Columns (1960)

The highlight of the 1971 Geneva Salon was undoubtedly the sensational new Maserati Bora. With the Bora’s introduction, the great Modenese manufacturer followed other supercar constructors in going mid-engined, while at the same time abandoning its traditional tubular chassis technology in favor of unitary construction. Named after an Adriatic wind, the Bora was the work of Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Ital Design, at least as far as its bodyshell was concerned. The mid-mounted engine was Maserati’s familiar 4-cam V8 in 4.7-liter form, the 5-speed transaxle came from ZF and the all-independent double-wishbone suspension was penned by Giulio Alfieri, co-designer of the legendary…
 Always designed with strength, mechanical simplicity and durability in mind, Land Rovers have often been the vehicles of choice for individuals looking to take a trip on the road less traveled. Over its 65-year history, the company built up a well-respected name by manufacturing the finest off-road vehicles money could buy for both individual and commercial use. As such, they are transport for the armed forces of numerous countries across the globe. They are rugged, robust and reliable, and troops can always trust their Land Rovers to help them complete their mission with zero mechanical issues. This 1969 Series IIA…
 There’s no question that America’s love affair with the car has changed dramatically. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal regularly report on the decline of numbers of driver’s licenses among young people, of fewer miles being driven and declining sales figures of new cars. This lack of interest in driving is even more pronounced in Europe, where tight-knit cities and excellent train systems make having your own vehicle increasingly irrelevant — and expensive, due in part to high taxes on gasoline there. One option among many I used to think cars were the solution to our transportation and…
Since a 2001 Porsche Boxster S resides in the “Legal Files” garage, this letter from noted Porsche authority Pete Zimmermann caught my attention: Dear Legal Files: It appears that Porsche has a problem. A really big problem. All because of a bearing, to be exact, an IMS (Intermediate Shaft) bearing. That bearing is an internal engine part, and it fails. Repair cost can range between $3,000 and $20,000-plus. Unlike past engineering mistakes, Porsche ignored the IMS bearing problem for far too long. Too many engines have failed, or cost owners dearly. Porsche did eventually acknowledge the problem, but not before…
Although enthusiasts may argue over the true definition of “classic” as applied to automobiles, perhaps we can all agree on one criterion: If at some point in the car’s lifetime it stops depreciating — its market price stops declining — and the price then levels off and begins to rise, then the market has just declared it a classic. If the price continues to drop, then it’s just another used car. The Mercedes-Benz 500SL roadster, introduced in 1990 on the R129 chassis and produced for more than 11 years (with its name changed to SL500 in 1994), is among the…
 This month I’m going to write the Race Profile a little differently, because we’re looking at two Alfa Romeo T 33 racing cars that, although both are T 33s, in fact share little more than the lineage and the manufacturer’s logo. So it seems most useful to dispense with the customary catalog introduction and instead focus on an overview of this long-running series of charismatic — but not always successful — sports racing cars. It makes for a great story. SCM AnalysisThe whole T 33 saga started in 1966. Alfa Romeo had been riding high for a number of years,…
The need for a production-based engine for Formula 2 led to the introduction of a “junior” Ferrari — the Dino 206 GT — at the Turin Motor Show in 1967. Building on experience gained with its Dino 206S sports racer, Ferrari retained the racer’s mid-engined layout for the road car but installed the power unit transversely rather than longitudinally. A compact, aluminum-bodied coupe of striking appearance, the Pininfarina-styled Dino — named after Enzo Ferrari’s late son Alfredino Ferrari — was powered by a 2.0-liter, 4-cam V6 with an in-unit 5-speed transaxle. The engine’s 180 horsepower propelled the lightweight, aerodynamically efficient…

1970 Lotus Europa S2

Written by January 2014
This 1970 Lotus Europa S2 has a 1,565-cc 4-cylinder engine with 4-speed manual transmission, new chrome bumpers, tires and Panasport wheels. Runs and drives very nicely. The beautiful hand-laid fiberglass body was treated to recent refinish in Lotus Yellow. Upgrades include tuned exhaust, wheels and tires. One of 1,529 cars built for the 1970 model year. SCM AnalysisThis car, Lot 70, sold for $17,600, including buyer’s premium, at Barrett-Jackson’s Las Vegas sale on September 26, 2013. If you look up “acquired taste” in an English phrase book, there’s probably a picture of a Lotus Europa there to illustrate the concept.…
  One of the most exciting and exclusive off-road vehicles ever conceived, the Lamborghini LM002 resulted from the marriage of the Countach QV supercar’s 5.2-liter V12 to a functionally — some would say brutally — styled 4x4, the union resulting in scintillating performance and a top speed in the region of 200 km/h (124 mph). This state-of-the-art engine drove through a 5-speed ZF heavy-duty transmission and two-speed reduction gearbox that offered a choice of 10 speeds and two- or four-wheel drive. Mounted on a tubular steel chassis, the distinctive 5-door body was handmade in fiberglass (wings, bonnet, roof) and aluminum…
  What is it with the Jaguar Mark 2, the automobile that created the sports sedan niche in the automotive marketplace? This car turns heads, is even more comfortable and luxurious inside than its exterior appearance would suggest, has better performance than most of the sports roadsters of the period, and it is unquestionably iconic, recognized by anyone with any interest in classic cars. Nevertheless, the prices published in all the classic-car price guides tag it with a value that wouldn’t buy a complete and running Austin-Healey. What’s more, quoted prices haven’t budged in years. How can that be? Speaking…