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Jack Martin

Ferrari's new 458 Spider

Owning an open top Ferrari is perhaps one of the most common male fantasies, though with a five liter V8 providing motive force, it's infinitely more practical to have the protection and quietness of a hardtop when atmospheric conditions aren't optimum. Hence Ferrari's new 458 Spider with its automated folding aluminum hard-top solution makes infinite sense.  Read More

Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa sets world auction record - US$16.4 million

The world record for a car sold at auction was smashed on Sunday when the Ferrari Testa Rossa prototype sold for US$16.4 million. The previous record (US$12.1 million) for an auctioned car belonged to a 1957 Testa Rossa, so the original prototype had been expected to capture the record in the lead up to the Gooding & Co Pebble Beach auction. That's the hammer falling in the pic, with various auction fees making up the difference between the US$14.9 million and the "record" US$16.4 million.  Read More

Edsel Ford’s 1934 Model 40 Speedster

The annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance sees the world's most original and extraordinary automobiles on display, and this year another priceless restoration joined the group. Edsel Bryant Ford’s 1934 Model 40 Special Speedster has been the subject of an extensive restoration which returned it to how it originally looked in 1940 after its final redesign by Ford and Ford's lead designer E. T. Gregorie. That a 77-year-old vehicle can have aged as gracefully as it has is testimony to the talent of those that built it.  Read More

The Cadillac ELR

The Cadillac Converj luxury coupe, which made such a splash back in 2009 with its extended-range EV technology, is destined for production and will be named the Cadillac ELR. Not many details of the new ELR are available other than that it will feature an electric propulsion system made up of a T-shaped lithium ion battery, an electric drive unit, and a four-cylinder engine-generator.  Read More

Audi adds a second version of its as-yet unseen urban concept

Last week Audi released sketches of a new lightweight all-electric Urban concept it intends to show at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Now, before we've seen the Sportback version in the flesh, it has decided to add an open-air Spyder version of the 1+1-seat technical study. Both cars feature a continuous, pillarless window area and doors that open upwards for ingress/egress in tight urban surroundings. Even more intriguing is the similarity between the Le-Mans-winning R18 and the Urban concept - see images inside.  Read More

The 2012 Venom GT

The US$950,000 Hennessey Venom GT produces 1200 horsepower and weighs twelve hundred kilos (2,685 lbs) WET! By comparison, it makes the 267 mph, 1184 bhp Bugatti Veyron GT look overweight. The Veyron GT is 50 percent heavier, tipping the scales at 1,888 kg (4,162 lbs). The 2012 Venom GT will make its first public outing in its homeland later today when it attends the McCall's Motorworks Revival, the traditional first event of the Monterey / Pebble Beach weekend.  Read More

The car in question doing its job

The greater share of the value of any significant collector car is in the provenance – who sat in the seat before you, and experienced the same vehicle, can make a massive difference to the price the car commands. What then of a car that was specifically built for, and used, by Pope Paul VI? It went on to become the focal point of countless ticker tape parades for the first astronauts to orbit the moon (Apollo 8's Borman, Lovell and Anders), the first astronauts to set foot on the moon (Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, plus Command Module Pilot Michael Collins) plus Apollo 13's Lovell, Mattingly and Haise and Apollo 15's Scott, Worden and Irwin, President Lyndon Baines Johnson and Vice President Hubert Humphrey. How much will it go for?  Read More

Chevrolet Miray hybrid Sportser for Frankfurt

Chevrolet's lightweight, all-carbon-fiber roofless Miray concept is propelled by two front-mounted 15-kW electric motors for quick acceleration and zero emissions in urban driving. It can switch from the electric motors to the 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbo-charged gas engine mounted behind the cockpit, and it can employ all of the above for maximum sporting performance.  Read More

New fixed brake caliper saves 1.5 kilos per wheel

Continental is best known for its tires, but its latest product could help to significantly improve the handling of the family sedan when it is shown for the first time at Frankfurt Motor Show next month. It's a new fixed-type brake caliper for passenger cars, and in comparison to the fist-caliper brakes widely used at present, the new design saves around 1.5 kg per wheel.  Read More

The Thierry Mugler Inspire Powerboat

Provocative French designer Thierry Mugler's star has risen and fallen many times in thirty years of international prominence, though he seems to be back in vogue right now thanks to uber-fans Lady Gaga and Beyonce. For someone who has designed perfumes and fashion collections with a strong fetishist bent, he's certainly produced a remarkable effort in reimagining the 100 mph Spire powerboat with electric coupe roof. Not much information will be available on Mugler's design until the Monaco Yacht show next month, but it already represents some wonderful new and fresh thought on powerboat design.  Read More

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