THE PENSKE RACING MUSEUM
Should you find yourself in Arizona this winter, escaping the snow and cold of the north, The Penske Racing Museum is located in Phoenix. The museum celebrates 40 years of Team Penske, named after Roger Penske, a stalwart owner in Indy car and Nascar racing, with a collection of vintage cars and memorabilia. Open daily and here is the buzz-word....it is 'FREE.'
7125 East Chauncey Lane
photo credit: © 2012 google.com
1960 ALFA ROMEO
This 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2dr Sprint Speciale . It is equipped with a Manual transmission. The vehicle is Red with a Gray Leather interior. It is offered As-Is, not covered by a warranty. - 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale Chassis No. 10120.0239 Motor No. AR100526.53562 Body No. 241 *Original (matching #s) 1300cc SS motor included #AR00120.00634 Beautiful example of the sought after Alfa Romeo SS Outstanding Driver or Local Show Candidate Ideal for Tours and Rallies throughout the world! The Sprint Speciale was originally based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. The Giulietta Sprint Speciale was a more upscale version of the normal Sprint and featured a smooth, 2-door gran turismo body by Bertone. In the efforts to make the SS as light as possible, the wheelbase was made four inches shorter than the Sprints. Since it was intended for competition use, the SS only had room for two people and a limited amount of storage for luggage all attributing to an impressive drag coefficient equal to a modern C6 corvette. Manufactured on the 19th October 1960 and sold new on the October, 28 1960 to Hoffman Motor Car Co., New York, U.S.A., chassis number AR 00239 originally corresponds to an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale USA (101.17). Finished in Ruby Red paintwork, over gray leather upholstery with matching red accents and piping, this particular SS received a complete restoration to near factory aesthetics, while enhancing the power plant for strenuous touring. Post-restoration, the car has received top awards at events such as AutoItalia at Portofino and Greenwich Concours International. Today, the Giulietta presents as an outstanding driver or local show candidate. Typical minor cosmetic blemishes are visible in areas, but overall the car has great appeal. The paint is in beautiful condition and has excellent panel fit throughout and outstanding trim, rubbers, bright work and original glass. Restored wheels are mounted on Michelin X Radials with polished original hubcaps. The cabins upholstery and carpeting is beautiful as is the tight trimmed dash leather, a period radio is fitted. The engine compartment is very nicely detailed and an inspection of the undercarriage reveals that the car is very original with much recent attention-service to the shocks, brakes, and lines. All of the lights, wipers, horn, and interior lights are working properly as they should. Correct body numbers are identifiable on both door jams and above the firewall. The car performs as strong and smooth as the striking cosmetics imply. A tuned 1600cc Giulia Super motor with dual 40DC Webers currently powers the Alfa, while the original (matching #s) 1300cc SS motor accompanies in crate (#AR00120.00634). The transmission is very strong including the synchromesh second gear, which is often a problem in early Alfas. The brakes are responsive as is the suspension and tight steering. All components show very minimal signs of wear, as the car has been continuously maintained and garaged. This car has been owned by great East Coast collectors and is said to be the featured car in the July 1961 Road and Track test drive article. An original issue is included in the sale. Above all, the Giulia SSs appeal lies in its good looks and driving pleasure. It continues to be one of the most recognizable and collectable post-war Alfa Romeos to date. *A ready to use Alfa SS in striking color combination!
Located in Texas........1-261-497-1000
photo credit: © 2012 classiccars.com
text credit: © 2012 classiccars.com
1936 MERCEDES-BENZ 540K
I am sure all will agree that at $11,770,000 (including premium) that is some big bucks. Although, not as much as last year's winner at over 16 million dollars. This car was sold at the Gooding & Company auction in California in August. Reportedly it drives like a truck and is in terrible running condition. Hopefully the new owner will it is out for public viewing on occation. Some people hide them and others enjoy them. In following auctions for the last 30 years I have seen cars that have disappeared for 10 - 15 year gaps. Some are probably gone for the rest of my lifetime, depending on the age of the owner. Next month starts the round of auctions for 2013, sure to bring some surprises.
photo credit: © 2012 Gooding & Company
This work offers the memoirs of Grand Prix's on-track doctor, Professor Sid Watkins. If there is a crash, it is Watkins who gets there first. He is closely involved in improving safety at the circuits and in developing rapid response medical rescue.
MACH 5 FROM SPEEDRACER
UNTIL JANUARY 6, 2013:
Petersen Automotive Museum
6060 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, California
top photo credit: © 2012 Petersen Automotive Museum
2 and 3 photo credit: justacarguy.blogspot.com
1949 FORD 'WOODIE'
1949 Ford Custom "Woodie" Beach Wagon, only 38,977 original miles on the odometer! This car is finished in a very attractive Arabian Green (looks blue) and has a beautiful offsetting tan interior. The seats have aesthetically pleasing seat covers installed but the original upholstery is underneath and in very acceptable condition. In addition, the car has its original wood paneling - both inside and out - that is both beautiful and remarkable. Overall, this car is in excellent conditionl, there are a couple of bumps and dings but nothing of any consequence - breathtaking!
This car is a throwback to the fifties and really belongs in California transporting avid surfers to and from the beach. It has a working heater, a clock that does not work and an AM radio that needs a tube or two; this could be converted to AM/FM if one wanted. There is carpeting installed where originally there were black rubber mats; the car has never had any serious rust and it has always been used as a summer car. It was used during the summer from 1949 to 1958 and still sports a 1958 Massachusetts inspection sticker. It is our understanding that it was then stored in a barn with a wooden floor, where it stayed for 40 years.
Located in Massachusetts........1-978-771-8375
photo credit: © 2012 hemmings.com
edited text credit: © 2012 hemmings.com
Chris Gilmour is an English artist specialising in the creation of life-sized sculptures made of recycled cardboard and glue, using both plain packaging cardboard and recycled packaging material. His works replicate in painstaking detail many objects and machines out of our ordinary lives, ranging from objects from daily life, such as bicycles, motorbikes, cars, cafetieres, chairs, etc. to small models of religious architecture.
Through his career and artistic development, there has been a progression in the choice of objects portrayed by Gilmour, which go from smaller domestic items to objects which are larger and belong to a broader cultural context like the Fiat 500, the Lambretta and the James Bond Aston Martin.
1 and 3 photo credit: ©2012 typepad.com
2 photo credit: © 2012 chrisgilmour.com
4 photo credit: ©2012 amusingplanet.com
5 photo credit: © 2012 telegraph.co.uk
edited text credit: © 2012 wikipedia.com
1903 FORD AND BILL FORD JR.
One of the oldest surviving cars sold by Ford Motor Co. is back in the hands of the Ford family.
Bill Ford Jr., executive chairman of the Dearborn automaker, was the winning bidder — spending $264,000 — in an auction earlier this fall for an original 1903 Ford Model A Rear Entry Tonneau.
"The timing was perfect to bring this key part of Ford heritage back to the family as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of my great-grandfather's birth and his vision to improve people's lives by making cars affordable for the average family," Bill Ford said in a statement Tuesday.
"His vision to build cars that are reasonably priced, reliable and efficient still resonates and defines our vision today as well."
Previously, the winning bidder of the October auction in Hershey, Pa., had not been revealed by RM Auctions, an automobile auction house.
The car is now in Dearborn, where it will help kick off a yearlong celebration of the 150th anniversary of Henry Ford's birth. Henry Ford was founder of Ford Motor Co.
A series of events will take place next year as part of the commemoration. Ford has started a website — www.henryford150.com — as part of the celebration.
The Model A Rear Entry Tonneau sold for less than half of its 2007 closing bid of $630,000, according to RM Auctions. It had last gone to auction in 2010, receiving a high bid of $325,000, but that amount did not meet the auction reserve.
The eight-horsepower cars, sold by Ford from July 1903 to March 1904, originally retailed for $850, according to an archived ad on the website EarlyFordRegistry.com.
"With its provenance, and it's an early one, it's a great little car," Carlton Pate III, a collector of antique cars and author of "Pate's Early Ford Automobile Encyclopedia," said after the auction. "It's also got a little history behind it."
Pate said Ford records show this Model A is not the oldest car Ford sold, because there was at least one other car shipped the same day. He said automobiles at the time were stamped with as many as four separate serial numbers in different places, which makes it difficult to determine exactly which surviving car is the oldest.
The Model A has had five owners during its 11-decade lifespan, the most recent being John O'Quinn, a Houston trial lawyer who died in a 2009 auto accident. The Model A was one of about 1,200 automobiles in O'Quinn's vintage collection.
The car comes with extensive documentation which details its history and condition. RM said the car has performed "flawlessly," including during the famous London to Brighton Veteran Car Run in 2003, the same year the car turned 100 years old.
The engine underwent a complete and professional rebuild prior to O'Quinn's acquisition in 2007.
RM has said the car retains all of its original early features, including the rare Kingston carburetor and the original coil box stamped No. 30.
An RM vehicle description said Henry Ford and an associate originally placed part orders for the 1903 Model A which included car bodies with C.R. Wilson Carriage Co. at a cost of $68 each; wheels from W.K. Pruden Wheel Co. at $26 per set; and tires from Hartford Rubber Co. at $40 per set.
The Dodge Brothers supplied Ford's chassis and running gear at $250 each.
EarlyFordRegistry.com said 677 of the original closed-rear Model A cars were produced; an additional 1,131 updated open-rear Model A with a 10-horsepower engine and improved cooling were also produced.
photo credit: 2012 The Detroit News
text credit: Karl Henke via 2012 detnews.com
As reports continue to trickle in about the incredible number cars lost to Sandy (I spoke to a Geico specialist a couple of days ago who said they have 40,000 claims in the Northeast*), we’re also hearing about more and more collector cars with some degree of damage.
So let’s start with the image above. The car’s been washed off, it looks fine! Are you sure it was in storm surge up to the windshield?
Engine bay doesn’t look bad
Interior seems to have survived
Rear passenger compartment doesn’t seem too bad
But that’s not a good sign. The longer you look, the more unfortunate little things you see
Like all the little rust spots in the chrome
Silt in the trunk
This is where it started to get really scary for me. Sure, painted surfaces are holding up, but that rust isn’t just at the edges of the holes – it’s extending out from between the two pieces of metal, where there are two unpainted surfaces.
I hate this photo. It’s like an MRI of a cancer patient. This is just the glove box – think of what’s going inside the sills and door pillars, which filled up with salt water and are probably still wet. You can see how that happened inside the glove box door, and that bottom corner is already almost gone. This is just one of thousands of cars slowly dying from the inside out.
Collector-car insurance agencies are saying that about 10,000 “special” cars were damaged, which includes collector cars; and high-end late model cars.
photo credit: Phil Parisi via Bob Sekelsky
edited text credit: David Adolphus via 2012 hemmings.com
I was down at auto shop recently, and spotted a couple of cars out back. It turns out they were Hurricane Sandy victims, an Aston Martin Lagonda and Vanquish, both of which were fully submerged. Of course, until insurance settles up, they’re not going to do anything with them, just two of what must be hundreds of collector cars damaged in October. Autosport’s Tom Papadopoulos told me the Lagonda was one of the best in the country before the superstorm. If high water ever threatens your car, get it to the third story of a parking garage if you can. In the worst areas, the second story wasn’t high enough. Of course, there are parts of the coast where no structure would have helped.
The Lagonda will be restored. No word on the Vanquish, but as many have pointed out, the need to replace every single piece of electronics may result in a write-off. It was very last Lagonda imported into the US, and the last LHD Lagonda produced. It was one of the best in the world.
photo credit: David Adolphus
edited text credit: David Adolphus via 2012 hemmings.com
With Hurricane Sandy being cleaned up, thousands of cars – including collector cars such as the Aston Martins I recently spotted – will soon start to move through the salvage system. Few will be crushed – most will either be repaired; or written off. After that, they end up being rebuilt and sold with a salvage or rebuilt title.
Except, sometimes that somehow either doesn’t happen; or it gets whitewashed though a series of shady transactions. If your VIN check doesn’t turn anything up but you’re still suspicious, trust your instincts and start digging in. I’ve put together some bullet points to check, including suggestions from NADA and National Consumers League. What other tips – or horror stories – do you have?
Title and VIN
Enter the VIN at the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) at VehicleHistory.gov. All insurers, salvage pools, junkyards, recyclers and self-insured entities such as rental car companies in all 50 states are required by law to report total loss vehicles to NMVTIS within 30 days. Many are reporting daily. Vehicle histories can be obtained for between $3 and $13.
It’s up to you if you buy a Flood, Junk, Salvage, Rebuilt or Reconstructed title – I’ve warned you, you know what you’re getting into. But again, titlewashing across state lines happens. Watch out for physical alteration of the actual title, too – you know, cutting and pasting, white-out, whatever. You need to hold that piece of paper in your hand.
Be wary of buying a car sight unseen. It’s laughably easy to alter a digital image of a title or VIN. You or someone you trust needs to see the car, its VIN and documentation in person before you commit one cent.
Even if there are no other red flags, a Carfax can also tell you that a car was registered in Staten Island or Atlantic City in October 2012. By itself that might not mean anything, but if you’re building a case it’s a nice piece of evidence. Reporting for these is far from perfect, but it helps.
If you’re buying from a dealer with any kind of warranty, get it in writing. This applies to new cars, as well.
Just Google the VIN. You’d be surprised how often you can find old dealer auctions. Learn to use Google’s cache to find old records that the auction company itself has deleted.
Salt water is vastly worse than fresh.
Any funny smell, whether mold or mildew; or from the inch-thick stack of Little Trees hanging from the mirror to mask it.
Mold or mildew itself.
Discolored, bleeding or redyed upholstery.
Condensation in the gauges, radio or exterior lamps.
Inoperable speakers, or fresh sealant around the door panels.
Burned-out bulbs in the interior or trunk.
Silt or residue in the interior under carpeting, under the dash, in the steering column, rear seats, spare-tire well, gauges or door pockets.
Water marks, rust or evaporation residue (i.e., salt) in the same places. Just reach up under the bottom of the plastic dash cover and run your finger in there.
Gritty or erratic power-window or seat operation.
Hard starting, rough running or hesitation.
Thin clearcoat or chrome from overpolishing; scratches and touchups from grit.
Bulging dash and door panels.
Rust on screws in the console or other areas where the water would normally not reach unless submerged.
Seat tracks can hold many clues, whether they’re rusting, or have sand in them.
Mud or grit in alternator crevices, behind wiring harnesses and around the small recesses of starter motors, power steering pumps and relays.
Any damage to wiring connections, fuses and blocks, including rust, water residue or suspicious corrosion.
Undercarriage rust and flaking metal that would not normally be associated with late model vehicles.
Freshly replaced exhaust in a late-model vehicle; or corroded exhaust. Exhaust is another good place to hunt for silt.
If you don’t feel confident doing your own inspection, you probably aren’t reading this blog…but any good local shop will do it.
photo credit: Mike Baird via 2012 hemmings.com
edited text credit: David Adolphus via 2012 hemmings.com
Junior formula car standout JDC MotorSports has announced that paralyzed racer Michael Johnson will again be part of its multi-car title challenge in the 2013 edition of the Cooper Tires USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda series, and will move up with the team into the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear in 2014.
Building on this momentum, the junior formula car rising star will reunite with JDC MotorSports for a second season of USF2000 Championship, focused on challenging for race wins and a series title. Johnson and JDC MotorSports have also confirmed he will remain with the Minnesota-based team in 2014, progressing up the Mazda Road to Indy ladder to the Star Mazda Championship. Michael Johnson Racing, in preparation for the move. has already acquired a Star Mazda car, which will now be converted by JDC MotorSports - with the input of INDYCAR and the Star Mazda Championship - to a hand control set up for 2014.
JDC MotorSports and Johnson will officially commence their 2013 season on February 5-6, when the No. 54 Universal Coating/SpeediCath/FlatOutNation.com/Red Line Oil/ Bell Racing/Alpinestars JDC MotorSports entry takes to Sebring International Raceway for the opening three races of the Cooper Tires Winterfest.
photo credit: 2012 indycar.com
edited text: 2012 indycar.com
The Lotus Exige-based Hennessy Venom GT2, a derivative of the Venom GT which already had what Gizmag's Jack Martin described as "the most spectacular set of numbers of any supercar: 1200 horsepower shoehorned into a mid-engined chassis that weighs just twelve hundred kilos (2,685 lbs)."
So in case you're not aware, the 2012 model 1200 bhp 1200 kg Hennessy Venom GT already has power-to-weight parity, and as Martin irreverently observed in the same article, makes the "267 mph 1888 kg Bugatti Veyron GT look obese."
The current Venom GT weighs considerably less than the current "king of the road", the Bugatti Veyron Supersport, which owns the world speed record for production vehicles at 267mph. The Bugatti has less horsepower (1184 bhp), and is 50% heavier, tipping the scales at 1,888 kg (4,162 lbs). By comparison, the Venom GT2's 7.0L twin turbo V8 produces 1500 hp on E85 pump fuel, giving it 1.2 bhp per kilogram of kerb weight (2743 lbs) and a projected top speed of 287 mph.
The GT2 has a number of other features designed to make it more accessible than could be reasonably expected of what will possibly be the fastest car in the world when it is released, thanks to its power output (a claimed 1500 horses) and aerodynamic efficiency (aerodynamic improvements to the side mirrors, roof and front air-dam have lowered the Cd from 0.44 to 0.42).
For starters, the new double bubble roof shape means increased headroom for taller drivers and the price of the Venom GT2 will be considerably less than any of its direct competitors at US$1.25 million.
Production of the Venom GT2 will be limited to seven vehicles. Applications should be accompanied by a urine sample and a letter from the local vicar.
photo credit: 2012 gizmag.com
edited text: 2012 Mike Hanlon via 2012 gizmag.com
Note to sellers of cloned collector cars: Not only do you have to worry about facing criminal charges for misrepresenting a cloned car, but there’s also the very real possibility of having to answer to a civil lawsuit should you get caught. And if you lose, as in the recent case of an Australian couple sued for selling a faked car, you may even have to refund the difference between a real and fake car to the unlucky buyer.
Late last year, Judge Clive Wall in the District Court in Southport, Queensland, ordered Joanne and Geoff De Rome of Gold Coast to pay AUS $108,394.04 (about U.S. $107,200) to Daniel Sammut, a Sydney-based graphic designer who bought (what was advertised as) a 1969 Ford Falcon XW GT from the De Romes. According to the lawsuit that Sammut brought against the couple, they had bought the car in July 2006 for $18,000, then in the fall of 2007 advertised it for sale as a matching numbers all-original Falcon XW GT for $143,000. Sammut answered the ad, flew to inspect the Falcon in person (twice, the second time with his paint and body guy to inspect the car for rust), and checked the Falcon’s VIN against Ford of Australia’s records to make sure it was a legitimate car. Once the VIN checked out, he negotiated a sale price of $90,000 with the De Romes in October of that year and trailered it back to Sydney.
Built in 1969 and 1970, the Falcon XW remained based on the U.S. Ford Falcon, but had been extensively re-engineered for Australia and New Zealand. Base versions could be had with six-cylinders or 302-cu.in. V-8s, while the high-performance GT version added racing stripes, an offset hood scoop and a 291hp 351 Windsor V-8. Of the more than 105,000 XW Falcons that Ford built, 2,287 were GTs, and it was the GT that enjoyed rising prices among Australian collector car enthusiasts in the pre-recession 2000s.
Two years later, when Sammut attempted to sell the car, it came to light that the Falcon was not an authentic GT. Instead, somebody had taken a non-GT 1970 Falcon XW and replaced its firewall-mounted VIN with one from a 1969 Falcon XW GT (JG33JC37792); a later X-ray examination of the firewall showed that the area around the VIN tag had been cut and welded back together. Who exactly performed the cloning work remains undetermined; the De Romes claimed they did nothing to the car while they owned it save for an engine rebuild and camshaft replacement. According to expert testimony given to the court, a non-GT Falcon XW is worth between AUS $10,000 and AUS $15,000, compared to the current value of a Falcon XW GT, about AUS $65,000 to AUS $70,000.
Sammut, who apparently was unable to sell the Falcon or bought it back when it was revealed to be a fake, held on to the car and sued the De Romes for breach of contract, asking for the difference in value between what he paid for the car and its current value. Adding in the expenses he incurred traveling to see the car and towing it to Sydney as well as interest on the amount for those two years and court costs totaled AUS $108,394.04. The De Romes – who the judge determined likely didn’t know the car was a clone – appealed the ruling, but abruptly withdrew that appeal late last week.
It’s believed the De Romes have less than a month to file civil suit against previous owners of the Falcon for misrepresenting it to them before the statute of limitations runs out.
photo credit: 2012 hemmings.com
text credit: 2012 Dan Strohl via 2012 hemmings.com via Lindsay Wilson
SEBASTIAN VETTEL - 2012 WORLD CHAMPION
Its over, and what a race! If Formula One was always like the last two races everyone would watch. Brazil is almost always exciting which is why it is the last race on the schedule. To leave everyone on a high note. The added attraction was that it was the deciding race for the 2012 World Championship. That doesn't always happen, but I am sure that most fans like it to hold off until the last race. Vettel and Alonso were the only two that had a chance with Vettel 13 points up on Alonso. Since races in Brazil hardly ever escape rain that was going to be a factor. Both of these drivers are good in the rain.
Starting right in the first lap Vettel got punted, turning him around on the course and dropping him to 22nd. Being the excellent driver that he is he made it through the pack to 6th place. And then disaster...a problem on a tire change delayed him in the pits. Came back out in 17th place. Oh, well, he just had to start over. Through the pack again to 6th place where he stayed until the end of the race. Sixth place was just enough to make him the champion by 3 points. Vettel is the youngest driver to claim three championships let alone three in a row.
Alonso came in second which was just not enough....he needed a first place. Following him was his teammate Massa who has had a terrific last half of the season. Massa cried on the podium, Brazil is his home country and it was a long road to get there. First place went to Jensen Button. After Hamilton got nerffed Button was there to grab the top spot.
Kudos go to Nico Hulkenberg from Force India who led the race from lap 19 to lap 55 when he slipped into Hamilton. They gave him a penalty which I disagree with. He slid into Hamilton in the rain....cars were sliding all over the place. He had to do a pit drive-thru at 60 miles per hour which cost him about 25 seconds. By the end of the race he was back in fifth place. If he had won it would have been a huge accomplishment for both team and driver.
Michael Schumacher drove his last race, going into his second retirement. Looks like quite a few drivers don't have seats for next year. Some drivers are jumping to other teams. Most notable is Hamilton leaving McLaren for Mercedes, Perez leaving Sauber for McLaren and Hulkenberg leaving Force India for Sauber. Right now I'll bet Force India is thinking that they didn't make the right decision by letting Hulkenberg go. I am sure there will be some new drivers next year.
All in all, it was a great year for Formula One. Of course there are some races that just don't cut it, but a great year anyway. As always, I am looking forward to next year.
FELIPE MASSA - 3RD, FERNANDO ALONSO - 2ND, JENSEN BUTTON - 1ST
photo credit: 2012 Sutton Images via 2012 gpupdate.net