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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.
 |  Jan 16 2012, 2:15 PM

It was a good idea, if only it had worked. A few years back, a man by the name of Scott Devon decided that the world needed a new American supercar. So he appointed a Swede (Daniel Paulin) to design his dream car.

Being a start-up company, Devon did not have the money to develop his own platform or design his own engines. So what he did instead was to take a perfectly good Dodge Viper, and give it some new clothes.

Actually, he did more than that as this was no mere body-kit. The car had a custom, coachbuilt body and a completely unique interior. Oh and he tweaked the Viper’s 8.4-liter, V10 motor to produce a modest 650-hp.

The end result looked very impressive, and it also worked. Thanks to its aerodynamics package, the GTX was very capable around a race track. It in fact set the fastest lap-time for a production car at both Willow Springs and the Laguna Seca Raceway. We use the ‘production car’ term loosely here, read on to find out why.

Devon wanted to put the GTX into limited production, but their plans got cut short when Dodge announced the stoppage on Viper production in 2010. This would hurt Devon’s supply if anyone wanted one. Another reason the project didn’t work was because the order books remained empty. We reckon the $500,000 asking price had something to do with that.

In the end, just two cars were produced, and now one of those can be in your collection. Lot # 1296 at this month’s Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, AZ., is a beautiful black Devon GTX.

We will have to wait and see what it fetches at the auction, but if you’ve been looking for something very rare and unique, this might be the car for you.

GALLERY: Devon GTX

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[Source: Barrett-Jackson]

 

 |  May 20 2011, 10:29 AM

The Chevrolet Corvette is a great sports car and its relatively affordable price tag means it is a common sight. So what to do if you want a Corvette but also want to stand out from the crowd?

Easy, get it re-skinned from a coach-building company. There is no shortage of companies providing this service either, because Callaway, Rossi, Genadi and Soleil (just to name a few) can all make you a Corvette that will be rare and unique.

Now, a German company by the name Endora has also revealed sketches of its interpretation of the C6 Corvette. The model is referred to as SC-1, and it certainly has taken design inspiration from the 1960s. It mimics the coke-bottle look of the 1963 Corvette Stingray, with some sprinkling of the 1966 Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada thrown in for good measure. The headlamps however look to have been borrowed from the 2002 Acura NSX.

The design looks wonderful, but we will have to wait to see how it translates onto a real car, since so far only sketches exist.

Under the skin it will be like any other Corvette, so you’d either have the base 6.2-liter V8 with 437 hp, or the 7.0-liter V8 with 512 hp. The ZR-1 based 6.2-liter, supercharged V8 with 647 hp will also be offered. Basically, you provide them with your choice of Corvette and they will re-clothe it for you.

Pricing and availability has not been announced yet, but we can’t wait to see a finished version. If it looks as good as the sketches suggest it will, the SC-1 will turn heads everywhere it goes.

[Source: Carscoop]

 |  Mar 24 2011, 2:38 PM

If you are the kind of person who is bored with standard production vehicles and wants something very unique, have we got the car for you.

It is a 2008 Maserati Quattroporte, which might be a nice car on its own. But what sets this example apart from the rest is the fact that it is a station wagon. It was customized by coachbuilder Carrozeria Touring Superleggera, a company that has in recent years built quite a name for itself and is also responsible for the new Gumpert Tornante.

This unique Quattroporte, dubbed the Bellagio, was first shown at the 2008 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este  classic car show in Italy, and while it is not known how many Bellagio estates have been produced, one has popped up for sale in the Netherlands.

This example has covered just 961-miles and it looks very regal in its royal-blue paint. It’s not cheap to stand out from the crowd though. While a standard 2008 Quattroporte can be had for about $65,000 the ultra rare Bellagio is going for a heart-stopping $233,000. Exclusivity certainly demands a price.

[Source: Carscoop]

 |  Feb 14 2011, 4:40 PM

Gumpert might not be a household name, but car enthusiasts everywhere know and respect their Apollo – and have a healthy fear for its capabilities. If only it looked as good as it performed.

The Apollo might not be pretty from any angle, but its performance on the track is almost unrivaled. Now it seems that Gumpert is about to introduce a car that would be more focused to cross continents rather than the finish-line at a race track.

The new model is called the Tornante and it will be introduced to the public for the first time at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

This new model is built in partnership with Touring Superleggera, an Italian coach-building firm. They are the ones largely responsible for its styling. Powering this new car is an Audi-sourced 4.2-liter, twin-turbo, V8, rumoured to be putting out 700-hp. The six-speed TT40e gearbox (same as in the Apollo) will now feature paddles to shift gear rather than a gear lever.

More details will emerge at the car’s launch, so watch this space.

(Source: Autoblog)

 |  Jan 20 2011, 10:46 AM

British car firm Bentley has made the most of its Continental platform with a coupe, convertible and a sedan version available. However, a coachbuilder by the name Touring Superleggera had found a void and decided to fill it.

Their model is called the Flying Star and it is a wagon version based on the underpinnings of the Continental GTC convertible. So while you still have all the mechanical goodness of the stock Bentley, you now get a custom body that will be built in a limited number of just 19 vehicles worldwide.

Demand for the Flying Star must be quite strong, as its manufacturer has just recently invested in more tooling and workforce. Now they can build five cars at the same time, but since each car takes 4000-hours to complete, it will still take about six-months to complete your car.

As you can probably imagine, this conversion is not cheap since the price of the ‘basic’ model starts at $790,000 (you can easily buy all-three factory produced models of the Continental for that price).

Touring Superleggera has built three cars thus far, and will be displaying this model at the Qatar Motor Show at the end of January. So if you’re in the area, do check it out and send us some pictures.

[Source: Autocar]

 |  Dec 16 2010, 10:23 PM

In the world of car designers, Henrik Fisker’s name is more recognizable than most. After all, his past credits include cars like the BMW Z8 and the current Aston Martin Vantage.

In 2005, Henrik decided to start his own designer car company and thus Fisker Coachbuild was born. His first car was called the Tramonto and it was based on the underpinnings of the Mercedes-Benz SL-model. Regardless of the engine you had on your SL, Fisker had an engine tune program for it. The most popular model for conversion was based on the SL55. Fisker had enlisted the help of the Danish tuner company Kleeman to do all the engine mods, and they were able to get 610-hp from a motor that originally had 493-hp. So it was fast, and thanks to a custom exhaust system, very loud also. We know this because we have driven this car, and know exactly how alluring it truly is.

The original plan was to make a limited run of 150 cars, but sadly only 13 ever got made, which makes them quite collectible and also very hard to find.

But we have found one that is up for sale in Needham, MA. This privately owned 2007 model has reportedly only covered just 1,609-miles, and has the Kleeman tuned SL55 supercharged motor.

The seller is asking $150,000 for it, which is a bargain when you consider that a brand new Tramonto was going for nearly twice that.

Since Fisker has now gone into the plug-in hybrid car business, this Tramonto will remain a very rare and unique car indeed.

[Source: Dupont Registry]

 |  Aug 21 2010, 10:19 PM

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We’re not quite sure what to make of this ‘coachbuilt’ Aston Martin Super Sport; especially its $9.6 million price tag. So what exactly does $9.6 million USD buy you? Read on!

This limited edition vehicle is apparently being built by Star Electric Cars based out of France. Until now Star Electric Cars was better known for making electric golf carts that resemble Hummers, Cadillacs and Bentleys. The exterior of the car is clearly Aston Martin-inspired, but we need to stress that this isn’t an Aston Martin at all. It’ll consist of plenty of lightweight carbon fiber bodywork and scissor doors. Inside the race-inspired vehicle receives Recaro seats, custom leather and Alcantara upholstery and carbon fiber trim. And for those that actually believe they’ll drive this thing more than a couple of times a year, there’s a built-in navigation system and iPod adapter.

And as for performance? Well for that price tag, we’d hope it would blow us away – and we guess it does. A 5.4L V- powerplant is mid-mounted, mated to a twin-turbo setup that helps put down an astonishing 800- to 950-hp. Clearly it’ll be rear wheel drive and will come with a six-speed manual transmission with an optional F1 paddle shift. We won’t even take a guess at what that option will cost.

Is this a new competitor to Pagani’s Zonda? We highly doubt it, since Zonda’s are the quintessential vehicles for a true driving experience. But hey, variety is the spice of life, no?

GALLERY: Coachbuilt Aston Martin

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 |  Jun 13 2010, 11:21 AM

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Montecito Motors in Santa Barbara, California has listed this 2008 Fisker Latigo CS on eBay. With a starting bid of $90,000, the coachbuilt BMW M6 was designed by Henrik Fisker who also designed the BMW Z8, Aston Martin DB9 and V8 Vantage.

It’s a small price to pay to own something so unique on the road, but it’s hard to believe it’ll stay in the high 5-digit, low 6-digit range, especially considering the original (one of just 150 in the world) costs well over $340,000. The exterior body work is handbuilt and the interior has been re-trimmed. The 5.0L V10 under the hood has received a few tidbits to overhaul horsepower to 648 thanks to Racing Dynamics. The car also sports a set of 20-inch Fisker proprietary wheels.

So you like the majority of the BMW M6 but you’re not a fan of the exterior styling? Maybe this Fisker Latigo CS V10 is for you if your wallet’s deep enough.

GALLERY: Fisker Latigo CS V10

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[Source: eBay]