AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Hurricane Sandy was the most devastating blow to classic car collecting ever according to Hagerty Insurance.
Picture a classic car in your head: likely it’s an American icon like a late ‘60s Mustang or even earlier like a ‘50s Fairlane. Maybe your taste is a bit more exotic and you’re imagining a classic Ferrari or even a British sports car like an MG or Triumph.
For the past two years, SEMA has worked with the U.S. Senate to designate a day as “Collector Car Appreciation Day”, and this year it will fall on July 13.
Would you entertain the idea of buying an old-model Ford Focus new from the manufacturer? In today’s throwaway culture it’s hard to imagine buying anything but the latest product, but that’s not the perspective everywhere. In other parts of the world, previous model cars remain for sale at a discount after a new lines debut.
A decade ago, General Motors announced a limited run off of 2002 Chevy Monte Carlo coupes. Know as the SS “Intimidator,” these cars were built as a tribute to the late, great NASCAR legend Dale Earhardt.
Given their limited production and unique trim and color scheme, these cars have become quite prized in certain circles, notably among NASCAR fans and even car collectors. Now one of these cars, in much the same condition as when it first rolled off the line, is being sold for a worthy cause.
It will be auctioned off at the spring Toronto Classic Car Auction with part of the proceeds being donated to a local hospital to help fund a new urgent care unit.
LeMay America’s Car Museum (rendered above) will be opening its doors to the general public in Tacoma, Washington in two months. In anticipation of that, the group is bringing a sample exhibit to the upcoming New York Auto Show.
The 22,000-square-foot exhibit will be located on the Lower Level, Hall 1-E of the Jacob Javits Center and will be on display for a limited time on April 4th to the 8th, which is the first weekend of the show. 15 classic cars ranging from the 1963 Buick Riviera to the 1921 Ford Model T will join a collection of vintage motorcycles courtesy of Ace Cafe.
“Our exhibit is just a small taste of what visitors to America’s Car Museum will experience, with examples of cars that Americans love, including some from Nicola Bulgari’s collection,” said ACM President and CEO David Madeira.
The LeMay America’s Car Museum will open on June 2nd and is a four-story, 165,000-square-foot museum located in downtown Tacoma. It will house rotating exhibits using cars, music, film, and photographs and will also feature an educational center, gift shop, banquet center, cafe, and library. ACM also hopes to host vintage car events, rock concerts, and drive-in movies at its adjacent 3.5-acre show field.
With the liquidation of Saab‘s North American assets and cars from the Heritage Collection put up for auction recently, many were no doubt curious to see where said vehicles ended up.
As it turns out, the cars have been acquired by two prominent collectors, Bill Jacobson who runs Sports Car Service in Wilmington, Delaware and Tom Donney of Donney Motors in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
Bill bought the 1967 Sonnett III, the 1978 99 Turbo, 1986 900 convertible, 1990 Skip Barber Pro Series open wheel car and the 1997 900 SE Talladega record setter, while Tom acquired the 1952 92, 1956 Sonnett Super Sport (shown above), 1960 93F Gran Turismo 750, Eric Carlsson’s 1960 96 RAC rally winner and the 1987 9000 Talladega record setting machine.
With both men recognized in the Saab community as serious collectors, enthusiasts and specialist mechanics, there’s no question that despite being split in half, the cars in the Heritage Collection have indeed gone to good homes.
Considering that Bill and Tom are very active in the classic Saab scene, having already amassed impressive collections of vintage Saab models it’s likely these cars will surface again at Saab events and conventions.
In fact, Bill, who has 12-15 examples from his collection on display at any one time, recently mentioned that plans are already afoot for a special Saab exhibit at the Simeone Automotive Museum in Philadelphia either this fall or next spring.
Meanwhile, there are also rumors circulating that Tom’s collection, which now numbers some 60 Saab vehicles with the new additions, could also form the basis for a possible Saab North America museum.
[Source: Saabs United]
In terms of automobiles, there’s no question that the classic Jaguar E-Type (XK-E), ranks as one of the most iconic of them all. And among the cognoscenti, Series I cars represent the purest of them all. When you add a celebrity’s name to the registration then surely, when such a car comes up for auction, it’s likely to attract serious interest.
So that should logically be the case with this lovely red 1965 Series I roadster, which sports the larger 4.2-liter XK straight-six engine and once belonged to Sir Elton John (the car in fact, still sports the signature OKE 1 registration plate from when he owned it).
The E-Type, which is in excellent condition, is scheduled to go under the hammer at Bonhams’ Oxford auction in March for a fairly princely £70,000 ($109,900); however for the car’s current owner, that doesn’t represent particularly good news, since 11 years ago he paid some £81,000 ($121,170) at Christie’s for the thing, during an auction that was arranged by Sir Elton himself.
Nonetheless, the estimate is right in line with current E-Type prices in the UK, proving once again that collector car values are often fickle at best.
Other significant cars slated to cross the block at Bonhams Oxford, include a 1961 Morgan Plus 4 Supersports, which is expected to sell for around £60,000 ($94,200), a 1961 Ferrari 250 GTE, which should go for £50,000 ($78,500) and a very rare, right-hand-drive British spec, 1966 Citroen DS21 decapotable pegged at £40,000 ($62,800).
Rick Treworgy is our kind of guy; he’s spent much of his life restoring cars. Presently he has a collection of roughly 225 vehicles. His assortment is so massive that he had to buy a now-defunct Walmart to house them all.
Willing to share what he’s done over the years with the general public, Treworgy now runs what he calls “Muscle City”, a collection of American classics that date back all the way to 1931. There is even a section full of “restomods,” cars that are built the way he believed they should have been built back in the day. He says all the cars in Muscle City are mechanically sound, meaning that Treworgy could take any one of them out for a spin if he wanted to, which earns extra bonus points from us.
Check out the news clip showcasing Muscle City after the jump.
Although Saab‘s museum in Trolhattan, Sweden luckily escaped liquidation, the same cannot be said for the former automaker’s US based Heritage Collection, currently housed in Michigan.
McTevia & Associates, the legal firm brought in to deal with Saab North America’s creditors and dispose of its remaining assets, announced that cars in the Heritage Collection will be sent to auction (bids had to be registered before Friday, February 10th at 12 noon Eastern Standard Time).
Among the vehicles up for grabs, include a restored 1952, model 92 (the company’s first series production model), a 1956 94 Sonnet Super Sport roadster (one of just six built), Erik Carlsson’s famous 1960 RAC Rally winning 96, a rare 1960 93F Gran Turismo 750 (a car inspired by the Carlsson rally machine), an early US spec (1978) 99 Turbo hatchback, a 1986 900 convertible prototype, plus a 9000 and “new generation” 900 that set speed and endurance records at Talledega Motor Speedway. Also up for grabs is an example of the 1987-91 Saab Pro Series open wheel race cars, developed in conjunction with Skip Barber and powered by stock Saab turbo four-cylinder engines.
However, rather than break up the collection and sell each of these cars individually, all of them will be auction in one block, without titles and in “as is” condition, meaning there’s a good chance they could end up as part of another museum’s stock.
GALLERY: Saab American Heritage Collection
[Source: Hemmings Motor News]
The Rasumssens won’t be offended if you tell them they have a nice set of headlights. That’s because they’re combining their passion for classic cars and supporting breast cancer research by bringing their “Buick for the Breasts” to this year’s O’Reilly Grand National Roadster Show.
Chris and Peggy Rasmussen’s drive to raise funds for breast cancer research have culminated in the pink ’56 Buick Century Riviera. They took to the cause after Peggy’s mother was diagnosed with the disease and had to undergo a total mastectomy. She’s now cancer free, but the couple made it their mission to do their part for the cause.
“Peggy and I want to honor her mother and all the breast cancer survivors out there through what we love – classic cars!” said Chris. “We do what we can to support breast cancer research, and we hope to get other classic car lovers to join us in our crusade to find a cure.”
The Rasmussens put more than five years of restoration and customization into this pink ’56 Buick Century Riviera. But the feature that sets this classic car apart is its prominent set of pink “ta tas” on the back, which were added in the hopes that other car-enthusiasts will join the fight against breast cancer.
You can see “Buick for the Breasts” at O’Reilly Grand National Roadster Show, taking place in Pomona Fairplex, CA, on now until Sunday, January 29.
Original 1955-57 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL gullwings don’t tend to come up for sale very often, yet when they do they often attract a lot of attention and interest from big money collectors.
This past weekend’s Gooding & Company auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, was no exception, where one example fetched a cool $4.62 million.
Mercedes built some 1,400 Gullwing coupes before the car was succeeded by the heavier and slightly more conventional 300SL roadster, yet this particular car drew attention because it was one of a handful of aluminum bodied cars built (most SLs sported steel bodies with just the hood, doors and decklid made from aluminum).
The cost of the entire aluminum body was exorbitant, even by 1950s standards, which helps explain why so few SLs (29) were ordered this way, yet combined with some 176 lbs in weight savings, along with the direct fuel injected 3.0-liter straight six, the result was a fast and extremely desirable Grand Tourer (top speeds of more than 160 mph were easily possible).
The Gooding sale at Scottsdale marks a record for a classic Mercedes gullwing; most of these cars (though we’re refering to steel bodied examples) tend to go for around $500,000-$600,000, when they come up for sale.
[Source: Gooding & Company]
With so many classic cars out there that one could collect, it’s sometimes difficult to pick out the right one for you. Each model clearly has their own dedicated fans and followers, but sometimes collectors are looking for a vintage machine that can boast rare qualities not seen in other vehicles. We believe this 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad is one of those vintage machines.
This first-generation Chevy Bel Air Nomad is a true classic in its stock form, but its previous owner decided to take it to a whole new level, investing over $127,000 into it. The refinished black body has been bolted onto a state-of-the-art pro touring chassis, while a small-block V8 has been combined with an immaculate and custom interior to create one incredible ’55 Nomad pro-tourer.
In 2009, the owner of the Bel Air decided to take the vehicle to Willet Motorsports in Orlando Park, Illinois in order to do a complete frame-off build that consisted of modern updates and hours and hours of bodywork. The completely straight panel exterior has received a two-stage jet black paint job before it was sent off to Precision Street Rods & Machines in Northridge, California for some fine tuning.
Under the hood is a 350-cubic inch Chevy powerplant that’s been outfitted with plenty of show and go parts. Chrome components can be seen along with its Edelbrock Durashine Performer 4-barrel carburetors. Alternating the jet black paint shade of the exterior are Chevy Orange contrasts, given the engine bay plenty of life.
The Bel Air rolls on a set of Billet Specialty Legacy wheels with a pair of 18-inchers up front and 20-inchers in the rear. On the inside, a completely custom interior features warm beige leather and new-generation Autogauge gauges. An Alpine CD player almost seems out of place in this retro resale, but it’s a nice touch bringing some modern technology to a true American classic.
The sale will come with a full stack of restoration photos, paperwork and manuals for the vehicle’s aftermarket components, some recent maintenance receipts, a reproduction owner’s manual, a toy replica, a Chevrolet Nomad Association jacket and a high-quality car cover.
Oh yeah, the asking price is $99,000 while the Bel Air only sports 6,147-miles on the odometer. What are you waiting for?
Check out a video after the break highlighting the Bel Air Nomad.
GALLERY: 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad
[Source: RK Motors]
Even though we recently had the pleasure to review and enjoy Ford’s 2012 Mustang Boss 302, we didn’t lose sight of the classic Boss 302s that put the famed model on the map. Now it’s nice to see a contrasting classic 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302, restored from the frame-up to immaculate form, available for you to purchase.
This classic Boss 302 was originally built in September of 1969 out at Ford’s Dearborn, Michigan plant. Over 40 years later, it got a complete restoration by Daniel’s Hot Rods & Body Shop out in Jarretsville, Maryland. It sports a completely original, rust-free body on every panel except its front fenders. After the previous owner found some small inner-patches on the stock fenders, he tracked down NOS replacements and had them installed to showroom alignment.
Then the vehicle got its statement making paint job in Grabber Blue along with a flat black rear deck lid, spoiler and expertly-applied Boss side stripes. The result? A classic Boss 302 that could rival a brand new 302 in the looks department bumper to bumper.
Under the hood is a numbers-matching small block 302 V8 Winsor powerplant with 290-hp. The fully restored classic has 52,169-miles on the odometer and has an asking price of $89,900. Combine the immaculate exterior and the perfectly-running engine with the pristine black vinyl interior and you’ve got a near-perfect retro resale.
GALLERY: 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302
[Source: RK Motors]
Rifling through boxes at an estate sale paid off for Bobby Goins after he recently found a 1952 Ferrari 212 Inter Ghia Cabriolet tucked away and forgotten.
The car, which was barely visible except the emblem, had been sitting in a garage for 40 years. Pickers find forgotten cars frequently, but unless it’s really notable they don’t make it to the media. Last September we brought you a story about a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing being found in California, but this latest find beats the Benz.
According to information from FerrariChat.com, Goins only knew it was a Ferrari, but had no idea what model it was or its value. He soon found out exactly what he had, but there was one catch: it had a Corvette engine. The could have compromised the value from a restoration perspective, but against all odds, the original engine was located in Wisconsin.
Though the amount he paid for the car wasn’t disclosed, Goins sold the car for $150,000 to someone who plans to fully restore it and set it on display at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
There are custom cars… and then there are custom classic cars. This 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air is by far one of the nicest resto-projects we’ve ever set our eyes on, blending classic Chevy styling with modern Chevy power. With an LS6 small-block Chevy engine under the hood that’s been stroked to 383-ci, this ’55 Bel Air packs 520-hp and 531 lb-ft of torque.
The vehicle’s original body has been restored using a two-tone GM paint scheme with Arctic White and Light Tarnished Silver chosen to show off the classic’s straight lines and tight panel gaps. The powerplant underneath the hood was built by Superior Automotive Engineering with an extremely high 11.54:1 compression ratio. Bolt-ons include Dominator Street Rods dual snorkel intake pipes, Ron Davis aluminum radiator, and a Street and Performance air filter. Inside the engine, Comp Cams’ Extreme RPM High Lift camshaft provides plenty of extra horsepower while the Eagle forged steel crank turns Eagle connecting rods and push forged JE pistons. The port and polished heads have been completely rebuilt with Serdi valves, Comp Cams roller rockers, Comp Cams beehive springs and Comp Cams titanium retainers.
For chassis and suspension modifications, this Bel Air sports a Classic Performance Products front suspension which includes custom reinforced control arms, two-inch drop spindles, one-inch sway bar, Bilstein gas-charged shocks and a custom reinforced Borgeson 605 steering box. Classic Performance Products also supplied the four-wheel disc brakes that sit behind Schott’s two-piece forged billet Velocity wheels wrapped with Nitto rubber.
Lastly, Elegance Interiors reupholstered four Lexus seats with high quality, two-tone leather. Asking price? $109,900 – not too shabby considering it only has 3,523-miles on the odometer.
GALLERY: LS6-Powered 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air
Check out a video highlighting this custom 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air below.
The British economy maybe in the tank, yet some people, it seems, still can’t get enough of luxury goods in the UK, including classic cars.
This past Saturday (October 22) at the Historics at Brooklands auction, the mood was buoyant as the largest collection of vehicles ever assembled at this fall auction saw a 65 percent sell through rate.
In particular, British offerings proved popular, with 13 Jaguars crossing the block, including a cluster of XK-120s, one of which (shown above) proved to be the star of the event, selling £67,000; significantly above original projections (£37,000 – £42,000).
Other highlights included an ex London Metropolitan Police 1962 Daimler SP250, which originally served as a chase car and sold for £39,500 and a 1973 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI hearse with coachwork by Mulliner Park Ward, which went under the gavel for £24,600.
Yet what was interesting about this auction, besides the numbers was the percentage of first time buyers as well as the number of relative bargains. There was a whole fistful of cars that went for less than £10,000, including machines as varied as a 1949 Bristol 401 (£7,250), a 1934 Hotchkiss Carbourg (£6,250), a 1977 Jaguar XJ6 Coupe ( £6,000), a 1974 MGB GT V8 sold (£6,750) and a 1969 Morris Mini Cooper S Mk II which sold for (£9,750).
In addition, a number of restoration projects were up for grabs and drew strong buyer interest indicating that many in attendance were actually there for the cars and not just looking to make an investment.
In reference to the event, Historics’ Auction Director Edward Bridger-Stille remarked that: “It demonstrates that our customers still crave that satisfaction derived from either owning an eminently usable classic car, or becoming immersed in a hands-on restoration project. With over 500 people attending on the day, our customers continue to show their support, and we look forward to delivering another excellent offering of classic and collectible cars at our Spring sale in February.”
When Marty McFly met up with Doctor Emmet Brown at the Twin Pines Mall in the wee hours of Saturday, October 26 1985, he was stunned at the Doc’s latest invention, a timing traveling DeLorean DMC-12.
He was equally stunned at the choice of fuel. “Wait a minute Doc, are you telling me this sucker is nuclear?”
“No, no, no,” replied the Doc, “this sucker’s electrical.”
While Back to the Future might have become a cult sci-fi classic, the idea of an electric DMC-12 is now very much a reality thanks to the efforts of the revitalized DeLorean Motor Company.
Last month, DMC owner Stephen Wynne, showcased such a vehicle to a enthusiastic crowd, at the company’s Humble, Texas headquarters near Houston.
Wynne said that his engineering team have spent four years working on the EV DeLorean and plans to bring the car to market in 2013, for a price of around $90-$100,000. He also said that the car is capable of generating the equivalent of 260 hp and reaching a top speed of 125 mph from it’s Epic electric powertrain.
The unveiling came as a bit of a surprise for members of the DeLorean Owner’s Association, who had gathered at DMC HQ for their annual get together.
“We’ve been talking about it for some time but we have stopped giving people completion dates because things weren’t going to plan,” Wynne said. “So we quieted down on what we’re doing.”
Besides the EV another DeLorean, equipped with a supercharged motor that essentially doubles the output of the car’s original 2.9-liter P-R-V 130 hp V6 engine also shocked and wowed onlookers.
Other announcements included a new lightweight underbody structure for a car that visually, has remained unchanged since 1981.
Yet despite the car’s commercial failure, Back to the Future fame and subsequent status as an ‘80s icon have kept the DeLorean flame alive for three decades. In 1995, Stephen Wynne acquired the remaining inventory of parts and cars which had been sent to Ohio when the Belfast factory was shuttered in 1983. Beginning as a parts, service and restoration operation, the ‘new’ DeLorean Motor Company has now expanded to building entire cars, using original parts and tooling.
“So far we’ve built 41 of them,” says Leif Montin, who has been around DeLoreans for more than 30 years, starting in 1979 when he went to Belfast and served as plant manager.
“It was a tragedy when [DMC] folded, and it wasn’t necessary,” Montin said. “John DeLorean made some disastrous decisions that made the company fail. Fortunately, Stephen Wynne picked it up and did a marvelous job. We build better cars today than what the factory did then. It’s amazing, really; a 30 year-old car that’s as popular today as it was then. Thanks to the job [the new DMC does] the DeLorean will live forever.”
There’s no question that it’s one of the most celebrated cars in the world and certainly one of the most imitated. However, surprising as it may seem, there’s never been a Shelby Cobra exclusive event.
That’ll change in 2012, when examples from all over the world will gather in Monterey as the featured marque at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion taking place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on August 17-19, the announcement was made after the closing ceremonies during this year’s Pebble Beach Weekend.
2012 will mark the 39th year of historic racing at Laguna Seca and ties in nicely with the Cobra’s racing heyday – the cars originally debuted in 1962, powered by Ford small-block and later on, big-block V-8s. They proved a force to be reckoned with in sports car racing during the mid-1960s and in 1965, took the FIA World Sports Car Championship title in Division III (cars with engines of more than 2000cc) having narrowly being beaten by Ferrari the previous year.