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Ferarri 250 GTO

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  • On 04, Jun 2012

“Bloomberg reports that a 1962 Ferrari GT0 has been sold for US$35 million, making it the most expensive car in the world. The record price eclipses the US$32.5 million paid for a 1964 Ferrari 250 GT0 back in February and the US$30-34 million dished out for a 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic back in 2010.

The 250 GT0 in question is chassis number 3505GT and was built specifically for the legendary Stirling Moss. While Moss never actually ended up racing the car (a career-ending crash in April of 1962 prevented him from getting behind the wheel), it has a fairly significant race history with several wins. 3505GT also competed in the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans, although it ended the race with a DNF. The car stands out among the other 250 GTOs thanks to its unique lime-green livery.

Amazingly, the price of this particular car has increased tenfold since 1996, when it was purchased for US$3.5 million. From there the car has changed hands a few times, with the most recent owner, a Dutch businessman, purchasing it for US$8.5 million about a decade ago. The 250 GTO’s newest owner, car collector Craig McCaw, earned his fortune by selling a telecommunications company to AT&T for US$11.5 billion back in 1993.

We most recently saw the car at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last year, where it was displayed as part of the 250 GTO’s 50th anniversary celebration.”

Source: Autoblog

Mazda Cutting 25% of Jobs

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  • On 04, Jun 2012

“Automotive News Europe reports that struggling Japanese automaker Mazda is set to cut a total of 250 jobs in the U.S. and Europe. The cuts, originally reported by Japan’s Nikkei, come as part of new reorganization efforts and represent 25 per cent of the company’s staff in both markets. Mazda has registered losses for the past four years due in part to slow sales and a stronger yen. As a result, the company is looking to tighten its belt around the world.

Mazda will slim its workforce to under 200 workers at a subsidiary in Germany, while the manufacturer’s sales staff in California and Michigan will fall to around 550 employees. The news comes on the heels of a buyout last month that saw 107 U.S. employees leave voluntarily. Currently, Mazda has no plans to cut its Japanese workforce, though some reorganization may take place on the home front in the coming months. Those efforts are largely expected to consist of moving workers from satellite offices in Tokyo and Osaka to the home base in Hiroshima.”

Source: Autoblog

Happy Birthday Nissan

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  • On 01, Jun 2012

“It was on this day in 1934 that the “Jidosha-Seizo Kabushiki-Kaisha” (translated to Automobile Manufacturing Co. Ltd.) took on the name we now know it as – Nissan. The name comes from a shortened form of Nihon Sangyo, the company that became the 100% investor at a stockholder’s meeting.

Just a year later, Nissan already had its first full assembly plant up and running, producing the Datsun Model 14. They also settled on a logo. Unfortunately, with World War II just around the corner, Nissan Motor Co. would then become Nissan Heavy Industries, producing vehicles for the Japanese Army.

It wasn’t until 1949 that Nissan would again become Nissan Motor Co. where over the next several years, they would form a “technical cooperation” alliance with Austin of England. It was also around this time when Nissan would acquire the Prince brand. You may not have heard of them, but it was Prince that came up with the original Skyline in 1957. For reference, the Skyline above is a 3rd generation. Without them, we might not have the Godzilla GT-R we know and love today.

Despite the continued use of the Datsun name, Nissan dropped it entirely in the 1980s, but not before slapping the badge on the legendary Z-cars. Nissan is bringing the name back, but only for developing markets.”

Source: Autoblog

Real Life MacGuyver

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  • On 28, May 2012

“According to Merriam-Webster, ingenuity can be defined as “skill or cleverness in devising or combining” or “cleverness or aptness of design or contrivance.” We’d say that’s an apt description of a Frenchman named Emile who reportedly found himself stranded in the deserts of Northwest Africa after breaking a frame rail and a suspension swingarm underneath his Citroën 2CV.

What to do? Why, disassemble the broken hulk and build yourself a motorcycle from its pile of parts, of course! As the story goes, Emile was able to use the inventive machine to escape the desert, though not before convincing the local authorities that he wasn’t an insurgent and paying a fine for importing a non-conforming vehicle…

Since Emile was the only soul in the area, nobody has been able to confirm the veracity of the events that led to the little French runabout’s conversion into a makeshift motorcycle. That said, judging by the images you can see here (apparently from the March 2003 issue of 2CV Magazine), this Citroën-bred two-wheeler does indeed exist, and it was definitely fashioned from parts scavenged from an old 2CV.

Emile, wherever you are, we take our hats off to your real-life MacGuyver skills, sir.”

Source: Autoblog

Top gear DeltaWing

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  • On 22, May 2012

“Think back to childhood for a moment. What did you do when you wanted, say, a new skateboard, but mom and dad were dragging their heels about ponying up for one? That’s right, you built your own, out of bits of scrap plywood and some old wheels discarded by an older sibling. And it sucked.

We see the same situation playing out here. The children at Top Gear are absolutely gaga for the DeltaWing race car, which Nissan will be campaigning at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. And even if they are Top Gear, nobody at Nissan is going to just give them an experimental race car for futzing around. So they are building their own. Or at least a simulacrum of the DeltaWing, out of what appears to be junk.

Details are scarce, but the image gallery Top Gear has on its website tells enough of the story that we’re pretty sure they aren’t going to come anywhere close. Not only does the 498 kilogram (1,100-pound) curb weight of the revolutionary race car present something of a challenge when you’re basically welding the thing up from scratch, but whatever that ancient engine sitting in the nose of the Top Gear project is, we’re plenty sure it won’t be packing the 300-plus horsepower of Nissan’s turbocharged four.

But just as your pre-pubescent charm and pluckiness eventually prevailed in the skateboard scenario, we’re thinking Top Gear might be on to something with its fanboy-ish DeltaWing replica. After all, mom may have embarrassed you in the skate shop, but she did get you the real thing, didn’t she?”

Source: Autoblog

Toyota CEO Lists Favorite Cars

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  • On 22, May 2012

“During a meeting of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Toyota president Akio Toyoda offered a “Chapeau!” to his fellow CEOs by listing his favorite cars from other makers. He listed just one vehicle from five makers represented on the board, in alphabetical order: the Honda NSX, Isuzu Bellett, Mazda Cosmo, Mitsubishi Pajero (Montero in the U.S.) and Nissan Skyline.

Toyoda didn’t give his reasons for choosing these car beyond each being “memorable.” Even so, going through the list any car enthusiast knows the Honda (Acura in the States) NSX needs no introduction nor explanation. The Mitsubishi Pajero is probably as well known for it’s off-road excellence as it is for its name change in Spanish-speaking lands due to the word “pajero” – all the more intriguing when it’s apparently named after an Argentine cat, Leopardus pajeros. And although the “Skyline” moniker was made famous overseas by the GT-R, the Nissan Skyline that Toyoda references has a long history and is our Infiniti G.

The Mazda Cosmo (pictured) was an Italian-esque little coupe produced from 1967 to 1995, the first series production vehicle with a two-rotor rotary engine. The Isuzu Bellett was that firm’s in-house replacement for the English Hillmans it was rebranding, the first Japanese car to get GT badging (it would also get a GT-R version), and it would cover just about every segment with sedan, coupe, station wagon and pickup truck variants.”

Source: Autoblog

GM Scales Back Marketing

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  • On 22, May 2012

“The overhaul of General Motors’ marketing battle plan isn’t finished. The Wall Street Journal reports that Joel Ewanick, GM’s global marketing chief, is giving the brand a hiatus from Super Bowl advertising, believing it’s just got too expensive and that variety is called for. Thirty-second spots for next year’s big game are projected to cost US$3.8 million.

The development comes quickly after GM decided to stop buying ads on Facebook citing a lack of effectiveness (to which Ford responded), and comes during a year of realignment efforts throughout the company: a global review of accounts began earlier this year and some were quickly let go, a brand new agency was created for Chevrolet and set up shop in Detroit, and personnel are being realigned.

The General’s global ad spend in 2011 was US$4.7 billion, and word is that GM doesn’t plan on spending less, it only wishes to spend better – Ewanick says the changes made so far will net the company US$2 billion in savings over the next five years. It’s clear he’s looking to unlock more efficiencies; observers say that GM is also trying to improve its ad performance overseas and find better ways to reach demographics that have migrated in all directions and to all media.”

Source: Autoblog

Subaru Advanced Tourer Concept

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  • On 22, May 2012

“There was nary a peep of discontent about the looks of the Subaru Advanced Tourer concept revealed at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. But when everyone was clamoring for Scooby to transfer the Advanced Tourer’s looks to a production vehicle, never once did people ask for that transfer to be foisted on the WRX. A report in Motor Trend, though, says that’s what’s happening: the concept “was actually an early look at the next-generation Subaru WRX.”

MT’s sources said the front end Advanced Tourer’s front end will go onto the WRX, with other aspects of the concept made more aggressive to suit the personality of Subaru’s rally-ready racer. And if the concept also presages the next WRX’s dimensions, then you can expect the next-generation sedan and hatchback to be larger (though in truth we don’t anticipate a big gain in footprint).

Notice the name “Impreza” hasn’t appeared anywhere in our discussion yet. Subaru is reportedly dropping the name in an attempt to get more ‘Likes’ for the WRX by making it more approachable, so the next model will relinquish its association with the Impreza line and be more performanced focused even as it is receives a better interior and is morphed into a “more-mature sporty grand tourer.” Engine choices are still being debated for the car due in 2015; the rumored options include 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinders and a hybrid version of the 1.6-litre.”

Source: Autoblog

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