FrontRunners: Top Honor

    In the early 1950s, General Motors designer Harley Earl, fresh from watching world speed records being set at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats, conceived the Pontiac Bonneville Special. His vision of jet-age speed, which featured a Plexiglas canopy and gullwing panels, debuted at the General Motors Motorama in 1954. GM built only two examples of the concept car; one was painted bronze, and the other, pictured here, is emerald green. Last January, the green version sold for a little more than $3 million at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event (www.barrett-jackson.com), an annual auction that draws some 250,000 auto enthusiasts and collectors to Scottsdale, Ariz., to bid on more than 1,100 automobiles, all offered on a no-reserve basis (at no minimum price). This year’s Barrett-Jackson event, from January 14 through 21, will include rarities that could draw prices similar to that of the first Bonneville. These will include two Dodge Firearrows built by Chrysler in 1953 and 1954; only four of these concept cars were made. . . .

     

    An automated convertible top would seem to be a natural accessory for a boat, but before the Hinckley Co. (www.hinckleyyachts.com) of Portsmouth, R.I., introduced its 38-foot Hinckley T38R Convertible (about $900,000) earlier this year, few, if any, production vessels of that size were equipped with a push-button drop top. “It was a challenge,” says the designer of the Hinckley’s lid, Dave Draper of DTS Enterprises in Charlevoix, Mich., who has more than 20 years of experience making convertible tops for automakers such as General Motors, Oldsmobile, Peugeot, and Sterling. “Not only because of the size—14 by 8 feet, compared to 6 by 5 feet for a top on a full-size car—but because of the extraordinary dynamic loads on the machinery. People generally don’t drive cars over 4-foot waves.” . . .

    Read Next Article >>
    Photo by James Lipman
    Find out how the V-8 stacks up against its V-12 stablemate…
    This race-adapted hybrid generates 86 more hp than its road-going counterpart…
    Porsche 918 Spyder
    See the winner and rankings, as well as exclusive photos and videos of all the cars...
    Caterham Bikes Carbon E-Bike, a brawny carbon-fiber-and-aluminum electric bicycle that looks like a...
    The Stingray is the seventh generation of the Corvette, a model that has been in production since...
    Photo by Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding & Company
    The annual Gooding & Company Amelia Island Auction...
    Photo by Scott Williamson/www.photodesignstudios.com
    Stutz Motor Car of America, produced the Blackhawk from 1971 through 1987...
    Chevrolet brought its Corvette Stingray convertible to Palm Springs, a popular location for...
    Photo by Max Earey
    The new sedan generates 552 hp and 465 ft lbs of torque…
    Photo by Yakima Products Inc
    The company claims its rack is the most aerodynamic on the market…