With blue skies back and asphalt beckoning, thoughts naturally turn to the road and what’s around that next bend. If your lucky, that next bend is a stretch of America’s most iconic road, Route 66. I needn’t go into the historic record and cultural significance of “The Mother Road,” we all pretty much know the tale. What you may not know about are the efforts to preserve this important piece of the American pie. We came across this interesting item during our daily stroll through the web. It happens to be timely given our recent refresh of the “Route 66: Dream of the Mother Road” exhibit. It began with vintage station wagons in 2015. Hot rods entered the spotlight in 2016. This year, convertibles take center stage. Be sure to check it out on your next visit to America’s Car Museum.
Call it the unofficial vehicle of Halloween. The hearse, or “funeral coach” as those in the industry like to refer to it, is not the kind of car most enthusiasts are anxious to add to their collection. Looking back through history, however, we found a few examples that may change your mind.
The collector car market is volatile, and putting the classic you’ve always dreamed of in your garage can become unrealistic in the blink of an eye. The Pininfarina-designed MG B GT, the iconic BMW 2002 and the timeless Citroen 2CV have all shot up in value in the past few years.
We’ve compiled a list of ten relatively affordable classics that we predict will go up in value over the next few years. We’ve limited ourselves to cars can currently be purchased for less than $10,000 in running and driving condition and that were sold new in the United States, meaning gray market imports from the Old Continent like the Audi RS 2 and the Lotus Carlton are off limits.
In our continuing series taking a look at General Motors “Dream Cars” of the 1950s, we spotlight GM’s one-of-a-kind “rolling laboratory,” the first gas-turbine-powered “rocket car” and a Buick with features decades ahead of its time.
1951 GM Le Sabre
Facts And Legends: It’s as if GM told their head of design, Harley Earl, to take every futuristic auto- motive idea he ever had and put it into one vehicle. Taking its name and styling influences from the Air Force’s F-86 Sabre fighter jets, the original Le Sabre””a nameplate eventually adopted by Buick in 1959″”was billed as a “rolling laboratory” for GM construction ideas and technological innova- tion. Some figures estimated a cost of anywhere from $500,000 to a million dollars to produce what many considered the most influential GM concept car of the 20th century.
The La Sabre was a test bed for radical new types of materials, most of which turned out to be too expensive to ever use in production cars. The La Sabre’s body was made of cast magnesium panels and hand-formed aluminum. After Motorama, Earl used the dream car as his everyday vehicle, put- ting 45,000 miles on the odometer to prove its roadworthiness.
To say that Denise McCluggage opened doors for women in racing, or even women in sports journalism, is a bit of an understatement. In many ways, she kicked down those doors, and then spun eloquent prose about doing so. She hobnobbed with the giants of racing’s golden age, including Phil Hill, Sir Stirling Moss and Briggs Cunningham, and impressed many with her natural ability to drive a race car. Denise died on May 6, age 88, so we thought it appropriate to reprint Jim Donnelly’s excellent piece, “The Lady Arrives,” from the July 2012 issue of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
Focusing solely on Denise McCluggage’s career as an American sports car racer sells her short. Going out of your way to remind everyone it was a manly exploit would terribly diminish her. She had impressive gifts to explain her personal experiences as an athlete, world traveler and teacher in words and photos. We would argue that no racer, of either gender, has been so fit to archive her experiences as Denise McCluggage.
She has lived in a world that few people could ever imagine. The stars of motorsport are today cloistered away from intruding fans, their motor coaches secured in tight, protected compounds like prairie wagon trains. When Denise was getting known, she would sidle up to a dimly lit table somewhere on the Continent with Stirling Moss, Phil Hill, Denis Jenkinson, Jo Bonnier, Peter Collins, scratching occasional notes. A long, hazardous day would melt into the pleasantness accompanying wine, victuals and conversation.
Click here to see the original post from Hemmings Daily.
In one of Robert De Niro’s early defining roles, he portrays a young Vito Corleone as a man climbing up the ranks of the New York underworld in flashbacks during The Godfather: Part II. Soon, we might see De Niro stepping into the shoes of a godfather from the Italian sports car industry in a biopic about Enzo Ferrari.
According to The Guardian, De Niro recently told an Italian newspaper that the film would go into production soon and would shoot in Italy. This project apparently holds a high priority for him, and in addition to starring, De Niro’s company is co-producing. It could be a while before we see the film in theaters because the script is still being written. We’re also told that Clint Eastwood might sit in the director’s chair, if he likes the story.
Ferrari had a life every bit as fascinating as many fictional characters with stints as a racecar driver, an engineer and of course a canny businessman. He also held a long passion for motorsports, which could make for some very exciting scenes. According to The Guardian, the film would focus on Ferrari’s life from around the founding of his sportscar company in the mid “˜40s through to his death in the late “˜80s.
With characters like Jake Lamotta in Raging Bull and Sam Rothstein in Casino under his belt, De Niro certainly has shown the chops to portray a larger-than-life figure like Ferrari. Hopefully, he has retained the clout to get the film finished, though. Similar motorsports biographies haven’t made it to the screen, such as the supposed Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise flick Go Like Hell or the Mad Men-inspired TV show about sports car racing in the “˜50s and “˜60s.