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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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The record-shattering $27 million dollar auction price of the ultra-rare 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S NART Spider is making waves through the entire classic car scene.

Never before has such a late-model Ferrari earned such totals - which are typically the preserve of the 250 series from pre-1964.

What makes this gorgeous Ferrari so much more valuable than the thousands of other classic Ferrari’s seeking new homes? How did the price of this single model nearly double the $14 million dollar average price - excluding this giant total - when any of these 10 cherished models have changed hands in the past?

Part of what makes this NART Spider so valuable is the car’s unique blend of the gorgeous late-1950s Ferrari styling and advanced mechancials. The GTB/4S upgrades dramatically increased the performance and handling of this V-12 supercar. Almost the entire Maranello racing technology suite was applied to the NART Spider - allowing it to be a posh cruiser that was also capable of serious speed on a racetrack.

The V-12’s quad overhead camshafts were a first on a road car, while the rear-mounted transaxle, limited-slip diff and independent rear suspension were all huge advancements that were offered first in the NART Spider.

Ferrari never looked back from all the new technology introduced on the NART Spider. At the same time, the NART is especially sentimental because Ferrari would not make make such an emotionally-styled road car again for decades. The 365 GTB/4 Daytona was 1967’s new hot style and Ferrari followed the money trail by ending 275 production.

Little did they know, the layers of exclusivity and special editions that helped create this this NART Spider would make it the most valuable road car ever sold. Ever.

Click past the jump for the full review of this timeless classic Ferrari, with details on the technology and style of this model during its 10-unit production run in 1967.

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The 201 mph Ferrari F40 is unlike all other supercars : every year that passes, its stunning exterior design and brutal turbocharged power delivery seem even more appealing. In the new-is-best world of supercar ownership, the lasting and growing influence of this 30-year-old exotic is quite unique.

The F40 legend started with a bang as the final car to be presented by Enzo himself on the year of his death. Rows and rows of the matching Rosso Corsa red F40’s lined the Fiorano pit area with another key figure in Ferrari lore: a young Luca Di Montezemolo smiling in his 1980s power suit next to this line of exotica.

As much a story about the passionate men and women behind the scenes, there is almost nothing boring about the F40 in any way. Originally set for a 399-unit production run, the total swelled to more than 1,200 over the car’s lifetime from 1987 to 1992.

The F40’s shocking looks and speed are appreciating in value steadily, and may one day even overtake the Ferrari NART Sypder’s $27 million dollar auction record from this past weekend.

Until then, this Ferrari is already one for the ages. It is as much a joy to drive as it is to admire, almost like a fine painting — new details emerge and captivate the mind. Collectors are notoriously fastidious when it comes to flogging their prized investment, but the F40 is no show queen.

The F40 can dance. The mid-mounted V-8 engine’s then-state-of-the-art twin turbochargers power just the rear wheels through an 8-ball billiard gear knob and the classic polished H-gate pattern.

Weighing more than 500 pounds less than its arch rival — the Porsche 959 — the Ferrari F40 slams its driver toward any horizon at light speed (once those parallel IHI turbochargers spool up).

Click past the jump for the full review of the 1987 - 1992 Ferrari F40, arguably the absolute pinnacle of supercar design and influence.

A Formula One racecar belonging to arguably the greatest F1 driver in history is apparently such a collector’s item that people will deep pockets are willing to pay a moon’s price for it.

That much was made very clear at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed after Juan Manuel Fangio’s 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 sold for a staggering $29.6 million, making it the most expensive car to be sold at a public auction, the most expensive F1 race car ever and, as a cherry on top of the proverbial sundae, the most expensive Mercedes in history.

Lots of "expensive" there, huh?

The racecar, which was sold at a Bonhams auction late last week, is the same one Fangio used to win his second Formula One title in what became an illustrious and now legendary career. It’s noted for being the racecar that introduced a bevy of new technologies into F1, including the use of a fuel-injected engine, an all-independent suspension from Mercedes, a multi-tubular ’spaceframe’ lightweight chassis design, all-round inboard-mounted brakes, and the ’straight-8’ engine ’laydown’ configuration that reduces the car’s overall height.

Suffice to say, this Mercedes racecar is that rare gem in automotive history that commands a price depending on how deep the pockets of the bidders are.

And apparently, "deep" meant to the tune of $29.6 million.

Click past the jump to read about Juan Manuel Fangio

Source: Bonhams
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On the eve of a new 2014 Touareg launch from Volkswagen later this year, here is a look back at the model’s mechanical and style evolution during its 9-year run in the U.S. from 2004 through 2013 – between 2002 and 2004, it was available in other markets. No fewer than seven unique engines have powered this PL71-platform VW behemoth in production form. Even including its stable-mates the Porsche Cayenne or Audi Q7 , no other SUV in the history of the automobile has packed more mechanical variations over a relatively short run.

From basic I-5 diesels to V-6s up to the monster V-10 TDI and W-12 gasoline engines and even a hybrid in the mix, the Touareg has been a true jack-of-all-trades and a phenomenal global success for the Volkswagen group. It is worth remembering that the platform development and manufacturing partnership between VW and Porsche had long been dead until this SUV project brought it back to life in 1999.

The first Porsche-VW baby of the new era was born a healthy, slightly pudgy infant with the Volkswagen Touareg. A name only a mother could pronounce, it is said as both “twa-reg” and/or “toar-reg.” If you don’t already know, the Toureg – the real ones, not the car – are a North African group of people that speak Berber.

Ostensibly a response to the success of the Mercedes-Benz ML series launched in 1998, the Touareg’s mission was to be all things to all buyers. The goal was complex: Range Rover comfort, BMW 5-series road-going abilities and G-Wagen strength when all paved roads turn to dirt.

Click past the jump to read about the evolution of the Volkswagen Touareg.

Lamborghini Celebrating its 50th Anniversary with Grande Giro

One of the most hyped parts of Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary is the Grande Giro parade, a four-day grand tour that will feature over 350 Lamborghini supercars, all of which began their tour at Lombardia, Italy before it finished off at Bologna on the 10th of May. From there, another day of driving ensued before the parade of Lambos reached their destination at company headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese on the 11th.

Needless to say, the whole parade was chronicled by Lamborghini itself. That’s what happens when you celebrate your 50th birthday. You take the time to make it as special as it can be.

In addition to all the special-edition supercars that Lamborghini has unveiled as part of its celebration, including the absolutely bonkers Egoista , the Grande Giro parade has to be considered one of the finest ways to blow out the candles on Lamborghini’s 50th birthday.

Having all those Lamborghini owners sharing in the event only made the parade that much more special.

Click past the jump to watch the four-day Grande Giro parade through the eyes of Lamborghini

Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary is gearing up to be quite a celebration for the Italian automaker. Numerous plans have already been unveiled, including a number of special edition Lamborghinis, including the Lamborghini Aventador LP720-4 50.

From this special-edition model that’ll undoubtedly get the attention it deserves from buyers, another highlight celebration for Lamborghini is the Grande Giro .

After much hype and buzz, Lamborghini officially kicked off the Grande Giro and boy, did it do so in grand style.

Painstaking preparations were made to ensure that all the Lambo exotics participating in the long-distance run were in tip-top shape. From the classic Miuras to the modern-day Aventadors , there are no shortages of Raging Bulls participating in the event. And the video above gives us a close look at all the preparations and the start of Grande Giro.

Now that’s how you celebrate your 50th anniversary. Bravo, Lamborghini!

Click past the jump to read more about Lamborghini’s Grande Giro run as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations.

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The BMW Art Cars project has built a lasting link between contemporary art and BMW motorsport. There are no sponsor stickers on these cars – just the beauty and timelessness of art.

In addition to creating some gorgeous show pieces for the BMW museum, the Art Car project is more important now than anyone first envisioned when signing off on the initial Calder work in 1975. Each of the cars represents the artist’s point of view at the time, expressed in the same medium: a BMW.

The artists selected over the years have broad backgrounds, nationalities and portfolios that could almost never be compared directly outside of the Art Cars collection, because in their daily craft they all choose wildly different mediums to express themselves. Whether the work of a sculptor, painter, graphic designer, conceptualist or visionary, the end products are cars that are truly magnificent to behold.

For 2013, BMW Portland is sponsoring a new contest that is open to anyone. The winning artist’s work will adorn a 2013 BMW 650i, and the details are available here. The deadline for submissions is May 15th, 2013, so start your creative engines and submit a winner!

click past the jump for a timeline of the BMW Art Cars project and image galleries of the 18 stunning BMW Art Cars so far.

Ok, we get it now. Apparently, 1963 was a pretty big year for the auto industry, the kind of eventful 12 months that eventually deserved 50th anniversary celebrations.

Well that time has come and fittingly enough, we’ve been besieged with so many of these anniversary news that it’s becoming hard to keep track of all of them.

The latest to hop on the growing trend is Porsche . While they’re not really celebrating their 50th year in existence (they already did that in 1981), they are celebrating the golden anniversary of their most iconic model, the Porsche 911 .

Obviously, a car of the 911’s stature deserves the best kind of happy birthday events and it appears that Porsche isn’t about to let its baby down. The German automaker recently announced a string of special events dedicated to the 911, beginning with the ‘Retro Classics’ automobile show in Stuttgart. It’s going to be at this exhibit where Porsche will exhibit four of the most iconic 911 models in history, including the pre-series Type 754 T7, considered as the core of the first ever 911 that was designed by founder Ferdinand Porsche.

From there, the 1967 model 911 will embark on a year-long world tour that will take it to five continents, and appear in motorsports events and exhibits in California, China, Paris, Australia and the UK.

Another exhibit, called the "50 Years of the Porsche 911", will be open from June 4 to September 29 2013. Concluding the anniversary extravaganza is the publishing of a new “911×911″ anniversary book that chronicles the entire history of Porsche’s most legendary model.

With so many automakers celebrating some kind of anniversary this year, it’s easy to lose sight of some of the other automotive and motorsports anniversaries that are scheduled to take place this year.

For their part, Volkswagen wanted to make sure that Formula Vee gets its proper recognition as a series that’s turning 50 years old this year. So before the start of the 24 Hours of Daytona over the weekend, Volkswagen led the way in celebrating 50 years of Formula Vee with a parade of the finest cars from the series.

Formula Vee traces its roots back to August 1963 at the Daytona International Speedway. Back then, the inexpensive racecars only made use of 1.2-liter engines that produced less than 40 horsepower with chassis taken from the Volkswagen Beetle. The success of Formula Vee in the US made its throughout Europe and on July 4, 1965, Formula Vee officially held its first race in Europe in front of 50,000 fans at the Norisring circuit in Nuremberg.

Since then, the series gave birth to Formula Super Vee, as well as the already established Formula Vee 130.

The 50th anniversary of Formula Vee was attended by some of racing’s biggest names, a lot of whom also trace their roots in the series. Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyk was there, as were U.S. star Michael Andretti, Daytona champion Didier Theys, Le Mans winner Hurley Haywood, former DTM greats Hans-Joachim Stuck, Leopold Prinz von Bayern, Klaus Niedzwiedz and Dieter Quester, and rally icon Markku Alén.

"That was a highly emotional experience, celebrating the beginnings of Volkswagen Motorsport against such an impressive backdrop and together with such great names from the world of racing,’ Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito said.

"The revival here in Daytona, where it all began with the first Formula Vee race, has reunited many of these legends and that is something of which we are very proud. Vee are family – just like Volkswagen, Formula Vee is one big family."


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