Muscle Car of the Week: Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

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The other night I was flipping through channels, bored by everything I found. Frozen guys on boats catching crabs, people doing stupid human tricks on a show with “Talent” in the title, something about tattoos, and the list goes on. Then I came across an episode of Top Gear on BBC America. I stopped flipping. It’s a great show and I would have stopped regardless, but what got me was the car they were profiling that episode–Ferrari’s F12 Berlinetta.

Good god, what a vehicle!

Typically this blog is about restoring the best muscle cars of the 60’s and 70’s. But, this week we are going to take a look at tomorrow’s Muscle Car of the Week. The F12 Berlinetta is a helluva ride, or possibly an alien space craft, I’m not really sure which.

The F12 is less angular than Ferrari’s of the past. And not as bulky as former grand tourers. It’s beautiful, even by the sky high standards of the Italian automaker. What’s lurking under the hood is simply frightening, F-1 racing level nastiness. The 382 cubic inch V-12 engine boasts on unbelievable 730 bhp. The 7-speed transmission is controlled via paddles on the steering wheel. The F12 can go 0-60 in under three seconds, 0-120 in 8.5s and it has a top speed of 210 (or faster if rumors prove true.)

The F-12 was named Super Car of the Year in 2012. It is the fastest street legal Ferrari ever built and given the company’s history that is saying something.

The F-12 is pure muscle, but with a sticker price north of $300,000, we’re guessing you’ll stick to restoring your American made and checking out the dyno-runs in our garage.

Muscle Car of the Week: 1974 Pontiac Firebird Trans AM SD455

Muscle Car of the Week: 1974 Pontiac Firebird | Brauns Auto
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If you ask the purists they will tell you that the golden age of Muscle Car of the Week ended in 1971. In a way they are right. That was before emissions regulations, when seemingly everything that came off the line pinged dyno runs up to max numbers. In the following years chassis and horsepower got small and smaller. However, a few engineers sought to keep the muscle in America’s auto output. Instead of one or two engine options sports cars often had four or five, starting as low as 100bhp and in the case of Pontiac’s 1974 Firebird Trans AM SD455 up to a golden era-esque 290 bhp.

The Firebird line almost died in 1972. But, company believers fought for it and the bird continued to emblazon hoods. For all of its juice the SD455 engine was capable of a whole lot more. Compromises were made to compression, jetting, camshaft, and vacuum advance in order to meet emissions regulations.

The 1974 Pontiac Firebird Trans AM SD455 might not have the stuff of a Shelby Mustang or a fully tooled up Charger, but for its year it was a true vintage. And its not a bad muscle car restoration project either. Current market value is around $75,000.

American Muscle Car Challenge

American Muscle Car Challenge Red White and Blue hot rod
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Few things are more American than muscle cars and hot rods. Apple pie, of course. And perhaps Richard Petty. Especially since the racing legend started Richard Petty’s American Muscle Car Challenge in Las Vegas.

As if you needed another excuse to go to Vegas… Richard Petty’s American Muscle Car Challenge gives you the opportunity to drive today’s beefiest rides. Get behind the wheel of:

  • Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
  • Dodge Challenger SRT8  392
  • Shelby Mustang GT500 (That’s 662 dyno tested ponies under the hood!)

You will steer today’s finest muscle through modules that measure acceleration, braking, cornering and top speed.

Tomorrow pull your fully restored classic American muscle car out of the garage and cruise the streets. People love seeing America’s great machines prowling on America’s birthday. After the holiday book yourself a few days in Sin City and see how the new kids stack up to that beauty in your garage.