding the beast around his home track.
2016-12-23: One-off Ferrari, new Citroen WRC car and Audi concept ...
Ferrari SP 275 RW Competizione Although the year is coming to a close, several manufacturers have some last minute news. Among them is Ferrari, who have officially announced the one-off SP 275 RW Competizione, which was previewed earlier this month at the Finali Mondiali at Daytona. Based on the F12tdf, it is inspired by this ex-Ecurie Francorchamps 275 GTB Competizione Speciale, which some reckon is the most valuable Ferrari in the world, reputedly worth between $75 - $100 million. Among the many subtle design changes are revised headlights and additional vents behind the front wheels. The unique SP 275 RW Competizione was built for an American customer, who is not the owner of the 275 GTB it is inspired by.
Ahead of its competition debut next month, Citroen revealed the C3 WRC, which is the French manufacturer's first new World Rally Car in over half a decade. Built to the revised regulations, it features an aggressive body-kit and is powered by a 380 bhp engine. Among the drivers tasked to pilot the C3 WRC are Kris Meeke and Stephane Lefebvre.
With the Q8 Concept, Audi will offer a first glimpse of an all-new model in the company's line-up. For now, we only have a pair of renderings of the show car due to make its debut early next year in Detroit.
We would also like to use this opportunity to wish you, our highly valued reader, happy holidays and all the best of the new year.
  2016-12-21: The year of the Lancia Astura ...
Lancia Astura Castagna Aerodinamica Coupe At a time when Lancia is slowly withering away, it was great to see its fabled products of the past star at the major Concours d'Elegances, and in particular two versions of the Astura. In May, this particularly striking Astura Castagna Aerodinamica Coupe won the coveted Copa d'Oro at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. One of four built, and the only one using a short wheelbase chassis, this car combines the V8-engined Lancia underpinnings with a very slippery Castagna bodywork. The Astura Aerodinamica Coupe was both used for races and Concours d'Elegance in period.
A few months later this Astura won the equally desirable Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Fitted with a particularly striking Pinin Farina cabriolet body, it had previously been part of the collections of legendary musician Eric Clapton and Pininfarina themselves. Ahead of its appearance at Pebble the Astura 'Bocca' Cabriolet was completely restored, which took over five years. Remarkably, it was the very first time the owner ever entered a car at Pebble.
2016-12-19: Mighty BMW 320 Turbo and updated Lamborghini Aventador ...
BMW 320 Turbo Group 5 Today, we continue our BMW centenary celebrations with a detailed look at one of the great Group 5 silhouette racers produced during the late 1970s; the 320 Turbo Group 5. This was an evolution of the Group 5 car, and designed to race against the mighty Porsche 935s on both sides of the Atlantic. Using 1.4- or 2.0-litre turbocharged engines, these compact machines managed to punch well above their weight. Our feature includes a pair of the ultimate, lightweight specification cars, which are pictured in this lovely gallery during this year's Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
With first deliveries starting in the spring of the new year, Lamborghini have introduced the second generation, Aventador. Dubbed the 'S', it features a revised styling, more powerful engine and rear-wheel steering. Thanks to the extensive use of lightweight, composite materials, the 740 hp Aventador S still only tips the scales at 1,575 kg.
  2016-12-16: 50th anniversary of Ford's first Le Mans win ...
Ford GT0 Mk II Among the many occasions celebrated this year was the 50th anniversary of Ford's first outright Le Mans win. This has prompted us to take a renewed look at the winning GT40 Mk II. Among with many of its sister cars, it was displayed along the shore of the Pacific coast during the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The victorious car was freshly restored and joined by the two cars that placed second and third in 1966 as well. While we had seen these three big-block GT40s before, the line-up also included chassis 1031, which won the Reims 12 Hours in 1966; the final win for a Mk II in period. Placed next to it was XGT-3, which has survived as one of the most original GT40s as it was never raced in period.
Our GT40 Mk II feature now includes eight different examples, pictured in a 146-shot gallery.
2016-12-14: Limited edition Ferrari J50 launched and the F50 in full detail ...
Ferrari J50 To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ferrari Japan, the Italian manufacturer created this striking and suitably named J50. It is based on the 488 Spider but features a very distinct and futuristic design. Subtle changes to the mechanicals like relocating the radiators have also been carried through to suit the revised exterior design. Ferrari plans just 10 examples of the J50 for the Japanese market and these have undoubtedly all been spoken for.
In addition to the name, the black wraparound band of the J50 is very reminiscent of the Ferrari F50 introduced over two decades ago. One of the all time great supercars, the F50 was effectively a racing car for the road as it incorporated a Formula 1 derived engine, which was bolted directly to the carbon-fibre composite monocoque and served as a fully stressed member. Not universally admired at the time for various reasons, we can only say that it has aged very well and has become increasingly sought after. The featured example is one of just two black cars built for the American market and the only one that has survived undamaged. With just 2,000 miles on the odometer but recently serviced, it has been consigned to the RM Sotheby's Arizona Auction where it is estimated to sell for over $3 million.
  2016-12-12: Emerson Fittipaldi turns 70 and we feature his Championship winning Lotus and McLaren ...
Lotus 72 Cosworth Brazilian racing legend Emerson Fittipaldi has turned 70 years old today. He is a two-times Formula 1 World Champions and has also won the Indy 500 twice. To celebrate his birthday, we have taken a closer look at his two Championship winning cars.
The earliest of the two is the Lotus 72 Cosworth. Introduced in 1970, this highly influential racer competed at the frontline for the better part of six seasons. It was the first F1 car to feature radiators mounted laterally in side-pods. This is still the norm for racing cars to this very day. In 1970, Fittipaldi was a new signing to Team Lotus and scored his first victory with the Lotus 72. Sadly, that year lead driver Jochen Rindt fatally crashed a sister car but did become world champion, posthumously. In 1972 Fittipaldi came to fore with the 72 and took his first title. Our updated feature, includes histories of four different examples, illustrated by a 64-shot gallery, which includes pictures of Fittipaldi driving two different chassis in recent years.
In 1974, the Brazilian joined McLaren and promptly added a second title to his tally in the M23 Cosworth. Like the Lotus 72, this was a racing car with a career and also won a second title during its third season of racing. The second time exactly 40 years ago this year, with James Hunt behind the wheel, and after an epic battle with Ferrari's Niki Lauda. Ten of the cars so successfully raced by Fittipaldi and Hunt are pictured in this 165-shot gallery.
2016-12-09: Ferrari and Porsche racers that starred at Laguna Seca this year ...
Ferrari 312 T4 While BMW was the featured marque at this year's Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, there were many great machines from other manufacturers on track as well.
Among them was this Ferrari 312 T4, similar to the cars raced by Ferrari during the 1979 World Championship winning campaign. Powered by the glorious Ferrari flat 12 engine, the 312 T4 was the odd one out in a field stocked with a colourful mix of Ford Cosworth DFV powered racers.
In the IMSA GTP race, we were treated to a Porsche 962 that we had not seen on track before. This car was originally delivered to Dyson Racing but it was ultimately only raced once. During the 1990s, chassis 962-122 was meticulously restored by specialist Kevin Jeannette. At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, it was raced by talented youngster Skylar Robinson.
  2016-12-07: Beautiful Bugattis headed for auction and new Ferrari and Mercedes-AMG racers ...
Bugatti Type 57 S Vanvooren Cabriolet Early next year, two fabulous Bugattis will cross the block. Headlining RM Sotheby's Amelia Island sale will be this Type 57 S Vanvooren Cabriolet. This very rare low chassis Type 57 is one of just three examples bodied by Vanvooren with this body style. Chassis 57513 has been part of the same collection since 1996 and has only very rarely been seen since. RM reckons it will sell for over $8.5 million.
At Gooding & Co's Scottsdale sale, this Bugatti Type 35 looks set to grab the limelight. A great example of the quintessential Bugatti Grand Prix car, chassis 4487 has had just three owners since the 1930s. To become the fourth member of that select group will require coughing up around $3 million.
At the Daytona Motor Speedway, Ferrari celebrated the end of the season over the weekend. The Italian manufacturer used the occasion to reveal the all new 488 Challenge. It shares its 670hp engine with the production 488 GTB, which makes it the most powerful Ferrari Challenge car yet.
At their end of year celebration, Mercedes-Benz also revealed a new GT racer; the Mercedes-AMG GT4. Derived from the awe-inspiring GT3 car, it looks set to be instantly competitive when it hits the tracks in 2017.
2016-12-05: Fabulous Group A BMW 635 CSi in full detail ...
BMW 635 CSi Group A Throughout this year, we have been to many events that celebrated BMW's centenary. At these events we have seen many great examples from the Bavarian company and among them was the 635 CSi Group A. Built in the early 1980s, it was designed to compete in a choice of touring car championships all around the world. It was based on the 'E24' 6-series coupe and was powered by a straight six engine, which produced just shy of 300 bhp. Pitched against a wide variety of machinery, the 635 CSi more than held its own both in the hands of the works (supported) and privateer teams. Today, we have taken a renewed look at this legendary touring car with a 243-shot gallery featuring no fewer than eleven examples of this particularly lovely BMW.
  2016-12-02: Lightweight E-Type headed for auction and new Cadillac and Hyundai racers ...
Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Roadster One of the most revered and sought after Jaguars is the E-Type Lightweight Roadster. So much so that Jaguar built six additional cars a few years ago using chassis numbers that were originally allocated but not used in period. The original cars are all in major collections and only very rarely come up for sale. One of the exceptions will be at the upcoming Bonhams Scottsdale Auction where chassis S850667 is set to cross the block. It has had just three owners from new and has been with the current custodian since 1999. Bonhams estimates the car will change hands for at least $7.5 million. We have used this occasion to also expand our Lightweight E-Type feature, which now consists of 132 shots of eight different examples.
Hot on the heels of Mazda's new IMSA prototype, Cadillac have introduced their rival, the DPi-V.R. It is based on the new Dallara LMP2 car and features bespoke Cadillac styling and a rumbling 600 bhp V8. Among the drivers due to line up with the striking DPi-V.R at its Daytona 24 Hours debut is none other than multiple NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon.
Another exciting racing car to break cover is the new-for-2017 Hyundai i20 WRC. It is built to heavily revised regulations, which combines a 20% power increase with a more aggressive aerodynamics package. With Volkswagen retired from the World Rally Championship, the new i20 WRC should certainly be among the rally winners next year.