If ever there was an auto manufacturer to take lessons learned from racing and apply them to their street cars, it was Jaguar. The legendary D-type was a formidable competitor on the track and Jaguar included all the D’s best traits when it debuted the E-type in 1961.
Arguably the most well recognized sports car of its era, the E-type had a perfect combination of curvaceous lines, high performance and affordable price. This winning combination helped establish it as Read More
Other than the 1800/2000 roadsters, the TR2 was the first, true postwar Triumph sports car. It was superceded in 1955 by the TR3, which was simply an evolution of the TR2, with the most important additions being a horsepower increase to 90 bhp, a new grille, and front disc brakes-a first for an affordable sports car.
The arrival of the TR4 signaled the end of one era and the beginning of another. A completely new body featured wind-up windows, Read More
Call it the poor man’s Cobra; you wouldn’t be challenged in many quarters. It had an English body and chassis, and was originally produced to have a relatively anemic four-cylinder engine. The hybrid was powered first by a 260-c.i. Ford V8 and then for a short time by the Ford 289. And the original prototype was put together by ol’ Carroll hisself at Shelby America. Meet the Sunbeam Tiger.
Unlike the Cobra, the Tiger was assembled in Britain by Read More
Jaguar’s magnificent legend was enhanced at Le Mans during the 1950s, where their initial C-type specialized roadsters first won the 24 Hour race in both 1951 and 1953. For 1954 a far more sophisticated sports racing car was developed, which became known as the “D-type.” Entered at Le Mans as factory team cars in 1954, the first D-types were only narrowly beaten by a much larger-engined Ferrari V12. Jaguar quickly got their revenge a few weeks later when the Read More
If it hadn’t been for the success of the Mini-Cooper S as driven by Paddy Hopkirk in the Monte Carlo Rally and similar challenging long-distance races in the mid-’60s, the Mini probably never would have achieved the worldwide recognition it has enjoyed. And there certainly never would have been a BMW Mini in showrooms in 2002. With the release of the new model, the originals are enjoying a renaissance of interest in the classic car marketplace.
The Austin/Morris Mini, Read More
In the mid-’50s, as the costs of Austin-Healeys, Triumphs, and MGs began to increase with each new model year, Donald Healey saw a niche opening up for a car that would be fun to drive, inexpensive to own, and “small enough to store in a chap’s motorcycle shed.” From that inspiration was born the Austin-Healey Sprite, introduced in 1958.
In its first “cheap and cheerful” form, it used simple body panels, had no outside trunk lid and was powered (if Read More
At the Monterey auctions this year, roadster-bodied Series I Jaguar E-types that were brilliantly restored were selling for $75,000 to $100,000. Yet at the same auction, a Series I E-type coupe in similar condition sold for less than $30,000. For the motoring enthusiast, as opposed to the investor, this anomaly is one of the great bargains in the marketplace.
In 1961, when Sir William Lyons introduced the replacement for the long-in-the-tooth XK 150, the E-type coupe was the Read More
The Triumph TR3 may be the last real bargain among English sports cars. For reasons Triumph lovers can’t understand but don’t complain much about, these cars never caught the tide that swelled prices of Austin-Healeys and Jaguars. Nevertheless, the TR3 offers all the quirky touches so dear to an Anglophile’s heart, is capable of hearty performance on secondary roads and interstate speed when necessary, and attracts a large and loyal following of enthusiastic owners.
The prototype Triumph was introduced Read More
The introduction of the MGC is a tribute to how royally confused British Motor Holdings had become by the mid-’60s. The Austin-Healey, introduced in 1952, was getting long in the tooth by 1964, even with its new convertible top and roll-up side windows. Marketing managers also recognized that there was a slot in the market for a car that would be faster than the MGB, but with the same comforts. In typical fashion, the company ended up with the Read More
Born out of desperation and existing in chaos, it is surprising that the Jensen-Healey and Jensen GT came into being at all. That today, thirty years later, they can be inexpensive and thoroughly enjoyable cars to own and drive is nothing short of amazing. And yet they are. If the original Lotus engine is in good shape, the body sound, and the suspension has benefited from a few judicious tweaks, the Jensen-Healey roadster is reliable and comfortable for long-distance Read More