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It's been 25 years since Mercedes-Benz took the wraps off its R129-series SL roadster at the 1989 Geneva Motor Show. While it may look dated now, it was a revolutionary product in its day - a day that lasted a good eleven years.
Compared to the R107 series it replaced, the R129 was a technological tour de force. Though the shape may appear boxy to modern eyes, it won awards upon its debut and was exceptionally aerodynamic for its time and bodystyle. Underneath the sheetmetal, with its squared-off lines and flared wheel arches, the favorite luxury roadster of the 1990s packed such advancements as electronic stability control, advanced seats that were integral to the design and warranted 20 patents, a fully automatic roof mechanism and a pop-up roll-over bar that deployed in less than a third of a second.
The R129 was also the first SL to offer a V12 engine and the first to be offered in an AMG version - both features we can't imagine a modern SL roadster to do without. But it all started with the R129, a series that saw nearly 240,000 units produced. See the image gallery above and the press release below for a wind-in-your hair drive down memory lane.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Alright, fine. So you may actually have to be a millionaire to reasonably afford some of the metal on this list, but there's some attainable hardware here, too. For example, did you know the average transaction price for a 240Z has shot from $4,000 to $19,000 in nine years? Check out our list of seven cars that may make you a millionaire. Buy smart, live well, and retire early.
Recovery and reconstruction efforts at the National Corvette Museum are moving forward on schedule since a sinkhole erupted in the middle of the museum's Skydome about two weeks ago. As of a few days ago, a crane was in place on a reinforced portion of floor to begin lifting the rare copies of America's favorite sports car from the Earth.
As expected, it has taken a few weeks to stabilize the building and ensure its safety before the crane could be brought in. The recovery team had hoped to have the cars removed by March 5, but it appears that it will take somewhat longer than that. Still, with the lifter now on scene, the Corvettes can finally start to be removed. Once extricated, the eight 'Vettes will briefly be on display at the museum completely unrestored and then will be taken to the General Motors Mechanical Assembly facility to be repaired.
According to Dennis Smith, one of the engineers working on the project, movement in the complex is being continually monitored, but so far there have been no problems. Scroll down to check out the videos of the crane being moved into place and a time-lapse video of the work done last week.
UPDATE: The museum has begun extraciting the sinkhole cars, and lucky for us, they've let their cameras keep rolling. Scroll below for a multitude of additional videos, including the exhumation and subsequent cranking over of a ZR1.Permalink | Email this | Comments
It might be sacrilegious to admit among some auto enthusiasts, but there's more to driving than performance and speed. Sometimes it can be a matter of love, as it is for Yasushi Shiroi, who has spent the last 21 years building a faithful replica of a car from a '60s Japanese sci-fi show.
Shiroi's car is the star of the latest video from The Aficionauto and it's truly a labor of love. This machine, which is sort of like a Japanese Batmobile, is based on a 1958 Chrysler Imperial and is designed to recreate a car called the Pointer 1 from the series Ultra 7. The latter was apparently hugely popular when it ran in Japan in 1967 and 1968, and told the story a seven-member team that fought off aliens attacking Earth. While the car in the series never actually ran, Shiroi wanted one that would.
The Pointer 1 has been in constant development since Shiroi has owned it. All of the body modifications have been done in steel, but mechanically, it remains something of a mess. This replica might be slow - and to many people, ugly - but it has brought its owner about as much happiness as a car can, and that's something worth celebrating. Scroll down to check it out.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Porsche is often mocked for only slightly evolving the look of the 911 over its 50 years of history, but compared to the cars from the Morgan Motor Company, the Germans look like constant innovators. For the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, Morgan plans to bring the most powerful version of its Plus 4 ever, along with the upgraded 2014 Three Wheeler.
A countdown on Morgan's website presages the full reveal, but it is expected to retain a four-cylinder engine, which has always been a part of the car. A Morgan spokesperson told Autocar it will be "by far the most powerful Plus 4 ever." Currently the old-school sports car uses a 2.0-liter Ford four-cylinder with 145 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque connected to a Mazda five-speed manual, which gets it to 62 miles per hour in about 7.5 seconds, with a top speed of 118 mph.
The Plus 4 first entered production in 1950 as a more powerful alternative to the 4/4. Production of the original Plus 4 models ended in the '60s, but Morgan saw a niche in the market in 1985 and brought the car back with an upgraded chassis but classic looks until 2000. It brought the name back again in 2005.
The Three Wheeler gets its European premiere in Switzerland, too, with a raft of upgrades to improve steering and driving comfort. It's a great time to be interested in Morgan.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The Jaguar E-Type is one of the icons of automotive design, and British company Eagle has made a business out of restoring, upgrading and building their bespoke versions for the last 30 years. It does for the E-Type what Singer does for the Porsche 911 - takes an already great classic car and updates its mechanicals for the modern age.
The firm's latest creation, the Low Drag GT, might be its greatest ever, at least according to editor Henry Catchpole in Evo magazine's latest video. The car takes its inspiration from a trio of low-drag E-Type coupes built in the 1960s, but thoroughly modernizes the concept. The engine is based on Jag's inline-six, but made from aluminum and bored out to 4.7 liters to produce 346 horsepower and 360 pound-feet of torque. Catchpole says it's enough to propel it to 60 miles per hour in about 4.5 seconds. The body, transmission and differential are all also made from aluminum to cut the weight to 2,288 pounds, and modern upgrades include Ohlins dampers, AP Racing brakes and even extras like concealed GPS navigation and an Alcantara headliner. There's more head- and legroom than the originals, too.
Each car is built bespoke for each buyer, so prices vary, but Catchpole says the one he is in would run about half the cost of a LaFerrari - around $700,000.
Scroll down to watch the Low Drag GT be put through its paces and below is Eagle's press release about its latest creation.Permalink | Email this | Comments