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>You might have come across the name Jeff O’Neill recently. He’s been popping up in the news as he’s been spearheading Velocity Invitational, one of the largest vintage racing events planned for 2021. Sports Car Digest photojournalist, Dennis Gray, had the pleasure to sit down with Jeff to discuss this exciting event.

For years the three of us, Bill Wagenblatt, Vic Varela, and I, shared accommodations during the Historics in Monterey. 

While sipping a good red as we looked out over the Pacific, we would start to reminisce about the past years of the Historics at Laguna Seca. 

What had happened to the manufacturers that once sponsored the Historics? Ford celebrating Shelby? Lauda piloting an F1 Ferrari while wearing a red baseball cap? Fangio in a Mercedes and, of course, Sir Stirling Moss in a Jaguar? Cars that we saw only at the Historics. 

For the past years, it seemed the Historics were no more than a big club event. There were some nice cars for sure, but cars we had seen at other tracks or another event earlier in the year. The paddock seemed like a CSRG or HMSA event, only more so.

Then early in 2019, I started to hear rumors about the Sonoma Speed Festival and Jeff O’Neill. O’Neill’s event was going to bring the Magic back to historic racing, and his 2019 Sonoma Speed Festival was held to rave reviews. 

2019 Sonoma Speed Festival Highlights

There were “new event” problems for sure, but we all felt O’Neill was on to something. Now two years later after a Covid 19 delay, O’Neill has moved his circus 152 miles south to Monterey’s WeatherTech Laguna Seca Raceway for the newly named Velocity Invitational at Laguna Seca on Nov 11-14, 2021. 

Sports Car Digest had the pleasure of sitting down with Jeff to discover more about the man and the inspiration behind the event.

Jeff O’Neil in the paddock. This guy and his team are going to change Historic Racing in the US.

Our Conversation with Jeff O’Neill:

Sports Car Digest (SCD): Let’s start with your college days.

Jeff: Well, let’s see. I’ve been drinking and smoking cigars all the way through college since turning 21, of course. I still drink and smoke cigars.

I got into the wine business around 1985, started with some private equity guys, built a small book wine business, and then developed it into a successful company that we took public in 1998. 

In 2004 we decided to take the company back to being privately held and ultimately sold the business to a large wine company. 

That’s when I started O’Neill Vintners and Distillers, which, since 2004, we’ve built a pretty sizable wine company. We are one of the fastest-growing wineries in California, selling about 1.8 million 9 liter cases of wine to consumers. We are also a top supplier for premium wine at scale for several wine companies in California.  

We currently have a little over 300 employees and continue to invest in both operational capabilities and the right talent to keep growing our business. So that’s the snapshot story. 

What lead you into vintage racing?

As a kid, I always loved race cars. My dad always talked about cars. Although he was into cars, he never really owned any, and I always loved racing. So, I followed the racing and historical cars. At a certain point, I said, “You’ve gotta either fish or cut bait and either get into it or not.” And so I had a target list of 5 cars that I said, “I’ve got to own one of them.”

The first car I bought 14 years ago was a 1957 Maserati 250F Formula One car. Everybody thought I was an idiot for starting with a Formula One car from 1957, but believe it or not, it’s actually an easy car to drive, and I still own it.

It stays in Europe because there are not too many of them left here in the United States. So I still race that occasionally. But that’s how I got in.

What about the other four of the five cars?

Ford GT40, C-Type Jag, D-Type Jag, and DB4 Zagato. 

 I wish I bought them 20 years ago when they were giving them away.

Why are you establishing your own speed event? It’s got to be more headaches than the wine business. 

That is true. Maybe half. No, I think all businesses have headaches. But that’s what business is, solving headaches.

I had been to these historic events, and you know we were seeing over the years the great cars disappear off the grids. And It’s largely because you know guys with collections like bringing their cars out. They like showing

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By: Dennis Gray
Title: Meet The Founder of Velocity Invitational: Jeff O’Neill
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/velocity-invitational-jeff-oneill/
Published Date: Thu, 27 May 2021 12:27:58 +0000

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BEAST MODE: Original American Muscle Cars Epitomize Freedom, Rebellion and Pure Driving Pleasure

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BEAST MODE: Original American Muscle Cars Epitomize Freedom, Rebellion and Pure Driving Pleasure
1967 CHEVROLET YENKO SUPER CAMARO 427/450 – NO RESERVE

The roar of a powerful V8 engine, the aroma of burning rubber, the exhilaration of speed – American muscle cars unquestionably left an indelible mark on the auto industry and pop culture. Some automotive historians trace the genre’s origin back to when Oldsmobile decided to put a 303ci overhead-valve V8 into the 1949 Rocket 88, which kicked out a whopping 135 horsepower. Yep – that’s all it took to be king of the performance hill back then. The golden age of the muscle car, however, was the 1960s and early 1970s. Initially catering to the racing crowd, limited-production, bare-bones, barn-burning beasts tore up the drag strips, regularly laying down quarter-mile times of less than 12 seconds. In 1964, the Pontiac GTO with its 389ci engine was introduced and the flood gates were opened. Pop open a hood and chances were pretty good you’d see a HEMI or big-block. Ford launched its Mustang (okay, arguably a pony car, but tomayto, tomahto) in addition to Fairlanes and Galaxies for those who wanted something a bit larger; General Motors introduced the Chevelle Super Sport, the Buick Gran Sport, the Olds 442, the Camaro and the Firebird; Mopar offered up Chargers, Coronets, Challengers, Barracudas and GTXs; AMC brought forth the AMX and the Javelin. All became legendary. But by the mid-1970s, things began to change. With gas prices on the rise, customers were looking for fuel economy, not tire-burning performance. While the muscle-car era came to an end in the country’s showrooms, it lives on at Barrett-Jackson, where stunning original examples of what were initially called “America’s supercar” continue to command attention on the auction block – as evidenced by those on offer at the 2024 Scottsdale Auction, January 20-28 at WestWorld.

1967 CHEVROLET YENKO SUPER CAMARO 427/450 – NO RESERVE

Pictured above, this 1967 Chevrolet Yenko Camaro 427/450 began as one of 1,138 L78 396/375hp cars built equipped with a Muncie M21 close-ratio 4-speed manual transmission. It is finished in Deepwater Blue Poly paint with black bucket seats. Options include a tinted windshield, posi-traction rear axle with 3.73 ratio, front disc brakes, teakwood steering wheel, AM radio and Special Interior Group. It was upgraded to a Super Camaro 450 standard, including replacement of the 396ci short-block for the L72 427ci unit. Other items included a Stewart-Warner tachometer and instrument package, a fiberglass hood, hood pins and added 427 emblems. The car was verified by Yenko expert Vince Emme and documented as one of 54 original 1967 Yenko Super Camaros. Listed in the Yenko Supercar Registry, YS-725 retains the original VIN plate and hidden VIN cowl stamping. The vehicle is equipped with a non-OEM Trim Tag. Documents include the detailed Jerry MacNeish report, COPO Connection and Camaro Hi-Performance LLC Certificates of Authenticity, copies of the Yenko conversion and dealer invoices, a copy of the original shipping record, an NCRS Shipping Data report and a letter from the original owner. Additionally, original Yenko mechanic Warren Dernoshek inspected and affirmed this Yenko’s authenticity. 1965 SHELBY GT350 – NO RESERVE

This 1965 Shelby GT350 is from the limited production of 562 units for its model year, and one of the final eight crafted in 1965. It is named the “Triple Nickel” within the esteemed Shelby community, referring to its “555” Shelby serial number. Extensive documentation includes original Shelby invoices, SAAC ownership history, SAAC VIN verification, prior ownership documents, dealership order request to Shelby and other various receipts, period photos and owner correspondence. It was ordered new through Hickey Ford in Albany, NY. Under current ownership, 555 received a thorough undercarriage and suspension refurbishment and the replacement of the R-model racing apron, with a factory NOS front apron, bumper and bumper guards, reinstating the vehicle to its original stock form. Power comes from the legendary K-code 289 Hi-Po motor with high-rise aluminum manifold and finned Cobra valve covers, paired with an aluminum T10 4-speed manual transmission featuring an NOS shifter, accompanied by all the authentic Shelby components delivered from the factory. The addition of correct Craig Conley 5-spoke wheels further elevates 555’s aesthetic appeal. Even the oil pressure gauge was skillfully restored by the late Jim Cowles of Shelby Parts and Restorations. The car has 39,170 actual miles.

NICOLAS CAGE’S 1970 PLYMOUTH HEMI ‘CUDA – NO RESERVE

This 1970 Plymouth HEMI ‘Cuda is powered by a 426/425hp HEMI engine paired with a 4-speed transmission and a Super Track Pak Dana axle with 4.10

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By: Barrett-Jackson
Title: BEAST MODE: Original American Muscle Cars Epitomize Freedom, Rebellion and Pure Driving Pleasure
Sourced From: www.barrett-jackson.com/Media/Home/Reader/beast-mode-original-american-muscle-cars-epitomize-freedom-rebellion-and-pure-driving-pleasure/
Published Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2023 18:20:07 +0000

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AN ELEGANT ANOMALY: This Bugatti Chiron is Headed to the Scottsdale Auction Block with No Reserve

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AN ELEGANT ANOMALY: This Bugatti Chiron is Headed to the Scottsdale Auction Block with No Reserve

Written by Nicole Ellan James

2024 SCOTTSDALE AUCTION – 2018 BUGATTI CHIRON – NO RESERVE

Encountering a Bugatti Chiron on the streets is an exceptionally rare spectacle. This remarkably stunning automobile is so infrequently spotted that whenever it graces the road, it ignites a captivating curiosity, attracting scores of onlookers wherever it travels. This contemporary French supercar, renowned for its high-performance capabilities, pays homage to Bugatti’s rich sports-car performance by bearing the name of Louis Chiron. This legendary racing driver achieved triumph in nearly all major Grands Prix for the brand during the 1920s and 1930s.

At the core of the Chiron lies a formidable 8.0-liter W16 engine, crafted by combining two 15-degree V8s arranged side by side to create a commanding 90-degree configuration, boasting a staggering 1,500 horsepower. This marks a remarkable 50% increase compared to the original Veyron – the predecessor replaced by the Chiron – which shares a nearly identical powertrain.

Bugatti boasts remarkable acceleration figures for the Chiron, claiming it can reach 0-60 mph in  2.3 seconds and accelerate from zero to 186 mph in “less than” 13.6 seconds. At full throttle, the 4,000-pound coupe’s four turbochargers inhale an astounding 1,000 liters of air every second, and the maximum horsepower is spread over an impressive 4,000-rpm wide range of the power band – from 2,000 to 6,000 rpm. This sophisticated powerhouse achieves a top speed of 261 mph. The torque peaks at 1,180 ft/lbs, driving all four wheels through a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Elevating the Chiron from impressive to an otherworldly level is the engineering brilliance of that quad-turbo configuration, which operates in two stages. In a strategic design to mitigate lag, only two turbos engage from a standstill, with all four turbos releasing their air pressure through wastegates when the throttle is lifted. This meticulous setup ensures a seamless and responsive performance, contributing to the Chiron’s exceptional driving experience.

The Chiron employs a carbon-fiber monocoque structure, combining lightweight design with high strength. This material choice contributes to the car’s overall agility and structural integrity. Adding to its dynamic capabilities, the Chiron is equipped with an adaptive suspension system. This sophisticated system automatically adjusts to varying driving conditions, ensuring optimal performance, comfort and stability.

The Chiron’s design seamlessly integrates aerodynamics and aesthetics, striking a harmonious balance between performance and luxury. A notable feature is the titanium exhaust system with six tailpipes at the rear. Four of these terminate in a center channel positioned above the carbon-fiber diffuser. Remarkably, the outer two tailpipes divert downward, expelling air through the diffuser – a technology reminiscent of success in Formula 1 before the ban on blown diffusers. In the Chiron, this innovation utilizes the blown air to reenergize the low-pressure air at the rear of the diffuser, generating an additional layer of rear downforce. This sophisticated design not only enhances the car’s aesthetic appeal but also contributes to its overall performance dynamics.

Featuring a sleek and assertive profile, the Chiron highlights the unmistakable Bugatti design elements that play a pivotal role in crafting its iconic appearance. The defining Bugatti curve, creating a graceful circular motion on each side of the exterior, also serves as a distinctive divider within the interior.

Originating from the center console, a minimalist post adorned with four adaptable aluminum dials, the signature curve extends past the aluminum and titanium gear selector, sweeping upward to grace the ceiling. Inside, the Chiron’s cabin exudes luxury, characterized by the use of high-quality materials and meticulous craftsmanship. Complementing its opulent design, the interior is equipped with cutting-edge technology and comfort features, ensuring a premium driving experience that matches the car’s remarkable exterior allure.

The Bugatti Chiron transcends being merely a high-performance vehicle; it stands as the epitome of automotive engineering and design excellence. Serving as a testament to Bugatti’s unwavering dedication to pushing the boundaries of speed, power and luxury in a production car, the Chiron represents a pinnacle achievement in the automotive world, each exemplifying the brand’s commitment to delivering an unparalleled driving experience.

Notably, a 2018 Bugatti Chiron – one of an estimated 70 produced for its model year – will be presented at the 2024

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By: Barrett-Jackson
Title: AN ELEGANT ANOMALY: This Bugatti Chiron is Headed to the Scottsdale Auction Block with No Reserve
Sourced From: www.barrett-jackson.com/Media/Home/Reader/an-elegant-anomaly-this-bugatti-chiron-is-headed-to-the-scottsdale-auction-block-with-no-reserve/
Published Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2023 18:32:30 +0000

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2024 Honda CBR1000RR Preview

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Honda has announced several returning U.S. models for 2024, starting with the tried-and-true CBR1000RR sportbike. It will be available this March starting at $16,699 (non-ABS) and $16,999 for the ABS version.

Editor’s note: We test rode this vehicle during the 2021 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP First Ride Review and 2021 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP MC Commute Review articles and videos.

The 2024 Honda CBR1000RR in Grand Prix Red.
The 2024 Honda CBR1000RR in Grand Prix Red. (Honda/)

In recent years, the up-spec CBR1000RR-R Fireblade has received the bulk of attention, bringing Honda into line with the advancements of its competition. The standard CBR1000RR has been a steady presence in the brand’s lineup, however, as it remains a solid option for riders who want a comfortable literbike that’s equally at home on surface streets as it is on the racetrack.

The last major overhaul of the platform came in 2017 when Honda shaved a bunch of weight and added 10 more horsepower to the 1,000cc inline-four. Revisions to bodywork and the chassis also resulted in a leaner bike that was noticeably more svelte during our initial ride.

While not the most technologically sophisticated sportbike in Honda’s arsenal, the CBR1000RR does provide a number of amenities ranging from selectable torque control, ride-by-wire, a slipper clutch, and an electronic steering damper. Showa suspension is fully adjustable front and rear.

It’s also one of the most cost-approachable superbikes in the new motorcycle marketplace, nearly $2,000 less than its rivals at Yamaha and Suzuki and around $1,000 less than Kawasaki’s ZX-10R.

2024 Honda CBR1000RR Technical Specifications and Price

Price:$16,699–$16,999Engine:1,000cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled inline-four; 4 valves/cyl.Bore x Stroke:76.0 x 55.1mmCompression Ratio:13.0:1Fuel Delivery:PGM-DSFI w/ 48mm throttle bodies, Denso 12-hole injectors, ride-by-wireClutch:Wet, multiplate slipper/assistTransmission/Final Drive:6-speed/chainFrame:Twin-spar aluminumFront Suspension:43mm USD Big Piston Fork; fully adjustable; 4.7 in. travelRear Suspension:Unit Pro-Link HMAS shock, fully adjustable; 5.4 in. travelFront Brake:4-piston calipers, 320mm radial-mount full-floating discs (ABS optional)Rear Brake:250mm disc (ABS optional)Wheels, Front/Rear:17 in. / 17 in.Tires, Front/Rear:120/70-17 / 190/50-17Rake/Trail:23.0°/3.8 in.Wheelbase:55.3 in.Seat Height:32.8 in.Fuel Capacity:4.3 gal.Claimed Curb Weight:432 lb.Available:March 2024Contact:powersports.honda.com

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By: Byron Wilson
Title: 2024 Honda CBR1000RR Preview
Sourced From: www.motorcyclistonline.com/news/honda-cbr1000rr-preview/
Published Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2024 17:14:48 +0000

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