Rare factory-built, 911-powered VW Bus for sale, F-150 celebrates 75 in two-tone, EV resets Goodwood record

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Buy a 911-powered VW Bus built by Porsche to chase 959s through the desert

Intake: Alongside the development of the awesome, all-wheel-drive 959, Porsche built a handful of crazy Caravelles as support vehicles for the Paris-Dakar Rally. By shoehorning the 231-hp, 3.2-liter flat-six engine from a 911 Carrera into the back of a VW T3 Transporter the idea was that the van would enable mechanics to keep up with the pace of the grueling marathon rally. It’s said that just seven were built, and now one is for sale in Germany for $386,000. What makes this mother-of-pearl model even more special is that it was built in 1988 for Porsche CEO Peter Schutz himself, and it is registered not as a VW, but as a Porsche. Wearing Fuchs alloy wheels, a stealthy black grille and a luxurious tan leather interior, it’s fair to say that this example didn’t see any rally action. However, it has certainly been well-used: Its odometer shows more than 130,000 km (81,000 miles). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the seller says that it could do with a repaint and some reupholstery work. Check out the ad (in German) here.

Exhaust: Who knew this extraordinary sleeper from Porsche even existed? It might be more cost-effective to build your own from scratch, but this van’s provenance is priceless, and in the Porsche market, a car built for, owned by, or driven by a company executive carries serious weight. 

Wickens celebrates first win since 2018 IndyCar crash

Intake: When we last left race driver Robert Wickens, he was hopeful he could race someday after his horrific August 19, 2018, IndyCar crash at Pocono that left him with permanent spinal cord injuries and paralysis. After extensive rehab, Wickens got word from Bryan Herta Autosport, a multi-car Hyundai IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge team, that he might be able to try out in Michael Johnson’s car, since Johnson, paralyzed from a motorcycle crash, had hand controls in the car. Wickens tested and did well, but then the only thing he had on his mind was getting back in a race car, and Hyundai and Herta put him in a Hyundai Elantra for the 2022 season. Winning seemed a distant dream, though, but that dream came true last weekend when Wickens and his able-bodied co-driver, Mark Wilkins, won the Touring Car (TCR) class of the Tioga Downs Casino Resort 120 race at Watkins Glen International raceway in New York on Saturday, less than a half-second ahead of second place. This bodes well for next week, when the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge heads north of the border to the home track for Wilkins and Wickens, the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Exhaust: Sometimes good things happen to nice guys, and Robert Wickens and Mark Wilkins are some of the best-liked drivers in the IMSA paddock. It’s premature to talk about Wickens’ possible return to an open-cockpit car—IndyCar has no provision for hand control – but so far, anyone who has bet against Robert Wickens has done so at their peril. For now, Wickens says his goal is another victory in the Michelin Pilot Challenge series.

Ford goes two-tone for F-150’s Diamond Jubilee

Intake: To celebrate 75 years of the Ford F-Series, Ford released a special “Heritage Edition” model with a throwback paint job. Available only on the XLT-grade truck, which starts at $45,910 for a short-bed/crew cab, the 75th Anniversary 2023 F-150 sports a different color in the truck’s midsection. The color palette is distinctly modern, with mandatory black or gray colors for every configuration. No matter, the XLT Heritage Edition’s upgrades also include unique seat trim, an embossed console lid, a unique logo appears on the center screen’s startup animation and the windshield. Pricing has yet to be announced, but expect the XLT Heritage Edition to retail for less than the $48,450 base price for the next trim level, the F-150 Lariat.

Exhaust: While the middle section’s paint treatment looks choppy (like a Mini Cooper) and possesses none of the beautifully integrated bodyside color treatments found on the F-150 Ranger XLT or Lariats from the stylish 1970s, the 2023 XLT Heritage Edition is a big step up from the unique floor mats, seat trim, emblems, and color-matched steering wheel of the 50th Anniversary F-150 from 1998. Ford made no mention of the XLT Lightning truck earning the honor of the Heritage trim level, but if it can be made, that’d be the edition to get. Indeed, a throwback Lightning would be a creation worthy of the decadence found in Ford’s last Diamond Jubilee flagship, the Continental Mark V.

1978 Ford Ranger XLT Lariat
Ford

Meet Porsche’s next Le Mans–going prototype

Intake: On Friday, Porsche formally unveiled the 963, the company’s turbo-six-powered entry into the new LMDh (Le Mans Daytona hybrid) class that will be raced in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series in the U.S., and in the World Endurance Championship. The company said that Penske Motorsport, headed by racing mogul Roger Penske, will field four cars—two in IMSA, two in the WEC. Now comes word that Porsche has signed its first IMSA “customer” team, which will not be part of the factory effort, but will enjoy access to the same technology as the in-house team. First up is JDC-Miller MotorSports, currently running a Cadillac DPi in the IMSA series, which plans a single privateer Porsche entry for the 2023 season, starting in January with the Rolex 24 at Daytona. No word on drivers, but it seems possible the team will retain its current pilots, Richard Westbrook and Tristian Vautier, unless Porsche wants to install a factory driver or two.

Exhaust: JDC-Miller is just the first customer team for Porsche, but it won’t be the last. A second team is expected to be announced before Daytona, and possibly even more for the 2024 season. Porsche is just one of the companies courting privateer teams, which, unlike full factory teams, become a source of income, instead of an expense.

Watch this electric fan car blow away the Goodwood hillclimb record

Intake: Tiny British startup McMurtry Automotive has beaten the might of Volkswagen and snatched a new record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The tiny, quirky, fan-assisted Speirling hurtled up the hill in just 39.08 seconds—eight tenths faster than the VW ID.R managed in 2019. Former Formula 1 and IndyCar driver Max Chilton was at the wheel to claim the Outright Hill record from VW, and the Timed Shootout record which had been held by Nick Heidfeld in the McLaren MP4/13 F1 car for 23 years.

Exhaust: This is what happens when you really rethink the electric car. It goes against the grain by being compact and lightweight, maximizing its battery power, and even adding a ground-effect fan. This is just the kind of EV innovation we need to get enthusiasts excited about an electric future.

McMurty Speirling and Max Chilton
McMurty

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