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Ferrari F12 berlinetta

The northeast U.S. is still in recovery mode after Hurricane Sandy rolled through and left it in shambles. Ferrari is now stepping in to help out the recovery process by not selling the first-run F12berlinetta in a traditional fashion. Rather, Ferrari will offer the first F12berlinetta sold in the U.S. to the highest bidder. No, Ferrari is not trying to increase it profits; it is taking all of the proceeds from the auction and donating it to the American Red Cross, which will then use that money to help out the victims of Sandy’s wrath.

This auction will take place on November 17th at the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, which kicks off in Austin Texas. The auction will start at 9:00 p.m. EST and the car will be given to the highest bidder. If you cannot attend the auction, you can still bid, but you’ll have to any Ferrari dealer to place your absentee bid.

The F12berlinetta will carry a $315,888 base MSRP, but as expected, the first-run example will pull in a lot more money than the typical model. Look for this to pull in somewhere near the $500 to $600K mark, maybe even more, if folks are feeling generous.

In addition to auctioning off its newest supercar, Ferrari and the American Red Cross have teamed up to launch a donation page, so you can sign up to give blood, volunteer or donate cash. What a wonderful act by Ferrari and something that many of these supercar companies just don’t get into all that often.

The Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing is a rare enough car, as there were only 3,258 examples ever built. Of those, only 1,400 were coupes. So, when you start talking about special edition models, you are getting into some of the rarest cars in the world.

When the SL300 was busy kicking ass at venues like the 24 Hours of Nürburgring and 24 Hours of Le Mans , it was not the standard road-going model that you saw. In fact, the car you saw boasted a completely different body. All of the road-going cars, prior to the car’s retirement from racing boasted a steel body and the racing models featured a lighter allot body.

After the 300SL’s retirement from racing, the alloy body became a 5,000 Deutsche Marks option on the already pricey base 300SL. Because of this massive markup, only 29 models were ever built and sold to the general public, thus making it one of the rarest Mercedes-Benz’s available today.

To read more about the 300SL Alloy Gullwing, click past the jump.

Back in late July, we received word that the ATS , Caddy’s 3-series fighter, was heading into production after lengthy speculation. At that time, apparently Cadillac had shipped the first-built ATS to a dealership, but its plans with this first model were never revealed. All we received was the canned “for later use” response about this first-production car.

We knew that the first-produced ATS would not be sold in the typical dealership and we were thinking that maybe GM would archive it somewhere, but we actually just found out that it is going to a better cause. GM is auctioning this first-run ATS off at Barrett-Jackson’s Las Vegas event on September 20th through the 22nd.

It being auctioned isn’t the big deal, as GM has decided to donate the car to the auction and Barrett-Jackson will waive all of its commission fees, which means 100 percent of the sale will go to benefit Team Joseph, a charity that benefits Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Needless to say, this is a honorable act of kindness by two giants in their respective industry and the second time GM has stepped up to auction off a car for charity. This one, however, seems like much less of a smokescreen than the last auction .

This time, we think a tip of the hat is in order for GM and Barrett-Jackson. It’s nice to see an American automaker in recent years stepping up and showing it is willing to give back to its customers, especially one that is still in recovery mode after almost going completely belly up just a few years ago.

While the estimated auction value of the Premium-trimmed ATS is unknown, we do anticipate it pulling in much more than the $47,795 MSRP for a 320-horsepower ATS. It may even crest the $100K mark.

Click past the jump to read Cadillac’s full press release.

Back in June, Ferrari auctioned off a 599XX Evo for a cool 1.4 million euro (about $1.77 million at the current rates), all of which was donated to help the victims of the earthquake that hit the Emilia Romagna region back in May. Now, the man who forked over his hard-earned cash was given his prize at a special ceremony in Monza.

The lucky owner is Benjamin Sloss, Vice President of Engineering for Google. He and his beautiful wife received the keys to their brand new 599XX from Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo, along with Scuderia drivers, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.

Sloss was thrilled with the event and said he was extremely happy to have contributed to this cause, which he decided to support as soon as he heard what had happened in Italy, in the hops of helping with the reconstruction plans.

Benjamin Sloss will now be driving around with a 6.3L V12 engine at his disposal, which pumps out 750 HP at 7000 rpm and 516 lb-ft of torque. Helping the engine along is a weight reduction of 77 lbs compared to the standard 599 model.

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 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 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.

Source: RM Auctions

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.

Source: RM Auctions

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