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Fangio Mercedes Racer W196 Sells for a Record $29.7m at Bonhams Auction



For classic car aficionados, Ferrari and Mercedes are the 2 names that will never lose its sheen in terms of the value escalation in the vintage and classic car market. We had earlier told you about the most historic 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 Grand Prix racing car scheduled to go on Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed auction in Britain. The car driven by the five-time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina has been sold for a record $29.7m, making it the most valuable motor vehicle ever sold at auction, beating the previous record of $16.39 million set by a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa at the Gooding & Company’s sale in 2011.

Though there have been few private sales of vintage Ferrari cars that have dominated the Guinness record book, the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R Formula 1 single-seater became the most expensive Mercedes-Benz car ever sold at auction.
Robert Brooks, Bonhams Chairman, said: “I have handled some of the world’s most desirable and important motor cars during a motoring auction career spanning five decades, but I have reached a peak today with this legendary Grand Prix car. It is not only one of the most significant motor cars of the 20th century, but also the most important historic Grand Prix racing car ever offered for sale.”

The post-war example of Mercedes automotive excellence, the car with chassis number ’00006′ also has not just historical significance, but the car also sports innovative design. The W196 racer was built due to a change in the FIA governing body of international motor sport Grand Prix regulations in 1954, which required cars to have unsupercharged engines of no more than 2½-litres.

It was the first open-wheeled car with a lightweight body, an in-line 8-cylinder fuel-injected engine, with power take-off from the center of the engine, all-independent suspension, and with three different wheelbases.

The iconic car is one of just nine surviving examples with six of these owned by Mercedes and the rest of the three are in museums. Reportedly, this one is a very rare privately-owned example sold by the Emir of Qatar, who acquired it from the German industrialist Friedhelm Loh about eight years ago.

After the W196 cars with their enclosed wheels proved difficult to place upon the more twisty venue of the following British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Fangio requested an open-wheeled W196 variant for the following German Grand Prix on the twisty 14.2-mile Nurburgring road circuit. Mercedes-Benz reacted instantly, tailoring new cars ’00005′ and ’00006′ to Fangio’s recommendation.

It was in chassis ’00006′ that Fangio immediately won the German Grand Prix. He then repeated the feat in the following Swiss Grand Prix on the daunting Bremgarten forest circuit at Berne – storming round at uncatchable pace in ’00006′ to win by 58.7 seconds from Argentine compatriot Jose Froilan Gonzalez’s out-classed Ferrari. This Swiss victory was Fangio’s third in four Grand Prix races, and assured him of his second Drivers’ World Championship title.



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The $700,000 New Supercar of Ralph Lauren…Add It To The Collection!



As a car collector, perhaps Ralph Lauren’s could not have thought of something better. Apparently, RUF CTR 3 was the one Ralph Lauren had been looking for. The fashion mogul and vintage car collector, Ralph Lauren was seen recently taking delivery of RUF CTR 3, as per industry analysts who follow him.

Car paparazzi too spotted Ralph Lauren checking out Ralph Lauren’s taking a ride in this elegant beauty that costs around $680,000 for a basic model though the costs can rise up to $700,000 if some customized specifications are done. However, the spokesperson for Ralph Lauren declined to offer any comments on if Ralph had indeed bought an RUF CTR 3.

RUF CTR3 is dubbed as luxury car known for its better performance and is immensely popular among super rich car collectors. RUF automobiles based in Germany have been modifying Porches for over 50 years now and are adding six cylinder engines while bulking up the frames.

The body has been made from carbon fiber and the supercar has been powered by a 777 horsepower engine. As per company sources who have been associated in designing of this car, the RUF CTR3 can go faster than the imagination of any driver.

RUF has been able to sell around three CTR3 in United States of America so far and the exclusiveness of the RUF CTR3 can be gauged from the fact that the company has sold only 25 CTR3 since the model was launched in 2007.

RUF as a manufacturer has other models in the pipeline and production too but has limited its production to 30 -35 cars in any given year. Perhaps, it is this exclusiveness of  the CTR3 that attracted Ralph Lauren.

Nothing better can describe the CTR3 than the words of Estonia Ruf of RUF automobiles. Ruf claims that the performance of the CTR3 is truly appreciated by its customers and they take it to be a true racing car.

This car brings to focus the elegance of the past racing cars and the technology of the future cars, perhaps making it unique in the true sense and thus making the same a desirable possession, every rich and neo rich wishes to buy.

This mid engine sports car has been built by Ruf Automobiles based in Germany and draws its inspiration from the Porsche Cayman. Another interesting aspect about the RUF CTR3 is that it was brought about 20 years after the Ruf CTR was released. The body panels and engine draw inspiration from Porsche, as has been the tradition with Ruf Automobiles products.

Made special by fashion icons as Ralph Lauren, the RUF CTR3 has been drawing interests from car enthusiasts from across the globe. For now Ralph Lauren is relishing the feel of owning this magnificent piece of  technology and is making news, all over.

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How Did Nicolas Cage Blow Through A $150 Million Dollar Fortune



Yesterday was April 15 and hopefully as you read this right now you have filed your taxes and are looking forward to a big fat refund! Or at the very least, I hope you didn’t end up owing anything extra to the I.R.S. this year. One person who definitely knows what it feels like to owe a little bit of money to Uncle Sam is Nicolas Cage. Nick is unfortunately one of dozens of high profile celebrities who happen to be way better at acting or throwing a ball than they are at taking care of their personal finances. After years of extravagant over-spending, not only did Nicolas find himself owing the IRS $13 million, but he also managed to blow through a $100 million fortune.

I have to admit, Nicolas Cage is probably my favorite actor of all time. The Rock, Lord of War, Con Air, National Treasure, Raising Arizona, Leaving Las Vegas, Face/Off, Snake Eyes… I celebrate the man’s entire catalog. I realize that some of Nick’s movies can be perceived as slightly cheesy or even flat out bad, but you have to admit his movies are rarely dull. At the peak of his career, Nick was one of the highest paid celebrities in the world who pulled down as much as $40 million per year. Between 1996 and 2011 Nick earned more than $150 million from acting alone. He earned $16 million for Snake Eyes, $20 million for Gone in Sixty Seconds, $20 million for Windtalkers, $20 million for National Treasure… just to name a few.

Not surprisingly, as his income went up so did his spending habits. Actually, to be fair, as his income increased Nick’s spending habits SKYROCKETED. Between 2000 and 2007 Nick went on a spending spree that would make the Sultan of Brunei blush. During that time Cage made the following purchases:15 Personal Homes: Cage’s property portfolio included an $8 million castle in England that he plunged millions more into remodeling. He never spent a single night in the castle. He also bought a second castle in Bavaria, two multi-million dollar mansions in New Orleans, a $17.5 million palace in Bel Air, a $10 million Malibu beach house, a 24,000 square foot home in Rhode Island, a mansion in Las Vegas and a getaway property on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

A Private Island: Apparently having a house on Paradise Island didn’t fill Nick’s penchant for the Bahamas because in 2006 he spent $7 million on a 40 acre private island 85 miles south of Nassau.

Four Luxury Yachts: Cage at one time owned four luxury yachts including one called Sarita that had 12 master bedrooms that was valued at $20 million.

A Fleet of Exotic Cars: At its peak, Nick Cage’s garage contained dozens of high end luxury vehicles including nine Rolls Royces. He owned an extremely rare $500 thousand Lamborghini and a $1 million Ferrari Enzo, one of only 349 produced. Cage also owned 30 motorcycles.

A $30 Million Gulfstream Private Jet

Other: Nearly 50 expensive works of art, dozens of jewels, a 67 million year old dinosaur skull, two extremely rare albino King Cobras.

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The legendary Nürburgring racetrack in Germany is up for sale at $161,000,000

When you are rich enough, it would be perhaps be a perfect match to have everything in a private collection, most of which would otherwise be public area? Whether it’s the homes and estates, the luxury yachts, or even private islands, the super rich will perhaps go the extra mile in order to flaunt and take into procession large rare portions of the earth, which other people who just dream of visiting in their lives. Now there is one such opportunity where the legendary German Formula 1 racetrack, called the Nurburgring, is up for sale for a private buyer. There is also news that there could be a serious discussion with a handful of interested parties, who are perhaps trying to work around the $161.39 million (€125 million) price tag of this famed circuit. Jens Leiser, the appointed liquidator also says that the ring could be sold in parts, or whole, and also that none of the parties in talks now are oil sheikhs or Russian oligarchs.


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