1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Oct02

1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I

* Chassis no. 10MC * Engine no. EB75 * 7,688cc ohv six-cylinder * Four-speed transmission * A very early Phantom * Australian delivery example Successor to the legendary Silver Ghost that had made Rolls-Royce one of the world’s preeminent automakers, the New Phantom arrived in 1925. Its entirely new 40/50hp overhead-valve six-cylinder engine had a 7,688cc displacement and was considerably more powerful than its Edwardian predecessor. As with the smaller Rolls-Royce 20hp that had preceded it in 1922, the New Phantom chassis utilized a disc-type clutch and adjustable radiator shutters. The chassis, though, remained essentially the same as that of the later four-wheel-braked ‘Ghost’. After...

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1965 Shelby Cobra Street 427 Prototype Sep26

1965 Shelby Cobra Street 427 Prototype

This 427 Cobra was the fourth of just 260 original 427 Street Cobra produced by Shelby. Let us be clear; this is not a reproduction or continuation car, it is an original Cobra built at Shelby American in 1965. CSX 3127 served as Shelby’s test vehicle and to gauge customer response to the 427 Street cars. Factory records obtained from AC Cars Limited show that chassis number 3127, as listed on their invoice: “Prototype Mk.II Road Car, Unpainted, Black Leather”, was completed and shipped to Shelby American in Los Angeles by air on April 30th, 1965. While most Cobras were shipped by boat to the States, the importance of 3127 is demonstrated by the fact that not only was it shipped by air, but...

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1978 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 Sep01

1978 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40

135 hp, 4,230 cc OHV inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission with low range and part-time AWD, semi-elliptic front and rear springs with live axle, and hydraulic front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 90 in. • Rust-free Arizona example; recent frame-off restoration • Finished in original Freeborn Red with Cygnus White hardtop • Surely one of the best FJ40s in existence Much like the vintage Land Rover, the Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser has a devoted following all its own. Both vehicles were developed in the early-1950s and were based on the Willys M38 Jeep, which earned worldwide respect in WWII. When Toyota and Land Rover went head-to-head in the 1960s, Toyota won nearly every...

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Random Sightings, August 2013 Sep01

Random Sightings, Au...

One thing I used to do with some regularity is post random sightings from around the valley that I see in my daily commute. Living where I do there’s no shortage of exotics, classic cars, hot rods, motorcycles, oddities… you name it, really, and I’m trying to get back in the...

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ELEMENTAL – Ultima GTR

Despite considerable renown in certain automotive circles, the Ultima GTR is relatively unknown to most. Taking the GTR to car shows or out for a Sunday cruise results in many puzzled looks and baffling guesses as to exactly what it is. But that unknown factor doesn’t stop people from gawking and, in fact, adds to it. Even just taking it out to the grocery store for milk, people reacting with waves, thumbs-ups and cameras out of car windows is the norm. Be it Ferrari, Lamborghini or otherwise next to the Ultima, the Ultima is getting most of the attention. Out on the street juxtaposed to a sea of mundane, gray sedans and SUVs, the GTR looks more like a spaceship than a car. Like it doesn’t belong and...

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1969 Shelby GT500 Convertible 428 Cobra Jet Aug14

1969 Shelby GT500 Convertible 428 Cobra Jet

The 1969 Shelby looked very different from the 1969 Mustang with fiberglass fenders, hood, and rear cap which made the Shelby three inches longer than the already elongated 1969 Mustangs. The hood was fastened with five recessed NASA-type hood scoops. The leading edge of the hooded ended with a chrome strip that wrapped around the grille to meet the thin Shelby chrome bumper. A second chrome strip formed a wide mouth on the grille between the headlamps with Lucas driving lights mounted just below the bumper. The Shelby GT side stripes were wider, centered vertically, and ran the entire length of the car. The rear break body side air scoops were wider and mounted in the center for the convertible but higher...

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Ferrari F12 & 458 Challenge Tech Session Aug09

Ferrari F12 & 4...

Every now and then the local Ferrari Club of America chapter (FCA – Desert Region) works with the local Ferrari dealership (Scottsdale Ferrari) to put together tech events where they run down the details of the latest and greatest Ferrari(s) to hit Arizona. And, every single time, I...

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1937 Mercedes-Benz 230 A Cabriolet Jul31

1937 Mercedes-Benz 230 A Cabriolet

On June 28th, 1926 Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft and Benz & Cie. became Daimler-Benz AG. Motor sport had been a strong tradition and was now pursued with increased vigor. Rudi Caracciola was the Mercedes-Benz racing star and he was winning races with the new Type K which evolved into the 500 and 540K. Less well known was the smaller version which was the 230. In 1936, the Mercedes-Benz 230 was the fourth in the series of Nibel designs that would form the mainstay of Mercedes-Benz production in the difficult years of the mid-1930s. The first of this line – the Mercedes-Benz 170 – had appeared in 1931. Although outwardly of conservative appearance, the revolutionary Mercedes-Benz 170 embodied Nibel’s...

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1960 Facel Vega HK500 Jul24

1960 Facel Vega HK50...

Facel founder Jean Daninos’ first-generation Facel Vega was unquestionably an automobile steeped in the grand routier tradition, spiritual heir to the prewar greatness of Delage and Delahaye. It was also a commendable effort for a new manufacturer. Intended as a big and brawny Routes...

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Mustang Super Cobra Jet Jul21

Mustang Super Cobra Jet

2012 Ford Mustang Super Cobra Jet #40/50 produced Painted in Performance White Super Stock Ford Racing/Whipple 4.0L Supercharger Option C2 Automatic Transmission Low 9 Second to High 8 Second 1/4 Mile Times ENGINE Displacement & type: 5.4L V8 Block: Production 5.4L aluminum block Heads: Ford GT heads, 4-valves per cylinder Induction: Super Stock Option: Ford Racing/Whipple 4.0L Supercharger; Stock Option: 2.3L Ford Racing/TVS Supercharger Camshafts Custom grind: – Ford Racing proprietary Crankshaft: Forged Rods: Manley H-beam Pistons: Mahle forged, Ford Racing spec Headers: 304 stainless primary tubes with 321 stainless collector Inlet pipe: Ford Racing Cobra Jet Throttle body Cobra Jet oval...

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1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Jul14

1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K

1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet ‘A’ Coachwork by Sindelfingen Chassis no. 169396 • 5.4-liter supercharged inline eight-cylinder • Four-speed manual transmission • Servo-assisted hydraulic brakes • Delightful patina • Two long-term owners • One of 83 540K Cabriolet ‘A’ built Together with its predecessor the 500K, the magnificent Mercedes-Benz 540K was arguably the most noteworthy production model offered by the Stuttgart firm during the 1930s. A development of the 500K, whose independently suspended chassis it shared, the 540K was powered by a 5.4-liter supercharged straight-eight engine. The 540K was one of the first models developed under Mercedes’ new chief...

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Scottsdale Pavilions, June 15th 2013 Jun15

Scottsdale Pavilions, June 15th 2013

Well, after over three and a half years of passing on the weekly Scottsdale Pavilions car show, I finally made my way back out there. I used to be a very, very regular attendee, always snapping away. For several years I made it almost every week but have found it more difficult to make it out and while the turnout was a little thin due to the heat, I was still very pleased with what I saw. Highlights included a nice Nissan GTR, McLaren MP4-12C, a pair of wild street-legal rock crawlers and others. Once the temps cool down a bit, I’ll definitely be back out there again and will try to make it a more regular occurrence once again. Click HERE to view the FULL GALLERY (28 Photos) Click HERE to view past...

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’59 Buick LeSabre Convertible Jun07

’59 Buick LeSabre Convertible

When it comes to cars, nothing says “America” quite like fins and chrome and this pristine 1959 Buick LeSabre Convertible has both in spades. With some of the largest rear fins in any production car and with one of the meanest faces, the LeSabre is the up there with the finest of the Jet Age. This particular example comes in the incredibly rare combo of a convertible with a three-speed manual transmission (less than 2% of ’59 LeSabres came in this combination). The previous owners of this car were so obsessive that they actually tracked the mileage for every fill-up on the back of the license plate and that kind of incredible care extends to every nut, bolt and stitch of the car. Click...

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Monster Jun03

Monster

While Vivid Racing has had their hands on just about everything from Lamborghinis and Porsches to Vipers and Corvettes to Maybachs and Audis, they’re probably best known for their heavily modified and show stopping Japanese cars.  They’ve built some of North America’s most recognized...

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Cars and Coffee, June 2013 Jun01

Cars and Coffee, Jun...

Despite the intense June heat (a high of about 110*f…) and early start time (mornings and I aren’t great friends), I managed to make it out to Cars and Coffee yet again. Despite those previous remarks, the turn out was still enormous, as usual. One of the highlights for me was...

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The Lone Gun May27

The Lone Gun

Ask people what they think about the term “kit car” and they usually conjure up images of rebodied Fieros with their ill proportioned, poorly fitted replica body panels, and anemic engines shrouded under a plastic cover with “V12” stamped onto it.  They’re little more than phony show pieces, and even then they’re not going to be winning many shows anytime soon.  This is certainly not the case with ALL kit cars, but there are plenty. With such stigma surrounding the term I hesitate to call the Grabercars La Bala a “kit car” despite it currently being on the market in both turnkey and kit form.  Maybe we should call it a “Component” car. No matter the...

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Straight Six, Round Top May25

Straight Six, Round Top

1954: Sports Illustrated publishes its first issue, Bill Haley and the Comets top the record charts, Grace Kelly and Marlon Brando take home Oscars, Marilyn Monroe weds Joe DiMaggio, gas tops more 20 cents a gallon and the Chevrolet Corvette enters its second year of production.  It’s almost hard to fathom given the more than half century lifespan and now iconic status of the Corvette, but its second year of production was dangerously close to being its final year of production. The first Corvettes were hand assembled and thus, limited to a production run of just 300 cars, all Polo White over Sportsman Red interiors.  In December of 1953, production was moved from Flint, Michigan to a dedicated assembly...

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’27 Type 37A May14

’27 Type 37A

A tremendously successful and popular little car, the Type 37 was introduced as a durable and easy to work on racer to supplement Bugatti`s sophisticated and complex Grand Prix cars. Type 37s were successful in the Voiturette class (under 1500cc), and their 1496cc plain bearing coil ignition...

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1959 BMW 503 May08

1959 BMW 503

Following the end of the First World War, German production of aircraft engines and related parts seen as means to start another war ceased by the terms of the Armistice, formalized by the infamous Versailles Treaty. The company consequently shifted to motorcycle production by 1923 once the...

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Cars and Coffee, May 2013 May04

Cars and Coffee, May 2013

This month’s Scuderia Southwest Cars and Coffee was not only one of the largest I’ve ever experienced in my six years of attending the event, but also one of the best when it came to modern exotics. Not only was there the always stunning Enzo and Carrera GT in attendance, but an astonishing purple Lexus LFA (my first time seeing one outside the walls of a dealership). Unfortunately I wasn’t able to stick around to hear it in action (its exhaust note is one of the car’s most appealing features to me), but seeing it in daylight side-by-side just made me like it even more. It may not be the most beautiful car in the world, but every single curve is so clearly function focused that I...

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’59 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Convertible May02

’59 Oldsmobile...

Chassis no. 599K04120 *394ci, 315hp Rocket V8 *4-barrel carburetor*Freshly restored *The rarest of GM’s 1959 convertibles *A fantastic example of GM’s “Linear Look” It was inconceivable that the Harley Earl/General Motors juggernaut could be knocked off its pedestal,...

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Vivid Racing Mitsubishi Evo X Apr20

Vivid Racing Mitsubishi Evo X

Many years ago I was hired to shoot a car for Vivid Racing for a couple magazines. This ’08 Mitsubishi Evo X was that car and it is still one of my favorite shoots. We took the car all the way out to Miami, Arizona and I’ve always wanted to take another car out there since then. There were endless photo opportunities and the contrast of the car and environment is something I still haven’t found anywhere else. On top of that, there was some pretty spectacular natural desert landscape along the way, too. Click HERE to view the FULL GALLERY (46...

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Cars & Coffee Apr14

Cars & Coffee

Across the nation, there’s a shift happening in automotive events.  While there are still a large number of annual events that draw huge numbers, smaller, more casual events are increasing in popularity drastically.  And the appeal of such events is clear.  Most occur with much more...

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The 23rd Copperstate 1000, 2013 Apr07

The 23rd Copperstate 1000, 2013

Without question, the Men’s Arts Council of Phoenix Art Museum Copperstate 1000 departure from Tempe Diablo Stadium is my favorite Phoenix Valley automotive event every single year. Unfortunately for me, this year it was also an event that I showed up late to… FORTUNATELY, I did manage to catch almost all the cars as they buzzed by on their way towards their 1,000 mile journey throughout the Southwest. The lineup of cars never disappoints and it’s always great to see such incredible machine not in a museum, but being driven and being driven hard. Click HERE to view the FULL...

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Cars and Coffee, April 2013 Apr06

Cars and Coffee, Apr...

It’s that time, once again, for Scuderia Southwest’s Cars and Coffee. I was able to attend this month (something that has been far too uncommon), however, I arrived very late. Fortunately, there were still a number of high-quality cars and motorcycles hanging around so there was...

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