Auctions Offer Great Solutions For Project Classic Cars

In the vintage car community there are two main groups of people, those who restore classic cars and those who buy classic cars. Of course there are those in the middle who like to fix and collect them as well. Project classic cars is often a labor of love, there is a certain thrill that a person who loves to restore cars feels when they find the perfect project to start.

While having the ability to restore vintage vehicles is a great thing to have, you also need to have the ability to find all of the necessary parts to turn the car from something up on blocks to its original glory that can run on the road again. In the past this was solely achieved with a lot of legwork. You would have to spend hours scouring newspapers, car magazines, and visiting car shows, and while all of those things have their place in project classic cars, the Internet, more specifically Internet auctions have changed the way that these men (and women) find car parts.

Internet auctions make it possible for car enthusiasts to find everything that they need in one central location. While it is ideal for a restorer to physically see the parts or body in questions, digital photography goes a long way towards filling that gap. What’s more, most Internet auction sites have ways of protecting both sellers and buyers so that if you don’t get what is advertised you can get your money back.

This does not mean that you should neglect doing your homework. It is possible to find out how a seller is doing in general. Make sure to check and see what other buyers are saying about a seller so that you can ensure that he or she is reputable.

Project classic cars is an exciting venture, building something with your own hands can bring a lot of pleasure to a person, especially something that has personal and monetary value. Classic cars are a great reminder of the past, and the beauty that these cars bring to the streets is indescribable. Taking the time to find the perfect parts, paint colors, and other elements for a classic car can be time consuming, but it speaks volumes about the care that car enthusiasts have for the integrity of these beautiful cars.

A Supercar and Cult Car

Not too many automobiles have the distinction of being both a supercar and a cult car, but the Lamborghini Countach is one. Referred to by Forbes Magazine as “the poster child for cult cars”, the Countach featured the exotic design and high performance criteria for supercars. Yet it also has the ‘cult car’ charisma.

The word countach itself implies exotic. In the native Piedmontese language it is used by men when they encounter an amazingly beautiful woman. The word is not translatable into English but expresses the same idea as a wolf whistle.

Marcello Gandini of the Bertone Design Studio designed the Countach. The Bertone Studio was also responsible for the Lamborghini Miura. The Miura is among the first if not the first of the super cars. British motor journalist used the phrase to describe the Miura in an article in CAR Magazine published during the 1960′s. CAR magazine then claimed the credit for ‘coining the phrase.’

A single prototype, the LP500, painted sunflower yellow, made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in 1971. However the design needed considerable modification before it could be put into production.

The first production model was the LP400. It was a 2-door sports coupe with a rear mid-engine and rear-wheel drive.

Several modifications had to be made to the prototype. The air intake valves on the prototype were found to be inadequate for cooling the engine. So large air box scoops were added on the rear shoulders and large NACA ducts were added on the sides. The original futuristic light clusters were also replaced by conventional lights.

A total of 157 LP400′s were produced. The first recorded delivery was made to D. Milne of the Australian Defence Force Transport Corps.

Then in 1978, Lamborghini brought out the LP400S. This was manufactured in a series of three. While the interior modifications were limited to an upgrade in the engine, the exterior changes were extensive. Lamborghini added fiberglass arch extension and replaced the tires with Pirelli P7 units, a much wider tire than was mounted on the LP400.

In 1982, the LP500S was introduced. The engine was upgraded to a more powerful 5-liter model but no changes were made to the exterior.

In 1985 additional improvements were made to the engine. Other changes were made to conform to US federal standards so the car could now be sold in the United States. This model was priced at $99,5000.

The year 1988 marked the 25th anniversary of the company. They celebrated by introducing the 25th anniversary Countach. This model had undergone considerable changes in styling that proved to be unpopular with many Lamborghini followers.

Then in 1975, Walter Wolf, an extremely wealthy Canadian businessman and owner of the Wolf Racing Team, purchased a LP400. However, he didn’t like the engine. He, therefore, contacted Lamborghini’s chief engineer and requested that the company custom build a special high-powered engine.

The result was an engine capable of reaching 315 kilometers per hour and producing 447 hp/7900 rpm. This model was also equipped with the upgraded wheels, Pirelli P tires, large fender flares and rear spoilers as had been installed on the LP400S. It was painted red with black fender flares.

The company produced 2,042 cars from 1974 to 1989 when they retired the design. Although its popularity has declined somewhat, it continues to be a collectible with a loyal following.

What is an Exotic Car?

Have you ever pulled up to a stop light, minding your own business, and the most incredible car pulls up quickly stopping next to you? Then, after staring at the car and then being caught by the driver, you can’t help but wonder what is that? You’ve never seen anything like it an yet you think, is that the car I just read about in my favorite car magazine?

So, do you find yourself wondering, exactly what is an exotic car? To start with, as with any explanation, it helps to begin with the official definition of “Exotic”.

ex·ot·ic /ɪgˈzɒtɪk/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[ig-zot-ik]


1. of foreign origin or character; not native; introduced from abroad, but not fully naturalized or acclimatized: exotic foods; exotic plants.

2. strikingly unusual or strange in effect or appearance: an exotic hairstyle.

3. of a uniquely new or experimental nature: exotic weapons.

4. of, pertaining to, or involving stripteasing: the exotic clubs where strippers are featured.

5. something that is exotic: The flower show included several tropical exotics with showy blooms.

6. an exotic dancer; stripper.

In this case, we’ll go with number 2, simply because the others don’t fit when referencing an automobile. We’ll avoid the initial, number 1 definition as not all exotic cars are foreign in the US and the last term has nothing to do with cars, except that most exotic cars are considered sexy. That’s all that will be mentioned on THAT subject.

There are a variety of “laymen” definitions for what an exotic car may be described. Some think that it’s a car that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not necessarily true. A humbly priced Lotus Elise is considered exotic, yet is priced around $50K. Others view an exotic car as one that has doors that spring forward or are gulled like wings. There are a number of exotics that have “normal” opening doors, so that’s not necessarily an accurate approach. For the most uninitiated, they may surmise that an exotic is only of Italian or German decent and manufacture. Again, not necessarily true. There have been numerous British exotics, America has it’s share of specialty exotic manufactures and the Netherlands has yet it’s own form of exotic car builder.

Probably the best most common thought about what an exotic car is, can be boiled down to one simple statement. Do you see one every day? Or, simply put, would you see one on your bumper to bumper traffic laden commute? If the answer is no, then it’s probably close to being exotic. If you live near a Ferrari or Lamborghini dealer, hob knob in Beverly Hills or have a home near Miami, then it may not be an fair assessment. However, for the 99% of us that live in average city locations, typically seeing an exotic every day is not normal. There are some that have only seen such cars at car shows and or on the rare occasion on a major freeway connecting two cities. Since there are numerous web sites with “Sighting” posting sections, it’s probably a pretty accurate definition on the “rarity” of an exotic, making this a pretty accurate layman’s definition of “exotic car”.

With that in mind, an exotic car can also be considered a daily driver, but rarely seen. Many exotic car owners like to drive their cars as much as possible, but keep it to a minimum due to mileage restrictions they put on themselves so as to keep the resale value high. In most major cities, there are usually a higher number of exotic car owners than one may perceive. Most exotic cars spend time in garages, show rooms and/or collections. However, there are still a larger number of owners that prefer to take their car out on special occasions and just drive it.

There are many additional areas that can make up an exotic car definition besides just rarity. Items such as extremely different shape and size are common elements of an exotic car. Special composites that make up the frame or body are also areas that set an exotic car apart from their daily commuter brethren. Powerful engines usually installed in the rear are one of the more commonly thought about elements. Shifting mechanisms, starter buttons and flat bottom steering wheels are a few other less unusual, but common amongst exotics.

Shape. Many exotics have an extremely uncommon shape. They typically are very “Striking” or notice able both sitting at a light, gas pump or being driven down the road. Most exotics have taken on shapes that rival many show cars or concept cars, but that have been put into production as a fully operational drive able car. Shapes like wedges and hour glass are common visions.

Size. A number of exotics are actually small by comparison to the standard sedan or coupe. Almost all exotics are a 2 seater, with the occasional version that may have a “token” back seat. Some of the larger exotics, such as the Bentley are getting large enough in size to actually accommodate rear passengers. However, many of the truly exotics are made for two and commonly are less than 3 feet tall. Egress can be challenging at times, which makes for another case for definition of an exotic and it’s non-commonality. The majority of exotics are sports related with small sizes and big powerful engines.

Composites. Many if not all exotics are made up of space age or light weight materials slowly finding their way into the larger auto makers. Most of today’s aluminum’s and carbon fibers were first made popular on one exotic brand or another. Light material or new composites that make up the engine compartment are very common amongst exotics.

Engines and weight. A majority of exotics are made up of small size in stature and length, usually outfitted with large powerful engines. The power to weight ratio make it a lethal if not down right illegal combination, thus making it even more exotic.

All in all, exotics are not your run of the mill daily driver. Rather, they are something striking and unusual, yet beautiful and very very eye catching. Most if not all are rarely seen and thus make it the primary definition for the majority of our population. Regardless of your gender, it’s almost impossible to not stare at the unusual, strikingly different exotic car sitting next to you at that red light. Go ahead and stare. It may be a while before you see another exotic car!