If one bought cars by the pound, Jensen Interceptors would be the best value in the marketplace. Produced in Great Britain during the death throes of the Jensen company and following the time-honored traditions of British companies installing big American engines into Italian-designed bodies, these cars are large, heavy and dirt-cheap. With space for a golf foursome, complete with bags, and sporting a Chrysler V8, the car was huge by contemporary English standards. Aluminum and fiberglass minimized the weight, Read More
The Avanti was an automotive Hail Mary, a last-ditch effort to bring excitement and warm bodies to Studebaker showrooms. In 1961 Studebaker president Sherwood Egbert made the decision to build a sports car-and to do it as fast as possible. He called upon one of the best-known industrial designers in the world, Raymond Loewy, who assembled a group of talented designers in Palm Springs, California. The team produced the basic Avanti design in just a few weeks.
The Read More
Veterans of the ’60s remember the Dart for plenty of reasons, most of them related to its economy-car status. The 225-c.i. “slant six” motor, named for its pronounced lean to the port side of the car, was known as the motor that thrived on abuse-it never seemed to need any attention to keep it running. The slant-six Darts were practical cars owned by practical people and used as reliable, affordable transportation.
The Dart jumped into the muscle car race Read More
The least expensive car listed in SCM’s Price Guide is the Fiat X1/9. The scrap value of its aluminum bumpers alone might be almost equal to the price of the whole car.
Introduced in 1974, its Bertone styling was revolutionary at the time. Nowadays, however, people often mistake its straight lines, which taper to a point at the nose, for those of a Triumph TR7-not exactly a compliment. From 1974 to 1982, when they withdrew from the US market, Read More
Call it the poor man’s Cobra; you wouldn’t be challenged in many quarters. It had an English body and chassis, and was originally produced to have a relatively anemic four-cylinder engine. The hybrid was powered first by a 260-c.i. Ford V8 and then for a short time by the Ford 289. And the original prototype was put together by ol’ Carroll hisself at Shelby America. Meet the Sunbeam Tiger.
Unlike the Cobra, the Tiger was assembled in Britain by Read More
Pontiac’s Tempest went through a major transition in 1964. No longer a shirttail relative of the Chevrolet Corvair, it was fattened up and marketed as a family car. The “sporty” LeMans model featured standard bucket seats and unique trim moldings, but had the same engine combinations as all other Tempests.
To enhance their image, the product development folks at Pontiac Motor Division wanted to install the 389-c.i. V8 from their full-size cars into the LeMans. However, GM had a Read More
In 1973 Ferrari replaced the Dino 246 GT V6 with the Dino 308 GT4 V8. Unusually, they did not choose Pininfarina to style the car, instead opting for Bertone, where a young Marcello Gandini did the actual design. In typical Ferrari practice, construction was done at the Scaglietti works. Oddly, Ferrari asked Bertone to make the car a 2+2, as they felt this was one area the Porsche 911 had held an advantage over the 246 GT. When it Read More
If you are looking for a practical roadster with style, fine handling, comfort, reliability and high build quality, the Mercedes-Benz 380SL is the answer. For less than $15,000, nothing touches it in terms of an overall package.
The 380SL is part of the fourth generation of the Mercedes-Benz SLs. Designated the type R107 chassis, it began production in 1971 and was completely different from the 230, 250 and 280SLs (type R113) that it replaced.
The 1981 380SL Read More
If it hadn’t been for the success of the Mini-Cooper S as driven by Paddy Hopkirk in the Monte Carlo Rally and similar challenging long-distance races in the mid-’60s, the Mini probably never would have achieved the worldwide recognition it has enjoyed. And there certainly never would have been a BMW Mini in showrooms in 2002. With the release of the new model, the originals are enjoying a renaissance of interest in the classic car marketplace.
The Austin/Morris Mini, Read More
It was either love or hate at first sight when the 914 was introduced in 1970. Three decades later, the situation is pretty much the same.
To appreciate the 914, you have to understand its design brief: to recreate the 356 Speedster. That is, produce a simple, reliable, tossable, two-seat sports car with an immediately identifiable appearance. The biggest challenge was to produce this thoroughly modern roadster at about the same price as the final Speedsters: $3,495.
To achieve Read More