The ultimate joy ride for luxury vehicle enthusiasts

A Ferrari was purchased for a hefty sum of money this past weekend, but it was not just any Ferrari. It was a Limited-Edition Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta. It was sold at an RM Sotheby’s auction that was held in Ferrari’s hometown of Maranello as part of the luxury automaker’s 70th anniversary. The car was originally priced at just over 1.8 million euros, or $2.2 million, but it was expected to sell for upwards of 4 million euros, or about $4.9 million. After 12 powerful bidders battled it out, the final sale closed at 8.3 million euros, or about $10 million, which makes it the most expensive new factory car ever purchased.

The automobile is referred to as a hypercar and can go from 0 to 124 mph in less than seven seconds. The open-top Aperta features a V12 engine twinned with an electric motor to give it an incredible 950 horsepower.

Limited Edition Custom Paint

A big reason that the LaFerrari Aperta skyrocketed to $10 million is the rarity of not just the vehicle itself but the custom paint job that cloaked the powerful machine. The deep red model that was purchased at auction was one of just 210 produced with a metallic Rosso Fuoco paint job, which means that it was finished with a special-order triple layer paint to give it a very definitive appearance. The paint job also included a double metallic Bianco Italia racing stripe on its hood and tail to add to the hypercar’s rarity.

Proceeds Donated To Charity

The best part about the historic auction was that all proceeds from this particular sale were donated to the Save the Children fund. Last year, a hardtop LaFerrari was sold for $7 million, and Ferrari donated the entire sum to the victims of the devastating Italian earthquakes. This year, they upped the anti by donating the entire $10 million to charity. The auction house even waived the fee on the sale; however, the winning bidder will have to pay tax on the purchase.

There has been a lot of speculation and hype surrounding the 67th Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, and for all intents and purposes, it did not disappoint. From Infiniti’s retro racecar to celebrity appearances from Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, and more, the annual car show featured some of the most magnificent motor vehicles on Earth. There were classic models, as well as revolutionary designs. For the avid automotive fan, there was no better place to be than Pebble Beach. The exceptional car that was named Best of Show was a 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer, owned by Bruce McCaw.

Best of Show

Bruce McCaw, of Bellevue, Washington, was actually not sure about restoring his ’29 Benz until about a week prior to the show. He expressed his hatred for unnecessary restoration to classic vehicles but also mentioned that after retrieving enough pictures of the car’s original look, it was time to polish up the old roadster. All the restorations were made in just under a week’s time at Steve Babinsky’s shop in Lebanon, New Jersey. Babinsky finished just in time to ship the vehicle across the country to the much-anticipated contest.

Former racecar driver and founder of the British Racing Driver’s Club, Lord Howe was the original owner of the car. In fact, it was built in his vision by Barker of London. McCaw still gives Howe all the credit for the award-winning vehicle, which prevailed against a pool of 204 entries from 15 different countries and 31 different states. It was not only named Best of Show, but the beautiful boattail Benz was also named Most Elegant Open Car.

Runners Up

Bruce wasn’t the only McCaw brother gaining recognition in Pebble Beach. John McCaw, along with his wife Gwen, actually finished runner up to Bruce for Best of Show with their 1957 Ferrari 315 S Scaglietti Spyder. Rounding out the top-three finalists was a 1932 Packard 906 Twin Six Dietrich Convertible Victoria, owned by William E. Connor, of Reno, Nevada.

Rolls Royce is the undisputed king of luxury, and on July 27, it will add to its grand assortment of upscale vehicles by unveiling the newest addition to the Phantom collection. On July 19, Rolls Royce released a teaser image of the Phantom VIII that sent car enthusiasts into a frenzy. Early speculations about the luxury vehicle include thinner and brighter headlights, a chrome-finished grille, and the introduction of a digital touch screen.

Phantom Unveiled 

After 13 years of production, the last ever Phantom VII rolled off the production line in January, increasing the anticipation for the Phantom VIII model that will be unveiled at “The Great Eight Phantoms” exhibit in London later this month. The public will be able to attend the event that will take place at Bonham’s Auction House in Mayfair, London. In addition to the release of the eighth Phantom, the event will showcase the best examples of each previous edition of the flagship sedan from the Phantom I released in 1925 to the final modern Phantom VII from 2016.

The final three historic Phantoms that will be on display in London were also announced earlier this week. The first is Queen Elizabeth II’s Phantom VI State Limousine. The classic work of art was gifted to her Majesty in 1977 by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The second historic Rolls is being loaned to the event by Ago Khan III. The Ago Khan Phantom IV combines aspects from the late Imam’s lavish lifestyle and Khan’s love for horse racing. The final hand-picked classic is the 2003 “First Goodwood Phantom VII” that is famous for driving across Australia.

Any additional style upgrades to the new Phantom VIII has been kept confidential until the July 27th event, but given the history of Rolls Royce and the lengths the company is going to for this unveiling party, it is probably safe to assume that we will all be blown away.

Monterey Car Week kicks off in a couple days, and everyone attending the event is excited to see the futuristic designs and concepts of the world’s top car manufacturers. The thousands of car enthusiasts that choose to attend the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, part of the week-long celebration, will be in for a surprise when Infiniti takes the stage to unveil its new design. The luxury subsidiary of Nissan has revealed limited details, but one thing is for sure, it strayed away from the traditional path of conceptualizing a futuristic vehicle. Instead, Infiniti has designed and manufactured a retro racecar that resembles a 1950’s Formula One car.

Concept

Infiniti’s vision is to create an old school design with new school technology and performance. Nissan revealed that the idea is to take a journey back to the roots of the company. While Infiniti was only established in 1989, its parent company has been around since 1914. The overall plan for the design of the vehicle, which will be elaborated on later, is the combination of a throwback body with modern flair. Infiniti Senior Vice President of Global Design Alfonso Albaisa explained that the origin of the idea came from a simple thought about finding a classic Japanese Grand Prix vehicle hidden in a barn for 70 years and fusing it with the current power and artistry of the Infiniti brand.  

Design

The actual design of the racecar prototype will include an open roof, an all-electric powertrain, and elements of Infiniti’s unique design language. Many of the details have been speculated, but very few official details have been released to the public. One common conclusion is that this interesting combination of modern and classic should land the throwback vehicle on the list of most interesting cars at Monterey Car Week 2017. Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for Sunday, August 20.



Sato Held Off Catroneves To Win Indy 500 Sunday

Alexander Rossi failed to make history Sunday at the Indy 500, but Takuma Sato did. The Andretti Autosport driver became the first Asian to win the famous American race as he barely held off the field. It was a dream come true for the 40-year-old, and a finish that was unpredictable.

Sato, who had only one IndyCar race win before Sunday’s victory, barely edged out stiff competition from the sport’s top drivers. Perennial winner Helio Castroneves finished second followed by Ed Jones, Max Chilton, and Tony Kanaan. It was the second time in the past four years that Castroneves placed as the runner-up. The three-time Indy 500 champion finished just a hair behind the No. 26 driver; setting the stage for a memorable celebration from Sato.

Starting fourth, Sato expertly navigated his way through some wreckage on his way to victory. There were many tense moments for Sato though, as it appeared that Castroneves was likely to take the lead. The former Formula One driver held off many charges from the veteran en route to claiming the historic win. Alexander Rossi on the other hand, could not manage to break into that top pairing.

The 25-year-old Rossi eventually crossed the finish line seventh on Sunday. It was disappointing for Rossi and the majority of the crowd as they eagerly anticipated a back-to-back win by the American. Rossi attempted to become the first repeat Indy 500 champion since 2002. But, it was not meant to be as Sunday belonged to Sato.

The native of Japan delivered the second straight win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Andretti Autosport. The first-year team member was overshadowed coming into the race as experts focused in on Castroneves and Rossi as favorites. Sato proved Sunday that he belongs in the discussion of top drivers moving forward. With the impressive win over the weekend, Sato will no longer be overlooked in the IndyCar series.