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  • 2019 TOYOTA 86 TRD SPECIAL EDITION GETS BETTER BRAKES, STICKIER TIRES

    Model limited to 1,418 units and priced starting at $33,340

    Despite near-universal cries for more power, the Toyota 86 has always been about balance and handling. That philosophy continues with the introduction of the 2019 Toyota 86 TRD Special Edition, which receives goodies to improve handling and braking but no significant power bump.

    We had heard last year that Toyota would bring upgrades from its Gazoo Racing sub-brand to the U.S. under the TRD banner, which might explain why some of the items on the TRD Special Edition's parts list sound familiar. The TRD model's performance highlights include new Sachs dampers tuned for steering response and stability, Brembo brakes measuring 12.8 inches in the front and 12.4 inches in the rear, and new 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 215/40R-size Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires all around.

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    The model also gets a unique body kit, TRD exhaust with stainless steel tips, a smaller-diameter red and black steering wheel with red contrast stitching, red and black sport seats, red seat belts, and the TRD logo embroidered on the passenger-side dashboard. The TRD Special Edition will be offered exclusively in Raven black, a hue that's contrasted by TRD's heritage colors that appear as stripes along the sides.

    Like all 86 coupes, the TRD packs a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter flat-four that produces 205 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque. The special model can be had with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, though you'll lose 5 hp and 5 lb-ft going with the automatic. The TRD gets the same 4.2-inch TFT display as the 86 GT, which can bring up performance instruments like a G-meter, stopwatch, coolant and oil temperature gauges, and graphs showing horsepower and torque curves.

    Production of the TRD Special Edition will be limited to 1,418 units. The 2019 Toyota 86 TRD Special Edition starts at $33,340, including destination, and goes on sale in August.

    Source: Toyota

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  • MOPAR HELLEPHANT IS PLANET EARTH’S FIRST 1,000-HP OEM CRATE ENGINE

    Debuts at SEMA in a 1968 Dodge "Super Charger" restomod concept

    How do you maintain the SEMA booth traffic after you've launched a 707-hp Hellcat crate engine (aka Hellcrate) and teased folks for a year with the prospect of an 840-hp Demon crate engine? You leapfrog that Demon and round the number right up to an even grand. Yes, that's 1,000 horsepower and 950 lb-ft of torque—on 93-octane pump gas!

    This is not a further stretch of the beloved 6.2-liter. Nope, it's bored and stroked to a (liberally rounded-down) 426 cubic inches—the size of the fabled "Elephant Engine" second-gen Hemi that roared into the fabric of American muscle-car life from 1964 to 1971—hence the Hellephant nomenclature.

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    The SRT folks quote the bore and stroke as 4-1/8 x 4 inches (up from the Hellcat/Demon's 4-1/11 x 3-29/50, to keep the fun fractions going). An equally important displacement change—if you'll permit us to revert to metric—is the size of the supercharger, which leaps from the Hellcat's 2.4 liters, past the Demon/Redeye's 2.7 liters, all the way to 3.0 liters. Fun fact: The exterior packages size and mounting interfaces are identical for all these blowers, and the new one will be offered as a stand-alone part. The helix design of the blower "screws" is slightly different, and their clearance to the housing is slightly tighter, all of which makes this biggest blower flow lots more air more efficiently. Second fun fact: While the Hellephant engine inhales through the Hellcat's 92mm throttle body, its blower is designed to work with a 105mm throttle body if—just spitballing here—one were looking to make more than 1,000 hp running on racing fuel.

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    Another important differentiator for this engine is that it utilizes an aluminum block that weighs 100 pounds less than the iron blocks on the less hellish/demonic engines. The block, which is also used in Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak race vehicles, bears no relation to the former 6.1-liter Mopar performance aluminum block. The SRT team spent a year engineering this one, employing lots of webbing and gusseting on the sides and in the valley of the block to control torsional vibration. The heads are essentially shared with the Demon, and the camshaft employs variable valve timing but features higher lift to support the greater airflow involved in generating 1,000-plus hp. All of the internals are forged to withstand the cylinder pressures at play here and to enable the engine to rev to 7,000 rpm. These forged internals are also likely to be offered separately.

    Like the Hellcrate engine, this one comes complete with water pump, flywheel, front sump oil pan, supercharger with throttle body, fuel injectors, and coil packs. Also available, as with Hellcrate, are a complete front-end accessory drive kit (including an alternator, power-steering pump, belts, pulleys, and more) and a full electronics kit that includes a powertrain control module, a wiring harness, and even a by-wire accelerator. All of this promises easy turnkey operation for anything from drag racing to hot-rod use. The engine will be hand-built in Michigan and will go on sale during the first quarter of 2019. Pricing hasn't been released yet, but expect to pay well north of the Hellcrate's $19,530 asking price, which doesn't include the $2,195 electronics integration kit.

    '68 SUPER CHARGER

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    1968 Dodge Mopar Super Charger 2
    1968 Dodge Mopar Super Charger 7
    1968 Dodge Mopar Super Charger 6
    1968 Dodge Mopar Super Charger 5

    An engine as special as the Hellephant must be unveiled in a very special wrapper, so the Mopar design team found a nice, period-correct, iconic design celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018—the 1968 Dodge Charger—and just loved on the design a bit. Joe Dehner, head of Ram exterior and Mopar design, walked us around a beautiful stock '68 Charger R/T Hemi from Chrysler's historical collection, complimenting its voluptuous beauty while lamenting how deeply inset its wheels are relative to the bodywork, how long the front overhang is, and how ugly the vent windows, Coronet side-view mirror, and chrome drip-rails are.

    His team procured a 383 R/T in so-so shape (it was a half-inch longer on one side than the other) and spent six months revising it to redress these issues. Modifications range from typical rodding touches like shaving off the drip rails, replacing the door handles with remote releases, ditching the vent windows, fitting cooler '71 Plymouth Duster mirrors, and fitting slimmer fiberglass bumpers, to bigger engineering challenges like moving the front wheels forward 2 inches to trim that overhang. Aftermarket suspension subframes accomplish this and help lower the body by 2.5 inches in the rear and 3.5 inches in front for an aggressive raked appearance.

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    New tires more than cure the wheel-inset issue, and covering the 305/30R20 front and 315/35R21 rear tires actually required 2-inch-wide fender flares all around. Front wheels are 11.0 x 20-inch Mopar Devil's Rim units borrowed from the Hellcat Widebody, and the rears are custom-made to match 12.0 x 21-inch units, all finished in Brass Monkey color framing bright red SRT/Brembo brake calipers and slotted rotors. Blended into the stock '68 hood is a Demon hood scoop, while a splitter with side fences in front and an SRT-based rear lip spoiler look the part of coping with the sorts of top speeds a 1,000-hp muscle coupe might achieve.

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    The lighting deserves special mention. Challenger illuminated-ring headlights reside behind fixed slats in front, while in back the four round taillamps are replaced by four functional Stelvio exhaust tips, while red LED lighting gets piped into the area within the stock taillamp surrounds on each side. The car is finished in custom De Grigio gray metallic paint modified from a Ferrari color.

    The custom interior features the Demon's rear-seat delete package to make room for a custom 2-inch roll cage, Viper bucket seats retrimmed in Alcantara and leather accented with red stitching and fitted with Sabelt racing harnesses, custom gauges, and console housing the Challenger Hellcat-sourced Tremec T-6060 transmission's six-speed shifter. Angry Hellephant logos adorn the door panels, steering wheel center, and gas cap—each with a blue background of Mopar M logos.

    The car runs at least well enough to be driven onto the stage at SEMA, and to these eyes it's vastly better-looking than the many rodded and restomodded second-gen Chargers that have graced the Fast and Furious franchise. We'd even rank it ahead of the also pretty cool Demon-powered Speedkore Dodge Charger "Evolution. " What do you think?

  • 2019 BMW 3 SERIES FIRST LOOK: RETURN TO GRACE

    BMW’s small sedan gets a second chance to impress

    Once the standard bearer in its segment, the BMW 3 Series has lost its way in recent years. Lackluster acceleration, uninspired handling, and a dated interior have relegated the 3 Series to the middle of the pack. Now, the automaker is introducing the seventh generation, and it has the potential to put the popular model back on top.

    Hinting at its sportier ambitions is the new exterior design. Up front, the kidney grilles are now connected and feature thick surrounds. Redesigned front vents contribute to the more determined look. Full LED headlights are standard, but buyers can also spring for optional adaptive headlights with Laserlight technology, featuring blue L-shaped elements. In the rear, the 3 Series has narrower taillights with a new lighting signature. Despite the slightly bolder look, the car has grown compared to its predecessor. It's 2.9 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider, and 0.5 inches taller, with an increased track width front and rear.

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    The 330i receives more power than last year's model thanks to a number of engine updates, including a lighter crankshaft and reduced internal friction. The 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four makes 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, up 7 hp and 37 lb-ft from the old model. Say goodbye to the six-speed manual, because an eight-speed automatic is the only transmission choice. BMW estimates a 0-60 time of 5.6 seconds for the rear-drive 330i and 5.3 seconds for the all-wheel-drive version. In our own independent tests, we recorded a rear-drive 2017 BMW 330i doing the deed in 5.5 seconds, matching BMW's own estimate for that model.

    Those who want more power will opt for the M340i, which receives an updated six-cylinder engine producing 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. This engine, also paired to an eight-speed automatic, should propel the BMW to 60 mph in as little as 4.2 seconds. As you'd expect, these models receive M Performance chassis tuning, in addition to a standard M Sport rear differential for improved traction and cornering. All-wheel drive is available.

    We don't know all the details yet, but BMW promises an electrified 330e model in 2020. It's unclear whether we'll see the diesel variant return to our market. BMW says it's evaluating diesel versions of its new vehicles, including the new 3 Series, but no decisions have been made.

  • 2019 CADILLAC ATS-V, CTS-V PEDESTAL EDITIONS MARK 15 YEARS OF THE V BRAND

    Special models could be last hurrah before CT5 gets here

    Cadillac is expected to discontinue the ATS-V and CTS-V in the near future. As a farewell to these models, and in celebration of the upcoming 15th birthday of the V-Series subbrand, Cadillac will sell 300 special edition vehicles.

    The automaker will offer Pedestal Editions of the ATS-V coupe and CTS-V sedan beginning next month. These vehicles receive an exclusive bronze paint job, black chrome trim, and red Brembo brakes. ATS-V models receive 18-inch wheels in an After Midnight finish, while the CTS-V receives similar 19-inch wheels. A carbon-fiber package—including a carbon-fiber front splitter, hood vent, rear spoiler, and rear diffuser—is already standard on the ATS-V coupe, but is added to the CTS-V for the Pedestal Edition.

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    Inside, there are Recaro performance seats. The models also receive carbon-fiber interior trim with bronze threading, as well as a Performance Data Recorder with Cosworth Toolbox driver analysis software.

    The V-Series subbrand was born when Cadillac introduced the CTS-V sedan in 2004. It wouldn't be until 2015 that the ATS-V arrived on the scene as a coupe and sedan. Starting in 2019, Cadillac will expand the V-Series with new variants across the lineup. It's unclear if these will include crossovers like the XT4 or XT5, but new V models will receive upgraded propulsion systems, brake systems, and chassis.

    The 2019 Cadillac ATS-V Pedestal Edition starts at $77,090, while the CTS-V version goes for $102,590. Ordering begins the first week of November, and production on these units will start later that month.

    Source: Cadillac

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  • THIS COMPANY CAN NOW SELL YOU A BRAND NEW OLD FORD BRONCO

    But it won't be cheap

    To say we're excited to finally drive the upcoming 2020 Ford Bronco would be a serious understatement. After all, who wouldn't love a boxy, Raptor-influenced, alternative to the Jeep Wrangler? At the same time, though, we understand that no matter how cool the new Bronco ends up being, there are always going to be fans out there who wish Ford would just sell the original Bronco again. If you're one of those people, the good news is there actually is a way to get your hands on a brand new Bronco I.

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    Gateway Bronco, an Illinois-based company known for restoring first-generation Broncos, recently announced that it's reached an agreement with Ford to officially sell brand new 1966-'77 Broncos. These won't be restomods, either. Thanks to the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015, Gateway is able to legally build its continuation Broncos from the ground up.

    "We're honored to be recognized by Ford Motor Company and consider this license agreement a tremendous privilege," said Seth Burgett, CEO of Gateway Bronco, in a release. "We will work diligently to serve and protect the Ford brand. Our proprietary, exclusive solutions to re-condition and manufacture the first-generation Ford Bronco has led to incredible growth of our company. Deepening our relationship with Ford will help us better serve our customers who want the ultimate classic for Bronco with modern performance."

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    Customers will have their choice of three different models, each priced between $120,000 and $180,000. And while Gateway's Broncos all retain the original styling, they benefit from the use of modern chassis components, suspensions, and engines. Spring for the top-of-the-line Modern Day Warrior edition, and you'll get a 5.0-liter Coyote V-8, a six-speed automatic from the last-gen Raptor, a premium leather interior, four-wheel disc brakes, reduced NVH, and a five-year warranty.

    Yes, that's a ton of money for a new version of an old SUV you can probably find in the classifieds for a fraction of the price. But remember, these Broncos are engineered and built from the ground up at a rate of two to four vehicles a month. That kind of low-volume production doesn't come cheap. The upside is you'll always have the coolest car in the parking lot, guaranteed.

  • AUDI E-TRON SUV WILL GET A FANCY REGENERATIVE BRAKING SYSTEM

    And nearly 490 lb-ft of torque in "boost mode"

    Capturing kinetic energy that would normally be lost to heat and using it to recharge a battery isn't a new concept, but Audi believes it's taken regenerative braking to new heights with the upcoming E-Tron SUV. The all-electric sport-ute will debut a new energy recuperation system that Audi says contributes up to 30 percent of its range.

    According to Audi, the E-Tron SUV will be capable of recovering 1 mile of range for every mile driven downhill. When the automaker drove an E-Tron prototype 19 miles from the summit of Pikes Peak down to the base, the SUV got roughly that much range back from brake regen. This extra efficiency is made possible by two electric motors and a new electrohydraulically integrated brake control system working in concert. The E-Tron uses just the electric motors for all braking needs up to 0.3 g, which Audi says covers more than 90 percent of all situations. When more stopping force is needed, the electrohydraulically integrated brake control system decides how much hydraulic brake pressure to use and can employ discs and pads exclusively or use a combination of regular and regenerative brakes. Drivers can also trigger regenerative braking manually using steering wheel paddles.

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    Audi e tron prototypes testing on Pikes Peak 03
    Audi e tron prototypes testing on Pikes Peak 04
    Audi e tron prototypes testing on Pikes Peak 05

    We learned earlier this year that the E-Tron would have a WLTP-estimated range of 248.5 miles and be capable of recharging in under 30 minutes on a 150-kilowatt fast charger, but what we didn't know was the SUV's power output. Now, we have a much better idea. Audi says the prototype produces 355 hp and 414 lb-ft of torque from its two asynchronous electric motors in normal mode, but shifting to Sport and hammering the accelerator pedal unlocks "boost mode," which ups output to 402 hp and 490 lb-ft for eight seconds. In that mode, Audi claims the E-Tron can sprint to 62 mph in less than six seconds.

    The production E-Tron Quattro is set to be revealed later this year and will go on sale sometime in 2019.

    Source: Audi

  • FORD FIESTA R2 PREPARES FOR JUNIOR WRC CHAMPIONSHIP

    FORD FIESTA R2 PREPARES FOR JUNIOR WRC CHAMPIONSHIP

    Packs 200 hp and a sequential transmission

    M-Sport unveiled the new EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R2 for next year's FIA Junior WRC Championship series. The hatchback, developed in conjunction with Ford, was designed to meet the FIA's latest R2 regulations.

    Designers started from a clean slate, so the new model shares little with the previous one. Most components of the rally car have been rethought and upgraded.

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    Motivating the Fiesta R2 is a 1.0-liter turbocharged I-3 that produces 200 hp and 214 lb-ft of torque. Backing the engine is a Sadev five-speed sequential transmission with an AP Racing two-disc plate clutch and a limited-slip differential.

    The new suspension includes Reiger adjustable dampers (3-way front, 2-way rear adjustable) with Eibach springs that can be ordered with hard or soft springs. Alcon supplied the competition brake calipers, rear solid rotors, and the brake master cylinder. The front rotors are ventilated AP Racing units, and the rally car rides on OZ Racing wheels.

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    Electronics consist of a Life Racing F88 control unit with a digital dashboard, a three-stage anti-lag system, and an M-Sport power distribution unit. Additional technical specifications can be found here.

     

    Previous Fiesta R2 rally cars have launched the careers of drivers like Ott T nak, Elfyn Evans, Craig Breen, and Pontus Tidemand.

    Teams can now place their orders for M-Sport's latest Fiesta R2.

    Source: Ford Performance

    PHOTO GALLERY

    • Ford Fiesta R2 Rally WRC
    • Ford Fiesta R2 Rally WRC 3
    • Ford Fiesta R2 Rally WRC 2
  • 2019 DODGE DURANGO GETS INTEGRATED TRAILER BRAKE, OTHER UPDATES

    2019 DODGE DURANGO GETS INTEGRATED TRAILER BRAKE, OTHER UPDATES

    A three-row Charger?

    The Dodge Durango is an edgier alternative to the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot, but it's still pretty spacious and practical. To stay competitive, Dodge is giving its three-row SUV a number of thoughtful updates, including new wheel designs, interior amenities, and an integrated trailer brake. Prices start at $31,390 including destination.

    All 2019 Dodge Durango models offer an integrated trailer brake when equipped with the optional Trailer Tow Package. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross path detection is now available as a freestanding option across all trims. F8 Green, Destroyer Gray, and Reactor Blue exterior colors will join the lineup after launch.

    Base SXT models now come with the option of leather seats for a more premium feel. For the new model year, the next step up is the Durango GT, which now is available with cloth seating and new 20-inch wheel designs. This trim also receives a performance front fascia and LED foglamps from higher trims. Buyers can also opt for an SRT-inspired hood with an air inlet duct and two heat extractors. Both the SXT and GT pack a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine making 295 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.

    Sitting in the middle of the pack, the Citadel gets the V-6 as standard, but a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 with 360 hp and 390 lb-ft is optional. All Citadel models now have standard second-row captain's chairs. The R/T, which comes standard with the 5.7-liter V-8, now features available Sepia leather seats as well as new wheel designs. At the top of the lineup sits the mighty SRT, boasting a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 with 475 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. These models now offer red seat belts and new wheels finished in Matte Vapor or Brass Monkey. Also new are lightweight, high-performance Brembo brakes with two-piece rotors. The Citadel, R/T, and SRT are now available with a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

    "The Durango is our three-row Charger of the SUV segment," said Steve Beahm, head of FCA's passenger car brands in North America, in a statement. He continues, "Customer demand for utility vehicles in the United States has exploded over the past decade, and with America's fastest, most powerful, and most capable three-row SUVs in our garage and the new updates for the 2019 model year, Dodge Durango continues to separate itself from the competition with the performance and capability that our customers demand."

  • THE AUDI PB18 E-TRON CONCEPT IS AN R8 SHOOTING BRAKE FROM THE FUTURE

    THE AUDI PB18 E-TRON CONCEPT IS AN R8 SHOOTING BRAKE FROM THE FUTURE

    With overboost, it makes 764 hp

    Back in July, Audi released a teaser previewing a concept called the PB18 that it planned to reveal during this month's Monterey Car Week. The shadowy image didn't show much more than the car's headlights, making it difficult to figure out what we were looking at. But now that the car's been officially revealed, we have to say, it looks completely different than we could ever have guessed.

    The front of the PB18 is incredibly aggressive, with sharp, angular bodywork, slim headlights, and a hollowed-out grille that takes the Jaguar I-Pace's aero-optimizing front end to the extreme. Yet somehow, it's also the most predictable part of the PB18's design. If Audi announced that's what the next-generation R8 will look like up front, it wouldn't be all that shocking. Once you get past the A-pillars, though, the PB18's design gets a lot more controversial.

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    The proportions appear to be inspired by other mid-engine supercars, but the car itself is more of a shooting brake. Audi claims the PB18's long-roof design gives it 16.6 cubic feet of cargo space, something you don't usually get in conventional supercars. And while it's hard to judge size based on these renderings, at 178 inches long, 79 inches wide, and 45 inches tall, the PB18 is several inches longer, wider, and lower than the current R8. It also rides on 22-inch wheels, and Audi claims the adjustable diffuser and rear spoiler work together to give the car active aero.

    In theory, an electric shooting brake based on a future R8 should be incredibly cool. But for some reason, the PB18 looks more like a movie prop from a reboot of Minority Report than we would have hoped. It may look better in person, of course, but until we see it, we can't say for sure. That also doesn't mean Audi didn't come up with some cool (although possibly theoretical) features for the PB18.

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    With three electric motors driving all four wheels, the PB18 makes 670 hp and 612 lb-ft of torque. An overboost mode temporarily increases that to 764 hp, giving the PB18 a claimed 0-60 time of about two seconds and making it about as quick as a modern LMP1 prototype. Power for the motors comes from a 95-kWh solid-state battery that promises a maximum range of more than 300 miles on Europe's WLTP cycle. And thanks to its 800-volt charging capability, Audi says the PB18 can be fully charged in about 15 minutes. For maximum on-track performance, the suspension is also derived from Audi's R18 Le Mans car.

  • 1956 FERRARI 290 MM SELLS FOR $22 MILLION ON THE BLOCK

    1956 FERRARI 290 MM SELLS FOR $22 MILLION ON THE BLOCK

    Adam Carolla’s 1971 Lamborghini Miura SV brings $2.2 million

    Another classic car auction, another multi-million dollar Ferrari sale. Ferraris have long been king when it comes to high-value post-war auction results, and this past Saturday, a 1956 Ferrari 290 MM sold to a new owner for a huge $22,000,005. The venue was RM Sotheby's first Petersen Automotive Museum auction in Los Angeles, California and the car was a true gem from the early years of the storied Italian automaker.

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    The 1956 290 MM, chassis number 0628, was originally a factory race car, driven by some of the greatest names in the 1950s international racing scene. Legends such as Phil Hill, Juan Manuel Fangio, Peter Collins, Olivier Gendebien, Sir Stirling Moss, and Wolfgang von Trips all had stints behind the wheel of #0628, which even today still has its original bodywork, engine and transmission—rare for a frequently raced car from this period.

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    Further, #0628 was given a full restoration to the livery it wore in the 1957 12 Hours of Sebring by Ferrari Classiche, the brand's in-house restoration service, and was fully authenticated at the same time. During the 1956 racing season, the car was run with a four-cylinder, 3.5-liter 860 Monza-type engine and finished second at that year's Mille Miglia road race.

    In 1957, a new 3.50 liter 290 S engine replaced the original and in this guise the car finished third overall in the 1957 1000 KM of Buenos Aires. The engine was replaced again prior to the start of the 1957 12 Hours of Sebring, this time with a 290 MM V-12 with single overhead camshafts vs the 290 S' twin cam configuration. Unfortunately, the car recorded a DNF at Sebring and ended its campaign under the Scuderia Ferrari team, being sold on through American importer Luigi Chinetti to private ownership.

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    Other notable sales at the Petersen Automotive Museum auction included a 1971 Lamborghini Miura SV consigned by television and radio personality Adam Carolla, which sold for $2.2 million—in line with the pre-sale estimate. Carolla also sold a 1965 Lamborghini 350 GT for $555,000. Meanwhile, a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT brought $775,000, a 2015 McLaren P1 sold for 1,435,000, and a Euro-spec 1989 Ferrari F40 did very well at $1,545,000.

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