All posts in “Classics”

Maserati teases MC20 prototype again reminiscing about the Targa Florio

Maserati spent its weekend reminiscing about victory in the 1940 Targa Florio, putting an MC20 prototype to work enhancing the gravitas of the anniversary. After winning the Targa in 1937, 1938, and 1939 with the Maserati 6CM and its 1.5-liter supercharged inline-six throwing 175 horsepower, the House of the Trident showed up in 1940 with the brand new 4CL powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder cranking 220 hp. Luigi Villoresi, who’d driven the 6CM to triumph the year before, crossed the line first in the 4CL to close out European racing until the end of World War II.

With a return to racing on the automaker’s mind, Maserati took a camouflaged MC20 to the same Favorita Park roads that hosted the Targa. The soft-focus spy shots were taken in front of the Floriopoli stands, a stretch of bunting and banners not far from the Targa start line as historic competitors headed into the Sicilian mainland.

The MC20 is as photogenic in these shots as all the others, and as mysterious. The automaker seems intent on making everyone wait until the September debut to for any details that the prototype doesn’t put on display. Prime among enthusiast interest is the powerplant. With Ferrari shutting down its supply of engines to the fellow Modenese sports car maker, Maserati says its new mid-engined coupe will be “the first car to use [its] new engine, brimming with innovative technological contents, developed and built by Maserati in-house.” Short odds figure on a molto potente twin-turbo V6 sending power to the rear wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, the long money isn’t afraid to bet on a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8  to replace the F154 V8 that Ferrari provides.

With race engineers undoubtedly sorting out a version for sports car racing as we speak, Maserati will certainly hope the competitive version matches the exploits of the 4CL. The vintage race car took pole in its first race, earned its first victory two races later, snatched up a bag of silverware before WWII, won the first race held in Europe after the war ended, and continued winning in 4CL and 4CLT trim until 1951 to take 31 total victories — nine more than the MC12 race car.

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Acura NSX, a pair of 2 Series Gran Coupes and a time machine | Autoblog Podcast #628

In this week’s Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by West Coast Editor James Riswick and Road Test Editor Zac Palmer. This week, they’re driving a 2020 Acura NSX, two versions of the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe (M235i and 228i) and the updated 2020 Honda Civic Si. Then, the gang gets to talking about what they’d drive in 1975 and 1985, along with plenty of other tangents. Finally, they wrap it up with news about the upcoming 2021 Acura TLX Type S and the fate of this year’s Woodward Dream Cruise.

Autoblog Podcast #628

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The Quail joins the Pebble Beach Concours, cancels for this August

Another of the major Monterey Car Week events has announced it’s canceling this year’s festivities. The latest is The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, which is a show and road rally that precedes the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance (also canceled) each summer. While classic cars are featured, the show also highlights high-end sports cars and supercars, helping do differentiate itself from the Pebble Beach Concours. Previous notable debuts at the event include the Bugatti Divo.

The rally, which would have taken place Aug. 10-12 and the show on August 14, will not happen. Like with the Pebble Beach Concours, The Quail will simply run this year’s event next year, letting participants keep their spots and not have to pay additional fees. The same goes for visitors with tickets to this year’s show. Anyone who can’t or doesn’t want to attend the event next year also has the option to get a full refund. Next year’s rally will run Aug. 9-11, and the show will be on Aug. 13.

Closely related to The Quail is the Bonhams auction that would be held there. That auction was held on the grounds of The Quail starting the day before the main show. While it won’t be held in the same place, Bonhams will have an auction of its planned cars somewhere else in California with details to come, and Bonhams will return to The Quail next year. Meanwhile, Gooding and Company announced that it would postpone its Pebble Beach auction to next year alongside the concours.

With The Quail and Pebble Beach postponing their events, only one major pillar of Monterey Car Week is left, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion held at Laguna Seca. The event hasn’t announced plans to postpone yet, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it does.

McLaren F1 GTR Longtail No. 1 is road-ready and listed for sale

The chassis number on this 1996 McLaren F1 GTR Longtail is 19R, but in the order of production, this car is No. 1. It’s the first longtail version of the GTR version of what many consider the greatest car ever made. Despite its track-intended build, it’s road-legal, and it’s currently up for sale in the United Kingdom. 

The special nature of 19R goes beyond the fact of its birth order. This car was reportedly used as a development prototype for the entire run of GTR Longtails and participated in numerous Japanese races, including the Suzuka 1000km. According to the listing, it’s also only one of two GTR Longtails in private ownership (Nick Mason owns the other), so this is likely one of few occasions in a lifetime when one will be available for purchase.

19R has another first under its belt, too. It was the first GTR Longtail to be converted to a road-legal specification. Gordon Murray, the designer of the F1, worked with Lanzante to turn the racecar version of the road car back into a road car. The unique F1 comes with a Gordon Murray Design book that documents the conversion, as well as the history of the car. All of the parts that were changed were also kept and come as part of a large spare parts package.

Although some might not see the value of the color scheme, McLaren painted it this way to draw attention to the differences between the GTR and the GTR Longtail. The vibrant markings exaggerate the changes and earned this car the nickname “Squiggles,” according to Tom Hartley Jr. 

If the paint scheme looks familiar, it might be because this car has been seen flexing its BMW Motorsport-sourced V12 at the Goodwood hillclimb (seen below). Via Road & Track, the 19R is listed without a price by Tom Hartley Jr.

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McLaren Elva gets another retro paint scheme from McLaren Special Operations

You may have noticed that McLaren’s official brand color is a bright shade of orange. That dates back to Bruce McLaren’s M6A Can-Am race car of 1967, the first to feature the all-orange paint scheme and the car that helped him win his first Can-Am championship that year. So what better way to honor a wild open-top race car than by painting the wild open-top McLaren Elva supercar in the same color?

The McLaren Elva M6A Theme is the second race car-themed Elva to come from McLaren Special Operations (MSO). The group offers customization services to McLaren customers, particularly unique paint and carbon fiber finishes. The special was revealed on Twitter, and it is quite faithful to the 1967 car. It’s finished in a unique orange that looks a little less bold with more of a pearl finish than the glowing solid orange of the race car. It’s paired with big simple number circles featuring the number “4” like one of the race cars. On the sides, a metallic stripe is added to mimic the chrome divider between the top and bottom sections of the Can-Am car. It also gets the same “McLaren Cars” logo and Bruce McLaren’s signature down the side. As cool as this is from a historical standpoint, the orange really shows off how the body blends right into the interior, something McLaren did to evoke the feeling of being outside and exposed to the world, rather than hidden inside the car’s cabin. The dark launch color was far less effective at conveying that feeling.

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As previously mentioned, MSO did another race car-themed Elva, a black and white car inspired by an older 1964 McLaren M1A race car. Clearly there will be one of each, but McLaren hasn’t put any limits on the designs, so it’s possible there may be multiple examples in the car’s 399-unit run. We also wouldn’t be surprised if McLaren rolls out some other motorsports-inspired liveries in the future, as it has many famous racecars to pull from. The reddish-orange and white Honda-powered Marlboro F1 cars of the late 1980s and the black and silver Mercedes-powered F1 cars of the early 2000s both seem like strong choices. Or if McLaren doesn’t do it themselves, maybe a rich reader could commission one painted as such. Though we wouldn’t want to tell that person how to spend their $1.69 million (or more) on their car.

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Dodge Viper-based 2010 Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale Zagato rarity could be yours

It has been a decade since it was launched, but the 2010 Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale Zagato is just as bizarre and beautiful as the day it was revealed. It’s what you get when you have Italian design house Zagato give a Dodge Viper an Alfa Romeo body. And this one, number six of a total of nine examples, could be yours. It’s going to be auctioned in Elkhart, Indiana, by RM Sotheby’s along with several other rare vehicles.

Now when we described this car as a Zagato take on an Alfa but using a Viper, that’s exactly what it is. All the mechanical bits are from the 2010 Dodge Viper ACR, down to the 8.4-liter 600-horsepower V10 and six-speed manual transmission. The body does do an impressive job disguising this, from the signature Zagato double-bubble roof, to the unique, almost shooting brake-style rear roofline and Kamm tail. The Alfa grille in the nose also throws off the scent.

But look closer, and Viper elements start showing up. On the outside, the push-down flush door handles remain. Inside, the gauges feature the same fonts and layout as in the Viper, the only change being the TZ3 logo sitting in the middle. Particularly glaring is the audio head unit, which was shared with every other Dodge product on the market since the early 2000s. But the leather appointments throughout do make it nicer. Also amusing is the fact that all the owner’s manuals are simply Dodge examples, with no changes to the covers or names. One other bizarre thing, since this is a 2010 car, it was built at the very early start of Fiat and Chrysler joining up. As omens go, this was a pretty solid one.

Regardless, it is an extremely striking car that’s sure to be exhilarating to drive. And that’s not something the previous owner experienced much, because the photos suggest it’s only been driven about 200 miles. RM Sotheby’s doesn’t give an estimated sale price, but it should go for well into six figures, if not more. And it will sell, as it’s being offered with no reserve. The auction starts May 1.

Related Video:

Top 5 most expensive cars at the 2020 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction

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2019 SEMA Show Mega Photo Gallery | Wild West show

LAS VEGAS — Car shows across the planet are struggling, as automakers look for fresh ways to reach the buying public. But out in Las Vegas at the SEMA show (SEMA stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association, in case you didn’t know), things have seemingly never been better. This year’s show has 2,400 exhibiting companies with 3,000 products on display, filling five halls. Off-road, performance, racing, hot-rods, coolness, weirdness — there’s something different around every corner.

The show ends Friday, so unless you’re about to hop a plane, you might just miss it. But here, from the comfort of your own home or cubicle, are the highlights — 45 cars that caught our eye. So sit back, crack a Zima and SEMA it up:

2020 Acura RDX with Concept A-Spec AccessoriesAcura shows off RDX accessories and 2020 NSX at SEMA

B is for Build Twin-Turbo V8 Huracan Widebody2015 Lamborghini Huracan is getting twin-turbo Chevy power for SEMA

Button Built Ferrari BB355TTToyo Tires will bring another wild catalog of rides to SEMA

2020 Chevrolet COPO Camaro John Force Edition – The Force is with you in this one-off Chevy COPO Camaro

2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Dusk Edition – 2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Midnight and Dusk Editions to debut at SEMA

Chevrolet Performance E-10 ConceptChevy truck transformed from farm work to 450-horsepower electric hot rod

2021 Chevrolet Silverado HD Carhartt Special EditionYou’ll know the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD Carhartt Special Edition when you see it

2020 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak2020 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak comes solely with supercharged power

Factory Five Romulan V12 SupercarFactory Five developing new supercar with 755-hp LS V12

Foose Jaguar E-Type Chip Foose cooks up a custom 1974 Jaguar E-Type for SEMA

Jay Leno’s GT500-powered 1968 Ford BroncoThis classic Ford Bronco has a modern GT500 engine and a manual

Ford F-Series CustomsFord previews custom F-150s and Mustangs for SEMA

Ford F-Series Super Duty CustomsCheck out the Ford Super Duty lineup rolling into SEMA 2019

Ford Mustang CustomsFord previews custom F-150s and Mustangs for SEMA

Ford Mustang LithiumLithium Mustang EV from Ford and Webasto is lightning in an bottle for SEMA

Ford Ranger Customs2019 Ford SEMA builds feature off-road-ready Rangers and wild Transit Vans

2020 Ford Ranger RTR 2019 Ford SEMA builds feature off-road-ready Rangers and wild Transit Vans

Ford SUV CustomsFord will bring more than 50 tricked-out vehicles to SEMA: Here’s a preview

Hennessey Jeep Gladiator Maximus Hennessey Maximus turns 2020 Jeep Gladiator into a 1,000-horsepower monster

Honda Civic Si Formula Drift CarHonda to show custom 1968 S800 Coupe, three Civic Si builds at SEMA

Honda CR-V CustomsHonda CR-V, Passport and Ridgeline highlighted at SEMA

Honda Rally PassportHonda CR-V, Passport and Ridgeline highlighted at SEMA

Honda Ridgeline HFP ConceptHonda CR-V, Passport and Ridgeline highlighted at SEMA

Honda Vintage VehiclesHonda to show custom 1968 S800 Coupe, three Civic Si builds at SEMA

Hyundai Kona Ultimate ConceptHyundai Veloster N ‘Type R Killer’ and lifted Kona on their way to SEMA

Hyundai Veloster N Performance Concept2020 Hyundai Veloster N Performance Concept gets an aftermarket makeover

Hyundai VelosterRaptor N ConceptHyundai Veloster N ‘Type R Killer’ and lifted Kona on their way to SEMA

Jack Roush Edition Mustang Jack Roush Edition Mustang brings 775 horses to Ford’s pony car

Mopar Lowliner Concept1968 Dodge D200 ‘Lowliner’ adds low-down diesel torque to a lowrider

Moparized Jeep Wrangler RubiconRam 1500 diesel overlander, off-road Jeep Wrangler show present and future of Mopar

Nissan Global Time Attack TT 370Z ProjectNissan Frontier 600-hp desert-runner, 370Z with 750 hp lead assault on SEMA

Nissan Frontier Desert Runner ProjectNissan Frontier 600-hp desert-runner, 370Z with 750 hp lead assault on SEMA

Nissan Kicks Street Sport ProjectNissan Frontier 600-hp desert-runner, 370Z with 750 hp lead assault on SEMA

2020 Nissan Titan with Genuine Nissan AccessoriesNissan Frontier 600-hp desert-runner, 370Z with 750 hp lead assault on SEMA

Nissan Titan XD Dually Project

1958 Plymouth Fury ‘Christine’ Tribute 1958 Plymouth Fury ‘Christine’ tribute has a 1,000-hp Hemi crate engine

Quintin Brothers Dodge ChallengerThis Dodge Challenger was stolen, used in police chases and recovered all in the week before its SEMA debut

Ram 1500 Rebel OTGRam 1500 diesel overlander, off-road Jeep Wrangler show present and future of Mopar

Ring Brothers 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ValkyrjaRingbrothers 1969 Chevy Camaro ‘Valkyrja’ ready to take SEMA to Belgium

Ruffian Ford MustangToyo Tires will bring another wild catalog of rides to SEMA

Russell Built Porsche 911 BajaToyo Tires will bring another wild catalog of rides to SEMA

Shelby GT500 Dragon SnakeShelby brings Dragon Snake GT500, Super Snake F-150 truck to SEMA

Speedkore AWD Twin-Turbo Dodge Charger WidebodySpeedkore AWD twin-turbo Carbon Charger, best birthday gift ever

Toyota Avalon TRD Pro ConceptToyota floods SEMA with a slew of Supra concepts

Toyota GR Supra CustomsToyota floods SEMA with a slew of Supra concepts