The 300 SL is a very unusual automobile. All you need to do is look at one with its doors open and you will what we mean. Manufactured by Daimler-Benz AG, the 300 SL was based on the company’s highly successful 1952 race car, the W194. To make the 300SL, Mercedes took the W194, made it into a 2-door coupe, and added gull-wing doors. Over 80% of the car’s total production of approximately 1400 units were sold in the United States, making the 300SL the first Mercedes-Benz widely successful outside its home market. Today, fully restored 300SL coupes can bring in close to a million dollars at auction.
Ferrari 250 GTO
The 250 GTO was a GT car produced by Ferrari from 1962 to 1964. It’s rivals in the Group 3 Grand Touring Car category included the Shelby Cobra, Jaguar E-Type and Aston Martin DP214. When new, Ferrari 250 GTOs cost $18,000 in the United States, with buyers personally approved by Enzo Ferrari along with his North American dealer, Luigi Chinetti. Today, Ferrari 250 GTOs are worth a little more than their initial sales price. In May of 2012, a 1962 250 GTO set an all-time record selling price of $38,115,000 at auction. While in October, 2013, a Connecticut-based collector Paul Pappalardo sold chassis number 250 GT 5111GT to an unnamed buyer for a new record of around $52 million.
Ford GT 40
It started with Henry Ford II. In 1963, Ford was attempting to buy the famed automaker Ferrari and negotiations between Ford II and Ferrari broke down after months of talks. Ford II, famous for his powerful temper, decided that he wanted to beat Ferrari at his own game and this meant winning at Le Mans, the world’s stage of auto racing. Thus, began the designing of the Ford GT40–America’s most incredible racecar ever.
Originally developed in England by Ford Advanced Vehicles Ltd under the direction of Aston Martin’s former manager, John Wyer, the GT40 was at first a failure; it failed to place at Le Mans in 1964 and 1965. At that point, Ford II brought in Carroll Shelby. Shelby’s success at Le Mans in his Cobras gave him the credentials to pull off an upset. The first thing Shelby did he was replace the small block 289 GT40 engine with the same powerful, big block 427 V-8 that powered his Cobras. This seems counter-intuitive because big block engines are quite heavy but our technical consultant at Thompson Toyota of Edgewood, MD, explained that the lower revving, big block V-8′s were more able to take the stress of long endurance races than the higher-revving, small block engines used by Ferrari. The results were great, Ford established a remarkable four-year winning streak from 1966 – 1969.
The Sunbeam Alpine is a two-seater sports drophead coupé produced by the Rootes Group from 1953 until 1968. It was originally powered by smallish 4 cylinder engines until Carroll Shelby got involved. The result was the Alpine Tiger, a high-performance V8 version of the Sunbeam Alpine.
Two major versions of the vehicle were built: the Mark I which was fitted with the 260 Ford V8 and the Mark II, of which only 633 were built in its final years of production, which was fitted with the larger Ford 289. Two extensively modified prototype versions of the Mark I competed in the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans, but neither completed the race.
Earthgarage – Greener Car. Fatter Wallet.