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.
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Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sold his 1977 Peugeot 504 at a chairty auction for $2.5 million, according to MSNBC. Ahamdinejad will use the proceeds to fund a low-income housing project meant for families.
“President Ahmadinejad’s Peugeot 504 was sold for 2.5 billion tomans ($2.5 million) to an Iranian who took part in the auction,” ISNA news agency said. According to local media, many of the bids came from America, but the winning bidder, an Iranian, will reportedly house the car in a specially built museum.
Ahmadinejad has rarely used to car since becoming leader of Iran in 2005. The Peugeot 504 would normally sell for about $2,000 on the open market in Iran.
In the world of hood ornaments, Rolls Royce has possibly the most ostentatious decoration of them all, and this year it’s turning 100-years old.
While Rolls Royce started doing business in 1904, the “Spirit of Ecstasy” (also referred to as the ‘Flying Lady’) didn’t make it’s first appearance atop a Rolls Royce’s radiator grille until 1911. Since then, it has been a fixture on every single model produced by the company.
For the model year 2011, each ornament will have the inscription of “Ecstasy Centenary” on the base of each statue.
To further mark this centenary, Rolls-Royce will be hosting plenty of events throughout the year, starting with a parade through London on February 6th, to honor Charles Sykes, who designed the Spirit of Ecstasy and registered it on this date.
The parade will feature 100 Rolls Royce’s of different ages and models, and on route they will pass by Conduit Street and Berkeley Square, the old and new homes of the brand.
Also expect celebrations at various auto shows and at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, after all Goodwood estates has been the new manufacturing home of Rolls Royce Motor Cars since 2003.
So congratulations Spirit of Ecstasy on this milestone, may you live to see a 100 more.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is set to auction off his 1977 Peugeot 504 to help raise funds for a new low-income housing project.
A statement released by the Iranian government said that, “In order to help the Mehr housing project, as an act of charity yesterday (Sunday) Mr Ahmadinejad put his car up for sale.”
Ahamdenijad is known for his image as a common man and friend of Iran’s poor, but most famous for his frequent homophobic and anti-semitic tirades in front of world leaders.
Peugeots have been locally built in Iran for a number of years, and the brand enjoys strong sales throughout the Middle East.
The second day of the MINI Takes The States Tour was a busy one and I’m thrilled to report that I now have a proper camera and no longer have to subject you to pictures taken with my Blackberry. With a drive in an electric MINI and a visit to one of America’s best vintage sports car collections, it was an ideal day for any gearhead.
Hit the jump to see more of Day 2 of the Mini Takes The States Tour
Each August, the classic car world gears up for the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, near Monterey, California, where some of the finest automobiles in the world are exhibited. Given the value and condition of most of the vehicles invited each year, many are transported by enclosed carrier or even flown to the event. However, a sizeable number are actually driven. This year, one of the latter will be the car shown above – a 1902 Mercedes-Benz Simplex; a machine that also bears the title of the oldest car currently in road worthy condition.
Powered by a 28 horsepower engine, the Simplex was built from 1902-09 and in many respects was one of the most advanced motor cars of its day, especially in terms of performance and hill climbing ability. This particular car, restored back in 1993 under the supervision of noted collector car specialist John Bentley, will be driven approximately 1,500 miles by Bentley, along with Arturo and Deborah Keller, as part of the annual Pebble Beach Motoring Classic. This road rally, now in its sixth year; starts in Seattle on August 3 (nine days before the Concours) taking in sights such as Mount St. Helens and the Columbia River Gorge, before arriving at the Pebble Beach Golf Course in time for the Concours event. Given that the trip includes numerous inclines and twisting roads, it’s quite a feat to be undertaking it in a 108 year-old car with no roof.
[Source: Pebble Beach Concours]
Over August 13-14, during the prestigious Concours D’Elegance at Pebble Beach, Mecum Auctions will be hosting its event at the Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa in Monterey. And headlining will be this, a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT long wheelbase Tour de France. This particular car, (chassis number 1321) is significant in that, firstly, it’s un-restored and secondly, that it has racing pedigree. It won the gruelling Nurburgring 1000 km in 1959 and later that year finished third overall at the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans, driven by Belgians Jean Blaton and Leon Dernier. The car has been meticulously maintained since its winning days and has seldom changed hands, the last owner purchasing the car sometime in the 1970s. Prior to being showcased at the Del Monte Golf Course recently, the last time it was seen in public was at Road America, almost two decades ago, so anticipation for the sale is particularly high.
Mecum’s Monterey auction is currently shaping up to be a memorable one. Dana Mecum, President of the auction house, stated, “the list of vehicles continues to grow for our upcoming auction and as a result, we’ve now expanded it to two days, as more than 400 investment grade collector cars, exotic vehicles and ultra rare boats are scheduled to cross the auction block.” It will be interesting to see how 25o GT Tour de France (chassis# 1321) will fare, especially given that high profile vintage Ferraris (especially those with significant racing pedigree) tend to go for serious money at the Monterey auctions.
[Source: Mecum Auctions]
Auto enthusiasts and the government have a tenuous relationship at best. Whether its anti-speeding laws, legislation restricting vehicle mods or mandating the dreaded “smog tests” that usually take beloved older vehicles off the road. Fortunately, the government sometimes lends a hand to enthusiasts of older cars, by giving them protection under the “Historic Vehicle” category, or more symbolic measures, like the U.S. Senate’s declaration of July 9th as “Collector Car Appreciation Day.” According to SEMA’s press release, Collector Car Appreciation Day is intended to “raise awareness of the vital role automotive restoration and collection plays in American society,” which sounds just fine to us.
Ideally, July 9th would see the United States turn back the clock to the days of American Graffiti, where street racing was considered weekend entertainment and the cops would help block off the streets, burnouts weren’t considered “noise pollution” and cars weren’t a source of scorn and demonization, but we have a better chance of Al Gore giving up his private jet and opulent lifestyle before any of the above happens.
[Source: Japanese Nostalgic Car]
[Image: Jim Bauer for Bulgogi Brothers]
Hit the jump to read the official news release.
There’s just no way to truly experience the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance without attending the show. But for those who can’t be there and feel the breeze blow in off the Pacific Ocean while sipping Champagne and admiring some of the most beautiful and expensive cars ever made, we have assembled this photo gallery.
Below is a selection of just a small portion of the amazing automotive masterpieces on display at the 2009 concours, including classic Bentleys, Ferrari motorsports legends, Bugattis and some of our favorites, the Duesenbergs.
Among the Ferraris in attendance included 10 1949 166 MM Touring Barchettas and all four remaining TR 59 race cars. Some of the more prestigious Bentleys included the early 3 Litre car, the Birkin Blower race cars and three record setting Speed Sixes.