A direct descendant of the Silver Ghost, the Rolls-Royce Phantom I was launched in May 1925. For the most part, the Phantom I chassis was identical to that of its predecessor. It did offer customers two different wheelbase lengths from which to choose: 143.5 inches or 150.5 inches. The Phantom I’s transmission was also the same as before, except that the old cone clutch was replaced with a new, single dry-plate clutch-more conducive to smoother operation.
It didn’t Read More
In the early 1950s, Jaguar and MG defined the postwar sports car market. The TR2 was Triumph’s attempt to share in the spoils of that market against competitors like the Austin-Healey 100, a slightly faster car that was aggressively courting performance enthusiasts.
There never was a Triumph TR1. The TR2 was developed from the prototype “20 TS” introduced at the Earls Court Motor Show in London in October 1952—the same show that saw the debut of the Healey Read More
The Austin-Healey sports car range is synonymous with a particular era of British sports car production, and is similar to Jaguar in many ways. Both companies built strong, reliable and affordable cars for the North American market, their strongest and safest market, and the cars evolved model by model over the years. The 100 series Healeys were successful, initially with four-cylinder, then six-cylinder, motors, but it is the 3000 model that most people remember as the definitive Healey. The Read More
In 1936, only five years after beginning production, SS Cars startled the motoring public with the Jaguar 2.5-liter saloon, the company’s first car to feature overhead valves. The engine was the robust seven-bearing, six-cylinder unit built by Standard, but with a new cylinder head designed by Harry Weslake and Bill Heynes. With 104 bhp, smoothly delivered, flowing lines, a gearbox which made the best of the power, and a new chassis, it was the model which made the company’s Read More
The A was the car which put MG back on the map. It was pretty, it was contemporary, and it was fun. Top speed was 98 mph and 0 to 60 mph took 15.6 seconds, but raw performance figures are not the reason the MGA became the world’s most popular sports car. The A was an MG in the classic mode; the engineers at Abingdon took standard production parts and combined them in a way that made them special. Read More
Launched in 1965, the DB6 replaced the DB5 and for the first time the title “Volante” was introduced to denote the convertible model of the Aston Martin motor cars, a tradition continuing to this day.
Though recognizably related to its Touring-styled DB4 ancestor, the wheelbase was now longer than before, resulting in an extensive re-style with more raked windscreen, raised roofline and reshaped rear quarter windows. Opening front quarter lights made a reappearance, but the major change was Read More
Since its introduction in 1961, the E-type has been critically acclaimed as having some of the finest lines ever penned for an automobile. Even today, the long, cigar-like nose and short rear deck lid remain the standard by which other sports cars are judged.
Much of the design inspiration came from its racing predecessor, the D-type. With the E-type’s monocoque chassis construction, it was both longer and lower than its predecessor, but the racing heritage was undeniable.
The 1960s were the brilliant Indian summer of British sports-car manufacturing, when its factories offered a fascinating choice of high-performance open two-seaters and coupes, all different in character from each other, each destined to become a valuable classic.
Outstanding among them was Colin Chapman’s Lotus Elan, a sophisticated little jewel introduced in 1962. At the heart of the car was a welded steel backbone chassis supporting supple, fully independent suspension incorporating the ingenious Chapman strut layout at the Read More
With the introduction of the Vantage Zagato in 1986, Aston Martin renewed its association with one of Italy’s most illustrious carrozzerie, the latter having been responsible for that most celebrated and desirable of all post-war Aston Martins, the DB4GT Zagato. The first Vantage Zagato prototype was shown to the public at Geneva in March 1986, and in June successfully met its design target by achieving a maximum speed of 186 mph while on test with the French magazine Sport Read More
During the Second World War, Sir William Lyons and his colleagues envisioned a new car that would feature the world’s first high-volume twin-cam engine. Called the XK series, it would be a short-wheelbase chassis mated to a two-seat sports roadster body. When combined with the new engine, the result would be nothing less than sensational-a sleek, beautiful, and strikingly modern automobile.
At the Earls Court Motor Show in October 1948, this XK made its first public appearance, and Read More