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RAREST OF THE RARE: ‘57 CORVETTE SUPER SPORT!

One of the rarest factory-built Corvettes ever built can be seen for the first time in 60 years at the Amelia Island Concours next month.

The ‘57 Corvette Super Sport prototype originally built for GM’s famous Motorama shows of the 1950s will, after six decades hidden from view, break cover in a special exhibit at the 22nd annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance on March 12, 2017. After its auto show duties, it was sold to Ralph Poole of Albuquerque, NM. The current owner, John Baldwin purchased the car in 1996.

“We’ve been working on the SS for the last few weeks and have it running nicely for the first time since the 1950s,” said owner John Baldwin.

Actually a 1956 model, the Corvette was customized by the Chevrolet studio at GM Design and “updated” with a one-off 1957 Vin # tag. It was used to showcase the first fuel-injected Corvette engine, which debuted in 1957 models. This special Corvette debuted at the January 1957 New York Waldorf Astoria Auto Show (there was no Motorama show in 1957) and the Chicago Auto Show, but has not been seen by the public for the past 60 years. Power for this unique prototype comes from a fuel-injected 283/283 small-block mated to a close ratio three-speed transmission.

“This unique Corvette is practically unknown,” said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “It was the cover car for the June, 1957 issue of Speed Age magazine and then it disappeared. It’s been hidden for its entire life. For it to be at Amelia is the sort of thing we dream of.”

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2017 Triumph Street Triple Prices Revealed

So when the 2017 Triumph Street Triple range was revealed at the start of the year, there was something missing. And that was how much each model would cost. Fortunately we can correct that now the 2017 Triumph Street Triple prices have been revealed.

So here’s the rundown.

The lighter, better 2017 Triumph Street Triple S is the starting point. It will cost £8,000 from your local UK dealer. And along with a range of accessories, you can also invest extra cash on metallic paint options for £125.

2017 Triumph Street Triple S Price Revealed
The 2017 Triumph Street Triple S will cost £8,000

Next up is the Triumph Street Triple R, which has a higher specification level. And there is also the option of a dedicated low ride-height version of the R with a unique suspension and seating set-up for those shorter of leg, for the same price of £8,900.

Again, you can add on £125 if you want any of the metallic paint options.

2017 Triumph Street Triple R Price Revealed
The 2017 Triumph Street Triple R will set you back £8,900

Then there is the range topping 2017 Triumph Street Triple RS priced at £9,900.

2017 Triumph Street Triple RS Price Revealed
The range-topping 2017 Triumph Street Triple RS comes in at a price of £9,900

For all the specs and loads more images of the 2017 Triumph Street Triple range, check out our previous article…

But if you’re a new rider at a younger age, there’s a special treat for you…

A Cheaper Triumph Street Triple for A2 Licence Holders:

If you’re possessing an A2 licence. Or you want the look of a new Street Triple for the absolute minimum, then there is the dedicated 2017 Triumph Street Triple S A2 version. With a smaller 660cc engine, it won’t have quite the power and excitement of the bigger brothers. But it is cheaper at £7,700.

So if you’re between 19 and 23 and need to stick to 47bhp, or have a strange inclination towards a smaller engine in your Street Triple, you will at least save £300 on a 2017 Triumph. So that’s something, at least…

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THE NEW SEAT IBIZA

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Seat’s latest take on its long-running supermini is a mature and slightly predictable-looking effort – in styling, it’s a sharp remix of the Leon and Ateca. But don’t confuse its unsurprising looks with a less than progressive approach to its engineering.

The Volkswagen Group’s all-new MQB AO platform gets its first public outing in the fifth-generation Ibiza, big news for Seat.

The company is already making bullish claims about its packaging efficiency, claiming that despite being smaller than its predecessor, it has made great strides in terms of packaging efficiency and comfort.

It also says that the Ibiza, ‘comes loaded with the latest technology features, outstanding dynamics, and impressive improvements in interior space and comfort,’ and is a vital part of its portfolio review.

Our full A-Z preview guide to the Geneva motor show

Big claims for the new 2017 Ibiza… can they be delivered?

The ingredients are all there. Seat is being bold with the five-door-only Ibiza, because it needs to be. Parent Volkswagen wants growth in southern European markets, and a strong Seat will enable that to happen. Its fortunes and positioning within the group have improved considerably since 2010, and under the company’s new CEO Luca de Meo, are set to continue.

New 2017 Seat Ibiza

It’s grown in width over the old Ibiza by 87mm, but is shorter and lower – so it’s not a story of continued growth in overall dimensions. Space efficiency is improved thanks to a 60mm stretch of the wheelbase (now 2654mm). So, you get more rear leg- and headroom, and a larger boot (up 63 litres to 355), although Seat has yet to confirm whether there’s a weight penalty or not compared with the previous Ibiza.

All engines are now Euro6 compliant, and come from Wolfsburg’s latest line-up. So, there’s the 1.0 TSI with 94 or 113bhp, the new 148bhp EVO 1.5 TSI unit first shown in the Golf will be along in ‘late 2017’, and the venerable 1.6 TDI diesel engines will be offered in 78 and 93bhp form.

There’ll be a mix of five- and six-speed manuals, and a seven-speed dual-clutch DSG-auto gearbox will be available too.

2017 Seat Ibiza

Will it be another MQB hit on the road?

Again, on paper it looks like it. Seat promises great things from its new baby, and that is said to come from its new MQB A0 platform and 30% greater torsional stiffness of its monocoque.

The suspension layout will most likely ape the layout of the larger MQB cars, such as the Volkswagen Golf and Seat Leon, although Seat has yet to confirm whether its new small car will get a similar independent rear suspension layout.  Either way, you can expect similar dynamics from the Ibiza, with an emphasis on sporting handling.

The FR version gets a stiffer set-up and four mode settings: Comfort, Eco, Sport and Individual, and the more comfort-oriented Xcellence trim will also offer this system, with an additional softer setting. Expect the driving modes menu to be exploited further when the hot Cupra version is rolled out, with a track-biased set-up – expected to be later in 2017.

It looks sharp, but is it a bit too derivative?

Seat would say no, and that the new Ibiza is an ‘important brand pillar’ alongside the Leon, Ateca and the upcoming Arona small crossover – so it would carry over elements of their styling. But the overt similarity with the Leon will play well with those looking for a more mature supermini experience.

It’s dripping with clever details – the sort of stuff you expect in premium products. So you get similar triangular LED headlights to the Leon, larger wheels, up to 18-inches in diameter (and that’s before the Cupra), sharp LED rear lamp clusters, and chrome trim in the top models.

2017 Seat Ibiza interior

Much of the tech on board filters down from the larger Leon model. The top of the range Xcellence version, for example, includes an 8.0-inch touchscreen, Full Link connectivity system, an Air Care filter that isolates the occupants from any type of allergens, Apple Car Play, Android Auto and Mirror Link.

Other grown-up options will include Adaptive Cruise Control, keyless entry, a rear-view camera (on a supermini!) and a 300W premium audio option from Beats Audio.

That’s all well and good, but isn’t it a bit boring for a supermini?

Predictable, yes. Boring? On first impressions, no. The new Ibiza is a more grown-up kind of small hatch, promising to be a scaled-down C-segment car with a supermini footprint – and a sign that Seat has found its feet within the confines of the Volkswagen Group.

We’ll reserve judgement of its success until we get behind the wheel, but the signs are promising. In short, expect a sportier-driving, higher-quality, more user-friendly package from Seat.

It’s going to be a nicer place to spend time, with much more tech at its fingertips. Surely the big problem for Volkswagen now is – what can it do to make the Polo good enough to beat it?

Just Where Are The Best Deals on Wheels?

When looking to buy a car there is certainly no shortage of choice. The UK has over 4,900 franchised dealers plus many more generalists. Car auctions, internet sites and private ads offer even more options but this still leaves many buyers wondering just where is the best place to get a really good deal.

For most people, a car is likely to be the second most expensive single item that they will ever buy and so it is important to get it right. There is certainly plenty of choice and if you are looking to buy a used car in the London area, it is possible to find almost every conceivable make and model within a radius of a few miles. The first decision is whether to buy new or second-hand. New car sales are booming, fuelled largely by some of the new methods of financing them such as personal contract plans and leasing as new recruits to the world of motoring consider car ownership very much along the same lines as mobile phone contracts with a continuous monthly charge and regular upgrades being the order of the day. The canny buyer, however, realises that such a throw-away mentality results in some great cars appearing on the second-hand market and it usually means that the first owner has paid dearly for the privilege of new car ownership or lease. A car’s value depends on several things but one of the most predictable is its age and the depreciation curve is invariably steeper in its early days.

By steering clear of the lure of new cars, a buyer may suddenly realise that his budget will now stretch to a much better specified car. Most car purchases involve the heart more than the head and even our London buyer may fancifully visualise cruising along deserted country roads with the roof down whereas, in reality, a nose-to-tail daily commute is probably much more likely with emission levels and congestion charges figuring highly in any car buying decision.

There are undoubtedly some great bargains to be found but the risks should not be underestimated. Perhaps the ideal car could be almost new or fairly young, low mileage, well maintained and with a known history. An ex-demonstrator from a franchised dealer or an ex-lease car could probably fit the bill and some of those previously used by disabled people under the Motability leasing scheme can often be exceptionally good but the range of vehicles on offer may be rather limited. Buying ex-fleet vehicles is another option to be considered but some of these may have covered high mileages and a used taxi or minibus is certainly not to be recommended.

Another interesting idea is to check what vehicles are available from car rental companies such as those offered under the Hertz Rent2Buy scheme. The idea that ex-rental cars have been roughly treated by uncaring drivers is simply not borne out by the facts and there are some real gems to be found. Hertz even allow for an extended test drive in the form of rental for a few days so there should be no unpleasant surprises here!

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