Without doubt, Ettore Bugatti found his feet as an internationally recognized manufacturer of high-performance motor cars in 1926. The Type 39A was his first supercharged racer that really worked and gave little if any teething trouble. The 1926-27 Grand Prix Formula demanded cars of no more than 1,500 cc, with a minimum weight of 1,320 lbs, 110 lbs less than the limit for the 2-liter Grand Prix category of 1924-25. Riding mechanics were not required and a cover was permitted Read More
To take full advantage of the “panoramic” windows, the driver was moved to the center of the car
René Panhard and Emile Levassor obtained an 1888 Daimler patent for a V-twin motor, with the idea of using it in a small car. Two prototypes were built, equipped with a front-mounted engine and a gearbox.
Levassor and his team worked on increasingly powerful engines and tested them in races. In 1896, a Read More
It’s one of the most successful rally cars ever built, wicked and unforgiving
to drive, a spaceship for the road
to drive, a spaceship for the road
Lancia was struggling when Sandro Fiorio, the company’s director of public relations, and his son Cesare, head of Lancia’s rally team, spied the Fulvia-based “Stratos” concept on the Bertone stand at the 1970 Turin Motor Show.
They immediately recognized its potential to revitalize Lancia’s competition reputation and generate some badly Read More
Delahaye had an enviable competition record, though most successes came either when the Germans didn’t show up or when they broke
Emile Delahaye built his first automobile in 1895 and in 1896 drove one of his cars to sixth place in the Paris-Marseilles-Paris race. Sporting ambition lurked in the background as his truck business was crippled by a glut of WWI surplus U.S. trucks.
Delahaye hung on, aided by a marriage of Read More
The Isabella sought to translate ’50s Detroit flash into a more compact Euro language, but it didn’t work; Americans wanted foreign cars that looked foreign
Carl Borgward entered the German auto industry as the charismatic proprietor of the Hansa Company in Bremen, Germany, in 1929, and produced individual and technically advanced vehicles between the wars.
From 1938, Hansa cars were marketed under the name of its proprietor, and in post-war years, when Read More
In 1951, Fiat’s great designer Dante Giocosa began work on a new high-performance sports car, the legendary 8V, or “Otto Vu” in Italian, a two-liter, V8-engined two-seater.
Giacosa theorized that for a car to have the power and characteristics for which he was aiming, a tubular chassis would not be stiff enough to mount the fully independent suspension, so a platform was constructed from welded sheet metal, to which was welded the coachwork paneling.
The chassis construction was contracted out Read More
Toyota’s 2000GT is widely acclaimed as the first Japanese car to be taken seriously by Western critics-the country’s first “supercar.” The model marked Japan’s rise away from dull derivative models toward the highly competitive position it enjoys today.
The 2000GT was originally penned by Albrecht Goertz (creator of the BMW 507) for Nissan, who were hungrily looking at the burgeoning American sports car market, but when accountants vetoed the car on the grounds of cost, Yamaha (who developed the engine) Read More
The $169,000 achieved in Geneva for #99 represents an 82% appreciation in 48 months
Just before the outbreak of WWII, the Maserati brothers sold their company to industrialist Adolfo Orsi. Not long after the war was over, they decided their real interests lay in racing, and together they formed OSCA-short for the rather more cumbersome Officina Specializzata Costruzione Automobili Maserati.
A variety of racing endeavors followed-including an ambitious V12 Formula One Read More
This car owes its name to Nuvolari’s heroic drive in the 1947 Mille Miglia, while its aggressive shape owes a great deal to pre-WWII aerodynamics
Italian industrialist Piero Dusio built up the Consorzio Industriale Sportivo Italia into a successful conglomerate before WWII. He was also an uncommonly good amateur racing driver and like many successful racing drivers, he dreamed of creating a car of his own.
When the war ended, super salesman Read More
Originally a bicycle manufacturer, and probably best known as a maker of fine racing motorcycles, Edoardo Bianchi built his first automobile in the early 1900s. A wide variety of models followed over the next 30 years, though by 1940 the firm was concentrating on motorcycles and commercial vehicles.
Car manufacture resumed in 1957 under Fiat auspices, Autobianchi’s debut model being the Bianchina, based on Fiat’s new 500. Positioned up market from the Fiat, the Bianchina debuted as the Trasformabile Read More