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2017-12-28: The star cars of the 2017 season ...
Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE One of the lasting memories from the 2017 season was the final lap pass at the 24 Hours of Le Mans by Jonny Adam to take the GTE-Pro class victory in the Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE. It was a fitting finale to the lengthy career of the British racer that began in 2008 with the GT2 specification car. In GTE guise the V8 Vantage competed in all rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship. In 2018, it will be replaced by the recently announced Vantage GTE.
Another one of the absolute highlights of the year was getting a detailed look at this Fiat Abarth 1000 Monoposto da Record. Known affectionately as 'La Principessa' or the Princess, it was the last of the hugely successful record breakers built by Abarth and Pinin Farina. Survived in remarkably original condition the 1000 Monoposto da Record starred at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este and the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
Taking 'best of show' at the latter was this exquisitely restored Mercedes-Benz 680 S Barker Tourer that was originally owned by Le Mans winner Lord Howe. It features a unique boat-tail body that was finished in Lord Howe's preferred blue colour.
We also fondly remember seeing this achingly beautiful Ferrari 330 P4, which was one of the stars of the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The year also started on a high with the showcase of the one-off Porsche 917 K/81 at the Retromobile show.
We wish you all the best for the New Year and look forward to cover the greatest events and cars of the 2018 season for you, our very loyal readers!
  2017-12-21: Ferrari's 70th Anniversary celebrations in single seaters ...
Ferrari 312 T Ferrari's 70th Anniversary Celebrations were hard to miss this year and we have dedicated quite a few features to it already but decided to go out with a bang and take a closer look at five of the Italian manufacturer's legendary single seaters we shot this year.
Somewhat out of its element was this ex-Niki Lauda 312 T that was displayed on Pebble Beach's 18th fairway. Driven to victory by Lauda at the 1975 French Grand Prix, chassis 022 was instrumental in scoring the Austrian's first World Championship. Even though it was the first time a Formula 1 car of this era was displayed at Pebble, it actually placed second in a hotly disputed class of major race winning Ferraris.
Of a slightly later vintage was the Ferrari 641 F1 that was driven to victory in the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix by Nigel Mansell. Prepared by Ferrari Corse Clienti, it was driven at the Goodwood Festival of Speed by works driver Olivier Beretta. Also in action at the famous hill was one of the earliest surviving Ferrari single seaters, the 166 FL that was originally owned by Juan Manuel Fangio. Originally fitted with a naturally aspirated engine for use in Formula 2, it was driven to a debut victory by the great Argentinian himself. Chassis 011F has survived in the subsequent supercharged Formula Libre guise in which it was also raced by Fangio and his compatriot Froilan Gonzales.
The single best display of Ferrari single seaters this year was at Retromobile where our friends Mario Linke and Franco Meiners brought together a superb selection of beautifully preserved Grand Prix machines from the late 1960s and early 1970s. Among them was this 312/69 F1, which was the last Ferrari F1 car fitted with a conventional V12 engine until the late 1980s. Following this car, Ferrari turned to the flat-12 engine (which strictly speaking is also a V12) that powers the 312 B2 that was also on display at Retromobile. It was raced by the likes of Clay Regazzoni and Mario Andretti but with little luck.
2017-12-19: The stars of the Festival of Speed and wild Toyota concept ...
Audi R8 One of our favourite events each year is the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which brings out some of the greatest cars from private and manufacturer collections. Today, we take a look at three of these machines that reside in factory in collections.
To celebrate the record breaking career of Tom Kristensen, Audi pulled out all the stops and brought a full array of their successful Le Mans racers to the Festival of Speed. Our eye was particularly caught by the actual R8 that was driven to the German company's first Le Mans win by Kristensen, Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro in 2000. During the weekend, chassis 404 was driven up the famous hill climb by Kristensen himself.
A particularly rare sight was this Lancia LC2 from the FCA Heritage collection. It served throughout the 1984 season and finished as high as second. With the addition of 0006, this means we have now featured all but one of the nine LC2s built in period.
Boasting the same iconic livery as the LC2 is the spectacular 935/78 'Moby Dick' from the Porsche Museum Collection. This is the most extreme evolution of the 935 built by the factory, which exploited the Group 5 regulations to the maximum and inspired the many privately built 935s that followed in the early 1980s.
In 2018, the Festival of Speed will celebrate its 25th anniversary and knowing the organisers, this edition will undoubtedly be even more special than 'regular' years.
At next month's Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyota Gazoo Racing will reveal this GR Super Sport Concept. Although little is known about the car yet, it is believed to based on the current generation of Toyota Le Mans racers, so should be quite a remarkably machine. Coincidentally, Toyota today confirmed that it will take part in the upcoming FIA World Endurance Championship, which includes the 2018 and 2019 editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
  2017-12-15: Great British sports cars that starred in 2017 ...
Jaguar XJR-6 During our ventures to the great events, we come across many Jaguars, ERAs, Chevrons and Aston Martins but this year we nevertheless shot a few great examples that we had not seen before. Today we have a taken look at five of these machines.
The newest of these is the Jaguar XJR-6, which was the first in a long line of Group C cars built for Jaguar by TWR. The subsequent Le Mans and World Championship winning machines were a direct evolution of the XJR-6. The example that starred at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed was the very first and retains the British Racing Green livery used in the effort's debut season.
Chevrons are regular feature at most classic meeting but we had never seen this B6 before. Chevron built only a handful of these during 1967 before switching to the similar and more common B8 for 1968. The the pictured example is the second of seven built. A spiritual predecessor of the Chevron sports cars is the Lotus 15 of the late 1950s. At the Goodwood Revival we shot chassis 627/3, which is one of the very last built and was originally delivered to the United States.
At the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este we were treated to a great example of the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato. This particular example was built to special order and includes many custom features.
The earliest car featured today is the final ERA B-Type built. It was raced with great success in period by Johnny Wakefield and was later owned and raced for many decades by Donald Day. The current owner acquired R14B last year and raced it at on both sides of the Atlantic in 2017.
2017-12-12: Historic V8-engined American racing cars ...
Chaparral 1 Chevrolet Now that 2017 is nearing its end, it is time for us to take a look back at some of the great cars we saw during the year. For today's news feature we have highlighted three great V8-engined American sports cars that competed at this year's Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
The earliest and rarest of the trio is the third Chaparral 1 Chevrolet built by Troutman-Barnes. First raced in 1962 by the Chaparral team, this mighty machine won its class at the Sebring 12 Hours and later also scored an overall win at the Road America 500. Among the last of the great front-engined racers, this Chaparral is today part of a prominent American collection and is regularly raced.
Built a few years later is this Ford Shelby Mustang GT350 R, which was acquired new by Texan Ford distributor Gene Hamon. It was the very last of the first series of the 'R' built, which was raced in period with great success by none other than Pedro Rodriguez. For its next owner, it was finished in Mexican national colours and it remained in this guise until it was acquired by the current owner last year. Chassis SFM5R108 has since been restored to its original colours and raced at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Also re-finished in its original colours was this Chevrolet DeKon Monza, which was raced in period by Huffaker for owner Tom Frank. Thanks to the expert preparation by Huffaker, it was one of the most reliable of the tube-framed Monzas. We have previously only seen chassis 1004 in a red and gold livery but it once agains wears the period correct white and green colour scheme.
  2017-12-10: All-new McLaren Senna supercar ...
McLaren Senna Last night, McLaren debuted the all-new Senna road legal trackday car. During the design process function certainly dictated over form as the Senna comes equipped with a rather wild aerodynamics package that includes a deep front splitter, a tall rear wing and a double diffusor. Another striking exterior design feature is the abundant use of glass, not only in the dome like cockpit but also in the doors. Underneath the extreme body, the Senna shares many key design features with the recently introduced 720S road car. For this application, the most powerful McLaren internal combustion engine yet is fitted, the 789 bhp M480TR twin turbo V8. The car also boasts the active hydraulic suspension used on the 720S. With a dry weight of 1,198 kg, it is also the lightest McLaren road car since the F1.
Production of the 750,000 Senna will be limited to just 500 examples. At last night's launch an unallocated example was auctioned for 2 million with the proceeds going to the Senna Foundation.
McLaren's latest offering is of course named after the legendary Brazilian Grand Prix driver Ayrton Senna, who won three World Championships with McLaren in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The first of these titles was scored with the all-conquering MP4/4 Honda. Along with team-mate Alain Prost, Senna used that twin-turbo V6 engined machine to win all but one of that year's Grands Prix. Our detailed feature includes three of the six examples built.
His third and final title came in 1991 with this V12-powered MP4/6 Honda. The glorious Japanese 3.5-litre engine in the back of the MP4/6 could run up to 15,000 rpm. McLaren built 11 of these and the featured example is demonstrated regularly at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
2017-12-08: Fabulous Italian racing cars we shot in 2017 and the first Chiron sold at auction ...
Alfa Romeo 33/TT/12 During the year, we have seen some fabulous classic Italian racing cars and today we take a closer look at three of them. The single most successful of these is this Alfa Romeo 33/TT/12, which was first raced at the recent Dix Mille Tours following a complete restoration. This particular example scored a debut victory at Monza in 1974 in the hands of Mario Andretti and Arturo Merzario and would go on to score many more wins during the 1975. Quite possibly the single most successful of all Tipo 33s, chassis 008 was raced at Paul Ricard for the owner by Derek Bell and Sam Hancock.
Also in action during the Dix Mille Tours was this very rare Maserati Tipo 63 Birdcage. One of just a handful of mid-engined Birdcages built, this particular example was fielded by Team Camoradi in period for the likes of Stirling Moss and Graham Hill. Now beautifully prepared for historic racing, the Tipo 63 was one of the front runners in the Trofeo Nastro Rosso.
An interesting Ferrari to return to the track is this 250 GT SWB Comp/61. Raced in period by Garage Francorchamps, this SWB was heavily damaged at Le Mans in 1962 and later rebuilt with a brand new Drogo body. In this guise it survived the next 50 years and was also raced in historic events in more recent years. The new owner had 2445GT restored to its original configuration by Edi Wyss with a brand new body.
The 2017 auction season ended on a high this Wednesday with the $45.6 million RM Sotheby's New York - Icons sale. Among the great cars sold in the exclusive auction was this Bugatti Chiron; the first built for the American market. It was also the first ever Chiron to cross the block and it sold for a hefty $3.7 million.
  2017-12-06: A detailed look at the legendary Jaguar C-Type ...
Jaguar C-Type Today, we have taken a closer look at the first ever purpose-built Jaguar competition car; the C-Type. Initially known as the XK120 C (for Competition), the new-for-1951 sports racer was loosely based on Jaguar's breakthrough sports car. It did feature a bespoke chassis and lightweight aluminium bodywork but retained the 'XK' straight six that made the XK120 an instant classic. Good for over 200 bhp in race trim, the twin-cam engine also proved competitive on the track. The C-Type debuted with an outright victory at Le Mans and won the classic road race again in 1953. In addition to scoring many other victories, most of them in private hands, the C-Type also holds the distinction of being the first racing car to be fitted with disc brakes and also the first to score an international victory with these brakes that were developed together with Dunlop.
One of the many reasons for us to highlight the C-Type today is the fact that this fabulous example will cross the block tonight in the RM Sotheby's New York - Icons auction. Chassis XKC 007 was the first C-Type delivered to the United States and it was raced with considerable success by the late, great Phil Hill. Beautifully restored to its original colours and configuration, this early production C-Type is estimated to sell for $5.5 - 7 million.
2017-12-04: All-new Lamborghini Urus, a lovely LM002 and other news ...
Lamborghini Urus This evening, Lamborghini published the first details and images of the all-new Urus SUV. Built, around an aluminium and composite unitary construction, it features a twin-turbo V8 that sends 650 hp to all four wheels. Among the advanced features fitted to the Urus is rear-wheel steering. The styling is reminiscent of Lamborghini's current range of sports cars and features a sloping instead of an upright rear window.
One of the Urus' predecessors is the very wild LM002 of which a fabulous example has been consigned to Wednesday's RM Sotheby's New York - Icons auction. The LM002 in the sale is a rare American specification car and has recently been completely restored and should be one of the very best examples in existence. Another Lamborghini from the same period available in the auction is this Countach 25th Anniversary. It was ordered new in the launch colours of white over white, which may not be to everyone's taste. With less than 16,000 km on the odometer, it is in a remarkably original condition.
At the launch of the production road car, Volkswagen also revealed the Polo GTI R5. Built for privateers to race, the new GTI R5 is laced with the DNA of its World Rally Championship winning predecessor.