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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).

Why The Concours d’Lemons Is One Event You Have To See

Monterey Car Week 2021 is already almost 3 weeks gone, and there were some amazing events and showcases all across the county. The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Monterey Motorsports Reunion, and the Quail Auction are just three events that celebrate the greatest classic cars, new cars, and all forms of automotive excellence. It is also, unfortunately, a playground only for those with deep pockets.

Why we don’t really have anything against the wealthier individuals that enjoy cars, there was one event during Monterey Car Week that didn’t appear on any official calendar, wasn’t listed in the official Car Week guide, and was held an entire county away in Seaside, California. This event was for the common person with shallow pockets, with bills to pay and wants to take part in events with his or her car as it stands.

Welcome, then, to the Concours d’Lemons!

What Is It?

The Concours d’Lemons is what happens when the people behind the 24 Hours of LeMons junker endurance race decide to also hold a car show. It is a celebration of the rusty, the weird, the truly abominable, and pretty much anything that is as far from an elegant car as possible.

Have a rusty old VW Kombi (aka the VW Bus)? Bring it down!

A rusty old VW Kombi

Halfway through installing a body kit on your hunk of junk? Bring it down as well!

1995 Plymouth Neon Roadster
1995 Plymouth Neon Roadster
1995 Plymouth Neon Roadster

That’s the real beauty about the Concours d’Lemons. It doesn’t matter what you have, as long as it’s something weird, wonky, rusty, or just absolutely regular, it’s welcome. You’ll find old British MG roadsters next to Ford Pintos, and a complete “what the hell is that?” car next to something that looks like it came out of the 1970s with its shirt ripped and one hell of a hangover.

Don’t believe us? Take a look at this… well, we were going to say car, but it looks like it needs a bit more duct tape to hold it together.

Datsun Station Wagon
Datsun Station Wagon
Datsun stationwagon

And the hangover…

Interior of the Datsun station wagon

This isn’t to say that some actual worthwhile cars, that would be welcome at a lower-price-of-entry Concours d’Elegance, aren’t present. For example, this lovely 1968 Riley Elf Mk III:

1968 Riley Elf

Sure, it has a tiny bit of rust around the headlights and yes, the paint doesn’t exactly match, but it’s an example of a car that is as welcome at the Concours d’Lemons as any other.

What Kind Of Classes Are There?

The answer to that seems to be somewhere between “how many do you want” and “okay, that’s too many.” There are also a wide variety of prizes for all the classes, with some actual decently large name sponsors taking part like Hagerty and Griot’s Garage.

Some of these classes include Rust-Belt American Junk, with sub-categories of Ford, GM, Mopar, and Other, as well as Der Self-Satisfiedkrauttenwagen German car class. However, one of our favorites is Kommunist Kars, which has the exceptional award of “Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Medal for Most Glorious Achievement in Transportative Advancement for Use Upon Billiard-Smooth Highways as Are Uniformly to Be Found Inside Workers’ Paradise.” That is word-for-word from the Concours d’Lemons website!

It is also rumored that bribes are accepted, and our intrepid cameraperson that attended the 2021 edition that ran during Monterey Car Week was able to actually provide evidence as such:

An unopened beer can sitting on a car frame

So, Literally Any Car?

Yep, and it doesn’t even have to be road legal!

A custom made 1955 VW contraption

What The Hell Is That?

We don’t know. But the beer and the whiskey were labelled “Bribe,” so maybe we shouldn’t ask. Although there is a “WTF?!?? In Show” award, so maybe the… car?… was going for it

Okay. So This Happens Only During Monterey Car Week?

Nope! This wonderful event is held anywhere between 3 to 4 times per year, depending on who accepts the bribes under the table to actually host the event. Of course, there is also the Concours d’Lemons that takes place during the 24 Hours of LeMons, of which the next full 24 hour race is going to be held next weekend at the High Plains Raceway in Deer Trail, Colorado!

Of course, the biggest show happens during Monterey Car Week. Where else would you get a good row of absolutely normal British roadsters?

British lemons lineup

Or a fine example of a supercharged 1980s Toyota MR2 Mk I?

A grey 1980s Toyota MR2 Mk I

So What Is It Really All About?

The whole thing is meant to be a jab in the eye at the wealthy, and to be honest, we like it even more than the actual Concours d’Elegance held at Pebble Beach. There’s just something so refreshing about being able to wander around a Concours in a Beavis and Butthead shirt instead of having to buy one of those silly straw hats with the black band around them, as well as get out your sports coat…

Attendees at the 2021 concours d'lemons

We won’t go so far as to say that it’s low-brow fun. Seeing as there are cars involved, despite the rust, it’s more middle-brow than anything, but the whole point of it is just to have fun. Hell, we bet one judge was chosen on the strength of his pith helmet and mustache alone!

Attendees taking photos at the 2021 concours d'lemons

And it seems another judge took a left instead of a right to get to the correct Concours event…

Attendees chatting at the 2021 concours d'lemons

It ties in perfectly with the whole reason that the 24 Hours of LeMons exists, and is a perfect companion celebration next to it. As the motto for the 24 Hours goes, “racing shouldn’t just be for rich idiots, it should be for all idiots.” If that doesn’t define the Concours d’Lemons perfectly, we don’t know what would. So, we just agree with the stickers that almost all the cars were bearing…

Power to the sour decal on side window of a car

Power to the sour!

Gallery Of Extra Lemons

The 2021 Concorso Italiano

2021 Concorso Italiano

By Michael Rockich

Although there are a few hot spots lingering from the worldwide pandemic, the worst appears to be behind us.  I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to have attended the 2021 Concorso Itmoaliano, which was conspicuously absent last year.  The Concorso took place on the grounds of the Bayonet Black Horse Golf Course, in Monterey Bay California on August 14th.

30th Anniversary, Lamborghini Diablo

The 2021 Concorso is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Lamborghini Diablo (1990–2001), Lamborghini’s first production car capable of reaching speeds of over 200 mph (322 kmph).  Big shoes were waiting to be filled by the Diablo following the successful the Miura and Countach models. The story is well known about the founding of Lamborghini in 1963 by tractor magnate Ferruccio Lamborghini after a spirited encounter with Enzo Ferrari regarding Ferruccio’s personal Ferrari.

The name Diablo continued Lamborghini’s practice of naming its cars after breeds of fighting bulls.  The most notable evolution in the Diablo VT (viscous traction) was the addition of all wheel drive via a viscous center differential.  The VT system made available up to a quarter of the engine’s torque to the front wheels.

The design of the Diablo was contracted to Marcello Gandini, who had styled its precursors. When Chrysler Corporation bought Lamborghini in 1987 they completed the Diablo’s design with their own particular vision.  Today, Audi owns Lamborghini.

Diablo production ran from 1990 to 2001 yielding 2,884 units with several models produced. Assembly took place in Sant ‘Agata, Italy.  The 2-door coupé employed scissor doors which, when open, remind strongly of a large bird’s wings.  A roadster was made in 2-door retractable hard-top format.  The engine layout is longitudinal mid-engine, employing a V12 with displacement of 5.7 liters or 6.0 liters driven through a 5-speed manual Transmission.  Curb weight is 1,576 kg (3,474 lb.) on the Diablo), and 1,625 kg (3,583 lb.) on the Diablo VT.

Lamborghini Countach, 50th Birthday

Concorso Italiano is celebrating the Lamborghini Countach’ s 50th birthday this year.  That’s a big one!  The Countach, following the very successful Miura, was a big hit too, which is further substantiated by the recent issuance by Lamborghini of a newborn Countach, the LPI-800-4.  Just over 100 units were made available at a price approaching three million dollars.  But if you don’t have yours, it’s too late.  They’re all sold!

Desiring to repeat the Miura’s success, Ferruccio Lamborghini introduced the Countach in yellow paint at the Geneva Motor Show in 1971.  The Countach (1,983 produced) is a rear mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive vehicle produced from 1974 to 1990, and was styled by the Italian design firm of Bertone which initiated and promoted the tight-angled “Italian Wedge” shape.  The Countach’s scissor doors began the trend that characterize Lamborghini’s V12 models.  Horacio Pagani, now of Pagani Automobili, was on the Lamborghini team then.  

Countach’s V12 is mounted longitudinally and offered in displacements of 3.9 L, 4.8 L, and 5.2 L applying power through a 5-speed synchromesh manual transmission.  Curb weight of the Countach is 1,301 kg (2,867 lb) for the LP400, 1,351 kg (2,978 lb) LP400S, or 1,488 kg (3,280 lb) LP5000QV.

Aventador

Launched at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the exotic Aventador was named after a Spanish fighting bull of Zaragoza, Aragón, Spain.  Designed to replace the Murciélago as Lamborghini’s top model, styling is not unlike that of Lamborghini’s limited-edition Reventón and the Estoque concept car.  For the first several years Lamborghini built the Aventador at roughly 1,000 units annually.

Several models have been made as two-door coupé with some roadster configurations.  The Aventador is mid-engined, all-wheel-drive, and employs the scissor doors.  The engine is a 6.5 liter V12 providing from 690 hp to 770 hp (per model), and a top speed of 350 km/h (217 mph).  Curb weight is model and fluid dependent between 1,575 kg (3,472 lb) and 1,853 kg (4,085 lb).

De Tomaso P72, a Reincarnation


Guests at Concorso were treated to a revival of the popular De Thomaso Pantera in the reincarnated form of the De Tomaso P72.  The exotic new creation results from the purchase of the De Tomaso brand by Hong Kong based Ideal Ventures.  The P72 is intended as a grand touring car and incorporates a carbon fiber monocoque chassis.

The two-door, two seat coupe introduced in 2019 has a mid-engine layout of a 305 cu in supercharged V8.  Unofficially, the 72-unit production Ford-based engine will yield over 700 bhp at 7,500rpm applied through a six-speed manual gearbox.

The original De Thomaso Pantera was found on the fairways in the form of many well-presented owner’s cars.  Some sported aftermarket changes and modified, gleaming chrome-plated engines, not uncommon in this cult car.  

Tuatara, World Speed Record

Jerod Shelby, an engineer with a craving for racing and cars, founded a company known today as SSC North America, headquarted in Richland, Washington, which is by the way, unrelated to Carroll Shelby International, just as Jerod is unrelated to Carroll.  Jerod was singular in focus on creating a hypercar that would not take a back seat to any supercar in the world.  Looking at his results to date, it appears that he is not to be trifled with.  Because if the SSC Tuatara were not the fastest car in the world, it would certainly be among them!

What’s true is that on September 13, 2007 on a paved rural road in Eastern Washington State the predecessor car, the SSC Ultimate Aero, became the fastest production car in the world reaching a top average speed of 256.14 mph.  SSC North America reset the world record again on January 17, 2021, when the SSC Tuatara took the title of fastest production car when it averaged 282.9 mph over 2.5 miles at the Florida Kennedy Space Center.

SSC North America not only designed and developed the Tuatara, they also produce it.  SSC collaborated on the design with Jason Castriota.   Power is supplied by a twin-turbocharged V8 engine of 5.9 liters turning 8,800 rpm rated at 1,350 hp or 1,750 hp using E85 fuel (flex fuel, ethanol 51% to 83%, gasoline 49% to 17%).

Eclipsing world records in any sport ain’t easy!  It’s a rare opportunity.  There has been discussion about the top speed of the Tuatara when talk was of 315 mph.  Debate is probably normal with world records at stake.  Many factors come into play: barriers and complexities like running times in both directions, verification by satellite tracking, new procedures, training, innovative equipment, parts, and mainly the immense technical challenges and the ability to execute on course without defeating yourself.  

Let’s keep the big picture in mind.  This car is more of a hare than a tortoise – it operates at warp speed!  It seems Jerod Shelby has finally achieved his goal.  The only apparent item he may lack is a moniker maybe similar to that of former Olympic sprint champ Usain Bolt, nicknamed “Lightning Bolt”!

In late May SSC announced two new models, the Tuatara Striker and the Tuatara Aggressor.  Along with the Tuatara, three models are now available.  The Aggressor is for track use only, and the Striker generates massive downforce.  Striker’s downforce results from adding a fixed wing and an active wing in the rear plus a new diffuser.  In front unified dive planes have been added and the splitter is larger.  New vaned side rockers are found on the side. Production will approach 100 units.

The calling card of the Aggressor says power, which has been raised to a lofty 2,200 horsepower.  Being track-only, it’s not surprising the Aggressor will be outfitted with a roll structure, five-point race harness, and race seats.  Production is about 10% of the Striker’s.  With the basic Tuatara priced just beyond $1.5 million, the two special models will add dollars.

Ferrari

A couple of rare Ferrari types were noted at Concorso Italiano.  One Ferrari 288 GTO was on the fairways.  Its exotic looks conjure up burning rubber, hot brakes, and fuel in the air.  Production ran from 1984 to 1987 with only 272 produced.  Just over a dozen were seen at a prior Concorso, which was said to have been the most ever seen in one place at one time of this rarity.  Layout is a rear, mid-engine, 2.9 liter twin turbo V8.

Its successor, the Ferrari F40 was nearby.  Designed to celebrate Ferrari’s 40th anniversary, it was produced from 1987–1992 with 1,315 units made.  The power for the F40 was supplied by a 2.9 liter twin-turbocharged 90° V8 generating 478 hp.

We don’t want to forget the exotic, planar appearing Ferrari Testarossa, a handful of which were also present.  The Testarossa employed Ferrari’s “flat” V12 engine, with cylinders 180° opposed, and DOHC (double overhead camshafts).  Over 9,000 units were made from 1984 to 1996 including models 512 TR and F512 M and variations. 

Ford GT supercar

The Ford GT supercar may not be Italian, but such immigrants are always welcome at the Concorso Italiano.  Its lovely lines looked great in metallic charcoal livery.

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The 2021 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

2021 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

By Michael Rockich

We couldn’t be happier that the 2021 Rolex rolled in as usual after a year away during the upside-down world of the pandemic.  The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion took place August 13-15 at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Salinas, California.

The Reunion is virtually a racecar museum brought to life!  Not to mention the wheel-to-wheel competition, smoking brakes, and smell of burning rubber!  What a fabulous track is the Laguna Seca 2.2-mile traditional road course!  The crowd’s adrenaline pumps, but not at the level the drivers’ does at the end of the long straight and up a rise, then downhill into a threatening hairpin.  Much the same across the track down the notorious Corkscrew!

Ford and Trans-Am

For 2021, the Motorsports Reunion is recognizing Ford in Trans-Am as the featured marque, and is celebrating the 55th anniversary of what are known as the Pony Car Wars.  This competition was mainly racing for American sports coupes powered by small block V8 engines of 302 cu. in. (5 liters) maximum.  Ford Mustang won the first two manufacturer’s titles against cars including Camaro, Barracuda, and Javelin.  Big names were at the wheel – George Follmer, Mark Donohue (Unfair Advantage), Richard Petty, A.J. Foyt, and Parnelli Jones.  Battles on track and in the showroom were hard fought.  Eventually the big “E” words, external events, caught up with the Pony Car Wars.  Even bigger, more powerful engines brought the baggage of greater cost and higher insurance premiums, the 1973 oil crisis, and the intrigue of offshore imports all began unwinding things.

Pertinent Ford Mustangs of past and present glory were on display at the Motorsports Reunion inside and outside of the large covered display structure between old and new Media Centers, near the race track.  Display cars included the Bud Moore #16 1971 Boss 302 Mustang in fruit-orange, a 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 in glossy black, a 1968 Shelby GT500KR Mustang in red, and several Ford GT endurance race cars.

A notable Mustang on display was the current Shelby GT500 in beautiful livery of deep red with twin white racing stripes.  The engine was a supercharged and intercooled DOHC, 32-valve, Cross Plane Crank V-8, and incorporating port fuel injection with aluminum block and heads of 315 cu. in. displacement generating 760 hp at 7300 rpm and torque of 625 lb-ft at 5000 rpm applied through a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.  The car is equipped with struts/multilink suspension, 16.5-in vented disc/14.6-in vented disc brakes, 20 inch Carbon Fiber wheels, and has a curb weight of 4171 lb.  Zero to 60 mph time is under 3 ½ seconds.  A few options included on this car will exceed the base price of nearly $75,000.

I will mention a 1969 Mustang 5-liter small block V8 that I once owned.  In a controlled, vacant asphalt-covered area at a car event (wheel-spin on roads risks loss of control) I noticed the car was able to spin the rear wheels despite its automatic transmission, stock condition, and having passed the 100,000-mile mark.  Surprised, I personally tested the engine’s compression.  The reading unbelievably exceeded the specification for a new Mustang. 

Indy Cars

Vintage Indy cars were a special feature at the 2021 Reunion.   These racecars entertained fans with several demonstrations on track.  A group of them from the 1960’s and 1970’s was on display under the large tent across from the pit garages.  One of these well preserved racers was the 1973 VPJ-2 originally built by Parnelli Jones, appearing in red and white livery weighing in at 1,550 pounds.  It’s powered by a 159-cu. in. 4-cylinder turbocharged Offenhauser producing 800 hp.  Some big names drove for Viceroy including Al Unser with Mario Andretti in the VPJ-2 sister chassis.  The 1972 Antares built by former Chevy engineers Don Gates and Mike Pocobello was under tent and is also powered by a turbocharged Offenhauser.  The Antares is notable for pioneering new technology in IndyCars including being the first fully instrumented IndyCar with onboard telemetry, the first to use composite materials, first to be designed on a computer, and one of the first to use early ground effects.

Early Cars

Some of the very early production automobiles were on display close to the Island at the Motorsports Reunion.  Don’t think these cars hesitate to enter the competition on track too!  

Motorcars have come a long way in just over a century.  One of the first, maybe the first, gasoline powered automobiles patented was made by Karl Benz in Mannheim, Germany, circa 1885, who soon began the first production of automobiles.  The Thomas Jeffery Company in the United States is credited with the world’s second mass-produced automobile.  The first automobile to be mass-produced on a moving assembly line was Ford Motor Company’s Model T in 1908.

Displays

Some of the excellent displays really grabbed the attention, starting with the current Formula One Red Bull race car, the RB16.  The car is powered by a 1.6 liter 90-degree V6 engine generating 900 hp, with four valves per cylinder for good breathing and reaching 15,000 rpm.

The 1964 “Starlite III” Fuller/Roberts Top Fuel Dragster was nearby, built in 1964 by Chuck Griffith with a Kent Fuller chassis and a hand made Arnie Roberts aluminum body.  Fuller was one of the top builders of the 60s.

The 1983 Lancia (Rally Group B), also displayed, has no problem racing at night with its eight front headlights.  This car made its debut at the 67th Targa Florio Rally with Cario Capone piloting and Luigi Pirollo navigating.  Capone was later crowned European Rally Champion.

Race Results

A few of the many race results from Saturday and Sunday that are notable for various reasons –

Group 6A Trans Am, 1st Ken Adams 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302 4949
Group 5A Formula One, 1st Charles Nearburg 1981 Williams FW07C 2992
Group 3B 1920-1951, 3rd Nathanael Greene 1925 Bugatti Type 35 1990
Group 2B Cars Under 2500cc, 1st Alan Benjamin / Patrick I 1968 Porsche 911 T/R 2463

Awards

This year’s award recipients epitomize the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion’s tenet of excellence. 
Recipients include –

Group 6A: 1966-1972 Trans-Am – Forrest Straight in his 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302
Group 7A: 1963-1978 Indy Car – Michael McKinney in his 1967 Vollstedt Indy Car
Group 3B: 1920-1951 Racing cars – Luca Maciucesu in his 1928 Bugatti 37A
Group 4B: Ragtime Racers – Brian Blain for recreating a 1920s garage and driving his 1916 Romano-Sturtevant Special
Phil Remington Award, Presented by Ford – This is awarded to the mechanic who unselfishly went above and beyond –  John Schirtzer

Tune in for more next season in 2022 – The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion announced the world’s most prestigious endurance race—the 24 Hours of Le Mans—will be the featured marque as the kick-off to the French classic’s 100th anniversary in 2023.

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Bentley Blower meets hybrid at Monterey

Bentley came back to the US event scene for the famous Monterey Car Week with a four-day exhibition showcasing the latest and greatest from Crewe to the public, ultimately they would have over 2,500 guests join them with 100 test drives from the Home of Bentley in Monterey, it was also the first time Bentley Mulliner had all three portfolios together: Classic, Coachbuilt, and Collections.

The cars shown at the Home of Bentley continually changed over the period of four days, but the famous biofuel-powered Continental GT3 Pikes Peak remained a central point of attraction throughout the event, but one car certainly drew a lot of attention too, the Bentley “Unifying Spur” featuring artwork by Rich Morris.

Christophe Georges, President, and CEO of Bentley Americas, comments: “Returning to Monterey for the first time after rejoicing in our centenary at Pebble Beach in 2019 has been a fantastic experience. After the challenges of the pandemic, we chose to celebrate our customers, alongside our thoroughly modern and diverse range of new models, and being able to see customers in person after such a long time apart was a great experience for everyone. Monterey Car Week is always a highlight in our calendar, and was particularly special this year as Bentley continues to deliver the strongest results in the company’s history.”

Talking about the Bentley Flying Spur, Monterey Car Week was also the venue where they introduced the new Flying Spur Mulliner, the top of the line version in the Flying Spur range from Crewe that comes with bespoke Mulliner details like special 22-inch Mulliner wheels with self-leveling centers, a bespoke “Double Diamond” front grille and satin silver mirror caps for more elegance, and naturally an interior to match with even higher handcraftsmanship from the Mulliner team. Together with the Continental GT Coupe and Convertible Mulliner versions, these three cars represented the Mulliners Collections portfolio.

The second branch in Bentley Mulliner is the Coachbuilt portfolio, and that one was beautifully represented by the Bacalar Car Zero, the actual production prototype for the limited edition Bentley Mulliner Bacalar, the one that will not be sold, while the first customer car in the Bacalar series has been completed and is ready for delivery as we speak, the Car Zero was in fact repainted in a magnificent Scarab green and received a new upholstery for the interior, both specifically created just for Monterey Car Week 2021, this car was the star at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering on Friday, 13 August.

So how about the third part of Bentley Mulliner, the Classic Portfolio then? That was represented by something truly special, the actual engineering prototype of the Blower Continuation Series, another Car Zero at Monterey, this time a blast from the past that is being recreated almost exactly the way the original car was built back in 1929 as Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin’s supercharged 4½-Litre.

This development test mule had already covered over 6,000 miles during the durability program, but Bentley insisted on using this very car to drive around the Monterey peninsula every single day, with customers, guests, and representatives from the media as passengers in this world’s first pre-war continuation car, she covered another 350 miles with no issues whatsoever.

With Bentley’s hybrid cars becoming more and more important, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that both the Bentayga Hybrid and the new Flying Spur Hybrid made their appearance during Monterey Car Week, at the time of writing two-thirds of Bentley’s model range is now available with a Hybrid option, as part of their journey to electrification and a first BEV by 2025, Bentley already confirmed they will return to Monterey Car Week next year, August 15 2022.

The 2022 Ford GT Heritage Edition

Let’s travel back in time … to April 3, 1964, at the New York International Auto Show, where Ford unveiled a new prototype of what would become one of their most important cars for years to come … the 1964 Ford GT prototype, chassis GT/101, that became America’s only Le Mans-winning supercar from 1966 to 1969 … only to repeat that feat again in 2016 with the next generation of that 1964 prototype.

In 2021 only one of the 1964 Ford GT prototypes still exists, chassis GT/105, and she is still boasting the same livery as 57 years ago, and this car was the perfect candidate to park next to the brand new 2022 Ford GT ’64 Prototype Heritage Edition during Monterey Car Week where Ford debuted this special edition of the current Ford GT as she enters her final year of production.

“This is the first Ford GT Heritage Edition that goes beyond celebrating race wins – this one goes deep, and honors the earliest of Ford supercar heritage,” said Mike Severson, Ford GT program manager. “The Ford GT ’64 Prototype Heritage Edition is a modern interpretation of the original, with no mistaking what this car is paying tribute to.”

The new 2022 Ford GT ’64 Prototype Heritage Edition is finished in the classic Wimbledon White paint complete with Antimatter Blue graphics, including an over-the-roof triple racing stripe as a tribute to the five original GT prototypes. Being a 21st-century supercar, this new Ford GT comes with exposed carbon fiber components and 20-inch Antimatter Blue-painted carbon fiber wheels, a touch unique to Ford GT, as well as an exposed glossy carbon fiber front splitter, side sills, mirror stalks, engine louvers, and rear diffuser. The standard Brembo® brake calipers get a silver with a black graphics finish while black lug nuts finalize the modern look.

On the inside, the color-match with the blue exterior details comes in the form of blue Alcantara carbon fiber seats with silver stitching and embossed GT logo, the instrument panel is done in Ebony leather whit Lightspeed Blue Alcantara,  the pillars and headliner are finished in Ebony Alcantara. Antimatter Blue appliqués on the instrument panel, door register bezels, and seat X-brace are coordinated with the bespoke wheels.

“There are a lot of milestone moments in the history of Ford GT that we’ve celebrated, but the team was unanimous in believing the original prototype was the right vehicle this time around,” Severson said. “That 1964 prototype unleashed the creative genius of the Ford Advanced Vehicles team and paved the way for the Ford GT program. It put all of this in motion.”

Back in the Sixties only 5 Ford GT prototypes were built, GT/101 and GT/102 got scrapped after Le Mans and Monza crash testing, which lead to much-needed improvements for the next three cars, GT/103, GT/104, and GT/105 … GT/103 would win at Daytona® in 1965 with Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby behind the wheel, at that same race GT/104 came in third with Bob Bondurant and Ritchie Ginther. While both GT/103 and GT/104 have been repainted today, the GT/105 is the only one that still wears her original livery from the Sixties.

This new 2022 Ford GT ’64 Heritage Edition isn’t the first highly limited edition model in this production series, which started in 2006 with the 2006 Ford GT Gulf Livery Heritage Edition as a commemorative edition for the GT40’s back-to-back 24 Hours of Le Mans titles in 1968 and 1969, a total of 343 units were produced in this first Heritage Edition series.

The second special edition came in 2017 with the 2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition to celebrate the Ford GT40 MK II No. 2 that Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon drove at 1966 Le Mans, only 27 units were ever built, a year later we saw the 2018 Ford GT ’67 Heritage Edition that was built to honor the Ford GT40 MK IV No. 1 race car that was victorious at Le Mans in 1967, only 39 units of this 2018 model were built. Probably one of the most iconic Heritage Editions is the one of fifty 2019 Ford GT ’68 Gulf Livery Heritage Edition that was an homage to the Ford GT40 MK I No. 9 race car that won the 1968 Le Mans endurance race.

In 2020 Ford released another 50 unit limited edition as the 2020 Ford GT ’69 Gulf Livery Heritage Edition honoring the Ford GT40 MK I No. 6 race car that took the 1969 Le Mans victory, while the 2021 Ford GT ’66 Daytona Heritage Edition is still in production at the time of writing, this one is a tribute to the Ford GT MK II No. 98 race car, and now we get the ultimate 2022 Ford GT ’64 Heritage Edition that is the sixth one in this series.

You can now get your name on the order list for the 2022 Ford GT, if you’re an approved Ford GT customer, production of this model is set to start in January 2022.

Magic at Monterey thanks to Automobili Pininfarina

We already published our article on the Automobili Pininfarina Battista making her dynamic debut on the streets of California only days before the start of Monterey Car Week, but it turned out this wasn’t the only Hyper GT Pininfarina was bringing to the US this time, they also unveiled the one of five Battista Anniversario for the first time to the public at The Quail and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Per Svantesson, CEO of Automobili Pininfarina, said: “The first production-specification Battista hit the ground running on its arrival in the US, not only with the overwhelmingly positive reactions from our clients, who were impressed by the exquisite and intricate detailing of the hyper GT, but quite literally as the car made its dynamic debut on the beautiful Californian roads. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved here in the US, honoring Pininfarina’s rich history, and Automobili Pininfarina’s bright, exciting future. We’re looking forward to making the first deliveries later this year, where our clients will enjoy the definitive expression of sustainability, luxury, and exclusivity.”

And while the normal production version of the Battista was already seen on the open road in California, the Black Exposed Signature Carbon body on this Hyper GT was combined with Impulso forged alloys and a stunning black leather with quilted Iconica Blu Alcantara on optional Pilota seats … and she looked amazing, but let’s emphasize the fact Automobili Pininfarina’s recently announced their bespoke personalization service, which will make sure no two Battista will be the same by the time they start delivering this amazing beauty.

During its stay in the United States, the Pininfarina Battista will be made available to a very select group of clients that can get a stint behind the steering wheel of this production-ready car, which is referenced to as the most powerful road-legal Italian car ever built both on track and on the road with 1,900hp.

While I personally love a clear carbon fiber body car like the Battista, I have to admit the bi-color tinted Furiosa Pack as seen on the limited edition Battista Anniversario looks amazing too, this pack comprises of a front splitter, side blades and rear diffuser, and surely drew a lot of attention during Monterey Car Week as a showcase of the modern interpretation and the result of Pininfarina’s heritage and innovation, this specific model was unveiled at the exclusive The Quail event and at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

As we all know, Automobili Pininfarina has a long history when it comes to designing cars, and lined up alongside the Battista were a number of stunning historic Pininfarina-designed icons to celebrate over 90 years of design heritage, and several of these cars took home the winning title during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

The very nice and elegant looking, pre-war Italian 1938 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina Cabriolet took first place in the ‘Pinin Farina Prewar’ category, while a 1953 Lancia Aurelia Pinin Farina PF200 C Spider took the same honor in the ‘Pininfarina Postwar’ class with its iconic pronounced oval grille. There was a special ‘Pinin Farina Ferrari Early’ class that was won by a 1953 Ferrari 375 America Pinin Farina Coupe, while the 1966 Ferrari 365 P Pininfarina Berlinetta Speciale, Ferrari’s first mid-engined V12 presented by Pininfarina, took first place in the ‘Pininfarina Ferrari Late’ category, this latter was even listed as one of three ‘2021 Best of Show Nominees’.

Bugatti Bolide will be built

It seems the several customers for hypercars are ready for the next step, track-only versions of their street-legal dream cars, we’ve seen it with the Lamborghini Essenza SCV12, an extreme version of the Aventador, but also with the Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro, the track-only version of the already limited edition Valkyrie … and now Bugatti joins this exclusive club with their Bolide.

Similar to Lamborghini’s Essenza SCV12, Bugatti will be offering only 40 units of a production version of their Bolide, built in 2020 as a one-off concept, the Bolide was an experimental car created as a test-bed for future technology from Bugatti, as the ultimate driving machine in terms of power, lightness, and pure acceleration … the most extreme version of the famous Bugatti 8-Liter W16 engine.

Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti, explains why they will build 40 units of this car that was never meant to be sold to customers: “The Bolide generated a great deal of enthusiasm and intrigue last year. Following its presentation, a significant number of enthusiasts and collectors asked us to develop the experimental Bolide as a production vehicle. I was absolutely amazed by the reactions and feedback from customers from all over the world. We therefore decided to make the Bolide a few-off in order to give 40 customers the opportunity to experience this incredible vehicle. Our team has now been developing a production model – the ultimate driving machine for the track.”

The Bugatti Bolide was created with the idea of ‘what if?’ … what could we do with the existing W16 engine if there were no restraints … and that is how the Bolide’s minimal bodywork was designed around the 1,850 PS engine (on 110-Octane racing fuel) … but for the Bolide production version the engine will be configured for 98 RON fuel, that will reduce the power output to 1,600 PS but still offer a massive 1,600 Nm of torque as low as 2,250 rpm, with a modified rev setup for use on the race track, together with an intake and exhaust system, this car will achieve faster, more spontaneous, and very extreme responsiveness.

The impression from the front of the Bugatti Bolide is unmistakenly that of a Formula One car, thanks to the elaborate number of air ducts and aerodynamics, the Bolide also boasts an extremely low ride height, and you can’t have a hypercar like this without a big roof scoop that runs into a massive rear wing and equally impressive rear diffuser.

While clients will most likely not be able to enter their Bugatti Bolide into any official racing class, the car is being developed with FIA rules in mind when it comes to safety and driving experience, among the safety features developed by Bugatti for the Bolide are a HANS system compatibility, an automatic fire extinguishing system, pressure refueling with a fuel bladder, central wheel locking, and a six-point safety belt system.

The Bugatti Bolide production version will come in at 1,450 kg, a weight-to-power ratio of 0.9 kilograms per PS when 98 RON gas is used, but the car is still being developed at Molsheim at the moment of writing, this will take another three years according to Bugatti, with the first customer cars ready for delivery by 2023 … at a net price of €4,000,000 each, or about US $4,680,000, but you should be quick as only 40 units will be available worldwide.

Koenigsegg impresses during Monterey Car Week

Christian von Koenigsegg, CEO and Founder, was visibly happy to be able to bring his two latest masterpieces to California this year for the Monterey Car Week, he had the absolutely stunning Koenigsegg Jesko in her Absolut version with him, together with the mindblowing, four-seater Gemera … to be shown at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, but also on The Ramp at Pebble Beach and furthermore on the Concept Lawn at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

The Jesko Absolut is the fastest hypercar made by Koenigsegg, they even confirmed they aren’t contemplating building a faster series-production car in the future, the Jesko Absolut will be their fastest ever, period. Clients have the option between the Jesko Absolut or a track-oriented Jesko version, also mentioned as being the ‘Attack’ variant. The first deliveries of the 1,600 bhp Jesko are set for the spring of 2022.

“I was overwhelmed by the extremely positive reaction the Jesko Absolut and Gemera received during our time in Monterey”, said CEO and Founder Christian von Koenigsegg. “It was gratifying to personally hear from people who have long followed our brand and our passion.”

But what really impressed visitors, press, owners, and possible prospects was the fact another five of these rare Koenigsegg were shown during Monterey Car Week, one of them being the beautiful CCR, which happened to be in the United States of America for the first time ever, joining the trio of baffling hypercars were customer car from the US Koenigsegg Ghost Squadron, a CCX, the Agera FE, a Regera, and the intimidating Agera RS.

At this time the Koenigsegg Gemera is still a concept car, production isn’t planned before 2023, and it is introduced as the world’s first MEGA-GT, this is an ultra-high performance hypercar that can seat four people and take their luggage with it at the same time … and it still shows those traditional Koenigsegg dihedral synchro-helix actuation doors to access the spacious cabin.

Power comes from a 2-Liter 3-cylinder engine, developed by Koenigsegg and its sister company, Freevalve, this ‘Tiny Friendly Giant’ is future-proofed given its extreme performance, reduced fuel consumption and lowered emissions, and it can run on second-generation CO2 neutral renewable fuels, but the Gemera is a Hybrid, adding 3 electric motors, one on each of the rear wheels, and an additional one on the crankshaft, boasting a 50 km (31 mi) electric range, total power output is a massive 1,700 hp.

1995 McLaren F1 Sold At Monterey Car Week Joins Elite Top 10

Monterey Car Week is all about celebrating motoring, in whatever form it takes. There was the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for the art that is the automobile. There was the Monterey Motorsports Reunion to see multiple classic race cars attack the track at Laguna Seca.

However, the biggest news of the week comes from the other half of Pebble Beach that was used for Car Week, the auction block. With the owner represented by renowned auction house Gooding & Company, a very rare McLaren F1 crossed the block.

1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

The McLaren F1 is what happened when a revolutionary Formula 1 engineer and designer was given an unlimited budget to develop, quite simply, the world’s greatest supercar. Gordon Murray, that engineer, took four years to design, prototype, evolve and finally build the supercar. He set the strictest of power and weight requirements, was not satisfied until every millimeter of every dimension on the car was perfect, and was still not 100% satisfied with the end result.

1995 McLaren F1
1995 McLaren F1 Single block titanium suspension spar, gold foil heat lining, titanium exhaust

The engine bay is lined with gold foil, as it is the world’s best heat reflector. The stabilizer spar across the engine bay is carved from a single block of titanium.

1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

The S70/2 V12 engine required the expertise of BMW to make it as light as possible while also being as powerful as possible. The only engine ever since the F1 that required so much careful and technical development is the V10 that sits under the hood of the Lexus LFA.

1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

Released in 1992, the McLaren F1 was the first car to ever cost $1 Million USD from the factory. Every part except the lightbulbs in the tail lights was bespoke and built only for the F1. It took the concept of a special edition or limited edition supercar and turned it on its head. Those that had come before, such as the Ferrari F40 and the Porsche 959, were all exceptional cars, but the Mclaren F1 was the one that broke the mold when it came to the absolute definition of a supercar, and it is still the measuring stick to this day.

1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

It should be no surprise, then, that chassis number 029, one of only 64 ever built, started bidding already in the millions, and it quickly went up over $10 million.

1995 McLaren F1
1995 McLaren F1 Only 387 original miles… the engine isn’t even broken in!

The reasoning for this is that while it is a later model in the grand scheme of McLaren F1’s, this is perhaps the lowest mileage F1 ever sold. Technically, in 27 years, it has not even finished its engine break-in, as it has just 387 miles on the clock.

1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

The original owner also bought the optional Facom Tool Cart that has a full set of wrenches and other tools to maintain a McLaren F1, often used by the McLaren technician that would be flown out to your car to perform services.

1995 McLaren F1
1995 McLaren F1 1995 McLaren F1 Facom optional tool cart specific for the car

The original owner also took the full leather luggage set in tan cowhide and even sprung for the handmade, bespoke to the car TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 watch, which is still working perfectly.

1995 McLaren F1
1995 McLaren F1 1995 McLaren F1 full cowhide leather luggage kit

With such a collection of the options that one could specify for the car, it was no surprise when the bidding hit $15 million USD.

1995 McLaren F1
1995 McLaren F1 1995 McLaren F1 TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 owners edition watch

Eyebrows started to raise, however, when it started to approach $20 million. Only ten cars have ever broken $20 million USD (adjusted to the time of their sale) at auction, and two of those are Ferrari 250 GTOs.

1995 McLaren F1
1995 McLaren F1 Le Mans style pedals for the ultimate supercar

Breaching $20 million would place chassis 029 as the 11th most expensive car ever sold at auction, and that record was reached after much deliberations between three of the remaining bidders.

1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

Only two kept bidding, and the final competitive bid was $20,500,000 USD.

1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

This number puts this 1995 McLaren F1, chassis #029, built in January of that year, into tenth place on the list of the most expensive cars ever sold at auction, pushing out a 1955 Jaguar D-Type Le Mans race car that sold for $20.3 million USD (adjusted) in 2016 .

It was also the most expensive car sold at Pebble Beach for the entirety of the 2021 Monterey Car Week, and if any car deserves to take that

2021 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Mega Gallery | Take a tour of the show

The 2021 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is over, and we have all the photos you might want to see from the overcast affair. And in case you missed the news, the winner was the 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahnkurier.

That said, the gallery above features the wide range of cars sitting on the Sunday lawn. You’ll see a little bit of everything from a gaggle of Porsche 917 racecars to Lamborghini Countachs and the most exotic new supercars of 2021. Plus, there’s no shortage of pre-war classics if you came here for the traditional old guard.

In case you wanted to see action beyond the Pebble Beach Concours, we’ve got you covered there, too. The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering happened the day previous, and there’s an entire gallery’s worth of cars to check out in that post, too. So go ahead and sit back with your morning cup of joe and enjoy the pretty sights. We can guarantee it’ll be worth the scroll through above.

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Lamborghini unveils the Countach LPI 800-4

The return of the Lamborghini Countach, probably the best-known supercar of all times, the ultimate ‘spaceship’ design from the Seventies, with the bright yellow prototype being unveiled at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show, over five decades ago today, and while Lamborghini created a rather timid Miura Homage of the Aventador back in 2016 by just using a special paint scheme and some logos, to celebrate 50 years of the legendary Lamborghini Countach they took a totally different approach …

Automobili Lamborghini SpA has a habit of unveiling new cars during Monterey Car Week, held in August in California, and more precisely at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, this event was canceled in 2020, but in 2019 Lamborghini brought the Aventador SVJ to the USA, in 2017 it was the Centenario Roadster that took center stage … and for the return in 2021 we get the Countach LPI 800-4, a new limited edition homage to the car that introduced scissor doors to the world on a production car.

Check out the actual unveiling of this commemorative model at The Quail:

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This event was also the first time the new Lamborghini Aventador LP780-4 Ultimae was shown on US grounds for this 18th year at the Quail Lodge & Golf Club, and Lamborghini also took along the Huracán STO and a stunning, white Essenza SCV12, all posed next to the new Countach LPI 800-4.

Back in 1971, when the Lamborghini Countach was being developed starting with the yellow prototype using the 5-Liter V12 engine, it came with the internal code LP 112, that is why the new Countach LPI 800-4 will only be made 112 times for its fortunate customers, and according to Stephan Winkelmann, all of them are already spoken for, at a cool €2,000,000 before taxes and options (that’s $2,360,000), so it seems a lot of people have been eagerly awaiting this Countach homage.

Lamborghini is using their Aventador carbon fiber tub as a base for the Countach LPI 800-4, just as they did on the Veneno, the Centenario, and their first hybrid model, the Sián … and it’s the latter that has now evolved into this new Countach model, complete with the 34hp Supercapacitor fed electric motor, the ICE V12 engine is taken from the Ultimae version, so 780 hp for a total power output of 814 hp, but LP814 just doesn’t sound right, so it’s LP800 … oh, let’s not forget the ‘Ibrido’ part from the Supercapacitor, so the official name is LPI 800-4, with the -4 for a four-wheel-drive just like any Aventador model since 2011.

The top speed for the Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 is 355 km/h or 221 mph, and while this car does come with the help of electric motors, it is only marginally faster than the Aventador LP780-4 Ultimae when accelerating, but it’s all about the experience and the legacy that comes with this car while being larger than the original Seventies car, this is a top-of-the-line V12 powered Lamborghini after all, and it does show a lot of Countach inspired design elements:

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“The Countach LPI 800-4 showcases the next chapter of Lamborghini in an electrified world while celebrating one of our most iconic models,” said Stephan Winkelmann, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Automobili Lamborghini. “At The Quail, our customers will be the first to see this new masterpiece in person alongside the final Aventador and Essenza SCV12 – each of which will hold its own place in automotive history.”

As mentioned, Lamborghini also showcased some of their more regular models at this event, like the Huracan STO (Super Trofeo Homologata), of which the first units are being delivered to those early adopters, and while some might think the STO is a bit wild-looking, with a complex design and air vents and intakes all over the place … this really is a street-legal race car.

Which can’t be said about the next car on the podium, the track-only Essenza SCV12, another North American debut by the way, and while I do like the original green and orange finish of the presentation car, this white one in the US looks absolutely stunning with her black parts … an aggressive beauty for sure.

This limited-edition track-only hypercar is the most powerful V12 from Lamborghini. Developed by Lamborghini Squadra Corse and designed by Lamborghini Centro Stile, it is a direct descendent of the notable Miura Jota and Diablo GTR. It is also the first GT car developed to respect FIA prototype safety rules and only 40 units will be produced.

For this 50th anniversary celebration of arguably the most important Lamborgini model ever together with the Miura, a rally was organized to bring as much classic Lamborghini Countach to Monterey as possible, and while the 25th Anniversary edition was present more than the other models, it’s also the most recent, and most produced version from the Eighties, still, there were older Countach there too, some S models, but also the early LP400 models, also known as the ‘Periscopio’ models thanks to the rearview mirror showing through a small ‘periscope window’ on the roof.

As a final add-on to the Countach LPI 800-4 information, take a look at an official video from Automobili Lamborghini Spa in which we find out how the original 1971 Countach transforms into the 2021 Countach LPI 800-4:

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1995 McLaren F1 with only 242 miles sets record auction price

Update: The McLaren F1 you see above set a new auction record for the model at Gooding and Company’s auction. The winning bid was $18,600,000, with the final sale price of $20,465,000. According to Hemmings this tops the previous record set in 2019 of a little over $19,000,000. The text has been updated.

With a run of just 106 examples, a massive top speed of 240 miles per hour, and a Le Mans-winning racing pedigree, every McLaren F1 sports car is special. Some are just a bit more special than others, though, such as the 1995 example you see above. It’s a unique color combination and only has 242 miles on the clock. It also set a record for sale price at Gooding and Company’s auction at Pebble Beach this year.

The car is the 25th McLaren F1 built and the only one to have been finished in a paint color called “Creighton Brown,” which the auction house notes was named after an executive who helped get McLaren’s road car business up and running. The interior continues the brown theme with dark and light leather throughout.

And as for the low miles, it’s evident beyond the odometer. Apparently it’s still sitting on the same tires it came with back in 1995. So, if you do happen to put more miles on it, please get a new set to drive on, and put the originals in a safe place for your safety and their preservation. The car also comes with all its matching luggage, its original watch, the complete tool chest, roadside tool kit, owner’s manual, service book and official book talking about the development of the car.

Gooding and Company says this is the lowest mileage F1 example to go to auction, and coupled with its unique color scheme, they expected a high price, and they got it. With a final sale price of $20,465,000, it’s the most expensive McLaren F1 ever sold.

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Virtually attend ‘The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering’ via our high-res photo gallery

While the description of the yearly “Motorsports Gathering” at the Quail may sound a bit odd to many of our readers at first blush — it’s basically a huge garden party for wealthy automotive enthusiasts to get a look at vintage and newly available vehicles targeted at their healthy checking accounts — there’s no arguing that the vehicles on display are worthy of attention. And since most of us either weren’t invited or couldn’t afford to attend (or both), the next best thing to being there is scrolling through our high-res gallery of live photos taken at the event.

Visitors to this year’s event were treated to the usual grade of high-end machinery that we’ve come to expect, which is to say the best, most desirable and most expensive in the world. Our gallery is filled with vintage racers from Ford, Ferrari and Jaguar, classic Trans Am competitors and even a gaggle of Volkswagen-based dune buggies. More modern machinery was also on display from Lotus, Pagani, Koenigsegg, Pininfarina and Acura.

Electric vehicles are becoming more commonplace at high-end events, and this year’s gathering at The Quail was no exception. In addition to a strong showing from Rimac and Lotus we mentioned earlier, Lucid was in attendance as was Gateway Bronco (see here for more on that). We also got shots of things you may never have heard of like the Delage D12 and Radford Type 62-2. Oh, and the return of the Lamborghini Countach, too.

For those who keep track of such things, this year’s Best of Show winner was a 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster. You’ll see all that and more in our high-res gallery above. Enjoy!

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Bugatti Bolide gets a 40-unit production run

At some point in the past couple of years, Bugatti asked itself, “What if we built a radically light vehicle around the legendary 8.0-liter W16 engine?” Keep in mind that “radically light” is in comparison to the Chiron, which weighs about 4,500 pounds. The luxury firm from Molsheim, France, answered its question with a concept it called the Bolide, a track-only two-seater with an appetite for aero and downforce. Scooped-out bodywork, intense massaging, and throwing luxuries out the wraparound canopy dropped its weight to 2,737 pounds. That’s less than a Subaru BRZ for a car producing 1,824 horsepower on 110-octane race fuel. Bugatti called the Bolide a one-off, but guess what happens in a car market where someone throws $140,000 at a 1994 Toyota Land Cruiser? Potential buyers made Zoom calls to Molsheim from their bank vaults while sitting on pyramids of money like the Joker in “The Dark Knight.” So now Bugatti is making 40 Bolides, the same number it made of its last track superstar, the Divo.

CEO Stephan Winkelmann was at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering to announce the production version. Bugatti said it is honing the Bolide’s aerodynamics and handling, and adding FIA-standard safety systems. The center-lock wheels will see production, as will a fuel bladder and pressurized refueling, a six-point safety harness with HANS compatibility, and an automatic fire extinguishing system.

There are prices to pay beyond MSRP for making dreams come true, though. The production vehicle gains some weight, coming in 460 pounds over the concept at 3,197 pounds. Changes to the engine tune mean horsepower takes a hit, too. The concept got its 1,824-hp puissance from 110 octane. The production W16 will drink far more accessible 98 RON gas, which is about 94 octane in the U.S., topping out at 1,577 hp and 1,180 pound-feet of torque. That drops the power-to-weight ratio from 0.67 to 0.49 — just behind the track-focused Koenigsegg Jesko at 0.51. Oh, the humanity.

The company says Bolide development and production will take place over the next three years, the first example scheduled for delivery in 2024. The price: 4 million euros, or roughly $4.7 million U.S. at the moment, and a million euros less than the street-legal Divo. What’s the French word for “bargain?”

2022 Acura NSX Type S is revealed as the most powerful NSX ever

The 2022 Acura NSX Type S is here, and it’s the most impressive NSX the company has created. It now makes 600 horsepower and 492 pound-feet of torque, increases of 27 ponies and 16 pound-feet. But that’s only the tip of the many little changes Acura has done to make this the ultimate NSX.

Gaining that extra power involved quite a few little changes. The engine now gets larger turbochargers borrowed from the GT3 race car. The various intakes have been changed for improved cooling and airflow. The main front grille has been enlarged to allow more air into the radiators, and the outboard grilles now feature ducting for air curtains that help direct air to the side intakes. Those intakes feed more efficient intercoolers. The batteries even feature greater capacity.

Power isn’t the only area to receive upgrades. The Type S gets a carbon fiber roof for slightly less weight and a lower center of gravity. The aerodynamics have been tweaked with a new carbon fiber splitter, side skirts, rear spoiler and a GT3 race car-inspired rear diffuser, all of which help with downforce. The adjustable suspension, all-wheel-drive system and transmission have all been retuned for sportier driving. The latter shifts faster now and has a Rapid Downshift mode that allows you to shift to the lowest possible gear with one half-second paddle pull. Even the tires are stickier Pirelli P-Zeroes designed specifically for the NSX Type S. All of these improvements mean that the Type S is a full two seconds faster around Suzuka than a regular NSX.

And if you need just that little bit more in the performance department, there is a Lightweight Package. It costs an extra $13,000 and adds carbon ceramic brakes, a carbon fiber engine cover and carbon fiber interior parts. Total weight savings is 58 pounds.

Acura did pay some attention to styling, too. On top of the more aggressive aerodynamic bits, the grille has a new shape that has hints of the corporate pentagonal grille. The grille mesh is even steel instead of plastic now. The lights get dark lenses, and all the badging, mirrors and door handles are finished in black. Type S decals adorn the rear fenders. Inside, there’s an Alcantara headliner and NSX and Type S logos embroidered in the seats and dashboard. One of the cars in the gallery at top is painted in an exclusive Gotham Gray matte metallic color, which will only be applied to 70 cars.

To get into an NSX Type S, you’ll need to be ready to fork over $171,495 including destination charge. Acura is taking orders now. You’ll want to be quick: 350 units are on offer, and 300 of those are for the U.S. You can put in your order at this link.

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McCall Motorworks Revival Photos | Monterey kicks off with fancy airport party

Yesterday, the McCall’s Motorworks Revival happened, for the 30th time no less, kicking off Monterey Car Week. Which is another way of saying it happened before most people showed up. 

So what is it? Fancy cars parked among fancy planes while fancy people walk about with fancy food and cocktails. This differs from other Monterey events, such as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, in that it takes place at an airport rather than a golf course. It’s also more of an evening affair than a garden party, complete with a DJ, a band and dancing. Oh, and the cars are less impressive. That, admittedly, says more about the prime metal displayed elsewhere, especially at Pebble. There’s still a lot to ogle, even if you didn’t get to enjoy the fancy food and cocktails. We dispatched ace photographer Drew Phillips to take it all in and to put down an offer for us on that Citation Longitude. 

Amongst the new cars on display, most brought there by their manufacturers, we see a Corvette Stingray, Lucid Air, Aston Martin DBX, Land Rover Defender, Polestar 1, Hennessey Venom F5, Ruf 911s, and a big showing by Ford with a GT500, a Mustang Mach-E, a Bronco and multiple GTs. Two were done up to match an original parked alongside it, while the Bronco flanked an original prototype from 1966. Neat. Hopefully no one spilled Perrier Jouet on it. 

Classics? There were aplenty, but frankly, we’re most fond of the two VW buses: one towing the No. 22 1957 Denzel 1300SS Roadster in front of that Citation Longitude and another from Meyers Manx supporting an adorable flying boat with “Smiles for Miles” written on the side. Now that’s the kind of private plane I could get behind.  

Battista hits the open road

We already mentioned the Automobili Pininfarina Battista would be present at the upcoming Monterey Car Week in California, but it seems they just couldn’t wait and took this impressive all-electric hypercar onto the open road when it arrived in the United States, as a dynamic debut before the official unveiling this weekend at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

The Automobili Pininfarina Battista is the first in the world of electric Hyper GT cars, and the car seen on the streets of California is actually the final production form, marking the Battista’s first road outing and the beginning of a new chapter in the story of Automobili Pininfarina and it will give US clients the chance to experience her 1,900 hp performance and admire the stunning ‘Black Exposed Signature Carbon’ bodywork, made at the Automobili Pininfarina’s manufacturing facility in Cambiano, Italy.

The exposed bodywork and precision polished Impulso forged aluminium alloy wheels are complemented by an exquisitely tailored interior featuring optional Pilota seats finished in sustainable black leather and quilted Iconica Blu Alcantara upholstery, with Iconica Blu contrast stitching, complemented by the Interior Jewellery Pack finished in brushed aluminium anodised in black.

Paolo Dellachà, Chief Product and Engineering Officer, Automobili Pininfarina, said: “The Battista will provide a thrilling all-round experience on road and track – in the city and on the open road. To see the first production-intent example of our pure-electric hyper GT on the highways of California signals the beginning of an exciting new chapter in its development. This is a significant landmark and hugely rewarding moment as we count down towards making the first client deliveries later this year.”

At the upcoming Monterey Car Week event, we will also see be able to admire the even more exclusive Battista Anniversario, a limited edition version of only five units for the entire world, a tribute model to the life and work of design icon Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina, this version will come with bespoke aerodynamics and special details only available on this Anniversario edition, that will be limited to only 5 units worldwide, all in a unique Automobili Pininfarina-designed livery and bi-color tinted Furiosa Pack consisting of a front splitter, side blades and rear diffuser, with outer carbon parts finished in black exposed signature carbon while the inner parts will be made in exposed carbon fiber tinted in Iconica Blu.

Both vehicles’ presence at Monterey Car Week signals the first opportunity for clients to experience the 1,900 hp Battista, both on the roads and on the lawn of The Quail. At the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance the pure-electric hyper GT will be displayed alongside an exclusively curated selection of classic Pininfarina designs from the company’s 91-year history.

THE SOUND OF BATTISTA

The arrival of the first production-specification vehicle also gives clients a chance to hear Battista for the first time, showcasing the unique soundscape that is currently in development for the world’s first pure-electric hyper GT. The individual sound is being tuned to create an emotional reaction for occupants and onlookers, ensuring Battista will deliver an intoxicating experience for all the senses.

Following Automobili Pininfarina’s ‘Pure Sound’ philosophy, the soundscape has a core frequency of 54 Hz, an organic frequency that is a multiple of 432 Hz – known as ‘Verdi’s A,’ conceived by famous Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. The distinctive aural signature is tailored for the most powerful road-legal Italian sports car ever produced.

René Wollmann, Product Platform Director Sports Cars, Automobili Pininfarina, said: “Every driver has an emotional bond with a car and the sound of Battista will nurture this connection, not by replicating a familiar car sound, but with one that radiates the beauty of Battista’s design both inside and out. This way, the Battista will not only impress with its aesthetic appeal and performance, but also on a new emotional level enhanced through the sound. We look forward to the input we will receive from clients in the US as we fine-tune Battista’s sonic experience.”

According to music theory, 432 Hz is mathematically consistent with the universe. Music tuned to 432 Hz is said to be a pure sound – complementing the Battista’s pure design – while providing greater clarity, and is easier on the ears. As a multiple of 432 Hz, Automobili Pininfarina’s engineers have chosen 54 Hz as the core frequency for Battista, delivering a distinctive and recognisable aural signature that will generate the kind of emotional reaction clients expect from a 1,900 hp hyper GT.

From this starting point, the frequency will rise in multiples of 54Hz with new sound layers added as the speed of the vehicle increases. The seamlessly responsive acoustics will reflect the pure-electric performance of Battista combining rich bass tones to create a signature sound.

The Automobili Pininfarina Battista is named after Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina, the founder of the Carrozzeria Pininfarina coachbuilding company, which he established in 1930. The hyper GT is the realisation of Battista’s dream to see a car produced wearing the Pininfarina name with the first vehicles due to be delivered to customers later this year.

Pininfarina Battista production car revealed to kick off Monterey Car Week

The Pininfarina Battista is officially here in production form. Pininfarina released the first images and video of the production car today, tooling around Southern California roads ahead of it being displayed during Monterey Car Week.

There are no additional specs or figures available beyond what has already been announced. The Battista will produce 1,900 horsepower from its four electric motors, have a range of about 280 miles on a full charge and hit 60 mph in “under 2 seconds.” Those in Monterey will have a chance to see the exposed carbon bodywork in person for the first time. Plus, potential clients will be provided the opportunity to go for a ride.

It’s not just this single Battista that will be shown, either. Pininfarina says it will also be debuting a Battista Anniversario. This special edition of the Battista will have “aerodynamic enhancements and tailored detailing producing a uniquely dynamic personality.” It will also be limited to just five total vehicles worldwide. Seeing it at Monterey may be the first and last chance you get to ever lay eyes on one.

The one nugget of information Pininfarina gave us today besides the new photos is detail on the Battista’s sound. It takes after a sound philosophy conceived by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. Any multiple of 432 Hz is said to be a “pure sound” according to Verdi, so Pininfarina used 54 Hz (a multiplier of 432) as the core frequency of noise for the Battista. As you accelerate, the frequency will continue to increase in multiples of 54 Hz to keep the in-cabin sound pure and consistent with Verdi’s principles. How very Italian.

“Every driver has an emotional bond with a car, and the sound of Battista will nurture this connection, not by replicating a familiar car sound, but with one that radiates the beauty of Battista’s design both inside and out,” says René Wollmann, product platform director for sports cars at Automobili Pininfarina. “This way, the Battista will not only impress with its aesthetic appeal and performance, but also on a new emotional level enhanced through the sound. We look forward to the input we will receive from clients in the U.S. as we fine-tune Battista’s sonic experience.”

We’ll look forward to hearing the sound ourselves one day. For now, the wait is on to see the ultra-exclusive Battista Anniversario. Look out for more Pininfarina news soon as Monterey Car Week revs up.

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Lotus comes to Monterey Car Week

The Lotus Emira, the last fuel-burning car from Lotus made its dynamic debut during the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK a few weeks ago, this time it’s the US introduction of this amazing car to be held during Monterey Car Week in California. The main event for Lotus will occur at The Quail: A Motorsport Gathering, while the Emira will make her dynamic debut at the legendary Laguna Seca Raceway for a very special celebrity track day.

But it will be the all-electric hypercar from Lotus, the Evija, to take center stage in California in a brand new color scheme of yellow with accents, inspired by the iconic Lotus Type 99T that competed in the 1987 Formula One championship with none other than Ayrton Senna behind the wheel, taking the victory at the 1987 Detroit Grand Prix.

This will not be the first time the Lotus Evija is shown during Monterey Car Week, a few weeks after being unveiled back in July 2019, the first event of the world tour the Evija undertook in 2019 was the California Car Week, after that this prototype was taken all over the world, from Japan to China and later on to the Middle East.

For this 2021 stint to the United States, the Lotus Evija had a jam-packed agenda even before heading to Monterey, this new all-electric supercar also attended the world premiere of the Radford 62-2 at the Lyon Air Museum, Santa Ana, the Radford 62-2 is limited to just 62 examples, and is a recreation of the Lotus Type 62 built using current Lotus technology.

Before taking center stage at The Quail: A Motorsport Gathering at Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel Valley, the bright yellow Lotus Evija will be admired during private VIP events for those that have already put down money to obtain this 2,000 PS supercar and to gather even more possible clients for this amazing car.