Launched at the 25th Geneva Salon in March 1955, the Fiat 600 was designed by Dante Giacosa. This successor to the Fiat 500 “Topolino” (“Mickey Mouse”) mini-car was hailed as “an intriguing car with a future…[showing] how a rearrangement of the basic components can often result in a considerable saving of space.”
With a water-cooled, rear-mounted, inline 633-cc 4-cylinder engine and all-around independent suspension, the 600 could carry four adults at over 65 miles per hour and sold for the Read More
Although Porsche did not make a serious works effort in international rallying until the arrival of the 911, the 356 in private hands proved very competitive, being strongly constructed, light in weight and adequately powerful, especially in four-cam form. Early successes included private entrants Helmut Polensky and Walter Schuler’s victory in the 1952 Liege-Rome-Liege Rally and the same duo’s European Touring Championship the following year. And as late as 1961 the 356 proved good enough to bring works-assisted privateer Read More
The definitive Gran Turismo of its era, the Maserati 3500 GT debuted in 1957 and was the company’s first genuine series-production road car. Maserati’s three decades as constructors of perhaps the world’s finest racing cars showed in every detail of the elegant Touring-bodied coupe, from its exquisite, race-derived 3.5-liter engine through its impeccable road manners, fine brakes and faultless build quality. Here was a car to rival the best that Stuttgart, Newport Pagnell and Maranello had to offer.
This Read More
Pontiac’s Tempest went through a major transition in 1964. No longer a shirttail relative of the Chevrolet Corvair, it was fattened up and marketed as a family car. The “sporty” LeMans model featured standard bucket seats and unique trim moldings, but had the same engine combinations as all other Tempests.
To enhance their image, the product development folks at Pontiac Motor Division wanted to install the 389-c.i. V8 from their full-size cars into the LeMans. However, GM had a Read More
The model J Duesenberg has long been regarded as the most outstanding example of design and engineering of the classic era. Introduced in 1929, trading was halted on the New York stock exchange for the announcement. At $8,500 for the chassis alone, it was by far the most expensive car in America. With coachwork, the delivered price of many Duesenbergs approached $20,000, a staggering sum at a time when a typical new family car cost around $500.
Few would Read More
Ferrari’s highly successful 250 series was superseded in 1964 by the 275. In Ferrari nomenclature of the period, a model’s designation reflected the cubic capacity of an individual cylinder. The newcomer displaced 3.3 liters-up from its predecessor’s 3 liters-and was thus called the 275. The V12 engine remained the familiar Colombo type in standard form producing 280 horsepower at 7,600 rpm. A higher, 300-horsepower state of tune employing six Weber carburetors was available, and this was used for the Read More
Jaguar’s magnificent legend was enhanced at Le Mans during the 1950s, where their initial C-type specialized roadsters first won the 24 Hour race in both 1951 and 1953. For 1954 a far more sophisticated sports racing car was developed, which became known as the “D-type.” Entered at Le Mans as factory team cars in 1954, the first D-types were only narrowly beaten by a much larger-engined Ferrari V12. Jaguar quickly got their revenge a few weeks later when the Read More
By the late 1960s the MGB, now with a 1.8-liter engine, had been in production for five years and was firmly established in the hearts of enthusiasts around the world. Its performance, however, was outpaced by sports models and-on occasion-tuned sedans from other factories. The engineers at MG’s Abingdon works knew there was plenty of development in the B’s compact unitary bodyshell and running gear, and in 1967 the 3-liter MGC-GT and roadster were unveiled at the Earls Court Read More
Having resumed production in 1946 with the 170 in unchanged, pre-WWII form, Mercedes-Benz introduced its first all-new designs of the post-war era-the 220 and 300-at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1951. While the 220 was an advance on the 170, the 300 re-established Mercedes-Benz in the front rank of prestige car manufacturers, marking as it did a return to the marque’s tradition of building high-performance luxury automobiles of the finest quality. The 300’s oval-tube chassis followed the lines of Read More
The Flaminia was the first Lancia designed by Antonia Fessici and was the company’s flagship when launched in 1957. Fessici had finally broken with tradition and discarded the previously used vertical coil independent front suspension in favor of wishbones. The engine was a 2.5-liter V6 driving through an aft-mounted gearbox and de Dion rear axle. In 1964 the 3C version was introduced with a 2.8-liter engine producing 152 horsepower.
Without doubt the most attractive coachwork on these chassis was Read More