The Rondeau-built M378 Le Mans GTP Racing Car is a true piece of Le Mans history, as it currently holds the title for most starts at Le Mans (10). With the amount of stress put on Le Mans cars today, this record is likely to stand for quite some time.
The M378 Le Mans GTP Racing Car made its debut in 1978 in the GTP class of the Le Mans 24 Hours race with two drivers, Bernard Darniche and Jack Haran. In its debut race, the Rondeau M378, or “Old Number 1” as it was nicknamed, took a somewhat disappointing 9th place. The following year, Old Number 1 was tweaked to M379 specifications and wound up pulling in 3rd overall and 1st in the GTP class.
The Rondeau M378 Le Mans GTP Racing Car saw plenty of success through the 1970s, but the 1980s were far less kind to it. As technology continued advancing, the Rondeau M378 Le Mans GTP Racing Car just couldn’t keep up. It all bottomed out in this record holder’s final race, as it ran in and finished the 1988 Le Mans 24 Hours race, but was not classified.
Shortly after its last race, the Rondeau M378 Le Mans GTP Racing Car went on to be sold off to an American collector, who raced it in the 1998 Monterey Historics race.
If you are looking to own a piece of Le Mans history, few stack up to this car’s legacy, but is this a good item to look into purchasing when it goes to auction on May 11th through 12th?
When it comes to 1970s road racing events, there was Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, then everybody else. One of these fine examples is heading off to auction on Saturday May 12th in Monaco, via RM Auctions. This example up for sale is the 1976 Porsche 934 Turbo RSR FIA GR/4 chassis No. 930.670.0540.
The 1976 Porsche 934 Turbo RSR FIA GR/4 was one of the most important years in road racing series, as in the years following, each of the large road-racing series implemented rule changes that would eliminate these cars being road legal. This 1976 Porsche is one of the last examples of a road-legal racecar, which means you can title it and drive it on any city street.
This model is also important, as its chassis number shows that this was the final model of 31 built of this type. This not only makes it a rare beast, but also a collectable one, being the final production model. The
only more desirable chassis would be the first one built.
Despite the fact that this model Porsche was racing against non-road-legal models, it still pulled off some impressive races. By far its biggest success was its 4th overall finish in the 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans. This makes it no surprise that this car also won many overall class championships between 1976 and 1977.
Want to own a true racing legend that was the last road-legal and top-level race-ready Porsche ever built? This is your model.
With sister company Nissan digging into the depths of its history to revive the old Datsun nameplate, Renault felt a little out in the cold. Well, the constructeur automobile Français, err, French automaker has decided yet again to revive its long lost sports car, the Alpine A110, sort of.
Renault has announced that a 50th anniversary Alpine A110 model will make an appearance at the 2012 Paris Motor Show (Mondial de l’Automobile 2012), which opens on September 29th and runs through October 14th. Keep in mind, Renault once explored this topic before, but axed it in 2009.
The original Alpine A110 debuted in 1961 and lasted through the 1977 model year. It had a rather Porsche-like design and had a number of engines ranging from a 66-horsepower 1,108 cc engine to an impressive 140-horsepower 1,605 cc engine.
There is no word as of yet what engine this retro revival will feature, nor what it will look like. Chances are, however, it will be very similar to the original. Given the fact that Renault also owns a large portion of Nissan, this tribute car will likely bear a few Nissan components.
An actual production model is unlikely, as Renault already features a compact sports car, the Wind, and having two similar cars in an already massive lineup could be harmful. Then there’s the fact that Renault-Nissan’s marketing head said “...for an Alpine to make sense financially, it would have to sell in North America and China.” We haven’t seen a Renault in the U.S. since 1989, so it’s a real stretch for it to ever see production.
Ultimately, Renault left us pretty much empty handed on details, so we all just have to wait patiently until September. Unless Renault decides to play nice and give us at least a glimpse.
UPDATE 07/01/2012: According to comments made by Renault chief of design, Laurens van den Acker, the French automaker is trying to develop a car that is more similar to the A110Berlinette from the `60s and `70s and that it is trying to do with Alpine what BMW has done with MINI. Now, before you go getting all excited about seeing a production model of the A110 concept, you can scratch that, as Renault wanting a design similar to the `60s and `70s Alpine A110 nixes that possibility.
To add some validity to the reports, Jean-Pascal Dauce, Renault’s motorsports department head, was reported saying that they anticipate producing 5,000 to 10,000 Alpines per year. Rumors also point to this limited lineup of sports cars running between €35,000 and €40,000 ($44,000 to $50,000), which makes them relatively attainable.
The final tidbit of info leaked is that Renault is anticipating its release to occur sometime in 2015. Unfortunately, there is no information on whether the new Alpine lineup will be available in the U.S. or not. We are certainly hoping that it does, given what we have seen from the A110 concept.
While the development of charging stations and wireless charging continues on a productive path, some people choose to charge their vehicles in a much more practical - and dedicated - fashion. We received a tip on an owner of a Fisker Karma in Paris that goes to great lengths - literally - to charge his hybrid sedan.
In the 16th District of Paris in "Place d’iena," where homes sell for about $3 million, a reader was able to take a picture of this Fisker Karma with its extension cord snaked out of its window. The extension cord was then stretched up to the owner’s window and undoubtedly plugged in to charge. As if that’s not ballsy enough in a neighborhood where thieves probably salivate at the opportunity of someone slipping up in their defenses, the owner left the car there overnight! This guy must really want to make sure his car is charged before going to work in the morning.
As a refresher, the Fisker Karma is a plug-in hybrid that uses a lithium-ion battery pack to power two 200+ hp electric motors for about 50 miles. Once the juice runs out of the batteries, a GM-sourced 2.0-liter gas engine producing 260 hp generates the electricity needed to power the sedan. Fisker says the Karma makes the 0 to 60 mph sprint in less than 6 seconds and can hit a top speed of more than 125 mph.
The Toyota iQ is far from a track-ready sports car. As a matter of fact, the mere thought of seeing a car like the iQ on track conjures up images of turtles participating in a quarter-mile race. But even if the iQ isn’t what you’d associate as a rocket-on-wheels, it doesn’t mean that it can’t look the part of one. That’s where the Toyota iQ City Racer comes in.
Limited only to a little over 300 units while being exclusively marketed in France, the iQ City Racer is being introduced as a sexier and far more aesthetically pleasing dress-up on the iQ. It’s got numerous color options to choose from - Orange Tabasco, Red, Pearl White, or Gray Aluminum - and can also get dressed up with two current black bands on the hood and the roof. There are also new mirror covers, some faux carbon elements on the flanks, a rear apron with a black chrome exhaust, dark tinted windows, and a new set of 16" black alloy wheels.
Output on the Toyota iQ City Car’s 1.33-liter Dual VVT-i petrol engine remains at 98 horsepower, which was expected considering that the whole point of the iQ City Racer was to make the car look more like a sporty racer, but not necessarily perform like one.
As it stands, Toyota has priced the car at €19,950, which is around $26,000 based on current exchange rates. It’s a pretty steep price for a car that only comes with aesthetic improvements, but hey, some people will love its new looks, even if they won’t get any performance enhancements.
Earlier this year, we chanced upon a dressed up Ferrari F430 Scuderia that was turned into a proverbial art car by digital artist Laurence Gartel, the same dude that pretty much taught Andy Warhol the ropes.
Recently, another 430 Scuderia-based Art Car was seen being developed, only this time, it’s the work of one Philippe Pasqua. The French artist took the task of wrapping up the Italian super car’s body in treated cowhide leather before putting his artistic skills to good use, designing the 430 Scuderia’s body in what can only be described as a comprehensive ode to something you’d see from Ed Hardy.
We doubt that Pasqua’s design had anything to do with the American clothing brand, but the intricate detail of Japanese motifs, sea creatures, and frightening skulls certainly speaks to the language of Hardy’s work. What we can take away from Pasqua’s design on the 430 Scuderia is that the man is a hell of an artist. What’s especially impressive is the fact that he was able to work around all of the edges and tiny crevices on the Italian supercar to enhance the beauty of his project.
We’ll give props where they’re due, and in Pasqua’s case, it’s all very much warranted. Now, if you happen to be in Paris next month, be sure to stop by at the Galerie Laurent Strouk to check out the Pasqua’s Ferrari F430 Scuderia Art Car hanging on a wall as an exhibit.
The Porsche Cayman hasn’t been getting a lot of love from tuning companies recently so the work done by French tuner Delavilla not only gives the Cayman some due recognition, but it also succeeded in blowing us away. We didn’t know that the Cayman R could be this sexy, so a lot of props go out to the small French tuning house for making it work. Saucy, indeed!
Putting aside our bulging eyes and salivating mouths, the Porsche-exclusive tuning company outfitted the Cayman R with a comprehensive exterior make-over, to go with a number of performance upgrades customers can choose from.
First off, the wide bodykit that was added to the Cayman R has turned the Porsche sports car into a real head-turner. The front and rear bumpers added some dimension to the sports car, as did the new fenders and side panels. In addition to that, LED daytime running lights were also installed to keep it up to the times, while a new set of multi-spoke wheels and bespoke quad tail pipes were fitted to provide some extra steam to what is already looking like a smokin’ hot ride. As for the interior, Delavilla added a new pair of sport bucket seats and plenty of Alcantara trim on both the steering wheel and the gear lever.
And then there’s the power upgrades. Not content with just one program for the Cayman R, Delavilla is offering three different power kits that can spike up the output of the Cayman R’s 3.4-liter flat-six engine from its standard 330-horsepower output to either 340 horsepower, 385 horsepower, or 420 horsepower.
Raise your hand if you ever thought you’d see a Bugatti Veyron in a supermarket. Of all the places you can find one of the fastest cars on the planet, it sitting idly between the dairy and the fruits and vegetable sections of a French supermarket isn’t really one of them.
But there it was, glistening ever so brightly for all the supermarket goers to drool over. The photos come courtesy of Bugatticars.Over-Blog.com, who somehow found themselves at the CORA mall in Mundolsheim, France in the presence of a Bugatti Veyron in attendance as part of a marketing stunt to allow everyday folks to get up close and personal with the supercar.
Let’s just hope nobody spilled a carton of milk on the car after walking past it.
Check out more photos of the Bugatti Veyron posing ever so proudly in the supermarket bu clicking on the link provided.
A new supercar was recently revealed Genty Automobile and it true to its boastful teasers, the car, called the Akylone, is promising a whole lot of performance capabilities.
Whether it lives up to its promise or not is still a matter of conjecture.
Genty Automobile is an independent French design company that seeks to produce high performance vehicles that go back to the basics of optimum power encased in a lightweight design. Their first offering is the Akylone, a supercar Genty is claiming to be a serious threat in the industry’s uber-competitive "supercar arms-race".
Despite being officially revealed, the Akylone appears to still be far from a finished product, which is a real bummer considering that we were expecting much more than just CAD renderings.
Nevertheless, new supercars are always worth their time on these pages, and it’s going to be very interesting how Genty follows up their official unveiling of the Akylone. Hopefully, we’ll get to see a live one up close real soon.
Updated 10/18/2011: This review has been updated with the official details, specs and images. Find out more about the Genty Akylone after the jump.