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When Datsun’s 510 came onto the scene late in 1968, it looked like Japan’s attempt at emulating the BMW 1600-2, which had debuted two years earlier. Utilizing a 1600-cc SOHC engine and a drivetrain layout similar to the BMW, the Datsun offered technical sophistication and reliability that was nearly on par with its German competitor — but at a much lower cost. It was not as quick as the BMW in stock form — and it was not as good of a drive — but its price was roughly two-thirds that of the German, making it a compelling proposition. In…
Every auction has surprising results, but the sales of these two Porsche 911S cars — on the same day, in the same tent and before many of the same bidders — provide some insight into the current state of Porsche 911S values. Let’s first take a close look at both cars. SCM Analysis 1969 Porsche 911S 2.0 This 911S, Lot 15, sold for $143,000, including buyer’s premium, at Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island, FL, auction on March 8, 2013. Some well-known shops and mechanics in Colorado had just recently completed a full restoration on this car. Gooding’s catalog made one…
As advanced as the Model J Duesenberg was upon its introduction in 1929, most of the technical advancements contained within were confined to the body and chassis. The design of the front end and fenders — as well as that of most coachbuilt bodies — still bowed toward late-1920s convention, albeit stylishly. As a result, by the mid-1930s, the Duesenberg still held mechanical prowess over virtually everything else on the road. From a design standpoint, however, it was looking rather dated. J. Herbert Newport, who had succeeded Gordon Buehrig as Duesenberg’s body designer, set out to do something about that.…
Porsche’s 911 series is the definitive sports-car family and a legend in endurance racing. Many consider the GT3 as its crowning achievement. In the tradition of the Carrera RS 2.8, the 996-based GT3, introduced in 2000, was a street-legal homologation model — a raw, track-ready car with a highly modified 3.6-liter, liquid-cooled, flat-6 engine. Whereas the Turbo and the GT2 achieved their incredible performance with turbocharging, the GT3 was a visceral, naturally aspirated monster. With 400-plus horsepower on tap, an 8,600 rpm redline, a close-ratio 6-speed gearbox and wider rear bodywork, the race-bred GT3 was the driver’s first choice. Competition…
The lifeblood of Ferrari, particularly in the early years, was competition. It is a widely held belief that the creation of road-going versions of the competition sports cars existed almost solely to support Il Commendatore’s racing effort. In many instances, engineering advances developed for battle can be traced directly to the road cars, such as the pioneering weight-balancing use of the transaxle from the 275 series GTs. Ferrari’s competition teeth were cut along with the continuous progress of the small-displacement V12 engineered by Gioacchino Colombo, the first of which was deployed in 1947 as the 125 S. A progression of…
From 1948 through 1954, the groundbreaking XK 120 established Jaguar at the forefront of sports car manufacturers with its graceful lines and impressive, race-winning performance. Late in 1954, the improved XK 140 arrived, heralding comprehensive improvements that made the original design even better. Notable upgrades included precise rack-and-pinion steering, improved brakes and engine cooling, plus enhanced cabin comfort and legroom. Subtle body updates preserved the widely acclaimed original styling elements. The most popular model in America remained the OTS (open two-seater), otherwise known as the Roadster. Of the 3,350 XK 140 Roadsters built, only 49 were sold in England. At…
The 1965 Dino 206S Speciale coupe was Enzo Ferrari’s tribute to his late son, Dino. More practically, it was a way of making the new all-alloy, Ferrari-built V6 eligible for Formula Two competition by building 500 production cars equipped with it. Given Ferrari’s limited production, Fiat used the engine in a new, sporty model that also carried the Dino name, and it would be built in larger numbers starting in 1966. The sound of the triple Weber-carbureted V6 engine was pure Ferrari, but the larger Italian automaker made several improvements to the Ferrari engine design for series production, ensuring durability…
Dear Keith: Now that I’ve purchased the SCM Volvo 1800ES and it’s on the way to my garage, I’d like to ask your opinion on a 356C sunroof coupe that’s been offered to me. I’ve taken a quick look at it, and it appears to be a really nice older restoration, holding up well. There are several relatively minor issues with the body, none of which seem to be rust-related. The engine number matches the COA, and regular and good-quality maintenance has been performed during the current owner’s 21-year stewardship. My major concern is that both the body and interior…
  The humble Volkswagen Beetle — which is actually not its official name, but few people know what a Type 1 is — created the massive compact-car market in the United States. It took the brilliant mind of Ferdinand Porsche — and high-quality labor from a rebuilding post-war West Germany — to make a compact car a success in the United States of the late 1950s and early 1960s. By opening up the compact-car market in the U.S., VW blazed the trail for all small cars — domestic and imported. While the Chevrolet Corvair was initially all but an Americanized…
This 1966 Porsche 906 sold in Paris at Bonham’s Grand Palais sale on February 7, 2013, for $732k, including buyer’s premium. At first glance, that price appears awfully favorable for the buyer. Was no one awake in the room, or is there an issue with the car? There have been enough major adjustments in the Porsche market that an overview of the sports prototype sector with our subject 906 as centerpiece might be helpful. If we accept Porsche Spyders as $3m collector cars, and Porsche 917s as $15m cars, we can see that the “lesser” plastic-bodied, tube-frame sports and sport…