In the creative environment that coincided with the beginning of the 1970s, Maserati began work on the design of a car with high performance sporting characteristics capable of dominating the hard-fought 3-liter class of the market. In order to avoid risks the layout of the Merak, the name of a star in the constellation of Ursa Major, had more than one point in common with the company’s successful flagship, the Bora, and something beyond a simple resemblance. From its sister Read More
The XK140 was introduced in October 1954 at the London Motor Show as the successor to the XK120. The XK140 was easily distinguishable from its predecessor because of its Mk 7 type front and rear bumpers, the traditional radiator grill but with fewer slats and a chrome strip which ran along the center of the bonnet and the boot. Under the bonnet the XK140 had the traditional 6 cylinder unit of 3.4-liters with bore and stroke of 83 mm Read More
The first Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta with a 240cm wheelbase, later nicknamed SWB (for short wheelbase), was shown at the Paris Motor Show held in October 1959. It was still very much a prototype but the complete finished car was ready for the Turin and Geneva Shows held a few months later. Pininfarina was responsible for the design but the cars were made by Scaglietti. There were three versions: the SEFAC variant purely for racing with an all aluminum Read More
Having made a stunning rally debut in October 1980 by running their as-yet unhomologated Quattro as a “course car” in the Algarve Rally, when Hannu Mikkola set fastest time on 24 out of 30 stages, Audi quickly came to dominate the rallying scene with their four-wheel driven flyer. And when the rally classes were changed in 1983, Audi appeared to handle the change from Group 4 to Group B adroitly, though of course things were more complicated than they Read More
Like most manufacturers after World War II, Alfa Romeo had to rebuild factories and produce a range of cars that would be economically viable to both manufacturer and public. Already a suitable new engine existed in the 2.5-liter six-cylinder of 1939, basically an enlarged version of the previous 2.3-liter unit, which powered the 6C 2500 Sport and Super Sport chassis of the same year; it was natural, therefore, to continue with these basic models when production resumed Read More
The name of Mercedes-Benz is synonymous with the heritage of the motorcar, and the company has over the decades produced some of the finest examples of sporting machinery. Early forays into the competition world led to the production of some of the fastest touring cars of their day and an involvement with technical development that was unsurpassed. The post-war years saw the continued development associated with the Mercedes-Benz name, and, with the reintroduction of sports cars into the range, in Read More
The 275 series of road cars made its debut at the 1964 Paris Motor Show, replacing the long-standing 250 range in its various forms. The stunning new 275 GTB replaced the 250 SWB Berlinetta and 250 Lusso as a car that could be used both on road and track, while its sister car, the 275 GTS, took the place of the 250 SWB California Spyder and 250 GT convertible. Both the 275 GTB and GTS featured and Read More
Piero Dusio’s attempt to build road cars resulted in just 170 units, but each was a classic. For a short period Dusio created excitement and he left the world of the motorcar better than he found it. He deserves an honored place in history.
Many regard the Cisitalia 202 Gran Sport Berlinetta as the first modern GT car. In 1951 New York’s Museum of Modern Art declared it to be one of the eight most beautiful cars ever made Read More
When the Giulietta SZ was first announced, it was described by Sports Car World as “Zagato’s Little Jewel” and, over 30 years later, there is n reason to dispute that assessment. With 100 bhp, a five-speed gearbox, a top speed of 120 mph and 0-50 mph in 81 seconds, there was no other car in its class which could match it for performance, style and all-round capability.
Road & Track said that it went faster than it felt, a Read More
The Lancia Stratos was the first car to be designed specifically for international rallies – in which it enjoyed extraordinary success – and because 400 examples had to be built, it allowed some lucky people to buy a competition machine for the road. It was a revolutionary design of timeless beauty which was among the first of the modern “supercars.” With a top speed (in production form) of 143 mph (o-60 mph in 6.8 seconds) allied to superb handling and Read More