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11 Jun 2014

Cosworth double-feature is XCar's a drool-worthy look back

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XCar Films Ford Cosworths

While American fans of Ford performance cars in the ’80s and early ’90s were loving the 5.0 Mustang, Taurus SHO and, for those who wanted to be a little different, the Merkur XR4Ti, British fans of the Blue Oval were getting their own unique take on speed. The Sierra RS Cosworth (which was similar but not identical to the aforementioned Merkur) and later Escort RS Cosworth were the stuff of dreams with huge wings, hood vents and big power for their time and class. XCar Films aims to find out whether it is little more than nostalgia that makes these classics famous or it really is their legitimate performance.

Thanks to its Formula One and racing success, Cosworth was already a well-established performance name in the UK by the time it began selling tuned engines to Ford for the Sierra and Escort. The Sierra RS Cosworth hit the scene in 1986 with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 204 horsepower and rear-wheel drive. Its huge wing at the back signaled it immediately as something special, and it proved to be a performance powerhouse on and off the track. When it was retired, Ford replaced it with the Escort RS Cosworth that used an upgraded version of the same engine with 217 hp, all-wheel drive and an even bigger rear wing to net yet more racing victories.

XCar really gets into the spirit of the time, opening the video with the lo-fi grain of ’80s and ’90s TV, but to find out whether the Cossies stand up to modern scrutiny, you have to watch the video below. Stay tuned until the end to enjoy them at their best with some vintage motorsports footage.

Continue reading Cosworth double-feature is XCar’s a drool-worthy look back

Cosworth double-feature is XCar’s a drool-worthy look back originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 10 Jun 2014 19:13:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Jun 2014

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee Season 4 Trailer reveals more classics

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Comedians in cars getting coffee promo

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is one of our favorite online video series thanks to its ability to combine funny people and some fantastic classic and quirky cars. Thankfully, the wait for the next season to begin is quite short with its return on June 19. We’ve already seen the preview teaser for the new episodes, and Jerry Seinfeld and friends have just released an extended trailer revealing even more of the classic – or in some cases, just odd – metal to be showcased.

Like the teaser, we get glimpses of comedians Jon Stewart, George Wallace, Aziz Ansari, Robert Klein and Sarah Jessica Parker taking a drive for a cup of java. But the best part is that it also shows even more of the cars featured this time around. In addition to a Buick Riviera and a Jaguar Mark II, Parker is in a Ford LTD station wagon and Stewart gets both an AMC Gremlin (pictured above) and an AMX. If the glimpse here is correct, though, Ansari’s vehicle might be the weirdest yet.

Based the quality of the past three seasons, we are definitely eagerly anticipating the start of the fourth. Scroll down to watch the new trailer.

Continue reading Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee Season 4 Trailer reveals more classics

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee Season 4 Trailer reveals more classics originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 10 Jun 2014 12:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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10 Jun 2014

Jay Leno puts a classic Corvette Stingray under the lens

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Jay Leno 1963 Corvette

Jay Leno’s Garage has been on a British vehicle streak for the last several weeks. A true American classic finally puts that to an end with the latest feature focusing in on a 1963 Chevy Corvette Coupe with a fuel-injected V8. Leno says that he bought the car sight unseen and shortly afterward shipped it out to be restored. Don’t expect to find any resto-mod cues here, though, like modern wheels or a throaty exhaust. This ‘Vette is just like it came out of the factory in December 1962.

Of course, the major thing that makes the ’63 famous is its one-year-only, split rear window. However, Jay invites the restorer to go through it from stem to stern to explain what else makes an early ’63 Corvette coupe different from later models. There are a ton of tiny changes most people would never notice, like the unique sideview mirrors and the way the rear gas cap is held down. They even get into detail about the fuel injection system found on Leno’s car. If you love these bits of minutiae, then this is definitely the video for you.

The point of the restoration was always to keep the car completely stock and correct to its original specifications. Leno wanted a vehicle where you could feel exactly what it was like to drive when new. Scroll down to get an education on what makes the ’63 ‘Vette such a special model.

Continue reading Jay Leno puts a classic Corvette Stingray under the lens

Jay Leno puts a classic Corvette Stingray under the lens originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 09 Jun 2014 19:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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10 Jun 2014

Rare early Lamborghini Countach sells for record $1.2 million

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1975 Lamborghini Countach LP400 Periscopica

Lamborghini may have made headlines with the highly exclusive, $4.5-million Veneno and the even more expensive Veneno Roadster that followed, but when it comes to classics sold at auction, their prices seldom approach the kind of figures attained by rare classics made by arch-rival Ferrari. Early 350 GTs and rare Miuras (like the SV prototype Gooding sold a few years ago for a record $1.7 million) have been known to breach the seven-figure mark, but now the Countach is making its way into the big leagues as well.

Pictured here is a rather exceptional early example sold by Bonhams in Connecticut last week. This 1975 Lamborghini Countach LP400 “Periscopica” – so dubbed for the unique rearview mirror fitted to the first 150 examples made – has just over 10,000 miles on the odometer. With flawlessly retouched Blu Tahiti (read: French racing blue) paint and an immaculate deep tan leather interior, the Periscopica was the subject of feverish bidding before selling for $1.2 million to a buyer present at the auction, beating out a dozen or so telephone bidders.

The record price for a Countach trumps the previous record, also set by Bonhams at the Quail Lodge last August, where another ’75 Periscopica sold for $836,000. The rising prices surely reflect the coming of age for the Countach, now nearly 40 years since its introduction – particularly for the generation that grew up idolizing it as the prototypical supercar. Scope it out in the artful gallery of 76 high-resolution images above and the details of the auction below.

Continue reading Rare early Lamborghini Countach sells for record $1.2 million

Rare early Lamborghini Countach sells for record $1.2 million originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 09 Jun 2014 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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08 Jun 2014

World's greatest son gives dad a '57 Chevy for his 57th birthday

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Son gifts father with 57 Chevy on 57th birthday

Dad gets his '57 ChevyAfter watching this video, we’re not sure which is a more sure-fire way to make a man cry happy tears: hand him the keys to the car of his dreams, or show him how much his children love him. In this case, it was probably the insuppressible combination of the two.

The story starts when an eight-year-old boy promised his dad that, when the father would turn 57 years old, the son would buy him a ’57 Chevy. Decades later he made good on the promise, buying this pristine two-tone teal and white 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air when the opportunity arose. He held on to it for two years so that he could, true to his childhood word, give the car to his dad on his 57th birthday.

It’s about as touching a story as we’ve ever run, especially with Father’s Day now just a week away. Watch the (regrettably poor) footage of the handover in the video below to witness the embodiment of a father’s happiness.

Continue reading World’s greatest son gives dad a ’57 Chevy for his 57th birthday

World’s greatest son gives dad a ’57 Chevy for his 57th birthday originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 08 Jun 2014 19:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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08 Jun 2014

USPS releases hot rod stamps to speed up your delivery

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USPS Hot Rod Stamp

After one of the worst winters in recent memory for much of the country, summer is finally here. It’s time to drop the top, open the sunroof or at least put down the windows and take a long drive. The United States Postal Service is celebrating the season’s sun in automotive style with two new hot rod Forever stamps.

Both stamps depict classic ’32 Ford hot rods. One shows the car from the front at a low angle in red (pictured above), while the other depicts the car from the back in black with flames running down the side.

To introduce the new stamps on their first day of availability, the USPS went straight to the source at the National Street Rod Association Street Rod Nationals in York, PA. They were unveiled by Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, Car Crazy host Barry Meguiar and NSRA Special Events Director Jerry Kennedy.

The hot rod stamps are available now in booklets of 20 from your local post office, or they can be purchased online. The Post Office is also selling a framed 7-inch by 9-inch print of the art featured on the stamps for $19.95, through its website. Scroll down to read the full announcement of the new stamps.

Continue reading USPS releases hot rod stamps to speed up your delivery

USPS releases hot rod stamps to speed up your delivery originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 08 Jun 2014 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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05 Jun 2014

1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS takes center stage with Petrolicious

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Petrolicious: 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7

Today, one of the most exciting track toys available is the Porsche 911 GT3. Its forbearer, though, was an altogether different beast that was every bit as exciting. Yes, we’re talking about the old 911 Carrera RS that blessed the early 1970s. With a mere 1,580 cars built, meant specifically to satisfy the FIA’s homologation requirements, the RS is one rare pre-Malaise era cars.

Complete with a 2.7-liter flat-six engine, this RS of Mark Haddawy is one of the earlier examples of the breed (later cars received a larger, 3.0-liter engine). Still, it can scamper to 60 miles per hour in a very respectable 5.6 seconds and will happily hit 150 mph in a straight line. Sporting Porsche’s iconic duckbill rear spoiler, the equally iconic Fuchs wheels, as well as slew of options, as Haddawy points out, each of the nearly 1,600 RS models is its own unique iteration on the Porsche performance formula.

Take a look below for the latest video from the crew at Petrolicious.

Continue reading 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS takes center stage with Petrolicious

1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS takes center stage with Petrolicious originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Jun 2014 20:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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04 Jun 2014

Lego Mini Cooper coming in August [w/video]

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Lego Mini Cooper

Lego isn’t just for kids anymore. A while back, the company cleverly realized that adults liked its connecting blocks as much as kids but wanted a more sophisticated project to take on. It offers a whole set of Expert models, including a wickedly cool Volkswagen Bus from a few years ago. Now, it’s taking aim at automotive enthusiasts again with the recently announced classic Mini Cooper set due to go on sale on August 1 for $99.99.

This is a seriously cool Lego model. At nine inches long, five inches wide and four inches tall, the car is certainly compact (as a Mini should be), but it contains 1,077 pieces. It’s finished in the classic Mini look with a British Racing Green body with white roof, hood stripes and mirror caps. The doors, hood and trunk all open up, and there’s even a little, simulated engine. The interior includes features like a turning steering wheel and movable gearshift and handbrake. In the boot, there is a cute picnic set, and even a spare tire hidden under the floor. If you want to show off your handiwork after it’s built, the roof is removable to peer inside.

Expect dads around the world to be unwrapping these when the holidays roll around. Scroll down to watch one of Lego’s designers detailing its latest set and read the full release about it, below. The gallery shows the Mini off from all of its blocky angles, as well.

Continue reading Lego Mini Cooper coming in August [w/video]

Lego Mini Cooper coming in August [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Jun 2014 17:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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04 Jun 2014

BMW 8 Series turns 25 [w/video]

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BMW 8 Series 25th anniversary

From the very beginning, the BMW 8 Series was a head turner. It was hardly a common sight in the first place, and the angular lines and low, pointed nose made the GT look like something special on the road. It’s been 25 years since the Bavarian brand’s flagship coupe of the ’90s debuted, and owners celebrated the anniversary in style in Germany.

The 8 Series still looks great today, but its popup headlights give away its age a little. You just don’t see them anymore. It was introduced at the 1989 Frankfurt Motor Show as the 850i with a 5.0-liter V12 under the hood capable of 295 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. Later, even bigger V12s would find their way in there. Production lasted until 1999, but they were rather exclusive with 30,621 built in its lifetime.

To celebrate the anniversary, several BMW clubs organized 120 examples for display at the company’s headquarters in Munich. The brand took advantage of the display to show off the ultimate 8 prototype as well. The one-off special packed a 550-horsepower V12 and a body with optimized aero. That engine eventually became the basis for the one in the McLaren F1.

When BMW showed off the Gran Lusso Coupe (pictured in the gallery below) with design help from Pininfarina at the 2013 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, it seemed like there was a whisper of a chance of the grand tourer making a comeback. BMW scuttled any speculation about that soon after, though.

Today, the 6 Series ticks most of the same boxes but just doesn’t have the same élan. Oddly, the i8 might be even closer in its attempt to push the limit of automotive technology in a stylish package. Scroll down to watch a video about BMW’s ’90s flagship below and read the full release about the 25th anniversary celebration at the headquarters in Munich.

Continue reading BMW 8 Series turns 25 [w/video]

BMW 8 Series turns 25 [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Jun 2014 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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04 Jun 2014

Porsche 911 Aerodynamic prototype cheated the wind ahead of its time

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Porsche 911 Aerodynamic Prototype

You might think that sports cars would have the lowest drag coefficient of all cars. And yes, they do tend to be more slippery than, say, SUVs or convertibles, but the sleekest vehicles on the road tend to be EVs, hybrids and luxury sedans. Sports cars, on the other hand, have aerodynamically detrimental needs for downforce and additional engine cooling. Still, the Porsche 911 is better than most, and has only gotten more so over the years. Its relatively narrow track and compact form mean it has a smaller frontal area than some other sports cars, and the gradual sweeping back of its headlights and windshield have only augmented its capacity for cheating the wind.

This 911 prototype, however, is even more aerodynamic than most. It’s based on a “G model” 911 from 1984, but employed such features as covered wheels, a new rear spoiler and a reprofiled front end to drop its drag coefficient from 0.40 to 0.27, making it as slippery as a modern sedan and better at cheating the wind than just about anything built up to that point, save for maybe the Tatra 77, Citroën SM or Tucker Torpedo.

Elements of this prototype ended up gradually making it into production Porsches for years to come, and you can clearly see early influences on the second-generation 964 and even on the 959. It’s featured here as the latest installment in a video series on rare historic Porsches unearthed from the company archives, following previous clips that featured a rare V8-powered 911 and a mid-engined 911 prototype. Scope out the latest episode in the video below.

Continue reading Porsche 911 Aerodynamic prototype cheated the wind ahead of its time

Porsche 911 Aerodynamic prototype cheated the wind ahead of its time originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Jun 2014 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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