By 1970, Volkswagen’s “People’s Car,” the venerable Type 1 Beetle, was long in the tooth. The company knew it was time for a successor — something cleaner than the stinky old air-cooled model, with a modern body design. The company got to work on a new project called the Type 17.
The new car used a transverse engine and front-wheel-drive layout borrowed from VW’s Audi subsidiary, and Italdesign Giugiaro provided the bodywork for an attractive compact hatchback car.
Most of Read More
A legend in its own — relatively short — lifetime, the car offered here is the first example built of the fabulous Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR roadster, an even more-exclusive, limited-edition, open-topped variant of the already super-exclusive CLK GTR coupe with which Mercedes-Benz had re-entered international sports car racing in 1997. At the time of its introduction, the CLK GTR roadster was the world’s most expensive production car, with a price tag of $1.5 million, a figure exceeded only recently by Read More
The Fast and the Furious” movie franchise took movie car chase scenes to new levels of intensity, with an array of automotive stunts that helped make it an over-the-top success. One of the star cars of “The Fast and the Furious” is the Toyota Supra driven by the late actor Paul Walker, who portrayed undercover police officer Brian O’Conner. Like any movie involving car stunts, more than one version of this car was built, including a “hero” car for close-up Read More
Almost every classic car enthusiast has owned an air-cooled Volkswagen somewhere along the line — generally very early along the line. But even though most of us soon moved on to more rarefied marques, the old rattletrap VWs with stinky exhaust heat, iffy brakes and glacial acceleration still hold a special place in our hearts — the glad memories of youth.
Introduced in 1953 and first produced for the 1955 model year, the VW Type 14 — better known as Read More
The Renault 5 Turbo is a hatchback with a high-performance engine. This French car debuted at the Brussels Motor Show in January of 1980. At this time, rally cars were climbing in popularity. The design of this car was tailored towards the rally car market, but a street version also was sold. During its four-year production run, fewer than 4,000 of these high-performance cars were manufactured.
The Renault 5 Turbo should not be confused with the Alpine Turbo or GT Read More
In the late 1960s, Nissan began development of a closed sports car to replace their popular Datsun 1600 and 2000 roadsters. Under the direction of Yutaka Katayama, the president of the Nissan Motor Corporation in the U.S. (known as “Mr. K” and the “Father of the Z-car”), renowned German designer Albrecht von Goertz was hired as a consultant on the project. He and the Nissan styling staff would develop the initial design, while Yamaha would engineer the drivetrain and build Read More
It’s hard to see Toyota as a performance brand, especially given the current state of their offerings, but for a time the staid Japanese megabrand produced some real hot rods.
The Toyota Supra started life as the performance model of the sporty Celica line. Designed to compete with the Nissan/Datsun Z-cars, the Supra was always given an overhead cam inline 6-cylinder engine. Horsepower ranged from an anemic 110 ponies in 1979 to a reasonably respectable 232 horses for the last Read More
The introduction of Group B into the World Rally Championship in 1982 was an evolution that was dictated by a general industry move from rear- to front-wheel-drive cars, and it proved revolutionary. Contenders now had three classes to choose: Group N (standard production cars), Group A (modified production cars), and the almost immediately notorious and virtually unbridled Group B (modified sports cars).
Most notably, Group B allowed Audi to compete with its still-new Quattro all-wheel-drive system, which was an obvious Read More
Stop for a moment and consider the plight of the Porsche 924. If ever there was a car that was born on the wrong side of the blanket, the 924 is it.
Coming onto the scene as a 1977 model, the 924 was Porsche’s first attempt at a conventional, water-cooled, inline 4-cylinder car. The 924 was created to replace the 914, which had suffered under the stigma of its Volkswagen heritage — the factory couldn’t even manage to put a Read More