history

history

The Lotus Elan was the true mother of all sports cars. You see, a true sports car does not require extreme power or a big engine with tons of cylinders pounding away – it doesn’t hurt though. A true sports car is about precision handling, peppy acceleration, and the ability for the driver to feel like he is in control of what’s going on.

The Elan is all of that wrapped up in a sexy looking, 2-seat roadster package. Well, this old girl recently had her 50th birthday and she is looking just as stunning as she did the day she rolled off of the production line back in 1962.

The Elan was a driver’s car and spawned many other spin-offs and reproductions, like the Alfa Romeo 124 Spider, BMW Z3/4, and most notably, the Mazda MX-5 Miata . The original Elan had a fairly successful run, lasting 13 years before getting the axe. In 1989, Lotus chose to resurrect the Elan, with the Elan M100. While the M100 was a mechanical success, it was not nearly as popular as the original rendition and it lasted just seven years.

In 2010, Lotus introduced us to a new version of the Elan that it anticipated seeing showrooms in 2013, but that release date was later adjusted to 2017. With the recent restructuring going on at Lotus, we anticipate seeing this date getting adjusted once again.

So, how can we give the Elan a special birthday this year? Well, by giving her a full historic review, of course.

Click past the jump to read our complete historical review on the 50-year-young Lotus Elan.

To say we absolutely love every Shelby Cobra to death is an understatement. This also breeds a little hatred in our hearts for those that take a hacksaw to them and start modifying stuff. However, here are some modifications to Shelby Cobras that we can stomach and some that we completely fall in love with at first sight. Magnis Jinstrand’s modified Shelby Cobra just happens to fall squarely in the latter classification…

This beautiful example of automotive genius boasts a disgustingly sexy 6.0-liter Mercedes V-12 with an equally disgusting loud-mouthed supercharger strapped to its intake. There’s no information on the power pushed out by this mean machine, but judging by the above video, we would have to estimate it to be in the 700-horsepower range.

The exposed supercharger really just does it for us. Not only does it look awesome, but it is about the only whining that I can say I want to hear while driving a car. This blower obliges by providing plenty of it in audible goodness.

We are unsure what other modifications this Cobra has on it and we are also unsure if this is actually a real AC Cobra or not. Chances are that it’s a kit car sitting on a custom chassis, especially given how well it handles. Regardless of its authenticity, it is still one sexy beast. We will update you if we happen to come up with any of the vehicle’s specs. Until then, crank your speakers up and enjoy.

The history of Mercedes’ high performance arm, AMG, began back in 1967, and since then, they have created some of the fastest, coolest, and most innovative models on the market. To show just how much work is put into preparing these vehicles, the company has released a video featuring a virtual guided tour through the headquarters of Mercedes-AMG in Affalterbach with exclusive insights to the engineering and development of the performance brand of Mercedes-Benz . If you ever wanted to know how history is written, but haven’t had the chance to actually take a ride trip to Affalterbach, this video is the closest you will get to finding out how an AMG model is developed.

The video also shows off some of the most amazing cars being built, including the SLS AMG .

World records are a funny thing, because you can easily set something just by thinking up a new thing that no one else has. Once you do it, you’re the record holder, until someone else does it. Ferrari of North Europe did something of that sort in 2007 by setting the Guinness world record for number of Ferraris in a Parade, which ended up being 385 cars.

The record was broken recently with a total of 490 cars and Ferrari North Europe plans on reclaiming this title in September. Ferrari has already accumulated more than enough entrants (600) to beat the record, but it wants to make it stick by hitting the 1,000-entrant mark. The event will take place at Ferrari Racing Days at Silverstone Circuit on September 15th and 16th.

Ferrari owners get into the Ferrari Racing Day event free of charge and can even register for the Guinness word record attempt by clicking here.

The rules of the world record attempt are pretty straightforward. The cars must travel over a distance of more than 2 miles with a distance of no more than two car lengths between each other. Simple enough, huh?

So, not only can you get free tickets for taking part in the record-setting event, but you can be forever be recognized as part of a world record in Guinness – whatever that’s worth these days. Either way, the Ferrari racing days event is always a blast, and getting free entry makes it all the better.

Click past the jump to read Ferrari’s full press release on the matter.

We all know that when you buy or sell anything of significant worth, the gummament is not too far away with its hand out asking for its share. It doesn’t care which side it comes from, just as long as someone pays “The Man.” Well, when VW AG decided it was time to buyout the remaining 50.1 percent of Porsche and get its former ownership group completely out of the picture, we were talking billions of Euros, €4.5 billion to be exact.

Well, even in Germany, “The Man,” or better yet “Der Mann,” is there in the form of the Baden-Württemberg Finance Mini Mini stry asking for his cut of the deal, which would total about €1.5 billion ($1.9 million). This was just about the breaking point of the entire deal, as a part of the buyout was that VW pays the tax.

After five months of massaging the numbers, looking at the laws, and manipulating things in ways that would make a business ethics major cringe, VW and Porsche are about to pull off this deal 100 percent tax free. How they pulled this off was simple enough… The only real sticking point was the fact that VW had to find out how to manipulate the deal into a corporate restructuring, as opposed to a sale.

To achieve a restructuring classification instead of a buy-sell classification, VW gave Porsche the €4.5 billion buying price, but included in that price a single voting share of VW stock… Yeah, that’s it. One little piece of paper that says “I can vote on important issues” saved VW €1.5 billion. Gotta love those tax attorneys.

The deal has yet to be approved by state authorities, but sans any omissions or errors, this looks to be a final deal that gives VW the title to Porsche, instead of just a rental contract.

The window sticker is an often forgotten item when you buy a car. For the most part, we just rip them off and throw them out, and this act of removing the sticker has been commonplace for decades. Most often, the only time a window sticker is saved is when the car is a collector’s item straight off of the showroom floor. This leaves two options, don’t display a window sticker at all, or have a brand-new-looking replica made that stands out like tank tracks on a WRX .

Well, that’s no longer the case for Porsche owners, as Stuttgart Studios offers replica delivery stickers with optional aging and weathering, giving them an authentic look. By using your Porsche’s VIN, Stuttgart determines all of the codes that were on the original window sticker and creates the sticker just as it was in real life. For an extra cost of $14.95, Stuttgart will add “Motif” to your sticker, which gives it a look and feel that a decades-old window sticker should have.

Judging by the examples that Stuttgart has on its site, it very well might be worth the base $99.95 price to have a sticker made, then the additional $14.95 for the “Motif.” What’s even cooler is that they don’t have just one “Motif” that every sticker gets. They list a total of 12 “Motif” selections on the website, but imply that there are many more options.

This definitely gets TopSpeed’s “Ultimate Niche Marketing” award for 2012. How in the heck these folks came up with this idea is beyond us, but it’s definitely a great idea.

Icon has recently received a fair amount of press due to its legal issues with Mattel , but they are also still hot on the path of building awesome custom cars. On deck for Icon is a car that is a little bit out of their norm, which is building bad-ass off-road machines. It is a modernized version of the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Volante.

The project appears to be still in its concept phase, so all of the details are a little scarce and we have reached out to Icon for additional information. For now, we do know that this model will boast a strikingly similar body as the 1960s Aston Martin legend, but in true Icon fashion there will be loads of customization. First on the list of customizations will be to hack off the DB4’s annoying fixed head, and the signature Zagatto dual humps, but leaving the humps on the rear of the car, which you can see in the above image.

The next Iconization will be replacing the 3.7-liter in-line six-cylinder engine that the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato originally featured and replacing it with a modern day V-12 engine from an Aston Martin V12 Vantage . Given Icon has a shoehorn large enough to cram this 6.0-liter V-12 power plant into the DB4’s engine compartment, it will give this classic ride somewhere in the range of 510 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough to give any car nut that warm and fuzzy feeling.

To make sure that this reborn DB4 GT Zagato stays as true to original form as possible, Icon is working closely with Ercole Spada, who just so happened to be the original designer for the Zagato coupe. How’s that for dedication to your craft?

We are still awaiting confirmation of these reports and actual specs from Icon, and we’ll update you and this review as soon as we receive additional information.

The anticipated release of the Tesla Model S is nearly here. It began just a few days ago with the launch of the Tesla Model S design studio , so customers could customize their own Model S and place an order. Just a few days later, we are now set to announce that the first Model S has been handed over to its owner over two weeks before the car’s official release date of June 22nd.

You may be wondering how exactly a customer got his hands on one of the hottest new cars available so early. Well, the first Model S went to Tesla board member, Steve Jurvetson. When you’re one of the bosses, we assume that you can pull a few strings to get your ride a little early.

What’s even better is that there is a video of Mr., Jurvetson taking delivery and you can honestly see that he is excited to get his hands on the first Model S and one of the already sold out Signature Series trim levels. Despite some minor audio issues around the midway point of the video, it is all pretty clear. What’s pretty funny is when Jurvetson hops in his Model S for the first time at the 1:47 mark, fires up its completely silent motor, and pulls away, you will notice that he obviously pressed the accelerator a little too hard, as the car launches forward a few feet before he releases the pedal.

That would have been an interesting story to tell had he lost control the first ever Tesla Model S on its inaugural run. Fortunately, he kept it under control and we are left with a cool video of the first model S to hit the streets. In about two weeks, all of you folks not associated with Tesla will start getting notifications that your car is finished and ready for delivery. Until then, just enjoy the video.

The Le Mans 24 Hours races may not be the pinnacle of the racing world, but they certainly separate the men from the boys and women from the little girls. For the most part, over half of the field ends up retiring before the race ever finishes and the ones that do finish are completely exhausted – both car and drivers – by the time the race ends.

Audi has seemingly always been a part of the Le Mans 24 Hours and has earned tons of success in the race. In the 2011 running, Audi was set up to fail, as two of its three cars were forced to retire early due to freak accidents on the track. Truth in 24 II, narrated by none other than British bad-ass action star Jason Statham, documents the running of the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours race and how the last remaining Audi managed to overcome all of the competition, including three Peugeot 908s, to take home the overall No. 1 position.

What’s even more awesome is that Audi is providing both Truth in 24 and Truth in 24 II completely free of charge. You can download the debut Truth in 24 here, if you haven’t seen it yet, and then snag up Truth in 24 II here. It’s not too often that an automaker gives you something this cool for free, so take advantage of these free movies while you can. They are simply awesome.

The Dodge Durango has never really been one of the most popular SUVs in the market. Sometimes we automotive media even tend to forget it’s around. But the Durango certainly has its own group of enthusiasts that love them and buy a new one every few years, and rightfully so. The Durango has recently morphed into one of the better looking body-on-frame SUVs available, as well as one of the most utilitarian SUVs remaining on the market.

All of that aside, Dodge and parent company, Fiat , have decided that the Durango has run its course and it’s time for it to ride off into the sunset. There is no need to mourn its death, as its axing will bring about yet another cult classic that will don the same underpinnings of the outgoing Durango. This new model, according to an interview with Fiat CEO, Sergio Marchionne, by Automobile Magazine, will be dubbed the Jeep Wagoneer.

Yup, after nearly two decades have passed since the Grand Cherokee replaced it; the Wagoneer name is again being uttered by the brass at Jeep. With the Durango reportedly going the way of the dodo bird in 2016, we assume that the Wagoneer will arrive sometime in the 2015 model year to give it some time to catch on before cutting the Durango altogether.

In the same interview, Marchionne also let us know that Dodge will axe the Avenger for the second time, in 2014. This time around, the Avenger lasted only five model years, one year less than its original version. We were shocked to even see it return, so seeing it disappear is no surprise at all, despite that it was far less ugly than its original rendition.

As soon as we can get a hold of some info on the upcoming Wagoneer, we will update you further.


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