Posts Tagged ‘Ferrari’

Ferrari F430 Scuderia Spider 16M

Vinyl is making a comeback apparently. Yours truly thought it had never disappeared but LP sales are on the rise again and the reason, we are told, is that people have re-discovered the peculiar qualities of music recorded on a grooved, 12″ plastic disc as opposed to a shiny holographic Compact Disc or the overly-compressed MP3 format.

The sound of noise makes a difference and ‘heavy metal’ car manufacturers have known that for years. Lamborghini could never make a car that sang ballads. It is the Motorhead of the car world – raw, raucous and mental. A Lamborghini Lemmy would have been entirely appropriate. TVR was (and hopefully still will be) any thrash metal band you care to mention. Aston Martin (and Jaguar) has adopted a Led Zep Jimmy Page hammer-tone to its latest cars and Ferrari is the Iron Maiden of the same universe since they have been around for so long with their loud, extrovert cars.

When you buy a super-car slash hyper-car you expect it to be loud but when you fire it up you want it to hit you in the chest with an invisible fist that expels the air from your lungs. Literally breath-taking. Many cars can do that these days but back in 2009 Ferrari gave to the world the F430 Scuderia Spider 16M. At first sight it looked like a convertible Scuderia F430 but in reality it turned out to be a member of Judas Priest.

The bark from a 16M is addictive. It is visceral and it will make your ears bleed. Every drive in the car will involve a route that consists of a bunch of tunnels to search for the next fix. Just visit YouTube and type ‘Scuderia 16M’ into the search bar to get an idea of what makes the 16M special. The videos will give you an insight of what to expect from a 16M but you really need to be standing near or sitting in one to appreciate the car properly. It’s all about the noise.

Dinner-party fact: the car was called ’16M’ to commemorate Ferrari’s 16th victory in the Formula 1 Constructor’s World Championship in 2008.

The 4.3 litre V8 engine produces 510 PS (503 hp) and 470 Nm (350 lb·ft) torque at 5250 rpm so 60 mph comes up in a smidgen over 3 seconds and the 16M will max out just shy of 200 mph. The car has a fair share of carbon fibre so it is pretty lightweight and the chassis was stiffened to cope with the extra performance available to make it more track-focused. Lightened front and rear bumpers (compared to the 430 Scuderia) and unique 5-spoke forged wheels were produced for the 16M and helped to considerably reduce unsprung weight with larger front brakes and calipers added for extra stopping power. Enough said.

Other features include a race-tuned suspension, carbon-ceramic brakes, the ‘Superfast2’ automated manual transmission that enables shift changes in 60 milliseconds, LED up-shift markers in the steering wheel plus the now-familiar ‘manettino’ race-mode selector.

Only 499 vehicles in total were produced from early 2009 and all were sold to pre-selected clients. Only 37 were made in right hand drive form which means that if you live in the UK and you like your passenger seated to your left in your 16M you may wait some time before you see your preferred car of choice come on sale.

Which brings us neatly to the 2009 right hand drive example that is being offered on behalf of the current owner.

Finished in Rosso Corsa with Tessuto Nero Tipo Cordura interior this 16M has covered only 7500 miles since new and comes with a comprehensive service history. The most recent service and MOT was carried out by HR Owen Ferrari in October 2015.

This particular 16M features Carbon Fibre Exterior Package, Carbon Fibre Racing Seats, Nero Soft-top, Rosso Brake Calipers, Racing Livery with Italian Flag, Extra Campionario Nero Carpets, Rosso Rev Counter, Rosso Stitching, Dash-mounted i-Pod Touch, Navtrak, Ferrari book pack, Ferrari toolkit, Ferrari car cover and two keys. Also included is a valuable Ferrari Classiche Certificate and supporting documentation. It really doesn’t get any better than this.

This stunning right hand drive Scuderia 16M is currently, oops sorry now SOLD! To find out more give The Car Spy a call on 01892 506970 or email sales@thecarspy.net

Superperformance GT40

When we saw the new Ford GT at last year’s Geneva show it completely blew us away. Floating on its revolving stand the metallic blue car looked a million dollars but (whisper it) the anticipated list price was to be less than £200k. That is a lot of money to spend on any car but in the world of supercars and hypercars you could be spending close to that on a new set of alloy wheels and a service. The owner of a P1 or LaFerrari would probably have that in small change down the back of the sofa.

OK it’s a Ford which doesn’t quite have the panache of a Ferrari or Lambo but it certainly does have the pedigree. Books the size of War and Peace have been written about the track successes of the company so engineering prowess is a given with any fast Ford. The latest Focus RS is a good example. ‘Blue-collar’ heroes they are calling them because badge-snobs wouldn’t be seen dead in one, even as a passenger. Their loss entirely. Incidentally, there will no less than four Ford GT’s competing at Le Mans this year. Look out Porsche, Audi et al.

But maybe the tide is turning. You see the so-called ‘blue-collar supercar’, the new Ford GT, is sending the car-collecting world into a right tiswas. Word is that only 28 cars will be available to UK buyers out of the planned 1000 to be built over four years and this has caused some anxiety amongst those who not only like their cars but also have lots of money to invest in their cars.

There are stories of individuals flying to the Dearborn HQ to see what strings they can pull to secure one of the first cars whilst shouting “Do you know who I am?!” Well that’s just hearsay but Ford has responded by saying that buying a fleet of Mondeos or offering free use of a Gulfstream jet will have no bearing on your chances of buying one. Maybe it will just be the old-fashioned short-straw routine or a gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Ford-style.

Suddenly the company has gone a bit shy on the exact sales price too. Quite likely one of the most sensible comments made at an HQ board-meeting since Geneva 2015 was that the car was possibly a tad too cheap and rumours are circulating now that you could be looking at Aventador-like pricing. If you think you can get away with it, Ford, then why not?

No doubt the car-collectors and ‘investors’ will be looking to double whatever they pay for their car in a few years time so any list price is quite frankly academic. Given the new GT is a spiritual successor to the original GT40 which is likely to be conservatively worth in excess of 10 million US dollars these days it is no surprise that the new car has created so much attention. Looks like Ford will be competing with Ferrari in the auction rooms as well as on the track.

However, there is an alternative option where the sensible money might be heading. The Superformance GT40.

The SPF GT40 story is not new of course and the South African-based company has been producing ‘authentic’ GT40’s for well over a decade now. So authentic in fact, that the company can legally use the name ‘GT40’ and each car carries the GT40/P chassis number and therefore is eligible for the official GT40 registry. So there.

The appeal of this car to ‘collectors’ and ‘investors’ of course is non-existent. But to somebody who would like to get as close as it might be possible to the Le Mans-winning cars from the 1960’s and who actually wants to drive their cars instead of moth-balling them in de-humidified cocoons then it is quite timely to put the spotlight again on this curious ‘replica’, ‘re-creation’ or ‘continuation’.

Each SPF GT40 is produced by Hi-Tech Automotive in Port Elizabeth, South Africa who just happen to produce cars for Noble. The Superformance brand is owned by the Hillbank Motor Corporation who just happen to be the US distributor for Caterham. Petrol (or gasoline) runs through the veins of the infrastructure.

If you want to buy an SPF GT40 you stop by your local dealer – Le Mans Coupes Ltd in the UK for instance – and tell them what engine you want installed (a choice of three from 430 to 580 bhp + as we write this) and your favourite colour for the bodywork. Hand over around £150k (more or less) and look forward to owning a 200 mph+ hand-built, re-creation of one of the most iconic sports car ever made.

For a car created in the 1960’s there is nothing else that can come as close to a Ferrari from the same period that could draw a crowd in a high street. The shape of the original GT40 has defied the ageing process and can hold its own against the forthcoming Ford GT. It looks like a brand-new re-creation will be a lot cheaper too. A proper race-bred sports car for the price of a modern supercar?

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Ferrari and Ford have both been in the news lately. A record euro amount was paid at auction for a 1957 335 Sport Scaglietti and Ford are back at Le Mans after 50 years with an ambition to win again.

The success of the Ford GT40 from the 60’s is well-documented and today remains one of motor racing’s all-time great successes. Thanks to Signore Enzo Ferrari.

So the story goes, the great man was willing to consider the sale of his company to Henry Ford II back in 1963 but because of a disagreement over how the motor racing division would be run Enzo cancelled the negotiations. HF II had spent a fortune in lawyer’s fees up to that point and was pretty miffed that EF just upped and walked away from the table.

As a result of the falling-out of the two alpha-males the racing division of Ford were tasked with building a Ferrari-beater to give Enzo a good spanking for his tantrum. A partnership with Lola ensued and the creation of Ford Advanced Vehicles Limited in England whose first-born was the fabled GT40. The rest is history as they say and now we look forward to the new Ford GT.

At about the same time Mr Ferrari was having another spat with a gentleman called Ferruccio. The chap who was making tractors had a few tips for Enzo to improve the ‘drivability’ of his cars which resulted in him receiving a bloody nose from the man from Maranello. Ferruccio Lamborghini decided to start building his own cars. Oh dear, Enzo did it again but we really should be grateful for the Miura, Countach, Gallardo, Aventador, Sesto Elemento etc etc.

On the face of it, if Enzo Ferrari had been a mild-mannered, passive, congenial individual neither the GT40 or the multiple creations from Lamborghini would have ever existed. Quite fortunate therefore that he wasn’t and not only did he create some of the world’s greatest cars himself but he also had a hand in the creation of some that did not wear a Ferrari badge.

Grazie mille Enzo Ferrari!

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f12brosso

Looks aren’t everything so my mother used to tell me. It’s the person inside she said and how right she was too. In the car world however, looks are very important. Subjective maybe, but still important.

The Porsche Panamera springs to mind. I remember walking up to the car for the first test drive and decided that I was going to hate it. The bulbous rear hind-quarters following the flat-nosed front end made it look as though they had stretched a 911 too far on a rack and stuck two doors on each side. The Panamera was not pretty.

But to drive the car was sublime. Great driving position, performance and handling made it very easy to forget the awkward shape of the car being driven. Until you caught a reflection of the Panamera in a large shop window and realised what the rest of the world could see as you bowled merrily along the high street.

Handing the keys back was filled with mixed emotions. What a great car to drive but so hard to fall in love with. I tried hard to forgive the peculiar design but to this day, nine years later, the Panamera has not aged well. Sorry Porsche. Hopefully your forthcoming face-lift for the car this year will transform this ugly duckling.

History is littered with examples of cars that have struggled in the style stakes but have nonetheless been recognised as proper driving machines. One that came up in conversation recently was the BMW Z3M Coupe. Unkindly described by some people as a ‘bread van’, BMW had somehow managed to transform the interesting design of the Z3 roadster into a disfigured hunchback of a coupe. But we loved it and so it seems does everybody else these days with decent examples fetching up to £40k. Who would have guessed that?

Even Ferrari has made a couple of faux-pas in the shape of the Mondial, designed by Pininfarina, and its predecessor the 308/208 GT4 designed by Bertone. Time hasn’t been kind to the Mondial and possibly the Bertone offspring wins by a whisker in this comparison. What about the Testarossa that still looks like it is stuck in the 80’s with those exaggerated side-intakes and the 456 which was probably the most bland design ever to come from Maranello?

But all it takes is the arrival of a superstar in the company’s line-up and all those previous mishaps are forgotten. Enter the F12berlinetta in 2012.

With a mix of dramatic curves and the odd aggressive sharp crease in the right place Ferrari created a car you could stare at all day. You could buy it and never drive it because you wanted to make sure you had taken in every inch of the beautiful shape and then go back and check it all over again.

But drive it you must. Before the LaFerrari arrived it was the fastest production car out of Maranello. The figures speak for themselves: 6.2 litre V12 producing 740hp. 0-60 mph in less than 3 seconds. 0-120 mph in 8.5 seconds. Maximum speed 211 mph. The F12 is a seriously fast car and only the F12tdf will come between this and the LaFerrari when it is launched this year.

However, it is not just about the looks and the performance figures but it is also the aural sensation of the way it goes about its business. The engine note is akin to that heard in a Formula One race car. A kind of mid-range bark that turns into a screaming wail at high revs and then crackles loudly on the fast down-shifts. Delicious.

So there it is. Is the F12berlinetta the perfectly packaged sports car with the looks, the performance and the noise to go with it? We think it comes close and has certainly set a very high bar for all newcomers. Maybe only Ferrari itself can eclipse its own accomplishments but we shall find out in the fullness of time no doubt.

For anybody now thinking of purchasing an F12berlinetta we can tell you about a car that will be coming onto the market in a couple of weeks from now – let’s say early February.

Finished in Rosso Corsa with Cuoio Leather interior, this F12 is right hand drive, brand new and unregistered. The specification includes the following: yellow brake calipers and rev counter, Scuderia shields, fully electrically operated seats, reverse camera, suspension lifting system, AFS, carbon/LED steering wheel plus 20″ forged and painted wheels. This is also a vat qualifying vehicle.

For further details including pricing information please contact The Car Spy on ++44 (0)1892 506970 or ++44 (0)7809 890969. You can also send an email to sales@thecarspy.net

In the meantime this video from Chris Harris about the Ferrari F12berlinetta gives a good insight to the car and its ultimate capabilities. It is nearly 15 minutes long but great viewing….enjoy!

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12 months is not a long time. Only yesterday, it seems, we were waltzing through the airport terminal in Geneva and turning left into the Palexpo to ogle the latest automotive eye-candy. And now it is 2015.

Last year was okay and kind of worth the trip but this year we were gagging to get there. Over 70  new models on display plus the inevitable bunch of interesting concept cars that never see the light of day. So on with the show.

With so much to see we’ll just focus on the cars that were of particular interest to us which means you can exclude most of the mass market offerings.

Cutting to the chase our show hero was the Koenigsegg Regera – ‘robotic’ body panels, 1500 hp, 0-60 mph in minus 2 seconds, brain-mashing top speed, everything about the car is mental. The car is from Sweden and is the antithesis of ABBA. It is Black Sabbath on acid. Everybody now go back to the drawing board.

Koenigsegg Regera

Next up is the Ford GT. Only 250 cars will be made and the launch date is some time in 2016. For a car that looks this good and performance will be up there with the best it is hard to believe that it will cost around £200k. Speculators and investors form an orderly queue now.

Ford GT

Aston Martin. They really are stuck between a rock and a hard place. The brand is bullet-proof, up there with Apple in terms of global recognition and Bond’s perennial favourite weapon of choice. The cars are drop-dead gorgeous and yet they struggle to persuade die-hard Porsche buyers to consider AM as a viable alternative. The GT3 (Aston Martin) is all sold-out – yep 100 cars gone in the blink of an eye without a single car being built so there are some real fans out there. The Vulcan, to be honest, does not look like an Aston Martin. It looks like it came from the planet Vulcan and driven by Mr Spock (RIP). Designed for those who have enough money to have a spare car for track days (at Paul Ricard not Donington) the detail of the car is truly impressive. The rear light assemblies are a work of art and deserve a place in the Louvre. Bravo Aston Martin for surprising all of us!

Aston Martin Vulcan

Yes the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 is a concept but the car is real and very likely to be gunning for 911 customers in the very near future. The car on display was rotating gracefully while the crowds gawped and wiped the dribble from their mouths. The EXP is a truly lovely design and there is a little bit of Aston Martin in the profile. The interior is lovely too and you know they will sell zillions of them if they actually start making the car which we think they (VW) will. It is a no-brainer so all they have to do is come up with a sensible name for the car.

Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6

If we all accept that the internal combustion engine will one day no longer exist but at the same time pray that we will not be driven around by a car made by Google there is a ray of hope in the form of fuel cell technology from nanoFlowcell AG. The Quantino F is a concept right now and maybe a little too avant-garde for mass market tastes but it bodes well for the future of green motoring. With a range of 1000 kms and a top speed of 200 kph we can all put away the razor blades – cars can survive without petrol.

Quantino F

Other highlights for us were the Alfa Romeo 4c Spider (prettier than the Coupe), Ferrari 488 (even more desirable than a 458), McLaren 675LT (they seem to going from strength to strength), Lamborghini Aventador SV (how can you make an Aventador even more terrifying?), Sergio by Pininfarina (not a game-changer but such a perfect design and future classic), Audi R8 (looks the same but then again doesn’t – if that makes any sense), Lotus (shouldn’t they be dead by now? The Evora and Exige still look damn good), Porsche 911 GT3 RS in orange (they couldn’t have picked a better colour), Porsche Cayman GT4 in yellow (they couldn’t have picked a better colour) and Renault Sport RS 01 (the bastard child of the Caterham/Renault love affair? At the right price this car will sell well).

There are even more exhibits that are probably worth a mention and we did manage to take a few shots of nice cars during our visit to the show so please take a look at our slideshow when you have time.

For now then we have stocked up on Toblerone, Swiss cheese and cuckoo clocks albeit with less Swiss Francs left than last year but roll on 2016 – not sure if it will be as interesting as this year though!

DSCN3439

It’s a good idea to run a classic car show in the New Year. Christmas is over, the weather is rubbish, everybody is looking forward to their credit card bill at the end of the month – not. So what we need is a car show to lift the spirits and for those of us who love their classics we have been looking forward to the first ever classic car event at Excel in London ever since it was proposed over a year ago.

First impressions? Well a tad underwhelming to be frank at least as far as the marketing of the event is concerned. Great location, potentially a great format but the promotional effort just seemed a little half-hearted.

Get off the train at Customs House and you see a multitude of signage suggesting that you were actually visiting the London Boat Show which has been held coincidentally at Excel this time of the year for most of the last decade.

Nothing wrong with a boat show being on at the same time and in fact there is probably a lot in common between boat buyers and classic car buyers. Both are obsessed with their toys and think nothing of pouring money into bottomless pits of expenditure. Wives are noted by their absence.

However having found the entrance to the classic car extravaganza it was obvious this was not a half-baked event as far as the exhibitors were concerned. Many of the well-established names in the classic car world were very much in attendance – Joe Macari, Hexagon, JD Classics, Frank Dale and Nicholas Mee – along with a healthy contingent of restorers and other assorted specialist service providers.

A ‘Hall of Fame’ section of the show featured a number of historic Formula One racing cars including Mansell’s ‘Red Five’ plus a huge nod to Adrian Newey’s contribution to motor sport. Some truly great cars were on show in this section.

Certainly the industry seemed to be taking the new event very seriously indeed.

Since the people behind the event have a history of putting together well-organised events such as the Top Gear road-shows it was no surprise to find a ‘live’ feature to entertain the crowds.

A ‘runway’ or ‘catwalk’ ran the length of the hall and at certain times of the day a gaggle of selected classics would make their way individually up and down the track while a commentary about each car was belted out over the PA system.

For those attracted by the aural sensations of a Lamborghini Diablo being fired up this was a lovely place to be. Add to that the explosive arrival of an historic F1 car such as Ayrton Senna’s Lotus 97T which provided a piece of gratuitous wheelspin at each turn at the end of the track and it was schoolboy nirvana. Nice.

It would be impractical to discuss every exhibitor and car in detail but if you are a classic car lover you would not be disappointed and there is plenty to ogle at. Most stands were welcoming and inviting for visitors and in fact most of the cars were left unlocked so peering inside a concours classic was not an issue for the exhibitors it seems.

Amongst the highlights for us were the Eagle E-types which although accepted are ‘re-creations’ rather than original classics the standard of finish and detail of their cars was deeply impressive. A lime-green Stratos also captured our hearts along with a short wheel-base Quattro and every single Ferrari 275 on display.  Hang on what about the Jensen Interceptor Convertible, Lotus Elan, McLaren F1 GTR, Miura, DB6 Vantage and Porsche 912? The list could go on and on but take a look at our show images and decide which are your own favourites.

Will we be going in 2016? Try and stop us, might even try and see a few boats next time too!

When the time came to replace the Ferrari F355 the new arrival faced some pretty high expectations. The F355 had established itself as one of the best driver’s cars to come out of Modena and the bar had been set very high indeed.

And when the very pretty 360 arrived it went and raised the bar even higher still.

Ferrari had partnered with Alcoa to produce an entirely new all aluminium space-frame chassis that was 40% stiffer than the F355 which had utilized steel. The design was 28% lighter despite a 10% increase in overall dimensions.

The 3.6 litre V8 engine in the new car had been redesigned using a flat plane crankshaft, titanium connecting rods to generate 400 bhp. Despite what looks like on paper modest power gains the reality was that the power to weight ratio was significantly improved on over the F355 which was due to the combination of both a lighter car and more power. The 0 to 100 kph (62 mph) acceleration performance improved from 4.6 to 4.3 seconds.

However if you like a bit of Tabasco sauce on your chilli burgers then the CS (Challenge Stradale) is the car for you.

In essence the Challenge Stradale is a low production track day focused car based on the 360 Modena. It was inspired by the 360 MC (Modena Challenge) racing car so the focus was primarily on improving its track lapping performance by concentrating on handling, braking and weight reduction characteristics.

Ferrari engineers designed the car from the outset with a goal of 20% track day use in mind and 80% road use. With only a small 20 bhp improvement in engine power from the Modena (and boasting an improved power-to-weight ratio) the Challenge Stradale accelerates from 0 to 100 kph (62 mph) in 4.0 seconds (three tenths faster than a Modena) but bald figures do not paint the full picture.

For the enthusiastic driver the differences are truly staggering – genuine systematic improvements were achieved to the setup and feel of the whole car. Throttle response from the digital throttle was ratcheted up and feedback through the steering wheel was enhanced. The responsiveness of the controls, the balance of the chassis, the braking performance and the driver feedback all contribute greatly to the overall driving experience and lead the Challenge Stradale to claim an impressive 3.5 seconds improvement per lap of its Fiorano circuit compared to the Modena (the target was 2.5 seconds).

So how was the weight-saving achieved?

Well the 360 Challenge Stradale is up to 110 kg lighter than the standard Modena if all the lightweight options are specified such as deleted radio, plexiglass door window and Alcantara fabric (instead of the leather option). As much as 94 kg was taken off on the car by lightening the bumpers, stripping the interior of its sound deadening and carbon mirrors and making the optional Modena carbon seats standard.

Resin Transfer Moulding was utilized for the bumpers and skirts, a carry over from the Challenge cars which resulted in lighter bumpers than on the Modena. The engine and transmission weight was slimmed down 11 kg through the use of a smaller, lighter weight sports stainless steel exhaust back box and valved exit pipes.

The Challenge Stradale also acquired Brembo carbon ceramic brakes as standard which shaved 16 kg off the curb weight and improved handling by reducing un-sprung weight and completely eliminating brake fade.

This is one of the best cars ever made by Ferrari. Enough said.

The 360 CS is also a very rare car. ‘Official’ Ferrari stats say that in total 1200 were built but only 115 right hand drive examples were ever made and we have been asked to find a buyer for one of them by one of our clients who is the current owner of this particular car:-

Finished in Rosso Scuderia plus Blu Scuro (very dark blue) leather seats with special red stitching this 2004 right hand drive 360 CS has recorded only 8600 miles from new which is reflected in the car’s exemplary condition. 

The specification includes the following:-

* F1 Gearbox
* Carbon Fibre Backed Racing Seats
* Carbon Mirrors
* Yellow Rev Counter
* Carbon Fibre Door Cards
* Ferrari Becker Radio System
* 6 CD Changer
* Blu Scuro Leather Headlining
* 4 Point Red Ferrari Harnesses
* Blu Scuro Road Legal Roll Bar
* Leather Steering Wheel with Red Centre Line
* Blu Scuro Leather Upper Dashboard
* Black Carpets
* Carbon Centre Console
* 19” Ferrari BBS Alloys
* Red Brake Calipers
* Tricolore Stripe (not painted)
* Battery Charger

The car also comes with the full compliment of Ferrari driver’s handbooks, car cover, toolkit, Ferrari service history file and a sheaf of receipts.

£Price on Application

If you would like to find out more about this very special 360 Challenge Stradale give The Car Spy a call on 01892 506970 or email sales@thecarspy.net