Category: Classic Cars

We look back in order to look ahead. A view of some of the greatest classic cars and shows around. Check back for entries telling of great car shows, automobilia and more.

Clarion Builds BMW 850Ci

Clarion Builds BMW 850Ci

Clarion is no stranger to alternative marketing. Or iconic builds. With the Clarion Builds BMW 850Ci, they return with the fifth chapter in a story that began with the rebuilding of an iconic 1974 BMW 2002. From there, they continued with a 1991 Acura (Honda) NSX, a 2004 Subaru WRX, and 2003 Nissan 350Z. This latest chapter features a 1993 BMW 850Ci. Starting with an E31 chassis that was thoroughly ragged out by its previous owner, it was the perfect candidate for a ground up restoration. Under the guidance of Allen H Gharapetian, the company known for their array of aftermarket audio systems, has routinely tried viral marketing that is more than just a slick advertising photo of their latest audio system.

The brand brought back Ace Drift Pilot Chris Forsberg and videotaped him putting the completed 850 through its paces.

Powered by a radical-by-any-standard 5.0-liter V12, the car was ripe for a Getrag 560G 6-Speed transmission swap, assisted by a reprogrammed ECU module for the six-speed conversion. That got the car going. Stoptech drilled brake rotors were located at the four corners to bring things under control after spirited jaunts wherever they occurred.

Clarion Builds BMW 850Ci
Clarion Builds BMW 850Ci

The Clarion Builds BMW 850Ci received an attitude adjustment by reducing the altitude of the car, lowering it with new Bilstein B8 Performance Shocks and an Eibach Pro Springs lowering kit.

In the engine room is a BMW V12 engine that produces 300 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm and 330 torques at 4,100 rpm. That’s not the heady amount as seen in BMW’s 2017 M760i, but don’t forget this car was designed and built in the early 1990s.

Clarion Builds BMW 850Ci
Clarion Builds BMW 850Ci

A Clarion Builds car wouldn’t be worth its curb weight of 4,153 pounds, if it did not include a top line audio system from the parent company. The brain of the operation was a Clarion NX706 head unit with seven-inch high-resolution screen. It worked in-line with a 32 band equalizer that was part of Clarion’s Full Digital Sound (FDS) system. Output was handled by a Clarion Z25W 10-inch Full Digital subwoofer, a mid-range Clarion Z7 Full Digital speaker and Clarion Z7 Full Digital tweeters.

Radical for the time, the BMW 850Ci was a special example of a legendary ride. The fact that there are not many examples left on the road makes the reappearance of this one even more legendary.

Story by Mark Elias. Images by Larry Chen[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”29″ gal_title=”Clarion Builds BMW 850Ci”]

Fifty Years of Mercedes-AMG

Fifty Years of Mercedes-AMG

Founded in 1967 by Hans-Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher in the German town of Affalterbach, Mercedes-AMG celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 2017. The Performance division of Mercedes-Benz, it was an independent tuner of Mercedes Cars until Daimler, tired of losing to the upstarts, scooped them up in 2005. If you can’t beat them, buy them.

In 1971, AMG literally became an overnight sensation, with their red-painted AMG Rennsport 300 SEL 6.8 winning its class in surprising style at the Spa-Francorchamps 24-hour race while finishing second overall. It was truly the start of something big, that continues to this day with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 and Mercedes-AMG GT-3 customer cars.

AMG Rennsport 300 SEL 6.8
AMG Rennsport 300 SEL 6.8 1971.

Mercedes-Benz and AMG began collaboration in 1990, which resulted in the first Mercedes-AMG production car, the C36 AMG. Other highlights through the years have included the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, the 63-series of Mercedes-AMG V8 engines, the SLS AMG GT3 and subsequent vehicles like the Mercedes-AMG GT, and the new family of 43- and 45-Series of sedans, coupes and convertibles.

It is through the last series of cars that Mercedes-AMG hopes to attract new customers to the brand. In this lineup, they can experience the most power-dense production four-cylinder engines in the segment.

It’s not just the car; It’s the experience.
Mercedes-AMG does not just exist as a brand of cars or engines. Fully encompassing, owners are able to take advantage of the AMG Private Lounge online portal to share their experiences with other AMG enthusiasts. There will soon be around 400 performance centers in 40 countries. AMG Pit Radio offers owners the ability to reach out to the company in the case of a technical issue or to schedule service as quickly as possible. Currently available in Continental Europe, the program will be expanding to other markets in the future. AMG Performance Centers further the experience in Japan, Australia and the Middle East, where customers can learn more about the AMG Driving Academy, the AMG Collection and AMG in Motorsport.

The brand is famous for its “One Man, One Engine” credo that focuses on the energies of the skilled engine builders and craftsmen in the division. In addition to building a powerplant, they are building a piece of art.

Story by Mark Elias

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”27″ gal_title=”Mercedes-AMG”]

Porsche Cars With Pedigrees.

Porsche Cars With Pedigrees.

Fans of the legendary Porsche marque were able to get up close and personal with the objects of their affections at the 22nd Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, held March 2017 in Amelia Island, Florida, USA. Seen as part of the event’s racing display, they featured storied rides from the factory as well as by privateer teams that carried the flag of the sports car manufacturer based in Stuttgart, Germany. There was even a movie star or two.

1972 Porsche 917-10

Cars from the racing stables of Brumos Porsche in Jacksonville, Florida, were also on display and included the legendary 1,100-horsepower 1972 917-10 Can-Am car, a 1977 model 934.5, a 1979 slant nose 935 and an ugly duckling 2007 Porsche/Riley Daytona Prototype, which at some time or another were all probably driven by Brumos ace Hurley Haywood.

1979 Porsche 935, left and 1977 Porsche 934.5.

Preston Henn’s T-Bird Swap Shop 962 was part of the collection of racecars driven by legendary hot shoe Al Unser, the racing honoree at the 2017 Concours. Also on scene were several examples of the 1959 Porsche RSK, as well as a pristine 1973 Porsche Carrera RS (Rennsport) Coupe owned by Dick and Sarah Butler.

Photos and story by Mark Elias