Jaguar’s new six-cylinder twin overhead camshaft engine was ready by 1948 and launched in the XK 120 sports car which took the motoring world by storm. Some 12,000 XK 120s were subsequently sold. This was succeeded in 1954 by the XK 140 and the final evolution example was the XK 150 in 1957.
This new car with major American influence had lost some of the svelte looks of its predecessors but was more luxurious; the cockpit was larger and Read More
The 1954 Paris Salon hosted the world premiere of the Ferrari 250 Gran Turismo which was to become one of the most important milestones in the history of Automobili Ferrari. The 250 GT Series was the first Ferrari standardized production touring car, and in its many guises spanned a period of almost ten years. This was the era of great expansion at Maranello and established the marque with an enviable worldwide reputation.
The 250 GT superseded the short-lived 250 Read More
During the late 1950s and early 1960s Giotto Bizzarrini was associated with a number of Italian Super Car manufacturers. After leaving Pisa University with an automobile engineering degree he joined Alfa Romeo as a chassis engineer, then to Ferrari as a test driver where his engineering prowess was duly recognized and he became head of the experimental department. One of his projects was the development of the famous 250 GTO but he then left Maranello with Chief Read More
Individuality had been a hallmark of Alfa from the earliest days and when Nicola Romeo took over the company in 1918 this became even more the case. Competition soon came to the fore; by 1929 Scuderia Ferrari had been set up to run Alfa Romeo’s racing program with Ferrari being assisted by engineer Luigi Bazzi and designer Vittorio Jano. Alfa thus became a major force in competition and successes increased due in no small part to Jano’s genius.
Jano Read More
Ferry Porsche and Karl Rabe began work on the Type 356 project in June 1947. The concept was to put a mildly tuned version of the four-cylinder Volkswagen engine and its gearbox in a tubular space frame. Volkswagen components such as suspension units, steering and brakes were used for economy and reliability.
The VW engine, mounted first ahead of the rear axle and then behind at (as in the BE), produced a paltry 25 hp in standard form but Read More
For the debut of its new MGA in 1955, MG wisely chose that year’s Le Mans 24 Hour race; after a succession of open-wheeled models there were fears of an adverse reaction to such a streamlined car, and it was felt that by showing the MGA in competition first the aerodynamic shape would be accepted as a performance essential. There had been some delays, however, in getting the go-ahead for production, MG owner BMC declining, having already agreed with Read More
The story of the Ferrari powered Fiat Dino is nowadays well known, the cars having long since achieved classic status. The Fiat Dino came about as a result of new rules imposed by the FIA upon the marques competing in the 1967 Formula Two championship, in which Ferrari was a prominent contender. These rules stipulated that all F2 engines would henceforth have to be built in 500 units at least, something Ferrari could not hope to achieve without the Read More
Combining the elegant nose of the exclusive 500 Superfast with the more rectangular styling of the one-off 330GTC Speciale show car, the 365 2+2 was much more sophisticated than the four-seater Ferrari coupes that came before it. Under the steel bodywork, as usual from the pen of Pininfarina, was an all-new chassis with unequal length wishbones and coil springs at the rear instead of the live rear axle of the 330GT 2+2. The model also pioneered the use of Read More
The first Lancia designed entirely by the Turin company’s new technical supreme, Professor Antonio Fessia, the Flaminia was the flagship of the Lancia range when launched in 1957. The initial four-door Berlina, with mold-breaking Pininfarina styling, evolved from the Florida show cars, combining the best of American trends with the ultimate in high class European engineering and good taste. Though a few early cars had drums, Lancia soon adopted the latest Dunlop disc brakes, mounted inboard at the rear, Read More
Since its introduction in the early fifties, the legendary 250 GT had only received Coupe or Berlinetta bodies. It was Boano who first introduced a Spyder in 1956. One year later, at the Geneva Motor Show, a masterly inspired Pinin Farina at the top of his art replied with a striking design, built on the long wheelbase chassis (2,600 mm) powered by the famous 3-liter V12 engine.
Three more “speciale” bodies followed before a small series of 36 cars Read More