2017 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS First Drive

Nobody niches the niche better than Porsche. Once, its 911 sports cars was just a neat little coupe with a quirky air-cooled rear engine. Now it’s a complete sports car family, available in Coupe, Cabriolet, and Targa bodystyles with engines ranging from 370 hp to 580 hp, the choice of seven-speed stick shift or PDK transmissions, and two- or four-wheel drive. And right at the heart of that family, borrowing a little from them all, is the 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS.

On paper, the GTS sits neatly between today’s 420 hp Carrera S and 2015’s 475 hp GT3. Its 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six pumps out 450 hp, thanks to a pair of redesigned turbochargers that feature larger housings and turbines and deliver higher boost pressures. A base price of $120,050 for the Carrera GTS Coupe ups the ante about $15,000 compared with a Carrera S Coupe and undercuts the price charged in 2015 for the GT3 by about $12,000.

On the road, though, the GTS cleaves closer to its Carrera cousins than the race-face GT3. That’s because the GTS started as a Carrera marketing package, bringing together the most popular 911 options in a single car. It’s a value proposition that’s proven popular with Porsche customers of all kinds and has spawned GTS versions of other Porsches, from Macan to Panamera. In the case of the 911, the GTS is also available as a Cabriolet or a Targa model, and all variants offer the choice of two- or four-wheel drive, apart from the Targa, which is all-wheel drive only. Standard transmission is the seven-speed stick, with the seven-speed PDK available as an option.

2017 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe front three quarter 03

2017 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe front three quarter 03

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2017 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe front view in motion
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2017 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe rear spoiler
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2017 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe badge
2017 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe wheel

So, what do you get for your money? All GTS models start with the wider Carrera 4 body, with the rear fenders pushed out 1.7 inches, and the rear track widened 1.6in. Up front is the new SportDesign front fascia with its lower front spoiler and larger cooling air intakes, and at the rear the spoiler extends higher than that of a regular Carrera. Standard wheels are 20-inch center lock items, previously only available on Turbo models and 0.5 inch wider than standard Carrera S rims, finished in satin black. There are splashes of black elsewhere, too, from the GTS logos to the headlight surrounds to the Targa bar on the GTS 4 Targa.

Inside, the GTS gets standard four-way power sports seats trimmed in Alcantara, a 14.1-inch sports steering wheel also trimmed in Alcantara, and the Sport Chrono Package, which includes the analogue stopwatch, a performance display on the dash, and the nifty Porsche Track Precision app. The GTS models also get the top of the range navigation system and Porsche Connect Plus, which delivers the 7.0-inch touchscreen user interface and onboard Wi-Fi connectivity.

The changes run more than skin deep. Controlled by a GTS-specific calibration, those bigger turbos pump up to 18psi of boost pressure, compared with the Carrera S’s 16psi, which helps deliver not only 30 extra horses at 6,500 rpm, but 405 lb-ft of torque between 2,150 rpm and 5,000 rpm, up from 368 lb-ft. The standard Sport Exhaust system also features calibration unique to the GTS for actuating the bypass flaps.

 

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Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) is standard on the GTS Cabriolet and Targa models. GTS Coupes get PASM Sport Suspension, which drops the ride height 0.4 inch, though the standard PASM setup is available for those who want the option to dial up a more comfortable ride. Cars ordered with the seven-speed stick get Porsche Torque Vectoring and a mechanical rear diff lock as standard, while those equipped with a PDK transmission are equipped with the Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus system, which includes an electronic rear diff lock.

Standard brakes are steel, straight from the Carrera 4S, but there’s an additional air duct on the lower rear wishbone to improve cooling. As on the Carrera S, 4S, and the Targa 4S, the steering ratio is 10 percent sharper than that of a regular Carrera, and rear-wheel steering is available as an option. The Sport Chrono Package also delivers electronically controlled dynamic engine mounts to minimize NVH and counter unwanted drivetrain motions during cornering.

More power, more torque, more grip, and sharper steering means … more 911. Porsche says all GTS models are at least 0.2 second quicker to 60 mph than a Carrera S or 4S, and up to 3 miles per hour faster. The quickest accelerating of the GTS models, the all-wheel drive Carrera 4 GTS Coupe, will hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. The rear-drive Coupe is the fastest of the bunch, with a top speed of 193 mph.

 

2017 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe shifter
2017 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe seats
2017 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe instrument panel
2017 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe center console
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2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS Coupe steering wheel
2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS Coupe center console

Porsche claims the rear-drive GTS Coupe has lapped the famed Nürburgring Norsdschliefe in 7 minutes 26 seconds on standard tires, 12 seconds faster than the previous model, and 4 seconds faster than the current Carrera S. Fit the newly developed ultra-high performance, road-legal, track tires that are available as an option—245/35 front and 305/30 rear—and you can expect to shave another 4 seconds off that 7 minute 26 second lap time, the engineers at Weissach say. Assuming, of course, you know the gnarly, unforgiving, 12.9-mile track like they do…

We sampled a manual Carrera 4 GTS Coupe on the short but entertaining Killarney racetrack just outside Cape Town, South Africa, and a PDK-equipped GTS Cabriolet on roads around the beautifully situated city. The all-wheel drive Coupe impressed with its velvety punch out of tight corners, its confidence-inspiring stability and grip through fast sweepers, and its smooth power all the way to the redline. It was entertaining to drive a three-pedal car quickly on the track again, and the oily, rifle-bolt action of the shifter confirmed Porsche is one of the few automakers still spending time and money developing old-school manual transmissions. If the seven-speeder has a weakness, it’s the fourth-fifth shift; you simply can’t rush it or you’ll almost invariably get the wrong gear. It’s here that the foolproof PDK most emphatically makes its case as the transmission of choice for serious track work.

2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS Coupe front three quarter in motion 10

2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS Coupe front three quarter in motion 10

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2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS Coupe rear three quarter in motion 07
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2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS Coupe side mirror
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2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS Coupe headlamp

With its PDK transmission and slightly more compliant damping, the GTS Cabriolet proved to be a remarkably relaxed cruiser on South African roads. Yet a quick twist of the steering wheel mounted Sport Chrono controller to Sport Plus mode instantly stiffened the 911’s sinews and sharpened its responses, the throaty exhaust snap crackling behind you. Easy going when you need it to be, quick and agile when you want it to be, the GTS Cabriolet reinforced yet again the 911’s peerless reputation as the 24/7 supercar.

Porsche has niched the niche so well there now seems to be a 911 for every occasion. Until the arrival of the new GT3—which will, Porsche sources confirm, be available with the seven-speed stick shift—we’re torn between the sublime purity of a base Carrera and the near-hypercar thrust of a Turbo S, in terms of choosing our favorite 911. But there’s no denying GTS offers a well-judged combination of performance and equipment that will appeal strongly to today’s heartland 911 buyer.

2017 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS
BASE PRICE $120,050 (Carrera GTS Coupe)
$126,950 (Carrera 4 GTS Coupe)
$132,350 (Carrera GTS Cabriolet)
$139,250 (Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet and Targa 4 GTS)
VEHICLE LAYOUT Rear-engine, RWD and AWD, 2-pass, 2-door coupe, convertible, targa
ENGINE 3.0L/450-hp/405-lb/ft, DOHC 24-valve twin-turbo flat-6
TRANSMISSION 7-speed manual; 7-speed dual clutch auto
CURB WEIGHT 3197lb-3538lb (mfr est)
WHEELBASE 96.5in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 178.3in x 72.9in x 50.6in (Coupe)
178.3in x 72.9in x 50.8in (Cabrio, Targa)
0-60 MPH 3.4sec (Carrera GTS Coupe, mfr est)
ON SALE IN U.S Summer 2017

2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS Cabrio side profile
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2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS Cabrio rear view in motion
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2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS Coupe front view in motion 01
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2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS Coupe engine vent
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2017 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe front three quarter in motion 03
2017 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe front three quarter in motion 02
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Last Rolls-Royce Phantom VII Rolls Off Line

After a successful run, the final Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II gets a tasteful, nautically themed commission that celebrates the golden age of travel.

The lucky owner of this seventh-generation Phantom chose a deep shade of Blue Velvet paint for the outside, an ocean liner motif on the inside, and checked all the bells and whistles available for this luxurious land cruiser.

Final Rolls Royce Phantom VII Front

Final Rolls Royce Phantom VII Front

“From its introduction a little over 90 years ago, every motor car that has borne the title ‘Phantom’ has reset the standard by which all other luxury goods are judged,” Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO, said in a statement.

“As Phantom VII gracefully leaves the stage, having defined the first chapter in the renaissance of Rolls-Royce, we look forward to building on its remarkable success with the imminent arrival of its successor. A bold, new statement built on an all-new architecture promises to light the future of the world’s most celebrated name in luxury.”

Final Rolls Royce Phantom VII Dash

Final Rolls Royce Phantom VII Dash

A solid silver Spirit of Ecstasy resides on the hood and shares space with the vehicle’s 6.75-liter twin-turbo V-12 engine when it is retracted and not in use.

Inside, the last Phantom receives a stylized 1930s ocean liner wood inlay on the dash with “tone-on-tone embroidery evoking the movement of the sea, exquisitely applied to the interior’s Powder Blue leather” for starters.

The car’s clocks recall the style one might find in grand ocean liners like the Queen Mary or Titanic. The bezel on the dash clock “allows the owner to rotate it in either direction depending on where they find themselves in the world.”

Final Rolls Royce Phantom VII Rear Interior

Final Rolls Royce Phantom VII Rear Interior

Its lambswool carpets also sport “a hand-cut wake effect” for the newly decommissioned land yacht. R-R informs us the next version will launch imminently, underpinned by an all-new aluminum architecture.

“Like its predecessor it will advance the standards set by its illustrious forbears.”

We can’t wait for the Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII to make its grand entrance.

Source: Rolls-Royce

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Final Rolls Royce Phantom VII Rear 660x440 1

Final Rolls Royce Phantom VII Rear

Final Rolls Royce Phantom VII Rear

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Quiz: instrument approach plate challenge

The symbol on the plan view of the ILS RWY 27 procedure at Elkhart Municipal (KGEZ) represents a minimum safe altitude (MSA) within 25 NM of:

The symbol on the plan view of the ILS RWY 27 procedure at Elkhart Municipal (KGEZ) represents a minimum safe altitude (MSA) within 25 NM of:

Correct!
Wrong!
What does the "T" symbol within a black triangle in the minimums section of the IAP for a particular airport indicate?

What does the

Correct!
Wrong!
What is the threshold elevation for RWY 36?

What is the threshold elevation for RWY 36?

Correct!
Wrong!
What is the minimum altitude at which you should intercept the glide slope on the ILS RWY 36 approach procedure?

What is the minimum altitude at which you should intercept the glide slope on the ILS RWY 36 approach procedure?

Correct!
Wrong!
During the ILS RWY 31R procedure at DSM, what MDA applies should the glide slope become inoperative?

During the ILS RWY 31R procedure at DSM, what MDA applies should the glide slope become inoperative?

Correct!
Wrong!
The Final Approach Fix (FAF) altitude for the LPV RNAV approach is:

The Final Approach Fix (FAF) altitude for the LPV RNAV approach is:

Correct!
Wrong!
When conducting the LOC/DME RWY 21 approach at PDX, what is the minimum safe altitude (MSA) while maneuvering off of a published route segment between the BTG VORTAC and CREAK intersection?

When conducting the LOC/DME RWY 21 approach at PDX, what is the minimum safe altitude (MSA) while maneuvering off of a published route segment between the BTG VORTAC and CREAK intersection?

Correct!
Wrong!
How many initial approach fixes serve the RNAV (GPS) RWY 7 (Billings Logan) approach procedure?

How many initial approach fixes serve the RNAV (GPS) RWY 7 (Billings Logan) approach procedure?

Correct!
Wrong!
What waypoints are designated as fly-over waypoints on this chart?

What waypoints are designated as fly-over waypoints on this chart?

Correct!
Wrong!

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2017 Porsche 991 GTS first drive review

Now in its third incarnation on a 911, the GTS range is firmly established as a highly specified badge above the Carrera S models. And it is a range, for all the engineer’s talk of there only being one true GTS (a manual, rear-wheel drive coupe) the marketing suits have won. Their persistence has been worthwhile, too, as with the 991.2 GTS, the adoption of the Carrera line-up’s 3.0-litre turbocharged flat-six sees the issues of the old GTS Cabriolet and Targa models addressed.

Chiefly, the now 450hp engine – up 30hp over a Carrera S via new turbos and higher boost pressure – has the torque to shift the heavier, open-topped cars more convincingly. They might not be entirely true to the badge’s bridge to the GT department’s model ethos, then, but they’re no longer an affront to it.

At its core, and we’re talking that Carrera GTS Coupe manual that the engineers have said from the very first 997 GTS is the car that’s the GTS proper, the GTS remains a hugely appealing 911. It offers the unique combination of the Carrera 4’s widebody and rear-wheel drive, the Coupes gaining not just the 10mm suspension drop via standard fitment of PASM but a further 10mm lowering thanks to the specification of the Sport.

The increase in power is welcome, its 450hp being the same as a 997 GT3 RS, the changes to the engine making it keener for revs, at the expense of a little bit of low rev torque. That’s no sacrifice, and entirely in keeping with the GTS’s core values, that being of a more focussed driver’s car, without going to quite the extremes of the GT3. That said, Porsche is quoting a Nürburgring lap time of 7 minutes 22 seconds with its new Ultra High Performance, road legal tyre, that time just two seconds shy of what was possible in a 997 GT2.

That’s rapid Progress. Looking at all the other numbers associated with it, the GTS moves the 911 game on significantly. Whisper it, but in perfect specification it’ll keep a 911 R very honest indeed, and engage almost as much. In Carrera 4 guise it’s a worthy understudy to the Turbo, the GTS very much a sweet-spot in the Carrera range.

With those Coupes there’s the weight-saving option to delete the rear seats, the usual GTS extras of centre-lock Turbo wheels, black detailing, unique bodykit, a sports exhaust, standard Sport Chrono with Dynamic Engine Mounts, a limited slip differential with Porsche Torque Vectoring, larger brakes situated on new, lighter aluminium carriers create a cherry-picked specification that creates a brilliant Carrera. We’ve driven it, in 2, 4, Coupe, Cabriolet and Targa, which you can read about in-depth in the special 150th issue of Total 911 magazine, out 22nd February. We doubt you’ll be surprised to hear it’s a brilliant car, the GTS now maturing into a desirable range, even if it’s at its very best when at its purest.

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Seems like a decent deal on some kevlars and wheels……

So I was about to set up a time to go look at these when I realized he was in Ft. Collins. Being in the Springs, we didn’t feel the need to drive that far. The guy had someone lined up to come check out these tires and rims this morning and they no showed. He’s moving in a week and needs them gone, and is pretty desperate to sell. He dropped the price for me to $150 from $200. Anyway, I told him I’d put his ad up in here in case anyone might be interested. The wheels were on a 91 Wrangler (YJ? I don’t know my Jeeps all that well) so the lug pattern is 5 x 4.5 Four rims and tires with usable tread for $150? I was tempted to drive all the way up there anyway!!

He was very responsive to text, his number is in the reply button on the ad.

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24 Thoughts on the Rolex 24

The 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona, the opening race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, finished Sunday afternoon, and there is much to dissect. From Wayne Taylor Racing’s overall win to the Ford GT making up for last year’s disappointment to the Acura NSX’s impressive first outing, here are 24 takeaways from a frantic 24 hours of racing:

1. The long-term vision of American sports-car racing executives Jim France, Ed Bennett, and Scott Atherton to develop the new-for-2017 Daytona Prototype international-spec car (DPi) is an unconditional success. The cars look great, manufacturers have bought in, and more are on the way.

2. IMSA’s technical staff got the Balance of Performance right (mostly). The series is committed to keep racing close, especially with the DPi and old LMP2 cars. The technical staff should be applauded for hitting the mark for these new cars. However, I am sure GTLM- and GTD-class team principles will not entirely agree when it comes to their classes. Adjustments will be made throughout the year, as they always are. This is the most thankless job in racing, but the IMSA staff deserves praise.

3. Ricky Taylor’s last stint was the best drive of his career. He handled the pressure of racing for the checkered flag, made a ballsy pass on Filipe Albuquerque for the lead and overall win, and is now part of racing history.

90 Visit Florida Riley

90 Visit Florida Riley

4. No one should be surprised by the third-place overall finish by the No. 90 Visit Florida Racing Multimatic/Riley: Bill Riley knows how to build a race car and how to race it. That said, the team’s quickest lap time was almost 3 seconds slower than the winning Cadillac, as it is not as sleek on the fast Daytona ovals as its rivals. However, it is a car to watch once the series hits its traditional, twisty road courses.

5. The No. 66 Ford GT will eventually find a home in a museum. This car, driven by Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, and Sébastien Bourdais, races at a higher level than any other GTLM car at the classic endurance races. Wins at Le Mans last June and now at Daytona confirm this. A win at Sebring in March will complete the endurance triple crown. Head to Vegas and place your bets.

6. The Rolex Daytona Cosmograph is the ultimate trophy in all of sports. Think about it. Win Wimbledon, get a trophy. Win the Olympics, get a nice medal. One goes in a case, the other in a drawer. Win the Masters, you get a green jacket, but you can really only wear it in Augusta. Win the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, and you get the ultimate watch. Wear it every day to remind yourself and others what you accomplished. How cool is that? And no other brand (watch or otherwise) comes close.

7. What a debut by the two Japanese manufacturers, Acura and Lexus, in the GTD class. Acura was more impressive, leading part of the race and ultimately finishing fifth and 11th in GTD. I expected the Lexus to show more pace, so there is still a bit of work to do. One car finished 14th in its class, the other crashed out early in the event.

66 Ford 62 Risi Ferrari

66 Ford 62 Risi Ferrari

8. Imagine how good the Ferrari 488 GTE would be if the factory would provide the same level of commitment and support to the IMSA program as do the other GTLM manufacturers. The Risi team does an amazing job, and its car is fast and reliable. This little Houston-based team is second to none, and the drivers are quick and proven winners. However, it is still a David versus Goliath situation. If things remain as they are, Ferrari is only providing another storyline and sentence to the Ford marketing and advertising material.

9. Did anyone expect the new Porsche 911 RSR GTLM car not to be on the podium? Of course not. Daytona was the car’s debut race, and it scored a great result. However, in Porsche’s mind, this race was also a 24-hour development session for Le Mans in June.

10. Hats off to Alegra Motorsports and team owner Carlos de Quesada for winning the GTD class in a Porsche.

11. Ten car manufacturers had significant displays in the Daytona infield: Acura, Mercedes-AMG, Audi, BMW, Chevy, Ferrari, Ford, Lamborghini, Lexus, and Mazda.

12. Somebody please tell Nissan North America’s marketing department that motorsports is still an effective way to reach customers. Yes, I understand you spent a ton of money on your tie-in with the latest Star Wars movie. And you sponsor the Heisman Trophy presentation. That’s great. Meanwhile, the Tequila Patrón ESM Nissan-powered DPi finished a respectable fourth at Daytona — and nobody in Nashville seems to realize promoting this team and this car will help sell GT-Rs and everything else in Nissan showrooms. This car will win races in 2017 and help everyone forget the 2015 Le Mans social-media debacle, also known as the GT-R LM NISMO prototype. Step up and promote this IMSA effort.

Daytona Crowd

Daytona Crowd

13. The folks at Daytona International Speedway must be pleased with the crowd. The infield was packed with RVs and tents. And while the 100,000-capacity stadium looked empty, loads of fans occupied and enjoyed some of the best suites in motorsports, along with good food and drink, and especially appreciated the cover during the rain.

14. On Sunday morning, senior members of IMSA management quietly made the rounds through the infield camping areas and gave out goodie bags to the loyal fans. No fanfare, no press release, just smart customer relations.

15. Those of us in the media center and the paddock are still scratching our heads on how the No. 22 ESM car crashed during a video shoot Wednesday. Left side bodywork and a radiator were damaged. The blame was not placed on driver Bruno Senna but on the video crew. Perhaps the video crew should concentrate its future efforts on filming beautiful bottles of tequila and leave the race-car work to the professionals with experience.

CORE herocard

CORE herocard

16. The CORE Autosport team had the best autograph card for the fans. This team has moved from the PC ranks to GTD, but its race ended early when Nic Jonsson was hit by another car.

17. The No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports team won the final Prototype Challenge-class race at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. The PC class served motorsports well. It offered relatively affordable, close racing and helped to fill out the American Le Mans Series fields back in the day. However, its time has come and is almost gone, as it should be. This category had just five competitors in this year’s race, and it was almost an afterthought. Crazy. Oh wait, how many LMP1 cars will race at Le Mans in 2017? Just five. More on this topic soon.

18. How will Cadillac market and advertise its overall win at Daytona? I pray it is not with the winning Wayne Taylor Racing car driving slowly through the wet streets of SoHo with some yuppie couple walking by in slow motion. What, you don’t think Cadillac would consider something like that?

19. We should not forget Mazda’s DPi effort. Though its best car finished 121 laps behind the winning Caddy, these are very early days for a brand-new program. The cars are gorgeous, and the team is solid. Mazda is committed and up to the challenge, so expect much better results as the season progresses.

20. Will Rebellion race full-time in IMSA in the coming years? Odds are strong it will. Several key members of the team were heard to say how much more enjoyable the IMSA paddock is than what they experience in Europe. Having fun and winning brings a lot more pleasure than showing up to every race event knowing a factory effort is going to keep you off the podium.

Green Flag DPi era begins

Green Flag DPi era begins

21. Wolfgang Ulrich of Audi and Ralf Jüttner of Audi’s long-time partner, Joest Racing, were both in Daytona checking out the DPi scene. Hmmmm.

22. Also in attendance were Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (the Le Mans organizer) and Gérard Neveu, CEO of the FIA World Endurance Championship. They wandered the paddock and race grid, watched the IMSA press conference Friday in the media center, and had a three-hour long meeting Friday afternoon with IMSA senior management. I will have more on this in an upcoming post.

23. Ricky and Jordan Taylor join a small list of fathers and sons who have won the 24 Hours of Daytona (their dad Wayne won in 1996 and 2005). The others include John Paul Sr. and John Paul Jr., Mark and David Donohue, and Bobby and Graham Rahal.

24. One of the Taylors’ co-drivers, Max Angelelli, made what he said is his final start at Daytona. He retires from racing with a win in the Rolex 24. But I want to know where and when Daytona one-off teammate Jeff Gordon’s next sports-car race will happen?

The next round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is the 12 Hours of Sebring in Florida on March 18. I’m looking forward to it.

38 PC winners Rolex watches
Acura 93 wet
Acura 93
Car 90 pre race crowd
Carlos de Quesada GTD winners
Winning Drivers prerace intro
Wet action
Ricky Taylor 1
Porsche 911
Jef fGordon podium
Hand Muller Bourdais
GTLM field

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Custom 1936 Packard Named “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” at 2017 Grand National Roadster Show

For 67 years, hot rodders have competed every year at the annual Grand National Roadster Show for the vaunted title of “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster.” This award is considered one of the greatest achievements among those who frequent the hot rod show circuit, alongside Detroit’s Ridler Award given out at Autorama. This year, the award was claimed by Bruce Wanta’s heavily modified 1936 Packard roadster nicknamed the “Mulholland Speedster.”

This shapely, candy-paint roadster was built by Troy Ladd of Hollywood Hot Rods. Like most contemporary hot rods, the “Mulholland Speedster” cuts quite a dramatic figure. Aside from the Packard wheels and the grille, the hot rod has little in common with the 401 Coupe it started out as. Not only is the bodywork completely custom, so is the hand-built frame underneath.

1936 Mulholland Speedster Americas Most Beautiful Roadster Side
1936 Mulholland Speedster Americas Most Beautiful Roadster Rear Three Quarters
1936 Mulholland Speedster Americas Most Beautiful Roadster Interior
1936 Mulholland Speedster Americas Most Beautiful Roadster Engine

Power comes from a supercharged 4.8-liter (292 ci) Flathead V-12 that sends power to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission. If for some odd reason your caught out in the rain while driving, the car has a power-retractable hardtop under that shapely rear-end.

In addition to being named “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster,” the Mulholland Speedster is now part of the famed “perpetual trophy” that carries the name of the car and builder from each year.

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Final Rolls-Royce Phantom VII Ships Out

After a successful 13-year run, the final Rolls-Royce Phantom VII gets a tasteful, nautically themed commission that celebrates the golden age of travel.

The lucky owner of this seventh-generation Phantom chose a deep shade of Blue Velvet paint for the outside, an ocean liner motif on the inside, and checked all the bells and whistles available for this luxurious land cruiser.

Final Rolls Royce Phantom VII Front

Final Rolls Royce Phantom VII Front

“From its introduction a little over 90 years ago, every motor car that has borne the title ‘Phantom’ has reset the standard by which all other luxury goods are judged,” Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO, said in a statement.

“As Phantom VII gracefully leaves the stage, having defined the first chapter in the renaissance of Rolls-Royce, we look forward to building on its remarkable success with the imminent arrival of its successor. A bold, new statement built on an all-new architecture promises to light the future of the world’s most celebrated name in luxury.”

Final Rolls Royce Phantom VII Dash

Final Rolls Royce Phantom VII Dash

A solid silver Spirit of Ecstasy resides on the hood and shares space with the vehicle’s 6.75-liter twin-turbo V-12 engine when it is retracted and not in use.

Inside, the last Phantom receives a stylized 1930s ocean liner wood inlay on the dash with “tone-on-tone embroidery evoking the movement of the sea, exquisitely applied to the interior’s Powder Blue leather” for starters.

The car’s clocks recall the style one might find in grand ocean liners like the Queen Mary or Titanic. The bezel on the dash clock “allows the owner to rotate it in either direction depending on where they find themselves in the world.”

Final Rolls Royce Phantom VII Rear Interior

Final Rolls Royce Phantom VII Rear Interior

Its lambswool carpets also sport “a hand-cut wake effect” for the newly decommissioned land yacht. R-R informs us the next version will launch imminently, underpinned by an all-new aluminum architecture.

“Like its predecessor it will advance the standards set by its illustrious forbears.”

We can’t wait for the Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII to make its grand entrance.

Final Rolls Royce Phantom VII
Final Rolls Royce Phantom VII Clock
Final Rolls Royce Phantom VII Door Inlay
Final Rolls Royce Phantom VII Front

Final Rolls Royce Phantom VII Rear

Final Rolls Royce Phantom VII Rear

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Heesen YN 18556 Keel Laying

The reputable shipbuilder Heesen announced the birth of the new 56m Fast Displacement motor yacht YN 18556. The shipyard has laid the keel of this steel-hulled yacht earlier in January 2017. She is scheduled for delivery to her owner  in 2019. 

HY18556-Keel laying

HY18556-Keel laying

Heesen Yachts Board of Directors comments: “We are truly honoured that the Owner chose our shipyard to build his full custom yacht. This will be another splendid addition to our fast-growing fleet and we are very excited that today this incredible project started taking shape!”

Although a lot of details on the project have not been revealed yet, it is knows that Van Oossanen Naval Architects developed the fast displacement hull and aluminium superstructure.

Currently Heesen Yachts has another two great projects under construction – project Alida 55m and project Nova 49.8m.

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Carl Edwards dispels thoughts he’s readying for an immediate political run

Carl Edwards announced earlier in the month he was stepping aside from the No. 19 car. (Getty)

Carl Edwards isn’t ruling out any political endeavors down the line. But he said Tuesday that he’s not in the midst of anything “right now.”

The newly-retired Edwards — who didn’t use the r-word when announcing his departure from the Cup Series earlier in the month — is in Phoenix to help Daniel Suarez get acclimated to Edwards’ former No. 19 car during a NASCAR test.

He was asked by reporters about a column last week that mentioned Edwards as a possibility to run against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) when McCaskill is up for re-election in 2018. In a text to the AP last week about possible political ambitions, Edwards said that “If I could help, I definitely would consider it.”

Tuesday, he downplayed the immediacy of any involvement. From JeffGluck.com:

“That whole thing blew up very quickly,” Edwards said. “Holy crap, that went out of control. The point is, I don’t ever rule out anything. I really do believe in America and if a person can help maintain the future opportunities for other people, that’s our duty as Americans.

“If that’s something down the line that fits in as something I can do, that would be an endeavor I’d be real proud of. But I’m not like putting together this campaign or something; not right now.”

Edwards’ presence at Phoenix isn’t much of a surprise. He said when discussing his abrupt departure from the Cup Series that he’d be around to help his successor. Edwards left the Cup Series with 28 wins and finished in the top five in the points standings six times.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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