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12 Aug 2014

The 11 most expensive American cars ever

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Here’s a Pro Tip for all you would-be classic car investors out there: buy Ferraris. With the Pebble Beach festivities kicking off this week, including any number high end car auctions, we thought it would be entertaining to compile a list of some to the most expensive cars ever sold with the bang of a gavel. Trouble is, once you get past the splendor of everyone’s favorite Italian sports car maker, that list is pretty boring.

Ferrari dominates the all-time auction sales list; seven of the top ten most expensive cars sold wear the Cavallino Rampante badge, as well as more than half of the top fifty. Sure, a nearly $30-million Mercedes-Benz W196 racecar might be the new top dog as of last year, but it’s even possible that Ferrari could take that title back in Monterey this weekend. Long story short: we think a list of the most expensive American cars ever sold at auction is a lot more entertaining to read. Hell, our list has a friggin’ Batmobile on it, how can it go wrong?

Follow on below for the top ten cars that are red, white, blue and a whole lot of green.

Continue reading The 11 most expensive American cars ever

The 11 most expensive American cars ever originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Aug 2014 12:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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12 Aug 2014

Range Rover #1 headed to auction block

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1970 Land Rover Range Rover

There’s a scene in the Nicholas Cage version of Gone In 60 Seconds, where the lead car thief marches into a Ferrari dealership and laments a newer version of Maranello’s finest, claiming he saw three outside his local Starbucks and calling their drivers “self-indulgent wieners,” before talking about a 1967 275 GTB/4. The salesman rightly points out that purchasing such a car would make Cage’s character a connoisseur. This is Land Rover’s equivalent of that 275 – the very first Range Rover, wearing chassis number 001.

The rare Land Rover is slated to cross the Silverstone Auctions’ block on September 4, where it’s expected to fetch anywhere from 100,000 to 140,000 pounds ($167,000 to $235,000 at today’s rates).

Built in late 1969, this particular example was registered some six months before the Range Rover’s official launch date. It was considered “lost” until the 1990s, according to Silverstone, thanks in large part to a new Bahama Gold paint job and registration changes. Since its rediscovery, this numbers-matching SUV underwent a six-year, ground-up restoration.

Take a look up top at our fully gallery of images of this rarity, and then scroll down for the press release. And if you happen to be in London in early September and have about $230,000 burning a hole in your pocket, pick this classic. Then head to Starbucks and show up the self-indulgent wieners of the world.

Continue reading Range Rover #1 headed to auction block

Range Rover #1 headed to auction block originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Aug 2014 14:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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12 Aug 2014

A Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 retrospective, by Gear Patrol

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Ferrari 308 GT4

When we think of desirable Ferraris from the 1970s, the choices are somewhat thin. Obviously, there was the 365 GTB/4, better known as the legendary Daytona, but that was initially a product of the 1960s. Really, aside from the arrival of the stylish 308, the 1970s weren’t a strong decade for Ferrari.

As Ferrari the brand grows, though, even some of its less-desirable cars are becoming popular among enthusiasts. Considering that, we should begin hearing more mid-70s Ferrari love, such as that being espoused by Anthony Rimicci, for his Dino 308 GT4.

As the first mass-produced, mid-engined V8 Ferrari, the Dino-badged 308 GT4 can best be thought of as the earliest ancestor to the 458 Italia (other mid-engined Ferraris, like the 250LM and 288 GTO are more akin to the Enzo and LaFerrari). It was also the final car in the Dino line, while many of the vehicles were rebadged as Ferraris, following lackluster sales.

Take a look at the video from Gear Patrol to see what it was about this 1970s relic that captured Rimicci’s attention.

Continue reading A Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 retrospective, by Gear Patrol

A Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 retrospective, by Gear Patrol originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Aug 2014 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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12 Aug 2014

Xcar tries to figure out what makes the Miata so great

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Mazda Miata History

Over the past 25 years and 3 model generations, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has shown that you don’t have to be the best to be a massive success. The little, Japanese roadster has never been the absolute peak of automotive performance, but it’s precise handling, good reliability and frugal running costs have helped make it a star. Autoblog recently tried to give you the experience of driving one on video, and now Xcar Films has made its own in an attempt to show what makes this droptop an icon.

As Xcar puts it, the Miata isn’t the world’s best sports car, but it is the world’s favorite. When they were originally designing the roadster, Mazda’s engineers took everything that made British droptops from the ’60s great, and junked all of the stuff that made them a terror to own. The result was a car that would start up everyday with no fuss and get drivers wherever they needed to go with a huge grin on their face.

The fourth-generation Miata is imminently on the way for its September 3 unveiling, and the very early rumors indicate that Mazda doesn’t plan to rock the boat too much with the latest one. It supposedly rides on a longer wheelbase and wider track but with the weight trimmed by over 200 pounds. Check out Xcar‘s video for a primer on MX-5 history and why the automotive world loves this little roadster.

Continue reading Xcar tries to figure out what makes the Miata so great

Xcar tries to figure out what makes the Miata so great originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Aug 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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12 Aug 2014

What you missed on 8.12.14

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Daily U-Turn

The 11 most expensive American carsBatmobile auction

Yes, we know. If you’re looking for the most expensive cars in the world, you’re probably limiting your search parameters to cars built in the country of Italy, home, of course, to Ferrari. We all know that. But what about America? The land of the free and home of the brave is rife with automobile history, and some of it is worth a heck of a lot of money. Plus, Batmobile.

First Ride: Energica EgoEnergica Ego

And now we travel back to the land of sausages and sports cars, except the subject we’re focusing on today isn’t a car at all. The Energica Ego hails from Italy, and gets its power courtesy of a high-tech lithium ion battery pack and a permanent magnet AC electric motor. It’s quick, and it’s a hoot to ride.

BMW carsBMW maintenance no longer transferable

BMW is altering the terms of its four-year, 50,000-mile Maintenance Program for new buyers. According to the automaker, the program can only be transferred to new owners if they live in the same household. As ever, there’s plenty of fine print to read through, and you can find all the details by clicking on the link above.

Top Stories

What you missed on 8.12.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Aug 2014 19:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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12 Aug 2014

BMW maintenance plan no longer transferrable to 2nd owner

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FILES - Picture taken on October 12, 200

One of the best innovations in car buying in recent years is the rise of no-cost scheduled maintenance programs. Many people feel really anxious about taking their car in for service, and these deals help mitigate that somewhat. Obviously, it’s not free for automakers to implement the offers, and now BMW is altering the way its four-year, 50,000-mile Maintenance Program works for some owners. “To keep such an offer sustainable we had to make a change,” said Kenn Sparks, Manager of Business Communications at BMW North America, to Autoblog via email.

The original person to buy or lease the model isn’t going to see any difference, but the program is no longer transferable to a second owner, unless that person is in the owners household. Those people include includes parents, siblings, grandparents and grandchildren, in addition to someone like a spouse or children. The original owner just has to advise BMW of new user. “The program change will affect 2nd owners and for them BMW is introducing an optional full-maintenance product that covers the vehicle up to 100,000 miles,” said Sparks. Scroll down to read the entire announcement.

Continue reading BMW maintenance plan no longer transferrable to 2nd owner

BMW maintenance plan no longer transferrable to 2nd owner originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Aug 2014 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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12 Aug 2014

Bentley reserves 99 Continental GT3-Rs for North America at $337k apiece

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Bentley Continental GT3-R

Whether they’re powered by V8 or W12 engines, the Bentley Continental GT just keeps getting faster and faster. The new Continental GT Speed, for example, is the fastest road-going Bentley ever made, capable of reaching 206 miles per hour. And the Continental GT3-R is the quickest-accelerating Bentley yet, capable of hitting 60 in just 3.6 seconds.

In other words, if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll need to act fast. Bentley is only making 300 examples of the GT3-R, but while it is said to have already sold out the entire production run, it has been kind enough to keep 99 examples on the side just for the North American market.

The road-going embodiment of the Continental GT3 racer, the GT3-R packs a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 tuned up to 572 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. That makes it 72 hp and 29 lb-ft stronger than the base Continental GT V8, or 43 hp and 14 lb-ft more muscular than the GT V8 S, about on par with the W12 model but 54 hp and 89 lb-ft shy of the latest GT Speed. But thanks to its lighter weight (inherent in the eight-cylinder model and stripped of a further 220 pounds in the GT3-R), it trounces them all in the sprint to 60.

The price of admission, however, is also higher than anything else Bentley makes: at a whopping $337,000, it’s nearly twice as expensive as a base V8 model, a good 50 percent more than the GT Speed, about fifty grand more than the previous range-topping Supersports model and more than even the top-of-the-line Mulsanne.

The Continental GT3-R makes its US debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this weekend.

Continue reading Bentley reserves 99 Continental GT3-Rs for North America at $337k apiece

Bentley reserves 99 Continental GT3-Rs for North America at $337k apiece originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Aug 2014 11:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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12 Aug 2014

2015 Audi S3 configurator goes live with all the black and silver paint you’ve hoped for

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It has already been nearly a year since we completed our First Drive of the premium pocket rocket Audi S3, with official pricing for the car detailed earlier this summer. Those are facts, but facts won’t help you while away your lunchtime in blissful, car-dreaming reverie, will they?

No, for help with imagining just exactly the kind of Audi S3 that you’d like to put in your garage, the freshly launched configurator is just the thing.

Every 2015 Audi S3 will come with 2.0T power under the hood – to the tune of 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. The most basic Premium Plus trim (an interesting renaming of “entry level” we’ll grant you) starts at $41,100 before destination, while the higher-content Prestige asks $47,000. The extra six grand buys you full LED lighting, tri-zone climate control, S model appearance upgrades like quad exhaust tips and a more advanced infotainment suite with Bang & Olufsen sound.

Nine paint options are available at launch, though only one, Brilliant Black, comes without an additional upcharge. Most of the other hues will run you an extra $550, though if you’re sweet on the looks of the Panther Black Crystal (seen above), you’ll have to shell out $1,075 for the look. Your choice of three interior colorways are all cost-free options, however.

There are really only two options packages beyond the trim level differences: a technology pack for $1,400 and a performance pack for $1,500. The performance upgrades include 19-inch five spoke wheels (an inch larger than the standard rolling stock, with the same 225-section tires), and Audi’s magnetic ride control. The tech pack brings lane assist and adaptive cruise to help you crush those long road trips, along with an emergency city braking system for low-speed stops and a front camera with distance sensor for tight parking spots.

Finally, if you intend on putting folks (young or old) in the small rear seating area, we’d recommend dropping the $350 extra for rear side airbags. Always hoon responsibly.

2015 Audi S3 configurator goes live with all the black and silver paint you’ve hoped for originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Aug 2014 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Aug 2014

Volkswagen recalls 150,000 Tiguans for fuel bubbles

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2012 Volkswagen Tiguan

Volkswagen and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have announced the recall of over 150,000 Tiguans over fuel issues. In the affected units, bubbles may form in winterized fuel that could cause the vehicle to stall. And “a vehicle stall,” says the NHTSA, “increases the risk of a crash.”

The issue could result from winter fuel that is warmed up, whether in warmer climates, hotter seasons or under “engine hot soak” – tech speak for when a cold fluid (whether a coolant, lubricant or fuel) sits in a hot engine block after it’s been shut off. Under such circumstances, deposits could collect in the fuel system, preventing proper circulation and causing the engine to stall shortly after ignition.

The recall affects 151,389 examples of the Tiguan manufactured between July 2007 and June 2014, covering the 2009 through 2014 model years. Volkswagen will notify owners to bring their crossovers in to their local dealership to have the software updated to increase fuel pressure so as to eliminate the bubble issue. The manufacturer reports, however, that no injuries have been reported as a result of such a malfunction occurring. See the notices from both VW and the NHTSA below for further details.

Continue reading Volkswagen recalls 150,000 Tiguans for fuel bubbles

Volkswagen recalls 150,000 Tiguans for fuel bubbles originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Aug 2014 11:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Aug 2014

177k Toyota Camry Hybrids being recalled for brake issue

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2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid

Toyota Camry Hybrid Limited Service CampaignIt looks like Consumer Reports might be getting part of what it wants regarding the Toyota Camry Hybrid and its braking system. Toyota is issuing what it calls a limited service campaign, rather than a full recall, covering about 177,500 of the hybrid sedans from the 2007 through 2011 model years because of an issue with the cars’ brake fluid reservoirs.

The models have a filter separating two chambers of the brake fluid reservoir, and the part can get clogged over time. If this happens, the fluid level in one of the chambers can get too low and eventually cause the power assist to fail. There are multiple warning lights on the dashboard that illuminate over time if the filter gets obstructed, though. The company is replacing the entire reservoir with an improved unit, and the fix takes about two hours to perform.

Consumer Reports recently began asking for a recall on these models for the potentially clogged filters. The magazine also reported a second issue with the ABS brake actuator that could lead to a difficult to depress brake, but Toyota has increased the warranty on the part to 10 years or 150,000 miles.

Toyota spokesperson Cindy Knight explained why this isn’t a full recall to Autoblog via email. “If Toyota determines that an issue presents an ‘unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety,’ per the Safety Act, the company will conduct a safety recall,” she said. It doesn’t think this case rises to that level, but it’s still notifying owners, and they “are provided a free repair,” until June 30, 2017. If they already paid to have the problem fixed, it’s possible to have the money reimbursed. Check out the gallery for all of the details.

177k Toyota Camry Hybrids being recalled for brake issue originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Aug 2014 16:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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