Alfa Romeo, Italy’s oldest sporting marque, has been building cars since 1910. They produced some of the greatest machinery ever to be seen pre-war, such as the beautiful 1750 Zagato roadsters, the magnificent Monzas, and the mighty P3 Grand Prix cars.
With the advent of the 1950s, Alfa Romeo was forced to rationalize its production in order to survive financially. Unable to resist the occasional indulgence, however, they still built some exceptional competition and “limited edition” high performance models.
The birth of the Triumph Stag came almost by chance after stylist Giovanni Michelotti, already responsible for the Triumph Herald, 200 saloon and TR4 models, borrowed a tired 2000 for the basis of a new show car in 1965; the only proviso was that Triumph would have the first option on the design if it approved. When the company saw the result, a striking two door, four seat convertible, it snapped it up before it went public.
The previous Read More
After World War II, with stringent restrictions imposed by the Allies, the former aircraft manufacturer Messerschmitt turned its attention to car production and put the eccentric Kabinenroller model into limited production. Messerschmitt became one of the best known “bubble car” manufacturers and produced the Kabinenroller until the early 1960s.
The idea had originally been conceived by Fritz Fend, an ex-Luftwaffe pilot, to provide inexpensive transport for disabled ex-servicemen. Manufacture started at the Messerschmitt factory in Regensburg with the first Read More
Ferrari took some time to come into the four-seat market although Aston Marin, de Tomaso, Lamborghini and Maserati had established that there was a niche for such a car. When Ferrari did decide to make a real four-seat car rather than the two-people-plus-a-mall-dog approach of the 250 GTE and 330 GT, it seems to have shaken up Pininfarina. Presented with the problem of styling a large car with a sporting pedigree, however, they pulled out all the stops.
The Read More
The Type 57 in its various forms was the mainstay of Bugatti’s production car output from 1934 until the outbreak of the war. As such it was the last road-going Bugatti and, many would say, the best. Much of the design was the work of Jean Bugatti and it shows what a great talent was lost when he was killed while testing a 57G racing car in 1939.
It also shows that, in Jean, Ettore Bugatti had a worthy Read More
Little could rival the MG Midget in the early 1930s, the combination of value for money, cheap running costs, and useful performance capturing the imagination of many sports car enthusiasts of the period. With a supercharger fitted, the MG PB had few equals in its day, and a factory-supported team known as the “Cream Crackers” were particularly successful in trials.
Although the PA and PB Midgets were both sports cars they were not racing cars, so in 1934 a Read More
This extraordinary Mercedes was acquired by The Patrick Collection from the Mercedes-Benz press office fleet, and has covered just over 16,000 carefully-maintained miles. It is one of just six examples exported to Britain of the Mercedes-Benz Evolution II out of a total production run of only 502.
Launched at the March 1990 Geneva Salon, the left-had-drive-only homologation special was an instant sell-out, even at its price of over $86,000, which was some $34,300 more than the standard 2.5 – Read More
The Tipo 58 Fiat was first introduced in 1932, very much a car for the mass market and featuring a side valve engine with three speed gearbox and fairly staid two-door saloon bodywork. It was of all-metal construction and available in Saloon, Torpedo or Spyder versions.
The little four-cylinder engine was capable of just over 50 mph and with moderate care fuel consumption in the region of 35-40 mpg was achievable. For the first time the name “Balilla” was Read More
The Tipo 166 was the first of a distinguished line of Ferrari road/racing cars and to Gioacchino Colombo must go the credit for the design of the 60-degree V12 engine. With its single overhead camshaft and hairpin valve springs and wet cylinder liners, Colombo’s engine design was to be adopted for a long line of successful competition and road-going sports cars.
The chassis was tubular, with independent front suspension and conservative leaf rear springs. The five-speed gearbox Read More
Although Ferdinand Porsche did not commence building cars until 1948, his engineering pedigree was well established, with designs ranging from the awesome Auto Union V16 Grand Prix car to the Tiger tank. After World War II, however, and fresh from serving a two year prison sentence as a result, Porsche decided in 1947 to build his own sports car. Given project number 356, by August 1948 the first production model had been completed. With aluminum fastback coachwork, pressed steel Read More