history

history

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.

When Daimler started offering $100,000 rebates on new Maybach models, the writing was on the wall that the failing ultra-luxury car company was about to be taken off of life support. About four months have past since the rebates began and it is official now, as Daimler has eliminated all plans for 2013 Maybach models.

When Daimler restarted Maybach production in the early-2000s, it never really took off, as Bentley and Rolls Royce had the ultra-luxury market pretty well tied down. Maybach continued floundering around until 2011 when Daimler finally announced that it would cease production by 2013. A promise that Daimler certainly held true on.

The worst thing is that Daimler didn’t even issue a press release on its cessation. The only send off that Maybach has received is a “Discontinued” label next to every model on its price list as an indicator of its death. The other indicator is the fact that the Maybach website is nearly inaccessible now.

So, farewell to Maybach, yet again... Maybe we’ll come across you in another half-century or so. Maybe VW is interested in snagging it up... We’re kidding, sort of.

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
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell

AMG has been around since 1967 – we bet you didn’t know that – and its success story is amazingly interesting, mostly due to the immediate success it had. The AMG project actually began as a side job for Hans-Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher. The two gained notoriety by modifying the 300 SE’s engine into quite the racer, by installing direct fuel injection back in the mid-1960s.

In 1967, Aufrecht and Melcher left Benz-Daimler and started AMG in a small workshop in a barn. The real success came in the 1970s when AMG developed a 300 SEL 6.8 like no one had ever seen before. It was tuned up to 320 ponies at 4,750 rpm and 541 Nm (399 pound-feet) of torque at 3,500. This allowed the heavy 300 SEL to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 6.5 seconds, and easily win its class at the 24-hour race in Spa Francorchamps and take a second place overall finish.

The history lesson that Mercedes-Benz gives us on the AMG brand is available online in its fullest and progresses through each decade and even gives us a look at what the future holds for AMG. It outlines the AMG E-Cell and talks about its racing future too, which continues to look rather promising.

So head on over to Mercedes-Benz’s site and have a look at the history of AMG. It’s a pretty easy read and is broken down into small, easy-to-understand sections. Happy B-day, AMG, we hope to see 45 more from you!

Source: AMG

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

We pretty much just finished the Museum Secrets Part One video and Porsche has already graced us with part two of this awesome series. The Museum Secrets series is outlining the new storage facility for the Porsche Museum and also showing us a glimpse of some of the most awesome cars that pass through the museum.

Part One focused mainly on the storage facility and Porsche’s overall history, then showed us just one car, which was the first ever 911 Turbo. Part two, thankfully, focuses a lot more on the storage facilities contents – a ton of rare Porsches. The guys at Porsche outlined seven cars for us, some of which we never knew even existed.

The video’s pretty sweet and the cars are absolutely awesome, so check out the video. If you would like a quick peak at what’s in the video, click past the jump and you’ll see our quick summary on each car shown.

About two weeks ago, rumors arose that Nissan would be offering just one generation for the GT-R, with no plans for a new model. However, today, the company has revealed a video that proves the contrary.

When talking about the race version of the GT-R , Chief GT-R engineer Kazutoshi Mizuno stated: "After the debut in 2007, this vehicle has been evolving year after year. By changing it to a racing specification to be implemented in the future, no matter what kind of super high performance feature or a new version is developed in the next five years, the durability and reliability in varying conditions can be verified in this race. I would like to make a promise that all this will be reflected in future GT-R."

That just proves that the newest rumors about the Nissan GTR aren’t something to toss out like yesterday’s garbage. Check out the video to see for yourself. Of course, in the process, you will also get a ton of information surrounding history of the GTR since its launch in 2007 .

In the mid-1990s, Porsche unveiled the 911 GT1 - a race car specially developed for the GT1 class of sportscar racing. Despite being called a "911," the GT1 had very little in common with the 911: only the frontal chassis was shared with the 993 911 , while almost every other element was borrowed from the Porsche 962 , including the flat-six engine.

During its first appearance at the 1996 Le Mans, the GT1 walked away with a second and third overall finish, as well as first and second in class. Despite these finishes, Porsche still wanted more, so in 1997, they came up with the GT1 Evo - a model that featured aerodynamic tweaks to the bodywork and a revision of the suspension. These changes helped the GT1 score more victories, including a one-two finish at Le Mans in 1998, where it beat out teams from McLaren, Toyota, and Panoz.

Not willing to let the fun rest solely on the track, Porsche set out to make a street-legal version of the award-winning GT1, which is then dubbed the Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion. The model was limited to only 25 units and cost a cool $912,000.

Hit the jump to read more about the Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion.

Source: RM Auctions
Posted on by Brad Anderson 0

In the latest installment of our Car Infographics series, we have a very special image with all the information you could ever want about the Top Gear test track. This infographic takes an in depth at the fastest cars to have ever lapped the Lotus-designed test track, whose layout “is designed to push a car to its limit and really show the strengths and weaknesses of each car tested.”

Additionally, a number of awards help to conclude the informative infographic with the illustrious award of “Most Affordable Speed” going to the incredible Ariel Atom 2 which managed to lap the Top Gear test track in just 1:19.50 when it aired in Season 5, Episode 9.

Before you head over the jump to check out the infographic in detail, keep in mind that the initial illustration may take a bit of time to understand and may require flipping your computer screen upside down. It may even seem as if you’re trying to lick your shoulder when trying to read the upside down writing!

Source: Boostlabs

Back to top