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RM Auctions Amelia Island 2007

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Winging it
1932 Bentley 8-Litre Short
Chassis Fixed Head Coupe
What makes it fast?
7983cc, inline-six, four valves
per cylinder, dual carburettors,
220 bhp@3500 rpm
How much did it clock?
$962,500

And what makes it special?
With a massive 8-litre displacement, this Bentley was perhaps a culmination of WO’s quest for more power. Though the 8-litre was devised with the aim of putting Rolls-Royce back in its place, it was inevitable that it earned a fearsome reputation at the racetracks. For its size, the Bentley could attain 160 kph with ease, compared to the equivalent Rolls which found it difficult to touch 140 kph. But because this Bentley was being produced during the Great Depression era, only 100 units could be built. And among those, this sporty, short chassis with a two-door fixed head coupe body
style makes it pretty unique and rare.

Flat out
1971 Porsche 917 Spyder
What makes it fast?
5400cc flat-12, air-cooled, estimated to produce
1100 bhp, though 1500 horses was possible
How much did it clock?
No sale

What makes it special?
The ultimate amongst all Porsche racers. The 917s were built for one single purpose – to get top honours for the Stuttgart marque at Le Mans. When FIA ruled that only 25 units need to be built for Group 4 5-litre sports cars, Porsche grabbed the opportunity, and at a high cost, built the 917s. It was a beast. In 1969, during practice at Le Mans, factory drivers reported it wandered across the track – at its over 320 kph top speed! Though it eventually took top honours in Le Mans, the 917 was more famous wearing Gulf colours – winning the World Championship in 1970 and 1971, before FIA changed the rules again. This particular car was delivered in May 1970 to the racing team of Porsche’s Finnish distributor.

Great white
1981 Porsche 935/78 ‘Moby Dick’ Race Car
What makes it fast?
3200cc, flat-six, 700 bhp, twin-turbo
How much did it clock?
$440,000

And what makes it special?
The slope-nosed, flame-breathing 935s which Porsche built in 1978 were called ‘Moby Dick’ cars, because they looked like the underwater mammal. Porsche really used the FIA’s ‘1976 Silhouette’ regulations to the fullest, resulting in the fastest, most powerful 935s ever. Moby Dick was designed for Le Mans, but at the 1978 race, an oil leak made the car slow down, making the car finish in 8th place. Such a comedown for a car that recorded 355.2 kph down the Mulsanne straight. While Moby Dick was retired to the Porsche museum, Reinhold Joest, who headed Porsche’s best customer race teams, built two 935/78s based on the original drawings for racing at the German National Championship. This is one of them, which went on to win at several events across the world. And is still eligible as a vintage racer.

Cobra
1968 Shelby GT 500KR Convertible
What makes it fast?
Cobra-Jet 7000cc V8 (428), ‘335’ hp
How much did it clock?
$225,500

What makes it special?
The car that Ford developed to take on the successful Chevelle at the drag strip. As usual,
in came Carroll Shelby. Taking the 428 from the GT 500, Shelby developed the ‘King of the Road’ variant. It was supposed to develop only 335 hp to fool the competition, the insurance and perhaps the cops. 400 hp and 60 kgm was however the reality. The KR’s modifications over the standard GT 500 were done in the engine, braking and suspension departments. Only 517 units of the KRs were produced, before perhaps everybody wisened up.

Grace with pace
1936 Packard Twin Six Sport Phaeton
What makes it fast?
7300cc, V12, 160 bhp
How much did it clock?
$1,650,000

What makes it special?
Despite the Great Depression, Packard was brave enough to develop luxury cars to counter Lincoln and Cadillac. And the top-of-the-line Packards had nothing less than the magnificent ‘Twin Six’ V12 motor. Yes, Packard was unique in calling their V12 as the Twin Six. Superbly crafted, highly refined and powerful, the Twin Six motor was the jewel in the Packard crown. And the best, most gorgeous Packards were exquisitely styled by Dietrich, built over a body with a longer wheelbase than standard Packards. Leading to better balance and proportions. Moving rapidly, without showing it, was the hallmark of this fine machine.