Archive for the ‘Legends, Myths and other fables…’ Category

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The Founder of TVR Passes Away. RIP Trevor Wilkinson.

August 6, 2008

AS REPORTED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES:

A legend in his own right.

Trevor Wilkinson, the founder of TVR, the small British carmaker known for nimble little sports cars that early owners often assembled from a kit, died on June 6 in Minorca, Spain. He was 85.

His death was confirmed by Marshall Moore, the president of the TVR Car Club of North America.

The soft-spoken Mr. Wilkinson built his first car in 1947 as a race special and incorporated TVR Engineering (later simply TVR) the next year. The company name was a shortened version of his first name. In later years, the company was known for producing extroverted cars with outlandish names like Sagaris (a Persian-era battle-axe) and Cerbera (a derivative of Cerberus, the three-headed hound of hell).

Nothing resembling regular production began until the late 1950s, by which time Mr. Wilkinson had come up with the formula that served TVR well for the next several decades: a light tube chassis draped with oddly styled fiberglass bodywork. Mechanical components were a mishmash of parts from larger British manufacturers.

It all worked surprisingly well; early TVRs, while generally cramped and uncomfortable to drive on the street, proved to be capable weekend club racers. Because of a loophole in the British tax laws, TVRs of this era were available fully assembled or as a kit.

After the loophole was closed in 1970, most TVRs came fully assembled.

Mr. Wilkinson left the company in 1962, and TVR was sold to Martin Lilly in 1965.

Under Mr. Lilly’s stewardship, the company began to make an impression among American sports car enthusiasts.

From the start of regular production in the mid-1950s until 2006, TVR produced fewer than 30,000 cars, Mr. Moore estimated.

Mr. Wilkinson stayed in touch with TVR’s small fan base in the United States. He often attended club events, including the annual gathering of the TVR Car Club of North America. Mr. Moore said Mr. Wilkinson had been bemused by the size of the gatherings and the popularity of the cars in America and had admired the cars built by TVR’s subsequent owners.

The future of TVR is uncertain, with its factory in Blackpool closed since late 2006; there have been several failed attempts by the current owner, Nikolai Smolenski, to restart production or to sell the company .

Mr. Wilkinson was not married and had been living in retirement in Spain at his death.

http://www.tvr.co.uk/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TVR

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America in recession? I dont think so says Classic Car market…

August 6, 2008

Many are of the opinion that buying classic cars in the US would be the best thing for people outside its four walls at this point in time.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

At a time when many say that the USA is going into recession, the classic car market has not been recorded at a stronger point in the last 12 months, especially with the most recent auction results.

Sure, there may be certain distress sales, but when your talking about pure classics and muscle, you better bring a good bank account with you to the table, as the bidding is going through the roof. Alternatively, if you have been sitting and converting your hard earned cash into Euros – you bet well and can buy more.

SCM and its analysts have a great few things to say about what is and what isn’t hitting the mark in terms of estimates for certain Hemi packed cars or Cobra stinging AC’s  going up on the auction block. Have a look at what they have to say here in an article entitled “Recession Proof Muscle Cars”

http://www.sportscarmarket.com/articles/archives/1429

If you need more convincing, how about a $ 1 Million Ford while youy here? Think I’m joking? Think again. Have a look here:

http://money.cnn.com/video/#/video/fortune/2008/03/13/fortune.callaway.ford.fortune

But to top it all off, a ginger haired ex- Radio DJ from UK has gone and done what no man has done before. That is to buy a 1961 Ferrari California Spyder for over $ 11 Million (previously owned by a certain J Coburn). The Internet still burns with stories covering the event itself. No doubt, the man loves his cars, but paid perhaps a tad too much we think.

http://www.autoblog.com/2008/05/19/1961-ferrari-california-spyder-sells-for-record-10-894-900/

http://uk.reuters.com/article/motoringNews/idUKNOA03787520080520

http://www.luxurylaunches.com/auctions/ferrari_fetches_11_million_at_an_auction.php

There have been numerous records set and many broken this year, in fact so many, I didn’t want to list them just yet.

 We do still have 5 months left in 2008 and I will post the most exciting ones for last.

Till then,

Enjoy.

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Fake Ferrari manufacturers caught red handed….

August 6, 2008

Italian Tax Police Bust Up Fake-Ferrari Ring

 

 

Auto-Body Shops Built Counterfeits Using Pontiac Fieros
By ROSAMARIA MANCINI
February 28, 2008

(See Corrections and Amplifications item below.)

 

It was the ultimate face-lift: a sporty red Ferrari F355 on the outside, a used Pontiac Fiero on the inside.

That was enough, apparently, to entice wannabe Ferrari owners to plunk down €20,000, or about $30,000, for the chance to own an approximation of the real thing.

Yesterday, Italian tax police, the Guardia di Finanza, busted up a ring of auto-body shops across the country that were trafficking in one of the most high-end and high-priced counterfeit cars of all time.

[go to slideshow]
See photos of some fake Ferraris.

The ring operated in a dozen cities from near the Alps in the north to Sicily in the south. Tax police rounded up seven completed fake Ferraris, as well as another seven that were still being decked out. Some of the counterfeit cars had already been sold. They also seized numerous spare parts, some of which were genuine Ferrari. Eight people were placed under investigation, but no arrests were made.

The head of the Palermo unit of the tax police, Guido Mario Geremia, who spearheaded the investigation, said it involved “a sophisticated operation that was running throughout Italy.”

The global counterfeit industry has been one of the world’s most inventive, churning out knockoff copies not just of Channel handbags and Gucci sunglasses, but also of products ranging from high-end wines to pharmaceuticals, telecommunications equipment and videogames.

Even by those standards, copying a Ferrari seems particularly brazen. The company makes about 6,000 cars a year, and waiting lists for new models can run years. Most cost more than $200,000, but prices can soar far beyond that depending on the level of customization. The company boasts that its engineering — much of which it also uses on its championship Formula One racing team — is second to none.

So who would dare buy a fake? “There are people who buy fake Louis Vuitton and Gucci bags, so it’s not so strange that someone would buy a fake Ferrari,” said Mr. Geremia.

Mr. Geremia said he began working on the case six months ago based on a tip. He was able to trace the different cars and fake parts to cities throughout Italy, where specialized auto-body shops would strip down the body of the old Fiero, including its bumpers, hood and rear, and then mount parts to build the fake Ferrari.

Once assembled, the fake Ferraris looked pretty close to the real things. At least when standing still. The Pontiac Fiero, whose production cycle spanned the second half of the 1980s, was considered a peppy, if not so dependable, two-seater. Still, its V4 engine is no match for the V8 under the hood of the F355, which boasts a top speed of 183 miles per hour.

In a few cases, Mercedes and Porsches were used as the underlying cars instead of Pontiacs.

Ferrari SpA, a unit of Fiat SpA, had no comment on the investigation. Spokeswoman Mariella Mengozzi said the company works side by side with authorities in Italy and abroad on these types of investigations.

Last year, fake Ferraris were nabbed by the tax police in Sardinia and Rome. In 2006, the European Commissioner for Justice, Franco Frattini, protested publicly that fake Ferraris were popping up in China.

The ring uncovered yesterday included salesmen who promoted what they said were “replica” Ferraris over several Internet sites. They also operated showrooms where the cars were displayed. Others provided parts, from headlights to steering wheels.

The latest figures from the World Customs Organization show that all types of counterfeits result in about $500 billion to $600 billion in lost sales annually, which is about 5% of global trade.

Harley Lewin, a partner with New York law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP, who specializes in counterfeit issues and isn’t involved in the Ferrari case, said that even a few fake Ferraris on the road could harm the company’s image. “It starts to taint the brand,” he said. “It becomes a big deal; all of the sudden legitimate products start to lose their color, their appeal. The fake cheapen and diminish the real thing.”

Write to Rosamaria Mancini at Rosamaria.Mancini@dowjones.com

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ANOTHER BARN FIND !

August 6, 2008

This time SCM finds another – but genuine and collosal car stash in Australia.

You have to see it to believe it.

http://www.sportscarmarket.com/garage/slideshow.php

Enjoy.

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American Supercar. Mojo Rising…..

August 6, 2008

According to Hemmings News:

American supercar
The S5S Raptor concept came out of a partnership between American Specialty Cars and Saleen.

Having recently undergone major changes in administration and location, specialty manufacturer Saleen Inc. reinforced their high-end American performance status at the 2008 New York International Auto Show’s introduction of the S5S Raptor. American Specialty Cars (ASC) partnered with Saleen on the design and construction of this striking concept, which sports an aluminum chassis and composite bodywork.

 

The S5S Raptor is motivated by a mid-mounted, E85 ethanol-fueled, supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 engine that makes 650hp and 630-lbs.ft. of torque; this power is fed through a six-speed manual gearbox to the rear wheels, allowing a 0-60 mph run of 3.2 seconds and a top speed north of 200 mph. Saleen hinted that production may begin in 2010, and the car could come to market with a sticker price of $185,000, making it a bargain in comparison to the even more potent 750hp, $555,000-plus S7 Twin Turbo.

 

Information is forthcoming at www.saleen.com.

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The Ultimate barn find in Portugal….

October 25, 2007

You may have heard this one before, but I could not help but post this on the Legends and Myths section of my blog.

It came to me a while ago from a friend in India – Mr. Girish Nydu – who continues to send me much material that you will see featured in my blog from time to time.

The story goes a little something like this:

Man goes to Portugal to retire.

Man buys large farmland property from a family looking to get rid of it.

Man moves to his retirement location.

Man finds 2 very, very large barns on the property – which he had not noticed before. The doors on the barn are rusted solid.

Once the doors and locks are broken and the door forced open, he finds the following greets him:

The barn that is home to 180 classic and exotic cars….

Since there are so many pictures to see (and believe) I suggest going to the source website which is “http://www.intuh.net/barnfinds/index.htm

There what you will find is the SCM (Sports Car Market) doing an amazing investigation into the story to solve the urban legend.

This is what really happened – or as they put it – The Story Behing The Story as told by Tom Cotter

http://www.sportscarmarket.com/articles/archives/1110”

Gaurav Dhar

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Legends, Myths & other fables…

October 25, 2007