1956 VW

The start of Spring! Coys of London is having an auction. Check the supply:

Lord's Cricket Ground
London, England

+44 (0)20 8614 7888

1962 MERCEDES 190 SL



Car-building legend Boyd Coddington, whose TV show “American Hot Rod” introduced the nation to the West Coast hot rodder, has died. He was 63.

He started building cars when he was 13 and once operated a gas station in Utah, set a standard for his workmanship and creativity, with his popular “Cadzilla” creation considered a design masterpiece. The customized car based on a 1950s Cadillac was built for rocker Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.

Coddington was a machinist by trade, working at Disneyland during the day and tinkering with cars in his home garage at night and on weekends. His rolling creations captured the imagination of car-crazy Southern Californians and soon he was building custom cars and making money. He also customized 1932 Fords and car wheels. In fact, Wheels by Boyd sometimes fetched $2,000 apiece, which was unheard of two decades ago.

Coddington also surrounded himself with talent. Alumni from his shop include Jesse James and Chip Foose, who went on to open their own shops.

Always dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, Coddington said he loved his “American Hot Rod” Discovery Channel show, which featured ground-up construction of $500,000 hot rods.


1936 CHEVY

1953 CHEVY

In beautiful Naples, Florida Kruse International will have an auction of 92 cars. Check this out to see if you can find something to suit your fancy:

Collier County Fairgrounds
Naples, Florida





A Swiss company has created the world's fastest ever road vehicle - a 340mph bullet-shaped cross between a motorbike and a car. The Acabion GTBO looks like a jet fighter cockpit on wheels - with stabilisers - and has the power-to-weight ratio of a Formula One car.

The high-performance vehicle is neither motorbike or car so designers had to invent a new category of vehicle called a Road Streamliner. Its makers claim it could reach 300mph in 30 seconds - much quicker than the Bugatti Veyron which takes 55 seconds to reach its top speed of 250mph.

An electric version with a top speed of around 300mph is also planned and its designer, former Porsche engineer Peter Maskus, sees it as the future of high-speed, low-emission transport. Manufacturers expect the GTBO to be in production and on the road within three years.

The bad news is the asking price is likely to be £1.5million.




1962 FIAT 500D


H & H is also having an auction of fine cars and motorcycle. Motorcycle weather is just around the corner. Check it:

+44 1925 730630

1948 MG YA


1961 JAGUAR 240


1969 JAGUAR 2 + 2


Trying to get through those winter months. BCA is having an auction at the Blackbushe Airport in Blackbushe, Surry, England. Try them at:

+44 1252 877317

1994 MG R8




The Splinter, which has a roll cage to protect the driver and stiffen the chassis, has a laminated wood veneer chassis and wooden wheel rims. Suspension is provided through laminated wooden arms and springs made from osage orange wood. It is not made from solid chunks of wood, but rather moulded laminates.

The two seater, which is made from a combination of maple, plywood and MDF, weighs 1,134kg - 240kg less than the lightweight Porsche.

The Splinter can produce 700bhp from its twin supercharged, 4.6 litre V8 engine - almost 300bhp more than a Porsche 911 GT3. And with a top speed of 240mph, it will leave the Porsche and the new Lamborghini Revanton in its wake.

Joe Harmon, from North Carolina in the U.S., plans to produce this automobile for the buying public.

No price as yet.


No offense to the artist that was able to build this fully functional car out of wood, but I would have liked it better if he had picked one style or the other.




This auction is put on by Leake and Kruse together. Sorry, no pictures, but they have them all in a PDF file on their website. Check it out:

Oklahoma City Fairgrounds
Cox Pavilion
3212 Wichta Walk
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73107



When Steve Fambro got bored building robots at a San Diego genetics company, he figured he could help keep his brain busy by building a kit airplane in his spare time. But his wife deemed the hobby too dangerous, so Fambro decided to build a car instead, one with low emissions and absurdly high mileage. Called the Aptera (Greek for "wingless"), the machine now exists as a working prototype. It has 2.5 seats, three wheels, weighs a feathery 1,500 pounds, and Fambro says his company will put the Aptera into production next October.

Specs may change between now and autumn 2008, but the current numbers look like this: 300 mpg, a price tag below $30,000, and 0-60 acceleration of 11 seconds (about a second slower than the Toyota Prius gas-electric hybrid). The Aptera will come in two versions: the all-electric Typ-1e; and the series-hybrid Typ-1h, with a small onboard gasoline engine capable of recharging the battery. According to Fambro the all-electric Aptera is expected to go roughly 120 miles on a full charge, while the series hybrid will travel 600 miles on a full battery and a full tank of gas — the equivalent of 300 mpg.

High Mileage + High Design

Fambro isn't trying to keep his inspiration source a secret. His MySpace page shows him beside a single-seat plane with a striking resemblance to his automotive creation. This sleek minimalism is what Jason Hill and his design firm (known simply as "11") brought to the Aptera.

Hill was scooped up by Mercedes right after graduating from Pasadena's Art Center College of Design. When he started his own firm 14 years later, Hill was doing special projects for Porsche. And when Fambro approached him with the first incarnation of the Aptera, Hill said "Let me at it."

Hill and his firm were entrusted with not only evolving the fiberglass bird into a consumer-friendly car, but also creating a complete user experience with its own brand identity. Ecological considerations were high on the list, and Hill readily incorporated flooring made from 100 percent recycled soda bottles, as well as seat, door, and overhead fabrics from post-industrial recycled sources.

The Aptera's roof houses a strip of solar cells that serve double duty. In hot weather they power the parked car's air conditioner, keeping the interior cool for when the driver returns. The same solar system also helps charge the central battery, adding supplemental power.

Since the majority of an automobile's energy is spent displacing air and hauling its own weight, a light and slippery design is vital. Hill helped smooth and lighten the Aptera by replacing the side mirrors and rear window with rear-facing cameras that display on three dashboard monitors. The already sleek package is rounded out with slick aesthetic touches, including a glowing exterior logo and accelerator/brake pedals embossed with plus and minus signs.

Fighting the Safety Stigma

Although Asian automakers have taken an early lead when it comes to greener cars, American automotive ingenuity is catching up fast. The spark, though, isn't coming from Detroit, but from comparatively microscopic startups fueled by Silicon Valley capital. One of Aptera's key investors is Idealab, better known for software than cars. Jumping into the game with Detroit's big hitters is no small thing, so these nimble companies are finding ways to fast-track their projects.

One favored method is to make three-wheeled vehicles that technically classify as motorcycles. Unburdened from the DOT's myriad safety criteria, small companies can proceed with far fewer hurdles. Makers of the ZAP! Alias, VentureOne and Carver One electric cars are all pursuing three-wheeled success.

But doubts about safety and road-worthiness are a common criticism from both consumers and competitors. Speaking at the brainy Gadgetoff conference, the co-founder of Tesla Motors, Martin Eberhard, showed video of the $100,000 Tesla electric Roadster in successful crash tests. Eberhard quipped that this is the difference between a product like his, and a "three-wheeled imaginary car that would never be safe on the highway."

Aptera founder Fambro insists his vehicle is not an overgrown motorcycle, and that it's every bit as safe as a comparable car. Within its fiberglass shell is a steel and aluminum safety cage inspired by Formula One racecars, and the Aptera's airbags are encased within its seatbelts. The Aptera also has a particularly wide wheelbase to provide stability, a 45-inch front crumple zone, and a cockpit that sits higher off the road than you'd expect, giving better visibility. Fambro says the Aptera has "performed beautifully" in computer-based crash tests. Next comes the real thing.

Step Right Up

For early adopters wanting to reserve an Aptera, the company is accepting $500 refundable deposits (they've received 400 to date). The financial commitment will guarantee a customer dibs on the first round of vehicles, and will also help Aptera judge which powertrain is more desirable.

If the Aptera comes to life, an all-electric and highway-ready car for under $30,000 will certainly change the game. Fambro and Hill are dead-set on seeing the Aptera through to commercial reality. "It's not just a show car that a manufacturer puts out and then you never see again," says Hill. "The Aptera is 90-percent production ready."

From Jacob Gordon at



As wealthy early adopters anticipate the summer of 2008 when they hope to take delivery of the first Tesla Roadsters, another company is ramping up to produce an electric vehicle to make your hair stand on end. The car is the ZAP-X, and its maker, ZAP!, claims it will do 0-60 in 4.8 seconds, charge in ten minutes, and go 350 miles on a full "tank" of electrons. The ZAP-X is supposed to cost around $50,000; plus, being that it's a small SUV, your family can come along for the ride.

Even though ZAP!, the Santa Rosa-based electric vehicle dealer, is happy to accept your $25,000 reservation fee, neither the ZAP-X nor its smaller sister, the ZAP Alias, actually exists yet. Not even as working prototypes. Between the lofty performance claims and ZAP!'s mixed financial history (which includes a bout of Chapter 11 back in 2002), it is no wonder that staunch car realists are inclined to apply the vaporware label. But some intriguing recent developments including new battery technology (the linchpin of EV success) have made the story noticeably more believable.


ZAP! makes and sells small neighborhood electric vehicles, scooters, and ATVs; the company has never designed or built a highway-ready car of its own. So rather than reinvent the wheel, the company approached Lotus Engineering. "Use your imagination," ZAP! told Lotus. "Design this car as if you were building it for yourself."

Britain's Lotus Engineering is a known go-to source for automotive problem solving and has been involved in the realization of many automakers' mass-market vehicles, not just temperamental supercars. Lotus loves a challenge. Furthermore, the design consultancy carried out the engineering work that made the Tesla Roadster possible and so has wrestled with the EV conundrum at least once before.

What Lotus first handed over to ZAP! was not a car but a multivolume technical assessment, "5 or 6 phonebooks thick," that laid the groundwork for what Schneider calls "the most technologically advanced electric vehicle in history." Schneider is not shy about using superlatives, but if he is correct, the secret behind this visionary line of cars lies in the frame, the motors, and the batteries.

The APX Architecture

Back when the ZAP-X was still a brainstorm, there was talk of it being a two-seater sports car like the Tesla Roadster. It wasn't until ZAP! executives were strolling through the Lotus Engineering lab that the idea clicked to use the Aluminum Performance Crossover (APX) prototype that Lotus had already developed. It is the light and rigid APX design that ZAP! proudly unveiled at the convention of the National Automotive Dealers' Association in February. Going with Lotus' aluminum frame and shooting for a small SUV instead of a lighter sports car is ambitious, and has made the challenge as well as the ultimate marketability even higher.

Wheel Hub Motors

Making room for more passengers and more mass in the ZAP-X means packing in more batteries and more power. Lotus' solution was to scrap the idea of a central electric powerhouse altogether and replace it with wheel hub motors: four separate motors—no bigger than standard brake drums—that sit in the hubs themselves. According to Schneider, PML Flightlink's motors are "without question the most advanced wheel hub motors in the world."

Wheel hub motors are supposed to bring higher performance, faster stopping, and more efficient regenerative braking, but the only major automaker to seriously consider them, Mitsubishi, has since backed off. PML Flightlink, ZAP!'s provider of choice, has so far retrofitted two plug-in hybrid MINI Coopers with hub motors, but nothing has been commercialized. By definition, putting the motors in the four wheels of the ZAP-X makes it an all-wheel-drive vehicle, and by eliminating the need for a transmission, driveline, rear axle, and conventional brakes, it opens up more space for the muscle of the ZAP-X: the battery pack.

Lithium Polymer Nano Batteries

Electric cars have been around for almost a century. They are not complex beasts, at least in theory, but battery performance and range have held things back. The Tesla Roadster is such a leap forward not because it can do 0-60 in around four seconds, but because it can go more than 200 miles between charges (recently revised from 250).

ZAP! hopes to be a major contributor to the evolution of the electric car by introducing cutting edge nanotech lithium polymer batteries that are safer, longer lasting, faster charging, and capable of storing more energy than anything on the market today. CEO Steve Schneider recently returned from China, where lithium battery production is growing fast, and announced that the company had partnered with Advanced Battery Technologies and made an initial $5.3 million battery purchase.

ZAP! will introduce li-poly batteries first in the XEBRA (its three-wheeled neighborhood car) and then in the ZAP-X and Alias. ZAP! also unveiled plans to open a joint development center with Advanced Battery Technologies in Beijing. ABT's lithium polymer technology uses nano particles that offer significantly higher surface area within battery cells. At a rapid charging station the ZAP-X will theoretically reach full capacity in ten minutes. At a conventional 110-volt home outlet the car will reach roughly 80% in the first hour and top off in about six.

The ZAP Alias

To push the envelope yet further, ZAP! announced in June that a smaller, leaner EV is due out before the arrival of the ZAP-X. Also designed by Lotus Engineering and using much of the same technology as the SUV, the Alias will be built on a three-wheel platform. ZAP! claims the Alias will travel 100 miles on a charge, top out at 100 mph, and cost $30,000 or less. Its tricycle design technically classifies it a motorcycle, therefore bypassing mountains of Department of Transportation regulation. Steve Schneider says the Alias will have all the safety features it needs and more, but since they are not legally required, the production can be fast-tracked. "Half the Lotus crew wants the first ones off the line," he said.

So What Happens Now?

To see if ZAP! can be a major player in the much-awaited electric vehicle revolution, we can only wait and watch. These two cars sound almost too good to be true, and in some respects they almost certainly are. ZAP! has broken promises in the past (in 2005 it scrapped plans to bring Smart cars to the U.S.), and is still $50 million short of the $395 million it will take to produce the ZAP-X and the Alias. But then again, all the pieces just might fall into place this time. The publicly traded company has drive, Chinese nano batteries, and a cacophony of media buzz.

At company headquarters in downtown Santa Rosa, Steve Schneider has a room full of rare electric vehicles. Some, like the original electric Smart car, are models now defunct. Others are in production but are limited specialty items like the three-wheeled, one-seater Corbin Sparrow. In that room is an important lesson in American EV history, a reminder that the revolution has been attempted but hasn't actually happened yet. Catalyzing the revolution is exactly what ZAP! has in mind.

From Jacob Gordon at


The idea is deceptively simple. Forget about fancy batteries, regenerative braking, and alternative fuels. Instead, make a car that's elegant in its minimalism and efficiency. The Loremo's German designers revisited the basics — engine efficiency, low weight, and minimal drag — to create a car that offers fuel-efficiency in the neighborhood of 130 to 150 miles per gallon. The Loremo is likely to dazzle drivers not with its acceleration, but with its ability to drive from New York to L.A. with only three stops at the pump.

Loremo stands for low resistance mobile, and its engineers have stuck obsessively to this idea. By building the car around a 2-cylinder turbodiesel engine, and cutting back on weight, drag, and other excess fat such as side-opening doors, the Loremo puffs out a mere 50 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer. This is about 40 grams less per kilometer than the tiny diesel smart. According to its creators, this will make the Loremo the most efficient production car ever sold.

If the Loremo showed up as a concept on an auto show pedestal, it would certainly garner some attention. But the Loremo is not a car for dreamers; not only will it enter mass production next year, it will sport a base price attainable by mortal motorists: 15,000 euros (about U.S. $22,000).

After its 2009 release in Europe, the Loremo will be redesigned to reach the North American market the following year. A $30,000, 3-cylinder GT model will also become available, offering better acceleration (0-60 in roughly 10 seconds, vs. 16 for the base model). Both hybrid and fully electric versions are also in the works.

Driving Simplicity

While the Loremo goes back to basics to come up with triple-digit fuel economy, it took some outside-the-box thinking to get there. The most striking difference is the way passengers enter, with the car's front end yawning forward — hood, windshield, and steering column included. Upon settling in, the front end closes, swinging the dashboard, touch-screen display, and steering wheel back into position. The driver is then surrounded by a minimalist design aesthetic not unlike the ultra-efficient Aptera, but with a bit more Germanic twist.

Opening the trunk hatch reveals two rear-facing "youth" seats, both of which are removable to free up storage space. Seating in front is also snug, with the driver and front passenger nearly shoulder to shoulder.

If it sounds like the Loremo boasts all the disadvantages of a sports car (tight squeeze, low headroom, awkward entry) sans the adrenaline rush, its winning traits may be undeniable efficiency and modest cost. And validation could be on the horizon. The Loremo was one of the first cars entered in the Automotive X PRIZE, a high-profile contest offering a purse of $10 million or more for a vehicle that can prove 100-mile-per-gallon performance as well as economic viability. Luckily for the Loremo, it's not a drag race.

Gerhard Heilmaier, CEO of the Munich-based Loremo AG, says that a car's weight is the key factor in making it green, no matter what the fuel: "Cars need to be downsized. Why do we need two tons of steel to bring a 180-pound human from one place to another? That must change."

Running the Loremo on biodiesel (a vegetable-based diesel substitute) is an attractive option, but Heilmaier insists that efficiency comes before all else. "The first step must be to reduce the amount of energy you need. The second step is to choose which energy it is. Even electric vehicles are not zero emission. Think of where the electricity is coming from."

The Diesel Returns

While American carmakers have greened their vehicles mostly with hybrid-electric drives and ethanol fuel, Europe has been refining the rugged diesel engine and accentuating its high fuel-efficiency to cut greenhouse gasses and stanch oil consumption. Now it seems that American interest in diesel cars and SUVs is on the rise, with companies such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, BMW, and even Honda (the hybrid runner-up) bringing their diesel offerings to U.S. drivers. "The European diesels are really very civilized," says David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research, "and they have excellent engines."

At this year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Audi chairman Rupert Stadler unveiled the R8 V12 diesel sports car, telling his American audience that Audi is now "challenging the final piece of conventional wisdom" about diesel-powered cars. BMW also took the opportunity to foreshadow the arrival of more diesel cars and SUVs.

As gas prices rise and fuel economy laws stiffen, Americans continue to jump into hybrids with green stars in their eyes (in 2007, the Prius outsold the Ford Explorer). But even if the Loremo isn't exactly what American drivers are looking for, this staggeringly efficient car could serve as a powerful symbol of how far the diesel engine can go, and help break through some of that smoggy "conventional wisdom."

From Jacob Gordon at



These pictures show the €1 million (£750,000) prototype, which can dive to a depth of 10m, in action off the coast of Florida.

It was the brainchild of concept car designer Frank Rinderknecht, 52, who said: "For three decades I have tried to imagine how it might be possible to build a car that can fly under water. Now we have made this dream come true."

He added: "Everybody knows James Bond and the Esprit but it was always just fiction. We thought, 'Let's do something everybody knows but nobody has tried.'"

The team at his firm Rinspeed replaced the petrol engine with three electric motors, one to power the rear wheels and two for the specially designed propellers. They are capable of taking it to 75mph on land, a more sedate 4mph while cruising in "boat" mode and a positively tranquil 2mph while underwater.

The company also claims that the car is extremely "green" as well, as it is a zero-emission vehicle powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

Unlike the Bond original, which featured an enclosed passenger cabin, the modern version has an open top with the occupants exposed to the elements.

The Swiss car designer explained: "The passenger compartment is three square metres of air - you'd need to add about three metric tonnes of added weight to pull it down under the surface.

"That would give it the land mobility of a turtle."

The second reason for having an open cabin is safety: "Even at one metre depth, the water pressure would keep the doors closed so you could not get out in an emergency."

Although one would expect the car to sink like a stone, special compartments have been filled with foam to ensure it floats.

"The car will come to the surface by itself," said Mr Rinderknecht.

"It is basically unsinkable."

Rather than achieving neutral buoyancy with weighting, the propellers drive it downwards so that if it were to stop it would rise up.

Once under water, its occupants breath air coming from an integrated tank of compressed air similar to that used by scuba divers.

The vehicle can stay under water "until you run out of air or battery power," which is about two hours.

The designer said the sensation was just like scuba diving - in a car.

He said: "It's a special feeling."

While some might quibble that on land the sQuba is not fast enough, he said the main aim was to demonstrate its aquatic potential.

"We could have made it a lot quicker by using a bigger model with more batteries but that wasn't the issue," he said.

"The focus was really on it going underwater."

Sadly, those taken by the sQuba may never be able to get their hands on it as there are no plans to put it into production.

"It's a tradition that we produce a concept car for the Geneva Motor Show," said the designer, whose firm makes its money making concept cars and parts for the mainstream motor industry, and tuning Porsches.

"We don't plan to build it, even in a limited capacity," he admitted.

"But if someone wants to take up the project that would be great. I'm sure there will be people interested in buying one."

A spokesman for Lotus, which is not involved in the project, said: "We are delighted that they have chosen to use the Elise."

written by Stephen Adams for the TELEGRAPH



Sorry, no pictures for the RM Auction in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It will be held at the Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. Lots of nice cars on their site and mostly American. Check it out at:





Starting off the new year in the United Kingdom:

Sandown Park Exhibition Complex, Esher, Surrey, United Kingdom

+44 (0) 23 8066 8413




1939 TALBOT T120

1953 BMW

And this from Artcurial:

+33 (0)1 42 99 20 21

1955 MERCEDES 300 SL





February round-up for Bonhams:

+33 (0) 1 42 61 10 11

1948 ALFA ROMEO 6C 2500