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2005 Ford Shelby GR-1

2005 Ford Shelby GR-1

A prototype from the days when Ford was enamoured with retro-modern rides

Ford rebooted two of the cars that brought about some of its biggest victories ever scored on the world’s road courses. First, in 2004, Ford introduced the Shelby Cobra Concept, a modern reinterpretation of the mythical AC Cobra and, one year later, the Cobra Daytona Coupe was reborn through the GR-1 prototype.

It was 14 years ago that Ford released the S197 fifth-generation Mustang. Its old-school styling proved to be a hit among customers young and old, but the Mustang was only the tip of the iceberg, the model that made it through all the board meetings. Ford, in fact, built a number of old school-looking concepts in the early ’00s besides the Mustang and the GT that eventually got the green light. There was the 2001 Forty-Nine which harkened back to the smooth lines of the late ’40s Ford Custom, the F150 Lightning Rod and, then, there was the GR-1. Clearly, nostalgia was trendy a decade and a half ago.

This car, like the open-top Shelby Cobra Concept, is underpinned by a modified Ford GT platform made to suit the front engine layout. It went from a sketch on a drawing board to a full-size clay model displayed at the 2004 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in virtually no time and was then built as a fully-functional prototype in time for the 2005 North-American International Auto Show. Then, it all went silent. The suits didn’t approve another high-performance supercar right after the GT and only recently have we heard of plans to revive this special one-off.

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2006 Ferrari 599 GTB

2006 Ferrari 599 GTB

The classic grand tourer formula, amplified for the 21st century

Ferrari is known for many things, but its line of V-12-powered front-engine GT cars is arguably one the Prancing Horse’s most important contributions to the world of sports cars. With models like the 250 TR Testarossa, 365 GTB/4 “Daytona,” and 250 GT California Spider, the formula has worked wonders for the brand, evoking a feeling of lust among collectors and enthusiasts alike thanks to a combination of gorgeous styling, easy drivability, and incredible 12-cylinder-flavored performance. Such is the case for the more contemporary Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, which stood as Ferrari’s grand tourer flagship model between 2006 and 2012.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2007 - 2012 Ferrari 599 GTB.

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2001 - 2005 Ford Explorer Sport Trac

2001 - 2005 Ford Explorer Sport Trac

The first generation Ford Explorer Sport Trac was launched in 2001 and it was placed between the Ford Ranger and Ford F-Series.

The vehicle was based on the small Ranger pickup and was available only on the North American market. The Explorer Sport Trac was basically a crew cab midsized pickup that went head to head with models like the Honda Ridgeline and Chevrolet Avalanche.

The Explorer Sport Trac was received with opened arms by the market and after the launch the sales were booming. The vehicle was also the first body on frame sport utility truck.

The truck features GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of 6250 lbs which is better than any other mid-sized pickup available on the market. Unfortunately, after only two generations, the model was discontinued in 2010.

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2005 Orca C113

2005 Orca C113

You may well have never heard of the Orca C113, but this killer whale can sure make a splash on the racetrack. The supercar was designed and built by Rene Beck of the Orca Engineering company based out of Liechtenstein, Sweden. Many people have the dream of creating their own supercar, but few are ever able to take that dream and create something of it. This specific model of the Orca took nearly fifteen years from inception to production and was first introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 2003.

As with many supercars, the overall idea is quite simple. Keep the weight down, use aerodynamic architecture, and have plenty of power under the hood. Through the hard work of Rene Beck and several other aftermarket tuning companies, the Orca came from concept car to production model in 2005. Its shape was reminiscent of other supercar greats from Lamborghini and of smaller firms like Mosler.

The use of a heavily modified Audi sourced V8 and the lightweight construction have made this car one of the fastest on the road. Albeit, the top speed has never been “officially” tested, the company claims that the car will top out around 224mph.

Hit the jump for more details on this Orca C113.

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2005 Mercedes C55 AMG

2005 Mercedes C55 AMG

The AMG side of Mercedes Benz began as something completely different than it has grown into today. Essentially two Daimler engineers were sitting at home late at night and tinkering with various Mercedes models to make them faster and more powerful. These grease monkeys were eventually recognized by Mercedes and began to collaborate for racing and eventually production models. The first of these was a C36 model that sold in Europe. It was a fantastic car that packed 276hp, but AMG did not find real traction in the United States market until the introduction of the E55.

For starters, theE-class was already a best-selling model for Mercedes and its combination of size, luxury, and price fell directly in the middle of the Mercedes demographic. When AMG began to tune this model, it was clear that a V8 would need to be used and the standard 5.0-liter from the E500 would be the starting point. After being completely bored out and reconfigured, the 5.4-liter legend was born.

As competition in the entry-level segment began to heat up during the 1990s, Mercedes and AMG saw the opportunity to up the ante in the C-Class and include the same 5.4-liter V8. It was not the first time a V8 would be used in a C-Class, but the new platform introduced in 2005 gave engineers and designers the opportunity to create a model that would rival the other German brands.

Hit the jump for more details on 2005 Mercedes C55 AMG.

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2011 - 2012 Acura RL

2011 - 2012 Acura RL

The Acura RL entered production in 1996 after Honda took their Legend model and slapped on the Acura badge. Since then, fourteen year have gone by and only two automotive generations have passed. Still in it’s second generation, the Acura RL is getting some new features for the 2011 model year coming in three different trim levels: RL, RL with Technology Package, and RL with Advance Package.

For starters, the 2011 Acura RL is dumping its "Double Power Plenum Grille for a newly designed front end and getting plenty of technology to make the drive a bit easier. The inside of the sedan also sees some changes with a new interior color (Sea Coast) and a new Dark Burlwood textured trim.

Power updates are non-existent, so expect to get the same V6 engine from last year that produces 300hp. However, the RL is getting a new all-sequential SportShift six-speed transmission that allows the sedan to boost its fuel economy from 16/22 to 17/24.

"The RL continues to set the benchmark for the innovative use of customer-relevant technology," said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. "There aren’t many production cars at any price that offer more advanced technology or drive system sophistication."

Hit the jump to read more about the 2011 Acura RL.

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2007 Acura MDX

2007 Acura MDX

Produced from 2001 to 2006 model years, the original Acura broke new ground in the emerging luxury SUV segment. Taking its predecessor’s best qualities and radically expanding them, the all-new 2007 MDX pushes performance and sophistication in the luxury SUV segment to new levels. Benchmarked against some of the best performance SUVs in the world and tuned on the Nurburgring racetrack in Germany, the new MDX clearly establishes itself as a driver’s SUV. Outfitted with Acura’s tenacious Super-Handling All-wheel Drive system and an available sport package with Active Damper System, the MDX yields a combination of handling and comfort that is truly on the cutting edge.

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2005 Chrysler 300C

2005 Chrysler 300C

Voted "Car of the year" by Motor Trend and North American Car of the Year (NACOY) at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Chrysler 300C marks the return of great American cars. With an intense competiton from other cars, the 300C was declared winner for unique combination of contemporary styling and powerful performance.

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2007 Acura TL

2007 Acura TL

The 2004 Acura TL attacked the performance luxury sedan market with its impressive styling, a luxurious and technology-packed interior, and its best-in-class horsepower.
Confronted with the new competition from Lexus, BMW, Infiniti and others, the 2007 TL has been impressively updated. Now the TL is available in two versions, the luxurious TL and the reintroduced high-performance TL Type-S, to crystallize its place as the standard representative in its class.

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2006 Alfa Romeo Brera

2006 Alfa Romeo Brera

Sportiness and elegance packaged in a unique, exclusive style. Harmony of shape and volume that add up to a good-looking, powerful and solid car supplemented by Alfa Romeo mechanical and engineering excellence. This, in short, is the soul of the Alfa Brera, a new prestige coupé that is able to arouse great emotion and guarantee maximum driving satisfaction.

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1991 - 2005 Acura NSX

1991 - 2005 Acura NSX

The Acura NSX supercar exemplifies the precision crafted performance that lies at the heart of every Acura vehicle. Developed out of years of racing experience, the NSX sets the benchmark for Acura technology, combining world-class performance and styling with exceptional drivability and refinement.

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2002 Acura RSX

2002 Acura RSX

The Acura RSX debuted in 2001 as a replacement for the Acura Integra. From 2001 to 2004 it was offered in standard or Type S form. The standard RSX used the K20A3 four-cylinder engine that delivered 160 horsepower, while the Type S had the 200 horsepower K20A2. Both versions carried over unchanged until 2005. In 2005, the RSX went through a refresh that gave it new headlights and taillights, and an updated rear spoiler. The Type-S now came with 17-inch wheels as standard equipment, but the real change came under the hood. The standard RSX remained the same, but the Type-S got a K20Z1 powertrain that utilized the camshafts from the Japanese DC5 Type R, as well as the b-pipe, muffler and 4.77:1 final drive ratio. The standard RSX was offered with a five-speed manual or five-speed auto with sequential SportShift technology. The RSX Type-S was only available with a close ratio six-speed manual transmission.

The RSX had a short lifespan and was only produced from 2001 to 2006. Because of its similarity to the seventh-gen Civic, it became common to swap the Type-S’ K20Z1 engine and transmission into the seventh-gen Civic. Oddly, from 2001 to 2005, the RSX was offered with a number of exterior colors, but consumers were limited to either black or beige interior, normally dictated by the exterior color. The RSX wasn’t a bad car, and it was a suitable replacement for the Integra, but the seventh-gen civic was a bit of a flop, so it’s no surprise that the RSX didn’t last past 2006. With that said, let’s take a look back at the 2001 to 2005 Acura RSX and talk a little more about it.

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2000 Volkswagen Lupo

2000 Volkswagen Lupo

With the launch of the Lupo, Volkswagen burst onto the supermini scene with a bang, thanks partly to it unusual headlight configuration, giving it an irresistibly cheeky ’smile’. Surprisingly spacious, the Lupo is great for those looking for a second family car, or a first car for a younger driver heading off to college.

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2005 Acura RD-X

2005 Acura RD-X

Well, Acura is finally joining the legion of brands offering a small SUV or crossover, and in this case it will look a lot like the RD-X, introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2005.

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2005 Marcos Tso-gt

2005 Marcos Tso-gt

Marcos TSO GT coupe sports car is making its world debut in South Australia at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide motor race. The TSO GT ran pre-race laps before a crowd estimated at over 250,000 race fans. It will now embark on a 2800 Kilometer test and evaluation program as the newley established the business, Marcos Australia, prepare the car for their local marketplace. The two seat coupe sports car delivers stunning performance with a Grand Touring capability and a familiar GM V8 powertrain.

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2005 Infiniti FX35

2005 Infiniti FX35

The Infiniti FX35 aims to please those who seek on-road thrills and, when needed, all-weather capability — should you feel the desire to scale rocky trails and seek wildlife, look elsewhere. As a bridge between a luxury sedan and a true SUV, the FX35 shares a platform with the Infiniti G35, has a four-wheel independent suspension tuned for handling on pavement and lacks a low-range transfer case. Its relatively low-slung stance, raised rear deck lid and 18-inch wheels give it a more aggressive look than most other crossover SUVs.

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