The coolest Land Rover Defender restomod, BMW’s airbag recall, Tesla’s new track pack

Land Rover

This “new” Land Rover Classic V-8 will cost you $300,000

Intake: Land Rover’s in-house restoration arm has announced a run of V-8 Defenders that pay homage to one of the company’s founding fathers and a small Scottish island. The Classic Defender Works V-8 Islay Edition is modeled on a 1965 Series IIa owned by Spencer Wilks, who was Managing Director of the Rover Car Company and established Land Rover in 1947. Land Rover Classic is set to build 30 examples that use 2012–2016 Defenders as donor vehicles. They are all “comprehensively restored, re-engineered and upgraded,” says the company, with the most obvious modification being the installation of a 5.0-liter, 405 horsepower V-8. Mated to a modern eight-speed ZF automatic transmission there’s enough grunt to deliver the Defender from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, although its barn door aerodynamics mean the top speed is just 106 mph.

Of the 30 examples, 17 cars will be built on the short-wheelbase 90 chassis, with the remaining 13 being seven-seater 110s. Every car will be finished in Mid Grey with contrasting Limestone roofs and wheels and fitted with LED lighting. If you’re wondering what the GCV 639C badge is all about, that’s the original U.K. registration number of Wilks’ car. The car’s interior has been totally overhauled with Windsor Ebony leather, tweed fabric from the Scottish isle of Islay Woollen Mill, and a generous helping of oak veneer sourced from old whisky barrels from the Kilchoman distillery, also on Islay.

Exhaust: Priced at around $289,000 for the 90 and $308,000 for the 110, these must be among the most expensive Land Rover restomods we’ve ever seen. A Twisted Defender with a small-block Chevy will outgun the Works V-8 for less, but if it’s factory provenance you want then you’ll have to pony up. — Nik Berg

BMW issues a ‘do not drive’ alert for exploding Takata airbags

2003 BMW M3
This handsome example was up for grabs at RM Sotheby’s Auburn auction last fall. RM Sotheby's

Intake: BMW is telling owners of certain older models to park about 90,000 sedans and crossovers in North America until the defective Takata airbags have been replaced. The “do not drive” alert follows similar orders from Honda, Ford, and others about the Takata Corp. airbags, which can explode if they are deployed after long-term exposure to high heat and humidity, says Automotive News. BMW, in a statement, said the following models with driver’s-side airbags from Takata are affected: the 2000–2006 BMW 3 Series (E46) including M3; the 2000–2003 5 Series including the M5, and the 2000–2004 X5s. The recall also covers the BMW 1 series, X1, X3, X5, and X6 models made in certain years, according to the automaker’s U.S. website.

Exhaust: Owners are asked to check whether their vehicles qualify for a free repair by visiting BMW’s recall website, or call or contact a BMW service center for assistance. Click here to see if your BMW is affected. Steven Cole Smith

Bert Boeckmann, pioneer of automotive retail, dies

Bert Boeckmann in front of Galpin Ford sign
Galpin Ford

Intake: Herbert F. “Bert” Boeckmann, owner of Galpin Motors in Los Angeles, passed away on Wednesday. Boeckmann earned numerous awards for supporting his local community and was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1979. He became Time Magazine’s Dealer of the Year in 1985 and won the Horatio Alger Award in 1995. Under Boeckmann’s tenure, Galpin Motors is credited for installing the first sunroof in the United States, the creation of conversion vans, and the ability to offer leasing options to customers.

Exhaust: Very rarely does one get to extoll the virtues of an automotive dealer principal, but Boeckmann’s life is one such rarity. Most of us know Galpin because of its performance department’s presence (Galpin Auto Sports) on MTV’s Pimp My Ride TV series. But Galpin’s Ford dealership made their first custom car in 1952, began racing in 1961, opened an in-dealership diner with a 4.5-star rating, and has been Ford’s #1 volume retailer since 1989. While Galpin’s history may not be as memorable to collectors as something with a Yenko decal, odds are every car dealer owes a debt of gratitude to Bert Boeckmann. — Sajeev Mehta 

New Tesla Model S Plaid Track Package enables 200-mph top speed

Intake: Tesla has announced a new Track Package for the Model S Plaid that it claims will finally allow the car to exceed 200 mph, the speed that was promised when the car was first revealed in mid-2021. The new track package includes 20-inch forged aluminum wheels wrapped in sticky Goodyear performance rubber, 16-inch carbon ceramic rotors at each corner, one-piece forged brake calipers, and high-performance brake calipers. Tesla’s website says the package will cost between $15,000–$20,000, but according to some commenters on Electrek, the pricing gap is in fact two packages: One with just the brake fluid and carbon-ceramic braking hardware ($15,000), and one with the braking components and the wheels and tires ($20,000).

Exhaust: According to Electrek, the original Model S Plaid’s weaker braking hardware was the bugaboo holding it back from achieving that 200-mph top speed that was promised when the car launched. If Tesla had a PR department, we’d be able to tell you for sure. — Nathan Petroelje

Lordstown Motors is on the ropes

Lordstown Motors Endurance Reveal
Lordstown Motors

Intake: Lordstown Motors has reported a major decline in its cash reserves and warned it might have to stop making its Endurance electric pickup truck in the near future unless it finds a partner, said Automotive News. The EV makers said earlier this week that it might be forced to file for bankruptcy, citing uncertainty over a $170 million investment deal with its major shareholder Foxconn. Lordstown, named after the Lordstown, Ohio former GM plant where it is based, has gone after the fleet market rather than appeal to consumers with its back-to-basics Endurance.

Exhaust: We’ve driven the Endurance, and it is a solid product but at about $65,000 it’s considerably more expensive than the fleet electrics Ford, for example, is offering. Here’s hoping Lordstown can find a partner, but its dilemma just points up how hard it is to launch a startup. — SCS

Meanwhile, Ferrari is doing fine

2023 Ferrari Purosangue front three quarter

Intake: Ferrari reported a larger-than-expected 27 percent rise in first-quarter core profit and forecasted a strong second quarter when deliveries start for its new Purosangue model, for which waiting lists extend to 2026, says Reuters. The Italian luxury sportscar maker said it was reopening orders for the Purosangue four-door, four-seater, which had been suspended due to initial “unprecedented” demand.

Exhaust: CEO Benedetto Vigna said Ferrari’s orders covered production until the end of 2025. But those customers now ordering the $430,000 12-cylinder Purosangue will have to wait until 2026 to get it. — SCS




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    Tesla track pack? Why? You can’t drive on the track with these battery power cars. Fire mishaps will melt the track, impossible to control the potential blaze with current track safety equipment, and the over weight (battery tanker) will damage the surface over time. On the streets; these drivers can’t seem to execute the most basic driving principals, use a signal, hold their line, or stay right! They also seem to be the most distracted; are they viewing their info screens rather then the road and other vehicles? Let them on the track, no thank you!!! They can’t drive safely or respectfully on the street. Do you know if Tesla delivers the car with a blinker stalk? I’m not confident they do.

    I’ve witnessed three Tesla fires. I don’t see how you could let that hazard out on a track and get event insurance with any reasonable rate. On a more practical note, no reputable track is going to let an unrated amateur in a 200 MPH car go out and mix with other cars if they don’t have full safety equipment with a cage and fire system.

    How many laps do you get on your track pack tesla before it has to sit for awhile to charge up. No thanks.

    Lordstown is not looking good. I haven’t seen one in my area and I have seen every EV at least once in my area.

    A 300k Landrover is discussing, the auto market is so out of touch with theworld it is just isane?
    It’s time for a huge adjustment.


    “The Italian luxury sportscar maker said it was reopening orders for the Purosangue four-door, four-seater, which had been suspended due to initial “unprecedented” demand.”

    Wait! They stopped making it because it was popular?

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