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The late 1980′s is often considered as the era that gave birth to the modern day supercar. Every exotic car manufacturer was gunning to produce the fastest production car in the world, and the 200-mph mark was the target to beat.
In this arena, the Japanese had no contenders and all the major players came from Europe. Porsche had the 959, Ferrari gave the world the incredible F40, and Lamborghini had just introduced the Diablo.
GALLERY: Callaway Corvette
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
There are tuner shops, and then there are tuner manufacturers. What’s the difference? While a Tuner shop will bolt on spoilers and body kits, and some good tuner shops can even enhance your engines performance; a tuner manufacturer takes a bare shell and makes the entire car themselves to meet their customer’s requirements.
That is exactly what Ruf does. For 34 years, Alois Ruf has been working on Porsches. His process is so thorough, Porsche sends him bare shells of their cars, and everything is then put in place by Ruf technicians. Each car is thus tailor made for its new owner.
While most of Ruf’s creations look like slightly modded versions of the Stuttgart original, in 2007 they unveiled a car that took the tuning game on a whole new level. It was called the CTR3 and it was built using a chassis that had bits of the 911 married to some Cayman structure, wrapped in a Kevlar-carbon composite body-shell. The end result looked like a car Porsche enthusiasts could only dream about, until now.
It’s not all about looks either. Under the rear clamshell you’ll find a 3.8-liter, flat-six engine with two turbo-chargers. Twin-turbo Porsche motors are not that uncommon, but ones that produce 750-hp and 708 lb/ft of torque certainly are. All this power is fed to only the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox. Launch it correctly and you’ll cover the sprint from 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, and onto a top speed of 236 mph. That makes the CTR3 a lot faster than the Carrera GT, the fastest production car Porsche ever made.
If all this sounds irresistible to you (if you’re reading about cars on the internet, it should), you’d be happy to learn that a CTR3 is currently being offered for sale in California by R3 Motorsports. Since their advert was missing some information, we called the owner of the company; Ryan Negry, for some more information on this rare beast. According to Negry, this 2010 example has covered just 300-miles and that it can be yours for just $540,000.
[Source: duPont Registry]
Rudi Koniczek and the people that make Rudi & Co. are a part of a tiny niche within a niche of automotive enthusiasts. They are restorers and classic car barn finders, traveling across the world for leads and clues that will reunite them with rare vintage cars thought to be lost forever.
Their most recent adventure has brought the group to a garage door step in Santa Monica, California. The relic in question is the last remaining alloy bodied 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing needed to complete the recovery of all 29 ever produced.
When Koniczek approached this 300SL, he knew the search was over when the metal didn’t stick to a magnet he ran across the body. While the other 28 Mercedes-Benz 300SL alloy bodied coupes are all accounted for, this particular chassis (#21) has stayed hidden for approximately forty years.
The fastest car of its time, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL remains an icon and a legend today. The 29 alloy bodied 300SLs pushed the envelop even further as it was lighter and faster than the standard model. Lighter alloy body panels replaced steel and Plexiglas windows replaced glass while a high-lift cam, stronger brakes and a modified suspension set up enhanced the 300SL’s performance.
The story behind this particular 300SL Gullwing date all the back to 1955, when the parents of the current owner gave it to him as a college graduation present. A daily driver until the early 1970s, the owner left the car in the garage after its transmission failed.
The owner did make an attempt to repair the vehicle himself, as the Gullwing was found lifted on jacks with its wheels and transmission removed. However, discouraged by the complex German engineering, the car was left untouched since. After that the garage slowly accumulated with large computers and electrical components over the years, which provided Koniczek and his team a bit of a challenge when they removed the vehicle from the garage.
The last alloy bodied 300SL is now relocated to Victoria, British Columbia, where Koniczek and his team will begin restoration on the car early next year. In the past, Koniczek has restored almost a hundred 300SL sports cars during his forty years in business, including the 300SL alloy bodies serial number one through six.
GALLERY: Lost 1955 Alloy Bodied Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing
Back in the 1980s a new Italian supercar was born. It was called the Cizeta V16T, and it came on the scene with a gorgeous design and technical specs that would cause any car guys heart to beat a little faster.
It had a 6.0-liter, quad-cam, 64-valve, 16-cylinder motor which produced 540 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. That is not bad for 1988, especially when you compare it to other supercars of the day like the Ferrari F40, which produced 478-hp.
The Cizeta was ahead of the game, and its Marcello Gandini designed body was striking to look at also. However, some things didn’t go as planned. First, Gandini sold a similar design to Lamborghini, which became the Diablo, and then by the time the Cizeta was ready to go into production in 1991, the economy went bust, and that had a severe effect on sales. Most wealthy clients either simply walked away, or went and bought the Diablo, which looked very similar but was half the price of the Cizeta. Plus Lamborghini was a well-known name while Cizeta wasn’t.
Cizeta struggled but managed to make 11 coupes in the 1990s. In 2003, a convertible version called the TTJ Spyder was unveiled, which was a special order by a Japanese client. Only one such example exists and that very car is now listed for sale.
The dealer advertising this yellow on red example says the car only has delivery miles, but no price is given.
We contacted Cizeta’s president Claudio Zampolli, to find out more about this vehicle. He verified this was the only roadster ever made, and that he would love to get a hold of this example himself.
He also told us that Cizeta, the company, is still very much alive and that he will be announcing some news about the company in the near future. Being big-fans of this car, we can’t wait to hear what he is working on next.
Follow the link to see the posting for the Cizeta Spyder for sale.
[Link: F.A. Automobile]