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2017-11-30: LA Auto Show news and a look ahead to the Bonhams Bond Street sale ...
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible At this week's Los Angeles Auto Show, Chevrolet revealed the first Convertible version of the recently announced ZR1 Corvette since the 1970 model year. Like its fixed head counterpart, the new ZR1 Convertible features a 755 hp, supercharged V8 engine. Despite the intrinsically heavier Convertible bodywork and reinforcements, the drop-top ZR1 is only 60 pounds heavier than the Coupe.
BMW, meanwhile, launched a revised i8, which is now available as a Roadster for the first time. It uses the same three cylinder petrol engine but the electric motor and lithium-ion battery have been uprated, bringing the combined power of the sophisticated drivetrain up to 369 bhp. This allows the i8 Roadster to accelerate to 100 km/h in just 4.4 seconds.
On Saturday, British auctioneer Bonhams will host their final flagship sale of the year at their Bond Street headquarters. The exclusive sale features several very interesting machines, including the Aston Martin DB5 ordered new by none other than Paul McCartney. The legendary Beatle enjoyed the car and covered over 40,000 miles in it before selling it on. Among the subsequent owners was former Top Gear host Chris Evans. Chassis DB5/1653/R was recently comprehensively restored and is now expected to sell for over GBP 1.2 million.
Even more expensive will be this beautifully preserved Ferrari 288 GTO. Having barely covered 23,000 km from new, it should change hands for more than GBP 2 million.
  2017-11-27: Four fabulous Porsche racers we shot this year ...
Porsche 904 GTS Today we have taken a closer look at four great Porsche competition cars that we saw in action this season. The earliest of the quartet is this 904 GTS. Finished in what the British press described as 'vomit green', it was delivered new to the Stirling Moss Automobile Racing Team (SMART). Unfortunately, it crashed in testing after just a single contemporary outing at Goodwood. For the remainder of the year, the team used a replacement chassis and the original 904-025 was stored for many years by a Porsche mechanic. It was eventually restored by Freisinger Motorsport and has since been run in historic racing by Mario Linke's team.
One of the 904's immediate replacements was the 906 of which the featured example was raced extensively in North America. First raced by Le Mans winner Ed Hugus, it made four appearances in the Sebring 12 Hours. The last few of these were in the hands of Indy winner Bobby Rahal's father Mike. chassis 906-113 is today owned and raced by a Japanese enthusiast.
Although built to homologate the competition cars, many examples of the 911 Carrera RS 3.0 were also raced. Among them was this example, which was delivered new in France and won the Group 3 class in the Tour de France and also placed second in class at Le Mans. The highly original 911 Carrera RS 3.0 recently returned to the track in the hands of a new owner.
One of the highlights of our seasons was seeing this ex-Team Joest 962C under the supervision of Reinhold Joest once more. Campaigned only briefly in period, chassis 962-144 was raced by the current owner for the first time at the recent Dix Mille Tours.
2017-11-24: Dallara Le Mans Prototypes old and new, and new Aston and McLaren GT racers ...
Dallara SP1 Judd Working for the likes of Lancia, Ferrari and Audi, Dallara usually operated in the background. In the early 2000s, the Italian specialist developed a sports prototype, which was briefly raced in 2001 as the Chrysler LMP. When the American company withdrew its support, the cars returned to racing as the altogether more successful Dallara SP1 Judd. Raced on both sides of the Atlantic, the striking Le Mans Prototype won the Daytona 24 Hours outright in 2002 and also finished best of the rest in that year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was raced through to the 2005 season. As can be seen in our 54-shot gallery some of the cars are still raced to these days. The history of each of the six chassis is also chronicled. For the first time since then, Dallara have again produced a top level prototype in the form of the BR1 that will compete in next year's FIA World Endurance Championship. At least three cars will race with a choice of a newly developed naturally aspirated Gibson V8 or an evolution of the AER twin-turbo V6.
Shortly after the road-going Vantage broke cover, Aston Martin also revealed the GTE version, which will compete in the FIA WEC as well. The very aggressive looking machine is powered by a re-tuned version of the twin-turbo V8 and features a sequential six-speed gearbox. The Vantage GTE has already been testing extensively during the last few months, so should be instantly competitive.
Not quite ready to hit the track but already teased is this McLaren 720S GT3. Due to be offered to customers in 2019, the GT3 version of the highly acclaimed 720S will be submitted to an extensive test and development program in 2018.
  2017-11-21: All-new Aston Martin Vantage, Dallara Stradale and SCG 004S ...
Aston Martin Vantage Aston Martin Lagonda have today revealed the all-new Vantage, which is the replacement of the V8 Vantage introduced back in 2003. Built around a bonded aluminium spaceframe, it is powered by a twin-turbo V8 developed for Aston Martin Lagonda by Mercedes-AMG. The all-aluminium, four-litre unit is good for 503 bhp. Designed with aerodynamics in mind, the exterior boasts both cues from the larger DB11 and traditional elements like the shape of the grille. The Vantage is available for order immediately. Pictures of a camouflaged GTE version have already surfaced and will line up in next year's FIA World Endurance Championship.
Among the future rivals on the track for the new Vantage will be the SCG 004S. Announced over the weekend, this is the second offering from Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, which is now an approved United States Low Volume Manufacturer. The very first examples of the twin-turbo V8 engined 004S will be available late in 2018.
Best known for producing competition cars, Dallara have now introduced a road car, which is suitably dubbed the Stradale. Built around a carbon-fibre composite monocoque, the versatile sports car can be converted from a coupe to a convertible and a roadster. The Stradale is powered by a mid-mounted EcoBoost Ford engine that produces 400 bhp.
2017-11-20: 2017 Interclassics Brussels report and 110-shot gallery ...
2017 Interclassics Brussels report and 110-shot gallery This weekend, we were in Brussels for the annual Interclassics Brussels show. With over 1,000 exhibitors spread over four halls, this is the largest classic car show of the Benelux. This year's edition was opened by the Argentinean Zapp family who have spent the last 17 years traveling the world in their 1928 Graham Paige. They did so on the pavilion reserved for the 'Big Five', which in this case refers to five large, multi-marque automobile museums from around Europe. For the occasion, they each brought three great cars from their respective collections. There also was another special display dedicated to the great pre-War cycle cars. Further highlights included rarities such as the unique Bizzarrini BZ 2001 from 1992 and also an immaculate Ferrari 275 GTB, which was awarded best of show.
We were at the Brussels Expo exhibition centre during the opening morning and have compiled a concise report, illustrated by a 110-shot gallery.
  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.