Acura teases newest, baddest racer, ex-Reynolds Trans Am for sale, Ineos plans pickup
Glimpse Acura’s newest, baddest race car
Intake: Acura has released the first images of its ARX-06 prototype endurance racer ahead of its competition debut at the 2023 24 Hour of Daytona next January. The prototype is built to the new LMDh specifications, which were codeveloped by IMSA and the WEC to enable this top echelon of endurance-racing cars to compete without modification in both series—a single car could run the 24 Hours of Daytona in January and then head overseas in June for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. (IMSA has since rebranded the LMDh name to GTP, resurrecting a historic class name from the series’ 1981–93 heyday.) The LMDh prototype regulations require a gas engine with four, six, or eight cylinders integrated with a hybrid system. Power goes to the rear wheels exclusively. Acura’s new ARX-06 utilizes an ORECA chassis just as its predecessor, the ARX-05, did and incorporates Acura styling cues found on the marque’s road-going products. (The headlights are the strongest tie here.)
The new car has big shoes to fill; the outgoing ARX-05 swept all three major IMSA championships—manufacturers, drivers, and teams—in 2019 and 2020, notched wins at Daytona each of the last two years, and is currently the defending champion in the season-long IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup. Acura will once again enlist Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing as its team partners to campaign the ARX-06 in the coming season. While the announcement only states intentions of racing in IMSA, don’t be surprised if an Acura prototype ends up blitzing a certain French countryside come next summer. The ARX-06 will do battle stateside with Cadillac—whose new contender will debut June 9—and Porsche, the latter of which will offer its LMDh chassis to customers alongside its factory efforts in WEC and IMSA. Other brands, such as Alpine and BMW will also run LMDh cars, but it’s not clear whether they’ll expand their focus beyond the Europe-based WEC series to North America’s IMSA.
Exhaust: There are no details about the powertrain, but we’d expect another rendition of the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 currently found in the ARX-05—this time supplemented by a hybrid element in accordance with the new LMDh regulations. Modern prototypes look wicked and working within the constraints of the class while still getting a bit of your brand’s flavor in the styling is no small task, but it looks like the folks at the Acura Design Studio have managed to achieve just that. We’re just hoping that somewhere deep in Acura’s accounting department, someone is sketching up a travel budget to France. Acura has been there before, back in 2010 with the open-cockpit ARX-01 prototype, and although it didn’t have much success at the 2010 event, we’d love nothing more than to see them return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Whaddaya say, Acura?
UPDATE: Hours after Acura released this teaser, Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing confirmed to Sportscar365 that neither would contest the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans with the ARX-06.
Burt Reynolds-owned 1978 Firebird hits the market again
Intake: A custom 1978 Firebird in Smokey and the Bandit black and gold is up for bid on Bring a Trailer. Restore a Musclecar built this 1978 Firebird for Burt Reynolds in 2016 and bestowed upon it a host of aftermarket upgrades. The engine is a 505-cubic-inch Pontiac based on a Butler Performance iron block, producing more than 600 horsepower. That big-bore engine is mounted to a Tremec five-speed manual that sends power to 18-inch RaMC wheels that are modern representations of classic snowflake alloys. Inside, you’ll find a CB radio and black-and-gold upholstery that matches the exterior paint and graphics. This car was sold in 2017 for $275,000 before being seized by the U.S. Marshalls and sold again in 2019.
Exhaust: There’s nobody that’s more synonymous with the Pontiac Trans Am than Burt Reynolds. Not even Trans Am racer Jerry Titus can compete with the star power Reynolds brought to bear on the ultimate Pontiac pony car thanks to Smokey and the Bandit. This may not have numbers-matching rarity, but it’s still a Pontiac V-8 at heart, unlike a lot of restomods that opt for the lighter, more modern LS. Considering it has been built with some of the best parts available, it should drive like Bandit could only have dreamed of back in the ’70s. The Burt Reynolds provenance has already helped bring bids of over $100,000 and there are still plenty of days left in the auction, which is set to wrap on June 8.
Spec your 911 GT3 to near race-spec and keep your warranty
Intake: Want to lap the Nürburgring in a record 6:55.737? Then you’ll need to specify your new Porsche 911 GT3 with a Manthey Performance Kit. The performance pack features a wider rear spoiler with bigger endplates, a bigger carbon-fiber diffuser, a revised front spoiler with added flicks, and aerodiscs for the rear wheels. Four-way adjustable coilovers with stiffer spring rates, lighter forged alloy wheels, braided brake lines and upgraded pads are also included, and you can opt for the stickiest Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires. The Manthey Performance Kit is available to order at Porsche Centers, with deliveries starting in the fall, but no prices revealed just yet.
Exhaust: As a Porsche Tequipment option, this kit allows your near-race specification GT3 to retain its full manufacturer’s warranty as you rack up lap personal lap records. If you need further convincing then watch the video below—it’s seven minutes of your Friday well-spent.
100+ motorcycle collection from Vintage Trail Bike Museum for sale
Intake: Jim Hoellerich was a collector who never sold. His passion for off-road motorcycles spiraled until his hobby became a museum full of beautifully restored machines housed in a hilltop building. The Museum of Vintage Trail Bikes was appointment-only and garnered 400 to 500 visitors per year; each tour was free and allowed guests to peruse the likes of OSSA, Penton, and Bultaco bikes. Those bikes (a preliminary list is linked here) are now set to be auctioned on July 30 in an on-site event hosted by J Wood and Company at the dairy-farm-turned-museum in Cheshire, Mass.
Exhaust: Hoellerich’s passing came just a day after a final open house at the museum that drew roughly 300 visitors, according to ride-ct.com. If that is any indication of sale attendance next month will be, there will be some serious buyers looking to own a piece of the Museum of Vintage Trail Bikes history or to round out their own personal collections with one of Hoellerich’s restorations.
Ineos plans a pickup and a plug-in
Intake: Ineos is going to expand its rugged off-road offering, first with a smaller electric version, and then with a longer-wheelbase pickup based on its Grenadier. “We need to embrace the future, which clearly, in an urban environment, is going to be electric—but even in a country environment, if you’re a farmer, you probably will have an electric vehicle you can drive around on tracks,” CEO Jim Ratcliffe tells Autocar. “What we’re looking at quite carefully at the moment is a smaller version of the Grenadier—electric,” he added. The new model would significantly undercut the $75,000 Grenadier but, with its 127-inch wheelbase, a future pickup, which was confirmed earlier this year, would likely be priced even higher.
Exhaust: Ineos was born out of Ratcliffe’s desire to continue production of the original Land Rover Defender, but when the 4×4 firm wouldn’t sell him the rights, he decided to build his own version. Now Ratcliffe looks set to go beyond Land Rover with his flat-bed and EV ambitions.