Barrett-Jackson 2014: Simon Cowell’s 2008 Bugatti Veyron is a $1.375M certified pre-owned car [w/video]

Simon Cowell's Bugatti Veyron

For a man who’s best known for being mean to aspiring singers, Simon Cowell sure seems to garner lots of attention. While Cowell himself didn’t make an appearance at Barrett-Jackson, his black on black Bugatti Veyron did, and bidding on it ended with a final sale price of $1.375 million.

Somewhat interestingly, this is the first certified pre-owned Bugatti sold through a new factory program. It includes a full one-year warranty, which must give its new owner some comfort. According to the auction company, Cowell has put 1,300 miles on this particular Veyron. See for yourself in our high-res image gallery above, and scroll down below for a video showing the live auction and the official auction description.

Details

Simon Cowell’s pristine 2008 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 which he purchased new at Bugatti Beverly Hills. Mr. Cowell’s Veyron is the first certified, pre-owned vehicle in the new program being offered by Bugatti. The vehicle includes a full one-year, extended factory warranty offered directly through Bugatti. Four brand new tires and a complete service make Mr. Cowell’s Veyron the perfect certified pre-owned vehicle. The Veyron has 1,300 actual miles most of which were personally driven by Simon Cowell himself. The custom black paint with black interior is one of only a handful of black on black Veyrons in America. Over 1,000hp at 6000rpm the 8.0 Liter W16 Cylinder, all-wheel drive, 7-speed automated dual clutch transmission made this car in 2008 the fastest street legal car in America with a top speed of 253.81mph.

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Porsche Cayman, Boxster caught in GTS trim

A few months ago, we reported on some leaked information from an internal presentation for upcoming Porsche models. This included details about the Macan and the 911 Targa, which we now know to be true, but there was also talk about GTS versions of the Cayman and Boxster.

Well, it appears we’re now getting our first look at these GTS models, as our spy photographers have just snapped a pair of Porsche prototypes out testing – one Cayman and one Boxster.

Right off the bat, we can see that both GTS-branded cars will get a slightly tweaked exterior with new fascias (bringing LED daytime running lights to the Cayman) and air diffusers at the rear. The true gem of these cars will be the added horsepower to the tune of 340 horsepower – a 15-hp bump. A manual transmission will likely be standard, as will Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM).

The original leaked information said both cars will debut in April at the Beijing Motor Show before going on sale in June. Prices for both should start around $75,000.

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Inside Porsche’s secret museum warehouse


Clashing patched tile and concrete flooring, mismatched opaque windows, exposed fire suppression systems and heavy-duty industrial shelving is immaterial when you consider that the warehouse is simply a constantly changing holding area for Porsche’s retired racecars, show concepts, development mules, prototypes and engineering displays. All told, there are currently 518 vehicles in the museum’s collection, but the polished public facility only has room to properly display 85 at any one time. With the exception of the approximately 100 or so vehicles scattered around the world (e.g., special exhibitions, historic races and undergoing restoration), the balance of the collection is stored in the warehouse. My guide said that there were 336 models currently in the building.

Most of the vehicles are in running condition, topped-off with vital fluids and with their batteries kept optimized.

Stepping from a bright and sunny crisp winter afternoon into the naturally lit warehouse was a bit surreal. Various Porsche models, some covered and others not (but none appeared dusty), stretched in all directions. The facility was spotlessly clean, but there was an overpowering smell of used motor oil, rubber and fuel. I questioned a curator and he disclosed that most of the vehicles are in running condition, topped-off with vital fluids and with their batteries kept optimized on a large rack of trickle-chargers.

The variety was astounding; the haphazard placements parked 200-mph GT1 LeMans winners directly across from field tractors and salvaged Rothman 959 shells next to 986 Boxster show displays. There were 924 models stacked three high in the center of the room, and an orange 934 blocking another aisle. A full-size “Sally” mock-up, built on a chopped 2002 996 for Disney-Pixar’s “Cars” movie, sat smiling in one room.


Pulling back a cover revealed the original 959 “Gruppe B” Concept.

While each and every vehicle (whole or part) told a story, there were some that really caught my eye.

Pulling back a cover revealed the original 959 “Gruppe B” Concept (below left), which was unveiled at the 1983 Frankfurt Motor Show (I actually had a picture of it on my bedroom wall). With the exception of a temporary gold BBS rear wheels, the pearly white car appeared nearly unchanged more than three decades later. It is interesting to note that the show car is missing the tell-tale air vents in front of the front wheels, and the engine intake scoops just aft of the doors, which later distinguished the low-volume production supercar from its standard siblings.

High upon a rack, below the exposed driveline of a 911 Turbo, was the bodytub of a Volkswagen “Schwimmwagen” (below right). The World War Two amphibious vehicle was based on the civilian Volkswagen Beetle. In fighting trim, the four-wheel-drive vehicle was powered by a four-cylinder engine rated at just 25 horsepower. While it had a retractable screw propeller for water use, the front wheels doubled as rudders, which must have made turning an interesting maneuver. Of the 15,584 examples made during the War, just 1,308 were made by Porsche.


This heavily disguised and completely badge-free prototype gave no hint of what was shoehorned in its tail.

?I found an early predecessor to the Panamera under a rack. The silver four-door 989 Concept was designed in 1988. Face-to-face, the vehicle looked like an awkwardly stretched 996 model (even though that particular model was still a decade in the future). While it appeared to hide an engine under the long rear decklid, the concept was fitted with a front-mounted, water-cooled V8 that was likely borrowed from the 928 of the same era. Slumping sales of the 928 killed the 989 program in the early 1990s, and we had to wait more than another decade for the arrival of Porsche’s first four-door sedan.

My favorite hidden jewel was a matte black hybrid mix of a 993 and a 959, which I spied hidden under a tarp (below left). At first I figured it was some sort of 959 mule, which really sparked my curiosity, but its front clip was too new. I asked a curator who smiled as he opened its rear decklid to reveal a 3.6-liter V8 sourced from a first-generation Audi V8 (below right). Even in the face of those countless rumors of an upcoming V8-powered 911 model that started decades ago, this heavily disguised and completely badge-free prototype gave no hint of what was shoehorned in its tail. (There were two more of the “these-are-not-what-they-appear” vehicles in storage, but we’ll post those up on Facebook over the next few days to see if anyone can guess what they really are.)

Even after a couple of hours roaming, I left feeling as if I had only scratched the surface of what’s inside the building. I’d estimate that maybe half of the collection is exposed, but there are countless gems hidden beneath each of the cloth car covers that I never had the opportunity to peel back and even view. I need another tour – lasting about a week, next time.

If you have any questions about a particular vehicle in our high-res gallery, please ask in our comments section and we’ll do our best to answer.

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VW begins Golf production in Mexico

START OF GOLF PRODUCTION IN MEXICO MARKS ANOTHER MILESTONE FOR VOLKSWAGEN GROUP IN NORTH AMERICA

– Mexican Secretary of Economy, Dr. Guajardo, and Volkswagen CEO, Prof. Dr. Winterkorn, inaugurate production of the new Volkswagen Golf at the Puebla plant
– The Volkswagen Group is investing US$7 billion in new products and modern production facilities in North America in period to 2018
– Volkswagen de México celebrates 50th anniversary

Puebla (Mexico) / Wolfsburg, January 15, 2014: Production of the new Volkswagen Golf1 began today at the Volkswagen plant in Puebla, Mexico. The facility is to build further models from the Golf family for the North America region going forward. Dr. Ildefonso Guajardo, Mexican Secretary of Economy, Rafael Moreno-Valle, Governor of the State of Puebla, and Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, inaugurated Golf production on the occasion of the ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of Volkswagen de México. 700 guests from politics and industry attended the celebrations.

“Volkswagen de México has a proud history and a promising future. One car in particular is a symbol of that: The new Golf,” Prof Dr. Martin Winterkorn said in Puebla. “The start of Golf 7 production will give Volkswagen a big boost in the North America region. And it underscores our commitment to Mexico as an automotive location. That is further confirmed by the US$7 billion our Group will be investing in North America in the period to 2018.”

The intelligent lightweight construction of the Golf, the “World Car of the Year 2013”, is based on the technological innovations of the Modular Transverse Toolkit (MQB), and the vehicle will be exported from Mexico to the USA and Canada. The new Volkswagen Golf will hit North American roads from mid-year as it continues its global success story. Volkswagen has invested some US$700 million in new production plant and modern infrastructure for the Golf in Puebla. The first Golf sedan to be built in Mexico is a red Golf GTI2. Production of further derivatives such as the Golf station wagon for the North and South America regions will begin during the course of the year. Golf production at the Puebla plant has a capacity of 700 vehicles per working day.

CEO of Volkswagen de México, Andreas Hinrichs, underscored the major significance of the Puebla location for Volkswagen: “Our Puebla factory is today one of the Group’s highest exporters and one of its largest plants worldwide. Over 10 million vehicles have already been shipped from here to customers all over the world.”

In addition to the new Golf, the Puebla plant also builds the coupé and cabriolet versions of the Volkswagen Beetle plus the Volkswagen Jetta. In terms of technology, these models also belong to the Golf class and are to be adapted to the structure of the Modular Transverse Toolkit (MQB) in the medium term. Furthermore, Volkswagen began manufacturing modern TSI engines at the Silao engine plant in early 2013. The Audi facility in San José Chiapa will strengthen the Volkswagen Group’s production network in North America from 2016.

The vehicles manufactured in Pueba and the engines produced in Silao are built in accordance with the state-of-the art environmental standards of the Volkswagen brand’s “Think Blue. Factory.” programme. This programme aims to optimise resource efficiency at all Volkswagen plants and to continually improve the environmental compatibility of the production process. 50 years of success unite Volkswagen and Mexico. Volkswagen began exports to Mexico back in 1954. 50 years ago, on January 15, 1964, the Wolfsburg-based company founded an import, production and sales company called “Volkswagen de México S.A.” The Beetle began rolling off the assembly line at the new plant in Puebla in 1967, with production of this model only finally coming to an end in 2003. Alongside the Bulli, the Beetle motorized Mexico for decades.

In 1997, Puebla became the only plant in the Volkswagen Group to build the New Beetle, exporting the model all over the world. Production of the fourth Jetta generation commenced at the same time. Both models lent key growth momentum to export business at Volkswagen de México. From 1964 to the present day, the Volkswagen Group has already invested a total of US$8 billion in Mexico.

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Le Mans-winning Porsche 935 K3 ‘seized’ by DEA agents

Porsche 935 K3 being seized by DEA agents

Porsche has won Le Mans more than any other marque, but only one of those overall race winners was actually based on a 911. That was the 1979 Porsche 935 K3, chassis number 009 00015 that was entered by brothers Don and Bill Whittington. It went on to win at the Nürburgring and Watkins Glen, and scored podium finishes at Sebring and Brands Hatch as well. In short, it’s a historically significant and hugely valuable piece of motorsport history. And it was just seized by the DEA. Sorta.

After the Whittington brothers ran afoul of a handful of lawsuits and were implicated in smuggling narcotics, the car changed hands a few times before ending up in the noted collection of one Bruce Meyers. He had it at Laguna Seca earlier this month when a black Suburban, Dodge Charger and transporter truck pulled up with government plates, asked to speak with Meyer, presented him with a court order, loaded the car onto the truck and drove off.

Though familiar with the legal disputes surrounding the ownership of the car and the misdeeds of its famous original owners, Meyer was left understandably distraught over the events that had just unfolded in front of him to separate him from his pride and joy. (Or one of them, anyway; Bruce has got an eminently desirable collection of classic cars.) But here’s the kicker: those DEA agents weren’t actual DEA agents. Fortunately they weren’t thieves, either. The actual story could have been the plot right out of Ocean’s 14 if they ever made one and it focused on classic cars. (Is anyone in Hollywood listening?)

Read the full account at Sports Car Digest and view the images of the car in the gallery above.

Related Gallery1979 Porsche 935 K3
1979 Porsche 935 K3 1979 Porsche 935 K3 1979 Porsche 935 K3 1979 Porsche 935 K3 1979 Porsche 935 K3 1979 Porsche 935 K3 1979 Porsche 935 K3 1979 Porsche 935 K3

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