Ventura Farms Inaugural Concours Invitational doesn’t disappoint

Filed under:

Countless vintage automobile events are held all around the world on any given day, but few are able to match the caliber of exclusive machinery displayed at the Ventura Farms Inaugural Concours Invitational. The event, held last month on the private 2,200-acre ranch estate of billionaire David H. Murdock (the Chairman and CEO of Dole and Castle and Cooke) just north of Los Angeles, CA, offered guests a look at dozens of classic automobiles set among beautifully manicured gardens, ponds and Thai sculptural boulders mined from the River Kwai in Thailand. With the weather near perfect, and the cars in equal state, some were arguing that the venue was every bit as spectacular as Pebble Beach.

While it would have been easy to feast on the savory foods, premium beer and wine, we forced our camera to our face and shot a gallery for everyone outside the secured gates to enjoy. The 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Streamline Saloon, a Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Winner, was spectacular, but our eyes were drawn to the bright green 1947 Delahaye 135MS (shown above) with its clear acrylic steering wheel and matching knobs and buttons. The 1929 Auburn 8-120 Boattail Speedster was also a favorite, with its sleek... stern.

As expected, tickets to the event were pricey ($100 each) but every single penny generated went to raise money for a local park and YMCA. Look for next year's event to take place in March, and be sure to get your tickets early as this inaugural concours sold out weeks in advance.

Ventura Farms Inaugural Concours Invitational doesn't disappoint originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 03 Apr 2013 17:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Getting to know the cars of Fast & Furious 6

Filed under: , ,

The team at Universal Pictures recently invited us check out the real stars - the machinery - of its upcoming action thriller Fast & Furious 6, due in theaters on May 24. On hand at the studio special effects facility were more than a dozen vehicles, each with its own unique story to tell.

Giving us special insight to the logistical nightmare of coordinating the 300-400 vehicles consumed during filming (sadly, nearly all were destroyed) was Dennis McCarthy, the film's Picture Car Coordinator. McCarthy, a true car guy, explained the difficulty of turning a street car into a Fast & Furious celebrity. Aside from the obvious safety upgrades to keep the stunt crews secure, engines are often upgraded (the small-block LS3 from General Motors is the team's jack-of-all-trades), differentials welded and slide brakes fitted (allowing precise control of the rear calipers to induce drift). The cars are mostly all modified in the States, and then shipped to shooting locations around the globe.

Eye candy such as the heavily customized 1969 Dodge Daytona (pictured above) is even more impressive up close, when you realize that its side pipes required the entire exhaust system to be packaged within the confines of the passenger compartment. The team purchased seven Euro Mark I Ford Escorts, a celebrated 1970s-era rally car complete with stock fender flares, but only one made it through filming. We were drawn to the LS7-powered Lister, with with its bright livery and 1,800-pound curb weight, but our favorite turned out to be the new three-passenger Flip Car. The one-off handcrafted vehicle features a 500-horsepower LS3 running through a V-drive from a boat with the rear steering mechanism of a monster truck. Simply badass, even if it's not even remotely street legal.

If you have specific questions about any of the vehicles after clicking through the gallery (all of the images have been labeled to ease identification), post them in Comments.

Getting to know the cars of Fast & Furious 6 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 17 Mar 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Restored Back to the Future DeLorean arrives at Universal Studios [w/video]

Filed under: , , ,

TIme Machine Restoration Delorean DMC-12 - front three-quarter view - video screencap

Fans of the Back to the Future trilogy will be pleased to learn that Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown's modified 1981 DeLorean DMC-12, better known as a time machine, is on display at Universal Studios Hollywood in California after a painstaking museum-quality restoration over the past year. While Universal used a handful of cars during filming from 1985 to 1990, this particular vehicle is referred to as the "Hero A" car, as it was the only Delorean featured in all three films.

The Time Machine Restoration Team was tasked with bringing the car back to its original state during its first appearance in Back to the Future, complete with its plutonium-powered flux capacitor (later versions were modified to develop power for time travel from lightning and garbage). From what we can tell, the team's work appears flawless.

While we are still waiting for the official announcement from Universal regarding the project, the team has put up a slick teaser video that you can watch below and has posted a bunch of pictures on its Facebook page. Enthusiast of the films or not, both are worthy of a closer look.

Continue reading Restored Back to the Future DeLorean arrives at Universal Studios [w/video]

Restored Back to the Future DeLorean arrives at Universal Studios [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 17 Feb 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Overwhelming popularity persuades Petersen Museum to extend vault tours

Filed under:

Ferrari models in Petersen Museum Vault

As a jaded automotive journalist, exposed to some of the world's finest automotive machinery on a regular basis, it takes something extraordinary to raise my pulse. Yet here I was, standing in the chilly underground vault of the famed Petersen Automotive Museum, and I was getting choked up.

Last month, the Los Angeles museum opened its hidden storage garage (located beneath its concrete parking structure) to the public for guided tours intended to last just a few weeks over the holidays. Officials expected a handful of visitors would pay the additional $25 fee for the private up-close-and-personal 90-minute excursions. Instead, enthusiasts flooded the lobby each day and some even lined up out the doors.

To satisfy demand, Petersen officials have announced that they are extending the intimate vault tours... indefinitely (twice a day on weekdays, and four times a day on weekends). Visitors may call and reserve a space in advance (recommended), or show up and attempt to grab any remaining slots.

Whetting your appetite, we lugged our camera equipment (sorry, public photography is not allowed on the tours) downstairs to shoot a select gallery of just some of the vault's rare treasures - nearly all with colorful and storied histories. Click through the gallery (most have been captioned) to learn about vehicles like Steve McQueen's 1957 Jaguar XK-SS "Green Rat," a mint 1967 Toyota 2000 GT, GM's hand-built Cadillac Fleetwood-based 1998 "Popemobile" and a 1972 Ferrari "Daytona" Spyder from The Gumball Rally motion picture.

Overwhelming popularity persuades Petersen Museum to extend vault tours originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 10 Jan 2013 14:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Man drives Rolls-Royce for 78 years then makes museum donation to ensure its preservation

Filed under: , ,

Mr. Allen Swift died in 2005 at the impressive age of 102, but his automotive story is even more remarkable. Not only is the gentleman credited with owning a Rolls-Royce automobile longer than anyone else in the world, but he had the forethought and funds to ensure its future preservation after his death.

In 1928, while living in Springfield, Massachusetts, Swift's father gave him a 1928 Rolls-Royce Piccadilly P1 Roadster as a graduation present (Springfield and Rolls-Royce have a history - from 1920 to 1931, the British automaker built 2,944 vehicles in the city as part of its attempt to establish a US plant). The young man was passionate about his green-over-green softtop convertible, not only driving it on a regular basis, but maintaining it meticulously over the decades (the two door-received a complete body-off restoration and engine rebuild in 1988).

Rolls-Royce acknowledged Mr. Swift in 1994, awarding him a crystal Spirit of Ecstasy award for his length of ownership. By 2005, Swift had logged more than 170,000 miles on its analog odometer and he was recognized as the oldest living person to have owned a car from new. He passed away that year.

But the story doesn't end there. Swift left the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History a $1 million gift to create a new exhibition to care for his roadster and tell the story of Rolls-Royce manufacturing in the Massachusetts town. Today, Mr. Swift's beautiful Piccadilly P1 Roadster is prominently displayed in the museum's Transportation Collection.

Man drives Rolls-Royce for 78 years then makes museum donation to ensure its preservation originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Dec 2012 09:13:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

La Vision de Voisin at the Mullin Automotive Museum

Filed under: ,

Imagine that an automaker was displaying more than ten percent of its existing production under one roof - a manufacturer like Ford would have millions of cars on display. Yet Voisin automobiles, the iconic French luxury brand from the 1920s and 1930s, needs to display just 17.

Gabriel B. Voisin began producing cars in 1919. As an aviation pioneer (he is credited with developing Europe's first heavier-than-air engine-powered aircraft capable of sustaining controlled flight) who eventually focused his talent in the automotive sector, his designs were technically detailed, aerodynamically efficient and with an art deco aesthetic - it is easiest to simply consider them stunning.

While more than 10,000 automobiles were assembled in the suburban Paris factory, fewer than 150 are known to still exist. Amazingly, the famed Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, has more than a dozen of his masterpieces (plus original artifacts) on display through April of 2013. This unprecedented show is the first opportunity to see so many examples of Voisin's work in the United States.

Notable examples include the 1935 Type C25 Aerodyne that won the coveted Best of Show award at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance as well as a reconstruction of the 1923 Type C6 Course "Laboratoire" race car that experimented with a double wedge-shape airfoil for improved aerodynamics.

The curators opened the doors to Autoblog the other day, so we sent Drew Phillips in with his camera for a closer look. The pictures are amazing, but the real beauty of a Voisin is in the small details. It should go without saying that this is the type of automotive exhibit that is truly worthy of a road trip to view.

La Vision de Voisin at the Mullin Automotive Museum originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Dec 2012 19:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Retrobuilt 1969 Mustang Fastback

Filed under: , , , , ,

Transforming A Late Model Mustang Into A Classic Hot Rod

Blink your eyes and take another look. While all visual cues may be telling your brain that you are staring at a near-pristine 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Fastback, it's all a carefully crafted illusion - a very clever façade.

Hidden beneath that glistening Yellow Blaze paint, below the sculpted fiberglass and steel body panels, is a 2013 Ford Mustang GT. The retro-coupe features power-operated sport buckets with lumbar support, ice-cold air conditioning, six airbags and a full factory warranty. Lest anyone forget, it also comes with a modern fuel-injected 5.0-liter V8 generating 420 horsepower.

The team at Retrobuilt, out of Lamar, Missouri, is known for recreating Carroll Shelby's iconic cars of yesteryear. Yet instead of restoring worn classics to like-new condition, a process that delivers an immaculate muscle car yet retains all of its undesirable traits, they fabricate classics on current-generation Ford S197-platforms. In their own words, they "allow auto enthusiasts to benefit from the technology and manufacturing of a modern Ford Mustang while combining the classic styling of 1969 muscle cars."

Retrobuilt recently invited us to drive its 1969 Fastback mere days after its debut at the 2012 Specialty Equipment Market Association's trade show (SEMA) in Las Vegas. To make things a bit more interesting, and gauge public opinion, we chose to meet them at the entrance to Southern California's famed Mulholland Highway.

Continue reading Retrobuilt 1969 Mustang Fastback

Retrobuilt 1969 Mustang Fastback originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 Nov 2012 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

eBay Motors BUILT custom rides charity auction ends this Friday

Filed under: ,

A few months ago, eBay Motors challenged four teams to a build-off contest to be aired on its BUILT web series. The top garages were all tasked with sourcing vehicles and parts only from eBay, transforming each machine into something special and then offering up the finished product for sale through an eBay auction with all proceeds from the sales going to charity.

Without question, each team approached the project differently. At one end of the spectrum is a spectacular Porsche 911 Rally racer, built in the spirit of the famed Rothmans 911. At the other end is a Chevrolet G20 van, inspired by World War II aircraft, complete with a NOS-inhaling V8.

Considering how much work went into each, the current prices are bargain-basement low. Get your bidding in now, as the charity auction only runs through Friday, Sept. 14.

eBay Motors BUILT custom rides charity auction ends this Friday originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 12 Sep 2012 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Shelby Cobra 289 FIA [w/video]

Filed under: , , , ,

The Best Way To Remember Carroll

Shelby Cobra 289 FIA

For the ultimate rush, drive a Shelby Cobra. It is about as close as one can get to climbing on top of an American V8, wrapping gloved fingers around red-hot exhaust manifolds and then holding on for dear life as it tries to buck you off.

We just spent an hour behind the wheel of a brand-new fiberglass-body Shelby Cobra 289 FIA. The CSX7000 is a faithful recreation of the legendary race cars that circled tracks around the world from 1962 through 1965. Under the hood of this particular Jet Black sports car with a bright yellow transverse stripe is a stroked Ford Racing Boss 302. With its side pipes cackling, the 347 cubic inch eight-cylinder generates more than 400 horsepower to motive a featherweight 2,200-pound chassis. "Overpowered" is an understatement.

Continue reading Shelby Cobra 289 FIA [w/video]

Shelby Cobra 289 FIA [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Aug 2012 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments