1961-1972 Volvo 1800

Enough pipe-smoking, record-keeping professors bought 1800s to assure a decent supply of well-maintained examples

In 1961, Volvo was Swedish for “stodgy,” and a sports car from these practical folks in a cold climate seems about as likely as tailfins on a reindeer. But that’s what happened-right down to the fins.
Volvo had attempted a sports car in 1953 when they contracted with Glasspar in the U.S. to build the P1900. Typical of Read More

1964-1970 Maserati Mistral

If you decide to restore a Mistral, forget the scuba gear and go find Alvin, the Titanic submersible. You will be that far under water

The cold wind that gave its name to Maserati’s 1964 Mistral spells the end of summer in the south of France. The model heralded an even colder and more inhospitable wind in the form of crippling taxes, fuel shortages, idiotic U.S. regulations, and the ignominy of ownership Read More

1972-1976 Jensen-Healey

Rust is a concern, almost as if the factory took perverse pride in building the most horribly corrosion-prone bodies

The 1970s have been called “the decade without quality control,” and alas, the Jensen-Healey was a product of that era. While it should have taken the sports car world by storm, much the same way that the Datsun 240Z swept aside mediocre competition like the MGB-GT and Triumph GT6, instead the Jensen-Healey was gone in Read More

1970-1977 Mercury Capri

With the exception of a few fake side vents and one character line too many, the Capri was handsome and looked the part of a 2/3-scale pony car

“The Sexy European” was how FoMoCo billed the Capri for its U.S. launch in 1970, as if it was peddling Sophia Loren at Lincoln-Mercury dealers rather than a sports coupe from across the pond. To potential Cougar buyers and the white shoes with matching Read More

1971-81 Alfa Romeo Spider

Two ways to view the Spica fuel injection system: “diabolical” or
“misunderstood”

Universally regarded as two of the best open sports cars of all time, Alfa Romeo’s 750-series Giulietta Spider and 101-series Giulia Spider of the late 1950s and early ’60s were a tough act to follow. To remain the perennial darling of the enthusiast press, Alfa’s new convertible would need to be nothing short of an improvement on perfection. Of Read More

1968 Triumph TR250

For parts support to be any better, Girl Scouts would have to give away
TR250 distributor caps with their cookie orders

Among all the great stories of British car industry ineptitude, the genesis of the Triumph TR250 must rank among the best.
Triumph had planned to replace the TR4A in the summer of 1967 with the car that eventually became known as the TR6. However, as legend has it, the Germans Read More

1968-76 BMW 2002

Nearly every sports car enthusiast over 50 seems to have a 2002 story.
Invariably, these end with “we drove it until the fenders rusted off”

A favorite of enthusiasts from day one, the BMW 2002 was described by David E. Davis, Jr. in Car and Driver as “the best way to get somewhere sitting down.” The 2002 is in large part the reason why BMW enjoys the reputation that it does Read More

1966-85 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe and Spider

Although the “Fix It Again, Tony” reputation of these cars will not die,
at least they’re cheap to repair

Reviewing the Fiat 124 when new, Car and Driver wrote, “The Fiat 124 Sport Coupe costs $1,400 less than an Alfa 1750 GT Veloce and $2,300 less than a Porsche 912. Within the limits of sanity it handles just as well, it has way more useful room inside, and it even has Read More

1983-87 TVR 280i

Mine had a habit of popping its pop-up headlights when going over bumps

TVR was founded by Trevor Wilkinson in the late 1940s, and has since endured more receiverships, changes in ownership, and near-liquidations than probably any other car company-Lamborghini included. Yet no matter how close to financial ruin the Blackpool, England, firm has veered, TVR has always operated as a low-volume producer of hand-built sports cars. This has resulted in some Read More

1967-1973 Mercury Cougar

The fiercest Cougar was an Eliminator fitted with blacked-out grille, side stripes, a spoiler and Ford’s 428 Cobra Jet Ram Air

It was Motor Trend’s Car of the Year in 1967, and Car Life called it a “Mustang with class.” Yet the Mercury Cougar has been mostly overlooked by collectors, and this relative of Ford’s iconic pony car hasn’t yet ascended to the heights of valuation that many other muscle cars have. Read More