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By the early 1960s, the Corvette had triumphed over the Thunderbird and was now firmly America’s sports car for the second-gen’s arrival as a 1963 model. Car guys, pilots and engineers all over America had taken the lightweight-big engine formula to heart with their prized first-gen Corvettes , but now they wanted more performance by every measurement. Much more speed, in particular.

Chevrolet had similar ideas when brainstorming ways to replace the C1 as far back as 1957. The Q-Corvette concept was a working idea of a smaller, lighter and nimbler Corvette than ever before. Four-wheel discs were to be standard, and the car was could hold its own on a racetrack right off the showroom floor.

Over the C2’s relatively short time — until 1967 — this Corvette became the quickest factory machine ever in the quarter-mile with the 11.02 second time recorded by the 1967 Corvette L88 Sting Ray Convertible .

Click past the jump for the full history of the 1963-1967 Chevrolet Corvette C2, with highlights from two prize-winning concours examples.

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Dream cars are such a regular and normal part of every car guy and gal’s life growing up. Waiting for that license, dreaming about the wild places you will go and friends you might meet. For generations of enthusiasts until the 1950s, however, such dreams were so unattainable they were foolish.

The only non-mass-market car around was the coach-built Phaeton from Rolls-Royce , Mercedes-Benz or Duesenberg .

Such was the gulf between the rich and poor at the time that it makes today’s 99-percent protests seem as ridiculous as they are. In those days, the ratio was more like 99.99999 percent versus the 0.00001 percent.

You can probably guess which group we and most young car shoppers would fall into. And it is not the one with the nines.

For a generation of hot-shot former military officers, pilots and engineers: coming home from the battle fronts of Europe and the Pacific had whet their appetites for speed. The enormous volume of men and women enchanted by steel machinery during wartime was unprecedented.

But coming home, the cars these speed demons found were lumbering, great heavy beasts with no power and little cornering ability whatsoever. These men were chasing the rush they felt in fighter bombers - but in a stylish and affordable package.

The Corvette from 1953 was the answer to these wishes and much, much more. Initially just a throw-away concept for the Motorama events, such was the demand that Chevy had no choice but to produce the car for sale.

But those shapes could never be made in steel! And never made in time to get the car to eager buyers. So a stop-gap solution was born to make the panels out of fiberglass over a ladder frame chassis. Little did the fabricators know, this template would underpin America’s sports car for the next 75 years or more.

The Chevrolet Corvette C1 is a very special automobile. Collected here are three incredible examples of this ground-breaking achievement for affordable dream cars ever since.

Click past the jump for this debrief of the 1953-1962 Chevrolet Corvette C1.

Posted on by Simona  

Ford will auction a one-of-a-kind prototype of the NHRA competition-ready 2014 Mustang Cobra Jet at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Las Vegas on September 28, 2013. All the proceeds will go to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

This one-off Cobra Jet prototype is powered by a 5.0-liter, supercharged V-8 engine mated to a T4 racing transmission. For safe racing, it also comes with a safety cage made out of chrome-moly, a three-link rear suspension, lightweight racing brakes, exclusive Cobra Jet-branded Weld wheels, a three-link rear suspension system and a 9-inch rear axle. The interior will also add Cobra-branded Recaro seats.

This special Cobra Jet also features a stunning fiery orange satin finish combined with dark gray reflective stripes and a distinctive license plate with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s logo.

The winner of the bid will not only get the car, but also a training session at Roy Hill’s Drag Racing School where he will be able to drive cars like the Shelby GT500 or the Boss 302 Mustang.

Updated 10/01/2013: This unique Mustang Cobra Jet prototype was auctioned this weekend during Barrett Jackson’s auction in Las Vegas for an impressive amount of $200,000.

Click past the jump to read more about the standard Ford Mustang Cobra Jet.

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The question of where to take Lincoln ’s styling was top-of-mind for Ford during the mid 1950s, and the net it cast was to both the internal styling teams and one special dream car creator of Italy.

Turbulent times for all the Blue Oval brands followed the market flop of their Edsel series, and Chevrolet was lighting up newsprint and auto shows with their swanky Motorama events and the original Corvette concept of 1953.

The desire for miraculous styling direction and stunning concept cars led to all the non-GM American car brands to pair off with Italian styling houses. During this flurry of deals, Ghia signed up with Chrysler , Bertone for Packard and Carrozerria Touring with Hudson.

Lincoln went with a less-renowned name of Felice Paolo to dress a rolling chassis with bespoke coupe bodywork ahead of the Turin motor show. The orange lacquer paint was barely dry on the 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis Exclusive Study by Carrozzeria Boano Torino when it was rolled onto the rotating platform of the Turin auto show.

This stunning concept car is headed for the glitz and flash bulbs again this November with RM Auctions, where the car’s previous million-dollar pricing is expected to climb in value yet again.

Click past the jump for all the unusual and one-off style of the 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis Concept.

Posted on by Simona  

When it comes to the supercars in the Dubai, we have heard just about every crazy story that we can think of. The latest one includes this new record-breaking Lamborghini Aventador , made out of gold and gems.

This shiny Aventador features 55 pounds of gold, and is currently on auction at a price of $7.5 million, with $650,000 of tht money earmarked for charity. With that massive price, this is set to be the most expensive Lamborghini in the world.

We are talking of course about a 1:18 scale model, carved from a 1,100-pound block of solid gold. The model is currently on display in a Dubai showroom, and for security reasons, it is currently just a prototype made from a less-expensive material. The fortunate winner of the bid will have the opportunity to customize the scale model according to his personal desire.

Despite not being a road-ready model, this Aventador is already listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most expensive model car.

Click past the jump to read more about the real Lamborghini Aventador.

Source: CNBC
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Classic Vettes are on the upswing in values this year, with the $3.2 million earned by this 1967 L88 Sting Ray Convertible at Mecum’s Dallas auction the highest total yet for any example of America’s sports car .

Corvette collection can become an obsession thanks to the huge variety of models, special editions and racing derivatives over the model’s 60-year history. Just like a bag of chips: once you pop... you can’t stop collecting these iconic machines.

Valuations for these models are incredibly sensitive to the car’s history, rarity and restoration quality. Beauty and the driving experience take a back seat to the engine specification and matching serial numbers. As such, this investment-grade L88 convertible’s huge earning at auction is a bit confusing to outsiders.

Part of a giant Bobby Herin collection sold by Mecum Auctions, to an outsider’s eye there seem to be many more special and beautiful examples out there, including some from Mr. Herin’s garage as well.

But they provenance of this L88 convertible is beyond reproach, with all the required documentation, the fuel tank sticker, and the other minute details collectors look for when purchasing a car at these prices. The authenticity of the interior adds patina, as does the car’s NHRA drag racing championship, old drag racing time slips, and the painstakingly-recreated original Marlboro Maroon paintjob.

How cool is this L88? It was beyond a ZR1 upgrade in its day, and the color directly influenced the new 2014 Stringray Convertible’s launch color .

Click past the jump for the full review of the most valuable Corvette (and perhaps any American road car) ever sold at auction, this 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible.

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Ever the tornado of creativity and speed, Ferrari was quite a volatile company in the early 1960s. For every race Enzo won, it seems like the Old Man made a few enemies as well. The failed buyout from Ford and the epic “palace revolution” of management resulted in a brain drain at Maranello.

Competing hot-shot engineers would form nearly a dozen competing supercar marques, including: Lamborghini , De Tomaso , Iso , ATS, ASA and Bizzarrini .

Each led by a mastermind engineer, stylist, machinest or visionary, only Lamborghini’s brand was strong enough to make it to the 1970s and beyond. The Ferrari exodus left all these talented men with huge ideas, but less of a real concept of how to bring the car to market effectively and resolve development problems outside their specialized area of experience.

Giotto Bizzarrini worked with all of the above firms before eventually launching what would be his best-known model: the 1965 Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada Alloy supercar. With all the latest curves, a wide road graphic and a low roof: the Strada was a gorgeous hit right from the start.

Sharing the low nose and mid-engine stance of the Lamborghini Miura , the Strada is actually a front-engine coupe powered by a reliable and torque-rich 5.3-liter Chevrolet small-block V-8 .

That’s right, the long history of Chevy small-block V-8 engines in bespoke supercars started well before the 2013 Local Motors Rally Fighter ’s 6.2-liter LS3 motor.

Click past the jump to read more about the 1965 Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada Alloy, with high-res images and performance details on its proven 161 mph top speed.

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Only a 1950s Maserati Spyder racecar could decline a $2.2 million dollar auction bid and go home disappointed. This 1953 Maserati A6 Sypder by Fantuzzi did not sell after failing to meet its reserve, but is still one of the most breathtaking automobile designs in history.

Who knows what collectors are thinking during these boozy social events of the high-dollar auction world. This Spyder, known by its code name of A6GCS/53 and/or chassis number 2053, has had quite the racing history to go with its stunning red paintwork, topless style and luxurious Jaeger dashboard gauges.

Despite some on-track crash damage in 1955 and a Chevy engine living under that soft nose in the 1960s, this Maserati Spyder is finally back in concours condition following a six-figure restoration since coming back to America in 1999.

Originally a U.S.-imported racing machine, the legendary Juan Miguel Fangio even took this exact Maserati Spyder for its first few laps in 1954.

Like many racecars from bygone eras, the Maserati A6 Spyder by Fantuzzi does not have mind-popping performance specifications or top speed claims. What is does have is true classic car history, with every panel and curve of this gorgeous bodywork telling the stories of long-passed racing glory for the Trident brand.

It also can stop your heart with its simple and delicate beauty, and knowledge that its drivers needed equal parts bravery, physical strength, and mental focus to take home podium trophies.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 1953 Maserati A6GCS/53 Spyder by Fantuzzi, certainly one of the best-looking racing speedsters in automobile history.

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This 1958 Facel Vega coupe has not been seen in public or ever sold at auction in its 55 years living in Texas. Part of a 300-unit run in total, the FVS Series 4 Sport Coupe is widely viewed as the most elegant and successful car from this fledging Parisian automaker. Powered by the potent Chrysler 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 from the 1950s, the Facel Vega has distinctly European elegance in its styling, but proportions that made this car look like a tank versus the mini cars otherwise driven by the French middle class.

Originally advertised as the car “For the Few Who Own the Finest,” Facel Vega’s were ideal transport for the Monaco crowd. A two-speed, pushbutton automatic and Bugatti -quality cabin materials set the tone for a giant price.

A cruiser at heart, the FVS Series 4 Sports Coupe brings together two sides of the Atlantic in a partnership that would spin pure gold for Carroll Shelby when done the other way around.

Shelby brought over a few of the lightest and smallest European roadster he could find, then added a monster American V-8 engine. Facel Vega went a different route, importing the frame chassis and engine of Chrysler 300C to France, before adding custom coachwork outside and in.

Both were big advancements toward international collaboration during a time when even mailing a postcard from New York to Paris took almost 6 weeks to arrive.
This coupe does not major in business lessons, as it was the high point for Facel Vega’s car manufacturing venture. The Facellia replacement was a failure, taking the company and its styling grace with it.

Click past the jump to see more about the 1958 Facel Vega FVS Series 4 Sport Coupe, with exquisite images of its red leather cabin and bespoke luggage.

To go along with the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance were a few auctions that typically have 10 to 12 million-dollar cars on hand each and every year. This year was no exception, as RM Auction’s Monterey auction had a total of 15 million dollar hammer values, but that’s not the most imressive number of the weekend.

The most impressive of the million-dollar club this year was the price tag that the 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 *S N.A.R.T Spider. This 1-of-10 model went for an astounding $27.5 million once the hammer fell on it, making it the second-most valuable car ever sold at auction and the most valuable Ferrari ever sold at auction by a long shot.

Reports point toward the car heading to the waiting arms of Canadian fashion businessman Lawrence Stroll, but those reports are not confirmed. Either way, whoever landed this Ferrari certainly has one of the most rarest cars on the planet and a much lighter wallet. Plus he gets to tinker around in a classic supercar with an incredible-for-the-era 3,286 cc quad-overhead-cam V-12 powerplant that blasts out 300 horsepower.

Alongside this outrageous auction price, there was also a 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Torpedo Roadster that went for $8.25 million; a 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider Series I that went for $3.52 million; and a 1974 McLaren M16C Indianapolis that went for the same $3.52 million.

Click past the jump to see the full million-dollar sales from this past Saturday.


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