Funny Cats Vine Compilation August 2016

Jaguar F-Pace interior 2016 / New Jaguar SUV 2015

Our Six Favorite Cars from the Inaugural “The Finest” Auction in Snowmass, CO

New auction houses don’t pop up very often, so when we heard about The Finest’s inaugural sale on September 17, 2016 in Snowmass, CO, we couldn’t help but take a peek at the sale roster. Here are some of our picks from the Snowmass catalogue.

1932 Bugatti Type 49 Roadster

Sure, this might not be one of the big, bad Bugs that won countless races, championships, and hillclimbs, but it’s a great example of Ettore Bugatti’s engineering genius. Most vintage Bugattis rarely see road time thanks in part to their stratospheric value, complexity, and concours condition. If you’re the lucky buyer who places the winning bid on this 1932 Bugatti Type 49 Roadster, however, you don’t have much of an excuse. This ’32 doesn’t carry the original engine or the original body, so you almost get a free pass to enjoy the car as much as you want. Still, it might be wise to exercise a little restraint as both the engine and the body are period-correct and hold tremendous value. This Gatsby-ready roadster is estimated to take home $550,000 – $700,000. (Pictured above)

2009 Mercedes Benz SL65 AMG Black Series front three quarter 2009 Mercedes Benz SL65 AMG Black Series front three quarter

2009 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series

On the opposite end of the automotive spectrum, this aggressive 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL65 Black Series is one of just 175 U.S.-spec examples ever made. Like all Black Series Benz’, the SL65 Black was purpose-built to crease the tarmac on any and all race circuits. In this pursuit, it’s the first and (as far as we can tell) only fixed-roof SL model ever offered. Under the hood is the tried-and-true 6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-12, massaged over the “regular” SL65 to produce a staggering 661 hp and 740 lb-ft of torque. All this comes wrapped in a wider, longer, lower SL body with a healthy dollop of fixed aerodynamic components. The best part? Unlike the droves of special-edition Ferraris and Lamborghinis, this Merc is expected to sell for less than it was purchased for, with a pre-sale estimate of $235,000 – $265,000.

1935 DeSoto Airflow front three quarter 1935 DeSoto Airflow front three quarter

1935 DeSoto Airflow

It might not look like it at first glance, but the DeSoto and more recognized Chrysler Airflow cars were revolutionary for their time. The Airflow was designed as the first mass-produced car with aerodynamics and wind resistance in mind, eschewing the use of common “air catching” features of contemporary cars. Unfortunately, like so many other innovative cars, the Airflow was a commercial failure. Now, they stand as landmark designs, and would fit comfortably in nearly every automotive collection. The Finest estimates this car will sell for $45,000 – $60,000.

1924 Amilcar CGS3 front view 1924 Amilcar CGS3 front view

1924 Amilcar CGS3

If you’re sick of the endless deluge of pre-war Healeys, MGs, and Jaguars, consider this 1924 Amilcar. Known as a “Voiturette,” this light and athletic roadster was the most popular form of sports car before the second World War. This little CGS3 packs a tiny engine—a one-liter four-cylinder pushing out 30 hp—and carries a pre-sale estimate of $110,000 – $125,000.

1985 Land Rover Defender 110 front three quarter 1985 Land Rover Defender 110 front three quarter

1985 Land Rover Defender 110

This is a no-brainer. Despite the U.S.’ overwhelming fanaticism for all things off-road, rugged, and boxy, the Land Rover Defender never really made it over here in full-form. Sure, we were privy to the V-8-powered Defender 90 from the early 1990s, but that was just one of the many, many forms the Defender has taken over the years. This is a Defender 110, a four-door hardtop SUV that is renowned for its uncanny ability to scale any terrain in any condition. Under the slab-like hood beats a recently rebuilt and cleaned Rover 3.5-liter V-8. In fact, the entire truck is fresh off a ground-up restoration. This Defender will likely take home $95,000 to $115,000 when the hammer falls.

1969 Mercedes Benz 280SL front three quarters 1969 Mercedes Benz 280SL front three quarters

1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL

Yes, this is the second Mercedes on this list, but W113 “Pagoda” SLs are simply irresistible. The clean-cut, pitch-perfect lines are close to flawless, with an elegant and understated evolution of the beautiful 300SL Roadster. It’s not a performance powerhouse, but it has class aplenty and oozes cool. Because of this, expect to dish out $140,000 – $165,000 for this recently restored 30,000-mile example.

1932 Bugatti Type 49 Roadster front view
1932 Bugatti Type 49 Roadster front three quarter
1932 Bugatti Type 49 Roadster rear three quarter
1932 Bugatti Type 49 Roadster rear view
1935 DeSoto Airflow front three quarter
1935 DeSoto Airflow front view
1935 DeSoto Airflow rear end detail
1935 DeSoto Airflow rear view
1935 DeSoto Airflow side profile
1985 Land Rover Defender 110 front three quarter
1985 Land Rover Defender 110 front view
1985 Land Rover Defender 110 rear three quarter
1985 Land Rover Defender 110 side profile
2009 Mercedes Benz SL65 AMG Black Series front three quarter
2009 Mercedes Benz SL65 AMG Black Series front view
2009 Mercedes Benz SL65 AMG Black Series rear view
2009 Mercedes Benz SL65 AMG Black Series side profile
2009 Mercedes Benz SL65 AMG Black Series top view
1969 Mercedes Benz 280SL front three quarters 2
1969 Mercedes Benz 280SL engine
1969 Mercedes Benz 280SL front three quarters
1969 Mercedes Benz 280SL rear three quarters
1969 Mercedes Benz 280SL interior
1924 Amilcar CGS3 front view
1924 Amilcar CGS3 rear three quarter
1924 Amilcar CGS3 front three quarter

The post Our Six Favorite Cars from the Inaugural “The Finest” Auction in Snowmass, CO appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

Honda Accord

This is the most stylish Accord ever,” proclaimed Dave Marek, Honda’s chief designer in the United States, at a press unveiling of the new car last August. Alas, that’s not saying much. Over thirty-seven years, eight generations, and some 11 million Accords, there has never been one that is truly stylish. Nice looking, yes. Practical, popular, and highly satisfying to owners, yes. But style? That has never been a principal concern of the company, even when it offered such impressive models as the NSX mid-engine coupe — an Acura in America but pure Honda everywhere else.

Whatever Honda has done with its mainstream production cars, it has been cautious in its styling approach. Nothing shocking. Nothing that makes waves. This newest Accord is clearly an evolution of the last one — a bit crisper here, a bit more glass area there, but essentially the same shape. Not bad but not great. It’s been a while since the Accord was the best-selling car in the United States, but it’s pretty clear that this latest iteration is aimed at taking the midmarket sales crown away from the many (perhaps too many) contenders. Rival Japanese companies Toyota and Nissan want that distinction, as do Chevrolet, Ford, and Volkswagen, not to mention the ferociously ambitious Koreans, Hyundai and Kia.

Honda Accord rear right view
Honda Accord front left view
Honda Accord interior

It’s hard to say which pretender is best armed in the conflict, but Honda claims that it has a unique insight to its customers and their desires and requirements. “We know you” is a theme executives were expressing at the Accord’s introduction, and if they’re right, then this decent-looking but rather anonymous shape is perfect. Except there is no such thing as perfection, as witness the constant amelioration of capabilities of mainstream commodity cars like this. The Accord has all the attributes — save heritage and reputation — of the finest luxury sedans of half a century ago, along with additional capabilities and characteristics that were unknown in the past, things we now take for granted even in the meanest economy models. In almost every car we buy we expect assisted steering, power antilock brakes, stability control, standard air-conditioning, stereo sound systems, and other amenities that were once considered luxuries.

So there really isn’t much to distinguish this Accord from other vehicles in the category, apart from styling, and here we’ve been let down by the extremely conservative approach that has been taken. Maybe Honda does “know us,” but if that’s the case, I’m afraid we’ve become complacent, content to accept whatever nondescript, consensual appearance all the contenders have deemed suitable for the category. That’s too bad, because Honda engineering has traditionally been just a little better, more exciting and more involving than that of its bigger Japanese rivals and well ahead of American manufacturers in matters of low emissions, drivability, and fuel economy. Just imagine what Honda could have done with that engineering mastery combined with more elegant, beautiful, and original styling.

Then again, maybe they really do know us and know we wouldn’t like it. Maybe.

FRONT 3/4 VIEW

1 Headlamp surfaces don’t follow the contours of the sheetmetal surface, bulging like blisters to control flow of both luminescence and air.

2 Having the top of the grille unframed by chrome is a nice touch. The leading edge of the hood above the intake is a solid horizontal reference for the eye.

3 Grille surround on only the sides and the bottom continues the visual reference of reflective surfaces inside the lamp clusters, adding to apparent width of the front end.

4 Sharp surface breaks tend to conflict with one another but are presumably intended to give an impression of a longer hood.

5 Indented surface on doors emphasizes the rising wedge shape of the body sides.

6 It takes great confidence in the quality of body assembly to approve a fuel door that must align perfectly with two surfaces.

7 Notice that the rear door is unusually narrow at the bottom, making entrance for adults less easy and graceful than it might be. Kids can scramble in easily.

8 Wedge line on the lower side derives from the very sharp edge low on the front fascia, pretty much dies out in the rear door skin, and is then picked up again in the rear fender.

9 These little tabs in front of the wheels help reduce total drag, even if they seem almost inconsequential. Proof of serious aerodynamics work done on the car.

10 Upper edge of the foglamp alcove is rigorously horizontal, carrying across the lower air intake, which, like the upper, is framed by brightwork on the lower perimeter.

REAR 3/4 VIEW

11 Break between deck surface and rear face of the body is knife-sharp.

12 Chrome trim above the license-plate indent carries the silvery lamp-reflector line across the tail to emphasize width.

13 This sagging surface below the lamps is common to an uncounted number of cars from many countries. It’s an easy, boring solution that shows a lack of imagination.

14 This tapering trim piece gives a much richer impression than would a simple continuation of the same section used for the rear of the side window trim.

15 These two inflection points change the side profile from a flowing sweep to a “constructed” line in four distinct segments, plus the reversed rear-pillar trim. Just a hair awkward, though.

16 Notice the blunt, vertical front end in this view, tapered into the front in plan view. Headlamp-cover bulge is obvious again.

17 Lower edges of the door handles have been carefully aligned with the sharp crease line.

18 There’s a lot of surface changing on the rear fender, a crisp line rising from the side treatment, a turn-out at bottom, an indent above the crease.

19 Hard edge at the bottom of the fender sweeps upward, making a sharp demarcation between side and rear parts of the bumper fascia.

20 Once again the brightwork defines the bottom, not the top, of an opening. Really rather nice.

INTERIOR VIEW

21 Pudgy, leather-covered steering wheel is soft-touch and feels good in the hand.

22 Door trim has contrasting colors, convex and concave sections, but still manages to look a bit cheap.

23 As do the leather-covered seats, bereft of color or much design. But they’re comfortable enough, and the interior is spacious, if not remotely luxurious in feel or visual impression.

24 There are still some signs of consideration for serious drivers, such as a real handbrake rather than an automatic electric parking brake.

The post Honda Accord appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

Virtual Citroen Origins Museum is Awash in French Car-Geek Gold

As much as we’d all like to have 50-odd Citroens rubbing elbows in a garage, that’s just not practical. Or sensible. Citroen is allaying those anxieties, however, with a new Citroen Origins virtual museum that details the evolution of some of France’s wackiest and most wonderful cars since 1919.

The site is unfortunately only in French, but that shouldn’t stop you from poking around for a bit (read: all week). On the main page is displayed the full span of cars from the 1919 Citroen 10-HP Type A, all the way to the modern-day C4 Cactus and beyond. Click on any car for a handy breakdown of the year and model, engine type, weight, production volume, and more.

Citroen Website History 3 Citroen Website History 3

Push further by clicking on the red “Discover” box and treat yourself to the full virtual Citroen experience. Make sure your headphones are on to enjoy the period-correct music for each model, while you spin your favorite Citroen 360 degrees around. Play with the numbered buttons on the right side of the screen to listen to what the car sounds like doing certain things like beeping the horn or flipping a turn signal, or click the key to hear what it sounds like starting up. Switch from exterior to interior for the full experience of being inside your favorite model (which should obviously be the 1938 Traction 15 Six).

Scroll down for additional information, as well as gorgeous photography both present and past, historical publicity and advertisements, as well as contemporary brochures. There are also amazingly detailed genealogies of each model as it evolved through the years. The level of detail and work put into this project is frankly unbelievable, and it’s worth your time to play around for a while. It’s super fun.

If you don’t know French, there simply isn’t any better way to learn it, either. That way you can make your way over to Paris and chat up all of the locals in line for Nutella and banana crepes about the fascinating suspension technology and design on the 1988 Citroen Activa 1. You’ll be a local legend and nobody will sneer at you!

Citroen Website History 2 Citroen Website History 2
Citroen Activa 1 Interior

 

The post Virtual Citroen Origins Museum is Awash in French Car-Geek Gold appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

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