Vittore Bugatti first entered the Grand Prix arena in 1922 following numerous successes over the previous two years with his 1½-liter 16-valve racing voiturettes. From 1922 to 1925 the regulations imposed a maximum engine capacity of two liters so Bugatti designed a purpose-built straight-eight racing engine which made its debut in a three-car team fitted with cigar-shaped bodies for that year’s French Grand Prix held on July 15, conveniently on roads between Strasbourg and his Molsheim factory. A single Read More
Abarth and Company, a name that was to become synonymous with highly tuned specialist cars based on Fiat mechanical components, opened for business in 1949, manufacturing high-performance mufflers. A year later, Carlo Abarth’s genius for obtaining amazing horsepower from tiny engines became evident with his modifications on the then-new Fiat 600.
Abarths earned class victories in the Mille Miglia, and in America they saw class wins at such events as Lime Rock, Sebring, Nassau and Daytona.
Maserati’s survival strategy for the 1960s centered on establishing the company as a producer of road cars. The Modena marque’s new era began in 1957 with the launch of the Touring-bodied 3500 GT. A luxurious and spacious 2+2, the 3500 GT drew on Maserati’s competition experience. Suspension was independent at the front by wishbones and coil springs, while at the back there was a conventional live-axle/semi-elliptic arrangement. Power output of the twin-cam six was around 220 hp at first. Read More
The Maserati Merak, announced at the Paris Salon of 1972, was a little brother to the mid-engined V8 Bora. It used the same Ital Design steel body, but with a smaller V6, 3-liter engine—as found in the Citroën SM coupe—that liberated space for two child-sized rear seats.
The all-alloy powerplant, equipped with triple Weber carburetors, had been built by Maserati for Citroën at the Modena factory, as Citroën had a controlling interest in Maserati during the early Read More
Most people associate Abarth with Fiat, but a very successful liaison was also formed with Simca. The French company was partly owned by Fiat, and when they wanted to appeal to a younger market with a more sporting image, they turned to the Italian giant for help. Fiat in turn went to Abarth, who received sponsorship from the larger company. A deal was struck whereby Simca shipped floorpans of their 1000 Sabour to Abarth, who then cut 4″ out Read More
he Delage D8 was a glamorous car with a very imposing radiator that had similarities to Hispano-Suiza. It was fast and had impeccable road holding. Although the Delage D8 series became one of the most desired high-performance cars in
Europe, they were quite expensive. Louis Delage was reluctant to change this image to suit the varying economic climate and after a falling-out with his co-directors, he left the company in 1935. Shortly afterward the firm merged with rival Read More
One of the most exciting off-road vehicles ever conceived, the Lamborghini LM-002 resulted from the marriage of the Countach QV’s 5.2-liter V12 to a functionally styled-some would say brutally styled-4 x 4. The union resulted in scintillating performance and a top speed in excess of 124 mph. The distinctive four-door body was handmade and the LM-002 came equipped in a manner one would expect of the world’s foremost supercar manufacturers.
Not surprisingly, Lamborghini’s ultimate 4 x 4 found many Read More
The remarkable thing about this car is that for many years it was used by its owner to commute from San Francisco to the campus of Stanford University, where the owner was professor of neurosurgery. It is rare that a car such as this is driven on such a regular basis. It has been both used with care, never having had an accident, and been maintained in top-class condition. Regular servicing has been carried out by Maserati Agy in Read More
The Lancia Stratos represents a high point in Lancia sporting history and showed the world a new definition of the ultimate rally car. Yet its birth was merely a matter of coincidence. At the 1970 Turin motor show, Bertone displayed a futuristic design study, a fabulous creation of Marcello Gandini. The Italian coachbuilder had built both the body, with its extreme wedge style and single front door, and the chassis. The mechanical parts originated from the Lancia Fulvia and Read More
The sensation of the 1971 Geneva Salon, the Countach was styled by Marcello Gandini. Lamborghini’s four-cam V12 was retained, though this time installed longitudinally. To achieve optimum weight distribution, designer Paolo Stanzini placed the five-speed gearbox ahead of the engine between the seats, and the differential, driven by a shaft passing through the sump, at the rear.
When production began in 1974, the Countach sported an improved chassis and a standard four-liter, instead of the prototype’s five-liter engine. Read More