This pristine Ferrari 250 LM was in attendance for the 2012 Radnor Hunt Concours d’ Elegance. It is owned by the Simone Foundation Museum in Philadelphia, PA. The 250 LM came about when Ferrari finally decided to give up on front-engined GT racing cars. The 250P was the first mid-engined Ferrari that saw major success, and was a contemporary of the legendary 250 GTO in the early 1960s. Seeing the success of their rivals with mid-engined racing cars, Ferrari decided to end the 250 GT cars, and carry on competition with a development of the 250P. And with that, the 250 LM was born.
The 250 LM was very similar to the 250P, except it had a roof and was built from a higher gauge of steel. The LM used an enlarged version of the 250 GTO’s 3.0L V12. At 3.3L the LM’s V12 produced 320hp, and it only had to propel a car which weighed under 1900lbs, lighter than the GTO. The result was a car that was very fast, and despite being denied homologation as a GT class, it still saw success in the Prototype class. 250LMs won 10 out of the 35 races they competed in, and in 1965 the NART team won the Le Mans 24 Hours. This would be the final outright Le Mans victory for Ferrari to this day, ending an era of Ferrari dominance in the late 50′s, early 60′s.
A total of 32 250 LMs were produced, making it on par in rarity with the GTO, and certainly worth a solid fortune in its own right. Seeing a car like this up close, with no barriers to keep people away is a rare treat indeed. I stuck around after most people had left the show, and had the privilege of some quality, un cluttered photo time with this epic car. Enjoy the gallery below.
If one day a magical genie came up to me and said “I will give you any classic Ferrari you want”, my choice would be this 275 NART Spyder. Yes that’s right, I would rather have this car than the legendary 250 GTO or 250 Testa Rossa. Why, you ask? Because I happen to be more of a road car person. I like racing cars just fine, but for me, driving perfection is found with the wind in my hair, and the hum of a great engine bellowing off the trees as I cruise by. Going on a real world journey in a great car may be my favorite thing to do, and it is the sole reason this 275 NART Spyder was commissioned by Luigi Chinetti back in the 1960’s. Read the rest of this entry »
This is the single Bizzarrini 5300 S.I. Spyder Prototipo in existence. It was shown at the 1966 Geneva Auto Show, and marked the beginning of Bizzarrini S.p.A. The start of this new company came after Giotto Bizzarrini left another Italian carmaker, Iso, due to a feud with its owner, Renzo Rivolta. Bizzarrini had been putting his own badge on Iso’s A3C instead of the Iso badge, which angered Rivolta. After a legal battle, Bizzarrini won the rights to the A3C, and all of its production, so Giotto formed a company bearing his own name, and set out to create his own identity as a carmaker. The first thing he did was to rename the A3C as the 5300GT. He created the prototype Spyder you see above to display to the world, and Bizzarrini S.p.A. was born. I was fortunate enough to see this 5300 Spyder Prototipo first hand at the Concours d’ Elegance of America this past summer. It is an incredible car, one that stops you in your tracks, and demands to be taken in. Read on for the rest of the story. Read the rest of this entry »
The name “Mangusta” is one that gets all motorheads giddy. It’s the Italian word for “mongoose”–a perfect animal name for the car that it was bestowed upon. The De Tomaso Mangusta is still ranked highly as one of the best combinations of Italian style and American power, with its stunning, menacing early 1970s Giugaro lines, gull-winged engine bay, and stump-pulling Ford small-block V8 (a few had the 351 V8). Only 401 were ever built from 1967 until 1971, but in the 1990s and early 2000s, someone brought the name back–and the car had some strikingly similar characteristics to its namesake. Read the rest of this entry »
Yes, the Prius. A different sort of car than we normally feature in this section, yet a car that has had a resounding impact on the automotive world in recent years. Everyone knows a Prius when they see one, and most people know that the car has become as much a political statement as a mode of transportation. Whether you buy into the whole Green movement or not, there is no denying that the Prius has been an incredible marketing success. It paved the way for an entirely new sort of car in the world, one that puts priority on efficiency and cleanliness over all else. We all know the car, but behind every car there is a story to tell. This is that story.
Malcolm Bricklin is a pretty well-known guy in automotive history. He’s had his successes and failures, but his most well-known business venture was the ill-fated Yugo, considered to be the worst car ever sold on American shores. However, his other experiences are also worth mentioning. He is the man responsible for Subaru’s initial presence into the United States (he was one of the first official importers, and one of the most successful), and he brought out one of the downright strangest cars to be designed in America–the Bricklin SV-1. Read the rest of this entry »
The Miura Jota is one of those unicorn cars, one that everyone who knows about it wants, but that none will ever have. The Jota is a legend because it was the most extreme example of Lamborghini’s beloved Miura, the car that really put the marque on the map. The Jota has a particularly interesting story though, because its fame began with its own fiery death in 1972. The Jota had been a side project of famed Lamborghini test driver, Bob Wallace, and it was the news coverage of the car’s destruction that informed people of the project to build a faster, more racy Miura. The original Jota was damaged beyond repair, never to be rebuilt, but it did peak the interest of several Miura owners, and six Miura SVJs were created. These SVJs are probably the most valuable Lamborghinis around at this point, and they carry on the legacy of their doomed predecessor.
The 328 Buegelfalte Roadster is one of those legendary cars that is so coveted by modern collectors, that in 2010 it sold for $5.84 million at RM auctions in Monaco. Those who are unfamiliar with the car may believe it to be some highly successful vintage racecar, but actually it’s racing history was fairly mediocre. It is likely the car’s beauty and rarity, being the only one of its kind, that make it such a sought after machine. The Buegelfalte also has a rich story behind it as well, one that parallels that of 20th century Europe. I will tell you now that the car you see in these photos is actually a perfect replica of the Buegelfalte Roadster commissioned by BMW for use at corporate events. I took these photos during my recent visit to the factory museum. Even though the car is a replica it still has the same beautiful form as the original, which now resides in a private collection.
This is the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale, and I’m sure your eyes have already informed you that it is one of the most beautiful cars ever built by anyone. The word “Stradale” of course means that it is street version of a racing car, and it is indeed. The Tipo 33 Stradale was made in 1967 as a road going version of Autodelta Alfa Romeo’s Tipo 33/2 racing car. Only 18 Stradales were ever built, making it one of the rarest, most sought after cars in the world. One that just gets more and more interesting with every new detail you uncover. Read the rest of this entry »
At a recent cruise night in Hopewell, NJ I noticed this extremely rare machine in the garage of Steel Wings. This DB4 GT Zagato, one of just 19 remaining I’m told, is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $8-10 million; although the current owner has supposedly turned down offers of far greater amounts. Being friendly with the people at Steel Wings, I was allowed the privilege of accessing the car for some photos (thanks again Ed). During the cruise night event, they raised the Aston up on the lift so it would be visible through the window in the showroom. The insurance risk to display the car outside would’ve been far too much, but the car was enjoyed be everyone nonetheless. Seeing this car in person is nothing short of a breathtaking experience, it is surely among the most beautiful cars of its time. More below…
The TZ3 Stradale is a limited production model that is actually a Dodge Viper ACR in Alfa Romeo clothes. It was built to showcase a collaboration between Chrysler and Fiat as a kickoff for future models. Mechanically it is all Viper with the same 640hp V10 as the Viper ACR-X, but with the sort of performance that Viper achieved I don’t hear anyone complaining. The design, done by Zagato, are a clear nod back to the legendary Alfa TZ and TZ2 racing cars of old. Just nine of these TZ3 Stradales will be produced making this one of the more exotic cars in the world. While at Pebble Beach this past summer we were surprised by this car while looking at a lineup of Bugatti Veyrons. All of a sudden there was this earthshaking rumble and then this astonishing car rolled out of the parking deck. It is an incredible machine to behold, and I think this Italian-American collaboration is just right. I must also say that the TZ3 Stradale is among the best looking cars I’ve ever seen. More pictures of the car below. Read the rest of this entry »
Back in the Sixties, John Z. Delorean was one of the greatest men working at General Motors. But, by the middle of the Eighties, that all came to a crashing end in a federal courthouse. Most of us know what happened. But, what about the car he badly wanted to put on the market? The DeLorean DMC-12 is still known by most of the public as a time machine, but its own story is a look back at one of the most famous storylines of all time in the small-manufacturer books. Read the rest of this entry »