Pre-War Aston Martin Shocks With $4.5 Million Sale

A recent Aston Martin sale at Bonham’s auction shows that the brand is perhaps a touch more valuable to collectors these days. A 1935 Aston Martin Ulster was unloaded for a staggering $4.5 million, marking the first time a pre-war example has reached numbers of that magnitude.

Aston Martin UlsterThe Aston Martin Ulster was a racing car and this one, LM19, competed in the Ards TT race. These cars were designed with racing in mind, and made their mark at many races in the early to mid 1900s, including the Mille Miglia, Le Mans, RAC TT and the French Grand Prix. The Ulster is special because just 21 cars plus 7 team cars were built and they were incredible. There were minimal differences between a road and racing car during that era, and the Ulster packed a 1.-5-liter 4-cylinder with a single-overhead camshaft that had been used for some time by the brand. Power is flushed to a 4-speed transmission and the rolling chassis is old school aluminum. It has that signature shape that seems to attract gearheads across the globe, and would fit in perfectly among exotic car collections, especially Jay Leno’s.

Aston Martin Ulster

The rare Aston Martin caused an absolute sensation at Bonham’s auction house, where 3 bidders created an inferno fighting for the right to own the car. The buyer, while anonymous, was a European. The Aston Martin Ulster sold alongside some of the following cars at the sale that day:

  • James May’s 1984 Porsche 911 3.2-liter Carrera
  • Former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman’s 1966 Mercedes-Benz 250 S
  • Also Wyman’s 1971 Citroën Maserati SM
  • Sir Stirling Moss’s 1961 Porsche RS-61 spyder
  • Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR roadster

The event was a phenomenal success, and seemingly with new standards being set for Aston Martin collectors.

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Lamborghini Huracan Vs. Porsche 918 Spider

Automotive personality Shmee150 seems to attend all of the noteworthy events, this time he uploaded the awesome footage below of the new Lamborghini Huracan monster taking on the electric Porsche 918 spyder. Exotic car racing could be the perfect occupation and pass time for auto enthusiast, as it is a chance to see all those figures put to the test on the pavement. Alas, while we all know a talented driver can make a difference, it still boils down to sheer engineering. Check out what happens in the short clip below:

The video below shows footage from both the Lamborghini Huracan and the Porsche 918 during the drag challenge. Shmee150 is riding shotgun in the Huracan and details some of the action in his special commentary style, which is a bit like a PG13 Jeremy Clarkson.

The Porsche 918 hybrid is packing close to 900 horses while the Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 is housing just 610. That difference did not seem to matter much in the beginning of the challenge, as the Lamborghini Huracan had little trouble gaining the initial advantage. At around 140 miles per hour, however, the Porsche 918 stretched past the Huracan as though it were parked, and continued to leave a brutal gap. The speedometer inside of the Huracan hits around 205+ miles per hour with the Porsche 918 continuing to gain speed in the right lane. The victor is clearly the 918, with the power to not only pass by a worthy opponent, but also to continue to embarrass them long after that pass.

exotic car racingThis supercar challenge was all in good fun and humor at the runway of Vmax 200 Stealth, where Shmee150 was on hand to provide up close and personal accounts of some of the more special exotic cars on hand. Shmee150 has an enviable life, filled with travel, fast cars, and fueled with a never-ending array of new release supercars to study!

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Porsche Is Making The Most Money for Volkswagen Group

It seems that popular Porsche is certainly pulling its weight for parent company Volkswagen, bringing in more money than VW offerings. Quick history: Industry giant Volkswagen acquired Porsche back in 2012 following a battle during which both German companies were attempting to purchase the other. Since that time, Porsche sales have continued to flourish.

Porsche salesFast forward to today and it was a wise decision for VW Group to devour the Porsche brand as it has been an enormous profit. Porsche sales have been incredibly healthy in the past three years, even overshadowing the brand’s flagship VW offerings. While the giant unloaded 25 times more VW models, the Porsche luxury cars brought in more revenue with their dramatically different pricing demands.

The Porsche badge is right on track to make the company even more money this year, according to HIS analyst Tim Urquhart. Urquart stated to the press: “Porsche is well on target to sell more than 200,000 units in 2015 and will no doubt generate a significantly larger operating profit than last year’s figure of $3 billion.” That would bring the overall VW Group profit up from around $2.5 billion from 2014.

Porsche salesThe Porsche Macan SUV has driven sales tremendously with its luxurious yet compact body. It was a welcomed departure from the oversized upscale SUV offerings crowding the market and now other leading brands are consumed with creating their own little luxury SUV models to compete. The Porsche Macan is poised to sell 78,000 units over the larger sibling, the Cayenne, which is expected to unload 67,000. These figures paired with past sales indicate plenty of interest in the market for both small and large luxury SUV offerings, and companies are taking notice. VW Group is likely going to hold onto the Porsche brand for the foreseeable future.

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Steve McQueen Modified Porsche Boasts Kill Switch For Rear Lights

The last Porsche owned by legendary Steve McQueen is officially for sale, and it boasts a rather James Bond style feature: a kill switch on the dash to turn off the rear lights. The star added this modification to several of the vehicles in his fleet, and it does not require a genius to understand the purpose.

The 1976 Porsche 930 Turbo will hit the auction block August 13th, 2015 in Monterey, California. It is expected to change hands for over a million USD.

The Steve McQueen Porsche 930 Turbo at a glance:

  • The actor and avid automotive enthusiast ordered the car new in 1976.
  • The car kicks forth 234 horses at 5,500 RPM thanks to a healthy 3.0-liter engine. At this early juncture, the engines were not intercooled, making this a fine and rare collector item.
  • The engine is no. 6860413 with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection.
  • It is chassis no. 9306800408 for those curious to follow the action online.
  • McQueen ordered the car from Bob Smith Porsche in Hollywood with the following specifications: The car was to feature a sunroof, dual mirrors, limited slip and rear sport seats.

According to Chad McQueen, Steve’s son: “My dad had little things done to it. On the dashboard he had a switch put on so it would kill the rear lights in case he was being chased down Mulholland Drive.” The star drove the Porsche until his unexpected death in 1980 at age 50.

Steve McQueen PorscheNow the very last of the legend’s special ordered luxury vehicles is set to fetch north of a million dollars. A Ferrari 276 GTB sold for over 4 times its value because Steve McQueen owned it, the same value should hold true in the case of this rare turbo Porsche.

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Automotive Technology: Ford Galaxy and S-Max Can See Around Corners

Ford is getting rather cutting edge these days, recently revealing that the new Galaxy and S-Max models will be able to see around corners. A special camera system located in the grille provides a 180-degree view, showing drivers important details such as what is coming up around the corner. This will factor out the stress of wondering what is around blind corners, and also help avoid unexpected objects, people, animals and more.

Are all new vehicle safety features and technologies being embraced? Perhaps not the legal speed limit limiters…but seeing around the corner should be a no-brainer. 

Automotive technology continues to evolve, with spectacular gadgets gracing the roadways. While some new gadgets are strictly created because they are cool, many are geared more toward safety. The new Ford technology was engineered in response to the volume of auto accidents occurring at junctions due to restricted views. The camera system provides a 1-megapixel view of what is coming up around the corner, obviously in real time. It shows what is both to the left and to the right on a bright 8-inch touch screen, so the driver is able to avoid collisions. Now the terrifying act of being forced to guess at the safety of yourself and the occupants of your vehicle may be a problem of the past.

see around corners Photo ©Ford

The camera is tiny measuring in at just 33 millimeters wide, with a special retractable jet washer keeping it clear. The camera washer is activated when the vehicle’s windshield wipers are, making the process seamless. Ford Galaxy and S-MAX models already offer rear view cameras, cross traffic alerts and other safety features, and now it seems that additional security is just around the corner.

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Is The Rezvani Beast Really All That It Is Cracked Up To Be?

The Rezvani Beast greets you with an aggressive stare when you enter its domain. And by domain I mean website, where it is perched on display to tantalize viewers with all of the pertinent information about how it was created and what it is capable of achieving. The site claims she is the ‘Supercar reinvented’ and according to the specifications and brilliant photos, most would have to agree.

Rezvani BeastThe Rezvani Beast is out to challenge the notion of what a supercar should look and feel like. Is she doing a good job so far? (All photos ©Rezvani motors).

The Rezvani Beast at a glance:

  • Using an Atom chassis made of carbon fiber and a carbon fiber shell, the vehicle tips the scales at a scant 1650 pounds. This allows her to catapult from 0-60 miles per hour in just 2.7 seconds.
  • She packs 500 healthy horses in that light little body, which is about 600 pounds lighter than even the Mazda Miata.
  • The Beast is a Honda Racing Rotrex K24 DOHC supercharged and intercooled 2.4-liter from the Ariel Atom 3 and 3S.
  • Alcon 4 piston competition brakes bring all that power to a halt.
  • The transmission is a 6-speed close ratio manual with limited slip delivering power to the rear, the company communicates that the car was developed to cater to all 5 senses. There is an optional sequential manual with paddle shifters.
  • The windshield is optional, depending on the driver’s feelings toward insects and helmets.

Rezvani carThe rear view is striking and a bit like a blend of the Lamborghini Huracan and the Lamborghini Aventador. 

The Rezvani Beast was designed by award-winning designer Samir Sadikhov and starts at around $165,000. That is not a dramatically huge sum for such an addictive looking new toy.

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A Meo Costantini Bugatti Legends Car Is Already For Sale

The Bugatti Legends Series is a collection of 6 special edition Grand Sport Veyron Vitesse cars. Each car pays homage to a special person from Bugatti’s history, and just 3 examples of each of the 6 cars exist. One of them, the Meo Costantini car, is already for sale.

Bugatti Legends CarMeo Costantini was born in 1889 and embodied the face of the most successful era in Bugatti’s rich racing history. According to Wolfgang Schreiber, President of Bugatti Automobile S.A.S. “Ettore Bugatti’s vehicles from the 1920s stand for lightweight construction and technical aesthetics. When Bugatti created the Type 35, he inspired one of the most successful racing cars of all time. The Vitesse ‘Meo Costantini” is reminiscent of the Type 35.”

The Meo car was the 3rd model released in the 6 car series. It is being advertised with an asking price of $2.7 million, but the price is not the surprising factor—it seems odd that it is being publicly sold rather than invite-only or private. It is a part of perhaps the most special collection of Bugatti cars, after all. The car has been driven approximately 4800 km and does not seem to have made many public appearances with its bright blue and chrome form. Under the shiny shell, the Meo car is mechanically identical to the standard Bugatti Veyron Vitesse convertible, packing an aggressive quad-turbo 8.0-liter W16 engine delivering 1,200 horses. While the Vitesse can nail the 0-60 mile per hour sprint in 2.6 seconds, the sale seems to be taking a touch longer. Which of the 6 Bugatti Legends Series cars was your favorite?

Bugatti Legends Car

  1. Jean-Pierre Wimille
  2. Jean Bugatti
  3. Meo Costantini
  4. Rembrandt Bugatti
  5. Black Bess
  6. Ettore Bugatti


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You Can Add Your Name to the Bloodhound SSC Fin

The Bloodhound SSC Project is all about blood curdling speed. The Bloodhound SSC is a land speed vehicle designed by scientists and engineers and funded by donations and fans. She is geared up to set a new World Land Speed Record of 1000+ miles per hour…take that, Fastest Production Car!

The Bloodhound SSC is offering fans a chance to place their name on the fin of the vehicle. It is a social media sensation with many taking advantage of the unique opportunity to make their mark on it while helping the cause. 

Imagine that speed traveling across land—it makes the 270-ish miles per hour of the Hennessey Venom GT or the 267 miles per hour of the Bugatti Veyron seem like a slug struggling up a sidewalk. To drum up interest and further investments for the speed demon, the Bloodhound Project is now offering the chance for fans to have their name emblazoned on the SSC fin. For just a few bucks fans can add their name to the vehicle, choosing between an individual name, school or group, or business organization. Prices vary accordingly, with the business name or logo being the most expensive at a few hundred dollars.

The Bloodhound SSC Project mission statement:

“Create a unique, high-technology project, focused around a 1000 mph World Land Speed Record attempt. Share this Engineering Adventure with a global audience and inspire the next generation by bringing science, technology, engineering and mathematics to life in the most exciting way possible.”

Bloodhound SSCPhoto of the week on the Bloodhound website shows the monocoque body coming together (Photos by Major Oil Morgan).

It will be fascinating to see what the speed project is able to accomplish through their many endeavors, and if any of the technology used will eventually find its way into standard supercars.

bloodhound ssc

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Delta VIP Select Has A Secret Paparazzi Proof Tunnel and Offers Porsche Shuttle

Laying low in Los Angeles as a celebrity can be more than a challenge—it can be impossible. Factor in the constant travel demands of being a star, and the LAX airport seems more like trap than a convenience. For these reasons, Delta Airlines has created a special VIP service at LAX called ‘Delta VIP Select’ to assist celebrities with a secret tunnel to shield them from cameras and prying eyes, and also a nifty Porsche shuttle service.

 Delta VIP Select

The Delta VIP Select service is not advertised, but is available upon request to the airline’s clients for a surprisingly small fee of $350 (more for additional services). Aside from the privacy, the coolest perk of the service is that a Porsche hybrid greets clients at the tarmac. The fleet includes the Porsche Panamera or the Cayenne SUV models, depending on the amount of luggage involved. Once in the car, the passengers are whisked off to the secret gate and then through the tunnel where their personal driver then meets them.

 Delta VIP Select

Inside the Sky Club at LAX. It is about as fancy as it gets in an airport!

But what if the client is heading out from LAX rather than arriving? The $220 million dollar Delta VIP Select certainly thought of that scenario. Outgoing passengers simply enter the curbside VIP Delta One lounge, a discreet area with frosted glass, where they can check their bags in private. From the lounge, passengers escape to a private corridor leading directly to the premium security line where their assigned handler escorts them to the Sky Club. For those not in the know, the Sky Club features supreme creature comforts like a full bar and a private shower suite. It is a place where just making eye contact will get you service.

 Delta VIP SelectOverall, it seems that celebrity travel in star-studded Los Angeles is finally going to be a bit less stressful and that there will be some irritated photogs out there missing a few airport paychecks.

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Is Larger Than Life Volkswagen Group Splintering Apart?

The Volkswagen Group is a larger than life entity with over a dozen brands under its hood. But is being the parent company to so many underlings a challenge in terms of management and momentum? Word is circulating that the unshakable VW Group could be splintering off into 4 sections to better handle the load and road ahead.

Volkswagen Group

Handelsblatt news publication of Germany has cited company sources stating that Volkswagen Group could be breaking apart into 4 separate holding companies.

The proposed 4 separate holding companies that would form the new Volkswagen Group could break down as follows:

  • A holding company responsible for mainstream brands, Skoda and Seat, led by former BMW executive Herbert Diess.
  • Audi and its subsidiaries and underlings (Lamborghini, etc.)
  • Porsche, Bugatti, Bentley and other ultra-luxe brands
  • The 4th would be a VW Commercial Vehicles unit including Scania and MAN

It is fascinating to hear of such an enormous automotive entity possibly breaking apart, or “reorganizing”. The plan is said to be a slice of CEO Martin Winterkorn’s agenda for future strength. Would 4 separate segments of VW Group be stronger than just a single corporate giant? Think of it in automotive performance terms—all 4 wheels hold a specified amount of power and weight to drive a vehicle, couldn’t the same strategy apply to a business? Overall, it seems that so long as each unit is designed to function seamlessly with the others, it could just provide the perfect amount of traction to take on any market conditions the future has in store.

Volkswagen Group

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