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Borracho – Topher Nalefski, State Street, Sarasota FL

June 26, 2015

State Street’s Bartender Extraordinaire Chris “Topher” Nalefski Demonstrates His New Creation the “Borracho”

IN THE NEWS: BMW Teases 3.0 CSL Hommage Ahead of Villa d’Este

May 14, 2015

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Munich/Cernobbio. On 22 May 2015, the BMW Group will unveil the new BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage to the global public for the first time at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. This model is the BMW Design Team’s tribute to the BMW 3.0 CSL, a timeless classic and iconic BMW Coupe from the 1970s. The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage is a nod to the engineering achievement exemplified by the BMW 3.0 CSL in its lightweight design and performance. The Hommage draws on the character of the earlier model and endows it with cutting-edge materials to translate it into the present in a new and exciting guise.

Exclusive, confident, athletic: the exterior design.

The design of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage exudes sheer dynamics, with the body framed by striking air deflectors, powerful wheel arches and a prominent roof and rear spoiler. The stretched flanks serve as an elegant counterpoint to the distinctly sporty front and rear end. Subtle and finely sculpted surfaces convey dynamics and exclusivity, while the extensive use of carbon fibre for the lower section highlights the car’s systematic lightweight design concept.

Elegant purism: the interior design.

The rigorously pared-down interior of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage renders its lightweight concept not only visible but tangible as well. All the elements in the cabin are absolutely essential and each constituent has a high-quality structural or driving-related function. In its materials and detail solutions, the Hommage displays technical supremacy and formal sophistication. Like the interior as a whole, it reflects the special character of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage, embodying as it does a consummate combination of lightweight design, sportiness and elegance.

IN THE NEWS: David Brown Automotive Speedback GT to Make American Debut at The Quaill

May 14, 2015

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Coventry, England (May 2015): Launched in March 2014, Speedback GT from David Brown Automotive heralded a new era for GT models, showcasing a classically styled car with modern mechanicals, reliability and comforts.

Designed, engineered and hand-crafted in Britain, Speedback GT is now launching officially in the United States, after triumphing in Europe both via media reaction and sales.

Displaying at The Quail, the famed motorsports gathering located at Quail Lodge in California, the event will be the perfect place to demonstrate Speedback GT’s merits to the American media and public for the first time. Initially showcasing at the Quail Rally Welcome Reception on 10th August, it will participate in the Rally on 11th and 12th August before the main Quail event on 14th August where it will feature on a stand.

Company founder and CEO David Brown said: “It’s been a fantastic year for Speedback GT since its launch. Having had such a warm reception at a number of world-leading shows in Europe, it is a natural progression to bring the car to an American audience, where we’re sure there will be plenty of fans. We have already received a lot of enquiries asking when we would be bringing the car over so we’re really excited to finally be making the journey across.

“The Quail is the ideal venue to exhibit Speedback GT, with its luxurious, elegant, classic setting that encapsulate the car’s virtues and is full of true  car enthusiasts.”

The culmination of an idea David Brown has been working on for many years, Speedback GT was created by the David Brown Automotive team, including highly-experienced Head of Design, Alan Mobberley. The car, which is hand built in Coventry, proudly uses traditional British materials and craftsmanship. Made to order, Speedback offers an array of exquisite detail including hand-formed panels and hand-crafted interior, as well as some special features such as a fold-down picnic seat.

“This car appeals to anybody who desires a truly individual sports car, which can boast a fine British pedigree and which will only be produced in limited numbers, thus ensuring the kind of exclusivity associated with Britain’s once proud heritage of traditional, high-quality, automotive coach- building,” commented David.

He added: “Speedback is the realisation of a dream for me, and is the result of skilful and dedicated work by a team of highly talented designers, engineers and craftspeople. The Speedback name perfectly reflects the classic sports car tradition of the past, while also doing justice to the sophisticated silhouette of the car’s hand-built body and unique styling which features among plentiful detail, including a fold-down picnic seat.”

Priced at £495,000 (currently $753,000), Speedback GT promises exceptional performance and handling, hosting a 5.0-litre V8 supercharged unit with 510bhp and 461lb ft, hitting 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds with a top speed of 155mph.

IN THE NEWS: Bentley Marks Anniversary with Mille Miglia Run

May 12, 2015

Iconic Blower Bentleys primed for Mille Miglia challenge

(Crewe/Brescia, 12 May 2015) In 1930, ‘Bentley Boy’ Tim Birkin claimed his aborted attempt on the Mille Miglia in his legendary Blower was due to a lack of “due preparation”. 85 years on, Bentley has ensured all plans are in place for a successful Blower run in the 2015 event.

‘Bentley Boys’ the Hon. Sir Henry (Tim) Birkin and Bentley Chairman Woolf Barnato were to be the first British drivers to attempt the thousand-mile Italian test of endurance, in a supercharged ‘Bentley Blower’ known as the No. 2 ‘Birkin Blower’. According to contemporary media reports, however, ‘much disappointment was felt at the news of the Bentley withdrawal from the Brescia Thousand Miles Race’.

This year, Bentley’s original 1930 4½-litre supercharged Blower is aiming to finish what its sibling never started, taking on the world-renowned cross-country route between 14 and 17 May.

Director of Royal and VIP Relations, Richard Charlesworth, who will be piloting the historic Blower, said: “When the Blower was built in 1930 the Mille Miglia was uncharted territory for British racers. Some 85 years on and the Bentley is now a familiar sight – this year will be the Blower’s fifth entry. Last year we achieved the best result ever for Bentley, and this year we are hoping to continue that success.”

One of just 50 examples built for the road, the 85-year-old Blower features its original Vanden Plas Open Sports Four-Seat body. It was described by Autocar magazine in September 1930 as having ‘the appeal of immense power, linked with great docility’ – qualities the team will be hoping to exploit in Italy.

Built for racing, all Blowers featured the legendary supercharger installation developed by Amherst Villiers. The car running the Mille Miglia this year started life in 1930 as one of the company’s first showroom demonstrators, and is still performing eight decades on. With its classic British Racing Green livery and distinctive exhaust note, the Blower is one of the most instantly recognisable cars of all time.

For more information on the Mille Miglia visit www.1000miglia.it.

IN THE NEWS: Bentley Marks Anniversary with Mille Miglia Run

May 12, 2015

Iconic Blower Bentleys primed for Mille Miglia challenge

(Crewe/Brescia, 12 May 2015) In 1930, ‘Bentley Boy’ Tim Birkin claimed his aborted attempt on the Mille Miglia in his legendary Blower was due to a lack of “due preparation”. 85 years on, Bentley has ensured all plans are in place for a successful Blower run in the 2015 event.

‘Bentley Boys’ the Hon. Sir Henry (Tim) Birkin and Bentley Chairman Woolf Barnato were to be the first British drivers to attempt the thousand-mile Italian test of endurance, in a supercharged ‘Bentley Blower’ known as the No. 2 ‘Birkin Blower’. According to contemporary media reports, however, ‘much disappointment was felt at the news of the Bentley withdrawal from the Brescia Thousand Miles Race’.

This year, Bentley’s original 1930 4½-litre supercharged Blower is aiming to finish what its sibling never started, taking on the world-renowned cross-country route between 14 and 17 May.

Director of Royal and VIP Relations, Richard Charlesworth, who will be piloting the historic Blower, said: “When the Blower was built in 1930 the Mille Miglia was uncharted territory for British racers. Some 85 years on and the Bentley is now a familiar sight – this year will be the Blower’s fifth entry. Last year we achieved the best result ever for Bentley, and this year we are hoping to continue that success.”

One of just 50 examples built for the road, the 85-year-old Blower features its original Vanden Plas Open Sports Four-Seat body. It was described by Autocar magazine in September 1930 as having ‘the appeal of immense power, linked with great docility’ – qualities the team will be hoping to exploit in Italy.

Built for racing, all Blowers featured the legendary supercharger installation developed by Amherst Villiers. The car running the Mille Miglia this year started life in 1930 as one of the company’s first showroom demonstrators, and is still performing eight decades on. With its classic British Racing Green livery and distinctive exhaust note, the Blower is one of the most instantly recognisable cars of all time.

For more information on the Mille Miglia visit www.1000miglia.it.

IN THE GARAGE: 2002 Lamborghini Murciélago

May 8, 2015

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VIN ZA9BC10U52LA12292
Exterior [210600] Titanium Metallic
Interior [@BP] Nero Perseus
Motor 6.2 Liter V12 rated at 571 hp
Gearbox 6-Speed Manual
The Basics • Two Meticulous Owners

• 6,200 Miles

• Factory LP640 Updates

• Showroom Condition

A RENAISSANCE OF THE GENTLEMEN’S EXOTIC. Lamborghini. To some, the mere mention of its name evokes an image of fierce independence, etched from the beginning by its founder, Ferrucio Lamborghini. The story goes that in the late ’50s, the man who built tractors approached Enzo Ferrari about building a more refined grand touring car. When the racing-obsessed Ferrari refused, Lamborghini built his own and the captivating 350GT was born. Shortly thereafter, the rear-mid engine Miura changed the way we think of exotics to this day. To others, Lamborghini represents the ostentation of wealth and notoriety; a bedroom-poster ideal of success. In a world where imitation is the highest form of flattery, no other car has spawned as many replicas, poseurs and scissor-doored econoboxes as the Lamborghini supercar. When the Murciélago was introduced in 2002, the bar was raised once again. Road & Track called it “a mesmerizingly modern supercar” while Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, reflected on it as “truly extreme, uncompromising and unmistakably Italian.”

The Murciélago presented here (No 292) is unique even amongst Murciélagos, where standing out is a considerable part of their appeal. Its Titanium Metallic finish is a refined, stately exception to the more common oranges, yellows, and lime greens that have become nearly synonymous with Lamborghinis of the past two decades (i.e., “Lambo Yellow,” “Lambo Green,” etc.). This early Murcie also has several factory updates from the later-model LP640 including:

  • Hermera wheels
  • Transparent bonnet (original bonnet included)
  • Carbon fiber trim
  • Y-Pattern LED taillights

In addition to the factory updates, it includes the following distinguishing touches:

  • Custom Nortech exhaust
  • Custom diamond-stitched Alcantara upholstery
  • Blue Monterey calipers
  • Blue theater lighting in engine bay

Furthermore, its ownership by only two meticulous stewards over just 6,200 miles is a testament to No 292 being treated as more than just an object of desire, more than a revered machine. It is a piece of finessed mechanical art.

Exterior Condition
The first thing we notice is the paint. Its Titanium Metallic finish is refined and understated, yet picks up subtle tones of its surroundings such that it can look dramatically different in varying light. Furthermore, aside from one front bumper respray, it is completely original with no other paint or bodywork. What few blemishes there are have been highlighted in the photos. There is one small rock chip on the leading face of the front bumper and there is what appears to be a drip in the clearcoat on the driver’s side rear brake duct. The paint and finish are other wise flawless. No dings, scratches or touch-up of any kind. The undercarriage is equally spotless as is all the glass. The wheels are Hermera rims from the LP640 (2006 – ). There is one small spot of rash located on the front drivers side rim. Otherwise they are flawless.

Interior Condition
Inside, it is literally like new. The leather is perfect with no signs of wear. The lower dash and armrest have been covered in a custom diamond-stiched Alcantara (blue thread to accent the Blue Monterey calipers) that recalls some of the éclat of the 350GT, further enhancing the car’s overall sophistication. Carpets are fresh. Carbon fiber trim completes the interior aesthetic. Climate control works very well. Windows operate normally. All controls and instruments work properly. A custom Kenwood sound system with navigation is also there for when its occupants opt not to listen to the symphony of a glorious V12 just behind them.

Mechanical Condition
Freshly serviced 200 miles ago, the drivetrain is as strong and smooth as the day it left the showroom. No leaks, no smoke, no noises. No warning lights, no overheating, no electrical issues. It is turnkey for the next several thousand miles. It is everything one might expect from a 6,200-mile pampered car. All hydraulics, including the finicky nose lift, work perfectly. Braking is superb with no shimmy or lag in the ABS. Steering is precise. Suspension is firm and tight. It was shod with fresh Pirelli P Zeros at its last service (at 6,000 miles), with very restrained driving since. This Murciélago is ready to go.

Driving Impressions
And go it does. The 6.0 liter motor roars to life through a custom Nortech exhaust (replacing the early Murcie’s awkward exaust ports). The system brings out the full range of the V12’s notes, from a menacing basso at low RPMs to a fiendish soprano at its limits. As we pull out into the city’s mid-day traffic, we’re struck by the supercar’s decorum. It is perfectly civilized—dare we say comfortable—at moderate speeds, as well as the rigors of stop-and-go traffic. Leaving town, out to the B roads, there’s a sense that something is about to change. Like the tenacious fighting bull for which it is named, the car starts to buffet with anticipation. This is where No 292 leaves behind all of its gentlemanly nature (“gentlemen” used here in the non-gender sense, by the way). A quick (practiced) downshift from its manual gearbox, a gradual depressing of the accelerator and the performance is literally breathtaking. As free-revving a motor as you’ll likely come across, up to about 4000 RPM there’s a relaxed joy that sweeps through the entire body. Not a rush. Not exactly. More of a whoosh. Like a child on a swing. Around here, however, is when the engine comes to life and there is a NASA-like thrust that is just on the cusp of sanity. That “jump to lightspeed” scene in the first Star Wars? It’s like that. The exhilaration is unparalleled. For what is unmistakably a large vehicle (with a 2665 mm/105 in. wheelbase and weighing over two tons) it is surprisingly adept in hairpins, high speed corners and sweeping turns. Its all-wheel-drive and steamroller-sized rubber instill confidence. Having said that, this isn’t a car for the casual participant. It is very firm. It is big. It understeers. It requires attentiveness. It takes practice. Shifting, while quite silky for an Italian exotic, takes precise throws and clutch operation. Braking, while outstanding, takes the right touch. There’s some effort involved, but too much and the ABS introduces itself with a firm shake. They squeal when cold (all Murcies do) but after the pads warm up, the car is relatively free of any complaining. The tires are noisy but not annoyingly so—more of a hum. As we make our way back into town and turn up the spectacular Kenwood audio system, the V12, the Pirellis, the music all blend together in perfect harmony. We and the Murciélago, as one, return to civility and, perhaps, to what Ferrucio had in mind with “the gentlemen’s exotic.”

IN CELEBRATION: Star-Studded Lineup for Jaguar at 2015 Mille Miglia

April 30, 2015

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(Whitley, Coventry – 30 April 2015). Jaguar is celebrating its 80th anniversary by once again taking on the legendary challenge that is the Mille Miglia. Held from 14-17 May in Italy, Jaguar Heritage Racing will be fielding a team of drivers who will cover more than 1,000 miles from Brescia-Rome-Brescia in nine of the marque’s most celebrated models.

Famous faces from the world of motorsport, TV and music will put their historic Jaguars through their paces on the gruelling route which takes place over four punishing but unforgettable days starting in Brescia, heading to Rimini, Rome, Parma and then back to Brescia. Crowds lining the route will get to see examples of historically-significant Jaguar XKs, C-types and D-types hurtling past them with famous faces in the cockpits.

Five-time winner of the Le Mans 24hr, three-time Daytona 24hr winner and world sportscar veteran, Derek Bell, will make his Mille Miglia debut driving a Jaguar C-type.  Derek is driving as a guest of art collector and classic car enthusiast Adam Lindemann.

Piloting the second C-type, ‘NDU 289’, will be Jaguar Vehicle Integrity Chief Engineer Mike Cross, while the final C-type, ‘PUG 676’, will be driven by Royal Automobile Club Motoring Committee Chairman, Ben Cussons.

Driving ‘RSF 303’, a priceless Jaguar D-type ‘Long Nose’ Ecurie Ecosse racer, which finished second at Le Mans in 1957, will be Jaguar Design Director, Ian Callum. A veteran of the Mille Miglia, Ian drove with US chat show host Jay Leno in the 2014 event – this year he will be partnering up with businessman and classic car enthusiast, Clive Beecham.

At the wheel of a Jaguar MK VII will be a man who’s no stranger to speed and sleep deprivation – Charley Boorman. More used to two wheels than four thanks to his many motorbike adventures, Charley will be partnered by Bremont co-founder
Giles English. The fastest saloon car of its day, a Jaguar MK VII was famously piloted to victory in the 1956 Monte Carlo Rally by Ronnie Adams with co-drivers Frank Biggar and Derek Johnstone.

Making for a very glamorous cockpit is ‘OOF 748’ – the XK120 roadster of model, TV presenter and current host of Channel 5’s The Classic Car Show, Jodie Kidd, whose co-driver will be male supermodel, GQ columnist and classic car enthusiast, David Gandy.

Host of the hugely popular BBC One show, Saturday Kitchen and well-known TV chef, James Martin, will be partnered by Bremont co-founder Nick English, brother of Giles. They will share the penultimate ‘Long Nose’ Jaguar D-type ever built, registered ‘393 RW’. Completing the trio of D-types will be one of the classic car world’s most respected experts, Simon Kidston.

Completing the Jaguar Heritage team line-up is successful British singer/song-writer Elliot Gleave, otherwise known as Example. Elliot will be driving a XK140 with his father, Michael, as co-pilot. The XK140, registered ‘TAC 743’, was once owned by successful British racing driver David Hobbs.

On the Mille Miglia, a number of new Jaguar XEs will also support the Jaguar Heritage Racing team, following the full route through Italy with broadcast crews and VIP guests.

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