The 2019 Mercedes B-Class Might not be Pretty, but it has Some Awesome Technology and Drivetrain Options
Mercedes has unveiled an all-new B-Class practical family car, and no, this new model isn’t very pretty either, continuing in its predecessors’ tracks, but there are plenty of other reasons you may want to buy one. I’m pretty sure it was never really bought based on styling, so that takes a back seat to the features it does offer its occupants.
The Petersen Museum Finally Opens Its Vast Collection of Cars to the Public
If you’re an auto fan, you should know about the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California. If you’re an auto fan, you should be over the moon that often-exclusive vault inside the museum will finally open its doors to the public today, June 1. A new exhibit, called “The World Tour Vault presented by Hagerty,” will pull the curtains on as many as 100 cars found inside the museum, giving museum-goers an opportunity to see some of the finest machinery the industry has ever built.
In a world where technology is taking over, everything is going digital these days. The most recent example of this is the online heritage museum that Citroen has just launched. Cleverly called “Citroen Origins,” the new website offers a unique take on looking back at historical models without ever leaving the comforts of your home. Currently, the online display only includes 49 of the brand’s previous models, with cars like the Citroen DS and SM left out in the cold, but that’s okay because there are some pretty cool features outside of viewing static pictures of Citroen’s past.
To start off, the website is interaction. Once you click on a model, you’re greeted with a zoomed in image of the exterior as well as some basic specs. You can do a full view of the exterior of the car, and if you scroll down, you can read more about it. On the right, there’s a toggle switch that allows you to switch over to an inside view. Once inside the model of your choice, you can drag the screen in any direction to get a full view of the interior – talk about a cool feature. On top of all of this, there are also other things you can play with. You can hit a button to hear the engine start and rev up, and some will even let you hear things like the blinkers functioning.
There’s also music playing in the background that is based on the model of your choice. Older models are backed by music of the era, while newer models get jazzier and more era-relevant music. There are at least two downsides to the site, however. First, all wording on the site is in French, and so far, there is no ability to translate. The second downfall is that there doesn’t appear to be a way to mute the music. For now, the list is somewhat limited, but it appears as if Citroen is planning to add additional models in the future. It’s set up with a slide bar that reads from 1919 all the way to 2016, so it’s safe to assume that Citroen will probably display its whole lineup eventually.
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A Virtual Tour of the Tiriac Collection, Romania’s Largest Classic Car Exhibit
Collecting automobiles has become an increasingly popular hobby among the wealthy in recent decades. Based on auction data, it started to become a trend in the 1980s and it went mainstream in the 1990s. Over the last two decades, the value of classic cars has gone through the roof, with 1960s and 1970s sports and race cars fetching millions of dollars.
This expensive hobby has spread all over the world, with famous personalities amassing huge and impressive garages in the United States, Western Europe, Russia, and the Middle East. Notable collectors include Wyclef Jean, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, fashion mogul Ralph Lauren, and Jamirquai front man Jay Kay. Russia’s Dmitry Lomakov displays his collection in a museum, while Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani, India’s richest man, is said to own nearly 200 cars.
Then there’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who owns some 7,000 vehicles, including one-off and concept cars commissioned from Ferrari, Porsche, and Jaguar. In the U.S., we have Ken Lingenfelter and his 40,000 square foot building in Michigan for a garage and Jay Leno, who put together an awesome show to talk about his rare automobiles. Of course, we can’t forget about the Jerry Seinfeld, whose passion for the Porsche brand is impressive to say the least.
But, while all of the personalities above are known the world over, there are collectors that aren’t exactly famous beyond their native country. At least not for the rare and expensive cars they own. One such man is Ion Tiriac, a Romanian businessman and former professional tennis and ice hockey player who owns about 250 historical vehicles and displays some of them in an exhibition on the outskirts of Bucharest, Romania’s capital and largest city. While 250 cars might not sound like much compared to what Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld have in their garages, Tiriac’s collection stands out by being the only one the world with six pre-1972 Rolls Royce Phantom models and for including automobiles that previously belonged to celebrities such as Elton John, Sammy Davis Jr. or Bernie Ecclestone. Keep reading to find out more about that and take a virtual tour of the exhibition in our photo gallery section.
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The odds that the Chicago Cubs will win the 2015 World Series currently stand at 14:1 (according to CBS Sports), but if you’re willing to lay down your hard-earned money on the cursed Cubbies, you might want to swing by the Volo Auto Museum, too. As an excellent promotional gem, the Chicago-area museum has announced that it is giving away its replica Delorean DMC-12 time machine from Back to the Future Part II, but only if the Cubs win this year’s Fall Classic. If you recall, Marty and Doc’s trip to 2015 revealed that the Cubs were winners of the World Series.
Starting March 21st, visitors to the museum can be register to win the Mr. Fusion-powered Delorean, which is valued at an estimated $85,000. According to Daily Mail, the "fan-made" replica car has been at the museum since the 1990s, and it includes all of the props… including the flux capacitor. If you believe in goat curses, though, a trip to the museum isn’t a total waste of time. Not only will you still get to see a great collection of automobiles, but even if Cubs don’t win the World Series, there will still be a drawing among the registered visitors where a BTTF II hoverboard movie prop will be given away instead.
It’s no mystery that Porsche has built some of the most fascinating sports and race cars the world has seen since the late 1940s. Some of these vehicles took years to develop and had numerous prototypes that preceded them. Some of them are already famous, while Porsche kept others under wraps until the 21st century. Now, after decades of silence, the Germans are revealing their full lineup of prototypes and concept cars in a new exhibit at the Porsche museum.
The exhibit goes by the name "Project: Secret!" and includes 14 projects Stuttgart engineers have worked on in the past. Test mules, prototypes, concept cars or plain design studies that helped the Germans develop and create the production cars we’re all familiar with.
You probably recall the front-engine 924 that Porsche offered from 1976 through 1998. But did you know Porsche also built a 924-based world-record car? The project came to an abrupt halt before being finished, but the vehicle still exists. Then there’s the 959 C29, an early prototype that helped Porsche engineers come up with the outstanding aerodynamic properties of the mighty 959.
Did Porsche’s first sedan, the Panamera, take you by surprise when it hit the road in 2009? Then you probably don’t know the company pondered the idea of a 911-based sedan from the late 1980s. That’s how the 1991 Porsche 989 concept was born, a study that didn’t make it to production, but end up inspiring the design of the 996-generation 911. These are just a few of the previously unknown vehicle included in the "Project: Secret!" exhibit. Watch the videos for more intriguing prototypes the manufacturer has been hiding all these years.
One more video after the jump.
Car collecting has taken on a whole new meaning thanks to one British dentist who amassed the largest private collection in Britain with multiple warehouses stocked full of antique Jaguars, Bentleys, Austins, and Minis. However Dr. James Hull’s collection is now in the care of Jaguar Land Rover after the automaker purchased the entire fleet for an undisclosed amount.
The collection consists of 543 classic cars dating back to the 1930s and is estimated to be worth some £100 million, or roughly $168,346,500 U.S. dollars as of August 7, 2014. Among the collection are cars like Sir Winston Churchill’s Austin, Lord Mountbatten’s Mini Traveller, and even Sir Elton John’s Bentley.
Besides the sheer number of vehicles, the collection’s breath of variety is also intriguing. It ranges from million-dollar Jaguars down to the must humble Morris Minors, a plane-Jane economy car produced from the 1940s through 1970s.
Included are even pristine examples of a super-rare 1950s-era Jaguar XKSS and a D-Type worth more than $6.7 million together. Hull’s vehicles even include classic pedal cars dating back to the 1920s to present day. Perhaps the most special one is a Ferrari example that was hand-built in Maranello, Italy in the 1950s.
It’s unclear what Jaguar Land Rover plans to do with the massive collection, but it’s a sure bet that all 543 cars are in good hands. Perhaps those vehicles not wearing a Jaguar badge will end up at auction, possibly fetching a profit for the British automaker. Be sure to check out the video below the jump.
Click past the jump to learn more about this private collection.
The Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany holds many of the automaker’s treasures. The likes of which we won’t see any where in the world. One of them is Louise Piëch’s 911 Turbo, which was given to her as a birthday present. And the above video puts this car in the spotlight.
Who is Louise Piëch, and why is her 911 Turbo in the Museum?
First of all, Louise Piëch is the daughter of Porsche founder Ferdinand Porsche. She is also the mother of current Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piëch, making her a pretty big deal inside Porsche’s world.
So why is her 911 Turbo so special? It’s because that specific 911 Turbo is considered the very first example of the model.
It was produced in 1973, one year before Porsche officially released the 911 Turbo. The 911 Turbo has since become the crown jewel of a lineup that has no shortage of awesomeness.
This video is the story of the first 911 Turbo, a car that ironically didn’t have a Turbo badge because Piëch apparently didn’t want to draw any attention to it. She also didn’t like anything obstructing her natural view of the environment; so at her behest, Porsche didn’t add tint on the car’s windows.
One thing she didn’t mind about the 911 Turbo was the power, as its 3.0-liter engine packed a healthy 260 horsepower. On top of that, the first 911 Turbo has quite the reputation for being rather challenging to handle, thanks to the slow spool and instant-on power once the turbocharger gets moving.
While the three Type 64 cars ultimately were little more than an engineering exercise, it provided Porsche with the knowledge it needed to create the Type 356. The body shape was an extension of what Porsche began with the Type 64, and the teardrop shape still looks attractive to this day.
The birth of the Type 356 was not an easy one. With World War II raging, and Allied forces carpet bombing large portions of Germany, Porsche packed up and escaped to Austria. Porsche set up shop in an old sawmill in Gmund, Austria which is why the car carries its odd title.
Despite having packed up and moved to a sawmill, the 356 was still built using some of the most advanced materials and engineering possible. The bodies were all hand-hammered from sheet aluminum, and the chassis was a very stiff pressed-steel unit that was formed into a single unit with the floor. You could almost think of it as an early monocoque.
Beyond the futuristic production, the 356 featured full-independent suspension in all four corners. With that suspension setup and its lightweight, the Gmund Coupes were natural-born racers.
The car you see here is 356/2-017. It is number 17 to be produced and one of the oldest known living examples. While in Gmund, Porsche only managed to create a total of 50 to 52 Gmund Coupes (numbers are unreliable as to exact production). After those first 50, or so, cars were produced, Porsche returned to Stuttgart, ending the production of “Gmund” 356 models. Porsche still continued to make the 356 after it returned to Stuttgart and eventually produced around 76,000 of the cars in total.
One of the most notable and memorable of the early Porsche cars is the Speedster. This car actually came into existence at the insistence of U.S. distributor Max Hoffman. He was able to convince Ferdinand Porsche that there was a market for a “stripper” car. A stripper is essentially a barebones Roadster that could be easily converted into a racing specification car without too much trouble. The low level of standard equipment also kept prices low, leaving you more budget for race gear and modifications.
This particular Black Speedster here carries a particularly special heritage. It was owned by none other than James Dean, twice. Dean bought the car to race in SCCA competition, but after a few years he sold it to a car collector named Bruce Meyers. Later in 1974 Dean bought the car back from Bruce. This particular model does not wear a Speedster badge as Dean had it removed from the car during his first ownership.
Porsche dropped the Speedster model from the 356 lineup in 1959 in favor of building the newer Convertible D cars. Only 3,122 of Speedsters were ever constructed.
When the cars first entered production there were powered by a 1.5-liter flat-four engine that produced 64 horsepower. Before the production ended, you could order a race-ready Carrera spec model with 128 horsepower. With the proper gearing in the transmission, a Speedster could reach speeds of over 125 mph, making it one of the fastest cars of the era.
Dean’s car here was a mid-range “Super” model that managed 88 horsepower from its 1.6-liter engine. The car is still in Dean’s family under the ownership of his son, Chad.
The Bugatti name has long been associated with style and performance in the realms of automotive excellence, but few are aware of impact the Bugatti name made in the worlds of art and craftsmanship.
The Bugatti family began a legacy for themselves in the late 1800s that continued through many generations and lasts even still. The Mullin Automotive Museum, an institution devoted to showcasing French art and automobiles from the Art Deco era, has announced The Art of Bugatti exhibition that starts in the spring of 2014.
The museum is located roughly an hour north of Los Angeles in Oxnard, California, and it will play host to the Bugatti family collection of oil paintings, bronze sculptures, intricate furniture and, of course, some of Bugatti’s most famous cars, including the current Veyron.
Besides the Veyron, the exhibition will also host the early Brescia racecar, the race-winning Types 35s, 37, and 51; Jean Bugatti’s Type 64 Papillon and Atlantic Coupé; Types 57 Aravis and Atalante, and the Type 41 Bugatti Royale. Even more impressive is perhaps one of Bugatti’s earliest four-wheeled creations, a horse-drawn cart, complete with the iconic Bugatti logo branded on its side.
Click past the jump to see more pictures of the classic Bugatti cars and artwork
Tucked inside the wealthy enclave of Santa Barbara, California is one of the most awe-inspiring collections of pre-war French automobiles ever assembled anywhere on earth — even inside France.
Just a few hours south of Monterey and Pebble Beach, the Mullins Automotive Museum is almost as exclusive as the cars inside. And for good reason: dozens of the cars in the collection are priceless and completely unique.
The Mullins museum has dozens of Bugatti’s, including the all-time most-valuable car ever: the Type 57 Atlantique. This is too easy and common, so we will focus on some of the more obscure pieces in its priceless collection.
There are highlights are every turn, but we’ve assembled some of the most influential and visually breathtaking cars here in a list of Top Ten Coach-Built French Imports - between 1930 and 1950.
This list could also have been called the "unpronounceables" because their names are quite complicated to say out loud. Doing so is a real treat, however, especially in the case of the all-star Hispano-Suiza H6C Xenia. This gorgeous coupe has some of the most otherworldly styling ever seen then or since.
Winner of Best in Show at Goodwood 2009, this Hispano-Suiza features sliding side doors, a rounded fuselage design, and bespoke luggage that looks like a million bucks.
Click past the jump for all ten of these stunners: including a number of Bugatti’s, Avoins Voisin and the first hard-top cabrio: the 1938 Peugeot 402L Cabriolet Metallique Decouvrable.
The long-rumored Porsche Experience Center, located in Carson, California, has finally been approved. This will be the second Experience Center in the U.S. and will span a total of 53 acres. According to the first details we have on the project, it will include "a museum displaying historical vehicles, a business center, driving simulators, a high-end parts and service area, a restaurant, and a ’human performance center’ designed to train people like race car drivers."
The work on this project will begin at the end of the year and Porsche hopes to have it ready by fall of 2013. However, There is still a lot of work to do, considering they will need to clean up the former landfill site, raze the now-closed Dominguez Hills Golf Course, and demolish the vacant Don Dominguez Apartments.
It looks like this hard work will worth in the end, as the new Porsche Experience Center will also include two tracks — one measuring 2,500 feet and the second one about 5,000 feet. It will include areas where special surfaces replicate rain, ice, and snowy conditions. One of the driver-training sections is a 350-foot-long "Ice Hill," where a steep slope, computer-controlled water jets, and a low-friction surface will challenge even the most experienced drivers and help them improve their real-world skills.
The new Experience Center will also offer lots of activities for kids, track access, dining and conference spaces for car clubs, corporate clients, and other special groups.
For true Ferrari enthusiasts that are planning to visit Italy during the Winter holidays, Ferrari has a treat in store for you.
Ferrari has opened an exhibition to pay tribute to the late Sergio Pininfarina and the not-to-be-forgotten Pinin Farina, by showcasing every model that has been designed by the man himself and his team. The idea behind the exhibition is to show the public the exemplary creations that came out from the Pininfarina drawing board. The exhibition includes 11 models that are divided between the front-engined berlinettas, such as the 1964 275 GTB4 and the Spider version of the legendary Daytona, the mid-rear-engined models, notably the milestone BB, and the contemporary creative evolution which encompasses, amongst others, the Testarossa and the 599 SA Aperta, the latter a homage by Ferrari to Sergio and Andrea Pininfarina. The highlight of the exhibition is the famous Modulo concept which previously was an unseen exhibit from the Pininfarina family’s private and company collections.
This exhibition was opened on October 27th and it will remain open until January 7th, 2013. So, anybody who is going to Europe, or Italy in that matter, can visit that museum before January 7th and behold the Italian passion that emanates from every single Pininfarina-designed Ferrari on display.
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.
Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg in Germany is the home of the Porsche Museum, which holds roughly 500 various Porsche models, some of which are the rarest Porsches in the world. In the same city is a secrete compound that Porsche has purchased to store its priceless pieces when they are not being displayed.
As you would expect, there are some very exciting models in this storage facility, including a family car that Porsche was experimenting with for the Chinese market. The above video is the first of a series that will go through the various cars in this storage facility and let you in on all of the little details on each vehicle.
This debut video basically has just enough time to outline the Porsche Museum and the storage facility, as well as one ultra-rare model. This model in question is the first ever Porsche 911 Turbo. This model was specially built as a birthday present to the daughter of Ferdinand Porsche, Louise Porsche. Unlike every other 911 Turbo, this model actually lacks the “Turbo” badge on the rear, something that she specially requested.
In all, this introductory video is pretty awesome, but we can’t wait for part two. The second part will include a wider array of vehicles stored in the facility, including: 996 Bulletproof, 906 Ollon-Villars Hill Climb, FLA Concept Study, 924 World Record Car, 928 Convertible Prototype, 908 Targa Forio, and 984 Porsche Junior.
Stay tuned, as we will drop the second video as soon as we get our hands on it.