Is the TR8 Lemon Due for Some Sugar?

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The last volume-produced traditional British roadster was the Triumph TR6. Even in 1969 when it was introduced, it was obsolete. Magazines such as Road & Track clamored for better, newer sports cars with modern engines, chassis and unibody construction—cars that would finally dispense with antiquated features like lever-action shocks and feeble heaters.

In early 1975, Triumph finally introduced such a car in the TR7, which would be sold alongside the TR6 for about a year. Dubbed in ads as “the Read More

The Safety Car that Didn’t Sell

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By 1973, things looked very bad indeed for the types of cars that most of us care about. Fuel shortages, insurance rates, nutty safety and bumper regulations— plus a hearty helping of general gloom and malaise all but killed performance cars. Subaru importer Malcolm Bricklin thought he could exploit a niche for a sports car that nearly anyone (including killjoy busybodies like Joan Claybrook and Ralph Nader) could feel if not good, at least less bad about. Read More

A Well-Sorted MGB is a Great Start to Collecting

Much like Morgan fans remain to this day, the MG faithful of the 1950s were committed masochists. Fans of the T-Series cars were positively aghast when the envelope-bodied MGA replaced the TF.

When the inevitable wheel of progress hit Abingdon-on-Thames once again in 1962, the faithful were horrified to find that the new MGB came with roll-up glass side windows in place of fiddly, ill-fitting side curtains. Few would have predicted in 1962 that the car would be around Read More

A Fiat or a Ferrari?

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The foibles of “production” car racing and homologation rules have given rise to some rather interesting machinery over the years. Nutty Plymouth Superbirds and road-going Ford GT40s are at one end of the spectrum, and Ferrari’s first V6 engine is at the other.

Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari envisioned the V6 as an ideal Formula 2 engine before his untimely death in 1956. But the engine didn’t come to fruition until nearly a decade later. By then, there was simply no way Read More

James Bond’s Car of the 1970s

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Some companies can lock one label into the consumer’s mind. This is especially true in the auto industry. Volvos are safe, Subarus are sensible, Saabs are odd and Lotuses are lightweights.

Lotus mastermind Colin Chapman’s philosophy seemed to consist of omitting, thinning and paring—until the car collapsed on itself—and then put back the last thing either omitted, thinned or pared and calling it well done. All this made for cars that handled well and extracted the maximum performance out of Read More

Monterey’s $2.3m Bargain

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These cars, which are at home on the road or track, are very affordable in relation to Ferrari racers from the same era

Normally my life revolves around cars that “ran when parked.” Volvo 122s with hardly any rust, Fiat 850 Spiders that are mostly complete, and even BMW 2002s that have potential to be restored. That’s the stuff of “Affordable Classics.”

But this is SCM’s Monterey issue, and only in Monterey could a $2,000,000 car (or $2,299,999) be called Read More

1982-85 Bentley Mulsanne Turbo

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After reaching its zenith in the 1920s and 1930s, the Bentley began a long, slow decline in the 1950s. By the 1970s, the once-proud marque was reduced to a badge-engineered Rolls-Royce afterthought.

Finally realizing that this was an atrocious squandering of the heritage of a storied brand, managers in Crewe decided that a few pounds of manifold pressure might restore a bit of pride and self respect to the Bentley marque. The resulting Mulsanne Turbo (its name recalling long-ago Read More

BMW M6: Still Hot After All These Years

{vsig}2010-9_2521{/vsig}For BMW enthusiasts, the E-24 generation 6-series is one of the marque’s most beloved models, introduced in 1976 to replace the outgoing 3.0 CS and CSL. In 1983, BMW unveiled the ultimate specification of the series, the M635CSi. Specially outfitted by the “M” division with the 3.4-liter DOCH six-cylinder engine of the legendary M1, this was the ultimate high-speed BMW of the decade and a performance and status icon of the 1980s. Only 1,767 examples were brought to North America, Read More

1950-1967 Volkswagen Microbus

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During the 1950s, the people charged with the task of selling imported cars were often more in tune with what the market wanted than the manufacturers.

Witness the string of successes that U.S.-based BMW and Porsche importer Max Hoffman had with the Porsche Speedster, BMW 2002 and Bavaria.

In the case of the VW Microbus, it was Dutch importer Ben Pon who conceived of a light van based on VW Type 1 (Beetle) mechanicals. Save for rare oddballs like Buckminster Read More

On a Clear Day, You Can See DeLorean

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Wealthy Type-A car guys can’t seem to resist starting their own companies (named, of course, after themselves). But for every Porsche, Lamborghini, and Ferrari, there’s a Bricklin, Tucker, and. DeLorean. John Z. DeLorean, at least, seemed to have the automotive chops to make his company a long-term survivor. He was a thoroughly unconventional GM executive, the son of immigrants, and public school educated, he was hip, handsome, and a non-conformist-all of which were the kiss of death at ultra-conservative GM. Read More

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