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Friday, March 27, 2015

Will Your New 2015 Car Be a Collectible? Check the Hagerty Hot List

1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750SS
Photo by Kate Tompkins
It would be nice to think that that new car sitting in your driveway will still be desirable several years down the road. The experts at classic car insurer Hagerty know a thing or two about collectibles and have put together their annual Hagerty Hot List of 2015 cars under $100,000 that could be collectible in the next 25 years. I’m assuming anything with a MSRP OVER $100,00 is automatically collectible. Note that new versions that haven’t appeared on previous lists are more likely to be on this one.

So, here are the top 10 cars, with prices, in alphabetical order. Some room for argument, but no real surprises. It’s probably already too late to get the Mazda, as apparently only 100 were slated for the North American market.

Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition ($69,685)

BMW M4 Convertible ($73,450)

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 ($75,000)

Chevrolet Corvette Z06 ($78,995)

Dodge Challenger Hellcat ($58,295)

Ford Mustang GT Performance Package ($37,125)

Mazda MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition ($33,000)

MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop ($24,950) – New for 2015, the 2 door hardtop John Cooper Works MINI is the most powerful MINI ever produced. The performance specs are impressive, but what will have collectors drooling in the future is the attention paid to the MINI's design concept.

Subaru WRX STI Launch Edition ($38,190)

Volkswagen Golf R ($36,595)

So would you buy/have you bought any of these? Or do you have your own candidate for the hot list? I’ll be moving several of these into the virtual garage for sure.



[SOURCE Hagerty]

Friday, March 20, 2015

BMW Celebrates Sebring Anniversary This Weekend

Tomorrow is the 63rd annual 12 Hours of Sebring. The endurance race, held in Sebring, Florida, is the second race of the season for the United SportsCar Championship. Of course, 63 isn’t a special number, but for BMW, this represents 40 years since its first Sebring victory, back in 1975, with a 3.0 CSL. It’s also apparently 40 years since BMW of North America was founded.

To celebrate, BMW Team RLL and BMW Motorsport have decked their current team cars (2015 BMW Z4 GTLM) in tribute livery. Car 25 is sporting the winning colours from 1975. Check it out in this head-to-head photo.

1975 BMW 3.0 CSL and 2015 BMW Z4 GTLM
Photo copyright and courtesy BMW Group
I’m sure they’re also hoping for a repeat of the 1975 victory. They’ve already picked up a second and a fourth at the Daytona season opener. According to Team Principal Bobby Rahal, “We have won twice [at Sebring] with the BMW M3s in the past five years and we had a reasonable race there last year. Certainly we hope for better this year, it being the 40th anniversary of the first win with the BMW 3.0 CSL in 1975. I was at that race and in those days you dreamt about driving one of those cars. It was a great win and is obviously a proud moment for BMW Motorsport and BMW. We anticipate there will be a lot of cheering and a lot of people hoping to see another great result.”



[SOURCE:  BMW Group]

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Navigation and Radio Update for Classic Porsches

Porsche Classic navigation radio
Photo courtesy Porsche Cars North America, Inc.
Wouldn’t you love to have a navigation system and mp3 player for your classic Porsche 911? How about Bluetooth capability? Okay, like me, most of you probably don’t own a classic Porsche, but if I did, I’d definitely be interested.

Porsche Classic recently announced that it had produced exactly that, a navigation radio that fits in the DIN-1 slot of the 911 series. It’s designed to look like it belongs, while allowing you to use today’s technology. At the moment it’s only available in Europe (at a cost of 1,184 Euros), but they are currently at work on the North American version.

According to their press release, “The purpose-built unit combines the style of yesteryear with the benefits of modern technology. It fits perfectly into the DIN-1 slot that has been used in the sports cars for decades and is operated by means of two knobs, six discreetly integrated buttons and a touch-sensitive 3.5-inch display…It bears Porsche lettering and is suitable for the sports car generations between the first 911 from the 1960s and the last of the 911 series with air cooling from the mid-1990s (993 series), including the earlier front-engine and mid-engine models…”

“Radio reception…has been optimized for the built-in aerial supplied ex-works… Drivers have a choice of arrows and two-dimensional or three-dimensional maps to display the route. The maps are stored on a microSD card with eight gigabytes of memory and are updated regularly.”

I’d like to see more of this kind of thing from car manufacturers. You can find out more about Porsche Classic parts and accessories on their website. Among other things, they sell specially formulated motor oil, and Porsche hubcaps and crests. Hmm, a Porsche hubcap might look cool in my real garage. The classic Porsche itself (I like the looks of the 914) will only be found in my virtual garage.



[SOURCE Porsche Cars North America, Inc.]


Monday, March 16, 2015

Higgins and Drew Claim 100 Acre Wood Rally Victory

Defending Rally America Champion David Higgins powered
through treacherous conditions to win Rally in the 100
 Acre Wood. Photo courtesy Subaru of America, Inc.
Deep in the Ozark Mountains is the 100 Acre Wood. And while you won’t find Pooh and Tigger there, you would have found rally cars and drivers on the 27th and 28th of February. They were there for the second round of the 2015 Rally America Championship. According to the press release, it’s normally a high speed rally over gravel roads. Winter took a hand this year, however, and added snow and ice to the challenge, climaxing with a snow storm late in the rally.

Sounds like business as usual around here, except that we also have to contend with potholes and other drivers. And not so much the high speed part.

Some of the rally stages actually had to be cancelled, as the emergency vehicles couldn’t reach their designated stations. Despite that, David Higgins and Craig Drew drove their 2015 Subaru WRX STI to its second win of the season. Yeah, they’re two for two. Not that this was an easy win.

According to Higgins, “These were some of the toughest conditions I've ever driven on. There was a mix of everything. At a snow rally you at least know you are dealing with ice or snow, but here we also had gravel, frozen gravel, icy gravel and everything in between to go with the snow. Our 2015 Subaru WRX STI was perfect again and Craig did a fantastic job on the notes. This was a huge challenge.”

“We concentrated really hard on the recce (pre-race Reconnaissance) to note the slippery spots,” said Drew. “I've never seen anything like this before, it was so slippery in places. We built a good lead on Friday and were able to take it easy on the final day that was the plan. I'm really looking forward to a dry gravel rally now!”

[SOURCE: Subaru of America, Inc. via prnewswire]



Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sommet des Legendes Will Be Back This Summer

1957 BMW 507 Roadster
Photo by Kate Tompkins
I’ll be including this in the calendar of events once car season resumes, but just thought you vintage racing fans might like to know that the Historic Motor Sports Association will once again be running the Sommet des Legendes at Le Circuit Mont Tremblant. Dates are July 10 through 12. BMW will be the featured marque.

If you’re interested in entering, the entry form can be found HERE (scroll down a few pages to find the Mont Tremblant race). Photos of the 2013 race can be found HERE.


Friday, March 6, 2015

Spotted: BMW i8

BMW i8
Photo by Thomas Tompkins
My husband saw this BMW i8 on display in the Frankfurt airport and grabbed a picture for me.

In case you don’t already know, the i8 is BMW’s hybrid sports car, using both electricity and gas. Though with a range of only 24 km (according to Wikipedia) in the US models, it doesn’t sound like it spends much time in EV mode. They do claim 2.1 litres/100 km though, so it certainly sounds fuel efficient. And I love the way it looks.


You can see it in action in the following video.




I'd give it garage space.

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_i8

Friday, February 27, 2015

Best of British Racing at RM Auctions 2015 Amelia Island Sale

A couple of promotional videos for RM Auctions 2015 Amelia Island sale coming up on March 14 ended up in my YouTube suggestions. So I had a look and figured I couldn’t be the only one interested.



First up is an extended look at a 1988 racing Jaguar XJR-9 (link here in case the video won't run). It was apparently one of only two built to IMSA specs, and is discussed by Martin Brundle, the driver of the other one (which no longer exists). For more details on the car, check out its page at RM Auctions. Quite a piece of art.



Continuing with our British theme, here’s some vintage footage of a 1955 Austin-Healey 100S at Sebring, appropriately enough in British racing green (also here if the video disappears). It’s the one sporting number 44. The video doesn’t show much racing but it’s shot at pit row. Interesting look at how much things have changed—they seem to be pouring fuel in with a funnel, and everything takes forever. RM Auctions provides more details on the car here.