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30 Jul 2014

Seinfeld laments AMC Gremlin with hilarious Jon Stewart

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Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee Jon Stewart

A good comedian can rifle off a one-liner when put in the right situation. A great comedian, though, can fire off zingers in any situation. That much is obvious from the start of the latest episode of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

The quips begin essentially from the start, with Seinfeld introducing today’s featured car as a competitor to the Ford Pinto and Chevy Vega, a pair of cars he calls “horrible.” The competitor, though, “was even more horrible.” Yes, we’re talking about the AMC Gremlin.

Why the Gremlin, though? A car that is accepted as one of the single biggest four-wheeled abominations in the long, sad history of four-wheeled abominations? Well, it just happened to be the first car of guest Jon Stewart, of The Daily Show fame. With Stewart in tow, the one-liners really get going. Calling the Gremlin “contraception” for New Jersey’s young men in the 1970s and a car for the “broke ignorant”, the pair’s tour around Manhattan in the dreadful hatchback is cut short by something a bit more suited to the tastes of CICGC fans.

Scroll down for the full video, and enjoy the latest episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Continue reading Seinfeld laments AMC Gremlin with hilarious Jon Stewart

Seinfeld laments AMC Gremlin with hilarious Jon Stewart originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Jul 2014 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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30 Jul 2014

How Hollywood furthered our automotive obsession [w/videos]

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Generally, General Lee

The car enthusiast’s passion generally isn’t founded in any single experience. It is a result of many influences, coming from places like our parents, our surrounding area’s culture and, almost always, the media.

The automobile plays both major and minor roles in nearly every movie and TV show known to mankind. Today the editors at Autoblog and AOL Autos are paying homage to a few of these, acknowledging the ones that stand out in our minds as having played a profound part in forming our ardor for all things automotive.

Head on past the jump to see the cars from the big and small screen for which our staff still pines. And make sure to tell us about your favorite movie/TV cars, in Comments.

Continue reading How Hollywood furthered our automotive obsession [w/videos]

How Hollywood furthered our automotive obsession [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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30 Jul 2014

MotorWeek proves ’90s were awesome with Supra, Stealth, RX-7, Corvette, 968, 300ZX comparo

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Motorweek 1993 Sports Car Test

Oh, the heady days of 1993, back when the Clinton Presidency was just getting underway, and it seemed like every hot new rock band was coming out of Seattle. Sports cars in the US had finally shaken off the shackles that slowed them during the ’70s and ’80s, and you could buy any number of legitimately quick vehicles again. MotorWeek recently went digging into its archives to find this six-model test from 1993 showing off some of the best semi-affordable performance coupes that money could buy at the time, and it’s priceless.

Featuring the 1994 model year Toyota Supra in twin-turbo guise and MY 1993 versions of the Porsche 968, Nissan 300ZX TT, Mazda RX-7, Dodge Stealth R/T Turbo and Chevrolet Corvette LT-1, MotorWeek definitely covered all of the bases. One thing that might surprise younger readers is these cars’ performance. The video only provides 0-60 acceleration times, but several of these vehicles would still be considered pretty potent today – over 20 years since going on sale. The Supra is especially impressive, hitting 60 miles per hour in just 5 seconds. Even today, that’s nothing to sneeze at.

Given their performance potential and still-attractive looks, it’s amazing that some of these coupes are old enough to drink now. The progress of interior design and safety equipment in the intervening years is pretty shocking, though. In most of these models, having two airbags is touted as a big deal. Scroll down to watch a Throwback Thursday blast from the past about some of the ’90s best sports cars.

Continue reading MotorWeek proves ’90s were awesome with Supra, Stealth, RX-7, Corvette, 968, 300ZX comparo

MotorWeek proves ’90s were awesome with Supra, Stealth, RX-7, Corvette, 968, 300ZX comparo originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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30 Jul 2014

BringATrailer getting into the auction business

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Bring a trailer auctions

If you’re into classic cars and don’t already know about the website BringATrailer.com, you’re seriously missing out. The site highlights vintage cars of all stripes for sale on the internet, whether they are from eBay Motors, Craigslist, its own readers or practically anywhere else. Even if you’re not shopping for something to add to your garage, the commenters’ discussions are usually incredibly insightful and often amusing, if a little pedantic. With a newly launched redesign, our friends at BaT are branching out a bit and starting their own weekly auto auctions.

With the new feature, appropriately called BaT Auctions, the site is hoping to bring its high quality, low quantity ethos to the world of online car auctions. Unlike eBay Motors, not just any vehicle can get in. Each selection is curated, and in a novel twist, BaT’s fervent commenter base get to discuss the car for six days before the 24-hour sale actually begins.

To keep sellers from getting ripped off, bidders have to put down a deposit and register a credit card beforehand. Also, in an interesting move designed to prevent bid sniping, if there is a bid anytime within the last three minutes of the auction, then the timer resets back to three minutes on the clock.

With three cars this week to kick things off, BaT plans to tweak the auction process as needed in the future. “Our goal is to create the absolute best way to buy and sell the best cars of all time, and we know that’s something that will take us time to get just right,” said Bring a Trailer co-founder Gentry Underwood to Autoblog via email. Scroll down to read more on the company’s announcement.

Continue reading BringATrailer getting into the auction business

BringATrailer getting into the auction business originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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30 Jul 2014

Porsche’s 959 is still poster-worthy after all these years

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Xcar: Porsche 959

Today, we have the Porsche 918 Spyder. Before that, there was the Carrera GT. While both of those cars are dramatic departures from the traditional, rear-engine Porsche formula, they owe their very existence to another wild child of the iconic German brand – the 959.

Like so many of the great performance cars of yesteryear, the 959 was a homologation special, built just so Porsche could go racing in the clinically insane Group B rally series. Fewer than 400 959s hit the streets, but those that did were some of the most advanced cars of the 1980s. A rear-mounted, twin-turbocharged flat-six sent its power through a still-rare all-wheel-drive system, creating a race-inspired rocket that was, for a short time, the fastest production car on the planet.

Xcar has the story of the 959, from its inception to its conquest of the Paris-Dakar rally, which is interspersed with a drive of the legendary coupe. Scroll down for the full video.

Continue reading Porsche’s 959 is still poster-worthy after all these years

Porsche’s 959 is still poster-worthy after all these years originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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30 Jul 2014

BMW begins restoring Elvis Presley’s 507 [w/video]

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Elvis Presley's 1957 BMW 507

Imagine the King of Rock n’ Roll driving a car and you’ll likely picture a pink Cadillac or a yellow De Tomaso shot full of holes. But Elvis also owned a 1957 BMW 507 roadster, and now that roadster is returning home to BMW headquarters.

The 507 was a rare bird, of which only 254 examples were ever made. They were sold mostly to celebrities and royalty, but Elvis Presley was a GI when he bought it while stationed in Germany. The example that he bought had been displayed at the Frankfurt Motor Show, used as a press car and raced by Hans Stuck (which is how Elvis came to see it in the first place), so when he took delivery of it second-hand, the dealership had a new engine installed. It was originally white, but legend has it that Elvis got tired of women writing their phone numbers on the side of it in lipstick that he had it repainted in red.

Stories differ on what exactly happened to it next, with some saying that he returned it once the lease was up and other saying that the army shipped it back to him in the States after his tour was over. But what we do know is that the car sat for many years, neglected but sheltered from the elements. Now it’s heading to the the BMW Museum in Munich, where it will be on display until August 10, after which the BMW Group Classic department will undertake a comprehensive restoration of the star-studded roadster that’s expected to take two years of work.

Read more in the Google-translated press release below and scope out the pre-restoration photos in the gallery above. For more information on the 507 model, feel free to watch the video we embedded with the press release.

Continue reading BMW begins restoring Elvis Presley’s 507 [w/video]

BMW begins restoring Elvis Presley’s 507 [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:42:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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30 Jul 2014

This vintage racer is a Peerless competitor

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Peerless from Petrolicious

Sometimes important decisions come down to a split second where you just have to go with your gut. While leaving is son Paul’s soccer game in the early 1990s, Ron Cressey spotted a 1959 Peerless GT on a car transporter. It turned out the owner was moving and shipping the car with him. Not wanting to let the opportunity pass, Ron started negotiating and bought the car on the spot. It took him another five years to restore it for vintage racing.

Cressey certainly has an eye for rarity because Peerless is among the lesser known British sports car builders. The company went out of business in 1960 and only sold cars for a few years. For the GT, Peerless took the engine, transmission and front suspension from a Triumph TR3, plus a Jaguar rear differential, and crafted a coupe body over it all.

As usual, Petrolicious contributes cinematography that is among the best anywhere on the web, and its sound mix allows the Peerless’ four-cylinder engine to really sing. Scroll down to learn more about this vintage racer and the father/son connection that keeps it at the track.

Continue reading This vintage racer is a Peerless competitor

This vintage racer is a Peerless competitor originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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30 Jul 2014

Will this 1966 Ferrari three-seater surpass $20M at Pebble Beach auction?

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1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale

With a week of lavish automotive events coming up centered around the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August, some of the highest profile auto auctions in the world are about to take place. Hearing about Ferrari Testa Rossas and 250 GTOs going for tens of millions of dollars during these events is commonplace, but Gooding & Company is bringing a unique Prancing Horse to sell in California that could be a record-breaker for the company.

The car in question is the drop-dead gorgeous 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale with just 7,900 kilometers (4,910 miles) on the clock that’s pictured above, and it checks all of the boxes to make it incredibly desirable. First off, just look at it. The flowing lines and giant, tinted moonroof really make this Ferrari a head-turner. Inside, it has the distinctive feature of three seats with the driver slightly forward in the middle, kind of like the McLaren F1. And what a view from behind the wheel with all of the expansive glass in front of and above the driver. According to the auction listing, Pininfarina displayed the Speciale at a variety of international motor shows in 1966 and 1967.

If the looks aren’t enough, then the provenance puts this Ferrari over the top, for sure. Underneath those gorgeous lines is the chassis from a Ferrari 365 P2 endurance racer. The sale claims that this was the first mid-engine, Ferrari 12-cylinder model created from the start as a road car. After touring with Pininfarina, it went to Luigi Chinetti, the first man to sell a Prancing Horse in the US and the boss of the company’s North American Racing Team. He sold it twice, but the Speciale has been in the hands of the Chinetti since 1969.

Gooding isn’t offering a dollar estimate on the sale, but it’s expecting big things. “The most expensive automobile that Gooding & Company has ever sold at public auction is the 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. We expect to shatter that record at Pebble Beach this year,” said company boss David Gooding about the car, according to a spokesperson to Autoblog. That Testa Rossa went for $16.39 million after fees. It gives the 365 a lot to live up to. Scroll down to read the entire auction listing.

Continue reading Will this 1966 Ferrari three-seater surpass $20M at Pebble Beach auction?

Will this 1966 Ferrari three-seater surpass $20M at Pebble Beach auction? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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30 Jul 2014

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO for sale in Germany at $64 million [UPDATE]

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Ferrari 250 GTOs at Pebble Beach in 2011

UPDATE: A previous version of this article incorrectly listed the production period for the 250 GTO. The text below has been updated with the correct information.

Prices keep climbing for the Ferrari 250 GTO with virtually no end in sight. In 1969 one sold for just $2,500, but by the 1980s they were trading for hundreds of thousands, then millions, then tens of millions to the point that the last last year, one was reported to have changed hands at $52 million. But now there’s a GTO for sale in Germany that could eclipse even that gargantuan price tag.

Ferrari made 39 examples of the 250 GTO between 1962 and 1964, and the item listing on mobile.de doesn’t give much in the way of specifics as to which exactly we’re looking at. But last we checked, there were only two GTOs in Germany, and the other one was silver. That leaves chassis number 3809GT, which was delivered new in ’62 to Switzerland and participated in numerous endurance races and hillclimb events throughout the early 60s. 3809GT has been owned until now by one Hartmut Ibing, who bought it in 1976 when values were in the tens of thousands, not tens of millions. Given how his asset has appreciated so dramatically, and with less than 10,000 miles on the odometers over 52 years, we could understand how Ibing would want to cash out.

Of course we could be mistaken and we could be looking at an entirely different example – the vast majority were, after all, painted red and fitted with blue upholstery just like this one – but either way, we’re looking at a price tag of 47.6 million euros. That’s nearly $64 million at today’s rates, inclusive of Germany’s 19 percent VAT rate that adds a staggering $10 million in taxes to the pre-tax price of 40 million euros, which comes in under $54 million but would still be the most ever paid for a GTO (or really, just about any car ever made).

If that’s too rich for your blood but you’re still in the market, you could try your luck with the one which Bonhams will auction off at The Quail next month. Who knows, with no reserve price, maybe you’ll do better. But more likely, the bidding will have driven the sale price up even higher and Ibing will rush to increase his asking price before a rejected bidder snaps his up.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO for sale in Germany at $64 million [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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30 Jul 2014

Jaguar buys world’s largest collection of British cars

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James Hull Collection

Whether you’re looking at Bertone going bankrupt or Spyker facing (and subsequently resolving) a large tax bill, it’s saddening to see an automaker having to sell off its factory collection. That’s why we’re glad to report that there are still some acquiring historic vehicles from their pasts. Like Jaguar, which has just bought the largest private collection of classic British cars in the world.

The collection of 543 cars was painstakingly assembled by one James Hull, a British dentist with some 50 dental clinics to his name across the UK and who was keen to find the right buyer to take possession of his life’s work and preserve it for years to come.

Of those 543 cars, the majority are of British origin, including over 130 Jaguars. The collection includes seven XK120s, several C– and D-Types, a rare XKSS, eight E-Types, thirty Mark-series Jaguar sedans, nineteen XJS coupes and convertibles, some twenty XJ sedans as well as some pre-war SS models and Swallow sidecars and coachbuilt specials from the company’s early days. Among the many noteworthy examples are a rare SS100, an alloy-bodied XK120 and an MK X owned by company founder Sir William Lyons himself, as well as Winston Churchill’s Austin, Elton John’s Bentley, and racing driver and motorcycle rider Mike Hailwood’s E-Type.

The collection was acquired by Jaguar Land Rover through its new Special Operations division – the same unit responsible for the F-Type Project 7 and which now incorporates Jaguar Heritage. It will be housed at a new facility at Jaguar’s historic home at Browns Lane in Coventry, the cars to be used at future events to promote the brand and highlight its history.

Although most of the cars were made by other manufacturers, Jaguar spokesman Dan Connell confirmed in correspondence with Autoblog that “the collection will stay together for the foreseeable future.” As for the final price, neither party is saying, but while it was reportedly listed for sale at £100 million ($170m), we’re told that wasn’t the price which JLR paid for the collection. As Hull put it in the press release below, “My primary motivation was not to get the maximum price but rather to secure the future of the collection in this country with the right custodian.” Evidently Jaguar was deemed to be “the right custodian.”

Continue reading Jaguar buys world’s largest collection of British cars

Jaguar buys world’s largest collection of British cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Jul 2014 08:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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