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  •   Shelby Glenn reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    Lovely - but it will have to go. The #Fiat-130-Coupe is really not my kind of car. I bought it on a whim at Bonhams’ auction at the RAF Museum at Hendon last year. I went there with a view to bidding on an unusually original pre-war #Jaguar SS 2 1/2 Litre saloon - which is much more my usual cup of tea.

    The SS turned out to be not quite as good as I’d hoped, but nestling under the wing of a Lancaster bomber was a #1972 #Fiat 130 Coupe with immaculate metallic blue paintwork and perfect rust- coloured velour upholstery (more than a few teddy bears must have been sacrificed to upholster this car). I’ve never owned a car with velour seats before. Leather seats and a walnut dashboard (except in sporting models) have been my prerequisites.

    The Fiat is not only rather modern for my tastes, it’s also distinctly modernist. At the time, my collection comprised an #Austin-Healey BN6, an #Alvis TD21, a #Jaguar-MkIX a #Daimler V8 250, a Riley RMB and a Jaguar XJ6 Series 1 - all very traditional and very English. These are the sort of cars that demand to be driven in Harris tweeds, unlike the Fiat whose lines should be complemented by a sharp Armani suit - and I can tell you that there’s nothing like that in my wardrobe.

    Despite not ticking any of my usual boxes the one-owner, 50,000-mile Fiat won me over. When I decide to bid on a car I tend not to enter the bidding until the last moment. But once I start I’m usually determined to keep bidding until I’ve bought the car, even if the price exceeds my estimate of its value - the adrenaline flows and I suppose I don’t like to be beaten.
    Reader Ian Dixon-Potter’s #Fiat-130 Coupe was an auction whim. Now he has doubts.

    There was only one other bidder and I acquired the car for a very reasonable £8732 including commission. In the months that followed I’ve become increasingly impressed by the Fiat’s qualities. I’ve even pressed it into use as my everyday car.

    It’s a truly beautiful car in a Seventies sort of way. Unlike some other low-volume grand tourers from early in that decade it has no mechanical weak spots. It’s powered by a smooth, gutsy 3.2-litre V6, has razor sharp steering and beautifully balanced handling. The quality of the internal and external detailing is streets ahead of most Italian cars and you can see why motoring journalists refer to it as the nearest thing to a Rolls-Royce to come out of Italy (it was designed by Paolo Martin who later designed the Camargue).

    You can also see why it cost more than twice the price of a #Jaguar-XJ6 in 1972. There’s something decadent, almost louche, about such a large, powerful two-door car.

    But despite all these merits it’s really not my kind of car and will soon have to find a new owner to make way for an early #Jaguar-E-type . Now that is my kind of car.
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  •   Richard Truesdell reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    1979 Mercedes 450 SL £39,995. This SL stayed longer in the showroom than most, hence the condition and low mileage. Ross Alkureishi.

    It’s one thing to pay a premium for a very low-mileage classic, car but if you’re going to use it regularly you need to factor in recommissioning costs. Thankfully, vendor Sports Car Classics has done just that for the next owner and begun the process of ensuring this example is ready for active service. It’s just back from a visit to a Mercedes-Benz main dealer where it had a full service and general going over, with the original corrosion-prone exhaust tail-box swapped for a fresh stainless-steel item.
    The first owner - a #Mercedes-Benz dealer - parked the #SL in its showroom for advertising purposes for many years, and the next owner didn’t use it very much. The net result is a mere 5862 miles.

    To say that’s reflected in the overall condition is an understatement: the only flaw - inside and out - is where some of the stonechip paint on the underside has begun to flake because of age.

    The Champagne metallic paint is flawless and panel fit is factory-perfect. The chrome- rubber bumpers display no discernible blemishes, while that famous Tri-Star sparkles in the centre of the grille. The alloy wheels - including unused spare - are first class and the car sits on its original, barely used Michelin XMX radial tyres, which should be replaced before regular use.
    Under the bonnet it’s as clean as expected and still sports all-original manufacturer’s stickers. Derriere firmly parked in well- sprung driver’s seat, you luxuriate in the near-new interior. The compelling mixture and quality of wood veneer, leather and cloth is still just as Mercedes-Benz intended.

    The 4.5-litre V8 sparks up first time and settles to a quiet, even tickover. If you’ve never driven an SL, performance is better suited to high-speed cruising than outright sporting shenanigans - although there’s significant poke available when needed.
    Under load this engine pulls impressively strongly through the rev range, and the four-speed automatic gearbox shifts cleanly between ratios. The power steering is finger- light and the suspension devours all road surfaces encountered in a classy manner.
    The disc brakes provide confidence- inspiring stopping power. Fluid temperatures remain fine and the cooling fan kicks in when needed.

    Whipping up the soft-top reveals as-new mohair material and a clear plastic window. Also included is a pristine factory hardtop and ‘ZZ’ registration plate.

    Once seen and driven, buying this 450 SL isn’t going to be the difficult decision; deciding what to do with it is. Do you put it into deep storage, to emerge in a decade or so when prices have risen accordingly? Or do you put this superlative SL straight to work doing what it was designed to? Either way it’s a nice quandary to have.


    ► The #R107 replacement for the ‘Pagoda roof’ #W113 SL arrives in #1970. Models at launch are the 350 SL and a US-spec 450 SL R107 with a 4.5-litre power plant; although the latter has a larger capacity V8 engine, power output is similar to the European model due to additional anti-smog equipment. Both have independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, small rear seats and inertia reel seatbelts.

    ► The 450 SL hits European showrooms in 1973, with 220bhp 4.5-litre V8 thanks to the lack of antismog equipment.
    ► Oil crisis-prompted 280 SL for 1974 has a more economical six-cylinder engine sourced from the 280 SE #W116 saloon, though this model isn't sold in UK until 1980.

    ► Major revision lands in #1980 with alloy-block V8s introduced to power the new 380 and 500 SLs. The 450 SL is dropped to make way for them.

    ► In 1986 the new Europe-only six-cylinder 380 SL and V8 420 SL arrive, while the US gets a 560 SL; all feature bodywork revisions including new front air dams.

    ► Production ends in #1989.

    Mighty 4.5-litre V8 engine delivers its power in a relaxing, quiet manner.
    Interior is absolutely unmarked, as befits a car that’s been showroom-bound for years.

    Car 1979 Mercedes 450 SL R107
    Price £39,995 Contact Sports Car Classics, Tonbridge, Kent (01732 852762, sportscarclassics.
    Engine 4520cc V8, sohc per bank
    Power 225bhp @ 5000rpm
    Torque 279lb ft @ 3000rpm
    Top speed 127mph;
    0-60mph 9.3sec
    Fuel consumption 18mpg
    Length 4394mm
    Width 1790mm
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  •   Delwyn Mallett reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Here’s a question: name the first four permanent motor sport venues in mainland Britain. Most of us know that Shelsley (1905) and Brooklands (1907) came first, followed by Donington (1933). But few know that the fourth, running its inaugural event for cars just 12 months after Donington, was the Scottish hill- climb course of Bo’ness. It had already been used as a motorcycle track since #1933 .

    Between #1934 and #1939 , Bo’ness was so successful that a full road circuit was also drawn up, but finance was never found to build it. When peace returned the hillclimb ran from #1946 until #1966 . Large crowds lined the narrow, twisting course, which halfway up ran through a tight Esses between two private houses and on to the treacherous Snake Bend. In 1947 it organised the first round of the new British Hillclimb Championship, won by the Type 59 #Bugatti of George Abecassis. Stars of that period included Sydney Allard in the air-cooled Steyr-Allard, Dennis Poore with the mighty Grand Prix #Alfa-Romeo 8C, and Bob Gerard, Ken Wharton and Ron Flockhart in ERAs. Later came future World Champions Jimmy Clark, who set FTD in #1959 with the Border Reivers Lister-Jaguar, and the young Jackie Stewart in Barry Filer’s Marcos in 1962.

    Fast-forward 40 years, and a group of keen Scottish enthusiasts persuaded Falkirk Council to help them revive die event. The top section was under a housing estate, so the course was restored with a new start line further down the hill, taking in an extra hairpin. After endless dedicated work the Bo’ness Hillclimb Revival, led by Bill Drysdale, Alex Brown, Kenny Baird and others, ran its first event in 2008. It was excellently organised, yet the delightfully informal atmosphere of how motor sport used to be, 60 or more years ago, prevailed in the paddock and in the well-filled spectator areas up the hill. Fortunately the occupants of the two houses loved it.

    This year’s event, die sevendi, was every bit as good. The full entry ranged from Bransilav Sudjic’s massive 1904 Brasier Gordon Bennett racer to Barrie Bird’s one-off #AC-Bristol Le Mans and George Cooper’s #Cooper-MG - the prototype built by John Cooper for his own use in #1950 . Peter Speakman brought his varied trio of Fisher Specials, built in Edinburgh by the late Jack Fisher and, in his #1971 monocoque single-seater with twin-cam Alfa power, Malcolm Wlshart set this year’s FTD.
    For me, making my fifth visit to the venue, there was another attraction. In 1946 a young art teacher at a school in Falkirk, Bill Henderson, was taking pictures at the hillclimb. By #1952 he was the Scottish correspondent for Autosport, reporting and photographing events all over Scotland in his spare time. When racing finished he would rush home, develop his films in his own darkroom, write the report while they were hanging up to dry, print the best shots, and then drive to Larbert Station to put his package on the train to London before midnight, so the magazine’s messenger could pick them up on Monday morning.

    He continued to do this well into his 70s, and he never missed a deadline. He was still teaching during the week and also found time to run his own graphic design business, as well as taking commissions to paint pictures of competitors’ cars.
    Bill is now' 90, and remarkably he is still an accredited photographer at Bo'ness. He shoots on film in the old way, although a Leica M6 has replaced his old Univex Mercury' camera. All his superb photography, covering nearly 70 years of Scottish motor sport, is available from the Bill Henderson Collection, run by his son. Has there ever been a photographer whose career has lasted 68 years, and counting?

    Wharton (ERA) in 1954, Knapman (Allard) in 2014; both by Henderson.
    Bill Henderson: 90 years young, and still shooting.

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  •   Matt Petrie reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Talk the Torque A home-built 330Cd with over 400hp and nearly 700lb ft of torque? We went to have a closer look. While we all know tuned #BMW direct-injection diesels produce fantastic results, the question always is how far can you go? #E46 #330Cd owner Chris Haynes decided to find out, with quite incredible results… Words: Steve Neophytou. Photography: Steve Hall.

    While the stigma of diesel lumps being sluggish, unrefined engines built purely for economy is something that is hard to lose, BMW has probably done more to dispel this than any other manufacturer.

    The M57 and more recently the N57 series of inline ‘six diesels have been at the forefront of diesel engine performance from their first release right up until the present day; and the amount of ‘best engine’ and ‘best diesel engine’ awards they have won is testament to that. More importantly for us, the drivers, is that BMW demonstrated to the world that true performance cars could really be diesel-powered, originally with the #330d , then with the twin-turbo #335d , and most recently with the #M550d with its triturbo #N57S engine. With the advent of the twin-turbo, and most recently tri-turbo diesel engines, the original single turbo version commonly found in the #E46 330d has been pushed out the limelight somewhat.

    Understandably, a lot of people’s thoughts are that it can’t hope to compete with these newer versions fitted with multiple turbochargers and much higher fuel pressures without a level of tuning that would be totally economically unviable. While the standard performance figures are indeed miles apart, Chris Haynes and his awesome E46 330Cd prove that not only can diesels be fantastic all-round road and track weapons, but that, with a little thought and ingenuity, even a single turbo diesel can be tuned to incredible performance levels without breaking the bank.

    Before we go any further, let’s lay this car’s figures on the table for you, as you’re no doubt dying to know. 407hp and 698lb ft at 2.5bar (36psi) boost on a Dyno Dynamics’ rolling road. This was no lucky run on a generous dyno either, in fact it’s the lowest of the figures the car has produced at its current spec, with 412hp and 750lb ft achieved on one rolling road, and 420hp and 700lb ft on another, but with three consistent runs on the same rollers producing the original figures, those are the ones Chris is happy to claim, and we’re more than happy to print.

    While these numbers seem quite amazing, considering the twin-turbo 335d pushes out 282hp and 430lb ft, and even the tri-turbo M550d has a little less, with 381hp and 546lb ft, perhaps the most surprising thing about the engine is drivability has not been sacrificed. Comparing the figures in detail to the technological masterpiece that is the tri-turbo N57S, which uses its three turbos in both sequential and compound form to give a huge powerband from idle to the redline, is a good example of how impressive Chris’ work is. With just one turbo, none of the turbocharging tricks such as sequential activation and compounding can be used, making it much harder to solve the common diesel problem of a narrow powerband, but despite this, Chris has proved it is possible. While Chris’ engine loses out on torque up to 2600rpm in comparison to the M550d lump, he’s still got 300lb ft at under 2000rpm, 400lb ft by 2300rpm, and 500lb ft by 2500rpm, which is a massive amount of lowdown grunt in anyone’s book.

    Further to this, while BMW claims the N57S produces 546lb ft between 2000 and 3000rpm, Chris’ car produces that much, and up to 150lb ft more, from 2600rpm to 3900rpm; actually a wider rpm range than the factory tri-turbo. When comparing horsepower things look just as impressive, with BMW claiming 381hp between 4000 and 4400rpm with the N57S, but the tuned M57N in Chris’ 330Cd you see on these pages produces that 381hp, or more, between 2900 and 4300rpm, and peaking over 25hp higher; despite having two less turbochargers and a lot less technology.
    So while we’ve established this car produces amazing numbers, it’s important to realise this is no dyno queen. This car is not all about the engine; it’s been built as a true all-rounder. In fact it’s one of the most complete performance E46 330Cds we’ve ever seen. Chris uses the car for track days, trips to the Nürburgring, drag racing (116mph terminal speed, faster than an #E92 #M3 , and similar to an #E60 #M5 , despite struggling for grip until over 60mph), drifting, and road use too, both as a weekend toy and on occasion an entertaining daily driver, so let’s take a look at what Chris has done to the car, and why.

    First up, understandably, is the engine, which surprisingly is still on standard internals with no sign of weaknesses as yet, though the dreaded swirl flaps, as well as the EGR setup, have been completely removed. While the engine made around 300hp and 500lb ft when still running the standard turbo and injectors, albeit with the addition of a free flowing exhaust system, large front mount intercooler, and a generic remap, near the end of 2013, after the standard turbo expired for the second time, Chris decided to, in his own words: “Go mad with it.”

    Inspired by the tuning exploits of Scandinavians with another, albeit less advanced, German straight-six 3.0-litre diesel, the Mercedes OM606, not to mention how impressed he was with the durability of the M57N so far, Chris’ next step with the engine was to significantly increase fuel and air flow, with larger injectors from a 535d, and a hybrid turbo setup based on E90 #3#30d parts. The standard E90 330d unit is a GTB2260VK, which in itself is a capable turbo, but Chris sent this one to be modified by Darkside Developments, who upgraded it with a higher flowing GT25 turbine and 66mm compressor wheel, which they call the GTB2566VK. The importance of exhaust flow on a turbocharged engine shouldn’t be underestimated, especially directly after the turbo outlet, and it certainly wasn’t by Chris, who fitted a custom 3.5-inch downpipe which connected to the three-inch system that was previously fitted.

    The original front mount intercooler setup was enlarged with a huge four-inch thick core to cope with cooling the massive 2.5bar of boost pressure, and in addition to this a Devils Own water/methanol injection was added. As well as cooling the inlet charge, Chris has found the water/meth injection significantly lowers exhaust gas temps, improving both performance and reliability at the same time.

    As you can imagine, with this host of new mods the original remap was far from optimal, so the car was sent off for a custom map. “Once the car was mapped it was transformed, it pulled hard right to the 5000rpm rev limit, but at part throttle I felt it could be better, and the vibrations at idle through the uprated engine mounts were horrendous” explained Chris. Some people would live with those issues, others would shell out for yet another remap, but Chris is no chequebook tuner, so he got hold of the WinOLS mapping software and MPPS connection lead, and taught himself to remap the car. “The first job was to increase the idle speed to 880rpm, which totally eliminated any idle shake, in fact it’s not much worse than a petrol engine now, but I soon realised the map on the car, while effective, was pretty crude, so I decided to redo it all myself, piece-by-piece,” Chris explained. “It took time, but I’ve managed to make the car just as powerful as the professionals made it, but far smoother, with less exhaust smoke, lower EGTs, and it still happily does 45mpg at motorway speeds!”

    With almost 700lb ft going to the rear wheels, getting acceptable amounts of traction is no easy task, but thanks to the addition of the Quaife ATB limitedslip differential and 255 wide Federal RSR road legal track tyres, both straight line and cornering grip is actually very impressive. While the car still smokes both rear wheels by simply going full throttle in second gear in the dry, and will wheelspin at three figure speeds in the wet, it has great and controllable traction for something with such enormous torque.

    Earlier E46s are well known for cracking rear subframe mounts, but it seems the massive torque and sub nine-minute Nürburgring laps took its toll even on Chris’ later car, as he had the very same problem, though he fixed this with his own 3mm sheet steel plates to reinforce the area. This wasn’t the only subframe part that needed beefing up due to the huge torque either, as the front subframe needed reinforcing after cracking around the engine mounts too. Beyond this, the engine and transmission mounts, and all suspension and subframe bushes have been uprated, along with the clutch and flywheel which have been replaced with SPEC Stage 3+ items. One thing that hasn’t needed uprating is the gearbox, as the six-speed manual ZF box is rapidly gaining legendary status in the tuning world for coping with incredible levels of power and torque, and it’s something Chris has had no issue with at all.

    We’ve mentioned this car’s frequent track day use already in this feature, and it’s posted some very impressive lap times, something you don’t get from engine performance alone. Chris has put serious effort in to making the braking and handling just as impressive as the engine, running HSD coilovers, uprated top mounts, adjustable front and rear camber, uprated ARBs, and a full complement of uprated bushes. While the car certainly has the right parts, it’s the geometry setup that Chris perfected over numerous track days that really makes the car handle. “It’s set up mostly for the track, but it handles great both on the road legal tyres and the Michelin full slicks I use on dry track days,” he explains.

    On the braking side of things, Chris’ 330Cd runs M3 CSL front discs and 750i rears, with Brembo Porsche 996 callipers all-round, but he classes the most effective part of the brake system to be the Carbon Lorraine brake pads. “Even running the standard discs and callipers with racing slicks I was able to lock up the brakes even at very high speed, and they had no fade at all, and now with the bigger brakes things feel even better,” Chris explained.

    So on the road and track, how does it behave, and what’s people’s reactions to it? “Well, #E92 M3s are easy pickings in a straight line, and on the way home from one dyno session even a #Ferrari-California was seen off too. And almost nobody believes it’s a diesel when they see it go, and it never fails to shock when I take people for passenger rides,” Chris laughs.

    So while Chris has built what’s quite possibly the ultimate tuned diesel BMW, does that mean the car is complete? Well, as is so often the way, no, not even close. First up is the rear diff ratio, which he’s about to change from the standard 2.46 to a 2.28. “I’ve seen a GPS-verified 174mph at 5000rpm on the current setup, but it runs out of gears so easily I think the 2.28 will not only increase top speed to 186mph, but it should improve overall acceleration too as I can hold it in-gear for longer,” Chris explained. It doesn’t end there either, as the immense performance increases achieved so far have given him the confidence and experience to say that a lot more is certainly possible. “I’m running around 31 degrees injector duration to achieve peak torque at the moment, so I’m sure there’s more in them, and if I could hold the 700lb ft to 4000rpm it would make 530hp, so it’s time to try and get some more air in. This won’t happen with the current turbo though, as it’s literally on its knees at the current level,” Chris laughs. His plan for the engine, which may have started by the time you read this, is to replace the current turbo and manifold setup with a custom tubular item and a big Holset HX40V VGT turbocharger, and swap the stock plastic inlet manifold with a stronger and freer flowing custom alloy item.

    “I’m hoping the new setup will give 3bar of boost and make good power up to 5500rpm while still having great lowdown power too. I just hope the fuel pump can keep up!” One thing is for sure, if this car’s ground-breaking story so far is anything to go by, Chris is going to have a whole lot of fun finding out…
    “If I could hold the 700lb ft to 4000rpm it would make 530hp...”

    #2004 BMW 3-series E46 330Cd

    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: #M57N 3.0-litre 24v inline six engine, swirl flaps removed, full EGR system removal, BMW 535d injectors, E90 330d exhaust manifold, 535d cam cover, Darkside Developments #GTB2566VK hybrid turbo running 2.5bar boost, 3-inch custom intake with ITG filter and cold air feed, custom 3.5-inch downpipe, 3-inch turbo back straight through exhaust, custom 4-inch core intercooler setup with hard pipes, self-mapped ECU, Devils Own water/methanol injection activated at 1bar boost, Kelowe 16-inch electric fan, Mocal oil catch tank, aircon removed, Vibratechnics engine mounts, 5000rpm rev limit, 2.5bar boost, ZF six-speed manual gearbox, CAE Ultra Shifter, modified gear linkage, SPEC billet steel single mass flywheel, SPEC Stage 3+ clutch, SPEC thrust bearing, Quaife ATB diff, polyurethane gearbox and diff mounts.

    CAPACITY: HSD Monotube coilovers with 12kg rate springs, front camber plates, rear pillowball top mounts, H&R adjustable front and rear ARBs, complete Powerflex Black series uprated suspension and subframe components, aluminium rear camber arms, custom front and rear subframe reinforcement plates.

    BRAKES: BMW M3 CSL 345mm front discs, BMW #750i 328mm rear discs, Brembo Porsche 996 fourpot callipers front and rear, Carbone Lorraine brake pads (RC6 front, RC5+ rear), braided brake lines, ATE Racing Blue DOT4 fluid.

    WHEELS & TYRES: #BBS CH015 8.5x18 with Federal RSR 255/35/18 tyres for road use, BMW MV2 8x18 with Michelin 240/640/18 racing slicks for dry track use, 90mm wheel stud conversion.

    INTERIOR: Full heated electric M Sport leather, exhaust gas temperature and boost pressure displays.

    EXTERIOR: Standard M Sport exterior with de-chromed kidney grilles.

    THANKS: Big thanks to my dad for not only helping with machining and welding on this project, but he is the one who got me in to mechanical stuff in the first place – he even taught me how to weld. I would also like to thank my good friend Gaz for the use of his workshop so I could build the car and Darkside Developments for building an awesome turbo.

    “It never fails to shock when I take people for passenger rides…”
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  •   George Dziedzic reacted to this post about 5 years ago
    #E30 in Russia - very bad condition - OMG!!!!!!! - And its #BMW for sale!
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  • #2016 M rumours – #BMW-M2
    As always, the internet is awash with rumours about the future M cars and the stories currently doing the rounds revolve around the M2, the M4 GTS and a potential high performance version of the i8. Working in chronological order we know that an M2 will be coming out and are expecting a machine very much in the mould of the 1 Series M Coupé which will mean a skilful amalgamation of regular production components and those found on the M3 and M4. We’re not expecting a version of the M3/M4 engine under the bonnet though, instead the car will use a tweaked version of the #M235i ’s unit with an expected output of around 370hp.

    Many chassis parts will be taken from the M3 and M4 while we’re expecting the body to be a moderately sanitised version of the one fitted to the #BMW M235i Racing. There is plenty of discussion over the car’s gearbox though and one theory is that it will, like the 1M, only be available with a manual ‘box to avoid #M2 sales impinging on those of the M3 and M4 which are almost exclusively being ordered with the #M-DCT transmission. M4 test mules have recently been seen circulating the Nordschleife wearing BMW Safety Car logos but this minimal disguise has failed to stop us from concluding that these are actually M4 GTS test cars. When we were on the launch of the new #M4 , BMW M’s Albert Biermann more or less confirmed that there would be a replacement in the pipeline for the much-loved #E92 #M3 GTS, but this time we’re hoping the car will have a slightly less stratospheric price and be built in greater numbers.

    The last rumour concerns BMW’s plans for its centenary in 2016 with many commentators reckoning that a high performance version of the #BMW-i8 might be in the offing. Rumours range from a #M5 V8-powered version to one equipped with the M4’s twin-turbo straight-six. Either would be a tantalising prospect but we reckon if this supercar does ever appear it will still utilise the i8’s hybrid drivetrain although it’s possible the three-cylinder unit will be replaced by a more powerful four-cylinder unit and be coupled to a higher output electric motor. Time will tell…
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  • Bonhams set to auction ex-Works #Ferrari 375. The star of Bonhams’ #Goodwood Festival of Speed sale in June is set to be a Ferrari 375-Plus, one of five Works cars built to contest the #1954 Sports Car Championship. The car was revealed with dimmed-light and fanfare theatrics at a special reception at Bonhams’ London headquarters earlier this month.

    Chassis 0384AM posted DNFs for the #Mille-Miglia , #Targo-Floria and #Le-Mans in 1954, but the car finally came good at Silverstone in the hands of Jose Froilan Gonzales, winning the Daily Express Trophy. Greater success came once the car passed into private hands for the #1955 US racing season, where it posted four outright wins.

    Following fire damage at the #1957 Cuban GP the car changed hands again but spent 28 years stored in the backwoods of Ohio, from where the partially dismantled car was stolen, minus the engine, which had previously been removed. In the late Eighties the still unrestored remains were bought by Belgian Ferrari importer Jacques Swaters, who commissioned a restoration in Italy using a new engine block and much new panelwork. However, the remains of the original body are included in the sale, and Bonhams expects the next owner may want to repatriate as much of this as possible with the car. Recently it has also been reunited with the original engine.

    The 375-Plus will be offered with no reserve. Jose Foilan Gonzales takes the #Ferrari-375 to first place at #Silverstone in 1954.
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  • #1960 #Mercedes-Benz 220 SE #Cabriolet W128 needs TLC, but has impeccable provenance: It's had the same owner since new. 14 months of adventure, 43 years of storage. This was bought new in Denmark in 1960 by a law-school graduate from Oregon, USA. More than 50 years later the car is up for sale by the original owner via Gooding and Company’s Scottsdale auction on January 17-18.

    Gooding’s Jannelle Grigsby takes up the story. The lady bought the car in Copenhagen and drove it all over Europe on a 14-month adventure before importing it into the US. Thereafter it was driven in the Pacific north-west and used on a honeymoon trip through Canada. During the later Sixties the car, nicknamed Charlie, was repainted in British Racing Green.

    ‘Shortly after its registration was renewed in 1971 the car was placed into storage and has not been run since. Nonetheless it remained in the garage of the family home in Bend, Oregon until the owner moved out of the state in the mid-Nineties, when it went with her.’

    The 220SE #W128 was top of the range of Merce#W128first unitary-construction #Ponton models. The 180 and 190 fam#Pontone the more commonly seen four-cylinder examples, launched in #1953 , while the 220 was the overh#1953amshaft six-cylinder version introduced a year later. The fuel-injected SE appeared in 1958 and ceased production in 1959, making this car one of the last made.

    The convertible and coupe had a shorter wheelbase than the saloons, and their opulent interiors, build quality and restrained good looks all help to make them the most sought-after of all the Ponton models.

    This car was to be a no-reserve sale, with an estimate of $60,000-$80,000 (£36,500-£49,000). This is nearly a Condition 1 price for the model, though some way below the $203,500 achieved by Gooding for a concours example in #2013 . However, the continued appeal of an unspoiled, original car remains high, even if considerable expense is to follow.

    The whole car looks to be completely original and unspoiled. Beneath the bootlid the jack and toolkit are still in place.
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