Each year, hundreds of Italian exotics venture over to Monterey, California for the annual Concorso Italiano to celebrate all things automotive from Italy.
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Rallying for a Cause
Is it possible for gear heads to do something good with their obsession of all things automotive?
An annual showcase of upcoming, potential Jeep products, the Moab Safari is a great way for the iconic brand to connect with its core audience. Unlike other concepts, however, these Jeeps are not meant to sit in rotating pedestals in convention halls. At Moab, Jeep spent the week demonstrating its vehicles and gained a lot of instant feedback from its die-hard community of Jeep 4×4 fans.
Taking their first Le Mans victory in 1924, the Bentley Brothers and their powerful, heavy, rugged, and reliable Bentley Blower dominated motorsports in the 1920s, outclassing rival Bugatti and its more elegant, lightweight, but considerably more fragile machines.
Despite Volkswagen ownership and the passing of many decades, Bentley cars still retain this trait today. Since 2005, Bentley has provided customers an opportunity to experience the power of new Bentley vehicles in a controlled environment atop a frozen Finnish lake. Known as the “Power on Ice” driving experience program, this year, Bentley instructors will provide excitement and education as customers experience the maximum potential of the new 621-hp Continental Supersport and 567-hp Continental GT.
According to Bentley, the success of “Power on Ice” warranted expansion and for 2012, Bentley will be launching driver training programs in North America as well. No dates and locations have been released so far, Bentley has only said that the program will deliver an experience “like no other.” That statement is hard to refute when we’re considering a track day behind the wheel of 5,000+ lbs. luxury grand tourers with more than 600 horsepower at your disposal.
Check out the Bentley North American Driving Programme promo video; slow-motion action shots, dubstep and all.
The IZOD IndyCar Series will be brought to China for the first time in a race scheduled on August 19, 2012.
Held in Qingdao, China, located between Beijing and Shanghai, this coastal city has previously hosted the 2008 Summer Olympic sailing competitions. Until finances can provide for a proper racing circuit to be constructed, a 6.2 kilometer street course will designed for the event for the time being. Unfortunately, the addition to the IZOD IndyCar racing schedule will knock Japan’s Motegi circuit, previously the only race in Asia to hold a major American open-wheel series, off the list.
Motivation for IndyCar’s new schedule for next season has a lot to do with up-and-coming talent, Ho-Pin Tung, the first Chinese racing driver to participate in American open-wheel racing.
The Tokyo Motor Show, held only once every two years, marks its return for 2011. After the nation suffered severe destruction from earthquake and tsunami, Japan intends to show the world the resilience of Japanese industry and manufacturing. Moreover, as previous shows were held at Makuhari Messe, a convention center located in the Mihami-ku ward of Chiba City just outside Tokyo, the Tokyo Big Sight in Ariake, Koto-ku, marks the return of the Tokyo Motor Show to the city of Tokyo for the first time in 24 years.
Held from December 2 to December 11, the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show 2011 will feature a total of 176 exhibitors from 12 different countries, which is a significant 36 percent increase than the previous 2009 Motor Show’s 129 exhibitors. Moreover, exhibition space has grown from 35,151 sq. meters from 21,823 sq. meters of 2009, a whopping 61 percent increase. Of note, all 14 of Japan’s automakers will be exhibiting, with 20 foreign brands, a big increase from just 9 foreign brands at the last show.
As Asia is experiencing a rapidly growing China and India market, there has been a sharp spike in interest for motor shows held in Beijing, Shanghai, and New Delhi. However, as a symbol of Japan’s technological powerhouse, the city of Tokyo strives to remain the foremost leader and demonstrator in technological innovation.
The theme of this year’s Tokyo Motor Show is “SMART MOBILITY CITY 2011.” The project focuses its attention to “next-generation automobiles and the social systems with which they interact,” highlighting the role of innovators of the car industry as they tackle the growing concerns over matters of global environment and energy conservation.
Notable debuts at this year’s show include the Toyota FT-86, Subaru BRZ and Mazda Takeri Concept. See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 Tokyo Motor Show preview here, with coverage starting November 30th.
Texas is truck country, so when you’re looking to organize an event for loyal pickup customers it would seem the best place to do it. Recently, Nissan decided to just that, putting on its first ever truck rally for Frontier and Titan owners at Hidden Falls Adventure Park, not far from the state capital Austin. The park contains more than 200 miles of off road trails and allowed Nissan to bring together more than 41 Frontier and Titan owners for a three day shindig with an off-roading theme.
Besides the owners, professional instructors were on hand to help guide them along marked trails, while a group of Nissan’s engineering, product planning and marketing staff were on hand to talk with the truck owners and their families. Part of this event was to get feedback regarding the existing trucks and what features buyers might be looking for in the next evolution of Nissan’s pickups including the upcoming Titan. “These guys are passionate about their trucks,” stated Chief Nissan marketing manager for trucks Dan Tons. “We asked them why they choose Nissan. They said they were looking for a vehicle that fit their needs, was priced right and could handle their capabilities best.”
Added Tiago Castro, Senior Planner for Nissan trucks – “we wanted a firsthand opportunity to talk to customers who currently own Titans. We wanted to learn what they like and don’t like about the Titan and to also have interaction with them like we do for other Nissan vehicles, like the Z car. A lot of these guys get together on their own, but this time we wanted to facilitate that meeting.”
[Source: Pickup trucks.com]
Volkswagen has a long history of unveiling wild SEMA-esque cars at the annual Worthersee GTI Meet and this year proved to be no different. While its not the Bentley W12-powered widebody GTI, the GTI Excessive is a more realistic street car and certainly gets our motors running. The car features flared fenders and a complete areo kit, as well as a wider track. In addition a new spring and shock setup takes the place of the standard setup, while larger brakes will be found inside 19-inch gloss black wheels fitted with semi-click tires. The car’s 2.0T engine remains mostly untouched, with the exception of a light weight exhaust system. VW says that depending upon how well the car is received, it may offer many of the parts on the car as dealer installed accessories.
Debuting alongside the Excessive edition was the Golf GTI Adidas – which will see production. It gets a set of 18-inch wheels, rear LED lights from the Golf R, as well as special interior and exterior Adidas themed details – including a golf-ball shift knob. Set to go on sale in June, just 4,410 Adidas editions are set to be offered.
GALLERY: VW Golf GTI Excessive
GALLERY: VW Golf Adidas
Official release after the jump:
It’s probably hard to believe for some, but Ford‘s ‘other’ legendary nameplate, Thunderbird, celebrates it 55th anniversary this year. When it was first introduced, the two-seat, personal luxury car was a smash hit and arguably saved Chevy’s Corvette from distinction. Although the T-Bird morphed into a four-seater for 1958 and became increasingly larger and more ostentatious through the 1960s and early 1970s, it always sold respectably.
The T-bird was downsized in the late 1970s, selling in record numbers – a few years later it was re-defined as a truly modern GT, winning approval from the press and public alike. Although discontinued in 1997, the car was re-born as a modern interpretation of the original two-seater for a brief period this past decade. The name is currently in limbo once again, but while the T-bird might not register much with mainstream car shoppers today, as far as classic auto enthusiasts are concerned, it remains a firm favorite.
In honor of the car’s 55th birthday, a special show will be held at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan on June 26th. Already, T-birds from 25 different states and Canada have registered for the event, which will include breakfast at the Ford Estate, a drive on the Ford test track, a display in front of the Ford Motor Company Headquarters and a drive to Greenfield Village and dinner at the pavilion. The event will be hosted by the Water Wonderland Thunderbird Club, the American Road Thunderbird Club and the Thunderbirdnest.com. If you have even the slightest bit of interest in these cars, you owe it yourself to attend this shindig. For information call Show Chairman Paul Nichols at 313-561-8895 or visit www.tbird55.com.
[Source: Old Cars Weekly]
For all the doom and gloom that’s still been circulated about the economy, you’d think sales of classic and collectible vehicles would be in the tank. However, the market for such vehicles, although a far cry from the heady days of 2005-06, appears to be demonstrating remarkable resilience. Recently, Mecum held it’s Kansas City Auction on April 9-10 at the city’s Bartle Hall/Convention Center complex. Over 300 collectible and special interest vehicles crossed the block, resulting in a total amount of $6,375,000 in sales generated over the course of the weekend.
According to Auction President Dana Mecum, “our total gross sales for the Kansas City auction, nearly tripled the dollar value from our previous one held here. The Bartle Hall venue continues to be a great location, and when combined with our live television program ‘Mecum Auto Auction: Muscle Cars & More,’ we were able to draw a very strong crowd to the event.”
Mecum had a 62% sell-through rate at the Spring Kansas City Auction, which is robust by most any standards. Below is a list of the 10 top selling vehicles and their winning bids. There’s at least five cars on the list this author wouldn’t have minded taking home.
[Source: Mecum Auctions]
See the list after the jump:
After last year’s incredibly successful Ferrari 288 GTO reunion, Concorso Italiano will try to bring together F40 owners for this year’s go-fast festival. In total 13 owners have already confirmed attendance and Concorso organizers expect many more in the coming weeks.
To help promote the gathering, F40 Project Director and designer Leonardo Fioravanti will be a guest of honor this year. His works also include the 365 GTB Daytona, Dino, 308 Series and 388 GTO.
If you have an F40 and want to take part, contact Concorso Italiano at the link below. And if you don’t own one, wish you did and want to see this historic occasion, it will take place August 13th at the Laguna Seca Golf Ranch in Monterey, CA, during the annual Pebble Beach festivities.
[Source: Concorso Italiano]