Simca first appeared in 1934, making Fiat cars under license in their factory at Nanterre which had previously produced the Donnet cars. For many years the fortunes of Simca were closely linked to those of the tuning wizard Amédée Gordini and many competition successes were achieved including class wins in the 1949-50 Alpine and Monte Carlo rallies in the hands of drivers such as Jean Behra and Johny Claes.
The Simca 8 Sports Coupé made its debut in Read More
By the time the Maserati Ghibli left the factory in Modena, the company had been successfully building luxury supercars for more than a decade. At the heart of their designs were two outstanding engines: the 3,500cc six and the 4,719cc V8, both of which had twin overhead camshafts and provided enough power to sweep the six-cylinder Sebring and the sumptuous V8 Mexico four-seater coupe up to 138 mph at the driver’s command. First introduced at the Turin Auto Show Read More
The Type 57S (S for sport) Bugatti together with the preceding Type 55 model are the two ultimate and most sought after sporting Bugattis of the ’30s, with only about forty examples of each being built. While the Type 55 was closely related to the Type 51 GP with roller-bearing crankshaft and supercharger, the Type 57S derived from the proven Type 57 touring model and proved to be a far more civilized, yet equally high-performance, road-going sports car.
The Read More
What do you get for the multimillionaire who has everything except a decent car to tour the estate with? The adorable Fiat Jolly, of course. With basket-weave seats and fully open sides, the Jolly was often described by its fans as a “beach buggy.” Road & Track went one step further by saying it was akin to a modern “surrey with the fringe on top.” The body was both designed and built by Ghia around a 479 cc two-cylinder Read More
Occasionally a product is designed in such a subtle fashion that the general public is unaware that they are beholding a classic. The Lamborghini Islero is such a car. The Islero was publicly offered shortly before Lamborghini presented the stunning 2+2 Espada with Bertone coachwork, and all it did was attract a few ho-hums from people with blank looks on their faces. The Islero had nothing new to offer except bodywork which some considered to be wanting. But this Read More
In 1950, the French Government imposed taxes which wiped out most of a magnificent tradition. Bugatti, Delahaye, Delage and Talbot Lago all disappeared together with the coachbuilders that clothed their chassis with sublime creations.
It was a surprise therefore that Facel Vega appeared in 1954. This was a French company offering very expensive cars, yet Facel’s customer list reads like a who’s who of the period.
Facel Vegas offered Gallic chic with good ol’ Yankee grunt – Read More
Any student of automotive design or engineering will readily acknowledge the contribution that the Lancia Aurelia, with its ground-breaking technology, has made to the field. Even today, collectors of the Lancia marque agree that it is one of the all-time greats.
With marvelous road manners, the Aurelia is a pleasure to operate, and the B2O GT is a popular choice for historic rally competitors. Drivers often appreciate the car’s tendency toward oversteering, which resulted from the independent rear Read More
Before the First World War it can be argued that the French firm Peugeot was more successful in motor racing than any other manufacturer. In the Paris-Rouen trial of 1894, Peugeot shared first prize. Peugeot won the 1895 Paris-Bordeaux-Paris race, and there were numerous other successes, not least the French Grand Prix wins in 1912 and 1913, then the world’s premier motor race. Peugeot’s record in America is exceptional – 1st at Indianapolis in 1913 and 1916, as well Read More
In the late 1960s and early 1970s one of the most popular and closely contested racing classes was for two-litre Group 5 sports racers. It was natural that Carlo Abarth would join in since his one-litre and 1300cc cars had dominated their class in the Sports Car World Championship for some years, taking 7,400 class and overall wins by 1972.
Abarth’s 1970 two-liter Group 5 car was built around a spaceframe with stressed sills. Front suspension was by Read More
Carl Abarth (Carlo) was born in Vienna in 1908 and his formative years were punctuated by the two world wars. In the aftermath of the first he started racing cycles and motorcycles, which resulted in his apprenticeship at Castagna, more notable for their coachworks, designing frames for them, and even constructing his own racing machine built around a Sunbeam 600cc unit. His motorcycle-racing career took off introducing him to the leading figures in motorsport including Porsche and Nuvolari, with Read More