The late 1960s marked a turning point for Colin Chapman and his Lotus Company; the car racing manufacturing business had grown dramatically since he raced his Lotus Mk II for the first time in Silverstone in 1950.
Typically light and simple, the Lotus 49 of 1967, with its new Cosworth Ford DFV unit, was campaigned with great success by F1 icons Jim Clark and Graham Hill. But it was outshined by the triumphant wedge-shaped Lotus 72 of 1970, which, in Read More
The Diablo was introduced in 1991 under Lamborghini’s brief period of Chrysler ownership, preserving but refining its layout, smoothing out the body’s humps and bumps and improving occupant accommodations. In the middle of the ’90s, Lamborghini built 31 Diablos prepared for use on the racetrack. The race version, known as the SV-R (for Sport Veloce, Race), was for competition in the new one-marque Lamborghini Diablo Supertrophy series. Customers could purchase an SV-R along with a season of racing. Lamborghini Read More
When the Shah of Persia came to Maserati in 1958 looking for a unique and distinctive gran turismo, Maserati included a two-page description of the sports-racer 450S in the information he received. The 3500 GT, then entering production, was not exclusive enough for Shah Reza Pahlavi, whose garages housed some of the world’s finest cars, but the 450S caught his attention and Maserati bravely undertook the creation of the most powerful, exclusive and unique gran turismo ever contemplated, the Read More
As BMW’s Web site proclaims: “The Z8 is the stuff that dreams are made of: an engine that is nothing less than a work of art, encased in a brilliantly designed aluminum spaceframe and open to the heavens. The Z8 is a two-seater sports car in the tradition of the legendary BMW cars of the 20th century. It’s a classic based on the essential principles of car design, made with the best engineering on earth and the finest technology Read More
In theory, the marriage of a Ferrari drive-train with an inexpensive Fiat body should have resulted in an affordable sports car with sparkling performance. Over the years, though, the initial promise of the Fiat Dino has simply not been kept. The Ferrari engine has proven expensive to maintain and the Fiat bodies have disintegrated.
By now, most Fiat Dino Spiders have been through the same wringer, or cycle, that 246 Dinos went through. In the late ’70s and early Read More
Left-hand drive chassis number 06470 was delivered new to main agents Tayre Ferrari in Madrid in October 1974 and sold to an American citizen, William Kemmerer, its first owner. The latter was then serving with the USAF and brought the Dino back to the US from Spain when his tour of duty was completed. Ferrari Market Letter records that the car was serviced by Algar Ferrari in Philadelphia in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The Motorcar Gallery of Fort Read More
Should the Harvard Business School need yet another case study in how a great idea can go counter-clockwise down a toilet if not executed properly, please have them refer to the launch/introduction/sale of the 1991 Lotus Elan Turbo SE in the US.
Introduced during the same twelve-month period as the Miata, Geo Metro convertible and Capri droptop, the Elan was simply ignored by the American public. It was just another small sports car (with the Isuzu name staring Read More
Light steering, reasonable acceleration and braking, a delightful gearbox and above-average build quality have led the BMW 2002 to cult car status. With its cohorts, the Austin Mini-Cooper and the Lotus Cortina, these classic cars reinvented the simple box as automotive performance art. In BMW’s case, the 2002 probably saved this now Bavarian powerhouse from automotive extinction. As David E. Davis wrote in April of 1968, “To my way of thinking, the 2002 is one of modern civilization’s all-time Read More
Limited volume manufacturers such as Lotus occasionally have monumental turning points. The introduction of the Turbo Esprit in 1983 suddenly provided Lotus enthusiasts with the opportunity to drive a car that was faster than a scalded cat, still had the proverbial glued-to-the-road Lotus handling and was actually reliable.
For $47,984 you could own a car with the ability to sprint from 0-60 in 6.6 seconds, its 2.2-litre, 4 cylinder, dohc and twin Dell’Orto-carbed motor producing 210 bbp. The Bosch Read More