he Porsche 911 is probably the single most recognizable car shape in the world, an instant “Classic.” For those who wanted to feel the wind in their hair while enjoying 911 motoring, Porsche manufactured for many years a “Targa” version of their immortal coupe. This “Targa” incorporated a rollover bar behind the cockpit as crash protection.
In the early 1980s, Porsche, like many other car manufacturers, believed that bureaucracy, particularly in America, would prevent a truly open car Read More
DeSoto, like many automobile manufacturers, were heavily involved in the war effort and indeed were responsible for the assembly of the fuselage sections for the Martin B26 Marauder amongst many other important war machines. The transference back to a civilian factory with appropriate tooling did not take place until 1946 but DeSoto’s first real post-war model appeared in 1949 as “The Car With You in Mind.”
DeSoto’s top line, the Fireflyte, was introduced in 1955. It offered avant-guard aeronautically Read More
Limited volume manufacturers such as Lotus occasionally have monumental turning points. The introduction of the Turbo Esprit in 1983 suddenly provided Lotus enthusiasts with the opportunity to drive a car that was faster than a scalded cat, still had the proverbial glued-to-the-road Lotus handling and was actually reliable.
For $47,984 you could own a car with the ability to sprint from 0-60 in 6.6 seconds, its 2.2-litre, 4 cylinder, dohc and twin Dell’Orto-carbed motor producing 210 bbp. The Bosch 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
The introduction of the 250 GT in 1954 is seen by many as the company’s first serious attempt at making a rational production car and it started a line of some of the most successful GT cars ever built. Of all the 250 derivatives, the “Tour de France” long-wheelbase berlinetta is one of the most evocative ever made. It remains a milestone in Ferrari history as the first definitive road-racing berlinetta and the car that contributed most significantly in Read More
For the debut of its new MGA in 1955, MG wisely chose that year’s LeMans 24-hour race; after a succession of open-wheeled models, there were fears of an adverse reaction to such a streamlined car and it was felt that by showing the MGA in competition first the aerodynamic shape would be accepted as a performance essential. There had been some delays, however, in getting the go-ahead for production, MG owner BMC declining, having already agreed with Donald Healey Read More
The 300 series, introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1951, was designed specifically for the export market. Germany’s postwar economy was desperate for hard currency and at the same time, the U.S. economy was booming. It was only natural for Mercedes to design a car to meet the needs of that market. Although not flamboyant, the 300 was nevertheless very attractive, with a modern wraparound windshield and flush-mounted headlights.
The 300S variant was introduced in 1952, and Read More
mericans in the ’50s were fascinated by the future. Newspapers and magazines were full of stories about futuristic technology-rocket ships, jet airplanes, and even television. Car companies were quick to capitalize on the trend, offering a dizzying variety of fantastic show cars. They were shipped from one city to another, and people would line up around the block for a glimpse of the latest chromed and finned creation.
One of these special cars was the Pontiac Bonneville Special. Read More
During its introduction in 1989, the Mazda Miata was said to be a replacement for ’60s British sports cars. With its front-engine, rear-drive configuration, tiny 6-cubic-foot trunk, and reputation for great handling, it recalled British two-seaters like the MGB and Triumph TR-4 that were popular in the ’60s. Although similar in concept, the Miata differs from those cars with its 16 valves, electronic fuel injection and four-wheel disc brakes.
So what should buyers of a second-hand car look for? Read More