The late 1960s marked a turning point for Colin Chapman and his Lotus Company; the car racing manufacturing business had grown dramatically since he raced his Lotus Mk II for the first time in Silverstone in 1950.
Typically light and simple, the Lotus 49 of 1967, with its new Cosworth Ford DFV unit, was campaigned with great success by F1 icons Jim Clark and Graham Hill. But it was outshined by the triumphant wedge-shaped Lotus 72 of 1970, which, in Read More
In 12 short years, Bentley became one of Britain’s most revered marques through its cars’ technical sophistication and enviable record in long-distance racing events, including winning the Le Mans 24-hour race five times.
Designed by Walter Owen Bentley and his colleagues, the 3-Litre was the progenitor of the 4.5-, 6.5- and 8-Litre Bentleys. The 3-Litre combined several developments not previously seen in road-going cars, including an overhead camshaft driving four valves per cylinder, the first use of aluminum Read More
The MGB was introduced in 1962 as an answer to the growing knowledge and desire of economically minded enthusiasts for a more powerful and also more comfortable sports car. Although stronger and larger than the MGA, from which it is derived, the MGB actually weighed 40 pounds less and its performance was substantially improved over previous models.
Three years later, MG introduced the MGB-GT coupe. In appearance, the MGB-GT had the same basic body as the MGB. The Read More
Keen to increase car sales, MG decided to attempt to set the Class “H” 750-cc World Speed Record at over 100 mph. A prototype racing car, called the C-Type, was prepared for the 1931 season and George Eyston promptly took the Class “H” record over 5 kms at Montlhéry in January 1931 at 103 mph. The C-Type then ran at Spa and Le Mans and was faster than a K3 on the Mille Miglia until forced to retire.
Among Read More
If ever there was an auto manufacturer to take lessons learned from racing and apply them to their street cars, it was Jaguar. The legendary D-type was a formidable competitor on the track and Jaguar included all the D’s best traits when it debuted the E-type in 1961.
Arguably the most well recognized sports car of its era, the E-type had a perfect combination of curvaceous lines, high performance and affordable price. This winning combination helped establish it as Read More
The failed merger in 1963 between Ford and Ferrari and the subsequent return to competition motorsport at the highest level by the American company is motoring lore. After their rejection by Ferrari, Lee Iacocca and Leo Bebee formed Ford Advanced Vehicles and went shopping for a Le Mans winner. Following their visit to Eric Broadley’s business in England, they knew they had the basis for a winning car for international long-distance road racing. The resultant car was unveiled in Read More
Other than the 1800/2000 roadsters, the TR2 was the first, true postwar Triumph sports car. It was superceded in 1955 by the TR3, which was simply an evolution of the TR2, with the most important additions being a horsepower increase to 90 bhp, a new grille, and front disc brakes-a first for an affordable sports car.
The arrival of the TR4 signaled the end of one era and the beginning of another. A completely new body featured wind-up windows, Read More
Based on the Silver Shadow II, the Silver Spur was announced in late 1980. The engine remained Rolls-Royce’s venerable 6750cc V8, though the rear suspension and styling were altered. Along with rectangular headlights-a first for Rolls-Royce-and a slightly wider grille, the greenhouse was enlarged, the rear bench was replaced by two individual seats, folding picnic tables were standard equipment and the body lines became more angular.
Noting the success of the Bentley Turbo R, Rolls-Royce announced they would Read More
Jaguar’s magnificent legend was enhanced at Le Mans during the 1950s, where their initial C-type specialized roadsters first won the 24 Hour race in both 1951 and 1953. For 1954 a far more sophisticated sports racing car was developed, which became known as the “D-type.” Entered at Le Mans as factory team cars in 1954, the first D-types were only narrowly beaten by a much larger-engined Ferrari V12. Jaguar quickly got their revenge a few weeks later when the Read More
By the late 1960s the MGB, now with a 1.8-liter engine, had been in production for five years and was firmly established in the hearts of enthusiasts around the world. Its performance, however, was outpaced by sports models and-on occasion-tuned sedans from other factories. The engineers at MG’s Abingdon works knew there was plenty of development in the B’s compact unitary bodyshell and running gear, and in 1967 the 3-liter MGC-GT and roadster were unveiled at the Earls Court Read More