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Chevrolet Chevelle Z-16

Cloned classic cars are everywhere. Heck even my dad has a cloned 1966 Chevelle SS. There is one difference between my dad, along with most other cloners, and one Bobby Patton, they have no problem admitting that their vehicle is officially a clone.

Mr. Patton apparently purchased a 1965 Chevy Chevelle from a gentleman and figured out that there is one extremely rare model in 1965 that the average person wouldn’t recognize from a regular old Chevelle. This model is the 1965 Chevelle Z16 , which features a boxed frame, different engine stampings, special badges, different rear end, and the most obvious one, a unique VIN.

After tricking some car show judges into giving him a nice collection of trophies, Mr. Patton decided he was going to try and make a quick buck off of this clone by auctioning it off. Well, the problem is that he didn’t identify the vehicle as a clone, but as one of the few Z16s in the world, and was trying to get a cool $100K out of it.

The crack detective team at Chevelles.com sniffed out this fraud and began a conversation with the man that was auctioning the car. The conversations were not accusatory, but instead an attempt to help the guy realize that whoever sold him that car had tricked him. One of the folks talking to Mr. Patton pointed out numerous errors with the vehicle, including a homemade cowl VIN tag, incorrect speedometer, wrong engine stamping, wrong frame, and many other things.

Obviously, the guy kept pressing the issue and it took several days for him to come to his senses and pull the car from the auction site. That was a little too long, as someone reported him to the Ohio State Highway Patrol and they paid him a nice visit.

He claimed to have purchased the car that way, but the cops found out from the original owner that the car was badged, titled, and sold as a Chevelle 327SS, not a Z16 . A long story short, now his car is impounded and he is serving two years of probation. Who would have known cloning a car could cause such issues?

Image is of a real Chevrolet Chevelle Z16.

Though not all auto buffs enjoy watching auto races, there is no disputing that all car buffs love race cars. This becomes even more amplified when you look at classic racecars, as this was back when racecars were really racecars. There were no restrictor plates or standardized engine manufacturing, if one maker could maximize power within the regulations of the sport, it was all good. Nowadays, racecars are, for the most part, mechanical copies of one another with a differing bodies.

So, when a classic race car hits the auction block, affluent car buffs’ ears perk up just a little bit, especially when a legend hits the block. The latest legend to be scheduled for auction through RM Auctions is the 1968 Alfa Romeo T33/2 ‘Daytona’, particularly chassis No. 75033.99. Ed McDonough, an Alfa Romeo expert, stated that chassis No. 75033.99 was a racing car of the 1960s, but the overall record keeping of chassis by Alfa Romeo was poor, so records of all of its races are a little sketchy, as are details of how many chassis were built.

McDonough estimates that 20 chassis were built and that this particular chassis was involved in one of the best showings by Autodelta/Alfa Romeo, as it was a part of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishes at the 1968 500 KM race in Imola, beating Porsche by a wide margin.

The owner of the vehicle claims that the vehicle is in operating condition and is “very reliable.” It has a Dutch and U.K. road registration, and FIA, HTP, and FIVA documents.

This racing legend features a 270-horsepower, 2.0-liter V-8 engine – yes, a 2.0-liter V-8 – and a six-speed gearbox. It also features independent front and rear suspension, and has a 2,250 mm (88.58-inch) wheelbase. So, if you are in the market for a turnkey classic racer, you can snag this one up May 11 or 12, 2012 in Monaco. There is no estimated price, as of yet, but it will certainly crest the $100K mark, easily.

Hit the jump for the official press release and more pictures.

Nissan 200SX

Back in the 1990s, Nissan was knees deep in sports cars. These sports cars began with the Sentra SE-R, then moved to the mid-range 240SX, and at the top end was the 300ZX. Even after the Sentra SE-R was eliminated in 1995, the 200SX SE-R, which was little more than a restyled Sentra, came into existence.

In the late 1990s, this all went away, as the 300ZX disappeared after 1996, and the 200SX and 240SX vanished in 1999. The Z-car was resurrected with the 350Z , then the 370Z , but the SX lineup has since remained dormant. Now with Subaru and Toyota teaming up to bring a new mid-level sports car to the marketplace, Nissan has again begun talks of releasing its own mid-level sports car.

According to Australian newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald, Nissan’s head of design said "It is the time to look at that [smaller engines]. With 370Z, we still don’t know next generation will have a larger or smaller engine." The chances of a Z-car with a lower engine size are rather doubtful, given that it has always increased in size throughout its entire lifespan. Plus you have to add in that the Z-car crowd is a tight-knit group that will likely not take change too well.

Those points all lead to Nissan possibly creating an all-new mid-level sports car, maybe even bearing the “SX” nameplate . A good possibility could be a 250SX bearing the same – or maybe better version of – the 200-horsepower, 2.5-liter engine found in the 2012 Sentra SE-R. This could also spawn a base level 200SX that has the 140-horsepower engine that you can find in the base 2012 Sentra, maybe with a few upgrades to punch up the power a bit.

Given the fact that the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT 86 are not speed demons, Nissan would need to worry more about it looking and handling well, as opposed to making it a screamer. As of now, this is purely speculation, but it damn sure would be a cool thing to see!

Image is of the 2011 Nissan Esflow Concept which is said to preview the future sports car.

Many years ago, okay maybe less than two years ago, if you were cruising down the road in your hopped up Mustang GT and came across a Mustang bearing the “Saleen” name on the side, you knew your poor GT had no chance. In 2007, this all started to change, as Steve Saleen left the company. Then in 2011, the performance vehicle side of Saleen shut down altogether. This rendered the once feared custom car builder just a high-performance parts supplier.

Shortly after leaving Saleen, Steve Saleen started SMS Supercars, basically a new version of Saleen. A long legal battle ensued after Saleen’s new ownership group refused to honor warranties for the performance vehicles it manufactured prior to taking ownership and SMS SMS Supercars stepped in to try to help. The legal battle circled around whether or not SMS Supercars had the right to use the “Saleen” name.

After what seems like ages, there is finally a decision. Steve Saleen has been awarded the rights to use the “Saleen” name on all of his vehicles. In addition, all previously manufactured SMS Supercar vehicles will be added to Saleen’s master registry, making them official Saleen vehicles. Plus, Saleen will start producing badges for all of the old SMS Supercar vehicles, which SMS Supercar owners can buy and put in place of the old “SMS” badges.

SMS Supercars essential now becomes one with Saleen, which means Saleen will begin producing super high-performance models of the Dodge Challenger , Ford Mustang, and Chevy Camaro .

Saleen lovers of the world rejoice! The days of Saleen being little more than AutoZone on steroids are over. We cannot wait to see the first Saleen branded cars, which should be coming very soon, though there is no official release date.

Hit the jump for the official press release

When the Porsche 911 debuted in the 1965 model year, it revolutionized the sports car, turning it from a crude performance machine to a performance machine with some class and sophistication. The man behind the design of this now legendary machine, Ferdinand Porsche, has passed away at the age of 76 and the cause of death has not been released.

The 911 is one of the few cars that, with the exception of some basic restyling and technological advances, still looks strikingly similar to its original model. The 911 also remains one of the top luxury sports cars in the world. This is a great tribute to the designing genius of F.A. Porsche, as those inside of the company knew him.

Porsche was born on December 11, 1935 and quickly got into the family business as just a young boy, though not actually on the payroll. It was not until he competed his schooling in 1958 that he joined the company as an employee. Just four years later, he took over the design studio at Porsche.

In the 1970s, Porsche left the company in the control of other family members and focused on designing eyeglasses, watches, and pens in his own studio, dubbed Porsche Design Studio. From 1990 to 1993, he rejoined Porsche AG, as a chairman, and helped guide the company back to greatness after a steep decline in sales through the 1980s.

Despite the fact that F.A. Porsche is really only well known for designing one model of vehicle, that model will keep him a legend forever. Fortunately for all of us, the spirit and ingenuity of Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche will live on for many years to come in the form of his creation, the Porsche 911.

Anytime you come from a lineage that traces its roots back to the Mercedes 300 SL Roadster , the shoes you’re filling are about as big as the craters on the moon.

The new Mercedes SL Roadster is part of that family and while the jury is still out on how the car will be looked at years from now, it’s safe to say that its heritage will play a big part in determining whether the car turns out to be a classic.

To give us an idea on the family tree the new SL Roadster comes from, Mercedes-Benz reporter, Matthew K, dives into the six decades of the SL’s lineage, all the way back to when the 300 SL was the unquestioned king of the road.

True to fashion, Mercedes even added a slice of Hollywood into the video, further accentuating the kind of car the Mercedes SL was...and still is.

The 1966 Ferrari 206 SP Dino is one of the rarest cars in the world, as Ferrari only built a total of 18 of these sweet machines. Well, the rarer the car, the more likely enthusiasts are to start replicating them, so seeing a replica of this famous car is to be expected. However, a high-quality replica is much less common.

A recent beauty popped up on eBay and it is likely one of the best recreations of a classic Ferrari we have ever seen. This replica 1966 Ferrari 206 SP Dino is about as close to 100% perfect as you can get. It has a custom-built alloy body with a 1,987 cc V-6 engine from a Ferrari Dino 206 GT . It may not crank out the 215 horsepower that the 206 SP’s 1,999 cc engine cranked, but the Dino 206 GT’s engine was rated at a respectable 176 horsepower (1967 model year). Driving this mid-mounted engine’s power to the rear wheels is a magnesium gearbox, which is likely a five-speed configuration.

Being the party poopers that we are, we had to examine this replica closely and see what differences we could find between it and the original. The first thing that stands out is the parked positioning of the wiper blade. The replica’s wiper blade is parked on the driver’s side of the vehicle. On the original, the wiper blade parks almost in the middle of the windshield.

The second thing is that the cutout in front of the windshield is several inches too close to the windshield. The original 206 SP Dino’s cutout is at least 8 inches from the windshield and the replica’s cutout is about 3 inches from the windshield.

Lastly, the driver’s side window frame on the original is unpainted, whereas the replica’s is painted red. All of that said, for a starting bid of “only” $89,100, this is not a bad deal, given an original 206 SP Dino fetched $3,267,000 at an auction in 2007.

In 1984, the late Ayrton Senna made his debut in F1 racing by taking second place in a rain-shortened Monaco Grand Prix while driving a Toleman TG184-2 open-wheel racer. You can see this exact car overtaking second place at the 2:33 mark in the above video. Ten years later, in the 1994 racing season, Senna’s life ended abruptly during a freak accident at the San Marino Grand Prix. The legend of this three-time F1 World Champion lives on, as Silverstone Auctions has announced that the Toleman TG184 that Senna made his debut in is coming to auction on May 16, 2012.

Despite the age of this race car, its 1.5-liter engine is still a highly technical piece of machinery that produces horsepower in the range of the 2.4-liter V-8 engines used in today’s F1 series. Though this vehicle is not one that is setup for road driving, it is something that would be neat for a collector to have in his garage. However, it is not without its flaws and uncertainties.

Hit the jump for more details on Ayrton Senna’s F1 race car.

Olav Glasius will be auctioning off his impressive Lotus collection on Friday, June 29, 2012 at the Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed. His collection includes 24 vehicles starting from 1953 to the present day and he hopes to raise an impressive £1.5million by selling them all.

His collection includes racing cars ranging from Mark VI through Marks VIII and IX, Team Lotus Le Mans Type 11s, Formula Junior Lotus 27, and ex-Formula 1/InterContinental Lotus Type 18. Next to these impressive racing cars, the collection includes road-going supercars from the Lotus Elite Series II to a Lotus Esprit Turbo , and a trio of prototype and one-off concept cars.

Doug Nye, Bonhams Motoring Historian and author of some 70 books including several on the Lotus marque, said, "There are few teams that encapsulate the romance of the ‘little guys beating the big guys’ better than Team Lotus and Olav Glasius’s remarkable collection, which he has assembled with such love and painstaking care over so many years, truly embodies the essence of what Colin and his successors have been all about."

It took a lot longer than we all expected, but finally, one of the most famous names in the history of the auto industry now has a museum to call its own.

Enzo Ferrari, the founding father of the brand that we have come to know as Ferrari , has his own museum called the "Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari." The museum was built in Modena, Italy - the town where Enzo Ferrari himself was born - and cost a ridiculous sum of €18 million - $23.6 million based on current exchange rates - that was mostly funded by local leaders in Modena in an effort to drive up tourism in the area.

Spearheading the building of the museum was renowned architect, Jan Kaplicky, who began the project in 2003. Unfortunately, Kaplicky passed on in 2009, leaving the project in the hands of Andrea Morgante, a former colleague in the design firm, Future Systems.

The building covers 54,000 square feet of floor space and will feature plenty of exhibits, including a gallery of classic Ferraris, historical artifacts, and memorabilia. There will also be a significant amount of space allotted to Enzo Ferrari’s own personal belongings, as well as a variety of never-before-seen documents and drawings that encompass the rich and storied racing history of Modena, Italy.

Despite not being an officially licensed project by Ferrari itself, the Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari is still expected to draw throngs of visitors. The museum is open every day with the only exception being Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The doors open from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm or 7:00 pm depending on the calendar date.

Hit the jump for details on the Enzo Ferrari Museum’s first exhibit.


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