Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Aston Martin Is Unveiling Two New Cars at Monterey Car Week. Here’s What We Know So Far.

Aston Martin Is Unveiling Two New Cars at Monterey Car Week. Here’s What We Know So Far.

Aston Martin isn’t taking any time off this summer.

The British marque just announced that it will bring two new models to Monterey Car Week later this month. The vehicles will be on display at the Aston Martin Club 1913 brand center at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and are part of the brand’s strongest-ever presence at the annual event.

The automaker clearly doesn’t want to give too much away before Monterey—which runs throughout the third week of August—but did offer a few hints at what to expect in a press release. The first vehicle is meant to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Q by Aston Martin bespoke devision. The vehicle is described as a “very special, ultra-exclusive” model inspired by the brand’s history of success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The second won’t be as limited, but will deliver “truly thrilling performance.” It will likely be in line with the range-topping DBX707 SUV and V12 Vantage, so expect something fun.

Aston Martin Valhalla 

Photo by Dominic Fraser, courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings PLC.

Aston Martin also plans to deliver some updates on its upcoming the Valhalla hybrid supercar. The brand will show off the 937 hp vehicle’s revised cockpit design for the first time at the concours, and even let enthusiast test out its new Formula 1-inspired seating position for themselves.
“As one of the premier luxury events in the world, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is an important opportunity for Aston Martin to connect with our loyal customers and showcase our latest product offering,” Renato Bisignani, Head of Global Marketing and Communications at Aston Martin, said in a statement. “We look forward to celebrating Aston Martin’s new era of performance at Pebble Beach and displaying our iconic ultra-luxury models, including a world-first reveal of an exciting new model, and the public debut of another thrilling addition to our breathtaking portfolio.”

That’s far from all the brand has gotten up to this summer. Last month, the automaker also unveiled its new, Peter Saville-revised logo and simplified “Intensity. Driven” slogan. The company also announced a new reinvestment plan it hopes will raise $782 million. The money will reportedly be used to pay off the brand’s debts as well as develop new models.

It Sure Looks Like the New All-Electric DeLorean Will Be Curvier Than the Original

It Sure Looks Like the New All-Electric DeLorean Will Be Curvier Than the Original

In February, DeLorean Motor Company confirmed the DMC-12 sport car would be making an electrifying comeback as an EV. Now the marque has divulged a few more concrete details about the reborn ‘80s icon.

As previously reported, the battery-powered ride will make its official debut on the prestigious awards ramp at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Thursday, August 18.

“Excitement is rising like the doors of our iconic sports car, and we are revealing the next generation prototype three days earlier than planned on the most prestigious stage at Pebble Beach,” Troy Beetz, CMO of DeLorean Motor Company, said in a statement.

The first teaser of the battery-powered DeLorean was released in February. 

DeLorean Motor Company

DMC adds there will be a series of activations and events showcasing the long-awaited concept car, during which the official name will be finally revealed.
In addition, the automaker shared the first official image of the next-gen four-wheeler. The new teaser, which is a little better than the simple silhouette shared in February, showcases the left shoulder and back tail light of the successor.
Penned by Italdesign, the modernized DeLorean takes cues from the retro DMC-12 that famously appeared as a two-door time machine in 1985’s Back to the Future. Like Marty McFly’s wedge-shaped vehicle of choice, the new EV features the original’s trademark gullwing doors and louvers. It also appears to sport the original model’s silver hue.

The iconic original DeLorean from the ’80s. 

DeLorean Motor Company

There are certainly differences between the two, which the detail photo makes clear. The image reveals a car with a sleek, arched roofline and far more curves than its angular ‘80s counterpart. It’s also equipped with contemporary taillights that appear to wrap around the sides of the body.
Of course, the biggest change is the new edition’s all-electric powertrain, which will be reportedly sourced from another company. CEO Joost de Vries previously shared that the setup will result in a solid 300-mile range. We suspect it’s also likely to deliver more grunt than the original’s 2.85 liter V-6, which produced a rather modest 130 hp and 160 ft lbs of torque. The new motor will also be whisper-quiet and produce zero carbon emissions.
Pebble Beach, here we come.

Missed Monterey Car Week 2021? Here’s a Recap of the World’s Premiere Motor Fest

Missed Monterey Car Week 2021? Here’s a Recap of the World’s Premiere Motor Fest

If the veracity of the adage “absence makes the heart grow fonder” was ever in question, all doubt was removed over the course of roughly 10 days this month—at least when it comes to motoring enthusiasts. After the automotive world’s hallmark confluence in Northern California was garaged last year due to the pandemic, the industry’s glitterati, esteemed collectors and admirers of every age seemed determined that the 2021 edition of Monterey Car Week would not only see the light of day, but shine as bright as ever.

Alone as far as prominence on the global stage when it comes to a celebration of automobiles, the series of exhibitions, historics racing, concours and auctions started as a single-day car show scheduled to complement the Pebble Beach Road Race in 1950. Although the latter went idle after 1956, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance continued strong and began inspiring related events which, like celestial bodies to the sun, were drawn into orbit around the greater luminary, Pebble.

A crowd gathers to catch a glimpse of the awards ceremony at the 2021 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. 

Photo by Tom O’Neal, courtesy of Rolex.

The Role of Rolex
As storied as Monterey Car Week itself, so too is one of its primary supporters, Rolex. The watchmaker long synonymous with success is the namesake sponsor of the historics races and tour, as well as the official timepiece of both the Quail and Pebble concours. Reflecting on his own time at Pebble, Rolex Testimonee and hall-of-fame racer Sir Jackie Stewart told Robb Report just prior to the event, “It’s one of the greatest collections of cars . . . and Rolex has been a very large part of that for a very long time.”

One of the ubiquitous Rolex timepieces at the Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. 

Photo by Tom O’Neal, courtesy of Rolex.

Start Your Engines
This year’s “week” actually ran from August 5 through 15, starting with a party the evening before the Concours Pasadera on August 6. Located on the grounds of Club Pasadera, a private golf and residential community, the show commemorated the 50th anniversary of Porsche’s victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 24 hours of Daytona in 1971, a feat the marque repeated at both contests the following year as well. On the four-wheel front, a 1959 Ferrari 250 TR59 took Best of Show, while a 1939 Rudge Special 500 earned the top honor for motorcycles.
The myriad subsequent attractions during the preliminary days included a select display of vintage race cars and a meet-and-greet with drivers prior to their competing at WeatheTech Raceway Laguna Seca; the Concours on the Avenue, a presentation of classics and supercars along Carmel’s Ocean Avenue on August 10; and McCall’s Motorworks Revival at the Monterey Jet Center, where the viewing of exotic flying machines and automobiles paired elegantly with regional wines.

A 1973 Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder winds along the coast during the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance. 

Photo by Tom O’Neal, courtesy of Rolex.

Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance by Rolex
For most attendees, Monterey Car Week didn’t really get in gear until the final four days, starting with the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance by Rolex on Thursday, August 12. The tony rally featured approximately 150 of the same vehicles that would end up on Pebble’s concours lawn on Sunday. The 70-mile course, which begins and ends at Pebble Beach, includes famed 17-mile Drive and the stunning vistas along Highway 1 to Big Sur. Interestingly, a classic that completes the route and then ends up in a draw at the concours will be given the win because of its tour participation.

A convoy of classics on the 2021 Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance. 

Photo by Tom O’Neal, courtesy of Rolex.

The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering
One exhibition fast becoming a favorite is the Quail, A Motorsports Gathering hosted by the Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel Valley on Friday, August 13—a most auspicious day for top-tier automakers and coachbuilders showcasing their latest masterworks. The massive OEM representation is a major differentiator between the Quail and Pebble, with the former attracting a heavy field of prospective, qualified buyers. It’s why Automobili Lamborghini chose the venue to debut its $2.64 million Countach LPI 800-4, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Countach; Rimac Automobili brought its 1,914 hp all-electric projectile, the Nevera; and SSC North America shared its SSC Tuatara, the very one that set a production-car speed record of 282.9 mph (averaged after two runs) back on January 17.

The Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 (right), unveiled at the Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. 

Photo by Tom O’Neal, courtesy of Rolex.

“It’s a proud moment for us to be able to have it [the SSC Tuatara] here, open everything up and let everybody see the attention to detail,” mentioned Jarod Shelby, founder of SSC North America. When asked about the Quail’s Motorsports Gathering in particular, he noted being “blown away by the level of vehicles and the level of buyers that are here, it’s been really impressive.”
Rumored to have had access substantially reduced compared to the 2019 offering, the contest and exhibition fostered even more of the casual ambiance and sense of community that it has become known for. But while attendees were relaxed, the competition between the assemblage of more than 200 collector cars was intense, ending with a 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster being crowned Best of Show.

The 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster that won 2021 Best of Show at the Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. 

Photo by Tom O’Neal, courtesy of Rolex.

Concorso Italiano
Bookended by the Quail and Pebble shows, Concorso Italiano is where those who gravitate to the machines of il bel paese migrated to on Saturday, August 14. On the fairways of Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Course, in neighboring Seaside, over 560 examples of mobile Italian artistry vied for attention.
Director Tom McDowell describes this particular concours as “the celebration and enjoyment of all things Italian, starting with automotive excellence.” McDowell seemed genuinely surprised by this year’s response, stating, “I was getting bombarded with appreciation for bringing back Concorso this year.  Normally I don’t get these comments from people. It felt kind of good.”

Bobbie and George Andreini earn Best of Show at the 2021 Concorso Italiano for their 1965 Maserati Mistral Spider. 

Photo: Courtesy of Concorso Italiano.

Aside from Italy’s Motor Valley mainstays like Ferrari and Maserati, such marques as Bizzarrini, Iso Grifo and De Tomaso were also well represented. But it was the town of Modena that garnered bragging rights at the finale as judges selected George and Bobbie Andreini’s 1965 Maserati Mistral Spider for the day’s ultimate honor.
Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion
Although rare and rich with provenance, many of the collector-cars at Monterey Car Week are far more than museum pieces and proved it across four days of hard racing at the Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion, held August 12 through 15, at WetherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. The field comprised 12 groups based on age and classification, varying from race cars from the 1920’s to historic Formula 1 examples to endurance machines from this millennium. Testing their mettle was the 2.2-mile track’s 11 turns, including the infamous set known as the Corkscrew.

A 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 dances on the Corkscrew at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. 

Photo by Stephan Cooper, courtesy of Rolex.

Thursday and Friday were spent qualifying for the weekend’s final showdowns, where victors included famed racer and restorer Bruce Canepa, finishing first in the 1981-1991 IMSA GTP/GTO group piloting a 1989 Porsche 962C 3200; Charles Nearburg, who took the checkered flag in the 1966-1985 Masters Historic Formula 1 group behind the wheel of a 1981 Williams FW07C 2992; and Paddins Dowling, who steered a 1934 ERA R2A 1488 to glory in the 1920-1951 Racing Cars group.

Another day at the races, all part of the 2021 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. 

Photo by Stephan Cooper, courtesy of Rolex.

Special this year was a tribute to the Sports Car Club of America’s (SSCA) Trans-Am Series, specifically the 55th anniversary of Ford winning the inaugural 1966 season’s championship. Ken Adams paid his own tribute by besting rest of the pack in the 1966-1985 Trans-Am group with a 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302 4949.
Big on the Block
All the action wasn’t limited to the circuit, though, as serious collectors found the head-to-head competition at numerous car auctions equally compelling. Among the cadre of auction houses that set up temporary shop were the power trio of RM Sotheby’s, Bonhams and Gooding & Company.
It became clear fairly quickly that people were back and ready to spend. Spread over three evenings, the RM Sotheby’s auction fetched a total of $148.5 million. That figure includes the sale of a 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato for $9.25 million and a 1962 Ferrari 268 SP by Fantuzzi for more than $7.7 million.
“We achieved a sale total that ranks in the top three best Monterey auctions of all time, says Gord Duff, global head of auctions for RM Sotheby’s. “This week has demonstrated that the market is as strong today as it has ever been, with collector-grade cars finding willing new buyers from all over the globe.”

The 1928 Mercedes-Benz 26/120/180 S-Type Supercharged Sports Tourer that crossed the block for over $5.39 million through Bonhams. 

Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.

Bonhams saw close to $37 million in sales, highlighted by a 1928 Mercedes-Benz 26/120/180 S-Type Supercharged Sports Tourer cross the block for over $5.39 million. But the lot that grabbed the headlines was offered through Gooding & Company, a 1995 McLaren F1 that went under the hammer for $20.46 million. That result is not only the top price ever received for a McLaren F1 at auction, but made it the most expensive car to cross the block in 2021.

This 1995 McLaren F1 that went under the hammer for $20.46 million at Gooding & Company’s Monterey auction. 

Photo by Jensen Sutta, courtesy of Gooding & Company.

But that wasn’t the automobile that really caught the attention of David Brynan, Gooding & Company senior specialist. “The F40 that we sold from the Donald Weber Collection stood out to me, as it shows the power of provenance,” says Brynan. “A one owner, low mileage US F40 brought a tremendous premium over two similar cars offered during the weekend. The result is also nearly double what good US cars were bringing at Pebble Beach in 2019.” In all, Gooding ended up amassing $107.04 million from sales while in Monterey.

The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
The impetus and raison d’être for Monterey Car Week, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance held its 70th running on Sunday, August 15, as the grand finale to the multi-day motor fest. The rarified assortment of 230 show cars, the finest in the world, took their positions on the 17th and 18th fairways of the Pebble Beach Golf Links, separated into 27 classes. Just by being on the lawn, every example received a boost in provenance and, therefore, value. And to complement the stunning metal on display, most attendees and, in some cases their pets, dressed in their Sunday best . . . and then some.

The fabled 1936 Bugatti Type 57Sc Atlantic receives special commendation at the 2021 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. 

Photo by Tom O’Neal, courtesy of Rolex.

To add to the celebratory ambiance were a few new and noteworthy collections, including 38 past Best of Show winners, an exclusive category for the Porsche 917 and another honoring the 50th anniversary of the Lamborghini Countach. The latter two were won by a 1969 Porsche 917K Coupe, belonging to Chris MacAllister of Indiana, and a 1981 Lamborghini Countach LP400S Series III Bertone Berlinetta, owned by Robert Bishop of Florida, respectively.

A collection of Porsche 917s at the 2021 edition of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. 

Photo by Tom O’Neal, courtesy of Rolex.

Yet of all the marques, Mercedes-Benz ended up the big winner as its 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn Kurier—the only one in the world—carried off Best of Show; a bit of déjà vu considering another 1938 Mercedes 540K variant earned the same title at the Quail two days prior.

The 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn Kurier was named Best of Show at the 2021 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. 

Photo by Tom O’Neal, courtesy of Rolex.

As with the Quail, the latest examples from automakers are also showcased, albeit to a far lesser degree; relegated to the Concept Lawn and a few surrounding pavilions. Such was the case with Aston Martin and its Valkyrie Spider, Ford’s presentation of its GT Heritage Edition and Bugatti with its track-only Bolide. As for how Pebble still fits in the Monterey Car Week hierarchy, Bugatti’s COO of the Americas, Cedric Davey, was unequivocal, calling it “very important for us. . .  this was the main one.”

Learn more about Robb Report’s 2022 Car of the Year at the event taking place in Napa Valley here and in Boca Raton here.

A 1938 Mercedes-Benz Takes Top Honors at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

A 1938 Mercedes-Benz Takes Top Honors at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Monterey Car Week, the world’s flagship exhibition of all things automotive, culminated yesterday with the 70th edition of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on its namesake stretch of Northern California’s coast. Amidst a highly festive atmosphere, one of the industry’s oldest automakers had even more to celebrate when the grand finale’s confetti rained down on a 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn Kurier, named Best of Show from a field of 230 contenders.

The concours field in full swing. 

Photo by Tom O’Neal, courtesy of Rolex.

It’s the ninth time that Mercedes has earned the accolade, tying Bugatti for most top honors at the fabled Pebble Beach Golf Links. Surprisingly, the award comes roughly 48 hours after another variant of the model from the same year, a 540K Special Roadster, took Best of Show at the Quail, A Motorsports Gathering in neighboring Carmel Valley.

“This Best of Show winner embodies so many sensational features—styling, speed and performance,” said Sandra Button, chairman of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, in the official news release. “Built to rule the new German Autobahn in 1938, this rare automobile is truly an example of beautiful German design,” she continued.

Arturo and Deborah Keller receive Best of Show for their 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn Kurier. 

Photo by Tom O’Neal, courtesy of Rolex.

Rare is right. It’s the only extant example of two that were made, and is now part of Arturo and Deborah Keller’s collection. The Keller’s are no strangers to Pebble’s coveted Best of Show recognition, which includes a massive silver cup and, with Rolex being the official timepiece for the event, a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41 watch. The couple have had two other cars—both Mercedes-Benz models—capture the same title: a 1930 Mercedes-Benz SS Erdmann & Rossi Roadster and a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Special Roadster, in 2001 and 1986, respectively.
Other classics in the running this year were a 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Corsica Drophead Coupé belonging to Joanie and Scott Kriens from Saratoga, Fla., a 1956 Maserati A6G Zagato Coupé owned by Wendy and Jonathan Segal out of San Diego, Calif., and a 1966 Ferrari 365 P Pininfarina Berlinetta Speciale, part of RQ Collections in Woodland, Tex.

Early risers participating in the “Dawn Patrol” tradition watch the world-renowned 1936 Bugatti 57SC Atlantic roll into position. 

Photo by Tom O’Neal, courtesy of Rolex.

In all, a small army of expert judges, including the likes of Stephan Winkelmann, president of Bugatti and Lamborghini, and Ed Welburn, former global head of design for General Motors, bestowed awards across 26 classes and doled out another 27 special honors.

A pristine example of a 1966 Ford GT40 Mark I. 

Photo by Tom O’Neal, courtesy of Rolex.

Perhaps it was due to the event’s cancellation last year, but the general spirit of camaraderie for the 2021 concours seemed on overdrive, as did a sense of inclusiveness. This was fueled, in part, by the presence of 38 past Best of Show vehicles and every first-place finisher from each Pebble Beach Road Race, which ran from 1950 to 1956. The latter included the 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Scaglietti piloted by Phil Hill and Carroll Shelby during the last two contests.

Former Best of Show winners grace the fairway again as part of the 70th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. 

Photo by Tom O’Neal, courtesy of Rolex.

Also on hand was an impressive stable of Lamborghini Countach models, in tribute to the car’s 50th anniversary, complemented by the commemorative Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 sitting nearby on the Concept Lawn and unveiled just two days prior. As usual, that patch of green before the main entrance was ringed by camera-clad enthusiasts trying to get a glimpse of the future through cars like the Koenigsegg’s Jesko Absolut and McLaren’s Artura. In some cases, vehicles were making their public debut while others, like the Maserati MC20 now in production, were making up for missing their moment in 2020. To be sure, automakers were paying rapt attention to how their new wares were being perceived.

Inside the circle of trust on the Concept Lawn. 

Photo by Tom O’Neal, courtesy of Rolex.

“The Maserati MC20 super sports car received an amazing reception at the Concept Lawn,” says Bill Peffer, head of Maserati Americas. “Production has begun at our plant in Modena, Italy, and this incredible vehicle is sure to impress the most discerning customers when it starts to arrive in North America later this year.”
Peffer’s optimistic tone was echoed by seemingly every manufacturer present, with the global lockdown resulting in a record number of orders for many automakers. But while the Quail’s “Motorsports Gathering” has overt OEM promotion as a major component, the Pebble concours keeps it at the periphery, with notables such as Ferrari, Bentley, Lamborghini, Bugatti and Aston Martin transforming pavilions or on-site residences into temporary lounges where VIP guests and valued customers can preview the latest releases and customize their orders on the spot.

One of the smartly dressed attendees. 

Photo by Ginger Mathew.

“We’ve always been here and have had many, many world reveals in the past,” said Cedric Davey, Bugatti’s chief operating officer of the Americas. “This is really our home away from home,” he adds, standing next to a production prototype of the new 1,600 hp Bugatti Bolide, a track-only beast that Davey describes as “the extreme version of what can be done with a W-16 engine.” Though more akin to an LMP1 prototype from Le Mans, the Bolide sports notable design cues from bygone Bugatti models such as the Type 57SC Atlantic, seen on the show lawn.

The Lamborghini Lounge prior to the start of the concours. 

Photo by Jordan Lenssen, courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.

Just up the road from Bugatti’s temporary oasis, another French marque had set up shop. The storied Delage, which shuttered in 1953, has been brought back by entrepreneur Laurent Tapie, who, along with his team, is developing the 1,100 hp D12 hypercar. And while the “jet-fighter” descriptor is used ad nauseam within automotive parlance, it’s warranted in the case of the tandem-seated D12 fit with a cockpit canopy that raises like a jet fighter’s. Holding court while also surrounded by three Delage models from early last century, Tapie described Pebble as “the place to be,” adding that “it’s the most prestigious concours in the world, so it’s a must—a no-brainer for us.”

The trophy and Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41 given for Best of Show. 

Photo by Tom O’Neal, courtesy of Rolex.

The overall juxtaposition of unparalleled classic and cutting-edge machines set against a timeless backdrop is why the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance often becomes a lifelong tradition for car enthusiasts.
“This is my first time here, and the concours is just blowing away every expectation that I had,” said Jonathan Weizman, attending through Robb Report’s RR1 members club. Asked if he would return, Weizman didn’t hesitate. “Yes, absolutely,” he said, before adding, “Actually, I’m hoping to show a car in the next year or two.”

Learn more about Robb Report’s 2022 Car of the Year at the event taking place in Napa Valley here and in Boca Raton here.

The Lamborghini Countach, an Icon of ’80s Luxury, Is Back as a Modern, Hybrid Supercar

The Lamborghini Countach, an Icon of ’80s Luxury, Is Back as a Modern, Hybrid Supercar

During the 1970s and ‘80s, the only poster as ubiquitous on bedroom walls as that of actress Farrah Fawcett in a swimsuit, was the hero shot of a Lamborghini Countach—the very definition of “dream machine” for an entire generation. It appears the Raging Bull marque knows that a few of those young aspirationals are now grown, prosperous and ready for the real deal.

With that in mind, and in honor of the benchmark model’s 50th anniversary, the team at Sant’Agata Bolognese has just revealed a reimagined hybrid Countach at the Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, in Northern California’s Carmel Valley. It’s a debut that’s already a highlight of this year’s Monterey Car Week.

Lamborghini ‘s Countach LPI 800-4 wearing the Bianco Siderale color scheme. 

Photo: Courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.

“In 1971, the Countach was presented at the Geneva Motor Show and, for us, this was a real game-changer,” says Stephan Winkelmann, president and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. “It made us stand out in the crowd and changed the way other manufacturers looked at cars like this.” Referencing the new version, Winkelmamm adds: “It’s a really modern interpretation—a very clean design with elements of the various generations of the Countach, without overloading the car.”
The new release’s official moniker, Countach LPI 800-4, references the power plant’s Longitudinale Posteriore orientation (the engine is situated parallel with the length of the car and near the rear), it being hybrid (or Ibrido in Italian), the output (just over 800 hp) and the permanent four-wheel-drive configuration. Fittingly, it’s the engineering that truly sets this version apart from its renowned predecessor, and no element more so than the power train.

The latest release reflects the classic Countach’s overall aesthetic but in a contemporary design language. 

Photo: Courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.

The commemorative iteration, featuring a monocoque chassis and body panels that are all carbon fiber, stays true to the original’s internal-combustion ethos with a V-12 engine. This one, however, makes 780 hp compared to the former’s roughly 400+ hp. The needle moves toward bleeding-edge tech, though, with the 12-cylinder heart being paired with a 34 hp, 48 v electric motor at the gearbox complemented by a supercapacitor that, while weighing the same as a comparable lithium-ion battery, offers triple the storage capacity. Sound familiar? It’s similar to the innovative setup in the automaker’s 819 hp Sián model, comprising only 63 coupes and 9 roadsters, introduced in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

The hybrid Countach presents its predecessor’s iconic Periscopio lines flaring out from the roof toward the back, although narrower and more streamlined than the original. 

Photo: Courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.

“We have the same supercapacitor and same electric engine that was used in the Sián,” mentions Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini’s chief technology officer, in a conversation with Robb Report. “What’s different is the application of the components in terms of engine management and power management.”
That management Reggiani refers to is responsible for claimed performance specs that, with the assistance of the seven-speed ISR transmission, include the 3,516-pound (dry weight) car’s ability to cover zero to 62 mph in 2.8 seconds and top out at 221 mph. But while those numbers considerably overshadow those of the original Countach, the one key element of the latter that shines through is the overall design.

Square-stitched red leather with black accents define the interior of the example unveiled today. 

Photo: Courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.

“The heart of our design DNA is, for me, the Countach,” notes Mitja Borkert, Lamborghini’s head of design. Yet the inspiration for the latest model is not just any Countach, but the LP500 variant. Borkert used famed automotive creative Marcello Gandini’s original aesthetic, including the hallmark Periscopio lines flaring from the roof toward the back, as the template for a supercar that pays tribute to its predecessor while simultaneously forging its own contemporary identity.

A new 8.4-inch HDMI touchscreen is exclusive to the Countach LPI 800-4. 

Photo: Courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.

According to Borkert, much of what differentiates the LPI 800-4, which he mentions is longer in proportion, is due to the bolstered power train and subsequent need to compensate, citing elements such as the pronounced NACA air intakes on the flanks and “the integrated wing and diffusor.” “We transported the lines of the Countach toward what was necessary today,” he says. And that modernity carries through to the interior. No eight-track player here, rather an exclusive 8.4-inch HDMI touchscreen serves as mission control for most onboard amenities.

The distinctive back end continues the hexagonal design motif that’s become a signature of the marque. 

Photo: Courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.

Lamborghini’s internal name for last century’s Countach was LP 112 when it was being developed, so it’s only fitting that 112 examples will be made of the LPI 800-4. Priced at $2.64 million, each one has already been presold, and deliveries are expected next year.

“I always said that I don’t want to have retro cars because we have to be a company that’s looking forward and not repeat what we’ve done in the past,” Winkelmann explains. “But with this few-off, I think we’ve made the right choice.”

Learn more about Robb Report’s 2022 Car of the Year at the event taking place in Napa Valley here and in Boca Raton here.

Car of the Week: This 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Trans Am May Fetch $2 Million at Auction

Car of the Week: This 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Trans Am May Fetch $2 Million at Auction

On August 13 and 14, Gooding & Company comes to Monterey Car Week as the official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, once again offering some choice rolling stock at its annual sale that coincides with the 70th anniversary of the world’s most esteemed concours. Highlights of the sale include a very special automobile that will doubtless attract the attention of collectors who value legendary race cars with looks to match their unimpeachable provenance.

Some of the most notable American competition cars took part in Trans-Am racing, which began in 1966 when Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) president John Bishop established the series as a manufacturer’s championship for modified sedans and coupés. Essentially modified production cars, the early Trans-Am Series featured two classes: the under 2.0-liter field, comprising European and, eventually, Japanese marques, and cars with displacement between 2.0- and 5.0 liters, which were primarily powered by small-block V-8s from the US.

The 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Trans Am being presented by Gooding & Company during Monterey Car Week in August. 

Photo by Dynamic Photowerks LLC., courtesy of Gooding & Company.

The timing was perfect, coinciding with the public’s infatuation with America’s pony cars, a new segment of smaller, sportier two-doors inspired by the introduction of Ford’s Mustang in late 1964. By 1967, in addition to the overwhelmingly popular Mustang, marques such as Chevrolet, Pontiac, Plymouth and Mercury had exciting new models in showrooms. And they all had names evoking power and speed, like Camaro, Firebird, Barracuda and Cougar. Soon, Dodge’s Challenger and AMC’s Javelin joined the party. Today, these remain some of the most desirable automobiles from the muscle-car era, a short period that flourished from 1967 through roughly 1972. Those handful of examples that competed in Trans-Am racing are at the very top of the collector-car pyramid.

The race-focused cockpit of the 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Trans Am crossing the block in Monterey. 

Photo by Dynamic Photowerks LLC., courtesy of Gooding & Company.

In an almost frantic response by GM, the Chevrolet Camaro was released in 1967 to counter Ford’s market blitzkrieg with the Mustang. Chevy’s pony car was a success, and was quickly thrown into the Trans-Am series. “As the first Sunoco Camaro, this car is not only a successful racing machine, but the product of collaboration by three giants of the automotive industry: Chevrolet, Roger Penske and Mark Donohue,” states Gooding & Company Specialist Hans Wurl. “Its desirability and historical significance cannot be overstated.”

A small-block V-8 powers the Camaro Z/28 Trans Am on offer. 

Photo by Dynamic Photowerks LLC., courtesy of Gooding & Company.

This 1967 Camaro Z/28 Trans Am is only the 14th example of the Z/28 model built, and it became the first Chevrolet Camaro to ever win a professional race. Throughout its extensive competition career, it was primarily driven by racing legend Mark Donohue. Penske Racing campaigned Camaro Z/28s through 1969, with Donohue behind the wheel and winning the series in 1968 and 1969. In 1967, Jerry Titus took the victory driving a Ford Mustang for Shelby American. Ford’s Mustang won again in 1970, with Parnelli Jones driving for Bud Moore Engineering. By 1971, Mark Donohue, once again driving for Penske Racing, won with the AMC Javelin. Other racing greats, including Dan Gurney, Sam Posey and Bob Tullius, competed in 5.0-liter cars.

Penske Racing’s famed driver Mark Donohue was the one who primarily campaigned this car. 

Photo by Dynamic Photowerks LLC., courtesy of Gooding & Company.

Estimated to fetch between $1.4 million and $2 million, and with an illustrious competition history, chassis No. 7N163378 has been fastidiously restored by notable Chevrolet expert Kevin Mackay to the specification of its first victory. Acquiring one of the most significant Chevrolet racing cars ever produced is an opportunity rarely afforded collectors, and for those Robb Report readers who remember Bitchin’ Camaro from The Dead Milkmen’s 1985 debut album Big Lizard in My Backyard, this Z/28 has got to be the coolest Camaro of them all.

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