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Thursday, July 31, 2014

6 cars that need to be revived




Photo: Aaron Lai | Flickr


Photo: Aaron Lai | Flickr

The rumors are constantly flooding into our inboxes of cars X, Y and Z being revived with hybrid powertrains, all-wheel drive and a bunch of other claims that no one can really back up. But can you blame them? Of course I’d like to see a new Supra with 500 horsepower, or an RX-7 with twin-rotaries and a six-speed. For the most part though, we take these rumors with a grain of salt.

The fun part of it, really, is thinking about your favorite childhood cars coming back to life. Those icons of your generation living on in a new form. That being said, here’s six that we think need a new chance at life (click the links to see more):

DeLorean DMC-12

Great Scott, there are going to be a lot of puns in this paragraph! The iconic DeLorean gained fame as Doc Brown and Marty McFly’s ride of choice throughout the Back to the Future movie franchise. But realistically, the out-of-this-world design was what really sold it for many enthusiasts.

Now, more then ever, might be the perfect time for us to go back and bring this car to the future. I’m sorry.

Lancia Stratos
Lancia Stratos Stradale
Lancia Stratos Stradale

If the Lancia Stratos doesn’t induce hot flashes and/or tingly feelings in your underneath— you might want to check your pulse. Produced in 1972, it was an instant classic based on looks alone, not to mention a prestigious racing history to go along with it.

There was an attempt by some rich investor back in 2010 to bring the car back from the dead — and the retro-modern design was actually really stunning — but it was shut down by Ferrari never to be heard from again. It’s a shame, really.
Mazda RX-7

Any car nut that grew up in the 1990s will tell you that the RX-7 is a perfect car to revive. It is one of the most iconic sportscars of the 90s. Production started in 1978 and lasted all the way until 2002, but the “FD” final generation seen here is the one we lust after.

Rumors here and there have been hinting at a revival. But we’ll believe it when we see it. And we sure as hell hope we see it.
Pontiac Fiero

Is it really all that crazy to want a new Fiero? It is? Ok. But can you blame me? The Fiero was a Ferrari-inspired, mid-engined, rear-drive American piece of goodness that practically everyone fell in love with.

Truth be told, you can still pick one up for pretty cheap off of eBay, but how cool would it be to have a new one? I guess that would also mean a revival of Pontiac altogether, which might be a little harder…
Toyota Supra

Like the Mazda RX-7, the Toyota Supra was the object of every 18-year-olds’ desire back in 1993 (when the Mark IV came out). It was beautifully designed, sporty, powerful, and came with a manual gearbox, back when Toyota still built those kinds of things.

While the Supra has been the most active in the regular rumormill, we’re still unsure whether Toyota has enough cojones to bring it back to market. We hope they do.

TVR Sagaris

It was only eight years ago that TVR ended production of the Sagaris…and then ended production of everything else, too. But the Sagaris was a stunning piece of British sportscar engineering that we need back in our lives. And with a TVR revival looming, it could actually happen.

A $63 million Ferrari is a fake, expert says


A replica 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO is on the market for $63 million.
A replica 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO is on the market for $63 million.
A 1962 Ferrari GTO being offered for $63 million on a German website is being called a contender for the world's most expensive car by some But it's likely the world's most expensive fake.

News outlets have gone crazy for the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO that's for sale on, which is like Germany's eBay for used cars. A story picked up by Fox News said the car "is one of the first of the 39 250 GTOs to have left Ferrari's factory."
Read MoreFerrari GTO may become most expensive ever auctioned
GTOs have sold in private sales for more than $50 million. But the world's leading Ferrari historian and collectible-Ferrari expert Marcel Massini said the car offered on is a replica. He has photos and detailed histories of each of the real 39 250 GTOs that Ferrari made, and he knows where all of them are parked.
This car, he said, is not one of them.


"It's a replica," Massini said. "I can tell you that with 100 percent certainty. I know where all of these cars are today. And this is not one of the original GTOs."
He added that the fact that $63 million is being offered on a German used-car website is another clue that the car is a fake. didn't immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

But if you're a billionaire GTO buyer, don't be too disappointed. A real 250 GTO is coming up for auction by Bonhams on Aug. 14 in Pebble Beach, California. The estimated sale price: more than $30 million.
Image Source: Yousef Gamal El-Din | CNBC
—By CNBC's Robert Frank


1918 Cadillac Type 57 Is Now Part Of Historic Register



    1918 Cadillac Type 57 Is Now Part Of Historic Register
The National Historic Vehicle Register has a new member today. Earlier in the year, we told you about the creation of the register and the first vehicle bestowed with the honor of being a part of it. The Shelby Daytona Coupe is certainly worthy of that honor, but now it's time to turn to a different sort of American icon; a Cadillac.

There was a period when the term Cadillac meant that something was being described as "the standard of the world". That's because Cadillacs literally were just that. The American automaker produced tremendous vehicles, and the entire planet embraced them for decades. That's why the 1918 Cadillac Type 57 serves as a perfect example of what Cadillac were capable of early on in the history of automobiles.

Cadillac came to be in 1902, and by 1915 its vehicles were capable of achieving 65 miles per hour. A 90-degree flathead V-8 was paired with a dual-plane V-8 crankshaft to create world-leading power and performance. Just a few years later, Cadillac would move on to larger V-16 engines bolted into vehicles that catered to the upper crust.

The 1918 Type 57 was purchased by a doctor in New York. He then donated the car to the war effort and volunteered his own services as a driver of the vehicle. The Cadillac found its way towards the front lines in France, and was eventually used by Eleanor Roosevelt for a few months. After the war, it eventually found its way home and, down the line, into the hands of its current owner.
The Type 57 was found in a used car ad, and quickly purchased. The owner dug deeper into the car's history to discover its military background, and is extremely proud of the car's inclusion in the HVA and the Library of Congress. The HVA team will continue to dig into the cars past to find out more about it.

2016 Ford Mustang GT350 Rendered




We know the regular versions of the 2015 Ford Mustang will be impressive thanks to recent announcements about power and torque output. But there are even hotter versions of the 2015 Mustang in the pipeline, and one of the first will be the GT350.

Our spy shots have already revealed much about the car, in both standard GT350 and racier GT350R trim. But this rendering reveals the curves, lips, spoilers, and other details without the obfuscation of camouflage.Created by Gurnade, the rendering gives us our best look yet at what to expect. But what can we expect under the seductive skin?

A big V-8 engine is a likely bet, and it will probably be normally aspirated. Rumors of a flat-plane crank have made the rounds, explaining the unique and aggressive sound you can hear in the video of the car in testing below.

Add to the mix an upgraded suspension and braking package,  the enhanced aerodynamics and potent V-8 engine are likely to come together with the new 2015 Mustang’s inherent improvements over previous models (independent rear suspension, improved torsional stiffness, and more) to yield an impressive and capable track-worth street car.

All we have now is to wait and see how the final result turns out.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

1968 Marcos Mantis XP: A Car That Just Wasn’t Meant To Race



What you see here is a Marcos Mantis XP, an ultra-light racer built to take on Le Mans in 1968. If you haven’t heard of it, that’s okay, Marcos only built one. And the sad news it, it never got to have a crack at la Sarthe, but its story is quite a unique one.

The Mantis XP was conceived by Marcos’ co-founder, Jem Marsh, who wanted to design a car to compete within the FIA’s Group 6 regulations for sportscar racing. So Marsh enlisted the help of design brothers Dennis and Peter Adams to pen the racer.


What they came up with was quite the looker. The Mantis XP wears a wedge-shaped fiberglass body, designed to maximize speed down Le Man’s long Mulsanne straight. To do so, the car utilized a long, low nose and a shockingly squat ride height – talk about kissing the cat’s eyes.

New for 1968 was a mandatory step-back on engine displacement – brought down to 3.0-liters – which was in line with contemporary Formula 1 engines.

 It sent Marsh to the market in search of a BRM V12. Unfortunately, it proved too expensive, so the Mantis XP ended up with a Repco V8, supplied by none other than Jack Brabham. Mated to a Hewland DG300 five-speed gearbox, the Australian-built V8 put out more than 300-horsepower.


The car’s Formula 1 parallels didn’t stop there either. Marsh phoned up John Cooper, of the Cooper Car Company, and bought suspension components that saw use on the 1967 T81 Formula 1 cars. However, the car’s chassis remained truly a Marcos staple, thanks to its plywood monocoque architecture. Yup, plywood.

Once complete, the Mantis XP had to be lowered through a hole in the floor of Marcos’ workshop, and lined up for its first and only race at the Spa 1000 Kilometers in May of 1968. Under a torrential downpour, the car completed only 13 laps before Marsh retired the Mantis due to concerns with the engine’s health.


Instead of fielding the car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which had been delayed by three months, Marsh swapped out the car’s racing motor for a Buick V8 and registered the Mantis XP to be driven on the UK’s roads. It backfired. British tax collectors demanded Marsh pay an exorbitant amount of ‘purchase tax’ on the vehicle, so Marsh shipped it to the United States.

The car frequented a number of events, until Californian enthusiast Tom Morris bought the XP at the 1970 LA Auto Show, under the strict condition that it would remain road-legal. And today it continues to remain road-legal, still in the loving care of the Morris family.

July 29: General Motors buys Cadillac on this date in 1909





Cadillac, founded in 1902 and named after the French explorer Antoine Laumet de La Mothe Cadillac (who founded the city of Detroit in 1701), was purchased by General Motors on this date in 1909 for $4.5 million.

Henry Leland took the role of leader at Cadillac in 1904, with his son Wilfred by his side. By 1909, William C. Durant brought in Buick and Oldsmobile to form the baseline for the General Motors Corporation he founded the previous year.
 He then managed to convince Wilfred Leland that Cadillac should join the fold in return for $4.5 million in GM stock. Once the deal was done, the Lelands were retained in their management positions, overseeing automotive production.
Some 105 years later, Cadillac remains GM's luxury bulwark — one with a new leader, Johan de Nysschen, poached earlier this month from Nissan's Infiniti brand, and now charged with making Cadillac as relevant in cities like Shanghai and Abu Dhabi as it is in Detroit.

Dodge Viper To Get A Minor Power Bump For 2015


Dodge Viper To Get A Minor Power Bump For 2015
It's no secret that the Dodge Viper isn't exactly selling like gangbusters. Chrysler has even had to halt production on the car in order to keep existing stock moving along.
 Still, there's a new model year on the horizon, and it will see some changes in the Viper.
 No, the Viper won't be getting the 707-horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 from the new Dodge Challenger Hellcat. It will continue on with the familiar 8.4-liter V-10.
Well, said engine will be a little bit different. It's getting a horsepower bump!
Maybe we shouldn't have used an exclamation point on the end of that last sentence. To be more specific, the Viper is getting a horsepower bump of five, which means it's going from 640 up to 645 hp.
Yes, from the same SAE filings that revealed plans for a 707-hp Dodge Charger Hellcat, it’s been revealed that for the 2015 model year the Viper will get a few extra horses under the hood.

That's a bit of a disappointment, seeing as the Hellcat will burst forth with a fairly insane 707 hp. Additionally, the forthcoming Chevrolet Corvette Z06 will have 650 hp.
 This means that we live in a world where a Viper will be down on power to the Challenger, and will probably be handily whupped by the next Z06. That last thought is purely a guess though, of course.

We do hope Dodge sees an uptick in Viper sales, and perhaps that horsepower push will be enough to catch a few dollars that are looking to find a home at a dealership.
We're also looking forward to a refresh that works out how to fit the Hellcat powerplant between the Viper's chassis rails and under the hood, at least its supercharger.

Preserving the two-seat Ford Mustang "Shorty" that never was



1964 Ford Mustang âShortyâ
Two-seaters have never been that popular with the business side of the auto industry; for every Corvette and Miata bought by a hot-shot wannabe, there's a dozen buyers who cannot live without a back seat. The last time Ford built a true two-seater was the limited-edition GT supercar in 2005, and despite often toying with the idea, has never made a production two-seat Ford Mustang.

And yet if you're lucky enough, you might run into this at a car show — a 1964 Mustang known as "Shorty"  with two fewer seats, 16 fewer inches between its wheels and a long history.

Ford had big plans for expanding the Mustang line in 1964 beyond a two-door and convertible, but never seriously considered a shortened two-seater that would have been a return to the type of small, sporty car it tried with the original Thunderbird.

 That didn't keep one of its suppliers, Dearborn Steel Tubing, from commissioning a shortened Mustang from designer Vince Gardner, who modified much of the Mustang's look with fiberglass panels to fit an experimental Ford chassis.

Under the hood, DST also managed to place 260 V-8 that had been enlarged to 302 cubic inches with twin carbs — giving the Shorty a punch ahead of its time. After displaying the car at several shows in 1964, Ford was planning to crush the Shorty, but Gardner hid it in a warehouse, and Ford reported it stolen.

 The Mustang was only found after the warehouse's owner uncovered it and turned it back to the insurance company which had paid Ford's claim.

Four years later, the car was bought by Bill Snyder, an Ohio businessman who had seen it on tour and sought it ever since. That was 46 years ago, and after a recent restoration Snyder has taken the Shorty back to the show circuit.

It's an intriguing idea of what the Mustang could have been — or, maybe for the two-seat enthusiast, what it still might be one day.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Jaguar Will Debut XE Small Sedan in Less than Two Months


    Jaguar has confirmed that it will unveil its highly anticipated XE sports sedan at an event in London on September 8th.

     Normally we’d mark that on the calendar and continue on, except the announcement coincides with Jaguar’s latest info dump on the XE, of which a few more are expected in the coming weeks.

    The Jaguar XE spearheads a different tangent for the brand, taking the fight to the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class. Based on its advanced underpinnings, it very well could eclipse both of them.


    The XE features a double wishbone front suspension not all that far removed from the F-Type, consisting of predominantly all-aluminum parts and tuned to deliver ‘Jaguar XFR-levels of stiffness.’

     At the rear, the Jaguar XE fits a unique integral link suspension, capable of delivering quicker handling and better control over conventional multi-link designs. Refined, yet luxurious.

    With your hands on the wheel, Jag’s latest sports sedan should feel like a true driver’s car.

     The XE becomes the first Jaguar to come fitted with the latest electric power steering, packing-in a lot of math and scratching of the head to deliver a responsive steering feel. The system also eases low-speed maneuverability and will play host to new driver aid features.

    But the largest driver aid will undoubtedly be Jaguar’s All Surface Progress Control – basically launch control – developed with input from Land Rover.

    The program works like a low-speed cruise control to minimize wheel slip on wet surfaces, but we don’t suggest following your Land Rover buddies into the wilderness in the new baby Jag.

    The Jaguar XE will go on sale in 2015 in Europe, but all of us stateside will have to wait until 2016 to get our mitts on one.

    This Car Could Become the World’s Most Expensive Ferrari



    When it comes to rare classic cars, it seems like the ante is constantly being upped. Just when you think a Ferrari 250 GT Lusso or an Aston Martin DB4 set some record, another car shows up and the well-heeled collectors are there to put up top dollar for such rare vehicles.

    Such is the case with this Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Speciale. This ultra-rare Ferrari is being auctioned off by RM Auctions, who estimates the car will move for £20 million ($34.1 million). If it went for that speculated price, it would be the most expensive Ferrari ever sold. Ever.

    01-275 GTBC

    In late 1964 and early in ’65, Ferrari built just three of the 275 GTB Speciales, as race homologation one-offs. Many race series require a certain amount of road versions of a car to be built in order to clear it for racing (aka. to “Homologate,” which in Italian is “Omoligato.”

     That is the “O” in GTO). As such the GTB Speciale featured lightweight bodywork and was the first Ferrari to feature independent rear suspension. In essence, it was the evolution of the iconic Ferrari 250 GTO.

    02-275 GTBC

    If the GTB Speciale sells for anything close to what RM suggests, it will surpass the Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider, which sold for £16 million ($27.2 million) in 2013.

     We will know for sure what happens to the Speciale when it crosses the block at the RM Auctions in Monterey, which starts August 15.

    A New BMW M4 was Left High and Dry in a Ditch



    Sportscars aren’t very good at tackling off-road courses. Case in point – this brand new BMW M4, which apparently took an unplanned detour while driving in France…straight into a ditch.


    Perhaps ‘ditch’ isn’t the best word, maybe ‘chasm’ or ‘gully,’ given the sheer size of this hole. For the most part though, things look okay. The doorsills and front bumper will undoubtedly need a good massaging before this BMW hits the open road, and we’re betting there’s a bit of destruction to the front of that engine bay, too.


    When not stuck in ditches, the BMW M4 can sprint from 0-60mph in just 3.9 seconds and onto a top speed of 156mph – something that we hope this M4 and its missing driver will eventually get to experience. Rather, maybe this whole thing is a result of 0-60 gone wrong?

    Stunning 650HP Viper-Powered Karmann Ghia Custom: Your Ride


      We love classic cars. But what we love even more is when custom shops take these classics, and preserve them as a unique interpretation of themselves, without taking away too much from the original, of course. Readers Dean and Keith co-own Deanz Rodz and Race Carz in Graymont, Illinois. And what they do — like any other custom shop — is create custom rides all their own.

      There is one car, though, that stands out above the rest of their work. That car is a custom Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, with the heart of a Dodge Viper underneath and a six-speed manual gearbox. It is exactly as badass as it sounds. And along with being completely awesome, it’s an award-winning show car from coast to coast.
      Here’s everything you need to know about it:


      BoldRide: How did you acquire your ride?
      Dean: Oh God, where to start? So the Ghia is owned by Keith — Keith and I (Dean) co-own Deanz Rodz and Race Carz in Graymont, Illinois. Keith lives in Manhattan, New York, and is a stock trader and the world’s biggest gear head .
      I had started building the Ghia for another customer and when I was about 60% done, he decided to give up and sold it to a guy in Kentucky. Keith was afraid someone else would take the car and take credit for it. So Keith tracked it down and bought it back, then we decided we needed to go nuts on it. It was such a great idea, but I think we had more ideas then we did money.

      Keith likens the car to AC Cobras and Sunbeam Tigers and such; European sportscars, big American muscle. So the Ghia’s shape is a thing of beauty, its power plant however isn’t. The original customer was the one who opted for the Viper engine, but it fit so well into the over power mentality.
       The whole project was about three years— maybe three and a half, but there was a year or so where the Ghia was just sitting around in another shop doing nothing, so that brought the whole thing up to the four years and change mark.
      Does it have a name?
      It’s named ” Blue Mamba” after the snake, which is also a Viper, and in a parallel to the Dodge Viper’s limited edition Black Mamba.


      What does it feel like when you drive it?

      Driving it, it’s a rush, it’s so small and over powered. But it’s twitchy and aggressive, too. It’s just wanting to run. Problem is since it’s already committed to so many shows, we have to make sure we keep it pristine. It’s off to Germany in November for two weeks, so there might be some Autobahn time if the stars align. In theory it should shut down at 202 mph when the rev limiter/gear ratio/tire size max out, but the body’s aerodynamics wouldn’t let than happen. It has more then enough power to do it though— about 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft torque. As for it hooking up, it has a billet aluminum independent rear end and it just bites in and rips. It is seriously fun.


      What would you change about your ride, if anything?
      There’s really not much that needs to be changed. The visibility is maybe the worst thing, you’re pretty much sitting where the back seat used to be. The firewall had to be moved back 21 inches to fit the engine, but that is more of an issue in a parking lot or pulling into a building because you tend to lose the corners of the car. If you’re out on the road, then it’s really no different than anything else.
      What have you done to make it a bolder ride?
      What have we done to make it bolder? Is all of the above a good answer? We took a 36 horsepower, rear-engine VW engine, tossed that in the trash, and stuffed a 650 horsepower V10 Viper engine in it, a 6-speed T56, and a billet aluminum front and rear suspension. Not to mention a custom built frame with a hidden roll cage.

      We stretched the cowl about 3/4 of an inch and rolled the nose out about four inches. We filled the drip rails, added Mini Cooper headlights, and Suzuki Hyabusa mirrors and taillights. We cut down Pontiac Fiero seats, all new floors, wheel tubs; in fact, the only original Ghia sheet metal is the exterior skin. There are about 10 bought components and the rest of the stuff is all hand made in our shop.
      All in all the car was a big team effort. It was built by Deanz Rodz and Race Carz in Graymont Illinois (myself), painted by John Wargo, final body work, wiring, and final assembly at The Custom Shop in Flanagan, Illinois, and upholstery is by Glenn Denno of Denno’s /custom Interiors in Huntingsburg, Indiana.


      The car has won so many awards from the 2013 Lokar Car of the Year, to Best in Show at events from Boston to Vegas; it’s even considered a 100 point car, which really makes it hard for us to do better on our next project. Now though, we’re working on a 1940 Lincoln Zephyr with a massive V12. Hopefully it does just as good as the Ghia…

      Monday, July 28, 2014

      Cars Departing for 2015: Some We’ll Miss, Some We Won’t



      With every new model year comes a new an arsenal of vehicles that we swoon over. Even cars that will eventually be regarded as boring garner a lot of attention, just because they are new on the scene. But what is forgotten are the cars that have to make way for these new models. Who will remember the outgoing models? We will.

      The Car Connection was kind enough to put together a great breakdown of cars that will not be with us in 2015. They call it “The Death List,” and we’ll examine the cars from this list that we will miss most. Let us know in the comments which cars you’re going to miss.
      BMW 1 Series: Miss
      BMW 1

      This loveable little coupe and convertible gave us one of the greatest BMWs of all time: the 1 Series M. Hopefully BMW is wise enough to bring that approach to the 2 Series that replaces it. Or maybe they will just go back to pumping in engine sounds like on other M models. Vroom vroom!
      Chrysler 200 Convertible: Miss…?

      Wait, they were still building you??? We appreciate the Sebri–er…200 Convertible because elderly folks loved them, thus keeping them from buying more exciting cars. And frankly, while they do not handle very well, the “S” editions that were offered in the final years were pretty attractive little cars.
      CTS-V Wagon: Definitely Miss
      CTS V Wagon
      The new CTS coupe is likely to get a V version, and a coupe is sure to follow. But the V-Wagon was such a once-in-a-generation car, that we don’t expect GM, reeling and watching the bottom line after the recalls of 2014, will go for a V-Wagon again. For shame.
      Lamborghini Gallardo: Miss

      It was the hot-selling “entry level” car that turned Lamborghini into a success. The car changed the brand forever. It will be replaced with the Huracan, which has our undivided attention.
      Mercedes-Benz CL-Class: Miss

      I was lucky enough to drive a CL550 a few years ago. It was one of the most lavish and breathtaking cars on the market. Few cars can command so much attention in gray. It will be replaced with the S-Class Coupe, which will be fighting with the Huracan for our interest in the years to come.
      Nissan Cube/Nissan CrossCabriolet: Miss

      We did this as a double, not because the vehicles are similar, but what they represent. Honda and Toyota should take note on how to run a car company that is not afraid to take risks. Did we like the Cube? Not really. But it was a fun risk, and the CrossCabriolet is a much cooler vehicle than people give it credit for.
      Toyota FJ Cruiser: Miss
      FJ Cruiser

      Toyota’s car division may not have had the stones to build anything fun, but the trucks always stayed true to their roots. The Toyota FJ was Japan’s closest rival to the iconic Wrangler, and it featured cues that would make Toyota off-road purists proud.
      Just Taking a Year (or two) Off:
      Infiniti G37: So it’s not being replaced with the Q50, but is coming back as the Q40 after a year hiatus. Confused? So are we.
      Lexus IS C and IS F: Lexus is replacing the IS with the RC, but there could be room in the lineup for these variants to carry on.
      Mazda 2: A replacement is hitting Japan in 2016, and you can expect a North American version of the subcompact to follow.
      Volvo XC90: Volvo has been teasing the replacement model,
      which will come as a 2016 model. But Volvo thought it was not worth keeping the current XC90 around for another year. 
      Also Departing, but We’re Indifferent About It:
      Acura TL
      Acura TSX
      Chevrolet Malibu Eco
      Chevrolet Impala Eco
      Honda Fit EV
      Scion xD
      Toyota RAV4 EV
      VW Routan