Auto Salone da Bologna – December 2016

It did not take long after the invention of the first cars for the first Motor Shows to be conceived. These gave the early pioneers of motoring the chance to get see the latest products from , at the time, a fast growing number of manufacturers, all in one place, usually a large or even the largest city in the country. As the industry matured, so it became the case that there per country or region, one Show would come to dominate, and be the one supported directly by manufacturers and importers, at which new cars would be revealed on opening day, leaving other and generally smaller events to be organised by dealers. In Italy, where the heart of the motor industry was in essence wherever the Fiat Group was most active, that meant Torino (Turin) and so the annual Show held here became the one at which not just Fiat but also the country’s other manufacturers, coachbuilders and others would showcase their latest products, with the event timed to avoid conflicting with similar events in London, Paris, Frankfurt and Detroit. The first Show in Turin was held in 1900 and by the 1930s (except for the interruption caused by the war), it had become an annual event. That switched to bi-annual from the late 1970s and then in 2000, the very last event of its type was held, meaning that Italy rather dropped off the map of the world’s major International Shows. There are still such events held in Italy, of course, including a much lower profile event in Turin, but these days the largest Motor Show in Italy takes place in Bologna, towards the end of the year, usually in early December, and although it has been used as the launch venue for a number of new models in recent years, it has not received much publicity outside Italy. I’ve been using Bologna as my base for trips to the Auto e Moto d’Epoca in October and whilst there this October spotted that the Fiere, very near to the hotel I was staying at, would be hosting the 2016 Show, the 41st to be held, a few weeks later. Loving Italy as I do, I decided to make a booking to come and see what the Auto Salone had to offer.

The show takes place at the Bologna Fierea, which is just off the Tangenziale, the motorway like road which skirts the edge of the city of Bologna, connecting the autostrada that go towards Modena and Milano in the west, Firenze (Florence) to the south west and Padova and Venezia to the north east. The site is less than 10km from the airport, so it is easy to get to. And there is loads of parking which turned out to be just a short walk away from the entrance to a complex of large exhibition halls. Here is what I found.



Star of the Abarth stand was this 695 Biposto YFR Edition, produced to mark the tie-up between Abarth and Yamaha Racing, a relationship which goes back to 2007 when Abarth collaborated with Yamaha to produce a limited-edition motorcycle, the “Sport Heritage café racer special”, named the XSR900 Abarth, based on the Yamaha XSR900 847 cc inline-triple neo-retro standard. The 695 Biposto YFR is the latest of a series of limited production versions of what was in any case a limited edition car, and follows from the Record Edition which was launched in late 2015.

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Also on the stand was the recently updated Series 4 version of the 595 Competizione.

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New addition to the Abarth range in 2016 is the long-awaited 124 Spider.

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As well as the road-going car, Abarth declared an intent to return to rallying when they showed a motorsport-prepared version of the new 124 Spider earlier in the year, and which was also presneted here. This is a prototype version of the hard-topped 124 Rally developed by the Abarth Racing Team. The manufacturer said this car, as well as the road car were developed in tandem. The rally car was given the internal project code SE139, with ‘SE’ standing for ‘Sports’ and ‘Experimental’. It has been unveiled some 40 years after the original Fiat 124 Abarth Rallye appeared on the special stages of the Monte Carlo Rally. Built to the FIA’s R-GT rulebook, the new rear-wheel-drive Abarth 124 Rally is powered by an 1800cc turbocharged engine which has been remapped to deliver 296bhp at 6500rpm. The torque output hasn’t been revealed, but Abarth said it is “optimum to allow the driver steering and acceleration balance while oversteering”. The engine is coupled to a six-speed sequential gearbox with shift paddles and the car is also equipped with a mechanical limited-slip differential. The Abarth Racing Team engineers focused on reducing the weight and enhancing the overall balance of the competition car, as well as installing the rollcage necessary for rallying. The engine is mounted behind the front axle; lightweight, resistant materials are used in the cockpit and engine compartment and the production car’s soft top has been replaced by a fixed composite hard top. Weight distribution leans slightly towards the rear axle, which Abarth said “ensures maximum traction even in low grip conditions”. The centre of gravity has been further lowered compared to the road car’s. The front-end double wishbone suspension and multi-link rear suspension have been uprated for competition, and four—way adjustable dampers from the Ext Shock company have been fitted. Assisting Abarth with the creation of the car were Petronas Selenia (lubricants and engine development), Adler Pelzer Group (composite components), Michelin (tyres), Sabelt (bucket-seats, seatbelts and other safety equipment), LM Gianetti (bodywork and suspension), BMC (air intake), OZ (wheels) and Alcantara (interior trim). Abarth will build examples of the 124 Rally for customer rally teams, and has opened the order books now. The Abarth 124 Rally will be eligible for the FIA R-GT Cup, a tarmac-based rally series which was dominated by Porsche 911 GT3s last year.

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Not surprisingly, one of the most popular cars of the show was the recently revealed Giulia. This car has been a very long time coming, and Alfa managed to keep almost all the details secret until it was revealed. There’s then been what seems like another agonising wait for the cars to go on sale – too late to be a prospect as my next car when I had to order something earlier in the year, but UK sales are starting about now, and by all accounts the car drives even better than it looks. And it looks great! I did get to sit inside the show cars and was impressed. Can’t wait to drive one!

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Joining the Giulia were examples of the models that Alfa Romeo has building for a number of years now, the MiTo, Giulietta and 4C Spider.

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One of the rarer cars of the event was this Vanquish Zagato. There have been a number of limited production Zagato Aston models in the past and in 2016, Aston Martin announced that the latest of these would be a limited series production of the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato. The Vanquish Zagato Concept was unveiled to great acclaim at the prestigious Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este at Lake Como, Italy in May 2016. The Vanquish Zagato is available in 4 body styles – coupé, convertible, speedster, or shooting brake. 99 each were built of the coupé, convertible, and shooting brake, while a mere 28 speedsters were made, for a total of 325 cars. The Vanquish Zagato features the same AM29 V12 from the Vanquish S, which has a power output of 603 PS (595 hp) and 630 N⋅m (465 lb⋅ft) of torque, allowing the Vanquish Zagato to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.5 seconds before reaching a top speed of 324 km/h (201 mph).

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Also here was a GT8 race car.

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Joining the still somewhat controversial Bentayga were the established Flying Spur and Continental GT Coupe models.

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There were a couple of cars on this stand. One was the Pininfarina H2 concept which I had seen at the Geneva Show earlier in the year. The H2 concept car is described as being “halfway between a competition prototype and a production supercar,” and is powered by two race-specification electric motors, fed by a lightweight hydrogen fuel cell with power quoted as 503 bhp. The concept also features a brake energy recuperation system. Pininfarina says the powertrain has taken two years to develop and test, and claims that the H2 Speed is “the first hydrogen high-performance track car in the world.” Along with its efficiency-focused powertrain, the H2 Speed features bodywork styled to increase aerodynamic efficiency. Designed specifically around the hydrogen technology, Pininfarina took inspiration from racing cars, aiming to produce something that displayed beauty, as well as extreme performance. Design cues include a racy roof design, joining the top of the car to the large rear spoiler just like an LMP racer, with sporty touches such as the sleek front splitter and angular rear diffuser. According to the company, the sound of the vehicle is completely unique and has a different tone from that of current conventional electric cars. The unique sound has been put down to the use of its compressor technology, creating an almost silent drive, with futuristic-sounding whistles. The company behind the hydrogen power unit, GreenGT, has specialised in the design, production and development of sustainable propulsion systems and high power performances since 2008. Pininfarina says the concept “will appeal to customers who love speed, performance and innovation and who are, at the same time, attracted by the typical exclusivity of a Pininfarina-designed vehicle produced in limited series”.

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The other was the Blue Engineering Concept car.

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I was slightly surprised to come across this stand, as whilst it is true that you an indeed buy a Cadillac in Italy, very few people indeed do, so you would not have imagined that there would be a compelling case for attending, Anyway, there were two cars on display, the recently released XT5, replacement for the unlamented SRX, and the rather more interesting ATS-V.

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As well as the Cadillacs, GM were also show-casing the latest Camaro sports car.

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This was my second chance to inspect the new C3 which premiered at the recent Paris Show. It follows the lead of the C4 Cactus, with the new C3 wearing the latest design language of the French company, complete with the signature airbump protection panels on the doors. Overall, Citroen’s new supermini looks very modern and it will be offered in 36 different combinations made out of nine body colours, three roof options and four interior themes. Customers will be able to get a new C3 with a wide range of engines, including the PureTech 68 PS (67 HP), 82 PS (81 HP) and 110 PS (108 HP) three-cylinder petrol units and the BlueHDi 75 PS (74 HP) and 100 PS (99 HP) diesels. Depending on the engine, the compact Citroen will come with a five- and a six-speed manual, with a six-speed automatic also to be available. The cabin follows the funky mood of the exterior, with simple forms and vivid colour and trim options. There is also the obligatory touchscreen display for the infotainment system which can come with 3D satellite navigation system with real-time traffic info, rearview camera and the brand’s SOS service with live assistance. Sales are just getting underway.

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Also from its Paris debut was the new E-Mehari, proof that French car makers are still building quirky cars. Citroen wanted to capture the essence of the old Mehari into a contemporary electric vehicle, that’s why it teamed up with Bollore and came up with possibly the most eccentric car on the market. True, there are even more preposterous offerings out there, but they’re built by small car makers, not a mass manufacturer like Citroen. Now, the E-Mehari is actually a Bollore Blue Summer in funky clothing, it has no airbags, uses plastic body panels, and it’s powered by a 67 hp all-electric powertrain, juiced up by lithium metal polymer batteries that promise an urban driving range of 200 km (124 miles) – although LiPo batteries are not as sophisticated as Li-ions and must be recharged every 48 hours. Like the original Mehari, it is a no-nonsense, fun-based activity buggy. Available for sale only in France (for now), the E-Mehari costs €28,000 ($31,308) – a little steep for something so spartan. Plus, the price doesn’t include the battery pack, which must be leased from Bollore for €79 ($88) per month.

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The stand also contained the C4 Cactus, another car which showed that Citroen once again has decided to dare to be different.

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Citroen have lost no time in developing a new WRC car based on the new C3. and this was also on show. This car will start competing in he 2017 season and Citroen are hoping it will continue the successes they have enjoyed with previous WRC cars, based on the DS3 and the C4 Elysee.

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DR Motors is the branding used in Italy for a range of Chinese built cars which sell in very small quantities in the market. Several of the extensive range of models were on show here.

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Star of the DS stand was the e-Tense concept, a futuristic design which was unveiled earlier in the year, in Geneva, as a concept which is supposed to forecast what the French automaker could be making 17 years from now. That is, if the year 2035 holds the promise of performance EVs running amok on our city streets. The DS E-Tense concept car is a two-seat, high-performance GT, a further signal of DS’ intent to cement its image as a luxurious top-end manufacturer away from its mainstream parent company. The E-Tense has been made to production standards and everything on the concept is entirely viable, from the all-electric drivetrain to the way that pedestrian impact standards have been considered in its design. Despite this, there are no official plans to put it into production. After doing its tour of duty at various shows, the concept will be put to work as a technology demonstrator, proving it can deliver on DS’s claims of a 4.5sec 0-62mph time, a 155mph top speed and a 220-mile range. The E-Tense is built around a central carbonfibre tub, with aluminium subframes at each end. Suspension is by double wishbones at all four corners and under the rear bodywork are two Siemens AC electric motors that produce a total output of 402bhp and 381lb ft of torque. Rather than a one-motor per-wheel set-up, however, both motors turn a common shaft, with the thinking being that two motors are lighter and easier to package than a single high-output motor. Drive goes into a three-speed gearbox and then an active differential that biases torque across the rear axle. Power comes from a 53kWh lithium-ion battery pack mounted under the floor, itself fed by a rear-mounted high-speed charger.The battery weighs less than 500kg and the total weight of the car is around 1800kg. The car is 4.72m long and 1.29m high, and its swooping, fluid design echoes the styling of the Divine DS concept from 2015 and shares elements with its predecessor, such as having no rear windscreen and instead using digital rear-view technology The elegant lines were produced using a state of the art live CAD system, which enabled virtual aerodynamic modelling. The slightly Lamborghini-like side profile is designed to help channel airflow at speed. A large carbonfibre diffuser is used at the rear to improve aerodynamic downforce. There’s no rear window. Instead, a rear-view camera system relays an image from the back of the car to a ‘mirror’ display in the cockpit, a feature which is already destined for production in at least one future DS. The E-Tense also has windscreen wipers and door mirrors. The headlights have four jewel-like movable units that allow for different intensity and beam patterns while it also gets active LED daytime running lights that can rotate 180 degrees and which are likely to be used on future DS models. Eric Opode, DS’s product development boss, said they are patented and production ready. The tyres are Michelin Pilot Super Sports (305/30 R20 at the back) and have a chamfered finish, designed to make them feel like velvet. The striking interior features a central display screen mounted on an elaborately shaped dashboard extrusion. Hand-painted leather panels and seats have taken nearly 800 hours of work in a prototype trim shop. There’s also an in-built, centre console-mounted BRM watch which an owner can remove when they leave the car. The manufacturer claims its interior took 800 hours to design, test and produce, and it has collaborated with French luxury brands Moynat, BRM Chronographes and Focal, to design a helmet harness, the centre-console timepiece that can be detached and worn as a watch, and a nine-speaker audio system, respectively. Plenty of people have eulogised over the design. I am not among them.

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DS models you can buy include the DS3 available and presented here in Hatch and Cabrio guises as well as the DS4 Crossback and the larger DS5.

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These are 458 Challenge cars. The Ferrari Challenge is a single-marque motorsport championship that was created in 1993 for owners of the 348 Berlinetta who wanted to become involved in racing. It now encompasses three official championships in the United States, Asia-Pacific, and Europe. Competitors from each series are brought together at the annual World Finals (Finali Mondiali) event. From 2007-10, the Ferrari Challenge exclusively used the Ferrari F430 model. 2011 saw the introduction of the 458 Challenge with the 458 Challenge Evoluzione following in 2014.

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Not surprisingly, Fiat had a large stand here. Although the brand no longer has the massive local market share that it once enjoyed, it is still the biggest selling marque in Italy and this was the chance for show go-ers to see the latest models and some of the recently announced versions and option packs. So whilst there was nothing that was outright new here there was still product of interest. Best selling car in Italy is the humble Fiat Panda and this was represented by the Panda Cross version.

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The Fiat 500 was well represented and among the cars on display was the limited edition Riva, a model produced to celebrate the Riva yacht brand . I have to say this car looks rather nice, with its distinctive special Sera Blue paint with a contrasting double aquamarine line running around the waist of the car. The interior continues the luxury yacht theme, with ivory leather seats complemented by mahogany wood trim running across the dashboard The Riva special edition is available in both hatchback and 500C convertible variants.

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From the rest of the range were Hatch and SW versions of the Tipo, Fiat’s recent re-entry in the C-Segment class, the 500L and the 500X.

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Most exciting Ford on show was the latest version of the GT.

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Ford launched the ST200 version of the Fiesta earlier in the year, as a limited edition, and only planned to be available in Europe. On the outside, it features bespoke grey paint as the only colour available, and unique 17-inch black alloy wheels. Inside, it featured Recaro bucket seats and illuminated tread plates as standard. Power and torque were both increased. As the name suggests, power was up to 200 PS, while torque was boosted to 214 lb/ft (290 Nm). The chassis remained the same, but torque vectoring (powered by braking the inside wheels rather than an active differential) helped to reduce understeer whilst cornering. Thanks to the increase in power and also to a shorter final drive ratio, 0-62 mph (100 km/h) was reduced to 6.7 seconds. Opinions vary as to whether it is truly “better” than the well-regarded standard ST. Also here was an ST-Line, a trim level introduced earlier in the year.

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One size up is the Focus and there were sporting versions of this car here, too, with the ST and RS Hatch models as well as the popular Estate.

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Ford’s SUV models were well represented with an EcoSport, a Kuga and the US-built Edge Sport.

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British marque Ginetta does sell a handful of cars for the road, but the majority of the cars they produce are for the track and they have a number of race series in which owners can compete. The G40 Challenge is a relatively affordable program (still not cheap, though!) but for the more experienced and those with deeper pockets then there is also the G50 and G55. It was the latter which was here.

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As well as the new Q30 and QX30, Infiniti were showing the Q50 saloon and associated Q60 Coupe.

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Jaguar were showing one example of each of the current models in their range, the XE, XF and XJ saloons and an F type Roadster.

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In recent times, Jeep has been the shining star of the FCA Group, with sales rising at quite a rate, and decent profit margins being generated from most of the cars sold. Most of the models are American built, of course, and these were represented here by the Wrangler, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee.

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There is now an Italian built Jeep as well, of course, the Renegade, which is made at Melfi on the same line as the Fiat 500X, with which is shares much under the skin, even though you would never guess by looking at them.

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To be seen here were a Huracan and Aventador Roadster as well as an example of the Huracan GT3 Blancpain racer.

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Well, it is not really a Lamborghini, except for the fact that it has the engine from one, which has been squeezed into the rear of this 1971 Fiat Nuova 500. This is a local creation but it received a lot of publicity when it was first shown a couple of years ago. “It’s impossible!” argued father Gianfranco Dini and son Leonardo, but once again, Gianfranco wanted to show his over-enthusiastic offspring who possessed the mechanical know-how in the family. The young Dini’s mistake was to suggest to his father—a master mechanic and founder of the legendary Oemmedi Meccanica—that he should shoehorn a Porsche 911 flat-six motor into the rear of a 1970s Fiat 500. The challenge had been issued, and in true father/son rivalry, there was no backing down. The exchange took place more than a decade ago, and the Porsche-engined Cinquecento has since been parked. Not because it didn’t work, but because the old saying “Madness is hereditary; you get it from your children” runs particularly deep in this family. You see, after building the Frankenstein Fiat/Porsche 500 and thus upholding his honour as a red-blooded Italian male, Signore Dini succumbed to a madness of his own making: he began work on a second car. This time, he eschewed the “foreign” motor for the flat-plane-crank V8 from a Ferrari 308, installed transversely in the 500’s rear. He’s then surpassed that with this latest and even madder creation. This one has a 580 bhp Lamborghini Murcielago motor stuffed into the rear of the car and to get it to fit, there had to be a radical rethink of its structure and external appearance. This is, with no exaggeration, a very small car built around a very big engine. “It was the result of a bet,” Dini Senior confirmed. “Some smartass in Northern Italy, who knew about my two previous cars, suggested I put a 6.2L Lamborghini V12 into a Cinquecento. Ten years ago, I’d have laughed it off, but after my experience with the other two cars, it was a challenge I accepted with relish,” he explained. It wasn’t easy, of course, but two years and 3,000 man-hours later, the Lambocento was rolled into the Italian sunshine. Since the Fiat 500 was inherently too short and narrow for the Lamborghini drivetrain, the specification called for both the wheelbase and track to be significantly extended. The result: a car nearly twice as wide as the original Fiat, with the hub centers of the huge Murcielago wheels now practically where the front and rear bumpers would sit on a stock 500. A tailored space frame chassis was fabricated. It incorporated a subframe cradle to mount the engine and transmission. Significant torsional reinforcement came from the steel bulkheads front and rear, as well as a steel floorpan, whose box-section transmission tunnel acted as the car’s backbone. The relevant parts of the ’71 Fiat 500 monocoque—in effect the side panels, roof, and its pillars—were welded to the new chassis and all the new body parts, including the huge wheel arches, were fabricated from steel. As Gianfranco is allergic to plastic, the entire dashboard and centre console were also fabricated from steel plate and covered in leather, further reinforcing the scuttle. Even the door mirrors are handmade from steel. There was no way the car would be able to deploy 580 hp through its rear wheels alone, so Lamborghini’s AWD transmission was adapted in its entirety, with a shortened propshaft and custom driveshafts. The car has a flat bottom for aerodynamics, with cutouts to aid ventilation of the finned sump and gearbox, and an air diffuser at the rear under the stainless steel Lamborghini exhaust silencer. The double wishbone suspension uses modified coilovers all round and an anti-roll bar at either end. The rear units are inclined 45 degrees and mounted to pickup points on the rear subframe, while the fronts are inclined at about 10 degrees and their top mounts are connected by a tubular steel strut brace. The brakes are the Murcielago’s 355mm rotors all around with four-piston calipers and even the working ABS system. There’s also a giant Lamborghini master cylinder up front, taking up almost half the space in the tiny front compartment. Details like the electrically opening engine cover and retractable rear spoiler add to the car’s overall finesse, and you can’t help but admire the attention to detail, even if some of it falls more on the practical side than the stylish. Opening the door, you drop into the custom bucket seat and can immediately tell Gianfranco is a wheelman: Every instrument, including the frighteningly optimistic 250-mph speedometer, is located on the console, while the large, yellow rev counter is positioned in a hole carved into the MOMO steering wheel. As with the Murcielago, the redline starts at 7,500 rpm, but with the Lambocento’s power-to-weight ratio of around 600 hp/ton, you’d have to be extremely brave or stupid to wind out the motor in each of the six ratios. A bog-stock Fiat 500 isn’t a spacious car, and sitting in the tiny cabin with the Lamborghini V12 in a plexiglass case behind your head is like sharing the bomb bay of a B-17 with a full load of high-explosive bombs.

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Sole Lancia model these days is the Ypsilon, which still sells very well in Italy, typically ending each month in the top three or four best sellers list. There was a single example on show here.

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Key exhibit here was the new fifth generation Discovery which was launched at the Paris Show To say that the Discovery is a vital product for Jaguar Land Rover would be like saying the Pope is kinda into religion. The one model alone accounts for roughly one in eight vehicles the entire company sells under both brands. And this despite the current model having been around since 2009 – and even then, it was essentially an update (albeit a fairly comprehensive one) of the model launched way back in 2004. Land Rover, then, was in desperate need of a new Discovery. And here we finally have it. Previewed by the Discovery Vision concept from 2014, the new Discovery slots in above the smaller Discovery Sport that’s been driving Land Rover’s sales since its recent launch. This one is bigger, though, with three full rows of seating and room for seven adults. But thanks in no small part to its aluminum construction – something that JLR has gotten very good at – the new Discovery weighs over 1,000 pounds less than the model it replaces. The new form packs all the latest electronics for entertainment, information, safety, and off-roading. There’s a range of gasoline and diesel engines on offer as well, but you can read all about that in the reveal post we brought you yesterday. All you need to do now is scope out the live images of one of the most important new vehicles to come out of the UK in over a decade, sitting on the show stand in Paris. Come the middle of next year, you’ll start seeing it in dealerships and traversing a wide range of the earth’s surface in the grandest of Land Rover style and the truest spirit of Discovery.

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Sole Lotus here was the latest iteration of the Elise. Recent years have seen continuous evolution of a car which started out as a light-weight, basic and not that powerful car in 1996. It’s come a long way since then.

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Maserati had a stand with examples of each of the models in their range. The Quattroporte has been given a subtle but quite significant update for 2017. Starting with the exterior, the new Maserati flagship can be recognised by the redesigned bumpers and the sharper front grille which features new vertical chrome elements. A set of matte black side skirts and restyled door mirrors complete the changes. The cabin has also been updated for a cleaner look, with the dashboard now incorporating a high-resolution 8.4-inch infotainment display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and a new climate control system and a new storage compartment sitting underneath it. The centre console has also been redesigned and now features a new rotary knob for the audio system, a new lid and phone storage compartment. An electrically adjusted air-shutter is now fitted behind the front grille, between the air vents and the engine’s radiator. The system works in conjunction with the new front and rear bumpers, air conveyor and flat bottom in order to reduce drag by 10 percent. The range of engines remains as is, meaning a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 engine available with two power outputs -350hp and 410hp in the Quattroporte S. The latter is optionally available with the Q4 all-wheel drive system. The range-topping GTS model is powered by a twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 with 510hp and 523lb-ft (710Nm) of peak torque, giving it a 0-62mph time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 192mph (310km/h). There is also the Diesel version which uses a 3.0-litre V6 with 275hp and 442lb-ft (600Nm) of peak torque. All engine options are paired to a ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox. Maserati also changed their range strategy with the launch of the updated Quattroporte, adding two unique trim options, the GranLusso and the GranSport. The former focuses on the luxury side of the Quattroporte, featuring exclusive materials and special features in the finest tradition of Italian craftsmanship among others. The GranSport trim level on the other hand enhances the sporty side of Maserati’s flagship. Customers will also now get the option of a new package of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. This includes safety features like Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop&Go, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning with Advanced Brake Assist, and Automated Emergency Braking.

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Also here was the smaller Ghibli saloon, the newly revealed Levante SUV and the top of the range GranTurismo.

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The Mazzanti Evantra is a high performance crafted car made by Italian company Mazzanti Automobili that had its World premiere at the Top Marques Show Monaco in 2013. In 2011 Luca Mazzanti, after a three years work, supported from the designer Zsolt Tarnok, presented the project “Evantra”, a mid-engine coupé designed to be produced in a very limited number and highly customizable. During 2012 Mazzanti realized models in scale 1:1 and began the construction of the very first unit. The final test of Evantra happened in circuit at Autodromo di Modena. and in 2013 Mazzanti Evantra was presented in a World premiere during the Top Marques Monaco Show also getting international exposure through the press at the show, so much that the company was contacted by many of the largest international car magazines.In 2014, Sony Entertainment shown his interest in the car by asking the permission to get the commercial rights of Evantra for Driveclub, a very popular driving simulation video game. The name Evantra, as tradition of Mazzanti Automobili, derives from the Etruscan language and it combines the concepts of unity and eternity: Evantra in fact was the name by which the Etruscans called the goddess of immortality. The car is set up as a two-seater coupé, result of research carried out by Luca Mazzanti, patron of Mazzanti Automobili, assisted by Zsolt Tarnok (Mazzanti Automobili chief designer). It is also known as the Evantra 771. The boxed steel chassis is joined to a cage of chrome-molybdenum tubes creating the framework inside the vehicle. Another cage connects the engine/gearbox compartment to rear shocks attacks. These solutions contribute significantly to the structural rigidity of the chassis and at the same time guarantee the safety of the occupants. The body is structurally a two-seater coupé. The same body is built in two different types of equipment: pro-body, made in carbon fiber, or one-body, with some parts in hand-wrought aluminium and customizable, obtaining in this case a project dedicated exclusively to a single vehicle, in practice a one-off. Interiors, made to measure each time, are aimed at a total customization. The sporty central console, has an instrument panel equipped with a multimedia system and data acquisition trim. The engine start button is placed on the integrated bridge to the pavilion in the Mazzanti style, already used on Antas, the previous car of this company. In the central console there is a specific selector with 2 different programs for the management of the engine/transmission, “Road” and “Race”, while the AIM steering wheel has a display with gear and speed indicator. The engine is a naturally aspirated, 7.0-litre aluminiium Chevrolet LS7 V8 engine that produces 701 hp at 6600 rpm and a maximum torque of 848 Nm (625 lb/ft) at 4500 rpm. The engine has a compression ratio of 11: 1 and is equipped with dry-sump lubrication system, titanium valves and connecting rods. The Evantra V8 is equipped with a 6-speed automatic gearbox, can reach a top speed exceeding 350 km/h (217 mph) and can accelerate from 0–100 km/h (62 mph) in about 3.2 seconds. The aerodynamic development was realized with the support of partners with significant background in F1 and Le Mans. The car is equipped with stock high performance tires 255/30 R20 front and 325/25 R20 rear, mounted on specific 20″ OZ Racing wheels, and controlled by a Brembo braking system with carbon-ceramic 380 mm discs and 6-piston calipers at the front and 360 mm discs and 4-piston calipers at the rear. The car is produced in Pontedera, Tuscany, Italy, built to order, with a maximum of five units per year

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The Mercedes display focused on AMG models, and the cars on show included the lairy AMG A45, the CLA 45 AMG, the AMG C63 Coupe, the AMG E43 Estate and the GT sports car.

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Emphasis on the Mitsubishi stand was for some of their low emission vehicles, with examples from each end of the range. The diminutive i MIEV was joined by the Outlander PHEV.

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This is an M600 Speedster. First seen in 2010, the Noble M600 is a handbuilt British sports car manufactured by low volume automobile manufacturer Noble Automotive in Leicestershire. Construction of the car is of stainless steel and carbon fibre. The car uses a twin-turbocharged Volvo/Yamaha V8 engine. The M600 comes in three specifications, the standard; which uses a fibre glass body; the carbon sport which uses a carbon-fibre body and the Speedster which is basically a targa top version. The M600 is hand-built by a team of 20 workers at the company’s Leicestershire facility. The M600 uses a steel backbone and aluminium chassis which is the same chassis used on the stillborn M15. The standard model uses carbon-fibre for vital body parts of the car and this allows it to have a curb weight of 1,250 kg (2,756 lb), although when independently tested, the standard model weighed 1,305 kg (2,877 lb). The M600 uses a 4,414 cc Yamaha-built Volvo B8444S 60º V8 engine which is also used in the Volvo XC90 and S80. The engine used in the M600 is manufactured by Motorkraft in the US from B8444S crate engines with Garrett AiResearch twin-turbochargers equipped with variable boost. This allows the buyer to choose from variable power outputs ranging from 450 bhp (Road setting, 0.6 bar (8.7 psi) pressure), 550 bhp (Track setting, 0.8 bar (12 psi)) and 650 bhp (Race setting,1 bar (15 psi)) through the use of a switch present on the dashboard. The engine also features a MoTeC M190 and Injector Dynamics ID725 electronic fuel injection. It has a compression ratio of 9.50:1. It uses an Oerlikon Graziano transaxle six-speed manual gearbox and has the redline set at 7,000 rpm. The M600 uses steel brake discs with six piston calipers at the front and four piston calipers at the rear. The brakes are designed by Britain based braking specialist Alcon. Owing to the driver focused nature of the car, there is no Anti-lock Braking System installed and the brakes have limited servo assistance. The interior of the car has twin hide upholstery and gloss carbon-fibre trim as standard. Buyers have the choice to choose from leather, suede an advantage upholstery along with knurled wood trim and wool carpeting. The switches and instrumentation are bespoke to the M600, although some components are shared with Jaguar and Aston Martin models. The car is equipped with an adjustable steering column and driver’s seat while the pedals are offset to the left. The pedals are adjusted according to the owner’s preference in order to provide a good driving position. A highlight of the interior is the engine power control knob, similar to Ferrari’s Manettino knob, which allows the driver to choose from variable engine power outputs along with related turbo boost pressure (Road, Track and Race). The knob is present ahead of the gearshift knob on the dashboard. A traction control switch activates the limited traction control which is present to avoid oversteer. The interior is based on simplicity and is driver focused, inspired by the Ferrari F40 and due to this, it does away with climate control and modern infotainment systems. Although extremely reviewed, sales have been very slow, though no-one has ever said how many, or perhaps have few have been built.

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Produced just down the road in Modena are the products of Pagani and the company had a stand here showcasing two of their cars. First of these was,a Cinque Roadster. The Zonda Cinque (Italian for five) was meant to be the last iteration of the Zonda, being a road-legal version of the Zonda R. Only five were built, hence the name, with deliveries set to June 2009 for all five cars. The Zonda Cinque was developed at the request of a Pagani dealer in Hong Kong. The differences from other variants of the Zonda were the new 6-speed sequential gearbox, resulting in shifts taking less than 100 milliseconds, dropping the 0–100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration time down to 3.4 seconds. The gearbox has three driving modes, namely Comfort, Sport and Race which optimises the gearbox for different driving conditions. The Cinque also had a revised form of carbon fibre called “carbo-titanium” which incorporated titanium in the weave to increase strength and rigidity. The suspension used magnesium and titanium components, and the 7.3-litre engine’s power and torque were increased to 678 PS (669 hp) and 780 Nm (575 lb/ft). Revised bodywork, which included a longer front splitter, new sideskirts, rear diffuser, bumper canards, and a flatter underside as well as a roof-mounted air intake scoop, enabled the Cinque to generate 750 kg (1,653 lb) of down-force at 355 km/h (221 mph) and 1.45 G of cornering force. The Zonda Cinque Roadster had the same specifications as the coupé from which it was derived. Only five units were built, like the coupé.

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Also here was a Huyara.

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There was plenty that was new on the Peugeot stand, though strictly speaking, it was Paris and not here where these models made their Show debuts. Commercially the most significant is the new second generation 3008 which was revealed earlier in the year. The new 3008 is now positioned as a proper crossover to rival the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and the Seat Ateca. This is the brand’s first model to feature the new generation Peugeot i-Cockpit design language which includes a series of measures to make what Peugeot hope we will all think is a car with s cabin that is one of the friendliest places to sit in the segment. The interior now features things like sensory buttons, advanced ambient lighting, a 12.3-inch digital display for the driver’s gauges and a separate 8.0-inch touchscreen display for the infotainment system. Thanks to the EMP2 modular platform, the new Peugeot 3008 claims to be up to 100kg lighter than its predecessor. Despite measuring 4450mm in length, the new model also features an 80mm longer wheelbase, improving the room inside the cabin and the trunk space which is now set at 520lt, 90lt more than the outgoing model. Customers will get to choose between two turbo petrol and four diesel options, with six-speed manual or automatic transmissions. The petrol range consists of the entry-level 1.2-litre PureTech 130 and the 1.6-litre THP 165. Diesel options include the 1.6-litre BlueHDi with 100PS and 120PS and the 2.0-litre BlueHDi with 150PS and 180PS. The range-topping petrol and diesel versions are offered exclusively with a six-speed automatic gearbox. The new crossover will also offer the option of a folding electric scooter or a folding bicycle with electric assistance, designed to integrate perfectly into the boot of the new 3008, with the car recharging their batteries when running. As you would expect from a modern crossover, the new 3008 comes with a wide range of active safety systems, including Active Safety Brake and Distance Alert, Driver Alert Warning, Automatic High Beam Assistance, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop function, Active Blind Spot Monitoring System and Park Assist. Deliveries start in the next few weeks.

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The new 3008 is joined by a new 5008, which also made its debut at the Paris Show. The new 5008 has transformed into an SUV as well. It hasn’t forgotten its practical roots, with Peugeot describing it as the first model of its kind to offer the modularity of an MPV. The 5008 offers the same engines as the 3008, features the i-Cockpit philosophy and is lighter than its forebear because it sits (you guessed it!) on an enlarged version of the new EMP2 platform. There will be a slightly longer wait for this one, with sales starting in Spring 2017.

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The smaller 2008 was also here, in a Matt edition which looks quite good when new, but how practical this paint finish is over the years remains to be seen.

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Peugeot were also showing off the non-crossover models from their range, with the 208 represented by a GT-Line model, and the 308 to be seen here in Hatch and Estate models, as well as a couple of race-ready versions.

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Also here was the 308 R Hybrid. Still just a concept, the R Hybrid develops 493bhp and 538lb ft of torque from its petrol-electric hybrid powertrain, which sees the 267bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine from the Peugeot RCZ R mated to two electric motors. Combined, the car has a 0-62 mph sprint time of 4.0 seconds, but emits just 70g/km of CO2. The 308 R Hybrid has been adapted to cope with the extra power on offer, with the front and rear tracks both widened by 80mm. It sits on 19-inch alloy wheels, clad with 235/35 R19 tyres. Power is sent to all four wheels, and there are upgraded brakes front and rear. There are four driving modes: Hot Lap; Track; Road, and ZEV. Hot Lap mode is designed to make the most of the car’s power, while Track only allows access to 395bhp. Track uses the petrol engine and the rear electric motor, with the front one acting as a booster for acceleration. Road mode has 296bhp and uses the petrol engine, supplemented by the rear motor for acceleration, while ZEV only runs on the electric motors. Peugeot has not said how far the car can travel on electric power alone, but has said it can be fully recharged on a fast charger in just 45 minutes. At the front, the grille has been modified and features a chequered pattern, while the bonnet has two air scoops, one on either side. It is more understated at the rear, with a narrow spoiler at the top of the tailgate. There are two more air scoops on the bumper, which help keep the battery cool by drawing out hot air. The two-tone paint job is familiar as this also appeared on the earlier 308 R concept that first appeared at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show, although it is blue and black on this Hybrid. The paint contains glass particles to add shine, while the colour scheme is normally only used on French competition cars. Inside, the cockpit is familiar to the rest of the 308 range in many ways, with the same instrumentation. However, it gets four individual sport seats, in fawn leather, while the dashboard is covered in a soft-touch fabric that Peugeot uses on its concept cars. It has the same small steering wheel as the rest of the 308 range, but with 308 Hybrid R badging. The six-speed automatic gearbox is controlled by paddles behind the wheel, and a head-up display projects the crucial data into the driver’s eye-line. Production is still very much a possibility.

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This was a display by the local Polizia and Carabinieri and as well as giving people the chance to see some of their vehicles close-up in a non-threatening context, there was a chance to talk to some of the officers and ask them questions. Plenty were doing so.

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Among the cars presented were a couple of high performance pursuit vehicles, a Lamborghini Huracan which is used used on the Autostrada around Milan and a Lotus Evora.

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The expansive Renault stand had an area dedicated to Renault Sport at one and ample space for the regular road-going cars at the other.

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The Clio is a popular choice for entry level series around Europe, with Clio Cup Challenge race series proving to be a relatively affordable way into motor racing.

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This is the Renault Sport RS 01, dating from 2014, a fully carbon fibre coupe featuring a 493bhp twin-turbocharged V6 engine, created to race in a new Renaultsport Trophy championship. The engine is a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 unit, derived from the version used in the Nissan GT-R. Supplied by Nismo, the unit benefits from a dry sump lubrication system to cope with the rigours of racing on track. The engine is mid-mounted, and hooked up to a Sadev seven-speed sequential transmission with steering wheel paddles. Performance is said to be somewhere between a GT3 and DTM car.

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There were examples of each of the models from the road car range here, too: Twingo, Clio, the latest Megane in Saloon and Estate guises, as well as the Captur, Kadjar and regular and Grand Scenic models all being ones that will familiar to a UK audience.

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Cars that Renault does not sell in the UK are the Talisman, available as both a Saloon and an Estate, which were the successors to the Laguna, and the latest fifth generation Espace was also present.

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Suzuki’s stand was focused on the new Ignis model, with several of these little cars presented on the stand. Based on Suzuki’s new lightweight new-generation platform, the new Ignis comes powered by a mild hybrid powertrain which combines a 1.2-litre Dualjet petrol engine with an integrated starter generator (ISG) and a lithium-ion battery pack. A five-speed manual transmission will be offered as standard, with an five-speed AGS (Auto Gear Shift) automated manual gearbox to be offered as an option. Power is sent to all four wheels with the company’s AllGrip Auto four-wheel drive system that automatically distributes the engine torque to the front and rear axles. With the minimum ground clearance set at 180mm, the new Suzuki Ignis promises to offer significantly better off-road capabilities than those of bigger crossovers, continuing the Japanese company’s great tradition on small off-roaders. The new Suzuki Ignis also comes with all the necessary safety features, including a Dual Camera Brake Support system which utilizes stereo cameras that detect other vehicles and pedestrians ahead at speeds of 5 km/h or above. The cabin offers plenty of space and practicality, featuring many storage locations while the infotainment system comes with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Mirrorlink. A rear-view camera and a navigation system are also available. Sales are scheduled to begin in Europe in January 2017.

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The display was completed by an example of the current Jimny and its antecedent, the LJ80.

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The Toyota that captured my interest was the new C-HR, the style-conscious crossover that was formally launched in production guise at the Paris Show, following the presentation of what Toyota called a design preview at the Geneva Show. Standing for Coupe High-Rider, the new Toyota model bares a striking resemblance to its concept variant unveiled two years ago in Paris. It’s been spawned to rival vehicles like the Mazda CX-3, Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. Beneath the skin, the CH-R is based around the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) and when it hits the market, will be available in a number of guises. The range-topping model features a 2.0-liter petrol four-cylinder engine delivering 142 hp and mated to a CVT. However, this variant will only be available in select markets. Elsewhere, like the UK, the range will be topped out by a 1.8-litre four-cylinder mated to an electric motor to produce a total of 120 hp and achieving 78.5 mpg over the combined cycle, all while emitting just 82 g/km of CO2 emissions. Last but not least is a 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine already available on the Prius, outputting 114 hp and 185 Nm of torque. This engine can be joined to either a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT and will also be offered in front and all-wheel drive configurations. The model’s exterior design is clearly reflective of the marque’s current design language, combining edgy and eye-catching body panels into a sleek package not dissimilar to the NX offered by Lexus. The car itself measures 4,360 mm long, 1,795 mm wide and 1,550 mm high with a 2,640 mm wheelbase. Inside, the Toyota C-HR has an eight-inch touchscreen incorporating the company’s Touch 2 multimedia system. Also found within are a selection of piano black and satin silver trim and a shallow dashboard design, providing the driver with an excellent field of vision. Numerous safety features come standard on all versions, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beam, Road Sign Assist and a Pre-Collision System with pedestrian warning. Heated seats are also available as is rear privacy glass, 18-inch alloy wheels and a smart entry system. Sales start soon. It will be interesting to see how well it does.

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The winner of the annual European Car of the Year award is now announced on the opening day of the Geneva Show in March, but as a build-up to this, the short list of the final 7 cars is revealed in October. So we now know which are the cars from a long list of over 50 models introduced during the year which meet the criteria which are in contention for the overall tittle, and there was an example of each in a special display here. The contenders are the Alfa Romeo Giulia, Nissan Micra, Opel/Vauxhall Astra, Peugeot 3008, Toyota C-HR and the Volvo V90.

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In the areas between the exhibition halls, there were a number of special display where some of the cars could be seen in action or taken out for test drives.


Abarth had examples of the current range here, a Series 4 595, a 695 Biposto and the new 124 Spider.

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Alfa Romeo had the new Giulia Quadrifoglio out here, as well as a Giulietta.

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The Land Rover Experience is something which find at quite a lot of events. It comprises a number of different and generally quite daunting looking obstacles, none of which actually prove to be that challenging to the expert drivers who take passengers for a lap. Accuracy of placement of the car is key here, rather than speed. You certainly would not to get any of them wrong.

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Jeep had something not dissimilar to demonstrate the amazing off-road capabilities of their products, and this was also a popular attraction.

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Final example of the outdoor cars was one of the new 3008 cars.

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An entire hall was given over to used cars, and there were rows and rows of late models here which you could buy on the spot. Generally the cars were not open for inspection from the inside but this was certainly a chance to see some of the models that were also displayed with the new cars in less crowded circumstances. I only took a few pictures of the lines and lines of cars that were here, with Alfa Romeo Mito and Giulietta featuring along with the Fiat 500 and Lancia Ypsilon, all of them particularly popular cars on the Italian market.

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One very large hall in the complex was given over to a display of historic and classic cars. Clubs large and small, as well as some manufacturers and other organisations from the old car movement, including a number of the most prominent private collectors in Italy had secured space here and there were some great displays. Having been at Padova (Padua) only a few weeks earlier, it was really nice to see a completely different array of vehicles in here, all presented in a different setting. You probably would not feel short-changed if this part of the Show was the only bit you came to see.


One of the last stands I came to, purely because of its position in the hall was the one with a couple of historic Abarths on it, both cars from the manufacturer’s own collection.

In the 1950s, Abarth saw no limit to the pocket-sized Fiat 500’s performance potential. The firm tuned the standard model a few months after its introduction and sent it straight to the Monza track, where the records it set helped kick the car’s career into high gear. It quickly turned it into the aforementioned coupe, but the most extreme 500-derived model was the streamlined, single-seater record car designed with input from Pininfarina. The 500 Record shared precious few components with the humble 500; it was built on a tubular chassis. Pininfarina put a tremendous amount of effort into making the body as light and as aerodynamic as possible. The driver entered the tight cabin through a front-hinged hatch that incorporated a wrap-around windshield for improved visibility. Pininfarina drilled holes through the hinges to keep weight in check, and it installed covers over the four wheels to reduce turbulence in the wheel wells. Engineers achieved a 0.25 drag coefficient, which places the car nearly on par with a 2019 Hyundai Ioniq (0.24). Abarth installed a 500-sourced, 479-cc two-cylinder engine rated at 36 hp, which was a lot considering the Record weighed a scant 815 pounds. Sent to Monza, the Record covered 28,000 kilometers (about 17,000 miles) in 10 days at an average speed of 116.38 kph (about 72 mph). This was an incredible feat for Fiat, Pininfarina, and Abarth.

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Based on the two-door body of the 131 first series, the Fiat 131 Abarth Rally was equipped with a four-cylinder twin camshaft engine derived from the Fiat two-litre and developed by Abarth. The road version had a 1995 cm3 displacement and delivered a power of 140 HP beefed up to 235 on the racing version. It was the “golden age” of the so-called Group 4: technical rules allowed teams to convert everyday family sedans into authentic race cars. The brand won the constructors’ world championship for the first time after its debut in 1977 with the Fiat 131 Abarth Rally. The title was successfully defended the following year and won once again in 1980 thanks to the many victories of the duo Markku Alén – Walter Röhrl: the German won the drivers’ championship title in 1980. Had there been an official drivers ranking in 1977 and 1978, Alén would have been world champion already back then.

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Right next to the Abarths were a much larger collection of Alfa Romeo models, from the company’s extensive collection of historics. Perhaps the most intriguing of the lot was this amazing device, the 1935 GP 16C Bimotore. The year 1934 saw the domination of racing through German technological might in the form of Mercedes and Auto Union Grand Prix cars. What had belonged to the French and Italian teams was now in German hands. Alfa Romeo was desperate to regain their superiority. Scuderia Ferrari was still the official racing team for Alfa Romeo, which provided it with the cars to compete in races all over the world. Enzo Ferrari, who wanted to give his drivers an outstandingly powerful car, decided to have one designed and built with two engines. Time was short and Luigi Bazzi had only a few months to prepare the Alfa Romeo 16C Bimotore. The idea was as ambitious as it was complex, but Bazzi, starting from the chassis of an Alfa Romeo P3, managed to find space for two straight eight engines of 3165 cc each, one in the usual place in front of the driver and the other behind him, and create one of the most original racing cars of any era. The car had rear-wheel drive, with the rear axle powered by a differential mounted at the output of the three-speed gearbox, and two long half-shafts in a “V” configuration, driven by final drives and acting on the rear wheels. The rear engine driveshaft passed “straight through” the gearbox and connected to the flywheel of the front engine and the single clutch, which thus controlled the power from both the straight eights. Two fuel tanks were mounted along the sides of the car, replacing the one normally fitted behind the driver, in the space now occupied by the second engine. The mathematical sum of the 270 hp generated by each eight-cylinder engine, supercharged by volumetric compressors, was 540 HP: an extremely high value even for a Grand Prix car. In the Modena workshops, Bazzi managed to prepare two cars: one for Louis Chiron and one for Tazio Nuvolari. The car made its debut at the Tripoli Grand Prix on 12 May 1935. The long straights of the Mellaha circuit in Libya appeared to be the ideal terrain for testing the car and giving all this horsepower its head: Nuvolari and Chiron finished fourth and fifth respectively. Alfa Romeo tried its luck again at Avusrennen on 26 May, and Chiron succeeded in gaining second place. On 15 June 1935, on the Altopascio-Lucca section of the new motorway from Florence to the coast, “Nivola” once again climbed into the cockpit of the Bimotore for an attempt at the flying kilometre and flying mile land speed record. The figures from the chronometers were an average speed of 321.428 km/h over a kilometre, with an average time of 11.20 seconds, and an average speed of 323.125 km/h for the mile, with a time of 17.93 seconds: the maximum speed was around 364 km/h. Nuvolari received congratulations from many sides, including from his great rival Achille Varzi, who insisted on being present and was unstinting in his praise for the record-breaker. The major reason for its relative lack of success could be traced to its prodigious use of fuel and tyres brought on by its excessive weight and power. More often then not the car was either entering or leaving the pits after receiving some sustenance. Thus the noble attempt that became the Alfa Bimotore could have easily been called the first Ferrari but rather than struggle to make it race worthy the project was soon dropped. With one of the cars scrapped the other was sold to British amateur driver Austin Dobson for national events at Donington and Brooklands. These days it belongs to Alfa Romeo and is usually to be seen in the museum at Arese.

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Also from Alfa’s Heritage collection were a number of other interesting cars, all with a motor sport theme.

This is a 750 Competizione from 1955. In 1955 the Giulietta twin-cam engine formed the basis for a barchetta-style sportscar designed to enter competitions in the 1500 cc Sports class. Abarth was tasked with tuning the engine and created the sheet metal chassis, while Boano developed the original bodywork. The great transformations taking place at the Portello plant in the 1950s prompted Alfa Romeo to quit Formula 1 after winning the first two Drivers’ Championships. But despite this withdrawal, the Milanese automaker never lost the racing heritage in its DNA. While the 1900 and Giulietta epitomised the concept of the “family car that wins races” by beating off competition in the touring category, Alfa was secretly developing prototypes to compete in the sport category. After the outlandish, futuristic 1900 C52—nicknamed the Disco Volante or “Flying Saucer”—came the 750 Competizione. Whereas the former was unique for its ogival cross-section body, the latter was equally unconventional compared with the prevailing Alfa Romeo cars of that period. The 750 prototype (whose number did not refer to engine displacement, but was an in-house code representing the Giulietta) was actually developed in conjunction with Abarth, which tuned the engine, built the chassis and assigned trusted coachbuilder Boano to develop the original bodywork, which differed from the style of other Alfa cars of the time. The characteristic three-lobed grille expressed the Alfa Romeo identity. but the barchetta harboured a host of new solutions, including the double exhaust on the left side and rear fins. The 750 Competizione was a traditional, open two-seater sportscar with right-hand drive, but with a partition running down the middle of the cockpit, between the driver and passenger seats. Each occupant had separate plexiglass windshields connected to small side windows. Under the small left-hand door was an openable bay containing a pair of four-to-two exhaust mufflers. At the rear, two fins led to the small rear lights, while another fin higher up merged into the driver’s headrest. Abarth, bucking the widespread trend of using tubular frames for racing cars, created a load-bearing body with steel sheets, plus classic features such as a front-mounted engine combined with rear-wheel drive, as well as independent suspension at the front and rigid axle suspension at the rear. The twin-cam Giulietta Sprint engine was tuned up, boosting displacement to 1488 cc and adopting a dual ignition cylinder head, which increased power output to 145 hp at over 8000 rpm. The gearbox had five forward gears and the top speed exceeded 220 km/h. Although the car was successfully tested and demonstrated good dynamic qualities, the project was abandoned because Alfa decided not to return to competitive racing. The 750 Competizione on show is a unique example.

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This 1973 Giulia Super 1300 is the car that took park in the fifth re-enactment of the Peking to Paris race, covering the 13,695 kilometres of the route from June 12 to July 17 2015. The car belongs to Scuderia del Portello, the official Alfa Romeo club.

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The 1987 Alfa 75 Turbo Evoluzione, made to compete in Group A touring categories, was developed the following year with a version tuned to comply with IMSA (International Motor Sport Association) regulations. In the latter configuration, the 75 delivered a power of 335 HP, which were upped to 400 in 1989, unleashed by its classic supercharged, twin-cam, 1762 cm3 straight-4. The body of the IMSA features wider track and streamline aerodynamics with a showy carbon-fibre rear spoiler. The 75 Turbo Evoluzione IMSA won two editions of the “Giro d’Italia Automobilistico” in 1988 and in 1989.

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This is a Formula Indy Lola T9100-Alfa Romeo from 1991. Alfa Romeo ventured to the United States in the early 1990s designing a 2.6-litre turbocharged V8 that delivered an estimated power of 700 HP and complied with Formula Indy regulations, which was the USA equivalent of Formula 1. The engine was initially installed on a March chassis and then from 1990 on the Lola, that sported a garish “American style” livery. The Lola-Alfa Romeo took the fourth place in its debut race on the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit.

Oldest Alfa Romeo here was this RL model. The Alfa Romeo RL was produced between 1922–1927. It was Alfa’s first sport model after World War I. The car was designed in 1921 by Giuseppe Merosi. It had a straight-6 engine with overhead valves. Three different versions were made: Normale, Turismo and Sport. RL total production was 2640. The RLTF (Targa Florio) was the race version of RL – it weighed half of normal versions, the engine had seven main bearings instead of four and double carburetors. In 1923 Alfa’s race team had drivers like Ugo Sivocci, Antonio Ascari, Giulio Masetti and Enzo Ferrari. Sivocci’s car had green cloverleaf symbol on white background and when he won Targa Florio 1923, that symbol was to become the Alfa team’s good luck token. In 1927, 2 different RLSS were entered in the first Mille Miglia, but both dropped out after briefly leading the race. A 1925 RLSS version with rare, original bodywork by Thornton Engineering Company in Bradford, UK, is on permanent display in the Brooklands exhibit at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia, PA, USA. It is one of only 9 RLSS still in existence. A total of 1315 RL models were made.

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Final evolution of the Alfa Romeo 6C was the 2500 which was announced in 1938. The 2500 had an enlarged engine compared to the predecessor models, with this Vittorio Jano designed double overhead cam engine available with either one or three Weber carburettors. The triple carburettor version was used in the top of line SS (Super Sport) version. The 2443 cc engine was mounted in a steel ladder frame chassis, which was offered with three wheelbase lengths: 128.0 in on the Turismo, 118.1 in on the Sport and 106.3 in on the Super Sport.

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Although it was clear that World War II was coming and car development would be stopped, Alfa did continue to produce a few hundred 6C 2500s were built from 1940 to 1945 before resuming production, Postwar. The first new Alfa in this period was the 1946 6C 2500 Freccia d’Oro (Golden Arrow), of which 680 were built through 1951, with bodies by Alfa. Various coachbuilders made their own versions of the 2500, with most of the bodies made by Touring of Milan, though this one has a Rigoli Robini Cabriolet style which is rather attractive. The car was sold to wealthy customers like King Farouk, Alì Khan, Rita Hayworth, Tyrone Power, and Prince Rainier. One was also featured in The Godfather in 1972. The 6C 2500 was one of the most expensive cars available at the time. The last 6C was produced in 1952, when it was replaced by the 1900. As well as a Touring there was one of the legendary Freccia d’Oro models here.

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Two notable Alfa Romeo models featured on the stand of cars from the Corrado Lopresto collection. The less familiar of the pair is this, one of just two Scaglione-bodied Alfa Romeo Spiders, which were produced in 1955. This car owes its existence to Max Hoffman, the charismatic Austrian who had fled his native land once the Nazis had annexed it and eventually ended up in New York. he started his new life making money by selling jewellery of metal-coated plastic, but in 1947 he turned his attention to cars, setting up the Hoffman Motor Company. Getting stock to display in his showroom on Park Avenue in the post war era was not easy so initially he took what he could get, but within three years, he had secured agreement with Jaguar to import the XK120, and spotting the potential of the VW Beetle, which most pundits had dismissed, he briefly had exclusive East Coast distribution rights for that car, and it was largely thanks to his efforts in persuading Mercedes to build a road going version of their Le Mans car that we got the gull-wing 300SL racer and he set up Porsche in the US. Alfa Romeo knew that they needed access to the US market, so they were interested in getting him to help them. Initially that proved difficult, as his nose had been put of joint over a first effort to represent the brand, but when he saw the 750 Series Giulietta Sprint Coupe, Hoffman decided to reconsider. However, he insisted that an open topped version would be needed. Alfa were sceptical, as they did not think there would be much local demand, but they were so desperate for Hoffman’s contract that they commissioned both PininFarina and Bertone to produce proposals. Hoffman picked the Pininfarina car, with the proviso that it gained windup windows, so you might conclude he did not like the Bertone one, which was styled by Scaglione. In fact that is not so, and for a while there was a possibility of both being produced, but in the end, the Bertone car was not produced, largely because it was feared that it would be too costly to do so, but the fact that some research was done as to whether the body could be made from the new glassfibre suggests that it was looked at seriously. The original prototype headed States-side but now lives in Switzerland, the second one remained in Italy. It would seem that when the prototypes were made, Pininfarina received chassis numbers 1 and 3 and Bertone got 2 and 4. This car is chassis number 4, and it differs from chassis number 2 especially at the back, with less pronounced rear fins. This car is believed to have lived in Reggio nell’Emilia and by the time stories emerged of its existence in the 1980s, it was in a rather decrepit state. It had been painted red at some stage. When Lopresto bought it, he undertook his usual thorough research in advance of a meticulous restoration. Surprisingly, the side screens, hood and bespoke windscreen are original and just needed a good clean. The Pininfarina car which reached production is, of course, achingly pretty, but there is a charm about this one, which means it is such a pity that it was not produced in parallel.

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Also displayed was the prototype Giulietta Sprint. The first Sprint 2 + 2 coupe was the first of the 750 Series Giulietta cars to be introduced, making its debut at the 1954 Turin Motor Show. Designed by Franco Scaglione at Bertone, it was produced at the coachbuilder’s Grugliasco plant near Turin. Saloon models followed a year later, though the Sprint and the open=topped Spider would go on to outlive the bigger-selling Berlina, adopting the Giulia name and 1600cc engines for the last few years of their life.

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By the late 1950s, Ferrari was in need of the money that would be generated by far a greater volume of sales, but he was nervous about extending downmarket, so when he decided to launch a much smaller and cheaper model, he decided it would not bear the Ferrari name. Instead, he went to ASA, and although the design of the resulting car was his, the 1000 GT did not bear Ferrari badges. The car was developed by Giotto Bizzarrini from Ferrari’s design, and manufactured by the ASA company in Milan (in a factory owned by the De Nora Electrochemical Group) from 1964 to 1969. The 1000 GT model was presented in 1962, but production started two years later. Bodywork was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Bertone. This small GT car featured an OHC 1,032 cc four-cylinder engine designed by Ferrari engineers, for a Ferrari project, originally dubbed “Ferrarina.” The original engine design was basically a four-cylinder, 850 cc slice of a Colombo V12 from a Ferrari 212, complete with characteristic “clothes pin” valve springs, and breathing through two Weber 40 DCOE9 carburettors. The 1000 GT featured a double wishbone arrangement for its front suspension, with a live axle at the rear. Both ends of the car featured coils springs, tubular dampers, and an anti-roll bar, as well as disk brakes. The coupe model was bodied in steel, with aluminium for the bonnet and boot lids. ASA production never achieved the anticipated volume of 3000-5000 cars per year. Even when series production was fully operational during 1964 and 1965, only one car was built per week. Exact production figures are unknown, but sources agree that less than 100 ASA cars of all types were constructed. One source estimates that 50-75 1000 GTs were produced in total between 1964 and 1967, with an additional handful of convertibles and competition cars. The ASA factory officially closed in 1967, but some cars were assembled from spare parts and sold as new up through the early 1970s. The Owners club stand here had both Coupe and Convertible models on show.

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The Aston Martin DB5 was an evolution of the DB4. The principal differences between the DB4 Series V and the DB5 are the all-aluminium engine, enlarged from 3.7 L to 4.0 L; a new robust ZF five-speed transmission (except for some of the very first DB5s); and three SU carburettors. This engine, producing 282 bhp, which propelled the car to 145 mph, available on the Vantage (high powered) version of the DB4 since March 1962, became the standard Aston Martin power unit with the launch in September 1963 of the DB5. Standard equipment on the DB5 included reclining seats, wool pile carpets, electric windows, twin fuel tanks, chrome wire wheels, oil cooler, magnesium-alloy body built to superleggera patent technique, full leather trim in the cabin and even a fire extinguisher. All models have two doors and are of a 2+2 configuration. Like the DB4, the DB5 used a live rear axle At the beginning, the original four-speed manual (with optional overdrive) was standard fitment, but it was soon dropped in favour of the ZF five-speed. A three-speed Borg-Warner DG automatic transmission was available as well. The automatic option was then changed to the Borg-Warner Model 8 shortly before the DB6 replaced the DB5. The high-performance DB5 Vantage was introduced in 1964 featuring three twin-choke 45DCOE side-draft Weber carburettors and revised camshaft profiles, delivering greater top-end performance at the expense of overall flexibility, especially as legendary Webers are renowned as ‘full-throttle’ devices. This engine produced 325 bhp at 5,500 rpm. 65 DB5 Vantage coupés were built. 123 convertible DB5s were produced (also with bodies by Touring), though they did not use the typical “Volante” name until 1965. The convertible model was offered from 1963 through to 1965. Originally only 19 of the 123 DB5 Convertibles made were left-hand drive. 12 cars were originally fitted with a factory Vantage engine, and at least one further convertible was subsequently factory fitted with a DB6 specification Vantage engine. A rare factory option (actually fitted by Works Service prior to customer delivery) was a steel removable hard top. From October 1965 to October 1966, Aston Martin used the last 37 of the Aston Martin DB5 chassis’ to make another convertible model. These 37 cars were known as “Short Chassis” Volantes and were the first Aston Martins to hold the “Volante” name. Although calling it a “Short Chassis” is a bit of a misnomer as the “short” comes from comparing it to the subsequent DB6, which has a longer chassis. When compared to the DB5, it is not “short” but rather the same size, however these cars differ to the DB5 convertible models as they feature DB6 split front and rear bumpers and rear TR4 lights, as also used on the DB6.

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One of the most interesting displays of the Show was this one which presented a number of the legendary concept cars to come from Bertone over the years.

This is the Citroen Camargue GS which was first presented it the 1972 Geneva Motor Show, the first collaboration between Bertone and Citroën, which would later go on to produce the successful BX. The Citroën GS Camargue was based on the Citroën GS, but presented as a two-door coupé with 2+2 seating. It used GS mechanical components, and was the same overall length, but 6 cm (2.4 in) wider.

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Two of the concepts here were Chevrolet-related. The Ramarro debuted in 1984 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The name “ramarro” comes from the Italian word for “green lizard”. The Ramarro uses the chassis from a 1984 C4 Corvette, the same car used to unveil the C4 to the European press at the 1983 Geneva Motor Show. Chevrolet gave Bertone that car to use to build the Ramarro, as well as a port fuel injection V8 engine from the newer 1985 Corvette. The engine remains mostly stock but the radiator and air conditioning have been moved to the back of the car, taking the place of the spare tire which was moved in front of the engine, in order to allow Bertone to design the body with a more tapered, sealed off nose for better airflow and aerodynamics. In order to get air into the radiator, air intakes were placed just behind the rear window on both sides. The only other mechanical change was the addition of experimental Michelin tyres in place of the original Goodyears. These new tyres measure 280/45VR-17 in the rear and 240/45VR-17 in the front. On the outside, the Ramarro also features sliding doors that slide forward towards the nose of the car, making them easier to open in tight parking spots versus conventional doors. Many reviewers have drawn a comparison between these and the doors on the 1954 Kaiser Darrin but the Ramarro’s doors are different in that they slide out and forwards whereas the doors on the Darrin retracted into the front fenders. The interior of the Ramarro retains the Corvette’s factory digital instrumentation and emergency brake handle but most of the original interior has been replaced by custom pieces. The concept features a sculpted single piece bucket seat that moves as one seat but has a hump in the middle for the centre console. The interior was retrimmed in specially patterned green leather that was picked to match the exterior and because it resembles the color and texture of lizard skin, a nod to the Ramarro’s name. Finally, the Corvette’s original automatic transmission was kept but the shift lever was replaced by a large rotary dial gear selector in the centre console. Nuccio Bertone reportedly started the Ramarro project because it presented a challenge, and because most of the cars with Bertone designed bodies were sold in America, yet they featured the name of the automaker first and Bertone second, so Bertone wanted to have a car to show in America which bore the “Bertone” name first and foremost. Bertone originally intended to unveil the car at the Turin Auto Show in the spring of 1984 but the show ended up being rescheduled to a few months later and since the Ramarro was based on the American Corvette, they made the decision to unveil it at the 1984 LA Auto Show instead. The Ramarro was well received at the show and later in 1985 was awarded Auto&Design’s Car Design Award for its “bold ideas,” which they say gave “the Chevrolet Corvette an entirely new personality.”

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The Chevrolet Corvette Nivola was a concept built in 1990 and debuted at that years Turin Motor Show. The Nivola may be considered Bertone’s homage to the most fascinating American sports car the Chevrolet Corvette. The sophisticated mechanical unit of the ZR-1 was interpreted by Bertone in a European key. Bertone designed a special chassis to make a sporty “boat” with mid engine. This mechanical layout made it possible to exploit all the power of the engine when accelerating and warrant perfect roadholding on bends. The name, Nivola, is after the famous driver, Tazio Nuvolari, nicknamed “Nivola”, much admired by Bertone, who usually drove his cars dressed in yellow.

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The Alfa Romeo Bella is a concept car built in 1999, conceived as a possible coupé version of the Alfa Romeo 166, though a production version never appeared. The Bella debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 1999. The car’s development was a collaboration between Alfa Romeo and Bertone. Based on the Alfa Romeo 166, it was built using a 2.0 L Twin Spark engine but would later receive a 3-litre Busso V6 engine producing 225 bhp. The car was a 2+2, but despite having 4 seats Bertone recognised that many 4-seat sports car owners use the rear seats as luggage space. In the Bella the rear armrest and seatbacks could be folded up to extend the trunk space into the cabin without spoiling the finished appearance of the cabin and concealing the items in the extended trunk. The car’s design was inspired by the Alfa Romeo scudetto, the shape of which seen in the car’s hood and informs the rest of the shape. A vestigial trilobo can also be seen in the nose. The integration of the windshield with the side windows gives the cabin an aeronautical appearance. The interior was trimmed in red leather with contrasting interior details in a metallic finish.

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Final car on the stand was the BMW Pickster. BMW pickups are few and far between, but even so, I was little surprised to find that there have been a couple of others. One of them was the E30 M3 Pickup from 1986 while the other came out in 2011 as the E92 M3 Pickup. And then there was a third pickup truck with BMW underpinnings which saw the light of day, purely as a concept. Back in 1998, for the Geneva Motor Show, Bertone borrowed a 528 and installed the engine from an M3 to create the rather unusual Pickster. Featuring extremely thin headlights, side mirrors mounted up high, and gargantuan 21-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin tyres, this wasn’t an ordinary BMW showcar. It goes without saying the party piece of the Pickster was its fairly spacious bed, though you can imagine the sporty pickup wasn’t developed to actually carry cargo. Bertone needed only three months to complete the project, thanks to ready-made hardware sourced from BMW. Although the concept appears to be missing the BMW logo, the kidney grille is there. Pop the hood and the engine cover will reveal the pickup truck’s origins. The interior cabin was just as bizarre as the exterior, with five-piece seats clad in blue leather and equipped with fixed cushions and adjustable seatbacks.

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One of the rarest BMW models of all times is the 507. Originally intended to be exported to the US at the rate of thousands a year, it never achieved that lofty goal and almost bankrupted the company. The 507 was conceived by U.S. automobile importer Max Hoffman who, in 1954, persuaded the BMW management to produce a roadster version of the BMW 501 and BMW 502 saloons to fill the gap between the expensive Mercedes-Benz 300SL and the cheap and underpowered Triumph and MG sports cars. BMW engineer Fritz Fiedler was assigned to design the rolling chassis, using existing components wherever possible. Early body designs by Ernst Loof were rejected by Hoffman, who found them to be unappealing. In November 1954, at Hoffman’s insistence, BMW contracted designer Albrecht von Goertz to design the BMW 503 and the 507. The production car was launched in late 1955. Thirty-four Series I 507s were built in 1956 and early 1957. These cars had welded aluminium fuel tanks of 110 litres capacity behind the rear seats. These large tanks limited both boot space and passenger space, and gave off the smell of fuel inside the car when the hood was erected or the hardtop was in place. Series II and later 507s had fuel tanks of 66 litres capacity under the boot, shaped around a space for the spare tyre to fit. The 507 frame was a shortened 503 frame, the wheelbase having been reduced from 111.6 in to 98 in. Overall length was 190.4 in, and overall height was 49.5 in. Curb weight was about 1,330 kilograms (2,930 lb). The body was almost entirely hand-formed of aluminium, and no two models were exactly the same. 11 cars were sold with an optional hand-fabricated removable hardtop. Because of the car-to-car differences, each hardtop fits only the car for which it was made. Front suspension was parallel double wishbones, with torsion bar springs and an anti-roll bar. Rear suspension had a live axle, also sprung by torsion bars, and located by a Panhard rod and a central, transverse A-arm to control acceleration and braking forces. Brakes were Alfin drum brakes of 11.2 in diameter, and power brakes were optional. Late-model 507s had front Girling disc brakes. The engine was BMW’s aluminium alloy OHV V8, of 3,168 cc with pushrod-operated overhead valves. It had two Zenith 32NDIX two-barrel carburettors, a chain-driven oil pump, high-lift cams, a different spark advance curve, polished combustion chamber surfaces, and a compression ratio of 7.8:1, yielding 150 hp at 5,000 rpm. It was mated to a close ratio four-speed manual transmission. The standard rear-end ratio was 3.70:1, but ratios of 3.42:1 and 3.90:1 were optional. A contemporary road test of a 507 with the standard 3.70:1 final drive was reported in Motor Revue, stating a 0–100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration time of 11.1 seconds and a top speed of 122 mph.The 507 made its debut at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York in the summer of 1955. Production began in November 1956. Max Hoffman intended the 507 to sell for about US$5,000, which he believed would allow a production run of 5,000 units a year. Instead, high production costs pushed the price in Germany to DM 26,500 (later 29,950), driving the U.S. price initially to $9,000 and ultimately $10,500. Despite attracting celebrity buyers including Elvis Presley (who owned two), Hans Stuck and Georg “Schorsch” Meier, the car never once reached more than 10% of the sales volumes achieved by its Stuttgart rival, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL. Intended to revive BMW’s sporting image, the 507 instead took BMW to the edge of bankruptcy—the company’s losses for 1959 were DM 15 million. The company lost money on each 507 built, and production was terminated in late 1959. Only 252 were built, plus two prototypes. Fortunately for the company, an infusion of capital from Herbert Quandt and the launch of new, cheaper models (the BMW 700 and later the ‘New Class’ 1500) helped the company recover.The 507 remains a milestone model for its attractive styling. 202 507s are known to survive, a tribute to the car’s appeal. Bernie Ecclestone’s 507 fetched £430,238 at an auction in London in October 2007. By 2009 the prices for 507s had reached €900,000. At the Amelia Island Concours in March, 2014 a 507 sold at auction for $2.4 million. Several notable personalities have owned 507s. In 1959, while stationed in Germany on duty with the US Army, legendary American entertainer Elvis Presley bought a white 507. Presley’s car, no. 70079, had earlier been used as a press demonstrator by BMW and raced by Hans Stuck. It was imported into the United States in 1960 and was bought by Alabama disc jockey Tommy Charles, who had it extensively modified, including having the engine replaced with a Chevrolet V8. In July 2014, BMW Group announced that Presley’s car will be on display for a short period at the BMW Museum in Munich, before being entirely restored by its Classic department. Elvis reportedly gave another 507, no. 70192, to Ursula Andress, who starred in Fun in Acapulco with him in 1963. Andress’s husband, John Derek, had the car customised, including having the engine replaced with a Ford 289 V8. Andress sold the car to George Barris. The car was restored with a correct drivetrain by a later owner. When the car arrived at McDougall’s Carrera Automotive it had also been repainted black. Being that the original engine was lost to time 2 503 V8’s were located along with the dual carburettor intake from a 507. Both engines were made into a running engine with BMW AG making a new engine gasket kit including head gaskets at a cost of US$25,000. It was also returned to its original blue color. It was sold at auction in 1997 for US$350,000 and at another auction in 2011 for US$1,072,500. John Surtees was given a 507 by Count Agusta for winning the 1956 500cc World Motorcycle Championship on a MV Agusta. Surtees worked with Dunlop to develop disc brakes for the front wheels of the 507, and his 507 eventually had disc brakes on all four wheels.

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Sole classic Bugatti here was this Type 40, a model introduced in 1926 and produced through 1930. It used the 3-valve 1496 cc engine first used in some Type 37s. It was an enclosed tourer or (as the Type 40A) small roadster. About 830 were built. The Type 40A shared its block with the Type 40 and displaced 1627 cc. All 40 Type 40As were built in 1930.

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Citroen Heritage had a large display with models from the extensive collection housed in the Conservatoire Citroen. 4 of them were 2CV cars. Three of them were special edition cars which began with the 1976 SPOT model and continued with the 1980 Charleston, inspired by Art-Deco two colour styles 1920s Citroën model colour schemes (initially Grey/Black, Maroon/Black and Yellow/Black). In 1981 the 007 arrived. They only really differed from the standard cars in their livery and presentation, but they proved popular and the Charleston became a permanent addition to the range.

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Completing the collection was a Sahara, a four-wheel drive (4×4) car, equipped with two engines (12 hp each), each one having a separate fuel tank. One was mounted in the front driving the front wheels and one in the back driving the rear wheels. A single gearstick, clutch pedal and accelerator were connected to both engines. It was originally intended for use by the French colonies in Northern Africa. As well as a decreased chance of being stranded, it provided four-wheel-drive traction with continuous drive to some wheels while others were slipping because the engine transmissions were uncoupled. Therefore, it became popular with off-road enthusiasts. The top speed was 65 km/h (40 mph) on one engine, and 105 km/h (65 mph) with both engines running. Between 1958 and 1971, Citroën built 694 Saharas. These rare vehicles are highly collectible.

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The larger DS was well represented, with a DS20 Pallas, in familiar saloon form, the desirable DS19 Safari and joined by an export version of the Cabriolet “usine”. It is hard to imagine just how revolutionary this car must have seemed when it was unveiled at the Paris Show in 1955. 18 years in secret development as the successor to the Traction Avant, the DS 19 stole the show, and within 15 minutes of opening, 743 orders were taken. By the end of the first day, that number had risen to 12,000. Contemporary journalists said the DS pushed the envelope in the ride vs. handling compromise possible in a motor vehicle. To a France still deep in reconstruction after the devastation of World War II, and also building its identity in the post-colonial world, the DS was a symbol of French ingenuity. It also posited the nation’s relevance in the Space Age, during the global race for technology of the Cold War. Structuralist philosopher Roland Barthes, in an essay about the car, said that it looked as if it had “fallen from the sky”. An American advertisement summarised this selling point: “It takes a special person to drive a special car”. Because they were owned by the technologically aggressive tyre manufacturer Michelin, Citroën had designed their cars around the technically superior radial tyre since 1948, and the DS was no exception. The car featured a novel hydropneumatic suspension including an automatic levelling system and variable ground clearance, developed in-house by Paul Magès. This suspension allowed the DS to travel quickly on the poor road surfaces common in France. In addition, the vehicle had power steering and a semi-automatic transmission (the transmission required no clutch pedal, but gears still had to be shifted by hand though the shift lever controlled a powered hydraulic shift mechanism in place of a mechanical linkage, and a fibreglass roof which lowered the centre of gravity and so reduced weight transfer. Inboard front brakes (as well as independent suspension) reduced unsprung weight. Different front and rear track widths and tyre sizes reduced the unequal tyre loading, which is well known to promote understeer, typical of front-engined and front-wheel drive cars. As with all French cars, the DS design was affected by the tax horsepower system, which effectively mandated very small engines. Unlike the Traction Avant predecessor, there was no top-of-range model with a powerful six-cylinder engine. Citroën had planned an air-cooled flat-6 engine for the car, but did not have the funds to put the prototype engine into production. The 1955 DS19 was 65% more expensive than the car it replaced, the Citroën Traction Avant. This did impact potential sales in a country still recovering economically from World War II, so a cheaper submodel, the Citroën ID, was introduced in 1957. The ID shared the DS’s body but was less powerful and luxurious. Although it shared the engine capacity of the DS engine (at this stage 1,911 cc), the ID provided a maximum power output of only 69 hp compared to the 75 hp claimed for the DS19. Power outputs were further differentiated in 1961 when the DS19 acquired a Weber-32 twin bodied carburettor, and the increasing availability of higher octane fuel enabled the manufacturer to increase the compression ratio from 7.5:1 to 8.5:1. A new DS19 now came with a promised 83 hp of power. The ID19 was also more traditional mechanically: it had no power steering and had conventional transmission and clutch instead of the DS’s hydraulically controlled set-up. Initially the basic ID19 was sold on the French market with a price saving of more than 25% against the DS, although the differential was reduced at the end of 1961 when the manufacturer quietly withdrew the entry level ID19 “Normale” from sale. An estate version was introduced in 1958. It was known by various names in different markets: Break in France, Safari and Estate in the UK, Wagon in the US, and Citroën Australia used the terms Safari and Station-Wagon. It had a steel roof to support the standard roof rack. ‘Familiales’ had a rear seat mounted further back in the cabin, with three folding seats between the front and rear squabs. The standard Break had two side-facing seats in the main load area at the back. During the 20 year production life, improvements were made on an ongoing basis. In September 1962, the DS was restyled with a more aerodynamically efficient nose, better ventilation and other improvements. It retained the open two headlamp appearance, but was available with an optional set of driving lights mounted on the front bumpers. A more luxurious Pallas trim came in for 1965 Named after the Greek goddess Pallas, this included comfort features such as better noise insulation, a more luxurious (and optional leather) upholstery and external trim embellishments. The cars were complex, and not always totally reliable, One of the issues that emerged during long term use was addressed with a change which came in for 1967. The original hydropneumatic system used a vegetable oil liquide hydraulique végétal (LHV), similar to that used in other cars at the time, but later switched to a synthetic fluid liquide hydraulique synthétique (LHS). Both of these had the disadvantage that they are hygroscopic, as is the case with most brake fluids. Disuse allows water to enter the hydraulic components causing deterioration and expensive maintenance work. The difficulty with hygroscopic hydraulic fluid was exacerbated in the DS/ID due to the extreme rise and fall in the fluid level in the reservoir, which went from nearly full to nearly empty when the suspension extended to maximum height and the six accumulators in the system filled with fluid. With every “inhalation” of fresh moisture- (and dust-) laden air, the fluid absorbed more water. For the 1967 model year, Citroën introduced a new mineral oil-based fluid liquide hydraulique minéral (LHM). This fluid was much less harsh on the system. LHM remained in use within Citroën until the Xantia was discontinued in 2001. LHM required completely different materials for the seals. Using either fluid in the incorrect system would completely destroy the hydraulic seals very quickly. To help avoid this problem, Citroën added a bright green dye to the LHM fluid and also painted all hydraulic elements bright green. The former LHS parts were painted black. All models, including the Safari and ID, were upgraded at the same time. The hydraulic fluid changed to the technically superior LHM (Liquide Hydraulique Minéral) in all markets except the US and Canada, where the change did not take place until January 1969, due to local regulations. Rarest and most collectable of all DS variants, a convertible was offered from 1958 until 1973. The Cabriolet d’Usine (factory convertible) were built by French carrossier Henri Chapron, for the Citroën dealer network. It was an expensive car, so only 1,365 were sold. These DS convertibles used a special frame which was reinforced on the side-members and rear suspension swing arm bearing box, similar to, but not identical to the Break/Safari frame.

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This is a Vallelunga, a mid-engined, rear wheel drive sports car produced from 1964 until 1968. The Vallelunga was based on a roadster designed by Carrozzeria Fissore and named after the Autodromo di Vallelunga first shown as a concept car at the Turin Motor Show in 1963. De Tomaso had hoped to sell the design of the concept to another company, but when there were no takers had the car produced by Ghia. The engine was a 1.5 L straight-4 Kent engine from the Ford Cortina, tuned to 104 hp at 6200 rpm. A Volkswagen Beetle transaxle, fitted with Hewland gearsets, was used. The chassis was a pressed steel backbone with a tubular subframe at the rear. Suspension was double wishbone and coil springs at all four corners with front and rear anti-roll bars and with uprights sourced from Triumph. The small car weighed 726 kg (1,600 lb) with a fibreglass body and many drilled aluminium parts. Brakes were disc all around. The chassis was not torsionally sound for engines with higher torque, a problem made worse by faulty welding in the Italian-made backbone. Drivetrain vibration was a constant problem for those cars. 50 production cars were built, along with three aluminium-bodied prototypes and five aluminium-bodied racing cars, bringing the total to 58. The Vallelunga was replaced by the Mangusta.

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Also on show was a Mangusta. The word “mangusta” is Italian for “mongoose”, an animal that can kill cobras. It was rumored that the car was so named in retaliation to a failed deal between De Tomaso and Carroll Shelby. Alejandro de Tomaso offered to help Carroll Shelby to build a new CanAm race car at the end of 1964 when Shelby found that the Shelby Cobra would not be able to compete there. DeTomaso was planning to develop a new 7.0-litre V8 engine for racing so he saw this as a perfect opportunity. Shelby agreed to finance the project and also sent a SCCA approved design team headed by Peter Brock to Italy in order to handle the design work. De Tomaso had conflicts on the design of the car. He also failed to deliver the agreed 5 race cars within the deadline for the 1965 CanAm season. This caused Shelby to eventually back out of the project and join the development team of the Ford GT40. Peter Brock and his team were able to finish the car according to their will. De Tomaso engaged Carroziera Ghia to finalise the design of the car which was being developed under the project name of P70. The single completed car was displayed at the 1965 Turin Motor Show as the Ghia De Tomaso Sport 5000. De Tomaso then modified the steel backbone chassis of the P70 and it became the basis for the Mangusta, which was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Ghia. The Mangusta entered production in 1967, at the same time De Tomaso had purchased Ghia. The initial cars are claimed to have a more powerful Ford HiPo 289 engine; the later cars all had Ford 302 engines. The Mangusta was imported into the United States via a federal waiver which applied to the car due to its small production numbers. The waiver exempted the car from safety regulations which were in affect in the time as the Mangusta came without seat belts and had headlights far lower than what the federal regulations allowed. When this exemption expired, the front of the car was redesigned in order to accommodate two pop-up headlamps instead of the quad round headlamps present earlier. These new headlamps functioned through a crude lever-and-cable arrangement, which fed into the cabin. An estimated 50 cars were produced in this configuration. One car was built with a Chevrolet engine for General Motors-Vice President, Bill Mitchell. There are reported to be approximately 250 of the 401 cars left in existence, according to the three available registries. The Mangusta was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, whose main highlight is a centre-hinged, two-section hood that opened akin to gullwing doors. The European version was fitted with a mid-mounted 306 bhp Ford 289 V8 engine, driven through a 5-speed ZF transaxle; in North America a 230 bhp Ford 302 V8 was used. The Ford 289 engine was later replaced by the Ford 302 engine in the European version as well. All round disc brakes and independent suspension, rack and pinion steering, air conditioning, and power windows were fitted, ahead of other manufacturers at the time. Journalist Paul Frère claimed he achieved a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph) in the Mangusta. The Mangusta was relatively inexpensive for the time, but with a 32/68 front/rear weight distribution and a less than solid chassis suffered from stability problems and poor handling. The car’s cabin was also cramped and it had extremely low ground clearance. Production ceased when the car was replaced by the Pantera. 401 cars in total were built, about 150 were made for Europe, while the remainder were made for North America.

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There were surprisingly few Ferrari on show, Precisely one, in fact. This one.

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Representing Fiat from the FCA Heritage collection were a number of sporting models.

Oldest of them was this 508S Balilla Coppa d’oro from 1934, a car of great charm and history. It owes its name to the victory achieved in the “Coppa del Littorio” in 1934. Characterised by the continuous red fenders, the car derives directly from the 1933 Fiat 508 S Balilla Sport, a two-seater spider, with hood and wheels sunburst. The Fiat specimen mounts a 995 cc engine, front arrangement, maximum power 30 HP and overhead valves, Zenith 30 carburettor. The maximum speed is around 110 km / h.

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This 1100 S Sports Berlinetta dates from 1947 and can be considered as the direct descendant of the pre-war “508 C MM. It mounts a refined engine, with a maximum power of 51 HP while the maximum speed is 150km / h. Its sporting debut was victorious and took place at the Mille Miglia of the following year, where the car finished second, third and fourth in the general classification. The bodywork follows in a more modern way the style of the aerodynamic 2-seater berlinetta with a pre-war truncated tail. 401 examples of the 1100S were made up to 1950.

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And finally, Fiat themselves were showing a Uno Turbo Trofeo from 1990. This particular car never actually raced in the Trophy period or afterwards, but it is a recreation of those which did, following an initial presentation at the Bologna Motor Show in 1989. In the mid-1980s, the Uno Turbo had the difficult task of updating the Fiat Group’s image in entry level motor sport and at the same time redefining its positioning from the point of view of the performance / cost ratio, vis-à-vis the “ higher groups ”foreseen by the sports regulation. In 1985 the Fiat Uno championship was established, in the first two years with the Uno 70 and later with the Uno Turbo, which took the place of the A112 Autobianchi championship. The choice of the Uno was motivated by considerations of image and a desire to represent the different sport categories with a variety of products from across the Group. With Lancia engaged in the major international and national championships, Fiat took on the role of promoting the new drivers’ levers in order to be able to introduce fans to the lower speed and more affordable motor sport sector. The championship was open to cars which had been equipped with parts contained in the Trofeo kit, and the calendar included the rallies of Costa Smeralda, Elba, Targa Florio, Lana, Piancavallo, San Remo, San Marino and Sestrieres.

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Elsewhere, the oldest Fiat model present was this 1913 Chiribiri. In 1918, the Fiat Chiribiri broke the world speed record for the timed kilometre from a flying start. The car had been built in 1913, and had a 8,000 cc inline-four Chiribiri aircraft engine producing 130 CV installed into a Fiat 50-60 HP chassis. It is usually considered the first monoposto made in Italy. At Monza it reached 160 km/h (99 mph) in the standing kilometre. It is usually displayed in the Mario Righini collection at the castle in Panzano, a frazione of Castelfranco Emilia, Italy.

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Although best known for their cars, Fiat have always produced a wide variety of other vehicle types and the historic 626 RNL Bus and 640 Lorry that were on show were a reminder of that.

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This is another of Corrado Lopresto’s cars. It is a 1400 Coupe Balbo dating from 1952. Carrozzeria Balbo was established in 1914 in Torino and began building cars, spider, coupes, sedan and light commercial bodies mostly derived from Fiat chassis. Alfonso Balbo set up a coachbuilding firm as early as 1914 and after World War II it applied itself in a rather different direction with a microcar prototype. Among the best of the former was a 2-door saloon on the Lancia Trikappa in 1922. He died suddenly in 1926 and the business was carried on by his closest business partner, Carlo Follis. Few car bodies were made until after World War II, when a cabriolet was built on a Fiat 1100, followed by a series of attractive saloons and coupes based on the Fiat 1100, Fiat 1400 and Fiat 1500. Some of these were 4-door saloons, unusual at a time when most Italian coachbuilders favoured coupes and cabriolets. This one is based on Fiat’s 1400, and is one of the first cars to be designed by Franco Scaglione.

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The first Camapgnola was launched in 1951, a utility vehicle that was a sort of Italian Land-Rover. It came with short and long wheelbases, and a choice of a fixed, steel or canvas roof. A redesigned model was launched in June 1974 and in this form was produced until 1987. The new vehicle used the petrol engine of the Fiat 132, but with a longer stroke which increased the capacity to 1,995 cc. – the same enlarged engine turned up in the Fiat 132 itself two years later, albeit with twin overhead camshafts. There was a light alloy cylinder head: instead of the twin overhead camshafts of the 132, the engine in the Campagnola had a single side-mounted camshaft driven by a toothed belt, the valve movement being driven by pushrods and rockers. The large square engine compartment gave easy access to the engine bay which was designed to permit “wading” up to 70 cm deep. The 57 litre fuel tank was positioned well out of range from rocks and flying stones, being under the twin passenger seat beside the driver. MacPherson struts suspended all four wheels, with two struts for each of the rear wheels and a single strut for each of the front wheels.All six struts used were of identical specification and thereby interchangeable. Road testers from the UK commended the smoothness of the ride over rough ground which evidently compared very favourably with that offered by the Land Rover of the time. A military version was introduced in 1976 (AR76) and 1979 after new updated it was called AR76.

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Very contrasting historic Ford models were presented here with the Model T and Model A contrasting with the GT40.

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There were also plenty of classic Mustang models here, showing the evolution of the first generation of this popular “pony car”.

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Oldest Jaguar model type here was an SS100. The first of William Lyons’ open two-seater sports cars came in March 1935 with the SS 90, so called because of its claimed 90 mph top speed. This car used the 2½-litre side-valve, six-cylinder engine in a short-chassis “cut and shut” SS 1 brought down to an SS 2’s wheelbase. Just 23 were made. It was the precursor to one of the finest pre-war sports car ever made, the SS100. That car benefitted from some significant engine development work that was led by Harry Westlake, who was asked to redesign the 2½-litre 70 bhp side-valve engine to achieve 90 bhp. His answer was an overhead-valve design that produced 102 bhp and it was this engine that launched the new SS Jaguar sports and saloon cars in 1936. Shown first in the SS Jaguar 2½-litre saloon, the new car caused a sensation when it was launched at a trade luncheon for dealers and press at London’s Mayfair Hotel on 21 September 1935. The show car was in fact a prototype. Luncheon guests were asked to write down the UK price for which they thought the car would be sold and the average of their answers was £765. Even in that deflationary period, the actual price at just £395 would have been a pleasant surprise for many customers, something which characterised Jaguars for many decades to come. Whilst the new Jaguar saloon could now compete with the brand new MG SA, it was the next application of the engine that stunned everyone even more, with the launch of the legendary SS100. Named because it was a genuine 100 mph car, this open topped sports car looked as good as it was to drive. Only 198 of the 2½-litre and 116 of the 3½-litre models were made and survivors are highly prized and priced on the rare occasions when they come on the market. Such is their desirability that a number of replica models have been made over the years, with those made by Suffolk Engineering being perhaps the best known, and which are indeed hard to tell apart from an original 1930s car at a glance.

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Jaguar stunned the world with the XK120 that was the star of the Earls Court Motor Show in 1948. Seen in open two seater form, the car was a testbed and show car for the new Jaguar XK engine. The display car was the first prototype, chassis number 670001. It looked almost identical to the production cars except that the straight outer pillars of its windscreen would be curved on the production version. The roadster caused a sensation, which persuaded Jaguar founder and design boss William Lyons to put it into production. Beginning in 1948, the first 242 cars wore wood-framed open 2-seater bodies with aluminium panels. Production switched to the 112 lb heavier all-steel in early 1950. The “120” in the name referred to the aluminium car’s 120 mph top speed, which was faster with the windscreen removed. This made it the world’s fastest production car at the time of its launch. Indeed, on 30 May 1949, on the empty Ostend-Jabbeke motorway in Belgium, a prototype XK120 timed by the officials of the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium achieved an average of runs in opposing directions of 132.6 mph with the windscreen replaced by just one small aeroscreen and a catalogued alternative top gear ratio, and 135 mph with a passenger-side tonneau cover in place. In 1950 and 1951, at a banked oval track in France, XK120 roadsters averaged over 100 mph for 24 hours and over 130 mph for an hour, and in 1952 a fixed-head coupé took numerous world records for speed and distance when it averaged 100 mph for a week. Roadsters were also successful in racing and rallying. The first production roadster, chassis number 670003, was delivered to Clark Gable in 1949. The XK120 was ultimately available in two open versions, first as an open 2-seater described in the US market as the roadster (and designated OTS, for open two-seater, in America), and from 1953 as a drophead coupé (DHC); as well as a closed, or fixed head coupé (FHC) from 1951. A smaller-engined version with 2-litres and 4 cylinders, intended for the UK market, was cancelled prior to production.

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Needing no introduction, even now, over 50 years since its Geneva Show premiere in 1961 is the E Type, and this was represented among the Jaguars on display. stunning the world at the 1961 Geneva Show. Considered by many to be Sir William Lyons’ greatest achievement, not only did the car have stop-you-in-your-tracks gorgeous styling, but it had explosive performance (even if the 150 mph that was achieved in The Autocar’s Road Test is now known to have been with a little “help”), but it was the price that amazed people more than anything else. Whilst out of reach for most people, who could barely afford any new car, it was massively cheaper than contemporary Aston Martins and Ferraris, its market rivals. It was not perfect, though, and over the coming years, Jaguar made constant improvements. A 2+2 model joined the initial range of Roadster and Coupe, and more powerful and larger engines came when the 3.8 litre was enlarged to 4.2 litres, before more significant styling changes came with the 1967 Series 2 and the 1971 Series 3, where new front end treatments and lights were a consequence of legislative demands of the E Type’s most important market, America. Many of the cars that were first sold in the US have since been repatriated, so there are plenty of them around now, but even so values continue to rise. Buy while you can still afford one!

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One of the most loved Jaguars of all time, both when it was new, and still now, is the Mark 2 saloon. Many will tell you that it is not the 3 Series BMW that “invented” the “compact sports saloon” car class, but this model, which dates back to 1959. A thorough revision of the small Jaguar saloon that had joined the range in 1955, the Mark 2 was notable in that it was the first car to use the Arabic numeral in its name, as opposed to the Roman numerals of the larger Jaguar models. At launch, the earlier model which had hitherto been known by its engine size was christened the Mark 1. Although clearly based on that car, the updated car looked significantly different, with an increase of 18% in cabin glass area greatly improving visibility. The car was re-engineered above the waistline. Slender front pillars allowed a wider windscreen and the rear window almost wrapped around to the enlarged side windows now with the familiar Jaguar D-shape above the back door and fully chromed frames for all the side windows. The radiator grille was amended and larger side, tail and fog lamps repositioned. Inside a new heating system was fitted and ducted to the rear compartment (although still notoriously ineffective). There was an improved instrument layout that became standard for all Jaguar cars until the XJ Series II of 1973. As well as the familiar 2.4 and 3.4 litre engines, what made this car particularly special was that it was also offered with the potent 220 bhp 3.8 litre unit that was fitted to the XK150 and which would later see service in the E Type. This gave the car a 0 – 60 time of around 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 125 mph. No wonder that the Mark 2 became popular as a get-away car for the criminal fraternity, and to keep up with and catch them, many police forces bought the car as well. With revised suspension and standard four wheel disc brakes, the car was effective on the track, taking plenty of class wins when new, and it is still popular in historic racing circles today. The quickest and most successful private entries came from John Coombs, a man with significant race experience who operated a large Jaguar dealership in Guildford. Coombs would undertake modifications to meet the demands of his customers, so not all the cars that he worked on are the same. Jaguar replaced the Mark 2 with simplified and slightly more cheaply finished 240 and 340 models, as an interim measure until an all-new model was ready to take over from them. The 3.8 litre disappeared from the range at this time, but in the 7 years it had been in production, it had been the best seller of the range, with around 30,000 cars produced, as compared to 28,666 of the 3.4 litre and 25,741 of the 2.4 litre model.

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Oldest of the trio of Lamborghini models on a stand with cars from the factory’ collection was a rather splendid Miura. Some will say that this was the first true supercar. For sure, this car, produced between 1966 and 1973, is widely considered to have instigated the trend of high performance, two-seater, mid-engined sports cars. When released, it was the fastest production road car available. The Miura was originally conceived by Lamborghini’s engineering team, Gian Paolo Dallara, Paolo Stanzani, and Bob Wallace who in 1965 put their own time into developing a prototype car known as the P400. The engineers envisioned a road car with racing pedigree – one which could win on the track and be driven on the road by enthusiasts. The three men worked on its design at night, hoping to convince Lamborghini such a vehicle would neither be too expensive nor distract from the company’s focus. When finally brought aboard, Lamborghini gave his engineers a free hand in the belief the P400 was a potentially valuable marketing tool, if nothing more. The car featured a transversely-mounted mid-engine layout, a departure from previous Lamborghini cars. The V12 was also unusual in that it was effectively merged with the transmission and differential, reflecting a lack of space in the tightly-wrapped design. The rolling chassis was displayed at the Turin Salon in 1965. Impressed showgoers placed orders for the car despite the lack of a body to go over the chassis. Bertone was placed in charge of styling the prototype, which was finished just days before its debut at the 1966 Geneva motor show. Curiously, none of the engineers had found time to check if the engine would fit inside its compartment. Committed to showing the car, they decided to fill the engine bay with ballast and keep the car locked throughout the show, as they had three years earlier for the début of the 350GTV. Sales head Sgarzi was forced to turn away members of the motoring press who wanted to see the P400’s power plant. Despite this setback, the car was the highlight of the show, immediately boosting stylist Marcello Gandini’s reputation. The favourable reaction at Geneva meant the P400 was to go into production by the following year. The name “Miura”, a famous type of fighting bull, was chosen, and featured in the company’s newly created badge. The car gained the worldwide attention of automotive enthusiasts when it was chosen for the opening sequence of the original 1969 version of The Italian Job. In press interviews of the time company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini was reticent about his precise birth date, but stressed that he was born under the star sign Taurus the bull. Early Miuras, known as P400s (for Posteriore 4 litri), were powered by a version of the 3.9 litre Lamborghini V12 engine used in the 400GT at the time, only mounted transversely and producing 350 hp. Exactly 275 P400 were produced between 1966 and 1969 – a success for Lamborghini despite its then-steep price. Taking a cue from the Mini, Lamborghini formed the engine and gearbox in one casting. Its shared lubrication continued until the last 96 SVs, when the case was split to allow the correct oils to be used for each element. An unconfirmed claim holds the first 125 Miuras were built of 0.9 mm steel and are therefore lighter than later cars. All cars had steel frames and doors, with aluminium front and rear skinned body sections. When leaving the factory they were originally fitted with Pirelli Cinturato 205VR15 tyres (CN72). The P400S Miura, also known as the Miura S, made its introduction at the Turin Motorshow in November 1968, where the original chassis had been introduced three years earlier. It was slightly revised from the P400, with the addition of power windows, bright chrome trim around external windows and headlights, new overhead inline console with new rocker switches, engine intake manifolds made 2 mm larger, different camshaft profiles, and notched trunk end panels (allowing for slightly more luggage space). Engine changes were reportedly good for an additional 20 hp. Other revisions were limited to creature comforts, such as a locking glovebox lid, a reversed position of the cigarette lighter and windshield wiper switch, and single release handles for front and rear body sections. Other interior improvements included the addition of power windows and optional air conditioning, available for US$800. About 338 P400S Miura were produced between December 1968 and March 1971. One S #4407 was owned by Frank Sinatra. Miles Davis also owned one, which he crashed in October 1972 under the influence of cocaine, breaking both ankles. The last and most famous Miura, the P400SV or Miura SV featured different cam timing and altered carburettors. These gave the engine an additional 15 hp to a total of 380 hp. The last 96 SV engines had a split sump. The gearbox now had its lubrication system separate from the engine, which allowed the use of the appropriate types of oil for the gearbox and the engine. This also alleviated concerns that metal shavings from the gearbox could travel into the engine with disastrous and expensive results and made the application of an optional LSD far easier. The SV can be distinguished from its predecessors from its lack of “eyelashes” around the headlamps, wider rear wings to accommodate the new 9-inch-wide rear wheels and Pirelli Cinturato tyres, and different taillights. 150 SVs were produced.

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Which small boy (and perhaps car loving girl) did not lust after a Countach back in the 1970s and 1980s. A dramatic looking car, this was the stuff of dreams that you would only ever see at the London or NEC Motor Shows. Countach first made an appearance, as a concept in 1971, but it was 1973 before the production car made its debut, and despite unfortunate timing with fuel shortages and a recession, and a number of financial problems for its maker, the car sold well throughout its production life. The Countach entered production as the LP400 with a 3929 cc engine delivering 370 hp. The first production Countach was delivered to an Australian in 1974. Externally, little had altered from the final form of the prototype except at the rear, where conventional lights replaced the futuristic light clusters of the prototype. The styling had become rather more aggressive than Gandini’s original conception, with the required large air scoops and vents to keep the car from overheating, but the overall shape was still very sleek. The original LP400 rode on the quite narrow tyres of the time, but their narrowness and the slick styling meant that this version had the lowest drag coefficient of any Countach model. The emblems at the rear simply read “Lamborghini” and “Countach”, with no engine displacement or valve arrangement markings as is found on later cars. By the end of 1977, the company had produced 158 Countach LP400s. In 1978, a new LP400 S model was introduced. Though the engine was slightly downgraded from the LP400 model (350 bhp), the most radical changes were in the exterior, where the tyres were replaced with 345/35R15 Pirelli P7 tyres; the widest tyres available on a production car at the time, and fibreglass wheel arch extensions were added, giving the car the fundamental look it kept until the end of its production run. An optional V-shaped spoiler was available over the rear deck, which, while improving high-speed stability, reduced the top speed by at least 16 km/h (10 mph). Most owners ordered the wing. The LP400 S handling was improved by the wider tires, which made the car more stable in cornering. Aesthetically, some prefer the slick lines of the original, while others prefer the more aggressive lines of the later models, beginning with the LP400 S. The standard emblems (“Lamborghini” and “Countach”) were kept at the rear, but an angular “S” emblem was added after the “Countach” on the right side. 1982 saw another improvement, this time giving a bigger, more powerful 4754 cc engine. The bodywork was unaltered, however the interior was given a refresh. This version of the car is sometimes called the 5000 S, which may cause confusion with the later 5000 QV. 321 of these cars were built. Two prototypes of the 1984 Countach Turbo S were built by Lamborghini, of which one is known to exist. The Turbo S weighed 1,515 kg (3,340 lb), while its 4.8 litre twin-turbo V12 had a claimed maximum power output of 758 PS and a torque output of 876 N·m (646 lb·ft), giving the car an acceleration of 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 335 km/h (208 mph). A turbo adjuster, located beneath the steering wheel, could be used to adjust the boost pressure from 0.7 bar to 1.5 bar at which the engine performed its maximum power output. The Turbo S has 15″ wheels with 255/45 tyres on the front and 345/35 on the rear. In 1985 the engine design evolved again, as it was bored and stroked to 5167 cc and given four valves per cylinder—quattrovalvole in Italian, hence the model’s name, Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole or 5000 QV in short. The carburettors were moved from the sides to the top of the engine for better breathing—unfortunately this created a hump on the engine deck, reducing the already poor rear visibility to almost nothing. Some body panels were also replaced by Kevlar. In later versions of the engine, the carburettors were replaced with fuel injection. Although this change was the most notable on the exterior, the most prominent change under the engine cover was the introduction of fuel injection, with the Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, providing 414 bhp, rather than the six Weber carburettors providing 455 bhp. As for other markets, 1987 and 1988 model Quattrovalvoles received straked sideskirts. 610 cars were built. The only Countach model here was a 5000Qv.

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Lamborghini had been toying for some time with the idea of a smaller and cheaper car, powered by a V8 engine, to rival the smaller Ferraris, and the result, the Urraco, was first seen at the 1970 Turin Show. It was styled by Marcello Gandini, and engineered by Paolo Stanzani. It was launched with a 2.5 litre V8 engine, engineered to be cheaper to build, with belt-driven camshafts, situated within a steel monocoque structure suspended on McPherson struts. It reached the market before the rival Maserati Merak and Ferrari 308 GT4 Dino, which should have given it a big advantage. But it did not. For a start, it was deemed not powerful enough, so even before the difficulties of the late 1973 Fuel Crisis made things difficult, the car did not sell well at all. The solution was to add more power, and this came when the engine was enlarged to 3 litres, with four chain-driven cams, which took power from 220 bhp to 265 bhp. A roll-hoop across the back of the cabin improved rigidity, and more powerful brakes were fitted. It sold better, though never in the sort of volume that had been anticipated, and the addition of an Italian market tax special P200 did not help much, either. Just 66 of these were built, whereas 520 of the original P250 models found buyers, and 190 of the more powerful P300s added to the total before production ceased in 1979. The story did not quite end there, as in 1976 a heavily revised version, with removable targa roof panels, appeared, called the Silhouette, and both were replaced by the Jalpa in the 1980s, though neither of these sold as well as the Urraco. Seen here was a Silhouette.

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This 1908 Lancia 12HP is the first model produced by the firm. Testing started in 1907 and the car made its debut at the Turin Motor Show in January 1908, with production starting soon thereafter, it was originally called the Tipo 51, but later took on the name Alfa, subsequently changed to the Greek letter Alpha in order to follow Lancia’s decision to adopt Greek nomenclature for his cars. The 12 HP was available as a straight chassis to be bodied in a variety of styles from closed landaulets to sporting two-seater Corsas, one example of which raced at Savannah, Georgia, in 1908. These first Lancia cars were famed for their lightness and efficient engineering; they included conventional engines of 2.4-litres. The car was equipped with a 2544cc sidevalve straight-4 engine producing 28 hp at 1800 rpm, which gave it a top speed of around 90 km/h (56 mph). the car enjoyed success racing. Around 100 were made.

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Also from Lancia’s collection was this D25 Sport Pininfarina. On 18 October 1954, Lancia announced its withdrawal from sports car competitions to focus solely on Formula One. According to legend, driving ace Alberto Ascari convinced Gianni Lancia to build another D25 for the 1955 Carrera Panamericana, which he was eager to enter. A successor to the D24, whose long winning pedigree notably included a 1-2 finish at the Carrera Panamericana in 1953, the D25 was conceived by Gianni Lancia and designer Vittorio Jano not only as a sport car, but also to test technical solutions destined for the D50, a Formula One car. However, the D25 only started one race and Lancia decided to focus all its efforts on the D50, until Alberto Ascari—who had switched from Ferrari to Lancia in January 1954 to compete in Formula One with the D50 and had won the 1954 Mille Miglia in the D24—managed to persuade Gianni Lancia to build another D25 so that he could take part in the 1955 Carrera Panamericana. But fate took a cruel twist on 26 May 1955, a few months before the race was due to be held in Mexico, when Ascari was killed while testing a Ferrari at Monza, having been given special dispensation by Lancia to compete there. So devastated was Gianni Lancia by the Milanese driver’s untimely death that he decided to permanently withdraw from motor racing. The D25 car was eventually transferred from the Pininfarina design studio, still in immaculate condition, to the Lancia Museum for preservation.

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Final factory show car was this, a genuine Lancia Stratos from 1976 in the iconic Alitalia livery. A Bertone-designed concept car called the Lancia Stratos Zero was shown to the public in 1970, but shares little but the name and mid-engined layout with the Stratos HF version. A new car called the New Stratos was announced in 2010 which was heavily influenced by the design of the original Stratos, but was based on a Ferrari chassis and engine. Bertone had no previous business with Lancia, who were traditionally linked with Pininfarina, and he wanted to come into conversation with them. Bertone knew that Lancia was looking for a replacement for the ageing Fulvia for use in rally sports and so he designed an eye-catcher to show to Lancia. Bertone used the running gear of the Fulvia Coupé of one of his personal friends and built a running showpiece around it. When Bertone himself appeared at the Lancia factory gates with the Stratos Zero he passed underneath the barrier and got great applause from the Lancia workers. After that a co-operation between Lancia and Bertone was formed to develop a new rally car based on ideas of Bertone’s designer Marcello Gandini who already had designed the Lamborghini Miura and Countach. Lancia presented the Bertone-designed Lancia Stratos HF prototype at the 1971 Turin Motor Show, a year after the announcement of the Stratos Zero concept car. The prototype Stratos HF (Chassis 1240) was fluorescent red in colour and featured a distinctive crescent-shaped-wrap-around windshield providing maximum forward visibility with almost no rear visibility. The prototype had three different engines in its early development life: the Lancia Fulvia engine, the Lancia Beta engine and finally for the 1971 public announcement, the mid-mounted Dino Ferrari V6 producing 190 hp. The use of the Dino V6 was planned right from the beginning of the project, but Enzo Ferrari was reluctant to sign off the use of this engine in a car he saw as a competitor to his own Dino V6. After the production of the Dino car had ended the “Commendatore” (a popular nickname for Enzo Ferrari) agreed on delivering the engines for the Stratos, and Lancia then suddenly received 500 units. The Stratos was a very successful rally car during the 1970s and early 1980s. It started a new era in rallying as it was the first car designed from scratch for this kind of competition. The three leading men behind the entire rallying project were Lancia team manager Cesare Fiorio, British racer/engineer Mike Parkes and factory rally driver Sandro Munari with Bertone’s Designer Marcello Gandini taking a very personal interest in designing and producing the bodywork. Lancia did extensive testing with the Stratos and raced the car in several racing events where Group 5 prototypes were allowed during the 1972 and 1973 seasons. Production of the 500 cars required for homologation in Group 4 commenced in 1973 and the Stratos was homologated for the 1974 World Rally Championship season. The Ferrari Dino V6 engine was phased out in 1974, but 500 engines among the last built were delivered to Lancia. Production ended in 1975 when it was thought that only 492 were made (for the 1976 season, the Group 4 production requirement was reduced to 400 in 24 months. Manufacturer of the car was Bertone in Turin, with final assembly by Lancia at the Chivasso plant. Powered by the Dino 2.4 litreV6 engine that was also fitted to the rallying versions, but in a lower state of tune, it resulted in a power output of 190 hp, giving the road car a 0–100 km/h time of 6.8 seconds, and a top speed of 232 km/h (144 mph). The Stratos weighed between 900 and 950 kilograms, depending on configuration. Power output was around 275 hp for the original 12 valve version and 320 hp for the 24 valve version. Beginning with the 1978 season the 24 valve heads were banned from competition by a change to the FIA rules. Even with this perceived power deficit the Stratos was the car to beat in competition and when it did not suffer an accident or premature transmission failure (of the latter there were many) it had great chances to win. Despite the fact that the Stratos was never intended to be a race car, there were two Group 5 racing cars built with 560 hp, using a single KKK turbocharger. The car won the 1974, 1975 and 1976 championship titles in the hands of Sandro Munari and Björn Waldegård, and might have gone on to win more had not internal politics within the Fiat group placed rallying responsibility on the Fiat 131 Abarths. As well as victories on the 1975, 1976 and 1977 Monte Carlo Rally, all courtesy of Munari, the Stratos won the event with the private Chardonnet Team as late as 1979. Without support from Fiat, and despite new regulations that restricted engine power, the car would remain a serious competitor and proved able to beat works cars in several occasions when entered by an experienced private team with a talented driver. The last victory of the Stratos was in 1981, at the Tour de Corse Automobile, another World Rally Championship event, with a victory by longtime Stratos privateer Bernard Darniche. When the Fiat group favoured the Fiat 131 for rallying Lancia also built two Group 5 turbocharged ‘silhouette’ Stratos for closed-track endurance racing. These cars failed against the Porsche 935s on closed tracks but proved successful in hybrid events. While they failed in the Tour de France Automobile, one of these cars won the 1976 Giro d’Italia Automobilistico, an Italian counterpart of the Tour de France Automobile. One of the cars was destroyed in Zeltweg, when it caught fire due to overheating problems. The last surviving car would win the Giro d’Italia event again before it was shipped to Japan to compete in the Fuji Speedway based Formula Silhouette series, which was never raced. The car would then be sold and reside in the Matsuda Collection before then being sold to the renowned collector of Stratos’, Christian Hrabalek, a car designer and the founder of Fenomenon Ltd, who has the largest Lancia Stratos Collection in the world, 11 unique Lancia Stratos cars, including the fluorescent red 1971 factory prototype and the 1977 Safari Rally car. His interest in the car led to the development of the Fenomenon Stratos in 2005. The Stratos also gained limited success in 24 Hours of Le Mans, with a car, driven by Christine Dacremont and Lella Lombardi, finishing 20th in 1976.

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On a stand with other pre-war Italian cars was this rather elegant Astura. Lancia replaced the Lambda model with two models: the four-cylinder Artena and the larger, V8-powered Astura. Both of these models were introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 1931. The Astura chassis was used by various coachbuilders to create coupes, convertibles and sedans. The Astura evolved over four series: First series, built between 1931 and 1932 with 496 units made; Second series, built between 1932 and 1933 with 750 units made. The engine mountings were modified for this generation to reduce noise and vibration; Third series, built between 1933 and 1937 with 1,243 units made. The third-generation Astura was offered in short-wheelbase and long-wheelbase variants, and was powered by a new, larger engine; Fourth series, built between 1937 and 1939 with 423 units made. Only offered in long-wheelbase. First- and second-generation Asturas are powered by a 72 hp 2.6-litre 19° V8 engine, while third- and fourth-generation models are powered by a 3.0-litre 17° V8 capable of 82 hp. The coachbuilt bodies that were fitted resulted in some of the most elegant, and expensive Italian cars of the era. This is a 1933 Corta Berlina.

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And this was another Astura.

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Three very special Lancia models were on a stand designated Collezione Guido Lamberti. Oldest of these was this splendid Astura Torpedo Gran Sport with a Castagna body.

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This is an early 1950’s Lancia Aurelia B51 with a Giardinetta body by Carrozzeria Viotti. Forty-seven of these wagons were built on Lancia chassis created specifically for coachbuilders. Mechanical components were from the unibody Lancia B21.

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At the October 1968 Turin Motor Show, Milanese coachbuilder Zagato showed the Fulvia Sport Spider, a 2-seater roadster based on the Fulvia Sport. The prototype reprised the lines of the Fulvia Sport, but was built on a 150 mm (5.9 in); the soft top folded underneath a flush tonneau cover. The car was finished in red, with matching leather covering the seats, dashboard and steering wheel; Plexiglas-covered headlamps were fitted. Outside details like the black front grille and Peugeot 202-derived tail lights previewed the 1970 Series 2 Fulvia Sport. Although it remained a one-off, a few more coupe modles have been converted over the years to resemble the original concept.

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One of the prettiest cars ever built., in my opinion, was the Aurelia B24 Spider. Based on the chassis of the Aurelia B20 GT, and designed by Pininfarina, the B24 Spider was produced only in 1954-1955, just 240 of them were built before a cheaper Aurelia Convertible would replace it. The difference between them is that the Spider has the wrap around panoramic front windscreen, distinctive 2 part chrome bumpers, removable side screens and soft top. 181 of them were LHD cars with B24S (‘sinistra’) designation; and the remaining 59 cars were RHD. All were equipped with 2,451cc engines. A really nice Spider nice now is worth hundreds of thousands of £ and it is not hard to see why.

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The Appia was a small car that was made between 1953 and 1963, in three distinct Series. First series Appias were only offered in factory body styles, but this changed with the second and third series Appias, which were also built as a platform chassis intended for coachbuilt bodies. Towards the end of 1955 a first batch of 14 chassis based on the brand new second series Appia were built and handed over to some of the most prominent coachbuilders of the time: Allemano, Boano, Ghia Aigle, Motto, Pininfarina, Vignale and Zagato. Initially all fourteen chassis were coded Tipo 812.00, based on standard saloon mechanicals; five of were upgraded to a more powerful 53 PS engine and floor-mounted gearchange, and given the new type designation 812.01. At the April 1956 Turin Motor Show, a month after the successful introduction of the second series Appia in Geneva, five specially bodied Appias were shown: a coupé and a two-door saloon by Vignale, a coupé each from Pininfarina, Boano and Zagato. Between Spring 1956 and Spring 1957 the coachbuilders presented their one-off interpretations of the Appia at various motor shows. Later more 812.01 chassis were built, bringing the total of unique to thirteen. Of the coachbuilders who had worked on the first fourteen chassis, two were selected by Lancia to produce special Appia body styles: Pininfarina for the coupé, and Vignale for the convertible. Their nearly definitive proposals debuted at the March 1957 Geneva Motor Show, and soon went into limited series production. Built by their respective designers on chassis supplied by Lancia, these were included in Lancia’s own catalogue and regularly sold through Lancia dealerships. In the later years other variants were added to the official portfolio: Vignale’s Lusso, Zagato’s GTE and Sport, and Viotti’s Giardinetta. All of these variants were built on the 812.01 type chassis with the more powerful engine and floor change; when the third series saloon debuted its mechanical upgrades were transferred to the chassis, and the engine gained one horsepower 54 PS. In early 1960 a revised, more powerful engine was adopted thanks to a new Weber carburettor and an inlet manifold with a duct per each cylinder. In total 5,161 Appia chassis for coachbuilders were made. A small number were delivered as Van versions (Fourgone), and this is one.

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Lancia replaced the long-running Appia with a new model in 1963, the Fulvia. Like the larger Flavia which had been shown 3 years earlier, it came with front wheel drive, and a host of exquisite engineering which ensure that even though it was expensive, it was actually not profitable for its maker, and was a direct contribution to the marque’s bankruptcy and take over by Fiat in 1969. It was not long before the initial Berlina saloon model was joined by a Coupe. First seen in 1965. the Coupe proved to be the longest lived of all Fulvia variants, surviving until 1976 when it was effectively replaced by the 1300cc version of the Beta Coupe. Before that, it had undergone a steady program of updates, with more powerful engines, including a capacity increase from the initial 1200cc of the narrow angle V4 to 1300 and then later 1600cc, and the car was developed into a successful rally machine for the late 60s. The Sport Zagato version was designed by Ercole Spada at Zagato and was intended to be the more sporting model of the range. It was also considerably more expensive. Early cars had an unusual side hinged bonnet, but this was changed on the Series 2 models which were launched in 1970, and which also switched to all-steel bodies. Seen here was an S2 car.

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Lancia launched the Delta in 1979, as what we would now think of as a “premium hatch”. Offered in 1300 and 1500cc engines, this car, which collected the prestigious “Car of the year” award a few months later, brought Italian style and an expensive feeling interior to a new and lower price point in the market than Lancia had occupied since the early days of the Fulvia some 15 years earlier. The range grew first when a model was offered using the 4 speed AP automatic transmission and then in late 1982, more powerful models started to appear, with first a 1600cc engine, and then one with fuel injection, before the introduction of the HF Turbo. All these cars kept the same appearance and were quite hard to tell apart. These were the volume models of the range, but now they are very definitely the rare ones, as it is the performance versions which have survived and are now much loved classics, even though relatively were sold when they were new, thanks to a combination of the fact that they were quite costly and that they only ever came with left hand drive. The Integrale evolved over sveral years, starting off as the HF Turbo 4WD that was launched in April 1986, to homologate a new rally car for Lancia who needed something to fill the void left by the cancellation of Group B from the end of 1986. The Delta HF 4X4 had a four-wheel drive system with an in-built torque-splitting action. Three differentials were used. Drive to the front wheels was linked through a free-floating differential; drive to the rear wheels was transmitted via a 56/44 front/rear torque-splitting Ferguson viscous-coupling-controlled epicyclic central differential. At the rear wheels was a Torsen (torque sensing) rear differential. It divided the torque between the wheels according to the available grip, with a maximum lockup of 70%. The basic suspension layout of the Delta 4WD remained the same as in the rest of the two-wheel drive Delta range: MacPherson strut–type independent suspension with dual-rate dampers and helicoidal springs, with the struts and springs set slightly off-centre. The suspension mounting provided more isolation by incorporating flexible rubber links. Progressive rebound bumpers were adopted, while the damper rates, front and rear toe-in and the relative angle between springs and dampers were all altered. The steering was power-assisted rack and pinion. The car looked little different from the front wheel drive models. In September 1987, Lancia showed a more sophisticated version of the car, the Lancia Delta HF Integrale 8V. This version incorporated some of the features of the Delta HF 4WD into a road car. The engine was an 8-valve 2 litre fuel injected 4-cylinder, with balancing shafts. The HF version featured new valves, valve seats and water pump, larger water and oil radiators, more powerful cooling fan and bigger air cleaner. A larger capacity Garrett T3 turbocharger with improved air flow and bigger inter-cooler, revised settings for the electronic injection/ignition control unit and a knock sensor, boosting power output to 185 bhp at 5300 rpm and maximum torque of 224 lb/ft at 3500 rpm. The HF Integrale had permanent 4-wheel drive, a front transversely mounted engine and five-speed gearbox. An epicyclic centre differential normally split the torque 56 per cent to the front axle, 44 per cent to the rear. A Ferguson viscous coupling balanced the torque split between front and rear axles depending on road conditions and tyre grip. The Torsen rear differential further divided the torque delivered to each rear wheel according to grip available. A shorter final drive ratio (3.111 instead of 2.944 on the HF 4WD) matched the larger 6.5×15 wheels to give 24 mph/1000 rpm in fifth gear. Braking and suspension were uprated to 284 mm ventilated front discs, a larger brake master cylinder and servo, as well as revised front springs, dampers, and front struts. Next update was to change the engine from 8 valves to 16. The 16v Integrale was introduced at the 1989 Geneva Motorshow, and made a winning debut on the 1989 San Remo Rally. It featured a raised centre of the bonnet to accommodate the new 16 valve engine, as well as wider wheels and tyres and new identity badges front and rear. The torque split was changed to 47% front and 53% rear. The turbocharged 2-litre Lancia 16v engine now produced 200 bhp at 5500 rpm, for a maximum speed of 137 mph and 0–100 km/h in 5.5 seconds. Changes included larger injectors, a more responsive Garrett T3 turbocharger, a more efficient intercooler, and the ability to run on unleaded fuel without modification. The first Evoluzione cars were built at the end of 1991 and through 1992. These were to be the final homologation cars for the Lancia Rally Team; the Catalytic Evoluzione II was never rallied by the factory. The Evoluzione I had a wider track front and rear than earlier Deltas. The bodyside arches were extended and became more rounded. The wings were now made in a single pressing. The front strut top mounts were also raised, which necessitated a front strut brace. The new Integrale retained the four wheel drive layout. The engine was modified to produce 210 bhp at 5750 rpm. External changes included: new grilles in the front bumper to improve the air intake for engine compartment cooling; a redesigned bonnet with new lateral air slats to further assist underbonnet ventilation; an adjustable roof spoiler above the tailgate; new five-bolt wheels with the same design of the rally cars; and a new single exhaust pipe. Interior trim was now grey Alcantara on the Recaro seats, as fitted to the earlier 16V cars; leather and air conditioning were offered as options, as well as a leather-covered Momo steering wheel. Presented in June 1993, the second Evolution version of the Delta HF Integrale featured an updated version of the 2-litre 16-valve turbo engine to produce more power, as well as a three-way catalyst and Lambda probe. A Marelli integrated engine control system with an 8 MHz clock frequency which incorporates: timed sequential multipoint injection; self-adapting injection times; automatic idling control; engine protection strategies depending on the temperature of intaken air; Mapped ignition with two double outlet coils; Three-way catalyst and pre-catalyst with lambda probe (oxygen sensor) on the turbine outlet link; anti-evaporation system with air line for canister flushing optimised for the turbo engine; new Garrett turbocharger: water-cooled with boost-drive management i.e. boost controlled by feedback from the central control unit on the basis of revs/throttle angle; Knock control by engine block sensor and new signal handling software for spark park advance, fuel quantity injected, and turbocharging. The engine now developed 215 PS as against 210 PS on the earlier uncatalysed version and marginally more torque. The 1993 Integrale received a cosmetic and functional facelift that included. new 16″ light alloy rims with 205/45 ZR 16 tyres; body colour roof moulding to underline the connection between the roof and the Solar control windows; aluminium fuel cap and air-intake grilles on the front mudguards; red-painted cylinder head; new leather-covered three-spoke MOMO steering wheel; standard Recaro seats upholstered in beige Alcantara with diagonal stitching. In its latter years the Delta HF gave birth to a number of limited and numbered editions, differing mainly in colour, trim and equipment; some were put on general sale, while others were reserved to specific markets, clubs or selected customers. A number of these were among the displays.

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Separate from the road cars was this rather fabulous display of some of the iconic rally cars from Lancia’s successes in the forests.

The Lancia Rally (Tipo 151, also known as the Lancia Rally 037, Lancia 037 or Lancia-Abarth #037 from its Abarth project code 037) was a mid-engine sports car and rally car built by Lancia in the early 1980s to compete in the FIA Group B World Rally Championship. Driven by Markku Alén, Attilio Bettega, and Walter Röhrl, the car won Lancia the manufacturers’ world championship in the 1983 season. It was the last rear-wheel drive car to win the WRC. In 1980 Lancia began designing the 037 to comply with the then new FIA Group B regulations that allowed cars to race with relatively few homologation models being built. Abarth, now a part of the Lancia-Fiat family, did most of the design work, even incorporating styling cues from some of its famous race cars of the 1950s and 1960s such as a double bubble roof line. The car was born from the collaboration between Pininfarina, Abarth, Dallara and the project manager, engineer Sergio Limone. Prior to its first participation in the 1982 World Rally Championship season, 200 road-going models were built to comply with Group B regulations. The Lancia 037 was a silhouette racer; while it was loosely based on the Lancia Montecarlo (also known as Scorpion in the US and Canadian markets) road car, they shared only the centre section with all body panels and mechanical parts being significantly different. Steel subframes were used fore and aft of the production car centre section, while most of the body panels were made from Kevlar. The mid-engined layout of the Montecarlo was retained, but the engine was turned 90 degrees from a transverse position to a longitudinal position. This allowed greater freedom in the design of the suspension and while moving engine weight forward. An independent double wishbone suspension was used on both the front and rear axles, with dual shock absorbers in the rear in order to cope with the stresses of high speed off road driving. The 037 is notable as it retained the rear-wheel drive layout that was nearly universal for rally cars of the pre-Group B period; nearly all subsequent successful rally cars used four-wheel drive, making the 037 the last of its kind. Unlike its predecessor, the first 037s had a 2.0 litre 4-cylinder supercharged engine. Based on the long stroke twin cam which powered earlier Fiat Abarth 131 rally cars, the four valve head was carried over from the 131 Abarth but the original two carburettors were replaced by a single large Weber carburettor in early models and later with fuel injection. It features a ZF transaxle. Lancia also chose a supercharger over a turbocharger to eliminate turbo lag and improve throttle response. Initially power was quoted at 265 hp but with the introduction of the Evolution 1 model power jumped to 300 with the help of water injection. The car made its competition debut at the 1982 Rally Costa Smeralda in Italy, where two cars were entered but both retired due to gearbox issues. The 1982 season was plagued with retirements for the 037, but the new car did manage to achieve several wins including its first win at the Pace Rally in the UK. The 1983 season was considerably more successful for the 037: Lancia took the 1983 World Rally Championship Constructors’ title with Germany’s Walter Röhrl and Finland’s Markku Alen its principal drivers, despite serious competition from the 4WD Audi Quattro. Both drivers, however, missed the final round of the series, despite Röhrl maintaining a mathematical chance of the drivers’ title: such honours instead went to Audi’s veteran Finn, Hannu Mikkola. For the 1984 Constructors’ title defence, Lancia introduced an Evolution 2 version of the 037 with improved engine power, up to 325 bhp, from an enlarged 2111cc engine, but this was not enough to stem the tide of 4WD competition, losing to Audi in both 1984 championships, and again to the 4WD Peugeot 205 T16 in its final works season in 1985. Indeed, Alen collected the final 037 win, and the sole one for the E2 model, on the 1984 Tour De Corse, before it was finally pensioned off in the Martini sponsored Lancia factory rally car line-up in favour of its successor, the uniquely supercharged and turbocharged 4WD Delta S4, for the season-ending RAC Rally in Great Britain. Driver Attilio Bettega died in a 037 crash in 1985.

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Follow on to the 037 was the S4, which competed in the World Rally Championship in 1985 and 1986, until the Group B class was disbanded and the cars were eventually banned from competition completely by European sanctioning body FIA. The S4 took full advantage of the Group B regulations, and featured a midship-mounted engine and all-wheel drive for superior traction on loose surfaces. The car’s 1,759 cc inline-four engine combined supercharging and turbocharging to reduce turbo lag at low engine speeds (rpm).The car produced a maximum output of 480 hp, but some sources even claim that the Delta S4 was capable of producing 500 hp. In 1985, Lancia engineers tested an S4 engine under extreme conditions, reaching 5 bars boost, developing around 1000 horsepower. An engine capacity multiple of 1.4 was applied to forced induction engines by the FIA and the choice of 1,759 cc put the S4 in the under 2,500 cc class, which allowed for a minimum weight of 890 kg (1,962 lb). The combined super/turbocharger system (often referred to as twincharging) was a development of the 037 engine that produced 350 hp with a supercharger only. The method of turbocharging and supercharging an engine is referred to as twincharging. The Delta S4 was the first such example of this technology. Contemporary turbochargers were inefficient, as they did not produce boost at low RPMs. This phenomenon, known as turbo lag, negatively affects driveability, an important aspect of any car. Superchargers do not suffer from lag as they are powered directly from the engine’s crankshaft, rather than by the exhaust gases. However, because of this direct mechanical connection, the supercharger presents a significant parasitic load to the engine at higher RPMs. Lancia designed their twincharger system so the supercharger provides instantaneous boost in the lower RPM range, switching to the turbocharger for more efficient higher RPM engine operation. Like Peugeot’s earlier 205 T16, the mid-engine Lancia Delta S4 was a Delta in name and body styling only (for marketing purposes), and shared virtually nothing in terms of construction with the production front-engine Delta. The chassis was a tubular space frame construction much like the 037. It featured long travel double wishbone suspension front and rear, with a single large coil over at the front and separate spring and twin shock absorber at the rear. The bodywork was made of a carbon fibre composite with front and rear bodywork fully detachable for fast replacement due to accident damage, allowing ease of access during on-event servicing. The bodywork featured several aerodynamic aids including bonnet opening behind the front-mounted water radiator with Gurney flap, front splitter and winglets moulded into the front bumper panel, flexible front skirt, and rear deck lid wing that featured both a full aerofoil wind section twinned with a deflection spoiler. The door construction style was brought from the 037 with a hollow shell all-Kevlar construction that had no inner door skin, no door handle or window winder. The door was opened with a small loop and the windows were fixed perspex with small sliding panels to allow some ventilation and passing of time cards and suchlike. The all-wheel drive system, developed in cooperation with English Hewland, featured a centre differential which allowed for between 60 and 75% of the torque to go to the rear wheels. Between October 1985 and 1986 Lancia built 200 examples of a road-going version of the Delta S4, officially named Lancia Delta S4 but widely known as “Stradale”, for the purpose of homologation in Group B. In Italy the car was priced at about 100 million Lire: five times the price of the most expensive Delta of the time, the HF Turbo. The Stradale’s chassis was a space frame, similarly to the racing cars, built out of CrMo steel tubes and aluminium alloy for the crash structures; it was covered by epoxy and fibreglass body panels. Like the rally car these cars mounted in a midships position a 1.8-litre engine, equipped with Weber-Marelli IAW integrated electronic ignition and fuel injection, a supercharger, a turbocharger and two intercoolers. In road tune the 1.8 produced 250 PS at 6750 rpm and 215 lb/ft at 4500 rpm. The “Stradale” kept a three differential four-wheel-drive system; the centre differential sent 30% of the engine torque to the front open differential, and 70% to the rear limited slip one. Lancia claimed the car could reach top speed of 225 km/h (140 mph) and accelerate from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in six seconds. In contrast to its bare bones racing sisters, the S4 Stradale featured an Alcantara-upholstered interior, sound deadening, a suede steering wheel, and was equipped with power steering, trip computer and air conditioning. The Group S Lancia ECV was to replace the Delta S4 in the 1987 season but Group S was scrapped along with Group B and Lancia used the production-derived Delta in 1987.

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The display was completed with examples of both the Group A and Group B Delta HF cars.

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Sharing stand space with the classic Jaguars were a progression of Discovery models, with one example of each of the 4 series currently produced.

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The A6G 1500 was Maserati’s first production road car. Development was started in 1941 by the Maserati brothers, but it was halted as priority shifted to wartime production, and was completed after the war. The first chassis, bodied by Pininfarina, debuted at the Geneva Salon International de l’Auto in March 1947. This first prototype was a two-door, two-seat, three window berlinetta with triple square portholes on its fully integrated front wings, a tapered cabin and futuristic hidden headlamps. The car was put into low volume production, and most received Pininfarina coachwork. For production Pininfarina toned down the prototype’s design, switching to conventional headlamps; soon after a second side window was added. Later cars received a different 2+2 fastback body style. A Pininfarina Convertibile was shown at the 1948 Salone dell’automobile di Torino, and two were made; one car was also given a distinctive coupé Panoramica body by Zagato in 1949, featuring an extended greenhouse. Sixty-one A6 1500s were built between 1947 and 1950, when it began to be gradually replaced by the A6G 2000. The A6 1500 was powered by a 1,488cc inline six, with a single overhead camshaft and a single Weber carburettor, producing 65 hp. Starting from 1949 some cars were fitted with triple carburettors. Top speed varied from 146 to 154 km/h (91 to 96 mph). The chassis was built out of tubular and sheet steel sections. Suspension was by double wishbones at the front and solid axle at the rear, with Houdaille hydraulic dampers and coil springs on all four corners. Sixty-one A6 1500s were built between 1947 and 1950, when it began to be gradually replaced by the A6G 2000.

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Also here were three fabulous Maserati models here from the renowned Panini Collection, which can be found just to the west of Modena. I’ve still yet to get there, but this was a chance to see a quartet of models from that collection.

Maserati had made their first forays into the grand tourer market, with the 1947 A6 1500, seen above, but whilst these cars had proven that the expanding the business beyond race cars was feasible; the A6 road cars were still built at the rate of just a dozen examples a year, which hardly constituted series production. A different approach was going to be needed, with the objective of building fully accomplished grand tourers. An engine was not really a problem. The 2 litre twin cam unit that had enabled Maserati to achieve racing success and international visibility in the early 1950s, thanks to cars such as the A6GCM;, had already been enlarged to three litre capacity on the Maserati 300S. Chief engineer Giulio Alfieri felt the next step was to design an all-new 3.5-litre engine; the resulting long-stroke six, designed foremost for endurance racing on the Maserati 350S, was ready in 1955. The main development efforts that led to the 3500 GT were carried out in 1956–57, despite the frantic activity required by Maserati’s participation in the Formula 1 world championship. Alfieri modified the 350S’s engine to suit a touring car, such as switching to a wet sump oil system and changing the engine accessories. He also made several business trips to the United Kingdom in order to contact components suppliers. None were found in Italy, as Italian taxation system and the industry structure forced manufacturers to design every part in-house; a daunting task for small companies like Maserati. Thus the 3500 GT alongside Italian Weber carburettors and Marelli ignition, used many British-made components such as a Salisbury rear axle, Girling brakes and Alford & Alder suspension parts. Clearly the bodywork would have to be Italian. According to Carrozzeria Touring’s Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni it was Commendatore Franco Cornacchia, a prominent Ferrari dealer, that put in contact Maserati owner Omar Orsi with the Milanese Carrozzeria The first 3500 GT Touring prototype had a 2+2 body, with superleggera construction and was white in colour; it was nicknamed Dama Bianca (White Lady). Two 3500 GT prototypes were shown at the March 1957 Salon International de l’Auto in Geneva. Both had a 2,600 mm (102.4 in) wheelbase and aluminium bodywork; they were Touring’s Dama Bianca, and another one by Carrozzeria Allemano. Touring’s proposal was chosen for series production; few changes were made to it, chiefly a more imposing grille. Production of the 3500 GT started in late 1957; eighteen cars were built that year, the first handful leaving the factory before Christmas. All 3500 GTs had leather interior and Jaeger-LeCoultre instruments. A first Touring convertible prototype was shown at the 1958 Turin Motor Show, but it was a proposal by Carrozzeria Vignale (designed by Michelotti) shown at the 1959 Salon de l’Auto in Paris that went into production as 3500 GT Convertibile. The Convertibile did not feature Touring’s Superleggera construction, but rather a steel body with aluminium bonnet, boot lid and optional hard top; it was also built on an 10 cm (3.9 in) shorter wheelbase, and weighed 1,380 kg (3,042 lb). Front disc brakes and limited slip differential became optional in 1959, and were standardized in 1960; rear discs became standard in 1962. The 3500 GTi was introduced at the 1960 Salon International de l’Auto, and by the following year became the first fuel-injected Italian production car. It had a Lucas mechanical fuel injection, and developed 232 bhp. A 5-speed gearbox was now standard. The body had a lowered roofline and became somewhat longer; minor outward changes appeared as well (new grille, rear lights, vent windows). From 1961 convertible 3500s for export markets were named 3500 GT Spyder and GTi Spyder. In total, 2,226 3500 GT coupés and convertibles were built between 1957 and 1964. In the first year, 1958, just 119 cars were sold, while 1961 was the best-selling year, totalling 500. All together, 245 Vignale convertibles and nearly 2000 coupés were manufactured, of these, 1981 being Touring coupés, the rest were bodied by other coachbuilders: Carrozzeria Allemano (four coupés, including the 1957 prototype), Zagato (one coupe, 1957), Carrozzeria Boneschi (1962 Turin Motor Show and 1963 Geneva Motor Show ), Pietro Frua (two or three coupés, one spider) and Bertone (one coupé, 1959 Turin Motor Show) The last was a coupé by Moretti for the 1966 Geneva Motor Show. The car was replaced by the Sebring in 1964.

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Dating from 1964 was this sublime Mistral. Known internally as Tipo AM109, the Mistral was a 2-seat gran turismo produced between 1963 and 1970, as a successor to the 3500 GT. It was styled by Frua and bodied by Maggiora of Turin. Named after a cold northerly wind of southern France, it was the first in a series of classic Maseratis to be given the name of a wind. The Mistral was the last model from the Casa del Tridente (“House of the Trident”) to have the company’s renowned twin-spark, double overhead cam straight six engine. Fitted to the Maserati 250F Grand Prix cars, it won 8 Grand Prix between 1954 and 1960 and one F1 World Championship in 1957 driven by Juan Manuel Fangio. The engine featured hemispherical combustion chambers fed by a Lucas indirect fuel injection system, a new development for Italian car manufacturers. Maserati subsequently moved on to V8 engines for their later production cars to keep up with the demand for ever more powerful machines. Three engine were fitted to the Mistral, displacing 3500, 3700 and 4000 cc and developing 235 bhp at 5500 rpm, 245 bhp at 5500 rpm and 255 bhp at 5200 rpm, respectively. Only the earliest of the Mistrals were equipped with the 3500 cc, the most sought after derivative is the 4000 cc model. Unusually, the body was offered in both aluminium and, from 1967, in steel, but no one is quite sure how many of each were built. The car came as standard with a five speed ZF transmission and four wheel solid disc brakes. Per Maserati practice, the front suspension was independent and the rear solid axle. Acceleration 0-60 for both the 3.7 litre and 4.0 litre engines was around or just under 7 seconds, and top speed approximately 140 mph (225 km/h) to 145 mph (233 km/h). The body was designed by Pietro Frua and first shown in a preview at the Salone Internazionale dell’Automobile di Torino in November 1963. It is generally considered one of the most beautiful Maseratis of all time. It is also often confused with the very similar looking but larger and more powerful Frua designed AC 428. A total of 828 coupés and 125 Spyders were built. Only the Spyder received the 3500 engine; just 12 were made, along with 76 3.7 litre and 37 4.0 litre versions. Twenty Spyders were right hand drive. The Mistral was succeeded by the Ghibli, which overlapped production from 1967 on.

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Final classic Maserati here was a Ghibli – the first of three very different models to bear the name. First unveiled in prototype form on the Maserati stand at the November 1966 Turin Motor Show, this grand tourer with an all steel body, characterised by a low, shark-shaped nose, was designed by a young Giorgetto Giugiaro, then working at Carrozzeria Ghia. Deliveries started in March of the following year. While the 1966 Ghia prototype was a two-seater, on the production car two emergency rear seats were added—consisting of nothing more than a cushion without backrest—and the Ghibli was marketed as a 2+2, though everyone tends to think of this car as a 2 seater, and the later Indy as the real 2+2 from the range. The first Ghibli cars were powered by a front placed quad-cam 4.7 litre dry sump V8 engine that prodiuced 306 bhp, mated to a five-speed manual or, on request, to a three-speed automatic transmission. It had a 0-60 mph time of 6.8 seconds, a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). The car also featured pop-up headlamps, leather sport seats and alloy wheels. A convertible version, the Ghibli Spyder, went into production in 1969. Its convertible top folded away under a flush fitting body-colour tonneau cover behind the front seats; thus the Spyder eschewed any vestigial rear passenger accommodation, and was a strict two-seater. A removable hard top was available as an option. The 4.9-litre Ghibli SS was released later in 1969. Its V8 engine was stroked 4 mm to displace 4930 cc, and put out 330 bhp; its top speed of 280 km/h (174 mph) made it the fastest Maserati road car ever produced. In all, 1,170 coupés and 125 Spyders (including 25 Spyder SS) were produced.

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As seems to be the case at just about any show you attend, the 300SL Gullwing was here. Known under development as the W198, the first iteration of the SL-Class grand tourer was the fastest production car of its day. Introduced in 1954 as a two-seat coupé with distinctive gull-wing doors, it was later offered as an open roadster. Built by Daimler-Benz AG, the direct fuel injected production model was based on the company’s highly successful yet somewhat less powerful carburettor overhead cam straight 6 1952 racer, the W194. The idea of a toned-down Grand Prix car tailored to affluent performance enthusiasts in the booming post-war American market was suggested by Max Hoffman. Mercedes accepted the gamble and the new 300 SL – 300 for its 3.0 litre engine displacement and SL for Sport Leicht (Sport Light) – was introduced at the 1954 New York Auto Show rather than the Frankfurt or Geneva gatherings company models made their usual debuts. Immediately successful and today iconic, the 300 SL stood alone with its distinctive doors, first-ever production fuel injection, and world’s fastest top speed. Even with the upward opening doors, the 300 SL had an unusually high sill, making entry and exit from the car’s cockpit problematic. A steering wheel with a tilt-away column was added to improve driver access. The 300 SL’s main body was steel, with aluminium bonnet, doors and boot lid. It could also be ordered with an 80 kg (180 lb) saving all-aluminium outer skin at tremendous added cost; just 29 were made. Like the W194, the 300 SL borrowed its 3.0 litre overhead cam straight-6 from the regular four-door 300 (W186 “Adenauer”) luxury tourer introduced in 1951. Featuring an innovative diagonal aluminium head that allowed for larger intake and exhaust valves, it was canted to the right at forty-five-degrees to fit under the SL’s considerably lower bonnet line. In place of the W194’s triple two-barrel Solex carburettors, a groundbreaking Bosch mechanical direct fuel injection was installed, boosting power almost 25% over the Grand Prix car’s. Derived from the DB 601 V12 used on the Messerschmitt Bf 109E fighter of World War II, it raised output from 175 hp to 215 hp, almost double that of the original Type 300 sedan’s 115 hp. An optional, even more powerful version, with radical camshaft developed 240 hp @ 6100 rpm and a maximum torque of 217 lb⋅ft @ 4800 rpm, but was rough for city use. The result was a top speed of up to 260 km/h (160 mph) depending on gear ratio and drag, making the 300 SL the fastest production car of its time. However, unlike today’s electrically powered fuel injection systems, the 300 SL’s mechanical fuel pump would continue to inject gasoline into the engine during the interval between shutting off the ignition and the engine’s coming to a stop; this unburned gasoline washed lubricating oil from the cylinder walls, which not only left them unprotected in affected areas during start-up but would dilute the engine’s entire oil supply if the car was not driven hard or long enough to reach a sufficient temperature to evaporate the fuel out of the oil. Exacerbating the problem was the engine’s large racing-oriented oil cooler and enormous 10 litre oil capacity, which virtually guaranteed the oil would not get hot enough. In practice, many owners would block off airflow through the oil cooler and stick rigidly to the appropriately low 1,000 mile recommended oil change interval. An auxiliary fuel pump provided additional fuel for extended high speed operation or cold starts; overuse would also lead to dilution of the oil., Clutch operation was initially very heavy, remedied by an improved clutch arm helper spring which reduced pedal force. From March 1963 to the end of production later that year, a light alloy crankcase was used on a total of 209 vehicles. Aerodynamics played an important role in the car’s speed, with Mercedes-Benz engineers placing horizontal “eyebrows” over the wheel openings to reduce drag. Unlike many cars of the 1950s, steering was relatively precise and the four-wheel independent suspension allowed for a reasonably comfortable ride and markedly better overall handling. However, the rear swing axle, jointed only at the differential, not at the wheels themselves, could be treacherous at high speeds or on imperfect roads due to extreme changes in camber. The enormous fuel tank capacity also caused a considerable difference in handling depending on the quantity of fuel on board. More than 80% of the vehicle’s total production of approximately 1400 units were sold in the US, making the Gullwing the first Mercedes-Benz widely successful outside its home market and thoroughly validating Hoffman’s prediction. The 300 SL is credited with changing the company’s image in America from a manufacturer of solid but staid luxury automobiles to one capable of rendering high-performance sports cars. It should be noted initial sales were sluggish due to many things, of which the price was one. Initial prices were about $6,400, a new Chevrolet Bel-Air could be purchased for $1,700 in the same year. Then there were few mechanics, even at the dealers, who understood the fuel injection system enough to do repairs. Nonetheless, 1400 were built by 1957, at which point Mercedes introduced a roadster version which was broadly similar, but with conventional doors. It was produced until 1963, and achieved sales of 1858 units.

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A car I’d never seen before, even in pictures, was this 1956 300C saloon, one of two almost identical cars that Carrozzeria Ghia produced that year, based on the W186 chassis, for the King of Saudi Arabia, Ibn Saud. The two cars were different in that one was a Four-door convertible “Allungata” and the other (this one), a Berlina (four-door closed sedan). The original Mercedes radiator/grille was left but the rest was completely changed and the Italians built the other body parts from scratch, inspiration coming from the American cars. The cars had air conditioning, a car-telephone, a divider window that was bulletproof and drawable footsteps for bodyguards. Upon delivery, the cars were painted in two colours, in dark red and ivory. Only in the interior was there a small, subtle difference. The upper door panels of the convertible were covered with black leather, those of the Berlina contrast with white leather. Like so many cars like this what happened to them after the initial owner lost interest is not entirely clear, but it would seem that the car has spent time in the possession of racing driver Peter Boyd in California, but now it has returned to Italy. Form your own conclusions on the styling!

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From the same era was a W188 300S model. This was a two-door luxury sports tourer produced between 1951 and 1958. The company’s most expensive and exclusive automobiles, the elegant, hand-built 300 S (1951-1954) and its successor 300 Sc (1955-1958) were the pinnacle of the Mercedes line of their era. The pair’s conservative styling belied their technological advances, sharing numerous design innovations and mechanical components with the iconic Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing”, including engine, suspension, and chassis. The hand-built two-door 300 S (W188) was Mercedes-Benz’s top-end vehicle on its introduction at the Paris Salon in October 1951. It was available as a 2-seat roadster, 2+2 coupé, and cabriolet (with landau bars, officially Cabriolet A). Although mechanically similar to the contemporary 300 (W186), the additional craftsmanship, visual elegance, and 50% higher price tag elevated the W188 to the apex of its era’s luxury cars. The 300 S was fitted with a high-performance version of the W186’s 2996 cc overhead cam, aluminium head M189 straight-6. Designed to give reliable service under prolonged hard use, the engine featured deep water jackets, an innovative diagonal head-to-block joint that allowed for oversized intake and exhaust valves, thermostatically controlled oil cooling, copper-lead bearings, and a hardened crankshaft. Triple Solex carburettors and 7.8:1 compression and raised maximum output to 150 hp at 5000 rpm. From July 1952 to August 1955, a total of 216 Coupés, 203 Cabriolet As, and 141 Roadsters were produced. The 300 SC appeared in 1955, featuring upgrades to both its engine and suspension. Following the high-performance 300SL Gullwing’s lead a year earlier, the SC’s inline-six received a version of its mechanical direct fuel-injection, which delivered a slightly detuned 173 hp at 5400 rpm. Mercedes-Benz’s “low-pivot” independent suspension was fitted in the rear. Only a pair of chrome strips on either side of the hood visually distinguished it from its precursor. Prices rose to DM 36,500, and 98 Coupés, 49 Cabriolet As, and 53 Roadsters were built through April 1958.

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This was a rather nice display of Italian cars which had competed in period, marking the 90th anniversary of the event. There was plenty of variety with 6 different marques represented.

Oldest of the cars was a 1933 Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 Gran Sport Testa Fissa (Zagato) chassis:10814406, which ran the 1934 Mille Miglia driven by Anna Maria Peduzzi called “Marocchina” (13rd overall and 1st in class).It returned to the Mille Miglia two years later, in 1936, with a Swiss crew (DNF).

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This 1954 O.S.C.A. MT4-2AD (Morelli) chassis:1151 ran the 1955 Mille Miglia driven by Giulio Cabianca (DNF). It returned to the Mille Miglia the following year, always with Cabianca.(9th overall and 1st in class).

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The 1954 Fiat 8V (Vignale) chassis:106000052 ran the 1955 Mille Miglia driven by Casimiro Toselli (DNF).

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1955 Ermini 357 1500 Sport (Scaglietti) chassis:1555. This car ran the 1955 Mille Miglia driven by Libero Bindi (DNF).

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1939 S.I.A.T.A. Fiat 1100 Coupé (Viberti) chassis:238030 This car ran the 1940 Gran Premio delle Mille Miglia driven by Arialdo Ruggeri(16th overall and 6th in class).

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1952 Ermini 1100 Sport Internazionale (Motto) chassis:55352. This car ran the 1952 Mille Miglia driven byAldo Terigi (DNF). It returned to the Mille Miglia the following year, always with Terig (DNF).

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And finally, a 1950 Ferrari 166 MM Panoramica Sanction II 2007 (Zagato), a tribute to the car which ran the Mille Miglia in 1950.

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A special display from the renowned Turin museum which is now calling itself MAUTO for short concentrated on three early cars including the 35/45 HP Itala that won the 1907 Paris to Peking race.

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Another museum display, this one for vehicles that had been used by the Italian armed forces. On display were an Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Coloniale and a Fiat 508C 1100 Memetica.

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Pegaso came about thanks to a man called Wilfredo Ricart, who had been the technical director at Alfa Romeo from 1936 to 1945. During that time, he took a profound dislike to Enzo Ferrari, who was still racing Alfa models through his own Scuderia Ferrari team. When Ricart’s contract at Alfa ran out, he went to Spain, a country which had suffered not just the ill-effects of the War, but also under civil conflict following the rising of General Franco prior to that. Spain needed to mobilise itself, literally to stand any chance of economic growth. So in 1946, when ENASA was formed to produce Pegaso lorries, Ricart was engaged as the technical director. The new company was based in Barcelona, in the former Hispano Suiza works, and indeed the first models used a Hispano chassis. It was not long before Ricart was working not just on the lorries and buses for which Pegaso was initially known, but also on a luxury sports car, with which he intended to compete against Ferrari. The first prototypes were revealed in 1951, called the Z-102. There were two: a coupe and a drophead, powered by an all alloy quad cam 2.5 litre V8 engine which generated 165 hp with a five speed transaxle, mounted behind the diff for better weight distribution. The coupe and convertible had dumpy steel bodies, and weight was an issue to the extent that Pegaso made the decision to revert to alloy for the coachwork. Coachbuilder Touring then ‘beautified’ the design, replacing the grille with a two-piece cross, lowering the car, repositioning the foglights, and simplifying various details to give it a clean profile, similar to the contemporary Aston-Martin DB2 and Lancia Aurelia. The Z-102 employed racing-car technology in its chassis and alloy body. Everything was produced in-house, with the exception of the external coachwork, with bodies made by Touring, Saoutchik or Serra, although the very early Z-102 cars do have Pegaso-made bodies. The first Z-102s had an all alloy 4 cam 2.5 litre engine as used in the prototypes, though later there were variants with 2.8 and 3.2 DOHC 32 valve V8s, with multiple carburettors and the option of a optional supercharger. Power output ranged from 175 to 360 bhp. and there was a five-speed gearbox. The fastest could reach 155 mph, making it the world’s fastest production car at the time. The base model had an 120 mph (192 km/h) top speed. However, the cars were heavy and brutish to drive and competition success was virtually non-existent. Because the cars were built on a cost-no-object basis, this caused financial difficulty in the company. A simplified and cheaper version, the Z-103 with 3.9, 4.5 and 4.7 litre engines, was put into production, but to no avail, and the Z-102 was discontinued after 1958. Just 86 of the Z-102 cars were produced, and out of these, only a handful of cabriolets were built, and there were a further 26 Z-103 models, a grand total of 112 Pegaso models.

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There were a number of examples of the much-loved 205 GTi and the open-topped CTi version here. From the extensive and big-selling 205 range, these days the GTi is the best known of the variants. Although the 205 was actually the second Peugeot to bear the iconic three letters, certainly the one that everyone remembers now is the 205 and not the earlier 505 model. Peugeot launched their new “supermini”, the 205 in January 1983, just one day after Fiat had presented the Uno, one of the car’s principal rivals. It was an immediate hit, with smart styling and a range of engines which combined with sharp handling made it good to drive. Mindful of the success of the Golf GTi, in the class above, and how a small car with good handling could take more power, as the Mini Cooper had proved, Peugeot came up with the GTi in early 1984. The first models had a 1.6 litre XU5J engine, producing 105 PS, which was uprated in 1987 with a cylinder head with larger valves thus becoming XU5JA, which took the power output up to 115 bhp. Visually the car retained the good looks of the 3 door version of the regular models, but it featured plastic wheel arch extensions and trim, beefier front and rear bumper valances and judicious use of red badging and trim. The shell also underwent some minor changes, including larger wheel arches (to suit the larger wheels , and the suspension was redesigned and sat lower on the GTI with stiffer springs, different wishbones and a drop-linked anti-roll bar. Red was a dominant colour inside. The car was an instant hit. At the end of 1986, Peugeot followed up with a more potent model, the 1.9 GTi, whose XU9JA engine produced 128 PS. Internally the engine of this car and the 1.6 model are very similar, the main differences on 1.9 litre versions being the longer stroke, oil cooler, and some parts of the fuel injection system. The shorter stroke 1.6 litre engine is famed for being revvy and eager, while the 1.9 litre feels lazier and torquier. Outside the engine bay the main differences between the 1.6 GTi and the 1.9 GTi are half-leather seats on the 1.9 GTi vs. cloth seats and disc brakes all-round (1.9 GTi) vs. at the front only; as well as the 14-inch Speedline SL201 wheels on the 1.6 GTi vs. 15 inch Speedline SL299 alloys on the 1.9 GTi. The 205 is still often treated as a benchmark in group car tests of the newest GTI models or equivalent. Peugeot itself has never truly recreated this success in future GTI models, although they came very close with the highly regarded GTI-6 variant of the Peugeot 306.

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Peugeot produced their 205 T16 to compete against the Audi Quattro and Lancia Delta of the mid 80s. To homologate the 205 T16 (“Turbo 16”) Group B rally car, Peugeot had to produce 200 road-going examples. According to the Group B regulations, these had to be based on a current production road car. Peugeot decided to base the Group B rally car on the two door version of the 205. The engine was based on the cast iron block of the Diesel version of the then new XU engine family, albeit with a specially developed 16-valve head. The gearbox came from the Citroen SM but was mounted transversely. The car had all wheel drive. The body was built by Heuliez, where standard three door bodyshells from the production line were delivered and heavily modified. Heuliez cut off the complete rear of the car and welded in a transverse firewall between the B-posts. The rear frame was then built in a mixture of sheet steel profiles and tubes. The front was modified in a similar way with a tube frame carrying the front suspension. The completed bodies were delivered to Simca (Talbot) for the 200-series production cars and to Peugeot Talbot Sport for the competition versions. All street versions (VINs P1 to P200) were left hand drive and identically kitted out in dark grey colour, except the first (VIN P1) that was painted white and carried all the competition cars’ decoration for demonstration purposes. The competition cars of the first evolution series (VIN C1 to C20) were built at the sport department Peugeot Talbot Sport and presented to the public at the same day as the standard street version. Later competition vehicles of the Evolution 2 series (VIN C201 to C220) were built differently as the rear spaceframe had no more sheet steel profiles in it but was completely made from tubes only. Apart from the appearance, the road variants had practically nothing in common with the regular production model and shared the transverse mid-engine, four-wheel drive layout of the rally car, but had less than half the power; at around 200 PS. The T was for Turbo; the 16 stands for 16 valves. Outwardly similar to a normal 205, the T16 had wider wheel arches, and the whole rear section lifted up to give access to the engine. Underneath, the complex drivetrain from the rally car was kept to abide by the Group B rules In addition to the Group B model, the lesser 205 GTI was also FIA approved for competition in the Group N and Group A categories. Peugeot Talbot Sport’s factory 205 T16s under Jean Todt were the most successful cars to compete in the last two years of the World Rally Championship’s Group B era, winning the 1985 and 1986 Constructors’ and Drivers’ titles with Timo Salonen and Juha Kankkunen respectively against such notable competition from Audi, Lancia and Ford, with an Evolution 2 model being introduced for the latter of those two seasons.

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A popular feature at the event, as is the case at Padova, is a display of historic cars and other exhibits associated with various of the Italian law enforcement agencies, the Polizia, Carabinieri and the Guardia di Finanza, with the cars sourced from the “Museo delle Auto della Polizia di Stato” in Rome. Shown here were a sample of the different cars and bikes that have been used by these law enforcement agencies over the years. Alfa Romeo models have always been popular for these duties and there were both a 1900 of the 1950s and the Giulia of the 1960s on show along with a much earlier
Fiat 1100 from the 1930s. Also here was a Lancia Flaminia and a number of motor bikes.

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Inspired by the Porsche 356 which was created by Ferry Porsche, as well as spyder prototypes built and raced by Walter Glöckler starting in 1951, the factory decided to build a car designed for use in auto racing. The Porsche 550 Spyder was introduced at the 1953 Paris Auto Show. The 550 was very low to the ground, in order to be efficient for racing. In fact, former German Formula One racer Hans Herrmann drove it under closed railroad crossing gates during the 1954 Mille Miglia. The Type 550/550 A is powered by an all aluminium 1,498 cc naturally aspirated air-cooled 4 cylinder boxer engine known as the “Fuhrmann Engine” (Type 547). Its valvetrain uses double overhead camshafts on each cylinder bank, driven by vertical shafts, actuating 2 valves per cylinder. The engine is equipped with twin 2-barrel Solex PJJ Carburettors and dual ignition with two separate ignition manifolds and two ignition coils as well as two double fall gasifiers. In its first version produced 110 PS (108 hp) at 6200 rpm and a maximum torque of 121 Nm (89 lb/ft) at 5000 rpm. The engine of the 550 is mounted in front of the rear axle making it mid-engined. This gives it a more balanced weight distribution, and allows for largely neutral handling. On the other hand, the low mass moment of inertia about the vehicle’s vertical axis can lead to a sudden, difficult to control rotation of the car. Ferdinand Porsche had pioneered this design layout with the Auto Union Grand Prix car of the 1930s. The first 550 had a fully synchronized 4-speed gearbox. Starting in 1956, a five-speed gearbox was used, but its first gear only had to start and (like the reverse gear) had to be placed over a barrier and not synchronized. Excessive slip to the drive wheels in corners was prevented by a limited slip differential. Between 1953 and 1956. only 90 Porsche 550s were produced, but it quickly established dominance in the 1.1- and 1.5- litre classes. The Porsche 550 is a mid-engine car with an air-cooled four-cylinder engine, following the precedent of the 1948 Porsche 356/1 prototype designed by Ferry Porsche. The mid-engine racing design was further developed with Porsche’s 718 model; its advantages led to it becoming the dominant design for top-level racing cars by the mid-1960s. The Porsche 550 has a solid racing history; the first race it entered, the Nurburgring Eifel Race in May 1953, it won. The 550 Spyder would usually finish top 3 in its class. Each Spyder was designed and customised to be raced. The 550 is among the most frequently reproduced classic automobiles. Several companies have sprung up in the last 25 years that offer kit and turnkey cars.

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Also here was a 911 RS Carrera Group 4 race car.

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Final car from the Mario Righini Collection was this 1914 SCAT Tipo 41-1 Torpedo. The SCAT (Società Ceirano Automobili Torino) was an Italian automobile manufacturer from Turin, founded in 1906 by Giovanni Battista Ceirano. The company was active from 1906 to 1932 and achieved Targa Florio wins in 1911, 1912 and 1914. The first produced models were the 12 HP, the 16 HP and the 22 HP of 1909.

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The Stanguellini family had a long involvement with the motor car. Vittorio’s grandfather founded an engineering company in 1879, and his father was the first one in Modena to register a car (in 1910, registration “MO 1”). “By the time Vittorio took over, in 1929, the family business included a FIAT agency. Vittorio Stanguellini began tuning and modifying Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Fiat cars for racing. He was a friendly rival of Enzo Ferrari in Modena beginning in the late 1920s.[3] Vittorio then formed Squadra Corse Stanguellini in 1938 and quickly found success when he modified a Maserati 6CM which took the overall victory at the 1938 Targa Florio. Stanguellini’s cars competed in countless sports car racing events, minor and major (such as the 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans) alike. Vittorio Stanguellini used his experience tuning Fiats in the pre-war days, and having raced them under the Squadra Stanguellini flag, he based his small racers on Fiat components. Focusing on the 750 & 1100 cc classes (winning numerous National victories), Stanguellini sports cars were beautifully engineered cars with light-alloy cylinder blocks, twin overhead camshafts (bialbero) and dual side-draught Weber carburettors. This would add up to a claimed 60 bhp at 7500 rpm from the 741 cc sports engine and 90 bhp at 7000 rpm from the larger engine, providing top speeds of around 180 km/h (110 mph) and 190 km/h (120 mph) respectively. Unlike many other of the so-called “Etceterinis”, Stanguellini were loath to use foreign parts, instead relying on Fiat as much as possible. Bodywork was usually by local Carrozzeria Reggiano. Vittorio Stanguellini tried very hard to gain a win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. However, with his limited resources, he never was able to achieve this. His best finish was a fourth in class.

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In 1947, a Bertone bodied four-seat berlinetta was offered, using familiar Fiat 1100 parts in a tubular chassis. This was also offered with a 1,500 cc engine. A Fiat 750-based two-seater was offered up the following year

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Stanguellini single-seaters, “scaled-down lookalikes of the famous Maserati 250F” powered by Fiat 1100 engines, were competitive in Formula Junior, a category under Formula One that existed between 1958 and 1963. Stanguellini won the first season of the Italian Formula Junior championship, and “famous drivers like Bandini and von Trips won their first races in Stanguellinis.” Walt Hansgen won the FJ race at the inaugural United States Grand Prix meeting at Sebring, Florida, on December 12, 1959, driving a Stanguellini. More than 100 Formula Juniors were built by Stanguellini, and they were very successful until 1960 and the arrival of British mid-engined racers like the Cooper and Lotus. As the days of the Fiat 1100-based, front-engined racers were over, Stanguellini did develop a mid-engined car called the Delfino for the 1962 season. The Fiat 1100 engine, although now tuned to 95 CV at 7500 rpm, was considered the car’s weakest link. The Delfino debuted at Daytona 1962 in the hands of the Cunningham team’s Walt Hansgen and started on pole. It retired with technical problems and the design was never fully competitive again. After 1966, the Stanguellini family concentrated their efforts on tuning equipment and subcontract design, while also running their Modena Fiat dealership.

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This proved to be a very enjoyable day out. The combination of new cars and classics meant that there were plenty of surprises, with lots of things I had expected to see as well as plenty of more familiar cars, both old and new. The Show is not so dauntingly massive that you struggle to see it all in a day, but there is more than enough for visitors to feel that they got their money’s worth. I got there around opening time, and by the time I left, to head to the airport to catch my plane during the late afternoon, felt that I had seen everything that was there. I had also had a great weekend in Italy, despite the fact that the fog which had blanketed the airport on arrival and which is not uncommon in the flat plains of the area around the city at this time of the year, had barely clear throughout the stay. Although this was the 41st time that the Show has taken place, in recent years, several have been cancelled, so it is by no means a given that it will be held in the same way in the future and will require checking before making plans to attend. That is something I will be doing, for sure.

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