Auto News Log

Thank you for viewing and following the Auto News Log by Victory Muscle Cars.

The Auto News Log brings you the latest auto news, auction events, racing news, collector cars, videos, photojournalism and more. Click Here to add the Auto News Log to your RSS Reader.

In addition, Victory Muscle Cars invites you to connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Google + and Youtube.

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R Sends Historic Name Back to the Track

January 26th, 2014 • By: Auto News Log Muscle Car Spotlight, Press Release, Racing News

New era begins at Daytona with IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 returns to its racing roots this week when the all-new Camaro Z/28.R race car debuts in a 2.5-hour endurance race ahead of the 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona. It will be one of the most production-based competitors on the track, sharing aero, engine and even axle components with the new 2014 Camaro Z/28.

Stevenson Motorsports and CKS Autosport will campaign Z/28.R race cars in the GS class of the IMSA Continental Tires SportsCar Challenge. The Daytona race begins at 1:45 p.m. EST, on Friday, Jan. 24, kicking off the 12-race 2014 season.

“The original Camaro Z/28 was designed for racing and became an iconic performance car through its hard-fought victories,” said Mark Kent, director of racing for Chevrolet. “A new chapter in racing begins this week, as the new Camaro Z/28 makes its competition debut in one of the most hotly contested series in motorsports.”

Developed alongside its production counterpart, the Z/28.R incorporates the same performance elements that make the 2014 Camaro Z/28 the most track-capable Camaro ever. To enhance grip, for example, the Z/28.R’s body shares the same downforce-generating aero package as the production model, including:

- Front splitter
- Rear spoiler with wickerbill
- Hood extractor vent
- Rockers, wheel-house extensions and front tire deflectors
- Belly pan.

The Z/28.R is also powered by the same LS7 7.0L V-8 engine as the production Z/28 and employs the unique, helical-gear limited-slip rear differential found on the production model. It is standard in the Z/28, helping the driver put down more power to the pavement when exiting corners.

“Apart from series-mandated equipment and the specialized suspension components needed for endurance racing, the Z/28.R is as close to a production-spec race car as you’ll find,” said Kent.

Advancing the Z/28 legacy

As Stevenson Motorsports and CKS Autosport kick off a full season of racing in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge with their new Camaro Z/28.R race cars, they’ll advance the legacy of Camaro endurance racing that dates to the original Z/28’s 1967 introduction, when it was developed for the Trans-Am series. More recently, the Camaro GS.R won six races from 2011 to 2013 in the Continental SportsCar Series Grand Sport class, helping Chevrolet achieve a runner-up finish in the GS championship last season.

“The new Camaro Z/28.R is a significant advancement from the GS.R that won multiple races in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge the last three years,” said Lisa Talarico, Chevrolet program manager for the Continental Tire series. “We expect the new engine package, suspension components and aerodynamic improvements to help our teams to further successes in the 2014 GS class. The GS class is full of great competitors, and we believe the performance level of the new Z/28.R will provide us the opportunity to contend for a championship.”

The 2014 Camaro Z/28 goes on sale this spring.

About Chevrolet

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at

Source: Chevrolet

Thousands of Ford Mustangs Expected to Caravan Across the Country for Great American Pony Drive

January 26th, 2014 • By: Auto News Log Muscle Car Spotlight, Press Release

- To honor Ford Mustang’s 50th anniversary, thousands of fans summoned to Norman, Okla., for the start of this historic drive

- Two caravans will depart from Norman to converge on Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway for five days of events

Ford Mustang enthusiasts are invited to cross the United States in the largest caravan of Mustangs in history and join the official 50th anniversary festivities that will celebrate Mustang past, present and future, including the all-new Mustang set to go on sale this Fall.

Cars from every decade are being summoned to Norman, Okla. on Sunday, April 13, 2014, where they can join either the herd headed to Charlotte Motor Speedway or Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Mustang Club of America (MCA), along with the support of Ford Motor Company, is holding a Mustang anniversary event on April 16-20, 2014, to commemorate the iconic pony car, while also looking forward to the next 50 years of the Mustang.

“The official Mustang 50th anniversary celebration will kick off in the middle of the country so people can enjoy these pony cars as they were intended to be used, ‘on the road,’” said Ronald D. Bramlett, executive director of the Mustang 50th Birthday Celebration. “We believe this will be the largest group of Mustangs traveling together in the world.”

The groups will cruise over four days to Charlotte Motor Speedway or Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Those locations will host enthusiasts who have gathered from around the globe to attend the Mustang 50th Birthday Celebration.

“Ford Mustang owners love to share their adventures,” said Steven Ling, North America car marketing manager for Ford. “The Pony Drives will give them the opportunity to impart their personal stories and create new ones with fellow enthusiasts. While traveling across half a continent, they’ll form new, lifelong friendships and reconnect with past ones.”

MCA is coordinating both of the Pony Drives. The Las Vegas Pony Drive will stop in Amarillo, Tex.; Albuquerque; N.M.; and Flagstaff, Ariz. The Charlotte Pony Drive will be hosted in Little Rock, Ark.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Asheville, N.C. Those who cannot travel to Norman can still register for the MCA Pony Drive and join the group in one of the host cities along the way.

“Each Pony Drive will offer its own unique goodie box,” said Bramlett. “It will include one of a kind, commemorative items specific to the Pony Drives and not available to the general public. These items will be lifelong keepsakes for those who participate.”

Those planning to join one of the routes to Norman, can find the registration form and hotel information at For anyone joining the group in Norman, the Official MCA Pony Drive registration form is available at

“Once we opened registration for the Pony Drive, entrants began pouring in,” said Bramlett. “We hope to have examples from each of the first 50 years of Mustang and share a moving historical display along the route.”

This year’s 50th birthday party has a host of celebrations at the two locations:

The tentative schedule is:

- Sunday, April 13 – Pony Drive Migration Begins from Norman, Okla.
- Wednesday, April 16 – The first official day of the Mustang 50th Birthday Celebration will feature vendors and exhibits as Pony Drives and members arrive
- Thursday, April 17 – MCA will conduct opening ceremonies followed by a host of activities and exhibits including track time, Ford’s Ride & Drives and hot laps, car displays, vendors and historical displays celebrating Mustang’s 50th
- Friday, April 18 – Activities continue, with a themed dinner
- Saturday, April 19 – The festivities will follow the same pattern as Friday; – Saturday evening will feature the Saturday Night Banquet, with guest speakers
- Sunday, April 20 – Easter Sunrise Services will be held early morning at both tracks; parade laps around the speedways and closing ceremonies

Details are being formalized for the event and are continuously updated on a special website,

Source: Ford

ACR Signs Stephen Cox to Drive 2014 Racing Season

January 25th, 2014 • By: Auto News Log Press Release, Racing News, Stephen Cox

The championship-winning team from the 2012 Mid-American Stock Car Series campaign has named Stephen Cox as their driver for the upcoming season.

Acorn Cabinetry Racing of Somonauk, Illinois has confirmed that Cox will take the wheel of the team’s #22 Acorn Cabinetry/Boschett Timepieces/Sopwith Motorsports Chevrolet as the teammate of former MASCS champion Jeremy Spoonmore. “It’s a perfect opportunity to learn from a series champ and a great driver,” Cox said of his new teammate. “I’m new to most of the Mid-Am tracks, but Jeremy has hundreds of laps at every venue and his experience will be a huge help.” Longtime sponsor Boschett Timepieces will follow Cox to his new ride.

The team will run a partial schedule around Cox’s television commitments including stops at Wisconsin International Raceway, the ARCAfest Howie Lettow Memorial at the Milwaukee Mile, Elko Speedway in Minneapolis, Oktoberfest at the LaCrosse County Fairgrounds, and more.

The Mid-American Stock Car Series tours Midwest states including Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. Most of the drivers in the series have multiple wins or championships in other ranks, and many MASCS races are part of major midwestern stock car events such as the National Short Track Championships. The series is the highest form of racing available to sportsman-style, GM metric chassis stock cars, boasting a national television audience of 50 million homes as well as regional distribution by Time Warner Cable.

Cox, a 15-time race winner and former GT Challenge Series road racing champion, is no stranger to metric chassis cars. His previous two seasons in the metric-based CARS series produced a pair of wins, two poles and 13 top five finishes while driving for MCR Enterprises. MASCS cars are similar, featuring 355 cubic inch V8 engines producing 450 horsepower.

“I’d really like to thank (team owners) Randy and Claire Aubart for bringing me on board,” Cox continued. “They’ve done a lot to support this series and theirs cars run up front every night. It’s a wonderful opportunity and I appreciate it.”

The team’s first event will be the Vercauteren Memorial at Wisconsin International Raceway on May 10th.

Follow Cox’s racing activities at:

For more information contact

Source: Global Media/Sopwith Motorsports Television Productions

Stephen Cox: Hot Muscle Car Buys – Mercury’s Undervalued Cougar

The Stephen Cox Blog presented by McGunegill Engine Performance: Hot Muscle Car Buys – Mercury’s Undervalued Cougar

I have a confession to make. I don’t pay much attention to the multi-million dollar collector cars on the auction block. They prance across the stage looking really hot and endlessly tease you with something you know you can’t afford. Insert Britney Spears joke here.

However, I do have a raging passion for under-appreciated cars that average, everyday people can actually buy. Cars like the 1968 Impala small block, the A-code 289 Mustangs, or the early 302-powered Mavericks are not garage queens. They will never see the inside of a museum. They will spend their days doing what real cars are supposed to do… driving.

One of the best “average guy” muscle car buys on the market today is the shockingly affordable first generation Mercury Cougar. The Cougar has everything. It’s a great looking sports car that’s an authentic member of the Muscle/Pony car club. It was offered as either a big block behemoth or a small-block street hustler.

The XR7 trim package supplied above-average comfort and a touch of class that elevated it above the common street machine. The Eliminator option package turned the Cougar into a stoplight monster. The car even had a great ad campaign featuring a live cougar, usually accompanied by a sexy model.

And best of all, this late-60’s and early 70’s icon is affordable. Yes, you’ll still pay a premium for some models. The 428-powered XR7’s and Eliminators, for example, will set you back $50,000 to $70,000. But lowering your sights to a small block model opens up a world of modestly priced possibilities. Let’s take a look at a few of them from Mecum’s recent auctions.

A pristine, second-year 1968 model with only 2,000 original miles on the odometer sold for $25,000 at Mecum’s Schaumburg auction (near Chicago) in late 2013. Tan with a black vinyl top and a magnificent wood steering wheel, the car was completely drivable. It’s 210 horsepower small block 302 and automatic transmission held bidding to a level that an average person could actually consider.

A Candy Apple red and black 1970 model at the same auction sold for only $28,000, a strikingly plausible price for a wicked street machine. This Windsor powered car boasted 351 cubic inches complemented by black racing stripes, a hood scoop, and rare front and rear spoilers. Once again, the small block engine and automatic transmission kept the final price within reach for gobs of prospective buyers.

And the Cougar buy of the year came in December at Kansas City, where Mecum’s twice-annual auction sold a mist green, 289-powered 1967 Cougar with all original body panels for $20,000. The car was loaded with factory options including power windows and factory air conditioning and came complete with the dealer invoice and build sheet.

Like any other classic automobile, these cars won’t stay at this price forever. The classic car industry has its own ebb and flow, and right now the first generation small block Cougars are among the most undervalued cars on the auction block.

Stephen Cox
Sopwith Motorsports Television Productions
Co-host, Mecum Auto Auctions
McGunegill Engines/Boschett Timepieces #31

Read Stephen’s book on the Can Am Champion L&M Porsche 917 – free online

Boschett Timepieces

McGunegill Engine Performance

Mecum Auctions

Photo Credit: Mecum Auctions

Source: Global Media/Sopwith Motorsports Television Productions

RM Auctions: 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Sets New Arizona Auction Record at RM’s $45.5 Million Two-Day Sale

· RM Auctions 15th annual Arizona sale generates more than $45.5 million in sales with 85 percent of all lots sold

· Two-day sale features exceptional offering of 125 automobiles, one boat and one motorcycle

· Ten automobiles achieve million-dollar plus results with multiple new auction records set

· Top-seller: 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider sells for an outstanding $8,800,000

· Full results are now available online at

· RM continues its 2014 auction calendar with its debut sale in Paris, France, February 5 during the world famous Retromobile week

PHOENIX, Arizona – RM Auctions, the world’s largest collector car auction house for investment-quality automobiles, kicked off its 2014 auction season on a fantastic note once again this week, realizing an impressive $45,563,450 million in sales* with 85 percent of all lots sold at its 15th annual Phoenix, Arizona sale.

Within a beautiful setting and stunning presentation at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, the results represent a new high for the international auction house in Arizona. The two-day sale saw ten million-dollar-plus transactions and numerous auction records set, headlined by the top-selling 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider. Reflecting RM’s international clientele and the global appeal of the well-established event, bidders hailed from 20 countries around the world.

“RM Auctions continues to prove that the combination of great cars, knowledgeable clients and a beautiful auction venue is a winning formula for both buyers and sellers,” says Ian Kelleher, Car Specialist, RM Auctions. “This year’s two-day sale was an unqualified success and set a terrific benchmark for the entire Arizona auction week, not to mention a fantastic start for the 2014 auction season.”

Top sale honors went to the highly desirable 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider, chassis 1055 GT with coachwork by Scaglietti, selling for an incredible $8,800,000 before a packed auction room, making it the most valuable car ever sold in Arizona auction week history. The 11th of only 50 long-wheelbase California Spiders ever built, 1055 GT goes to its new owner in remarkably well-preserved condition. Continuing RM’s outstanding track record for the sale of important Ferraris at auction, additional Ferrari highlights from the two-day sale include: the beautifully restored 1963 Ferrari 250 GT/L ‘Lusso’, chassis 5215 GT, which sold for $2,447,500, setting a new record for the model at public auction; a wonderfully preserved 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB, chassis 8349, which sold for $1,815,000; and a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTS, chassis 08353, which sold for $1,485,000.

Additional impressive million-dollar-plus sales include the brilliantly restored, ex-Bob Donner and Don Wester 1961 Porsche 718 RS 61 Spyder, taking the number two spot at $2,750,000. Representing the diverse roster of automobiles, a 1930 Duesenberg Model J ‘Disappearing Top’ Convertible Coupe, offered for public sale for the first time since new, sold for a fantastic $2,200,000.

RM Arizona 2014 – Top Ten Sales:

1. Lot 112 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider $8,800,000.00

2. Lot 51 1961 Porsche 718 RS 61 Spyder $2,750,000.00

3. Lot 89 1963 Ferrari 250 GT/L ‘Lusso’ $2,447,500.00

4. Lot 22 1930 Duesenberg Model J ‘Disappearing Top’ Convertible Coupe $2,200,000.00

5. Lot 100 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB $1,815,000.00

6. Lot 104 1995 Ferrari F50 $1,650,000.00

7. Lot 110 1966 Ferrari 275 GTS $1,485,000.00

8. Lot 83 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing $1,292,500.00

9. Lot 99 1935 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet deVille $1,045,000.00

10. Lot 20 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster $1,045,000.00

Further notable sales from the Arizona auction include:

· Lot 21 – 1958 Bentley S1 Continental Coupe – $511,500 (Record for a Bentley S1 Continental at public auction)

· Lot 18 – 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL ‘Pagoda’ – $165,000 (Record for a Mercedes-Benz 280SL at public auction)

· Lot 43 – 1986 Toyota Celica IMSA GTO – $242,000

· Lot 88 – 1961 Bentley S2 Continental ‘Flying Spur’ – $297,000 (Record for a Bentley S2 Continental ‘Flying Spur’ at auction)

RM Auctions continues its exciting 2014 calendar with its debut sale in Paris, France, February 5 at Place Vauban. Held during the world famous Retromobile motoring week, the sale will present a spectacular selection of more than 50 automobiles from all sectors of the collector car market. The Paris sale is closely followed by RM’s 16th annual Amelia Island, Florida sale, March 8, the official auction of the renowned Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

Full results from RM’s Arizona sale along with details on upcoming events are available online at

*Please note, results are in USD and are inclusive of a 10 percent buyer’s premium on automobiles and 15 percent on all other lots.

About RM Auctions

RM Auctions is the world’s largest auction house for investment-quality automobiles. With over three decades of experience in the collector car industry, RM’s vertically integrated range of services, from restoration to private treaty sales, auctions, estate planning, and financial services, coupled with an expert team of international car specialists at seven offices around the world, provide an unsurpassed level of service to the global collector car market. RM proudly holds six of the top ten all-time records for the most expensive motor cars sold at auction. RM’s restoration division has achieved unprecedented accolades, earning Best of Show honors at the world’s top concours events, including the prestigious Amelia Island and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. For further information, visit, find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @rmauctions.

Photo Credit: The top-selling 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider (Ben Majors © 2013 Courtesy of RM Auctions).

Media Contact:

Meghan McGrail
+1 818 703 3731

Katherine McFadden
+1 519 437 3053

Source: RM Auctions