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24 Jun 2014

McQueen's Porsche 917 from Le Mans races to the auction block

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1969 Porsche 917K #917-024

Steve McQueen may have been the headline actor of the motorsport cult classic film Le Mans, but we all know who the real star was. Or rather, what: the Porsche 917. More specifically, it was the Gulf-liveried #22 – not McQueen’s #21 – that won the race, making it one of the most iconic cars ever to drive across the silver screen. And now it’s going up for auction.

This 1969 Porsche 917K, chassis 917-024, has a storied history both on and off the screen, even if it didn’t win any (off-screen) races of note. This example was the first 917 to be campaigned in an actual race when Porsche handed it to Jo Siffert to drive against the Ferrari 312P and Ford GT40 at the Spa-Francorchamps 1000 Km race in 1969. Siffert found the early example too unstable and ultimately drove an earlier 908 to the checkered flag, but after 917-024 set the fastest time at the following year’s Le Mans test day, Siffert acquired it outright.

The Swiss racing driver loaned the car to Solar Productions for use in the film, after which it returned to Siffert’s collection until he was killed in an F1 exposition race at Brands Hatch in 1971. In a testament to how much he loved the car, it was 917-024 that lead the funeral procession. The car subsequently fell off the radar until it resurfaced in 2001 as one of the greatest barn finds of the new millennium. Now fully restored and resplendent in its original baby blue and orange, 917-024 is headed to the auction block at Pebble Beach where you can be sure that Gooding & Company will bring in a suitably high price for arguably the most iconic example of one of the most iconic Porsches of all time.

Continue reading McQueen’s Porsche 917 from Le Mans races to the auction block

McQueen’s Porsche 917 from Le Mans races to the auction block originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 23 Jun 2014 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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23 Jun 2014

Xcar journeys back to the original Corvette Stingray

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Chevy Corvette Sting Ray Convertible

The history of the Corvette may go back to the first-generation model that debuted in 1953, but that six-cylinder rounded roadster bore little in common to the Vettes that followed. No, the real progenitor to the Corvette we know today was the C2 – a model which, without coincidence to today’s model – bore the name Sting Ray.

The second-gen Corvette arrived ten years after the first, ditching the straight-six engine (and the 4.3-liter V8 added later) for a 5.4-liter or available 6.5-liter V8, the Miracle Mile lozenge shape for harder edges and the exclusively convertible body-style for a choice of coupe or roadster. It set the tone for decades of Corvette to follow, each one evolving from the C2 to the C7 we know today.

The artisans at Xcar have taken a rather stunning red roadster for a spin down memory lane and take us along for the ride in the video below.

Continue reading Xcar journeys back to the original Corvette Stingray

Xcar journeys back to the original Corvette Stingray originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 23 Jun 2014 12:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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20 Jun 2014

Jerry Seinfeld doesn't love Sarah Jessica Parker's new Country Squire in latest CiCGC

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Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee has finally returned for its fourth season of combining Jerry Seinfeld, a miscellaneous celebrity and a cup of java. But rather than fondly remembering some older piece of automotive machinery, this time around, Seinfeld is utterly unable to keep his hatred of Sarah Jessica Parker’s 1976 Ford LTD Country Squire from coming out to hilarious effect.

However, Parker has such a high level of infectious enthusiasm for her recently purchased Country Squire that she seems to win over Seinfeld by the end – at least a little bit. For most of their time together, the two of them drive around Manhattan and the suburbs waxing nostalgic about what things were like when these wagons were ubiquitous.

Since this is actually SJP’s car, she and Seinfeld trade off driving duties, and the image above should give you some indication of Seinfeld’s reaction to the Sex and the City star behind the wheel. It seems this ’70s land yacht might be a little too much for her to handle in New York traffic. Regardless, she is absolutely in love with her Ford.

Head over to Crackle to view the latest episode for yourself. Normally, we’d just embed the video for you, but Crackle’s code doesn’t seem to be working…

Jerry Seinfeld doesn’t love Sarah Jessica Parker’s new Country Squire in latest CiCGC originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 20 Jun 2014 11:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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20 Jun 2014

Watch this lead sled go rallying in Finland

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Ford Dirt Drift

Custom cars generally fit into neat little boxes in terms of how they are used. For example, you’re unlikely to see a modded Corvette going rock crawling; it’s just not what it’s made for (though we bet it’d look awesome, at least for a minute). In the same way, chopped, channeled and customized ’50s hot rods aren’t really meant to go racing. They look great and go fast, but they are generally more cruisers than sports cars.

However, if this video is any indication, the people of Finland don’t adhere in these stereotypes, because this rodder is happy to play in the dirt with his lead sled.

According to the video, the driver is a member of the Ford-Freak Club of Finland, and he clearly knows how to have some fun. Likely inspired by his country’s great rally drivers, he gets the tail way out going around this gently curving gravel track. The stunt is somewhat reminiscent of the stock cars races on the sand at Daytona Beach, and this is probably close to what it sounded like, too. Scroll down to watch a very cool Finn getting his hot rod a little dirty.

Continue reading Watch this lead sled go rallying in Finland

Watch this lead sled go rallying in Finland originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 19 Jun 2014 19:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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19 Jun 2014

eBay Find of the Day: 1976 GMC Motorhome is a jolly green giant

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1976 GMC Motorhome auction

If you have a need to relive the 1970s, then here is the vehicle for you. This groovy blast from the past is a 1976 GMC Motorhome currently for auction in Florida on eBay Motors, and it is one green machine – just not in the modern sense.

The seller claims that this beast has had just two owners and has covered a mere 61,308 miles in its decades on the road. It’s reportedly never been restored or repainted and comes with all of the necessary books and manuals. A 7.5-liter (455-cubic-inch) Oldsmobile V8 with a three-speed Turbo-Hydramatic automatic transmission powering the front wheels propels this far-out RV, and the double set of rear wheels out back use a self-leveling air suspension to provide a cushy ride.

The purported low miles and good condition really make this GMC a stand out, though. The exterior combination of lime stripes and beige with just a touch of green is like nothing else on the road today. Plus, the polished bumpers and wheels make it all pop. Inside, it’s even better with monochromatic green upholstery and shag carpet. It features everything you’d ever need on a long trip, including a bathroom, kitchenette and lots of seating. The only hint of modernization is an HD TV next to the stove, but its size is a perfect fit for the hole there.

The fact this motorhome has made it this long without more updates is somewhat miraculous. Hopefully, the person that buys it has enough restraint to leave the styling as-is to keep it looking like this for another 38 years. As of this writing, this ’70s relic has bidding at $18,400 with the reserve not yet met, and the auction ends on June 20. Can you dig it?

eBay Find of the Day: 1976 GMC Motorhome is a jolly green giant originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 18 Jun 2014 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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19 Jun 2014

Turn up your speakers for this Shelby-powered Sunbeam Tiger and friends

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Petrolicious '60s trio

Most of us are never going to be like Jay Leno and drive a new car every day. However, it’s possibly affordable to collect a handful of vintage rides, especially if you look a touch off the beaten path. In recent video, Petrolicious highlights Hans Abrahams, who is doing just that. He has three 1960s, European classics that love to be driven.

The absolute star of the trio is a 1966 Sunbeam Tiger. In the cabin, it has the meaty growl of a muscle car, but outside it has a little of the raspiness of period European cars. Abrahams says its mostly original except for its Ford 289-cubic-inch (4.7-liter) V8 with Shelby parts, producing around 273 horsepower. He says it’s a bit difficult to maintain and hard to keep cool, but when you hear it, you know the trouble is worth it.

Next up, is Abrahams’ 1965 MGB that is a bit of a monster in its own right. It lacks the Tiger’s oomph under the hood, but it’s loud enough to blow out Petrolicious‘ microphone. It’s still a very cool little roadster.

Finally, there is a 1967 Volvo Amazon 123GT, Abrahams’ daily driver, that might secretly be the best of the lot. While it probably wouldn’t win a race with its two siblings in Abrahams’ garage, it’s the most livable and still sounds absolutely amazing. At full chat, it’s like a hive of angry hornets live under the hood.

Scroll down and turn up the speakers to listen to this European power trio.

Continue reading Turn up your speakers for this Shelby-powered Sunbeam Tiger and friends

Turn up your speakers for this Shelby-powered Sunbeam Tiger and friends originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 18 Jun 2014 20:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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18 Jun 2014

Small-town Ohio, NASA and the American RV [w/videos]

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Airstream

What is it about Jackson Center that has kept Airstream here for more than 60 years?

There is no hotel in Jackson Center, OH. Leave your smartphone on for too long, and the battery will die searching for a cell signal. And if you’re driving through on State Route 274, make sure to drop your speed from 55 to 35 – there are children at play.

The two-square-mile town may look and feel like any other small town in America. But located right on Jackson Center’s main drag is the home of one of America’s most iconic brands: Airstream.

Airstream and its silver bullet-shaped trailers came to Jackson Center in 1952 from Los Angeles where they had been made since the late 1920s. Airstream founder Wally Byam showed up in town eager to find a Midwest manufacturing location for his business, which was booming as the country started learning to relax after World War II and the Great Depression.

Byam set up shop in an old factory that just ten years earlier had been making bazookas for American troops fighting in the war. The shop is still in use, mainly used for molding aluminum end caps for the Airstream trailers. But the company has spread across Jackson Center and employs around 400 people today.

What drew Byam to Ohio was simple – land was cheap and the workforce was eager. But that was then, and this is now.

Most of Airstream’s competitors are in Elkhart, IN about 175 miles away. If the company had decided to move and grow where there industry had taken roots, they’d have much easier access to parts and ready-trained labor. But Airstream is still in Ohio, and it’s thriving. So what is it about Jackson Center that has kept Airstream here for more than 60 years?

Continue reading Small-town Ohio, NASA and the American RV [w/videos]

Small-town Ohio, NASA and the American RV [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 Jun 2014 12:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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18 Jun 2014

Leno drives Henry Ford II's all-original '52 Ferrari 212 Barchetta

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1952 Ferrari 212

The story of the relationship between Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari is absolutely fascinating. The two great men of the auto industry had what appeared to be a burgeoning friendship until Ferrari pulled out of a deal to sell his company to Ford in the ’60s. The latest car featured in Jay Leno’s Garage is a 1952 Ferrari 212 Barchetta that tells the very beginnings of that story.

This Prancing Horse was a gift to Ford from Enzo when the two companies were first thinking about merging, according to the curator of the Petersen Automotive Museum. Ferrari really wanted to show off its best so instead of the 212’s normal V12, this car was fitted with the larger 2.7-liter unit from a Ferrari 225. The car has been almost unaltered since then. It still wears its original paint, and it’s tires date back to 1954.

The great thing about the Petersen is that unlike a lot of auto museums, the people there actually drive the cars and keep them in working order. Once on the road with Leno behind the wheel, this Ferrari really sings. Unfortunately, he can’t open it up too much because the 60-year-old tires really hold things back. Scroll down to watch this amazing piece of automotive history and learn it’s possible effect on the styling of the original Ford Thunderbird.

Continue reading Leno drives Henry Ford II’s all-original ’52 Ferrari 212 Barchetta

Leno drives Henry Ford II’s all-original ’52 Ferrari 212 Barchetta originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 Jun 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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17 Jun 2014

The history and future of the Ford Bronco

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Some have suggested that the Bronco’s demise was hastened by the fallout from the O.J. trial.

Twenty years ago today, ex-NFL linebacker Al “A.C.” Cowlings drove his friend and onetime running back Orenthal James “O.J.” Simpson on a parade lap of the Los Angeles highway system and onto an ignoble page of the history books. If you’re in your late 20s or older, or a fastidious young student of 1990s American history, you’re absolutely aware that Al and O.J.’s steed for the ‘chase’ was a white Ford Bronco. The white Ford Bronco, even.

The 1993 model-year SUV was only three years removed from the end of a 30-year run for the nameplate, one that’s been embossed onto pop culture from June 17, 1994 forward. I remember it sourly, as one of the basketball fans that was forced to watch the NBA finals in a tiny box in the corner of a 27-inch set while NBC ‘s Tom Brokaw followed some 20 police cars, following the Bronco, at about 35 miles per hour. Oh, and in standard definition no less… the ’90s were terrible.

The fallout from The Chase (sorry, NASCAR) is evident from even a cursory investigation, and reaches closer to the present than you might expect. In addition to dominating the headlines from that day in June to the contentious verdict in the fall of 1995, the chase inspired an instantiation of the ESPN documentary series 30 For 30, echoed into countless late-night and sitcom punch lines, and inadvertently helping to blight populate our TV screens with the Kardashian clan (Robert Kardashian was part of The Juice’s star legal team). Some have even suggested that the Bronco’s demise was hastened by the fallout from the O.J. trial – though Ford talking heads have (wisely) denied that the two had any concurrence… more on that in a bit.

Continue reading The history and future of the Ford Bronco

The history and future of the Ford Bronco originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 Jun 2014 09:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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17 Jun 2014

Porsche Classic launching branded motor oil for air-cooled boxer engines

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Porsche Classic Motoroil

It’s hard not to love the look of a classic Porsche. Whether it’s the upside-down bathtub styling of the 356 or the gradual evolution of the 911, there is a little beauty in all of them. However, the older they get, the more that needs repaired to keep them on the road. Porsche Classic is helping out, though, by introducing its own brand of motor oil for the demands of the company’s vintage, air-cooled engines.

Developed at the Porsche Development Centre in Weissach, Germany, Porsche Classic Motoroil comes in two weights – 20W-50 for the 356, 914 and 911 models up to the 2.7-liter G-Model and 10W-60 for 3.0-liters-and-up engines through the 993-chassis 911. The company claims that the air-cooled engines have different heat demands than traditional, water-cooled units, and this oil is made to meet those requirements.

According to Porsche, modern, synthetic oils are sometimes too effective when it comes to old engines. They are fantastic at sopping up debris, but those deposits are often holding archaic seals together. Suddenly removing them can cause leaks. The new oil is specifically designed to work with the old-fashioned materials found in its classics. The company also knows that most owners aren’t driving their vintage cars everyday. So this formulation is more alkaline that normal to neutralize acids that they build up and corrode components.

Both weights are available now to order from Porsche dealers. The 20W-50 costs $11.83 for a one-liter container and $51.27 for a five-liter bottle. The 10W-60 goes for $15.55 for a liter and $68.68 for five liters, according to company spokesperson Calvin Kim. Even if you don’t have an air-cooled model, it might be worth buying a can for the cool design. Scroll down for the official announcement.

Continue reading Porsche Classic launching branded motor oil for air-cooled boxer engines

Porsche Classic launching branded motor oil for air-cooled boxer engines originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 Jun 2014 09:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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