Topolino means “Little Mouse” and is used in Italy to name Disney’s most famous rodent. What is not always appreciated, however, is how rare it is for a car to receive a universal and warm nickname. There is the Topolino, the Beetle and, er, um, that’s about it unless you include the Mini.
A car has to be special before it receives a universal nickname. Nobody gave such a name to the Ford Pinto, at least not a name Read More
The Jaguar D-Type was one of the most beautiful and charismatic sports racing cars ever made, not to mention one of the most successful. First appearing in 1954, the D-Type featured bodywork of a highly aerodynamic nature, complete with tail-mounted fin for top speed stability, penned by ex-aircraft designer Malcolm Sayer. The center section of the car was of monocoque construction, similar to that of an aircraft fuselage, while power came from the now legendary twin-cam, dry-sump, 3,442 cc Read More
Until 1928 BMW’s main line of business was aero engines and it did not make cars until it bought the Dixi company which made Austin Sevens under license. Although BMW was late on the scene, it established a towering reputation in a very few years. A six cylinder engine was made in 1933 and from 1934 onwards its Typ 319 sports model began to appear in competition results, first as a 1 1/2-liter car, then as a two-liter, which Read More
It was in 1965 that Lancia launched the Fulvia coupe. Designed in-house, it was powered by a twin-cam V4 engine of 1,216 cc producing 80 bhp, while the four-speed gearbox had a floor change. The 1.2 HF – for High Fidelity – followed with less trim and 88 bhp, and the Sport with initially all alloy body and later just alloy bonnet, doors and bootlid as on the HF. In 1966 capacity rose to 1,294 cc, realizing in the Read More
More than any of its previous models, the 1960s Interceptor firmly established Jensen as a producer of stylish, high-performance and hand-built cars.
Launched at the 1966 London Motor Show, the Interceptor proved a star attraction. Beneath its attractive Vignale designed coupe coachwork, the substantial parallel tube chassis featured independent wishbone/coil spring front suspension with a live, leaf-sprung rear axle located by Panhard rod and disc brakes all round. Power came from a Read More
The first Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta with a 240cm wheelbase, later nicknamed SWB (for short wheelbase), was shown at the Paris Motor Show held in October 1959. It was still very much a prototype but the complete finished car was ready for the Turin and Geneva Shows held a few months later. Pininfarina was responsible for the design but the cars were made by Scaglietti. There were three versions: the SEFAC variant purely for racing with an all aluminum Read More
Having made a stunning rally debut in October 1980 by running their as-yet unhomologated Quattro as a “course car” in the Algarve Rally, when Hannu Mikkola set fastest time on 24 out of 30 stages, Audi quickly came to dominate the rallying scene with their four-wheel driven flyer. And when the rally classes were changed in 1983, Audi appeared to handle the change from Group 4 to Group B adroitly, though of course things were more complicated than they Read More
In the creative environment that coincided with the beginning of the 1970s, Maserati began work on the design of a car with high performance sporting characteristics capable of dominating the hard-fought 3-liter class of the market. In order to avoid risks the layout of the Merak, the name of a star in the constellation of Ursa Major, had more than one point in common with the company’s successful flagship, the Bora, and something beyond a simple resemblance. From its sister Read More
The XK140 was introduced in October 1954 at the London Motor Show as the successor to the XK120. The XK140 was easily distinguishable from its predecessor because of its Mk 7 type front and rear bumpers, the traditional radiator grill but with fewer slats and a chrome strip which ran along the center of the bonnet and the boot. Under the bonnet the XK140 had the traditional 6 cylinder unit of 3.4-liters with bore and stroke of 83 mm Read More
The 275 series of road cars made its debut at the 1964 Paris Motor Show, replacing the long-standing 250 range in its various forms. The stunning new 275 GTB replaced the 250 SWB Berlinetta and 250 Lusso as a car that could be used both on road and track, while its sister car, the 275 GTS, took the place of the 250 SWB California Spyder and 250 GT convertible. Both the 275 GTB and GTS featured and Read More