Own LBJ’s ’64 Continental, Flyin’ Miata’s V-8-swap is dead, ZR1 heart soon to beat
This LBJ-owned ’64 Lincoln Continental is as presidential as they come
Intake: A 1964 Lincoln Continental once owned by former president Lyndon B. Johnson is up for sale on Bring a Trailer. The car was sold new to LBJ Co. of Austin, Texas, and used by LBJ himself at his central-Texas ranch. The stately white drop-top features a power-operated convertible soft top, air conditioning, vacuum-operated door locks, and those sweet, sweet, rear-hinged rear doors. It was reportedly refurbished by the previous owner before finding its way into the collection of the current owner in 2016. Win the lot, and you’ll get the car, a smattering of presidential memorabilia including a removable magnet indicating LBJ’s ownership of the car, and a clean New Jersey title. The 430-cubic-inch V-8 and dual-range three-speed automatic have just 16K miles on them, so this lovely cruiser still has plenty of palatial cruising ahead of it, should you choose. As of this writing, the leading bid sits at $75,000 with five days left to go. All things held equal, that would place it above the $71,000 #2 Excellent condition value for these machines. However, it’s likely to end up closer to the #1 Concours value of $106,000.
Exhaust: President Johnson’s ranch is now open to the public, and you’ll find a handful of White Lincolns still on the property. This video touring the historical park reveals a ’67 Continental outfit with knobby tires, and legend has it that he would drive the cars through small streams for fun. LBJ had a thing for Lincolns and a thing for surprising guests behind the wheel; he used to drive right into a lake with an amphicar that he had. Here’s to hoping the next owner gets as much joy out of this lovely Continental as old Landslide Lyndon himself!
Dead: V-8-swapped Flyin’ Miata
Intake: Colorado-based Miata specialist Flyin’ Miata has announced that it will no-longer offer turn-key V-8-swapped Miatas or the parts necessary for the conversion. In a statement released yesterday, the firm cited increasingly stringent emissions regulations and government entities—who are cracking down on companies that sell “emissions defeat devices”—as the reasons for the package’s demise. Flyin’ Miata will still offer a host of chassis, brake, and suspension upgrades for any generation of Miata, plus the company has noted that now it will turn its drivetrain expertise towards developing even better emissions-compliant engine components, likely just for the four-cylinder engines found in the MX-5 currently. “V8 power by Flyin’ Miata may be gone but you can be sure that this was only one chapter of a very long and exciting story about the world’s favorite roadster,” a line from the statement read.
Exhaust: We’re not surprised that emissions killed the monster Miata (go ahead and tune that to The Buggles’ song as you wish). Still, we had in the V-8-swapped Flyin’ Miata something of a modern-day Cobra, or a Sunbeam Tiger. We’re sad it’s no more. Those V-8-swapped Flyin’ Miatas that already exist just got a whole lot more valuable. To wit: FM’s original LS-swapped ND Miata development mule, lovingly named Indy, sold on Bring a Trailer yesterday for $104,776 including buyer’s premium. — Nathan Petroelje
Chevy’s hard at work on the mid-engine ZR1
Intake: Thanks to the ever-sharp-eyed Corvette fandom, we’ve gotten a tantalizing reminder that Chevrolet is busy developing the apex predator of the C8 family. That is, the most aggressive variant whose driveline does not incorporate some form of electric assistance. Peering into a factory restoration facility in the Corvette Museum, a sharp-eyed fan spotted a Z06 engine mounted on a wooden cart printed with the text: LT6 GAMMA and LT7 BETA. Aficionados will recognize each as Corvette engine codes, the latter alphanumeric expected to refer to the ZR1’s powerplant. The ZR1 moniker has long denoted the most race-tuned Corvette of the line and, since the C6 “Blue Devil,” its engine has been supercharged. The first-ever mid-engine ZR1 is expected to be forced-induction as well, but look for two turbochargers rather than a supercharger. The base, as indicated by the engine above, will be familiar: The 670-hp, flat-plane-crank LT6 found in the C8 Z06. Strapped with the turbos, the engine’s output should rise to over 800 hp.
Exhaust: For the first time, the ZR1 won’t be the be-all, end-all Corvette: That honor will go to the Zora, which will supplement the ZR1’s LT7 with two AC motors, one on each front wheel, giving it all-wheel drive and, most likely, over 1000 hp. GM Authority expects the ZR1 to appear late next year; we’d time its arrival more conservatively, for 2026. —Grace Houghton
Class-action settlement sees Porsche pay up to $1109 per vehicle for skewed emissions claims
Intake: A U.S. judge has granted final approval to a class-action settlement worth at least $80 million to resolve claims that parent company Volkswagen and its Porsche division purposely skewed emissions and fuel economy data on 500,000 Porsche vehicles in the U.S., says Reuters. Lawyers for the Porsche owners claimed the company physically altered gear ratios and manipulated software on test vehicles, so those test vehicles emitted fewer pollutants and were more fuel efficient than the production vehicles consumers bought between 2005 and 2020 model year Porsches. Owners of eligible vehicles may get $250 to $1,109 per vehicle.
Exhaust: Porsche told Reuters that it is “committed to providing our customers with transparent fuel economy and emissions data, and the agreement ensures that customers are fairly reimbursed for any fuel economy changes.” You’d think if anyone had learned not to meddle with mileage, it would be VW. — Steven Cole Smith
SUPER GT’s new alternative fuel has a scent problem
Intake: Having just completed its regular-season race, 22 cars in Japan’s SUPER GT series stuck around and tested a new carbon-neutral fuel at the Motegi track. All apparently went well mechanically, but Motorsport.com reports that some drivers were concerned about the fuel’s smell as it exited the tailpipe, and found that it was an eye irritant. “One driver described the smell of the fuel as ‘like kerosene’ while another likened it to ‘a mix of gasoline and oil from a racing go-kart.’ There were also suggestions that some drivers were struggling with eye irritation when following another car closely, as the exhaust fumes of the car ahead entered the cockpit,” the story said. The fuel is expected to be used next season to replace gasoline.
Exhaust: Most of the drivers did not have a problem with the ETS Racing Fuel, according to the SUPER GT website. Said Toyota Supra driver Hiroki Yoshida: “At the beginning, we started running with the engine performance restricted and then we gradually raised it a bit at a time. And in the end, there was no uncomfortable feeling at all using the carbon-neutral fuel as I drove. There were also no problematic effects on the other parts of the machine. As I ran, however, I did feel something different about the smell of the other cars’ exhaust.” — Steven Cole Smith