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Back in 1997, Germany’s Michael Schumacher was the man to beat in Formula 1. At the last race of the season, he was in a title battle with Canadian Jacques Villeneuve. The winner of the race would take the driver’s championship.
Villeneuve in his Williams-Renault was on pole, but Schumacher’s Ferrari got the better start and took the lead by the first corner. However, as the race progressed, Villeneuve started clawing back at Schumacher, and then on lap 48, took the inside line at the Dry Sack corner to take the lead. In an attempt to take out his opponent, Schumacher turned in and hit Villeneuve’s car. However, the hit proved more lethal to Schumacher, as he had to retire from suspension damage. Villeneuve’s car was damaged, he nursed the car for the next 22 laps and finished the race in third position, enough to give him the F1 Driver’s Championship.
For his actions, Schumacher was stripped off his second place in the driver’s championship by the FIA. So now while the Ferrari camp mourned, the Williams-Renault F1 team and its sponsors rejoiced and celebrated their victory in the hands of a Canadian hero.
One of their sponsors, cigarette giant Rothman’s wanted to give Villeneuve a very special present, and they did so with the car you see on this page. It is a 1997 Dodge Viper R/T10 Roadster, which has been modified by the American tuning specialists Hennessey. The end result is called a Viper Venom 600, the last digits denoting the horsepower figure it produces.
This car is capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in a claimed 3.3 seconds, and onto a top speed of 205 mph. Perfect daily commuter for an F1 champ then.
Now this one-off special can be yours, as it has been listed for sale. This car has covered 23,000 miles, and while it did suffer mild damage at one point in its life, it has all been repaired properly since.
This car is located in U.K. at the moment, but the seller does mention that World-wide export is available, and the asking price is only $63,300. That might be a lot for a 1997 Viper, but considering it is a Hennessey and one that has a World Champion as its first owner, it might be the ultimate collector piece for an F1 fan.
The Chrysler Group has repaid it outstanding debt worth $7.6 billion in loans to the U.S and Canadian governments. This ends nearly two years of public ownership of the third largest U.S automaker.
Chrysler made a payment of $5.9 billion to the U.S Treasury and $1.7 billion to Export Development Canada- finally ending loans that bailed Chrysler out of near bankruptcy in June 2009. It is impressive that the automaker managed to repay all debts six years ahead of schedule.
“Less than two years ago, we made a commitment to repay the U.S. and Canadian taxpayers in full and today we made good on that promise,” CEO Sergio Marchionne said in a statement. “The loans gave us a rare second chance to demonstrate what the people of this company can deliver and we owe a debt of gratitude to those whose intervention allowed Chrysler to re-establish itself as a strong and viable carmaker.”
The repayment became possible for Chrysler through its 16 new or refreshed models this year. The company reported a first quarter net profit for the first time since exiting bankruptcy under the control of Italy’s Fiat S.p.A
The automaker initially borrowed $5.1 billion from the U.S and $1.6 billion from Canada in June 2009 however the company racked up $1.8 billion in interest.
[Source: Automotive News]
A musical based on the story of the ill fated Bricklin SV-1 is set to debut in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, where the SV-1 was assembled over three decades ago.
The play, dubbed “The Bricklin” is set to open in the city of Fredericton on July 27th. “It’s a story about hopes and dreams, and at its heart are these two larger-than-life characters,” said Tim Yerxa, executive director of the Playhouse theater in an interview with the New York Times. The main characters of the play are Richard Hatfield, New Brunswick’s top politician, and Malcolm Bricklin, namesake of the Bricklin sports car.
“Here we’ve got this audacious guy who wants to build a car, and this politician who recognizes an economic initiative and wants to do right by the people who elected him,” Mr. Yerxa said. “There’s a song called ‘High Risk Venture,’ and it’s during that number that Bricklin wins over Hatfield.”
The star of the production is undoubtedly the orange Bricklin SV-1 purchased for the play. It’s been specially outfitted so that the gullwing doors and pop-up headlights will work without having to turn the engine on.
[Source: New York Times]
First the Mazda2 Yozora, then the Chevrolet Orlando. Now Acura has its own Canada-exclusive model with the TL A-Spec. Canada has gotten previous iterations of the TL in A-Spec trim, but this marks the second time the A-Spec is exclusive to the Great White North.
Available with all-wheel drive and either an automatic or manual gearbox, the A-Spec is basically an appearance package that adds 19″ wheels with summer tires, a body kit, darker chrome grille and A-Spec badging. While Honda says that the A-Spec won’t make it to America, optional Acura accessories like spoilers and wheels can emulate the look, minus the badging. The TL A-Spec retails for $51,290 CAD.
Press release after the jump
Edo Competition and ZR Auto have once again teamed up to create the world’s most extreme Enzo. Easily one of the most incredible machines ever made, the Enzo makes 660hp in stock form, but Edo has upped the power to 840 ponies – more than even the FXX.
Ferrari’s FXX is an all-out race car and while it does trump the Enzo in power and overall performance, it isn’t street legal anywhere.
Over a year ago Edo and Canadian exotic tuner shop ZR Auto got together to transform this Enzo into an unreal performer. ZR Auto, it should be noted, became famous infamous after owner Zahir Rana posted a viral video of himself driving at speeds of 300 km/h on Canadian roads in a mostly stock version of this same yellow Enzo. Rana later denied the high speed shenanigans, saying he had faked it all as a stunt to help promote his shop.
It’s not entirely clear if Edo built up the Enzo engine to match the FXX, or if the shop actually managed to finagle a powerplant out of Ferrari’s hands. Either way, the new engine boasts a displacement increase from 6.0 to 6.3-liters with a fully rebuilt top and bottom end. Full power comes on at an alarming 9600 rpm, with 575 ft-lbs of torque at 5800 rpm. Edo even claims that an additional 20hp is possible with the exhaust system removed – but then that wouldn’t make the car street legal, now would it?
Shift times are just 60 milliseconds, the same as in the FXX Evolutione. By comparison a Ferrari F1 car takes 40 ms to complete a shift.
Numerous weight-saving measures were also taken, dropping the overall curb weight of the car by 220 lbs. As a result of these modifications, Edo claims a 0-62 mph time of 3.2 seconds, with a 9.0 second run to 124 mph. The top speed is an estimated 242 mph!
In addition to all of these modifications, Edo also equipped the Enzo XX Evolution with a custom aerodynamic kit.