Cars – Silodrome https://silodrome.com Gasoline Culture Thu, 19 Jul 2018 10:11:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 18077751 The Car Used In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Is For Sale – A Modena GT Spyder California https://silodrome.com/ferris-buellers-day-off-car-modena-gt-spyder-california/ Wed, 18 Jul 2018 10:01:23 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=81257 The Car Used In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Is For Sale – A Modena GT Spyder California

The car used in the seminal 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is widely thought to be a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California. This is because it looks an awful lot like one, and because it’s literally described in the film as such: “The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California. Less than 100 were made. My father...

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The Car Used In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Is For Sale – A Modena GT Spyder California

The car used in the seminal 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is widely thought to be a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California. This is because it looks an awful lot like one, and because it’s literally described in the film as such: “The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California. Less than 100 were made. My father spent three years restoring this car. It is his love. It is his passion.”

Even though the prices on original examples of the Ferrari 250 GT California were multiple orders of magnitude less than they are today, they still weren’t cheap in 1986. The solution was to use a far less expensive American-made Modena GT Spyder California for almost all filming, and a real Ferrari for close-up shots.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off Car Modena GT Spyder California 6

The Modena GT Spyder California

The use of the Modena GT Spyder California in the filming of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off came about entirely by accident. The magazine Car and Driver had written a glowing article about the Modena, explaining that the car handled far better than most sports cars, and the magazine somehow ended up on the desk of the film’s writer/director John Hughes.

Hughes had initially intended to use a Mercedes for the film, possibly a 500SL. Eventually the only two cars left on the short list were the Modena GT Spyder California and the Porsche 911 Turbo. Hughes called Neil Glassmoyer at Modena and explained that he needed to see a car to perhaps use it in a forthcoming feature film, and Neil hung up on him. He had thought it was a practical joke.

Fortunately Hughes called him back and convinced him he was the real deal, and arranged to have Neil bring the car to the studio office. Once Hughes saw it in person he knew it was the right car, it was a decision that would shoot the small American replica car maker into the global spotlight.

Once the deal was signed, Mark Goyette and Neil Glassmoyer had just 4 weeks to build two and a half cars. Two for identical cars for filming duties and one rolling shell for the famous scene where the car rolls backwards out of the window.

The good handling of the Modena was partially down to the chassis, it was a rectangular steel tube frame designed by Indy car maker Bob Webb – the same guy who’d worked on Roger Penske’s Zerex Special. Unlike many period kit cars, the Modena wasn’t based on a Datsun 240Z or a Fiero, it was a bespoke car from the ground up.

Under the hood there was a high-performance 289 cubic inch Ford V8 mounted to a 5-speed transmission, the engine was fitted with four downdraft carburetors, and it had valve covers that featured the name “Modena” using the Ferrari font. This engine was capable of 195 hp and 258 lb ft of torque, doubtless giving the car spritely acceleration figures due to the low kerb weight, partially thanks to its fiberglass body.

The decision to use the Modena GT Spyder California during filming was both a blessing and a curse for the small company. Their cars became icons in their own right, something very rarely enjoyed by replicas, but the fame resulted in the company being shutdown by Ferrari. Decades later in 2018 Modena was inducted into Smithsonian Historical Vehicle Association Hall of Fame as just the 22nd inductee – largely based on the iconic nature of the car’s appearances throughout the film.

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Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was released in 1986, it had been filmed on a budget of just $5.8 million dollars, but it would go on to be one of the great success stories of the decade, eventually bringing in over $70 million in theaters and earning itself a place in the pantheon of great films.

It’s hard to know if the film would have been quite so famous if it wasn’t for the bright red Ferrari (technically a Faux-rrari) that features extensively throughout. We do know that many young men (and women) fell in love with the car on sight, and despite the fact that it’s not a real Ferrari, it did absolutely no harm at all to the Italian marque’s reputation in the USA.

The Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Car – The Modena GT Spyder California

The car you see here is one of the two used during filming, not including the rolling body shell which ended up on the wall of Planet Hollywood in Cancun.

This car was given a comprehensive nine month refresh at the hands of Modena company co-founder Neil Glassmoyer, it’s now presented in remarkably good condition throughout, so good that many would be unable to tell it apart from the real thing if it weren’t for the different badges.

Given this films cinematic history it’s likely that it’s the only replica in the world that would attract more attention at a car show than the real thing. If you’d like to read about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing on Mecum.

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Ferris Bueller's Day Off Car Modena GT Spyder California 9

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Ferris Bueller's Day Off Car Modena GT Spyder California 2

Ferris Bueller's Day Off Car Modena GT Spyder California 1

Images courtesy of Mecum Auctions

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The Lancia Stratos HF – The King of ’70s Rally https://silodrome.com/lancia-stratos-hf-car/ Tue, 17 Jul 2018 08:01:27 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=81133 The Lancia Stratos HF – The King of ’70s Rally

The Lancia Stratos was the first car designed specifically for top flight rally competition – developed by the all-Italian dream team of Lancia, Nuccio Bertone, and Marcello Gandini, with engines supplied by Ferrari. We remember the Stratos today as one of the most successful rally cars of its era, but its conception and development were...

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The Lancia Stratos HF – The King of ’70s Rally

The Lancia Stratos was the first car designed specifically for top flight rally competition – developed by the all-Italian dream team of Lancia, Nuccio Bertone, and Marcello Gandini, with engines supplied by Ferrari.

We remember the Stratos today as one of the most successful rally cars of its era, but its conception and development were fraught with difficulties, and it’s almost a miracle that the car made it both into production and onto the starting line of the great rallies of its day.

The Factory Gate and the Lancia Stratos Zero

The project to build the Lancia Stratos began when head of Gruppo Bertone Giuseppe “Nuccio” Bertone heard that Lancia were seeking to replace the aging Lancia Fulvia that they’d been using (with significant success) for rally competition.

Nuccio tasked the head designer at Bertone, Marcello Gandini, to pen a revolutionary new vehicle that would catch the attention of the big wigs at Lancia, and to ensure they were suitably impressed, he had the car built on the running gear of a Lancia Fulvia Coupé.

Lancia Stratos Zero

Above Image: The Lancia Stratos Zero

Gandini had already designed the revolutionary wedge-shaped Lamborghini Countach, and he continued down a somewhat similar path with the design for the Lancia Stratos Zero, albeit more extreme in its execution.

Once complete, the Lancia Stratos Zero was driven to the Lancia factory with Nuccio Bertone behind the wheel for its presentation – he stunned the awaiting Lancia management by driving the low-slung Stratos Zero right under the company boom gate.

Hands were shaken and a deal was made to develop a world-class racing car using the design direction of the concept car, and Marcello Gandini set to work almost immediately.

Lancia Stratos

The Lancia Stratos HF

The development of the Lancia Stratos HF was almost entirely unbridled by the constraints of a typical production car. It was penned by Gandini who was working closely with the sports division at Lancia to give them everything they wanted in a world-beating rally car.

The wedge and Kammback offered good aerodynamics, and great pains were taken to give the driver an almost perfect 180 degree panoramic view from the cockpit – thanks to a deeply curved windscreen that flows through slim A-pillars into the side windows. Rally cars spend a great deal of their time sideways, so this wide field of view is vital as it allows the driver to keep their eye on the road.

The core design was a central steel monocoque with front and rear sub-frames that bolt into place – this is ideal for cars that often suffer front or rear impacts, as you can remove the damaged sub-frame and replace it far more easily than you can repair or replace a full unibody chassis.

Lancia Stratos Interior

The engine was to be a modified version of the 2.4 liter Ferrari Dino V6, it took significant diplomacy to bring Enzo Ferrari around to this idea, as he was concerned about the Stratos competing with the sales of his own cars. In the end the wrinkles were smoothed out, and Enzo agreed to supply 500 engines – the exact number required to homologate the car for Group 4 racing.

Once unleashed the successes came thick and fast for the Stratos, it won the 1974, 1975, and 1976 World Rally Championship titles in the hands of Sandro Munari and Björn Waldegård, with additional wins in the 1975, 1976, and 1977 Monte Carlo Rally. The full list of wins enjoyed by the Lancia Stratos is far too long to list here – suffice to say the car was utterly dominant, and it ushered in a new era of rally car designed from the ground-up for rally competition.

The 1974 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale Shown Here

The car you see here is one of the nicest survivors left anywhere in the world, it’s an original example that hasn’t needed a restoration, largely due to the fact that it has just 6,440 kms on the odometer, and it’s always belonged to conscientious, fastidious owners.

Over the years the car has been carefully maintained, and today it presents in beautiful and fully-functional condition with its original paint, wheels, and interior (original seats accompany the car but were removed for preservation).

If you’d like to read more about this Stratos or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing on RM Sotheby’s.

Lancia Stratos Wheels

Lancia Stratos Spare

Lancia Stratos Side

Lancia Stratos Seats

Lancia Stratos Rear

Lancia Stratos Rear 2

Lancia Stratos Main

Lancia Stratos Logo

Lancia Stratos Engine

Lancia Stratos Dashboard

Lancia Stratos Back

Images: Erik Fuller ©2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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The Official Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018 Live Stream https://silodrome.com/official-goodwood-festival-speed-2018-live-stream/ Sat, 14 Jul 2018 07:31:07 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=81095 The Official Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018 Live Stream

The Goodwood Festival of Speed has grown to become one of the world’s pre-eminent motoring events. It’s a competitive hill climb held on the grounds of Goodwood House in West Sussex, England, and it’s been held annually since 1993. Goodwood – The History Goodwood House is up on a hillside above the historic Goodwood Circuit,...

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The Official Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018 Live Stream

The Goodwood Festival of Speed has grown to become one of the world’s pre-eminent motoring events. It’s a competitive hill climb held on the grounds of Goodwood House in West Sussex, England, and it’s been held annually since 1993.

Goodwood – The History

Goodwood House is up on a hillside above the historic Goodwood Circuit, a race track with history dating back to the Second World War. Much like Silverstone, Goodwood started out as an airfield for the Royal Air Force before being converted to a full-time race track in 1948, though it kept a functioning airfield which is still operational today.

Many world class events were held at the track, and the great luminaries of its age raced there including Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Mike Hawthorn, and Bruce McLaren.

Goodwood – New Beginnings

The track fell into disuse in 1966 and would have remained that way forever if it wasn’t for Lord March, who took over the Goodwood Estate in the early 1990s.

Lord March, now the Duke of Richmond, founded the Festival of Speed hillclimb in 1993, and brought proper racing back to the Goodwood Circuit with the Goodwood Member’s Meeting and the world famous Goodwood Revival which was founded in 1998.

The Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018 Live Stream

This live stream will run all weekend long, bringing you the events of the Festival of Speed for free – an invaluable service for those of us who were unable to make it to southern England for the event.

The 2018 event is the Silver Jubilee of the Festival of Speed – its 25th anniversary. There will be countless timed runs up the hill in all manner of cars – from vintage superbikes and pre-war monoposto grand prix cars to modern Formula 1 cars and Dakar rally vehicles.

If you’d like to see the timetable of events for the weekend you can click here, and if you’re in the UK and want to grab last minute tickets I’m afraid they’re all sold out, so you’ll be watching the live stream with the rest of us.

If you’d like to pre-book for 2019 you can click here for tickets.

Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018 Live Stream

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The Allard J2X – A Rare, Unusual, and Highly Influential British Sports Car https://silodrome.com/allard-j2x/ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 07:01:45 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=80862 The Allard J2X – A Rare, Unusual, and Highly Influential British Sports Car

Although the cars built by Allard aren’t particularly famous outside of classic car circles, the influence they had on the future of sports car design, particularly the Chevrolet Corvette, Shelby Cobra, and Sunbeam Tiger, are undeniable. The Allard J2 and J2X were the most successful competition cars built by the humble London-based factory, from 313...

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The Allard J2X – A Rare, Unusual, and Highly Influential British Sports Car

Although the cars built by Allard aren’t particularly famous outside of classic car circles, the influence they had on the future of sports car design, particularly the Chevrolet Corvette, Shelby Cobra, and Sunbeam Tiger, are undeniable.

The Allard J2 and J2X were the most successful competition cars built by the humble London-based factory, from 313 starts in major races the Allard J2 took 40 wins, 32 second places, and 30 third places – a remarkable feat given the small size of the Allard operation.

Allard J2-X

Sydney Allard and the Allard Motor Company Limited

The Allard Motor Company Limited was founded in 1945 by Sydney Allard, the company would build just under 2,000 cars before folding in 1958. Almost all of these cars would follow the same basic recipe – a large American V8 fitted to a very lightweight British chassis and body, giving a power-to-weight ratio on par (or greater) than the best sports cars of the day.

Sydney Allard personally drove an Allard J2 to a third place overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1950 (partnered with Tom Cole), the two men returned a year later for the event but suffered a mechanical failure despite running strongly earlier in the race.

In 1952 Sydney would once again drive in a major international race – the Monte Carlo Rally. Sydney co-drove with Guy Warburton, with navigation duties executed by Tom Lush. The men would take their Allard P1 to an outright victory at the event – the first British win in 21 years, and they returned home heroes (newsreel clip below).

The cars built by Allard were divided up into five major categories – J-series cars were sporting two-seaters, K-series cars were more road-oriented roadsters with two or three seats, the L-series cars were four-seat grand tourers, the M-series cars were more luxurious “Dropped” convertibles, and the P-series cars were tin-tops.

Allard J2-X Side

The Carroll Shelby + Zora Arkus-Duntov Connection

In the early 1950s both Carroll Shelby and Zora Arkus-Duntov would drive for Allard, with Zora piloting a J2 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1952 and 1953. Carroll’s successes racing for Allard would result in invitations for him to race for both the Aston Martin and Maserati factory teams in the mid-to-late 1950s.

Both men would later develop sports cars of their own – Arkus-Duntov was the godfather of the Corvette, and Shelby would develop the Shelby Cobra, Sunbeam Tiger, Shelby Daytona Coupe and many others. Seeing what a powerful American V8 could achieve in a lightweight car was an eye-opening experience for both men, and they would both contribute enormously to American sports car development over the subsequent decades, often in direct competition with one another.

The Car Shown Here: 1953 Allard J2X “Little Red”

The Allard J2X you see here, nicknamed “Little Red”, was formerly owned by Duncan Emmons, a well-known American vintage racer and Allard connoisseur.

Allard used a variety of American V8s over the years, Little Red is fitted with a mighty 394 cubic inch Oldsmobile V8 (blueprinted), sending power back through a 4-speed gearbox. A refurbishment in 2006, costing $74,000 USD, was undertaken before the then-owner used it on a number of 1,000 mile rallies including the Copperstate 1000, for which it appeared on the 2007 cover.

New headers, an exhaust, and an electric cooling fan have been fitted, along with additional thermal insulation and more comfortable seat cushions, and Jaguar rear wheels to better handle the engine’s prodigious torque.

If you’d like to read more about the car or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing on RM Sotheby’s.

Allard J2-X

Allard J2-X Front

Allard J2-X Shifter

Allard J2-X Interior 2

Allard J2-X Hood Scoop

Allard J2-X Hood Belt

Allard J2-X Back

Allard J2-X Interior

Allard J2-X Main

Images: David Bush ©2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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The Maserati Eldorado – Tipo 420/M/58/ – The Monzanapolis Racer https://silodrome.com/maserati-eldorado/ Tue, 10 Jul 2018 07:01:26 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=80708 The Maserati Eldorado – Tipo 420/M/58/ – The Monzanapolis Racer

The Maserati Eldorado The Maserati Eldorado is one of the most consequential racing cars of its time, despite the fact it never won a race, lead a championship, or landed a podium. There’s little doubt the car had the ability to achieve all three of these things given time and development work, after all Maserati...

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The Maserati Eldorado – Tipo 420/M/58/ – The Monzanapolis Racer

The Maserati Eldorado

The Maserati Eldorado is one of the most consequential racing cars of its time, despite the fact it never won a race, lead a championship, or landed a podium.

There’s little doubt the car had the ability to achieve all three of these things given time and development work, after all Maserati had won the 1957 Formula 1 World Championship rather decisively, with their two drivers Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss finishing first and second respectively, far ahead of the rest of the field.

At the end of the 1957 season Maserati withdrew the factory team from motorsport for financial reasons and focussed on building both road cars and race cars for privateer teams in order to generate more revenue.

Once such privateer was Gino Zanetti, the owner of the Eldorado ice-cream company and a pioneering mind in the world of racing sponsorship. Zanetti would be the first major sponsor of a European racing team that wasn’t in an automobile-related industry. He wouldn’t just add a logo to a car, but would have the entire car livery painted in his company colors with the company name along the sides and front, with the young cowboy logo featured in multiple locations on the car.

Zanetti’s decision to sponsor a car for Eldorado was monumental, there had been significant doubts as to whether non-automobile industries would see any benefit from sponsoring racing. Eldorado was the first major European pioneer, leading the way for the many companies who would follow – including the likes of John Player, Benetton, Martini, Jaegermeister, Apple Computer, Marlboro, Renown, Canon, and Camel – now remembered as some of the most famous liveries of all time.

The car Maserati built for Zanetti was developed to compete in the “Trofeo dei due Mondi” (Race of Two Worlds) organized by the Automobile Club d’Italia at Monza, a 500 mile race so similar to the Indianapolis 500 that it was nicknamed the Monzanapolis.

Maserati V8 Engine

Building The Maserati Eldorado

Under the vanilla-colored skin of the Maserati Eldorado lies a tubular steel chassis based closely on the Maserati 250F, though larger overall and reinforced at multiple points to withstand the rigors of high-speed, banked oval racing.

The V8 engine was sourced from the Maserati 450S with twin cams per bank, a 12:1 compression ratio, four Weber carburetors. The capacity was reduced to 4,190cc and in full race trim it’s capable of an impressive 410 hp at 8,000 rpm.

Power is sent back to the rear wheels via a two-speed transmission (low and high), and there are hydraulic drum brakes on all four corners, with Halibrand magnesium wheels, and Firestone 18-inch braided tread tires inflated with helium to shave off every possible gram of weight.

The aluminum bodywork was hand-crafted by Fantuzzi in Italy, its characterized by a fin behind the driver’s head, a long low nose, and a large off-set air intake to match the engine, which itself is offset by 90mm to give the car optimal weight distribution for banked oval racing.

The Maserati Eldorado (technically the Maserati Tipo 420/M/58/) tipped the scales at 758 kilograms, giving it a remarkably good power-to-weight ratio for the era (and even in the modern day).

Maserati Eldorado

Trofeo dei due Mondi – The Monzanapolis

The performance of the car in the Monzanapolis was impressive given that it was its first race outing. Stirling Moss finished the first race in 4th and the second in 5th, during the final race his steering broke and the car was sent into the wall at 260 km/h – astonishingly he walked away from the accident, and the car had relatively little damage save for the bodywork on one side.

After the race the original fin was removed and the hood scoop was reduced so the car could race at the Indianapolis 500. Gentleman driver Ralph Liguori took the wheel and despite his best efforts, the car failed to qualify, though it’s clear from the previous race outing that it wasn’t the fault of the car.

Today the Maserati Eldorado is housed at the Panini Collection, in Modena, and it attends a limited number of events and gatherings each year where it’s often swamped by people who’ve only ever seen it in magazines.

If you’d like to read more about the Maserati Eldorado you can click here to visit the official history sheet on Maserati.com

Maserati Eldorado

Maserati Eldorado

Maserati Eldorado

Maserati Eldorado

Maserati Eldorado Main

Maserati Eldorado Gear Lever

Maserati Eldorado Nose

Maserati Eldorado Side

Maserati Eldorado Steering Wheel

Maserati Logo

Maserati Eldorado 6

Images courtesy of Maserati

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Documentary: DeLorean: The Man, The Car, The People https://silodrome.com/documentary-delorean-man-car-people/ Sun, 08 Jul 2018 05:01:05 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=80653 Documentary: DeLorean: The Man, The Car, The People

DeLorean: The Man, The Car, The People is a documentary by Carfection focussing on the history of one of the most fascinating, and shortest lived, car makers in history – The DeLorean Motor Company. The story of the DeLorean DMC-12 includes blockbuster Hollywood films, an FBI sting operation, private jets full of cocaine, the top...

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Documentary: DeLorean: The Man, The Car, The People

DeLorean: The Man, The Car, The People is a documentary by Carfection focussing on the history of one of the most fascinating, and shortest lived, car makers in history – The DeLorean Motor Company.

The story of the DeLorean DMC-12 includes blockbuster Hollywood films, an FBI sting operation, private jets full of cocaine, the top automotive designer in the world, a championship-winning Formula 1 car constructor, and a car development program that set world records that are yet to be broken.

This film includes extensive interviews with many of the people who were there, and who were intimately involved in the development of the DMC-12, and they offer remarkable insight into one of the most famous car stories in the world, and the development of one of a car that remains one of the world’s most instantly recognizable.

John DeLorean Motor Company

John DeLorean

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Watch Live & Free: The 2018 Le Mans Classic https://silodrome.com/watch-live-free-2018-le-mans-classic/ Sat, 07 Jul 2018 11:30:31 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=80845 Watch Live & Free: The 2018 Le Mans Classic

The Le Mans Classic Every two years the Circuit de la Sarthe, home of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, hosts the Le Mans Classic – a weekend of races for cars (and cars of the same model) that raced at the original Le Mans in years gone by. Rather than a full 24 hours...

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Watch Live & Free: The 2018 Le Mans Classic

The Le Mans Classic

Every two years the Circuit de la Sarthe, home of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, hosts the Le Mans Classic – a weekend of races for cars (and cars of the same model) that raced at the original Le Mans in years gone by.

Rather than a full 24 hours of running, the races of the Le Mans Classic weekend are divided into more spectator (and driver) friendly blocks of time, typically between 45 and 90 minutes. Every driver on the grid must hold an FIA International Competition license, and the drivers range from highly competent gentleman drivers, to both current and former professionals.

The racing is anything but sedate, due to the shorter race times the drivers often treat them almost like sprint races, pushing at 100% from the get-go. Each grid is typically made up of cars worth countless millions of dollars – and this is one of the few events (including the Goodwood Revival) where you can watch them driven at their absolute limit, and sometimes beyond.

The Circuit de la Sarthe is made up of a series of public roads, so the Le Mans Classic offers a unique opportunity to watch these iconic cars being driven around the full circuit at full speed – a remarkable window back in time for those of us that missed seeing cars like the D-Type and Ferrari 250 GTO in action in the 1950s and ’60s.

The 2018 Le Mans Classic

For the 2018 Le Mans Classic the races on Saturday will include the Jaguar Classic Challenge, Group C Racing, Porsche Classic Race Le Mans, Little Big Mans, as well as Grid 1, race 1 through to Grid 4, race 1.

On Sunday the races will be Grid 2, race 3 through to Grid 6, race 3, held between 9:30am and 4:10pm Paris time.

Impressively the race organizers provide free live streams of all races for those who can’t attend, the feed with English commentary is above and the feed with French commentary is below.

Thumbnail Image Courtesy of Porsche AG

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The $70 Million Dollar Ferrari 250 GTO In The Vault https://silodrome.com/ferrari-250-gto-in-the-vault/ Fri, 06 Jul 2018 06:01:34 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=80404 The $70 Million Dollar Ferrari 250 GTO In The Vault

The Vault of the Petersen Automotive Museum The overwhelming majority of people driving down Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles have no idea that the unusual red and silver building they’re passing has a vault below ground level that contains well over $150 million USD worth of cars. Remarkably, the vault at the Petersen is more...

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The $70 Million Dollar Ferrari 250 GTO In The Vault

The Vault of the Petersen Automotive Museum

The overwhelming majority of people driving down Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles have no idea that the unusual red and silver building they’re passing has a vault below ground level that contains well over $150 million USD worth of cars.

Remarkably, the vault at the Petersen is more valuable than the vault at the Bellagio or Caesar’s Palace on any given day, and unlike the vault at the Bellagio, you can get friendly private tours of the vault at the Petersen without having to resort to any of that Ocean’s 11 nonsense.

The car you see here is the most valuable car in the Petersen, it’s chassis #4293GT – a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO that won its first race outing at the 1963 500 Kilometers of Spa, then took a class win at the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans, a win at Zolder, and a class win at the 12 Hours of Reims, before leaving the world of competition behind and passing into private hands.

The highest price achieved for a 250 GTO so far is $70 million – not bad appreciation when you consider the original MSRP of $18,500 (in 1962, the equivalent of $154,118 in 2018 USD). Elsewhere in the vault you’ll see Steve McQueen’s 1956 Jaguar XKSS, a two-time Le Mans-winning 1966 Gulf GT40, a 1929 Bugatti Type 46, a 1936 Delahaye, a 2015 McLaren P1, a 1947 Cisitalia, and dozens more cars that aren’t on public display in the main museum.

If you’d like to see the vault you can click the red button below, Petersen is offering the tour in partnership with Hagerty, and a full 2-hour tour costs just $30 USD. Alternatively, you can scroll down to read more about the Ferrari 250 GTO.

See The Vault

Ferrari 250 GTO

The Ferrari 250 GTO

There aren’t many who’ll argue when you say that the 250 GTO is the greatest car to ever wear the prancing horse, it was designed by the great Giotto Bizzarrini with finishing touches by Mauro Forghieri – after Bizzarrini and four other engineers left the company after what has become known as the “Ferrari’s night of the Long Knives”.

Just 36 examples of the 250 GTO were built in two major series, with some of the earlier cars later being re-bodied in the latter style. The name “GTO” is an abbreviation for the Italian “Gran Turismo Omologato”, or “Grand Tourer Homologated” in English.

The homologation process for the GTO involved no small amount of subterfuge, the FIA required that 100 cars be built (and inspected) in order to homologate the model for Group 3 Grand Touring Car Racing. Enzo Ferrari knew he couldn’t build 100 of them so the cars he did build had chassis numbered out of sequence, skipping numbers to make it look like more cars had been built.

When FIA inspectors came to check, Enzo had his team shuffle cars between locations, successfully fooling the FIA and passing the inspection.

Once homologated, the Ferrari 250 GTO made its first appearance at the 1962 12 Hours of Sebring, being driven by reigning Formula 1 World Champion Phil Hill and co-driver Olivier Gendebien.

They took the car to a class win, kicking off a competitive career that would result in a slew of wins and podiums for the Italian automaker, and begin the process of establishing the 250 GTO as the most collectible, and most valuable, car in history.

Ferrari 250 GTO Front Main

The Development of the Ferrari 250 GTO

The engineering that went into the GTO wasn’t particularly ground-breaking for its era, perhaps the real key to its success was the use of the wind-tunnel at the University of Pisa to hone the shape for high-speed stability and low drag – with an eye on the 3.7 mile long Mulsanne Straight on the north-western side of the Circuit de la Sarthe, the home of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The tubular steel chassis of the GTO was a modified version of the chassis used on the 250 GT SWB, the alloy body was designed to be as aerodynamically efficient as possible, with a long low nose, a rear lip spoiler and a Kammback. A belly pan was fitted to improve under-car aerodynamics, and a series of vents on the nose, and front/rear fenders were added to optimize airflow and cooling.

The most important part of any Ferrari is the engine bay, the the GTO is no different. An all-alloy V12 derived from the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Le Mans winner was fitted, with a 3.0 liter capacity, a single overhead cam per bank, and six 38DCN Weber carburetors.

The engine’s 300 hp was sent back through a 5-speed gearbox to a live rear axle with twin radius arms, semi-elliptic springs, and co-axial coil springs. Front suspension is comprised of unequal-length double wishbones, co-axial coils, and telescopic shock absorbers, with an anti-roll bar.

The goal to keep weight as low as possible paid significant dividends, the 250 GTO tips the scales at just 880 kilograms. The interior was kept spartan as the car was only ever intended to race, so there’s no carpet, sound-deadening, or headliner, the seats are simple cloth-covered units, and the dashboard is devoid of anything superfluous.

Read more about the Ferrari 250 GTO here.

Ferrari 250 GTO

Ferrari 250 GTO Front

Ferrari 250 GTO 6

Ferrari 250 GTO 5

Ferrari 250 GTO 3

Ferrari 250 GTO 2

Vintage Ferraris

Images courtesy of The Petersen Automotive Museum

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The James Bond “Spectre” Land Rover Defender SVX https://silodrome.com/james-bonds-spectre-land-rover-defender-svx/ Thu, 05 Jul 2018 06:01:27 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=78697 The James Bond “Spectre” Land Rover Defender SVX

Vehicles used in James Bond films typically become almost as iconic as 007 himself, the most famous are the Astons of course, but he’s also given popularity boosts to the Lotus Esprit, a number of BMWs, the Toyota 2000 GT, the Sunbeam Alpine, and even a 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1. The most recent James...

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The James Bond “Spectre” Land Rover Defender SVX

Vehicles used in James Bond films typically become almost as iconic as 007 himself, the most famous are the Astons of course, but he’s also given popularity boosts to the Lotus Esprit, a number of BMWs, the Toyota 2000 GT, the Sunbeam Alpine, and even a 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1.

The most recent James Bond film brought 007 together with another iconic Brit – the Land Rover Defender. Sony Pictures knew they needed an intimidating 4×4 for a number of scenes in Spectre, so they turned to Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations and ordered 10 vehicles. These 10 black 110 Series Defenders were then sent to Land Rover tuning and racing specialists Bowler who turned them into some of the meanest, and now most famous, Defenders on earth.

The Spectre Land Rover Defender SVX

Only 10 examples of the Spectre Land Rover Defender SVX were built for the film, not all of them survived and many that did survive now look a little worse for wear. The example you see here was used strictly for drive by scenes, not stunts, and it now has just 234 kilometers on the odometer from new, making it one of the best Spectre cars remaining and the only one for sale on the open market.

The transformation Bowler undertook on these vehicles was significant, 37 inch tires were bolted directly to special wheel rims, suspension upgrades include rose joints and Bilstein rally dampers, and there’s a full roll cage both internally and externally. A Warn winch has been installed up front, and a series of LED spotlights have been fitted to keep the road well lit even when you’re pursuing a British secret agent over a mountain pass.

The diesel engine was upgraded so it now produces 185 bhp and 500 Nm of torque, up from 120 bhp in stock trim. Recaro seats with 4-point harnesses were fitted, along with a no-nonsense hydraulic handbrake, and it comes with key tags identifying it as an official film car.

The first private owner had the pick of all 10 Spectre-film Defenders, and he chose this one as it is the most significant.

The Spectre Defender you see here is offered with the owner’s wallet containing the handbook and (blank) service booklet, a current MoT certificate, a UK V5C document for the most appropriate registration ‘OO07 SVX’, and and a framed presentation featuring movie stills, the shooting schedule, and an Austrian licence plate.

If you’d like to read more about the car or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing on Bonhams.

A Brief History of the Land Rover Defender

The Land Rover Defender was the successor to the Series III, it was originally called the Ninety or the One Ten (a reference to the wheelbase length in inches). As the Land Rover model range grew it was decided to rename the line to Defender 90 and Defender 110 to avoid any confusion.

To say the Defender had large shoes to fill would be a remarkable understatement. The Series I, Series II, Series IIA, and Series III Land Rovers took the world by storm and were very often the first motorised vehicle ever seen by people in developing nations.

The new Defender maintained the same basic structure as the Series vehicles, with a body-on-chassis design utilising a steel frame, a steel bulkhead, and aluminium body panels. Under the skin the Defender had been significantly updated with wider track axles, coil springs as opposed to leaf springs, a full-time 4×4 system borrowed from the Range Rover, and a lockable centre diff.

The interior had seen significant (and some would say overdue) upgrades over the Series Land Rovers, much improving the seats, sound-proofing, dashboard and instruments, and even offering amenities like air-conditioning and stereos.

Over the 3 decades of its production the Defender would get progressively more comfortable without sacrificing any of its raw off-road ability, and examples from the final few years of production are now highly sought after. Land Rover stopped making the Defender in early 2016 – largely due to increasingly stringent crash safety laws that the model couldn’t meet with its older-style body-on-frame structure.

Land Rover have announced more recently an intention to introduce a new Defender, likely with a unibody design and significantly updated styling. It’s widely hoped that Land Rover will stay true to the DNA of the model when they officially unveil the new Defender in 2019 – but only time will tell.

Images courtesy of Bonhams

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1971 BMW 2002 Tii-Specification Group 2 – A French-Built Racer https://silodrome.com/bmw-2002-tii-group-2/ Wed, 04 Jul 2018 09:01:58 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=79458 1971 BMW 2002 Tii-Specification Group 2 – A French-Built Racer

This BMW 2002 Tii-Specification Groupe 2 was built at the dawn of the ’80s by two legends of French motorsport – Sport Garage G.Benoit and Danielson. Sport Garage G.Benoit of Villefranche-sur-Saone in France were perhaps better known for racing the BMW 3.0 CSi in the late ’70s and early ’80s, but their expertise with BMW...

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1971 BMW 2002 Tii-Specification Group 2 – A French-Built Racer

This BMW 2002 Tii-Specification Groupe 2 was built at the dawn of the ’80s by two legends of French motorsport – Sport Garage G.Benoit and Danielson.

Sport Garage G.Benoit of Villefranche-sur-Saone in France were perhaps better known for racing the BMW 3.0 CSi in the late ’70s and early ’80s, but their expertise with BMW extended beyond just the famous 3 liter.

Danielson started out in 1977 building racing engines and race cars, they made such a name for themselves that in the decades since they’ve branched out into new engine prototyping and the aerospace industry. If the engine number plaques they used were sequential, then this car is fitted with just the second engine they ever built – #002.

BMW 2002 Tii Front

The BMW 2002

The BMW 2002 is, perhaps more than any other, the car responsible for BMW’s reputation as a driver’s car.

The later BMW E30 M3 was a big contributor, and the BMW 328 that first appeared in 1936 took over 100 wins and put BMW on the map, but the 2002 is the car that helped turn around BMW’s failing fortunes with its siblings in the “New Class” line in the late 1960s.

The creation of the BMW 2002 was essentially a result of great minds thinking alike, and some very lucky timing. The 1600cc BMW 1602 was released in 1966 but it was a car that always yearned for more power.

Both Helmut Werner Bönsch (BMW’s director of product planning) and Alex von Falkenhausen (designer of the BMW M10 engine) had independently installed the 2 liter version of the M10 engine into their respective 1602s – resulting in what was essentially a sports car hidden within a sensible two-door sedan.

Little did they know that this configuration would become a core tenent of the BMW model line from then on. At around this time, legendary auto importer Max Hoffman was asking for a sporting version of the new BMW 02 model line – so when Bönsch and Falkenhausen both discovered they’d essentially built the same car, they joined forces and created a joint proposal which was approved by the BMW board.

Over the course of its 1968 to 1976 production run, BMW would sell over 400,000 examples of the 2002, earning the company much needed foreign capital and creating one of the automotive icons of its age in the process.

BMW 2002 Tii Engine

The BMW 2002 Tii

The BMW 2002 Tii is one of the special versions of the 2002, it’s fitted with a higher-performance version of the M10 engine with Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection, capable of 130 hp in stock trim.

The entry level 2002 was fitted with a single carburetor version of the M10 and was capable of 101 hp, and the 2002 Ti was fitted with twin carburetors and higher compression pistons – resulting in 119 hp.

BMW engineers developed stronger MacPherson struts for the Tii, as well as larger brake calipers, ventilated rotors, and a special high-flow cast iron exhaust manifold. In order to remind drivers that they were piloting the sportier version of the 2002, a special leather-rimmed steering wheel was also fitted.

The BMW 2002 Tii Shown Here

It was common to buy the Tii for motorsport applications or to buy other 2002s and upgrade them to Tii or semi-Tii specification incorporating suspension, brake, cam, and other upgrades with out using fuel injection – many tuning companies preferred to use tried and tested Weber carburetors instead of fuel injection – though this may have just been due to their own lack of experience with it.

The car you see here is one such example, but the two Weber 45 carburetors aren’t the only change. The team at Danielson also fitted a large valve cylinder head, there must have been a series of additional changes not currently listed, as the engine is now developing 189 bhp at 7,100 rpm – 59 bhp more than it had from the factory.

Wider PLS wheels were fitted, necessitating fender flares. A 5-speed gearbox was installed, yellow spotlights were fitted up front, and the car was finished off in a classic Sport Garage G.Benoit livery.

If you’d like to read more about this 2002 or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing on Artcurial.

BMW 2002 Tii Side

BMW 2002 Tii

BMW 2002 Tii Taillight

BMW 2002 Tii Badge

BMW 2002 Tii Racing

BMW 2002 Tii Wheels Rims

BMW 2002 Tii Headlight

BMW 2002 Tii Rear

BMW 2002 Tii Danielson

BMW 2002 Tii Weber

BMW 2002 Tii Engine

BMW 2002 Weber

BMW 2002 Tii

BMW 2002 Tii Interior

BMW 2002 Tii Dashboard

BMW 2002 Tii Gauges

BMW 2002 Tii Steering Wheel

BMW 2002 Tii Interior

BMW 2002 Tii Roundie

Images courtesy of Artcurial

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