Just a few months after unveiling its new DB12 “super tourer” coupe, Aston Martin has introduced the convertible version, called Volante. The British automaker first used the Volante name on a special run of 37 DB5 convertibles in 1965 and has used it on its convertibles since. The name is Italian for ‘flying’ or ‘moving lightly and quickly.’ The 671-horsepower DB12 Volante can certainly do that. The newest Aston Martin would seem to have just two direct rivals, the Ferrari Roma Spider and Bentley Continental GTC. Which would you choose?
Giotto Bizzarrini, who died in spring 2023, left a legacy that includes the Ferrari 250 GTO, the first Lamborghini V12 engine, and the car that bore his name, the Bizzarrini 5300 GT. Few of these stunning Italian sports/GT cars were made, all powered by Chevy Corvette V8s for spellbinding performance and easy serviceability. A class win at Le Mans in 1965 established racing pedigree. At its Monterey Auction this month, RM Sotheby’s is offering an impeccably finished 5300 GT with a pre-sale estimate of $880K-$1M.
Fourteen years after Enzo Ferrari’s passing, the company he founded honored his memory with a car bearing not only his surname, but also his given name. When introduced in 2002, the Ferrari Enzo represented the culmination of the automaker’s expertise in both high-performance road cars and Formula One racing. F1 tech abounded, including carbon fiber and aluminum construction, carbon-ceramic brakes, and more. At its upcoming auction at Monterey Car Week, Bonhams is offering an Enzo that has been enjoyed as the founder would have liked: being driven.
Car collectors heading to Monterey Car Week in August will have plenty of treasures vying for their money, including two 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS models in very different condition offered at the RM Sotheby’s auction. A restored blue car originally owned by artist James Wyeth looks like it just drove off the showroom floor, and it has won many awards. A silver 330 GTS offered will need restoration. It’s one of 20 rare Ferrari that sat in a Florida barn for years before Hurricane Charley destroyed the building in 2004. The Ferrari then sat in an Indianapolis warehouse until this year. Offered at no reserve, it will definitely be going to a new home.
If you’re heading to Monterey Car Week in August, consider Concorso Italiano a must-see event Saturday, August 19 on the fairways of the Bayonet Golf Course in Seaside, California. This unique show displays nearly 700 cars and motorcycles, covering the gamut of 10 different marques. Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, and Lamborghini dominate in sheer numbers, while other Italian classics, exotics, and obscure models offer many more compelling treats to see. The atmosphere is casual-festival, with an emphasis on fun.
Lamborghini has entered the electrification era with its first plug-in hybrid, a 1,001-hp hypercar called the Revuelto. Named for a fighting bull that decided to bolt from the ring 143 years ago, the new Lambo shows a rowdy spirit with three electric motors unapologetically teamed with a 6.5-liter, gas-fueled V12 that parties like it’s 1970. Sharpened stealth-jet design could only come from Lamborghini, while new “monofuselage” carbon-fiber construction keeps strength high and weight reasonable. Reports say it’s already sold out for the first two years.
Can a track-focused sports car be too track-focused? That’s what one major auto magazine suggested after testing the BMW M4 CSL, a special lighter, more powerful version of its M4. While the “lesser” BMW M4 Competition xDrive model (which is not a competition car, btw) is quicker in some acceleration tests, the 40-hp more powerful, 240-pound lighter, $58,000 more expensive M4 CSL is the faster car around the kind of private membership tracks whose clients this car is intended. You’ll pay for that capability with reduced comfort in everyday driving, but would you care?
McLaren has given its alluring 720S a hefty update, including a 30-hp boost that triggers a badge change to 750S. The 66 pounds McLaren cut from the 720S might seem small in terms of acceleration performance, but it lets McClaren claim the 750S as its lightest-ever “series production” model (which excludes limited models). A major cockpit revision enhances driver control, and a new exhaust system unleashes howling soundtrack. Best of all, there’s a choice between coupe and Spider models.
You can’t get a manual transmission from Ferrari or Lamborghini today, but collectors are willing to pay hefty premiums for their last stick-shift models. This trend specifically applies to the cars that offered the choice between the real manual and the “robotized” manual, which Ferrari called F1 and Lamborghini called E-Gear. Today, a Ferrari F430 with the stick-shift can command a 100% premium over the F1 model. Some independent shops are even providing conversions back to full manual transmissions. Is that a wise purchase?