Archive for the ‘Classic Cars’ Category

Mazda Marks Miata’s 30th With Party, Special Edition

Carrot-colored 30th Anniversary Edition will start at $35,915.

by on Feb.08, 2019

Mazda Motors North America President Masahiro Moro introduces the 30th anniversary limited-edition Mazda MX-5 Miata in Chicago.

February in Chicago isn’t normally what you’d call convertible season, but on a cold and blustery morning almost 30 years ago to the day, Mazda took ragtop fans and, indeed, the rest of the auto industry, by surprise with the debut of the original Miata roadster.

While never a major seller, the pint-sized two-seater also known as the MX-5 captured the hearts – and checkbooks – of those who wanted something that put the emphasis on pure driving fun, inspiring a wave of imitations from Mazda’s Japanese, German and U.S. rivals.

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On another cold and blustery day in the Windy City, Mazda pulled the wraps off a special, commemorative edition of the fourth-generation Miata Thursday. And to mark the occasion, it brought to its Chicago Auto Show news conference not only some of the roadster’s most loyal fans, but some of the folks who helped create the little car. (more…)

Aston Martin Lagonda All-Terrain Concept Hints at Future

All-electric prototype hints of crossover set to mark the brand’s revival.

by on Feb.06, 2019

The Aston Martin Lagonda All-Terrain Concept will strongly influence a coming production model.

Automakers have a habit of reaching into the history books. We’ve seen a number of once forgotten nameplates rise from the dead lately, including the Chevrolet Blazer and Ford Bronco. And the upcoming Geneva Motor Show will mark the revival of two once-grand brands: Hispano-Suiza and Lagonda.

The return of the latter, a subsidiary of Aston Martin, has been in the works for several years, a show car called the Lagonda Vision making its debut in Switzerland a year ago. Next month, we’ll see the debut of a second prototype, the Lagonda All-Terrain Concept, and it seems a lot closer to the production model set to reach showrooms a couple years from now.

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“The Lagonda All-Terrain Concept offers explicit clues regarding what will be the first Lagonda model to enter production, and further demonstrates how Lagonda’s zero emission powertrain enables us to create spectacular cars that will radically redefine their sectors of the market,” says Aston CEO Andy Palmer.

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FCA Debuting Special Anniversary Minivans in Chicago

35th anniversary editions commemorate a major industry shift.

by on Feb.04, 2019

The 35th anniversary edition Chrysler Pacifica.

Fiat Chrysler will roll out a pair of special edition minivans at the Chicago Auto Show later this week to mark the 35th anniversary of the automaker’s original “people-movers.”

Few individual vehicles have had a more dramatic impact on the U.S. automotive market as did the original Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager when they came to market in 1984, instantly clicking with buyers and rapidly spawning an array of competitors.

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While minivan sales today are running little more than a third of their one-time peak, they still remain a go-to product for millions of American families and, FCA hopes to take advantage of that with the 35th Anniversary Models it will roll out on Thursday at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center.

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VW Plugs In With New Dune Buggy Concept

Retro design, futuristic powertrain; concept to debut in Geneva.

by on Jan.31, 2019

Volkswagen is bringing a new electric concept to the Geneva Motor Show in March – what's old is new again!

Volkswagen is going back to the future with a ‘60s-tinged concept coming to the Geneva Motor Show in a little more than a month.

The show car is modelled after the classic dune buggies that hit American roads and beaches back in the 1960s and 1970s. But the new iteration offers something very different under the hood – or, more accurately, under the floorboards, the buggy concept making use of the same, modular electric drivetrain that will power an assortment of upcoming Volkswagen products.

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“A buggy is more than a car. It is vibrancy and energy on four wheels,” suggested VW’s global design chief Klaus Bischoff. “These attributes are embodied by the new e-buggy, which demonstrates how a modern, non-retro interpretation of a classic can look and, more than anything else, the emotional bond that electric mobility can create.” (more…)

Ferrari’s New Monza Models Put a Modern Spin on Classic Designs

Two supercars will mark a limited run – and you’ll have to be invited to buy one.

by on Oct.02, 2018

Ferrari plans to sell just 499 of its first two "Icona Ferrari" models like the SP1. No prices were announced, but assume well into seven figures.

Ferrari has a long and glorious history, its many fans are quick to point out, and the carmaker now plans to mine that heritage for a new line of retro-futuristic models that will be sold through a new collection dubbed “Icona Ferrari.”

That will start off with the Monza SP1 and SP2 supercars making their formal debut at the Paris Motor Show today. Ferrari said at its news conference that it plans to build just 499 of them. It will offer them, it suggested, “to our best customers.” In fact, potential buyers will have to be invited just to stand in line.

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The forward-into-the-past design of the two Monza models is meant to harken back to one of the most glorious eras of racing, back in the 1950s and 1960s, when Ferrari dominated the European motor sports circuit. (more…)

Bye-Bye Beetle

Volkswagen unveils Beetle Final Edition, with "no immediate plans" for a replacement.

by on Sep.13, 2018

The last of the VW Beetles come in two "final edition" colors and styles, including convertible models.

The end is near – for the Volkswagen Beetle, that is, the automaker all but confirming rumors that 2019 will mark the last time the once wildly popular little car will roll off an assembly line.

Also known in various places as the Bug, and even the Kafer, it has had an incredible run, with only a brief stretch out of production, the Beetle has been a fixture on the road since 1938, when it was unveiled as part of Adolph Hitler’s plan to create a “people’s car,” or “volkswagen,” that was cheap and easy to produce. With nearly 22 million build since then, it is the longest-running model ever, though Toyota’s Corolla claims to beat it as the best-selling nameplate in automotive history.

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“The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over nearly seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle’s many devoted fans,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America Inc. (more…)

Simple Car Maintenance Can Avoid Costly Tickets

A little cash now may eliminate a big expense down the road.

by on Sep.07, 2018

Simple repairs can save a driver a lot of money down the road.

Few things are as annoying as that warning light that suddenly pops up on your dashboard. All too often, drivers put off dealing with those potentially costly repairs until it’s too late.

However, in the course of vehicle ownership, there are often maintenance issues that fall into the same category as the “warning light repairs,” but those fixes may cost you more than money — they can mean court time due to the ticket you may be issued.

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“Ignoring certain vehicle repairs may seem to save money in the short term but can lead to extra costs, such as fines or ‘fix-it’ tickets, if these problems are not taken care of when they arise,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.  (more…)

Alfa Snags a Win, Ferrari Lands the Big Bucks, and Classics Make Room for the Future as Monterey’s Classic Car Week Concludes

Award winner upstaged only by the $48M paid for '62 Ferrari 250 GTO.

by on Aug.27, 2018

David Sydorick's 1938 Alfa 8C 2900B won top honors at Pebble Beach.

While the Alfa Romeo brand may be struggling to gain traction with American car buyers, the judges at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance had no problem deciding what was best in show at the 68th annual running of what is widely considered the world’s premier classic car show. Honors went to a 1938 Alfa 8C 2900B owned by David Sydorick, of Beverly Hills.

But if you’re measuring success in dollars, the weekend’s real winner was a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO which was gaveled off for a record $48 million at one of the many auctions that took place over the long weekend on the Monterey Peninsula. It blew past all estimates and handily surpassed the winning bid for an Aston Martin DB5 used in the 007 adventure Goldeneye.

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While the emphasis during the extended weekend was on classic cars, the past had to make room for the future on at least a few occasions. An assortment of automakers, including BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, used the Pebble Beach Concours as background to reveal their latest concept and production models, with a big emphasis on electric drive technology. (more…)

Jaguar Offering New, but Old Electric Vehicle: E-type Zero

Brand's restoration arm will make the conversions.

by on Aug.26, 2018

Jaguar Classic, the brand's restoration unit, is restoring and converting E-types to battery electric powertrains.

What many consider the most beautiful car in the world, the Jaguar E-type, is getting another modifier — the most beautiful electric car in the world as the company revealed plans to restore and convert existing models to full battery electrics.

The move comes after an “overwhelmingly positive reaction” to the iconic brand’s initial concept last year. Officials say that the first E-type EVs, called the E-type Zero, will be available in summer 2020.

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“We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive reaction to the Jaguar E-type Zero concept. Future-proofing the enjoyment of classic car ownership is a major stepping stone for Jaguar Classic,” said Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic director. (more…)

BMW Z4 Takes its Formal Bow in Pebble Beach

Is that a hint of the new Toyota Supra we see?

by on Aug.23, 2018

The new BMW Z4 roadster offers few hints that it shares its roots with the new Toyota Supra.

Sure, we got a look at the concept version of the new BMW Z4 a full year ago, but there were still plenty of skeptics wondering exactly what the Bavarians would come up with when it was time to roll out the production model. Skepticism was, perhaps, in order considering they had to coordinate development of the next-generation roadster with Toyota which is using the underlying platform for its reborn Supra.

Anyone who expected to see a badge-engineered convertible can now breathe a sigh of relief. Almost precisely a year after revealing the concept version, BMW is back in precisely the same place, Pebble Beach, to roll out the production version, and if first impressions – and some hints about the specs – matter, the new Z4 should generate some serious buzz.

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We’ll have to wait another month to get all the specifications, BMW tells us, hoping to play out the anticipation card for as long as possible, but the automaker has one significant detail to reveal, the Z4 M40i edition will rely on an updated version of the familiar 3.0-liter straight-six to get it up to 60 mph in an estimated 4.4 seconds.

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