Columns (1933)

The Lotus Esprit was built between 1976 and 2004, and a future release is forthcoming in 2014. The silver Italdesign concept that eventually became the Esprit was unveiled at the Turin Motor Show in 1972, and it was a development of a stretched Lotus Europa chassis. It was among the first of designer Giorgetto Giugiaro’s polygonal “folded paper” designs. By the close of 1980, Lotus was building three different models of Esprit, with distinct chassis designs and body molds — the S2.2, the Export S2 and the dry-sump Turbo Esprit. The Turbo Esprit had a common chassis, inheriting much of…
Today, Porsche remains the uncontested champion of more endurance races than any other manufacturer, having amassed the most outright wins at Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring. Yet in the early 1960s, Porsche remained an unconventional, small-displacement manufacturer only capable of winning class victories. At the onset of the prototype era, however, Porsche’s strategy on motorsports development was beginning to pay great dividends. Their immediate focus was to build a Porsche Le Mans winner for 1967. That year’s event guaranteed competition between Ford and Ferrari, with the ever-increasing displacement of the GT40 and P-car alike. To contend, Porsche needed more than…
The Z8 is BMW’s spiritual successor to the 1950s 507 roadster. Both have a long hood with short deck design, which creates a powerful and sporty appearance. This limited-production roadster with optional hard top is equipped with a 4.9-liter DOHC V8 as used in the M5, mated to a proper 6-speed manual gearbox and producing nearly 400 horsepower. The Z8 has electronic traction control and four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with ABS and factory alloy wheels. This example has fewer than 51,000 miles and is handsomely presented in Titanium Silver Metallic with a black leather interior. The removable hard top is…
The replacement for Ferrari’s Testarossa, the 512 TR, was introduced for the 1992 model year as a response to the launch of Lamborghini’s Diablo in 1990. The car was well acclaimed by the motoring press right from its introduction. The legendary Phil Hill wrote in Road & Track that “lurking under that bodywork is about three quarters of an F40 with all the conveniences of any modern GT.” This specific 512 TR is a late-production 1994 model that is finished in a black exterior with a black interior. It received a timing-belt service in the past year, and it has…
SCM AnalysisThis ex-Malcolm Pray Delahaye 135 roadster sold for $6.6 million with commissions at RM Auctions’ Amelia Island, FL, sale on March 8, 2014. This is a serious amount of money for a collectible car that your neighbor who “collects cars” has never heard of. However, the transaction offers three points of interest worth considering. But first, a little history: France in the 1930s possessed a number of manufacturers whose cars now inhabit the upper reaches of the collector car universe — most notably Talbot, Delahaye, Delage (owned by Delahaye subsequent to 1935), Bugatti, and Hispano-Suiza. Despite the ravages of…
  "Joe” wanted to get into the collector car hobby. After kicking a lot of tires and spending many hours on the Internet, he came across a Southern California dealer offering a car that he had always wanted — a 1962 Corvette Roadster. The car was a matching-numbers example with 48,000 miles, a 327-ci, 360-hp engine, factory fuel injection and a 4-speed. It also looked great in Tuxedo Black. He went to the dealer, test-drove the car, and thought it fit the bill perfectly. Joe didn’t want to overpay. Being no fool, he hired a well-known appraiser to value the…
When you think of sports sedans from the late 1970s, the first name that comes to mind probably isn’t the Saab 99 Turbo — unless you have past experience in one. If you do, they tend to gnaw at you like the prom queen that got away, the early Apple stock you decided not to buy or the chance you passed up to live in Europe with that girl from college. But climb into a well-loved example today, and you might be tempted to turn back the clock and go all Swedish on us. Saab started out as an aircraft…
I recently came across a photo taken just after the 1992 California Mille. It showed me in a Ferrari PF cabriolet S2, along with my grandmother, Dorel McDowell. I recall exactly how she came to be in that car. When I finished the tour, in my 1958 Giulietta Spider Veloce, one of the participants asked if I’d like to take his PF cab for a drive. I said yes, went to the family home on 20th Avenue in San Francisco, got Grandma Dorel into the car and took her for a spin. It was a typical San Francisco day, clear…
BMW 507 Chassis 70134 (Gooding & Co.) Constructed in late 1957, it is believed that this 507 was sold new to the United States through Hoffman Motors of New York. According to the research of marque experts, just 34 examples of BMW’s 507 were officially exported new to the U.S. Over the years, the 507 was a frequent participant in many BMW Vintage and Classic Car Club of America events, taking part in a variety of shows, tours, and special BMW Holidays. Most recently, the 507 made the journey from Colorado to New Mexico, where it was proudly displayed at…
Following the debut of the original 4-cylinder Austin-Healey 100 in 1952, and the subsequent change to the 6-cylinder 100-6 in 1956, the British Motor Corporation in 1959 launched the car that would become the defining model of the range: the 3000. As it had a 3-liter engine that could produce 124 horsepower, it was the most powerful “Big Healey” yet, and BMC undertook an ambitious competition program to demonstrate its prowess in circuit racing and in the grueling European road rallies. It is this very model, the two-seat 3000 Mk I, that fired the imagination of sports car enthusiasts around…