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PICK OF THE DAY: Unmolested Volkswagen GTI 20th Anniversary

April 18, 2014

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With its introduction at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1975, the Volkswagen GTI, for all intents and purposes, gave birth to a new automotive segment, thereupon known as Hot Hatch. Today, it remains the one that other marques target and imitate. 2003 marked the 20th anniversary of the GTI’s launch in the US. Coinciding with the Golf MK 4—in many enthusiast’s estimation the finest of the series—the “20th,” along with the Eurpopean-market 25th (337 in the US) and the ultimate MK4, the R32, represents the pinnacle of the GTi. The 20th was not just a cosmetic variation of the standard Mk 4. Indeed it had unique body accents, special badges and a Recaro interior. However in addition to these, it featured a 6-speed gearbox. Only a manual was offered (the superb DSG would not be introduced until the R32 a year later). This. mated with its 180-hp turbocharged motor, gave the car a unique sporting character unlike any GTI that came before it and once again upped the game in the Hot Hatch segment. They were quick, nimble and most of all fun. The motors were also designed to allow for extensive aftermarket performance enhancements. By tuning intake, exhaust, boost, software, etc., more than double the horsepower was possible without significant changes to the stock drivetrain. It was at the time a brilliant piece of marketing (though it was never promoted as such): provide a very good canvas and let the customer dial it in to their liking. Herein also lies the problem. Because they were so easy to modify, modify they did. What remains some 11 years later is a circus of MK 4s that reflect one owner’s tastes without much regard for anyone else’s liking. An unmolested MK 4, much less a 20th, much less a 20th with just over 50K on the clock, is a hot commodity. This one looks particularly cool in its Jazz Blue finish. Find it here at Dean Motor Cars in Houston TX for a very reasonable $10,486.

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IN THE NEWS: LEGO for a Ride. Johansen and Fiskar Collaboration Produces Viking Concept

April 18, 2014

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April 17, 2014 – Lauge Jensen motorcycles is today unveiling the Viking Concept at the Top Marques luxury brands show in Monaco.

This premium motorcycle is a design study that blends the talents of two of Denmark’s most creative talents: Anders Kirk Johansen, an industrialist whose family invented LEGO™, and renowned vehicle designer Henrik Fisker.

The Viking Concept points to a possible volume-production direction for Johansen’s Lauge Jensen brand, following his acquisition of the company in 2012.

Johansen commissioned world-renowned automotive designer Henrik Fisker, previously a design chief at both BMW and Aston Martin and the designer of the Fisker Karma, to design the Viking Concept.

The result is a bike that retains a classic cruiser look sculptured into a dynamic, flowing design. In particular the tank, seat and rear fender blend together to create a seamless effect. Fisker believes this to be unique in custom motorcycles.

The Viking Concept is powered by a 45-degree V-twin producing 100hp, making the bike capable of more than 130mph. Yet it’s the first motorcycle of its type to comply with new, much more stringent Euro IV emissions regulations that come into effect in 2016.

The engine, built in Wisconsin, USA, has been carefully developed and tuned to achieve this without losing its trademark V-twin sound or soul.

Johansen and Lauge Jensen are proud to have achieved the new emissions targets without compromising the engine’s performance, safeguarding the production and character of future products.

Lauge Jensen currently produces the limited edition Great Dane custom cruiser, which starts from €42,800 euros. The company intends to build a bike based on the Viking Concept at higher volumes and with a lower price tag than the Great Dane.

Commenting on the design collaboration, Anders Kirk Johansen says: ‘We have been developing the Viking Concept for some time, so I am delighted to reveal it today here in Monaco. Potentially, it’s the next step for our company beyond our limited production Great Dane custom bike.

‘It’s great to have Henrik, one of the world’s leading vehicle designers and a fellow Dane working in partnership with us to help create a really special, emotional design. Revealing a concept bike is all about gauging demand but, if it’s there, I look forward to producing the Viking Concept for the mainstream market.’

Henrik Fisker added: ‘It’s been a dream of mine to design and create a motorcycle for many years and this is the first time I have the freedom to go and do it.

‘I hope people like what we have created and that we can make more of them – for sure there’s plenty more to come from this collaboration between myself and Anders.’

PICK OF THE DAY: Classiche Certified Ferrari 288 GTO

April 17, 2014

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Ferrari factory Classiche certified with books, tools and service records. Car now in Tokyo, ex Switzerland and France. Swiss taxes paid. Superb example, extremely well cared for from day one. Power windows and working air conditioning. Accident-free example looks almost new with show quality repaint by Zanasi. Easily accessible to inspect. HISTORY: 2/1985, New to Crepaldi, authorized Ferrari dealer in Milano, Italy. 9/2001. To second owner in France and registered in France. 2012 Offered by Garage Zenith SA in Swiss. Classiche certified 9/2012, Sold and shipped to Japan. Prior to delivery, comprehensive maintenance performed with invoice 20,000+CF, plus new set of Michelin tires mounted. 10/2013. Registered road legal in Japan with the transportation authority. Car driven 2,000 km since major service. A superb example to show and enjoy, as it is one of the truly great driver’s Ferraris. Find it here on Hemmings for $1,795,000 with offers being taken.

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AT THE SHOW: Aston Martin Launches Two Special Editions in New York

April 16, 2014

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Irvine, CA, 15 April 2014 - Aston Martin is unveiling two exclusive new special editions for North American markets at the 84th New York International Auto Show this week.

The great British sports car marque, now in its 101st year, is debuting a bold addition to its iconic V8 Vantage range as well as dramatic new special edition variants of the timeless DB9, underlining the company’s ability to create cars that sit apart from the mainstream.

Making the Aston Martin brand more accessible to sports car enthusiasts than ever before, the bold new 2015 Vantage GT combines race-honed dynamics and looks with a new sub-$100,000 price entry point and comes in Coupe or Roadster form, each offered with either six-speed manual or seven-speed Sportshift II automated manual transmission – both delivering 430bhp and a top speed of 190mph.

Enhancing the enduring allure of Aston Martin’s seminal GT, the DB9, the Carbon Edition models deliver eye-catching looks and classic elegance, again in either Coupe or Volante.

V8 Vantage GT: race breeding, sports styling and more accessible than ever

Pure, unadulterated fun is what lies at the heart of the new V8 Vantage GT. Honed on the track to excel on the road, Vantage GT – available in Coupe or Roadster form – delivers a power hike to 430bhp at 7,300rpm. This means a top speed of 190mph and a reduced 0-60mph time of 4.6 seconds.

The increased power and torque are achieved through a valved air intake system and an aggressive spark strategy. The air intake system valve opens at engine speeds above 3,500rpm to allow greater air flow into the engine which in turn helps increase power and optimise performance feel. Meanwhile the aggressive spark method uses sophisticated electronics to ignite the fuel in the engine at precisely the right time allowing the engine to run at its most powerful. It can also recognise higher octane fuel and extract the optimum performance from the increased rating.

Designed with the purist in mind, that power feeds the rear wheels through a sporty six-speed manual gearbox as standard equipment; with the option of a close-ratio seven-speed Sportshift™II automated manual transmission with short final-drive ratio for those seeking to capture the motorsport thrill.

The new Vantage GT brings together the best of the V8 Vantage’s performance and dynamics to deliver race-winning responses. A front mid-mounted, 4.7-litre, all-alloy, quad overhead cam, dry-sumped V8 engine is complemented by a rousing sports exhaust, aerodynamics honed through numerous wins in GT racing and a competition-derived braking system.

The compact proportions and inherent balance of the Vantage design are supported by a carefully calibrated sports suspension tune and quick-ratio steering rack that rewards the true enthusiast driver on road, and on track.

Styled to evoke thoughts of the track, Vantage GT celebrates Aston Martin’s sporting heritage and motorsport success, drawing direct inspiration from the Vantage GT4 race car which will be seen in competition across North America during the 2014 season.

A purposeful package of dark-themed exterior details include graphite painted diamond-turned alloy wheels alongside black headlamp bezels, side window surrounds and textured tailpipe finishers. Clear rear lamps with black surrounds convey the appropriate air of purpose and excitement.

This neatly offsets a series of eye-catching liveries with optional graphics packs available on Vantage GT. Offering a nod to Aston Martin’s race heritage including the Le Mans-winning DBR1 and hugely successful DB2/4 of the 1950s, the exterior themes of Alloro Green, Jet Black, Skyfall Silver, Mariana Blue and Speedway White can be personalised further with contrasting graphics adorning grille lipstick, mirror caps, A-pillar/cant rail (Coupe only) and rear diffuser blade.

With a range of new technical and tactile materials plus new finishes inside, and out, Vantage GT’s sporting associations are unmistakable. New interior features and materials include machined carbon sill plaques, black magnesium paddle-shifts or carbon fibre gearshift surround; satin chrome rotaries; a leather (or Alcantara) steering wheel with contrasting on-centre stitch feature; seat and door inserts in technical PlissèAlcantara and unique seat trim patterns. Occupants are cossetted by distinctive Aston Martin sports seats as first seen on the V12 Vantage S.

Priced from $99,900 RRP, first deliveries of the new Vantage GT will begin in quarter three to North American customers.

DB9 Carbon Edition

The Aston Martin DB9 family grows at New York with the arrival of the Carbon Edition.

Style and visual drama are the special editions hallmarks as they perfectly emphasise the timeless GT’s sporting nature. The DB9 Carbon Edition is led by two distinctive specifications; Carbon Black and Carbon White or alternatively customers are afforded the choice of the Aston Martin colour palette to personalise their own carbon creation.

The new Carbon Black accentuates the 183 mph DB9’s 6.0-litre V12 potential through a strong dark theme underpinned by a unique combination of lightweight carbon fibre features. Meanwhile, the contemporary Carbon White special edition creates a dramatic visual effect with the carbon fibre and dark elements contrasting strongly against the Stratus White paint and accented caliper colour.

Striking exterior additions for both Carbon Black and Carbon White editions include carbon fibre side strakes, rear lamp infills and black meshes and window surrounds reinforcing the powerful visual themes. The carbon theme can be extended further with optional carbon fibre front splitter, rear diffuser and mirror cap/arm features. Standard exterior equipment also include 10-spoke diamond-turned alloy wheels available with either silver or satin black finishes and a choice of red, yellow, grey or black brake calipers.

Inside, a strong black styling theme with a choice of accent colours in line with the caliper shade showcases carbon fibre details and new black hardware. Bespoke sill plaques with the Carbon logo, communicate the cars’ rarity, too.

Of course the styling changes don’t alter the DB9’s inherent grand touring capabilities, qualities that make it the world’s most admired and desired GT.

Today’s DB9 features the modern AM11 V12 engine which uses ‘Gen4’ VH architecture and hardware, tuned to suit the character of a classic GT. The result is an engine with effortless torque of up to 457 lb ft and peak power of 510bhp.

Priced from $199,995 RRP first deliveries of the new DB9 Carbon Edition commence in quarter three to North American customers.

The 2014 New York International Auto Show opens to the public on Friday 18 April at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, running until Sunday 27 April.

PICK OF THE DAY: Show Quality BMW E30 M3

April 15, 2014
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This rare BMW enjoys an interesting history. The car epitomizes the definition of a “Survivor” and after being used when it was new, stored for many years by the original owner until July, 2012. It remains as original and complete as any E30 M3 that we have seen and will certainly have significant appeal to the BMW enthusiast / collector who has been searching for an unmodified, 100% stock BMW M3. Several years ago, the cars elderly owner (now deceased), made the decision about 12 years ago to donate his two cars (this BMW M3 and a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia) to his church. His donation included a specific request that the cars be stored for an extended period of time enabling the church to benefit from a higher value from on his kind donation. It was his opinion (and he certainly proved to be correct!) that both cars would appreciate considerably over the course of time based on their limited production, low mileage and condition. Upon his death, the cars were sold and the proceeds went to the church, as planned. When the M3 was subsequently sold by the new owner, the BMW was properly brought out of storage with the proper work being performed prior to driving or even starting the car. The car had been in dry storage, covered and started occasionally. The M3 is certainly one of the most original, long term ownership unmodified to be offered in years. This particular M3 has signs of being very well cared for by the one adult owner for all of its life. An inspection of the undercarriage suggests the car may not have even been driven in the rain! The body is perfectly straight with excellent original paint and even the “M” pin-striping as applied by the dealership when the car was delivered. It is available here on Hemmings in Pleasanton CA for a bargain $30,000.

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PICK OF THE DAY: One-Owner 1962 Morgan Plus 4 Drophead Coupé

April 9, 2014

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This rare and stunning car is an one owner car with 25,000 original miles. Always garaged and covered when not in use, it still looks as noble as it did 52 years ago. The owner was a Morgan enthusiast and active participant in the Morgan scene. The vehicle just underwent a major comprehensive service making it roadworthy once again. All documentation, including the original owner’s manual are present. One of the rarest models ever made by Morgan with less than 450 produced, this model will continue to ascend in both value and collectibility. Original and unrestored examples such as this are almost impossible to come by and will definitely be a sweetheart at any show or gathering. Find it here on Craigslist in El Monte CA for $60,000

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PICK OF THE DAY: Well Optioned, Original, 29,000-mile 1968 Corvette

April 2, 2014
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This is a fully documented, numbers matching Chevrolet Corvette with a 327 and nicely optioned with auto, air and full power. It has original paint (3829 British Green) and still has its Protect-O-Plate, original window sticker and first California registation. AC was resealed as was power steering and transmission. This car was a one owner car until 2010. It was stored for 30 years. New red line tires and updated hoses and belts were added. It is said to drive like a new ’68 Corvette. Factory options include:
  • M40 – Turbo Hydramatic
  • G81 – Positraction (3;08)
  • J50 – Power Brakes
  • U69 – AM/FM Radio
  • A31 – Power Windows
  • C60 – Air Conditioning
  • A01 – Soft Ray Tinted Glass
  • PT6 – Red Stripe Tires with Rally Wheels
  • N40 – Power Steering
The car also has:
  • Original jack
  • T-Top bags
  • Owners book with original bag
  • Protect-O-Plate
  • All California registation papers back to 1968.
Find it here on Craigslist in Huntington Beach CA for an almost too-good-to-be-true $29,000.

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