It’s two days short of a month since we last mentioned Dany Bahar and Lotus in the same sentence, but we knew the silence couldn’t go on forever. While we await the outcome of the potential wrongful-termination lawsuit Bahar is allegedly planning, Lotus continues to rid itself of any signs of Bahar.
This de-Bahar-ing of Lotus began with the scrapping of all but one of his concept cars, much to the joy of Lotus purists, and has now moved into an almost personal attack. Lotus is now auctioning off Bahar’s company car, which so happens to be a fully restored and customized 2002 Esprit V8.
It features a custom pearlescent white paint job, Nova OZ wheels, center-exit exhaust, custom rounded taillights, and a Final Edition Esprit rear wing. The interior is bespoke too, featuring leather and SuedeTex throughout.
The front brakes feature 4-piston AP Racing calipers, while the rear brakes are Brembo-built. The engine and transmission were both rebuilt less than 1,000 miles ago, despite only having 36,000 miles on them to begin with. On top of the Sport350 “High Boost” ECM mod, we suspect that both the engine and transmission have some internal modifications, so it likely punches out much more than the 350 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque it did from the factory.
This entire restoration was commissioned by Bahar and carried out in a Lotus factory, likely on Lotus’ dime – surprise, surprise. Is it any wonder why the company is in such a financial hell right now?
Anyways, in an effort to raise a little capital, Lotus is now auctioning off this rig to the highest bidder via its UK dealerships. NADA lists a high-retail value of $60,300 on the 2002 Esprit, but we assume this one will fetch closer to the $80,000 range with all of its custom work.
We’ll keep you updated on the final auction results.
In the early-1960s, Ford had gained an interest in long-distance road racing and decided it was time to invest in a car that could compete in the likes of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. In 1963, Ford and Ferrari struck a deal for production, but Ferrari cut the project off after they couldn’t come to an agreement as to whether Ford could participate in the Indy 500 or not.
Ford then decided if Ferrari wasn’t going to work with them, they were going to beat them. Ford negotiated with both Lotus and Lola before deciding to go with Lola, but the car was a complete mess and retired much more than it finished. After the 1964 Nassau race, Carroll Shelby stepped in to right the ship.
Between 1966 and 1969, the GT40 went on to win the Le Mans an impressive four times in a row, entrenching it in racing history and propelling Carroll Shelby even further into legendary status. Following the 1969 model year, the GT project was shut down and the GT40 production stopped at just 107 cars, ending its impressive run.
Check out our full review on the GT40 after the jump.
At the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1955, BMW unveiled an all new sports car that was put in place to help continue the company’s post-war growth. The 503, as BMW dubbed it, went into production the next year and came in both a coupe and convertible model. Only 413 total 503 models were ever built and 139 of those were convertibles (cabriolet).
This makes the BMW 503 Series I Cabriolet one of the most desired BMWs of both its era and all eras, for that matter. The 503 was never an overly powerful model, but it was a well-balanced car that delivered performance and comfort at the same time – something that was lacking in the late-1950s.
With it only seeing a production run up until 1959, getting your hands on one of these gems is quite the tough task. It is not completely impossible, however, as there are a few that cross the auction block every handful of years. You can bet your bottom dollar on the fact that these rare 2+2 drop-tops fetch a rather hefty sum.
Click past the jump to read all about the 1956 through 1959 BMW 503 Series I Cabriolet.
The Lotus Elite was Lotus’s first ever GT car and was what really launched Lotus into the forefront of racing. When it debuted in 1958, no one had seen anything like it. The Elite boasted a paltry curb weight, thanks to its unit-body construction that was 100 percent fiberglass, instead of the more typical fiberglass body-on-steel frame construction.
The powerplant was manufactured for Lotus by Coventry Climax, and varied in power, depending on the Elite’s options. This 1,216 cc engine pumped out between 75 and 105 horsepower, and threw power to the rear wheels via an MG-built 4-speed early on or a 4-speed ZF trans in their later years. That may not seem like much by today’s standard, but for a 4-cylinder of the late-50s and early-60s, that was amazing. Plus its lightweight body created a weight ratio ranging from about 10 pounds per horsepower to 20 pounds per horsepower.
The Elite’s body was a thing of beauty, as it looked very quirky, but boasted a 0.29 drag coefficient, which is better than even the 2002 Acura NSX with its 0.30. Its long nose and rounded cabin just added the the car’s character, but its backside just didn’t fit in with the rest of the car.
Regardless of the super-skinny wire wheels and tires, the Elite Series II actually handled pretty well. It can attribute this to its 4-wheel independent suspension, which was unheard of at the time, with dual wishbones upfront and Chapman struts on the rear. These are similar to MacPherson struts in construction, except that they use a drive shaft and light radius rod in place of a lower control arm.
Also revolutionary for the era was its use of 4-wheel disc brakes and inboard brakes on the rear. These inboard brakes help reduce the vehicle’s unsprung weight, keeping the spring and strut movement more stable.
Click past the jump to read about the Elite Series II’s pricing.
Launched in 1951, the DB3 was never the successful race car Aston Martin hoped it would be. It was powered by a Lagonda straight-6 engine with 133 HP, which only proved to be very unsuccessful, but that was partly rectified in 1952 when Aston Martin replaced the 2.6 liter engine with a larger one: a 2.9 liter with 153 HP. These changes didn’t drastically improve the DB3, but it improved by placing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th at Silverstone in May 1952 and was then forced out of Le Mans.
After that, Aston Martin had to take some serious measures to save the failing race car. They asked designer A.G. Watson for some assistance and the following year - in 1953 - the company came up with a new prototype in Charterhill, UK. This new version was called the DB3S and featured a lighter chassis with a reduced wheelbase and a few other modifications that helped it be more successful on the race track.
The new DBS3 stayed in production until 1956 during which Aston Martin produced a total of 31 units: 11 work cars - that have never been raced - and 20 cars being sold for customer use.
Hit the jump to read more about the Aston Martin DB3S.
Carroll Shelby is and will always remain a legend in the automotive industry. He took skill, dedication, and a little bit of good luck to produce some of the most amazing muscle cars that will ever be produced, from the very first Shelby Mustang produced in 1965. What Shelby did to Ford’s new Mustang was transform it from a less-than-stellar pony car to a limited edition Shelby GT350 R
The Mustangs built for the 1965-1966 model years were powered by a K-Code 271 engine modified to produce 306 HP, but the GT350 was a car not built for comfort or ease of driving, so the right place for it was the race track. This decision lead Ford to Shelby for the development of the Shelby GT350 R for the SCCA races.
Shelby American only built 34 units of these GT350R models, even though the SCCA rules required a total of 100 units to be built and raced. However, during an SCCA race weekend, the GT 350R proved what an amazing car it was as it competed at the highest level.
Hit the jump to read more about the 1965 Shelby GT350 R.
Evanta Motor Company has made itself a nice niche in the automotive realm by manufacturing extremely accurate reproductions of some of the rarest Aston Martins in the world. The latest model it is selling is likely one of the most unique models to date.
Not only is this a model of the famed DRB1 that Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori piloted, but it is a full-size model. On the surface that sounds normal, but when we say “model,” we mean that as in the type you bought in the toy store as a kid... Yup, this model is a disassembled “AirFix” type model.
If you don’t recall, these are the types of models where the pieces are molded into square frames and you have to twist the pieces from the frames to separate them. This model includes all of the basics you would see in the standard “AirFix” model, including: race-ready seats, fiberglass body panels draped in Aston Martin Californian Sage Green, grille, wheels and tires, steering wheel, dashboard, gear shifter, and even a replica of the 1959 Le Mans trophy.
No, you can’t whip out the superglue and throw this bad boy together. This 20- by 10-foot beast is intended to sit in a rather spacious collection and be viewed by awe-struck onlookers. Everything in this kit is 100 percent identical to the model that won the 1959 Le Mans and to make it even more desirable, Evanta is including an Aston Martin baseball cap signed by Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori, both of whom past away earlier this year.
You can catch a glimpse of this massive dedicatory piece at the Goodwood Revival Car Show, which kicks off on September 14th and lasts through the 16th. If you have some extra scratch laying around, you can also snag up this one-off piece, as Bonhams will be auctioning it off at the Revival Car Show. Unfortunately, no estimated pricing was given, but we are certain it’ll fetch in the $100,000 range.
Click past the jump to read Evantra’s official press release.
While we are still waiting for some official details from Chevrolet for its seventh generation Corvette, you can already bid for one on eBay. This may be the perfect chance for someone to be the very first owner of the upcoming Corvette C7, or the first person to be scammed into sending money to an unknown source for the Corvette. Also, don’t get fooled by the current bid - it’s only $4,250 - because this is just a deposit for the car. The full amount will have to be paid upon receiving it and if you decide to back out, they get to keep 10% of your deposit.
While the summary on eBay doesn’t offer many details on the next C7 Corvette, it does reveal that the future sports car will keep its usual V8 engine, mated to either a six-speed manual or an automatic gearbox. The specific Corvette on eBay is only the base model, but the winner of the bid can add any options he wants once it is paid for.
The Chevrolet C7 Corvette is set to arrive in mid-2013 and rumors say it will be powered by a 5.5L small block V8 engine that will deliver about 440 HP.
The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR was officially launched at the 2007 New York International Auto Show where it was displayed as a celebratory piece for the 40th Anniversary of the original 1968 Shelby Cobra GT500KR. This car was so amazing, that Carroll Shelby himself grabbed up a model to put in his garage. Now, the model he drove can be yours as it will be put up for auction at Vicari’s 16th annual Biloxi Auction set to take place from October 7-14, 2012
Carroll Shelby’s car is painted in Ebony Black combined with a Satin Ebony Stripe. Only 236 units like this were built in 2009, making the muscle car a unique piece of machinery. The GT500KR is powered by a supercharged 5.4 liter V8 engine that delivers a total of 540 HP at 6,250 RPM and a peak torque of 510 lbs.-ft at 4,500 RPM. The car can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds and runs the quarter mile in 12.5 seconds.
This is one of those rare opportunities where one lucky person can be the proud owner of a vehicle once driven by an automotive legend. It’s not going to come cheap, but it will be absolutely worth it.
This special edition features a one-of-a-kind paint scheme created for the event. The goal in customizing the Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca is to create a vehicle that will attract the highest bids from car collectors. If anyone is interested in this unique opportunity, the auction will be held on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012 at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
"Like many people, my family has been personally affected by the challenges of cancer and I am proud to chair Cattle Baron’s Ball in Detroit," said Jim Farley, Ford Motor Company group vice president for Global Marketing, Sales and Service. "As a fan of the powerful, historic Mustang, I am especially pleased to provide this American icon for auction."