Pinnacle Auto Appraisers' Blog
Keeping the auto appraising industry up to date with important auto industry and appraiser information.
The Concorso d'Eleganza ranks as the world's most exclusive showing of collectable cars, held for about 60 lucky owners at the Villa d'Este hotel on the shores of Italy's Lake Como. It's a celebration of automotive history on the playground of the world's wealthiest people — and yet many of the treasured cars were once someone else's trash.
Take the ceremonial star of the show, a 1925 Rolls-Royce Round Door coupe, which hasn't left the grounds of the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles in several years. Famed for its Belgian-built body that stretches into the horizon, and lovingly restored at least twice, the car would fetch an eight-figure sum at any auction.
Buddy Pepp, the museum's executive director, says some of his most frightening moments involve the few hundred feet he's driven the car. Yet a few decades ago, the Rolls-Royce was rusting in a New Jersey junkyard, where it was discovered by an entrepreneur in the 1950s who slapped a coat of gold paint on it and charged $1 to see it. Only after a massive rebuilding by Bob Petersen did the car's true value emerge.
Wrecked, abandoned, forgotten — it's a story told by many owners at the Concorso, from the 1939 BMW 335 Cabriolet pulled from an Italian barn after a few decades of neglect to the 1962 Maserati 5000 GT discovered by a diamond merchant in Venezuela as its then-owner's street-parked, dusty jalopy. (The restoration took 10 years.)
What unites these owners isn't so much wealth as a commitment to their cars that goes beyond a monetary value. Even cars that have been preserved for decades, such as the 1968 Ford GT 40, need extensive care to stay in drivable shape. The organizers of the Concorso take pains to choose cars unique among their peers, rejecting two-thirds of those who apply to show up and keeping the field far smaller than the more famous Pebble Beach event.
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GM Design Director Kip Wasenko calls it “the Corvette Duntov would have built to win LeMans.”
Now some lucky and very wealthy – person will have the opportunity to buy this hand-crafted custom 1963 Corvette unlike any other in the world, complete with a jaw-dropping modernistic design and a twin-turbo, mid-engine setup that boasts 0-60 times below 3 seconds.
The Corvette V7 Twin Turbo will be on the auction block at the Barrett-Jackson Auction to be held in Palm Beach, Fla., from April 5-7.
Barrett-Jackson’s website defines the car as “a stunning reinvention or vision of the future,” and with the automotive industry's coveted GM Design Award resting snugly in its rear pocket, who can argue with that statement about this stunning vehicle?
The split window coupe has been “passionately resculpted and shaped with swooping lines and breathtaking style,” Barrett-Jackson boasts, and “the new cab forward design allows the motor to be viewed through the original rear window's openings.” In fact, the entire split-window area rises on pistons to let that magnificent motor be seen in all its glory.
And what a motor it is. The LS V8 engine has dynoed at a remarkable 1,067-hp and 915 lb.-feet of torque. Compare that to a ZR1's 638-hp and 604 lb.-feet of torque, and you have an idea of just what kind of monster is lurking underneath the Twin Turbo's sleek black exterior that features an industry first “suislide” articulating door system. We don't know exactly what that means, but if it's on this car, it has to be way cool.
Technically speaking, the Corvette features a custom tube dual ladder frame, Penske Racing fully adjustable suspension, huge six-piston Baer brakes with cross-drilled rotors, and custom HRE wheels resting inside Michelin's widest tires. It also has race-style seating from Cobra with full Crow harness system, along with conveniences like power windows and HVAC but no audio system. The only sound you'll want to hear when driving this car is the motor!
March 16, 2012