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This week, Penske Racing's Brad Keselowski made a valiant effort to post his first NASCAR win at his "home track" -- Michigan International Speedway -- but came up just short, finishing second in Sunday, Aug. 19th's Pure Michigan 400. [8/22/2012]
The 1960 Plymouth XNR, a one-of-a-kind concept vehicle by famed Chrysler designer Virgil Exner, sold at a California classic car auction Saturday, Aug. 18, for $935,000. The final price includes a 10% fee paid to auction company RM Auctions.
The XNR, which is powered by a 260 horsepower slant six engine, reached speeds of 150 mph on Chrysler's test track, the automaker has said.
The most amazing thing about this XNR is that it has survived. In fact, it did so in one of the most dangerous places on earth: Beirut during the Lebanese civil war.
After the XNR's tour of duty as a show car was completed, Carrozzeria Ghia, the Italian coachbuilder that assembled the auto, claimed ownership. Ghia sold the XNR to someone who, in turn, sold it to the Shah of Iran.
After leaving the Shah's care, the XNR turned up in a Beirut parking garage where a Lebanese car collector found it. The car was moved several times to various hiding places throughout the city to keep it from destruction.
In 2008, the car collector Karim Edde sent the car to RM Restorations for thorough restoration work. RM Restorations is affiliated with RM Auctions,
Based on a Plymouth Valiant chassis, the XNR was built from steel, not from fiberglass, as most concept cars are. Its design was partly inspired by the Jaguar D-type, a 1950s racecar with a huge off-center vertical rudder.
The car was in surprisingly good shape, according to RM, but still needed two years of restoration work. Virgil Exner, Jr. provided restorers with his father's archive of materials related to the car. Restorers also relied on photographs from Motor Trend and Road & Track magazines, both of which had featured the XNR on their covers during its show-car days. [8/22/2012]
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