Profiles

1969 Lancia Fulvia Coupe Rallye 1.6 HFS

In total, 1,258 1.6 HFs were built during 1969–70, of which approximately the first 600 were designated HFS and fitted with the Variante 1016 engine featuring modified cams similar to the Works rally cars. This car, 001578, which is a rare fanalone (big-headlight) version, is one of the last HFSs […]

1980 BMW M1

In the late 1970s, BMW was still in its growing pains in the United States. The favored quirky rally car of the 1960s was becoming the favored fast luxury transport of young professionals. Between the two eras of Bayerische Motoren Werke, there was the M1, which remains the most exotic […]

The Beetle is Crawling Back

 

The humble Volkswagen Beetle — which is actually not its official name, but few people know what a Type 1 is — created the massive compact-car market in the United States.

It took the brilliant mind of Ferdinand Porsche — and high-quality labor from a rebuilding post-war West Germany — to make a compact car a success in the United States of the late 1950s and early 1960s.

By opening up the compact-car market in the U.S., VW blazed the trail for all small cars — domestic and imported. While the Chevrolet Corvair was initially all but an Americanized Beetle, the rest of the domestics weren’t. Still, the success of the Falcon, Valiant, Rambler and Lark was only possible after VW made small cars acceptable in the big-car-crazed U.S.

By the early 1970s, the early Beetle became a victim of its own huge success.

By 1970, the Big Three had run one full generation of compacts off U.S. assembly lines, and a second one was on the way. The Falcon gave way to the Pinto, the Corvair led to the Vega, and the Rambler became AMC and birthed the Gremlin. In addition, the Valiant had a plethora of siblings from Dodge.

While the Japanese competitors were generally viewed as quirky and cheap during the 1960s, by 1970 they were becoming formidable competitors. During all this, the Beetle just puttered along with minimal changes.

While staying the same in a world of change played well in the turbulent 1960s — even among the Counterculture — the Beetle was old hat in the 1970s. The Beetle looked dated compared with everything else in the market.

1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Convertible Coupe

As advanced as the Model J Duesenberg was upon its introduction in 1929, most of the technical advancements contained within were confined to the body and chassis. The design of the front end and fenders — as well as that of most coachbuilt bodies — still bowed toward late-1920s convention, […]

1952 Ferrari 225 Sport Berlinetta “Tuboscocca”

The lifeblood of Ferrari, particularly in the early years, was competition. It is a widely held belief that the creation of road-going versions of the competition sports cars existed almost solely to support Il Commendatore’s racing effort. In many instances, engineering advances developed for battle can be traced directly to […]

1955 Jaguar XK 140 MC Roadster

From 1948 through 1954, the groundbreaking XK 120 established Jaguar at the forefront of sports car manufacturers with its graceful lines and impressive, race-winning performance. Late in 1954, the improved XK 140 arrived, heralding comprehensive improvements that made the original design even better. Notable upgrades included precise rack-and-pinion steering, improved […]

1967 Fiat Dino Spider

The 1965 Dino 206S Speciale coupe was Enzo Ferrari’s tribute to his late son, Dino. More practically, it was a way of making the new all-alloy, Ferrari-built V6 eligible for Formula Two competition by building 500 production cars equipped with it. Given Ferrari’s limited production, Fiat used the engine in […]

2000 Porsche 911 GT3 R

Porsche’s 911 series is the definitive sports-car family and a legend in endurance racing. Many consider the GT3 as its crowning achievement. In the tradition of the Carrera RS 2.8, the 996-based GT3, introduced in 2000, was a street-legal homologation model — a raw, track-ready car with a highly modified […]

One Auction, Two 911S Porsches

Every auction has surprising results, but the sales of these two Porsche 911S cars — on the same day, in the same tent and before many of the same bidders — provide some insight into the current state of Porsche 911S values. Let’s first take a close look at both […]

1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster

Every Shelby 427 Cobra is rare simply by nature, but some reach the level of “exceptional” — a fact Carroll Shelby acknowledged when he signed the glovebox door of CSX3301 with the inscription: “One of the rarest CSX3301 Carroll Shelby.” This Cobra was completed at AC Cars for delivery directly […]