Columns (2017)

A Supercar for the Ages

Written by September 2015
During the 900 miles I drove a McLaren 650S Spider, my heart only stopped twice. Once was at a gas station at Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde near the Oregon coast. When you come to a halt in the McLaren, it takes the transmission a couple of seconds to realize you really are stopped, and then it shifts into neutral. But for a brief moment, the car continues to edge forward. I had taken my eyes off the road, and looked up and braked just before the very expensive nose of the English supercar nearly plowed into the rear…
  There’s nothing like a little wind in the old scalp, but if you were a BMW fan last century, there wasn’t much to choose from except a truly vintage two-seat roadster or the “rare-and-should-be” Z1 from 1989. That is, until the introduction of the Z3, way back in 1995. The Z3 was a response to the wildly popular Mazda Miata — and recognition of the reappearing two-seater market niche. The successful introduction of the Miata in 1989 represented a sea change in the industry, proving — once again — that top-down motoring sells, and BMW wanted into the game.…
This 1927 Falcon-Knight Model 10 has a one-off 2-seat speedster body believed to have been commissioned by James Harvey Howe III, grandson of the inventor of Tums. He donated it to the St. Louis Museum of Transportation in the 1970s. The car was later part of the John O’Quinn Collection before being acquired by the Evergreen Collection. The body is as elemental as a good speedster should be, light in weight and burdened with only essential features, such as electric head- and taillights, a stylish monocle windshield, cylindrical bolster fuel tank behind the pair of bucket seats, rear-mounted spare, red…
Launched in 1936 alongside the 2½-liter saloon, the SS 100 Jaguar sports car marked the company’s first use of the Jaguar name. Beautifully styled in the manner of its SS 90 predecessor, the newcomer employed a shorter, 102-inch wheelbase chassis and a revised version of the 2,663-cc Standard Six which produced 104 bhp. In 1938, a 3½-liter version producing 125 bhp was added to the range, making the SS 100 a genuine 100-mph car. Although a fine touring car, the SS 100 was marketed primarily for competition work. Its first major success came when Tommy Wisdom, crewed by his wife,…
Vignale bodied 10 8V chassis, all to Michelotti designs, of which the car offered here, number 000050, is the only cabriolet and one of very few open bodies produced for the 8V by any coachbuilder. The drawing for the cabriolet notes that it was an exclusive design created for a Sig. Leone. It bears a remarkable resemblance to a similar coupe built by Vignale on another 8V chassis, but it has the breezy nonchalance that only a convertible top can offer. Whatever became of the mysterious Sig. Leone is unknown, but the car is believed to have actually been delivered…

2002 Ferrari Enzo

Written by September 2015
Luca di Montezemolo dedicated the Ferrari Enzo to the founder of the company, “who always thought racing should lay the foundations for our road car designs,” at the Paris Auto Show in September 2002. He described the car as “the best of which our technology is capable.” The Enzo Ferrari would be the successor to the F50. The world was waiting with bated breath, as the F50’s successor had very big shoes to fill. At the Enzo’s heart is its 660-horsepower, naturally aspirated V12 engine. This is an all-new unit that has been developed specifically for use in this car,…

1968 Porsche 911 Coupe

Written by September 2015
First presented to the public at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1963, the Porsche 911 replaced the 356 and was styled by Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche and Erwin Komenda, who was then head of the Porsche design department. The 911 retained the air-cooled, rear-engine layout and independent rear suspension and would not only see a continuous production run right up to the present day, but it would also become the most successful road-derived race car in history. None of the top motorsport events in the world — from Le Mans, Daytona, the Targa Florio, and International rallies to national grass-roots events…
  The long legal battle over ownership of the #1 Briggs Cunningham 1960 Le Mans Corvette is over. When we last wrote about this fascinating case (January 2014, p. 42), the parties were about to argue a motion to dismiss the lawsuit entirely, which was not granted. A few weeks ago, they went to court to argue another motion about storage of the Corvette. The judge, in a surprise move, took them into his chambers and told them they should find a way to settle the case. Just 4½ hours later, they reached a final settlement under which the Corvette…

2012 Lexus LFA

Written by September 2015
 Number 487 of 500 built One of last imported into the United States and one of two remaining White Pearl (code 77) new cars in country This is an MSO car with no prior registration, with less than 140 miles. The car is fully exportable The car has Starfire Pearl paint with black leather interior/red accents, red brake-caliper package (optional), speed-sensing rear spoiler with side spoilers (optional), polished factory alloy wheels (optional), head-lamp washers (optional), Mark Levinson sound system, navigation, XM with weather and traffic, LFA badges This very collectible car has been in storage and on display only. No…

1959 Lister-Chevrolet

Written by September 2015
Numerous privateer racing drivers got it in their mind to build their own car in the 1950s, with each experiencing varying degrees of luck on the track. Brian Lister had the money and the engineering know-how, so his first racing car, which was built in the mid-1950s with the able assistance of Don Moore and Archie Scott-Brown, was an incredible success, collecting a 1st- or 2nd-place finish wherever it roamed. Its success with MG and Bristol was such that Lister soon had the financial backing of Shell/BP, as well as a deal with Jaguar to supply engines for a car…
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