Monday, December 31, 2012

1971 Chevrolet Corvette ZR2 Convertible

Corvette aficionados take note: this Ontario Orange 1971 Stingray convertible is not only one of just 12 Corvettes built that year with the ZR2 Special Purpose LS6 Engine Package; it is one of only two convertibles and is in fact the very last of Corvette Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov’s factory-built extra-high-performance specials, an august group that includes the original 1963 Z06, the 1969 ZL1 aluminum block L88 and the ZR1 Special Purpose LT1. As the very last of the so-called Z-cars, it holds an exclusive position as one of the most historically significant cars in General Motors history. It will be offered at the Mecum Kissimmee Auctuion on Saturday, January 26th, 2013 at 4:00PM.

Photo courtesy Mecum Auctions

Sunday, December 30, 2012

1991 Ferrari Testarossa 630 Miles

Ferrari resurrected an old and familiar name when it introduced the new Testarossa at the 1984 Paris Motor Show, a complete clean-sheet design that immediately polarized the motoring press and automotive industry designers, whose evaluations ranged from outright rejection to unfettered admiration. Read about this marvelous milestone Ferrari from the Collins Collection - driven just 630 miles - crossing the block at the Mecum Kissimmee Auction, Saturday January 26, 2013 at 3:40 PM. 

Photo courtesy Mecum Auctions

Sunday, December 23, 2012

1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible "The Bounty Hunter"

Finding a genuine original Corvette L88 is always a Big Deal; production was 20 in 1967, 80 in 1968, and 116 in 1969, for a total of 216. And by most authoritative estimates, fewer than half of those still in existence have been located and confirmed. Those facts alone make it worth the 20 years it has taken to find and restore the “Bounty Hunter”, a 1968 L88 convertible owned and raced by Ronnie Reid Joyner on the roads and highways of the Southeast corridor from the day he flew it off the rail car that delivered it from the factory until he retired it in 1980. Along the way Joyner and the Bounty Hunter took on all comers, racing for money and bounty and always coming out on top. The Bounty Hunter L88 Corvette will be presented for sale at the Mecum Kissimmee Auction, Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 4:20 PM. Read all about it!

Photo courtesy Mecum Auctions

Saturday, December 22, 2012

1931 Ford Model A Street Rod

It took builder Jeff Madden about a year to transform his 1931 Ford Model A Fordor sedan into this extended-cab shortbed pickup truck that many will recognize from the front cover of the May 2012 issue of Hot Rod magazine. Madden began the project by placing the body and the Brookeville Roadster short pickup bed on the floor of his garage, shortening the cab until the proportions suited his eye and then building a frame to match. Perhaps the truck’s most unique feature is its Cummins 4BT turbodiesel engine, which originated in a Fritos delivery truck and then served a tour of duty in Madden’s ex-Army tow truck before getting a thorough cleanup for its new digs. Backed by a 400 Turbo automatic and a 2.41 10-bolt rear axle, the bulletproof little Cummins returned 41 MPG during a trouble-free 6,000 mile trip Madden made with his son Kevin from Charleston, SC, to the Bonneville Salt Flats for Speed Weeks and across another 21 states. The trip ended in Madden’s home town of Titusville, Pennsylvania, next to Oil Creek, where the truck got its name. It was the site of the first oil drill, and the Oil Creek Petroleum Co. was a real company. Also featured in numerous other magazines and calendars, this homebuilt Retro Rebel has been invited to the 65th Annual Hot Rod Home Coming on March 23–24, 2013, at the Fairplex in Pomona, California. It will be presented for sale at the Mecum Kissimmee Auction, Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 8:25 PM.

Photo courtesy Mecum Auctions

Thursday, December 20, 2012

1970 Plymouth Road Runner Convertible 440 Six Pack Automatic

It took nine years to complete the restoration of this jaw-dropping 1970 Plymouth Road Runner convertible. That’s a long time by any measure, but a job worth doing is worth doing right. The job here was to restore the car to literally factory original condition, and that meant countless hours scouring the fruited plains for genuine NOS parts. The result is that this car is arguably the finest example in existence. Lot S146, it will be presented for sale at the Mecum Kissimmee Auction Saturday January 26, 2013 at 3:20 PM

Photo courtesy Mecum Auctions

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The "Entombed Corvette"

This 1954 Chevrolet Corvette roadster is the famous "Entombed Corvette" removed from a brick vault inside a Brunswick, Maine grocery store once owned by local businessman Richard Sampson. A successful and somewhat eccentric man who built a chain of 33 grocery stores, ran for governor and served as a Senator from Maine, Sampson bought the car new in 1954 and drove it until 1959, when he took it to the construction site of a new store in Brunswick and had workmen enclose it in a brick-and-mortar vault. "The Oldest, Lowest-Mile Unrestored Corvette in the World", the  Entombed Corvette will cross the block at 4:50 PM at the Mecum Kissimmee Auction, Saturday, January 26, 2013. Read all about it!

Photo courtesy Mecum Auctions

Thursday, December 13, 2012

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

One of 199 produced, this unrestored and original matching numbers 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 coupe is the car that GM featured in its promotional literature relaunching the Z06 fixed roof coupe in 2001. It will cross the block at the Mecum Kissimmee Auction, January 18-27, 2013 in Kissimmee, FL. Great car; check it out here.

Photo courtesy Mecum Auctions

Friday, December 7, 2012

1962 Chevrolet Corvette Big Brake Tanker

29-year-old Tom Mazzola did not know what he really had when he drove his 1962 Corvette home from the dealer in 1966. But it wasn’t long before he realized it was one of the hottest cars off the assembly line – in the parlance of the day, a “Sebring” model with a rare amalgam of competition options that made it a terror on the SoCal racing scene for over a decade with Mazzola behind the wheel. This 1962 Chevrolet Corvette Big Brake Big Tank Fuelie is just one of 18 fabulous offerings from the John Justo Collection that will be presented for sale at the Mecum Kissimmee Auction, January 18-27, 2013.

Photo courtesy Mecum Auctions

1966 Shelby Mustang Group II Trans Am Racer

This 1966 Ford Mustang Group II A/Sedan racer is number 12 of 16 built by Shelby American to compete in the SCCA Group II amateur racing series created in concert with the professional Trans Am series. Based on the Mustang GT, these cars shared much in common with the GT350, including a Shelby-built 289 CI engine with an aluminum high-rise intake manifold and 715 CFM Holley 4-barrel carburetor, Borg-Warner close ratio 4-speed, Detroit Locker rear end, high-capacity fuel tank with quick-release filler, heavy duty front disc and rear drum brakes, Koni shock absorbers, heavy duty oil cooler and radiator, 15x7 American Racing wheels and more.  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mecum at Monterey: 1972 Porsche L&M 917/10 Spyder

It is one of the most recognizable and historically significant racing Porsches ever: Roger Penske’s 1972 Porsche L&M 917/10 Spyder occupies a special position in racing history as the car that earned Porsche its first Can-Am Championship, proving not only the German automaker’s advanced engineering capabilities and its pioneering developments in turbocharging, but also Roger Penske's ability to organize and command the dominant team in the most free-wheeling, innovative and competitive racing series the world had ever known. It is without doubt one of the most significant cars in all of racing history, and it will cross the block at the Mecum Monterey Daytime Auction Saturday August 18, 2012. Mecum Auctions has a full online information package here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy-Body Longnose

In 1964 Ferrari superseded its highly successful 250 series with two new models: the 275 GTB and 275 GTS. While the GTS’ spyder bodywork was evolved from the 330 GT 2+2, the GTB was a breathtaking new Pininfarina design replacing the earlier Lusso with more rounded contours inspired by both the 250 LM racer and the lovely 250 GTO.

The final incarnation of the famous Colombo-designed V-12, the 275’s 3.3 liter twin-cam engine was rated at 260 HP in the spyder and 280 HP in the berlinetta. Both cars employed a rear-mounted 5-speed gearbox integrated with the rear axle. The solidly mounted unit allowed fully independent rear suspension, therefore making the 275 the first street Ferrari utilizing that layout, comprising unequal length A-arms, coil springs, tube shock absorbers and 4-wheel disc brakes.

Friday, July 13, 2012

1954 Ferrari 750 Monza Spyder Scaglietti 4062M

The second Ferrari 750 Monza built, 4062M was purchased in 1954 by Joe Kelly of Dublin - Ireland, not Ohio - who co-drove the car in the September 11 Tourist Trophy race with Desmond Titterington at Dundrod, where it retired with gearbox trouble. Victory followed a week later at Leinster with Titterington again at the wheel, followed by a DNF at Goodwood by future World Champion Mike Hawthorn. Kelly then sold the car to the Jaguar Car Company, where it was back-engineered to determine why it was so competitive against the Jaguar D-Type sports racer. It was then purchased by Jaguar team driver and 1951 Le Mans winner Peter Whitehead. In 1955 ace Formula 1 driver Jack Brabham imported the car to Australia, where it was raced until 1959.

Friday, July 6, 2012

2008 Cadillac CTS-V Factory Race Car

Built by Pratt & Miller Engineering Fabrication of New Hudson, Michigan, the Number 8 Andy Pilgrim Cadillac CTS-V factory race car began life as a body-in-white, but the finished product is an engineering marvel at the center of a fascinating chapter in Cadillac's history. It will cross the block at the Mecum Monterey Daytime Auction on Saturday, August 18, 2012.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

1908 Simplex 50 Speedcar

This rudimentary yet elegant 1908 Simplex 50 Speedcar from the early Brass Era is the oldest known Simplex. Chassis number 211, the car's central feature is its enormous 610 CI 4-cylinder T-head engine. The Simplex 50 Speedcar  is scheduled to cross the block at the Mecum Monterey Daytime Auction on national television on Saturday, August 18, 2012.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

1974 Shadow DN4

The first Canadian-American Racing Challenge Cup series ended almost forty years ago, but the lucky souls who witnessed that spectacle still recall the bellowing, no-limits machines brandished by Lola, Chaparral, McLaren, Porsche and Don Nichols’ Advanced Vehicle Systems. If that last entity sounds unfamiliar, perhaps another name will jog your memory: Shadow.

The first Shadow Mk. I racers appeared in 1970, conceived by team owner Nichols and designed by Trevor Harris. Driven by George Follmer and Vic Elford, the so-called “Tiny Tire” Shadows surprised the Can-Am field with a small silhouette made possible by 13-inch diameter front wheels and extremely low-profile tires. The Shadow Mk 1 was quick and an instant hit with the fans, but it proved unreliable.

Subsequent designs by Ti22 'titanium car' designer Peter Bryant were more competitive, but it was the Tony Southgate-penned DN4 of 1974 that finally paid off in a Can-Am championship for Nichols and company. Driven once again by Follmer and his British teammate (and prime antagonist) Jackie Oliver, the so-called Black Elephants were famous for their squinty-eyed UOP livery, booming big block Chevrolet engines and monstrous top speeds that carried Oliver and Follmer to finish 1-2 respectively in that final season of the “real” Can-Am.

After the complicated and unpredictable early Shadows the DN4 was a revelation to its drivers. George Follmer, who returned to the fold on the promise of a more competitive machine, recalled the DN4 in Pete Lyons’ CAN-AM PHOTO HISTORY as “an awful good car. Docile. Quick. It cornered well, and it was slippery, clean, fast. We had good power - we didn’t have near what the Porsche had, but it was normally aspirated, so you could get it on real quick…at that point I think the Shadow was a better car than the Porsche.”

Follmer’s assertion was not just hyperbole. At 1,670 lbs the aluminum-monocoque DN4 was a comparative lightweight, and a very small and slippery one at that, with an overall length of just 100 inches. All those factors maximized the potential of the DN4’s all-aluminum 494 CI Chevrolet engine, whose 800-plus horsepower was matched by a virtually flat torque curve that launched the car with unrelenting fury all the way toward 220 mph.

Five Shadow DN4 racers were built for 1974, only 2 of which competed that year: DN4-1 by Oliver, DN4-3 by Follmer. Only one other made an appearance in competition, and that was two years after the Can-Am’s demise. Since its completion serial number DN4-4A had been kept at Don Nichols’ California shop until his phone rang one day in the summer of 1976. At the other end of the line was Harvey Hudes, owner of Canada’s famed Mosport Park racing circuit. Hudes was beating the bushes to fill out a lightly-attended World Sports Car Championship grid suffering from the woes of the energy crunch, and he hoped the Shadow and other ex-Can-Am racers would oblige. Nichols took up the challenge, bringing DN4-4 and driver Jackie Oliver across the border to help out his old friend. It was the only appearance by the car in competition and, after taking the pole, setting a new lap record and leading the entire race, it won going away from the second place McLaren M20 driven by Oliver’s ex-teammate George Follmer.

“The car acquitted itself very well that day,” recalls Nichols, “running against the Porsche and Renault factory race teams and drivers like Jackie Ickx.” After that, it disappeared until just recently, when Don Nichols announced it would be crossing the block at Mecum Auction’s Monterey Daytime Auction on August 18, 2012.

Shadow number DN4-4 has been in careful storage in Don Nichols’ Fort Ord, California shop for 36 years, and it literally looks as if it was just completed. Says Nichols, “The car as it stands now, I swear it doesn’t have 300 miles on it, and it looks it. You take the coachwork off the monocoque and there are no work scratches on it, just bare polished aluminum. It looks like it was made last week.”

In fact, Shadow DN4-4 may be one of the most original and perfectly preserved cars built for the legendary Can-Am series. The original engine remains with the car, rebuilt by no less a talent and authority than Bob Slade of Slade Engines in Salinas, California. The car is not only complete and ready to perform its magic in vintage racing, it is immaculate.

And best of all, it’s a Shadow.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

1971 Eagle-Picher Silver Eagle

It is a long-held axiom that racing improves the breed, and while the 1971 Eagle-Picher Silver Eagle is no exception, it certainly is the product of an exceptional race: the race to the moon. For the Silver Eagle runs on the same power used in the Apollo 15 mission, first in breaking its Earthly bonds, in both landing and then launching the Lunar Lander and in powering the Lunar Rover in its forays on the surface of the moon.
The 1971 Eagle-Picher Silver Eagle is scheduled to cross the block at the Mecum Monterey Daytime Auction on national television on Friday, August 17, 2012. Don't miss it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

1965 Mercury B/FX Comet Cyclone

After the 427 High Riser Comets mowed down the A/FX competition in 1964, Lincoln-Mercury returned with even more resolve in 1965, broadening its assault with small-block powered Comets targeting the B/FX class. Bill Stroppe Engineering was contracted to build 15 lightweight Comet Cyclones with blueprinted 289 high performance engines and the proven L-M formula for saving weight: fiberglass hood, doors, fenders and bumpers, lightweight plexiglass windows, rudimentary bucket seats and radio, heater and soundproofing deletes. The heart of these cars was the Cobra-proven 289/271 HP small block which, when fitted with optional Weber downdraft carburetion, generated almost 400 horses at 7000 RPM, enough to trailer most competitors and thrill the fans who flocked to watch the FX cars.

This 1965 Mercury B/FX Comet Cyclone is scheduled to cross the block at the Mecum Kissimmee Auction 2012 on national television at 2:05PM on Saturday, January 28.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

1937 Cord 812 SC Phaeton

The Gordon Buehrig-designed Cord 812 has reached the status of art in the American automotive pantheon, combining such technical advances as the first independent-suspension front wheel drive system with famously daring styling that included hideaway headlights, sweeping low-profile bodywork and the timeless “coffin-nose” front end.

This 1937 Cord 812 Supercharged Phaeton is scheduled to cross the block at the Mecum Kissimmee Auction 2012 on national television at 7:15PM on Saturday, January 28.