I spotted this larger than life Ferrari F40 in Monterey, after all the Pebble Beach fanfare had come to a close. Meant to serve as a tribute for the brand’s 40th anniversary, F40 was actually the last car commissioned by Enzo before his death in 1988. The slippery, Pininfarina-designed body, whose advanced aerodynamics helped it to become the first road legal production car to break the 200 MPH barrier, is every bit as captivating as it was back in 1987 when F40 debuted as the brand’s unabashed halo car. Yes, after more than 23 years, F40 still manages to look more exotic and progressive than many of today’s exotic sports cars. The owner of this beautiful example was a little squeamish when I approached, camera in hand. He wasn’t too interested in talking shop with me, which in my experience makes him a rare exception to the rule when it comes to owners of exotic, highly collectible cars like this. But I managed to fire off a few shots before the twin-turbo engine roared to life and peeled off, leaving only the sounds of a hand-built Italian V8 in its wake.
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The Mustang GT has always been a real kick in the pants. Powerful, classically understated, well priced and packed full of amazing exhaust notes. It has and always will represent a true performer for the masses. But much like Harley’s old tech Evo motors, Mustang GT’s 4.6 L SOHC V8 is more than a little long in the tooth and, alongside newer entrants like Chevy Camaro SS and Dodge Challenger SRT-8, was beginning to lack big time in the horsepower department. Even the V6 powered engine that debuted in the new-for-2009 Camaro nearly matched the 2010 Mustang GT’s 315 ponies. That is until Ford dusted off the celebrated 5.0 engine nameplate for another go around in the 2011 model year.
I put a couple of hundred miles on a Kona Blue tester last weekend, and take it from me folks, it doesn’t get a whole lot more muscular than this. In route to Shelter Island, my girlfriend, taken aback by the heavenly symphony of exhaust reverberations, asked me if it was supposed to be that loud. I think you can guess what I told her. With a whopping 412 horsepower and 390 lb·ft of torque, the high-tech mill makes good on any power deficits that may have previously existed. More importantly, the GT now bites as loudly as it barks and hangs tight with cross town muscle from Chevy and Dodge. I found it pretty easy to chirp the rear tires in the first 3 gears (by the way, there are 6 of them now) as I worked my way up to the revised 7,000 RPM redline. As one eloquent reviewer from Car & Driver described the new engine, “…It’s utterly fabulous, a 7000-rpm cavalry charge that generates incredibly smooth, linear thrust across its broad rev band. Were you to paint the cam lids red and stick on a chrome trident, most Maserati owners would never know the difference. Yes, it’s that good.”
From a visual standpoint, this GT is a real sleeper and sports handsome, understated styling reminiscent of the fastbacks of yesteryear. A chrome 5.0 badge adorns the front fenders to let everyone know that you mean business. For the track rats among us, there is an optional Brembo brake package, borrowed from the almighty GT500, that includes 14-inch vented front discs and unique 19-inch alloy wheels and summer performance tires. I didn’t have too much opportunity to put all that stopping power to proper use, but let’s just say the brakes are more than capable of slowing down all that muscle in a hurry if the need arises.
The 2011 Mustang GT hit dealerships earlier this month and starts just under $30k with the close ratio manual tranny – that works out to about $73 dollars per pony. For comparisons sake, consider that the 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo will run you about $266/pony. Not too shabby.
Enjoy the weekend
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Spotted this John Cooper Works Mini that is mightier than the rest on Spring Street in Soho. Unlike someone we know, this owner was able to control him or herself from covering the entire body in carbon fiber accents and ridiculously oversized rear wings. The result is a boy racer with a tasteful level of modifications that really emphasizes this hot hatchback’s ability to get up and go. All of the modern day Minis are pretty great thanks to their agile handling, great fuel economy, relative light weight, free scheduled manintenance and famous BMW fit & finish, but I particularly adore these supercharged gen 1 models. They somehow appear cleaner and less bulbous than the twin scroll turbo gen 2 models currently in dealers
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Everything is so damn charming in the country. And it’s not just because of the roadside vegetable stands and limitless supply of fresh air. From nurseries to auto mechanics, you can’t help but appreciate the local merchants who adorn their front yards with antique automotive treasures like the ones pictured here. The practice is so common that one has to wonder if the 4-wheeled lawn ornaments are a part of a town ordinance geared towards attracting New York City curmudgeons like me.
My head nearly snapped clean off my neck upon spotting this late 1930s Jaguar SS 100 slowly turning to lawn mulch in the front yard of this quaint Riverhead auto mechanic. The SS 100 was, after all, the brand’s first sports car and only about 300 were known to have been built. Examples in good condition have fetched well in excess of $250,000 at high end auctions from the likes of Bonhams and Gooding.
My excitement quickly turned to disappointment once I got a closer look however. The hubcaps and aftermarket Alpine head unit, among other things, made me think this is yet another kit car designed to imitate an original. A simple google search confirmed my suspicions as I quickly found many attempts to clone to the legendary Jaguar roadster produced during the Swallow Sidecar & Coachbuilding Company era of the company.
Lots more vintage car porn from the country after the jump.
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I recently had the opportunity to go exploring in the streets of Sun Valley during a recent trip. Walking around, sun blazing, I began to recognize a common theme of expansive properties, dirt yards, roosters, mammals, at least three vehicles per household, at least two of them sitting immobile with the hoods up, horse trailers, boats and Sea Doos, all with months of dirt on them, baking in the sun.
I happen upon a yard full of kiddie pools with gangs of ducks wading in them and feel the need to remind myself that I’m only 15 minutes from Downtown LA. Across the street, behind a locked gate, is this great looking Mini of the vintage variety. As I’m admiring it, and enjoying the fact that it’s on Dayton wire wheels, the owner pulls up riding a mini 80cc dirtbike with extra loud exhaust mods. Late twenties/early thirties, shirtless, silver chain around his neck, heavily tatted, arriving home from the liquor store with a large grocery bag in hand (meaning he rode to the store on public roads with no helmet, and shopped in the store with no shirt on). He’s polite and thanked me for complimenting the car and then proceeded to open up the gate to expose two trailers on the property (Airstream and regular RV). There is no house to be found.
Maybe he lives in the Airstream and cooks meth in the RV? Or maybe he’s just a nice guy with no hangups about living in a trailer in a dirt lot as long as he can have his dream car. Weigh in below with your thoughts.
All that talk about a ‘56 Bel Air and what do i spot next…a ’57 Bel Air. What are the odds?
Have a great weekend!
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With CTS Coupe, which hit dealers earlier this month, Cadillac has once again put ze Germans on notice. Jim Vurpillat, VP of Marketing at Cadillac, tells me that the chiseled 2-door represents the most dramatic expression of the brand’s Art & Science design language to date. I can’t really disagree with him based on the extreme proportions and razor sharp surface transitions scattered throughout this modern day shooting brake. Talk about form meeting function, the edgy rear brake light doubles as a spoiler and actually adds downforce at speed. Love it or hate it, this thing turns a lot of heads. I got all varieties of oohs and ahs driving my sleek black tester in and around Manhattan.
The new coupe rounds out the CTS line-up, adding an unabashed sense of sport and grand touring to sedan and wagon variants already in showrooms. Most importantly, the CTS family cadence now more closely mirrors that of Audi, BMW and Mercedes with their A4/A5, 3-Series and C-Class body style offerings. All that’s missing now is a drop top. Note to Cadillac…get on that.
In typical Cadillac fashion, the absurdly powerful and track-happy CTS-V Coupe is not far behind the V6-powered base model and should be trickling into dealerships right about the time you read this. Like the CTS-V Sedan, the coupe is an absolute beast with 556 horsepower and 551 lb-ft. of torque coming from the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 found under hood. Other goodies like GM’s road-scanning Magnetic Ride Control, Performance Traction Management and racing-bred Brembo brakes keep this American hot rod well between the apexes. And I’m not just saying that…GM was good enough to have us out to Monticello Motorclub to sample CTS-V Coupe on the track. Aside from the staggering power (0-60 in 3.9 seconds) keeping you firmly planted to the available Recaro racing seats, you have never seen or felt 4,200 pounds rip around corners quite like this.
Lots of pictures and video after the jump. Also check out our CTS-V Coupe featured gallery.
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Modern smart phones are entirely too good. My Droid, for instance, has a 16 GB hard drive that is so big that I often forget about pictures I have taken around the city. I cleaned house a little bit recently and figured I would share. These vehicles were seen in and around Brooklyn and Manhattan.
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Strolling along in Greenwich Village, I stumbled onto this ’72 BMW 2002 sandwiched between two modern day compacts – a Ford Focus and Honda Fit. The three cars appear to have somewhat similar functional design elements – a tall greenhouse for good headroom, compact wheelbase for superior urban maneuverability, lightweight and fuel efficient, modest operation costs, etc. But something tells me that people won’t be cherishing and collecting Focuses and Fits 40 years from now.
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