While over in Europe this summer, each day was made a little brighter by the fact that I got to see Alfa Romeos everywhere I went. Alfa Romeo hasn’t been in the US for quite some time now, so seeing all of the modern Alfas was a real treat for me. I particularly loved the Giulietta (shown above), but all of them are basically akin to rolling sculptures. The Italians really know how to style a car. I have heard varied things about the way many new Aflas drive, but as a spectator I was smitten with them. I am hoping and praying that the rumors of Alfas return to the States are true, because I could easily see something like a Giulietta in my driveway as a daily driver. Read the rest of this entry »
The GTX1 is a roadster conversion of a Ford GT by Gennadi Design. 600 GTX1s were planned but only around 100 or so wer completed by the time production ended in 2008, making this quite a rare car. In addition to the roof modification GTX1s were also upgraded to around 700hp, given better suspension, new interior parts, and given a few visual bits to set them apart from a standard GT. It is easy to mistake one for a standard GT though, and I had to do a double take on this one to notice the lack of a roof; at which point I took off after it to get these pics. This is the first GTX1 I have seen on the street. Enjoy.
This is a Wiesmann GT MF5, and it is truly an epic car to spot on the street. We don’t get these at all in America, so it was an even bigger deal for me. This is the first Wiesmann I have seen, of any sort, and it also happened to be my favorite one. The GT MF5 V10. That is right, tucked into that tiny little car is the 5.0L V10 from the BMW M6, producing around 500hp. This was definitely one of the V10 models, I could tell from the sound, but the second generation GT MF5s have the new 552hp twin turbo V8 from the current BMW M5/M6. Honestly though, I much prefer the glorious V10 in a smaller car like the Wiesmann, so Im glad I saw that one. Sorry about the blurry pics, but it was worth posting anyway. It was getting dark and I was shooting from on top of a building, so I did what I could. Hopefully next time I will be able to get up close with one. Great car.
The 456 is one of the most underrated Ferraris of all time, but it is also one of my favorites (at least visually). Just look at the thing. It has a pure form of beauty, more of a sculpture than a car. Sleek and sexy, yet elegant and tasteful. I love current Ferraris, but they could all be a bit better looking if they could find the balance that the 456 had. Yea I know you can have the same kind of power in a Camaro now, but with this you get that glorious V12 sound on top of the style. I was ecstatic when I found this just tucked away in a Birmingham car park this past weekend, and the pictures came out quite well. Enjoy the gallery.
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…
Going to the Pagani factory changed my life. There is something uniquely special about the way they do things and the cars they make that just captivated me. This video from Drive shows many of these qualities very well. I know the video is nearly a half hour, but if you have the time you should give it a watch. Definitely listen to everything Horacio Pagani says too because he is a passionate and genius. Amazing video!
I visited the Shelby Museum on my recent trip to Las Vegas. It is a nice showroom with some pretty rare cars in it. They were gearing up for a 50th anniversary event to be held that weekend, so there were a few extra cars around as well. Here are some photos to enjoy.
Pontiac’s long history came to an end in 2009 amidst GM’s bankruptcy and Pontiac’s lack of distinction within the General Motors family. But, the announcement came at at time when Pontiac began to distance themselves from the GM marching order, and a few years before had started producing some models with some real “driving excitement”. The GTO, which was a bit of a market fluke, may not have looked the part of a muscle car, but certainly went like one. The Solstice, the General’s answer to the Miata, hit the streets in 2006, after a very positive reception on the auto show circuit. On the heels of the Dodge Charger (and the renaissance of the big RWD-V8 American sedan), Pontiac launched the G8 in 2008, right when I turned 18–and I kept going back to the local Pontiac dealership waiting for one to arrive.
Chris Harris gets a first drive of the Toyota GT86 in Spain for Drive. I cannot wait to try one of these out later this year for a review.
Ferraris really are their own breed. There are other cars out there that may offer similar, or better, performance, but none can match the allure, the prestige, and the pedigree of a true prancing horse. Obviously most Ferraris are far too expensive for most people to afford, but there are a few that have dropped into the realm of possibility for those who cannot write off six figures for a car. This is the Ferrari 456, a member of the Gran Turismo lineage that stretches back to the legendary 250 GT. When it was introduced for the 1992 model year, the 456 was the first worthy Ferrari GT car since the 365 cars ended production in the 1970s. It was a breath of fresh air after the dreadful 400/412 line finally was put out of its misery after 15 years of production. Now they can be had for a reasonable price. Read the rest of this entry »
I first learned of Hennessey Performance Engineering (HPE) as a kid when my ultimate dream car was the Dodge Viper. Back then they made the baddest Viper around, the 800 Twin Turbo, and it took the spot at the top of my wish list for a time. Since then, HPE continues to build the craziest Vipers around, and has branched out to build modifications for many other types of cars as well. They have made quite a name for themselves in the aftermarket industry, surely as one of the best in the business. Recently though, they released their first car of their own, the Venom GT, and this is where I started to see some issues that needed to be called out. Read the rest of this entry »