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Autamobile News & Reviews

Monday March 27, 2017
THE UBER-RARE RACE CAR WRECKS DURING A GOODWOOD MEMBERS' MEETING
By Wesley Wren - Autoweek
Nick Mason, the drummer for the legendary rock band Pink Floyd, crashed an equally legendary McLaren F1 GTR at the Goodwood Members' meeting. The video isn't great, but it shows Mason's F1 GTR careening into a wall. The damage doesn't look too extensive, but it's hard to say what parts Mason destroyed in the accident. The GTR is one of the rarest of the already rare McLaren F1s. Only 28 F1 GTRs were produced, which is nearly a quarter of the total production for McLaren's most sought-after street car. Even if the crash did millions of dollars in damage, repairing the car is inevitable because of its constantly appreciating value. There are no reports of serious injuries for Mason, but his accountant can't be too happy. The 73-year-old drummer is an accomplished racer with races like the 24 Hours of Le Mans under his belt. We're sure the car will be put back together and Mason will put it back on the track.

If you can stomach the carnage, check out the video by clicking on the link below.

read more at autoweek.com

WE'RE PRETTY SURE PORSCHE IS MINTING ITS OWN MONEY
By Anthony Alaniz - Autoweek
Well, if you were wondering where Porsche's $17,250 per-car profit goes, we know now. Porsche says it's giving 9,111 euro (we see what they did there) bonuses to its 21,000 employees. That's about $9,800 at current exchange rates.

The bonuses are going to engineers, production line workers, cleaning personal and food preparers at the German automaker. 2016 was Porsche's best year in the company's history, but the bonuses were tempered due to the ongoing diesel scandal plaguing VW Group, according to WELT, which reported the announcement of the bonuses.

“No one else in our large VW family receives any similar special payment,” Porsche works councilor Uwe Hück told WELT.

Last year, Porsche employees got 8,911 euros. At this rate, we bet next year's bonus will be 11,911 euros.

read more at autoweek.com

MODERN AND VINTAGE SUPERCARS, MUSCLE, A NO-RESERVE COLLECTION AND MORE ON OFFER
Mecum Auctions, the world’s largest collector-car auction company, will stage its sixth consecutive Mecum Houston collector-car auction April 6-8 at NRG Arena with an estimated 1,000 American muscle cars, Corvettes, classics, Hot Rods, Resto Mods and more to cross the auction block. This year’s event will be a true auto-enthusiast’s paradise with the Houston Auto Show setting up shop just across the parking lot at the NRG Center, April 5-9.

Among the Mecum Houston auction’s main attractions are a pair of 2015 Lamborghinis, one is a red-with-tan-interior Huracan LP610 (Lot S105.1) with a 5.2-liter, V-10 engine and 7-speed automatic transmission. The second is a black-with-tan-interior, custom-ordered Aventador (Lot S121.1) with a Power Craft exhaust upgrade. This pair is complemented by a duo of Resto Mod projects by Jeff Hayes of American Speed Shop: one, a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Resto Mod (Lot S110) with a new 500 HP GM LS3 engine that has a 5-speed automatic transmission and a professionally fabricated chassis with C5 front and C6 rear suspension. The other is the first and only Camaro built by Jeff: a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Resto Mod (Lot S125) featuring an LS3 hot-cam crate engine and a Tremec 5-speed transmission.

Other featured consignments are from the LaQuay Automobile Collection of more than 50 vehicles all offered at no reserve. The collection features performance vehicles such as a 2003 Ferrari 575M Maranello (Lot S29) and a 2005 Ford GT (Lot S29.1) with all four options and 4,000 miles, and a 2002 Shelby Cobra 40th Anniversary (Lot S30) that is number five of 40 built. Among the most significant cars in the collection is a quartet of matching-numbers vehicles: a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Split Window Coupe (Lot S38.1), 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 (Lot S46), 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda (Lot S52) and a 1970 Chevelle LS6 (Lot S55.1). The collection also includes Packards and other classics, muscle cars from the ’60s and ‘70s, eight Corvettes, seven Mustangs, several street rods, and also a 1951 Crosley Fire Truck.

read more here

THE BP23 COULD BE MCLAREN'S NEXT ICON
By Wesley Wren - Autoweek
Amid the new hypercar war between Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin, McLaren released a sketch of its upcoming “Hyper-GT.” The sleek, three-seat GT car is currently code-named BP23, but hopefully that will change before the car reaches production.

Following in the footsteps of McLaren’s other three-seater, the F1, the British supercar maker claims the BP23 will be the most powerful and most aerodynamic road-going McLaren ever. Also like the F1, just over 100 units will be produced.

If you’re thinking about calling your McLaren guy, don’t. If he didn’t already call you, you’re going to have to wait until one of these 106 hypercars hit the used market. That’s right: These were all presold. We don’t know how many were slated for North America or what kind of powertrain or specs the car have, but that didn’t slow down McLaren’s sales team.

read more at autoweek.com

HAMILTON MOST NOTABLY DROVE FOR PETTY ENTERPRISES IN THE NASCAR CUP SERIES
By Autoweek
1970 Daytona 500 winner Pete Hamilton died on Wednesday at the age of 74.

Hamilton started 64 races in what is now the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series from 1968 and 1973, winning four times at Daytona and Talladega, respectively.

The New Englander won the 1967 NASCAR Late Model Sportsman Championship and captured the Cup Series Rookie of the Year award the next year. He also won the 1974 Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.

Hamilton won his Daytona 500 for Petty Enterprises and won after Richard Petty fell out of contention due to a failed engine just seven laps into the race. Hamilton passed David Pearson with nine laps to go and barely held him off before the checkered flag. As this happened during a time before radio communication became the norm, Hamilton took an extra lap around the track because he wasn't totally sure he had won.

Hamilton's high-speed NASCAR career was cut short in 1971 due to a neck injury but he moonlighted in local racing for much of the next decade. In addition to his own driving career, Hamilton became equally famous for the chassis he built and design. He also built a seven-building warehouse and office complex in suburban Atlanta that he owned up until his death.

"We ran two cars in 1970, and Plymouth helped introduce us to Pete," former teammate Richard Petty said. "They wanted us to run a second car with him on the bigger tracks. Chief (Maurice Petty) led that car and started in the Daytona 500. Pete and Chief won the race, and it was a big deal. Pete won both Talladega races that year. It was great to have Pete as part of the team. He was a great teammate. We send our prayers to his family."

read more at autoweek.com

WITH JUST UNDER A QUARTER OF A MILLION CARS SOLD IN 2016, PORSCHE ISN'T SMALL ANYMORE
By Jay Ramey - Autoweek
It's no secret that manufacturers make bigger profits on bigger vehicles it's not just the consumers who want large SUVs but sports-car companies make an impressive amount of money per car, too. Bloomberg reports that Porsche netted approximately $17,250 per car in 2016 (depending on exchange rates), which represents a 9 percent improvement over 2015 for the once-small German automaker.

That once-small German automaker delivered 238,000 cars in 2016. That's still a small drop in the bucket for parent company Volkswagen Automotive Group overall, which delivered 10.3 million cars last year - a record despite the woes of the diesel crisis. And Porsche's operating profit in 2016 amounted to 3.9 billion euros ($4.1 billion), which itself represents a 14 percent improvement over the preceding year.

By comparison, Bloomberg notes, Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler AG and BMW both made around $5,000 per vehicle. But those automakers are very different from Porsche: Mercedes-Benz sells a tremendous number of commercial vehicles and other moderately priced passenger cars that we don't see in North America. BMW has to compete pricewise with the likes of Audi and Mercedes-Benz while trying to woo non-luxury car buyers with smaller and more affordable entry-level vehicles.

How does Porsche manage to make more than triple than its German rivals per car? A lot of it comes down to price, Bloomberg says, but options also help. Porsche models - even the base Macan which now makes up 40 percent of all Porsche sales do not represent casual, point-A-to-point-B vehicles. Customers pay a premium for the brand's reputation and do not skimp on options, which German automakers tend to price aggressively (is how we'll put it).

The Macan is one of just a couple models in the lineup that has to stay grounded the midsize crossover starts at $48,550 in the U.S. But even for this model options can pile on quickly. Models like the recently renamed 718 Boxster start at $57,050 and also serve as the entry point for the brand (provided one does not get into Porsche ownership with a used Boxster from 15 years ago), but the pricier models like the new 911 GT3 will ultimately make money for the automaker per car.

read more at autoweek.com

BRUNEI'S ROYAL RIDES ARE AGING BETTER THAN MOST SUPERCARS FROM A DECADE AGO
By Jay Ramey - Autoweek
Over the years, the internet hive mind has figured out which cars the Brunei royal family likes to show off in European capitals and which ones they're not terribly fond of (or which may be suffering from some unsolvable mechanical issue). One car that looks like a keeper is the Ferrari 456 GT Venice station wagon ordered in the 1990s by Prince Jefri Bolkiah. This wagon has been making regular appearances not only on Reddit but in front of central London boutiques with names that seem to have inspired the shops in Diagon Alley.

The prince's fondness for bespoke station wagons and sedans is well-known if not well-documented, and a five-door 5.5-liter V12 Ferrari grocery getter is precisely what we would demand if we ruled an oil-rich island. The fact it's right-hand drive does not suggest the car was ordered specifically to be kept at the owner's U.K. residence - Brunei itself is a right-hand-drive country.

The 456 GT Venice was designed by Pininfarina and reportedly cost $1.5 million each back in the mid-1990s, which seems like a bargain today given the labor involved. But, just like at Costco, you've got to buy in bulk to get these kinds of prices: A total of seven wagons were made, six of which reportedly wound up in the prince's collection. The one car that is unaccounted for could have been a development car that tested various engineering solutions.

read more at autoweek.com

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