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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Special / Limited Edition

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.

The $2.3 Million Pagani Zonda F Final Edition

On: Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 3:22PM | By: Chris Weiss

The $2.3 Million Pagani Zonda F Final Edition  test 2

The Huayra is preparing to officially take over as Pagani's flagship car. Overall that's a great thing; the Huayra is curvier, more powerful, and overall refined from the Zonda. Onwards and upwards. But you still have to be a little sentimental over the end of the Zonda era. It was, after all, Pagani's first offering, cementing the Argentinean/Italian's reputation for rare, exotic hypercars.

Well, if you're currently shedding a tear for the Zonda, there's good news: You have the chance to own one of only about two dozen Zonda F Clubsport Roadster Final Edition models. I should add that you have that chance only if you have an extra $2.3 million ready to devote to a four-wheeled toy.

This Gooding & Co. Pebble Beach Auctions Offering Is A Real Duesy

On: Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 5:15PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by author test 2

There was a time (not all that long ago, really) when persons of means could purchase a chassis of choice from a manufacturer and then deliver it to their custom coachbuilder to create the car of their dreams.

Nothing like that exists today, no matter how hard firms like Bugatti, Rolls-Royce, and Maybach work to make you THINK that’s what they’re doing. Sure, you can choose the exterior color scheme and have your choice of interior colors, upholstery, and accent materials.

But at the end of the day, all that “personalization” still leaves you with the same body riding on the same platform and stuffed with all the same mechanical and electronic doo-dads as the one bought by the person before you and the person buying after you.

Think not? Put them through my patented “Coachbuilt-or-Not?” test.

Art-schmart; The Allure of the Automobile Compels You!

On: Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 4:02PM | By: Andrew W Davis

1933 Pierce-Arrow; photoillustration by author test 2

Though the “grownup” version of Merriam-Webster.com offers a definition of the word “allure,” it’s their kid-oriented “Word Central” that nails it: “allure (verb): to try to attract or influence by offering what seems to be a benefit or pleasure; (noun): power of attraction.”

And when it comes to the “pull” anyone conscious will feel from these automobiles, a truer word has never been selected than that one when used in the title for the Portland Art Museum's “The Allure of the Automobile," a gathering of over a dozen of the finest sheetmetal sirens ever produced that you can enjoy from now until Sept. 11.


Lincoln's Dracula-like Town Car Gets Heart-Staked... Sort Of.

On: Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 2:30PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by author test 2

The latest installment in my non-existent series “They Still Build That?!?” brings terrible news for car-hire businesses and old people alike: 2011 is the final year for FoMoCo’s finest model, the range-topping (oh, yes, it is!) Lincoln Town Car.

Like the Mercury Grand Marquis (OK, Mercury, period) and non-cop Ford Crown Vic before it, this last of the rear-drive, body-on-frame luxury sedans from the Blue Oval Boys will greet its first sunrise and be converted to ash or whatever happens to vampire-like vehicle lines when they get tired of living forever without aging.

But fear not; Lincoln has seen fit to “transfer” the Town Car name to a wholly inappropriate vehicle the named-after-the-dude-on-the-penny folks want to cram down our (and limo/taxi companies’) throats.

[More on that in a minute.]

Mecum Set To Offer 400 Corvettes, Five Of Which Are Here. Hooray For Playing Favorites!

On: Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 3:53PM | By: Andrew W Davis


I would like to say that I’m an expert in all things automotive (or at least be able to say it with a straight face and/or in public), but just like categories involving popes and kings are my Jeopardy kryptonite, Corvettes—and their myriad configurations—kill me every time.

I could probably learn a lot visiting St. Charles, Illinois, and if I do it June 23-26 some of that learning would undoubtedly involve Corvettes, thanks to the 2011 Bloomington Gold show—self-billed as “America’s Original Corvette Show”—at the nearby(?) Pheasant Run Resort.

Problem is I usually equate “good” with “expensive,” so in order to know how good a particular Corvette model is—or how much better it is than another—I need to know what it’s worth.

Enter the folks at Mecum Auctions, and their “Corvette Exclusive” Bloomington Gold auction event nestled into the same time (June 24-25) and space (the show grounds) as the Bloomington event with which it shares its name.

BMW Frozen Black Special Edition M3

On: Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 1:22PM | By: Chris Salamone

BMW Frozen Black Special Edition M3  test 2

BMW of North America just announced a twenty-car production run of identical 2011 Frozen Black Edition M3 Coupes lined up for the good ole’ US of A. Although the 2010 M3 received similar treatment with the Frozen Gray Coupe, in 2011 the Frozen Black edition will feature red brake calipers, 19-nch GTS wheels, Novillo leather upholstery, red-on-black juxtaposed stitching, “carbon leather” trim, and, of course… matte black exterior paint with gloss black accents.

Did Chrysler Spin Off SRT To Screw With Us? First Move: The Viper Camper

On: Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 10:47AM | By: Chris Weiss

The Viper Camper test 2

As you may or may not have heard, Chrysler spun-off their Street and Racing Technology division into its own standalone brand earlier this week, naming Dodge chief Ralph Gilles its CEO and president. The company didn't waste much time getting down to business, but chose an odd move as one of its first public maneuvers. It "teased" the 2013 Dodge Viper (or at least some form of Viper) in response to social media inquiries about the upcoming muscle car.

Find Cool Cars For Camry Money At Mecum's St. Paul Sale

On: Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 9:35AM | By: Andrew W Davis

2000 Lotus Exige LHD coupe test 2

If there’s one thing that you learn as a long-term automotive writer it’s this: math and science—no matter how bad they sucked—were worth working at as they seem to be the key to affording the automotive baubles you only get to borrow.

Sure, having a new car or two just appear clean and full of fuel in your driveway every week is great, don’t get me wrong. But when what I call “Seventh-Day Disease” kicks in—named for the last day you have a car you REALLY wish you owned and don’t want to give back—you start wishing that you’d have checked the “Doctor” or “Lawyer” box on the “What do you want to be when you grow up?” form instead of “Writer/Pauper”.

There is an antidote that works most of the time, though: a “cheap-yet-cool” set of wheels you can call your own. (With your spouse’s permission; DO NOT forget that part. I CANNOT stress that enough. Trust me on this.) And one of the best places to find that vehicle is at one of the smaller “local” automotive auctions, like Mecum's upcoming St. Paul sale.

"It's KISS, Baby!": Bid On Band Member-Branded Minis To Benefit UNICEF (Now Until June 8!)

On: Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 2:15PM | By: Andrew W Davis

KISS-branded Mini ad test 2

It is said that if Gene Simmons could find a way to put the KISS logo on oxygen and sell it to us at a markup, he would. Despite the fact that his band’s fan base is relatively small (and aging), KISS nonetheless boasts more “branded” items (from “adult” toys to the kid-friendly kind) than almost any other band.

Ordinarily such licensing is aimed at benefitting Mr. Simmons and his band mates, but every so often the KISS (marketing) Army’s efforts are marshaled to the benefit of an important cause.

This go-round of goodwill-generation is not without irony; KISS has partnered with BMW/MINI to raise funds for UNICEF via the auctioning of four customized MINI Countryman via eBay, despite the fact that the charity is a children’s aid organization that assists a demographic sure to be absolutely terrified if they saw the fund-raising band in its full regalia.

A Car-As-Art, Not An Art Car: Stella/Gregg M1 Goes To Auction In August

On: Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 2:37PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Stella-painted Gregg '79 BMW M1 Pro Car racer test 2

For reasons not clearly explained, the Guggenheim Museum in New York will end its 12-year stewardship over what is easily among the top 10 most expensive BMWs on Earth—the 1979 BMW M1Pro Car painted by artist Frank Stella for late racer Peter Gregg—when it is offered for sale by Bonhams during its Quail Lodge auction event Aug. 18-19 in Carmel, Calif.

[If you thought that sentence was convoluted, just wait for the car’s historical run-down I’m about to get into…]