Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Newport Car Museum Part II: A Mind Blowing Collection!

Lamborghini Countach

I don't own a million dollar car, or drive a 1950s collectible, or even have a garage full of valuable cars. However, in living a few decades, I've noticed that some other people do! Recently we visited a couple of museums in Newport RI, and today I'll explain a bit about one of them. 

The Newport Car Museum displays the automotive collection of one very successful lawyer, and for a normal guy like me, well, I really can't imagine having enough awesome cars to merit starting a museum. Maybe I like to dream about winning the lottery, and then maybe buying ONE car like the ones in this collection, but this individual owns all these cars. Out of the displays that focus on say the 50s, or the international cars, or the room of Corvettes, and the room of Carol Shelby related cars, I'd like to show you the Mind Blowing level best-of-the-best coolest-grooviest cars from his collection. Vamos!

1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen
OK, it's a re-creation of the first gas-powered auto, but come on! This is way before Henry Ford built millions of Model T's! Most adults might have a Hot Wheels version of their cool car, but a life size replica of the 1st car in the world?

1993 Jaguar XJ220. That's almost 30 years ago, but this car could go 217MPH. Oh, they only built 271 of them, so, uh, this is where the mind-blowing part starts!

Nice seats, huh? They are in a 2008 Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 Roadster, one of 183 built. The car has a V12 engine, and a top speed of 209MPH. If you drive a car that goes over 200, and is 1 of less than a couple hundred, you just might have a Super Car!

The Murcielago features all wheel drive and an aluminum engine. Even the doors are cool!

1997 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster also includes all wheel drive, Brembo brakes, and OZ brand wheels, all good for 204MPH. Hey, my car has Brembo brakes and OZ wheels too, but something tells me it won't go 200MPH unless it's dropped from a airplane. 

This is one of 200 built, and as cool as the front end might be, and the side air intakes, and the fabulous interior, I'm sure that spotting one of these on the road or track will mostly look like from this view! 

This next car is from 2019, and features carbon fiber thin (and lightweight no doubt) seats, racing harness, and certainly looks to be built for speed. The Senna "S" on the seat gives it away as the McLaren Senna, named in honor of Brazilian Formula 1 three time world champion racer Ayrton Senna. 

Lots of aerodynamic design features make this car as fast as can be, including the rear wing with the swan-neck uprights that are more  efficient than regular wing uprights. The exhaust up above the rear bumper also directs airflow to increase performance. Performance? Glad you asked: 789HP good for 214MPH, with only 500 of these cars built. 

Even hybrid cars are mind-blowing, here's a 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder.Top speed is 217MPH. That is hard to imagine. I've SEEN a car going that fast on the home straight at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and even THAT was hard to believe!

This was the first production car to break the 7 minute lap around the Nurburgring, and reportedly the drivers were told to take it easy and be safe, so it's likely they could have gone even faster than 6:57. Outside of museums I've seen exactly one "in the wild."

2017 Lamborghini Aventador SV Roadster. I don't know about you, but looking at this thing just makes me go HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Between the green color and the angled design, this just screams..., uh, well, whatever it screams, it's probably in Italian and is fast.

It can go faster than 217MPH. The "SV" in the name is Superveloce in Italian, or Superfast in English. Speaking of green, the Porsche 911 Targa way back on the left, and the Mercedes AMG GT R Coupe back on the right are two more awesome cars too. 

Lamborghini labels the body of this green color as Verde Scandal. With a hand built V12 engine, Magneto Rheological Suspension, and variable ratio steering, it looks fast just standing still. 

2005 Porsche Carrera GT. There's another one up for auction, one that was owned by Jerry Seinfeld at one time, last bid I saw was for $1,860,000. Carrera GT AUCTION

1970 Plymouth Superbird. This is the model car that Plymouth used to bring Richard Petty back from Ford, but the car's performance was basically too much for NASCAR, and they only built the Superbird for one year, with just 715 built.

1957 Chevrolet Corvette "Fuelie." Here's a car that's older than me, the first American model with fuel injection. Only 1,040 were built in 57 with fuel injection. Recently I tried to use the word "fuelie" in a NY Times Spelling Bee game, but they don't think "fuelie" is a real word. 

Here you go USA, the epic one of a kind fan favorite 1963 Corvette Sting Ray Split Window Coupe. 

You can read more about the history of the 2nd generation design and first hard top Corvette at this link from Motor Trend: 1963 Sting Ray

Thanks for following along with my visit to the Newport Car Museum. In the first two parts I've hit the highlights, so stay tuned for a third part to cover some more cool cars, and get into the 50s era autos on display. 

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