The 1950s saw most car manufacturers reaching to sports cars to burnish their image and give a spark to their product lines.
This was especially true of European makers eager to get a bigger part of the lucrative U.S. market, where buyers were embracing a more spirited and involving driving experience — even while continuing to buy family sedans.
As a result, even Volvo — possibly the most practical carmaker on the planet — launched a limited-production two-seater to Read More
Okay, it’s March, but we all know that spring is the real start of the car collecting year. And every new year marks the time for self-improvement resolutions. Here are the top seven for the car collector.
I won’t buy a car online without seeing it myself
Hands down, the most common complaint I get from clients and readers is that they bought a car long distance and, when it arrived, it didn’t turn out to be anything like Read More
For much of its history, Chrysler was a frontrunner in building some of the most interesting and exciting high-performance cars Detroit had to offer. Foremost among them are the formidable early Hemi-powered Chrysler 300 “letter cars” of the 1950s, which, by virtue of their cost and long list of standard and optional features, were reserved for the wealthiest and most discerning buyers.
Cloaked in handsome Virgil Exner-designed bodies and carefully engineered, the 300 series offered the ultimate in American luxury Read More
By the end of the 1950s, the market for sports cars with “family accommodation” had grown sufficiently for Ferrari to contemplate the introduction of a four-seater model. Introduced in the summer of 1960, the first such Ferrari — the 250 GTE 2+2 — was based on the highly successful 250 GT. Pininfarina’s brief had been to produce a 2+2 without sacrificing the 250’s elegant good looks or sporting characteristics, and the master carrozzier succeeded brilliantly, moving the engine, gearbox, Read More
The Lancia Stratos is unquestionably the most extraordinary rally car ever produced. It is also one of the most successful, having won the World Rally Championship three times (and probably would have continued if allowed to do so).
The first prototype Stratos was a project designed by Marcello Gandini for Bertone and exhibited at Turin in 1970. It was essentially an exercise in extreme style and very impressive, with the overall height at just 37.4 inches. This strange, wedge-shaped Read More
When Porsche introduced the new 993 in 1995, it was to be the last of the great air-cooled 911s. The new coupe retained only the roof and front deck lid from the preceding 964 model.
New items included bodywork, poly-ellipsoid low-beam and variable-focus high-beam headlights, and a 6-speed transmission. A new multi-link rear suspension carried upper and lower A-arms with transverse links. Both the front and rear sub-frames were now so strong that if they were bent in a Read More
The idea of building one’s own supercar to compete with the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLaren would generally be considered ludicrous, what with the monumental strides these companies have made in automotive technology and performance over the past decades. How could one man’s vision compete with such established sporting pedigree and record-setting engineering?
From time to time, however, someone does indeed attempt such a feat and, on even rarer occasions, succeeds brilliantly. Such is the case with the Read More
The first Ford Motor Company product was called, not surprisingly, the Model A. It was powered by an opposed 2-cylinder engine that displaced 100 cubic inches and developed 8 horsepower. Built on a wheelbase of only 72 inches, it weighed roughly 1,250 pounds, depending upon the body fitted. Its light weight made the most of the engine’s 8 horsepower, and an ordinary man could cover more ground in a day with a Model A Ford than with a horse and Read More
I remember clearly when I decided to launch the Alfa Romeo Market Letter. It was 1988, and the market was beginning to heat up. I had recently left my day job as a manager of Ron Tonkin’s Gran Turismo in Portland, OR, where I sold Ferraris, Maseratis, Alfa Romeos and Lotuses.
I devoured the various market letters when they arrived. The patriarch of the clan was Gerald Roush’s Ferrari Market Letter, unique in its insistence that sellers list the Read More