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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Classics

Haunted Highways: A Series Exploring The Ghosts of Cars Gone By (Quickly)

On: Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 12:23PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Acura NSX test 2

When it comes to exciting cars of yesteryear, few cars are as underappreciated as the legendary Acura NSX. Whether it was being mistaken for a Ferrari or taking knocks for not having enough power as other cars in its price class, the NSX does not get nearly the credit it deserved. But with a little more insight, we might just be able to get the NSX the credit it absolutely deserves.  

In the mid-1980s, after years of research, Honda decided to throw its hat into the performance car ring. Using the Ferrari 348 as a benchmark to beat, Honda set out on its journey and quickly decided that instead of trying to find a designer better than those talented Italians, they would just go out and pay the very best Italian on the market to create the shape of their halo car. And so, in 1984, Honda employed the services of none other than the legendary Pininfarina to pen a prototype deemed the HP-X or Honda Pininfarina Xperimental which evolved six years later onto show room floors as the NSX, or New Sportscar Xperimental. Honda took note of some exotic cars' penchant for breaking down and being temperamental when it came to driving their very wealthy owners around for any length of time or any lengthy distance. The goal of the NSX was to be every bit an exotic that its Italian competitors were, but to excel where they were weak, and at a price point much lower than even the cheapest prancing horse or raging bull. And from its first appearance in 1991 to its final bow in 2005, the NSX achieved all of its goals in spades.

2006 Ferrari FXX Evoluzione Fetches $2.1 Million

On: Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 11:06AM | By: Chris Weiss

2006 Ferrari FXX Evoluzione Fetches $2.1 Million test 1-1

The 2006 Ferrari FXX Evoluzione made good on its promise to rein in over 2 million dollars at auction. It didn't quite make it to the estimated $2.5 million, but it came close, fetching a $2.09 million dollar price at auction last weekend. The FXX was the flagship of a private collection from the late Benny Caiola. The Ferrari led a pack of eight cars that topped million-dollar bids at the auction, and its $2.09 million selling price was the highest at the 2011 Scottsdale Auction Week.

David Gooding, president and founder of Gooding & Co., predicted that this would be but one example of strong auction sales this year, explaining: "Strong 2011 auction sales will result from an increasing demand for preservation-class quality cars." He was using last week's sale of a 1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic and a 1962 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster as examples.

One-Off Ferrari Enzo Prototype Now For Sale

On: Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 10:22AM | By: Chris Weiss

One-Off Ferrari Enzo Prototype Now For Sale test 1-1

Happy New Year, ultra-wealthy car collectors; there's an exciting new piece up for sale. Look quickly and you may think that you're staring at a Testarosa, but what you're actually looking at is an Enzo prototype from 2000. No, it doesn't have that distinctive beak that we've come to know and love from the Enzo, but it's got a pretty beautiful look all its own. And it's a one-of-a-kind prototype, making it a potential collection flagship.

El Camino To Make a Return? GM Considering It

On: Mon, Dec 20, 2010 at 2:18PM | By: Chris Weiss

El Camino To Make a Return? GM Considering It  test 1-1

The pickup car market really never recovered from the loss of the El Camino back in the late 80s. Sure, we have recently had things like the Subaru Baja, but that just didn't have the rugged, muscular looks and sheer utility of an old clunker like the Camino. And I fear that until the El Camino—or at least something very similar—returns, the pickup car will never get back to its glory days.

Good news on that front: a Jalopnik report citing three GM sources indicates that the General is carefully considering bringing back a legit pickup car. And it's likely going to be a Chevy that may just bear the El Camino nameplate.

The pickup car is coming back, baby! (Maybe.)


UAW Demonstrates Over Hyundai's Treatment of Temporary Workers

On: Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 3:04PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

UAW Demonstrates Over Hyundai's Treatment of Temporary Workers test 1-1

The UAW said in a statement this week that it supports the rights of workers who are on strike in Korea against Hyundai, and it plans to hold a rally for those workers at the Hyundai America Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

UAW President Bob King plans to travel to South Korea this week. King reports that a recent strike at a Hyundai auto parts plant has cost the company $173 million in lost vehicle production.

DeTomaso On Schedule For Geneva Comeback

On: Mon, Dec 6, 2010 at 1:51PM | By: Chris Weiss

DeTomaso On Schedule For Geneva Comeback  test 1-1

Well, here's a name I all but forgot. De Tomaso, an Italian automaker that I best recognize from my exotic car picture books from my childhood in the 1980s, has a new model to show and it should be launching at the Geneva Motor Show. A few leaked pictures from Italian auto rag Quattroruote provide a teaser of a car with Tomaso's new logo on the grille and badge on the back.

Video: V12-Powered Lamborghinis of the Past Parade in Italy

On: Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 10:26AM | By: Chris Weiss

Video: V12-Powered Lamborghinis of the Past Parade in Italy test 1-1

Not a full week ago, we were enjoying a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade awaiting a delicious meal like no other. Now, it's early in the work week, the post-holiday paperwork is piled high and we'll be lucky to shovel down some microwaved leftovers between meetings. In other words, life has plumetted drastically in less than a week. Oh yeah, and it's holiday shopping season. Joy.

Bringing a little bit of the festive fun back to this end-of-November morning, we have some video of an even cooler parade. Early this month, Lamborghini held a retirement party for the outgoing Murcielago at its headquarters in Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy. Part of the celebration was a grand parade of V12-powered Lambos from generations gone by. There's a Miura, a 350 GT, a Countach and Diablo, in addition to a few Murcielagos. All driving around looking pretty. It's basically a moving Lambo museum.

We didn't have a clip at the time, but there's now one floating around on YouTube. If this doesn't bring back a little of that lighthearted holiday cheer, I think you're a lost cause.

Will Volkswagen Bring Back the Legendary Microbus?

On: Wed, Nov 24, 2010 at 10:31AM | By: Chris Weiss

Will Volkswagen Bring Back the Legendary Microbus?  test 1-1

The Volkswagen Transporter Type 2--also commonly called the minibus or microbus-- is a remnant of a bygone era, an era when free love, anti-war and timeless music were all the rage. In fact, it's hard to think of the classic VW and not think of long-haired hippies, psychadelic drugs, tie dye and Woodstock.

According to reports, the VW Microbus will soon be part of a new era. Volkswagen Chief Designer Klaus Bischoff has confirmed that VW is working on a new version of its classic minibus. The news is far short of a full production confirmation, but it makes clear that VW is at least giving some careful thought to bringing back the legend.

Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival 2010, The Lost Roll

On: Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 5:18PM | By: John Welch

Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival 2010, The Lost Roll test 1-1

I can hear it already . . . "The 'lost roll'?! What does that mean?" I am of course referring to film, something we don't use all that often in 2010. Instead we carry digital celluloid with us to car shows, and we squeeze every last megabyte out of our CF treasure chests. Because space is limited and time is short, we aren't always able to present the full battery of images taken at each event. We can make up for it later though, ressurecting images that weren't used in the original posts but probably should have been.

This gallery contains the usual mix of shiny paint and even more shiny chrome, as well as a few avant garde shots. The images were snapped by either myself, Drew Christy, or Drew's wife, Stephanie. We have a boat-load of shots left; look for another "Lost Roll" post before the end of the month . . .

2010 Sebring Historic Fall Classic: German Mega Gallery

On: Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 10:36AM | By: John Welch

2010 Sebring Historic Fall Classic: German Mega Gallery test 1-1

Sebring International Raceway is open for business all year long. This is Florida, and despite what news media sensationalism would lead you to believe, hurricanes do not disrupt our fun that often. You can book the Sebring course for practice, testing, weddings, company picnics, and of course, Historic Racing.

That term "Historic Racing" is sort of arbitrary; there is no specific factor that makes a race or race car "historic". If it has turned a wheel in sanctioned competiton, it probably carries some historic value for sombody. Personally, I think all race cars are historic in one way or another. As it turns out, Historic SportsCar Racing Limited agrees with me. They put together three days of hard-nosed, surprisingly close racing comprising of 6 classes, two night races, three enduros and, the big draw, two race-winning Audi R8 prototypes. I certainly didn't think I would ever get a chance to photograph these cars at speed. What a thrill!

The races were exciting to the end, the Audis dominating the multi-class racing, while several GT1 Porsche 911 RSRs were the "class" of the GT field. The No. 28, owned by Klaus Graff (driver of the CytoSport Porsche RS Spyder that won two races during the 2010 ALMS season) was especially soul stirring. Listening to this car downshift from sixth to second entering turn 15 was a nearly religious experience. It's the little things that make you wonder why America isn't a little more enamoured with auto racing. The echo from a sequential transmission barking off downshifts is so bizarre and spine tingling it seems to me that one hasn't lived until having witnessed such a mechanical epiphany.

Thankfully, I live in Florida, I work for the AutoShopper, and I get to experience this magic six times a year. I lie awake at night dreaming of Sebring, and I can't wait for you to open this gallery, or watch the attached video, and consider a trip down here yourself, come March 2011. Check back all weekend for more SHFC images; it is simply impossible to fit them all into one post . . .

Sebring Historic Fall Classic 2010

On: Sun, Oct 24, 2010 at 6:23AM | By: John Welch

Sebring Historic Fall Classic 2010 test 1-1

We have covered a lot of "Classic" events lately, the Sebring Historic Classic being one of the most exciting. Vintage racing machines from all eras converge on Sebring International Raceway this weekend for some "friendly" racing. This event is labled as an exhibition, but you wouldn't know it watching the action on track. Yesterday's action included Trans-Am Mustangs from every decade, 60s, 70s, 80's, and 90s. Porsches of all varieties were in attendance, as well as the big surprise, two Champion Audi R8s. Their presense not advertised prior to the race, I never imagined I would be given a chance to photograph these cars on track.

Here we have a brief teaser gallery; many more pictures, video and information from the 2010 Sebring Historic Fall Classic throughout the week.