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Back in the mid 1990′s, many car manufacturers had a renewed interest in the Le Mans 24 Hours Endurance Race, especially after the McLaren F1 GTR showed what a modified road car could achieve at one of the toughest races in the world.
Soon Toyota, Nissan and Porsche came up with their own Le Mans GT1 contenders. However, the rules at the time said that in order to participate in this category, the manufacturer must build 25 road-going examples of the race cars they are competing with. Toyota and Nissan found out their race car wasn’t fast enough to win, so didn’t bother making any road cars (although Nissan did produce two R390 super cars for the streets).
Porsche on the other hand was very confident about its race car, so the company produced the required number of road-going versions of the 911 GT1. Another manufacturer that went ahead with the plan to produce road cars that look and have the performance of their race car was Mercedes-Benz.
Even though the 1998 CLK-LM was not a winning race car and was replaced by the CLR racer in 1999 (the car that infamously flipped while chasing the Toyota GT1 at the 1999 Le Mans 24-Hour race), Mercedes-Benz went ahead with producing the CLK-GTR road car. It is believed 19 coupe’s and 6 roadster models were produced in total between 2000 and 2002.
Now, one of these rare super cars is available right in our own back yard. A 2000 model CLK-GTR coupe is for sale by Ferrari Maserati of Fort Lauderdale. This silver on red example is number 17/25 and has covered just 1492-miles. This example also has the Super Sport package upgrade, which gives it the newer, more powerful 7.3-liter, V12 good for 655-hp and 580-lb/ft of torque.
So if you have $1.49-million burning a hole in your pocket, you can buy this rare exotic, which will surely inch up in value the older it gets. Plus you will surely end up with something your rich friends won’t likely have in their garages. It’s a win-win situation.
[Source: DuPont Registry]
The MG SV-R is a car most people in North America (or anywhere else for that matter) haven’t even heard of. But it did exist for a short time, and we’re glad it did. So how did it come about?
The project started when MG Rover, wanted a halo car for their brand, to raise the company’s profile and keep it in business. So what MG did was look for a suitable car to form the basis for their new sports car (this would save them tons in development money), and mold it into something unique.
What they got was the underpinnings of the Qvale Mangusta, a car that started out in life as the De Tomaso Bigua. With the underpinnings secured, MG went all out and hired automotive designer Peter Stevens.
Steven’s is most well known for penning the iconic McLaren F1 supercar, and he soon got to work to clothe the chassis he was given. The end result might not be to everyone’s taste, but it is most certainly interesting.
To power their new sports car, MG made a deal with Ford to get both the 4.6-liter V8 from the Mustang, and a 5.0-liter V8 crate motor. They also got some supercharged 4.6-liter V8s from Ford SVT division. The motors were then sent to Sean Hyland Motorsports in Woodstock, Ontario in Canada to tune them to MG’s specifications. As a result, the base 4.6-liter engine was good for 320 hp, while the 5.0-liter and the supercharged 4.6-liter V8s were good for 385 hp. At launch time, there was talk of much more power to come, but nothing came of it.
Power was fed to the rear wheels via a Tremec 5-speed manual gearbox, and when launched properly would sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds, and onto a top speed of 175 mph. So while not the quickest or fastest sports car ever made, it’s certainly respectable.
Despite having a high profile client like Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean, Johnny English), who ordered a dark green example, MG struggled to sell their latest sports car in big numbers. All in all, just 82 examples are believed to have been produced between 2003 and 2005, of which 42 were the more powerful SV-R versions.
The car pictured above is believed to be the very last complete SV-R ever produced by MG. This car was once the star of the 2005 Italian Motor Show. Sadly the MG Rover group soon went into administration and this car stay locked up for three years, before the cars current owner bought it and registered it in 2008. Since then it has covered just 800 miles. In a way, this silver on black example is almost like new and comes with such original goodies as an MG Racing car cover, an SV-R collector’s DVD, hardback book, an MG jacket, T-shirt and key ring. All these items are also described as brand new.
If you are intrigued by this left-hand drive example (which makes it rarer than rare), you can bid on it at the Silverstone Auctions on November 4, 2011. This car is part of the Walter Hayes sale, which includes many other tasty collector cars.
This MG SV-R is expected to fetch around $55,000, a bargain for what could very possibly be a desirable future classic.
GALLERY: MG SV-R
[Source: Silverstone Auctions]
Now the Santa Monica Police are seeking the public’s help in finding this rare car. The vehicle in question is a 1970 model, and while it was originally a light silver, it now has a custom brown paint job. It’s license plate is 3RBZ737.
The car was stolen off Berkley Street at 3:46 p.m. Police is asking if anyone has any security camera’s in the area that could have captured the crime. Travolta had left the car for just 10 minutes before he returned to find it missing. It is not known if the thief followed the car, or just happened upon it.
If you know anything about this vehicle, you can call Det. Steve Smetzer at (310) 458-8936 or Sgt. Henry Ramirez at (310) 458-8453. Investigators can also be reached through the 24-hour line (310) 458-8495 and those wishing to remain anonymous can call WeTip at (800) 782-7463 or visit their website at www.lacrimestoppers.org.
A $1000 reward is being offered to whoever provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction on this case. The car itself is valued at over $35,000.
[Source: LA Times]
Rare doesn’t even being to describe the Ferrari F50 GT1. With just three ever made (this being No. 1) the F50 GT1 program was canceled before the cars ever saw competition. Instead, Ferrari focused its efforts on Formula 1, where it met with considerably success almost ever since.
Powered by a naturally aspirated 4.7-liter V12 engine, it was tuned to 750-hp at an alarmingly high 10,500 rpm, delivering a 0-60 mph time of 2.9 seconds.
Similarities to the street car are obvious, however, a close inspection of the GT1′s body reveals exaggerated air intakes and an even lower stance. A carbon fiber monocoque construction has also been reinforced for track use.