Archive for category Cars

Over $50 Million Worth Of Cars Sold By Gooding & Company At Pebble Beach

One more highlight from Pebble Beach which I must mention, was the auction put on by Gooding & Company. To be expected, the lot of cars was nothing short of spectacular and at the end of the day some very high numbers were met. In total 169 cars were sold at the auction, bringing in a total of $50,759,350. That comes out to an average of over $300,000 per car…..not too shabby. The cars that helped pad these numbers included 9 cars that brought in over $1 million each. Following are the top 10 highest sales:

  • 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider at $5,115,000 (Sunday Lot 135)
  • 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Drop Head Coupe at $4,180,000 (Sunday Lot 139)
  • 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Roadster at $3,300,000 (Sunday Lot 130)
  • 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider at $2,750,000 (Saturday Lot 37)
  • 1953 Aston Martin DB 2/4 Drop Head Coupe at $1,650,000 (Saturday Lot 62)
  • 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series I at $1,540,000 (Sunday Lot 117)
  • 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Special Coupe at $1,375,000 (Saturday Lot 31)
  • 1934 Mercedes-Benz 380 Sport Roadster at $1,078,000 (Sunday Lot 149)
  • 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 Competition Spider at $1,045,000 (Sunday 126)
  • 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I York Roadster for $946,000 (Sunday Lot 116)

For a complete list of all 169 cars go to: http://www.goodingco.com/auctions/results/pebble09/

Here are a few pictures for you viewing pleasure – personally I would pick the red 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider.

1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider - $5,115,000 (pic from AutoBlog)

1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider - $5,115,000 (pic from AutoBlog)

1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Drop Head Coupe - $4,180,000 (Gooding & Co.)

1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Drop Head Coupe - $4,180,000 (AutoBlog)

1938 Bugatti Type 57C Special Coupe - $1,375,000 (Gooding & Co.)

1938 Bugatti Type 57C Special Coupe - $1,375,000 (Gooding & Co.)

1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider - $2,750,000 (Gooding & Co.)

1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider - $2,750,000 (Gooding & Co.)

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5 Highlights From Monterey 2009 & The 59th Annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

If you consider yourself to be a car person then you have heard of the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Whether you are a fan of the classics or looking to see what the future holds, you can find it in Monterey each year. Maybe next year I will make the trip, but for now I must rely on the coverage by various auto magazines and blogs. There were plenty of great stories and pictures to drool over from this years events which took place last weekend in Monterey, CA. Following are a few highlights which I found on AutoBlog.

1) The Classic Car Races

Porsche was named the marque brand for this years event so they managed to assemble an impressive list of 145 vintage Porsche race cars to race around the Laguna Seca track. I sure would be nervous driving one of these pieces of art around a track with so many others, but luckily this race was clean. A certain Ferrari driver in another race was not so lucky as you will see below….

Courtesy of AutoBlog

Courtesy of AutoBlog

2) The Classic Car Groups

The event brings thousands of cars from all different eras. Luckily, they organize many different groupings, bringing rare cars of the same breed together which multiplies their awesomeness. The grouping below consists of 10 Ferrari Barchettas (nick named “little boat” for good reason). What is so amazing about this grouping is the fact that only 25 Barchettas were produced in the late 40s and 10 of those are gathered in perfect condition some 60 years later at Pebble.

Courtesy of AutoBlog

Courtesy of AutoBlog

Courtesy of AutoBlog

Courtesy of AutoBlog

Pictured above is a rare grouping of Bentley race cars dating back to 1922. The gathering of these Bentleys was the largest grouping of historic Bentleys ever to be assembled.

3) The New Kids On The Block…

The concept lawn at Pebble this year showcased not only cars from the future but a few recently unveiled production cars as well. Leading the pack in this picture is the new Bugatti Veyron Sang Bleu edition followed by my personal favorite, the Audi R8 V10. The rest of the pack included the Infiniti Essence, Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss, Bertone Mantide, SMS Challenger 570, 2010 Lotus Evora, Fsker Karma Sunset, Spyker Aileron Spyder, Iconic rolling chassis, 2010 Jaguar XJ, Devon GTX, 2010 Morgan Aero SuperSports, Rolls-Royce 200EX, Lincoln Concept C and the Aston Martin One-77.

Courtesy of Autoblog

Courtesy of Autoblog

4) The $8 million Ferrari That Came In A Little Hot….

One of the biggest stories to come out of Pebble this weekend was this little Ferrari mishap. When you race vintage cars, you usually take it very easy but every once in a while, one gets loose and some damage occurs. When it happens to a very rare Ferrari that is reportedly worth $8 million, it is extra tough to watch. Well it was worth $8 million before the weekend that is……

This Ferrari is a famed 250 Testa Rossa which was only 1 of 34 built between 1956 and 1961, with only 2 race models having been produced. The only other existing 250 TR that is a better example of this one sold for $12.2 million this May making it the most expensive car ever sold.

With that being said, you can now imagine what is coming out of the drivers mouth as he goes airborne into a tire wall……

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Courtesy of AutoBlog

Courtesy of AutoBlog

Courtesy of AutoBlog

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Courtesy of AutoBlog

5) Last But Not Least……The Best Of Show

With over 200 immaculate cars for the judges to choose from, they chose a 1937 Horch 853 Voll & Ruhrbeck Sport Cabriolet as Best Of Show. Although I have never seen or heard of one of these before, I did recognize the badge that adorned its grill. Yup, it’s the same Audi badge that is still kicking today. According to AutoBlog, “August Horch had worked with Karl Benz back in the infancy of the automobile before leaving to form his own company, August Horch & Cie in 1899. Ten years later he bolted from his namesake firm to start up Audi.”

This winning car is owned by Robert M. Lee of Sparks, NV who is no stranger to the Concours or the Best of Show award. The restoration of this Horch took 5 years but as you can see it paid off.

Courtesy of AutoBlog

Courtesy of AutoBlog

Courtesy of AutoBlog

Courtesy of AutoBlog

For more coverage and pictures from these great events check out AutoBlog.

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Move Over Prius: Chevy Volt To Get 230 MPG Rating!

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Forget those measly hybrids claiming 50 MPG, there is a new breed in town that could easily take over the green car market. Although hybrids have been tremendously popular, they don’t actually get amazing gas mileage when you think about it. Sure they get a lot better mileage than my truck, but in the 80s, simple 4 cylinder cars were getting gas mileage in the 40s and even 50s. For example, a 1985 Honda Civic used to get 42 MPG on the highway and their Civic Coupe HF claimed a whopping 54 MPG highway rating. Its a similar sized car to the Prius, so the fact that people go crazy over these new hybrids today doesn’t make a lot of sense. Sure they get great gas mileage but its not a huge change from the well built, simple 4 cylinders of the 80s. In fact, in the year 1985 there were 9 cars claiming over 50 MPG on the highway and a whopping 60 cars claiming over 40 MPG. (See MPGOMatic for more details and numbers.) These numbers don’t make the 48 MPG highway rating of the Prius sound very impressive.

Ever since hybrids came out, we’ve been waiting for something truly revolutionary, something that really changes the industry. The development of the hybrid however was just a step in the right direction, allowing auto makers to develop new technologies. The new breed of EV cars which includes the Volt, is the extension of the hybrid technology and hopefully it results in a more drastic improvement in efficiency.

Electric cars offer a lot of promise but the size and cost of batteries have been a problem. Most electric cars have very small ranges and charging them is often not easy. The new breed of electric cars are boasting larger ranges and a mix with gasoline, allowing the cars to reach triple digit MPG ratings.

One the leaders of this new breed is Chevy, who is trying to resurrect themselves after the GM bankruptcy. If their new Volt lives up to the hype, it may be the thing the new GM needs to turn themselves around.

The Volt is slated to come out in 2011 and according to the EPA, it could receive a MPG rating of 230! This would be the first ever car to receive a triple digit MPG rating. If these numbers do prove to be accurate and these little Volts have a good range, this would be quite a feat. Although it sounds great, there are still a lot questions surrounding this 230 number and how it was actually calculated. People are also wondering what the actual range will be and if the projected $40,000 price tag would be worth it. Whatever the final verdicts are, this is certainly a step in the right direction. With new products like these, companies will build upon the technology, resulting in lowered costs and the progression will continue. Although Chevy is the big name leading this charge, Nissan is also planning to launch their own EV soon and you can’t forget about small California car maker, Tesla, with their new S model hitting the streets soon.

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Garage or Living Room?

In a collaboration between Architectural Digest and Maserati, architects and designers were encouraged to enter the Design Driven contest, a search for the “finest architectural garages”.

The contest had two categories, existing and concept garage. In the existing category, designers submitted examples of completed garages to be judged and in the concept category, architects submitted their designs of what they thought would be the ultimate garage on paper.

Personally, I like a nice utilitarian garage complete with a messy workbench and a lot of room for bikes and skis. The winners of this contest however, had different ideas of what the ultimate garage consisted of.

The winner of the existing category seemed to blur the line between garage and living room. Although, not really my style and not too practical, it is quite a stunning design and a very crisp and clean space to showcase ones car.

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The winner, Holger Schubert, of Archisis from Los Angeles designed it ” with two main objectives in mind: to create a pure and restrained minimalist environment that allows one to focus on the car as a piece of art and to create the ultimate experience for the driver to arrive at home.”

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The winner of the concept category also went outside of the box with his design. Chris Altman, a designer from Stubbs Muldrow Herin Architects out of South Carolina came up with the winning entry. This modern design features “floor carriages (which) rotate to different positions, allowing a driver to enter and exit the garage in an efficient manner while eliminating the need for backing the car out.” This garage was designed to focus all its energy on the car as is embodied in its reflection pool, which acts like a mirror to reflect the beauty of the cars that face the pool. I could definitely picture this garage being built in the same L.A. neighborhood as the existing garage winner.

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To learn more about this contest and read about the winning entries, check out http://www.designdriven.us/

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How Many Prancing Horses Can Fit In a SoCal Parking Lot?

The Answer is 22.

For as long as I can remember I have been a fan of Ferrari. What started out as a childhood obsession with matchbox cars and Testarossa Trapper Keepers, has grown into an adult obsession much the same, just without the toys.

Over the years Ferrari has stayed true to their passion of making quality sports cars that are sexy and exclusive. I continue to be impressed with every new model and the 430 Scuderia is no exception. Named after the Ferrari racing program, The Scuderia packs an additional 20hp over the 430 while also shedding 220lbs. The performance is vastly improved, lowering the 0-60 time from 4 seconds to just 3.6 seconds.

Styling is also improved, giving it a racy feel over the 430.

Thanks to the tip from AutoBlog we can drool over a parking lot full of them in Southern California. Not a bad looking lot filled with over $5 million worth of shiny new Scuderia’s.

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I will take the red one please!

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Another Great Audi That Won’t be Coming to The U.S.

It is well known that the European and U.S. auto markets differ. Europeans love their compact and efficient cars whereas we seem to prefer larger and less efficient vehicles. With this in mind, it is no surprise that European auto makers withhold some models from the U.S. market due to the fact that they won’t appeal to U.S. consumers.

However, every once in a while, an automaker unveils a new model amidst a lot of excitement from Americans, only for it to be pulled from the their U.S. line-up. The Audi Allroad is an example of a great car that I wish was still being sold in the U.S., but has been absent since 2005. Audi seems to think that U.S. consumers prefer SUVs and cross-overs instead of good old fashion wagons. This may be true, but I still love wagons and wish there were more wagon models for sale in the U.S. market.

The latest disappointment for me comes from Audi once again. I love Audi and I think they are heading in a great direction, and the A/S5 line is no exception. I frequently stare at my neighbors S5 in his driveway and love the lines on it. Its no surprise that Audi is expanding the A5 line, but it is surprising that their latest, the A5 Sportback, will not be coming stateside. It is a slick 4 door version of the A5 with a hatchback like rear that seems like it would fit well in the cross-over type market that is popular in the U.S.

To read more about this great new Audi we will never see, check out the write-up on AutoBlog

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