Imagine a modern car company tooling up to produce anew model, then stopping after a mere 92 examples were produced. That’s exactly what happened with the Alfa Romeo Quattroruote (or `4R’) Spider.
Inspired by an article in the Milan motoring magazine, “Quattroruote”, Alfa Romeo commissioned the coach-builder Zagato to clothe a contemporary Alfa chassis in coachwork that would duplicate as closely as economically feasible the classic lines of the 1930’s Alfa 1750 Gran Sport.
The result Read More
In 1963, Alfa Romeo decided that the 1,300 cc Giulietta series was due for a facelift and the 1,600 cc Giulia model was introduced. The most apparent identifying feature of the Giulia is the chromed, horizontal faux hood-scoop trim, replacing the petite vertical chrome strip of the earlier Giulietta. Alfa Romeo claimed this scoop was necessary to clear the increased height of the 1,600 cc engine. However, these larger engines are regularly retrofitted into the earlier, 1,300 cc chassis Read More
When Mercedes-Benz made their welcome return to motor racing in 1952, they did so with a stunning looking space-framed Gullwing 300SL sports racing Coupe. The results achieved that year were noteworthy, including winning both the 24 Hours Le Mans race and the grueling Carrera Panamericana, and coming in 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the Mille Miglia. At the end of the season these cars were officially retired, but in the meantime their enthusiastic New York agent was trying to persuade Read More
Imagine yourself as a fly on the wall at the headquarters of Alfa Romeo circa 1956. The conversation concerns the fate of the 1900 driveline, now that the Touring-bodied three-window (Fifth series) coupes and serial-production sedans were reaching the end of their sales viability.
Buoyed by the success of the Giulietta Sprint, and with the public clambering for more Giulietta Spiders, the conclusion the planning powers reached was predictable.
“We’ll simply replicate the Giulietta Spider, Sprint and Berlina in Read More
Back in my car repair days I remember burrowing under the hood of a Mercedes 300 SEL. We called them by their engine size so it was known as the 6.3. If memory serves, it was the water pump that I was trying to excavate from the maze of hardware and plumbing. About three hours into the job my friend Chuck ambled up, peeked into the darkness of the engine bay and said “German cars are always over-engineered.except Speedsters.”