Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Take Your Dream Car on Vacation

PRNewsFoto/The Hertz Corporation
If you’re planning a vacation in the US this summer, and need to rent a car, you might want to check out Hertz. They’ve recently announced their Dream Cars option, allowing drivers to rent high-end cars with white glove service.

What do they consider a dream car? Available rentals at include, in alphabetical order, the

Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Audi R8
Bentley Continental GT
Cadillac CTS-V
Ferrari (California, F430)
Lamborghini Gallardo
Land Rover Range Rover Sport
Mercedes-Benz AMG (SLS, C63, E63)
Mercedes-Benz SL550, S550 and G550
Porsche (911, Cayenne, Boxster, Panamera)
SRT Viper
Tesla Model S

Most of those are certainly on the list of cars I’d love to drive. Of course, they’re not available at all Hertz locations (they currently have 35 that offer them) and not all cars are available at each location. Still, there’s a good chance they’re somewhere near where you’re going, especially if you’re going to Florida. I couldn’t find any prices on their website, but if you wanted something truly unforgettable, it would probably be worth it.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Russo and Steele Auction to Feature Bugatti Veyron

2008 Bugatti Veyron
Courtesy of Russo and Steele
This weekend will be Russo and Steele’s first auction at Newport Beach, California. Billed as its “sports and muscle” event, I don’t think anyone will dispute that description with a 2008 Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 scheduled to cross the block at 8:27 am on Saturday.

We’re talking serious supercar here, with speeds of more than 400 kilometres per hour. Totally over the top, but that’s kind of the point. It has an 8.0 litre W-16 engine with four turbochargers pushing it to over 1000 horsepower. Of course, if you actually drove it at those speeds, you’d very quickly run out of fuel. Bugatti’s own website cites combined fuel consumption at 24.9l/100 km, and that’s presumably at street legal speeds. Wikipedia says it gets 14 miles to the gallon on the highway, and, if going at top speed, burns through 1.4 gallons or 5.3 litres a minute. Yikes.

2008 Bugatti Veyron
Courtesy of Russo and Steele
I’m betting there’s a hefty reserve on this car, given its original price was close to $2 million. Surprisingly, Russo and Steele say 300 were actually built. That’s a lot more than I would have figured they could sell. It’ll be interesting to see if this one sells, and for how much. It’s in stunning Italian Red with black leather upholstery, and, excepting a protective 3M clear bra, is factory original. You can check out the Carfax report on Russo and Steele’s site, if you’re interested.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Model T’s Birthplace Open to the Public

1912 Ford Model T Touring at Fort Chambly, QC
by Kate Tompkins
I haven’t had a chance to check this out in person, but if you like early Fords and you’re in the Detroit area, why not visit the Ford Piquette Avenue plant museum and education center. It’s open to the public from April through October, Wednesday through Sunday.

Ford’s first car plant, the Piquette plant was built in 1904 and used until 1910, remaining virtually untouched since then. It’s where the first 12,000 Model Ts were built (strangely enough, on the third floor). In addition to the plant floor, you can see Henry Ford’s office, an experimental room, and several vintage Fords. A display shows Fords in various stages of assembly and there’s also information on the lives of early auto plant workers.

You can find out more, including a list of other historic Ford sites in the area, on the museum’s website.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mercedes S Class Wagon Concept

There used to be lots of station wagons on the road when I was a kid, complete with fake wood panels, but since the invention of the minivan and the SUV, they’ve become increasingly rarer. Just not cool. However, a group of Italian students at design house Studiotorino recently came up with a “shooting brake” concept car based on the Mercedes SL. Before you decide that’s total sacrilege, take a look at the photos on emercedesbenz. I think they may be on to something. Okay, maybe not for you and me, but for the people that can afford to drive the Porsche Cayenne or a Range Rover. I’m certainly giving it space in the virtual garage.

Prefer something North American? How about Callaway’s take on a family-sized Corvette as described here in autoblog? I’m not making room for that one, but your mileage may vary.

Friday, June 7, 2013

50 Years of Mustang Merchandise

Courtesy Ford Motor Company

If you’re a Mustang fan, you probably already know that the iconic pony car is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Naturally there will be lots of products available with the Mustang 50 years logo on them, including the usual watches, T-shirts and model cars. Ford has cut deals with 50 companies to produce licensed products for the event.

One of those is Schott NYC, a family-run company that was founded the same year the Model T began production. They’ll be producing a limited edition leather jacket. There’s actually a historic connection between Ford’s Mustang and some of Schott NYC’s products. Back in World War II, Schott was producing bomber jackets, flight jackets and peacoats for American troops. Some of those jackets were worn by pilots from the 332nd Fighter Group, often called the Tuskegee Airmen.

Obviously that predates the Mustang by several years, but the car is named after the P-51 Mustang fighter plane that they flew. What makes it even cooler is that, according to Motortrend Magazine, the jacket will be made from repurposed materials used for manufacturing Mustangs, including a vintage key. You can see a photo here. No word yet on when exactly the jackets will be available, other than “later this year.”