The 105 Series Alfa Romeos are the cars most non-Alfisti think of when you say “Alfa.” And that’s not surprising, as all of them — coupe (GTV), convertible (Spider) or sedan (Berlina) — offer a level of mechanical sophistication, build quality and pure driving fun which is hard to beat in their price ranges. In addition, any of these Alfas can be used without fear in modern traffic. While your collector-car insurance agency might not appreciate it, these cars could Read More
The last volume-produced traditional British roadster was the Triumph TR6. Even in 1969 when it was introduced, it was obsolete. Magazines such as Road & Track clamored for better, newer sports cars with modern engines, chassis and unibody construction—cars that would finally dispense with antiquated features like lever-action shocks and feeble heaters.
In early 1975, Triumph finally introduced such a car in the TR7, which would be sold alongside the TR6 for about a year. Dubbed in ads as “the Read More
By 1940, military planners all but knew that the United States was eventually going to end up embroiled in World War II. Specifications were drawn up for military-specific truck configurations, and Dodge was at the forefront.
Contracts were let initially for a series of half-ton trucks based on the new-for-1940 Dodge civilian trucks with several cab and body configurations, including an SUV-like Carryall wagon. These VC-Series trucks held great promise, and they soon evolved into the Read More
By 1973, things looked very bad indeed for the types of cars that most of us care about. Fuel shortages, insurance rates, nutty safety and bumper regulations— plus a hearty helping of general gloom and malaise all but killed performance cars. Subaru importer Malcolm Bricklin thought he could exploit a niche for a sports car that nearly anyone (including killjoy busybodies like Joan Claybrook and Ralph Nader) could feel if not good, at least less bad about. Read More
Much like Morgan fans remain to this day, the MG faithful of the 1950s were committed masochists. Fans of the T-Series cars were positively aghast when the envelope-bodied MGA replaced the TF.
When the inevitable wheel of progress hit Abingdon-on-Thames once again in 1962, the faithful were horrified to find that the new MGB came with roll-up glass side windows in place of fiddly, ill-fitting side curtains. Few would have predicted in 1962 that the car would be around Read More
The foibles of “production” car racing and homologation rules have given rise to some rather interesting machinery over the years. Nutty Plymouth Superbirds and road-going Ford GT40s are at one end of the spectrum, and Ferrari’s first V6 engine is at the other.
Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari envisioned the V6 as an ideal Formula 2 engine before his untimely death in 1956. But the engine didn’t come to fruition until nearly a decade later. By then, there was simply no way Read More
Some companies can lock one label into the consumer’s mind. This is especially true in the auto industry. Volvos are safe, Subarus are sensible, Saabs are odd and Lotuses are lightweights.
Lotus mastermind Colin Chapman’s philosophy seemed to consist of omitting, thinning and paring—until the car collapsed on itself—and then put back the last thing either omitted, thinned or pared and calling it well done. All this made for cars that handled well and extracted the maximum performance out of Read More
These cars, which are at home on the road or track, are very affordable in relation to Ferrari racers from the same era
Normally my life revolves around cars that “ran when parked.” Volvo 122s with hardly any rust, Fiat 850 Spiders that are mostly complete, and even BMW 2002s that have potential to be restored. That’s the stuff of “Affordable Classics.”
But this is SCM’s Monterey issue, and only in Monterey could a $2,000,000 car (or $2,299,999) be called Read More
After reaching its zenith in the 1920s and 1930s, the Bentley began a long, slow decline in the 1950s. By the 1970s, the once-proud marque was reduced to a badge-engineered Rolls-Royce afterthought.
Finally realizing that this was an atrocious squandering of the heritage of a storied brand, managers in Crewe decided that a few pounds of manifold pressure might restore a bit of pride and self respect to the Bentley marque. The resulting Mulsanne Turbo (its name recalling long-ago Read More