Racing – Silodrome https://silodrome.com Gasoline Culture Thu, 19 Jul 2018 10:11:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 18077751 The Most Expensive Motorcycle In The World – The Vincent Black Lightning https://silodrome.com/vincent-black-lightning-motorcycle/ Thu, 19 Jul 2018 10:09:16 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=81334 The Most Expensive Motorcycle In The World – The Vincent Black Lightning

The Vincent Black Lightning was the fastest and most desirable motorcycle in the world when it was released in 1948. A factory-delivered Black Lightning was capable of 150 mph if you were brave enough, and no small amount of bravery was required as braking technology hadn’t yet caught up with rapidly increasing horsepower levels. The...

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The Most Expensive Motorcycle In The World – The Vincent Black Lightning

The Vincent Black Lightning was the fastest and most desirable motorcycle in the world when it was released in 1948. A factory-delivered Black Lightning was capable of 150 mph if you were brave enough, and no small amount of bravery was required as braking technology hadn’t yet caught up with rapidly increasing horsepower levels.

The Vincent Black Lightning

The Vincent Black Lightning project began life when London Vincent dealer Jack Surtees ordered a bespoke Vincent Rapide in 1947 with a significantly upgraded engine for racing. The Surtees engine was built alongside one other, which would go into the bike that would become known “Gunga Din” – the prototype test-bed for the motorcycles that would evolve into the Vincent Black Shadow and the Vincent Black Lightning.

If the name Surtees sounds vaguely familiar to you and you can’t quite put your finger on it, you may be thinking of Jack’s son John, who is still the only man to win Grand Prix World Championships on both two wheels and four.

The V-twin used in the Rapide, Black Shadow, and Black Lightning was designed by Australian engineer Phil Irving. The story goes that Phil had blueprints of the Vincent Meteor single-cylinder engine on his desk, the way the blueprints were accidentally overlaid showed him that a V-twin could work perfectly using the barrels and heads of the single, just needing a new crankcase, crank, and a few other parts to work.

Vincent Black Lightning Main

Later in his career Irving would develop the Repco V8 RB620 engine used by Australian driver Jack Brabham to win the 1966 Formula 1 Driver’s and Manufacturers’ Championship against the best drivers and engineers in the world.

The Black Lightning wasn’t developed for street use (though they could be licensed for the road), they were intended for racing, and land speed record attempts.

The 998cc V-twin was build specifically for performance, magnesium alloy components components were used extensively, high-performance Vincent cams with higher lift and more overlap were used, highly-polished Vibrac connecting rods and high-compression Specialoid pistons were installed, the combustion chambers and rockers were polished, the heads were ported and polished, and twin 1¼ inch Amal 10TT9 carburetors were installed.

These highly-tuned engines were capable of 70 bhp – 15 more than the 55 bhp V-twins used in the Black Shadow. The kerb weight was a spritely 170 kilograms, notably less than the 208 kilogram weight of the Black Shadow.

The 150 top speed was tested by a few including the legendary Rollie Free took his modified Black Lighting to a new US national motorcycle speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1948 (pictured below).

Rollie Free Vincent Black Lightning

The 1949 Vincent Black Lightning Shown Here

Over the course of the 1948 to 1952 production run Vincent-HRD built just 33 examples of the Black Lightning, and it’s believed that just 19 numbers-matching examples still exist.

Collectors have begun referring to the model as the “Ferrari GTO of two wheels” in recent years as the prices have begun shooting skyward – the most expensive motorcycle ever sold at auction was a Vincent Black Lighting ridden by Jack Ehret to a new Australian land speed record, it fetched almost $1 million at auction.

The Black Lightning you see here is just the second one that was ever made, it was ordered by Swiss racer (and NSU factory team racer) Hans Stärkle. Impressively the bike has full ownership history from new, and it’s the earliest most original example in existence.

The interest in this bike will be global when it rolls across the auction block with Bonhams at the Barber Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, Alabama on the 6th of October. The current estimated hammer price is $400,000 to $500,000 USD, and you can click here to see more or register to bid.

 

Vincent Black Lightning Motorcycle

Vincent Black Lightning Back

Vincent Black Lightning Left Side

Vincent Black Lightning Rear

Vincent Black Lightning

Vincent Black Lightning Left Front

Vincent Black Lightning Front Angle

Vincent Black Lightning Front

Vincent Black Lightning Racing

Vincent Black Lightning Vintage

Images courtesy of Bonhams

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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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Documentary: Malcolm Smith’s Bike Stories https://silodrome.com/documentary-malcolm-smith/ Sun, 15 Jul 2018 05:01:36 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=80908 Documentary: Malcolm Smith’s Bike Stories

Malcolm Smith is one of the world's pre-emiment off0rad racers, he primarily raced motorcycles but in the 1970s while recovering from a broken leg, he built his own off-road racing buggy and competed in both the Baja 1000 and the Baja 500.

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Documentary: Malcolm Smith’s Bike Stories

Editor’s Note: This documentary is a series of short films one after the other, each short film is about one of the signifiant motorcycles (and a buggy) from Smith’s life.

Malcolm Smith is one of the world’s pre-emiment off-road racers, he primarily raced motorcycles but in the 1970s while recovering from a broken leg, he built his own off-road racing buggy and competed in both the Baja 1000 and the Baja 500.

The Baja 1000 took him 27 hours and he did it singlehandedly with a still-healing leg, realizing after the race that he would need a co-driver to do it again.

The list of Malcolm Smith’s accomplishments is long, he won 8 gold medals between 1966 and 1976 in the International Six Day Trial (a blisteringly tough European event), he’s a 6-time winner of the Baja 1000 (3 times on a motorcycle and 3 times in a buggy), he won the Baja 500 4 times (twice on a bike and twice in a buggy), he took 2 wins in the Mint 400, he won the Roof of Africa Rallye, competed in the Paris Dakar Rally twice, and he won the Atlas Rallye in the mountains of Morocco. Bear in mind that these are just the major victories – there are countless other wins in local and regional competition.

When not racing, Malcolm could be seen in films and documentaries, he famously had a starring role in Bruce Brown’s Academy Award nominated classic motorcycle documentary On Any Sunday, with Steve McQueen and Mert Lawwill.

He would later appear in Naturally Free (1975), Dirt (1979), and On Any Sunday II (1981), as well as the 2005 Baja 1000 documentary Dust to Glory.

Since retiring from racing Smith has been busy running Malcolm Smith Motorsports, his own dealership, and running his non-profit foundation dedicated to giving back to the children of Mexico, raising money for schools and orphanages.

If you’d like to read more about Malcolm Smith you can click here.

Image below: The cast and crew from On Any Sunday – from left, Mert Lawwill, Steve McQueen, (cameraman) Bob Bagley, Malcolm Smith, and (producer) Bruce Brown.

From left, rider Mert Lawwill, actor Steve McQueen, cameraman Bob Bagley, Malcolm Smith and producer Bruce Brown.

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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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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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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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Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione Group 4 – Period Le Mans Racer https://silodrome.com/ferrari-365-gtb-4-daytona-competizione/ Mon, 25 Jun 2018 05:01:01 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=78796 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione Group 4 – Period Le Mans Racer

This Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione Group 4 was a period competitor between 1971 and 1972 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 6 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Watkins Glen 6 Hours, and the Road America 500 in Atlanta. The Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona...

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Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione Group 4 – Period Le Mans Racer

This Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione Group 4 was a period competitor between 1971 and 1972 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 6 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Watkins Glen 6 Hours, and the Road America 500 in Atlanta.

The Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione is the race-specification version of the 365 GTB/4 Daytona. The 365 GTB/4 was famously developed by Ferrari to reassert dominance over the upstarts at Lamborghini, who had released the Miura in 1966 and taken the title of Italy’s fastest GT car.

Enzo Ferrari and Ferruccio Lamborghini had a famously tempestuous relationship after a falling out when Ferruccio, an Italian manufacturing magnate, had bought a Ferrari but the clutch kept failing – so he fixed it with a clutch from one of his tractors and took it to Modena to show Enzo.

As you may have guessed, the famously proud Enzo didn’t take kindly to having a manufacturer of farm machinery try to tell him how to improve his sports cars – and the two men had a dramatic clash.

So stubborn was Ferruccio that he established his own sports car factory and went into the business for himself, and in so doing created a company that would become the great rival for road-going Ferraris.

Had Enzo had kept his temper in check, we may have only ever seen Lamborghini badges on tractors.

When the revolutionary Miura was released by Lamborghini in 1966 its fair to say it blew Ferrari out of the water. It was an all-new design with breathtakingly beautiful styling, a V12 in a mid-engined layout, advanced aerodynamics, and a top speed of 171 mph.

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione

Development of the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 was undertaken specifically to beat the Miura, Enzo didn’t trust non-racing drivers with a mid-engined configuration so the front-engine layout was kept, with a transaxle to optimize weight distribution – as had been used on the outgoing Ferrari 275 GTB.

The Colombo V12 was used with a capacity of 4,390cc, this double overhead cam per bank, all-alloy engine was used extensively by Ferrari in various guises since 1947, and it would remain in use until 1988.

The new car was never officially named the “Daytona”, this was a nickname given to the car by the press after Ferrari’s 1-2-3 finish in the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona with a 330 P3/4, a 330 P4, and a 412 P. Ferrari refused to acknowledge the name for years, and to this day they only ever use it rarely.

When the 365 GTB/4 debuted in 1968 its top speed was listed as 174 mph, 3 mph more than the Miura, returning the title of Italy’s fastest GT car to Ferrari.

The 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione was produced in three batches of five cars, the first from 1970-1971, the second in 1972, and the third in 1973. These Competizione cars featured lightweight bodies, plexiglas windows (except for the windscreen), tuned engines (in the last two batches), stripped lightweight interiors, flared wheelarches with wider wheels, aerodynamic “fences” on the front wings, a small chin spoiler, and either full or part aluminum bodies.

Although Ferrari never raced the Daytona Competizione themselves, they did provide them to privateer teams who achieved some remarkable results including a 5th at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1971, with GT class wins in 1972, 1973 and 1974. The 1972 year was particularly noteworthy, as the Ferrari 365 GTB/4s took the first 5 places of the GT class.

The final major victory for the car would come in 1979, when a Competizione took a class win in the 24 Hours of Daytona – remarkable given that the car was then 6 years old, an eternity in race car years.

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Engine Bay

The Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione Groupe 4 Shown Here

The 365 GTB/4 Competizione you see here is the second 365 GTB/4 Group 4 prototype (chassis  #12467), it was bought by Luigi Chinetti at N.A.R.T. specifically to compete in the 1971 running of Le Mans. The car was built to Groupe 4 specification by the Ferrari factory and Carrozzeria Sports Cars and delivered by Ferrari to the French circuit ready to race.

The car was driven by Luigi Chinetti’s son Coco Chinetti, and Bob Grossman. They were back in 25th at the 3 hour mark, and worked their way up the field to 15th at the 12 hour mark, and 5th by the 19th hour – the position it would finish in.

After Le Mans, the car raced in the 6 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Watkins Glen 6 Hours, and the Road America 500 in Atlanta before retiring from competition use and moving into private collections.

It’s now being offered for auction by Artcurial, its engine isn’t original but the original numbers-matching block does come with the car. The all-important Ferrari Classiche Certification is underway, though the cars history is well-known.

If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid so you have something to enter into the Le Mans Classic, you can click here to visit the listing on Artcurial.

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Interior

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Gauges

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Interior

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Front

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Gated Shifter

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Back

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Rear Low 2

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Wheels

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Upper Rear

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona NART

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Front

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Rear Quarter

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Intake

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona V12

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Velocity Stacks

Images: Loïc Kernen courtesy of Artcurial

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