Camby, Indiana, United States
The 18th-annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance took place this past weekend, and in one of the show's biggest years yet (bringing in more than 25,000 spectators and attracting more than 300 vehicles), two powerhouses ended up winning the judges' hearts. The top Concours d'Elegance award went to a 1936 Duesenberg SJN, while the Concours de Sport went to one of the celebrated marques, a 1968 Ford GT40.
Owned by Helen and Jack Nethercutt of Sylmar, CA, this flawless Duesy is described as "one of the most powerful open cars of the 1930s," and it displays design cues of the era like rolled fenders and a tapered rear end. The SJN's supercharged straight-eight allowed it to accelerate to 100 miles per hour in just 17 seconds - surely not a disappointing feat for its day.
On a much different level of performance and timelessness, this Gulf-livery GT40 from the Rocky Mountain Auto Collection is not outdone by the elegance of the big Duesenberg thanks to some well-documented racing history. This not only includes winning at LeMans in both 1968 and 1969 - Chassis No. 1075 also managed to win a total of six times in just 11 races.
You might not be interested in owning a subcompact (B-segment) hatchback for $20,000. Let's be clear from the get go here: there are any number of reasonable arguments for staying away from the highest-content versions of these small cars. Ford's player in the B-segment arena is the newly updated 2014 Fiesta, and the Titanium trim represents the most luxurious instantiation of the model. We recently were loaned a Fiesta Titanium for a week, whose final sticker price hit $20,390, with navigation being the only standalone option added to the bottom line. By way of comparison, the most basic version of the all new, one-segment-up Mazda3 hatchback costs $19,740 with delivery and destination accounted for, and no options added on.
Hold on to that thought for a moment, we'll get back to it.
Woodie wagons were a major part of surfing culture in the 1960s, offering coastal style and a ton of room, and they even earned a mention in the Beach Boys' classic song Surfin' Safari. This week, Jay Leno's Garage takes a look at two modern, restomodded examples of these style icons.
Unlike a lot of restomods, builder Scott Bonowski keeps these wagons looking almost completely stock on the outside, and all of the upgrades are hidden underneath the timber. You can't tell by looking at it, but the '37 Woodie (pictured above) has independent front and rear suspension, disc brakes and a Ford 5.0-liter V8 under the hood.
Beyond the mechanical aspect, the craftsmanship into the wood is astounding. Bonowski claims there are between 30 and 50 coats of varnish on this wagon. It makes these woodies as much of a piece of fine furniture as a vehicle to drive.