Pebble Beach

Friday Photo – 2001 BMW M3 GTR in Monterey Gallery

Although Monterey Auto Week is often all about the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, there’s actually a huge number of events going on at different venues throughout the area. One of the newer shows is the Legends of the Autobahn Concours D’Elegance which, this year, features one of ESM’s most favourite race cars.

2001 PTG BMW E46 M3 GTR

In fact, it’s also one of the most popular race cars on full stop, thanks to cult status and this article being cited on Italian Wikipedia as an authority on the M3 GTR. We still don’t quite know how that happened, but we’re not complaining. Regardless, BMW North America is bringing both the pictured M3 GTR 006 to Legends of the Autobahn, along with a rare road-going M3 GTR too.

2001 PTG BMW E46 M3 GTR

This particular racer has recently been through an 18 month full restoration by BMWUSA Classic and Rahal Letterman Lanigan, returning it to how it looked back in 2001 when it won the Petit Le Mans finale. The ‘Stars and Stripes’ livery was chosen as a tribute to those who had lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks less than a month before the race. With an iconic colour scheme combined with a Petit Le Mans win, the PTG team car became something of an instant legend in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).

We’ve obviously covered the story of the E46 M3 GTR before, but the short version is BMW cleverly exploited the rules in the ALMS that meant only 10 street versions needed to be built to homologate a GT racer. (more…)

Pebble Beach 2015 | McLaren MSO 570S Coupé

It’s that time of year when British car manufacturers migrate to California to show off expensive custom creations at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. McLaren is back again this year, featuring a distinctively painted 570S.

2015 McLaren 570S Coupe by MSO 001According to McLaren, it’s categorically not purple. No, it’s officially painted in a colour described as ‘Mauvine Blue’ which, to us, sounds like a very Ron Dennis way of describing something in a more complicated way than necessary. So even though it looks like a bar of Dairy Milk, and has a name seemingly derived from a purple synthetic dye, it definitely isn’t purple, ok?

2015 McLaren 570S Coupe by MSOWhatever the McLaren Special Operations (MSO) team decide to call the hue of this 570S Coupé, it’s the car they’ve picked as one of their main attractions at Pebble Beach this year. It’s certainly more visually exciting that the sombre-toned P1 they brought along twelve months ago, at least. In addition, there will also be a ‘Ventura Orange’ version of the 570S supercar on show too. We’ve done our research, and Ventura Orange is 100% orange – ESM is confident of that.


New – Range Rover Sport SVR

The Range Rover Sport often gets a hard time from the automotive press, and general public, due to its image. Does this quickest iteration – and most powerful Land Rover ever –  do anything to change the situation? We say yes.2015 Range Rover Sport SVR 001

Place your prejudices aside for a moment, and take in the engineering detail Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Operations team has had to go into with the SVR. This is a vehicle that can lap the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in 8 minutes 14 seconds, wade through 850 mm deep water and tow 3,000 kg. That’s not an easy brief to fill and still come up with an everyday, usable, vehicle at the other end.

2015 Range Rover Sport SVR 002

Set to make its global debut at Pebble Beach Automotive Week on Thursday, the Range Rover Sport SVR marks a key point in Jaguar Land Rover’s sporting aspirations across both brands. Being the first car to wear the SVR badge – as other future ‘hot’ Jaguars and Land Rovers will too – the Range Rover Sport is a pretty impressive flagship. Along with the storming Nürburgring lap, comes a 0-62 mph time of 4.5 seconds and a 162 mph top speed. That’s rather fast for a huge SUV; more than enough to substantially embarrass a VW Golf R away from the traffic lights, for example.

2015 Range Rover Sport SVR 005 (more…)

Friday Photo – Q by Aston Martin at Pebble Beach

Following on from McLaren’s two Special Operations offerings for the Pebble Beach Automotive Week , Aston Martin has gone further by planning to show off four bespoke cars in California. Like we said earlier in the week, if you’re a British manufacturer custom is seemingly the way to go at the minute.

2014 Q Aston Martin Vanquish 000

Commissioned with the help of the Galpin Aston Martin dealership, the four models are meant to showcase the possibilities available through Q – Aston’s bespoke personalisation service.

Q by Aston Martin Vanquish Coupe

It’s orange – Abor Orange in fact – a new colour exclusively for the Q range. EngageSportMode approves of its hue. The carbon fibre twill used is also twice the normal size, making the weave look more apparent than normal. There’s also a rather cool ‘Helix’ design printed onto the leather covering the headlining and door cards.

Q by Aston Martin Vanquish Volante

2014 Q Aston Martin Vanquish Volante 001


2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance – McLaren P1 and 650S

Are you a British based car manufacturer? Do you have a “Spec Ops” division to crank out exclusively modified stuff? No? Then you’re clearly not trying hard enough. Regardless, McLaren Automotive will be making a big effort to demonstrate the work of its McLaren Special Operations team at the forthcoming Pebble Beach Automotive Week.

Pebble Beach is actually somewhat fitting for McLaren, as it is where the company launched its MSO department at the 2011 show, with a Volcano Orange MP4-12C. So for 2014, MSO has rolled out not one, but two special customised – probably should be customized on this occasion – McLaren products. 2014 Pebble Beach McLaren P1 005 First up is a unique example of the P1 hyper-car, ordered by a North American customer in this bespoke specification. Stirling Grey paintwork is matched with bare carbon fibre and a host of McLaren Orange coloured details, including brake calipers, badges and even the struts that support the rear wing. Inspired by the original McLaren F1, the engine bay is lined in 24 carat gold heatshields – you can see it surrounding the exhaust tailpipe too – with more bare carbon used on the rear bumper and diffuser.

All that glitters is probably gold.

All that glitters is probably gold.

Internally there’s a riot of carbon fibre and Alcantara, with virtually every surface finished in one of those two materials. The only exceptions being the McLaren Orange highlighting on various bits of switchgear, and the custom satin Nickel trim used on the air vents; a nod to the same material used on the exhaust system. (more…)