2011 BUGATTI 16.4 VEYRON SUPER SPORT…BECAUSE THEY CAN!

The Bugatti Veyron to most of us is like the Loch Ness monster.  We have heard of the beast and know of its capabilities but few of us have ever gotten to see the mythical creature in person much less in action.  Perhaps even more elusive than Nessy is the 2011 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport.

2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

For starters there have only been 46 of these cars produced, all of which have been spoken for, and 6 have made their way to the US.  The cost is a mere $2.7M and it comes with a set of shinny $35K run-flat Michelin tires, but these aren’t the staggering numbers.  The staggering numbers lie deep within the belly of the beast, with its W-16 Quad-Turbo Charged (4 turbos) power plant that produces 1200 horsepower.  The Super Sport rockets from 0-60 in 2.5 seconds, which is the same time as a Formula 1 car however the metal and carbon fiber mass weighs in at 4545 lbs.

2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

The car just set a new top speed world record for production cars at 268 mph although you need a special key to go above 233 mph (see video below).  In case your curious, the gauge cluster actually has a “horsepower gauge” to keep you well informed as to why your fuel consumption is 8/14 city/highway at all times.

2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

Although I suggested retro-rockets to slow this car down, Bugatti went with a quieter 15.8” ceramic disc 8-piston caliper brake for the front and 15.0” ceramic disc 6-piston caliper brake for the rear.

2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

Knowing that this is a commuter car for many of their clients, Bugatti designed the cockpit with the utmost luxury in mind and makes it quite comfortable to go 200+ mph.  So why does Bugatti push the envelope and make what is already the fastest car in the world faster? Because they can!  You really can’t beat what Bugatti has been able to accomplish and for the time being this is one of the most advanced road-going cars in history.  I may consider putting my name on next year’s waiting list depending on what interest rates they offer.

 

Check out the below below as Top Gear max’s out the Veyron Super Sport on a 30 mile track!

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FERRARI MUSEUM IN MARANELLO…A GLIMPSE OF HEAVEN!

As I mentioned in my previous post I finally achieved one of my life long goals and made a pilgrimage to the Ferrari Factory and while there I had a chance to visit the Ferrari Museum (videos at the end).

Ferrari Museum in Maranello, Italy

Ferrari Museum in Maranello, Italy

Upon entering the museum I walked through the impressive gift shop, which has anything and everything you can possibly place a Ferrari shield on.  Walking through the shop I was greeted by the friendly Ferrari staff in spotless and perfect Ferrari uniforms.  I was given the option of purchasing a general admission ticket for 13 Euros or a touring ticket in which you actually board a bus and drive through the Ferrari Factory among other stops.  Being that it was a Sunday and the factory was closed I chose to save my money for more Ferrari gifts on the way out.

Ferrari Museum in Maranello, Italy

Ferrari Museum in Maranello, Italy

I really didn’t expect to see so many rare and amazing Ferrari’s as I did.  Among all the Formula 1 and Le Mans cars basking in all their glory, as fans snap off picture after picture, sat a few cars you rarely ever see.   I spotted a Super America version of the 599 Fiorano (protoypte?), and the 599XX Speciale both of which looked absolutely stunning just to name a few.

Ferrari Museum in Maranello, Italy

Ferrari SA Aperta aka 599 Super America in Maranello, Italy

Ferrari 599XX Speciale

Ferrari 599XX Speciale in Maranello Italy

Another really cool display was Enzo Ferrari’s actual office recreated in the museum complete with his desk, chair, coffee mug, hat, pictures on the walls etc… Once I reached the 2ndfloor I was immediately greeted by a beautiful red Enzo (F60) sitting in front of a Factory facade mock up and she looked right at home.

Ferrari Enzo (F60) in Ferrari Museum, Maranello Italy

Ferrari Enzo (F60) in Ferrari Museum, Maranello Italy

As I walked past the Enzo I stepped into a dark magical room that had ambient music playing while 8 F1 cars sit perched in front of flat screen TV’s displaying Ferrari’s winning race history (video below).  Trophies were displayed behind a glass wall while people starred in utter amazement at the heavenly room.  It was really something to have visited the museum and it turned out to be much more than I expected.  If you are ever anywhere near Modena I highly recommend you spend a couple hours of your time and head over to the Ferrari campus, you won’t regret it.

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FERRARI P4/5 BY PININFARINA…THE BEST WAY TO SPEND $4M!

As I must have mentioned many times over I used to be a Ferrari mechanic when I was a teenager. I mainly worked on and restored vintage Ferrari race cars. The 2 cars that I am most fond of and spent the most time with are the Ferrari 250 SWB and the Ferrari 330 P3/4. I absolutely adored these cars and often wondered why more people didn’t know about them. The P stands for “prototype” and very few of them were produced, which may explain why not too many people knew about them.

Original Ferrari 330 P3/4

Original Ferrari 330 P3/4

No car is better fit for the phrase Beauty and the Beast than the Ferrari 330 P3/4. By far one of the most beautifully designed cars ever built and one of the most revered Ferrari’s in history. Its curvaceous lines draw you closer and closer while your mouth stays open in awe as you analyze every aspect of her gorgeous design. That was the reaction I had when I first laid eyes on her. You could only imagine how happy I was when they told me I was in charge of that car! I can only describe the sound of this car as a Detroit Diesel with straight exhausts at idle. It is the loudest and meanest sounding car at the track and you always know what part of the track she’s on, due to her unique sound. At speed she plays only the finest Ferrari music one can imagine sounding like a well tuned 12 cylinder should.
Pininfarina-Ferrari P4/5

Pininfarina-Ferrari P4/5

I was so pleased to hear someone else shared my passion for the P3/4 and announced that coach builder, Pininfarina, was commissioned to build a modern-day version of this mythical beast. In 2006 James Glickenhaus, stock exchange magnate and known car collector, collaborated with the Turin coach builder to produce a modern version of the Ferrari P.

Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina

Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina

With sketches drawn up by the extremely talented Jason Castriota and styling team leader Ken Okuyama, the goal was to stay clear of any retro design and move towards a forward thinking supercar. That they did using the last unsold Ferrari Enzo (F60) as the basis for this build. More than 200 components were designed especially for the car while moving through computer aided sculpture and stringent wind tunnel testing. Most components including engine and drive train were modified from the original Enzo which now goes 0-62 in 3.0 seconds (0.5 seconds quicker than the Enzo) and has a top speed of 233 mph, not too shabby! The V12 produces 660 bhp at 7800 rpm and 485 lb-ft torque at 5500. She redlines at 8200 rpm and uses the 6 speed semi-automatic transmission from the Enzo. Oh yeah one last thing…it cost $4 Million! To be honest that is the absolute best way to spend $4 million and I thank god there are people out there like James Glickenhaus that know how to enjoy their wealth while sharing it at the same time.

Pininfarina-Ferrari P4/5

Pininfarina-Ferrari P4/5

Pininfarina-Ferrari P4/5

Pininfarina-Ferrari P4/5

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MY PILGRIMAGE TO FERRARI….NOW MY LIFE IS COMPLETE!

Ferrari Factory in Maranello Italy

Ferrari Factory in Maranello Italy

Ferrari Enzo resting in the Ferrari Museum in Maranello Italy
Ferrari Enzo resting in the Ferrari Museum in Maranello Italy

In every car guys life there is a least one ultimate goal, a lifelong dream, a pilgrimage if you will.  No I’m not talking about a religious act or even a family tradition, I am talking about the few things you put on your bucket list before dying.  For some it’s going to the Indy 500 or to drive a race car, for others it’s simply to meet someone like Carroll Shelby.  For me it was visiting the Ferrari Factory!

Ferrari Formula 1 Cars at The Ferrari Museum in Maranello

Ferrari Formula 1 Cars at The Ferrari Museum in Maranello

Ever since I was lucky enough to have gotten a job at International Auto restoring vintage Ferrari’s as a teenager, I have had the urge to make a pilgrimage to the Ferrari Factory.  I would hear stories about how the wealthy doctors I worked for would get flown to the factory by Ferrari to view their new models.  It sounded so cool I immediately made visiting the factory one of my top goals.  Fast forward 20 years later and I finally did it!

Standing in front of Ferrari Museum in Maranello

Standing in front of Ferrari Museum in Maranello

Let me first say it wasn’t the easiest to find.  We flew into Milan and made our way towards Modena after staying a few nights in Venice.  I went cheap and declined Hertz’s $300 up-charge for GPS and decided to use a map purely out of spite (not the best idea).  After driving aimlessly for 4+ hours I knew I was getting close as signs for Maranello began to appear.  Soon thereafter I glanced to my right and behind the trees and bushes on the side of the road looked like what appeared to be a race track.  I thought to myself could it be? Yes it was! The Ferrari test track.  As I continued down the road another few minutes, and as the trees cleared away, there it was, just like I imagined, Ferrari heaven!

Formula 1 Cars in Ferrari Museum

Formula 1 Cars in Ferrari Museum

I turned off the main street and pulled in to a large parking lot which was surrounded by the Ferrari Museum, multiple Ferrari stores, cafes and most importantly Ferrari rentals.  I was immediately overwhelmed and couldn’t speak as everything became silent; my wife was snapping her fingers in front of my face to see if I was still conscious.  A nice Italian boy walked up to me and asked if I wanted to rent a Ferrari and I just starred at him.  Ferrari’s were driving past me from the left and from the right. It was so much sensory overload , I really almost shut down.  Finally my wife grabbed me with both arms and pulled me towards the museum as I was unable to make any decisions.

Ferrari Engines Inside Ferrari Museum at Maranello

Ferrari Engines Inside Ferrari Museum at Maranello

We paid the 13 Euro entry fee and walked around in awe at the display of race cars, models, trophy’s etc…  I took a ton of pictures and will have a post specifically on the museum soon after this post.  Upon leaving the museum I ran into that kid that asked me if I wanted to rent a Ferrari earlier that day.  Without hesitation I said yes.  Fifteen minutes and 85 Euro later I was in a Ferrari California Spider with Francesco and my wife flying down the back roads of Maranello; more on this to come as well.

Ferrari California Spider Test Drive in Maranello

Ferrari California Spider Test Drive in Maranello

I had 2 more stops before leaving this magical place; the actual factory and the test track.  While both of these are off limits to common folk, you could still drive to it, pay homage and snap off a few pictures, both of which I did.

Pista di Fiorano aka Ferrari Test Track

Pista di Fiorano aka Ferrari Test Track

More to come on actually going through the Ferrari Museum and my test drive of the Ferrari California.

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THE 2011 BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT….SHE’S ALL GROWNS’D UP!

I remember when I first laid eyes on her back in 2004.  Beautiful curves, a big shiny front grille with a rear-end that could stop a freight train dead in its tracks.  She had it all, looks, power, and prestige.  I knew instantly she was going to be one of the popular girls.  Just as I suspected, she quickly became the “it” girl and like all popular girls, she lived in the fast lane mixing with the in-crowd as she grew-up through her rebellious years.  At one time or another I’ve seen her ensconced entirely in cubic zirconia, fitted with 24”& 26” wheels, painted matte pink, and appearing in just about every rap video known to man.  I’m also pretty sure I spotted her made entirely from gold in Saudi Arabia.

Those days have since passed and today she has blossomed into a more beautifully refined, elegant woman.  Despite everywhere she’s been and everything she’s done, she never forgot her roots.  The 2011 Bentley Continental GT is an all-new model and not simply a newer look as quoted by officials at Bentley.  Her newly staggered bi-xenon headlamps have been jeweled with LED daytime running lights and flow beautifully with her ever prominent front grille, which stands nearly upright now.  Her bold sexy curves remain as beautiful as ever however look more chiseled and sculpted as they draw your eyes towards her sultry rear-end.  Her tail lights have grown a bit, giving her an eye-catching European style you can only get after traveling the world.

Don’t get me wrong looks are very important but it’s what’s inside that really matters.  Her impressive 6.0 liter twin turbo charged W-12 has been improved on giving her “instant accessible supercar performance across the complete rev range.”  She’s lost a little weight and gained some muscle due to her four-cam, 48-valve mill which employs lighter, low-friction internals that shed 143 pounds off the outgoing engine. Her power is up by 15 horses and 37 pound-feet of torque (totaling 567 HP and 516 lb-ft of torque), making this girl wicked fast going 0-60 in a dashing 4.4 seconds with a top speed of 198 MPH.  She still sports those beautiful 20” five-spoke wheels and offers a 21” wheel upgrade, what a sweat heart!

Just like all beautiful woman she doesn’t come cheap, starting with a base price of $180K.  But don’t worry, if you think she’s a little too much to handle I’m told she has a little sister that’s a bit more tame (high-output V8) arriving later year.

Bentley did an amazing job of refining what was already an impressive and elegant sports coupe.  The 2011 Bentley Continental GT is as beautiful as ever and like a fine wine, just keeps getting better with age.

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FERRARI 599 GTO…POSSIBLY THE ANSWER WE’VE ALL BEEN SEARCHING FOR!

Being known as a major car guy, I am often posed the question ”if you had to pick only one favorite car what would it be?”  This question is torture to someone like me because I have about 50 favorite cars and they change on a daily basis.  I will have to say however, that the car that has almost gotten my answer to that evil question would have to be the Ferrari 599 GTO. 

I am a huge fan of the 599 Fiorano because it embodies so many things right about a sports car of this caliber.  It is a true sports coupe in every sense of the word. Powered by a massive V12 and ensconced in the best leather in the world; what more can you want? Well how about being able to say you own the fastest Ferrari road car ever made for starters? If that’s not enough, how about being able to say you drive a car with about 661bhp and 458 lb.-ft of torque and weighing in 220lbs less than the 599 GTB? Satisfied?

Aside from the jaw dropping technical data, it’s also quite special to own a GTO.  Ferrari doesn’t often label a model GTO unless it has some serious umpf to back it up.  The last car to be labeled a GTO was the infamous 288GTO whom people still make replicas of to this day.  Now let’s talk sound.  Have you ever heard one of these cars go?  If you haven’t, stop everything you’re doing and find one you can listen to.  Actually, I will place a youtube video of a 599GTO at the bottom of this post, so feel free to disregard my last sentence.  This car sounds as if they dropped an F1 car on the highway and let it go to town.

 

The Ferrari 599 GTO is truly a collectible car and is somewhat reasonably priced at $410K.  Is any car reasonable at $410K you ask?  Well, if you compare it to the next closest thing, the 599XX priced at $1.2M, the GTO seems like a steal!  With that being said, the Ferrari GTO is going in my dream garage and might be my answer to that age-old question, “if you had to pick a favorite car, which one would it be”.

Now close your eyes and listen to video below:

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THINGS GET HEATED UP AT THE TARGA TROPHY RALLY IN HOLLYWOOD, CA

With all the automotive events going on lately it’s getting difficult to keep track, however I was lucky enough to catch up with what is quickly becoming a premier automotive lifestyle event, the Targa Trophy Rally.

The rally began at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, which took over the entire parking lot leaving the valet and hotel guests dumbfounded.  A massive DJ tent claimed its territory directly behind the valet stand and proceeded to play loud dance music all day long.  One of the main sponsors of the rally, Luxury4play.com, brought their Bugatti Veyron and Maybach out to play with the other impressive arsenal of exotic sports cars participating in the rally.

As the 100 or so teams reported to the check-in, the drivers and their navigators placed stickers on their cars and chatted with other teams.  Entries included Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s, Porsches, Audi’s Viper’s, and BMW’s to name a few.

Many participants sported their finest costumes which included a Mouse helmet girl, Spiderman, Ironman, and a guy wearing daisy-dukes with a wig (really wish I didn’t see that).  As noon approached all teams were summoned to the DJ tent for a quick “drivers meeting”, in which event founder Jason Overell, forewarned the driver’s of the treacherous course and driving conditions that lay before them.

                     

At high noon the rally began and cars lined up to clock-in and receive the coveted top secret course information.  The instructions revealed the check points, and what to do while there.  A strategic point system took both driver and navigator through a 3 ½ hour course and required proof of check-in by obtaining a receipt or picture.  The adrenaline pumping rally took supreme driving machines through some of LA’s most beautiful canyons and back roads with sharp switch-backs and deadly drop-offs.  Temperatures soared to above 110 degrees which caused some tempers to flare and mechanical break downs along the way.

The rally concluded back at the Roosevelt Hotel where Targa Trophy revealed the winner of the event.  In true road rally fashion, the partying continued throughout the night at Hemingway’s and later at the Roxbury, both in Hollywood.

This was a great event but don’t kick yourself if you missed out on all the action.  I was told by Targa Trophy they are planning a 3 day event sometime in November so stay tuned for more information.  Rubber & Fumes will be there covering all the motoring goodness.

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