Auto blogThu, 07 Aug 2014 07:58:00 EST
We've seen watchmakers use all sorts of methods to make their timepieces more attractive to automotive enthusiasts, from carbon-fiber dials and titanium cases to the logos of partnering automakers and racing series. Some have even designed all-new watches to go with a specific make or model. But Christopher Ward has taken things a step further with its latest chronograph.
The new Christopher Ward C70 3527 GT chronometer eschews all the usual gimmicks and goes for a more interesting one: it actually includes in its construction metal taken from the restoration of a Ferrari 250 GTO - namely chassis number 3527 GT that belongs to one Irvine Laidlaw, a Scottish nobleman and one of the wealthiest individuals in the UK.
When Baron Laidlaw bought his GTO in 2005, he sent it in for a thorough restoration that involved replacing some corroded and damaged exterior body panels. The discarded metal was acquired by TMB Artmetal, which specializes in that sort of thing, and partnered with Christopher Ward to create this limited-edition timepiece. The metal was used to make the back plate on which the number 6 - in homage to 3527's iconic 6 GTO license plate - is etched by laser and placed under museum-grade sapphire crystal.
Remember that Ferrari 250 GTO that we reported on last week, supposedly listed on mobile.de for $64 million? Well, don't go putting down your deposit just yet, because it might be a fake.
According to noted Ferrari expert Marcel Massini, the vehicle listed on the German used-car website is a replica. "I can tell you that with 100 percent certainty," Massini told CNBC. "I know where all of these cars are today. And this is not one of the original GTOs."
Of course "replica" is a relative term when it comes to 250 GTOs. Other authentic classic Ferraris are sometimes rebodied to look like a GTO, but while they're not real GTOs, they are real Ferraris. We reported on such an "Evocazione" example (pictured above) based on a '65 Ferrari 330 GT a few years ago, around the same time that Matt Farah came across one based on a 365 GTB/4 Daytona alongside a Ford GT as well.
Prices keep climbing for the Ferrari 250 GTO with virtually no end in sight. In 1969 one sold for just $2,500, but by the 1980s they were trading for hundreds of thousands, then millions, then tens of millions to the point that the last last year, one was reported to have changed hands at $52 million. But now there's a GTO for sale in Germany that could eclipse even that gargantuan price tag.
Ferrari made 39 examples of the 250 GTO between 1962 and 1962, and the item listing on mobile.de doesn't give much in the way of specifics as to which exactly we're looking at. But last we checked, there were only two GTOs in Germany, and the other one was silver. That leaves chassis number 3809GT, which was delivered new in '62 to Switzerland and participated in numerous endurance races and hillclimb events throughout the early 60s. 3809GT has been owned until now by one Hartmut Ibing, who bought it in 1976 when values were in the tens of thousands, not tens of millions. Given how his asset has appreciated so dramatically, and with less than 10,000 miles on the odometers over 52 years, we could understand how Ibing would want to cash out.
Of course we could be mistaken and we could be looking at an entirely different example - the vast majority were, after all, painted red and fitted with blue upholstery just like this one - but either way, we're looking at a price tag of 47.6 million euros. That's nearly $64 million at today's rates, inclusive of Germany's 19 percent VAT rate that adds a staggering $10 million in taxes to the pre-tax price of 40 million euros, which comes in under $54 million but would still be the most ever paid for a GTO (or really, just about any car ever made).
Three Free Practice sessions left us thinking Lewis Hamilton looked good to claim another victory for Mercedes AMG Petronas and close up the Driver's World Championship race, but the first qualifying session for the 2014 Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix threw out that script. A fuel leak in Q3 set Hamilton's car aflame and he never set a time. His chassis damaged beyond repair, the team built him a new one and he started from pit lane. That same session also claimed Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen, when a bad call about whether to go out again dropped him down to 17th and out for the day.
Without a real challenge, that put Hamilton's teammate-slash-nemesis Nico Rosberg on pole in the other Mercedes, followed by a resurgent Sebastian Vettel in the first Infiniti Red Bull Racing, Valtteri Bottas in the first Williams and Daniel Ricciardo in the second Red Bull. Fernando Alonso waved the scarlet in fifth for Ferrari but figured he could be in third place by the end of the first lap. Felipe Massa put the second Williams in sixth, followed by Jenson Button in the first McLaren, Jean-Eric Vergne getting up to eighth for Toro Rosso, Nico Hülkenberg in ninth for Force India and Kevin Magnussen in the second McLaren.
When rain poured on the 4.381-kilometer Hungaroring before the race, every script up and down the field got rewritten, and they would continue come in for revision almost every one of the 70 laps.
With a week of lavish automotive events coming up centered around the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in August, some of the highest profile auto auctions in the world are about to take place. Hearing about Ferrari Testa Rossas and 250 GTOs going for tens of millions of dollars during these events is commonplace, but Gooding & Company is bringing a unique Prancing Horse to sell in California that could be a record-breaker for the company.
The car in question is the drop-dead gorgeous 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale with just 7,900 kilometers (4,910 miles) on the clock that's pictured above, and it checks all of the boxes to make it incredibly desirable. First off, just look at it. The flowing lines and giant, tinted moonroof really make this Ferrari a head-turner. Inside, it has the distinctive feature of three seats with the driver slightly forward in the middle, kind of like the McLaren F1. And what a view from behind the wheel with all of the expansive glass in front of and above the driver. According to the auction listing, Pininfarina displayed the Speciale at a variety of international motor shows in 1966 and 1967.
If the looks aren't enough, then the provenance puts this Ferrari over the top, for sure. Underneath those gorgeous lines is the chassis from a Ferrari 365 P2 endurance racer. The sale claims that this was the first mid-engine, Ferrari 12-cylinder model created from the start as a road car. After touring with Pininfarina, it went to Luigi Chinetti, the first man to sell a Prancing Horse in the US and the boss of the company's North American Racing Team. He sold it twice, but the Speciale has been in the hands of the Chinetti since 1969.
The 2014 German Formula 1 Grand Prix is the hump-day race in the season and the penultimate chance for drivers and teams to rack up points before the summer break. Trying to stay on top after his first DNF of the year at the British Grand Prix, Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Nico Rosberg didn't have to wait until the race for misfortune to find Lewis Hamilton; his British teammate crashed out of the Q2 qualifying session due to a brake failure, then had to change his gearbox due of the crash, a calamity that left him starting 20th on the grid.
Rosberg took pole ahead of the Williams duo of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, with Kevin Magnussen surprising everyone with a fourth place in his McLaren. Daniel Ricciardo put the first Infiniti Red Bull Racing in fifth, ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari pilot Fernando Alonso, Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat, the Force India pair of Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Perez finishing the top ten.
In a replay of events in Britain but with a German accent, a first-lap incident brought out the Safety Car and the same Brazilian was taken out of the race.
There are many beautiful cars in the world, and then there is the Ferrari 330 P4 that outdoes practically all of them. Combining more curves than Christina Hendricks and the singing voice of Adele, it might just be one of the most aesthetically pleasing cars ever made. In its latest video, Petrolicious takes a look at the sole remaining original P4 in existence and talks to the lucky man who gets to drive it.
Ferrari Corsa instructor Nick Longhi has the enviable task about getting behind the wheel of the V12 racer in this video, and he says it doesn't drive the way you might think. The P4 isn't out to bite drivers who aren't paying attention. Instead, he claims that the car just does everything right and helps the person at the controls be that much better.
Historically, the P4 was Ferrari's attempt in the 1967 season to take on the dominating Ford GT40. The Prancing Horse's major achievement that year was a 1-2-3 finish in the 24 Hours of Daytona, but it couldn't quite beat the Ford at the famous race at Le Mans.
Automobiles keep getting more and more advanced, with computers playing an ever-increasingly vital role in their operation. But some things remain the same. Despite more advanced (if not necessarily better) technologies available, we still burn fossils to fuel our engines, we still check what's behind us in actual mirrors and (with few exceptions) we still turn a steering wheel mechanically connected to the front wheels to change directions. But that doesn't mean automakers aren't working at new solutions.
We've sampled electric steering systems developed by Japanese automakers like Honda and Infiniti that disconnect the front wheels from the steering column, but while those systems may be the way of the future, they leave the driver feeling physically disconnected from the road. Ferrari, however, has a different idea.
Instead of either relying completely on a traditional system or replacing it with an entirely digital one, Ferrari appears to have found a sweet spot in the middle. According to a patent filing obtained by Evo, Ferrari is developing a system that still uses a direct mechanical steering linkage, but enhances it through the use of software that corrects for certain inconsistencies.
Ferrari has a real challenge on its hands. It made the new LaFerrari hybrid hypercar so extreme already that it left little room to crank it up to 11 and turn it into an XX development prototype like it did with the Enzo and the 599 before it. So it's really going to have to push the envelop to take it that extra step.
That's what it has apparently set out to do with this LaFerrari prototype at Monza, where the Prancing Horse marque was spotted preparing the upcoming LaFerrari XX. In fact, testers ran the prototype so hard that they broke the car's right rear suspension. Which is bound to happen, we guess, when you try to find that extra bit of performance in a vehicle that's already one of the most capable ever devised, but only goes to show how much deeper Ferrari will have to dig to find that even sharper edge.
Either that or Ferrari's working on some sort of four-wheel steering system with automatic camber adjustment... See for yourself in the video below.
Gene Haas is undertaking quite the initiative by starting his own Formula One team instead of simply buying an existing one. And he's making it even harder on himself by laudably insisting on quartering the operation at his home base in North Carolina. But to get onto the grid by 2016, he's going to need some help.
Fortunately that appears to be just what he's getting thanks to a new partnership with no less accomplished an outfit than Ferrari - which, despite not having won a championship since 2008, remains far and away the most successful team in the history of grand prix racing, with sixteen constructors' championships, fifteen drivers' titles and 221 grand prix victories to its name.
Haas Automation, the CNC machine manufacturer over which Gene Haas presides and which funds his various racing activities, has just signed a sponsorship deal with Scuderia Ferrari that has already seen the Haas logo appear on the F14 T that Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen drove in the British Grand Prix this past weekend. More than a sponsor, Haas Automation has become an official supplier to the Maranello squad, but is expected to lead to even closer cooperation that will help get the American F1 team up and running in time for the 2016 world championship.