When Lotus launched its then quite radical mid-engined Europa in 1966 it received lavish praise for its superb roadholding and handling, but was criticized for a lack of power from the Renault 16 engine. A tuned Gordini option was mooted but when Lotus developed the racing Europa Type 47 to contest the Group 4 GT category, it was a Cosworth Lotus-Ford twin cam, the Mk 13C, that supplemented the Renault unit. The twin overhead camshaft, 1,594 cc four-cylinder, allied Read More
Few cars in competition have fueled the imagination like the giant-killing Mini Cooper, the combination of diminutive size, outstanding roadholding and punchy power often running rings around the opposition. Following the original 997 cc Mini Cooper’s launch in July 1961, Pat Moss gave due warning of the car’s potential by winning the 1961 Tulip Rally on only the car’s second outing, and the following year John Love won the British Saloon Car Championship; it was successes like these that Read More
Jaguar’s new six-cylinder twin overhead camshaft engine was ready by 1948 and launched in the XK 120 sports car which took the motoring world by storm. Some 12,000 XK 120s were subsequently sold. This was succeeded in 1954 by the XK 140 and the final evolution example was the XK 150 in 1957.
This new car with major American influence had lost some of the svelte looks of its predecessors but was more luxurious; the cockpit was larger and Read More
For the debut of its new MGA in 1955, MG wisely chose that year’s Le Mans 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 Read More
The birth of the Triumph Stag came almost by chance after stylist Giovanni Michelotti, already responsible for the Triumph Herald, 200 saloon and TR4 models, borrowed a tired 2000 for the basis of a new show car in 1965; the only proviso was that Triumph would have the first option on the design if it approved. When the company saw the result, a striking two door, four seat convertible, it snapped it up before it went public.
The previous Read More
Little could rival the MG Midget in the early 1930s, the combination of value for money, cheap running costs, and useful performance capturing the imagination of many sports car enthusiasts of the period. With a supercharger fitted, the MG PB had few equals in its day, and a factory-supported team known as the “Cream Crackers” were particularly successful in trials.
Although the PA and PB Midgets were both sports cars they were not racing cars, so in 1934 a Read More
Introduced at the 1934 Motor Show, the Ulster Aston Marin is simply regarded as the epitome of pre-war Aston Martin achievement. The narrow two-seater coachwork by Bertelli was a replica of the 1934 Team Cars and featured a flat scuttle and a long streamlined tail with the spare wheel laid flat in its base. The Ulster chassis was very similar to that of the MkII model but assembled, tuned and split-pinned to the Works specification, and the Read More
One of the great personalities of American racing is Jim Hall. He made his debut as a driver in 1954 and is still a team owner in IndyCar racing. His Chaparral sports cars of the 1960s were the first cars to race successfully with wings, and the first to win races with an automatic transmission. Hall pioneered ground effect technology, although his method utilized fans powered by a two-stroke engine. He also underwrote the sports car business of fellow-Texan, Read More
To many observers the Aston Martin DB5 is the epitome of the company’s models from the David Brown era, boasting both beauty and refined high performance. It is also the best-known Aston Martin in the world, having starred in the 1960s James Bond films “Goldfinger” and “Thunderball,” complete with machine guns and other gadgetry. Indeed, this quintessential British GT is also probably the most instantly recognizable car in the world, a recent survey having estimated that an Read More
Fine car though the Aston Martin DB2 was, its sales had been affected by the limitations of two seats and minimal luggage space. Aston Martin thus redesigned the rear of the car to enable two occasional rear seats to be installed, at the same time raising the roof line slightly to increase headroom and fitting a larger rear window in an opening lid; as such this Aston, appropriately renamed the DB2/4, was arguably the world’s first hatchback.
The windscreen Read More