Barrett-Jackson 2016: 1951 Cadillac Custom Roadster

1951-cadillac-deville-custom-roadster-rearThis car caught my eye while I was walking around the tents at the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale this past January. The window sticker revealed frustratingly few details about this cool custom roadster.

From what I could tell, this car began life as a 1951 Cadillac DeVille and was at some point turned into a chop-top roadster. The engine has been swapped out for a Chevrolet LS V8 power plant with a 4L60E automatic transmission. The interior has been redone in tan leather while the exterior has been resprayed a laser red metallic color. Continue reading

2003 Aston Martin DB AR1 Roadster

aston-martin-db-ar1-profileIt used to be that owning a supercar was special, no matter which one you had. But in today’s world, exclusivity is the name of the game. Now it’s not enough to have any old Lamborghini or Ferrari – you’ve got to have the rare, limited-production model in order to really be somebody.

For example, Ferrari limited production of the Enzo to just 400 units. The Bugatti Veyron was limited to 450 cars. The Lexus LFA was a limited run of just 500 cars. Lamborghini is building just 200 “50th Anniversary” edition Aventadors. Not to be outdone by the competition, Aston Martin raised the stakes with their One-77 supercar – a super special vehicle with a $1,000,000 price tag and only 77 copies built.

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Burton Car: Citroen 2CV Kit Car

burton-car-rearKit cars are a particularly interesting niche of the automotive world, and we write about them often here on Generation High Output. At a local car show, I spotted a car that I’d never seen before – a Burton!

A quick Internet search revealed that Burton is an automobile manufacturer in the Netherlands. The company was founded in 1993 by Dimitri and Iwan Göbel – brothers with a shared passion for automobiles. Their main product is a two-seat, two-door roadster based on the Citroen 2CV. The 2CV is one of the most-produced cars of all time and is renowned and beloved for its utter simplicity and reliability.

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2014 Lamborghini Aventador LP 720-4 50 Anniversario

2014 is a very special year because it is the 50th Anniversary of Lamborghini. To celebrate the occasion, the company has produced a limited run of “50th Anniversary” Aventador models. Just 200 cars are to be produced – 100 coupes and 100 roadsters. This particular car is #47 of 100.

The Aventador LP 720-4 50 Anniversario edition has the same 6.5L V12 engine as the standard Aventador, though power has been bumped up from 690 to 710 HP thanks to a new engine calibration.

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1999 Shelby Series 1 Convertible

Carroll Shelby will forever be remembered as the man who put Ford V8 engines into AC Cobras in the 1960s, and as the man who souped up Mustangs and other cars for auto manufacturers. For most of his career, Shelby advised or improved upon other people’s projects. What if he set out to design a car of his own? What would it look like? Ladies and gentlemen, the Shelby Series 1 Convertible.

This car has the distinction of being the only car designed, engineered, and built from the ground up by Carroll Shelby. It’s kind of an odd-looking car, though you can tell by looking at it that the fit and finish are too good to be a kit. Only 249 of these vehicles were produced, making them extremely rare. This luxury roadster originally cost $180,000 when it came out in 1999. This particular car belonged to Jamie Navarro, pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers.

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2001 Dodge Viper RT/10

These photos are from the first time I ran into this particular bi-winged serpent. The second time was at Barrett-Jackson, on the other side of town. It wasn’t being auctioned, it was just parked next to a bunch of other Vipers. I can’t really tell you the story on the Wright brothers wing setup, other than to say that I hope it’s functional. According to the driver, it is a 2001 model, which would put it at 450 hp and an easy low-12-second quarter mile, which is pretty respectable for a car that’s more than 10 years old. It would have no problem keeping up with the supercharged LSA V8 found under the hood of the Cadillac CTS-V, though it wouldn’t get nearly the same mileage. Continue reading

The Roadster Shop’s 1962 Corvette C1RS

When you get right down to it, a car is a machine that does work. It transports people and cargo from one location to another. For most people, a car is just another appliance which is no different from an alarm clock or a garbage disposal. It is a purpose-built machine that makes our lives easier in some way. You use it when you need to, fix or replace it when it breaks, and feel no special attachment to it.

From the beginning of the automobile era, cars were designed with functionality in mind.  Early automobiles were simply boxes on a ladder frame with some wheels. Today, cars have evolved into sophisticated, computer-controlled machines – but I would argue that the majority of cars on the road are still more functional than beautiful.

The appearance of a car hasn’t changed much because it hasn’t needed to: a car doesn’t need to be beautiful to get us where we are going. While I can certainly appreciate the intrinsic beauty of something that is purely functional, I can also appreciate when things are both functional and beautiful.

This car, a customized 1962 Corvette roadster “C1RS” is one of the most aesthetically beautiful cars I have ever seen. This vehicle transcends the definition of a car or even a hot rod, it is a work of art.

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