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Seattle, Washington, United States
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There isn't much in the world that can aurally match the screeching wail of a Formula 1 car at redline. We obviously can't say whether or not the showmanship of starting this 1998 Ferrari F300 in front of the assembled masses at Barrett-Jackson and slowly taking it up to its 18,000-rpm redline had any effect on bidders, but it did, at the very least, result in a round of applause.
This '98 Ferrari F300 was driven 38 times by Michael Schumacher, and there was another round of applause for the driver, who's currently in a medically induced coma and listed in stable condition after a skiing accident. This particular example is number three of nine total built for the '98 season. Power comes from a 3.0-liter V10 engine producing 805 horsepower at 17,500 rpm.
After it was all said and done, bidding ended at $1.7 million (plus another 10 percent in fees). Check out our live images from the auction floor above, and scroll down below for a spine-tinglingly loud auction video and to read its official description.
Supercar slayer. That's what they call the Nissan GT-R. And in many ways it is, even though its price and performance over the years have risen to put it squarely in supercar territory of its own right.
In fact, as Evo magazine has been compiling a list of its fastest cars - using the Anglesey Circuit in Wales as its common ground - the GT-R has came out on top... that is, until Evo tested the Ferrari 458 Speciale. The two are about as different as you can get within the supercar segment: one has a turbo six up front driving all four wheels in a 2+2 configuration, the other a mid-engined, rear-drive V8 two-seater. In fact the only common ground you're likely to find between them comes down to their two doors and dual-clutch transmissions. Though they serve it up in different ways, both are class-leading performers.
We're looking forward to watching Evo populate its leaderboard with more entries like the McLaren 650S and more potent Nismo GT-R, but in the meantime the British enthusiast magazine, by popular demand, has released side-by-side in-car footage of both supercars putting their best lap forward around the seaside circuit.
Bloomberg Markets is reporting that BMW, Volkswagen and Ferrari have been using tungsten ore sourced from Columbia's FARC rebel terrorists. The extensive story focuses on Columbia's illegal mining trade and calls into question the provenance of the rare ore that is used not only in crankshaft parts production, but is also found in the world's computing and telecommunications industry for use in screens.
The ore is mined by the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People's Army), and exported to Pennsylvania, where it is refined. The refined ore is then sent over to Austria, where a company called Plansee turns it into a finished product. Now, it's important to note that we aren't talking about the world's supply of tungsten here. In 2012, Plansee's American refinery purchased 93.2 metric tons of tungsten, valued at $1.8 million. That's peanuts, with the entire Colombian tungsten mining industry producing just one percent of the world's supplies.
That doesn't make indirectly supporting FARC any more acceptable, though. BMW, VW and Ferrari are all committed to not accepting mineral supplies from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is also in the grips of a guerrilla insurrection funded, in part, by illegal mining. The same commitment would figure to extend to Colombian mining, but as BMW points out, it's difficult for a multi-national manufacturer to know where every item in its supply chain comes from. A company spokesperson says as much, telling Bloomberg, "These few grams out of the billions of tons of raw materials passing through the BMW supply chain are of no practical relevance."