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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Special / Limited Edition

Flying Car Gets A Couple Thumbs Up From Government

On: Fri, Jul 8, 2011 at 9:18AM | By: Chris Weiss

Terrafugia Flying Car test 2

Look outside your window onto any crowded street or city sidewalk and you'll see throngs of disappointed adults. They may not show it on their faces at all times; they may even appear happy and jovial. But don't be fooled; they're disappointed deep down.

Thanks to cartoons and television programs like The Jetsons, these adults grew up with expectations of driving around skyways in flying vehicles. Not planes, but flying cars that could replace slower, more tedious ground driving. And, as of the year 2011, not so much as a single, multi-million-dollar flying car-for-the-stars exists.

RM Auctions To Offer Four Ways To Enter The Automotive Century Club At Its St. John's Sale

On: Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 3:06PM | By: Andrew W Davis

1907 Locomobile; photoillustration by author test 2

RM Auctions—the firm that brought you the megamillion-dollar Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este sale in Como, Italy I covered in an earlier feature—is bringing its show stateside as part of the festivities surrounding the newly-renamed "Concours d’Elegance of America" being held at The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, MI, at the end of July.

The Concours—formerly known only as the “Concours d'Elegance” and held for years at the historic Meadowbrook Hall in Rochester, MI—expanded in both physical size and overall aspirations, leading to the switch in name and venue, though not necessarily in that order.

Now there’s not only a spacious former Catholic seminary within which the auction and certain show events can be held, but a neighboring 27-hole golf course upon which the “33rd Annual Concours d’Elegance of America” can sprawl on Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. [Admission is $25, including parking, shuttle and program book, in case you were wondering.]

But back to the auction.

Polestar Performance Prototype Presages Volvo On PCP?

On: Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 2:35PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by author test 2

If you thought "Nova"—which Spanish-speakers could read as "no va" or "doesn't go"—was an interesting unintended translation, wait until Volvo finds out what the acronym for its proposed “performance division” means here in the U.S.A.

Yes, if what many (other) sources are saying is true, Polestar wants future performance Volvos to “get wet” on the “sherm”, as the proposed “Performance Concept Prototype” badges will naturally be abbreviated to read “PCP.”

Yes, the fastest Volvos will wear logos that recall what 60 Minutes and People magazine called the “number one” drug problem in the United States in 1978. I’m not sure why the beloved—by me at least—Swedish automaker is apparently dropping its perfectly-good “R” appellation, but as “crack cocaine” and “methamphetamine” were taken, I can see why they landed on the name they did.

Think You Can Afford It? One-Off Porcelain Veyron

On: Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 10:24AM | By: Chris Weiss

The Bugatti Veyron LOr Blanc Grand Sport  test 2

The last Bugatti Veyron 16.4 may have been sold, but that doesn't mean we won't be seeing some special edition Veyrons in the future, Or today. The Bugatti Veyron L'Or Blanc Grand Sport was designed in conjunction with Königliche Porzellan-Manufatur Berlin (KPM) and unveiled last week. It's a one-of-a-kind special edition that features an unlikely material all over.

Ordinarily, delicate porcelain is the last thing that you'd want to see on the outside of a vehicle, particularly a big, heavy hypercar with capabilities up to 250 mph. But in the high-end automotive market where it's increasingly difficult to get any kind of meaningful bragging rights, being the first motor vehicle in the world to use porcelain for interior and exterior design elements provides one such bragging right. The press release doesn't detail all the parts that use porcelain, outside of confirming that it's on both the inside and out, but we'll have to venture that it's those white, squiggly lines all over the exterior and door panels.


For Overlanding, Only BMW Reigns Supreme

On: Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 2:14PM | By: Chris Salamone

BMW R 1200 GS Adventure test 2

Whatever you’re planning to do, from cross-continental voyages to weekend trips at the local mud pits, the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure is good-to-go. Yes, BMW makes some expensive motorcycles, but they are widely regarded as the best on the road for the all-important emotional draw of jumping on a bike and riding into the great unknown. The new BMW R 1200 GS Adventure model is the king in BMW’s class of Enduro bikes. In addition to being incredibly handsome, the R 1200 GS Adventure packs some serious specifications, making this bike ready for even the most trail-hardened journeyman.

Mecum Des Moines: Home Of Great Original-Condition Oddities

On: Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 1:16PM | By: Andrew W Davis

1981 Zimmer Golden Spirit automatic [Lot F114] test 2

It is a car collector’s most fervent wish that they find the vehicle they've been seeking in as-new, one-owner, low-mileage and perfectly-running and -driving condition. But as most cars that are desirable NOW were the same THEN—or were built for dangerous duties like racing—that almost never happens. And while you can restore a valuable car to better-than-new condition, the very fact that so many ARE restored has flipped the equation, making those in original condition the rarer of the two.

But for every multimillion-dollar original relic discovered there are thousands upon thousands of cars that nobody wants—apart from the weirdos that fastidiously maintained them—that feature all the buzzwords I mentioned up top, despite the fact that there's no "popular" reason for their preservation.

I found four such cars—OK, three cars and a truck-thingie—on-deck for Mecum Auctions’ July 15-16 Des Moines sale. They are proof of the adage that something's being rare does not make it desirable, nor does a desirable thing have to be rare. Even so, these vehicles are among the best examples of their kind you’ll find, so maybe it's best to think of this as your opportunity to buy some vehicles you never knew you needed…

Video: Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition Earns Its Name

On: Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 12:30PM | By: Chris Weiss

Video: Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition Earns Its Name test 1-1

When you designate a 'Nurburgring Edition' anything, you'd better be sure that it's up to the task. And Lexus did just that in racing its LFA Nurburgring Edition around the Nordschliefe circuit of Nurburgring. Finish time? 7:22.85. And that was just messin' around.

Gazoo Racing team manager Akira Iida attacked the Ring before last weekend's 24 Hours of Nurburgring event and logged the time, which would be enough to give the LFA Nurburgring the number 10 spot all time. We say "would be" because the run wasn't an official lap, just a warm up. An official attempt is likely to come later this year and we'd expect the LFA to move up the list even further.

Bid On The World's Oldest-Known Bespoke Bentley To Book-End Your Brooklands

On: Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 9:15AM | By: Andrew W Davis

1921 Bentley; Photoillustration by Author test 2

When it comes to the winners of the world’s major automotive-endurance races, it’s usually the cars that have won the 24 at Le Sarthe that command the most respect and highest prices.

When buying a classic Bentley—cars once famously derided in-period by no less than Ettore Bugatti as the “world’s fastest trucks”—the same applies. And though you may not know it by looking at their modern line-up, Bentley was chief ass-kicker at Le Mans once upon a time, winning the full-day racing event outright four CONSECUTIVE times, 1927-1930.

Those winning “trucks”—and certain of their contemporaries—would easily be multimillion-plus-dollar cars if ever they were sold at auction, which they VERY rarely are. But those are the genesis for Bentley’s RACING heritage. What about the company itself? What would the VERY FIRST “bespoke” Bentley be worth? We’re about to find out…

Scion Introduces Is Latest Release: The 2012 tC RS 7.0

On: Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 3:20PM | By: Andrew W Davis

2012 Scion tC Release Series 7.0 coupe test 2

Though it’s nowhere near as exciting as the (supposedly) forthcoming FT-86, Scion’s “original” coupe is nonetheless getting its mojo upgraded as the latest vehicle in the brand’s “Release Series,” the 2012 “tC Release Series 7.0” coupe.

In a combination of numbers that will cause most to re-read their press release, Scion calls the 7.0 the “first release series for the second generation tC sports coupe.” Due out “this summer,” the “tC RS 7.0” (as they abbreviate it) comes with all sorts of thingies and doodads and a special paint color and the like.

Look, I’ll just let Toyota—I mean SCION—lay it out for you…

Jaguars At Speed And As Sculpture During Goodwood Festival Of Speed

On: Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 2:06PM | By: Andrew W Davis

2012 Jaguar XKS-R test 2

Jaguar—in the finest fighting-shape it's been in since the days of its world-ruling D-Types, continues to raise the performance bar only to use it as just another rung on its ladder to ever-greater heights of vehicular ass-whuppin'.

Latest in this powerful-product onslaught is the 2012 XKR-S, which—along with a variety of other vintage and modern Jags—will represent the sign of the cat at the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed where the brand is “honored as the featured marque.”

Though billed as “the fastest Jaguar in a generation,” the XKR-S will nonetheless have some seriously stiff competition from its predecessors during the event’s most famous feature, the “action on the notorious Goodwood Hill.”  

And who among us couldn’t use a little action?

Money, Modern Muscle, And A Monstrocity Meet At Bonhams Wally Lewis Sale

On: Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 5:51PM | By: Andrew W Davis

1994 Gazelle-Pinto; Photoillustration by author test 2

In the stuff-selling world there’s a definite hierarchy. At the bottom you have the worthless tchotchke hawkers of eBay, and at the top are the established, old-world auction houses that have lot fees with more zeros than the price of the actual thing anywhere else.

Right at the tippy-top of THAT pile are firms like Bonhams. Founded in 1793—no, that 7 isn’t supposed to be a 9—this ''privately owned British auction house'' is ''one of the world's oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The Bonhams name is recognised [sic, silly Brits] worldwide throughout all sectors of the fine art, antiques, and collectors' market.''

So why the hell are they selling—between sales of ''Fine English Furniture'' and ''Art & Antiques''—a Ford Pinto-based kit car from 1994?

Blame Wally.