Italian

F12berlinetta

I’ve never been a big fan of Ferrari’s modern grand tourers. Their big V12’s are exciting, but they’ve always left much to be desired in the looks department. Things appear to be changing with this year’s F12berlinetta.

After debuting earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show, it became apparent the F12 took much of it’s inspiration, from the mid-engined 458 Italia (one of the best looking cars of all time).

The F12berlinetta certainly looks best in motion, which also helps to hide the car’s drab 5-spoke wheels.

Photo courtesy of Ferrari.

Advertisements

Throwback Thursdays: Lancia Delta Integrale

I never got a chance to do a Throwback Thursdays post yesterday, so even though it’s a day late, I’m keeping with the routine.

This week I wanted to post up something a little bit different. The hot hatch may be something the Japanese do well, but its roots are in Europe. The continent’s narrow winding roads and crowded Medieval cities, provide the perfect play ground for the hot hatch. While companies from Renault to Volkswagen have brought the car into the modern era, my favorite without a doubt, is the Lancia Delta Integrale. The Delta came in multiple variations during it’s first generation of production (1979-1994), but the one you want is the Evoluzione II, which came out in 1993. The Evo II is probably most comparable to the Subaru WRX, with it’s 215hp turbocharged, 4-cylinder engine and AWD layout.

The unfortunate thing is the Impreza didn’t come with that body and a tan interior. This is the classic Italian color combo, for a sports car and it’s beautiful. With a set of Speedline Type 2015 Monte Carlos, it’s ready for a thrash down the coast to Portofino.

The Evoluzione II is a beautiful car and another, added to the list of ones we don’t get in the states. It was one of Lancia’s best cars, throughout their rocky history and won the World Rally Championship 6 times.

With the cars of today being designed for safety, rather than style, most current hot hatch offerings look like eggs with wheels. They just don’t build them like this anymore.

F12 Berlinetta

The Geneva Motor Show is in full swing and the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is its star. The F12 has been dominating the press for the last few weeks leading up to its debut.

I don’t care for most newer, front engined Ferraris, but they’ve done a good job with this car. The looks are reminiscent of the new direction Ferrari went in with the 458 Italia. Felipe Massa was not involved in the making of this film.

Video courtesy of Ferrari.

Lamborghini Artifacts

Today I was cleaning out some old magazines and I came across this Lamborghini book. It’s been about 10 years since I looked at this thing, which was given to me at a Mercedes-Benz dealer, back in the mid-90’s. To this day, I still don’t know what it is exactly.

It reminds me of some of the magazines you find in Japan. It’s a high quality print, with beautiful imagery and little to no advertisements. I suppose that makes it more of a book, than a magazine. Most of the articles are in Italian, back when Lamborghini was still owned by the Italians.

The articles cover a variety of subjects like the manufacturing of their cars, as well as some of the company’s motor sports endeavors.

I wish I could read Italian because based on the photos, it all seems very interesting.

The first half of the book discusses the origins of the Diablo, which was 2 years old at the time. Its wedge-shaped body and scissor doors, made it my favorite car as a kid.

Motor sports becomes the focus, later in the book.

Those of you who know your Formula 1 history will know that Lamborghini supplied their V12 engines to both Minardi and Venturi, for the 1992 season. It didn’t prove to be the most successful venture as the teams ended up finishing 12th and 13th, in the constructors championship. They pulled out of the sport completely after the 1993 season with Larrousse.

A pretty interesting find and one that I had all but forgotten about.

Lamborginis are what got me into cars as a little kid. I remember how incredible it used to be to see a super car driving down the street. Now I’m spoiled and can head over to Cars & Coffee anytime, but that same feeling still comes back today.

Desmosedici

Last month I did a feature on Cars & Coffee in Irvine. For some reason, I forgot this particular photo.

Contrary to the name, Cars & Coffee gets quite a nice motorcycle turnout every Saturday. It’s a place where you’ll find all sorts exciting bikes, including the Ducati Desmosedici RR. I’m usually all about cars, but exceptions need to be made for greatness. The Desmosedici is essentially a MotoGP bike for the streets and the ultimate production sports bike (MV Agusta purists may disagree). The attention to detail and level of craftsmanship can be compared to the likes of Ferrari, to which I’ve always compared Ducati. The Desmosedici is an amazing machine no doubt.

Cars & Coffee

It seems only fitting that any automotive blog based in Southern California, do an obligatory Cars & Coffee post. This is by no means an in depth coverage; Mike Garrett and Albert Roxas already have that covered. These are just some cars that stood out for me, on my last visit in June.

Cars & Coffee gets started right around the crack of dawn. Getting up on time is never easy. It’s a struggle and you just have to deal with it. Once you’re there, the sleep deprivation subsides and the sights, sounds and smells take over. Waking up early was definitely worth it.

You’re always going to see something different at Cars & Coffee. It’s a great opportunity to check out all the cars in detail. This was my first time seeing the Ferrari 599 GTO in person. It’s quite a big car, more than I expected. The Tipo F140C is the most power production V12 Ferrari has ever produced. It’s very subdued compared to the polished velocity stacks on Ferraris of old.

A Ford GT40 in pristine condition. It could’ve rolled right off the showroom floor.

One thing you can be sure of at Cars & Coffee, there’s going to be Porsches. Next to Corvettes, I’d say there are more Porsches than any other make of car. I really liked the cream white and black combination on the 911 above. Does anyone know which version of the 911 this is? I’m pretty sure it’s a 2.7 from 1976, I could be wrong though. I’m terrible with 911 models.

The 550 Spyder is a thing of beauty. It’s easily one of the most gorgeous cars Porsche has ever produced. It’s also the car that James Dean fatally crashed in.

This particular 550 was completely spotless. Like the Ford GT40, it could’ve come straight from the dealership.

In stark contrast to the Porsches was this Frankenstein van by Slims Fabrication.

This is what I hate most. The popularity of Cars & Coffee has acted as a double-edged sword. The meet has definitely gotten bigger and better, but it’s brought in a bunch of wannabes. This dude needs to put his car in the parking garage like everyone else. I have a WRX too and you don’t see my shit on display. Subarus don’t belong at Cars & Coffee. Save your Rotas for the In-N-Out meets.

A Mosler MT900S, for sale no less. This car had a swarm of people around it all morning.

The owner was a great guy though. He was taking the time to talk to everyone about his car. That’s one of the other awesome things about Cars & Coffee, the opportunity to talk with the owners. It’s a very social atmosphere. Everyone is excited to share their passion for cars and it’s a very casual setting to do so.

Nearly every car at the meet owes something to the Mercedes-Benz 300SL.

I’ll end things with this Porsche 997 on Work Meisters. It always turns up at Cars & Coffee and I always have to take a minute to stop and admire. I believe it’s a Carrera with an OEM trunk spoiler, but I could be wrong. There’s a lot of money invested in this car, something that becomes apparent upon closer inspection.

There have certainly been better turnouts, but you can be sure there will always be something cool to see at Cars & Coffee.

F50 GT

Everyone knows about the Ferrari F40. It’s one of my favorite cars ever. Watch last week’s episode of Top Gear and you’ll see why. But what about it’s lesser-known successor, the Ferrari F50 GT?

If you’ve ever played Project Gotham Racing or Forza Motorsport, than you know that the F50 GT is one of the fastest, most lethal cars in the games. It’s been one of my favorite Ferraris for a long time and if given the chance to own any Ferrari, I’d probably have to go with the F50 GT. The car was built in 1996 and originally intended to compete in the FIA GT Championship (then called the BPR Global GT Series). It never ended up racing, nor did it go into production, making it one of the rarest of all Ferraris. Only 3 were ever sold to the public.

The 4.7L V12 produces 750 HP and sounds like a proper Ferrari should. If any of this information is sounding familiar, it’s because I totally got it off Wikipedia! Who cares? I saved you the trip of going there to look the car up after reading this post. Anyway, a bit of a departure from the usual, but I’ve spent most of the morning reading about the upcoming Formula 1 season and I had Ferrari on the brain.

Abarth Sighting

It’s always a guarantee you’ll see cool cars, out and about in Hong Kong. The cost of owning a car in Hong Kong is double what you’ll find in the US, so you have to be pretty wealthy to buy one. I’ve never been to a place with more M3’s and GT-R’s driving around. One night I was heading into Central in a taxi and we passed 5 GT-R’s in 15 minute period. My first week in Hong Kong I came across this interesting sight. It’s Fiat’s tuned 500, the Abarth.

I’ve always wanted to see one of these cars in person. I counted on seeing one at the LA Auto Show in November, but it wasn’t there (unfortunately). I took some time to look the car over and it’s a great piece of kit. I’d highly consider owning one if I lived in the middle of a big city and just needed a little run around. The Abarth has lots of nice little details that separate it from the standard Fiat 500. I hope these are coming to the US, I’d love to drive one, I bet they’re a riot.