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
Count Louis Zborowski was a Polish nobleman and sportsman who lived in England during the first quarter of the twentieth century. His most lasting automotive legacy was four aero-engined high-performance hybrids, called “Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bangs.” The cars were constructed with the help of Captain Clive Gallop, later to become one of the famed “Bentley Boys.” Tragically, Zborowski was killed in a crash during the 1924 Italian GP while driving a Mercedes. Ironically, Louis died in the same way his father did, Read More
In 1966, a new form of racing started in the US and Canada. This was the famous Can-Am series, short for the Canadian-American Trophy. John Surtees won the first Can-Am title in a Lola T-70 in 1966 but after this, McLarens in the hands of Bruce McLaren himself and Denny Hulme, ruled the series. Like Lola, McLaren depended for financial survival on selling copies of its winning cars to private customers who would then go have fun in the Read More
High-performance automobile manufacturers eager for reputation directed the attention of their most gifted engineers towards the Le Mans GP d’Endurance 24-hours races in the 1950s. Well-
organized, often richly-endowed factory teams battled for supremacy in a series of epic battles. Jaguar’s magnificent legend was built and established at Le Mans where their initial C-type specialized roadsters first won in both 1951 and 1953. For 1954 a far more sophisticated sports racing car was developed and became known as Read More
In preparation for the 1960 Sebring 12-Hours World Championship-qualifying race, the Donald Healey Motor Car Company’s experimental workshop at The Cape, Warwick, transported the 3000 competition coupe to the team’s Sebring base at Murphy’s Garage, Avon Park, Florida. The car offered here, UJB141, carried race number 19 and to aid in the identification from the pits, 141 was painted with a single white racing stripe. On March 26, 1960 John Colgate took the start at 10:00 a.m. in 141 Read More
Designed in 1919, first produced in 1921, and drawing on aero-engine technology, the 3-Liter Bentley is to many, the archetypal vintage sports car. Second, fourth and fifth in the 1922 Tourist Trophy against out-and-out racing cars, first at Le Mans in 1924 and again in 1927. The holder of 24-hour records at over 95 mph, the 3-Liter Bentley is truly a legend. It was built to be a comfortable, user-friendly, road-going sports car that could be raced; a formula Read More
For the debut of its new MGA in 1955, MG wisely chose that year’s LeMans 24-hour race; after a succession of open-wheeled models, there were fears of an adverse reaction to such a streamlined car and it was felt that by showing the MGA in competition first the aerodynamic shape would be accepted as a performance essential. There had been some delays, however, in getting the go-ahead for production, MG owner BMC declining, having already agreed with Donald Healey Read More