Ferrari auction nets record ?6,875,000 bid

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click above image for more pics

RM Auctions and Sotheby's just concluded an historic auction at Ferrari headquarters that produced the greatest price ever paid for a Ferrari. Among the nearly $50 million worth of Ferraris sold, the record LeMans-winning 1962 Ferrari 330 TRI/LM Testa Rosa Spyder was won by anonymous telephone bidder for the price of €6,875,000. For those who always like an untrustworthy conversion on hand, that equates to something like $9,252,375 USD. The actual bid was €6,250,000, but there's apparently a 10% commission to be paid, as well.

While the '62 Tesa Rosa Spyder didn't go for enough to make it the most expensive car auction ever (that record's held by a 1931 Bugatti Type 41 Royal Sports Coupe that was sold by Christie's back in 1987 for $11 million), it's certainly near the top. It does, however, make the car the most expensive Ferrari every auctioned.

You can check the entire auction list and each car's winning bid by viewing RM Auctions' site for the event. You can also read a detailed account of the 1962 Testa Rosa Spyder's history by clicking here. As well as cars for auction, Winding Road reports that parts, memorobilia and other paraphanalia were fetching big bucks too, especially if they had the name "Michael Schumacher" on them. A set of the ex-Maranello F1 driver's underwear he wore while racing went for $742!

[Source: RM Auctions, Winding Road]


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AutoblogGreen for 05.22.07

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Well, chopping your car in half certainly is one way to reduce weight. And lightweight cars usually get better gas mileage than heavier cars, but I'm not sure if these will overcome the increased friction. Still, kinda fun to tool around in for a minute, no?


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Spied: Bullitt Mustang?

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Bullitt Mustang in disguise

Apparently, we're wrong. We just spoke to someone in the know, who has seen the Bullitt and claims to be familiar with the car pictured. This individual says that this car is NOT the Bullitt, but is another named variant (hence the covered cap in back). The good news is that the same source said that the Bullitt's much cooler-looking than this GT. And here we thought Ford was just being extra-sneaky/slick with the red paint. As for this car, then, we wonder if it's just a minimalist package for the GT, a la the old SN95 GTS (or better still, the 5.0 LX Fox-bodies). We have to admit -- we're curious, and our source refused to divulge any more specifics. In any case, we're all flummoxed right now as the Pony parade continues.

Our friends at Popular Mechanics tipped us off to new shots by Jim Dunne that they've posted on their website. The pics depict a "mystery" Mustang being trailered around Detroit, but the first thing we thought when laying eyes on them was: Bullitt. Dunne would have paid no mind to the car if not for the covered-up faux gas cap on the rear end, which obviously means there's something to hide there.

For us, the black wheels and the ponyless, lightless grille have us all but certain that this is indeed the Bullitt. Take those two elements, replace the photo car's finish with Highland Green, and friends, you have the modern iteration of Frank Bullitt's trusted steed. Kudos to Ford for being clever. By not overly disguising it and using the red paint as... well... a red herring, the car hides in plain sight unless you know what to look for.

Head on over to Popular Mechanics for two more shots of the car, and follow the jump for a little visual aid we cooked up.

[Source: Popular Mechanics]

Continue reading Spied: Bullitt Mustang?


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More shots of JDM Subaru Impreza S-GT (a.k.a. WRX)

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Click the image above for more pics.

The Subie fans over at NASIOC have come out with more photos of the JDM S-GT Impreza, due to be released later this year in Japan. While we've already questioned why Subaru would drop its storied WRX moniker for the hollow "S-GT" badge, we will mention that a 7,500 RPM redline will dispatch any and all criticisms of what characters are affixed to the boot.

The other pics procured by flyinpig include shots of a "15S" Impreza, which will likely sport Subaru's new 1.5-liter boxer, producing 105 HP and 105 lb-ft. of torque.

We doubt the entry-level 15S will be available in North America and we downright hope that we never see an S-GT badge on Subaru's newest all-wheel drive five-door.

[Source: NASIOC via Carscoop]


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GM bringing new six-speed tranny to market in 2010

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In an effort to keep up with the foreign competition, while at the same time offering consumers more ratios than they can shake their stick at, General Motors has made a pledge to invest $332 million into its Toledo, Ohio plant.

The financial infusion is necessary to produce the new Hydra-matic GT40/45 six-speed transmission, designed for GM's midsized, front drivers, with production expected to begin in February of 2010. The FWD tranny will be built alongside the new rear-wheel drive six-speed that was announced last year.

Although the General's progress with six-speed cog-swappers is all well and good, 2010 seems like a long way out considering that several other automakers have already moved on to seven- and eight-speed transmissions.

[Source: Inside Line]


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Spy Shots: 2009 Lincoln MKS

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Jim Dunne has dunne it again... one of the world's most famous (and most irritating, if you're an OEM engineer) spy photographers has caught the 2009 Lincoln MKS as it ran out for a little test jaunt around Dearborn.

While Dunne admits that the presence of an early-prototype MKS is no big whoop after Ford just showed off the concept version last January at Detroit's North American International Auto Show, it's nice to know that with all the shuffling going on at Ford they're still on track with product development.

The MKS will be a Lincoln flagship, boasting a V6 engine mated to a six-speed transmission putting power to the ground via the front wheels. No official word on when the car will launch, but Popular Mechanics says we should expect to see it launch in 2008 as a 2009 model.

[Source: Popular Mechanics]


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Well funded amateurs, your steed has arrived: Mustang Challenge

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Fortunately or unfortunately, racing is not a cheap endeavor. No matter the series, it's all too easy to drop your life savings, your kid's college fund and any hope of making it to fiscal freedom if you've got the bug. For those willing to risk it all, the Mustang Challenge gives aspiring racers the opportunity to test their abilities in the wail of V8-powered, wheel-to-wheel combat.

The Miller Park Racing Association (MPRA) has setup the Mustang Challenge to allow amateurs to compete in a 14-race series that will be held at the Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele Valley, Utah.

For a grand total of $55,000, aspiring racers can purchase a modified Mustang GT, lightened by 330 pounds and sporting a revised intake, exhaust, braking, steering and suspension systems, along with a functional aero kit, prerequisite safety equipment and a data acquisitioning system. For those on the lower end of the economic spectrum, these modded 'Stangs will also be available for rent for practice sessions or on a per-race basis.

The Challenge will make its debut during the Magic of Miller Celebrity race over the Utah Grand Prix weekend. If someone needs a pit crew on their inaugural run, hit us up. A few of us have the chops and would love to live vicariously through a well-to-do reader.



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Oh, the irony: Anti-cell phone Senator crashes SUV while grabbing phone

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History is filled with tales of politicians that wanted you to do as they say, but not as they do. California State Senator Carole Migden joined that dubious (and numerous) group yesterday when she rear-ended a Honda sedan while traveling down Highway 12 in Solano County, in her state-issued SUV. The Senator was allegedly reaching for her cell phone when she crashed into the driver in front of her. The irony of this story lies in the fact that Senator Migden voted for a bill that would have outlawed cellphone usage while driving.

The good news is that her free SUV is a 2007 Highlander Hybrid, so at least Miss Midgen gets to think she's fighting our country's dependence on foreign oil. The bad news is that she is not only driving around in an expensive vehicle at taxpayers expense, but we'd put our money on the state being slapped with a lawsuit due to the Senator's recklessness. Can somebody tell us why state Senators get free cars anyway?

[Source: Engadget]


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eBay Find of the Day: 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400

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If we needed any more convincing that you can find more delicious things on eBay than old movies and great deals on ecco golf spikes, this auction would have done the trick. AutoHaus in Los Gatos, Calif. is auctioning off this flippin' fanTAStic restored 1968 Ferrari Miura P400 (for Posteriore 4 litre) with apparent SV upgrades done by a retired pilot who owned the vehicle. The eBay summary says the vehicle has a mere 44,000 miles on the odometer, but a magazine article included in the listing pegs it at 66K.

The Miura is powered by Lamborghini's 3.9L V12, which was also used in the 400GT. Unlike the latter, the engine is mounted transversely in the Miura and produces 350 HP. Frank Sinatra, who owned a 1970 Miura P400SV, remarked, "If you want to be famous, drive a Ferrari! If you are famous, drive a Miura."

At the time this was written, the current bid was $135,100.

Thanks for the tip, Mike!


[via] Autoblog

CONFIRMED: Kia performance cars to be badged XR

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Back in March we showed you spy pics of a Kia cee'd dressed in performance paraphernalia. It was wearing an "XR" badge, which forecasted Kia's recent confirmation that over the next three years it will be introducing high-performance models under an XR sub-brand. The confirmation became apparent when Kia rolled out a cee'd XR last week at a press event in South Korea. The five-door hatch has been fitted with various aero enhancements, as well as larger wheels wearing lower profile tires. While the cee'd XR's engine was admittedly unaltered, Kia's people say they're investigating turbocharged engines for the Euro market and supercharged engine for the U.S. market.

Back in the day, Kia made it known that it wanted to be the performance brand to Hyundai's mainstream bread-and-butter image when it grew up. It appears that puberty may be over for the littler Korean brand that could, and the XR lineup could give Kia its own high-po hardware to square off against vehicles with badges like SRT, SS and WRX.

[Source: Autocar]


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In The Autoblog Garage: Infiniti G35 S follow-up

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click above image to view a high-res gallery of the Infiniti G35 S

A while back we had a G35 S 6MT in the Autoblog Garage. That car was delivered in a delightful snowstorm with high-performance tires showing some wear, so it was quite difficult to get a good bead on the car's true capabilities. How ironic, then, that we should get a second chance with the G35 S. This time, it was delivered in gorgeous spring weather wearing a set of ooey gooey Blizzak LM22s. You can't win.

While the snowshoes hindered capabilities slightly, they were far more accomodating than a snowstorm when it came to wringing out the G35S. Our previous impressions of the car still stand, but we did gather useful dry-road experience, as well. The VQHR's 306 horsepower was a heady brew, and the bark from the exhaust had a ripply crescendo that encouraged redline shifting with the 5-speed automatic's manual mode. This car is seriously eager. The burble is sometimes wearying on highway jaunts, or when you just want to slip away unnoticed; but as car guys, it's tough to deny the allure of a bitchin' exhaust note.

Continue reading In The Autoblog Garage: Infiniti G35 S follow-up


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Audi decides to field third R10 at LeMans

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It's no secret that Audi hasn't had as successful a season so far in the American LeMans Series with its diesel-powered R10 racers compared to last year. As it had begun doing last season, the ALMS has instituted regulations designed to slow down the dominant R10s in their LMP1 class, effectively making even the cars in the more contested LMP2 class faster. For instance, Audi's fastest car placed second overall in last week's Utah Grand Prix and third overall in the prior week's Grand Prix of Houston, both times behind cars in the LMP2 class. Last year, an Audi R10 driver was highest on the podium at every race of the season.

This is why Audi is so amped up for the 2007 24 Hours of LeMans where the LMP1 class is supreme and unhindered by these stifling regulations. This year, however, Audi will be up against a formidable opponent in Peugeot's 908 HDi FAP racer, which is also powered by a diesel motor, though fitted with two more cylinders than the R10.

Recognizing that LeMans remains as the sole race to demonstrate its dominance, Audi has decided to field a third car in addition to the two that are being shipped over from the ALMS series. The third car will be obviously badged "car number 3" and driven by three donated drivers from Audi's DTM team: Alexandre Préma, Mike Rockenfeller, and Lucas Luhr (shown above left to right). A third set of wheels will obviously give team Audi a better shot at overall victory, especially considering that, over the course of 24 hours of racing, it's likely one of the cars will suffer a race-ending fate.

[Source: Audi]

Gallery: 2007 Audi R10

Continue reading Audi decides to field third R10 at LeMans


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A long time ago in a parking lot far, far away...

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If you figured that Tattooine's Toshi Station -- where whiny young Luke Skywalker goes to score fresh power converters -- was some crappy little remote outpost, you're wrong. This is made clear in the Tyler Soper-directed Incident at Toshi Station we've embedded after the jump. In actuality, Toshi Station is just another big-box store with parking problems -- likely the result of shady backroom dealing by evil, credit-hungry Imperial real estate developers. It tells the story of one AT-AT driver's leviathan effort to move his rig out of the Toshi Station parking lot without fanfare and without causing excessive damage to the surrounding cars. It's not gonna happen. You laughing, on the other hand, is pretty much a lock. Enjoy.

[Source: Atom Films via Jalopnik]

Continue reading A long time ago in a parking lot far, far away...


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Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia drivers get their rides dirty

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Click image for a photo gallery of the Cayenne S Transsyberia

Porsche recently held a 3-day training session for the drivers who'll be taking the automaker's 26 factory-prepared Cayenne S Transsyberias out rallying later this summer. The roster is sprinkled with drivers from various rally disciplines like Rod Millen, Armin Schwartz, René Metge, and Marc Coma, who will be among the other enthusiasts taking part in the 4,100-mile adventure.

The session, held at Porsche's off-road test area at Leipzig, let the drivers get acclimated to the cars, see how they handled various conditions, and brush up on their navigation and field repair skills. They'll need it, as the Transsyberia Rally course from Moscow to Mongolia is sure to bring its share of unexpected surprises along the way.

[Source: Porsche]

Continue reading Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia drivers get their rides dirty


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