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Friday, December 2, 2016

Classic Photos from the Mercedes-Benz Archive; Edition #2


Classic Photos from the Mercedes-Benz Archive; Edition #2
By Marrs


We recently unveiled a new series featuring new and old archival images from the official Mercedes-Benz library. Today we feature this highly detailed interior shot of a 300sl coupe featuring beautiful and quite distinctive plaid seats.











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Trump's Limo and Air Force One as Re-imagined by Artists


Trump's Limo and Air Force One as Re-imagined by Artists
By Marrs

Since Election Day, everyone has been talking about Donald Trump's surprise ascension to the highest office in the land, and perhaps the world. Designers, artists and filmmakers have also taken note and are already issuing their own versions of what a future President Trump's motorcade and aircraft might look like.

Of course we already know that Trump will be receiving a brand new "Beast" limo, similar to the one used by President Obama for the last 8-years, but with updated styling to match Cadillac's contemporary design ethos, and most likely a variety of technological and security upgrades to make it even more impenetrable.


Trump's new Presidential Limousine won't be officially unveiled until the Inauguration Day Parade on January 20th, 2017, but spy shots have filtered out into the public domain showing the new armored vehicles being put through it's paces on a test track.


While we can guess the new car will be very similar to the existing limo, other builders, artists and filmmakers have made it known that other options do exist.

Take Dartz for example, the Russian builder of what has to be some of the wildest and most exclusive armored vehicles this side of a Stutz Bear, who supplied this image below of their proposed President Mover. Please note that this is their official graphic, we have not altered it in any way!


 Director Neill Blomkamp also offered us two visions of the President-elect's options for travel. First is the wildly designed and gold-plated (we're sensing a trend here) limousine:


Next, we see a rather impressive piece of graphic work in the re-imagined Air Force One, this time outfitted with more defenses than many island nations. 

 








































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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

2017 Maybach Cabriolet Unleashed at LA Auto Show



2017 Maybach Cabriolet Unleashed at LA Auto Show
By Marrs/MBUSA

The first cabriolet from the Mercedes-Maybach brand is celebrating its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. This limited-production model, limited to 300 examples worldwide and to just 75 units in the U.S., includes high-end appointments in the interior make up part of the vehicle’s special characteristics. In the US market three attractive themes will be available for this exclusive cabriolet: Zircon Red paint with Porcelain / Black interior, Cote d’Azur Blue paint with Porcelain / Saddle Brown interior and designo Diamond White paint with Porcelain / Yacht Blue Interior – plus hand-finished craftsmanship of the leather seats with perforations in a waterfall-style look. The Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet is powered by a 6.0L V12 biturbo engine with an output of 621 hp.

A glimpse into the future of the Mercedes-Maybach brand was provided by the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, which celebrated its European premiere at the Paris Motor Show just a few weeks ago. This is now being followed by the Mercedes- Maybach S650 Cabriolet, a series production model which, with its ultimate open- air exclusivity, embodies modern luxury and represents the design philosophy of Sensual Purity: it is both hot and cool at the same time. Worldwide just 300 examples of this open-top four-seater model will be produced.


The Mercedes-Maybach S650 is based on the open-top S-Class and has adopted the latter’s classic aesthetic proportions, among other features, with highlights which include the dynamic silhouette with coupe-like soft top and the sidewall dropping line which slopes down towards the rear. Exclusive Mercedes-Maybach features include a new front bumper with upgraded lower section and also numerous chrome highlights to visibly enhance the overall exclusivity of this cabriolet. The Maybach emblem is elegantly featured on the vehicle’s fender. Other special elements on the exterior include high-quality 20-inch Maybach forged wheels in a powerful design and a bichromatic finish. Upon opening the doors, the Maybach logo is projected onto the floor by means of entrance lighting.


Interior theme: “Everything flows”
In the interior, the fully leather-trimmed Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet brings some of the visionary ideas of the Concept S-Class Coupe show car (IAA 2013) to series production. These include dynamic “flowing lines” found in the seats. This waterfall-like seat upholstery layout is achieved with the aid of progressive perforations. An eye for detail is also demonstrated in the outer diamond quilting on the seat side bolsters.


The unique trim elements are commissioned individually for each vehicle based on the selected color and grain. In addition to trim on the instrument panel and door paneling, the Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet exclusively boasts a trim element on top of the convertible top compartment with inlaid Maybach logo. Two of the three Maybach Cabriolet configurations feature “flowing lines” trim. In combination with the other trim elements, a unique yacht ambience is created – inspired by the Mercedes-Benz Style “Arrow 460-Granturismo” yacht.

The flowing lines are generated by a combination of precision machining and traditional craftsmanship. As part of this, a substrate beneath the fine wood veneer of the trim element is exposed in a special process using a fine milling. The individually milled lines follow the shape of the trim, thus creating a three- dimensional effect.


Mercedes-Maybach logos are located on the front side of the seats (embroidered), on the back of the head restraints (embossed) and also inlaid in the stowage cover of the center console. Other details include deep-pile floor mats, chrome-plated “1 of 300” lettering on the cup holder, and the steering wheel which features Maybach lettering on the lower bezel.


Three themes for ultimate exclusivity
In the US market, the Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet will be available in three exclusive configurations:
  • Zircon Red exterior paint with a Porcelain / Black interior, Piano Lacquer Flowing Lines trim and a black soft top
  • Cote d’Azur Blue exterior paint with a Porcelain / Saddle Brown interior, Magnolia Nut Brown trim and a beige soft top
  • designo Diamond White exterior paint with a Porcelain / Yacht Blue interior, Magnolia Nut Brown Flowing Lines trim and a dark blue soft top

Elegant items of luggage: color-coordinated to match the interior variant
The Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet is equipped as standard with an exclusive travel luggage set from MAYBACH – ICONS OF LUXURY. “THE AFFINITY” set comprises two large travel bags as well as two lifestyle bags made of original vehicle leather. In terms of form and color – which are coordinated with the interior variant selected by the customer – the bag set is tailored to match the Cabriolet. The bags can be securely attached to each other with straps to enable optimum use of the space in the trunk. Polished and chrome-plated “1 of 300” lettering serves to highlight the level of exclusivity.


Just like the vehicles from Mercedes-Maybach, the elegant items of luggage from the license partner MAYBACH – ICONS OF LUXURY GmbH meet high standards in terms of design, materials and manufacturing.


Supplied as standard: exclusive fabric cover and certificate
Each Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet includes a car cover made of high-quality fabric that matches the soft top color, with diamond quilting and an embroidered Maybach emblem.
In addition, each Mercedes-Maybach Cabriolet is delivered with a special welcome pack. This comprises a key ring made of the same nappa leather used in the vehicle’s interior, with a Maybach emblem and “1 of 300” lettering, as well as a certificate signed by Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.


The powertrain: a fitting biturbo V12
The luxury cabriolet’s superior drive system relies on the 6.0L V12 biturbo engine with an output of 621 hp. Power is transferred to the rear axle courtesy of the Mercedes-developed 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission, while an AIRMATIC suspension with steplessly variable damping control ensures a special, comfortable driving sensation.

Technical data at a glance:
Mercedes-Maybach S650
Number of cylinders/arrangement 12/V
Displacement (cc) 5,980
Rated output (hp) 621 @ 4,800-5,400
Rated torque (lb-ft) 738 @ 2,300-4,300
Top speed (mph) 155


Mercedes-Maybach: innovative strength fused with exclusivity
Mercedes-Maybach stands for the ultimate in exclusivity and individuality for status-oriented customers. The current vehicles include the Mercedes-Maybach S550 4MATIC, which launched the summer of 2016 and the S600, which launched in the summer of 2015, which blend the innovative strength of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class with the exclusivity of Maybach.






















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Friday, November 11, 2016

Classic Photos from the Mercedes-Benz Archive; Edition #1


Classic Photos from the Mercedes-Benz Archive; Edition #1
By Marrs

We are unveiling a new series today, featuring archival images, new and old, from the official Mercedes-Benz library. Today we feature an image from the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance depicting a trio of 1914 Grand Prix race cars that competed together in Lyon, France one hundred years earlier, in 1914.

From the 2014 press release;
"Another theme of this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is the French Grand Prix of 1914.  On July 4, 1914, Mercedes-Benz celebrated an epic one-two-three victory near Lyon.  The three remaining examples of this legendary race car will be reunited in a specially created judging class, including the winning vehicle from 1914.  The Grand Prix cars come from the collections of George Wingard, the Collier Collection and the Mercedes-Benz Classic."

-Author, Marrs



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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Stutz Made Their Own ‘Beast” Limo Decades Before President Obama’s


The Beast, President Obama's Limousine. (Photo: Major Dale Green, U.S. National Guard)
Stutz Made Their Own ‘Beast” Limo Decades Before President Obama’s
By Marrs

We’ve all seen the tall, black limousine that ferries President Obama between the White House and his various appearances, many of which seem adorably focused on picking up surprise carry-out orders from DC-area burger joints, but if you pay close attention you will notice the true size of the vehicle nicknamed “The Beast.” 

Notice the limo's height compared to the agent holding the door. (Photo: Master Sgt. Kendra Owenby, U.S. National Guard)

It’s tremendous proportions are most obvious in photos that show Secret Service agents holding the door or walking alongside the limo, which is rumored to be based on a Chevrolet Kodiak/GMC Topkick heavy duty truck chassis and drivetrain. The limo’s roof towers over the heads of many of those agents, and the bank vault thick doors are clearly evident whenever POTUS enters or egresses.

Chevrolet Kodiak.  (Photo: Dana60Cummins)

But did you know there was another truck-based limousine that also exclusively serving members of the world’s ruling class? Yes you say? Stop lying. No you say? Read on…

The Chevy Suburban of the 1980’s was big, brash and undeniably American in virtually every way, so much so in fact, that up-armored versions could be seen in the motorcade of President Ronald Reagan and in the driveway of Rambo himself, 80’s icon Sylvester Stallone. While armoring standard commercial vehicles in the era was yet to become the mega-industry it is today, one company saw a niche for their reworked version of the standard American SUV.

Stutz, the company best known for creating America’s first sports car with the Bearcat of 1912, went out of business in 1935 but was resurrected in 1968 as Stutz Motor Car of America and set to work creating custom, high-dollar cars with novel, neo-classical designs. Despite corporate offices in the United States, fabrication actually took place in Cavallermaggiore, Italy outside of Turin. It was stated that the region was chosen for it's link to history, an area who’s craftsmen once supplied the soldiers of medieval Italy with their armor.






 Stutz Bear on the streets of Saudi Arabia. (Photo: Abdulrahman Rammal)
 Once you understand that their very first paying customer was Elvis Presley, you can begin to imagine the degree of customization, personalization, and ostentation available with these cars. Costing more than any of their contemporaries (the Royale limo would run you $285,000 in 1984!) Stutz quickly became the favored marque of Saudi Royals. Having cornered the lucrative market for open-air limos that could arguably best the Mercedes Grand 600 Pullman limo in terms of flash, presence, and cost, Stutz took the next logical step and began building armored staff cars to accompany the Royale limousines in motorcades and processions.

This new offering was called the Defender, and later Gazelle, and was not much more than an armored Chevy Suburban with a roof panel that could slide back on rails to reveal a pop-up 50-calibre machine gun. The Gazelle was far from the lean and graceful animal it's name implied, but it served it's purpose and became popular enough that 46 future versions were built, each featuring a full convertible roof, a functional trunk lid added over the former storage area in the rear, a combination roll bar/grab handle across the passenger compartment, and fitted with a large chrome grille in the style of their sedans and limos. Renamed the Bear, these were built exclusively for the Saudi and Moroccan Royal families. Stutz evolved the concept further still into a true “sedan” that retained the trunk concept and was essentially a Bear with a roof.

 Stutz Bear on the streets of Saudi Arabia. (Photo: Abdulrahman Rammal)

Pictured is a Stutz Bear that was spotted in 2008 in Saudi Arabia. It appears to be a decommissioned Royal Guard vehicle as the stepboards have been removed and the overall condition appears in need of a serious detail job. Does any of that make this any less desirable to lovers of “the stranger the better” type vehicles like myself? Nope, not even a little bit. I’d proudly drive this thing every day just for the stares, endless questions about it's origins, and uniqueness of it all.


 Stutz Bear on the streets of Saudi Arabia. (Photo: Abdulrahman Rammal)












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Friday, June 24, 2016

Mercedes-AMG GT R: Full Press Release and Photos



Mercedes-AMG GT R: Full Press Release and Photos
By Marrs

You asked for more industry "behind the scenes" articles so we're gonna' keep tossing press releases and photos your way. Today we feature the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT-R. Enjoy!


The new Mercedes-AMG GT R
Developed in the "Green Hell"


June 24, 2016 -Affalterbach. 

From the world's most demanding racetrack directly onto the road: Never before has Mercedes-AMG packed so much motorsport technology into a production vehicle than into the new AMG GT R. The front-mid-engine concept with a transaxle, V8 Biturbo engine rated at 577 hp, extensively modified suspension, new aerodynamics and intelligent lightweight construction laid the foundation for an especially dynamic driving experience. Even from afar, the exclusive "AMG green hell magno" special paintwork leaves no doubt as to the sports car's origin, having spent most of its development time in the "Green Hell" of the Nurburgring racetrack. Wider front and rear fenders allow an increased track width for optimum grip and even higher cornering speeds. A new front fascia with active elements, a large rear aerofoil and a new rear fascia with double diffuser enhance aerodynamic efficiency and help ensure optimum grip. The lightweight forged wheels equipped with cup tires as standard are likewise designed for maximum driving dynamics. The same applies to other new features such as active rear-wheel steering, nine-way adjustable traction control system and adjustable coil-over suspension with additional electronic control. Further, the new AMG Panamericana grille emphasizes the unique standing of the AMG GT R. Its characteristic form with vertical fins celebrated its world premiere on the Mercedes-AMG GT3 customer-sport racing car and now, for the first time, appears on an AMG production vehicle.

Click below to see the rest of the press release and photos: 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Portland, Oregon Calendar of Automotive Events for Summer/Fall 2016


Photo by Hugh Holland
Portland, Oregon Calendar of Automotive Events for Summer/Fall 2016
By Marrs

Cars & Coffee
Weekly, 2016
Weekly gathering of elite and unique vehicles at the World of Speed Museum just south of Portland in Wilsonville, OR. Some weeks have a featured marque or other theme.

Beaches Cruise-In
Wednesdays, June-September, 2016
Weekly event held on Wednesday nights June through September at Portland International Raceway (PIR), features up to 1,000 (!!!) cars on show, live music, and drag races later in the day.

Portland Vintage Racing Festival (previously: Portland Historic Races)
July 8-10, 2016
One of the finest motoring events in the Oregon, this show has over 200 vintage race cars competing on the track in various classes, with hundreds of show cars on display, and many more automotive gems to be spotted in the parking lot. The event features a weekend full of vintage racing, Car Corrals from various area clubs, an art contest, food, kids area, vendors, parade of show cars, Land-Rover off road experience, and a slalom course that anyone may participate in.

Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance
July 17th, 2016
The top-shelf experience for anyone with a passion for automobiles in the Pacific Northwest. Whether your interest is purely mechanical, or lies in the appreciation of the slender lines of a bygone era, families can enjoy a day spent among the cool shaded lawn of Pacific University while communing with old and new friends alike, all who share your passion for elegant motorcars. A vineyard tour is available to previous day, Saturday, July 16th.

Monte Shelton Northwest Classic Rally
July 28-31, 2016
An extended weekend rally/road tour for pre-1981 vehicles roaming the beautiful Oregon countryside in this beloved regional event, sponsored by the Alfa Romeo club. The rally website says, "Each year the Northwest Classic Rally visits a wonderful resort where we end Friday’s and Saturday’s rallying and touring with social activities including optional car washing, general tire-kicking and banquet dinners, and we conclude the event on Sunday morning with the Awards Brunch."

Rose Cup Races
July 29-31, 2016
Oldest race event West of the Mississippi and one of the first major track events at PIR. Part of the city's Rose Festival events, and held at a public park (yup, PIR is a city park!), this always signals the start of the hardcore summer racing season. Rose Cup Races on Facebook.

Columbia River Concours d'Elegance
August 7, 2016  EVENT CANCELLED
The official website states, "The Trust and Concours Committee have been unable to secure enough support in the community to underwrite the cost of producing the event." We have never had success in receiving a reply to our requests for information & press kits for previous year's events, and thus, have been unable to assist in the promotion of this event or cover it for publication.

Adult Soapbox Derby
August (Date to be determined)
An annual event that features homebuilt, and incredibly creative, soapbox racers of all types and themes that compete in a series of heats to crown one team the Adult Soapbox Champions of Portland! Mt. Tabor is the setting for this event that feels like the city's biggest neighborhood BBQ with camaraderie and good times for attendees, food, beer and some souvenirs available for purchase.

All British Field Meet (ABFM) and SOVREN Races
September 2-4
If you like a Triumph Stag as much as a dark ale, or a Bentley 3.5 litre gets your knickers in a tizzy, then this is the show for you. 800+ British cars gather at PIR for what has to be the most laid back and utterly enjoyable show of the season. Wind down the summer with racing, cars on display, food and all around good times. The featured marque this Labor Day Weekend is Land Rover.







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