Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Picks from the Pittsburgh World of Wheels: Round 2

Fritz Holzer from RPM Hot Rods showed his 1954 GMC pickup which made its debut at the show. It's refreshing to see a GMC as opposed to the more common Chevrolet trucks of this vintage. This truck oozes cool.

Your fearless editor, Albert Heiles showed his 1959 VW Herbie the Love Bug. A rarity at any show, this car is car number 6 and was used in the filming of The Love Bug and its sequel Herbie Rides Again.

No ISCA show is complete without at least one 1970s show car. This big block 1968 Corvette is a former championship winning car from 1972. Aside from one repaint a few years ago, this car is exactly how it was built. Complete with the fat McCreary tires, black and white Sony TV, and the wild flip nose front end. This one was originally built by show car builder Jerry Roman. 

Picks from the Pittsburgh World of Wheels: Round 1

This past weekend saw the 51st annual Pittsburgh World of Wheels come to town. I spent the weekend at the show as I had a car entered so I had the opportunity to spend a LOT of time looking at all the eye candy on display. Here's some of my choices of cars and trucks that were on display.

This 1965 Corvette was shown by Ron Champe. This car was a retirement project that took over two years to complete.

Bob Liberatore brought out this awesome 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 light weight replica. Gotta love the old factory racers and this one had all the looks, plus the punch thanks to a motor from Ford Racing. Bob had the 64 hooked up via a tow bar to his equally nice 64 Galaxie convertible. 

Atomic Orange is one of my favorite recent GM colors, it's also a favorite of Jim McGruder from Ohio. He brought his mildly customized 2007 Corvette which is themed around Orange Crush soda.

Here's another food themed entry. This 1955 Chevy Pickup owned by Gary & Flo Garman of Mt. Wolf, PA. Called Home Grown. The color theme of this tasty ride is watermelon. And interesting touch is the slight patina purposely placed on a few raised edges and the tail gate. And you have to love the watermelon shaped and painted air cleaner cover. 

Tammy Rayof Dahlonega, GA brought the 2011 Ridler Award winning 1933 Ford Phaeton to Pittsburgh. It's hard to hide that this is a Chip Foose designed hot rod. This one will be back in Detroit in a few weeks to defend it's title.

Dennis Mascari, owner of Mascari Auto Body brought two cars from his collection to the show. This 1957 Chevy Nomad carries factory fuel injection and genuine Corvette knockoff wheels.

Hot Rod of the Day

This awesome 32 Ford Sedan was spotted over the weekend at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, California. While I'm a fan of a traditional style featuring full fenders, I do really like the overall look of this one. Period mid 1960s.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Saabs of our lives: Saab museum saved

News this morning from Trollhättan. It appears that the Saab automobile museum has been saved.  The city of Trollhättan, SAAB AB and The Wallenberg foundations have all stepped up to the plate with a combined bid of $28 million Kroner or $4.14 million dollars to save the museum from being broken up. Hemmings Motor News reports that some individual bids for cars were being accepted, but it is not known if the sales will go through or if all of the cars will remain in the collection. Saabs United reports that over 500 bids were submitted for the museums collection of cars. So right now the good news is, that even if Saab does end up going away at the end of bankruptcy proceedings, the history of the brand will continue on. 

Source: Hemmings Motor News, Saabs United

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Scottsdale 2012: Update on Herbie

The hammer has just fallen on Herbie at the Gooding & Company auction in Scottsdale. I've been patiently awaiting this one. Bidding started slow at $30,000. and slowly crept up, struggling to get to $50,000 before bidding finally ended at $60,000. As a fellow owner of one of these cars, I would have liked to hear a little better description of the car at the start as there was no mention that the car was in fact a true movie car on the block, but I guess I can't fault them. I thought the auction estimate of $75,000 to $125,000 was optimistic, but I felt it was a realistic price of what the remaining Herbie cars were worth. I think what may have held this car back was the lack of a Disney pink slip. Had that been present, this may have shot bidding through the roof. But that being said, this car came from some very prestigious collections. There are also not many that are as untouched and original as this car, and one would have to remember that when purchasing a car like this. They weren't built to be show pieces, they just had to show up good on film. I'm certain that the new owner will be extremely happy with his purchase, and of course the value can only go up from here.

Scottsdale 2012: Ford selling 2013 GT500 durability car

Every auction put on by Barrett-Jackson, has at least a half dozen cars that are auctioned got charity. Be it a 69 Corvette for the Chip Miller Foundation or a pair of electric powered dragsters for the Darrell Gwynn Foundation. It's a huge part of what makes Barrett-Jackson what it is. This one was kept under wraps until a few days ago but the folks over at Ford SVT and Carroll Shelby will be auctioning this 2013 GT500 Durability mule for the benefit of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. This car was assembled by hand by the SVT team and tested at Sebring Raceway and Ford's Arizona proving grounds. As with any mule, it's a little rough around the edges. There's mismatched equipment, bumpers, etc. But it is a truly special car. It's been signed by the STV test team and probably will be by Carroll Shelby too. Unfortunately though, you can't register this machine for the road. Look for it tonight live on Speed at 8:30 tonight.

Source: Barrett-Jackon, Ford

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Updated Scottsdale 2012: Lee Iacocca's Ferrari F40

This one slipped under my radar until it was pointed out on another blog that the 1991 Ferrari F40 Berlinetta being offered for sale at the RM Auctions sale this weekend was originally owned by none other than Lee Iacooca. This car when it was new was one of my poster cars along with the Lamborghini Countach in my bedroom. And it is still considered the ultimate by many car enthusiasts. This car has three owners, the first of which being Lee Iacocca, father of the Mustang and the K-car. And since 1991 has only covered 300 miles, making this car probably the lowest mile F40s in existence. The F40 was conceived by Enzo Ferrari to commemorate the company's 40th anniversary building cars and was the last car Enzo oversaw to completion. Powered by a twin turbo, 3 liter V8 with 471 horse power was unheard of at the time from a factory built car. 0-60 was 3.9 seconds and could reach 140 miles per hour in under 14 seconds. only 400 examples were ever produced with fewer ending up on American shores. 1991 was the last model year for the F40, and with the mileage and ownership lineage, makes this one special car. It has also never been registered or titled. That's right, this car is still on the Ferrari MSO. This car keeps getting better and better. RM estimates the value between $650 and $750,000 dollars. We'll be following this one for sure.

Update: This car sold for $710,000. 

Source & Photos: RM Auctions

Saabs of our lives: Breaking news! Museum liquidation sale

Now you know things are bad when a car company liquidates their private museum collection of cars. GM did this a couple years back at Barrett Jackson selling cars from their Heritage Collection, but still keeping the choice stuff. Word has come down today that Saab is liquidating their collection of cars. Interested buyers have until Friday January 20th to submit their offers for the whole collection or individual cars. Saabs ranging from the original 1946 Ur-Saab to 900 Turbos to formula cars. Milestone cars like the 4 millionth Saab, Rally 95s and 96s and even concept cars are all up for grabs. I would imagine many of these cars are being sold for pennies on the dollar, the only problem for those of us here in the U.S. is shipping the cars back. For a full listing, please see this PDF file. I hope a listing of what the cars sell for will be made available.

Source: Bringatrailer.com

Monday, January 16, 2012

Scottsdale 2012: Gooding & Co. selection

Here are my picks from the 2012. Again Scottsdale fails to disappoint, there are some absolutely fabulous machines consigned to Gooding & Co this year. Of course my number one pick is the 1963 Herbie that I posted about here. Since 2008 Gooding & Co. has secured the top sale of the week every year. This shows the attention to detail that the folks at Gooding go to to get the creme of the crop of collector cars for their Scottsdale auction. Last year, Gooding & Co. had total sales of almost $35,000,000 million dollars. Very impressive.

1953 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon. I have a soft spot for station wagons and 50s Buicks so this one really caught my eye. This was the last of the era for real wood station wagons. And with only 679 of these built in 1953, it would be a pretty safe be that there aren't many wagons still around. Gooding & Co. estimates this one at $75,000 to $95,000. There's also something to be said about the stunning black with red vinyl interior and those Kelsey Hayes wire wheels wrapped in white walls. This car just screams classy.

There is a real "cool factor" to this 1916 Ford Model T delivery truck. This one has a fresh restoration with only 25 miles on it. A genuine delivery truck from the period, the body on this T was created by Abresch Auto Body, Ltd. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As the restoration was completed, a little flight of fantasy was taken in the form of labeling the truck as a Harley Davidson delivery truck. Who knows, Harley Davidson may have used trucks like this and it certainly fits the theme finished in the early HD colors. And it's nice to see a Model T that isn't all black.

I love the styling of the 1960s super cars. One of my favorites is the Rivolta Iso Grifo. This 1969 7 Litri model was the show car for the 1969 New York Auto show and was one of only 6 imported to the U.S. This car from new carried a 7 liter Chevrolet V8 for power, producing over 400 horse power. Only 66, 7 Litri's were built making them extremely rare. This example was treated to a seven year, no expense spared restoration and has earned Best in Class honors at Concorso Italiano and Avila Beach. This one is American muscle wrapped in a suave Italian body with coachwork by Bertone.

Another stunningly beautiful car is the Jaguar XK 120. I love the side profile of these cars, especially in racing trim with a set of wire wheels. This 1952 XK 120 is a fascinating example of the model as it is almost entirely original and has covered only 15,000 miles since 1952. Even the tires are original. This is a superb preservation car that can be used to show how these cars looked when they were built. And it can also be driven and enjoyed a the same time.

Continuing with un restored cars, here is a 1953 Hudson Hornet sedan. This car has just under 70,000 original miles and is largely un restored. Finished in black with a lovely light blue/gray interior. This Hornet represents one of the finest big sedans of the early 1950s. In 1953, Hudson won 22 Nascar races and earned 13 AAA competition awards. This particular model was also owned by former Nascar driver Bobby Gerhart. There's certainly no Driving Miss Daisy in this car.

The original 289 powered Cobras were really neat cars. They don't have the rip your face off look that the 427 Cobras have, and they have the look of a proper vintage sports car. I like the narrow fenders and the wire wheels.  1965 serial number CSX2570 was purchased new by the same family that held on to the car until 2011. Like several of the other cars I have featured, this is another example that is almost entirely original in condition. This car was also used by Shelby at the 1965 New York Auto Show. Gooding & Co. estimates $650,000 - $850,000. I have a feeling this car will go higher than that.A college professor of mine was a Ford dealer at the time of the introduction of the Cobra and he said the 289s were the best handling car he had ever driven, and that the Cobra was ruined once they started putting 427s in the street cars.

Source & Photos: Gooding & Co.

Scottsdale 2012: The most famous car in the world. Herbie

There's a lot of top movie and TV car lists. And Herbie the Love Bug is always on that list. Some say that the Batmobile or James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 are number one and the most famous. But I think truly the number one is none other than Herbie. I mean what other TV or movie car could so many people relate to or see on a daily basis than a VW Beetle? And 9 times out of 10, any one who sees one says "Look, there's Herbie!" Well, now is your chance to own Herbie. This weekend at the Gooding & Company auction in Scottsdale. One of the original Herbie movie cars (not mine) will be up for grabs. What's remarkable is this car, with the exception of some very minor re freshening is still how it looked when it was in Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo over 30 years ago. These are the same seats that Dean Jones and Don Knotts sat on folks. This car is a 1963 model sunroof sedan and is labeled as car #2.

What is known about the car is it was set up for much of the high speed action for the movie with the engine and performance modifications being completed by Speed Unlimited Manufacturing in California. Rather than the typical 1200 cc. engine that would be found in a stock 63 Beetle,  1600 cc. blocks upped to 1835 cc. engines were built. After that extensive suspension & trans axel modifications were completed and the 14x6 wide wheels were installed. Car #2 now carries a 1740 cc. engine that now produces 60 hp.

Top side, the VW pearl white paint applied by Disney is mostly all original as are the painted on stripes. the 53 graphics have been touched up in a few spots, but are for the most part original. On the interior, again we find the original one off custom front seats that were unique to the later Herbies and the dull gray painted interior. This was done by Disney to reduce camera glare on interior shots. Below the rear window, there is a slot that has been cut out that once held an external oil cooler for the original engine. This car was also set up with one of the typical Herbie gags. Both front doors have extended hinges that are/were attached to release levers under the car that would make the doors spring open by themselves. This gag can be seen in Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo with Don Knotts attempting to get in an angry Herbie and having no success until he apologizes.

The only real pieces on this car that are correct, but not the original parts on it from the film are the wheels, radio antenna, and the Carello fog light. The only piece missing is the dummy external gas cap that was an integral part of the plot of the movie. But those are all very minor items when compared to the cars originality.

This car also carries a strong history with it too. Aside from being owned by Disney. Car #2 was also part of the MovieWorld Cars of the Stars Museum and the famous Harrah's Collection before being sold to a few other small museums before ending up with VW specialist Daryl Adams. He sold the car to a private collector in the early 1990s, who had kept the car private before listing it with Gooding & Co. I am hopeful that the new owner will enjoy the car and share it with the world.

Gooding & Co. estimates the value between $75,000 and $125,000 and Herbie will be sold without reserve.

Source & Photos: Gooding & Co.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hot Rod of the Day: 1932 and 1930 Ford Model As.

Here's a sort of old meets the new. A relatively stock looking 1930ish Ford Model A, with a very much traditional 1950s look 1932 3 window (deuce coupe) Model A.

An anniversary with a bang! Chevy announces 60th Anniversary Corvette

2013 marks the 60th anniversary of the Chevrolet Corvette, America's most loved sports car. Since 1978, Chevrolet has marked significant milestones for the Corvette. And for 2013, a new special edition will join those ranks. The 2013 Corvette 427 collector edition convertible will hit showrooms later this year when the 2013 model and final year of the "C6" Corvette goes in to production. However all 2013 Corvettes will be marked and badged as 60th Anniversary Corvettes, but there will be a separate 60th Anniversary Edition.

If you can't wait until then, you can head out to the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, AZ next weekend and bid for your chance to own the first one when the car makes it's public debut.

For the 427 collector edition, Chevrolet is blending elements of the Z06 and ZR1 in to one car and it will also mark the fastest convertible in Corvette history. It hasn't been announced exactly how many Chevy plans to build, but it will likely be a couple thousand.

Outside, the car will receive a carbon fiber hood, fenders, and floor boards as well as a carbon fiber front splitter. Several wheel choices will be available in 19 inch front and 20 inch rears.  

Performance wise, the car will carry the 7 liter, 427 cubic inch LS7 used in the Z06. This motor will have 505 horse power with 470 lb. ft. of torque and will be backed by a 6 speed manual transmission. No automatic trans will be available, even as an option. All anniversary edition cars will be painted Arctic White  with a Blue Diamond leather interior featuring suede accents. Convertible models will have a blue top. And  anniversary edition cars will have special badging and embroidery and a special stripe package.

Pricing for the 2013 Corvettes has not been announced yet, but the first 427 Collector Edition can be yours when it rolls across the auction block at the Barrett-Jackson Auction Saturday, January 21st with all proceeds from the sale going to Drive to End Hunger food relief program.

Source & Photos: General Motors/Chevrolet.

Official press release:

DETROIT – Chevrolet today unveiled the 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition – the fastest, most capable convertible in Corvette’s history – as well as a 60th Anniversary Package that will be available on all 2013 Corvette models.

“The 2013 model year will be historic for Corvette, marking its 60th Anniversary and the final year for the current ‘C6’ generation,” said Chris Perry, vice president, Global Marketing and Strategy for Chevrolet. “We couldn’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate these milestones than bringing back one of the most-coveted combinations in the brand’s history – the Corvette convertible and a 427 cubic-inch engine.”
The 60th Anniversary Package and 427 Convertible will make their public debut at the Barrett Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Jan 21, and will arrive at U.S. Chevrolet dealers early this summer.

Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition
The Corvette 427 Convertible blends elements of the Z06 and ZR1 models to create the fastest and most-capable convertible in Corvette’s history.

Its heart is the 427-cubic-inch (7.0L) LS7 engine from the Corvette Z06. Rated at 505 horsepower (377 kW) and 470 lb.-ft. of torque (637 Nm), it is the most powerful engine ever installed in a production Corvette convertible – and, like the Z06, the 427 Convertible is only available with a six-speed manual transmission.

The LS7 was co-developed with the Corvette Le Mans-winning GT1 engine and features lightweight titanium connecting rods and intake valves, as well as racing-inspired high-flow cylinder heads and a dry-sump oiling system. It is assembled by hand at GM’s Performance Build Center, where customers who purchase the 427 Convertible Collector Edition can purchase the Corvette Build Experience option and assemble the engine that will power their new car.

Supporting performance elements in the Corvette 427 Convertible include the driveline and rear axle system from the Corvette Z06, a rear-mounted battery and standard Magnetic Selective Ride Control. The standard 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels are wrapped in ZR1-style Michelin PS2 tires. Lightweight machine-face Cup wheels – introduced on the 2012 Corvette Z06 with Z07 and Corvette ZR1 with PDE performance packages – come standard and include unique gray-painted pockets. Black Cup wheels or chrome ZR1-style wheels are also available.

The 427 Convertible also features several carbon-fiber components that help reduce weight, including:
  • Carbon fiber raised hood (introduced on the 2011 Z06 Carbon Edition)
  • Carbon fiber Z06-style fenders
  • Carbon fiber floor panels
  • The “CFZ” carbon fiber front splitter and rocker panels are optional on the 427 Convertible, and included with the 60th Anniversary package
The weight reduction brings the 427 Convertible’s curb weight to 3,355 pounds (1,522 kg). Combined with its 505-horsepower LS7 engine, it gives the 427 Convertible a power-to-weight ratio of 6.64 – or one horsepower for every 6.64 pounds of vehicle mass. That’s better than:
  • Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet – 6.90
  • Audi R8 5.2 RSI Spyder – 7.58
  • Aston Martin DBS Volante Convertible – 7.82
  • Ferrari California Convertible – 8.31
The combination of low mass and high output will make the 427 Convertible one of the fastest convertibles in the world, delivering estimated 0-60 performance of 3.8 seconds, quarter-mile performance of 11.8 seconds, lateral acceleration of 1.04 g and a top speed of more than 190 mph.

The 427 Convertible is available in 2LT, 3LT and 4LT trim levels and will carry a unique vehicle identification number sequence, similar to the Corvette ZR1.

Corvette 60th Anniversary Package
All 2013 Corvette models, including the 427 Convertible, will be available with a 60th Anniversary Package, featuring an Arctic White exterior with a Blue Diamond leather-wrapped interior with suede accents. Convertible models will have a blue top.

Additional content includes a ZR1-style rear spoiler, special badging, gray-painted brake calipers and the “60th” logo on the wheel center caps, steering wheel and seat headrests. An optional graphics package adds full-length racing stripes in Pearl Silver Blue, including a tonal stripe stitched into the convertible top, extending the graphic theme over the roof.

For 2013, all Corvettes will feature 60th Anniversary badges on the fascias and the “waterfall” panel on convertible models, as well as 60th logos in the instrument panel gauge cluster and on the sill plates.

Charity Auction at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale
The first Corvette 427 Convertible offered to the public will go to the highest bidder at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale collector car auction, on Saturday, Jan. 21. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Drive to End Hunger food relief program.

Chevrolet and Hendrick Motorsports are teaming up for the auction, including Hendrick team driver and four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jeff Gordon. Team owner Rick Hendrick helped launch the Drive to End Hunger program with AARP and the AARP Foundation.

The Drive to End Hunger is part of a multi-year sponsorship for Gordon’s No. 24 Chevrolet. It calls on racing fans, corporations and charitable organizations to raise money, build awareness, and engage Americans who face the threat of hunger.

A legacy of 427-powered Corvettes
Early 427-powered Corvettes, particularly convertibles, offered from 1966 to 1969 are some of the most-coveted and collectable Corvettes ever produced.

The first 427-powered Corvette rolled off the assembly line for the 1966 model year. Two performance levels of the 427 were initially offered – an “L30” version rated at 390 horsepower and the “L72,” which cranked out 425 horsepower. Both were rated at 460 lb-ft. of torque.

The range of 427 engines grew in 1967, with the addition of the “L71” and “L88” options. The L71 added a unique triple-carburetor induction system that helped boost output to 435 horsepower. Known to collectors as “427/435” cars, these ’67 models – especially the convertibles – are especially sought-after collector cars.

The “L88” delivered 430-horsepower (with a single four-barrel carburetor) thanks to racing-tuned aluminum heads. Intended for customers who would immediately transform their new Corvette into a race car, the L88 was installed in just 216 production Corvettes between 1967 and 1969.

In 1969, a special “L89” 427 engine combined the L71’s induction system with the L88’s aluminum heads, offering maximum horsepower with an approximately 100-pound weight advantage over the standard iron heads. Also in 1969, Chevrolet built two “ZL1” 427 Corvette coupes. The ZL1 engine was essentially an all-aluminum version of the L88, with the aluminum cylinder block and heads offering a tremendous weight advantage for racing. More of the engines were sold as crate engines to racers.

By 1970, the big-block engine grew to 454 cubic inches, just as the trend in high-compression, high-performance engines was beginning to wane. The four-year run of 427 Corvettes was already established as the golden era of performance

Commemorative Collector Edition and Anniversary Edition models
Rare and low-production examples of the Corvette have been around since its 1953 introduction, but Chevrolet didn’t begin building commemorative models until 1978, when the 25th Anniversary model – also known as the Silver Anniversary Corvette – was offered. The Corvette was in its third generation then and at the close of that epoch in 1982, a Collectors Edition was offered, as well.

Those special models launched what has become a tradition for the Chevrolet Corvette, which has offered milestone anniversary and generational collector-edition models ever since. The 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible represents the first time a Collector Edition and Anniversary Edition are being offered in the same year – and available on the same car.

2013 Porsche Boxster

I have always been a fan of the Porsche Boxster since it's introduction. The car reminded me a lot of the Porsche 914 from the 1970s. It was sort of an alternative to shelling out the big bucks for a 911.

Now, Porsche has given the Boxster a full redesign and I REALLY like what I see. The new car has a longer wheel base and wider track, yet weighs less than the outgoing model. What's more impressive is the upgrades in power. The Boxster gets a new 2.7 liter flat six that has an additional 10 ponies, pushing the power to 265 hp. The Boxster S now puts out 315 horse power from a 3.4 liter flat six. Both cars will be included with 6 speed manual transmissions as standard equipment with an optional 7 speed Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (don't worry, I can't pronounce it either.) PDK trans. The interior is also upgraded, taking some styling cues from the Carrera GT.

Pricing has also been announced $49,500 for the Boxster and $60,900 for the Boxster S as starting MSRPs.

Source: Porsche Cars NA
Official press release.
2013 Porsche Boxster:
Lighter, more muscular, more distinctive and more fuel-efficient
ATLANTA, January 12, 2012 – Never before in the history of the Porsche Boxster has a
change of generation been so comprehensive. The open-top two-seat car receives an entirely
new lightweight body and a completely revamped chassis. The new Boxster weighs less than
the previous generation and rides on a longer wheelbase and a wider track. These new
dimensions are coupled with larger wheels and a new electromechanical power steering
system to significantly enhance the mid-engine sports car’s driving dynamics. The new
Boxster boasts superior performance and is also up to 15 percent more fuel-efficient than
previous models on the European cycle.

The new Boxster benefits not only from an increased wheelbase but also shorter overhangs,
while the windscreen has been shifted forward. The passengers are enclosed by the
completely redesigned, fully electric top, which now dispenses with a convertible top
compartment lid. The interior concept offers the occupants more space and reflects the new
Porsche outline with a raked center console, which, originating with the Carrera GT ensures
improved ergonomics in all models.

The new sports car generation makes its debut in the classic Porsche pairing of Boxster and
Boxster S. Both models are powered by flat-six engines with direct fuel injection, the
efficiency of which is further enhanced by electrical system recuperation, thermal
management and start/stop function. The base model’s new power unit delivers 265 hp from
a 2.7 liter displacement – ten hp more than its larger displacement predecessor. Technically,
it is now based on the 3.4-liter engine of the Boxster S. This now delivers 315 hp, which is
five hp more than before. Both models feature a manual six-speed gearbox as standard with
the seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) available as an option. Both sports
cars achieve their best fuel consumption and acceleration performance with the PDK. With
gear changes without interruption to the power flow, the Boxster sprints from zero to 60 mph
in 5.4 seconds, the Boxster S in 4.7 seconds.

To enhance driving dynamics yet further, Porsche offers the Sport Chrono Package as an
optional extra for the Boxster, featuring dynamic transmission mounts for the first time. Also
new in the Boxster is Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) with a mechanical rear axle differential

The new Boxster models are expected in U.S. showrooms in early summer 2012. The basic
list price will be $49,500 for the Boxster and $60,900 for the Boxster S, not including a
$950 destination charge.

Scottsdale 2012: Meet the new kid on the block, Bonhams

Ok, ok Bonhams auction house isn't exactly "new". They've been at it since 1793, before there were even cars. But, for 2012 they're joining the ranks in Scottsdale, AZ for what will likely become an annual auction. Their catalog is divided into two distinct sections, automobilia and cars. Looking at the cars, they picked a very nice selection for starters. Here's some that stood out to me.

This 1969 Porsche 911S is a real looker with the Martini colors and full race trim. This car is fully set up for vintage SCCA race duties and has a Elverude built 2 liter motor that packs 225 horse power. This is a turn key vintage racer that was built right and ready to go.

I have a special spot reserved in my heart for early E-type Jaguars. This 1962 3.8 litre roadster is a true barn find. It has been in storage sine 1976. While it was redone at some point in the past, including a color change, you really can't fault the car's current condition. It presents itself really well and could make an excellent driver or be restored to it's original color combo.

One of the highlights of the auction is this 1930 Rolls Royce Phantom I transformable convertible sedan. This is one of two built with coachwork by Hibbard & Darrin, and was originally given as a gift by Paramount Studios and director Josef von Sternberg to actress Marlene Dietrich. A long history follows the car and has just received a comprehensive $500,000 restoration. And has not been shown since the restoration was completed.

This 1967 Porsche 906E was driven by Otto Zipper and Scooter Patrick to a 1967 USRRC under 2 litre class win. This car would be a welcome addition to any vintage race or concours and certainly the Porsche Rennsport Reunion. This ex-works car has been fully restored to it's 1967 championship livery.

When you think of the Monte Carlo Rally, your mind conjures up images of Mini Coopers and Audi Quattros. Not a full size Bentley sedan. But compete this 1952 R-type saloon did in the 1953 rally. At the hands of Mike Couper, this Bentley won the Concours de Comfort class.

Source & Photos: Bonhams

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Another significant 1953 Corvette to be auctioned in Scottsdale

I had mentioned earlier this week about Russo & Steele auctioning off the famed Noland Adams 1953 Chevrolet Corvette here. However, I think I may have found a slightly more significant 53 Vette that will be auctioned by RM auctions the same weekend.

Up for auction is 1953 Corvette #5. This is one of the earliest known Corvettes in existence, and carries quite an interesting history. This car was one of the first three Corvettes to be sold to the public. Before it was sold though, the story goes that Harley Earl. GM's head of styling paraded this car around Detroit to some Ford dealers and even drove it to Ford's engineering department. Perhaps in all in a good natured, "Beat you to the punch" moment. After that, Corvette #5 was shipped to Philadelphia, PA to show to prospective Chevrolet dealers and to be reviewed by 3 time Indy 500 winner Mauri Rose who would report back to GM what needed to be updated to improve build quality on later Corvettes.

Shortly after, Crawford Greenewalt purchased Corvette #5 from Wilmington, Delaware’s Diver Chevrolet as a gift to his wife. Greenwalt at the time was chief chemical engineer and president of DuPont. The car then passed through many owners before being restored from 1997 through 2003 to be unveiled for the Corvette's 50th Anniversary. During that time, Corvette #5 was restored to NCRS "Top Flight" specifications. Included with the sale are copies of many internal GM documents verifying the car's history as well as the expected documentation that would accompany a car of this quality.

Barrett-Jackson auctioned off an even earlier example, Corvette #3, which for all technical purposes was the first Corvette sold to the public for $1 million dollars in 2006. RM's estimate, may just be a little on the light  side at $450,000-$650,000.  But who knows. Different auction company, different buyers. This is another we'll be watching for sure next weekend.

Source: RM Auctions

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Barrett Jackson bringing a host of interesting cars to Scottsdale.

The folks at Barrett Jackson are really stepping up efforts to go back to their roots in a way by auctioning a wide array of classic cars that you typically would not expect to see. I've been browsing the catalog for the 2012 Scottsdale auction and found several unique classics that are set to be auctioned in a little more than a week's time. Here's what's caught my eye.

1948 Tucker Torpedo. What's not to love about the tucker? A truly uniquely styled car and a great story of the American Dream and free enterprise. Preston Tucker is a person I admire greatly, just imagine if things actually did work and the car flourished. This car comes from the famed private collection of Ron Pratte who is a staple at Barrett Jackson auctions.

1939 Buick Roadmaster. This one caught me because of the fact that it's the 1939 Indianapolis 500 pace car. The catalog doesn't say if it's "The" car that paced the race, but it's still really cool to think of a car this big as the pace car.

1957 Desoto Adventurer convertible. There's just something about the overall look of this one. I don't know if it's the wire wheels or the gold and black paint. A lot of folks might go for the Chrysler, Plymouth, or Dodges of this era, but there's something classy about the Desoto. And I think it looks the best out of them all.

1933 Desoto. This one stood out because it's not only a classic, but it was used in a classic film. 1967's Bonnie & Clyde. What's even more outstanding is that the car is essentially how it appeared in the film. Bullet holes and all. And it still presents itself very well. This one will make a collector very happy.

Also from 1933 comes this Pierce Arrow from the Blackhawk collection. I love the styling of this car cause it is radically different from anything else on the road at that time. This car was owned and restored at one time by the late Bill Harrah of the Harrah's Collection. This will be a significant sale at the auction without a doubt.

Also coming from the Blackhawk collection is this 1954 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing coupe. If there was ever a blue chip collector car, this is it. The dark silver paint just suits the flowing lines of this SL.

This 1947 Bentley may perhaps be one of the most beautiful cars in the world. This example with Coachworks by Franay comes from the Ron Pratte collection and has over 50 awards won for it's beauty. This is a one of a kind classic that will stop them in their tracks at any concours.

Next up is this 1941 Packard 160 limosine with Body by Rollson. This caught me eye because of the unique town car body style and how the passenger compartment was styled with a traditional carriage roof. This car harks back to the era of old money, and you can just imagine the sort of events and parties this car was used for.

Lastly is a car that is no stranger to Barrett Jackson. This 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda convertible was used in the TV show Nash Bridges and was driven by Don Johnson. He liked the car so much, he purchased it when the show went off the air. In 2003 he and Cheech Marin drove the car across the auction block and sold the car, where it returned the following year to move to another collector. You may be saying, wait that's a 71 Cuda. In traditional Hollywood magic, yes the car is a 1970 Cuda that was modified to 1971 standards for the show.

Source & Photos: Barrett Jackson