GT-R may get a big sendoff, Toyota cuts production schedule, Aston Martin V8 has a birthday


Final-edition GT-R due in the spring

Intake: After nearly thirteen years on the market, the current generation of GT-R (the R35) is ready for a send-off edition. Exactly what that entails is only rumor at this point, but the latest whispers indicate that Nissan will announce the final R35 in spring of 2023. The same Japanese online publication, Best Car Web, that heard tell of the date also expects the car to wear a large rear wing with a swan-neck mounting: The horizontal blade of the wing will be “hung” from its vertical supports, which curve around the wing’s leading edge. A few new paint colors are likely in the works.

Exhaust: Nissan already rocked our JDM fanboy socks earlier this year when it re-introduced Millennium Jade and Midnight Purple. The former was only available on the 2002 V-Spec II Nür and the M-Spec Nür, the send-off, high-performance editions of the previous (R34) generation and some of the most desirable models in the JDM collector market today. Modern-day Nissan only offered the frosty green and nostalgic purple on 100,“T-Spec,” GT-Rs, so perhaps it’s planning to expand the colors to “normal” GT-R without the T-Spec carbon-ceramic brakes, carbon-fiber spoiler, or lightened suspension parts. If the sky’s the limit, we’d wish for a modern-day R34 homage wearing the Nür name, with a power bump, just for the heck of it, and clad in Champion Blue from the generation-before-last ($33) LM Limited edition. It’s the equivalent of Gulf livery on a Porsche. Whatcha think, Nissan? –Grace Houghton

Toyota gives in, cuts production forecasts

Toyota promotional image

Intake: Toyota, for most of the year, insisted it could build 9.7 million vehicles in the current fiscal year, but Thursday bowed to the pressures of a semiconductor industry that isn’t recovering as quickly as Toyota hoped, and said the 9.7 million target is no longer realistic. “In abandoning its target, the automaker said it ‘expects’ to lower its worldwide production schedule for the fiscal year ending March 31, though it did not offer a new target,” said Automotive News. Suspensions in Japan will affect 11 lines in eight plants. Models affected are expected to be Corolla, Corolla Cross, RAV4, Camry, Crown, Land Cruiser Prado and 4Runner, as well as the Lexus LS, IS RC, NX, UX, ES and GX.

Exhaust: Analysts thought Toyota’s predictions may be ambitious, and it turned out they were right. Exactly when there will be enough semiconductors to go around is still anybody’s guess. –Steven Cole Smith

Mecum Gone Farmin’ Fall Premier auction to feature 600 tractors

Intake: East Moline, Illinois, on November 17-19, will be a place where semiconductor shortages won’t exist. The annual Mecum Gone Farmin’ Fall Premier is billed as the world’s largest tractor auction, and who are we to disagree? The auction will also include 100 vintage trucks and 700 lots of “road art,” such as signs and displayable machinery. Some of the most notable consignments slated to cross the Gone Farmin’ auction block this year include a rare 1938 Minneapolis-Moline UDLX , a 1929 Minneapolis 17-30 Type B, that has been extensively restored, an Aultman-Taylor 30-60  and a powerhouse last-year 1974 International 1468.

Exhaust: Classic tractors have become genuine collectibles, and are bringing solid prices. In 2019 a 1961 John Deere 8020 articulated four-wheel-drive tractor sold for $178,500 at Mecum’s Davenport, Iowa auction, and prices have just gone up from there. –SCS

Belle-Clair Speedway on the block

Belle Clair Race Track property

Intake: Earlier this week, Dirtrakr broke the news that Belle-Clair Speedway in Southern Illinois is for sale. For $2.4 million, you can be the new owner of a 22.5-acre fairground property which contains the fifth-mile dirt oval. Since COVID put the racing scene on pause back in 2020, Bell-Clair has been gone silent, which is odd considering the multiple-event schedule the track had in 2019. Running everything from midgets to late models, Belle-Clair is known for its tight confines and as one of the last tracks in the United States to still have a section of wooden retaining walls. The sale’s discovery took some sleuthing as there is no mention of the track in the title of the listing. Instead, the Illinois real estate company Barber Murphy lists the plot of land as a “Re-Development Site” at 200 South Belt East. It’s not until you scroll through several images of the property before you see the dirt bullring—now overgrown in weeds—and the grandstands.

Exhaust: It’s wishful thinking to imagine some property buyer purchasing the old track and reviving it to its former glory, considering the number of shuttered speedways that have fallen to the steamroller. Often these type of raceway relics—which should be protected in the same way a house is protected on the National Register of Historic Places—are leveled to make room for parking lots or apartment complexes. Should you have the cash, and the interest in bringing an old track to its former glory, Belle-Clair is a viable option considering that is has only been closed for a couple years and you also gain a full-fledged commercial property in the process. Five buildings totaling more than 60,000 square feet in covered storage and a race track—if I had the dough, you would find me in Southern Illinois. –Cameron Neveu

The Aston Martin V8 hits half a century

Aston Martin AM V8 50th anniversary
Aston Martin

Intake: The flags are flying at Aston Martin as the British bulldog celebrates 50 years since the introduction of the AM V8. Launched in October 1972 to replace the DBS V8, it was a subtle restyle of the William Towns’ design, that added a little more muscle, and would extend production until 1989. The nose was more curvy, with perhaps a touch of sharkiness, there was more flare in the fenders, and a prominent power bulge in the hood. This combination gave the AM V8 a more menacing appearance which was backed up by the Tadek Marek 5.3-liter V-8 engine. In standard guise it would produce over 320 horsepower, which was good enough to dispatch 60 mph from a standstill in six seconds, and carry on to a top speed of 160 mph. Five years later Aston Martin would take the fight to Ferrari with the 385-horsepower Vantage which could outrun a Daytona. A Volante drop top was built for open air enthusiasts and featured as James Bond’s drive in The Living Daylights, miraculously transforming into a V8 Saloon by Q branch. In all just over 4000 examples were built in its near two-decade run.

Exhaust: It may have reached a milestone, but according to our price guide AM V8 values aren’t on the up. A #1 Concours example is worth $173,000, while you’ll pay a further $100,000 for a Vantage in the same condition—and that’s the same as 12 months ago. As it celebrates its golden jubilee could now be the time to buy? –Nik Berg

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