Electric Cars

Racing at leMans - amazing machines they are

11/24/2013

Racing At leMans - Amazing Machines They Are

Ken Visser

karmakvisser@yahoo.com

kenneth_visser@discovery.com

I started to do some research on a blog about the Porsche 917, one of the most successful and dominant race cars in history.  As I was going thru my photos, I came upon quite a few examples of successful leMans racers and have decided to pursue that storyline.

leMans, one of the toughest races on the planet.  24 hours of straight up racing on a mix of public and racing circuit roads.  Participants have to balance fuel, brakes, mechanical durabilty, tires as well as fatigue.  In 2010 the winning Audi covered 3,360 miles on the Circuit de la Sarthe.  

We are talking 6 times longer than the Indy 500 and 18 times longer that a Formula One Grand Prix race. Heck, from New York to LA its 2,792 miles!  Can you imaging running at top speed on the Mulsanne Straight at 3 am, checking your mirrors for a prototype approaching at 200 plus MPH, flashing its lights?  And I thought the DC Beltway was stressful during a Friday night rush hour...

To make matters even more tense, the race takes place in June with soaring temperatures and the ever present threat of rain.  Race cars don’t use air conditioning so the interior temperatures can get excruciating,  This is why you see roadsters competing, like our 59 Aston Martin DBR1 from the Simeone Museum.  Let's take a look.

Rhc13 58 aston Martin dbr1 075 sm

1958 Aston Martin DBR1 chassis 3 as presented by the Simeone Museum at the 2013 Radnor Hunt Concours d'Elegance

This spectacularly shaped 58 Aston Martin DBR1 has been lovingly maintained by the esteemed Dr Fred Simeone, an avid and astute collector of amazing historic competitive automobiles.  His collection is housed in the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum near the Philadelphia airport.  

Aston Martin won the World Championship and a win at leMans with a small team of 4 DBR1 race cars.  Caroll Shelby helped win at leMans in 59, turning out to be one of his last outings as a race car driver due to a heart condition.

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Velocity is Going to SEMA: And We’re Bringing Friends

11/02/2013

VelocityLivePosterWe will be roving the massive showroom floor looking for what might be on car lovers’ holiday lists this year, tweeting out the latest news via @VelocityTV1 #SEMA and providing more in depth coverage here. We can’t wait to see what the manufacturers are rolling out this year…we’re thinking lots of technology but that’s just us.

Plus, we are bringing our friends to SEMA – the hottest automotive experts on TV. We'll have them in our booth and walking the show floor when they can. Here's the line up of our friends:

Chip Foose, Chris Jacobs, and Arianny Celeste from Overhaulin’

Mike Brewer and Edd China from Wheeler Dealers

Wayne Carini, from Chasing Classic Cars

Jessi Coombs from All Girls Garage

Ray Evernham, from AmeriCarna

Dan Short, from Fantomworks

Mike Seate, from Café Racer

Lou Santiago from Car Fix

 

 

Plus, we'll have some of our experts as special guests on a panel on Wednesday. We are partnering with our buddies over at Rev3’s to bring you video of the panel just as soon as our fast fingers can upload it here. Why would you want to see this panel? You'll get wisdom from:

Ray Evernham, Wayne Carini, Chip Foose, Chris Jacobs, Mike Brewer, Edd China, and Jessi Coombs,

 

These people are the real deal and will be telling us where they see the trends heading and talking about their love of cars. It’s absolutely amazing to have all these automotive experts with their wisdom in one room. We are just as excited as you are!

So, keep an eye out for all our posts, tweets, and video from Sunday, November 3 through Friday, November 8.

Are you one of our fans who happens to be attending? We’d love to see you at the panel on Wednesday, November 6th. Check the program for more information.

The most expensive car in the world, crazy eh?

10/03/2013

The Most Expensive Car in the World

by Ken Visser

 

It is simply astounding, just how much some cars have increased in value.  There seems that there is no shortage of gazilliares that are willing to bet big on a finite amount of specialized cars.  And why not?  They perform better then the stock market, as long as you pick the right ones.   

One name dominates the auction market, (both financially and speed wise) Ferrari. Certain vintage Ferraris have been increasing 15% in value yearly, for the past 30 years.  Let's see any stock that can match that!  

The GTO is the king of this particular hill. They were built in very small numbers, 36 to be exact.   I leave it to others to debate whether the 330 LM's should also be counted as GTO's.

The GTO's are the last in the line of cars that you could drive to LeMans, win, then drive home (Maybe second to last, you could include the 275 in this rare club as well.  Nuts, third to last, include the Daytona Competizion.  You get the point.).  It might not have been ultra comfortable, but… what a car! 

And now a Ferrari 250 GTO has been reported to have sold for an astounding 52 million dollars!

Aic12 62 Ferrari 250 gto 3387gt 023 sm
Originally designed as the natural evolution of the 250 SWB (Short Wheel Base) the GTO kept the same dimensions with a surprising adherence to tradition. Using a live rear axle was a typical Ferrari pragmatic engineering, it works, it's reliable, let's use it.  Let the other guys prove that independant suspension is the way to go.  

And history proved this decision right, Ferrari took the International Championship for GT Manufacturers in 62, 63 and 64!

 

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Racing Porsches

08/25/2013

Racing Porsches

by Ken Visser

With Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans series about to start, I thought we would take a look at some special Porsches. As we will see, racing improves the breed.  (Continued below)

Ai07 mm porsche 55 0007 lr kcv
I photographed this 1953 Porsche 550 Coupe at the Amelia Island Concours in 2007.

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Check Out These Sexy Beasts!

10/03/2012

There has been a recent run of luxury car releases that are guaranteed to leave you with your jaw on the ground. These are some HOT looking cars. Many of these also have some special feature or story behind them that make them unique.

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Visit daily for posts about the shows and spirit of Velocity, an upscale male lifestyle network, featuring the best of the automotive, sports, adventure and travel genres.

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