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In 1967, Ferrari began developing a more powerful 4-cam V12 Berlinetta, surpassing the successful 275 GTB/4. This new model needed to comply with emerging US federal regulations, requiring extensive development time. The first prototype appeared in winter 1967, featuring a design hinting at the final version but with a front...
After the successful launch of the new 300-series sedans and the groundbreaking 300SL sports car, Mercedes-Benz set its sights on creating an affordable and stylish sports car for the masses. Enter the 190SL, introduced in 1954. This sleek two-seater was built on a shortened and strengthened version of the Ponton...
In the 1970s, Lamborghini sought to expand their offerings beyond V12 beasts. Their answer: the Urraco, a smaller, more affordable model aimed directly at Ferrari’s Dino 308 and Porsche’s 911. While retaining the basic layout of the iconic Miura, the Urraco traded the massive V12 for a more manageable 2.5-liter...
Only 100 examples of the 8-Litre Bentley were produced before the original Bentley company went bankrupt. If the company had been in better financial health, the story might have been different. Priced at £1,850, the 8-Litre Bentley directly competed with the Rolls-Royce Phantom II and boasted superior performance. The contemporary...
The Ferrari Mondial 8, the Prancing Horse’s first attempt at a global grand tourer, took the 3.0-liter V8 engine and chassis of the 308GT4 and stretched them for more space. It retained the five-speed transaxle and independent suspension for a comfortable yet sporty ride. While some found it less aggressive...
The Delage D8 stood alone among French cars. Its elegance and engineering brilliance rivaled the mighty 32CV Hispano-Suiza. Built in Delage’s state-of-the-art Courbevoie factory, the D8 was a testament to the company’s commitment to quality. Founded in 1905, Delage began with a humble single-cylinder car. But their vision for innovation...
In 1934, the Bugatti Type 57 roared onto the scene, marking a turning point under Jean Bugatti’s leadership. It was the first all-new design under Jean Bugatti’s leadership, showcasing his innovative spirit. The car boasted a powerful eight-cylinder engine with a unique camshaft design and a first-for-Bugatti transmission fixed directly...
Packard, renowned for its unwavering quality, reigned supreme among American luxury cars before World War II. However, the industry was undergoing a rapid shift. Consumer tastes turned towards quieter, smoother rides, with lighter steering and improved brakes. Wheels shrank from stately 20 inches to 17 inches, and fenders gained skirting...
Chrysler’s 300 “letter series” defied expectations. These luxurious cars, built from 1955 to 1965, brought muscle and style to a bygone era. Each year received a unique letter, influencing the rise of muscle cars. The legend began with the 1955 C-300, packing a monstrous 300-horsepower Hemi V8 and dominating NASCAR....
In 1960, Dodge shifted gears, stepping away from its mid-range position and into the competitive world of economy cars. Their target? Ford, Chevrolet, and even their own entry-level brand, Plymouth. But Dodge’s “economy” wasn’t synonymous with stripped-down or sluggish. The new Dart offered a range of trim levels and a...
In 1953, Packard unveiled the ultra-luxurious Caribbean Convertible. Inspired by the “Pan American” show cars, it aimed to compete with the Cadillac Eldorado. Built on a long, independent-suspension chassis, it housed a powerful 327ci straight-eight engine. Only 1150 Caribbeans were built in 1953-54 before a dramatic redesign. The 1955-56 models...
Born in 1959 Turin, Italy, Intermeccanica started by tinkering with European cars. But founder Frank Reisner craved more. He envisioned American muscle in an Italian suit, leading him to import V8s for his custom chassis. These early creations, the Apollo GTs, laid the groundwork for the legendary Italia. Arriving in...
The Delahaye Type135, launched in 1935, marked a turning point for the brand. This sporty car boasted a powerful 3.2-liter engine and innovative features like independent front suspension. It quickly gained fame on the racing circuit, achieving podium finishes and winning prestigious races like Le Mans. Delahaye continued to refine...
In the mid-1960s, Ferrari sought a 2.0-litre production engine for Formula 2, leading to the creation of the mid-engined Dino. To meet the daunting demand of producing 500 units annually for homologation, Ferrari collaborated with FIAT. This partnership resulted in FIAT producing the Dino’s four-cam V6 engine, spawning a separate...
The Bentley Continental, introduced in 1952, redefined high-speed luxury. Built on the R-Type chassis with a lighter aluminum body, the Continental prioritized weight reduction for maximum performance. Unlike the standard steel R-Type, the Continental boasted a luxurious hand-built body, most notably the iconic wind tunnel-developed fastback design. Power came from...
The Maserati Sebring, launched in 1962, was a luxurious 2+2 coupe based on the successful 3500GT. It marked Maserati’s shift from racing to focus on road cars due to financial difficulties. The 3500GT, designed by Giulio Alfieri, had a powerful engine and impressive handling derived from Maserati’s racing experience. Several...
Ferruccio Lamborghini’s inaugural production vehicle, the Touring-styled 350 GT, made its debut at the 1964 Geneva Motor Show. Crafted by Italy’s esteemed automotive engineers, it boasted a magnificent 3.5-liter, four-cam V12 engine designed by Giotto Bizzarrini and housed within a chassis conceived by Gianpaolo Dallara. With its four camshafts and...
In 1961, Jaguar unveiled the E-Type (known as the XKE in the USA) in its 3.8-liter iteration, causing a sensation with its timeless design and remarkable 150mph top speed. Beyond its eye-catching exterior and impressive performance, the E-Type boasted advanced engineering beneath its surface. Drawing inspiration from the racing D-Type,...
Although Ferdinand Porsche founded his automotive design consultancy in the early 1930s, his name wasn’t associated with a car until 1949, when it adorned one of history’s greatest sports cars: the Porsche 356. Following the original 356 coupé, a cabriolet quickly followed, and in 1952, 15 roadsters were crafted, spurred...
The Mercedes-Benz 540 K, alongside its predecessor the 500 K, stood as one of the most remarkable production models of the 1930s from the Stuttgart firm. Evolving from the 500 K, it shared its independently suspended chassis and boasted a 5.4-liter supercharged straight-eight engine. Spearheaded by ex-racing driver Max Sailer,...
The BMW 328 wasn’t just a top-tier sports car for enthusiasts; it dominated the 2-liter sports car racing scene across Europe from 1936 to 1940. Owning anything other than a 328 during this period likely meant little chance of victory. With 131 recorded wins, 45 gold medals, and numerous podium...
Debuting at the 1968 Geneva Salon, the Islero evolved from the 400 GT 2+2, itself a descendant of Lamborghini’s first production vehicle, the 1964 Touring-styled 350 GT. Designed by esteemed engineers Giotto Bizzarrini, Gian Paolo Dallara, and Paolo Stanzani, the 350 GT boasted a magnificent 3.5-liter four-cam V12 engine and...
The Maserati 5000GT, a car fit for royalty, originated from a direct request by the Shah of Iran, seeking a potent and exclusive GT vehicle based on the four-cam V-8 engine of the 450S sports racer. Promised within four months, the initial model was to be crafted by Touring of...
After influential roles at Alfa Romeo and Ferrari, where he spearheaded the creation of the iconic 250 GTO, Giotto Bizzarrini embarked on an independent path in 1962. He earned acclaim for his designs at Lamborghini, crafting their potent V12, and at Iso, where he collaborated on the Rivolta before launching...
Between 1951 and 1952, the Ferrari 212 left an indelible mark on the racing scene and the automotive market, with approximately 110 individual chassis finding their way into the hands of eager clients. This versatile model boasted a diverse array of body styles, ranging from lightweight spiders and coupés to...
In 1937, the Maserati brothers relinquished their stake to the Orsi Group, paving the path for Officine Specializzate per la Costruzione Automobili Fratelli Maserati, or OSCA. Driven by a passion for racing, they sought to create bespoke competition cars, distancing themselves from the burgeoning road car industry. OSCAs soared in...
The DeSoto, distinct from its short-lived Edwardian predecessor, debuted in 1929 under Chrysler Corporation’s umbrella, aiming to fill the gap between upscale Chrysler and the new Plymouth. Despite an impressive launch with record-breaking sales lasting three decades, DeSoto struggled amidst Chrysler’s efforts to streamline its brands, overshadowed by Dodge’s affordability...
Anthony Lago’s mechanical ingenuity breathed new life into Talbot, revitalizing its presence on circuits and redefining its image. The Talbot T26 GS claimed victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1950, signaling a resurgence for the marque. Concurrently, Lago adapted racing models for civilian use. The GSL, designed by...
Cliff Davis’s successful Tojeiro sports racer led AC Cars to mass-produce the design in 1954, naming it the Ace. Retaining the elegant Ferrari 166-inspired barchetta bodywork and John Tojeiro’s chassis, it featured AC’s 2-liter six-cylinder engine, initially delivering 80bhp. Later, the Bristol 2-liter six-cylinder engine, renowned for its superior performance,...
Lancia’s Aurelia B10 berlina, unveiled at the 1950 Turin Motor Show, marked the brand’s post-war return. Despite its unremarkable exterior, it pioneered groundbreaking technology, evolving through six series over eight years to become the archetype of modern Gran Turismo cars. Led by Vittorio Jano and Francesco de Virgilio, the Aurelia...
In the mid-1950s, Rolls-Royce embraced series production with the Silver Cloud series to stay competitive. The Silver Cloud Standard Steel Saloon, designed by J.P. Blatchley, modernized the classic Silver Dawn. Its factory body became immensely popular, remaining virtually unchanged for over a decade. Despite waning demand, Rolls-Royce engaged both external...
The TR4, introduced in 1961, marked the initial shift in TR’s evolution from a rugged, straightforward sports car to a more refined model. Designed by Giovanni Michelotti, the TR4 boasted a modern bodyshell that updated its styling, complemented by numerous chassis enhancements. Key improvements included rack-and-pinion steering, widened front and...
In 1958, Aston Martin debuted the DB4, initiating a prestigious lineage culminating in the DB6, produced from 1965 to 1969. General manager John Wyer’s pivotal decision to enlist Italian styling expertise from Touring of Milan rather than relying solely on in-house design significantly contributed to the DB4’s acclaim. The foundational...
In March 1958, MG’s Abingdon factory began production of the Sprite, a sports car designed by Donald Healey with the aim of democratizing sports car motoring. The Sprite’s unitary construction bodyshell boasted a distinctive rearward-hinging combined bonnet and wings, crowned by two iconic ‘frog eye’ headlamps, instantly earning it a...
Facel, a French luxury car manufacturer, left an indelible mark with its exclusive line of vehicles, creating approximately 2,900 cars renowned for their luxury, speed, and bespoke craftsmanship. Among them, the Facel Vega HK500 stood out, commanding prices that are on the Rolls-Royce territory and attracting a clientele of elite...
The 1970 Challenger marked Dodge’s late yet thrilling entry into the muscle car arena, spurred by the success of the Ford Mustang’s debut in 1964, appealing particularly to younger demographics. Priced slightly higher than its Plymouth Barracuda counterpart, which had already established its presence akin to the Mustang, the Challenger...
Introduced in 1965 as Plymouth’s premier model in the mid-size Belvedere lineup, the Satellite debuted with Chrysler’s renowned ‘Hemi’ 426ci (7.0-liter) V8 engine in 1966. Adding approximately $1,000 to the base price, this ‘Street Hemi’ engine purportedly generated 425bhp at 5,000rpm and 490lb/ft of torque at 4,000 revs, though these...
By the mid-1960s, Ferrari responded to market demands with half of its production featuring four seats. Following the success of the 1960 250 GTE, Ferrari unveiled the 330 GT 2+2 in January 1964. With a longer steel tube chassis compared to its predecessor, the 330 boasted independent front suspension and...
In the sea of somber pre-war British saloons, the Lagonda LG45 Rapide emerged as a stunning anomaly, its sleek contours, squared radiator, and distinctive exterior features setting it apart. Crafted by the visionary Frank Feeley, who later shaped the iconic Aston Martin DB2, the Rapide exuded boldness and elegance, capturing...