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
A left hand-drive model first registered in France, this striking Zagato-bodied Lancia features the Milanese styling house’s renowned double-bubble body form in which low overall lines and rounded streamlined shape are achieved by the simple but ingenious
A left hand-drive model first registered in France, this striking Zagato-bodied Lancia features the Milanese styling house’s renowned double-bubble body form in which low overall lines and rounded streamlined shape are achieved by the simple Read More
In 1910, aged 28, Ettore Bugatti resigned his position at the Deutz works in Cologne and moved to Alsace, renting an old dye works in Molsheim where he began making his own automobiles. He took with him a prototype car of 1208 cc which he had built in his basement workshop in Cologne and which was to become the first Pur Sang Bugatti, the Type 10. He also brought with him another much more powerful car, a five-liter overhead Read More
After first the Miura, then the Marzal, Lamborghini once again stole the Geneva show in 1968 with the Espada, styled by Marcello Gandini, the genius who heads Bertone’s design studio.
Despite its incredible styling the car was comparatively conventional, incorporating a pressed steel semi-monocoque built by Marchesi in Modena, into the front of which was placed the 4-liter quad-camshaft V12 engine from the 400GT, mated to a 5-speed gearbox. 320 horsepower Read More
The introduction of the Lancia Stratos represented a new high point in Lancia’s already illustrious competition history and showed the world a new concept in rally car design, winning three World Rally Championships between 1974 and 1976. The story of Stratos goes back to the 1970 Turin motor show where Bertone, the Italian coachbuilder, exhibited a futuristic wedge-shaped concept car with a mid-engined Fulvia 1600 HF called the Stratos – after an employee suggested this new car looked as Read More