With Jonathan Moore away with the European Speedhunters contingent preparing for the N24, I’ll be handling the Week in Pictures for the next two weeks. Over the last seven days the biggest story in the automotive word is without a doubt the passing of Carroll Shelby.
Before we move on to some of the other photographic highlights from the week, let’s enjoy a few vintage Shelby photographs from the Ford media archive.
This photo was taken in 1963 at the original Shelby facility in Venice, California. We can see Carroll standing beside three Shelby Cobras that would go on to claim the ’63 USRRC Manufacturer’s Championship.
Another shot from Venice in 1964 showing the very first Shelby GT350 Mustang to roll off the line. What a looker.
A few years later Carroll poses with the Ford GT40 Mk. IV following the car’s victory at the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Finally, a more recent shot of Mr.Shelby with the Cobra Concept from 2004. It’s a shame that this modern version of the Cobra was never given the greenlight for production.
In other automotive happenings from around the world, BMW introduced the touring version of the new 3-series. Those in America should be pleased as BMW has confirmed the long roof 3 will also be making its way to US shores.
Now, if only we could have an M3 wagon…
Speaking of M-versions, BMW also officially debuted the new M135i three-door hatchback.
The M135i will send 320 horsepower to the rear wheels, instantly creating another one of the world’s hot hatch heroes. Of the course the big power M motor is just one of several gas and diesel powerplants that will be available in the car.
Also in the department of hot hatches, MINI unveiled the new John Cooper Works GP. The thoroughly tuned GP lapped the Nurburgring in 8:23, easily making it the fastest street MINI ever.
If you’d like to add one to your garage you’d better act fast, as only 2,000 of these cars will be released for the entire planet.
The John Cooper Works GP may carry a high price tag for a MINI, but it’s still a little cheaper than this 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa that was auctioned by RM in Monaco over the weekend.
The historic race car brought €5,040,000, or about $6.5 million US at the auction. Not too surprising considering this is one of the most desirable Ferraris of all time.
Elsewhere, Lotus unveiled their new Evora GTC, an improved version of the Evora GT4 Enduro. Visually, the aggressive overfenders are one of the things that set the GTC apart from the GT4.
Porsche meanwhile is making nice progress on the 918 Spyder. These freshly released photos of the late stage prototypes show their retro-themed camouflage paint job based on the historic Porsche 917.
It’s not too hard to visualize what the plug-in hybrid supercar will look like when it enters production in September of next year.
Last Saturday night NASCAR headed to Darlington, South Carolina for the 2012 running of the famous Southern 500. It was five-time champ Jimmie Johnson who won the race, earning his first victory of the 2012 season.
More importantly, Johnson’s win marked the 200th Sprint Cup victory for Hendrick Motorsports, and what better place to bring home the prize than at Darlington?
Here we see Toyota’s Gazoo-prepared 86s and LFA ready for the N24. It’s amazing how much the 86 looks like the LFA in this photo. You can expect to see more on these as the Speedhunters converge on the Ring this weekend.
A great shot from Bentley showing the historic “Birkin Blower” on its way to the 2012 Mille Miglia. This one of two Bentley Blower cars that will be running in this year’s event.
A few weeks after the battle on the streets of Long Beach, the American Le Mans series headed up the California coast to Laguna Seca for the third race of 2012. As we’ve come to expect, the battles in the GT class were as fierce as ever.
At the end of the race it was once again Oliver Gavin and our good friend Tommy Milner who emerged victorious in their #4 Corvette C6.R.
Until next week!