All posts in “Rides”

The Bugatti EB 110, the super sports car of the 1990s

Let’s take a trip back to September 15, 1990, the Champs Élysées in Paris, a Bugatti EB110S drives down this famous road as a celebration of Ettore Bugatti’s 110th anniversary. With angular styling, Lamborghini style doors, and a massive amount of power … the super sportscar for the 90s was unveiled, the Bugatti EB110.

We are talking about a V12 powered supercar with a quad-turbo setup complete with intercoolers mounted on a lightweight carbon monocoque with about 550 hp being delivered to all four wheels through two differentials. If we compare that to the Lamborghini Diablo that was unveiled in January 1990, the Bull from Sant’Agata came with 492 hp and didn’t offer four-wheel drive until the 1993 Diablo VT version) … so it’s safe to say the Bugatti EB110 was very impressive at that time.

And that also reflected itself in the price, the 1990 Bugatti EB110GT was listed at 450,000,000 Lira (about $200,000 in 1990), but it did come with service and parts included for three years, the later released EB110 Super Sport had an MSRP of 550,000,000 Lira ($240,000 in 1992) compared to the Lamborghini Diablo VT MSRP in 1993 of $239,000 those numbers aren’t too crazy … but today’s values are even more impressive, only ten years ago, in 2011, a Bugatti EB110 would change hands for under $300,000, today we are talking about $3,000,000 for one that was recently sold by RM Sotheby’s.

The story of Bugatti was started in 1909 when Ettore Bugatti founded his company in Molsheim in the Alsace where he built the famous Bugatti Type 35, the Type 41 Royale, and the beautiful Type 57 Atlantic, sadly Ettore passed away in 1947, and even more unfortunate, his son Jean Bugatti was taken from him in 1939 already, so there was no successor to run the car building company and after about 8,000 Bugatti were built the Bugatti factory was bought by Hispano-Suiza in 1963 and the Bugatti cars went into the automotive history chronicles.

About 25 years later, in 1987, Romano Artioli was able to buy the rights to the Bugatti name and start building cars again, as he was Italian he opted to have Bugatti Automobili SpA located in Italy, in Campogalliano, Modena more precisely, and the design of his new factory made it unforgettable, even today, the at the time highly modern production facility was designed by a star architect and boasted state-of-the-art technology. The “Fabbrica Blu,” or blue building for the Development department sported the Bugatti emblem, and the large white ventilation ducts symbolized the heart of the factory.

But the economic collapse in the ’90s meant the number of customers for a super sports car like the Bugatti EB110 was dwindling fast, and a series of setbacks resulted in another demise in automotive history, Bugatti Automobili SpA ceased operations in September 1995, but five more EB110SS would be made by 1997 as German-based Dauer Racing obtained a license to build the EB110 and they even obtained the remaining stock from the factory grounds in Campogalliano, the factory itself was sold to a different company that went out of business before moving in, so this amazing production facility stood empty ever since.

In 1998 the Volkswagen Group came into the picture, obtaining the brand name and starting Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. with a headquarter that returned to Molsheim, back where Ettore Bugatti started this journey 90 years earlier, and some of the world’s most impressive hypercars were built, from the Bugatti Veyron in 2005 to the Bugatti Chiron from 2016, but this year, 2021, they are also finalizing the Centodiece, as an homage to the EB110 from the Nineties, a car that celebrates her 30th anniversary now.

To celebrate the fact the Bugatti EB110 was unveiled 30 years ago, owners took a total of twelve classic Bugatti EB110 back to Campogalliano to visit the famous Blue Factory again to pay tribute to their birthplace, ranging from the EB110GT to the EB110 SS and even the two factory race-spec models, this impressive collection of Bugatti EB110 was joined by the production prototype of the Bugatti Centodiece.

“With the EB 110, Bugatti developed a completely innovative super sports car 30 years ago that was pioneering not only for the brand but also for the automotive industry,” says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. “Already 30 years ago, the technology, innovations, design, and handling were years ahead of the competition. At the same time, the EB 110 established the DNA of modern Bugatti hyper sports cars with its combination of a carbon monocoque, all-wheel drive, and four turbochargers.”

In the end, a total of 95 units of the Bugatti EB 110s and just 39 Bugatti EB 110 Super Sport cars were built in Campogalliano between 1990 and 1995, so only 135 original Bugatti EB110 exist worldwide, one of them being the famous yellow EB110 SS owned by Michael Schumacher, making the Bugatti EB110 a collector’s item for sure, and their value will only rise over the years to come.

REC Watches RNR Arkonik: Automotive-Inspired Watchmaking At Its Finest

image

Land Rover is an iconic British marque that supplies the automotive industry with rugged and expedition-ready vehicles. Among its lineup of tough rides, the Defender has amassed a cult following for years now. The model’s immense popularity makes it a perfect platform for aftermarket customizations. As such, REC Watches pays tribute to a mechanical masterpiece with an exclusive timepiece – the RNR Arkonik.

Given the difficulty of finding a classic that’s in pristine condition, most people turn to restomods. For its latest project, the Copenhagen, Denmark-based watchmaker draws more than just inspiration from a 1984 Arkonik Land Rover Defender 110 UJO. Before we dive in let’s give you a brief overview of the SUV that led to this awesome collaboration.

How The UJO Came To Be

image

As REC Watches tells it, the story began when Arkonik founder Andy Hayes arrived home from the hospital in 2006. Coming from a two-month recovery period after a motorcycle accident, his wife surprised him with a “Stratos Blue” 1984 Land Rover Defender 110. It was supposedly something he could work on as a hobby.

The “UJO” moniker apparently came from the last three randomized letters of the Defender 110’s plate number – “B379 UJO.” After a comprehensive restoration, Hayes took the SUV on a tour across Europe. By the end of his travels, the experience sparked the creation of the Arkonik brand. Now, you can own a piece of the legendary machine that started it all with the RNR Arkonik.

A Sophisticated Homage To A Stunning Ride

image

Much like their previous outings, REC Watches allows us to own an actual part of the vehicle they choose to feature. For the RNR Arkonik, they are sourcing it directly from the abovementioned 1984 Land Rover Defender 110 UJO. The result is nothing short of amazing as the design and accents are carefully curated to best represent the essence of this British-built beauty.

Let’s start with the 40-mm square case with rounded corners crafted out of 316L stainless steel. We love how they went with three different finishes: sandblasted, polished, and vertical brushed. It different textures of the surfaces endow the RNR Arkonik with a nice contrast when the light hits it from different angles.

What follows is the durable Viton (FKM) rubber bezel in the shape of a tire. You can also find it on the crown. Beneath the sapphire crystal, is the soul of this limited-edition production, which is an aluminum dial cut from the 1984 Arkonik Land Rover Defender 110 UJO’s door. After the metal panel was stripped of its paint and primer, 302 dials were punched out to become bespoke elements on the RNR Arkonik.

No further treatment was necessary as REC Watches wanted to keep scuffs and dents that the SUV accumulated over the years. The hour and minutes are indicated by two skeleton hands. Meanwhile, a small seconds sub-dial sits at 9 o’clock as It shares the spot with the date window. The REC branding is just below 12 o’clock with the Arkonik badge at above 6 o’clock. You then have the minute track on the flange with an orange outer ring.

Referencing The UJO

image

Next up are the design references to the 1984 Arkonik Land Rover Defender 110 UJO. Look closer to spot the hour markers at 12, 3, and 6 o’clock in the shape of a fuel cap. A view from the right flank of the case band reveals crown protectors that resemble the front grille. Make your way to the caseback to spot engravings laser-etched engravings of the chassis décor. Finally, the rear cover channels the alloy wheels.

At the heart of the RNR Arkonik is a Swiss-made Sellita SW290-1 self-winding caliber. This 31-jewel mechanical movement beats at the frequency rate of 28,800 VPH (4.0 Hz) and touts a 38-hour power reserve. To finish off the theme, the watch receives a blue Viton (FKM) rubber strap. REC Watches plans to produce only 302 examples, so order yours before all units are spoken for.

About REC Watches

image

Founded in 2014 by Jonathan Kamstrup & Christian Mygh, the brand lives by the concept of “RECOVER, RECYCLE, RECLAIM.” Thus, they’ve shortened it into “REC” and appended it “Watches” to showcase their passion for both. Since they source materials directly from the vehicle or aircraft featured, each release is a treat for collectors. Furthermore, this means no two timepieces are ever the same. Aside from the RNR Arkonik, you can check out other cool offers from REC Watches.

Make it yours

imageimageimageimageimage

Images courtesy of REC Watches

In Less Than 24 Hours, Acura Sells Out All 350 Units Of The 2022 NSX Type S

One of the showstoppers at the 2021 Monterey Car Week was Honda’s luxury division’s reveal of the 2022 NSX Type S. Acura plans to produce only 350 examples of this everyday supercar and 300 are heading stateside. The remaining 50 are for the Japanese market. Unfortunately, those who plan to get one are out of luck because all are already spoken for.

Reports reveal that in less than 24 hours the entire fleet of 2022 NSX Type S bound for the United States sold out. This was supposedly confirmed by an Acura insider who also noted that all allocated units have been reserved with deposits. Even before the big reveal, interest surrounding the platform was already at an all-time high.

Perhaps the key factor behind this rush is Acura’s recent announcement regarding the vehicle. This might be the last chance for anyone to own the one since the next model year is apparently the last. Pricing starts at $169,500 for the standard trim and goes up to $182,500 with the lightweight package of automotive upgrades.

Of course, when it comes to the vehicle identification number (VIN), some discerning collectors have their preferences. We heard the unit tagged 001 commanded an insane price. Aside from its exclusive production run, the 2022 NSX Type S is no slouch when it comes to performance.

Acura endows the coupe with a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 hybrid engine that produces 600 horsepower with 492 lb-ft of torque. Completing the powertrain is a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission. It can complete 0-60 mph dash in less than three seconds with a top speed of 191 mph. We think the 2022 NSX Type S is a thrilling ride preview of when Acura finally goes all-electric in the future.

learn more

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

Images courtesy of Acura

Aston Martin DB5 Junior No Time To Die Edition

The latest James Bond movie is about to be released at the time of writing, and while Aston Martin themselves have already started their No Time To Die campaign by putting a 1:1 scale replica of the famous Bond DB5 inside a giant Corgi Toys box, there are others that plan to ride the James Bond wave this new movie will cause, just check out this amazing silver metallic DB5 Convertible ‘No Time To Die Edition’ … but it might not be what you would expect …

What you are looking at here is actually a two-thirds scale replica of the iconic Aston Martin DB5, all-electric by the way, created by ‘The Little Car Company’ together with Aston Martin and EON Production … only 125 units of this very special Aston Martin DB5 Junior No Time To Die Edition will be made worldwide, and it does include some of those famous Bond gadgets.

© 2021. All rights reserved. The Little Car Company. The Ferrari Testa Rossa J is hand-built in the UK under license by The Little Car Company. Use of the Ferarri brand is with permission of Ferrari s.p.a

The Little Car Company has a very interesting catalog of amazing classic cars, downscaled to be enjoyed by not only children but their parents too. How about a 75% reproduction of the legendary Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, called the Testa Rossa J, and limited to 299 units, they even have a complete configurator online to create your bespoke Testa Rossa J in just about any color you like.

But it gets even better, with the Bugatti Baby II, another 75% scale model, but this time of the 1920’s Bugatti Type 35, probably the most successful race car of all time with about 2,000 wins under her belt, but the story gets more interesting when Ettore Bugatti built a half-scale replica for his son Jean’s fourth birthday. Intended as a one-off, customers convinced Ettore to start building this smaller-scale version too, and in the end about 500 units were made almost a century ago.

© 2021. All rights reserved. The Little Car Company. The Bugatti Baby II is hand-built in the UK under license by The Little Car Company. Use of the Bugatti brand is with permission of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.

Today you can get a more modern version, which happens to be a little larger too, as a three-quarter Bugatti Baby II model from The Little Car Company, again limited to only 500 units, available in many different colors, this new Bugatti Baby II is a rear-wheel drive, battery-powered car that can reach a top speed of about 20 km/h in ‘novice mode’ but this can be raised to 45 km/h in export mode … the Baby II even comes with a ‘Speed Key’ like the Chiron, which releases 10kW and no speed limiter.

But back to the Aston Martin DB5 Junior now, and while we will discuss this new limited edition ‘No Time To Die’ version next, first let’s take a look at what The Little Car Company offers in their DB5 Junior range too, at a more democratic price. With a battery-powered engine delivering 5kW or 6.7hp from a 1.8kWh battery the base model DB5 Junior is listed at £35,000 (US$ 50,000) before options, but just like the big brothers from Aston Martin, you can opt for a DB5 Vantage Junior which comes with two batteries and doubles the power output to 10kW (13.4 bhp) and even comes with a limited-slip differential … at £45,000 ($62,000).

But we are here for the piece de résistance, the DB5 JUNIOR No Time To Die Edition that starts at £90,000, so about $125,000 … for a toy car … or is it. No, this 2/3rd scale replica is much more than a toy, this very special model is limited to just 112 units and comes with a massive power upgrade compared to the Vantage edition. Now 4 1.8 kWh batteries get installed delivering 16kW of power or 21.5 bhp that pushes this electric car up to 45 mph … this isn’t a toy anymore.

But wait, there is more, we are talking about a James Bond special edition, so that comes with Gatling guns behind the headlights, digital revolving license plates, a smokescreen generator, a hidden switch panel for the gadgets, and even a Skid mode, and while the real Aston Martin DB5 driven in the movie is a coupe, this one comes as a convertible, as this allows the child to be accompanied by an adult sitting side by side.

The paint on this Aston Martin DB5 Junior No Time To Die Edition is the period-correct Silver Birch while for the dashboard the correct Smiths instruments are fitted, being a limited edition, there are individually numbered chassis plates and genuine Aston Martin badges on this two-thirds replica.

Further testament we aren’t talking about an expensive toy here is the fact they did a 3D scan of a real Aston Martin DB5 to create this smaller-scale version, and while it’s electric, the fuel gauge has been replaced by a battery meter, but in their effort to create a safe car for a child to drive, they also fitted Brembo disc brakes, which regenerate when braking while Bilstein dampers and coil-over springs can keep up with the performance.

Ben Hedley, CEO of The Little Car Company, said: “Regarded as the most famous car in cinematic history, the gadget-laden Aston Martin DB5 awed audiences around the world over fifty years ago. Now, that story continues. As part of an exclusive partnership with EON Productions and Aston Martin, we have had the opportunity to create something truly unique for James Bond fans and collectors. We can’t wait to see the adventures these cars take with their owners.”

Gunther Werks Is Building Only 25 Examples Of Its Bespoke 993 Speedster Remastered

When a carmaker’s bespoke offerings just can’t meet your expectation, aftermarket establishments will gladly take up the challenge. If you live and breathe all things Porsche, Gunther Werks might have something special for fans. Breathing new life into a classic sports car, the 993 Speedster Remastered will be hitting the streets soon.

Production of this exclusive restomod will begin in 2022 with only 25 examples planned. Each unit is a bespoke creation with some wiggle room for personalization based on the client’s desires. Before anything else, let’s talk about the engine. Gunther Werks is closely working with Rothsport to revamp the power plant.

The 4.0-liter flat-six now flaunts a billet crank, billet barrels, and Mahle pistons. It redlines at 7,800 rpm thanks to the Motec ECU, engine management, and tuning. It is then mated to a Getrag G50 6-speed transmission with custom gear ratios. This bestows the 993 Speedster Remastered with a 435-horsepower output and 335 lb-ft of torque.

The shop adds a pair of custom headlights that use modern LED technology. The component is built out of T-6061 aluminum and carbon fiber. This allows Gunther Werks to fit bigger Bi-LED projectors alongside the active daytime running lights. Additionally, Instead of acrylic, it uses aerospace-grade glass for the housing which is notably more premium.

With the roof out of the picture, the 993 Speedster Remastered showcases a new outline just behind the seats. To compensate for its removal, the chassis receives reinforcement tweaks to bolster its torsional rigidity.

Also, Gunther Werks gives it a new carbon fiber tonneau cover to shield the classy interior from the elements. Speaking of the cockpit flaunts a lavish selection of leather and Alcantara upholstery. The level of luxury on the 993 Speedster Remastered is remarkable.

Reserve yours

imageimageimageimageimageimage

Images courtesy of Gunther Werks

The Lotus Emira V6 First Edition

The long-awaited Lotus Emira was officially launched in early July 2021, with her official, public unveil during the famous Goodwood Festival of Speed, and this last gas-powered Lotus became an instant hit, people were literally lining up to put their order in, or better yet, to just get their name on the ‘pre-order’ list, as you couldn’t even order your Lotus Emira yet, and the ‘pre-order’ list was for RHD models only … but over the weeks after Goodwood FoS things changed, and at the end of September Lotus finally released both full specifications and the MSRP on the Lotus Emira V6 First Edition … a car loaded with technology, infotainment and comfort features.

Lotus plans to start building the Emira V6 First Edition in the spring, while the ‘i4’, the 4 cylinder version arriving in the autumn, pricing in the UK has been fixed at £75,995 while on the other side of the North Sea this new car will set you back €95,995, the US MSRP hasn’t been released yet, but a quick currency exchange leads to somewhere between $105,000 and $115,000 based on the £ and € pricetag.

The Lotus Emira V6 First Edition will come equipped with the supercharged 3.5-Liter V6 engine delivering 400 hp through either the standard six-speed manual or the optional six-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission, for the first year of production the customer has a choice of six colors, but Lotus intends to offer more shades a year later, and the First Edition is packed with options that come as standard, including bespoke badging naturally.

Matt Windle, Managing Director, Lotus Cars, commented: “The Emira is the most accomplished Lotus we’ve ever made, and to celebrate and reward our keenest early customers, we want to make the first cars extra special to own. The features have been carefully selected by our design team to make for a truly special and distinct First Edition.”

Taking the concept started by Elise, Exige, and Evora, the new Lotus Emira is really a giant step into the future, showing the brand signature and core value of the predecessors, but still improve on practicality, comfort, functionality, and technology. The Emira is built on a new lightweight bonded aluminum chassis, pioneered by Lotus and remaining an intrinsic part of their DNA.

This First Edition version comes with diamond-cut 20-inch ultra-lightweight wheels, optionally a silver or a black finish is available at no cost, while Lotus branded calipers are standard fitment too, to keep those expensive wheels safe, there is a TPMS, or Tyre Pressure Monitoring System fitted as First Edition specifications too.

The list of available colors has been deliberately kept very exclussive, from the press launch car in Seneca Blue to Magma Red, Hethel Yellow, Dark Verdant, Shadow Grey, and Nimbus Grey. They all match very nicely with the titanium exhaust and the Lower Black package that includes a gloss black finish on the air blades in the front bumper, front splitter, side sills, and the rear diffuser.

While the exterior is limited to six paint colors, you can choose from seven different shades on the interior, red, black, grey, tan when going for Nappa leather, or black Alcantara with either red, yellow, or grey stitching on the 12-way adjustable, heated seats that even come with a memory setting, that also includes the door mirrors.

Lotus wants to offer a very comfortable ride in their new Emira, so this car comes complete with climate control, cruise control, keyless start and selectable drive modes, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto while an integrated satellite navigation system is available on most markets, all available through a 10.25-inch centrally mounted touch-screen and a 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster ahead of the multi-function steering wheel.

Apart from the Lower Black Pack, you’ll get three more packs as standard on these First Edition models, the Drivers Pack offers a choice between Tour or Sport suspension with Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport tires, or Sport suspension with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, the Design Pack comes with dark tinted glass, sports pedals and painted brake calipers in either black, red, yellow, or silver, and just so you don’t scratch those beautiful bumpers, the Convenience pack adds parking sensors to the front and a camera to the rear among other things.

Just in case, there are still a few options left to tick on that order sheet, but those will come on top of the base price for these Emira V6 First Edition models, like the £1,800 automatic transmission, or the Black Pack which contrasts the roof, cantrails, mirror housings, the Lotus badge and the exhaust tips for £1,200 only.

As already mentioned, production of the Emira V6 First Edition will start in the spring of 2022, while the 4-cylinder version will follow in the autumn of 2022, if you are looking to add a more base-level Lotus Emira to your driveway you’ll have to be patient until 2023 when they intend to release a £59,995 entry-level version with fewer options.

Bugatti Is Working With Gillette For the Chiron Pur Sport Heated Safety Razor

Aside from building some of the most powerful high-performance vehicles, Bugatti occasionally partners with other companies for cool collaborations. In its latest run, the French luxury automaker is working with a safety razor and shaving supply provider Gillette for the Chiron Pur Sport. Contrary to what you might think, this tie-in involves a grooming tool instead of a ride.

After hearing about it, we were thinking it was a limited-edition trim of the hypercar. Perhaps with a Gillette sponsorship for motorsport. Instead, we’re getting a snazzy and sleek heated safety razor with design elements lifted from its namesake. Quality-wise it should live up to the Macaron badge.

Hey, most of you could call the Chiron Pur Sport a gaudy marketing gimmick, but a lot of automotive enthusiasts will snap these up while supplies last. We’ve been featuring some of Bugatti’s ventures with the likes of Buben & Zorweg, TIDAL, IXO, and Jacob & Co.

Aside from these high-profile projects, the recent one from GilletteLabs is certainly a big surprise. The Chiron Pur Sport is a premium safety razor that embodies the very best of both brands. The handle is even crafted out of aluminum-zinc which you can find on Bugatti’s automobiles.

Moreover, the timing of its announcement is impeccable as temperatures begin to get colder as the autumn season draws closer. Groom like a pro as Gillette invokes that wonderful feeling of a barbershop shave with each use.

The heat opens up your pores much like a hot towel does as each blade gently cuts your facial hair down as close to bare skin. The Chiron Pur Sport features Bugatti’s signature Agile Blue colorway. The bundle includes a wireless charging dock, two replacement blades, and a co-branded cleaning cloth.

Learn more

imageimageimageimageimage

Images courtesy of Bugatti/Gillette

Lucid Motors Shares More Details About The Luxurious Air Dream Edition EV And Its Trims

With competitors popping up left and right, we might be seeing more startups taking on Tesla. Right now, Elon Musk’s EV brand has several projects in development. Meanwhile, rival Lucid Motors is another exciting carmaker eager to grab a slice of the growing sustainable transportation market. To do so, they’ll need something incredible — the Air Dream Edition.

Consumers love to have options, which is why Lucid Motors offers two trims for this luxurious EV. That’s right, this platform is all about giving owners elegant design and a lavish interior. Before we go into that, let’s talk about what sets each variant apart – range and performance. Not to worry though, because both look equally breathtaking.

If you prefer the best mileage, the Air Dream Edition R is where it’s at. This configuration delivers 500 miles on a single charge and maxes out at 933 horsepower. On the other hand, to experience the thrill Lucid promises, the Air Edition P will blow you away. At 1,111 horsepower with a 450-mile range, this is for people who want to show off their EV.

The two share a dual-motor all-wheel-drive setup which pushes it up to 168 mph. Buyers can get the Air Dream Edition in exclusive exterior colors: Infinite Black, Zenith Red, Stellar White, and Eureka Gold. Accents in bright platinum then provide a welcome contrast. Check out our carport guide to protect your new ride from the elements.

As for the interior, Lucid calls the theme Santa Monica as a tribute to the famous beach. We have Nappa full-grain leather in shades of Ceramic and Graphite Gray. Other stylish additions include Alcantara inserts, silvered Eucalyptus wood, and bright platinum metal hardware. Enjoy the view from within the Air Dream Edition via the seamless glass canopy.  

Reserve yours

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

Images courtesy of Lucid Motors

Fering Technologies Is Building The Sustainable Pioneer SUV With A Whopping 3,780-Mile Range

Aside from domestic and international travel, the pandemic continues to affect supply chains across the globe. Chips shortages are affecting not only the tech industry but carmakers as well. While we’re waiting for the Cybertruck and the HUMMER EV, the competition is heating up with the likes of Fering Technologies joining the ranks of beefy all-electric platforms with the Pioneer.

First off, you should know that this SUV uses electric motors for each axle. This gives it a combined torque of 443 lb-ft. What caught us by surprise was the disappointing 50-mile range on a full charge. This puts it way below what the machines it hopes to go against with can deliver.

It turns out Fering has another sustainable system in mind to push the Pioneer mileage up to 3,780 miles. This is a bold claim considering the top range boasted by a manufacturer, so far, barely goes beyond 600 miles. What makes this possible is the 70-kW multifuel generator which operates on bio-diesel.

According to the company, this allows the Pioneer to explore even the “deserts of Africa one week and the snow drifts of the Arctic circle the next.” Other notable capabilities include fording depths of up to 4.6 feet, 1.64-foot step climb, 50-degree traverse angle, and 60% gradient climb.

A dynamic suspension system allows the SUV to adjust the ride height on the fly. Haul cargo up to 3,306 lbs which is great for various applications. It boasts an aluminum/composite spaceframe chassis with body panels crafted out of tough fabric. Finally, The Fering Pioneer can reach a top speed of 78 mph.

Learn more

imageimageimage

Images courtesy of Fering

The Z8, BMW’s rarest modern convertible

There has been a brief period in time when James Bond, the famous UK spy didn’t drive an Aston Martin anymore but instead switched to BMW for transportation, In Tomorrow Never Dies he got behind the wheel of a large, four-door BMW 750iL while in Goldeneye he did drive an Aston Martin DB5 briefly but the ‘gadget loaded car in this instance was a BMW Z3, still, the best was yet to come, in The World is not enough he drove an absolutely stunning BMW Z8, and that’s the car we’re discussing here.

Well, not really the screen used Bond BMW Z8, that would be a problem as the car got cut in half in the movie, but a similar-looking 2002 model currently listed at auction on BringATrailer, at the time of writing, with six days left, the bids have gone up to $135,000, which isn’t bad as the original MSRP back in the early 2000s was $128,000 already, making this the most expensive car from BMW at the time, but I’m sure the bids will continue to rise as previous sales of BMW Z8 went above the $200,000 mark, one specific Z8 even sold for as much as $296,000 in August 2021.

The BMW Z8 was actually the production version of the Z07 concept car unveiled in 1997 at the Tokyo Auto Salon, as an homage to the classic BMW 507 Roadster built between 1956 and 1959, a car that has become extremely valuable today, especially with celebrity ownership on some of these, none other than Elvis Presley owned a BMW 507, it is believed there are just 202 BMW 507 in the world today, a far cry from the number made of the Z8 between 2000 and 2003.

In 1998 BMW also presented the Z07 concept as a coupe, but that one didn’t get developed further, instead, BMW focussed on the Z8, internal code E52, as a high-end production roadster, available with a removable hardtop, but still a two-seater convertible, just like the 507 from the Fifties, with a little over 5,700 units leaving the BMW factory between 2000 and 2003, but that wasn’t the end for the Z8, Alpina took over from 2003 calling it the Alpina Roadster V8, actually the last BMW 28 left the assembly line in November 2002.

This makes this specific, Titanium Silver Metallic 2002 model, currently listed on BringATrailer, a car from the final production year, with just 24,000 miles on the clock, this 4.9-Liter V8 beauty comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox delivering about 400 hp to the rear wheels only, a car that requires some respect when driving in the rain with those massive 295/30 Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires on the rear wheels, which are custom 20-inch Style 101 Multi-spoke wheels, the car does come with the original wheels the seller states.

This 2002 BMW Z8 comes complete with the color-matched hardtop, a special stand to keep said hardtop safe in your garage, and even a cover to keep the dust off, other than that this specific Z8 has received a few non-factory modifications, like adjustable H&R sway bars, a Performance Package front strut bar, a UUC short-shift kit, an Audiovox MediaBridge, and Eisenmann mufflers … I’m sure that big V8 rumbles even louder now.

The seller does mention the front bumper has been resprayed in the correct Titanium Silver Metallic (354) shade, but that was done to close up the holes the previous seller had drilled in the bumper to fit a license plate, after that the entire car was wrapped in XPEL PPF, Paint Protection Film so this modern-day classic’s paint will remain in pristine condition for years to come.

This is my personal opinion, but think the BMW Z8 is the most beautiful, sensual looking modern BMW, sure she’s nearly 20 years old now, but you can hardly tell, this is a virtually timeless design, a classic look, inspired by a car from the Fifties, resurrected in the 2000s, but still amazing looking today. There are some impressive cars from BMW in their 2021 lineup, and some are even more expensive than this 20-year old topless beauty … but for me, none of the ‘new’ BMW even come close to the Z8, not now, not ever.

Mecum auction reaches $36.8 Million in sales

The supercar and collector’s car market is still at a massive high at this moment, and that’s reflected in the latest auction results from Mecum when they held their annual auction event at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas, a total of 1,101 cars passed the auction block, and they managed to sell 86% of those to happy new owners, in total 946 cars changed hands during this four-day event, reaching $36.8 million.

Mecum Auctions is the world’s largest collector car auction company, as usual, the Dallas auction offered cars for just about any kind of customer, from classic muscle cars over custom-made cars right up to supercars, and this time the best-selling car at the auction was made in Italy, a Verde Scandal over Nero Cosmos 2019 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ with a mere 3,150 miles on the clock … selling for a massive $660,000, despite the fact she came on custom, non-standard, center-lock wheels.

The runner-up on the sales list went for a little over half as much, at $357,500, a 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback changed owners, finished in an amazing looking Grabber Green, this specific Boss had a Concours frame-off restoration by a nationally recognized Boss restoration facility, this amount makes it very clear once again these classic muscle cars are becoming very expensive to add to your garage.

This is also made clear by the third place on the top list for this auction, a 1968 Ford Mustang GT500CR 900C Fastback that changed hands for $335,500, a car from the Triple B Collection, finished in red over black with the traditional white stripes, this one being serial no. SCR-0100 only had 378 miles since completion, this classic shattered her estimate between $250,000 to $275,000.

The complete top 10 collector car sales at the 2021 Dallas auction include:
1. 2019 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ (Lot S154) at $660,000
2. 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback (Lot S138) at $357,500
3. 1968 Ford Mustang GT500CR 900C Fastback (Lot S77.1) at $335,500
4. 1956 Chevrolet 210 Custom (Lot S133) at $253,000
5. 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible (F119.1) at $220,000
6. 2002 BMW Z8 Roadster (S95) at $211,750
7. 1966 RCR Ford GT40 Replica (Lot S126) at $203,500
8. 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith (Lot S193) at $203,500
9. 1969 Chevrolet COPO Camaro (Lot S116) at $200,750
10. 1999 Shelby Series 1 Roadster (S130.1) at $189,750

One that didn’t make it onto this top ten list is a 427 ci, 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback, and while we aren’t allowed to call it after the famous car from the Nicolas Cage remake, one look at the photo and you immediately know what I’m talking about here. The hammer came down at $170,500 on this professional build that took three years to complete, originally a 351 Windsor engine but built to 427 CI by Performance Masters.

Next up is Las Vegas, where Mecum Auctions will be in early October with a 7,000-Mile Ford GT from 2006 as the highlight among 247 cars that will pass the auction block, if you’re in the market for an amazing collector’s item for your garage, make sure to check them out, and if you can’t make it to Vegas at that time, you might miss out on the chance of a lifetime.

Hennessey Venom 775 F-150: $100k Ford Super Truck Limited to 100 Units

Hennessey Performance Engineering (HPE) officially completed the development of their Ford-based Venom 775 F-150.

The F-150 Venom is powered by a 5.0L V8 engine, the engineers have increased the output power of the vehicle by adding an additional 375bhp to the standard 400bhp. The model currently delivers a maximum output of 775 bhp at 7000 rpm and 685 lb-ft of torque at a low 4,800 rpm. The acceleration from 0-60mp is achieved in 3.9 seconds and the ¼ mile sprint is achieved in 12.0 seconds at 117mph.

Additionally, HPE has made a few enhancements on the model including a 3.0 L twin screw supercharger, new intercooler system, air filtration upgrades, throttle body and engine management system.

The F-150 weighs about 2000 lbs lighter compared to the TRX, the model is nimble both on- and off-road and is also capable of both RWD and 4×4 modes.

The off-road performance of the vehicle has been improved by an off-road upgrade that adds integrated front and rear Venom bumpers, front LED bar, a 6-inch lift and a 20 inch Hennessey 10-spoke wheels wrapped in 35-inch off-road tires.

The Ford-based super trucks will be built in Texas and limited to only 100 units worldwide. Hennessey will offer the customers a three-year or 36,000 mile warranty and customers buying the tuned F-150 will spend a total of $90,000 to $110,000.

Complete List of Upgrades:
• 3.0L Twin Screw Supercharger Upgrade
• Air-to-Water Intercooler System
• Dual Core, Dual Pass Intercooler Bricks
• High Flow Intercooler Pump
• Upgraded Air Filtration
• Upgraded Fuel System
• Upgraded Heavy Duty Tensioner
• Upgraded Lightweight Supercharger Pulley
• Upgraded Spark Plugs
• Upgraded Throttle Body
• ECM Calibration
• TCM Calibration
• Stainless Steel Cat-Back Exhaust
• Professional Installation
• Chassis Dyno Tuning & Road Testing (Up To 400 Miles)
• Serial Numbered Dash & Engine Plaques
• Hennessey Exterior Graphics
• Venom 775 Exterior Graphics
• Hennessey Embroidered Headrests
• 3 year/36,000 Mile Limited Warranty

Sport Kit:
• Coilover Suspension Lowering Kit Including Traction Bars
• 22″ Wheels with Tires
• 3 year/36,000 Limited Mile Warranty

Off-Road Kit:
• Venom Front Bumper
• Front Bumper LED Light Bar
• Venom Rear Bumper
• 20″ Hennessey 10-Spoke Wheels
• 35″ Toyo Off-Road Tires
• Front Suspension Leveling Kit
• Overall Lift Is 6″
• Hennessey Exterior Emblems
• Professional Installation
• 3 year/36,000 Limited Mile Warranty

GTO Engineering Reveal New Ferrari California Spyder Revival

GTO Engineering has revealed the third model of its Revival series, the California Spyder Revival. The model will be revealed to the public at the Goodwood Revival event from 17th to 19th of September 2021.

The vehicle is based on the 1960 SWB California Spyder, it was designed by Pininfarina and completed by Scaglietti and they are limited to only 106 units worldwide. The California Spyders were produced by Ferrari in SWB and LWB guise.

The California Spyder Revival can be customised to whatever the customer prefers, the vehicle will either be equipped with a standard 3.0L , upgraded 3.5L or a 4.0L engine joined to either a standard four or a five-speed manual gearbox.

The key element of the vehicle will be the hand built aluminium body and interior manufactured with GTO Engineering’s own tooling, the interior can be finished in a range of high quality leathers and optional smaller wooden steering wheel in a vintage style with an original style horn.

The pricing of the California Spyder Revival is indicated between £750,000 to £850,000. The pricing depends on donor vehicle, final specifications, local taxes as well as shipping. The deliveries have been scheduled at the end of 2021.

Nissan Introduces 2021 GT-R T-Spec

Paying homage to its iconic Skyline heritage, the 2021 Nissan GT-R T-Spec is a true track-ready performer boasting 565 horsepower output via its twin-turbo R38DETT engine. The limited model also gets wider fender flares, a carbon-fiber rear spoiler, blacked-out hood ducts, and gold-colored forged aluminum wheels. If you’re ready for the thrill of right-hand drive drift, it’s a sweet import.

2022 Genesis GV70, raging at VW ID.4 tech and thoughts on a new Lexus LFA | Autoblog Podcast #696

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Senior Editor James Riswick. This week, they talk about driving the Genesis GV70, VW ID.4 and VW Taos. They talk about ways Chevy could “fix” the Camaro. James ranked all the James Bond films based solely on their starring cars. Next, they reach in the mailbag and discuss the question, “Do you think Lexus will make a successor to the LFA and, if so, what do you guys think it would be like?” After ruminating on that query, they dip into the mailbag a second time to recommend a sporty crossover to a listener in this week’s Spend My Money segment.

Send us your questions for the Mailbag and Spend My Money at: Podcast@Autoblog.com.

Autoblog Podcast #696

Get The Podcast

  • Apple Podcasts – Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes
  • Spotify – Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast on Spotify
  • RSS – Add the Autoblog Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator
  • MP3 – Download the MP3 directly

Rundown

Feedback

Autoblog is now live on your smart speakers and voice assistants with the audio Autoblog Daily Digest. Say “Hey Google, play the news from Autoblog” or “Alexa, open Autoblog” to get your favorite car website in audio form every day. A narrator will take you through the biggest stories or break down one of our comprehensive test drives.

Related Video:

Samir Sadikhov Combines Two Iconic Mercedes-Benz Models Into the G-Van Concept

Sometimes, is fun to imagine what a combination of two popular car models would look like. If your thought process is somewhat like Samir Sadikhov, then this Mercedes-Benz G-Van proposal should look like the real thing. The German automaker might never make something like it, but a man can dream, right?

As the name suggests, this idea sees the Sprinter reimagined with the boxy outline of the beloved G-Class platform. With the help of some image editing wizardry, we have a profile that closely resembles Mercedes-Benz’s heavy-duty Unimog, albeit with some modifications.

The Germany-based industrial designer boasts a stellar portfolio of sleek concept cars. Moreover, his experience working with Lamborghini, Ford, and Rezvani is clearly a huge help here. The G-Van concept appears to be fully equipped for any adventure. Roof racks let you take your favorite toys along for the trip.

This vehicle boasts the best of both worlds. There’s a generous interior to accommodate you and the whole gang. Plus, the off-road-ready configuration implies it’s perfect for overlanding enthusiasts as well. If this ever heads into production, we just wish somebody turns it into an RV.

Low-light visibility won’t be an issue thanks to the roof-mounted array of LEDs. To navigate over obstacles, there’s a bespoke suspension system to lift the chassis up. Meanwhile, the huge wheel wells make way for the beefy BFGoodrich all-terrain tires. Owners can likewise add aftermarket upgrades as needed.

The Mercedes-Benz G-Van might not be an actual production model, but we believe it deserves a reliable and powerful engine. Sadikhov did not mention anything related to the powertrain. Anyway, what really makes it appealing is the silhouette of a rough-and-tumble and go-anywhere machine.

Learn more

Images courtesy of Samir Sadikhov

Flashback to the Grande Fête Bugatti 110th anniversary in Molsheim

September is a special month for Bugatti; every September 15th the town of Molsheim in France is celebrates Ettore Bugatti, the founder of the company 112 years ago. This year marks his 140th birthday. In this flashback feature, we take a look at the 2019 festivities from Bugatti’s 110th Anniversary Tour Finish-line and Grand Fête that were held at the company’s HQs.

Bugatti 110th Anniversary

Back in September 2019 the 110th Anniversary tour started in Milan with around 20 cars driving towards Montecarlo – Aix-en-Provence – Beaune – Paris before ending up at the factory in Molsheim. Additional Bugatti owners joined in for the 2-day tour and the parking lot was probably the biggest gathering of Bugatti cars ever seen.

Enjoy the stunning lineup which I captured below.

After a warm welcome at the entrance and the parade of precisely lined-up Chirons, the guests were able to explore nearly one hundred cars from different epochs. One focus of the festive exhibition in the park around the Château as well as the North Remise and the South Remise were the Bugatti world record vehicles including the historic Bugatti Type 35 – the most successful racing car of all time. There were several EB110s to be seen too.

The record cars on display included the EB110 SS Ice Speed Record, the record-breaking Veyron Super Sport from 2010 and the Veyron Vitesse WRC. In 2013, this Roadster set a new world speed record for open-top series-production sports cars with a speed of 408.84 km/h.

And just few weeks earlier, the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ had become the first hyper sports car to break the magical 300mph barrier (482.80 km/h).

I especially liked the fact that the car was untouched since the record run, dirty and full of smashed bugs. Stephan Winkelmann and Andy Wallace gave me a preview of the hidden record car, which was later shown on stage.

Earlier that day I had met Andy Wallace in one of the historic buildings, next to the famous Type 35 C and he spent an hour telling stories about his racing career and technical details behind breaking speed records. Tires were always a big concern, and they experimented with temperature sensors and so on. I’m still very grateful for this fascinating insight – Thank You Sir!

The stunning exhibition continued with a selection of rare historic Bugatti cars, some provided by the famous Schlumpf Collection – the largest Bugatti collection in the world, along with several private lenders including a Type 30 Torpedo, a Type 40 Roadster, a Type 46 Surprofilé, a Type 57 Galibier, a Type 57 S Corsica and the famous Type 35 racing car.

The second focus was on coachbuilding. The English word “coach” refers to a carriage or a car, and coachbuilding is equivalent to haute couture in the fashion sector: it is about creating unique specimens. The invited guests on Saturday afternoon and the general public on Sunday were able to see modern creations like the Bugatti Divo, La Voiture Noire, Centodieci (European premiere) as well as prototypes from Bugatti’s long history such as the EB110, the two Veyron pre-series vehicles 5.0 and Veyron 5.5, the concept studies Veyron 18.4, Chiron 18.3 and the Vision GT.

Most of the factory buildings were accessible, from the Atelier to the assembly area, the car configuration lounge and the final inspection zone in the shop floor. The last photo gallery further below takes the reader on a virtual tour!

For the 110th Anniversary weekend, different temporary tents (well, more like elegant glass buildings) were installed on the lawn. The hospitality area was further packed with surprises like the Bugatti Baby II prototype which is a 75% scale replica of the Type 35 of which 500 units will be produced. Did I mention that the scale car comes with up to 10kW electric engine?

Bugatti and Jacob & Co started a collaboration on highly sophisticated timepieces, two anniversary
models were shown.

Definitely a weekend to remember and I raise my glass of Champagne Carbon to express my congratulations to 110 and counting years of preserving the Bugatti Legacy.

That’s all!

Photos by David Kaiser and @aaronandcars for the EB110 Prototype

10 Incredible Cars From Monterey Car Week

Photography by Kristina Cilia

Monterey Car Week is just over a month in the past at this point, and still, something about the 2021 edition just seems to have left a great feeling in the air. It may have been the return of the event after the 2020 edition was canceled, or it could have been that given the extra year, the presentation and detail of all the cars were given just that much more time to be made perfect. Whatever the reason, we’re not going to deny reveling in it.

Over the entirety of the car week, there were several cars that could have been labeled as incredible, amazing, exceptional, and the like. However, unlike other car sites out there on the internet, we kind of like the slightly more off-kilter cars here, the less-famous but still amazing cars that get lost in the myriad of Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and the like.

As such, for this list, we’re going to show you 10 incredible cars from the Monterey Car Week that you may not have given a second glance during the extensive coverage during the event. Each of these cars is special, historically important, or just plain awesome, and each really does deserve a mention.

De Tomaso Pantera

1972 De Tomaso Pantera

De Tomaso is a brand name that is not the first to the lips of many American automotive enthusiasts when mention is made of Italian sports cars. Founded by Argentinian-born Alejandro de Tomaso in Modena in 1959, the first decade of its existence was in building specialized racing cars, including Formula One chassis for Frank Williams. During this time, they also produced a limited number of road cars, including the Vallelunga and the Mangusta during the 1960s.

This manufacture of sports cars was enough to garner interest from Ford, after their row with Ferrari in the same decade. In 1971, Ford bought up an 84% stake in the company and started to provide V8 engines for the newest model, the Pantera.

It was during this period, from 1971 to 1974, that the De Tomaso Pantera became the hottest mid-engined sports car of the early 70s. The first year saw 1,007 Panteras sold through Lincoln-Mercury dealerships, and these first cars used a Ford 302 V8. They also had literally no rust proofing, and the manufacturing quality was, in a word, shoddy.

Therefore, in 1972, Ford became far more involved in the manufacturing side of things. A new model came from this, the Pantera GTS, which was built both as a homologation car for Group 3 regulations in Europe as well as a reinforced car to handle the new Ford Cleveland 5.8L V8 that was installed, producing 350 HP. However, for the US, the engine was tuned only to about 270 HP, and the car was still badged as just Pantera.

DeTomaso Pantera

In 1974, America finally got the full-fat Pantera GTS, with the engine turned up to 350 HP. Sadly, this was also the final year that Ford would import the Pantera, so original 1974 Pantera GTS’s, like the ones in the pictures, are exceedingly rare to find in good condition. Ford sold back their share of the company to de Tomaso in 1975, however, they kept the engine supply deal, and provided the Cleveland, and later Windsor, V8 throughout the remainder of the Pantera’s lifetime.

What makes the De Tomaso Pantera incredible is that by 1974, you had a mid-engined, 5-speed, Italian sports car that had a gearbox from ZF and an engine from Ford. Now, as many American muscle car fans will know, the 5.8L Cleveland V8 is an absolute gem of an engine in the eyes of tuners. These days, it’s not rare to see a Pantera or Pantera GTS chucking out an easy 400 HP, which in the 1970s put them in competition with the first Lamborghini Countach models in terms of power.

Porsche 911 R

Porsche 911 R parked next to a 356 A Coupe

To say that Porsche has stuck to their guns regarding car design is like saying the sky is blue. So as the company from Stuttgart pushed ever onward into the 21st century, they kept adding newer and fancier tech to their 911 flagship. All-wheel-drive became the standard, semi-automatic gearboxes were introduced as options and then became the standard, and some, but not all, Porsche enthusiasts felt that the true spirit of the 911 was starting to be lost.

Then came 2016, and with it, the Porsche 911 R. A limited production series of only 991, the 911 R was everything that those same enthusiasts wanted. The car was released with a standard spec, which was rear-wheel-drive only, powered by a 4.0L flat-six that punched out 493 HP, which was coupled to the rear wheels through a 6-speed manual. The only options? You could have the radio and air conditioning deleted to save extra weight.

Porsche 911 R

Without those two items removed, the 911 R was still very lightweight at 1,370 kg (3,020 lbs) and screamed to 60 MPH from a standstill in 3.7 seconds if you were precise with your shifts. This was from extensive use of lightweight aluminum in the construction of the car, as well as some bits being made out of carbon fiber. This also made it quite expensive, with each unit at $190,000.

But what it gave for that money was about as close to Porsche nirvana as the company has ever offered in the 21st century. A tail-happy, powerful, manually shifted, ridiculously fast 911 that loves the road and the track in equal measure. A 911 that flexes its muscles and shows that a rear-wheel-drive, rear-engine car can still corner so hard your head will roll off your shoulders before the rear tires give up.

That is, simply, what makes it incredible. It’s pure classic 911, but in the 21st century.

1956 Maserati A6G54 Zagato Berlinetta

1956 Maserati A6G54 Zagato Berlinetta

We all know that throughout the 1950s and 1960s, some of the rarest, most collectible, and frankly most expensive Italian sports cars were produced. Multiple GT’s from Ferrari and Lamborghini were made, and still command attention on the auction circuit to this day. However, many overlook the contributions that a little company formed by 4 brothers, all with the last name Maserati.

The history of the A6 generation of Maserati road cars, when the company was under the management of “Commodore” Adolfo Orsi, is extensive and worthy of an entire article on its own. Suffice it to say, from 1947 to 1955, the A6 inline-six engine, in a variety of configurations, powered Maserati racing cars to multiple top finishes in road rallies, including the Targa Florio and the Mille Miglia.

Based on these successes, the 1956 A6G 2000, more commonly known as the A6G54, grand tourer was announced to the public. Under its long hood, it hid a 2.0L, triple twin-choke Weber carbureted inline-six that put out a strong 160 HP. Four body styles were offered: a three-box Carrozzeria Allemano coupe penned by Giovanni Michelotti, of which 21 were made; a Coupe and a Gran Sport Spyder by Frua, of which 6 and 12 were made respectively; and a competition-fastback berlinetta coupe, designed by Zagato, of which 20 were made.

Of them all, the Zagato Berlinetta was the best suited for racing, and many of the Zagato versions were raced by wealthy privateers in road racing events. During this time, many of these cars were damaged and needed restoration and a few were lost to crashes that damaged the cars beyond repair. A very select few, however, were never raced, and one of those models made an appearance at the 2021 Concours d’Elegance during Monterey Car Week, as shown in the picture above.

Due to the exceptional rarity of original condition cars, well maintained and only needing partial touching up and restoration work here and there, these cars are exceptionally expensive at auction, in the rare cases they are even offered at auction. In fact, during the 2018 Monterey Car Week, during the Pebble Beach auctions, a 1956 A6G54 Zagato Berlinetta that had raced in the 1956 Mille Miglia, which was the 11th overall produced and had been extensively restored, moved across the block to a new owner for $4.515 Million USD. 

1934 MG P-Type Midget

1934 MG P-Type Midget

The 1934 MG P-Type Midget is, for lack of a better term, “not famous.” However, it is still an incredible car because of the effect that it, along with a few other cars, had on the entirety of British sports cars throughout the following decades.

The P-Type Midget is a tiny car, with a wheelbase of only 87 inches and a track of only 42 inches. It is powered by an 847cc inline-four engine that produced a whopping 36 HP, and could scream long the English B-roads at a mind-altering 74 MPH. Okay, we’ll admit, it’s not the fastest car to ever exist in the 1930s, not by a long shot, but it was mass-produced, with just over 2,500 cars made.

While not being the most expensive or fastest sports car, the biggest effect it had came from its body profile, which was that of a long bonnet (hood), a rearwards cabin, and a very short tail. If this sounds like a recipe for pretty much every roadster produced from the 1950s onwards, that’s because it is.

1952 MG TD and a replica 1958 Porsche 718 RSK

Multiple cars took the profile of the Midget and put it to use, that of a short, agile car with a long hood, a short cabin, and minimal overhang. It even influenced the design of the best-selling roadster of all time, the Mazda MX-5, throughout its now 30 years of production.

This is because the Midget, in all its forms, was designed not to be the fastest in a straight line. At the time in the 1930s, English back roads were narrow and twisty, with only a few sections with decent straights, and that’s where the Midget was built to live, and is where every roadster has since.

BMW 507 Roadster

BMW 507 Roadster

In the 1950s, BMW was enjoying immense success after restarting production after the devastation of World War 2. The 501 and 502 sedans were selling well, despite being very expensive for the average German, with most of the sales coming in the form of exports to other countries.

An importer of these BMWs for the US, Max Hoffman, had an idea of creating a US-centric model, a classically styled roadster that would show off BMW’s excellent engines, and would shame the cheap-and-cheerful MG and Triumph roadsters that were starting to gain traction with those in the sunny parts of America. After a few aborted designs, designer Albrecht von Goertz designed the BMW 503 Coupe, and the 507 Roadster.

What Hoffman had not accounted for, however, was the difficulty of making a lightweight, powerful roadster purely for export across the sea. As the aluminum body needed to be hand-hammered to shape, and then attached to the chassis. BMW’s newest engine, the 3.2L  M507/1 V8, was the heart of the car and produced just about 150 HP.

Originally intended to be a mass-production, thousands-imported-per-year car, the difficulty in making the car, the massively expensive overseas shipping, and the fact that the car was meant to be a challenger to the Mercedes-Benz 300SL saw the car fail spectacularly. Intended to sell in the US at a 1950s expensive $5,000, it finally ended up on North American shores at $10,000, or just under $95,000 in 2021 dollars.

Throughout its entire lifetime, only 252 units were made from 1956 to 1959. Many people desired the car, but very few could afford it. Elvis Presley had one. Hollywood stars John Derek and Ursula Andress had one each. These were some of the highest-earning musicians and actors of their time, and even then these were expensive cars.

However, von Goertz’s design was solid, his lines were classic, and BMW quietly stashed away the design in their vaults for over 40 years, until in 1999, the BMW Z8 was revealed as a production model. Designers Henrik Fisker and Scott Lempert drew heavily from the 507, and the Z8 officially recognized the 507 Roadster as its predecessor car.

2013 Porsche 918 Spyder

2013 Porsche 918 Spyder

Not all the cars during Monterey Car Week that are incredible are old or classic. A perfect example of this is the 2013 Porsche 918 Spyder, one of the holy trinity of high-performance, hybrid-powered supercars that cemented the term “hypercar” into the common vernacular.

Combining the howling grunt of a 4.6L mid-mounted, racing-derived V8 with the torque and immediate power of two axle-bound hybrid motors, the 918 Spyder has monstrous 887 HP on tap. Thanks to the availability of 100% torque at 0 RPM from the electric motors, the 918 Spyder launches to 60 MPH in 2.8 seconds and keeps going well beyond 200 MPH.

This performance-oriented hybrid technology was not common before 2013, with only race cars and a few concepts really fiddling around with it. But when 2013 brought us the Ferrari LaFerrari, the McLaren P1, and the Porsche 918 Spyder, the supercar landscape was changed forever.

The biggest impact that the 918 had on future developments in hypercar hybridization is that it combined both schools of thought about how to deploy hybrid power on a supercar, that of a motor attached to the transaxle, and that of a motor driving the axle alone. It also helped bring regenerative braking, something seen only on Formula 1 cars and LMP1 race cars to that point, onto the road.

Mercedes CLK-GTR

Mercedes CLK-GTR

In the mid-1990s, endurance racing was in a bit of a strange place. The Group C era had ended in the early 1990s, and the Le Mans Prototype (LMP) categories had not yet been created. This left a void at the very top end of 12 hour and 24 hours races, and so the FIA created the GT1 category to both be its own type of racing, as well as the top class in endurance series.

To say that some of the most famous cars to race came out of this category is not overstating the fact. The McLaren F1 GTR, the Porsche 911 GT1, and many others were quickly developed for the new category, but none were as straight-up crazy as the Mercedes CLK-GTR. It was a car of many firsts for Mercedes, including being the first midengined car completely developed in-house, as well as carrying the most powerful naturally aspirated V12 that Mercedes-AMG had produced to date.

Mercedes CLK-GTR

That 6.9L V12 put down 612 HP to the rear wheels and was mated to a semi-automatic 6-speed transmission. The body of the car was the first time that Mercedes had made the entire shell out of carbon fiber, and the safety cell was a combination of carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb for extreme strength. This would prove to be quite valuable, as during the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans, the CLK-GTR driven by Peter Dumbreck moved out of the slipstream of a Toyota GT-One as it crested a small hill in the track and simply took off, flipping over the guard rails into the forest beside the track.

This was discovered to be a massive aerodynamic miscalculation, as the car itself only had a coefficient of drag of 0.25, which is extremely slippery. However, with the cockpit of the car and the sealed sides of the car, it also formed the shape of a wing, hence even getting a small amount of disruptive air under the front of the car turned it from being sucked to the road to being airborne.

The CLK-GTR, then, is incredible because it showed that even in the modern age of Formula 1 and GT racing, you had to pay attention to aerodynamics. If you ever wondered why top-class endurance cars went from being relatively similar to road cars to having ducting, gaps, and small aerodynamic vents everywhere, it was to prevent another car from taking off while racing.

1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia 1300 Ti

La Carrera Pan Americana racers highlighted at Laguna Seca during the RMMR 2021

Before the supercar era started properly with the Porsche 959 and the Ferrari F40, the ability to go down to your local car dealer and buy a “race car for the road” was a much simpler prospect. Many of the major races, including some rallies, distance races, and especially touring car races, were filled with slightly modified road cars that put up some serious competition to dedicated racing machinery.

None, however, reached the popularity and fame of the Alfa Romeo Giulia GT, and the several models that were based on it. The little executive sedan was designed with the wheels pushed out to the four corners of the car, to give cabin room. The car was light at 1,000 kg (2,205 lbs), with aluminum and steel combined to make the body and chassis. But what made it spectacular was the absolute gem of an engine under the hood.

In the Giulia 1300 Ti, the 1.3L twin-cam inline-four was fitted with a sing down-draft carburetor for 81 HP. This may not sound like much, but with the wheels out to the ends of the car and the light weight, the little Italian would corner eagerly, accelerate hard, and could even sustain powerslides that would make a modern-day drifter weep tears of joy.

The Giulia 1300 Ti is incredible because it, and its brethren, convinced Alfa Romeo to spawn one of the greatest light-GT cars ever made, the Giulia GTA. A performance powerhouse, the GTA had a 1.6L twin-cam inline-four that put out 170 HP, in a coupe version of the Giulia that was intentionally stripped of any excess weight. It dominated touring car racing for almost a decade, and it was all because the original Giulia sedans, either intentionally or not, proved to be touring car masters.

1953 Kurtis Kraft 500S

1953 Kurtis 500S Dodge

Kurtis Kraft is a name that probably only the most hardcore racing history fans know about. However, this company, founded by Frank Kurtis in the late 1930s, would have a lasting impact throughout the world of racing.

The basis of the company was to produce lightweight, affordable midget sports and racing cars that were easy to drive and were power-dense. Light weight was achieved through the use of aluminum for the chassis, and fiberglass body panels. Power-density was achieved by pairing the car with the famous Offenhauser inline-four racing engine.

1953 Kurtis 500S Dodge

Where the Kurtis 500S comes into the picture is that between 1950 and 1960, the Indianapolis 500 was part of the FIA world championship, hence the 500S (500 Sport) nomenclature. These cars were fitted with the Offenhauser 4.4L inline-four, running at a compression ratio of 15:1, which meant that it was more than a liter per cylinder and power crept up through the 700 and 800 HP milestones. In a car that weighed 820 kg (1,800 lbs) with the engine in, these little midgets turned into little rocketships.

In fact, a Kurtis 500S won the 1950, 1951, 1953, 1954, and 1955 editions of the Indianapolis 500, and almost every winner between 1947 to 1964 was powered by a “Big Offy” Offenhauser engine. What makes that incredible is that, in 1953, the Kurtis 500S cost “only” $4,985, with the engine included. To put that in perspective, that comes out to just under $51,000 USD in 2021, while IndyCars these days are worth several million dollars.

1968 Ford GT40 Mk I No 6 (Gulf Livery chassis #1074, M1 0001)

1968 Ford GT40 Mk I No 6

If ever there was a car that defined the ultimate in American sports car design, the Ford GT40 is that car. Low, long, and powered by either a 4.7 or 7.0L V8, the GT40 succeeded in its mission of winning Le Mans and showing one Enzo Ferrari that the company from the USA could indeed race and win on the big stage.

The FIA, which at that time controlled the regulations around endurance racing, changed the rules around engines in 1967 for 1968, no longer allowing unlimited size engines to participate in endurance racing. This caused the official GT40 program to close down, as the Mk II and Mk IV GT40s had been produced to dominate the unlimited class. However, Gulf Oil executive vice president Grady Davis had bought one of the original GT40’s, chassis #1049, and had entered as an independent for the Daytona and Sebring endurance races in 1967. When Ford shuttered the GT40 program, he saw an opportunity to make Gulf Oil very popular.

Through JW Automotive Engineering, under the management of the experienced John Wyer, Gulf Oil bought out the GT40 racing team, and all remaining chassis. By introducing a 4.9L Windsor V8 into the car, and renaming the production to Mirage Mk I, Gulf Oil was able to enter 3 GT40s as Group 4 cars into the 1968 and 1969 endurance seasons.

The changes were very minor, with a slightly raised roof that added about another inch of headroom, and the 4.9L Windsor V8 was tuned to 425 HP. Other than that, the original shape of the GT40 remained. This was also a very important car, as it was one of the first time carbon fiber, in a very rudimentary form, was used to reinforce the body shell of the car. Chassis 1074 also served as the camera car for Steve McQueen’s epic Le Mans film, and it is the only Gulf Oil car to win both as a Mirage (1967 24 Hours of Spa) and a GT40 Mk I (1968 12 Hours of Monza).

Lamborghini teaser previews rebirth of original Countach LP500

Lamborghini’s Countach revival at last month’s Monterey Car Week perhaps didn’t quite make the splash the company was hoping for. Many critics skewered the reskinned Sian as a retro cash grab, leaving Acura’s vague announcement of a new Integra at the same time to generate far more excitement on the interwebs. Now Lamborghini’s teasing the return of another Countach, but we think this one will face sunbstantially less ire.

Lamborghini posted a mysterious teaser to social media yesterday, but kept coy on what exactly it was. The teaser’s text merely said, “50 years ago it paved the road to the future. Now it’s back on the road,” accompanied by a roaring V12 soundtrack. No image of the car is actually shown, but we do get footage of craftsmen crafting a fantastic bucket seat that looks like the love child of Irving Harper and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe sofas.

This is almost certainly a re-creation of the driver’s perch of the original Countach LP500 concept that debuted on March 11, 1971, at the Geneva Motor Show. The yellow Gandini wedge would go into production in 1974 and sear itself into the imaginations of adolescents around the globe.

However, this isn’t a straightforward restoration project from Lamborghini’s Polo Storico restoration center. After the show rounds, the Countach LP500 concept was used as a test mule, its 5.0-liter V12 reportedly destroyed and replaced with a four-liter closer to the production LP400’s. Ultimately, according to Lamborghini, the concept gave its life in a 1974 crash test in order to homologate the production car.

As the car was scrapped, it’s technically not possible to restore the original. So, is Lamborghini re-creating the Countach LP500 concept? That part remains to be seen, but whatever it is, it’ll likely be a better homage to the legend than the LPI800-4.