McQueen’s moped is up for grabs, Glickenhaus’ futuristic pickup, the E-Class’s EV sibling

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RM Sotheby's

Steve McQueen’s moped set to become the priciest on the planet

Intake: It may be the slowest “motorcycle” ever ridden by the King of Cool, but this 1970 Solex 3800 is guaranteed to sell fast. The quirky French machine was bought by Steve McQueen’s production company Solar Productions for him to scoot around the set of Le Mans. With its diminutive 49cc single-cylinder two-stroke motor it was, indeed, marginally faster than walking. These Solex or VéloSolex bikes were incredibly simply devices, with the engine mounted over the front wheel and using friction drive directly to the tire. To start you’d hold a decompression lever, pedal like mad, and then release it. Only then would the engine splutter into life. Some models would only run at full throttle—rather like McQueen himself. The Solex will be for sale at RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction on August 14 and is expected to fetch up to $50,000.

Exhaust: McQueen memorabilia always commands crazy prices. One of his Husqvarnas is currently for sale for $125,000, a 1968 Ford Mustang GT he drove in Bullitt sold for $3.74 million in January 2020, and his Meyers Manx reached $456,000. With that context, 50 grand for this most unusual of McQueen machines suddenly looks like a good deal.

Glickenhaus wants to build a hydrogen-powered pickup

Glickenhaus hydrogen pickup
Glickenhaus

Intake: While mainstream OEMs are jumping into battery-powered electric vehicles with both feet, some boutique automakers like Glickenhaus have different ideas of what zero-emission transportation will look like. Witness the hydrogen fuel-cell Boot pickup concept, unveiled yesterday on the company’s Twitter account. The Glickenhaus team is targeting some pretty lofty goals: 600+ miles of range, double-duty as truck and portable generator, and even a reasonable price for it all—though no dollar figure was provided. The team hopes to begin building a prototype later this year.

Exhaust: It certainly looks the business. On paper, hydrogen fuel-cell tech has all the right attributes of a feasible replacement for internal combustion. In practice, there are still many pain points around its adoption, many of which stem from the scarcity of resupplying stations. In a separate tweet, Glickenhaus implied that it has at least an idea for a 24/7 refueling solution. What that looks like is anyone’s guess. Apprehension aside, we’re eager to see a prototype out in the real world.

Mercedes’ second electric sedan is coming this September, and it’s wearing an E

Intake: Mercedes is debuting no fewer than three EVs at the international German motor show this September: a Mercedes-Maybach concept vehicle, a Euro-market EQB, and this shadowy vehicle, the EQE. The E-Class-sized EV will have much in common with its bigger brother, the full-size EQS, riding on a shortened version of the same BEV platform and cutting a similar “one-bow” silhouette—Mercedes lingo for an aerodynamically optimized (though aesthetically ho-hum) exterior design. From the second teaser image, the EQE will also get a dazzling, cabin-width Hyperscreen display.

Exhaust: It says much about the sedan’s place in the Stuttgart legacy that its first two U.S. market EV are four-door cars, not SUVs. The “E” in this second contestant’s name sets high expectations: not simply for everyday luxury and range, but also for sporting, refined handling. The EQS is a hell of an opening sally—can the EQE fulfill its mission brief with similar poise?

New Netflix documentary will detail the life of Michael Schumacher

German Formula One driver Michael Schumacher pours
August 30, 1992, Michael Schumacher and Walkinshaw celebrating victory in the Belgian Grand Prix. Pascal Pavani/AFP via Getty Images

Intake: There’s a new documentary coming to Netflix on September 15 that will aim to tell the definitive story of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher. Schumacher will feature unseen archive material showing the German racing titan’s early days, as well as a host of interviews from the likes of his brother Ralf, former Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo, FIA chief Jean Todt, and some of Schumacher’s F1 rivals and peers. After retiring from F1 in 2012, Schumacher sustained a serious head injury while skiing with his family in 2013. He was in a coma for quite some time but was reportedly brought back from unconsciousness some time in 2014. He now continues a long, arduous road to recovery at home with his family, who has fought fiercely to keep his progress and condition private from the prying eyes of the media and the motorsport world.

Exhaust: If you’re one of the thousands who’ve stumbled into F1 via the super Netflix show Formula 1: Drive to Survive, consider this Schumacher documentary a must-watch in order to get a sense of the eras prior to the current hybrid regulations. It will no doubt be informative, moving, and rich with details of the life of one of the greatest racing champions of all time. 

95 years ago, Brooklands held the first British Grand Prix

1926 British GP
Brooklands

Intake: Brooklands, the world’s first purpose-built motor racing track, held the debut British Grand Prix on August 7, 1926. Although only a small, crumbling section of the circuit’s famous banking remains today, it is home to a museum of speed and will be celebrating the milestone with an incredible gathering of Grand Prix cars from nine decades. Among the stars will be a Delage 15-S-8 which actually competed in that first Grand Prix, alongside a 1928 Aston Martin LM1, a 1960 Cooper Climax and a Mercedes F1 W04 from 2013. Brooklands is promising a series of exciting racing starts and other activities during its special Brooklands Relived event.

Exhaust: Opened in 1907, Brooklands marked the beginning of closed-road motorsports and its banking was the blueprint for so many circuits around the world. The track hosted its last event in 1939, so the sights and sounds of Grand Prix cars in action again will be special indeed.

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