In 1958, following the Austin-Healey 100, Donald Healey and BMC (British Motor Corporation) teamed up to introduce the little Sprite. Speed parts were soon available from tuning firms, most notably Speedwell Performance Conversions. The firm also collaborated with Frank Costin and the Williams and Pritchard coachworks to produce a number of lightweight body components, including the “Monza” bonnet and the Speedwell Sprite GT fixed-head coupe. Sprites were campaigned in the most important rallies and sports car races, with particular success Read More
The Carrera 2.7 RS has long been regarded as one of the great cars of all time and, by some, the greatest of all road-going Porsches. Their competition achievements speak for themselves, while their on-road performance remains special to this day. Even the extraordinary (for the period) 0-60 mph acceleration time of circa 5.5 seconds and mean top speed of around 150 mph give little clue to the excitement these cars can engender. By paring the weight down to 2,150 Read More
In 1957, Brian Lister built his first Jaguar-powered sports racer, with which he achieved outstanding racing victories with the brilliant one-armed driver Archie Scott Brown. During this time, Lister’s sponsor, British Petroleum, was seeking a team of large-displacement sports racing cars to rival Aston Martin and Ecurie Ecosse Jaguars, both of whom were sponsored by Esso.
Lister seemed the obvious choice, and the first production “Knobbly” Lister Jaguar, so named for its unusual but effective body shape, debuted in 1958. Read More
Recipe: Take a good 3-liter Red Label Bentley chassis, mix in a good 4½-liter engine, gearbox, and transmission and add a light body with accessories to taste. The result is a motorcar which, while still retaining a good vintage flavor, possesses a performance equaled by few other machines even of the most modern and expensive type.” (Captain J.G. Fry, The Autocar, May 14, 1943).
Captain Fry’s 3/4½ was one of several constructed by H.M. Bentley and Partners during the late Read More
By the mid 1990s, there was growing interest at Mercedes-Benz and Porsche in returning to an ultra-exclusive form of racing featuring homologated race cars in the tradition of the great Gran Turismo cars of yesteryear.
The result was the FIA GT Championship, which commenced in 1997 to great fanfare. Mercedes-Benz and AMG entered the top-level GT1 class to compete head-on with the Porsche 911 GT1 and the BMW-powered McLaren F1.
Each manufacturer was required to produce at least 25 homologated Read More
The advantages of four-wheel drive had been shown at Indianapolis in 1967, and George Bignotti sought to profit by combining it with the Ford V8 in 1968. He bought a single four-wheel-drive Lola with Ford V8 power for Al Retzlaff, to be driven by Al Unser. It was this car. In the 500, Unser qualified the 4WD Lola outside the second row in sixth position but crashed on lap 40 when a spindle broke. After being repaired in England, it Read More
The toughest post-war test for motor car and crew ever is reckoned to have been the 1970 London to Mexico World Cup Rally, upon which 96 intrepid starters-seven of them Ford factory team Escorts-embarked from Wembley Stadium on April 19.
The 16,000-mile route across mainland Europe, South, and Central America required competitors to ascend hazardous passes as high as 16,000 feet in the Andes and tackle dusty primes as long as 600 miles at required speeds of up to 93 Read More
What this is about is the pre-war Grand Prix experience in an attainable, moderately bomb-proof and reliable package
The Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Prix took its double barreled name from an ex-military major who in France was known as Antoine, in England as Tony, but in his native Venice, Italy, had been christened Antonio Lago. Major Tony Lago had spent most of his professional life in the motor industry. In the 1920s he Read More
An 87-year-old car is like an older person; you certainly don’t expect them to run and jump with the young folks, but they can be fascinating to be around
For 1922 and the following three seasons, the Automobile Club of France elected to limit engine capacity to two liters for cars competing in Grand Prix events. The 1922 race was to take place west of Strasbourg on a triangular course. Read More
If you want to have the meanest, baddest, highest-horsepower stallion allowed in the Ferrari Historic paddock, here it is
The F40 was a simple machine that, like the greatest Ferraris of the past, relied upon its engine for its performance. Suspension and layout were conventional, and there were no serious attempts to employ cutting-edge technology. The F40 was good, sound, basic design, with a superb twin-turbocharged engine, aerodynamics heavily weighted toward downforce Read More