Monthly Archives

October 2015

Oldtimers

Classic car show has new location

VALDOSTA — An area car club has found a new place to park its vintage autos for the 32nd Annual Fall Classic Car & Truck Show.

The South Georgia Classic Car Club’s show will be held at the newly paved parking lot of Five Points Shopping Center, said Logan Birdsong, a club spokesman and former club president.

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“Only the location has changed,” Birdsong said. “All other aspects of the show will be the same as you have come to expect.” Organizers expect about 100 vehicles to participate in the show that is open to the public and includes a competition for registered vehicles.
“Our 32nd annual show will feature 15 classes with first- and second-place awards in each class,” Birdsong said. “Special awards will include best paint, best engine, best interior and best chrome.”

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The best in show award will honor the club’s longtime member, the late Glenn Jarvis.

“Glenn was well known around the car show circuits in North Florida, Georgia and Alabama having won over 300 awards with his 1969 Camaro RS,” Birdsong said. “This award will be presented by Glenn’s wife, Sherry.” The show also honors military personnel and veterans. A special dedication ceremony to honor the military is scheduled for 10 a.m.

Classic car shows continue to change.

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In the next 20 to 30 years, classics such as the ’59 Chevy will possibly be viewed as the Model T is now — appreciated but not adored as it has been by the owners who grew up wanting a ’59 Chevy. Car shows will be dominated by new generations of owners who idolize new generations of vintage vehicles.

Classic cars now include vehicles manufactured in the mid to late 1980s.

The South Georgia Classic Car Club 32nd Annual Fall Classic Car & Truck Show is scheduled 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Nov. 7, Five Points Shopping Center, 3200 N. Ashley St. Registration fees to show a vehicle. Viewing is free and open to the public. More information: Visit www.sgccc.org.

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Origin: Valdostadailytimes.com

Oldtimers Travel

Classic and vintage cars make 1,200km journey across China

(CNN)It is extremely rare to see an Aston Martin DB2 on the road. It’s even rarer to see one on the road, in rural China, surrounded by a herd of goats.

Manufactured from 1950 to 1953 in Warwickshire, England, only 411 models were ever produced. Famed for its design and relatively advanced straight-6 racing engine, the DB2 can today fetch as high as $500,000 dollars at auction.

The DB2’s visit to the Chinese countryside was part of October’s Classic Car Challenge China (also known as 4C), an annual event that sees participants travel from Beijing to Shanghai on a 1,200km 10-day journey.

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An Aston Martin Le Mans from 1933 is surrounded by curious locals.

Classic cars drive from Beijing to Shanghai

Now in its fifth year, the rally has grown in size, attracting participants from across the world. This month, 51 different classic cars from 26 countries were on display, including a 1929 Rolls Royce Phantom 1 and a 1930 Ford Model A.

But, as Lei Xing, chief editor of China Automotive Review, one of China’s top selling auto-industry publications explains, the event is something of an oddity — and not only because of the rarity of the cars on show.

“Officially, Chinese law doesn’t allow the import of used cars, which by definition, includes classic cars,” says Lei. “But there are ways to get around the law… if you have the right connections.”

The measure, part of a wider government ban that also restricts vehicles that have driven more than 600,000km from entering onto the road, is intended to help curb pollution.

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Rally complications

There were other logistical difficulties too, says Zong Guian, the executive chairman of Classic Vehicle Union of China (CVUC), the creator and co-organizer of the event.

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“Putting on a rally like this requires strong business and a lot of financial support, but there’s still a lack of understanding and appreciation for these sort of events in the country.”

This lack of understanding led Tianjin port customs officials to refuse entry to some classic cars, including a 1911 Knox Raceabout, shipped in from Holland — and much to the owner’s frustration.

Other complications facing organizers included getting foreign drivers licensed, registering old vehicles for use on the road, paying import deposits (which can exceed the value of the car itself) and gaining approval from local governments that oversee the dozens of towns, cities and villages along the route. No easy task.

An unusual snapshot of China’s urbanization

For Belgian driver Frederic Goblet, simply seeing China up

close made all the efforts worth it: “If you work in the finance industry, like I do, you hear about growth, you hear about the bubble, about urbanization. But to see what urbanization looks like, first-hand, is fascinating.”

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Goblet, who along with his driving partner, Denis de Wagheneire, had flown in from Brussels especially for the rally, documented their trip for Classic Car Passion, a forum dedicated to “classic car addicts.”

Their photos, featured in the gallery above, capture the more nuanced scenes of China’s development: endless rows of corn (which, in 2013, surpassed rice as the country’s primary crop), newly built roads that have meant greater connectivity for smaller cities, and expansive construction works in empty cities.

So what’s driving events such as these?

Growing appetite for classics

Keith Martin, the vice chairman of The Classic Car Club of Hong Kong

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has witnessed China’s growing appetite for classic cars up close. Martin, who arranged the shipping of 11 classic cars from Hong Kong to attend the rally, believes rallies such as the Classic Car Challenge China can help spur the creation of a viable market into the future.

“Before, it would be a tourist company or a hotel that would want to hire a dozen fancy cars to attract the public,” says Martin, of the more base-level, aesthetic interest in the cars. “If you put one of these cars in the street, within five minutes, 100 people will show up. The draw for these cars are phenomenal, because people have never seen them.”

“But now, we’re seeing more business entities in China inviting classic cars into the country. Classic cars are big money — you’re talking about some cars worth several million US dollars. What these business people are hoping, I think, is that more Chinese people can begin to take an interest in, and ultimately buy these cars. That’s the money incentive.”

A piece of China’s automotive history

Among China’s growing number of classic car collectors is York Wong. Wong, who is from Hong Kong, is the owner of a 1959 Hongqi CA72 saloon by FAW Automotive, a luxury Chinese marque. The original Honqi models were reserved for China’s high-ranking elite.

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“The Hongqi car represents the real glory of China, at a time when it was completely sealed off during the Korean War. No industrial materials, equipment or technology was allowed in. But despite this, China still managed to manufacture a 100% domestically made car.”

Wong says he hopes China’s policy makers will one day allow older cars to be regularly driven on roads, in designated areas and during certain time periods.

“In the absence of supportive government policies, these vintage cars are not licensed for driving and are therefore forced into retirement. China has now become a leading automotive manufacturer and seller in the world. But without (the inclusion of) classic cars, it’s difficult for the local automotive industry to nurture a new generation of car enthusiasts.”

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Origin: edition.cnn.com

Video Vintage

Jude Law Chases a Gorgeous, Classic Car in Johnnie Walker’s Sequel to ‘The Gentleman’s Wager’

Jude Law is back to make another luxe bet over a couple of glasses of Johnnie Walker.

Last year, the British star literally danced for Italian actor Giancarlo Giannini in “The Gentleman’s Wager,” a short film from the scotch marketer about a friendly contest for a classic yacht. Now, a teaser for “The Gentleman’s Wager II”—again from ad agency Anomaly—finds Law coveting a vintage race car (a Delahaye Type 135S, to be precise, long owned by the Walker family).

The full film premieres Oct. 31 in Rome, with Law and Giannini hosting. It promises to be another lighthearted bit: In the trailer, Law catches a face full of engine oil and picks up co-star Zhao Wei en route to his destination—Monaco, naturally. (It will please motor sports enthusiasts to know that the car in question has raced at Le Mans and Goodwood.)

It also ties into Johnnie Walker’s broader message. The soundtrack, Plastic Bertrand’s “Ca Plane Pour Moi,” anchored the brand’s global and infectious “Joy Will Take You Further” campaign launch just last month (among other notable names, Law and Wei play roles in that as well).

Anomaly, which Diageo selected to lead creative on the Johnnie Walker account at the end of 2014, is behind both films, which build on BBH’s famous, long-running “Keep Walking” campaign.

Not everyone is convinced the spirits maker didn’t miss a step when it shifted course. But if the wager preceding this one was any indication, Law is a sure-footed choice. Plus, it’s fair to ask: Why stroll through the high life when you could dance—or cruise in a rare and beautiful convertible—instead?

At the very least, you can imagine yourself doing those things … while trying to escape your mundane day in a bottle of whisky.

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Origin: adweek.com

Oldtimers

This 1962 Aston Martin DB4 GT by Zagato Can Be Yours for $16 Million

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Over the years Italian coachbuilder Zagato has been responsible for some of the most beautiful cars around. Recently they have worked with BMW and also Aston Martin, but today we want to present you a very special car by Zagato and Aston Martin, that was built in 1962. Limited to only 19, Zagato was officially hired by Aston Martin in 1962 to build a limited run of re-bodied cars. Zagato did not only style the limited edition car, they also made it perform better, making it lighter and stronger. The result was that the Aston Martin DB4 GT by Zagato was one of the fastest cars of its time and a direct competitor of the Ferrari 250 GTO. RM Sotheby’s has one of these beauties up for auction on December 10 with estimates going as high as $16 million.

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Origin: highsnobiety.com

Lifestyle Oldtimers Video Vintage

Top 8 James Bond Cars Ever

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In a unique exhibition the UK’s National Motor Museum at Beaulieu is celebrating 50 years of James Bond films by drawing together for the first time cars, bikes, planes, boats and other gimmicks from the 007 film franchise.

A previous exhibition in 2001 gathered nine cars together, but this year’s 12-month-long event is of a different magnitude. In addition to Eon Productions (producers of Bond movies), Beaulieu enlisted the help of the Ian Fleming Foundation as well as the Louwman museum in Holland and Florida’s Dezer car museum to source many of the cars displayed.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the most difficult car to secure was the most famous Bond car of all, the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger. Initially Louwman was prepared to loan the car for only three months but was persuaded to double this when Aston provided a loan car as compensation.

At the exhibition’s opening were four Bond girls, including Britt Eckland, who starred as Mary Goodnight in The Man With The Golden Gun (1974) with Sir Roger Moore, Eunice Gayson who played Sylvia Trench opposite Sean Connery in Dr No (1962) and From Russia With Love (1963), Jenny Hanley who played The Irish Girl in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) opposite George Lazenby, and Madeline Smith who Was Sir Roger Moore’s girl in Live & Let Die (1973).

Colin Salmon with the BMW 750iL from “Tomorrow Never Dies”

Other personalities present for the exhibition opening were Colin Salmon, who appeared as Charles Robinson in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999), and Die Another Day(2002), Commander Ken Wallis who built the gyrocopter `Little Nellie’ used in You Only Live Twice(1967), stunt driver Vic Armstrong who has worked on a number of Bond films, and Bond SFX supervisor, Chris Corbould who has worked on multiple Bond films, including Quantum Of Solace(2008), Casino Royale (2006) and Skyfall, which is currently in production.

Missing, though, were the men who have portrayed 007 over the decades including Daniel Craig who was filming Skyfall.

From October 26th, when Skyfall premiers, Beaulieu will get a car from the film, although it doesn’t know what, for the last two months of the exhibition.

Aston Martin DB5

Gadget-laden star of Goldfinger.

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Aston Martin DB5

Often claimed to be the most famous car in the world, the DB5 is the car most closely associated with James Bond following its debut in 1964’s Goldfinger and reprise in the following year’s Thunderball. It has also appeared in GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies and Casino Royale when Daniel Craig wins the car back in a poker game with Alex Dimitros.

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Aston Martin DB5 in “Goldfinger”

The car used in the film was the first production DB5 built and over a 6-week period was transformed by special effects man John Stears and his team into a gadget-laden bespoke car that has won legions of fans ever since.

It seems difficult to believe now, but in 1968 an employee ordered that the original Bond car, registration number BMT 216A, have all its special equipment stripped out and rebuilt as a standard car before being sold. Fortunately its new owner reinstated the gadgets.

Lotus Esprit S1

Submersible supercar from The Spy Who Loved Me.

Lotus Esprit S1

Myth has it that the then Lotus PR man heard that Cubby Broccoli was planning a new Bond epic at the Pinewood studios, near London, and somehow contrived to have an Esprit parked outside Broccoli’s office so he couldn’t help but see the radical Giugiaro-designed mid-engine sports car.

Although Lotus provided seven body shells for the underwater action scenes, it only granted one road-going car, and when the filmmakers needed a second Lotus, Colin Chapman loaned them his own car.

The actual submersible version was converted by Perry Submarines and driven underwater by frogmen.

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Lotus Esprit S1 in “The Spy Who Love Me”

It was the Ian Fleming Foundation that rescued the car on display from a Bahamian scrap yard back in 1993, where it had been painted red and covered in Christmas decorations.

Once recovered by the IFF it took the cars’ original builder three months to restore “Wet Nellie,” as it was affectionately called, to its original condition.

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Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud ll

Cubby’s own car in A View To A Kill.

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Persuading Cubby Broccoli to loan his own car for this 1985 film must have been a challenge for director John Glen.

Actor Patrick Macnee, who played Sir Godfrey Tibbet, later recalled how nervous he was every time he had to negotiate the wide car through the narrow equestrian gates that fronted the French château.

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Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud in “A View to a Kill”

For the film Broccoli’s personal number plate, CUB 1, was replaced by 354 HYK while an engine-less double was pulled into a gravel pit by cable to simulate the scene where Bond escapes from the sunken car by breathing air from the car’s tires.

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The Silver Cloud II had long been replaced by the Silver Shadow and was powered a 6.2-liter V-8, replacing the 4.9-liter straight six of its predecessor. Many consider these models to be the last of classically proportioned Rolls-Royces before the more angular and upright Shadow appeared.

AMC Hornet

Spectacular stunt from The Man With The Golden Gun.

AMC Hornet

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In one of the most memorable action sequences 007 jumps the Hornet 40 feet over a Thai river in his pursuit of Scaramanga driving another AMC product, this time a Matador X Coupe that transforms itself into a small airplane. The highlight of the jump is a 360-degree barrel roll in mid air before landing on its wheels on the opposite bank. The stunt was performed by “Bumps” Willard in one take on June 1, 1974—not bad considering he had never performed the feat before.

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AMC Hornet in “The Man With The Golden Gun”

The 5.9-liter V-8 Hornet with its distinctive Cragar S/S wheels was widened by two inches for the stunt, with a centralized steering wheel and floor-mounted automatic transmission. Dressed in black, the stuntman crouched between two dummies sitting in the front seats, representing Roger Moore’s 007 and Clifton James’ Sheriff J.W. Pepper.

Aston Martin V8 Volante

007 is reacquainted with Aston in The Living Daylights.

Aston Martin V8 Volante

With the appearance of Timothy Dalton as the latest Bond in this 1987 film, 007 once again gets an Aston Martin. Like Broccoli’s car, the Volante he is first seen in actually belonged to Aston’s then chairman and co-owner, the late Victor Gauntlett.

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The ice driving scenes were filmed in Weissensee, Austria, using two coupes with at least five dummy replicas that were dumped in the snow. Apparently there was such a demand for replacement windscreens and bumpers from the set that there was a shortage of them at Aston’s Newport Pagnell factory.

Aston Martin V8 Volante in “The Living Daylight”

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The 146-mph coupe featured a rear-mounted rocket booster, hubcap-mounted lasers, twin missile launches at the front, ice tires, police band radio and the infamous retractable outriggers that transformed the car into an unlikely skidoo.

Fluctuating temperatures during filming nearly caused a disaster when the ice started to crack and one of the cars nearly ended up in the lake.

Jaguar XKR

Aston versus Jag in Die Another Day.

Jaguar XKR wrested the bragging rights over the 007 franchise from BMW for this 2002 film. At the time the Blue Oval had a stable of brands that included the two sports car manufacturers as well as Land Rover and Volvo so the producers had wide selection of cars to feature in the film, including this XKR for Zao, the North Korean terrorist.

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Jaguar XKR in “Die Another Day”

The convertible is brimming with weaponry including a Gatling gun, mortar, 18 heat-seeking missiles and a hydraulic battering ram that is even more formidable than Bond’s Aston.

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Special effects supervisor Chris Corbould modified a quartet of XKRs for the final chase sequence that was filmed on Iceland’s Jökulsárlón lagoon where the Jaguar ends up falling into the freezing water. This particular car is the only one that was fitted with a full suite of weapons.

Aston Martin DBS

A new Aston and a new 007 in Casino Royale remake.

Aston Martin DBS

has links going back to George Lazenby’s 1969 On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and Aston used the debut of a new 007, played by Daniel Craig for the first time, to launch its latest near-200-mph supercar, the DBS.

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For one of Q’s cars it’s quite modest really, featuring only a concealed Walther P99 with silencer, a Medipac and a computer link to MI6, although it is the latter two that Vesper uses to save Bond from certain death.

Aston Martin DBS in “Casino Royale”

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However, it is the 7¾ rolls (verified by the Guinness Book of Records) for which the film is probably best remembered. The producers quickly realized that the standard ramp was insufficient to flip the car so they installed an air-powered cannon behind the driver’s seat that punched a cylinder into the road instantly flipping the car.

Stuntman Adam Kirley had to time the cannon release at precisely the right moment while driving at 80 mph. Otherwise, he would have sent the car and himself into the trees.

Mercury Cougar XR7

American muscle takes on Minis in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Mercury Cougar XR7

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Gadgets were strictly limited for George Lazenby’s one and only role as 007 in this 1969 film; instead the producers opted for a series of breathtaking stunts and driving sequences featuring this car driven by Tracy Di Vecenzo, played by Shakespearean actress and former leather-clad Avenger Diana Rigg. Tracy’s car is 1969 Cougar powered by a 428 Cobra Jet with Ram Air induction and a wide bonnet scoop, said to develop 335 bhp…though it’s more likely to be nearer 400 bhp given its searing pace in the chase scenes.

Mercury Cougar XR7 in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”

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Although stunt and rally drivers did most of the ice driving, a plucky Diana Rigg was at the wheel for some of the shots.

Three of the film’s Cougars are thought to have survived with this one, complete with the original bodywork damage, from a Swedish collector.

Origin: roadandtrack.com

Oldtimers

Very Rare, Fully Restored 1967 Ferrari Thomassima II Listing for $9 Million USD

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A rather extraordinary Ferrari has come up for sale in a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The Thomassima II was designed by coach-builder Tom Meade back in the ’60s and holds design cues similar to the Italian luxury automaker’s 330 P4 race car of ’67. Only three cars were ever made; the 1962 model was destroyed during a flood in Florence in ’69, while the 1969 model sits in a Ferrari museum in Modena on loan, making this 1967 edition even more rare than it already is. Over the past seven years, the current owner oversaw an in-depth restoration of the special Ferrari to its original working condition including restored parts, a brand new paint job, and the same V12 engine as the 250 GTO.

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This 1967 Ferrari Thomassima II is being listed on eBay for a hefty $9 million USD. The seller is currently accepting offers.

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Origin: hypebeast.com

Oldtimers

Fifty-Six Sensation – 1956 Ford Sunliner

With its appealing ’50s styling, it’s no wonder the 1956 Sunliner was the second best-selling full-size Ford convertible of the era

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Sunliner. The name alone conjures up cheerful visions of outdoor enjoyment in the warm, bright sunshine. A name that through the years has become synonymous with exhilarating motoring for Ford owners everywhere, especially when the power top is lowered. When it comes to convertibles wearing a Ford emblem, the Sunliner is at the top of the must-have list for many enthusiasts.

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During the Sunliner’s 11-year-long production run, the 1956 model was, and remains, one of the all-time favorites. After the magnificent 1957 Sunliner, with its dramatic, new-for-’57 body style that helped it become the most popular Sunliner model of all with a production run of 77,728 examples, the 1956 Sunliner was the second-most popular version, with 58,147 units built. Of this number, 57,872 were the more expensive V-8 models.

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Origin, read more @ Hemmings.com

Oldtimers

Stanford’s Self-Driving DeLorean Drifts, Does Killer Donuts

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DOC BROWN’S TIME machine just lost its title as the coolest DeLorean ever made.

A team of Stanford University researchers has taken the iconic car and made it autonomous. But they aren’t interested in building a polite robo-car that putters around suburban roads or cruises the open highway. No, their DeLoren likes to drift–and excels at it.

Now, burning rubber may seem like the last thing an autonomous vehicle ought to do, but the gearheads at Stanford’s car-focused Revs Center said there’s legit reasons for it. “We think automated vehicles should be able to execute any maneuver within the physical limits of the vehicle to get out of harm’s way,” says Chris Gerdes, a professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Revs Center. In a nod to Back to the Future, they called their DeLorean MARTY: the Multiple Actuator Research Test bed for Yaw control.

The team found inspiration in rally racers, who are some of the best drivers in motorsports. Top-tier rallying often requires sacrificing stability for controllability and speed, which is why drivers often drift through corners. Even though the car slides through a turn, drivers can make it doexactly what theDOC BROWN’S TIME machine just lost its title as the coolest DeLorean ever made.

A team of Stanford University researchers has taken the iconic car and made it autonomous. But they aren’t interested in building a polite robo-car that putters around suburban roads or cruises the open highway. No, their DeLoren likes to drift–and excels at it.

Now, burning rubber may seem like the last thing an autonomous vehicle ought to do, but the gearheads at Stanford’s car-focused Revs Center said there’s legit reasons for it. “We think automated vehicles should be able to execute any maneuver within the physical limits of the vehicle to get out of harm’s way,” says Chris Gerdes, a professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Revs Center. In a nod to Back to the Future, they called their DeLorean MARTY: the Multiple Actuator Research Test bed for Yaw control.

The team found inspiration in rally racers, who are some of the best drivers in motorsports. Top-tier rallying often requires sacrificing stability for controllability and speed, which is why drivers often drift through corners. Even though the car slides through a turn, drivers can make it doexactly what they want. Most people have no idea how to do that, but there’s no reason a computer can’t be programmed to do that if it is the best way out of a dangerous spot. The way the guys at Revs Center see it, autonomous cars should be able to drift, even if they don’t leave flaming skid marks.

The researchers started the project in May, 2013, with the purchase of a decent DeLorean. They bought one for $22,000 from a guy in Sausalito used it as a daily driver.

y want. Most people have no idea how to do that, but there’s no reason a computer can’t be programmed to do that if it is the best way out of a dangerous spot. The way the guys at Revs Center see it, autonomous cars should be able to drift, even if they don’t leave flaming skid marks.

The researchers started the project in May, 2013, with the purchase of a decent DeLorean. They bought one for $22,000 from a guy in Sausalito used it as a daily driver.

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The DeLorean was a fun choice for a research platform, given its associations withBack to the Futureand its generally futuristic vibe. “It’s a car that says science project,” Gerdes says. It also helps that the automaker’s defunct, so there’s no one to complain about researchers associating the brand with felonious behavior in a parking lot.

At this point, the DeLorean can do “fairly perfect” drifts in circles, says Jon Goh, a PhD student who’s led the project. That meets the team’s first objective: proving the car can control itself with precision, even in an unstable environment. Developing the software was straightforward and builds on Stanford’s voluminous research in this space.

“The car’s been really well behaved from the beginning,” Gerdes says. But the DeLorean was not really made for such things, which made for a few challenges. The team had to make a few improvements to the car before hooning it, much like you’d have to repair the foundation of an old house before renovating the place. After all, the DeLorean may take everyone back to the future, but it was designed almost 40 years ago.

“The DeLorean’s a really great car,” Gerdes says, “unless you want it to accelerate, brake, or turn. It’s a horrendously understeering vehicle, so it’s hard to hold a drift because the front end just keep losing grip.”

The team made a long list of mods, including a new power steering motor, steering rack, and custom steer-by-wire system. That improved the steering, while coil springs improved the handling. A roll cage improved safety and gave the car greater structural rigidity. The engineers also worked with Renovo to adapt the Silicon Valley electric car startup’s drivetrain to the DeLorean. One motor at each rear wheel provides propulsion (and a staggering 4,100 pound-feet of torque in all), providing power exactly when and where needed. Bridgestone signed on to provide the tires, so Stanford doesn’t have to dip into its endowment paying for all the rubber the car burns.

This car doesn’t use radar or LIDaR sensors like many other autonomous prototypes, including some built by the Revs Center. This research isn’t about how the car perceives its environment, it’s about how the car behaves at its limits. So the DeLorean’s equipped with a GPS system to measure its position and inertial sensors to detect movement.

Stanford’s not the only place working on this. Last year, BMW showed off an autonomous 235i prototype that could drift around corners. In October 2014, Audi’s autonomous RS7 hit the Germany’s Hockenheim Formula One circuit to test how it performed at the limits of traction. The longterm goal of such research is to build an autonomous car that can handle a variety of extreme situations, even if that means drifting to avoid an obstacle or recover from a skid, Goh says. “We want to demonstrate autonomous cars have mastery over all types of driving.”

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Origin: Wired.com

Oldtimers

IN DEPTH REPORT: FERRARI 275 GTB/4- THE BEST FERRARI ROAD CAR?

For our first automotive post we are making a very bold statement. The Ferrari 275 GTB/4 is the best road Ferrari ever made. Yes that’s right. Not the 250 GTO, not even the 250 SWB, nor the iconic California 250 Spyder. Not even the important 250 Tour de France (TDF) which has won Ferrari so many races. The 275 GTB/4 is the best car ever to come out of the gates of Maranello. Why are we so sure? Well because we at LME have done our homework. We have driven one extensively. We have read all the reports by experts. Listened to the most successful racing drivers like Stirling Moss and tried to understand the car in relation to what else was available at the time. And the verdict is pretty clear. The 275 GTB/4 wins on most accounts.

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Understanding Ferrari History 

In order to understand what made the 275 GTB/4 successful it is important to know what was going on at the time within Ferrari. In the mid – sixties Ferrari was on top of its game. Not even 20 years old, Ferrari had already created some mythical cars. The Iconic and now $35m+ value 250 GTO was introduced and won most races there was to win. In addition to its legendary multi championship winning Formula 1 cars, Ferrari made the best sports racing cars allowing 9 outright wins at Le Mans. It had introduced the successful dream line up of the 12 cylinder, 3 litre 250 series of GT cars which included: the 250 GT LWB Berlinetta TdF (more widely known as the 250 Tour de France), 250 GT LWB Interim Berlinetta, 250 GT SWB Berlinetta and 250 GTO. This 250 series had won the Tour de France road race nine times as well as many class wins at Le Mans and numerous important races around the world. The 250 SWB left its competitors like the Aston Martin DB4 GT in the dust, and the last of the 250 line, the 250 Lusso quickly became regarded as one of  the most beautiful and elegant Ferraris ever made. Ferrari road cars were now firmly on the map and the brand was well known internationally. Film stars were lining up to buy a car from Enzo Ferrari. Perhaps Ferrari got complacent but in the mid 1960s, there was supercar competition. Not far away in Modena, Ferruccio Lamborghini introduced what many regard as the world’s first super car, the legendary Lamborghini Miura. It was faster than anything Ferrari had made and had a new four cam engine. But Ferrari the company, and Enzo the founder, both thrived under competition. The result was what we think is the best Ferrari road car ever made. In response to the four cam Miura, Ferrari introduced its masterpiece in 1966: The Ferrari 275 GTB/4.

Ferrari 275 GTB/4

The 275 GTB/4 was introduced at the Paris Motor show in 1966, replacing the 2 cam (SOHC) 275 GTB. It was the last attempt at making the 275 perfect (we will cover the 275 GTB in another post). While we will not go into too much technical detail, the main highlights of the car were: It was the first production Ferrari with independent rear suspension (introduced in 1964 on 275 GTB); first production Ferrari engine with four overhead camshafts (finally catching up to Lamborghini who had introduced it a few years earlier); dry sump. Ferrari wanted to create a new car that was more aggressive than the last model it introduced – the Ferrari 250 Lusso. So the 275 GTB, and especially in this the ultimate incarnation, the 275 GTB/4 is a race inspired car in many aspects. Like its 275 GTB predecessor the engine capacity of the 12 cylinder Colombo engine was 3.3L (engine type 226) and was fed by six dual choke Weber carburettors. Output was increased to 300 bhp at 8000 RPM and torque was also raised. Improvements during the development of the 275 GTB such as the ‘torque tube’ drive shaft and more aerodynamic ‘long nose’ to prevent lift at high speed were carried over. The car was steel bodied, with the bonnet, boot and door panels made in alloy. Around 16 examples were wholly bodied in alloy. The name 275 was derived from the fact that the car had 275cc per cylinder equating to 3.3L which the car carried. GTB stood for ‘Grand Touring Berlinetta’ and the 4 stood for 2 cams per bank, hence the 4 cam designation.

Visually a masterpiece 

While technically there were many reasons to fall in love this classic V12 front engined 1960s Ferrari, many connoisseurs say the 275 GTB/4 with its long nose is among the most beautiful Ferraris ever made. We at LME have noticed something: The most beautiful Ferraris were designed by Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti. Would you like evidence of that? Alright. What about the 250 S1 cabriolet. Or the 250 Lusso. And the 250 SWB? So would you like to guess who built and designed the 275 GTB/4? Yes the famous duo again. Designed by Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti. There is one thing you have to realise about Ferrari and the legendary founder Enzo. His heart was with race cars not road cars and he was mostly interested in making the engines – the best in the world- nothing more, and nothing less. So he let famous coachbuilders like Pininfarina (the master of them all), Boano and Vignale carry out the coachbuild design of his road cars.  Many people agree: the 275 GTB/4 is an iconic design of the 1960s front engined Ferrari. It is well known once Enzo Ferrari was asked what the most beautiful car in the world was- to which he replied, ‘Undoubtedly the Jaguar E- Type’. Collectors and experts often say that the 275 GTB/4 was Enzo’s interpretation of the E-type done the Italian way.

The 275 GTB/4 driving experience

We can write all day about this great car. But what sets this car apart from all other Ferrari road cars, is driving it. Even the legendary Sir Stirling Moss in a test report comparing the 275 GTB/4 to the 250 SWB could not decide. In fact he had to climb into the 250 SWB and drive it again because he thought the 275 GTB/4 was such an incredible car to drive (he ended up favoring the 250 SWB- but it was a very close call). While the 250 SWB is a well balanced car, it lacks the pull and torque of the 275 GTB/4 which has almost 60 bhp more despite being only 100kg heavier. Ferrari collectors often compare the 275 GTB/4 to the 250 GTO. Both are similar in shape and have an open gear shift gate. Often called the poor man’s GTO, the 275 GTB/4 is considered by journalists, collectors, and experts as among the best road car ever made by Ferrari ( the 250 GTO and the alloy bodied 250 SWB Competizione are often quoted as better cars to drive but these cars are not purely road cars but rather road/rally – race cars). We at LME had the pleasure of driving the 275 GTB/4 and accelerating to 8’000 rpm. The experience is simply not properly transmitted on paper, so expect a video of the driving experience of the 275 GTB/4 to come out late spring / early summer. Hearing the V12 screaming beneath the bonnet and powered by the six dual Weber carburettors  is something that can only be shown on Video.

The 275 GTB/4 is the last ‘pure’ Ferrari ever made

What makes the 275 GTB/4 so great is that everything built after it was not a ‘pure Ferrari’ anymore. Stricter regulations in the US in terms of safety and carbon emissions forced Ferrari to stop producing the 275 GTB/4 after only two years and only 330 examples built. Shortly after the last 275 GTB/4 was built in 1968 Ferrari sold the majority of the company to FIAT and thus the model following the 275 GTB/4, the Daytona 365 GTB/4 was not built entirely under Ferrari anymore. The 275 GTB/4 was the last real Ferrari ever made. That is why they are so collectable today.

Origin: le-monde-edmond.com / Steven Robertson

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Lifestyle

Mercedes-Benz Unveils Luxe London Apartments

Luxury-auto giant Mercedes-Benz is venturing into the hospitality market with the launch of six apartments in Kensington, West London, opening this fall. Created in partnership with Fraser Hospitality Group, the high-end fully furnished flats-called “Mercedes-Benz Living @ Fraserare designed to mimic the interiors of Mercedes’ current vehicle range and are aimed to attract wealthy businessmen traveling for work.

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Meant to give occupants “a sense of Mercedes-Benz exclusivity,” each apartment sprawls 1,000-plus square feet and features metallic, modernist decor such as a Swarovski-crystal chandelier and a curved “Black Magic Wall” with a built-in smart TV.

“More and more people are permanently on the move. They live and work in unfamiliar cities where they are looking for a ‘home away from home’ and a sense of security,” says Wilfried Steffen, head of the Business Innovation department at Mercedes-Benz. “That’s exactly what we want to offer them—and at the very highest level and with the perfection and quality that you’d expect from Mercedes-Benz.”

For around $400 (starting price) per night, you too can feel like you’re sleeping inside a Mercedes-Benz during your next visit to London, and next year the company plans to build nine similar apartments in Singapore. And if you’re really into cars, you probably also know that Mercedes-Benz isn’t the first auto manufacturer to dabble in the interior design/housing market as of late. The over-the-top Porsche Design Tower condos and residences on Sunny Isles Beach in Miami will also open their doors some time in 2016.

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Origin: details.com