Muscle Cars

The polar vortex is over and the Amelia Island Concours is coming!

02/23/2014

Here on the upper East Coast we are rather sick of that whole winter thing.  Polar Vortex and ice and snow and sleet and school closings are hopefully on the wain.  Its time to look forward to sunny skies and beautiful cars for the automotive enthusiasts among us.

So that brings us to the 2014 edition of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.  This concours is held on the luscious grounds of the Ritz Carlton.  300 of the world's finest automobiles, motorcycles and race cars will grace the greens of the impecable golf course, a virtual feast for the eyes.

Every year Bill Warner and his vast crew of volunteers and veterans have chosen some of the most incredible pieces of transportation.  You'll find everything from $50 million dollar Ferraris to incredible Duesenburgs and grand classics to cars that you never knew existed.

Some of the featured classes and cars from this year are: General Lyon's Duesenberg which is a 1930 Model J Speedster featuring a dissapearing  convetible top.  Ralph Marano is a highly regarded Packard collector and he is bringing all ten of his Packard concept cars from the 50's. You'll be able to see the re-debut of the Chrylser La Contesse Concept car.  The Stirling Moss 450S Le Mans Coupe will be one of the featured cars helping to celebrate  the Maserati centenary.  A set of BMW "Batmobiles" will be on the greens, representing the German's 180mph winged monsters from the 70's.  The BMW's represent one of the unique features of the Amelia Island Concours, that is Bill Warner's love of race cars.

So as a teaser, let's take a look at some previous entrants to the Amelia Island Concours.

Grey wolf javalin lr kcv

Here we see old meets new.  The "Grey Wolf" meets the Sunoco Javalin race car from the Trans Am series.

  Ai08 d2 tflyer 0909 lr kcv

2008 saw the greatest gathering of Thomas Flyers that anyone in the last 50 years could remember.  Above we see the actual Thomas Flyer that won in the famous 1908 New York to Paris race. 

The National Automobile Museum in Reno Nevada, loaned the world famous Thomas Flyer for the 100th anniversary of its epic 22,000 mile race.  George Schuster, the only member of the US team to drive the entire route, assisted Bill Harrah restore the car to its original trim as it entered Paris 26 days in front of the next competitor.

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The Lamborghini Muira Roadster in a rare appearance at the Amelia Island Concours last year.  Photo courtesy of Brett Lemoine.

This is the only Roadster created and built by the factory, making it very special indeed.  It was named the ZN75.

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Here is Malcolm Pray and his beloved 1939 Delahaye Type 135 M next to the predecessor to the Ferrari GTO.  Its the 1962 Ferrari 250 Experimental chassis 2643GT.

Unfortunately we lost Malcolm Pray in 2013.  He was a main stay at so many concours events.  He will be missed.  This years judges sheets (which I designed) are a tribute to his many contributions to the field.

  Moal carini lr kcv

 You just never know what is going to come around the corner.  Here we see Wayne Carini from Velocity's Chasing Classic Cars driving one of the Moal Couchbuilders Torpedo.

A great place to hang out is right in front of the Ritz, especially during Saturday.  All sorts of cars are loading up and tooling around.  Then you walk in and see the RM Auction as well as some of the great seminars and take advantage of the exotic test drives.

Yes, the Amelia Island Concours should be on every car lovers bucket list.  Come for the weather and stay for the 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.

Continue reading >

SEMA Day 3

11/07/2013

Today was the day where our some of our experts came together for the first time to talk cars and answer audience questions. We were delighted at the warm welcome Velocity received with a line that stretched around the displays. Those who attended the panel were treated to a wealth of information about car and engine restoration and insights on the future of the industry. Don’t forget, we’ll be bringing you video of the panel as soon as we can so those of us who couldn’t attend will get to see the action. In the meantime we have some shots of the gang:

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Photos: Emily Kaiser

In other news, Toyota announced it was retiring an off-road icon, the FJ Cruiser. The 2014 FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Ultimate Edition in Heritage Blue will be the last FJ for the company. The design hearkens back to the 1960’s FJ40. For those of you interested, you better act fast; only 2,400 of this model will be made ensuring it will become a classic.

We have also been taking note of some of the products that are on display, meant to enhance a car and users’ experience. Emily tells us that many of the products are focused on high tech enhancements that help with navigation and collision avoidance. I’ve also noted products providing heads up displays, LED exterior lighting enhancements, and noise and temperature controlling products for the inside of vehicles. Of course on the other side of the coin there are dozens of products and displays centered on enhancing noise – the noise of your sound system. That’s a given of course, but some items are pretty creative like the product that enables your trailer hitch to project on the back window of your truck/vehicle. Movies or slide shows after a day of off-roading? It sounds like that could be in our future.

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Photo: Emily Kaiser

Back to the cars, there were so many on display we chose just a few for you today including the deviantART Lexus, a Hot Wheels Car and one tricked out for business Scion. We’ll be posting some massive galleries of cars looking at not only the bodies but under the hood, so stick with us!

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Photos: Emily Kaiser

 

SEMA Day 2: SEMA Award Winners Chosen, the Ford Connect, and an Awesome Gran Turismo

11/06/2013

by Eileen Marable

Good morning Velocity friends! Here’s the very latest from the show floor. The SEMA Award winners have been chosen for the hottest car, sport compact, truck and 4x4-SUV. In order, the winners are: the Ford Mustang, Scion FR-S, Ford F-Series and Jeep Wrangler are taking home the honors. Speaking of home, what does this mean for the likes of us at home? These awards are given to the cars, trucks and SUVs that are deemed the best for showcasing ad-ons, new products and general modifications. That means all you tinkerers out there have a guide from SEMA as to what you might buy if you want to customize to your heart’s content.

Now, about the Ford Connect. Ford has six on designs on display and the users can vote as to which is the coolest. We love an audience vote! If we were reading the tea leaves the general idea behind the designed Connects and the audience vote seems to be to send the message to the audience (and flower and pizza delivery shops everywhere) this relatively straightforward, functional hybrid can/van can be cool. Or at the very least a cool marketing tool to display your brand – which still seems pretty functional (until you paint your mobile tattoo shop logo on the side.) Still, the ability to use your car to market your business is an interesting twist on the customization trend so kudos on the display Ford.

Ford Connect 6
Photo: Emily Kaiser

Finally: THE. GRAN. TURISMO. CORVETTE. I have to personally editorialize for a second and say as a gamer and a car lover I can barely look at this car without fainting. Chevy has decided to release a real life version of the Gran Turismo 6, of the famous PS3 Game fame.

Gran Turismo
Photo: Emily Kaiser

The Gran Turismo Corvette is a seventh generation Stingray and here is presented in a stunning blue with yellow headlights, carbon fiber trim and aluminum chassis. Under the hood you’ll find an LT1 6.2L V8 engine, seven speed manual providing 460hp and 465 pound-feet of torque.

No release date has been given for the real life Gran Turismo, but for gamers the long awaited Gran Turismo 6 will be released on December 6th.

Gran Turismo 2

Don't forget, today is our SEMA panel with a wide selection of our automotive experts. We'll be filming the panel and bringing it to you as fast as we can turn it around, and if you happen to be a SEMA, make sure your check the program for all the details and drop in and join us.

SEMA Day 1: Crowdsourced Design, Soccer Mom Car Shaken Up and an Insane Toyota Build

11/05/2013

by Eileen Marable

What’s got everyone talking at SEMA as it kicked off yesterday? Lexus and its 2014 IS sport sedan that will receive a radical tuning based on a concept that has been sweeping everything from science projects to solving health problems: crowdsourcing. After all, who better to dream up what a car could and should be but a group of potential drivers, and in this case it is the largest online social network, deviantART. These are some creative and edgy designers and that’s exactly what Lexus was looking for in a winning design, so they put out the call to the community to see what they would come up with, and the result was WOW.

We were lucky enough to have our on-site reporter, Emily Kaiser, take a picture of what the car looks like pre-build. And don’t worry – we’ll be there to try and elbow our way to the front to get the photo of the finished product. It’s kind of a must when you see the design Lexus has put out showing what the winning design looks like.

Here's the before:

  SEMA Day 1.7 deviantART Lexus set up

 And here's the design for the "after" - will it live up to the wicked styling. Man, we hope so!

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Photo courtesy of Jalopnik

One of the other things that caught our eye is the Toyota Camry that’s been totally tricked out into a rally car. We let our minds wander back to our youth and picture our mom’s coming screaming over a hill complete with the fog lights blinding everyone in her path to pick us up from school… What can we say. We LOVE rally cars as you can tell by our Eurosport coverage on the weekends.

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Courtesy of SEMA

But back to reality, this rally car is just one of an insane Toyota 2013 Dream Build Challenge  where NASCAR driver Parker Kligerman designed the above rally car, and BMW rider Drew Bezanson dreamed up a killer Corolla that apparently could temporarily arrest your hearing with all the gear in the trunk. Supercross stars Justin Brayton and Josh Grant were thinking outdoor action with their Moto Tundra tricked out with every possible need to take over a desert or the snow covered mountain for some action, and lastly Freestyle skier Simon Dumont with a 4Runner designed to be an awesome ski friendly machine.

Check back with us later as we post an exclusive gallery from Emily’s wanderings of the show floor. There are some sexy – and sensible – rides out there. We may love the flash but it takes all kinds in the automotive world, right?


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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