New Zealand Porsche enthusiast James Manning’s car destiny was sealed when he was a kid. “My late father was a car collector, having owned a variety of rare and collectible cars,” he tells us. “I grew up learning to drive in a Ford XY GTHO Phase III Falcon, which is one of the most expensive and collectible Australian cars.”
When it comes to classic race liveries, one of our all time favorites is the orange Jagermeister colors that have been brightening up race circuits for decades. The alcoholic beverage maker has been associated with European racecars since the 1970s, when it began sponsoring a wide range of predominantly BMW and Porsche competition machines. Over the years, the livery has been splashed on everything from Formula 1 cars to Group C and DTM entries.
German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is credited with the phrase “God is in the details.” Of course van der Rohe wasn’t referring to the craft of building custom cars, but rather referring to just how crucial the small details are to something as large scale as a building. It’s the details that truly set a truly special project apart from just an average one, and it's a philosophy that can be applied to a lot of different undertakings.
The 1953 Porsche 356 pictured here may have been completed about ten years ago years ago after a lengthy six year build period but it still stands as one of the finest Outlaw-style 356’s ever created. Envisioned and built by Colorado’s Fred Veitch, the Porsche is in a class of its own, both in regards to the quality of the work and the mind boggling attention to detail. Vietch recently unveiled his latest Outlaw during the 2016 Monterey Car Week, so we thought it was a great time to take another look at his maiden attempt at building a singular 356.
Taking a Porsche 911 and modifying it to look and perform like a period racecar is nothing new. Hundreds of these models have had this done to them over the years, with varying degrees of success of course. Some are not very well done, some are average and others, like the 911 ST homage pictured here, are virtually undetectable from the real deal.
Just about every car enthusiast who has built a project car is familiar with the problem of “mission creep,” when a project goes from a few basic goals to something far more extreme in its scope. The Porsche 930 Turbo pictured here is the perfect example of a build that began with a modest goal- in this case the change to EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) and ended up with one ludicrously fast machine thanks to an 800-bhp engine.
When it comes to production cars, there are few that are more rare and desirable than homologation specials, road-going cars built by manufacturers in small, limited runs in order to satisfy requirement to race in certain classes. Some of the more well know and lusted after cars that belong in this elite category are the Lancia Stratos, the Ferrari 288 GTO, the Ford RS200, to name just a few.
n 1967 Porsche unveiled the 911R, a lightweight giant slayer that was powered by the same 2.0-liter motor that powered the 906 racecar. The bodyshell was constructed of wafer-thin steel to reduce weight, while further dieting was to be found in the fiberglass fenders, front and rear deck lids and bumpers. Side glass and the rear window were made of plexiglass and there were numerous drilled components throughout the car that shed further pounds. With around 210-hp and weighing 450-lbs less than the already light 911S, the R was an impressive performer.
What do you do with an ex-racecar that has served you well for years? It can always be parked, but that’s a rather sad existence for any car, let alone one that pounded happily around a variety of tracks, year after year. Selling it to someone else who will continue to race it is always an option, but that’s only appealing if you’re willing to part with it. Or you could do what Floridian Andres Martinez did. Andres transformed his 1994 964 RS America racecar into a street driven replica of the seminal 1973 911 Carrera RS, which also happens to be one of his favorite Porsche models.
A lot of Porsches have been parked in Paul Farrell’s garage over the years, from early 911Ts to far faster 997 Turbos and GT3s. But one of his favorite 911 variants is the SC, produced from the late ‘70s to the early ‘80s in a variety of configurations and powered by a 3.0-liter, fuel-injected version of Porsche air-cooled flat-6. The best of the bunch for serious drivers like Farrell are the coupe versions. Targas and Cabriolets may offer top down fun, but the more rigid coupes are the model of choice for those who prize driving finesse over flashiness.
It’s not everyday that someone tells you about a Porsche 356 Speedster languishing in a chicken coop. In fact, Allen “AJ” Johnson’s Porsche may be the only Speedster in existence that was ever saved from such an ignominious fate. Whatever the case, back in 1984, when AJ heard about the car from a friend, he didn’t waste any time in tracking the car down to take a look at it. Of course, this was back when old 356s were just that- old Porsches. While they were worth some money, they had not reached the silly prices that vintage Porsches, in particular 356 Speedsters, have reached in today’s crazy collector car market.
“The 914 was my dream car in college,” says Paul Hach about his enthusiasm for Porsche’s increasingly collectible and sought after mid-engine, 70’s sports car. In 1975, he was able to make the dream a reality when he bought a barely used ’73 914 2.0-liter from a Porsche dealer in Des Moines, Iowa. Painted Delphi Green Metallic, the Porsche replaced Hatch’s then daily driver VW Dasher. “It was a huge step up from a Volkswagen and was a car that was designed for the young at heart. I was thrilled with it,” he reminisces. “It had better heat than a Bug and with snow tires on it had better traction.” The 914 went with Hach when he moved to Loveland, CO in 1976. “I still used it as a daily driver, but corrosion was beginning to become a struggle,” he admits.
There are few machines that embody the “race on Sunday, sell on Monday” mantra as comfortably as the Porsche 911. Porsche's rear-engine wonder has been successfully raced from its introduction in 1964 and its on-track prowess has not diminished at all since then. But it has also become one of the most iconic road cars ever produced, in large part because of the direct connection street legal versions of it share with race bred examples.
The Viper Green Porsche featured here may have the general profile and dimensions of a 914, but it’s probably about as extreme as road-legal, classic Porsches can get. The bright green paintwork and somber black trim and wheels conspire to give it the appearance of something you might see a bad guy driving in Mad Max.
“It’s in the spirit of the early privateer competition 911s- tough and fast,” says Alex Motola of his stunningly executed 911ST homage. “It was built to be a great all-rounder, and that’s how I intend to use it.” It doesn’t take much digging to find the qualities that make it such a great all rounder, either. From the 3.4-liter flat-6 that uses Haltech fuel injection to the unusual wheel choice and even the elegant, Alcantara-clad interior, it’s plain to see the amount of passion that was poured into the build.
As the first mid-engine production Porsche, the 914 occupies a very important position in the German company's history. It paved the way for a multitude of other successful Porsches- from the Boxster to the all mighty 918 Spyder- that shared the 914's optimal chassis configuration. Ironically, though the model has spent many years considered to be something of a lesser Porsche, in large part do to the supersized shadow cast by the mighty 911.
When it comes to cars, just like a lot of other things in life, our expectations and reality aren’t always entirely copacetic. Take the original BMW 2002 Turbo. There is no denying it was a ground-breaking -even revolutionary- car for its maker. Like the legendary Porsche 930 Turbo from the same era, the 2002 Turbo helped legitimize the use of forced induction for increasing horsepower and torque. Turbocharging has practically become the rule rather than the exception for modern cars, providing more performance and superior fuel economy
The first time BMW affixed the letters “CSL” to one of its creations was in 1973. That first CSL was an homologation special based on the beautiful E9 coupe, only instead of a heavy steel body, the car’s gorgeous styling was reproduced in lightweight aluminum. Less weight meant more speed, especially when paired with a potent 206-hp M30 straight-6. The original CSL (Coupe Sport Lightweight) was fast, stunning to look at and one of the most desirable cars on the road.
“The goal was to bring it back to life, in a German rally/mafia car-like manner,” says Jim Huff of his BMW Neue Klasse sedan. “Having seen articles on the TI/SA version of the NK (Neue Klasse) cars and many vintage race photos of early NK cars, I knew it needed to evoke this kind of feeling while being a street car as well.” In fact, his classic BMW sedan hits all the right notes, from the understated aesthetics to the upgraded but still period correct driveline. It would be easy to believe that this car was built in period rather than within the last decade.
Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Alexander Calder, Jeff Koons. Those are a few of the many distinguished artists who over the past 40 years have applied their unique creative abilities to a total of 17 different BMW automobiles, resulting in the series of rolling pieces of artwork that BMW refers to simply and fittingly as “Art Cars.” To that list can now be added Earl Sheperd, at least on an unofficial basis.
When it comes to classic BMWs, the E21 3 Series loses out on the lion’s share of attention, frequently playing second fiddle to 2002s, E9 coupes, E30s and any other number of admittedly cool classic Bimmers. In the U.S., part of that no doubt has to do with the E21’s relative lack of performance thanks to the added weight of U.S. bumpers and and power robbing smog controls mandated by our government. North American enthusiasts never officially enjoyed performance versions of the first generation of the 3 Series like the 323i, which featured a sweet, revvy little 2.3-liter straight six and clean styling thanks to its small, European spec chrome bumpers.
When it comes to cars, most enthusiasts have their childhood heroes. Something about particular cars grabs our attention and ignites our imagination. Of course as youngsters we could only look longingly at pictures and articles of these automobiles, imagining in our heads what they might be like to sit in and what they would be like to drive. And sometimes they spark a lifelong pursuit of them, setting us down a course of making those dreams a reality.
For many BMW 5 Series enthusiasts, the E34-generation represents the end of an era. The E39 that came afterthe E34 was faster, more luxurious and more accommodating all around. But in some ways it was less mechanical feeling than its predecessor thanks to the additional weight and its refined nature. And then there is the matter of styling. While the E39 is undeniably a good looking car, its not as simple and tough looking as the E34, which had very traditional BMW styling cues, from the boxy shape to the round headlights and trademark kidney grill.
When John Rosenfeld decided to do something with his dad’s old 2002, he didn’t quite know what the scope of the undertaking would result in. But he’s ended up with one of the most stunning looking 2002s around, one that its builder- Marc Norris of Bavarian Workshop- calls an M2. Like factory BMW M cars, Rosenfeld’s 2002 is powered by a genuine BMW M-division engineered and built motor, in this case an S14. Any BMW nut will tell you the S14 was the motor that powered the legendary E30 M3. But it’s also just at home in a vintage BMW like a 2002.
With it’s unusual plexiglass covered headlights, long coupe profile and crisp detailing, the BMW 2000CS coupe looks more like a concept car than a production vehicle. And while this model belongs to the same family as the more commonly seen the examples of the E9 coupe (2800CS, CSi and CSL), it’s far more rare. It’s also a pretty polarizing BMW, with styling that inspires admiration or downright dislike.
Car enthusiasts can be a pretty sentimental bunch. There's usually one car -usually more than that in fact- that we would do just about anything to go back in time and make ours again. Usually, the closest we get to reliving the past is buying a similar vehicle. In Eric Bernstein’s case, it wasn't a car that was his, but a 1973 BMW 2002 that actually belonged to his father. Growing up around the car left a permanent imprint on Eric's emotional memory.
When it comes to classic mid-engine Ferraris, one of the best looking by a wide margin is the original 12-cylinder Boxer. Judging a car’s aesthetics may be a largely subjective undertaking but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t find the 365BB and later 512BB stunning looking pieces of automotive art. Pininfarina did a masterful job of combining equal elements of elegance and aggression when they penned the Boxer’s rakish design
The car hobby is as much about the people as it is about the cars, if not more so. Over the years we make countless connections thanks to our shared love of cars, some enduring and some more temporary. In a lot of ways automobiles serve as a metaphorical campfire for connecting with others who share similar interests. They're as much of a vehicle for getting us down the road as they are for forgoing strong connections with the folks around us
Open the engine lid on John Asselta’s 1978 Ferrari 308 GTS and the everything looks close to stock, at least at a glance. There’s the trademark wrinkle-painted air intake cover above what appear to be downdraught Weber carburetors. Look a little closer though and some differences become apparent. Rather than carbs, there are eight individual throttle bodies feeding air to the V8 engine. Another tip off that all is not stock in the Ferrari are the relocated plug wires and a fuel injection computer that has a cooling duct leading to it. Though it looks close to stock, this 308 has been upgraded in key mechanical area, resulting in a faster, sharper version of Ferrari’s mid-engine classic.
Ferrari is without a doubt one of the most universally loved car companies on the planet. The Italian firm's history is rich in competition heritage and it uses track dominating engineering that can be traced directly from its racecars to use on its street cars. Really, there’s very little to not like about its creations, whether it’s a vintage 12-cylinder classic or the latest turbocharged V8-powered 488 GTB. However, the company has produced cars that have not been as universally loved as others.
Anyone who attends track days knows what a slippery slope of car modifying it can lead to. A few laps around a track with a stock or nearly stock car has the owner quickly devising ways to get more speed, more handling, more braking and more performance in general from their vehicle of choice. It really doesn’t matter if it’s a Volkswagen GTI, or in the case of Dave Deisen, a Ferrari. Track days almost always leave you wanting more speed and control and faster lap times.
Ferraris have a reputation for being fragile, unreliable and expensive to maintain. And on the face of it, it's hard to argue with those sentiments. These are expensive cars to own for sure, but treated properly, they're far from fragile and unreliable. The 308 GTS pictured here is an excellent illustration of how to make a vintage Ferrari suitable for frequent or even daily use.
“The MG TC is often pointed to as the car that brought sports car culture to North America,” says Mitch Abrahams, the owner of the hot-rodded TC pictured here. “American servicemen who were stationed in Europe got to see the British sports cars overseas and bought them when they got home.”
The history of streetcar-based racecars in large part is populated by stunning looking pieces of automotive art like the 1973 911 RSR and 1963 Ferrari GTO, cars that not only dominated their respective race venues, but looked the part while running away with all the trophies. But not all successful racers like to shout their intentions. Some legendary cars don’t look legendary at all.
There was a time when very few classic Japanese cars were considered collectable to serious car guys. Sure, there were exceptions to the rule. The Toyota 2000 GT, Mazda Cosmos and other exotic Japanese sports car have always been highly desirable. Times have changed though, particularly in the last decade. Vintage cars from the land of the Rising Sun have finally come into their own, with everything from ‘70s Toyota Celicas and obscure Nissans and Mazdas getting the attention they deserve.
Visit the sea-side town of Laguna Beach, California on just about any day of the week and you’re bound to see all types of exotica roaming the streets. Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches. You name it, they’re here. In such a rarified automotive atmosphere it takes something pretty unusual to turn heads and keep them turned.
There are a few classic cars so rare that one of the only ways to experience one is with a recreation. Among those is the car pictured here, the MGC GT, more specifically the Sebring version. According to the historians, out of five (some say six) MGC chassis that were originally destined to be turned into full blown racecars by the BMC Competition Department in 1967, only two fully functioning cars were actually officially produced and raced. MBL 546E and RMO 699F went on to race promisingly at storied venues such as the Targa Florio, the Nurburgring and of course the eponymous 1968 Sebring, where a GTS won its class.