The Alfa Romeo GTV-6 was produced at a time when Alfa Romeo was hemorrhaging money. Yet, the engineers at Alfa managed to create one of the most sophisticated sports cars of its era. An all-alloy SOHC V6 engine driving a rear five-speed transaxle with deDion suspension is world-class engineering. This was also the last two-door sports coupe Alfa imported into the US before its retreat from the market in 1995.
Alfa wanted its new car to be bug-free, so Read More
This is an unusual example of a significant, yet somewhat mysterious early Porsche model, the enigmatic Type 540. It has taken decades for marque experts to unravel the numerous questions of the America Roadster, even including such basics as how it came about, who thought of it, and why its production was so brief.
Suffice to point out here that the America Roadster—of which perhaps eleven survive—was the model that began to establish Porsche as a street-useable marque Read More
The P3 was a logical and comprehensive evolution of the 1965 model P2, still a tubular frame but now, in P3 form, riveted-on alloy panels and the fiberglass undertray were both bonded to the chassis to increase torsional rigidity. An all-new, four-cam V-12 engine was developed for the P3, now fitted with Lucas mechanical fuel injection. This would be the first time that Weber carburetors were not fitted to a works Ferrari sports racing car.
Twin ignition Read More
1970 was the first year for the Dodge Challenger, Dodge’s response (along with the redesigned Plymouth Barracuda which was on a 2″ shorter wheelbase) to Ford’s Mustang and Cougar and GM’s Camaro and Firebird. Challenger’s body echoed the corporate family “Coke-bottle” shape, a lithe and purposeful look, distinctive from the competition. The chassis was a typical pony car with drum brakes, independent front suspension and a solid axle on leaf springs at the rear. The performance R/T package included Read More
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
Should the Harvard Business School need yet another case study in how a great idea can go counter-clockwise down a toilet if not executed properly, please have them refer to the launch/introduction/sale of the 1991 Lotus Elan Turbo SE in the US.
Introduced during the same twelve-month period as the Miata, Geo Metro convertible and Capri droptop, the Elan was simply ignored by the American public. It was just another small sports car (with the Isuzu name staring Read More
In 1936, only five years after beginning production, SS Cars startled the motoring public with the Jaguar 2.5-liter saloon, the company’s first car to feature overhead valves. The engine was the robust seven-bearing, six-cylinder unit built by Standard, but with a new cylinder head designed by Harry Weslake and Bill Heynes. With 104 bhp, smoothly delivered, flowing lines, a gearbox which made the best of the power, and a new chassis, it was the model which made the company’s Read More
It was evident to Porsche management in the late ’50s that the 356 series was rapidly becoming dated and reaching the end of its development potential, so in 1959 Ferdinand Porsche began designing a new car. A number of criteria were laid down: the car would have no more than a 2,200-mm wheelbase and would carry two adults and two children.
The new model was introduced at the Frankfurt Show in September, 1963. It was a significant advance Read More
ntroduced at the 1964 Brussels Motor Show as a successor to the 330 America, the 4-liter, 300-hp, Mark 1 330 GT 2+2 with 4-speed synchromesh gearbox had well-spaced ratios and a single dry-plate clutch in unit with the engine, with a Laycock electrically operated overdrive fitted behind the gearbox. The rear axle had an 8/34 ratio, good for 152 mph at 6,400 rpm. With disc brakes all round, 100 mph to 0 braking was possible in just 375 feet. Read More
When the Lamborghini Miura appeared, high-performance coupes with engines in front of the driver began to look quite old fashioned to some observers. Stung by outspoken criticism of their front-engined Daytona models, Ferrari unveiled at the 1971 Turin Motor Show the aggressive 365 BB flat-twelve, mid-engined Boxer Berlinetta. At this point it was still a concept car used to make a point, demonstrating what could be done with a flat-twelve powerplant similar to that used in the Scuderia’s Formula One Read More