Ask any American to name an Opel product, and they’re overwhelmingly likely to name the GT — often known as the “Baby Corvette” that arrived in America in 1969.
But few could tell you that General Motors bought most of Opel in 1929 — and took complete ownership in 1931. By the end of the 1930s, Opel was the second-biggest automaker in Germany. Relations with the parent corporation were severed during the World War II years, but after 1945, Opel Read More
Here at SCM, we take some space in every issue to look at affordable classics — great cars that you can get into without emptying your wallet. Affordable classics are great because they’re far more engaging than the average new grocery-getter, and you can drive them without worrying yourself to death about miles, damage and insane repair bills.
But here’s one true fact: Affordable classics don’t always stay affordable. Whether this is a good or bad thing mainly depends on Read More
The Fiat X1/9 has been all but forgotten in the 40 years since it was introduced to North American markets. Most collectors just ignore the little mid-engine, two-seater convertible. Many see the car as Fiat’s underpowered and somewhat half-hearted effort to hold onto the American market — and really, who wouldn’t rather have a Fiat 124 Spider of the same vintage, all things being equal?
On the other hand, autocrossers, track-day addicts and those who just wanted an agile sports Read More
The 2002 Turbo upped the game again. Engine designer Alex von Falkenhausen eschewed the option of a larger engine shoehorned into the lightweight 2002 and instead developed the successful Group Five turbocharging idea for a fast road car. By using a KKK turbo coupled to the tii Kugelfischer fuel injection, he created a 170-hp engine that offered Porsche 911-beating performance: 0–60 mph in 7 seconds, with a top speed of 131 mph.” — Octane magazine
Produced for the 1973/74 season Read More
The 928 occupies a peculiar place in Porsche history. Conceived as a replacement for the venerable 911, the factory soon discovered that their customers would never prize a front-engined, water-cooled alternative — even if it did make more power than the company’s bread-and-butter sports car.
Maybe the 928, with its upward-staring headlights, was too strange-looking to appeal to Porsche buyers. This is really an accomplishment in itself, given the unique designs common to the marque. Maybe it was obvious that, Read More
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 Read More
The Datsun roadster, lovingly dubbed “the Fairlady” in its Japanese home market, was built from 1963 to 1970. Although legend has it that it was designed as a copy of the MGB, in actual fact the Datsun model was launched several months prior to the MGB and therefore, any design resemblance is happenstance. Nevertheless, the car’s main competitors were considered to be the offerings of MG, Triumph and Fiat.
The Datsun roadster was extremely popular, with over 40,000 being built Read More
In 1979, the modest Renault Sport division, responsible for the R5 Turbo rally program led by engineers François Bernard and Michel Têtu, only had the Group 5 prototype that had appeared on the Tour of Italy, the famous “Black” R5, assembled from specific Renault and Alpine parts.
Gérard Larrousse and his team had to wait for 400 examples of the production series to be built for homologation in Group 4 that would allow the R5 Turbo to compete in major Read More
It’s almost an axiom of the automotive world that an unloved make or model can gain respectability over time. The reasons for this phenomenon are many —changing tastes and fashions can transform a formerly ugly duckling, or advancing technology and engineering may reveal that a particular car was ahead of its time. But mostly, when all the models around a particular car have appreciated enough, they’ll bring the less-loved units along with them — to an extent, anyway.
That may Read More
One of the most influential designs of recent decades, the Audi Quattro brought four-wheel drive into the motoring mainstream. Introduced in 1980, the Quattro was based on the outwardly similar coupe’s body shell but used a different floor pan to accommodate its four-wheel-drive transmission and independent rear suspension.
Phenomenally fast and sure-footed on the road, the Quattro excelled in international rallying, winning the Manufacturers Championship for Audi in 1982 and 1984 and the Drivers Championship in ’83 and ’84, but Read More