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01 Oct 2014

Jay Leno’s Mercedes 600 is dictator chic

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Mercedes-Benz 600 Kompressor

Here’s a fun fact: certain classical songs double as excellent driving songs. Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries is one such example. So, as soon as you here those iconic notes, be certain you’re in for some seriously cool sheet metal. Any Mercedes-Benz 600 would qualify for such a musical treatment, but Jay Leno’s example is doubly worth a look.

Fortunately, the car collector/comedian is all too willing to show off his brown beauty as part of the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage. Leno is just one of the, sometimes disturbing, list of owners of the big sedan, which includes a wide range of dictators and Jeremy Clarkson.

His example is truly pristine, restored by 600 expert Karl Middelhauve. The complex hydraulic system receives plenty of attention from Leno, as does the expansive and impressive craftsmanship in the cabin. Finally, Leno takes the boat of a car out for a ride.

Take a look at the full video on the legendary Mercedes 600.

Continue reading Jay Leno’s Mercedes 600 is dictator chic

Jay Leno’s Mercedes 600 is dictator chic originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 30 Sep 2014 20:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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30 Sep 2014

Submit your questions for Autoblog Podcast #399 LIVE!

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Autoblog podcast graphic

We’re set to record Autoblog Podcast #399 this evening. We’ll be joined by Rob Sass from Hagerty Insurance to talk about their latest extreme classic car challenge. Check out the topics below or drop us your questions and comments via the Q&A module. And don’t forget to subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven’t already done so. To take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.

Discussion Topics For Autoblog Podcast Episode #399

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Submit your questions for Autoblog Podcast #399 LIVE! originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 17:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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30 Sep 2014

Piano Guys seranade each generation of Batmobile [w/poll]

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The Piano Guys perform a medley of Batman songs with a trio of Batmobiles

A new Batmobile is on the way for the upcoming film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and it blends the military styling of the one in the Dark Knight trilogy with some of the sleekness from the version in the ’89 Tim Burton movie. With a new model imminent, it’s a perfect time to honor three of the most famous shapes for the Caped Crusader’s ride, and a group called The Piano Guys are doing just that in a new music video featuring a medley of Batman theme tunes played on a cello and piano.

According to the opening of the YouTube video and its accompanying description, the guys used the piano and over 100 tracks from the cello to create the song, and the video itself was shot on handheld cameras and a radio-controlled helicopter. The result is pretty amazing both visually and musically with great sets and fantastic-looking examples of each era of the Dark Knight’s car.

Check out the video, and let us know in the poll below which Batmobile is your favorite: the Adam West classic, Tim Burton’s aerodynamic interpretation or Christopher Nolan’s utilitarian Tumbler.

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Continue reading Piano Guys seranade each generation of Batmobile [w/poll]

Piano Guys seranade each generation of Batmobile [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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29 Sep 2014

James Bond’s Goldfinger Aston Martin still missing after 17 years

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James Bond stolen DB5

James Bond is inextricably linked with British motoring, especially Aston Martin, but the spy with a license to kill is missing one of his most famous cars. The original DB5 packed with gadgets for the movie Goldfinger has been lost for the last 17 years with no leads as to its whereabouts.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the original release of Goldfinger – the third film that came out in the James Bond series. The movie was a smashing success in its day and forged the connection between the super spy and Aston Martin. After all, the car was every little boy’s dream with machine guns in the front fenders, tire cutters in the wheels, an ejector seat and other amazing gadgets.

After it’s life on the big screen, the original gadget car eventually ended up in Boca Raton, FL, at least until 1997. That’s when a real-life Auric Goldfinger heisted the DB5, and it hasn’t been seen since. A recent report from WPTV from West Palm Beach, FL, talked to people from the area familiar with the caper and its status today.

Assuming the car is still intact, Bond’s Aston Martin would likely be worth several million dollars on the open market these days. For example, a DB5 that appeared in Goldfinger and Thunderball sold in 2010 at auction for $4.6 million. Check out the video for the full story on this long lost movie star.

Continue reading James Bond’s Goldfinger Aston Martin still missing after 17 years

James Bond’s Goldfinger Aston Martin still missing after 17 years originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 28 Sep 2014 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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27 Sep 2014

2002 Lincoln Continental concept should’ve made production, headed for auction instead

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2002 Lincoln Continental Concept auction

It seems like the retro design aesthetic in autos might be petering out, with even a former poster child like the Ford Mustang taking a step in a more modern direction. Sometimes those updates of old-school models really worked well, though. Just take a look above at the Lincoln Continental concept from 2002 that took the extruded shape of the 1960s version and updated it for the new millennium.

Now there’s a chance for this gorgeous concept to take a spot in your garage, as RM Auctions is selling it as part of a 130-plus-car, no-reserve auction of the Sam Pack Collection on November 14 and 15, in Dallas, TX. Among the lots for sale are a number of Fords, including several recent concepts from the brand. “My collecting philosophy is simple: buy what I like, but always with an emphasis on quality,” Pack said in the auction announcement.

The Continental concept absolutely nails the mix of modern and retro. Its perfectly crisp lines make the shape appear hewn from a single piece of metal, and there’s just the slightest ornamentation with the angled, chrome slats in the grille and chrome strips over the wheel arches. It even retains the suicide doors from its inspiration.

According to Autoweek, when the concept debuted at the 2002 LA Auto Show it was thought that Lincoln might actually build it. With a V12 making 414 horsepower and 412 pound-feet with a six-speed automatic, it might have been a great vehicle, too. But it never came to fruition, and the concept last sold at auction in 2010 for $56,100.

Any buyer of this Continental needs to love its shape because, like most prototypes, it can’t be registered for the road. You’re essentially getting a massive piece of automotive sculpture. Scroll down for the auction announcement.

Continue reading 2002 Lincoln Continental concept should’ve made production, headed for auction instead

2002 Lincoln Continental concept should’ve made production, headed for auction instead originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 26 Sep 2014 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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27 Sep 2014

11 vehicles from Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas worth watching

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Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas 2014

This weekend will see the world’s collector car crowds descend on Las Vegas, NV for one of the biggest shows on Barrett-Jackson’s popular auction circuit. There are hundreds of vehicles up for bidding, ranging from a brand-new Lamborghini Aventador to a spattering of Art Deco classics and a huge swath of classic muscle cars.

While it’s virtually impossible to assemble an inarguable list of the best cars coming during the three-day, 700-plus vehicle auction, we’ve sifted through the listings for this year’s show – it was a tough assignment, we promise – and assembled a list of what we think will be some of the most interesting lots. We’ll admit, it’s a bit heavy on American iron, but if you browse BJ’s listings, you’ll come to a similar conclusion. Still, scroll down for our list of what we think will be the most interesting vehicles at the upcoming auction.

Continue reading 11 vehicles from Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas worth watching

11 vehicles from Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas worth watching originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 26 Sep 2014 14:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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27 Sep 2014

Justin Bieber to play the voice of KITT in Knight Rider comedy

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Justin Bieber voices KITT in new film

There’s some potentially rough news for people who grew up watching Knight Rider in the 1980s or enjoyed re-runs of it in the ’90s. Pop culture punching bag Justin Bieber is the new voice for KITT in an upcoming comedy film with David Hasselhoff.

According to The Insider, the film has the working titles Killing Hasselhoff and Celebrity Death Pool. Australian comedian Jim Jefferies confirmed The Bieb’s appearance in the movie to the entertainment show. If it’s any consolation The Insider also spoke to comedian Ken Jeong, and he at least hinted that Bieber might only be in one scene.

According to Hasselhoff, he convinced Bieber to appear in the movie because the young singer owed The Hoff a favor. However, given Bieber’s allegedly checkered past with cars, he’s certainly a unique choice for the role. Check out the video at The Insider for more shots of the two of them during filming.

Justin Bieber to play the voice of KITT in Knight Rider comedy originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 26 Sep 2014 17:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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26 Sep 2014

US Marshal’s classic muscle car auction officially in the books

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Blood Muscle Auction

The US Marshal’s so-called Blood Muscle Auction was completed earlier this month, with the prestigious nine-car field (two cars were added following Autoblog‘s initial story, a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 and a rare, mid-restoration 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda) finding new and hopefully law-abiding owners.

While we’d normally recap the stars of the show, in this particular auction, every car’s sale was newsworthy. The full list of sale prices doesn’t seem to be published, but according to The New York Times, the auction brought in a total of $2.5 million, or an average of about $277,000 per car.

The king of the contest seems to be a 1970 Plymouth Superbird (above, right), complete with a 426-cubic-inch Hemi V8, which brought home $575,000. The trio of Yenko Chevys, meanwhile, all easily cleared the six-figure mark, with the Yenko Camaro (above, far right) clearing $315,000, the Chevelle crossing the block for $237,500 and the supremely rare – one of just 37 – Yenko Nova (shown above, left) selling for an even $400,000.

The New York Times has a great write-up of the auction, including the somewhat bizarre setting relative to other high-stakes auctions where six-figure cars are the norm. Head over and take a look.

US Marshal’s classic muscle car auction officially in the books originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Sep 2014 08:13:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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26 Sep 2014

NYT profiles Blue Nelson, a reclusive and interesting CA car collector

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NYT profile of Blue Nelson

If it weren’t for his Dale Earnhardt Sr. looks, Blue Nelson could be one one of those soft-spoken, nondescript guys whom you meet briefly and never learn much more about. However, as The New York Times shows in a recent profile and video, behind closed doors, Nelson keeps a fascinatingly eclectic collection of automotive oddities and vintage bicycles.

While his main career is in the movie industry, Nelson’s other job is as a car hunter. He takes on clients searching for a specific model and helps them find and restore the dream vehicle that they’re after. Hiring him takes some dedication, though, because Nelson doesn’t advertise his services. “If people want to find me, they know how to find me,” he says in the video.

Beyond being an automotive private detective, Nelson has a fantastically varied collection of vehicles of his own. He likes to have models that people don’t usually see, and his garage holds a classic Chrysler New Yorker and an extremely rare Rometsch convertible. Although, the one that means the most to him is the 1962 Porsche 356 convertible that Blue came home in as a baby. Check out the video to learn more about Nelson and his philosophy about forming a bond with a car.

Continue reading NYT profiles Blue Nelson, a reclusive and interesting CA car collector

NYT profiles Blue Nelson, a reclusive and interesting CA car collector originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Sep 2014 17:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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24 Sep 2014

You can own Cord, the great American car brand

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Speed Festival In Goodwood, United Kingdom On June 23, 1996.

Do you fancy yourself an entrepreneur just looking for the chance to hop into the auto industry? Well, there might be a prime opportunity to buy a fabled car brand, though one dead for decades. The trademark, license and manufacturing rights for Cord Automobile are currently on sale from Leake Auction Company. If they aren’t bought by October 22, they go up for auction on November 22.

The Cord brand has been largely forgotten today. However, it set itself apart in the very late ’20s and ’30s the with the front-wheel-drive L-29 and later the coveted 810 and 812 (pictured above) models. Featuring pop-up headlights hidden in the fenders, an available supercharged V8 and famous coffin-shaped nose, the 812 was a tour-de-force in its day, but they were a sales disappointment. The company was sold soon after its introduction.

There was an attempt to revive the brand in the ’60s, when a man named Glenn Pray bought the rights to the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Company. However, it wasn’t a total success either. Pray sold the trademarks to Duesenberg and Auburn but hung onto Cord until his death in 2011. Now, his family is putting it up for sale.

Leake’s sale actually covers two, separate trademarks. According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, one of them is for toy cars of Cords, and the other is for parts and automobiles bearing the name. Let us know in Comments what company should own this old brand today and what kind of vehicle a modern version would be. Also, scroll down to read the auction house’s full announcement of the sale.

Continue reading You can own Cord, the great American car brand

You can own Cord, the great American car brand originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Sep 2014 07:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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