Rétromobile 2018 – February 2018

Around the turn of every year, you will see all manner of lists of “unmissable events” published by many of the classic car sources. Almost all of them include the Rétromobile which is held in Paris in the first half of February. And with good reason. There have been 42 Rétromobile events, and during that time, what for many is the season opener has established a world-class reputation for being the showcase of a vast array of the familiar, the rare and often the downright obscure. Where else can you find World War One tanks, automotive jumble, humble car clubs and multi-million-euro collector classics all in one place? It’s all curated with typical French abandon, but as the hundreds of dealers and high-profile collectors in attendance prove, it remains a ‘must-go’ event, with over 600 cars on show, many of them of world renown, and often making their first appearance in public for some considerable time. In recent years, the event has expanded beyond the main Hall 1, which has allowed more space for those who wish to exhibit, with the result the event now extends over 65,000 square metres of display space. Among them are not just the three French manufacturers, all of whom support the event with extensive displays, but a few others as well, and there are also many of the high-end dealers from across Europe, including such well-known names as Fiskens, Thiesen, Gallery Brummen, Axel Schutte and Swiss dealer, Lukas Hüni AG. A growing number of Car Clubs have space – mostly quite a small space – in Hall 2, and there is always a vast autojumble area, as well as countless stalls selling paintings, prints and sculptures. Several of the well known auction houses hold high profile sales in Paris around the time of the Show, though now that Rétromobile itself is limited to four days rather than then ten over which it used to be held, some of these are before the event opens and off-site. French auction house Artcurial hold theirs during the event, and they take a large area of one of the halls with a display of the cars they have on offer. Cheekily, you have to buy their catalogue to gain access for a close-up view, which costs mode than the entry to the Rétromobile itself though you can see some of the cars that they are offering from the perimeter of their area. A number of themed displays are chosen for the event each year, and these are interspersed among the other exhibits. Some of the cars are taken outside during the day, and fired up so they can drive around the exhibition halls, and this is always a popular diversion for those who want some fresh air. There’s an awful lot to see, so it really will take all day to try to take it in. And that is precisely what I did. There are a lot of photos here, but even so, there were things I missed, of course.


FCA Group had a large stand to show off just a few models from each of their Italian brands. Two of the cars present were Abarth badged, and they were different, both in size and in age.

The smaller of the pair and brand new was the latest addition to the current range, the limited edition 695 Rivale. This is the latest celebration of Fiat’s partnership with Riva, which has already seen a special Riva version of the 500,. Described as being “the most sophisticated Abarth ever”, it is available either as a hatch or a cabriolet, with both of them featuring a two-tone Riva Sera Blue and Shark Grey paintwork. The Rivale is adorned with an aquamarine double stripe, satin chrome finish on the door handles and satin chrome moulding on the tailgate, various aesthetic elements inspired by the Riva 56 Rivale yachts and ‘695 Rivale’ logos, joined by Brembo Brakes, Koni suspension, and 17-inch Supersport alloy wheels. Enhancing the nautical theme the new 695 Rivale features either a carbon fibre or mahogany dashboard, black mats with blue inserts, blue leather seats and door panels, carbon fibre kick plates, special steering wheel wrapped in blue and black leather and with a mahogany badge, blue leather instrument panel cover, and mahogany gear lever knob and kick plate. These are joined by the standard Uconnect infotainment with a 7-inch display, which is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and there is also a hand-written numbered plate that can be customised with the mane of the customer’s yacht on request. Powering the 695 Rivale is the same 1.4-litre turbocharged engine that makes 180PS (177hp) and 184lb/ft of torque, that features in the 595 Competizione, allowing it to go from rest to 100km/h (62mph) in 6.7 seconds and up to a top speed of 225km/h (140mph). This is a regular model in the range, but confusingly, there is also the Abarth 695 Rivale 175 Anniversary, created to celebrate 175 years of the Riva brand. Just 350 of these were produced, half of them the hatch and the other half cabriolets. These featured 17-inch alloy wheels with a special pattern, celebratory badge on the outside, hand-crafted details such as the two-tone colour – blue and black hand-stitched leather seats with a celebratory logo stitched onto the headrest, carbon dashboard silk screen printed with special logo, numbered plate.

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Larger, and rather less well known is this car, an Allemano 2400 Coupe. This is a special car, though, as it was Carl Abarth’s personal car.

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A real highlight for me was a far larger display of Abarths. This was one of the special displays of the 2018 event. It was in the middle of Hall 3, so it was quite a long time after my arrival before I got to it. Having seen some pictures online, though, I was full of expectation. And when I got there, I was still blown away by a most impressive array of 20 cars. These had all been sourced from the Engelbert Möll collection – a Swiss collector and former Abarth race driver.

1968 OT2000 Periscopica: Following Simca’s acquisition by Chrysler, the new owner had no interest in any continuation of the previously successful Simca Abarth and Abarth Simca high-performance car collaboration, which meant Carlo Abarth found himself with a quite a stock of what were basically unused Simca 1000 chassis floor pans, upon which the Abarth Simca 1600s and 2000s had been based. The popular legend is that it was upon these unused Simca platforms that Abarth then founded his 1300cc class Gran Turismo design for 1965 – the OT 1300. Abarth’s technical team under Mario Colucci had developed a boxed pressed-steel chassis structure on the modified Simca 1000 floor pan to which all-independent suspension was attached with componentry drawn from the Fiat 850 shelves. The Abarth OT 1300 then emerged, to race for the first time as a prototype in the September, 1965, Nurburgring 500-Kilometre classic. Driver Klaus Steinmetz hammered the new Coupé home to a fine third-place finish overall and the OT 1300 was up and running into the record books, becoming one of the most successful – and also one of the most distinctive – models that Abarth & C ever produced. The OT 1300’s rear-mounted all-Abarth engine was overhung – in best Carlo Abarth-approved style. It was a 4-cylinder unit with twin overhead camshaft cylinder head. With two valves per cylinder and a 10.5:1 compression ratio, the engine breathed through two twin-choke Weber 45DCOE9 carburettors. Ignition was by two plugs per cylinder, fired by single distributor. Dry-sump lubrication was adopted and the power unit produced a reliable 147bhp at 8,800rpm. This lusty engine, perfected by Abarth’s power-unit specialist Luciano Fochi with five main-bearing crankshaft, drove via a five-speed and reverse Abarth transaxle. Wheelbase length of the OT 1300 was nominally 2015mm, front track 1296mm and rear track 1340mm. It featured moulded glassfibre clamshell-style opening front and rear body sections moulded by Sibona & Basano in Turin, and this pert-nosed Coupé became a familiar sight dominating its class for three consecutive years. Production of the OT 1300 began on May 15 1966 and ended on March 30, 1966, by which time the minimum production number of 50 required by the FIA for homologation as a Gran Turismo model had (allegedly) been achieved. The most distinctive single characteristic of the OT 1300 Coupé, apart from its huge International success within its class, was its adoption of the Periscopica air-cooling intake on the rear of the cabin roof. Casual onlookers would assume that the periscope-like intake fed intake air into the rear-mounted engine, but this is absolutely not the case. Instead, the water and oil-cooling pipe runs through the cockpit area heated-up the cabin to what was generally considered to be an unacceptable level for endurance racing, and the periscope intake merely blasted cold air down into the cabin to cool the driver himself. From the OT 1300 Mario Colucci developed the OT 2000 Coupé using the 1946cc 4-cylinder power unit perfected by his colleague Luciano Fochi and with some 215bhp at 7,600rpm. The larger engined model was capable of exceeding 165mph in a straight line.

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1971 3000 Sport prototipo SE022: One of the last cars that Abarth built and raced before its acquisition by Fiat in 1972 was the 3000 SE022. Fitted with a 3 litre V8 rated at 375 hp and a 180 mph top speed, this 3000 SE022 won the European Hill Climb Championship in 1971.

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1972 Osella 2000 Spider Proto SE021

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1974 2000 Prototipo Pininfarina SE027: Just three of these prototypes were built.

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1967 Le Mans Engine Tipo 240: Sadly, this project was still-born. It was planned for a mid-engined le Mans entrant to form a sort of Italian version of the Jaguar XJ13. The 6 litre engine had twin-ignition, a dry sump and used four triple choke carburettors to produce 610 bhp. It was thwarted by a regulation change which limited engines to 3 litres.

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1963 1000 Spider Sport SE05 ex Tommy Spychinger: The Abarth Spider Sport did race from 1961 and 1963 with various displacement of 1000 cc, 1300 cc, 1450 cc and 2000 cc. Tommy Spychiger won in 1963 many races with this car, for instance Avignon/Mont Ventoux, Trento-Bondone, Cesana-Sestriere, Freiburg-Schauinsland, Ollon Villars and also Swiss Sportscar Champion 1964 and 1965 and many others. The 982 cc rear mounted in-line four cylinder engine produces 98 hp at 7.600 rpm with twin overhead camshaft and two Weber 40DCOE2 twin Carburettor . The engine is water cooled. Weight of the vehicle is 405 kg. Claimed top speed is 220 kph.

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1970 1000 TCR Radiale Group 5: On paper and in the metal, the Abarth 1000 TCR Radiale stands out as the most extreme evolution of the Fiat 600, a model introduced in 1955 to put Italy on wheels. The 108-hp, 1285-pound TCR was built to compete in the Group 5 category, where relatively loose regulations allowed a wider scope of mechanical modifications. Abarth took advantage of the permissive rules by dropping the engine to lower the car’s center of gravity in order to improve handling. The 1.0-litre four-cylinder received a head with hemispherical combustion chambers (so, yes, Mopar fans, that thing’s got a hemi). It was developed in-house by Abarth, and it wasn’t found on any series-produced Fiat model. Given a long enough stretch of tarmac, the TCR could reach a top speed of about 124 mph. Suspension modifications helped pilots make the most of the engine’s grunt while keeping the front end pointed in the direction of travel. Registered in Venezuela, the 1000 TCR Radiale displayed in Geneva won the 500-kilometre race held on the Nürburgring in 1968.

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1969 2000 Sport Prototipo SE014/19

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1964 Allemano 2400: In the late 1950s, Abarth mostly made small, high-performance cars either based on an existing Fiat model, or built using Fiat-sourced components. The company also quietly dabbled in stately grand tourers, like the 2400 Coupe, that were equal parts quick and luxurious. Like the firm’s smaller models, the 2400 Coupe started life as a Fiat. It traced its roots to the high-end 2300 Coupe. Abarth raised the straight-six engine’s displacement from 2279 to 2323 cubic centimeters to obtain 157 horsepower. The brand also installed three Weber carburettors, lighter pistons, and a brand-new exhaust system. Michelotti designed an elegant, well-proportioned coupe body that could nearly pass as a member of the Ferrari family, and Allemano handled production. Abarth’s records indicate a few dozen 2400 Coupes were built. They were hand-made, so no two cars were exactly alike. The aluminium-bodied example in Engelbert Möll’s collection was Carlo Abarth’s personal car. The grandiose coupe illustrates a rarely-seen facet of the Abarth brand, one it later gave up on to focus entirely on flat-out performance.

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1963 Simca 2 litre: Abarth’s bet had paid off. Even with little support and almost no enthusiasm from Simca, the 1000-derived 1300 GT had become a force to be reckoned with on race tracks around the world. The company’s ambitions didn’t stop at the 1300-cc category. In 1964, it stuffed the OT 2000’s 177-hp, 2.0-litre four-cylinder in the engine bay, and made the coupe more stable at high speeds by extending its rear end and integrating a spoiler into the decklid. The modifications transformed the 1300 GT into a monster of a race car that required serious driving skills to tame. Abarth named it 2 Mila, a name which means “two thousand” in Italian, and refers to the engine’s displacement. Brave and determined customers could order a 192-hp version of the engine, and the 2 Mila’s output later grew to 202 hp thanks in part to bigger carburettors. Simca severed ties with Abarth in 1965, and it ultimately founded an in-house racing department which created the race-winning 1000 Rallye. Abarth continued building—and racing—Simca-based cars for several more years.

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1966 1000 Sport SE04

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1963 Simca 1300 GT: Abarth made a name for itself by tuning small, rear-engined Fiat models, but it also worked with other car manufacturers, including Simca. The fact that Fiat still owned part of Simca at the turn of the 1960s facilitated the collaboration. Henri Theodore Pigozzi, the man who helped Fiat create Simca and ran it for decades, allegedly contacted Abarth in the months leading up to the 1000’s release to ask for two high-performance variants of the car. The first one needed to be a hotter version of the regular-production model. The second one was a coupe based on the production car, but fitted with a racing-specific body, and upgraded with a wide array of mechanical modifications. The Simca-Abarth 1150’s promising career was cut short when Chrysler began buying into Simca and Pigozzi quit. However, Abarth received a shipment of bare 1000 chassis to turn into race cars. After experimenting with a 1.0-litre engine, Abarth adopted a 1.3-litre that delivered 128 hp thanks in part to a pair of big Weber carburettors. The four shifted through a Simca-sourced four-speed manual transmission, but clients could order an Abarth-designed six-speed manual at an extra cost. Abarth entered four 1300 GTs in the 1962 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. One car finished 14th; the other three dropped out of the race. The model fared better in 1963, when it stunningly earned 90 first-place finishes at a wide variety of events, including the 12 Hours of Sebring.

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1968 2000 Sport SE010: By the late ’60s, noting a dramatic decline in sales of its vehicles, Carlo Abarth decided to focus on the production of sports cars for sale to private entrants. To encourage them with a purchase, he created this car, the 2000 Sport Tipo SE 010. The engine was a four-cylinder 2 litre with two Weber 58 DC03 carburettors that generated 250 hp and gave a maximum speed of 270 km/h. There was a five-speed manual transmission. The chassis frame was of a tubular type made of steel. The front suspensions consisted of oscillating trapezoids, coil springs, stabilizer bars and telescopic hydraulic shock absorbers, while the rear ones had oscillating arms, coil springs, stabilizer bars and telescopic hydraulic shock absorbers. Driven for the first time in the uphill race at Ampus, in France, the 2000 Sport obtained numerous victories and placements, including claiming the first three positions in the 500 km of the Nürburgring in 1968 with Shetty, Ortner and Merzario.

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1966 OT2000 Coupe America: Abarth tried replicating the success of its 500- and 600-based models by releasing hotter variants of the Fiat 850 introduced in 1964. The strategy should have worked, especially because the coupe and convertible variants introduced by Fiat in 1965 gave Abarth a full catalogue of volume-produced models to build on without having to knock on a coachbuilder’s door. One of the most extreme 850-based models was the OT 2000 presented during the 1966 Turin show. Based on the 850 Coupe, it received a 185-horsepower version of the 2 Mila’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with more torque to make it more usable on public roads. The four spun the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission, and it sent the 1500-pound OT 2000 to a top speed in the vicinity of 150 mph. It looked like a 150-mph car, too. Abarth added wing flares to cover the wider wheel and tyre combination. It also re-located the radiator from the engine bay to the front boot, which required stuffing the spare tyre horizontally in a storage compartment chiselled into the front end. The long, straight exhaust pipe that extended the car’s length by a few inches removed any lingering doubts about its identity. It wasn’t a run-of-the-mill 850. Abarth’s 850-based models weren’t as successful as the company’s earlier cars. In hindsight, they were too expensive, which alienated many potential buyers, and their mechanical components—which often came straight from the pit lane—were too delicate to withstand the hustle and bustle of life off the track. Only five examples of the OT 2000 were built.

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1971 2000 Spider SE021: During the Sixties, Abarth with the involvement of Vincenzo ‘Enzo’ Osella produced cars with the motor more midships and both these and the overhung engines became well developed and successful in racing and hill climbs. When Abarth sold out to Fiat in 1971, becoming the latter’s competitions department, the racing team was purchased by Osella. Following his takeover of Abarth’s racing assets, he worked with designer Antonio Tomaini to produce the Abarth-Osella SE 021 that won the European 2-Litre Championship in 1972.

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1959 750 Bialbero Record Monza: Giacchino Colombo had constructed the DOHC cylinder head for ABARTH based on the Fiat 600 engine. Winner of its class by Mario Poltronieri in 12 Hours Monza 1959 as well as Coupe du Salon at Monthlery in the same 1959. The 747 cc rear mounted in-line four cylinder engine produces 57 hp at 7.000 rpm with double overhead camshaft and two Weber 36 DCL4 twin carburettor. The weight is given for 568 kg. The claimed top speed is 175 kph.

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1962 1000 Bialbero Le Mans: With the introduction of the Abarth twin cam 982cc engine came the 1000 Biabero. It used many of the same design principles from the 750 Record Monza and 700 Bialbero models which were produced in earlier years. These were specially built race cars that employed Fiat components and were tuned for motor sports. The car’s engine was a derivative of same found in the Fiat 600, but with an enlarged bore and stoke. Added to this was a special DOHC cylinder head that used hemispherical combustion chambers and an increased compression ratio. Along with an improved intake and exhaust the 1000 Bialbero could produce 91 bhp – nearly 100 bhp per litre.

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One of the earliest Abarths in the display was this 1958 500 GT Coupe Zagato. Abarth and Zagato envisioned the 500 Coupe as a cheaper, less powerful alternative to the emblematic 750 with the famed double-bubble roof. Both cars looked a lot alike, but the 500-powered model received a smooth roof panel, and its smaller engine didn’t require extra air intakes on top of the deck lid to breathe. Its wheels kept the 500’s wide bolt pattern, which was one of the few visual links between Fiat’s mass-produced, entry-level model and this hand-built, race-ready coupe. The rear license plate light housing was another. Power came from an Abarth-tuned version of the 500’s 479-cc, two-cylinder engine. The air-cooled unit made 26 horsepower, a massive increase considering buyers of the 500 settled for only 13 hp in 1957. Abarth’s record keeping was approximate at best, but most historians agree about four examples of the 500 Coupe were built during the late ’50s. In contrast, the number of 750s built lies in the hundreds. The 500 Coupe is largely forgotten in 2019, though Abarth and Zagato paid a vague homage to it in 2011 when it unveiled the Fiat 500 Coupe by Zagato during the Geneva show.

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1970 595 SS Corsa: Abarth introduced the 595 as a homologation special at the 1963 Turin show. Starting with a Fiat 500, a car that was anything but sporty in its standard configuration, the firm fitted a 594-cc engine (hence the name, rounded up) rated at 27 horsepower, a nearly 50-percent increase over the regular-production model. It could reach 74 mph, which surprised more than a few Alfa Romeo and Lancia drivers on Italy’s autostrada. The SS variant released in 1964 boasted an 80-mph top speed thanks to a 32-hp evolution of the twin. Abarth built its first 500-based models by purchasing complete cars from Fiat and modifying them in its workshop. Starting in late 1963, Fiat agreed to provide Abarth with partially-assembled cars. The deal streamlined the production process. Customers could either buy a finished 595 from Abarth, or purchase wooden crates containing all the parts needed to turn a homely 500 into a hot rod. Production of the 595 ended in 1971.

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1958 Abarth 500 Record: 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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1965 2000 Monoposto record SE08: A couple of world records were achieved in 1000 cc and 2000 cc by Carlo Abarth himself and later by Johanes Ortner such as standing start on 1/4 miles 11,045 sec 130,545 kph and 500 m 12,855 sec 140,023 kph. Central engine with 1946 cc in line water cooled four cylinder unit fitted with double overhead camshaft and two Weber 58DCO3 twin carburettors producing 216 hp at 8800 rpm. Total dry weight 500 kg. Claimed top speed 260 kph.

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Elsewhere, there was another example of the 595SS, this one offered for sale.

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Usually when you see a Cobra, it is a replica or at the very best one of the continuation series cars, but here, the cars on show were the real deal from production back in the early to mid 60s.

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There were a couple of Alfa Romeo models on the FCA Heritage stand, and as was the case with Abarth, these were also very different. The distinctive and now highly rated SZ of the late 80s was joined by the brand new Stelvio, show in top spec Quadrifoglio guise.

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In the mid-1920s, Alfa’s RL was considered too large and heavy, so a new development began. The 2-litre formula that had led to Alfa Romeo winning the Automobile World Championship in 1925, changed to 1.5-litre for the 1926 season. The 6C 1500 was introduced in 1925 at the Milan Motor Show and production started in 1927, with the P2 Grand Prix car as starting point. Engine capacity was now 1487 cc, against the P2’s 1987 cc, while supercharging was dropped. The first versions were bodied by James Young and Touring. In 1928, a 6C Sport was released, with a dual overhead camshafts engine. Its sport version won many races, including the 1928 Mille Miglia. Total production was 3000 (200 with DOHC engine). Ten copies of a supercharged (compressore, compressor) Super Sport variant were also made. The more powerful 6C 1750 was introduced in 1929 in Rome. The car had a top speed of 95 mph, a chassis designed to flex and undulate over wavy surfaces, as well as sensitive geared-up steering. It was produced in six series between 1929 and 1933. The base model had a single overhead cam; Super Sport and Gran Sport versions had double overhead cam engines. Again, a supercharger was available. Most of the cars were sold as rolling chassis and bodied by coachbuilders such as Zagato, and Touring. Additionally, there were 3 examples built with James Young bodywork. In 1929, the 6C 1750 won every major racing event it was entered, including the Grands Prix of Belgium, Spain, Tunis and Monza, as well as the Mille Miglia was won with Giuseppe Campari and Giulio Ramponi, the Brooklands Double Twelve and the Ulster TT was won also, in 1930 it won again the Mille Miglia and Spa 24 Hours. Total production was 2635. There were several of them here, with a variety of different bodies.

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This is a 1937 12C 37. The Alfa Romeo 12C or Tipo C was a 12-cylinder Grand Prix car. The 12C-36 made its debut in Tripoli Grand Prix 1936, and the 12C-37 in Coppa Acerbo 1937. The 12C-36 was a Tipo C fitted with the new V12 instead of the 3.8 litre straight-eight of the 8C-35. The 12C-37 was a new car, with a lower chassis and an engine bored and stroked to 4475 cc, now with roller- instead of plain bearings and two smaller superchargers instead of a single large one. The car suffered poor handling, which could not be cured in time for the 1937 Italian GP, and thus was not successful. This is given as the reason for Vittorio Jano’s resignation from Alfa Romeo at the end of 1937. The 12C-36 used the existing six Tipo C chassis. Four examples of the 12C-37 were built, although only two were actually assembled for the 1937 Coppa Acerbo and Italian GP. Early in 1938, the Tipo C (8C-35, 12C-36) chassis were modified into 308s, with the straight-eight engine fitted lower in the chassis and a completely new body. The four 12C-37 chassis were instead assembled into 312 (V12 downsized to 3-litre) and 316 (V16 obtained from two 158 engines fitted to a common crankcase) formula race cars.

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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: 3,250 mm (128.0 in) on the Turismo, 3,000 mm (118.1 in) on the Sport and 2,700 mm (106.3 in) on the Super Sport. 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 his 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

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The 1900C was introduced in 1951 as the coupe version of the four-door Alfa Romeo 1900. The addition of the C in the name wasn’t for coupe as many assume, but for corto – the Italian word for short. Although the 1900 model series was the first with a unibody chassis, and the the first to be fitted with the new 1884cc DOHC inline-4, the then general manager of Alfa Romeo, Iginio Alessio, chose to develop the unibody chassis in such a way that the iconic Italian carrozzerie, or coachbuilders, could build custom bodies for it. He had become concerned with the difficulty posed by creating custom bodies for these newly engineered cars – and as a result of this decision the Alfa Romeo 1900 and 1900C were both bodied by some of the greatest names in Italian coachbuilding – including Zagato, Touring, Pinin Farina, Bertone, Boneschi, Boano, Colli, Stabilimenti Farina, Vignale, and of course, Ghia. Alfa Romeo gave official contracts to Touring to build the sporty 1900 Sprint coupé and to Pinin Farina to build an elegant four seat Cabriolet and Coupé. Carrozzeria Zagato built a small series of coupés with the unofficial designation of 1900 SSZ, designed for racing with an aerodynamic lightweight aluminium body and Zagato’s trademark double bubble roof. One-off specials were numerous, from the famous Bertone BAT series of aerodynamic studies, to an infamous sci-fi like Astral spider designed by Carrozzeria Boneschi for Rafael Trujillo the dictator of the Dominican Republic. There was a Barchetta or “Boat Car” made by Ghia-Aigle in Lugano Switzerland designed by Giovanni Michelotti at the request of a wealthy Italian who had two passions: the ‘Riva’ boats and a woman, his mistress, the car has no doors or windscreen wipers. A number of them were to be seen here including the 1900C Farina.

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Following the 1900 family, Alfa’s next new model range would be cheaper and aimed at capturing some of the market from middle class buyers. Known as Giulietta, the 750 and later 101 Series were a series of family-sized cars made from 1954 to 1965, and Alfa Romeo’s first, successful, foray into the 1.3-litre class. The first to be introduced was the Giulietta Sprint 2+2 coupé which was premiered at the 1954 Turin Motor Show. Designed by Franco Scaglione at Bertone, it was produced at the coachbuilder’s Grugliasco plant, near Turin. A year later, at the Turin Motor Show in April 1955, the Sprint was joined by the 4-door saloon Berlina. In mid 1955, the open two-seat Giulietta Spider, featuring convertible bodywork by Pininfarina arrived. The Giulietta used unibody construction and a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. Front suspension was by control arms, with coaxial coil springs and hydraulic dampers. At the rear there was a solid axle on coil springs and hydraulic dampers. The axle was located by a longitudinal link on each side, and by a wishbone-shaped arm linking the top of the aluminium differential housing to the chassis. All Giuliettas (save for the last SZ examples) had hydraulic drum brakes on all four corners. The Giulietta used an Alfa Romeo Twin Cam straight-four of 1290 cc, with an aluminium alloy engine block and cast iron inserted sleeves. Bore and stroke measured 74.0 mm and 75.0 mm. The aluminium alloy cylinder head was of a crossflow design and featured hemispherical combustion chambers. The double overhead camshafts were driven by two timing chains, and acted on two valves per cylinder, angled 80°. In 1957 a more powerful Berlina version, called Giulietta T.I. (Turismo Internazionale) was presented with minor cosmetic changes to the bonnet, the dial lights and rear lamps. Carrozzeria Colli also made the Giulietta station wagon variant called Giulietta Promiscua. Ninety-one examples of this version were built. Carrozzeria Boneschi also made a few station wagon examples called Weekendina. A new version of the Giulietta Berlina debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1959. Mechanical changes were limited to shifting the fuel pump from the cylinder head to a lower position below the distributor, and moving the previously exposed fuel filler cap from the tail to the right rear wing, under a flap. The bodywork showed a revised front end, with more rounded wings, recessed head lights, and new grilles with chrome frames and two horizontal bars. The rear also showed changes, with new larger tail lights on vestigial fins, which replaced the earlier rounded rear wings. The interior was much more organised and upholstered in new cloth material; the redesigned dashboard included a strip speedometer flanked by two round bezels, that on the T.I. housed a tachometer and oil and water temperature gauges. The T.I. also received a front side repeater mounted in a small spear, unlike the Normale which kept the earlier small round lamp with no decorations. During 1959 the type designation for all models was changed from 750 and 753 to 101. In February 1961 the 100,001st Giulietta rolled out of the Portello factory, with a celebration sponsored by Italian actress Giulietta Masina. In Autumn 1961 the Giulietta was updated a second time. Both Normale and T.I. had revised engines and new exhaust systems; output rose to 61 bhp and 73 bhp. With this new engine the car could reach a speed of almost 100mph. At the front of the car square mesh side grilles were now pieced together with the centre shield, and at the rear there were larger tail lights. Inside the T.I. had individual instead of bench seats, with storage nets on the seatbacks. June 1962 saw the introduction of the Alfa Romeo Giulia, which would eventually replace the Giulietta. As until 1964 the Giulia only had a larger 1.6-litre engine, production of the standard Berlina ended with 1963, whilst the T.I. continued for a full year more. A last T.I. was completed in 1965. The Giulietta sport models had a different fate: Sprint, Sprint Speciale and Spider were fitted with the new 1.6-litre engine, received some updates and continued to be sold under the Giulia name until they were replaced by all-new Giulia-based models during 1965. These days., the Berlina is the model you see the least often. A few of the model are used in historic racing where the car takes on the might of those with far larger engines. A total of 177,690 Giuliettas were made, the great majority in Berlina saloon, Sprint coupé or Spider roadster body styles, and it was the Berlina to be seen here.

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There was also an example of the very lovely Giulietta SZ. The SZ (for Sprint Zagato, officially the Tipo 101.26, or “Type 101.26”) was an aluminium-bodied 2-seater berlinetta, built by Zagato for competition use on the chassis and mechanicals of the Sprint Speciale. A crashed Sprint Veloce was rebodied by Zagato in late 1956, and was immediately successful in competition. Zagato ended up building 18 rebodied Veloces, called the SVZ and the version gave rise to a full production version. The SVZ was about 120 kg (260 lb) lighter than the Coupé on which it was based, and had the highest tuned, 116 hp, version of the Giulietta engine. A production competition version of the Giulietta, with lightened bodywork designed by Franco Scaglione for Bertone was then premiered at the 1960 Geneve Salon. Handbuilt by Zagato, entirely in aluminium and with plexiglass windows, the lightened Sprint Zagato (SZ) was light, fast, and expensive. Two hundred seventeen were built, the original design with a rounded rear and with the last thirty (some say 46) receiving a longer kamm-style rear end as well as disc brakes up front. The original design is called the “Coda Tonda” (round tail), while the Kamm-design is referred to as the “Coda Tronca” (truncated tail). The Coda Tronca is sometimes also referred to as the “SZ2”. The first examples were built in December 1959, and production continued into 1962. Zagato also rebodied a few existing cars with this bodywork, leading to discrepancies in the production numbers. The SZ was very successful in racing, on a national level as well as internationally. The SZ helped Alfa Romeo secure a victory in the 1.3 litre class of the International Championship for GT Manufacturers in 1962 and 1963. Michel Nicol won the Tour de Corse in 1957. On the rare occasions that these cars come up for sale, the price is massive compared to other Giulietta family models. Seen here was one of the 17 surviving Coda Tronca models.

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After the heady glory days of its Grand Prix domination with the Alfetta, Alfa Romeo struggled to find its competitive spirit in the early 1950s. Sports cars became the priority to promote the new direction for Milan, but both the Gioacchino Colombo-designed Disco Volante and later the 6C-3000 coupés under Giuseppe Busso failed to deliver despite impressive specifications and bold ideas. As Italy rebuilt after the war and the illustrious company moved away from bespoke machinery to a mass-produced line, the 1900 introduced in 1950 became the mainstay of the car division. The unitary platform of the production saloon evolved into handmade, short-wheelbase coupés from Italy’s finest coachbuilders, a succession of one-off show cars – and even a military jeep. When the firm later concentrated on a twin-cam Giulietta to launch a new era at Portello, a 1900 swansong development was created under the direction of Busso. Maybe the success of Mercdes-Benz’s sensational 300SL encouraged Alfa’s director Orazio Satta Puliga to give the go-ahead for a new lightweight spider and coupé based around the mechanics of the older 1900. The plan was to put the fixed-head into limited manufacture, aimed at wealthy privateer racers. The four-cylinder motor – with its iron block and light-alloy head – was bored out to give 1997.4cc and with twin Weber 50DCO3 carburettors, hotter cams, 9:1 compression and dry sump, it punched out 138bhp at 6500rpm. Unlike the Disco Volante’s engine, the ignition switched from magneto to coil with a camshaft-driven distributor. The unit had proved its reliability with the 1900 TI in endurance events, but powering the Sportiva’s lightweight square-tube spaceframe with beefy longerons through the sills and clothed in Superleggera alloy bodywork, this 915kg machine had a 140mph potential. The frame was extensively drilled and, other than the windscreen, all the windows were Perspex, which underlines the drive for further lightness with competition in mind. The front end followed 1900 practice with unequal-length wishbones, coil springs and dampers, but the rear was a beautifully engineered de Dion set-up with Watt linkage and finned inboard drum brakes. The talented Austrian engineer Rudolf Hruska, who had managed the 1900 project, was also closely involved with the new 2000 prototypes, and enlisted Nuccio Bertone to make the bodies with the brilliant Franco Scaglione as the stylist. Like many of Alfa Romeo’s top engineers, Scaglione had an aviation background with a specialist interest in aerodynamics, as his BAT show cars dramatically demonstrated. How many Sportivas were built remains a mystery that has challenged Alfa historians for decades, but it is generally believed that there were four cars – two spiders and two coupés – with chassis numbers from 1366.00001 to 1366.00004. Of the two open Sportivas, only one survives: 00002 in the factory collection. The fate of the other is unrecorded, prompting the theory that only one was built with the body changing through aerodynamic testing. To further confuse matters, a third coupé – with deeply cut away front wings and exposed exhaust exiting ahead of the rear wheel – appears in period photographs. The first prototypes took to the road in August ’54, the compact-looking roadster evolving progressively from finned BAT-style tail to a more rounded version. A scoop photo in the February 1955 issue of Auto Italiana reveals a spider on track at Monza adorned with threads of wool to study airflow, which was filmed with a cine camera from a chase car. ‘The fins were soon removed as they proved useless,’ Busso recalled in his memoirs. The spider competed just once, in the Vermicino-Rocca di Papa hillclimb, where it won the sports-car class and came second overall to Salvatore Casella’s Mercedes 300SL. As Alfa focused on developing the Giulietta, the Sportiva was pushed into the background. The two coupés were completed, with more cohesive styling and a better finish. The silver car was used extensively for evaluation, as its higher mileage confirms. At one point, possibly for testing tyres and 2600 disc brakes, it was fitted with Dunlop-style disc wheels but was later put back on Borranis. The two Sportivas were kept under wraps – to avoid distracting attention from the Giulietta launch – but finally the red coupé was unveiled on the Alfa stand at the ’56 Turin Salon. It shared space with a 1900 Pininfarina Coupé and the new Giulietta, while across the aisle the Turin coachbuilder displayed the wild Superflow. The two fixed-heads are subtly different, with contrasting front air vents under the bumper (the silver car ‘00003’ has neater vertical louvres), sidelight positions and bootlid design, although both are clearly fully resolved designs. The plan to build 100 was abandoned because Alfa Romeo’s management concluded that the car was too expensive to produce. So all three were initially confined to the Portello vault until plans began to build a new factory museum in 1965 under the direction of historian Luigi Fusi. Few knew about the second red Sportiva until Fusi instigated a fascinating swap with an Australian. While sorting cars for a comprehensive historical display, Fusi was keen to plug gaps. When he learned from Roy Slater, an English-born Alfisti who lived in Italy, that the only surviving 1920 20/30 was in Australia, contact was made with owner Lionel Jones. The ordinary-looking vintage four-cylinder tourer might have seemed an unlikely exchange for the sexy prototype, but the 20/30 was the oldest remaining car to feature the Alfa Romeo badge, so was very significant for the museum collection. Jones had discovered the tourer in 1967 after a customer to his Sydney engine-rebuilding workshop had mentioned an old Alfa stored on an outback farm. Various marque histories had stated that none of the 300 20/30s built were left, so Jones was happy to prove the experts wrong and painstakingly restore the rare model. When Fusi heard about the find from Slater, he made contact with Jones with offers to purchase the 20/30, but the Australian wasn’t interested. Refusing to give up, Fusi sent a list of historic Alfa Romeos to tempt him for a swap – with a new Sud thrown in to sweeten the deal. At heart, Jones believed that the 20/30 should return to the factory and decided that the rarely seen Sportiva ‘00004’ would make the perfect exchange. The particulars of the deal took months to sort, but the 20/30 was crated up in Sydney’s docks in 1971 and shipped to Italy. Tickets later arrived for him and his wife Pauline to fly as special guests to the unveiling of the important machine. The opening of the crate was delayed for a special reception at Portello and, for most of the evening, Jones chauffeured Alfa management around the factory in his old car. Back in Australia, Jones had to wait several months before the Sportiva arrived because Fusi claimed that the factory wanted to make sure that it was in top condition before shipping. The big day when the Sportiva was finally rolled out of its shipping container created quite a commotion on Sydney docks, with the local paper headlining the story as ‘The rarest car in the World’. Unsurprisingly, the Sportiva was the pride of New South Wales Alfa enthusiasts, and was the star of the show wherever it appeared. Although the mileage remained low (it had clocked just 400km when it arrived), Jones enjoyed driving the Sportiva and covered more than 6000km during his 18-year ownership, but much of that was before a disastrous track day in ’76. While exploring the car’s impressive performance, Jones overcooked it through a turn and clipped the kerb, which tripped up the red coupé. After the roll, possibly caused by the limited grip of the original Stelvio tyres, the Sportiva landed on its roof with amazingly little damage – other than breaking the windscreen. Jones came off far worse and suffered a broken neck. The bulbous passenger-side sill houses the car’s exhaust system. Once he’d recovered, hobbies including radio-controlled model aircraft took priority, but the meticulous rebuild was eventually finished. Replacing the glass proved a challenge and, after writing to Alfa and Bertone, he was informed that only two had been made in 1954. The return letter bluntly stated that: ‘Mr Bertone would never build a car around a standard windscreen.’ An Australian specialist made a replacement in the end, and the Sportiva was back on the road. In 1987, Jones decided to sell the Sportiva to fund the purchase of an aeroplane. The Alfa went under the hammer with Sotheby’s, where it made AU$380,000. Few in Europe were aware of the sale, but Dutch dealer Rudy Pas of Classic Car Associates sealed its brief return visit. The Sportiva quickly sold to Japan where it went on to share space with another Bertone-built Alfa masterpiece, the Giorgetto Giugiaro-styled ’64 Canguro, as well as the Pininfarina TZ ‘750114’. Unseen for the next two decades, the Sportiva returned to Europe after being acquired by a Swiss collector. While the Alfa museum’s silver sister car was regularly seen on the Mille Miglia and other prestigious events, the red Sportiva appeared only occasionally. On a rare public outing at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2002, it appropriately won the Trofeo Bertone.

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The 2600 was an evolution of the 2000 (102 Series), which replaced the 1900, the first volume production model that Alfa had made. By the time the 2000 was launched in 1958, Alfa had added the Giulietta family to their range, and these cars were always going to be sell in far greater volume than the larger ones in a world that was still getting back on its feet after the war, but the 2000 was an important flagship, nonetheless. The 2000 models ran for 4 years, from 1958 to 1962, at which point they were updated, taking on the name of 106 Series, with minor styling changes being accompanied by a larger 2600cc engine under the bonnet. As with the 2000 models, the new 2600 cars were sold in Berlina (Saloon), Sprint (Coupe) and Spider (Convertible) versions, along with a dramatically styled SZ Coupe from Italian styling house Zagato and a rebodied Berlina from OSI, all of them with an inline twin overhead cam six cylinder engine of 2.6 litres, the last Alfas to offer this configuration. Just 6999 of the Sprint models were made and 2255 Spiders, very few of which were sold new in the UK where they were exceedingly expensive thanks to the dreaded Import Duty which made them much more costly than an E Type. These days you are more likely to see any of these than the Berlina, though. The saloon car just did not sell, with just 2092 of them being made over a 4 year period, making it the least popular Alfa saloon of all time. The one seen only came to the UK a few months ago, from South Africa and is one of less than 500 right hand drive models that were built. It is one of the later series of cars, with a floor gear change, as opposed to the column change of earlier cars, and with individual front seats as opposed to a bench. As standard, the Berlina had twin Solex carburettors with primary and secondary chokes, the latter being opened progressively for greater smoothness and economy. This one has acquired twin Webers at some point. It has a hand throttle (common on Italian cars of the period) and fan motors to demist front and rear screens. There is a five speed gearbox. One down side of a car of this era is the fact there are 16 grease points which need to be attended to every 2500 miles. This is a 2600 Coupe.

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First of the all-new Giulia models to appear was the Berlina, launched in 1962. The styling was quite straight forward, but great attention was paid to detail. The engine bay, cabin and boot were all square shaped. But the grille, the rooflines and details on the bonnet and boot made for an integrated design from bumper to bumper. Thanks to Alfa Romeo using a wind tunnel during its development, the Giulia was very aerodynamic with a drag coefficient of Cd=0.34, which was particularly low for a saloon of the era and not a bad figure even for cars of today. Couple that with the fact that Alfa Romeo was one of the first manufacturers to put a powerful engine in a light-weight car (it weighed about 1,000 kilograms) and thanks to an array of light alloy twin overhead camshaft four-cylinder engine, similar to that of the earlier Giulietta models range, the car had a lively performance which bettered that of many sports cars of the day. The Tipo 105.14 was the first model, with a 1,570 cc Twin Cam engine with single down-draft carburettor generating 91 hp at 6500 rpm. The “TI” nomenclature referred to a class of Italian saloon car racing known as “Turismo Internazionale”, and had previously been applied to higher-performance versions of the 1900 and Giulietta saloons in the 1950s. However, for the Giulia saloon, the Ti was at first the only version available, and later, with the introduction of the TI Super and Super, the TI became the base version for the 1,600 cc engine class. The steering column gearchange (the only one in the Giulia range) was replaced with a floor change for 1964 (Tipo 105.08). Right hand drive cars, available from 1964, only ever had a floor change (Tipo 105.09). Brakes were by drums all around at first. Discs were introduced later, first at the front, and later all around. A brake servo was not fitted at first, but was introduced in later cars. The steering wheel featured the only horn ring ever in the Giulia range. The dashboard with a strip speedo is a notable feature, as is the steering wheel with a horn ring. The Giulia TI was phased out in 1968 and re-introduced as the austerity model 1600 S. Tipo 105.16 was a special racing model introduced in 1963. Quadrifoglio Verde stickers on the front wings were a distinguishing feature. Only 501 were made for homologation and today it is very rare and desirable. The 1,570 cc engine was fitted with two double-choke horizontal Weber 45DCOE carburettors for 110 hp at 6500 rpm. The body was lightened and a floor gearchange was fitted as standard, as were alloy wheels of very similar appearance to the standard steel ones of the TI. The TI’s instrument cluster with its strip speedometer was replaced with a three-instrument binnacle comprising speedometer, tachometer and a multi-gauge instrument (fuel, water temperature, oil temperature and pressure) – these instruments were similar to those fitted to the contemporary Giulia Sprint and Sprint Speciale coupes and Spider convertibles. The steering wheel was a three-spoke item with centre hornpush, also similar to that of the more sporting models. Braking was by discs all around, although the first cars used drums and early disc models lacked a servo which was introduced later. The police cars seen in The Italian Job were of this type. Tipo 105.06 was an austerity model made from 1964 to 1970 with a 1,290 cc single-carburettor engine for 77 hp at 6000 rpm. Four-speed gearbox with floor change fitted as standard (the 1300 was the only Giulia model not fitted with a five-speed gearbox). Though the engine was given a 105 series type number, it was basically the engine from the 101 series Giulietta Ti. This model appears not to have been exported to many markets outside Italy, if at all. Braking was by discs all around, without a servo at first, later with a servo. Tipo 105.26 was introduced in 1965. It transferred the technology from the racing TI Super to a road car, to make the most successful Giulia saloon. 1,570 cc engine with two double-choke Weber 40DCOE carburettors for a milder, but torquier tune than the TI Super – 97 hp at 5500 rpm. There was a new dashboard with two large round instruments (speedo and tacho) and clock, a sportier steering wheel with three aluminium spokes and centre horn push, similar to that of the Ti Super, later changed for one with the horn pushes in the spokes. All-around disc brakes with servo were fitted as standard from the outset. The serpent crest of the Sforza family appears in a badge on the C-pillar and is a distinguishing feature of the Super. For 1968, there was a suspension update, including revised geometry and a rear anti-roll bar. The wheels were changed in size from 5J x 15 to 5J x 14, and tyres from 155/15 to 165/14. For 1970, updates included dual-circuit brakes, centre-mounted handbrake lever to replace under-dash “umbrella handle”, larger external doorhandles, and top-hinged pedals (the latter in left hand drive models only; right hand drive continued with bottom-hinged pedals to the end of production). In 1972, Tipo 105.26 was rationalised into the Giulia 1.3 – Giulia 1.6 range. Tipo 105.39 built from 1965 to 1972. Right hand drive model replaced in 1970 by the 1300 Super. 1,290 cc engine with single down-draft carburettor for 81 hp at 6000 rpm. Unlike the re-deployed 101-series Giulietta engine of the austerity-model 1300, the 1300 ti motor was a 105 series engine, basically that of the sportier GT1300 Junior coupe with different camshaft timing (but the same camshafts) and induction system. Five-speed gearbox. Three-spoke bakelite steering wheel with plastic horn push covering the centre and spokes. Dashboard initially with strip speedo like that of the TI. For 1968, updates included a dashboard based on that of the Super, but with a simpler instrument binnacle, still featuring two large round instruments (speedo and tacho) and a separate fuel gauge, and the same suspension, wheel and tire updates applied to the Giulia Super in the same year. For 1970, updates included dual-circuit brakes, centre handbrake, larger external doorhandles and top-hinged pedals (on left hand drive cars only), again as applied to the Super for that year. Tipo 105.85 was basically a Giulia TI re-introduced in 1968 as a lower-level model to come between the 1300 and 1300 ti on one hand, and the Super on the other. It had a re-interpretation of the 1,570 cc single-carburettor engine for 94 hp at 5500 rpm and similar trim to the 1300 ti. Replaced in 1970 by the 1300 Super which offered similar performance in a lower tax bracket. The last cars from 1970 featured the top-hinged pedals, centre handbrake and dual-circuit brakes as for the Super and 1300 ti. Tipo 115.09 was introduced in 1970. It was basically a 1300 ti fitted with the engine from the GT 1300 Junior coupe that featured two double-choke horizontal carburettors; the engine actually had the GT 1300 Junior type number. This model was rationalised into the Giulia Super 1.3 – Giulia Super 1.6 range in 1972. In 1972 a rationalisation of the Giulia range saw the Super 1300 (Tipo 115.09) and the Super (Tipo 105.26) re-released as the Super 1.3 and Super 1.6. The two models featured the same equipment, interior and exterior trim, differing only in engine size and final drive ratio. The 1300 ti was dropped. A small Alfa Romeo badge on the C-pillar is a distinguishing feature, as are hubcaps with exposed wheel nuts. In December 1972 Alfa-Romeo South Africa released the 1600 Rallye. This locally developed more powerful 1600 cc version of the 1300 Super used the 1300’s single-headlight body shell. The car was largely ready for competition and was only planned to be built in limited numbers, and was fitted with racing-style rear-view mirrors, rally lamps, fully adjustable seats, and a limited-slip differential. Claimed power was 125 hp. The Giulia Super range was re-released in 1974 as the Nuova Super range, including the Giulia Nuova Super 1300 and 1600 This featured a new black plastic front grille and a flat boot lid without the characteristic centre spine. Otherwise the cars differed little from their Giulia Super predecessors and bore the same Tipo numbers with an S suffix. A Nuova Super fitted with a Perkins 1,760 cc diesel with 54 hp at 4000 rpm, was the firm’s first attempt at diesel power. The same Perkins diesel was used also in Alfa Romeo F12 van. The diesel version was slow, 138 km/h (86 mph), and the engine somehow unsuitable for a sport sedan so it was not big seller, only around 6500 examples were made in 1976 and the car was not sold in the UK. Production of the Giulia ceased in 1977. There are relatively few of these cars in the UK, and many of these are left hand drive models which have been re-imported relatively recently, or have been converted for historic racing, so it was good to see a nice road-going model here.

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Far more numerous were the Coupe models, with plenty of examples of this much loved, and now highly valued car on display. The first car was called the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT, and was revealed at a press event held at the then newly opened Arese plant on 9 September 1963, and displayed later the same month at the Frankfurt Motor Show. In its original form the Bertone body is known as scalino (step) or “step front”, because of the leading edge of the engine compartment lid which sat 1/4 an inch above the nose of the car. The Giulia Sprint GT can be distinguished from the later models by a number of features including: Exterior badging: Alfa Romeo logo on the front grille, a chrome script reading “Giulia Sprint GT” on the boot lid, and rectangular “Disegno di Bertone” badges aft of the front wheel arches; flat, chrome grille in plain, wide rectangular mesh without additional chrome bars; single-piece chrome bumpers; no overriders. Inside the cabin the padded vinyl dashboard was characterised by a concave horizontal fascia, finished in grey anti-glare crackle-effect paint. Four round instruments were inset in the fascia in front of the driver. The steering wheel was non-dished, with three aluminium spokes, a thin bakelite rim and a centre horn button. Vinyl-covered seats with cloth centres and a fully carpeted floor were standard, while leather upholstery was an extra-cost option. After initially marketing it as a four-seater, Alfa Romeo soon changed its definition of the car to a more realistic 2+2. The Giulia Sprint GT was fitted with the 1,570 cc version of Alfa Romeo’s all-aluminium twin cam inline four (78 mm bore × 82 mm stroke), which had first debuted on the 1962 Giulia Berlina. Breathing through two twin-choke Weber 40 DCOE 4 carburettors, on the Sprint GT this engine produced 105 hp at 6,000 rpm. Like all subsequent models, the Sprint GT was equipped with an all-synchromesh 5-speed manual transmission. The braking system comprised four Dunlop disc brakes and a vacuum servo. The rear brakes featured an unusual arrangement with the slave cylinders mounted on the axle tubes, operating the calipers by a system of levers and cranks. According to Alfa Romeo the car could reach a top speed of “over 180 km/h (112 mph)”. In total 21,902 Giulia Sprint GT were produced from 1963 to 1965, when the model was superseded by the Giulia Sprint GT Veloce. Of these 2,274 were right hand drive: 1,354 cars fully finished in Arese, and 920 shipped in complete knock-down kit form for foreign assembly. For 1966, the Giulia Sprint GT was replaced by the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT Veloce, which was very similar but featuring a number of improvements: a revised engine—slightly more powerful and with more torque—better interior fittings and changes to the exterior trim. Alongside the brand new 1750 Spider Veloce which shared its updated engine the Sprint GT Veloce was introduced at the 36th Geneva Motor Show in March 1966, and then tested by the international specialist press in Gardone on the Garda Lake. Production had began in 1965 and ended in 1968. The Giulia Sprint GT Veloce can be most easily distinguished from other models by the following features: badging as per Giulia Sprint GT, with the addition of round enamel badges on the C-pillar—a green Quadrifoglio (four-leaf clover) on an ivory background—and a chrome “Veloce” script on the tail panel; black mesh grille with three horizontal chrome bars; the grille heart has 7 bars instead of 6; stainless steel bumpers, as opposed to the chromed mild steel bumpers on the Giulia Sprint GT. The bumpers are the same shape, but are made in two pieces (front) and three pieces (rear) with small covers hiding the joining rivets. Inside the main changes from the Giulia Sprint GT were imitation wood dashboard fascia instead of the previous anti-glare grey finish, front seats revised to a mild “bucket” design, and a dished three aluminium spoke steering wheel, with a black rim and horn buttons through the spokes. The Veloce’s type 00536 engine, identical to the Spider 1600 Duetto’s, featured modifications compared to the Giulia Sprint GT’s type 00502—such as larger diameter exhaust valves. As a result it produced 108 hp at 6,000 rpm, an increase of 3 hp over the previous model, and significantly more torque. The top speed now exceeded 185 km/h (115 mph). Early Giulia Sprint GT Veloces featured the same Dunlop disc brake system as the Giulia Sprint GT, while later cars substituted ATE disc brakes as pioneered on the GT 1300 Junior in 1966. The ATE brakes featured an handbrake system entirely separate from the pedal brakes, using drum brakes incorporated in the rear disc castings. Though the Sprint GT Veloce’s replacement—the 1750 GT Veloce—was introduced in 1967, production continued throughout the year and thirty final cars were completed in 1968. By then total Giulia Sprint GT Veloce production amounted to 14,240 examples. 1,407 of these were right hand drive cars, and 332 right hand drive complete knock-down kits. The Alfa Romeo 1750 GT Veloce (also known as 1750 GTV) appeared in 1967 along with the 1750 Berlina sedan and 1750 Spider. The same type of engine was used to power all three versions; this rationalisation was a first for Alfa Romeo. The 1750 GTV replaced the Giulia Sprint GT Veloce and introduced many updates and modifications. Most significantly, the engine capacity was increased to 1779 cc displacement. Peak power from the engine was increased to 120 hp at 5500 rpm. The stroke was lengthened from 82 to 88.5 mm over the 1600 engine, and a reduced rev limit from 7000 rpm to 6000 rpm. Maximum torque was increased to 137 lb·ft at 3000 rpm. A higher ratio final drive was fitted (10/41 instead of 9/41) but the same gearbox ratios were retained. The result was that, on paper, the car had only slightly improved performance compared to the Giulia Sprint GT Veloce, but on the road it was much more flexible to drive and it was easier to maintain higher average speeds for fast touring. For the United States market, the 1779 cc engine was fitted with a fuel injection system made by Alfa Romeo subsidiary SPICA, to meet emission control laws that were coming into effect at the time. Fuel injection was also featured on Canadian market cars after 1971. Carburettors were retained for other markets. The chassis was also significantly modified. Tyre size went to 165/14 from 155/15 and wheel size to 5 1/2J x 14 instead of 5J x 15, giving a wider section and slightly smaller rolling diameter. The suspension geometry was also revised, and an anti-roll bar was fitted to the rear suspension. ATE disc brakes were fitted from the outset, but with bigger front discs and calipers than the ones fitted to GT 1300 Juniors and late Giulia Sprint GT Veloces. The changes resulted in significant improvements to the handling and braking, which once again made it easier for the driver to maintain high average speeds for fast touring. The 1750 GTV also departed significantly from the earlier cars externally. New nose styling eliminated the “stepped” bonnet of the Giulia Sprint GT, GTC, GTA and early GT 1300 Juniors and incorporated four headlamps. For the 1971 model year, United States market 1750 GTV’s also featured larger rear light clusters (there were no 1970 model year Alfas on the US market). Besides the chrome “1750” badge on the bootlid, there was also a round Alfa Romeo badge. Similar Quadrofoglio badges to those on the Giulia Sprint GT Veloce were fitted on C pillars, but the Quadrofoglio was coloured gold instead of green. The car also adopted the higher rear wheelarches first seen on the GT 1300 Junior. The interior was also much modified over that of earlier cars. There was a new dashboard with large speedometer and tachometer instruments in twin binnacles closer to the driver’s line of sight. The instruments were mounted at a more conventional angle, avoiding the reflections caused by the upward angled flat dash of earlier cars. Conversely, auxiliary instruments were moved to angled bezels in the centre console, further from the driver’s line of sight than before. The new seats introduced adjustable headrests which merged with the top of the seat when fully down. The window winder levers, the door release levers and the quarterlight vent knobs were also restyled. The remote release for the boot lid, located on the inside of the door opening on the B-post just under the door lock striker, was moved from the right hand side of the car to the left hand side. The location of this item was always independent of whether the car was left hand drive or right hand drive. Early (Series 1) 1750 GTV’s featured the same bumpers as the Giulia Sprint GT Veloce, with the front bumper modified to mount the indicator / sidelight units on the top of its corners, or under the bumper on US market cars. The Series 2 1750 GTV of 1970 introduced other mechanical changes, including a dual circuit braking system (split front and rear, with separate servos). The brake and clutch pedals on left hand drive cars were also of an improved pendant design, instead of the earlier floor-hinged type. On right hand drive cars the floor-hinged pedals were retained, as there was no space for the pedal box behind the carburettors. Externally, the series 2 1750 GTV is identified by new, slimmer bumpers with front and rear overriders. The combined front indicator and sidelight units were now mounted to the front panel instead of the front bumper, except again on the 1971-72 US/Canadian market cars. The interior was slightly modified, with the seats retaining the same basic outline but following a simpler design. 44,269 1750 GTVs were made before their replacement came along. That car was the 2000GTV. Introduced in 1971, together with the 2000 Berlina sedan and 2000 Spider, the 2 litre cars were replacements for the 1750 range. The engine displacement was increased to 1962 cc. Oil and radiator capacities remained unchanged. The North American market cars had fuel injection, but everyone else retained carburettors. Officially, both versions generated the same power, 130 hp at 5500 rpm. The interior trim was changed, with the most notable differences being the introduction of a separate instrument cluster, instead of the gauges installed in the dash panel in earlier cars. Externally the 2000 GTV is most easily distinguished by its grille with horizontal chrome bars, featuring protruding blocks forming the familiar Alfa heart in outline, smaller hubcaps with exposed wheel nuts, optional aluminium alloy wheels of the same size as the standard 5. 1/2J × 14 steel items, styled to the “turbina” design first seen on the alloy wheels of the Alfa Romeo Montreal, and the larger rear light clusters first fitted to United States market 1750 GTV’s were standard for all markets. From 1974 on, the 105 Series coupé models were rationalised and these external features became common to post-1974 GT 1300 Junior and GT 1600 Junior models, with only few distinguishing features marking the difference between models. 37,459 2000 GTVs were made before production ended and these days they are very sought after with prices having sky-rocketed in recent years.

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Based on the Coupe, but with a model designation of its own, was the GTC, a stunningly pretty open topped model which was only produced for a year in 1965, in very limited numbers making them rare today with a total production of just 1000 cars in right and left hand drive versions. Only 99 were made for the British and South African market. It was based on the Giulia Sprint GT, with the cabriolet modification carried out by Touring of Milan. Besides the cabriolet top, a distinguishing feature is the dashboard finished in black instead of grey crackle. The model was badged with a script reading “Giulia Sprint GTC” on the bootlid. To restore some of the bodyshell rigidity lost by removing the fixed roof and pillars, Carrozzeria Touring added reinforcement to several areas of the bodyshell. Through the production life of the model, several modifications to the reinforcement applied were made by Touring, apparently in an effort to improve the stiffening achieved. Carrozzeria Touring was in financial trouble when the Giulia Spring GTC went into production. The company went out of business shortly after production of this model ended.

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Alfa replaced the Giulia-based Spider model with an all-new design which finally made its debut in 1966 together with the Giulia Sprint GT Veloce at an event organised in Gardone Riviera. With its boat tailed styling, it quickly found favour, even before taking a starring role in the film “The Graduate”. The original 1600cc engine was replaced by a more powerful 1750cc unit at the same time as the change was made to the rest of the range, and the car continued like this until 1970, when the first significant change to the exterior styling was introduced on the 1750 Spider Veloce, with the original’s distinctive elongated round tail changed to a more conventional cut-off tail, called the “Kamm tail”, as well as improving the luggage space. Numerous other small changes took place both inside and out, such as a slightly different grille, new doorhandles, a more raked windscreen, top-hinged pedals and improved interior trim. 1971 saw the Spider Veloce get a new, larger powerplant—a 1962 cc, 132 hp unit—and consequently the name was changed from 1750 Spider Veloce to 2000 Spider Veloce. The 1600 Spider restarted production a year later as the Spider 1600 Junior, and was visually identical to the 1300. 1974 saw the introduction of the rare, factory request, Spider-Targa. Based upon the Spider, it featured a Porsche style solid rear window and lift out roof panels, all made out of black GRP type material. Less than 2,000 models of such type were ever made and was the only part solid roof Spider until the introduction of the factory crafted hard top. The 1300 and 2000 cars were modified in 1974 and 1975 respectively to include two small seats behind the front seats, becoming a “two plus two” four seater. The 1300 model was discontinued in 1977. Also, between 1974 and 1976, the early-style stainless-steel bumpers were discontinued and replaced with black, rubber-clad units to meet increasingly stringent North American crash requirements. 4,557 examples of the 1300 Junior were made and 4,848 of the 1600 Junior as well as 16,320 2000 Spider Veloces and 22,059 of 2000 Spider Veloce US version. There were also 4,027 1750 Spider Veloces produced.

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Looking very different from the rest of the Giulia range was a rather special Coupe, designed by Zagato. First seen in public at the Turin Motor Show of 1969, the GT 1300 Junior Zagato was a limited production two seater coupe with aerodynamic bodywork penned by Ercole Spada while he was at renowned Milanese styling house Zagato Based on the floorpan, driveline and suspension of the 1300 Spider, the Junior Zagato had a floorpan shortened behind the rear wheels to fit the bodyshell. the model evoked the earlier, race-oriented Giulietta Sprint Zagatos which featured aluminium bodywork and had a very active competition history. However, the Junior Zagato featured a steel bodyshell with an aluminium bonnet and, on early cars, aluminium doorskins. The Junior Zagato was not specifically intended for racing and did not see much use in competition. In total 1,108 units were constructed, with the last being built in 1972 although the records suggest that a further 2 cars were built in 1974. In 1972 the 1600 Zagato came out of which 402 units were produced. In this case the floorpan was unaltered from the 1600 Spider, so that the normal fueltank could be left in place. As a consequence, the 1600 Zagato is approximately 100 mm (3.9 in) longer than the 1300 model. This can be seen at the back were the sloping roofline runs further back and the backpanel is different and lower. The lower part of the rear bumper features a bulge to make room for the spare wheel. The 1600 Zagato has numerous other differences when compared to the 1300 Junior Zagato.so if you ever see two side by side, and were a real expert, you could probably tell them apart easily. The last 1600 Zagato was produced in 1973 and the cars were sold until 1975. This is definitely a “marmite” car, with some people loving the rather bold styling and others finding to just odd for their tastes. I am in the former category.

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It was more than 10 years after the Montreal had ceased production before Alfa offered another high-end and costly Coupe model, and the result, seen for the first time in 1989, could hardly have been more different than its forebear. That car had been praised for its looks, whereas this one, the SZ, and cruelly nicknamed “Il Mostro”, was almost wilfully, well, “different”. First seen at the 1989 Geneva Show, the car was also first shown simply as a concept, called the ES-30, for Experimental Sports car 3 litre. It was produced by Zagato. Robert Opron of the Fiat design studio was responsible for the initial sketches while Antonio Castellana was largely responsible for the final styling details and interior. Only the ‘Z’ logo of Zagato was kept. The car possessed unusual headlights positioned in a trio on each side – a styling used more subtly on later Alfa Romeos in the 2000s. Mechanically and engine-wise, the car was based on the Alfa 75, production being carried out by Zagato at Terrazzano di Rho near the Alfa factory in Arese. The thermoplastic injection moulded composite body panels were produced by Italian company Carplast and French company Stratime Cappelo Systems. The suspension was taken from the Alfa 75 Group A/IMSA car, and modified by Giorgio Pianta, engineer and team manager of the Lancia and Fiat rally works team. A hydraulic damper system was made by Koni. The SZ was originally equipped with Pirelli P Zero tyres (front 205/55 ZR 16, rear 225/50 ZR 16) and is able to sustain over 1.1 G in cornering, some drivers have measured a cornering force of 1.4 G, which remains an excellent performance figure. Low volume production got underway late in 1989, and over the next three years, 1036 were built, slightly more than planned. With the exception of a black car made for Zagato, all of them were red. Subsequently a convertible version, the RZ (for Roadster Zagato), was produced from 1992 until December 1994. Although almost identical to look at the two cars had completely different body panels save for the front wings and boot. The RZ had a revised bumper and door sills to give better ground clearance and the bonnet no longer featured the aggressive ridges. Three colours were available as standard: black, yellow and red, with black and yellow being the more popular choices. Yellow and red cars got a black leather interior and black cars burgundy. Although the interior layout was almost unchanged from the SZ, the RZ had a painted central console that swept up between the seats to conceal the convertible roof storage area. 350 units were planned but production was halted after 252 units when the Zagato factory producing the cars for Alfa Romeo went in to receivership, a further 32 cars were then completed under the control of the receivers before production finished at 284 units. Of those final three were painted silver with burgundy interior and another pearlescent white.

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The 916 Series GTV and Spider were conceived to replace two very different models in the Alfa range. First of these was the open topped 105 Series Spider which had been in production since 1966 and by the 1990s was long overdue a replacement. Alfa decided to combine a follow on to the Alfetta GTV, long out of production, with a new Spider model, and first work started in the late 1980s. The task was handed to Pininfarina, and Enrico Fumia’s initial renderings were produced in September 1987, with the first clay models to complete 1:1 scale model made in July 1988. Fumia produced something rather special. Clearly an Italian design, with the Alfa Romeo grille with dual round headlights, recalling the Audi-based Pininfarina Quartz, another design produced by Enrico Fumia back in 1981, the proposal was for a car that was low-slung, wedge-shaped with a low nose and high kicked up tail. The back of the car is “cut-off” with a “Kamm tail” giving improved aerodynamics. The Spider would share these traits with the GTV except that the rear is rounded, and would feature a folding soft-top with five hoop frame, which would completely disappear from sight under a flush fitting cover. An electric folding mechanism would be fitted as an option. Details included a one-piece rear lamp/foglamp/indicator strip across the rear of the body, the minor instruments in the centre console angled towards the driver. The exterior design was finished in July 1988. After Vittorio Ghidella, Fiat’s CEO, accepted the design, Alfa Romeo Centro Stile under Walter de Silva was made responsible for the completion of the detail work and also for the design of the interiors, as Pininfarina’s proposal was not accepted. The Spider and GTV were to be based on the then-current Fiat Group platform, called Tipo Due, in this case a heavily modified version with an all new multilink rear suspension. The front suspension and drivetrain was based on the 1992 Alfa Romeo 155 saloon. Chief engineer at that time was Bruno Cena. Drag coefficient was 0.33 for the GTV and 0.38 for the Spider. Production began in late 1993 with four cars, all 3.0 V6 Spiders, assembled at the Alfa Romeo Arese Plant in Milan. In early 1994 the first GTV was produced, with 2.0 Twin Spark engine. The first premiere was then held at the Paris Motor Show in 1994. The GTV and Spider were officially launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1995 and sales began the same year. The cars were well received. At launch, many journalists commented that Alfa had improved overall build quality considerably and that it came very close to equalling its German rivals. I can vouch for that, as I owned an early GTV for eighteen months, and it was a well built and reliable car. In 1997 a new engine, a 24-valve 3.0 litre V6, was available for the GTV along with bigger, 12.0 inch brakes and red four-pot calipers from Brembo. The console knobs were changed from round central to rectangle ones and to a three-spoke steering wheel. Some versions were upgraded with different front bumper mesh to bring the wind noise down to 74 dBA. In May 1998 the cars were revamped for the first time, creating the Phase 2 models. Most of the alterations were inside. The interior was changed with new centre console, painted letters on skirt seals, changed controls and switches arrangement and different instrument cluster. Outside, the main changes included chrome frame around the grille and colour-coded side skirts and bumpers. A new engine was introduced, the 142 hp 1.8 Twin Spark, and others were changed: the 2.0 Twin Spark was updated with a modular intake manifold with different length intakes and a different plastic cover. Power output of the 2.0 TS was raised to 153 hp. Engines changed engine management units and have a nomenclature of CF2. The dashboard was available in two new colours in addition to the standard black: Red Style and Blue Style, and with it new colour-coded upholstery and carpets. The 3.0 24V got a six-speed manual gearbox as standard and the 2.0 V6 TB engine was now also available for the Spider. August 2000 saw the revamp of engines to comply with new emission regulations, Euro3. The new engines were slightly detuned, and have a new identification code: CF3. 3.0 V6 12V was discontinued for the Spider and replaced with 24V Euro3 version from the GTV. 2.0 V6 Turbo and 1.8 T.Spark were discontinued as they did not comply with Euro3 emissions. By the 2001-2002 model year, only 2 engines were left, the 2.0 Twin.Spark and 3.0 V6 24V, until the Phase 3 engine range arrived. The Arese plant, where the cars had been built, was closing and, in October 2000, the production of GTV/Spider was transferred to Pininfarina Plant in San Giorgio Canavese in Turin. In 2003 there was another and final revamp, creating the Phase 3, also designed in Pininfarina but not by Enrico Fumia. The main changes were focused on the front with new 147-style grille and different front bumpers with offset numberplate holder. Change to the interior was minimal with different centre console and upholstery pattern and colours available. Instrument illumination colour was changed from green to red. Main specification change is an ASR traction control, not available for 2.0 TS Base model. New engines were introduced: 163 hp 2.0 JTS with direct petrol injection and 237 hp 3.2 V6 24V allowing a 158 mph top speed. Production ceased in late 2004, though some cars were still available for purchase till 2006. A total of 80,747 cars were made, and sales of the GTV and Spider were roughly equal. More V6 engined GTVs than Spiders were made, but in 2.0 guise, it was the other way round with the open model proving marginally more popular.

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There was a nice examples of the Alfa Tipo 33/2 on the Fisken stand, a sports racing prototype raced by the Alfa Romeo factory-backed team between 1967 and 1977. These cars took part for Sport Cars World Championship, Nordic Challenge Cup, Interserie and CanAm series. A small number of road going cars were derived from it in 1967, called the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale. Alfa Romeo started development of the Tipo 33 in the early 1960s, with the first car being built in 1965. It was sent to Autodelta to be completed and for additional changes to be made. It used an Alfa Romeo TZ2 straight-4 engine, but Autodelta produced its 2.0 litre V8 soon after. The 2000 cc Tipo 33 mid-engined prototype debuted on 12 March 1967 at the Belgian hillclimbing event at Fléron, with Teodoro Zeccoli winning. The first version was named as “periscope” because it had very characteristic air inlet. It was powered by a 1995 cc 90° V8 of 270 hp, with a large-diameter tube frame. The original T33 proved unreliable and uncompetitive in the 1967 World Sportscar Championship season, its best result a 5th at the Nürburgring 1000, co-driven by Zeccoli and Roberto Bussinell. In 1968, Alfa’s subsidiary, Autodelta, created an evolution model called 33/2, and one of these cars was shown. At the 24 Hours of Daytona, the Porsche 907 with 2.2 litre engines were dominating the overall race, but Alfa took the 2-litre class win, with Udo Schütz and Nino Vaccarella; after that the car was named as “Daytona”. The win was repeated at the Targa Florio, where Nanni Galli and Ignazio Giunti also took second place overall, followed by teammates Lucien Bianchi and Mario Casoni. Galli and Giunti then won the class at the Nürburgring 1000 km, where the 2.5 litre version finished for the first time, 4th place in the 3.0 litre class with Schütz and Bianchi. However, in most races, the Alfa drivers were outclassed by their Porsche rivals which used bigger engines. In 1968, the car was used mainly by privateers, winning its class in the 1000km Monza, Targa Florio and Nürburgring races. At the end of season Alfa Romeo had finished third in the 1968 International Championship for Makes. A total of 28 cars were built during 1968, allowing the 33/2 to be homologated as a Group 4 Sports Car for 1969. Alfa continued to develop the car, and with the 33TT12 Alfa Romeo won the 1975 World Championship for Makes, and with the 33SC12 the 1977 World Championship for Sports Cars, taking the first place in all eight of the championship races

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In 1946 Graber made his first Alvis body and by 1953 acquired the Swiss distribution rights for Alvis Cars. In 1955, in response to a customer order from Alvis, they produced what would turn out to be the first two of several Graber bodied prototypes on an Alvis chassis. During the 1950s links between Graber and Alvis became close. After the long-time Alvis designer G.T. Smith-Clarke left the company, Graber presented in 1955 his Graber bodied Alvis TC 21/100 “Grey Lady” which somehow combined classical elegance with a thoroughly modern pontoon format body. The new Alvis bodies went into series production, under licence by the British firms firstly with Willowbrook and later Park Ward. Park Ward took the Swiss drawings and adapted them to produce a car with more interior space than the Graber original. All the subsequent Alvis TD TE and the very last TF21 followed Graber’s basic blueprint. Meanwhile, in central Switzerland Graber continued to build to order special bodied cars based on Alvis chassis at a rate of not more than ten per year. These included four seater coupe bodied cars (sometimes described by the English as saloons), cabriolets, and four four-door specials. Graber’s bodies were lower than the standard bodied Alvis cars with more steeply raked A and C pillars. When customers requested improvements, Graber was happy not merely to produce special bodies but also to redesign or adapt aspects of the chassis and running gear. The car seen here is a TE21 Graber, one of just 7 that were built.

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This CGSS model dates from 1929. The Amilcar CGSS (or CGSs) was a sporting car made from 1926 to 1929. The second S stood for surbaisse and the car was a lowered version of the CGS. The 1,074 cc four-cylinder engine from the CGS was fitted, but in a slightly higher state of tune, delivering 35 hp. It was also available with a Cozette supercharger for those who needed more power. Thus equipped, a CGSS won the 1927 Monte Carlo Rally. Driven by Lefebvre, it started from Königsberg (today’s Kaliningrad). 4,700 of the CGS and CGSS were made.

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A number of high profile auctions from the world’s leading houses take place around the Retromobile event. Most of these are held off-site, but French house Artcurial hold those at the event, and they occupy a significant portion of Hall 2 with the cars that they are hoping to sell. You have to buy a catalogue to enter the area, and this costs more than the entry price to the whole event, which always strikes me as wrong. I contented myself by looking at those cars you could see from the perimeter of the area. The sale totalled €32 M or 39 M $. with 86% of the lots sold. These were some of the cars I could see from around the edge of the display area.

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First car to catch my eye was this 1968 Abarth SP1000 Barchetta. This car left the factory on 30 April 1968, as recorded on the period authenticity certificate, bought new by Enzo Buzetti. He used the car for racing and one of his most impressive results was in the Gran Premio del Mugello on 20 July 1969, when he won his class, with race number 104. The nose was painted green to make it more recognisable for this event. Earlier in the year, he had taken part in the challenging Targa Florio, in Sicily, where he came 2nd in class, having crossed the finish line in 16th place overall. Enzo Buzetti participated in several local race meetings and hillclimbs, including : Aosta-Pila on 15 June 1969, Bologna-Raticosa on 22 June 1969, Trento-Bondone on 13 July 1969 (fourth in class), Cesena-Sestriere on 3 August 1969, the Coppa Bruno Carotti on 10 August 1969 (class win) and the Coppa Paolini Teodori on 24 August 1969 (class win). There are photos and copies of various documents confirming these participations. The Fiat-Abarth 1000 SP was later sold to Mr Giliberti, who, in addition to racing himself, also let other drivers, including Morsechi, compete in the car. The next owner, Mr Ferri, a well-known Italian dealer who ran “Scorpion Cars”, sold it, in his turn, to S.Botti. In 1992, Botti had this barchetta restored at the Baistrocchi workshop, based near Palma. The work was carried out with the aim of keeping the car as original as possible. Botti then used it, between 2002 and 2005, to compete in historic events such as the Trento-Bondone and Camucia-Cortona hillclimbs, as recorded on its CSAI passport. This car is equipped with the correct Type AH “bialbero” twin-cam engine, which is very rare! Fed by two Weber 40 DCOE2 carburettors and lubricated by a dry sump and oil cooler, it produces a remarkable 115 bhp at 8000 rpm. The car sits on a tubular steel chassis, fitted with a pretty and profiled fibreglass body. With triangular suspension, the car has magnesium 7 x 15 inch Campagnolo-Abarth wheels. Extremely light (500 kg empty), this is a particularly agile and fast car, which explains the success it has enjoyed in competition. Carlo Abarth took the decision to build the 50 examples required to gain homologation in the Group 4 Sports category, which came into operation on 1 March 1968. This car is presented in superb condition today, without being too showy, and it runs very well. The owner has decided, with much regret, to part with the car because of his age, and his back, which suffers when he sits behind the wheel.

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There were a number of Bentley S Type models here, including an S1 Park Ward-bodied Drophead and the later “Chinese Eye” S3 car.

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This is a Bugatti Type 57 Galibier and its history is unusually transparent, with an unbroken chain of ownership and a small number of owners. It was sold new to Mr Maurice Bladbourg from Bordeaux, through the Bugatti agent Mr Piénon, who received the car on 28 March 1936. It was registered 269 G 78. On 8 February 1938, the car was sold to its next owner and registered in Landes with the number 8045 HU 1. According to edition 22 of the Bugatti Club magazine, published in 1992, the car then had two owners, Mr Sostrat and Mr Frère, before being bought by Mr Roblin, a garagiste in Rochefort-sur-Mer. It is from Roblin that Georges Lombard bought the Bugatti, on 17 September 1965, and the car has remained with the family ever since. It was regret over the sale of a Bugatti 40 in 1961 that prompted this purchase, and in 1966 Georges Lombard began to restore the bodywork, returning the car to its original colours of yellow and black. The same year, he joined the Bugatti Club in Holland and decided to set off on an ambitious rally, covering some 3,000 km across France, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. It was the first of many voyages, for touring was one of Lombard’s many passions. He also loved driving in his modern car and set off in 1973, without any hesitation, on a trip to the North Cape in Norway in his Citroën DS. In 1976, a family tragedy kept him from his passion for some 12 years, but in 1988, he put the Bugatti back on the road and took it to Novo in Marolles to have work carried out on the engine (with the adoption of small bushings), the rear axle, the brakes and the clutch. In 1990, Lombard rediscovered his love of rallying, and the first event he entered was the aptly-named Galibier rally. Then, in 1991 he took part in the Bugatti day at Montlhéry organised by Jean-Michel Cérède. In 1992 he was part of the first Grand Prix de Divonne-les-Bains, an event he took part in every year until 1996. That year, the car had another trip to Novo, when a conrod broke. The problem was duly rectified and the happy owner continued to use his car on numerous trips, even if the distances were rather shorter than 30 years earlier. In December 2012, the Bugatti was exhibited at Chambéry to mark 40 years of the Auto-Rétro show, which Lombard also attended. He died a few months later at the age of 96. Since then, the car has been stored in a garage at the family property and will need a full mechanical overhaul. The woodwork requires some attention but the tan leather interior has been incredibly well conserved. An interesting feature of the car is that the passenger compartment has four separate seats.
This rare Bugatti 57 is being offered with a substantial file containing correspondence pre-dating its purchase in 1965, relating to the maintenance, restoration, outings, rallies and other events that the car has experienced during its life. It is rare for a car of this age to have such a well-known past, and to be in such well-preserved condition. Amongst the Bugatti 57s that have survived, this must be one of the most authentic.

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Several examples of the Citroen DS family were on offer. As well as a couple of open-toppedc cars, a le Dandy and a Pichot-Paron, there was a very rare DS21 Chapron Lorraine saloon. The car presented here was the very first Lorraine to be built by Chapron. Remarkably, the collection on offer also has the coachbuilder’s last Lorraine too ! This car was built on the base of a DS 21 for the 1969 Paris Motor Show. The Lorraine was the replacement for the Majesty and Chapron initially called this the “new Majesty model”. This Lorraine saloon was sold new in Spain and, for reasons concerning import duties, very high during Franco’s regime, the Chapron plaque was removed. The original colour scheme was metallic grey with a blue roof, and once in Spain this changed to all black. The passenger compartment has not been restored and is presented in excellent original condition, with lightly-patinated beige leather interior and wooden fold-out tables attached to the back of the front seats. Richard Reinders discovered this car in 2004 when visiting the well-known Citroën dealer Enrico Peribanez. It had not been driven for twenty years, and once taken back to Holland, the car was fitted with a new electronic injection system and fully serviced to ensure it was operational. It has a mileage of 79 000 km today and is presented in nice condition. Only 13 Lorraine saloons would have been built, making this an extremely rare car. With its luxury finish, this Lorraine adds a certain prestige to the DS that the exceptional levels of comfort deserve.

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A number of other Citroen were included in the auction, including this Traction Avant.

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Delage, the beautiful French car”: this slogan sums up one aspect of the marque’s personality, and the D8 model presented at the 1929 Motor Show was a testament to this. Based on a chassis eagerly received by coachbuilders who would build some of the most beautiful creations of the day, the D8 was equipped with a 4-litre straight-eight overhead cam engine. In 1933, the range extended to include the D8 S, a sporting version that remains to this day the most iconic Delage touring car ever built. This chassis, one of 99 examples built, offered increased power, semi-desmodromic valve controls, an oil sump cooled by ventilation tubes and lowered suspension. The example presented was built in 1932, and registered during 1938 in the Charente department (4760 DB3). This registration plate was still on the car when it was acquired by the father of the current owner, in 1996, from a certain Mr Blanchard from Royan, still in Charente. The car subsequently benefitted from a full restoration and today it displays a homogenous patina. The superb Chapron body with its sleek styling is in cream with black wings, and the restored cloth upholstery has been very well preserved. The instrumentation is complete. Although the engine has not seized, the car has not been driven for several years, and will require re-commissioning before taking to the road again. The outstanding quality of this Delage can be appreciated thus: it is one of the best Delage touring chassis, bodied by one of the most famous French coachbuilders.

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Several Italian exotics were available, including a De Tomaso Mangusta, a Ferrari F430 racer and the Lamborghini Islero.

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This is a Mercedes 170V. The “V” of the Mercedes 170 V launched in 1936 meant “Vorn”, which corresponded to a motor at the front, in opposition to the H (“Heck”) of the 170 H which engine was at the rear. The first, of course, was a much greater success, selling in very large numbers, and becoming one of the best-selling models of the brand, thanks to its qualities of robustness and simplicity of use and maintenance. Equipped with a four-cylinder 1.7 liter engine, the 170V continued to be produced after the war, in a slightly modified version. This beautiful example that we offer was delivered new in Germany on May 25, 1938 to Dr. Max Gareis in Landshüs. The original ‘Kraftfahrzeugbrief’ tells us that the car followed him as he moved around. The car today belongs to a Dutch collector who liked to enjoy his cars. Upon its purchase, he had the car fully restored in 2015, by Winfried de Lear. The interior in a light green fabric, in keeping with the times, is in mint condition. Its color combination is exquisite with these two shades of dark green/light green. This is a stylish convertible, the German counterpoint to France’s famous Traction Avant. The robustness of its engine remains legendary. A nice pre-war cabriolet for nice drives.

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Among the Porsche on offer were an early 356 and a genuine 911 Carrera RS 2.7.

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This is a 1939 Rolls Royce Wraith with a Vanvooren body. On 17 May 1939, two orders were placed with Rolls-Royce through Franco Britannic in Paris, on behalf of Mr Aaròn Félix Paz de Anchorena Castellanos, owner of the SUDAMTEX, a South American textile company based in Buenos Aires. These were for two Rolls-Royce Wraiths bodied by Vanvooren, one a Limousine and the other a Faux Cabriolet. The first of these was bought for the wife of Don Aaròn, Zelmira Paz de Gainza y de Anchorena, and the second is the car offered in the sale. The chassis was sent to the Vanvooren workshops in Courbevoie in July 1939, and the completed car was delivered on 1 October 1939. It was the final client delivery carried out by the coachbuilder before war broke out, and the two Rolls-Royces were shipped to Buenos Aires in 1940. Aaròn de Anchorena was an unconventional character. In 1901, driving a Panhard-Levassor, he won the first race organised in Buenos Aires, and he was the first person to hold a pilot’s licence in Argentina. He lived in Paris between 1902 and 1916, and in 1933 he married Zelmira Paz de Gainza, heir to the Argentinian paper La Prensa. The couple enjoyed an active social life in their second home in Paris, mixing with the capital’s jet-set during the roaring Twenties. After Don Aaròn and his wife had died, the two Rolls-Royces passed to Ernesto Hilding Ohlsson, president of the “Club de Automóviles Clásicos de Argentina”, who displayed them in his private museum in Buenos Aires. In 1986, the Faux Cabriolet was bought by Daniel Raúl Barrera, a well-known Argentinian collector, who kept the car for 20 years at his Canadian residence, participating in several concours d’élégance events. The car then came to the attention of a Japanese businessman Tadabumi Takasu, who succeeded in acquiring it for his own collection. He also entered the car in various concours events including Kyoto (2009, Best of Show), Tokyo (2010) and Kuwait (2011). In March 2013, this Rolls-Royce Wraith entered the Volante Collection in Germany. It was entered in the Schloss Dyck concours d’élégance the same year and won second in class. The highly elegant coachwork is in lovely condition. The car is in good mechanical condition, having had work carried out in Japan, and benefitting from regular maintenance since joining the Volante Collection. This magnificent car boasts an array of special features that deserve a mention: it is the only Faux Cabriolet of seven Wraiths to be bodied by Vanvooren, it was the last car to be bodied and delivered by Vanvooren before the Second World War, it uses special lightweight steel from Sweden, the quarterlights have a special opening mechanism, it has its original engine (matching numbers), it appears in the book Rolls-Royce Wraith, by Tom C. Clarke and it has transparent history. Equipped with a six-cylinder, 4.2-litre engine, some 492 examples of the Wraith were built. Dressed in this exclusive body and with an illustrious past, the example on offer is unquestionably one of the best available.

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Oldest Aston Martin model here was this Le Mans, dating from 1932. By 1932, the ‘International’, though a success in many ways, was beginning to show its age. It had largely been designed in the mid 1920s, and with its remote gearbox and worm drive axle, Perrot shaft operated rod brakes, and not least its rather limited cylinder head design, it was clearly lagging behind its competitors. Sidney Whitehouse, still very much involved in the company (and not always to Bertelli’s approval), insisted that if they were to build a new model it should be easier to make and should include a proprietary rear axle instead of the worm drive unit, and a bought in gearbox in order to at least attempt to reduce costs. The new car, to be known as the ‘New International’, looked very much like the old model with the rather perpendicular 2/4 seater body, but was an almost completely new car. Claude Hill designed a new and simplified chassis; the brakes were now operated by enclosed cables which could be bolted straight onto the front backplates (negating the costly Perrot shafts), with the handbrake now attached to the off side of the brake cross shaft to the right of the driver. There was a bought in Laycock gearbox, in unit with the engine. True to Whitehouse’s instructions, in place of the heavy and expensive worm drive axle, a bought in ENV rear axle with screw cut bevel gears was fitted. The new car was numbered B2/200, a new number to start the new second series of cars. A few of the old style ‘Internationals’ were however still being made and sold in 1932, but compared to the new cars, they were clearly out of date. However, at the same time, a few more sporting cars with low pointed tail bodywork were being developed. Known at first as the ‘Le Mans 2 seater’, and later the ‘Competition 2 seater’, they served as prototypes for a batch of new works’ racing cars, LM8, 9 and 10, which were largely financed by Lance Prideaux-Brune. The new LM team were fitted with an Aston Martin designed gearbox, very similar to the ‘International’ box with sliding dogs and straight cut gears (much easier to modify ratios), fitted in unit with the engine. The Laycock box was very simple to use with easy gear selection, but it was difficult to modify for racing and was never going to be suitable for competition work. More importantly they were also fitted with a new cylinder head and inlet manifold which alone increased power by at least 5 bhp. Electron was used as much as possible in place of aluminium to reduce weight. The new team cars were fast and handled extremely well and were immediately competitive. A third model was also introduced for the 1932 Motor Show, a 2/4 seater, lower than the ‘New International’, and with the humped scuttle and outside fuel tank of the 2/4 seater ‘International Le Mans’. Built on the new chassis and with the Feltham designed gearbox and uprated cylinder head, this was to become one of the best cars Aston Martin made, and was known simply as the ‘Le Mans’.

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Follow on model to the Aston Martin DB2 was the DB4. Technically it was a development of the DB Mark III it replaced but with a completely new body. The DB4’s design formed the basis for later Aston Martin classics, such as the DB4 GT Zagato, the Lagonda Rapide 4-door saloon. It was eventually replaced by the Aston Martin DB5. The lightweight superleggera (tube-frame) body was designed by Carrozzeria Touring in Milan, and its Continental looks caused a sensation on its unveiling at the 1958 London Motor Show. Although the design and construction techniques were Italian, the DB4 was the first Aston to be built at the company’s Newport Pagnell works. The 3670 cc engine, designed by Tadek Marek, was a double overhead cam straight-6, with cylinder head and block of cast R.R.50 aluminium alloy, a further development of the earlier engine. The engine was prone to overheating initially, but the 240 hp produced by the twin-SU carburettor version made buyers forgive this unfortunate trait[citation needed]. Servo-assisted disc brakes were fitted all round: early 11.5 in Dunlops were replaced by Girlings. The independent front suspension used ball-jointed wishbones, coil springs and rack-and-pinion steering. The live rear axle also used coil springs and was located by a Watt’s linkage. The normal final-drive ratio for British and European use was 3.54:1: in the United States the ratio was usually 3.77. Customers wanting a car with an especially high top speed could choose a 3.31:1 ratio. A car with the British standard 3.54 final drive ratio tested by The Motor magazine in 1960 had a top speed of 139.3 mph and could accelerate from 0-60 mph in 9.3 seconds. A fuel consumption of 17.7 mpg. The test car cost £3967 including taxes. There were five “series” of DB4. The most visible changes were the addition of window frames in Series II and the adoption of a barred (rather than eggcrate) grille in Series IV. The Series III cars differed from the earlier ones in having taillights consisting of three small lamps mounted on a chrome backing plate. Earlier cars have single-piece units and the last Series V cars of September 1962 have similar taillights but recessed. The Series V also has a taller and longer body to provide more interior space, though the diameter of the wheels was reduced to keep the overall height the same. The front of the Series V usually was of the more aerodynamic style as already used on the Vantage and GT models, a style that was later carried over to the DB5 cars. A convertible was introduced in October 1961. It featured in-house styling similar to the Touring saloon, and an extremely rare factory hardtop was also available. In total, 70 DB4 convertibles were made from a total DB4 production run of 1,110 cars. 30 of these were Series IV, with the remaining 40 belonging to the Series V. 32 of the total convertibles built (11 and 21 of the different series respectively) were equipped with the more powerful Vantage engine. Top speed for the regular version is about 136 mph.

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Also here was the DB6, the model launched in 1965 as a replacement for the DB5. The wheelbase was now 4″ longer than before, resulting in an extensive restyle with a more raked windscreen, raised roofline and reshaped rear quarter windows. Opening front quarter lights made a reappearance, but the major change was at the rear where a Kamm tail with spoiler improved the aerodynamics, greatly enhancing stability at high speeds. “The tail lip halves the aerodynamic lift around maximum speed and brings in its train greater headroom and more luggage space”, declared Motor magazine, concluding that the DB6 was one of the finest sports cars it had tested. Famed employee, Tadek Marek, designed the six cylinder engine, which had been enlarged to 3,995cc for the preceding DB5 and remained unchanged. Power output on triple SU carburettors was 282bhp, rising to 325bhp in Vantage specification. Premiered at the 1965 London Motor Show, the DB6 Volante marked the first occasion the evocative ‘Volante’ name had been applied to a soft-top Aston Martin. After 37 Volante convertibles had been completed on the DB5 short wheelbase chassis, the model adopted the longer DB6 chassis in October 1966. A mere 140 DB6 based Volantes were manufactured, and of these only 29 were specified with the more powerful Vantage engine.

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Representing the longest lived design in Aston Martin’s history was this Vantage Volante from the DBS/V8 generation. By the mid 1960s, Aston Martin’s customers had been clamouring for an eight-cylinder car, so Aston Martin designed a larger car. The engine was not ready, however, so in 1967 the company released the DBS with the straight-six Vantage engine from the DB6. Two years later, Tadek Marek’s V8 was ready, and Aston released the DBS V8. Though the body and name was shared with the six-cylinder DBS, the V8 sold for much more. The body was a modern reinterpretation of the traditional Aston Martin look, with a squared-off grille and four headlights (though some consider the styling derivative of the early Ford Mustang). Distinguishing features of the V8 model are the larger front air dam and lack of wire wheels, though some six-cylinder DBS cars also used the V8’s alloy wheels. The tail lights were taken from the Hillman Hunter. A road test report of the time noted that the car had gained 250 lb in weight with the fitting of the V8 in place of the previously used six-cylinder unit, despite the manufacturer’s assurance that the engine weighed only 30 lb more than the older straight-six. Other contributions to the weight gain included heavier ventilated brake discs, air conditioning, fatter tyres, a new and stronger ZF gearbox as well as some extra bodywork beneath the front bumper. Marek’s V8 engine displaced 5,340 cc and used Bosch fuel injection. Output was not officially released, but estimates centre around 315 hp. The DBS V8 could hit 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and had a top speed of nearly 160 mph. 402 DBS V8s were built. In April 1972, the DBS V8 became just the Aston Martin V8 as the six-cylinder DBS was dropped, leaving just this car and the six-cylinder Vantage in production. The V8 became known as the AM V8, a model retroactively referred to as the Series 2 V8 to separate it from later models. Visual differences included twin quartz headlights and a mesh grille, a front design which was to last until the end of production in 1989. AM V8 cars, produced from May 1972 through July 1973, used a similar engine to the DBS V8, albeit with Bosch fuel injection rather than the earlier carburettors. Just 288 Series 2 cars were built. Although David Brown had left the company, he had overseen development of this model. The first 34 cars still carried leftover “DBS V8” badging. The car switched back to Weber carburettors for the Series 3 in 1973, ostensibly to help the car pass new stricter emissions standards in California but most likely because Aston Martin was unable to make the Bosch fuel injection system work correctly. These cars are distinguished by a taller bonnet scoop to accommodate four twin-choke (two-barrel) Weber carbs. The car produced 310 hp and could reach 60 mph in 6.1 seconds with an automatic transmission or 5.7 with a manual. Performance suffered with emissions regulations, falling to 288 hp in 1976. The next year, a more powerful “Stage 1” engine with new camshafts and exhaust brought it up to 305 hp. Production of Series 3 cars lasted from 1973 through October 1978, but was halted for all of 1975. 967 examples were produced in this time. While earlier V8 cars have louvres cut into the little panel mounted beneath the rear windshield, the Series 3 and later cars instead have a small lip at the bottom of this panel, just ahead of the leading edge of the bootlid. The “Oscar India” specification was introduced in October 1978 at the Birmingham International Motor Show. Visually, the former scoop on the bonnet gave way to a closed “power bulge”, while a spoiler was integrated into the tail. Most Oscar India cars were equipped with a Chrysler “Torqueflite” three-speed automatic transmission, with wood trim fitted for the first time since the DB2/4 of the 1950s. Just 352 Oscar India models were built from 1978 through 1985. The power of the now de-smogged engines kept dropping on American market cars, down to a low of 245 hp in the early eighties. The convertible “Volante” was introduced in June 1978, but featured the Series 4 bonnet a few months before the coupé received the Oscar India update. The Volante Series 1 weighs 70 kg (155 lb) more than the coupé, due to the necessity of reinforcing the frame. US market cars received much larger bumpers beginning with the 1980 model year, adding weight and somewhat marring the car’s lines. Owners of US-specified cars often modify them to have the slimmer European bumpers. By 1981, the success of the Volante meant that the coupé model was only built on individual demand. The fuel-injected Series 5 cars were introduced in January 1986 at the New York International Auto Show. The compact Weber/Marelli system no longer needed the space of the previous carburettors, so the bonnet bulge was virtually eliminated. 405 Series 5 cars were built before production ceased in 1989. The Volante Series 2 received the same changes; 216 were built.

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British sports cars are rather less evident here than they would be at a UK event, so it was perhaps no surprise that I only came across a couple of examples of the “Big Healey”. Donald Healey had been producing a range of expensive sports cars from the 1940s, cars such as the Silverstone, the Abbott and the Farnham. For the 1952 London Motor Show, he produced a new design, which was called the Healey Hundred, based on Austin A90 mechanicals, which he intended to produce in-house at his small car company in Warwick. It was one of the stars of the 1952 Show, and it so impressed Leonard Lord, the Managing Director of Austin, who was looking for a replacement to the unsuccessful A90. that Lord struck a deal with Healey on the spot, to build it in quantity. Bodies made by Jensen Motors would be given Austin mechanical components at Austin’s Longbridge factory. The car was renamed the Austin-Healey 100, in reference to the fact that the car had a top speed of 100 mph. Production got under way in 1953, with Austin-Healey 100s being finished at Austin’s Longbridge plant alongside the A90 and based on fully trimmed and painted body/chassis units produced by Jensen in West Bromwich—in an arrangement the two companies previously had explored with the Austin A40 Sports. By early 1956, production was running at 200 cars a month, 150 of which were being sold in California. Between 1953 and 1956, 14,634 Austin-Healey 100s were produced, the vast majority of them, as was the case for most cars in this post war era, going for export. The car was replaced by an updated model in 1956, called the 100-6. It had a longer wheelbase, redesigned bodywork with an oval shaped grille, a fixed windscreen and two occasional seats added (which in 1958 became an option with the introduction of the two-seat BN6 produced in parallel with the 2+2 BN4), and the engine was replaced by one based on the six-cylinder BMC C-Series engine. In 1959, the engine capacity was increased from 2.6 to 2.9 litres and the car renamed the Austin-Healey 3000. Both 2-seat and 2+2 variants were offered. It continued in this form until production ceased in late 1967. The Big Healey, as the car became known after the 1958 launch of the much smaller Austin-Healey Sprite, is a popular classic now. You come across the 3000 models more frequently than the 100s, as they accounted for more than 60% of all Big Healey production.

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There were a couple of examples from the Bianchi family. These were based on the Fiat 500, and the model was available in various configurations: Berlina (saloon), Cabriolet, Trasformabile (convertible), Panoramica (station wagon), and Furgoncino (van). The car was presented to the public on 16 September 1957 at the Museum of Science and Technology in Milan. Initially, the car was equipped with the smallest Fiat engine, air-cooled 479 cc producing 15 PS. In 1959, the engine power was increased to 17 PS and in 1960, the cabriolet version was launched. In the same year, the Trasformabile, whose engine cylinder capacity was increased to 499 cc (18 hp), was made available in a Special version with bicolour paint and an engine enhanced to 21 PS. The Transformabile featured fixed B-pillar and partial roof, as the rest of the opening was covered with foldable fabric hood. Cabriolet version had no B-pillar. Also this was the only version to feature suicide doors. In 1962, the Trasformabile was replaced by a four-seat saloon. The engine and chassis were the same as in the Trasformabile. In 1965, a minor facelift was made. In France, the models were sold under different names: the Berlina became the Lutèce, the Familiare the Texane, and the Trasformabile was marketed as the Eden Roc. Production ceased in 1970.

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The A112 was a supermini, developed using a shrunken version of the contemporary Fiat 128’s platform. The mechanicals of the A112 subsequently underpinned the Fiat 127. It was introduced in November 1969, as a replacement for the Bianchina and Primula, and was built until 1986, when it made way for the more modern Autobianchi Y10 (branded in most export markets as the Lancia Y10). Over 1.2 million A112s were produced in Autobianchi’s Milan factory. The A112 was available only with a 3-door body. It was offered with the OHV engine of 903 cc from the Fiat 850 capable of attaining 42 PS. The Autobianchi represented the first appearance of this engine in a front-engine, front-wheel drive configuration which would later become familiar to a wider range of drivers in the top selling Fiat 127 and its derivatives. Claimed power increased to 47 PS in 1971, but without any mechanical changes having taken place. The A112 reached a very particular market; by 1984 female buyers represented 35% of A112 owners and about a third were in the 18-24 age range. In September 1971 the A112 E (“E” for Elegant, which also became its name after the 1973 facelift) was introduced. This featured improved seats, higher grade trimming and equipment, as well as a five-speed gearbox later in life. The mechanics were originally identical to the regular version, now referred to as the Normale, but from 1975 until 1977 the Normale’ received a less powerful engine. A performance edition “Abarth” was introduced too. In March 1973 the A112 received a makeover. The grille was new, with a larger mesh, and the bumpers were now of rubber with chrome insert (although the Normale retained the old metal bumpers with rubber strips). A new style of alloys were also available, and the seats and dashboard underwent some changes. The Abarth received a new chess pattern upholstery. In 1975 the third series arrived. The insides in the rear were recontoured, so that the car now became a five-seater (instead of four). The easiest way to spot a third series is that it received new, much larger vents on the C-pillars, as well as redesigned taillights – with integrated reversing lights on the Elegant and Abarth. The Abarth also received a new larger 1050 cc engine (“70HP”), while the Normale’s output dropped to 42 PS in July 1975. All engines were still pushrod units, derived from the old tipo 100 engine first introduced in the Fiat 600. In 1976, due to new emissions standards, the Elegant lost two horsepower, now down to 45 PS. Third series Normales still received metal bumpers, but from now on they were painted black (instead of being chromed) and no longer had a rubber strip. This was the last model to have the diamond shaped turn signals on the front fenders, with later models receiving more orthodox rectangular ones. In November 1977 the “Nuova A112” (new A112) was introduced: The most obvious difference is a slightly taller roof, with a marked edge around the sides. This improved interior habitability considerably. Autobianchi also at this time modified the upmarket version branded as the “A112 Elegant” with an engine enlarged to 965 cc, now promising 48 PS and improved torque. Later, there were also “A112 Elite” and “A112 LX” versions which received even more comfortable equipment. The 903 cc engine of the lesser A112 Normale remained unchanged. In July 1979 the car underwent another styling modification, receiving large black plastic cladding on the rear, surrounding new taillights, and new side trim and bumpers. The grille was also new, and there was black plastic wheelarches to link all of the plastic parts together. The extractor vents behind the rear side windows were also larger, of black plastic, and wrapped around the pillar. In terms of transmissions, a five-speed transmission now became available on certain models. The fifth gear was an overgear, while the ratios of the four lower speeds and the final gearing remained unchanged. The front turn signals were moved from the front of the fenders to a spot just in front of the leading edge of the doors, while a small badge denoting the trim level appeared in the turn signal’s old place. The Normale now became the Junior, and the Elite version was added, a notch above the Elegant in the lineup. There were some very light modifications to the interior. A large, rollback canvas sunroof became available on the Junior, and a rear window wiper became optional across the range. Aside from the new transmission there were no notable mechanical changes. Power outputs remained at 42, 48, and 70 PS. The Abarth also received the new five-speed gearbox, as well as new alloy wheels and foglights as standard. A lot of the plastic excesses of the fifth series were reversed for the sixth series, which was introduced in the autumn of 1982. New smoother bumpers, removal of the wheelarch trim, and a less heavy grille treatment brought back some of the original elegance of the A112, while the interior was also completely renovated. Another new version arrived, the top-of-the-line LX, which featured tinted windows, velvet seat trimming, power windows, metallic paintwork, and a digital clock amongst other creature comforts. Mechanically, the LX was identical to the Elite, with the five-speed transmission and 965 cc engine. The Elegant version was discontinued, with the Elite taking its position in the lineup. The sixth series also received new body-coloured vents on the C-pillar, and the front corner lights were incorporated into the top of the bumper. The seventh series, presented in 1984, only saw minor changes, largely remaining the same as the sixth. The taillights were again redesigned and were now joined by a reflective strip. The rear license plate was relocated to the bumper and the dashboard received modifications, more noticeable in the better equipped Elite and LX versions. The Abarth received standard front foglights, which were optional on the other versions. The Abarth also has red seatbelts. While the Junior retained small hubcaps, and the Abarth received alloys, the rest of the range now received full-face hubcaps. The front corner lights were now white, instead of orange as before. The engines remained as before, all models except the lowest-priced Junior now used five-speed transmissions. By this time, only France, Italy and Israel still used the “Autobianchi” badge; all others had switched to calling the car a Lancia. At the time of the seventh series introduction, a total of 1,115,000 A112s had been built. As the new Autobianchi Y10 was introduced in 1985, the A112 range was cut down considerably, with only the Junior remaining on sale as a low-priced alternative. It was no longer called Junior, however, now being marketed simply as the “Autobianchi A112”. Other than the name change, there were no design changes to the car. Production continued into 1986, at which point 1,254,178 Autobianchi A112s had been built. The most interesting version was the A112 Abarth, introduced in September 1971 at the same time as the Elegant. It was prepared by the motorsports division of the Fiat Group, at first with a 982 cc engine, obtained by increasing the stroke, coupled to a sportive exhaust, a twin carburettor, and a different camshaft. In 1975, displacement was increased to 1,050 cc, while power climbed from 58 HP to 70 HP at 6600 rpm, for a weight of only 700 kg (1,540 lb). The two engines were offered in parallel until production of the smaller unit ended in late 1976. The 1975 model was also the first A112 to use a 5-speed manual gearbox. These changes turned the A112 into a nervous machine, much admired by young performance enthusiasts. The car was entered in various rallying events throughout Europe and even spawned a one-make trophy: the Campionato A112 Abarth spanned eight editions, from 1977 to 1984, and adopted contemporary Group 1 rules, which meant nearly-stock cars. Some famous Italian rally drivers, including Attilio Bettega, Fabrizio Tabaton and Gianfranco Cunico, were among the winners of the championship. The increasing popularity of the A112 in historic rallies and hillclimbs led to the reintroduction of a one-make trophy, called Trofeo A112 Abarth, in 2010. Abarths have often led hard lives, having been preferred by young owners with aggressive driving styles!

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Perhaps the least known Autobianchi, and certainly one of the rarest now is the A111. This 4-door saloon family car is the largest Autobianchi ever made. It was conceived as a replacement for the Primula, and followed the configuration of that car, which meant front wheel drive and a transverse engine. However, for this car, the managing director of Autobianchi, Enrico Ghiretti, desired a new three-box saloon. According to Giacosa’s memoirs, Ghiretti feared competition from the upcoming front-wheel drive Fiat 128 small family car (at the time still known as project X1/1) and was a proponent of conservative three-box styling, as opposed to than the Primula’s current 2-box hatchback or fastback bodies. The project was authorised by Fiat management, but since Fiat’s style centre was already overworked, the decision was taken to use a design for the dismissed project that would have been the Fiat 123, a replacement for the Fiat 1100 The chosen design was the most recent proposal for the transverse-engined front-wheel drive 123 E4; it was updated, chiefly in the front end to incorporate new rectangular headlamp lenses, and approved by Ghiretti for production. Therefore, on the outside the A111’s lines unsurprisingly recalled several Fiat designs, especially the 124 and 128. Christened A111, the new car—albeit larger in size—was based on the Primula’s platform and mechanicals, and used the 1.4-litre drivetrain of the most powerful Primula, the Coupé S of 1968. Size-wise, the A111 slotted between Fiat’s 128 and 124 sedans, being also significantly bigger than the previously biggest Autobianchi, the said Primula. The Autobianchi A111 was introduced in April 1969, and deliveries began in May. The interior, seating four or five, was rather well-appointed, with a genuine wood fascia on the dashboard, individual sliding and reclining front seats, fully carpeted floor, and cloth, cloth-and-leatherette or full leatherette upholstery. Autobianchi advertised a top speed of 155 km/h (96 mph). A lightly revised A111 was introduced at the 52nd Turin Motor Show in October/November 1970. A distinguishing feature of these “series 2” cars were double-stacked tail lamps, of the same design seen on the original A111. New bumpers gained rubbing strips but dispensed with the over-riders (bringing overall length to less than four metres), there was new model badging on the tail, and the interior was partly redesigned, including a new centre console and a shorter gear lever. As the 1970s progressed, Fiat introduced an increasing number of FWD cars under its own brand, and thus the Autobianchis became redundant. The last A111 left the production line in 1972, making the total number produced 56,984. The A111 remained without a direct replacement within the Autobianchi range, and thus the brand was reduced to a single model—the A112 upmarket supermini and its successor the Y10, the last car to bear the Autobianchi badge.

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Oldest of the models present were a number of the 3 and 4.5 litre cars that were produced in the 1920s and which epitomise the classic Bentley to many people. The 3 Litre was the company’s first model, first shown in 1919 and made available to customers’ coachbuilders from 1921 to 1929. It was conceived for racing. The Bentley was very much larger than the 1368 cc Bugattis that dominated racing at the time, but double the size of engine and strength compensated for the extra weight. The 4000 lb (1800 kg) car won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1924, with drivers John Duff and Frank Clement, and again in 1927, this time in Super Sports form, with drivers S. C. H. “Sammy” Davis and Dudley Benjafield. Its weight, size, and speed prompted Ettore Bugatti to call it “the fastest lorry in the world.” The 3 Litre was delivered as a running chassis to the coachbuilder of the buyer’s choice. Bentley referred many customers to their near neighbour Vanden Plas for bodies. Dealers might order a short cost-saving run of identical bodies to their own distinctive design. Most bodies took the simplest and cheapest form, tourers, but as it was all “custom” coachwork there was plenty of variation. The 2,996 cc straight-4 engine was designed by ex-Royal Flying Corps engineer Clive Gallop and was technically very advanced for its time. It was one of the first production car engines with 4 valves per cylinder, dry-sump lubrication and an overhead camshaft. The four valve SOHC Hemi design, with a bevel-geared shaft drive for the camshaft, was based on the pre-war 1914 Mercedes Daimler M93654 racing engine. Just before the outbreak of the war Mercedes had placed one of the winning Grand Prix cars in their London showroom in Long Acre. At the suggestion of W.O. Bentley, then being commissioned in the Royal Naval Air Service, the vehicle was confiscated in 1915 by the British army, dismantled at Rolls-Royce and subjected to scrutiny. A notable difference to both the Mercedes and the aero engines was the cast-iron monobloc design, and the fully Aluminium enclosed camshaft, which greatly contributed to its durability. But having the valve-head and block in one-piece made for a complicated and labour intensive casting and machining. This was a feature shared during that time by the Bugattis which the car was later to compete with. The engine was also among the first with two spark plugs per cylinder, pent-roof combustion chambers, and twin carburettors. It was extremely undersquare, optimised for low-end torque, with a bore of 80 mm (3.1 in) and a stroke of 149 mm (5.9 in). Untuned power output was around 70 hp, allowing the 3 Litre to reach 80 mph. he Speed Model could reach 90 mph; the Super Sports could exceed 100 mph. A four-speed gearbox was fitted. Only the rear wheels had brakes until 1924, when four-wheel brakes were introduced. There were three main variants of the 3 litre and they became known by the colours commonly used on the radiator badge. There was a definite rule controlling badge colours but astonishingly it has since been established that given “special circumstances” the factory would indeed supply a “wrong” colour. Blue label was the standard model with 117.5 in wheelbase from 1921 to 1929 or long 130.0 in wheelbase from 1923 to 1929. The Red label used a 5.3:1 high compression engine in the 117.5 in wheelbase chassis and was made from 1924 to 1929. The Green label was made between 1924 and 1929 and was the high performance model with 6.3:1 compression ratio and short 108 in wheelbase chassis. 100 mph performance was guaranteed. As well as 3 Experimental cars, Bentley produced 1088 examples of the 3 litre, and the Speed Model numbered 513 and there were 18 Super Sports. Among them was a Red Label Short Chassis model and “Old Number 2”, the Speed Six car which finished second in the 1930 Le Mans 24 hour race.

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Bentley replaced the 3 Litre with a more powerful car by increasing its engine displacement to 4.5 litres. As before, Bentley supplied an engine and chassis and it was up to the buyer to arrange for their new chassis to be fitted with one of a number of body styles, most of which were saloons or tourers. Very few have survived with their four-seater coachwork intact. WO Bentley had found that success in motorsport was great publicity for the brand, and he was particularly attracted to the 2 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, the inaugural running of which took place 26–27 May 1923, attracting many drivers, mostly French. There were two foreign competitors in the first race, Frank Clement and Canadian John Duff, the latter winning the 1924 competition in his personal car, a Bentley 3 Litre. This success helped Bentley sell cars, but was not repeated, so after two years without success, Bentley convened a group of wealthy British men, “united by their love of insouciance, elegant tailoring, and a need for speed,” to renew Bentley’s success. Both drivers and mechanics, these men, later nicknamed the “Bentley Boys”, drove Bentley automobiles to victory in several races between 1927 and 1931, including four consecutive wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and forged the brands reputation. It was within this context that, in 1927, Bentley developed the Bentley 4½ Litre. Two cylinders were removed from the 6½ Litre model, reducing the displacement to 4.4 litres. At the time, the 3 Litre and the 6½ Litre were already available, but the 3 Litre was an outdated, under-powered model and the 6½ Litre’s image was tarnished by poor tyre performance. Sir Henry “Tim” Birkin, described as “the greatest British driver of his day” by W. O. Bentley, was one of the Bentley Boys. He refused to adhere strictly to Bentley’s assertion that increasing displacement is always preferable to forced induction. Birkin, aided by a former Bentley mechanic, decided to produce a series of five supercharged models for the competition at the 24 Hours of Le Mans; thus the 4½ litre Blower Bentley was born. The first supercharged Bentley had been a 3-litre FR5189 which had been supercharged at the Cricklewood factory in the winter of 1926/7. The Bentley Blower No.1 was officially presented in 1929 at the British International Motor Show at Olympia, London. The 55 copies were built to comply with 24 Hours of Le Mans regulations. Birkin arranged for the construction of the supercharged cars having received approval from Bentley chairman and majority shareholder Woolf Barnato and financing from wealthy horse racing enthusiast Dorothy Paget. Development and construction of the supercharged Bentleys was done in a workshop in Welwyn by Amherst Villiers, who also provided the superchargers. W.O. Bentley was hostile to forced induction and believed that “to supercharge a Bentley engine was to pervert its design and corrupt its performance.” However, having lost control of the company he founded to Barnato, he could not halt Birkin’s project. Although the Bentley 4½ Litre was heavy, weighing 1,625 kg (3,583 lb), and spacious, with a length of 172 in and a wheelbase of 130.0 in, it remained well-balanced and steered nimbly. The manual transmission, however, required skill, as its four gears were unsynchronised. The robustness of the 4½ Litre’s latticed chassis, made of steel and reinforced with ties, was needed to support the heavy cast iron inline-four engine. The engine was “resolutely modern” for the time. The displacement was 4,398 cc. Two SU carburettors and dual ignition with Bosch magnetos were fitted. The engine produced 110 hp for the touring model and 130 hp for the racing model. The engine speed was limited to 4,000 rpm. A single overhead camshaft actuated four valves per cylinder, inclined at 30 degrees. This was a technically advanced design at a time where most cars used only two valves per cylinder. The camshaft was driven by bevel gears on a vertical shaft at the front of the engine, as on the 3 Litre engine. The essential difference between the Bentley 4½ Litre and the Blower was the addition of a Roots-type supercharger to the Blower engine by engineer Amherst Villiers, who had also produced the supercharger. W. O. Bentley, as chief engineer of the company he had founded, refused to allow the engine to be modified to incorporate the supercharger. As a result, the supercharger was placed at the end of the crankshaft, in front of the radiator. This gave the Blower Bentley an easily recognisable appearance and also increased the car’s understeer due to the additional weight at the front. A guard protected the two carburettors located at the compressor intake. Similar protection was used, both in the 4½ Litre and the Blower, for the fuel tank at the rear, because a flying stone punctured the 3 Litre of Frank Clement and John Duff during the first 24 Hours of Le Mans, which contributed to their defeat. The crankshaft, pistons and lubrication system were special to the Blower engine. It produced 175 hp at 3,500 rpm for the touring model and 240 hp at 4,200 rpm for the racing version, which was more power than the Bentley 6½ Litre developed. Between 1927 and 1931 the Bentley 4½ Litre competed in several competitions, primarily the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The first was the Old Mother Gun at the 1927 24 Hours of Le Mans, driven as a prototype before production. Favoured to win, it instead crashed and did not finish. Its performance was sufficient for Bentley to decide to start production and deliver the first models the same year. Far from being the most powerful in the competitions, the 4½ Litre of Woolf Barnato and Bernard Rubin, raced neck and neck against Charles Weymann’s Stutz Blackhawk DV16, setting a new record average speed of 69 mph; Tim Birkin and Jean Chassagne finished fifth. The next year, three 4½ Litres finished second, third, and fourth behind another Bentley, the Speed Six, which possessed two more cylinders.The naturally aspirated 4½ Litre was noted for its good reliability. The supercharged models were not; the two Blower models entered in the 1930 24 Hours of Le Mans by Dorothy Paget, one of which was co-driven by Tim Birkin, did not complete the race. In 1930, Birkin finished second in the French Grand Prix at the Circuit de Pau behind a Bugatti Type 35. Ettore Bugatti, annoyed by the performance of Bentley, called the 4½ Litre the “fastest lorry in the world.” The Type 35 is much lighter and consumes much less petrol. Blower Bentleys consume 4 litres per minute at full speed. In November 1931, after selling 720 copies of the 4½ Litre – 655 naturally aspirated and 55 supercharged – in three different models (Tourer, Drophead Coupé and Sporting Four Seater, Bentley was forced to sell his company to Rolls-Royce for £125,175, a victim of the recession that hit Europe following the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

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There was one very elegant version of what is are known as the “Derby” models here. These were produced after the acquisition of Bentley by Rolls-Royce, in 1934, at which point the focus of the brand shifted to the production of large and elegant tourers. The cars retained the famous curved radiator shape based on earlier Bentley models, but in all meaningful respects they were clearly Rolls-Royces. Although disappointing some traditional customers, they were well received by many others and even W.O. Bentley himself was reported as saying that he would “rather own this Bentley than any other car produced under that name.” The Rolls-Royce Engineer in charge of the development project, Ernest Hives (later Lord Hives), underlined the Rolls-Royce modus operandi in a memo addressed to company staff “our recommendation is that we should make the car as good as we know how and then charge accordingly.” At a time when the Ford 8 could be purchased new for £100, an early Bentley 3½ Litre cost around £1,500 (equivalent to £6400 vs. £96,000 today), putting it beyond the reach of all but the wealthiest consumers. Despite not being a car of remarkable outright performance, the car’s unique blend of style and grace proved popular with the inter-war elite and it was advertised under the legend the silent sports car. Over 70% of the cars built between 1933 and 1939 were said to have still been in existence 70 years later. Although chassis production ceased in 1939, a number of cars were still being bodied and delivered during 1940. The last few were delivered and first registered in 1941. The 3.5 litre came first. Based on an experimental Rolls-Royce project “Peregrine” which was to have had a supercharged 2¾ litre engine, the 3½ Litre was finally fitted with a less adventurous engine developed from Rolls’ straight-6 fitted to the Rolls-Royce 20/25. The Bentley variant featured a higher compression ratio, sportier camshaft profile and two SU carburettors on a crossflow cylinder head. Actual power output was roughly 110 bhp at 4500 rpm, allowing the car to reach 90 mph. The engine displaced 3669 cc with a 3¼ in (82.5 mm) bore and 4½ in (114.3 mm) stroke. A 4-speed manual transmission with synchromesh on 3rd and 4th, 4-wheel leaf spring suspension, and 4-wheel servo-assisted mechanical brakes were all common with other Rolls-Royce models. The chassis was manufactured from nickel steel, and featured a “double-dropped” layout to gain vertical space for the axles and thus keep the profiles of the cars low. The strong chassis needed no diagonal cross-bracing, and was very light in comparison to the chassis built by its contemporary competitors, weighing in at 2,510 pounds (1,140 kg) in driveable form ready for delivery to the customer’s chosen coachbuilder. 1177 of the 3½ Litre cars were built, with about half of them being bodied by Park Ward, with the remainder “dressed” by other coachbuilders like Barker, Carlton, Freestone & Webb, Gurney Nutting, Hooper, Mann Egerton, Mulliner (both Arthur and H J), Rippon, Thrupp & Maberly, James Young, Vanden Plas and Windovers in England; Figoni et Falaschi, Kellner, Saoutchik and Vanvooren in Paris; and smaller concerns elsewhere in UK and Europe. Beginning in March, 1936, a 4¼ Litre version of the car was offered as replacement for the 3½ Litre, in order to offset the increasing weight of coachwork and maintain the car’s sporting image in the face of stiff competition. The engine was bored to 3½ in (88.9 mm) for a total of 4257cc. From 1938 the MR and MX series cars featured Marles steering and an overdrive gearbox. The model was replaced in 1939 by the MkV, but some cars were still finished and delivered during 1940-1941. 1234 4¼ Litre cars were built, with Park Ward remaining the most popular coachbuilder. Many cars were bodied in steel rather than the previous, more expensive, aluminium over ash frame construction.

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Following the war, Bentley introduced a completely new car, the Mark VI. Announced in May 1946, and produced from 1946 to 1952 it was also both the first car from Rolls-Royce with all-steel coachwork and the first complete car assembled and finished at their factory. These very expensive cars were a genuine success, long-term their weakness lay in the inferior steels forced on them by government’s post-war controls. The chassis continued to be supplied to independent coachbuilders. Four-door Saloon, two-door saloon and drophead coupe models with bodies by external companies were listed by Bentley along with the Bentley-bodied saloon. This shorter wheelbase chassis and engine was a variant of the Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith of 1946 and, with the same standard steel body and a larger boot became the cautiously introduced Silver Dawn of 1949. The same extended-boot modification was made to the Mark VI body in 1952 and the result became known as the R type Bentley. The R-Type Continental was a high-performance version of the R-Type. It was the fastest four-seat car in production at the time. The prototype was developed by a team of designers and engineers from Rolls-Royce Ltd. and coachbuilder H. J. Mulliner & Co. led by Rolls-Royce’s Chief Project Engineer, Ivan Evernden. Rolls-Royce worked with H. J. Mulliner instead of their own coachbuilding subsidiary Park Ward because the former had developed a lightweight body construction system using metal throughout instead of the traditional ash-framed bodies. The styling, finalised by Stanley Watts of H. J. Mulliner, was influenced by aerodynamic testing conducted at Rolls-Royce’s wind tunnel by Evernden’s assistant, Milford Read. The rear fins stabilised the car at speed and made it resistant to changes in direction due to crosswinds. A maximum kerb weight of 34 long hundredweight (1,700 kg) was specified to keep the tyres within a safe load limit at a top speed of 120 mph (190 km/h). The prototype, with chassis number 9-B-VI[ and registration number OLG-490, which earned it the nickname “Olga”, was on the road by August 1951. Olga and the first series of production Continentals were based on the Mark VI chassis, and used a manual mixture control on the steering wheel boss, as these versions did not have an automatic choke. The early R Type Continental has essentially the same engine as the standard R Type, but with modified carburation, induction and exhaust manifolds along with higher gear ratios. The compression ratio was raised to 7.25:1 from the standard 6.75:1, while the final gear ratio was raised (lowered numerically) from 3.41 to 3.07. Despite its name, the two-door Continental was produced principally for the domestic home market, most of the 207 cars produced were right-hand drive, with 43 left-hand drive examples produced for use abroad. The chassis was produced at the Rolls-Royce Crewe factory and shared many components with the standard R type. R-Type Continentals were delivered as rolling chassis to the coachbuilder of choice. Coachwork for most of these cars was completed by H. J. Mulliner & Co. who mainly built them in fastback coupe form. Other coachwork came from Park Ward (London) who built six, later including a drophead coupe version. Franay (Paris) built five, Graber (Wichtrach, Switzerland) built three, one of them later altered by Köng (Basel, Switzerland), and Pininfarina made one. James Young (London) built in 1954 a Sports Saloon for the owner of the company, James Barclay. After July 1954, the car was fitted with an engine with a larger bore of 94.62 mm, giving a total displacement of 4887 cc. The rarity of the R Type Continental, with just 208 built, has made the car valuable to car collectors. In 2015 a 1952 R Type Continental, in unrestored condition, sold for over $1 million USD.

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This is a VRD Berline, dating from 1933. It had a 4 cylinder 1.9 engine, and was available in three different body styles. 999 of these large saloons were made.

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The first BMW 327, sitting on a shortened version of the BMW 326 chassis, launched in 1937, was a cabriolet. In 1938, this was joined by a fixed head coupé version. The car was shorter and lower than its sedan counterpart, but shared the famous BMW grill and a streamlined form representative of the more progressive designs of the 1930s. Mechanically, the car utilised the hydraulic brake control, gear box, clutch and front suspension system first seen on the BMW 326, along with the live axle used on the BMW 320 and BMW 328. The BMW M78 straight-6 engine was used. The advertised top speed was 125 km/h (78 mph) A higher-powered model, the 327/28, was offered with the M328 engine. 569 of these high-powered 327/28 cars were built up to 1940. Among some enthusiasts, the 327 has subsequently been overshadowed by its more uncompromising sibling, the 80 bhp BMW 328 which appeared in April 1936. In its day, however, the 327 was the bigger seller, with 1,396 base engined versions built between 1937 and 1941, and significant further production after 1945.

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Also here was the 328, a sports car made between 1936 and 1940, with the body design credited to Peter Szymanowski, who became BMW chief of design after World War II (although technically the car was designed by Fritz Fiedler). It had a 1971cc straight 6 OHV engine and 3 solec carburettors which gave it an output of 79 bhp at 5000 rpm, and a top speed of 150 km/h, making this relatively light car ideal for motorsport. The 328 was introduced at the Eifelrennen race at the Nürburgring in 1936, where Ernst Henne drove it to win the 2.0 litre class. The 328 had more than 100 class wins in 1937, including the RAC Tourist Trophy, the Österreichische Alpenfahrt, and the La Turbie hillclimb. In 1938, the 328 won its class at Le Mans, the RAC Tourist Trophy, the Alpine Rally, and the Mille Miglia. The 328 won the RAC Rally in 1939 and came in fifth overall and first in class in the 1939 24 Hours of Le Mans. The car continued its competition career after the war, with Frank Pratt winning the 1948 Australian Grand Prix driving a 328.

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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 colour. 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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This is a Group A version of the BMW 635CSi, a car which enjoyed a certain amount of success on the race tracks of Europe in the early 1980s. The specially prepared BMW 3.5 Litre produces 300 hp at 7000 rpm. Gearbox is a 5 speed Getrag.

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In parallel with development of the BMW M1 production car, racing versions were built for Group 4 and 5 events. The BMW M1 achieved sporting highlights particularly in the Procar Series created especially for this car. It was staged as a warmup race ahead of the European Formula 1 Grand Prix in the years 1979 and 1980. Alongside the five fastest Formula 1 drivers in the Friday training session, drivers specialising in touring cars and ambitious private drivers competed against each other – a mixture with particular appeal to the public. The M1 built in accordance with the Group 4 regulations generated around 470 hp in the Procar and was capable of a top speed of 310 km/h. Famous Formula 1 drivers like Niki Lauda, Nelson Piquet, Carlos Reutemann, Alan Jones and Clay Regazzoni competed in the races. Niki Lauda (1979) and Nelson Piquet (1980) had podium finishes as overall winners.

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Final BMW was this E28 generation 518i. The BMW E28 is the second generation of BMW 5 Series executive cars, which was produced from 1981 to 1988 and replaced the E12 5 Series. The E28 was initially produced with straight-four and straight-six petrol engines until 1983, when the 524td model became the first BMW car to be powered by a diesel engine. It was also the first 5 Series with the centre console angled towards the driver and to be available with anti-lock brakes (ABS). The first BMW M5 was produced during the E28 generation. It was powered by the M88/3 and S38 straight-six engines. The E24 6 Series coupés were built on the E28 platform from 1982–1989. The E28 has a self-supporting body that is welded to the body platform. The passenger cell is a safety passenger cell with deformation elements both in the front and rear of the vehicle. Unlike its E12 predecessor and E34 successor, the E28 has a rear-hinged bonnet. The boot has a volume of 460 litres. Most models have a fuel tank capacity of 70 litres with some models having a smaller tank of 63 litres. Cruise control, an ‘on-board computer’ (to display trip information) and a “check control” panel (to alert the driver about fluid levels and lighting faults) were introduced to the 5 Series on the E28. The glazing is made of single-pane safety glass, the windscreen has laminated glass. As part of developing the air-conditioning system for the E28, several of the BMW engineers in charge of this program drove a previous generation E12 5 Series during the middle of summer in Texas. The E12 528i was painted black with a black interior, and driven 500 mi (805 km) in one day.The styling was developed under BMW’s chief designer Claus Luthe, with development of the E28 beginning in 1975. At the time that BMW was designing the E28, the company had only one computer, which was used for payroll management and spare parts logistics. Wolfgang Matschinsky and his team borrowed that computer to perform the calculations necessary to develop the new drivetrain and chassis. This was due to the fact that the addition of an ABS system necessitated a redesign from the previous model due to excessive vibrations under heavy braking. The four models available at the launch of the E28 were the 518, 520i, 525i and 528i, with the 518 using a straight-four petrol engine and the other three models using a straight-six petrol engine. Over the course of the E28 model, the following models were added: the 524d and 524td using diesel engines, the 518i (a fuel-injected version of the 518), the 525e/528e as fuel-economy models, and the upper-specification 533i, 535i, M535i, and M5 models. The car was replaced by the third generation E34 in January 1988.

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Dating from 1982 is this BT-49D, this Formula One racing car was designed by Gordon Murray and propelled by Ford DFV engine. The chassis was a unitary aluminium structure with carbon fibre stiffening panels. Brazilian Nelson Piquet scored all but one of the BT49’s seven Grand Prix victories, landing the first of his three World Drivers Championship.

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In 1955 B.R.M. ( British Racing Motors) started development of this P25 Grand Prix car when technical regulations for the World Championship changed , requiring a new 2.5 Litre unsupercharged power unit. The B.R.M. organisation, now owned by the Owen Organisation, developed a very simple, light, ingenious and potent four cylinder engine known as Project 25. A new semi-stressed skin ‘monocoque’ chassis structure was created to house this new engine and the entire project was completed at the end of 1955, emerging as the P25. This particular car is presented as the only remaining example of the ten units built. This single seat Grand Prix car was raced by drivers like Jean Behra or Joachim Bonnier. This car is famous as the winner of Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvort 1959 with Bonnier at the wheel.

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Arnolt negotiated with Bristol Cars Ltd in the UK for the purchase of 200 of their 404-series chassis and the 1971 cc, six-cylinder 130 hp engines from the earlier 403 model. Arnolt needed to find a new chassis source to meet his obligation to Bertone, in whom he had invested heavily, after MG proved unable to fill the original order for 200 cars. The chassis Bristol supplied were sent to Carrozzeria Bertone where they received a highly aerodynamic body with a flowing design that allowed the minimal hood height to clear the cars’ three single barrel Solex 32 carburettors. The bodies were designed by Bertone’s new designer/aerodynamicist, Franco Scaglione (soon to be famous as the designer of the Alfa Romeo B.A.T. concept cars). The very tall Bristol engine created problems for designing a sleek-looking sports car. Franco Scaglione handled these with particular genius – first by incorporating a hood scoop to lower the surrounding sheet metal, and then by incorporating sharply creased fender lines out over the wheels to draw the eye’s attention away from the unusually tall peak in the hood. A few design changes were requested by S.H. Arnolt. Arnolt created a racing team for the Sebring 12-hour race, and in 1955, at their first attempt, the special lightweight cars finished first, second and fourth in the Sports 2000 class, winning the Team Trophy, a feat which was replicated in 1956 and 1960. The following year they took second and third in class. In 1957 the team withdrew after Bob Goldich’s fatal accident on the first lap of his first stint in the car co-driven by Wacky Arnolt, while a privately entered Arnolt Bristol finished fifth in class. 1960 brought a final class win, finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd in class, and placing 14th, 22nd and 39th overall. The cars were available in four body styles: competition—a stripped road racer; bolide—a slightly better-appointed road racer; deluxe—a better-appointed version of the bolide (side windows and convertible top, instruments mounted in a housing in front of the driver, glove box set in the dash); and coupé, with pop-up headlights. At least one open car was subsequently fitted with a removable hardtop by S.H. Arnolt. Prices as per a 1956 factory letter were $3995 for the competition model, $4245 for the bolide, $4995 for the deluxe and $5995 for the coupe. Factory options for the Arnolt-Bristol included a front sway bar, remote shifter, 11-inch Alfin drum brakes, convertible top, bumpers, Borrani KO steel wheels (nine sets were sold, and one car was sold with Borrani wire wheels) and several different rear end gear ratios. A special racing fuel tank was installed in some of the race cars but was never offered for sale to the public. Late in 1959 and 60, the 12-inch bell-shaped Bristol drum setup was offered, and in 1961 Bristol front disc brakes were offered to retro fit to the Arnolt-Bristol. The majority of the cars had steel bodies, with aluminium trunk and hood. The cars came with an owner’s manual, spares manual and shop workbook, as well as a spare wheel and tire and complete tool kit. Additional items such as Arnolt key fobs, neck ties, ice buckets and Arnolt logo head scarves were available from the company. A wide variety of promotional literature, including brochures and postcards, was also produced. All of the cars were originally sold with Bristol BS1 MkII six-cylinder engines; some have subsequently been fitted with other engines. All Arnolt-Bristols were built between January 14, 1953 and December 12, 1959. The majority were built in 1954 and 1959. A total of 142 cars were produced, of which 12 were written off after a factory fire. The fire-damaged cars were used as a source of spares by Arnolt in later years. The total production included six coupes, and two aluminium alloy-bodied cars. One of the cars was originally right hand drive: the rest were all left hand drive. One of the cars never received a body, and was used as a rolling chassis for auto shows. This chassis is still in the possession of the Arnolt family. Despite the racing successes, the cars did not sell well. Some of the cars did not sell until after 1960, and the last car to be sold, fitted with four headlights, remained unsold until 1968. Approximately 85 of the cars are still known to be extant, in conditions that vary from needing complete restoration to concours quality.

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This three-wheeled BSA is a Special Sport from 1934. These days, BSA is better remembered for producing bikes and motor-bikes, but in fact the company produced its first car in 1907, two years before making their first bike. The first BSA cars were produced in various forms with capacities ranging from 2.5 to 4.2 litre. The larger cars were based on the 1907 Peking-Paris Itala. Following the purchase of the Daimler Company by BSA in September 1910 responsibility for Motor Car manufacture was transferred to the latter company. BSA cars continued to be produced for two years following the amalgamation of the two companies but after this point they became badge engineered Daimlers. Production stopped for the War, and it was not until 1921 that it resumed, with a genuine attempt to move into the light car market with the RWD V twin. This car used an engine based on the Hotchkiss designed 900 V twin introduced in early 1921. The car was certainly designed at Small Heath and may well have been produced in one of BSA’s Birmingham factories, but this is by no means certain. The car was eventually produced with V twin, 4 cylinder one 6 cylinder engine with the latter being a Knight sleeve valve engine. The cars were produced between 1922 and 1926. BSA constructed a large new factory on the Coventry Road, Birmingham which was known as the light car works to handle production of these vehicles. Production of the RWD cars never really came to anything with estimates of the numbers produced for all models quoted at around 1000 over the 4 years. The light car was entered by BSA in many rallies during the twenties, doing quite well in the hands of Captain Brittain and Mr Danby. Strong competition from the cheaper Austin 7 helped to force an early end to this interesting light car in which are to be found the basis for BSA ventures into FWD three and four wheel cars from 1929. Front wheel drive was not new, though it had generally been limited to relatively few small production runs, with the FWD Alvis being one of the first series U1( FWD cars with only a few hundred produced. BSA investigated a number of options and concluded that for their entry into the light car/three wheeler market, then dominated by the Morgan, that this was the right answer. Two wheels at the front was the popular configuration at that time, but driving through a single rear wheel did mean a “motorcycle” type assembly and a heavy driving load on the single tyre. FWD offered an easily detachable rear wheel with no oily chains – a sales “plus”. So in November 1929 the BSA three wheeler appeared. BSA designers had not restricted themselves to a FWD Morgan or Coventry Victor, and introduced innovations such as a reverse gear, electric start and full weather protection. Independent front suspension was another benefit resulting from the FWD layout and ‘Motor Cycle’ of the day said ‘The details of this vehicle are of such interest that it may be said to mark a milestone in the history of the light runabout’. Months later, the 1930 BSA three wheeler was introduced with two models, a sports and a tourer, supplemented by a four seater family model for 1931. For 1932 there were four models. The four seater squeezed two children’s seats in behind the main passenger seats. They were decidedly child-sized and there was a footwell on one side only for the larger child to have extra legroom. The seats were deck-chair style canvas seats rigged between the rear body and bars fixed to the rear wheel cover. BSA also introduced a Van version, none of which survive (though someone has built a recreation), but few of these were sold, as it seems that no-one was brave enough to try the concept. Four wheeled versions arrived in 1931, leading to the BSA Scout model of the mid 1930s. The three wheelers continued in production up to 1936, though, undergoing a program of updates, including a water cooled 900cc engine in 1932. The one here dates from 1930.

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Including the cars in the auction (some of which I could not see), there were 25 Bugatti cars scattered around the event. I don’t seem to have photos of that many of them sadly.

This is a Type 50 with a James Young body. Recently imported from America, this elegant car is large, as evidenced by the fact that it was positioned next to a Speed Six Bentley on the Fiskens stand, and it was not particularly dwarfed.

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Many of the Bugatti here were Type 57 cars, with quite a variety of the different bodies that were available from a number of coachbuilders. This is a 57C Stelvio Cabriolet.

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This is also a Type 57, the winning Paris-Lyon race car in 1935.

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Representing the more sporting models were a Type 35B and the Type 51

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There was also an example of the modern Bugatti with this 2007 Veyron, one of the early versions of this dramatic hypercar.

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The third generation Corvette, patterned after the Mako Shark II concept car, was introduced for the 1968 model year and was in production until 1982. C3 coupes featured the first use of T-top removable roof panels. The C3 introduced monikers that were later revived, such as LT-1, ZR-1, Z07 and Collector Edition. In 1978, the Corvette’s 25th anniversary was celebrated with a two-tone Silver Anniversary Edition and an Indy Pace Car replica edition of the C3. This was also the first time that a Corvette was used as a Pace Car for the Indianapolis 500. Engines and chassis components were mostly carried over from the C2, but the body and interior were new. The 350 cu in (5.7 litre) engine replaced the old 327 cu in (5.36 litre) as the base engine in 1969, but power remained at 300 bhp. 1969 was the only year for a C3 to optionally offer either a factory installed side exhaust or normal rear exit with chrome tips. The all-aluminium ZL1 engine was also new for 1969; the special big-block engine was listed at 430-hp , but was reported to produce 560 hp and propelled a ZL1 through the 1/4 mile in 10.89 seconds. There was an extended production run for the 1969 model year due a lengthy labour strike, which meant sales were down on the 1970 models, to 17,316. 1970 small-block power peaked with the optional high compression, high-revving LT-1 that produced 370 bhp. The 427 big-block was enlarged to 454 cu in (7.44 litre) with a 390 bhp rating. The ZR-1 special package was an option available on the 1970 through 1972 model years, and included the LT-1 engine combined with special racing equipment. Only 53 ZR-1’s were built. In 1971, to accommodate regular low-lead fuel with lower anti-knock properties, the engine compression ratios were lowered which resulted in reduced power ratings. The power rating for the 350 cu in (5.7 litre) L48 base engine decreased from 300 to 270 hp and the optional special high performance LT1 engine decreased from 370 to 330 hp. The big-block LS6 454 was reduced from 450 to 425 bhp, though it was not used in Corvettes for 1970; it was used in the Chevelle SS. For the 1972 model year, GM moved to the SAE Net measurement which resulted in further reduced, but more realistic, power ratings than the previous SAE Gross standard. Although the 1972 model’s 350 cu in horsepower was actually the same as that for the 1971 model year, the lower net horsepower numbers were used instead of gross horsepower. The L48 base engine was now rated at 200 bhp and the optional LT1 engine was now rated at 270 bhp. 1974 models had the last true dual exhaust system that was dropped on the 1975 models with the introduction of catalytic converters requiring the use of no-lead fuel. Engine power decreased with the base ZQ3 engine producing 165 bhp), the optional L82’s output 250 bhp, while the 454 big-block engine was discontinued. Gradual power increases after 1975 peaked with the 1980 model’s optional L82 producing 230 bhp. Styling changed subtly throughout the generation until 1978 for the car’s 25th anniversary. The Sting Ray nameplate was not used on the 1968 model, but Chevrolet still referred to the Corvette as a Sting Ray; however, the 1969 (through 1976) models used the “Stingray” name as one word, without the space. In 1970, the body design was updated including fender flares, and interiors were refined, which included redesigned seats, and indication lights near the gear shift that were an early use of fibre optics . Due to government regulation, the 1973 Corvette’s chrome front bumper was changed to a 5-mile-per-hour (8 km/h)system with a urethane bumper cover. 1973 Corvettes are unique in that sense, as they are the only year where the front bumper was polyurethane and the rear retained the chrome two-piece bumper set. 1973 was also the last year chrome bumpers were used. The optional wire-spoked wheel covers (left) were offered for the last time in 1973. Only 45 Z07 were built in 1973. From 1974 onwards both the front and rear bumpers were polyurethane. In 1974, a 5-mph rear bumper system with a two-piece, tapering urethane bumper cover replaced the Kamm-tail and chrome bumper blades, and matched the new front design from the previous year. 1975 was the last year for the convertible, (which did not return for 11 years). For the 1976 models the fibreglass floor was replaced with steel panels to provide protection from the catalytic converter’s high operating temperature. 1977 was last year the tunnelled roof treatment with vertical back window was used, in addition leather seats were available at no additional cost for the first time. The 1978 25th Anniversary model introduced the fastback glass rear window and featured a new interior and dashboard. Corvette’s 25th anniversary was celebrated with the Indy 500 Pace Car limited edition and a Silver Anniversary model featuring silver over gray lower body paint. All 1979 models featured the previous year’s pace car seats and offered the front and rear spoilers as optional equipment. 53,807 were produced for the model year, making 1979 the peak production year for all versions of the Corvette. Sales have trended downward since then. In 1980, the Corvette received an integrated aerodynamic redesign that resulted in a significant reduction in drag. After several years of weight increases, 1980 Corvettes were lighter as engineers trimmed both body and chassis weight. In mid-1981, production shifted from St. Louis, Missouri to Bowling Green, Kentucky, and several two-tone paint options were offered. The 1981 models were the last available with a manual transmission until well into the 1984 production run. In 1982, a fuel-injected engine returned, and a final C3 tribute Collectors Edition featured an exclusive, opening rear window hatch.

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To celebrate the new stand-alone DS brand being commissioned to produce a presidential car, a couple of previous models that are now part of the Conservatoire Collection were displayed on the stand.

The DS 21 Presidentielle, a massive 6.53m long limousine was built in 1968 for President Charles de Gaulle, by renowned coachbuilder Chapron. This imposing machine was longer than the special Lincoln for the American President. With a weight of 2.2 tonnes, the standard 106 bhp engine struggled to deliver much in the way of lively performance, but that was not really the point , as it was the car’s luxury fittings which matter more. And there were plenty of those, as the presidential DS 21 was equipped with interphone, curved separating window, electric operated windows and an additional seat for an interpreter.

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It was joined by the next car that Citroen produced, the 1971 SM Presidentielle. Two of these were ordered by Georges Pompidou. These were also created by Chapron and were delivered in April and May 1972 and they remained in service for the Presidents who followed, Francois Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac, before finally being retired in favour of a rather less bulky DS5.

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Final car in the trio was the very latest presidential machine, which is based on the new DS7 Crossback. I have to say that this rather lacks something compared to those splendid and bespoke earlier machines.

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The rest of the Citroen stand had an “origins” theme.

As well as a production 2CV, marking the 70th anniversary of the start of production of “La Deauche”, or sometimes “the tin snail”, there was one of the rare prototypes here. In 1934, family-owned Michelin, as the largest creditor, took over the bankrupt Citroën company. The new management commissioned a market survey, conducted by Jacques Duclos. France at that time had a large rural population which could not yet afford cars; Citroën used the survey results to prepare a design brief for a low-priced, rugged “umbrella on four wheels” that would enable four people to transport 50 kg (110 lb) of farm goods to market at 50 km/h (30 mph), if necessary across muddy, unpaved roads. In fuel economy, the car would use no more than 3 l/100 km (95 mpg). One design requirement was that the customer be able to drive eggs across a freshly ploughed field without breaking them. In 1936, Pierre-Jules Boulanger, vice-president of Citroën and chief of engineering and design, sent the brief to his design team at the engineering department. The TPV (Toute Petite Voiture – “Very Small Car”) was to be developed in secrecy at Michelin facilities at Clermont-Ferrand and at Citroën in Paris, by the design team who had created the Traction Avant. Boulanger closely monitored all decisions relating to the TPV, proposing strictly reduced target weights. He created a department to weigh and redesign each component, to lighten the TPV without compromising function. Boulanger placed engineer André Lefèbvre in charge of the TPV project. Lefèbvre had designed and raced Grand Prix cars; his speciality was chassis design and he was particularly interested in maintaining contact between tyres and the road surface. The first prototypes were bare chassis with rudimentary controls, seating and roof; test drivers wore leather flying suits, of the type used in contemporary open biplanes. By the end of 1937 20 TPV experimental prototypes had been built and tested. The prototypes had only one headlight, all that was required by French law at the time. At the end of 1937 Pierre Michelin was killed in a car crash; Boulanger became president of Citroën. By 1939 the TPV was deemed ready, after 47 technically different and incrementally improved experimental prototypes had been built and tested. These prototypes used aluminium and magnesium parts and had water-cooled flat twin engines with front-wheel drive. The seats were hammocks hung from the roof by wires. The suspension system, designed by Alphonse Forceau, used front leading arms and rear trailing arms, connected to eight torsion bars beneath the rear seat: a bar for the front axle, one for the rear axle, an intermediate bar for each side, and an overload bar for each side. The front axle was connected to its torsion bars by cable. The overload bar came into play when the car had three people on board, two in the front and one in the rear, to support the extra load of a fourth passenger and fifty kilograms of luggage. In mid-1939 a pilot run of 250 cars was produced and on 28 August 1939 the car received approval for the French market. Brochures were printed and preparations made to present the car, renamed the Citroën 2CV, at the forthcoming Paris Motor Show in October 1939. On 3 September 1939, France declared war on Germany following that country’s invasion of Poland. An atmosphere of impending disaster led to the cancellation of the 1939 motor show less than a month before it was scheduled to open. The launch of the 2CV was abandoned. During the German occupation of France in World War II Boulanger personally refused to collaborate with German authorities to the point where the Gestapo listed him as an “enemy of the Reich”, under constant threat of arrest and deportation to Germany. Michelin (Citroën’s main shareholder) and Citroën managers decided to hide the TPV project from the Nazis, fearing some military application as in the case of the future Volkswagen Beetle, manufactured during the war as the military Kübelwagen. Several TPVs were buried at secret locations; one was disguised as a pickup, the others were destroyed, and Boulanger spent the next six years thinking about further improvements. Until 1994, when three TPVs were discovered in a barn, it was believed that only two prototypes had survived. As of 2003 there were five known TPVs. By 1941, after an increase in aluminium prices of forty percent, an internal report at Citroën showed that producing the TPV post-war would not be economically viable, given the projected further increasing cost of aluminium. Boulanger decided to redesign the car to use mostly steel with flat panels, instead of aluminium. The Nazis had attempted to loot Citroën’s press tools; this was frustrated after Boulanger got the French Resistance to re-label the rail cars containing them in the Paris marshalling yard. They ended up all over Europe, and Citroën was by no means sure they would all be returned after the war. In early 1944 Boulanger made the decision to abandon the water-cooled two-cylinder engine developed for the car and installed in the 1939 versions. Walter Becchia was now briefed to design an air-cooled unit, still of two cylinders, and still of 375 cc. Becchia was also supposed to design a three-speed gearbox, but managed to design a four-speed for the same space at little extra cost. At this time small French cars like the Renault Juvaquatre and Peugeot 202 usually featured three-speed transmissions, as did Citroën’s own mid-size Traction Avant – but the 1936 Italian Fiat 500 “Topolino” “people’s car” did have a four-speed gearbox. Becchia persuaded Boulanger that the fourth gear was an overdrive. The increased number of gear ratios also helped to pull the extra weight of changing from light alloys to steel for the body and chassis. Other changes included seats with tubular steel frames with rubber band springing and a restyling of the body by the Italian Flaminio Bertoni. Also, in 1944 the first studies of the Citroën hydro-pneumatic suspension were conducted using the TPV/2CV. The development and production of what was to become the 2CV was also delayed by the incoming 1944 Socialist French government, after the liberation by the Allies from the Germans. The five-year “Plan Pons” to rationalise car production and husband scarce resources, named after economist and former French motor industry executive Paul-Marie Pons, only allowed Citroën the upper middle range of the car market, with the Traction Avant. The French government allocated the economy car market, US Marshall Plan aid, US production equipment and supplies of steel, to newly nationalised Renault to produce their Renault 4CV. The “Plan Pons” came to an end in 1949. Postwar French roads were very different from pre-war ones. Horse-drawn vehicles had re-appeared in large numbers. The few internal combustion-engined vehicles present often ran on town gas stored in gasbags on roofs or wood/charcoal gas from gasifiers on trailers. Only 100,000 of the two million pre-war cars were still on the road. The time was known as “Les années grises” or “the grey years” in France.

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Citroën finally unveiled the car at the Paris Salon on 7 October 1948. The car on display was nearly identical to the 2CV type A that would be sold the next year, but it lacked an electric starter, the addition of which was decided the day before the opening of the Salon, replacing the pull cord starter. The canvas roof could be rolled completely open. The Type A had one stop light, and was only available in grey. The fuel level was checked with a dip stick/measuring rod, and the speedometer was attached to the windscreen pillar. The only other instrument was an ammeter. In 1949 the first delivered 2CV type A was 375 cc, 9 hp, with a 65 km/h (40 mph) top speed, only one tail light and windscreen wiper with speed shaft drive; the wiper speed was dependent on the driving speed. The car was heavily criticised by the motoring press and became the butt of French comedians for a short while. One American motoring journalist quipped, “Does it come with a can opener?” The British Autocar correspondent wrote that the 2CV “is the work of a designer who has kissed the lash of austerity with almost masochistic fervour”. Despite critics, Citroën was flooded with customer orders at the show. The car had a great impact on the lives of the low-income segment of the population in France. The 2CV was a commercial success: within months of it going on sale, there was a three-year waiting list, which soon increased to five years. At the time a second-hand 2CV was more expensive than a new one because the buyer did not have to wait. Production was increased from 876 units in 1949 to 6,196 units in 1950. In 1951 the 2CV received an ignition lock and a lockable driver’s door. Production reached 100 cars a week. By the end of 1951 production totalled 16,288. Citroën introduced the 2CV Fourgonnette van. The “Weekend” version of the van had collapsible, removable rear seating and rear side windows, enabling a tradesman to use it as a family vehicle on the weekend as well as for business in the week. By 1952, production had reached more than 21,000 with export markets earning foreign currency taking precedence. Boulanger’s policy, which continued after his death, was: “Priority is given to those who have to travel by car because of their work, and for whom ordinary cars are too expensive to buy.” Cars were sold preferentially to country vets, doctors, midwives, priests and small farmers In 1954 the speedometer got a light for night driving. In 1955 the 2CV side repeaters were added above and behind the rear doors. It was now also available with 425 cc (AZ), 12.5 hp and a top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph). In 1957 a heating and ventilation system was installed. The colour of the steering wheel changed from black to grey. The mirrors and the rear window were enlarged. The bonnet was decorated with a longitudinal strip of aluminium (AZL). In September 1957, the model AZLP (P for porte de malle, “boot lid”), appeared with a boot lid panel; previously the soft top had to be opened at the bottom to get to the boot. In 1958 a Belgian Citroën plant produced a higher quality version of the car (AZL3). It had a third side window, not available in the normal version, and improved details. In 1960 the production of the 375 cc engine ended. In the front fenders round turn signals were integrated. The corrugated metal bonnet was replaced by a five-rib glossy cover. Simultaneously, the grille was slightly modified (flatter shape with a curved top edge).

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Citroen brought along an example of the uber-cool Méhari for their own stand, and there were others elsewhere in the show. Much like the way the 1959 Mini became the 1964 Mini Moke, this small Citroen was based on an existing model, in this case, the 2CV/Dyane. 144,953 Méharis were built between the car’s French launch in May 1968 and 1988 when production ceased. A méhari is a type of fast-running dromedary camel, which can be used for racing or transport. A méhariste was a French Armée d’Afrique and Army of the Levant cavalryman that used these camels. The Méhari was based on the Citroën Dyane 6, and had a body made of ABS plastic with a soft-top. It also employed the 602 cc flat twin engine shared with the 2CV6 and Citroën Ami and because the standard Méhari weighed just 535 kg (1,179 lb), performance was respectable though very far from brisk. The vehicle also had the interconnected fully independent long-travel 2CV suspension used by all of the Citroën ‘A-Series’ vehicles. The colour was integrated into the ABS plastic material in production, and as a utilitarian vehicle, the options chart was quite limited. Only the Vert Montana remained in the catalogue for all the 18 years of production. Except for Azur blue, the official names of colours all refer to desert regions. Ultraviolet rays from the Sun impact the colourfastness of ABS plastic, so unrestored cars have a faded appearance. New bodies for restorations are only supplied in white colour, and now require painting on top of a specialist primer. A four-wheel drive version of the Méhari was produced from 1980 to 1983 and had excellent off-road qualities, due to the lightness of the vehicle. Unlike the earlier four wheel drive 2CV Sahara, which had two engines, this car only had one. Only 1300 were produced and so these cars are now both rare and highly sought after. The Méhari was sold in the United States in 1969 and 1970, where the vehicle was classified as a truck. As trucks had far more lenient National Highway Traffic Safety Administration safety standards than passenger cars in the US, the Méhari did not have seat belts. The Mehari did have limited sales success. Budget Rent-A-Car bought a number of them and offered them as rentals in Hawaii. Hearst Castle, in San Simeon, California, used them as groundskeeper cars. The cars had some differences from those sold elsewhere, with an altered front panel with larger 7″ sealed-beam headlamps being the most obvious.

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1934 saw the introduction of the Citroen’s revolutionary and mould-shattering front-wheel-drive semi-monocoque Citroën Traction Avant. The Traction endured a troubled and prolonged birth process, however, and was part of an ambitious investment programme which involved, also in 1934, the bankruptcy of the business, and its acquisition by Citroën’s principal creditor. The patron himself died in 1935. In this troubled situation, availability of the larger Rosalies (although re-engined with a turned-around version of the new Traction’s OHV four-cylinder engines) continued till 1938: it is only through the distorting prism of subsequent events that its reputation has been diminished when set against the technical brilliance of its successor. Produced for over 20 years, many different versions were made during that time, all with the same styling outline, but with power outputs ranging from 7 to 15CV, and different wheelbases, as well as some with Coupe and Convertible body styles. There was even one model with a large opening tailgate, the Commerciale.

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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 sidemembers and rear suspension swingarm bearing box, similar to, but not identical to the Break/Safari frame. The cars here included a nice DS23EFi, the top model in the range, which came with a fuel injected 2.3 litre engine, five speed gearbox as well as those iconic swivelling headlights which turned with the steering wheel.

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The splendid SM was here as well. This glamorous Sports/GT Coupe still wows people over 45 years since its debut. The Citroën SM was first shown at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show, but work on the car had started way back in 1961, with ‘Project S’, which was envisaged to be a a sports variant of the revolutionary Citroen DS. For the next few years, many running concept vehicles were developed, and these became increasingly complex and upmarket from the DS. In 1968, Citroën purchased Maserati, with the intention of harnessing Maserati’s high-performance engine technology to produce a true Gran Turismo car, which would combine Citroen’s advanced suspension with a V6 Maserati engine. The car was a sensation when revealed, with its distinctive styling, an amazingly low drag coefficient of just 0.26, and as well as the advanced features from the DS such as lights that swivelled with the steering and the advanced hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension there were numerous technical innovations such as variable assistance for the power steering, rain sensitive wipers and the option of lightweight wheels of composite alloys. It was a further six months before customers could get behind the wheel, with the SM finally going on sale in France in September of that year. The origin of the model name ‘SM’ is not clear. The ‘S’ may derive from the Project ‘S’ designation, and the ‘M’ may refers to Maserati, hence SM is often assumed to stand for ‘Sports Maserati’. Another common hypothesis is that SM stood for Série Maserati and others have suggested it is short for ‘Sa Majesté’ (Her Majesty in French), which would aligns with the explanation that the DS model was so called as a contraction of the French word ‘Déesse’ (The Goddess). Regardless of the origins of the name, it attracted lots of attention, and came third in the 1971 Car of the Year competition (behind Citroen’s own revolutionary GS model). For a couple of years, sales were reasonable, but they fell off dramatically in 1973, not just because of the Oil Crisis that struck late that year, but largely because the SM’s technical complexity came with a price tag of some terrible reliability problems, something which owners of rival cars simply did not experience. To compound the owner’s misery, they needed to find and pay for Citroen specialists who understood the hydraulics and a Maserati specialist for the engine. Both categories were kept busy. Citroen declared bankruptcy in 1974 and the company was purchased in May 1975. Thanks to changes in US legislation, sales in that market, which had hitherto been the SM’s largest had ceased, and so with global sales of under 300 SMs in 1974, having divested itself of Maserati, new owner Peugeot took the obvious decision to cease production of the SM almost immediately. During the SM’s 5 year product life, a total of 12,920 cars were produced. With the exception of a handful of conversions for the Australian market, all SMs were made in left hand drive, which is perhaps one reason why UK sales amounted to just 325 cars from that total. Although this is often labelled as one of the 4 “nightmare cars of the apocalypse” (along with the Triumph Stag and Alfa Montreal), the reality is that the surviving cars have largely been “fixed” and they are now not the fearsome ownership proposition that many still assume. As well as the regular car, I also came across one of the very rare Chapron 4 door conversions.

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An early CX was on the stand. I would find another example later, too, on the Youngtimers stand.

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There was an Ami6 here. The Ami was a front-wheel drive supermini (B-segment) made from 1961 to 1978. At times it was the best-selling new car model in France. The Ami was offered in saloon and break (estate) body styles over two generations, the Ami 6 and the Ami 8. The Citroën Ami had its formal French launch on 25 April 1961, four months ahead of the August introduction of the widely anticipated Renault 4. Both the Renault 4 and the Citroën Ami responded to a perceived market need for a vehicle slightly larger and less rustic than the 2CV. The Ami is a rebodied 2CV with certain mechanical upgrades (particularly a larger engine than the 1950s 2CV), to compensate for the added weight. At launch all the cars were powered by an air cooled 602 cc two-cylinder flat engine which would also be offered at extra cost in the 2CV from 1970. The platform chassis and suspension is similar to the 2CV, being independent all round using leading and trailing arms and coil springs interconnected front to rear. The Ami’s seats were easily removable. Sales pitches of the Ami included photographs of the seats being used as picnic chairs. The Ami and the Ford Taunus P3 were the first cars with rectangular or lozenge-shaped (non-round) headlights. This technical innovation was developed by lighting manufacturers Hella (Taunus) and Cibie (Ami). Soon this innovation found its way to the exclusive coach built Maserati 5000 GT. At the time, it was an unquestioned article of faith that headlights were round, and in the United States, it was the law, so these new headlights were illegal there until 1975. Ten years later this had inspired European automakers to come up with various non-round headlamp shapes. The car went on sale in France in April 1961, though Citroën implemented some simple upgrades in time for the Paris Motor Show only six months later. The most visible change involved the replacement of the fixed windows on the rear doors with two-part horizontal sliding windows, similar to those already fitted on the front doors. Sales initially were not as good as those of the older 2CV; the Ami’s first full year of production was 1962, during which only 85,358 of the cars were sold, while the thirteen-year-old 2CV managed 144,759 sales during the same period. Although the Ami had a modern body, it shared the aggressively minimalist underpinnings of the older car, and this made it hard to justify a starting price for the Ami which, at the end of 1961, was 35% higher. The 1961 Ami 6 sedan is distinguished by an unusual reverse-raked notchback rear window, similar in style to the 1959 Ford Anglia 105E. A Break (estate) model joined the range in the autumn of 1964. The later Ami 8 saloon, launched in March 1969 has a fastback rear window. It was redesigned by the French car design and bodywork company, Heuliez. Most notable changes were the front part and bonnet and the sloping, rather than inverted, rear window on the saloon. The estate version of the Ami 8 had a similar general appearance to that of the Ami 6 although the later car’s taillights were integrated into the rear wings. The Ami Super was a flat-4 variant powered by the engine of the GS and produced between 1973 and 1976. At the launch of the GS, its original flat four-cylinder air-cooled 1015 cc 55 bhp DIN engine was considered to be underpowered. With surplus engines available, Citroën decided to fit the engine into the Ami 8 in January 1973. The car, which became the Ami Super, then easily reached 140 km / h. From the outside, it had a new front grille with six additional vents underneath. On the sides of the front wing there was a badge marked 1015 in reference to the new engine. The body is the same as the Ami 8 apart from changes to inner front wings, bonnet, front panel and bumper mountings. The chassis was also modified from the standard Ami 8 with alterations made to accommodate the 1015 cc engine. Other changes included thicker wire in the suspension springs, to give a tauter ride and front anti-roll bars. Rear anti-roll bars were fitted from 1974 onwards until the end of Ami Super Production in 1976. The Ami Super and Ami 8 Break (Estate) were fitted with 135 15 ZX Michelin tyres as standard while the Ami 8 Berline retained the Michelin 125 15 X although 135 15’s could be ordered as an option. Also on the Ami Super headlamps with built in Quartz iodine fog lights were offered as an option, other options included heated rear screens. Inside, the gear change is floor mounted, in place of the dashboard mounted gear lever of the Ami 6 and 8 and to accommodate this the hand brake of the Super curves up instead of down. The speedometer was also specific to the Ami Super differing slightly to allow higher speed numbers to be shown. The Ami Super was offered in the same three trim levels as the Ami 8, Luxe, Confort and Club on Saloon and Luxe and Confort on Break (estate) versions. These trim differences were fairly minor with Luxe models having bench front and rear seats and vinyl floor matting. Confort trim offered reclining front seats in place of the front bench. The Club models can be considered the Pallas of the Ami range featured sound proofing pads on the floor and bulkhead, carpet including boot lining, stainless steel trim on the window frames and side rubbing strips on the doors and rear wings. Club trim was only available up to the end of the 1973 model year, after that point Ami 8 and Ami super were only available in Luxe and Confort specification. From 1974 Ami Super models were revamped to feature a double line graphic along the exterior of the body sides, either in black or silver depending on body colour, with slotted wheels and double line detailing on the hubcaps. The rear window also featured a graphic in white proclaiming “Ami Super 1015cm³” As the Ami Super looked very much like an Ami 8, and could surprise many by demonstrating its dramatic performance advantage compared to the Ami 8 (55 hp compared to 32 hp). Quoted by Autocar magazine in the UK as a “Q car par excellence” sadly in France its 5CV tax rating made little sense in a small car and as a result sales were low compared to the Ami 8. In the UK however where no such tax penalties existed the Ami Super attracted healthy sales although is now a rare sight due to poor corrosion resistance, a feature suffered by many vehicles of this era. The Ami Super production reached close to 42,000 in sedan and station wagon by February 1976. The Ami 8 continued until early 1979 and reached in the region of 722,000 production, a significant percentage of the total of 1,840,396 of all Ami models.

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The Citroën FAF is a version of small utility vehicle produced from 1968 until 1987. It was built using a combination of imported and locally sourced components in various developing countries. The FAF and related vehicles are derived from the 2CV. The concept predates the FAF name, so it is often erroneously reported that some of these vehicles were based on the FAF. FAF stood for the French Facile à Fabriquer and Facile à Financer (Easy to Manufacture, Easy to Finance). The body was made of easy to produce, folded elements and the car looked effectively like a metallic version of the Méhari. As the name suggests, the flat metal panels and simple components meant to allow “easy” production, mostly in developing countries. The origin of this idea was the privately built 1963 Baby-Brousse from Ivory Coast. By 1969, Citroën formalized this relationship, and that same year the Vietnamese subsidiary began building La Dalat, the first automobile manufactured in Vietnam. Production ended when Americans departed Saigon in 1975 at the end of the Vietnam War. In total, 3880 Dalats were built. In 1972, the Greek firm Namco began production of the Pony. This was the most successful version of these ‘simplified’ 2CV utility vehicles, selling 30,000 units. The Pony was exported as well. Production of this “poor man’s jeep,” that benefitted from special tax rules, ended in 1983, two years after Greece joined the European Union. 67% of the parts were of Greek origin.

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Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year is the Visa. These are quite rare now, even in its native France, despite the fact that Citroen built 1,254,390 examples of the model between 1978 and 1988. There was a very long gestation to this car, which goes all the way back to 1965, when Robert Opron worked on the Citroën G-mini prototype and projet EN101, a replacement for the 2CV, using the flat twin engine from the 2CV. It was supposed to launch in 1970. The advanced space efficient designs with very compact exterior dimensions and an aerodynamic drag co-efficient Cd of 0.32, were axed because of adverse feedback from potential clients. With Citroen’s small car range all getting somewhat elderly, the decision was taken to try again, with the Citroën Prototype Y which was planned to replace the 2CV based Citroën Ami that dated back to 1960 in the early seventies. This was originally developed in co-operation with Fiat, built on the lessons from the Citroën G-mini and EN101 projects. It used the then new and advanced Fiat 127 platform, that used a transverse front wheel drive engine, with an end on gearbox layout that Fiat had pioneered in the 1960s. When co-operation with Fiat ended, a new Citroën designed platform was planned. After the takeover of Citroën by Peugeot in the wake of the 1974 oil crisis, the renamed “Projet VD (Voiture Diminuée)” became the Citroën Visa, incorporating the floor pan and advanced 104 engine, with its transmission (under the engine) and chassis. It was the first new model under the platform-sharing policy of PSA Peugeot Citroën that continues today. The earlier Citroën LN had just been a facelift of the Peugeot 104Z “Shortcut” with a re-engine and transmission from the Citroën Dyane. Eventually, in 1984, the original Citroën platform design from “Project Y” emerged as the Oltcit Club in Romania, using a Citroën Visa flat-twin engine and Citroën GS based gearbox, and Citroën GS flat-four engine and gearbox, and was also sold in Western Europe as the flat-four only Citroën Axel to recoup money that Citroën had invested in Romania, which the communist government could not repay. This project was problematic for Citroën due to build quality issues, only 60,184 cars were made, even though the base models were priced below the 2CV in Western Europe. The Axel was never sold in the UK. The five-door Citroën Visa and the three-door Axel look very similar, but there is no part interchangeable between these two Citroën models. The Visa entered a crowded market, with supermini competitors including the Chrysler Sunbeam, Mk1 Renault 5, Mk1 Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Chevette, Mk1 VW Polo and Fiat 127. Though it was launched as a supermini, it was about the same length (3725mm) and height (1430mm), but slightly narrower at 1526mm than a Volkswagen Golf Mk1, which was in the next class up. It was part of a ‘between sizes’ policy that Citroën also followed with the BX. From its launch in September 1978, the front-wheel drive Visa was available in “Spécial” and “Club” models with a mapped electronic ignition 652 cc, 2-cylinder and a “Super” (later “Super E”) model (called the 11RE after 1984), with the advanced Peugeot 1,124 cc Douvrin engine / PSA X engine, a four-cylinder “Suitcase engine” — all aluminium alloy, chain driven overhead cam, with gearbox in the sump, sharing engine oil, mounted almost on its side. The 1124 cc was as economical as the Citroën 2CV-derived twin, but with much better performance. Later on it had 1,219 cc (Super X) and then 954 cc (10E after 1984) and 1,360 cc (1983 Visa GT and 14TRS after 1985) versions of the same engine. The ergonomic design of the Visa controls used a Citroën “PRN Satellite” (P=Pluie – Rain, R=Route – Road, N=Nuit – Night) which gave access on one cylindrical unit to wipers, washers, horn, indicators, headlamps and flashers, all mounted a finger’s reach away from the steering wheel. The heat and ventilation control sliders that moved in arcs, were on the other side of the steering wheel, also within closer reach than usual. In 1982 the Visa underwent a major external restyling, designed by Heuliez, to look more mainstream. It kept the original interior and “PRN Satellite” controls until 1985 when, along with the Citroën BX, it was updated with a new bulkier dashboard, instruments and switchgear that made the car feel smaller inside. Stalk switchgear like contemporary Peugeots added self-cancelling indicators, but it kept the original monospoke steering wheel. It had very soft, but well damped, long travel, fully independent suspension with coil-sprung MacPherson struts at the front and coil sprung trailing arms at the rear, that caused it to have a soft ride like the Citroën 2CV, but without such extreme roll angles. CAR magazine made the Visa diesel one of its top ten models on the market for two years running in the mid-1980s (January 1986 and 1987), for its versatility (higher models in the range had split rear seats which could be lifted-out to give an almost van-like luggage capacity); ride comfort (“like a limousine”); its ability to maintain high average speeds due to high levels of grip; and value for money. It was also particularly aerodynamically stable at high speeds for a relatively light, narrow and tall car. It would remain unperturbed by cross-winds and truck bow waves at motorway speeds. It also had at the middle ‘R’ trim level and above, (currently unfashionable), but practical, grey plastic side rubbing strips, to protect against car park damage. The very curved sides of the windscreen, enabled the use of a very large single wiper on the long narrow windscreen, without fouling the windscreen seal. The front of the revised car, was designed to aerodynamically reduce the deposition of dirt on the headlights, and to reduce the risk of stone chips to the headlights, bonnet and windscreen. The heating and ventilation system, (even though it used only a water control valve for temperature control and not air mixing), could provide cold air from fascia side vents, to the face while warming the car. The central directable fascia vents could be heated and angled, so that they could be pointed directly at the windscreen in front of the driver, to keep it clear in extreme misting conditions. There was also an additional mid level vent, to blow air between the front seats to the back of the car. The rear parcel shelf was in two hinged sections, one in the car, the other on the tailgate, to allow objects that were slightly too tall to still fit without removing the shelf. When carrying larger loads, the part of the shelf attached to the tailgate could be folded up, and fixed with the elasticated support strings, to protect the rear window and heated rear screen elements. Long time CAR magazine columnist George Bishop, actually bought one with his own money. Before the advent of the diesel model, the electronic ignition (mechanical and vacuum controlled), 1124cc high compression engined Super E, (later renamed 11RE) with high gearing, was the best seller in the range. It was better equipped than the base 1.0 litre Austin Metro and Ford Fiesta it was priced against, having height adjustable halogen headlights, intermittent rear wash-wipe and multi-speed / intermittent front wipers, heated rear window, removable split folding rear seats, as well as five doors when its main competitors in the UK only had three, (the five-door Metro was launched in 1985, the five-door mark three Fiesta launched in 1989). A five speed gearbox was optional, when the base model competitors could only be had with a four speed. Most 1980s base model hatchback economy cars did without halogen headlights and rear wash-wipes, even heated rear windows could be optional. The 1984 launched 954cc 10E model was a direct competitor on specification to the Metro and Fiesta, but significantly undercut them on price. A four-door convertible version, with the doors and window frames remaining intact, of the 11RE was also produced in the Heuliez factory from 1984. This was heavier and slower than the hatchback that it was based on. In spring 1984 the very successful diesel version was added. The Visa 17D and 17RD used the famously rugged and refined, class-leading 1,769 cc XUD diesel and transmission from the Peugeot 205. It also capably powered the Peugeot 405, which was two classes larger, and made light work of powering the lightweight Visa. It had too wide a track for the original engine compartment and wings, so the front wings were extended with large black plastic wheel arch panels. The spare wheel that in smaller petrol engine versions, was mounted on top of the flat or near horizontal engine, was bolted to the otherwise flat boot floor — compromising luggage space. In continental Europe, a basic diesel van the ‘Visa Enterprise’ was sold that used the normal Visa bodyshell with the rear doors welded shut. It mounted a spacesaver spare wheel under the bonnet, over the diesel engine. Some diesel hatchbacks there, also used this arrangement. At the Paris Salon 1984, for model year 1985, the 1.4 litre TRS was presented. This version was produced for two years (1985–1987), shared its engine with the Citroën BX14. Even though it received a favourable review by CAR magazine who felt it was a better performance/economy compromise than the 11RE, it wasn’t very successful, due to being squeezed by the Visa Diesel and the extremely competitively priced BX 14. Between 1985 and 1987 the 1.1 litre petrol and 1.7 litre diesel “Leader” special editions were marketed. In the latter half of the eighties a 55 PS catalysed version of the 1,360 cc engine was added for markets with stricter emissions standards. No automatic gearbox version was produced. The first sporting versions of the Visa included the “Visa GT” (1.4 litre with double-barrel carburettor and 80 hp, the “Visa Chrono” (93 hp) from the 1.4 litre engine, this time with two double-barrel carbs). The Visa “Mille Pistes” (112 hp) and four-wheel drive) was the rare production version of Citroen’s successful (if unlikely looking) Visa rally car, the Visa Chrono and Chrono II. At the Paris Salon 1984, for model year 1985, the high-performance 1.6 GTi was presented. The GTi used the 1.6 litre fuel injected XU5J engine and transmission combination (105 or 115 hp) versions) from the successful Pininfarina styled Peugeot 205 GTI. Citroën gave the GTi plastic wheel arch extensions and quad round headlights, to differentiate the model and try to make it look more sporty. It received good reviews about its ride, performance and roadholding, but due to its older, failed facelift looks and its five-doors, even with a much lower price than the chic 205 it was not a big seller. The Visa hatchback ceased production in 1988, after a production run of 1,254,390 cars. It was only partially replaced in the Citroën range by the smaller and less commodious 1987 five-door Citroën AX. The upper end of the range would eventually be replaced by the small engined models of the 1991 Citroën ZX, there being a 1.1 litre version of that car in some countries, but a 1.4 litre was the smallest engine in the UK. The 1985 Citroën C15 diesel box van version of the Visa continued to be produced until 2005, (although the petrols were phased out in the early 1990s), due to its practicality (able to load a standard pallet) and low running costs, even though the 1996 Citroën Berlingo was supposed to replace it. The C15 was also the basis of the Romahome camper van.

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A little known French marque this. The D.B. Coach HBR5 was produced between 1954 and 1959 and around 600 cars were produced. The first units had an aluminium body while the others had a glass fibre composite body. The aluminium body was made by Cottard, the coachbuilder. The chassis was steel backbone type. The 848 cc Panhard twin cylinder engine was producing 50 hp at 6000 rpm allowing a claimed top speed of 160 kph for a weight of 527 kg.

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One of the oldest cars at the event was this 1901 4.5 HP Vis-a-Vis.

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Sole representative of the products of de Tomaso was this Pantera. Designed by American Tom Tjaarda, unlike the Mangusta, which employed a steel backbone chassis, the Pantera was a steel monocoque design, the first instance of De Tomaso using this construction technique. The Pantera logo included a version of Argentina’s flag turned on its side with a T-shaped symbol that was the brand used by De Tomaso’s Argentinian cattle ranching ancestors. The car made its public debut in Modena in March 1970 and was presented at the 1970 New York Motor Show a few weeks later. Approximately a year later the first production Panteras were sold, and production was increased to three per day. The curious slat-backed seats which had attracted comment at the New York Show were replaced by more conventional body-hugging sports-car seats in the production cars: leg-room was generous but the pedals were off-set and headroom was insufficient for drivers above approximately 6 ft. Reflecting its makers’ transatlantic ambitions, the Pantera came with an abundance of standard features which appeared exotic in Europe, such as electric windows, air conditioning and even “doors that buzz when … open”. By the time the Pantera reached production, the interior was in most respects well sorted, although resting an arm on the central console could lead to inadvertently activating the poorly located cigarette lighter. The first 1971 Panteras were powered by a Ford 351 cu in (5.8 litre) V8 engine that produced a severely underrated 330 hp. Stock dynos over the years proved that power was more along the lines of about 380 hp. The high torque provided by the Ford engine reduced the need for excessive gear changing at low speeds: this made the car much less demanding to drive in urban conditions than many of the locally built competitor products. The ZF transaxle used in the Mangusta was also used for the Pantera: a passenger in an early Pantera recorded that the mechanical noises emanating from the transaxle were more intrusive than the well restrained engine noise. Power-assisted four-wheel disc brakes and rack and pinion steering were all standard equipment on the Pantera. The 1971 Pantera could accelerate to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. In the summer of 1971, a visitor to the De Tomaso plant at Modena identified two different types of Pantera awaiting shipment, being respectively the European and American versions. From outside, the principal differences were the larger tail lamps on the cars destined for America, along with addition of corner marker lamps. The visitor was impressed by the large number of cars awaiting shipment; but in reality, spending the best part of a year under dust covers in a series of large hangars probably did nothing for the cash-flow of the business or the condition of some of the cars by the time they crossed the Atlantic. Late in 1971, Ford began importing Panteras for the American market to be sold through its Lincoln Mercury dealers. The first 75 cars were simply European imports and are known for their “push-button” door handles and hand-built Carrozzeria Vignale bodies. A total of 1,007 Panteras reached the United States that first year. These cars were poorly built, and several Panteras broke down during testing on Ford’s test track. Early crash testing at UCLA showed that safety cage engineering was not very well understood in the 1970s. Rust-proofing was minimal on these early cars, and the quality of fit and finish was poor, with large amounts of body solder being used to cover body panel flaws. Notably, Elvis Presley once fired a gun at his Pantera after it would not start. An L model (“Lusso”) was added in 1972 and a GTS version in 1974, but it was not enough and Ford ended their importation to the US in 1975, having sold around 5,500 cars. De Tomaso continued to build the car in ever-escalating forms of performance and luxury for almost two decades for sale in the rest of the world. A small number of Panteras were imported to the US by grey market importers in the 1980s, notably Panteramerica and AmeriSport. After 1974, Ford US discontinued the Cleveland 351 engine, but production continued in Australia until 1982. De Tomaso started sourcing their V8s from Australia once the American supplies dried up. These engines were tuned in Switzerland and were available with a range of outputs up to 360 PS. The chassis was completely revised in 1980, beginning with chassis number 9000. From May 1980 the lineup included the GT5, which had bonded and riveted-on fibreglass wheelarch extensions and from November 1984 the GT5S model which had blended arches and a distinctive wide-body look. The GT5 also incorporated better brakes, a more luxurious interior, much larger wheels and tires and the fibreglass body kit also included an air dam and side skirts. Production of the wide body GT5 (and similarly equipped narrow body GTS models) continued until 1985, when the GT5-S replaced the GT5. Although the factory has not made its records available, an analysis based on Vehicle Identification Numbers by the Pantera Owners Club of America (POCA) late model (9000 series) registrar has shown that fewer than 252 GT5 Panteras were likely to have been built. The GT5-S featured single piece flared steel fenders instead of the GT5’s riveted-on fibreglass flares, and a smaller steel front air dam. The ‘S’ in the GT5-S name stood for “steel”. Otherwise the GT5-S was largely identical to the GT5. The POCA 9000 series registrar’s VIN analysis indicates that fewer than 183 GT5-S Panteras were built. Concurrent GTS production continued, on a custom order and very limited basis, until the late 1980s. The car continued to use a Ford V8 engine, although in 1988, when the supply of Ford 351 Cleveland engines from Australia ran out, De Tomaso began installing Ford 351 Windsor engines in the Pantera instead. For 1990 the 351 was changed to the Ford 302 cu in (4942 cc, commonly called a “5.0”). Incorporating a Marcello Gandini facelift, suspension redesign, partial chassis redesign and the new, smaller engine, the Pantera 90 Si model was introduced in 1990. Only 38 90 Si models were sold before the Pantera was finally phased out in 1993 to make way for the radical, carbon-fibre-bodied Guarà. Some say 41 were built (with the last one not finished until 1996), of which four were targa models. The targas were converted by Pavesi directly off the production lines. In all, about 7,200 Panteras were built.

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1924 Delage GL Skiff Torpedo by Labourdette as shown by Axel Schuette Fine Cars.

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This Delage one-off was completed in 1936 and entered for 1936 Le Mans 24 Hours edition which was eventually cancelled. The Delage D6 Coupe Figoni & Falaschi participated at 1937 Le Mans edition and finished fourth overall with Jacques de Valence de Minardiere and Louis Gérard at the wheel.

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Delahaye first cars were built in 1895 designed throughout by Emile Delahaye. Emile Delahaye became racing driver and took part in some of the great town-to-town events. Delahaye’s main business was commercial vehicles and fire engines with a reputation to be robust and reliable. A few cars were also produced; In 1934, Delahayes management decided for a drastic change and launched the 135 model line. A six cylinder engined chassis was proposed with engine capacity of 3. 557 cc. The purpose of the 135 was to change the image of the company and enter the market of prestigious saloon and sporst cars. Some of the most famous coachbuilders, like Chapron or Figoni & Falashi, have provided some “classic” cars, such as this Figoni-bodied 135M of 1939.

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In 1935 a racing version, the 135S, was prepared with three carburetors in place of the single one. The power output was raised from 90 hp to 155 hp. Special lightweight bodies were prepared in particular by coachbuilder Pourtout. The Delahaye was entered in several important racing events in view of creating a new reputation for the company. A first participation to the 1935 24 hours of Le Mans was concluded by a second place in the 4000 cc Class. Delahaye also participated to the Rally of Monte Carlo and the Mille Miglia. In 1937, Delahaye finished second and third at the 24 Hours of Le Mans behind the winning streamlined Bugatti Type 57. In 1938, Delahaye finished first and second in the 24 hours of Le Mans. The car that won that race no longer exists, but the car which came second is still with us and was on show here, along with the car which competed in 1939.

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This is also a Delahaye, a 1949 Delahaye GFA D 163 autocar with bodywork by carrosserie Duffau, specifically. It had a 4 cylinder Panhard engine.

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A substantial change in the regulations dramatically reduced the number of cars capable of winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1972. With little chance of acquiring a works Alfa Romeo, Ferrari or Matra prototype, gentleman racer Alain de Cadenet instead opted to commission the construction of a sports racer of his own. He obtained substantial backing from the Duckhams oil company and asked up-and-coming Formula 1 designer Gordon Murray to pen its lines. Considering that the new regulations, including the three-litre displacement limit were very close to Formula 1’s, it an inspired choice to ask Murray to create the car. Known as the Duckhams LM, it was very much a two-seater version of the Brabham created by Murray at his day job. It was built around an aluminium monocoque chassis, which used a Cosworth DFV engine as a fully stressed member. The fibreglass body fitted was thoroughly modern and had very short overhangs and slab sides. Partnering with Chris Craft, De Cadenet debuted the Duckhams at Le Mans in 1972. The pairing qualified a promising 11th and eventually crossed the line in 12th. The car was then shipped to the United States, where it was entered in the World Championship and Can-Am round at Watkins, which were held on the same weekend. In the 6 Hours, De Cadenet was joined by Martin Birrane but the two retired early with an engine issue. The problem persisted the following day as De Cadenet also retired from the Can-Am race. The unique Duckhams was not raced again until Le Mans the following year. Once again shared by Craft and De Cadenet, it now featured a longer nose and tail to help it achieve higher top speeds on the track’s famous straights. A clutch issue ended the race early. For 1974, the car was rechristened the De Cadenet LM and raced at Le Mans for a third time. Craft was joined by John Nicholson but an accident ended their charge early. Earlier that year De Cadenet had finished fifth in the car during the Silverstone Interserie round. De Cadenet replaced the ageing Duckhams in 1975 with a brand new car built for him by Lola. It was not the end of the machine’s racing career as it would go on to form the basis for the Volkswagen ‘DFVW’ silhouette racer. Fortunately, it has since been restored back to its original configuration.

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Founded by Jean Daninos in 1939, Forges et Ateliers de Construction d’Eure-et-Loir (FACEL) specialised in manufacturing aircraft components and metal furniture. After the war the company supplied car bodies to Panhard, Simca and Ford France before branching out into automobile manufacture in its own right with the launch of the Vega at the 1954 Paris Salon. Government legislation had effectively killed off France’s few surviving luxury car manufacturers after WW2 but that did not deter Daninos in his bold attempt to revive what had once been a great French motoring tradition. A luxurious Grande Routière, the Vega took its name from the brightest star in the Lyra constellation and featured supremely elegant coupé bodywork welded to a tubular-steel chassis. There being no suitable French-built power unit, Daninos turned to the USA for the Vega’s Chrysler’s V8 engine, while there was a choice of push-button automatic or manual transmission. Launched in 1961 and advertised as ‘Le Coupé 4-places le plus rapide du Monde’ (‘The fastest 4-seat Coupé in the World’) the Facel II in manual-transmission form could out-accelerate two-seater rivals such as the Aston Martin DB4, Ferrari 250GT and Mercedes-Benz 3000SL. Sadly, it was destined to be the last of the V8-engined models, production ceasing in 1964 after an unsuccessful venture into engine manufacture effectively bankrupted the company. Production of the preceding HK500 amounted to only 500-or-so units between 1958 and 1961 and that of the Facel II to a mere 182. Today these rare Franco-American classics are highly sought after.

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Star of the Lukas Hüni stand this year was an amazing collection of the 1962 250 GT SWB, a car which you see more often than not these days in historic racing despite its value having got close to eight figures. Indeed it was one of the most notable GT racers of its time, the 1959 250 GT Berlinetta SWB used a short (2,400 mm (94.5 in)) wheelbase for better handling. Of the 176 examples built, both steel and aluminium bodies were used in various road (“lusso”) and racing trims. Engine output ranged from 240 PS (237 bhp) to 280 PS (276 bhp). The “lusso” road car version was originally fitted with 185VR15 Pirelli Cinturato (CA67). Development of the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta was handled by Giotto Bizzarrini, Carlo Chiti, and young Mauro Forghieri, the same team that later produced the 250 GTO. Disc brakes were a first on a Ferrari GT, and the combination of low weight, high power, and well-sorted suspension made it competitive. It was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in October and quickly began selling and racing. The SWB Berlinetta won Ferrari the GT class of the 1961 Constructor’s Championship. The car also won the1960, 1961 and 1962 Tour de France Automobile before giving ground to the GTO’s.

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The 330 GT 2 + 2 was first seen at the Brussels Show in January 1964. This was much more than a re-engined 250, however, with a sharper nose and tail, quad headlights, and a wide grille. The wheelbase was 50 mm (2.0 in) longer, but Koni adjustable shock absorbers improved handling. A dual-circuit Dunlop braking system was used with discs all around, though it separated brakes front to back rather than diagonally as on modern systems. When leaving the factory the 330 GT originally fitted Pirelli Cinturato 205VR15 tyres (CN72). The 1965 Series II version featured a five-speed gearbox instead of the overdrive four-speed of the prior year. Other changes included the switch back to a dual-light instead of quad-light front clip, alloy wheels, and the addition of optional air conditioning and power steering. Prior to the introduction of the ‘Series II’ 330 GTs, a series of 125 ‘interim’ cars were produced, with the quad-headlight external configuration of the Series I cars, but with the five-speed transmission and ‘suspended’ foot pedals of the ‘Series II’ cars. 625 Series I (including 125 ‘interim’ cars) and 455 Series II 330 GT 2+2 cars had been built when the car was replaced by the 365 GT 2+2 in 1967. Production of the smaller 330 GTC and GTS models overlapped with the GT 2+2 for more than a year.

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Dating from 1953 is this 166 MM. The Ferrari 166 S was a sports racing car built by Ferrari between 1948 and 1953, an evolution of its Colombo V12-powered 125 S racer. It was adapted into a sports car for the street in the form of the 166 Inter. Only 12 Ferrari 166 S were produced, nine of them with cycle-fenders as the Spyder Corsa. It was soon followed by the updated and highly successful Ferrari 166 MM (Mille Miglia), of which 47 were made from 1948 to 1953. Its early victories in the Targa Florio and Mille Miglia and others in international competition made the manufacturer a serious competitor in the racing industry. Both were later replaced by the 2.3 litre 195 S. The 166 shared its Aurelio Lampredi-designed tube frame and double wishbone/live axle suspension with the 125. Like the 125, the wheelbase was 2420 mm long. Nine 166 Spyder Corsas and three 166 Sports were built. The first two 166 S models were coachbuilt by Carrozzeria Allemano and the last one by Carlo Anderloni at Carrozzeria Touring. Majority of the 166 MM cars were bodied at Touring in a barchetta form. The 1.5 L Gioacchino Colombo-designed V12 engine of the 125 was changed, however, with single overhead camshafts specified and a larger 2.0 litre displacement. This was achieved with both a bore and stroke increase, to 60 by 58.8 mm respectively. Output was 110 PS at 5,600 rpm to 130 PS at 6,500 rpm with three carburetors, giving top speed of 170–215 km/h (106–134 mph). For the 166 MM power output rose to 140 PS at 6,600 rpm and top speed to 220 km/h (137 mph). The Ferrari 166 S won Targa Florio with Clemente Biondetti and Igor Troubetzkoy in 1948. In 1949, Biondetti also won in the 166 SC with Benedetti as co-driver. The 166 S won 1948 Mille Miglia, also driven by Biondetti, this time with Giuseppe Navone. In 1949 Mille Miglia, the Ferrari 166 MM Barchettas scored 1-2 victory with Biondetti/Salani and Bonetto/Carpani respectively. In 1949, the 166 MM also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the hands of Luigi Chinetti and Lord Selsdon, and so the 166 was the only car ever to win all three races. The another 166 won the 1949 Spa 24 Hours. A 166 chassis, this time with the bigger 195 S engine, won the Mille Miglia again in 1950 with drivers Giannino Marzotto and Marco Crosara. The oldest Ferrari car with an undisputed pedigree[citation needed] is s/n 002C, a 166 Spider Corsa which was originally a 159 and is currently owned and driven by James Glickenhaus. S/n 0052M, a 1950 166 MM Touring Barchetta was uncovered in a barn and was shown in public for the first time since 1959 in the August 2006 issue of Cavallino magazine. One 166 MM, 1949 s/n 0018M, was bodied by Zagato in ‘Panoramica’ style, very similar to their one-off Maserati A6 1500, also designed by Luigi Rapi. It is considered as first Ferrari coachbuilt by Zagato. A year later it was rebodied as Zagato Spyder. Currently Zagato offers Sanction Lost programme to bring lost designs back to life. The aforementioned car was recreated in 2007.

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This is a 1951 Ferrari 212 Export Inter. The 212 was a replacement for the Ferrari 195 and as before took its name from the displacement of one of its 12 cylinders. The “road” version was the Ferrari 212 Inter, the race version the Export, seen here, with three dual-choke carburettors and an output of up to 165 bhp. These cars had a solid competition record in the hands of private drivers. In fact many “road” customers also specified the Export specification. Technically, other than their cultivated v12 engines, these early Ferrari road cars had a simple specification with an unsynchronized 5-speed gearbox, a rugged tubular chassis with transverse leaf spring front suspension and a “live” rear axle. This car has a coupé body by Vignale, a popular choice on Ferraris 1950s cars, but the Ferrari 212s came with a variety of open and closed coachwork, some spectacularly beautiful while others were curiously simple and restrained; Ferrari had yet to establish a consistent visual identity for its cars. This car is one of only 8 ever produced 212 exports with factory supplied berlinetta body designed by Vignale. The car was acquired by Mr. C Wilke who is considered as the first person in the United States to collect Ferraris.

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Released at the Geneva Motor Show in 1957, the original 250 GT Cabriolet Pinin Farina Series I used the 2,600 mm (102.4 in) wheelbase and the body was styled differently from the Berlinetta. Cars left the factory on either 165R400 or 185VR16 Pirelli Cinturato tyres (CA67). About 36 examples were produced before a second series was shown at Paris in 1959. These later cars had more in common with the production Berlinetta. About 200 of the Series II cars were built. Seen here was the first of the Series 1 cars, which was the show car at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1957 and there was also a Series 2 car.

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In 1959 Ferrari gave the 250 GT Berlinetta sharper handling, reducing its wheelbase from 2,600 mm to 2,400 mm. In 1960, Scaglietti revealed the 250 GT California Spyder SWB at the Geneva Motor Show, its body pulled more tautly over this updated chassis. Like the 250 GT Berlinetta SWB on which it was based, the revised Spyder also received disc brakes and a 280 PS version of the three-litre V12. It was fitted with 185VR15 Pirelli Cinturato tyres (CA67). About 55 were built. The new 2400 mm chassis (taken from the 250 GT Berlinetta SWB) enabled the body of this new version of the California Spyder to be lower, reducing the overall height by 30 mm. However this is very difficult to see. The easiest ways to tell the difference between the “passo lungo” (LWB) version and the “passo corto” (SWB) version of the California Spyder is to look at the hood scoop and the vents on sides of the front fenders. The hood scoop is much lower on the SWB version. These are among the most prized of all 250 Ferrari models. A 1961 SWB example that had been owned by James Coburn was sold for £5.5 million to radio DJ, Chris Evans. A barn find 1961 SWB formerly owned by French actor Alain Delon while he was making the film Les Felins with Jane Fonda sold for US$15.9 million in February 2015. On March 11, 2016 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation, a 1961 SWB sold for US$17.16 million at auction.

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This dramatic looking “shark nose” 250 GT was born out of Nuccio Bertone’s frustration that his Turin neighbour Pininfarina was the favoured carrozzeria for Ferrari. Whilst business for Bertone was good, with lucrative contracts at Alfa Romeo, BMW and NSU, he was desperate to impress Enzo Ferrari, and after Franco Scaglione had left Bertone in 1959 and a new talent had taken his place, the young Giorgio Giugiaro, he thought he had the chance to do so. Giugiaro’s third assignment at Bertone, in 1960, was a one-off based on the Ferrari 250 for Genoese industrialist Enrico Wax, and the resulting two-tone coupe, revealed at the Turin Show in 1960 drew lots of comment, but nothing at all from Enzo. Undeterred, Bertone decided to try again and in late 1961, a complete 250 GT SWB chassis was acquired (some say it was even a gift from Enzo, as a result of Bertone arriving at Maranello in a prototype Iso and a rather prickly exchange about why Bertone was not driving a “proper car” resulted in Enzo softening to give him the chance to develop something). Giugiaro was given the task of designing this new car and took his inspiration from the shark-nosed front of the 156 F1 car. Cunningly, the new design incorporated Chevrolet Corvair rear lights, to avoid the hassle of Italian patents for new designs. Inside Bertone really went to town with a full “lusso” them, with deep pleated burgundy leather seats and quilted trim panels complemented by a distinctive painted metal dashboard to match the Blu Notte Metallizzato paintwork. An expensive radio and electric windows featured and outside there were Borrani wire wheels. Within months of completing the car, several changes were made, including changing the colour to silver. A full wooden buck had been made, so Bertone was clearly hoping for series production, but Ferrari had already signed off the new 250 GT/L Lusso which left no place for this car in Ferrari’s production plans. Bertone only kept the car for a year, and then sold it on to automotive parts specialist Italo Musico. It stayed in the Milan area for the next few owners but eventually headed over to America and to Peter Civato, who lived in Rredondo beach. He never kept cars long but when Bill Karp, a Hollywood drummer acquired it, the car became a familiar sight around Los Angeles, as it was his daily driver 13 years. Although the interior remained original, it underwent two more colour changes, first back to blue and then to maroon. Karp resisted many offers to buy it, and in his tenure covered over 100,000 miles until eventually he was made an offer he could not refuse, and the car ended up in the collection of Lorenzo Zambrano who had the other Bertone 250 GT from 1960 among his 300 car collection. He had it repainted silver. In 1995 it was re-restored in Texas and returned to the dark blue shade. Zambarno kept it until his death in 2014 at which point it came back to Europe having been sold for $16.5m, a record price for a 250 GT Ferrari at the time. And here is, on the Lukas Hüni stand.

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Now starting to generate a lot more interest than used to the case is the Lusso, or more properly the 250 GT/L Lusso. This model made its debut at the 1962 Paris Auto Salon and continued in production until 1964. The Lusso is constructed from steel with aluminium opening panels mounted on a tubular steel chassis. The engine is a single overhead camshaft per bank, 3 litre V12 Colombo unit, coupled to a 4 speed gearbox. The instrument panel is unusual in that the speedometer and the rev counter are housed in a pair of large circular binnacles which protrude from the top centre of the dashboard and are angled towards the driver. With just 350 cars produced the 250 GT/L Lusso is a very rare automobile and when these cars come up for sale, they now fetch over £1 million.

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The Ferrari 275 GTB is one of those Ferrari models whose price tag generally runs into 7 figures when it is offered for sale these days. The 275 was a series of two-seat front-engined V12-powered models produced in GT, roadster, and spyder form by Ferrari between 1964 and 1968. The first Ferrari to be equipped with a transaxle, the 275 was powered by a 3286 cc Colombo 60° V12 engine that produced 280-300 hp. Pininfarina designed the GT and roadster bodies, Scaglietti the rare NART Spyder, among the most valuable of all Ferraris made. The standard 275 GTB coupe came first. It was produced by Scaglietti and was available with 3 or 6 Weber twin-choke carburettors. It was more of a pure sports car than the GT name suggested. Some cars were built with an aluminium body instead of the standard steel body. A Series Two version with a longer nose appeared in 1965. The 275 GTB/4 debuted in 1966. A much updated 275 GTB, it generated 300 bhp from a substantially reworked 3286 cc Colombo V12 engine, still with two valves per cylinder but now with a four-cam engine and six carburettors as standard. In a departure from previous Ferrari designs, the valve angle was reduced three degrees to 54° for a more-compact head. The dual camshafts also allowed the valves to be aligned perpendicular to the camshaft instead of offset as in SOHC engines. It was a dry-sump design with a huge 17 qt (16 litre) capacity. The transaxle was also redesigned. A torque tube connected the engine and transmission, rather than allowing them to float free on the body as before. This improved handling, noise, and vibration. Porsche synchronizers were also fitted for improved shifting and reliability. The 275 GTB/4 could hit 268 km/h (166.5 mph). With new bodywork, it was the first Ferrari to not be offered with wire wheels. A total of 280 were produced through to 1968 when it was replaced by the 365 GTB/4 Daytona.

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Pininfarina built 200 275 GTS roadsters for the American market between 1964-1966 with entirely different bodywork (including 14 in right hand drive). The 275 GTS was replaced by the 330 GTS, leaving no 3.3 litre convertible in the range until the creation of the 275 GTB/4 NART Spider.

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There were a number of examples of the 365 GTB/4, better known as the Daytona. First seen at the 1968 Paris Motor Show, the 365 GTB/4 was the last of the classic front engined V12 Ferrari models. Almost immediately the 365 GTB/4 gained its ‘Daytona’ moniker from Ferrari’s 1-2-3 result in the 1967 24-hour race of the same name. The Daytona’s engine and handling certainly didn’t undermine its racing nomenclature. The 4.4-litre, 4-cam V12 produced an astonishing 352bhp and, despite its 1,633kg bulk, the Daytona was billed as the fastest road car in the world. Not only was 174mph more than brisk, but crucially, it was faster than the Miura. The 5-speed gearbox was mounted at the rear for a more optimal weight distribution, and helped give the Daytona its predictable handling and solid road-holding. Like so many Ferraris of the period, the Daytona’s beautiful bodywork was designed by Pininfarina with the car built by Scaglietti. The delicate front was cleanly cut with both pop-up and Plexiglas headlight varieties. The rear slope was suggestively rakish and a Kamm tail provided further clues as to the performance of the car. The wheel arch flares, although elegant in proportion, are the only real overt notion that this car has significant pace, until you drive one! A number of them had their roof removed in the 1980s when people wanted the far rarer GTS Spider version, but values of the cars are such now that I would hope no-one would even contemplate such an act of sacrilege again! Along with 123 “official” open-topped GTS cars, 1284 Daytona models were produced. Among the cars shown was the very the last of 123 factory-built Spider cars.

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Among the Daytona cars here was the very rare alloy-bodied car which was found in Japan in 2017 and which sold for a hefty €1.8m in auction.

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The Ferrari 365 GTB 4 “Daytona” was neither intended nor designed for competition use, but like all Ferraris it had the basic attributes: a powerful and reliable engine, competent chassis with predictable handling and refined aerodynamics. Its speed, power and aerodynamics commended it to the great endurance races of its day, like Le Mans, Sebring and Daytona. Luigi Chinetti was the first to prove the Daytona’s competition potential with an alloy-bodied example and later chassis no. 12467, which finished fifth overall at Le Mans in 1971. Witnessing the promise of these early attempts, and perhaps feeling the pressure of the increasing costs of prototype competition, Ferrari ultimately chose to begin development on the first series of factory competition Daytonas. Development began in the Assistenza Clienti division in summer 1971 and, ultimately, Ferrari produced three different series with five cars each. The Ferrari 365 GTB 4 Competizione presented here, chassis no. 16363, was the second of the Series III factory competition Daytonas built, completed on 1 March 1973. A left-hand drive car, it was bought new by French Ferrari importer Charles Pozzi SA in Paris-Levallois Perret, France. In 1973 ,Pozzi brought the car to Le Mans in June for the famed 24-Hour race with drivers Claude Ballot-Léna and Vic Elford. Chassis 16363 was one of nine 365 GTB 4s on the grid. The Ballot-Léna/Elford Daytona took the lead over the N.A.R.T entry and crossed the finish line in sixth overall, finishing first in the GT class.

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There were several examples of the 246 GT Dino. This car was created to honour Alfredo ‘Dino’ Ferrari, Enzo Ferrari’s only legitimate son, who sadly died of muscular dystrophy in 1956. Unlike any previous road-going Ferrari, the Dino utilised a V6 engine, the Tipo 156, which Alfredo himself had helped develop and strongly advocated during his working life. Following continued motor racing success and in order to homologate Ferrari’s 1966 Formula Two campaign, a new line of mid-engined production V6 coupés with Fiat running gear went on sale in 1967 in two litre 206 GT form. However, in 1969 a larger 2.4 litre Dino was introduced, named the 246 GT or GTS in the case of the Spider. Only 3,913 definitive Dinos were built before the introduction of the completely restyled V8 engined 308 in 1973. The voluptuous bodywork of the 246, which many regard as the prettiest ever to grace a road-going Ferrari, was designed by Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti. It clothed a tubular chassis which carried wishbone independent suspension at each corner. The compact four-cam, 190bhp. engine was mounted transversely above the five-speed gearbox and just ahead of the rear axle, allowing for both a comfortable cockpit and some usable boot space.

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The Dino was replaced by the 308GTB and later 308 GTS, first appearing at the 1975 Paris Show. There were none of those on show, but there was a nice example of the later 328 version. This car seemed to be the one singled out by everyone. the judges loved it and gave it the “Best Ferrari” prize and it was also noticed by the birds, as by late afternoon, it was absolutely covered in their droppings, which was a real shame for one of the prettiest cars on display. Introduced at the 1985 Frankfurt Show alongside the Mondial 3.2 series, the Ferrari 328 GTB and GTS (Type F106) were the successors to the Ferrari 308 GTB and GTS which had first been seen in October 1975. While mechanically still based on the 308 GTB and GTS respectively, small modifications were made to the body style and engine, most notably an increase in engine displacement to 3185 cc for increased power and torque output. As had been the case for a generation of the smaller Ferraris, the model name referred to the total cubic capacity of the engine, 3.2 litres, and 8 for the number of cylinders. Essentially the new model was a revised and updated version of the 308 GTS, which had survived for eight years without any radical change to the overall shape, albeit with various changes to the 3-litre engine. The 328 model presented a softening of the wedge profile of its predecessor, with a redesigned nose that had a more rounded shape, which was complemented by similar treatment to the tail valance panel. The revised nose and tail sections featured body colour bumpers integral with the valance panels, which reflected the work done concurrently to present the Mondial 3.2 models, with which they also shared a similar radiator grille and front light assembly layout. Thus all the eight-cylinder cars in the range shared fairly unified front and rear aspects, providing a homogeneous family image. The exhaust air louvres behind the retractable headlight pods on the 308 series disappeared, coupled with an increase in the size of the front lid radiator exhaust air louvre, which had been introduced on the 308 Quattrovalvole models, whilst a new style and position of exterior door catch was also provided. The interior trim also had a thorough overhaul, with new designs for the seat panel upholstery and stitching, revised door panels and pulls, together with more modern switchgear, which complemented the external updating details. Optional equipment available was air conditioning, metallic paint, Pirelli P7 tyres, a leather dashboard, leather headlining to the removable roof panel plus rear window surround, and a rear aerofoil (standard on Japanese market models). In the middle of 1988 ABS brakes were made available as an option, which necessitated a redesign of the suspension geometry to provide negative offset. This in turn meant that the road wheel design was changed to accommodate this feature. The original flat spoke “star” wheels became a convex design, in the style as fitted to the 3.2 Mondial models, whether ABS was fitted or not. The main European market 328 GTS models had a tubular chassis with a factory type reference F 106 MS 100. Disc brakes, with independent suspension via wishbones, coil springs, and hydraulic shock absorbers, were provided all round, with front and rear anti roll bars. There were various world market models, each having slight differences, with right and left hand drive available. The V8 engine was essentially of the same design as that used in the 308 Quattrovalvole model, with an increase in capacity to 3185 cc. The engine retained the Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection system of its predecessor, but was fitted with a Marelli MED 806 A electronic ignition system, to produce a claimed power output of 270 bhp at 7000 rpm. As with the preceding 308 models the engine was mounted in unit with the all synchromesh five-speed manual transmission assembly, which was below, and to the rear of the engine’s sump. The 328 GTS continued in production for four years, until replaced by the 348 ts model in the autumn of 1989, during which time 6068 examples were produced, GTS production outnumbering the GTB (1344 produced) version almost five to one.

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Last of the 365 cars was the car known as the 365 GT4 BB, or Berlinetta Boxer for short. This required a major step for Enzo Ferrari. He felt that a mid-engined road car would be too difficult for his buyers to handle, and it took many years for his engineers to convince him to adopt the layout. This attitude began to change as the marque lost its racing dominance in the late 1950s to mid-engined competitors. The mid-engined 6- and 8-cylinder Dino racing cars were the result, and Ferrari later allowed for the production Dino road cars to use the layout as well. The company also moved its V12 engines to the rear with its P and LM racing cars, but the Daytona was launched with its engine in front. It was not until 1970 that a mid-engined 12-cylinder road car would appear.The first “Boxer” was the 365 GT4 BB shown at the 1971 Turin Motor Show. Designed to rival the Lamborghini Miura and the newly developed Lamborghini Countach, it was finally released for sale in 1973 at the Paris Motor Show. 387 were built, of which 88 were right-hand drive (of which 58 were for the UK market), making it the rarest of all Berlinetta Boxers. The Pininfarina-designed body followed the P6 show car with popup headlights. Though it shared its numerical designation with the Daytona, the Boxer was radically different. It was a mid-engined car like the Dino, and the now flat-12 engine was mounted longitudinally rather than transversely. Although referred to as a Boxer, the 180° V12 was not a true boxer engine, but rather a flat engine. It had 380 hp, slightly more than the Daytona. The 365 GT4 BB was updated as the BB 512 in 1976, resurrecting the name of the earlier Ferrari 512 racer. The name 512 referred to the car’s 5 litre, 12 cylinder engine; a deviation from Ferrari’s established practice of naming 12-cylinder road cars (as the 365 BB) after their cylinder displacement. The engine was enlarged to 4943.04 cc, with an increased compression ratio of 9.2:1. Power was slightly down to 360 hp, while a dual plate clutch handled the added torque and eased the pedal effort. Dry sump lubrication prevented oil starvation in hard cornering. The chassis remained unaltered, but wider rear tires (in place of the 365’s equally sized on all four corners) meant the rear track grew 63 mm. External differentiators included a new chin spoiler upfront, incorporated in the bumper. A NACA duct on the side provided cooling for the exhaust system. At the rear there were now twin tail lights and exhaust pipes each side, instead of triple units as on the 365 GT4 BB. 929 BB 512 models were produced. The Bosch K-Jetronic CIS fuel injected BB 512i introduced in 1981 was the last of the series. The fuel injected motor produced cleaner emissions and offered a better balance of performance and daily-driver temperament. External differentiators from the BB 512 besides badging include a change to metric sized wheels and the Michelin TRX metric tyre system, small white running lights in the nose, and red rear fog lamps outboard of the exhaust pipes in the rear valance. 1,007 BB 512i models were produced.

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In 1974, Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team (NART) developed a racing variant of the 365 GT4 BB to replace the team’s Daytonas for use in sports car racing. NART’s car debuted at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1975 before earning a sixth-place finish at the 12 Hours of Sebring two months later. NART continued to use the car into 1978, by which time Ferrari had begun their own development of a racing variant of the updated 512 BB. Ferrari’s Customer Assistance Department extensively modified four 512s in 1978, adding wider wheel arches, a roof-mounted aerofoil, and reusing rear wings from Ferrari 312T2 Formula One cars. Power from the flat-12 was increased to 440 hp while the cars’ weight was decreased to approximately 1,200 kg (2,646 lb). The four cars, termed BB LM by Ferrari, were entered by Charles Pozzi, Ecurie Francorchamps, and NART in the 1978 24 Hours of Le Mans, but none was able to complete the race. After the failure of the first batch, Ferrari worked on fixing the BB LM with a second development program in late 1978. The flat-12’s carburettors were replaced with an electronic fuel injection system to increase power to 470 hp, a system later adapted to the 512 BBi. The production-based bodywork of the first BB/LMs was replaced by a new design developed by Pininfarina which was 16 in (41 cm) longer and carried over none of the original styling cues. The pop-up headlights were now replaced by fixed units integrated into the fascia, while the tail was lengthened to the maximum allowed by regulations. Nine of these revised BB LMs were built by Ferrari in 1979, while a further refined series of sixteen were built from 1980 to 1982. Amongst the BB LM’s best finishes was a fifth overall and first in the GTX class at the 1981 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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The F40 of 1987 was the successor to the 288 GTO. It was designed to celebrate Ferrari’s 40th anniversary and was the last Ferrari automobile personally approved by Enzo Ferrari. At the time it was Ferrari’s fastest, most powerful, and most expensive car for sale. As soon as the 288 GTO was launched, Ferrari started the development of an evolution model, intended to compete against the Porsche 959 in FIA Group B. However, when the FIA brought an end to the Group B category for the 1986 season, Enzo Ferrari was left with five 288 GTO Evoluzione development cars, and no series in which to campaign them. Enzo’s desire to leave a legacy in his final supercar allowed the Evoluzione program to be further developed to produce a car exclusively for road use. In response to the quite simple, but very expensive car with relatively little out of the ordinary being called a “cynical money-making exercise” aimed at speculators, a figure from the Ferrari marketing department was quoted as saying “We wanted it to be very fast, sporting in the extreme and Spartan,” “Customers had been saying our cars were becoming too plush and comfortable.” “The F40 is for the most enthusiastic of our owners who want nothing but sheer performance. It isn’t a laboratory for the future, as the 959 is. It is not Star Wars. And it wasn’t created because Porsche built the 959. It would have happened anyway.” Power came from an enlarged, 2936 cc version of the GTO’s twin IHI turbocharged V8 developing 478 bhp. The F40 did without a catalytic converter until 1990 when US regulations made them a requirement for emissions control reasons. The flanking exhaust pipes guide exhaust gases from each bank of cylinders while the central pipe guides gases released from the wastegate of the turbochargers. Engines with catalytic converters bear F120D code. The suspension was similar to the GTO’s double wishbone setup, though many parts were upgraded and settings were changed; the unusually low ground clearance prompted Ferrari to include the ability to raise the vehicle’s ground clearance when necessary. The body was an entirely new design by Pininfarina featuring panels made of Kevlar, carbon fibre, and aluminium for strength and low weight, and intense aerodynamic testing was employed. Weight was further minimised through the use of a plastic windscreen and windows. The cars did have air conditioning, but had no sound system, door handles, glove box, leather trim, carpets, or door panels. The first 50 cars produced had sliding Lexan windows, while later cars were fitted with wind down windows. The F40 was designed with aerodynamics in mind. For speed the car relied more on its shape than its power. Frontal area was reduced, and airflow greatly smoothed, but stability rather than terminal velocity was a primary concern. So too was cooling as the forced induction engine generated a great deal of heat. In consequence, the car was somewhat like an open-wheel racing car with a body. It had a partial undertray to smooth airflow beneath the radiator, front section, and the cabin, and a second one with diffusers behind the motor, but the engine bay was not sealed. Nonetheless, the F40 had an impressively low Cd of 0.34 with lift controlled by its spoilers and wing. The factory never intended to race the F40, but the car saw competition as early as 1989 when it debuted in the Laguna Seca Raceway round of the IMSA, appearing in the GTO category, with a LM evolution model driven by Jean Alesi, finishing third to the two faster space-framed four wheel drive Audi 90 and beating a host of other factory backed spaceframe specials that dominated the races. Despite lack of factory backing, the car would soon have another successful season there under a host of guest drivers such as Jean-Pierre Jabouille, Jacques Laffite and Hurley Haywood taking a total of three second places and one third. It would later be a popular choice by privateers to compete in numerous domestic GT series. Although the original plan was to build just 400 cars, such was the demand that in the end, 1311 were built over a 4 year period.

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A couple of more recent race cars were here, too, including the 642 F1 which was driven by Alain Prost

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Sole Fiat on the FCA Heritage stand was a Fiat Dino Coupe and elsewhere in the Show there was a Dino Spider – two of my favourite cars. They came about because of Enzo Ferrari’s need to homologate a V6 engine for Formula 2 racing cars. In 1965 the Commission Sportive Internationale de la FIA had drawn up new rules, to be enacted for the 1967 season. F2 engines were required to have no more than six cylinders, and to be derived from a production engine, from a road car homologated in the GT class and produced in at least 500 examples within 12 months. Since a small manufacturer like Ferrari did not possess the production capacity to reach such quotas, an agreement was signed with Fiat and made public on 1 March 1965: Fiat would produce the 500 engines needed for the homologation, to be installed in a yet unspecified GT car. The Fiat Dino was introduced as a 2-seater Spider at the Turin Motor Show in October 1966; a 2+2 Coupé version, built on a 270 mm (10.6 in) longer wheelbase, bowed a few months later at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1967. The two bodies showed very different lines, as they had been designed and were manufactured for Fiat by two different coachbuilders: the Spider by Pininfarina, and the Coupé by Bertone—where it had been sketched out by Giorgetto Giugiaro. Curiously the Spider type approval identified it as a 2+1 seater. The Spider had poorer interior trim than the Coupé, below par for its class: the dashboard was covered in vinyl, the metal-spoke steering wheel had a plastic rim, and the interior switchgear was derived from cheaper Fiat models. After a few months this issue was addressed, and Spiders produced after February 1967 had a wood-rimmed steering wheel as well as a wood trim on the dashboard like the sister Coupé car had since the beginning. Option lists for both models were limited to radio, metallic paint, leather upholstery, and for the Spider a vinyl-covered hardtop with roll-bar style stainless steel trim. The car was offered with an all-aluminium DOHC 2.0 litre V6, coupled to a 5-speed manual transmission. The same 2.0-litre engine was used in mid-engined, Ferrari-built Dino 206 GT, which was introduced in pre-production form at the 1967 Turin Motor Show and went on sale in 1968. Fiat quoted 160 PS (158 hp) for the Fiat Dino, while in 1967 Ferrari—presenting the first prototype of the Dino 206 GT—claimed 180 hp despite both engines were made by Fiat workers in Turin on the same production line, without any discrimination as to their destination. Jean-Pierre Gabriel in “Les Ferraris de Turin” notes that, “La declaration de Ferrari ne reposait sur aucun fondament technique”—Ferrari’s statement had no technical basis. The real reason for this difference was a mistake in between quotes made in SAE and BHP power output. In 1969, both Ferrari and Fiat introduced new 2.4-litre Dino models. The Fiat Dino 2400 premiered in October 1969 at the Turin Motor show; besides the larger engine, another notable improvements was independent rear suspension. The V6 now put out 180 PS, and used a cast iron instead of the previous light alloy engine block; the same engine was installed on the Dino 246 GT, Ferrari’s evolution of the 206. Whereas the original Dino was equipped with a rigid axle suspended by leaf springs and 4 shock absorbers, 2.4-litre cars used a coil-sprung independent rear suspension with 2 shock absorbers derived from the Fiat 130. Rather than engine power and absolute speed, the most important consequence of the larger displacement was a marked increase in torque, available at lower engine speeds; the Dino 2400 had much better pickup, and it was found more usable, even in city traffic. Other modifications went on to improve the car’s drivability and safety: larger diameter clutch, new dogleg ZF gearbox with revised gear ratios, wider section 205/70VR -14 tyres, and up-sized brake discs and callipers. Cosmetic changes were comparatively minor. Both models were now badged “Dino 2400”. On the coupé the previous silver honeycomb grille with the round Fiat logo on its centre had been replaced by a new black grille and a bonnet badge. A host of details were changed from chrome to matte black, namely part of the wheels, the vents on the front wings and the cabin ventilation outlets—the latter moved from next the side windows to the rear window. At the rear there were different tail lights. The spider also sported a new grille with two horizontal chrome bars, 5-bolts instead of knock-off wheels, as well as a new bumpers with rubber strips. Inside only the coupé received an entirely redesigned dashboard and new cloth seats, with optional leather seat upholstery; front seat headrests were standard on the coupé and optional on the spider. Spider and coupé bodies were produced respectively by Pininfarina and Bertone. 2.0-litre and early 2.4-litre cars were assembled by Fiat in Rivalta di Torino. Starting from December 1969 the Fiat Dino was assembled in Maranello on Ferrari’s production line, alongside the 246 GT. Between 1966 and 1969 there were 3,670 2.0-litre coupés and 1,163 2.0-litre spiders made; with only 420 built, the 2400 Spider is the rarest of the Fiat’s Dinos. Of the total 7,803 Fiat Dino produced, 74% were the popular coupés and only 26% were spiders. Spiders are worth big money now – good ones are over £100k – which means that the car is way beyond my means, but every time I see one, I go weak at the knees. To my eyes, it is one of the best looking cars ever made.

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This is a 1935 Fiat 508S Ballila Aerodynamica Coupe. In 1934, Fiat sought to build a competition car based upon its successful Balilla Coppa d’Oro to be used in rallies and other events yet desired a closed car to combat foul weather early in the season. This lovely car was the result. The Berlinetta Aerodinamica was a very rare style, designed by the famed Mario Rivelli de Beaumont, tested in the aerodynamics labs of the University of Turin, and built by Fiat’s own Carrozzeria Speciale. It was built on the 508 CS chassis with a revised cylinder head and new carburettor, providing 36 hp, as well as a four-speed gearbox and modern hydraulic brakes. Only 11 examples of the style were produced, and this example is the only surviving example known with original Mille Miglia history. Chassis no. 076019 was built in 1935 and originally delivered to Francesco Borgo of Venezia. It was subsequently sold in January 1936 to Alberto Comirato, who participated with his wife, Lia Dumas (‘Queen of the Mille Miglia’), in the 1936 Mille Miglia, where they finished 2nd in class and 14th overall. They were featured with the car in period press on the event. That same year, they finished 5th in class at the Corsa Internazionale allo Stelvio. This was just the start to the Mille Miglia careers of the couple, who would continue to race Fiats and finished 2nd overall in the event in 1948. The car has a continuously known and traced history since, remaining with owners in Italy, including many years in the famous collection of the Agusta family (of motorcycle and helicopter renown), as chronicled on its FIVA Identification Card and accompanying history file. Following its acquisition by the current owner in 2014, it has since been displayed and driven in several historic events, including the Mille Miglia Storica in 2016. Prior to this significant outing, the car was completely mechanically restored and as a testament to the work completed, it finished amongst the first 100 cars across the line and the 11th of the 84 original Mille Miglia entrants competing. Restoration to the bodywork to concours standard followed, with utmost attention towards originality. More recently, the car has been exhibited in the Museo Mille Miglia in Brescia alongside other competitors in the fabled race.

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There were a couple of examples of the Nuova 500 in the “for sale” area in Hall 3 , Known as project 110, the brief for the Nuova 500 was to create a micro-car that would not only carry on the tradition of the earlier Topolino, but which would also take sales away from the ever popular Lambretta and Vespa scooters of the day. It clearly needed to be smaller than the 600 which had been released with a conventional 4 cylinder engine. Not an easy task, but development started in 1953 and by August 1954, two designs were ready to be shown to Fiat management. They selected one, and serious development began. At first the car was referred to as the 400, as it was going to have a 400cc engine, but it was soon realised that this was just too small, so a larger 500cc air-cooled engine was developed. It was signed off in January 1956, with production starting in March 1957 in advance of a June launch. Fiat’s marketing department got busy, with hundreds of the new car taking to the streets of Turin, each with a pretty girl standing through the open sunroof that was a feature of all the early cars. The press loved it. 50 units were shipped to Britain, where the car made its debut at Brands Hatch, and again the reception was enthusiastic. But the orders just did not come in. Fiat went for a hasty rethink, relaunching the car at the Turin Show later that year. power was increased from 13 to 15 bhp, and the poverty spec was lessened a little, with headlight bezels, brightwork on the side and chrome hubcaps, a Nuova500 badge on the engine cover, winding side windows (the launch cars just had opening quarterlights) and the option of a heater fan. It was enough to get sales moving. The original car was still offered, at a lower price, called the Economy. In the first year of production, 28,452 Fiat 500s were made. Over the next 19 years, the car changed little in overall appearance, but there were a number of updates with more power and equipment added. A 500 Sport was launched in August 1958, with a more powerful version of the 499cc engine. It lost the soft top, having a ridged steel roof, to increase strength of the body. It was only available in grey with a red side flash. The first major changes came in 1960 with the 500D. This looks very similar to the Nuova, but with two key differences. One is the engine size: the D features an uprated 499 cc engine producing 17 bhp as standard, an engine which would be used right through until the end of the L in 1973; and the other is the roof: the standard D roof does not fold back as far as the roof on the Nuova, though it was also available as the “Transformable” with the same roof as the Nuova. The D still featured “suicide doors”. There were larger rear light clusters, more space in the front boot thanks to a redesign of the fuel tank and new indicators under the headlights. A year later, Fiat added a light on the rear-view mirrors and a windscreen washer, but the car still lacked a fuel gauge. Sales increased from 20,900 in 1960 to 87.000 in 1961, 132,000 in 1962 and by 1964, the last year of production, they hit 194,000 units. The D was replaced in 1965 by the 500F, which finally moved the door hinges from back to the front, owing to changes in Italian safety laws. There was a deeper windscreen and thinner door pillars, which increased the height of the car by 10mm, improving visibility for the driver. The 500F ran through to 1975, from 1968 alongside the more luxurious 500L which was added to the range in 1968. The L is easy to tell apart, with its bumper overriders. The final updates created the 500R, which incorporated many changes from the 126 under the skin of the classic shape, and in this form production continued alongside the newer 126 until 1976.

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Looking similar to the Fiat 500 is this special version, a Francis Lombardi 500 MyCar, a version of the small car developed by the Vercellese Francis Lombardi body shop between 1968 and 1971, it was a commercial success, it was produced in two versions with raised hardtop which allowed to accommodate a larger driver and a version with sliding roof, our model has a hardtop. The finishes were more luxurious than the Fiat 500F with a wooden steering wheel, stainless steel body panels and hubcaps, a front grille and specific headlights. Mechanically it was identical to the regular Fiat version.

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The Nuova 500’s larger brother was also here, the 600. You don’t see these cars that often, as the model was deleted from the UK range in 1964 when it was replaced by the larger 850. These days the 600 is somewhat overshadowed by the smaller 500, but in its day this was probably the more significant car. Codenamed Progetto 100 (“Project 100”), the Fiat 600 mirrored the layout of the Volkswagen Beetle and Renault 4CV of its era. Aimed at being an economical but capable vehicle, its design parameters stipulated a weight of around 450 kg with the ability to carry 4 people and luggage plus a cruising speed of no less than 85 km/h. A total of 5 prototypes were built between 1952 and 1954, which all differed from one another. Chassis number 000001 with engine number 000002 is believed to be the sole remaining example. It was powered by an innovative single-cam V2-cylinder engine designed to simplify maintenance and did not feature a clutch pedal. At the official launch in 1955, FIAT engineer, Dante Giacosa declared that the aim had been to create something new, both in the interest of progress and simplification. This prototype, however, did not become the chosen design. When the car made it to production, with a launch at the 1955 Geneva Show, it was christened the 600. It had hydraulic drum brakes on all four wheels. Suspension was a unique single double-mounted leafspring—which acts as a stabiliser—between the front wheels coupled to gas-charged shock absorbers, and an independent coil-over-shock absorber setup coupled to semi-trailing arms at the rear. All 600 models had 3-synchro (no synchro on 1st) 4-speed transaxles. Unlike the Volkswagen Beetle or Fiat 500, the Fiat 600 was water-cooled with an ample cabin heater and, while cooling is generally adequate, for high-power modified versions a front-mounted radiator or oil cooler is needed to complement the rear-mounted radiator. All models of the 600 had generators with mechanical external regulators. The first cars had a 633 cc inline-four cylinder engine which max-ed out at 59 mph. Sales were brisk, as it was just the right size for a market still recovering from the war of the previous decade. A year after its debut, in 1956, a soft-top version was introduced, and it was followed by a six-seater variant—the Fiat 600 Multipla, the very definite precursor of current multi-purpose vehicles. By 1957, assembly started in Spain, where the car would go on to become a legend, and where you can still see large numbers of them certainly at classic car events. Production was also undertaken by Steyr Puch in Austria, and in Yugoslavia and Argentina. The millionth 600 was produced in February 1961, less than six years after the car’s launch, and at the time when the millionth car was produced, the manufacturer reported it was producing the car at the then remarkable rate of 1,000 a day. Italian production ceased in 1969, but the model continued to made in other countries, and a grand total of nearly 3 million examples were eventually made.

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It was nice to see several examples of the original Fiat 600 Multipla here as well. This innovative design was based on the Fiat 600’s drivetrain, had independent front suspension for a good drive and accommodated six people in a footprint just 50 centimetres (19.7 in) longer than the original Mini Cooper. The driver’s compartment was moved forward over the front axle, effectively eliminating the boot but giving the body a very minivan-like “one-box” look. Two rows of rear bench seats were reconfigurable, allowing for a large, nearly flat cargo area. Until the 1970s, the Multipla was widely used as a taxi in many parts of Italy, and one of the cars here was in the livery as used in Rome in period. These days a good Multipla will command prices in excess of the £20,000 mark.

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The Fiat 8V was first presented at the Geneva Motor Show 1952 as a high performance 2-seater aerodynamic coupé. The name derives from the 8 cylinder vee-form engine developed by famous Fiat engineer Dante Giacosa. The V angle was set at 70 degree for a compact arrangement. The engine was positioned just behind the front axle which make the Fiat 8V a front mid-engine sports car ensuring an optimized weight distribution. In his memory book, Dante Giacosa quoted ” The chassis, designated the “104”, was passed to Pininfarina so that the great coachbuilder could get out a preliminary study of the coachwork. This was all in 1950. Bono showed a a certain antipathy for the project and Valetta seemed to ignore it. For my part I was against it, because the automobile was too big and heavy for an engine of a mere two litres or little more, even if it had eight cylinders. The prototype with coachwork by Pininfarina confirmed expectations. It aroused little interest and was turned down for production by Fiat. In the meantime we had gone on perfecting the engine, awaiting approval for construction of the “106” sports model with independent suspension all around”. The “106” was an internally developed sports coupé designed internally that was finally introduced at the Geneva Motor Show and ended in limited production. It was the first Fiat with independent suspension front and rear. The engine which was the type 104.000, was available in two forms. One version produced 115 hp at 6.000 rpm. This was the 104.003. The second version, the 140.000, with different timing, carburation, and a 8,75:1 compression ratio, produced 127 hp at 6.600 rpm. The 8V distinguished itself in a few motor sport events such as the 6th Stella Alpina event, the Pescara 12 hours and the Monza Cup. In 1954 it was exhibited at the Turin Motor Show with a glass fibre body. Total 8V production was precisely 114 units with several model fitted with bodywork prepared by Zagato, Vignale, Ghia or Pininfarina. This one has the Supersonic body.

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The X1/9 followed a 1969 show concept car called the Autobianchi Runabout, with styling by Bertone under chief designer Marcello Gandini. The Runabout was powered by the same engine as the Autobianchi A112. Designed around the all-new 128 SOHC engine and with the gearbox (transmission) from the front wheel drive Fiat 128, the X1/9 relocated the transverse drive train and suspension assembly from the front of the 128 to the rear of the passenger cabin, directly in front of the rear axle, giving a mid-engined layout. The layout also located the fuel tank and spare wheel side by side ahead of the engine, directly behind the seats — optimising the proportion of the car’s weight falling within its wheelbase for more effective handling and also enabling cargo areas front and rear. Unlike Fiat’s marketing nomenclature at the time which used a numerical system (e.g., 127, 128, 124, 131) denoting relative position in the model range, the X1/9 retained its prototype code as its marketing name. Fiat’s prototype coding used X0 for engines, X1 for passenger vehicles and X2 for commercial vehicles. The X1/9 was thus the ninth passenger car developed using the nomenclature. The prototype car featured a distinctive wedge shape and took many styling cues from contemporary power-boat design. Though the more extreme features of the Runabout such as the C pillar mounted headlights and the small wind-deflector windscreen were lost for the production car, many aesthetic features of the Autobianchi Runabout are readily identifiable on the X1/9. The long flat bonnet with central indentation, the large front overhang, the wedge shape with prominent C pillar roll-over hoop and the car-length indented plimsoll-line all made the successful transition to the X1/9, giving it a highly distinctive appearance. Once developed for production, the two-seater featured sharp-edged styling with a wedge shape, pop-up headlights and a removable hard top roof panel (targa top). The removable hardtop stores in the front luggage compartment, below the front hood, only slightly reducing the space available for cargo. An aftermarket company offered a top made of lightweight clear-smoked polycarbonate. The car was developed for release for European sales in 1972 to replace the 850 spider by Bertone. It was not intended as a replacement for the 124 Sport spider and production of the 124 spider and X1/9 continued in parallel for much of the X1/9’s life. The car’s monocoque body was produced at the Bertone factory in Torino and then transported to the Fiat’s Lingotto factory for final assembly. In 1982, shortly after the introduction of the 1500 model, complete production was assumed by Bertone with models subsequently badged as the “Bertone” X1/9. Bertone models featured revised footwells redesigned to enhance legroom and sitting comfort for persons taller than the original design’s target. The first models featured a 75 bhp 1290 cc single overhead cam engine with an aluminium head. In 1978 the more powerful 85bhp 1500cc unit found its way into the engine bay which necessitated a raised engine cover to provide the clearance. Larger bumpers were fitted at this time. Fiat made few other changes for many years, as if they lost interest in the car. The last production models were named the Gran Finale and sold over the 1989/1990 period. They were a dealer modification of the special edition (commonly abbreviated to SE) of 1988/1989, with the addition of a rear spoiler and “gran finale” badges.

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This is called FT Bonito and it is actually a kit car (sort of), based on a Beetle chassis, but has a 1.8 litre 16 valve engine behind the driver, and, as is not uncommon for cars like this, parts from a number of other cars in its parentage. Once restored, this Bonito has been used extensively for racing. Having seen it the first time, I did some research online and learned a bit more about the company who originally created it, Fiberfab. This was a kit car manufacturer founded by Warren “Bud” Goodwin in 1964. Goodwin’s earlier company, Sports Car Engineering had manufactured Microplas Mistral bodies under licence and sold them as the Spyder. Fiberfab started building street rod parts and body panels for Mustangs before moving on to kit cars. It was sold in 1983 to Classic Motor Carriages. This company was forced to close in 1994 after the Florida Attorney General’s Office filed suit against it on behalf of several hundred of its customers. It agreed to pay $2.5 million in compensation. At the same time as the case was proceeding, a new company, Auto Resolutions, was set up by the owner George Levin to continue making Classic Motor Carriages vehicles trading under the name Street Beasts. Street Beasts closed its business in 2010 and auctioned off its plant, moulds, and machinery. Classic Motor Carriages (CMC) continued to use the Fiberfab brand after 1983 although those cars were built using CMC moulds. During this time a number of different models were produced, with a variety of different donor vehicles.

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Sole Ford in my photos is this example of the 1967 Shelby Mustang. The first Shelby modified Mustangs were seen in 1965, only a matter of months after the launch of Ford’s “pony car” and they were an instant hit, even before, in a PR coup, the placement of a number of them into the Hertz fleet, the oft called “rent a racer” program. The 1967 redesign made for a heavier Mustang, along with a longer, fibreglass hood, and new front and rear fascias. The design of the original 1965 version was evident, but these styling upgrades gave the car a more aggressive appearance and achieved Carroll Shelby’s goal of differentiating his car from the Mustang on which it was based. The separate high-beam headlamps in the grille added more character, while a thin, chrome front bumper sat below a mesh grille with the classic “Shelby GT350” logo in place (except for the very early cars). The small hood scoop was there to deliver fresh air to the engine. Shelby also included new, horizontal sequential taillights (sourced from a ’67 Cougar in 1967 and a ’65 Thunderbird in 1968) and an integrated Kamm-type rear spoiler. Functional rear brake-cooling scoops adorned the rear quarter panels. Ten-spoke, fifteen-inch, cast-aluminium rims were the wheel choice with Goodyear white-lettered radials. The GT350 was available with air conditioning and an AM/FM radio. The steering wheel was a wood-rimmed and satin-trimmed design with the classic Shelby logo in the centre. Behind this wheel was a very classy-looking set of gauges. A 140-mph speedometer and a whopping 8,000-rpm tachometer were joined along with a smaller analog clock, fuel level, water temperature, and oil pressure gauges. The 1967 GT350 came with an iron-block, 289-cubic-inch (4.7-litre) V-8 rated at 306 horsepower and 329 lb-foot of torque. For a pushrod design, the GT350 revved relatively high, with the horsepower peak not in full swing until the 6,000-rpm redline. 1967 was well before modern fuel injection came about, and the car used a single Holley four-barrel carburettor. The true dual-exhaust with H-shaped crossover system came standard with low restriction mufflers and chrome exhaust tips. Power was routed to the ground through a sturdy, four-speed manual transmission with a single, dry-disc clutch. A three-speed automatic was made available as an option. Rear-end ratios were 3.89-to-1 for the four-speed manual and 3.50-to-1 for the automatic. Acceleration was impressive, with a 0-to-60 time of around seven seconds and a top speed of 140 mph. Braking duties were handled by 11.3-inch discs up front and drums in the rear. Power assist was standard. The front suspension consisted of unequal-length control arms, coil springs, adjustable tube arms, and an anti-sway bar. Out back was a live axle, with multi-leaf, semi-elliptical springs and tube shocks. The steering was a power-assisted recirculating ball design. In 1968 the 289ci V8 was replaced with a factory 302 V8 using an aluminium Cobra intake manifold and Holley 600 cfm carb. The 302 had less racing parts than the 289 and was rated at 250 hp. A Paxton Supercharger was available that was rated at 33 hp at 5,200 rpm. The 1967 Shelby G.T. 500 was the first model built in the Shelby G.T. 500 range. It is based on the 1967 Mustang and is equipped with a FE 427 cu in (7.0 L) 428 Police-interceptor V8 engine topped with an aluminium mid-rise intake and 2X4-barrel 600 CFM Holley carburettors producing 355 bhp at 5,400 rpm and 420 lb/ft at 3200 rpm of torque. Two thousand forty eight were produced in 1967. Several body parts of the G.T. were made of fibreglass including the front-end, hood, rear tail light panel, deck lid, quarter panel extension, and side scoops. Beginning in April 1968, Ford began factory installing a version of the 428 engine known as the “Cobra Jet”. The GT500 was subsequently known as The Cobra GT500 KR. The initials KR stood for “King of the Road.” Ford rated the Cobra jet at 335 hp), but with 440 lb⋅ft (597 N⋅m) of torque at 3,400 rpm, but the horsepower was considered significantly under-reported, as it was later found that the car made 435 hp. Shelby’s KR engine was left stock adding die-cast aluminium valve covers with “Cobra Lemans” to note Ford’s FE engine family victory over Ferrari at Le Mans in 1966 and 1967. There were significant body and styling changes again for 1969.

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This is a 1922 Type T30 ”Rabassada ”. After the Great War, it was important for Hispano-Suiza to raise the sales figures. Which meant that it was time to introduce a new model after the sales of previous successes decreased. Just as most car builders, Hispano-Suiza knew that participating in various competitions gave good publicity to their cars. But to be even more successful they had to win races and gain victories, which they years earlier achieved with the ”Sardina” racing car. The idea behind their strategy was that sporting victories attracts the attention of the media and therefore of the customers for their cars. For this car, they used all mechanical components of the type 30. In Spanish races, racing classes up to 3,5 liters were very popular. What was the reason why they decided on a 3-litre engine with 4 cylinders with an overhead camshaft. The engine with number 4542 was tested at the factory in October 1920. Although later a different head was developed with higher compression, bigger valves, a different camshaft and a pair of 42mm Zenith carburettors. The engine was fitted into a short and light pre-war chassis, also known as type 21. The chassis number 4880E (E for Especial in Spanish) has a wheelbase of 2,66mm. The engine and gearbox were placed further back to improve the weight balance. In the first instance, the idea was to win a new hill climb race, named Rabassada. Hence the name Rabassada. Only the car never participated. Instead ”Rabassada ” was shown for the first time in June 1922 at the Barcelona Motor Exhibition, which was only a few days before the actual Hill climb. So, did Hispano-Suiza really execute their strategy? We are not so sure. The only documented competition there is of the car is the ”Carrere en Cuesta de Mataró” hill climb, in which the car became 2nd. They say that this result emerged a new type of customer. One more interested in sports cars. Which led to a couple of series of a new type 30. A shorter chassis but with a standard engine, firewall, and radiator. In the 70s the remains of the car were acquired by Hispano-Suiza collector Mr. De la Rocha. After him, two other owners are known. Well-known historian and author Mr Emilio Polo in the Hispano-Suiza world came after investigations to the conclusion that the 4880E can only be the Rabassada, probably the most special Hispano-Suiza ever made. They say the only factory racing Hispano-Suiza still around.

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Dating from 1927 is this H6C with a Van Vooren body. The Hispano-Suiza H6 is a luxury car that was produced by Hispano-Suiza, mostly in France. Introduced at the 1919 Paris Motor Show, the H6 was produced until 1933. Roughly 2,350 H6, H6B, and H6C cars were produced in total and many of the great coachbuilders of the era produced bodies for the cars.

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Honda were here to celebrate their 70th anniversary, and had a number of cars on their stand. Smallest and oldest of these was an N360, one of the first models that the firm exported. The Honda N360 is a small front-engine, front-wheel drive, two-passenger two-box automobile manufactured and marketed from March 1967 through 1970 in compliance with Japan’s kei car regulations. After a January 1970 facelift, the N360 became the NIII360 and continued in production until June 1972. A larger-engined variant, the N600, was marketed through 1973. All models complied with Japanese kei car dimensional regulations, though vehicles with the 401 cc and 598 cc engines exceeded the kei engine displacement limits and were largely intended for international sales. The N360 featured front wheel drive and an air-cooled, four stroke, 354 cc, 31 bhp two-cylinder engine. This same engine was also used in the Honda Vamos, with a beam axle/leaf spring rear suspension. With the N360 nameplate, along with its variants, Honda used the “N” prefix, designating “norimono” (translating from Japanese to English as “vehicle” ) — to distinguish the car from its motorcycle production. Honda marketed the N360 as a two-door sedan, with a three-door wagon (considered a commercial vehicle in Japan, and therefore called a “Light van”) called the LN360 arriving in June of the first year. It has a horizontally divided rear gate and boxier rear bodywork for maximum load capacity. The LN360 had the same 31 PS engine as the sedan, and a top speed of 105 km/h (65 mph). After a January 1970 facelift it became the LNIII 360, with a new non-reflective dash, bigger turn signals, and the same new front end as the sedan. The LNIII 360 was built until late 1971, when the Life Van took over.The N360 was an all new, clean-sheet product, and did not share its chassis with the Honda Sports roadster, or the Honda L700 commercial platform. The N360 was a new market segment for Honda, providing an affordable, reliable, and easy-to-maintain vehicle that had broad market appeal to private car ownership. The roadsters and trucks built up to then had specific, targeted appeal. The engine’s technological specifications reflected engineering efforts resulting from the development of the larger Honda 1300, which used an air-cooled 1.3-litre engine. One of the primary differences between the N360 and the Honda Life that followed was the N360/600 had an air-cooled engine, and the Life had a water-cooled engine. The water-cooled engine was better able to comply with newly enacted emission standards in Japan, and reflected an industry wide move away from air-cooled as well as two-stroke engines. As does the original Mini, but unlike the succeeding Life, the N360/600 had its gearbox mounted in the sump rather than bolted on as a separate unit. An upgraded 36 PS engine was added in October 1968 for the N360 TS, which was sold as the N360 Touring following a minor update in January 1969. The updated version is referred to as the NII. A 401.54 cc engine was used in the similar N400, a model sold in certain export markets beginning in late summer 1968. This occupied the narrow slot between the 360 and the 600; in most markets it was only sold as the N400 L with better equipment. The Hondamatic-equipped N360AT which appeared in August 1968 was the first kei car equipped with an automatic transmission. The larger-engined N600 was developed alongside the N360 in order to target export markets like the US and Europe, where motorways demanded higher top speeds. It was also briefly sold in the domestic Japanese market, however, where it went on sale in July 1968 as the N600E. Only 1,500 examples were sold until early 1969 when the N600 was discontinued in Japan; because of its larger engine it did not qualify for any of the tax and insurance breaks given to kei cars even though it was as small as one. Sales ended in 1973 with the introduction of the Civic.

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And there were three Civic models, from the ten different generations that have been produced since 1972. All of these were the hottest Type R version, and show how at one point the performance variant looked quite subtle, but the last two generations have gone for the really stand-out look.

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This is a 1947 Modane, production of which restarted after World War II at which point the car was essentially intended for export in order to generate foreign money. The 686 Grand Sport (GS) Modane was propelled by a 3485 cc six cylinder producing 130 hp at 4000 rpm. Claimed top speed was 170 kph.

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From a distance, you would probably have seen this car and thought that it was “simply” an example of the classic Issigonis-designed Mini, but look more closely and you will see Innocenti badges and some different detailing, especially the front grille. Innocenti was an Italian machinery works originally established by Ferdinando Innocenti in 1920. Over the years they produced Lambretta scooters as well as a range of cars, most of them with British Leyland origins. After World War II, the company was famous for many years for Lambretta scooters models. From 1961 to 1976 Innocenti built under licence the BMC (later the British Leyland Motor Corporation, or BLMC for short) Mini, with 998 cc and 1,275 cc engines, followed by other models, including the Regent (Allegro), with engines up to 1,485 cc. The company of this era is commonly called Leyland Innocenti. The Innocenti Spyder (1961–70) was a rebodied version of the Austin-Healey MKII Sprite (styling by Ghia). The car was produced by OSI, near Milan. In 1972 BLMC took over control of the company in a £3 million deal involving the purchase of the company’s land, buildings and equipment. BLMC had high hopes for its newly acquired subsidiary at a time when, they reported to the UK press, Italian Innocenti sales were second only to those of Fiat, and ahead of Volkswagen and Renault. There was talk of further increasing annual production from 56,452 in 1971 to 100,000. However, the peak production under BLMC was 62,834 in 1972, in spite of exports increasing from one car in 1971 to more than 17,000 in 1974. Demonstrating their ambitions, the British company installed as Managing Director one of their youngest UK based senior executives, the then 32-year-old former Financial Controller Geoffrey Robinson. Three years later BLMC ran out of money and was nationalised by the UK government. In February 1976, the company passed to Alejandro de Tomaso and was reorganised by the De Tomaso Group under the name Nuova Innocenti. Benelli had a share and British Leyland retained five percent, with De Tomaso owning forty-four percent with the aid of a rescue plan from GEPI (an Italian public agency intended to provide investment for troubled corporations). Management was entirely De Tomaso’s responsibility, however, and later in 1976 GEPI and De Tomaso combined their 95% of Innocenti (and all of Maserati) into one new holding company. However, with the loss of the original Mini, the Austin I5, and the (admittedly slow-selling) Regent, sales were in freefall. Production was nearly halved in 1975 and was down to about a fifth of the 1974 levels in 1976. After this crisis, however, the new Bertone-bodied Mini began selling more strongly and production climbed to a steady 40,000 per annum by the end of the ’70s. The first model had Bertone-designed five-seater bodywork and was available with Leyland’s 998 cc and 1275 cc engines. Exports, which had been carried out mainly by British Leyland’s local concessionaires, began drying up in the early eighties as BL did not want to see internal competition from the Innocenti Mini. Sales to France (Innocenti’s biggest export market) ended in 1980, with German sales coming to a halt in 1982. Around the same time, the engine deal with Leyland ended, and production soon dropped into the low twenty thousands. Later models, from model year 1983 on, used 993 cc three-cylinder engines made by Daihatsu of Japan. De Tomaso developed a turbocharged version of this engine for Daihatsu which found use in both Innocenti’s and Daihatsu’s cars. Fiat bought the company in 1990, and the last Innocenti models were versions of the Uno-based Fiat Duna Saloon and Estate, which were badged Elba. The brand was retired in 1996. The car seen here was badged Cooper 1300, and these cars had lots of little differences compared to the Longbridge and Cowley made models. Innocenti had been assembling Minis since 1965, creating finished cars from CKD kits, the first cars called Innocenti 850. In 1971, they started to produce the Innocenti Cooper 1300, following the demise of the model in the UK, which had been replaced by the 1275GT, and it continued until 1975 when all the Issigonis Minis were deleted, to be replaced by the hatchback Bertone Mini 90 and 120 cars.

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This is a nice example of the Grifo, the best known of the small number of different models produced by ISO in the 1960s and early 70s at this event, but this time there was just the one. The prototype ‘Grifo A3/L’ was revealed at the Turin show in 1963 to overwhelming approval. First production Iso Grifo’s followed and all used reassembled and blueprinted Chevrolet Corvette 5.4 litre engines until a 7.0 litre option was introduced in 1968. The larger engined cars were distinguished by some detail modifications, such as a “subtle” bonnet scoop, necessary to accommodate the taller engine and a black band across the rear roof pillar. 322 Series I Grifos were produced before the design received a facelift in 1972 after which time a further 78 Series II Grifo’s were built. In total 90 Grifos were specified in seven-litre form, with only four being built in right-hand drive. The 7 litre cars had a 454 cubic inch Chevrolet V8 engine, and following a rebuild, this car recorded dynamometer results of 490bhp at 5,500rpm. The engine is mated to a modern Tremec TKO600 five-speed gearbox capable of handling this mighty power house.

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Just before Retromobile, Jaguar announced that it would build the “missing” 25 historic D-type models that had serial numbers assigned in-period, but were never constructed. This follows a similar vein to the previously re-issued runs of E-type Lightweight and XKSS models. The first engineering prototype was on display on the JLR Heritage stand and looked lovely in its battleship-grey paint. Figure around $2 million if you want one, which is far less than the $10 million or so it takes to get into a period-built example.

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An original D Type was to be found elsewhere in the show.

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In the early 1980s, British motor racing journalist and historian Doug Nye was commissioned by the famous Yoshiyuki Hayashi collection to acquire and “affordable” Lister Jaguar. Nye contacted Historic racing specialists John Harper and John Pearson, who subsequently assembled this car to Nye’s order. Assembled from a collection of original, made-in-period Lister Jaguar components, including an original Lister made chassis frame that had been discarded by its first owner following an accident in a British race meeting in 1959. The new aluminium body was built by the renowned Bob Smith in the Knobbly style. The car is fitted with a correct Jaguar XK-series six cylinder twin-cam engine.

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This 1954 Jaguar XK140 Maurice Gomm Special started out as an altogether different car, it was commissioned from Paul Emery by Sir Waterlow as a personal race car to compete in weekend races across Britain in 1955. They originally used a 1938 Grand Prix Alta Monoplace chassis, fitted with a 2.6 litre Aston Martin DB2 engine. The design of the body took some cues from the Aston Martin DB2 and some other cars from the era – but it’s its own machine, with a body shaped by hand. The early competition life of the car is largely a mystery, all we know is that it was discovered in rather poor condition in the late 1980s, though thanks to its alloy construction, the body was rust free. The decision was made to separate the body and chassis – the 1938 Grand Prix Alta was restored back to its original monoposto configuration, and it can now be seen regularly taking part in vintage motor sport competition. The body was kept in storage for many years until Charles Fripp (a Jaguar XK specialist from Twyford Moors) had the idea of fitting it to an XK 140 chassis, as the wheelbase was practically the same. He sourced a Jaguar XK140 chassis/engine from the same year, 1955, and set about building the car paying great attention to develop it in the same way it would have been developed in 1955. The XK140 engine was moved backwards in the chassis to offer better weight distribution, and the bonnet was curved up before being modified with twin “nostril” hood vents to allow better cooling and breathing. The engine was rebuilt to competition specification by Sigma engineering, then mated to an E-Type gearbox with a heavy duty clutch. Power is sent back through a limited-slip differential and there’s adjustable dampers and stiffer polyurethane bushings on all four corners. The completed car weighs in at just 900 kilograms, and in proper Le Mans specification the XK engine is capable of over 250 hp, so the Maurice Gomm Special has performance not dissimilar to the Jaguar C and D-types, or the Aston Martin DB3S.

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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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The XK140 was the successor to the XK120, with a number of useful changes and upgrades over the earlier car which included more interior space, improved brakes, rack and pinion steering, increased suspension travel, and telescopic shock absorbers instead of the older lever arm design. The XK140 was introduced in late 1954 and sold as a 1955 model. Exterior changes that distinguished it from the XK120 included more substantial front and rear bumpers with overriders, and flashing turn signals (operated by a switch on the dash) above the front bumper. The grille remained the same size but became a one-piece cast unit with fewer, and broader, vertical bar, making it easy to tell an XK140 apart from an XK120. The Jaguar badge was incorporated into the grille surround. A chrome trim strip ran along the centre of the bonnet and boot lid. An emblem on the boot lid contained the words “Winner Le Mans 1951–3”. The interior was made more comfortable for taller drivers by moving the engine, firewall and dash forward to give 3 inches more legroom. Two 6-volt batteries, one in each front wing were fitted to the Fixed Head Coupe, but Drop Heads and the Open Two Seater had a single 12-volt battery. This was installed in the front wing on the passenger side (e.g. In the left wing on right hand drive cars and in the right wing on left hand drive). The XK140 was powered by the Jaguar XK engine with the Special Equipment modifications from the XK120, which raised the specified power by 10 bhp to 190 bhp gross at 5500 rpm, as standard. The C-Type cylinder head, carried over from the XK120 catalogue, and producing 210 bhp ross at 5750 rpm, was optional equipment. When fitted with the C-type head, 2-inch sand-cast H8 carburettors, heavier torsion bars and twin exhaust pipes, the car was designated XK140 SE in the UK and XK140 MC in North America. In 1956 the XK140 became the first Jaguar sports car to be offered with automatic transmission. As with the XK120, wire wheels and dual exhausts were options, and most XK140s imported into the United States had wire wheels. Cars with the standard disc wheels had spats over the rear wheel opening. When leaving the factory it originally fitted either 6.00 × 16 inch crossply tyres or you could specify 185VR16 Pirelli Cinturato CA67 as a radial option on either 16 × 5K½ solid wheels or 16 × 5K (special equipment) wire wheels. The Roadster (designated OTS – Open Two Seater – in America) had a light canvas top that folded out of sight behind the seats. The interior was trimmed in leather and leatherette, including the dash. Like the XK120 Roadster, the XK140 version had removable canvas and plastic side curtains on light alloy barchetta-type doors, and a tonneau cover. The door tops and scuttle panel were cut back by two inches compared to the XK120, to allow a more modern positioning of the steering wheel. The angle of the front face of the doors (A-Post) was changed from 45 degrees to 90 degrees, to make access easier. The Drophead Coupé (DHC) had a bulkier lined canvas top that lowered onto the body behind the seats, a fixed windscreen integral with the body (the Roadster’s screen was removable), wind-up side windows, and a small rear seat. It also had a walnut-veneered dashboard and door cappings. The Fixed Head Coupé (FHC) shared the DHC’s interior trim and rear seat. The prototype Fixed Head Coupe retained the XK120 Fixed Head roof-profile, with the front wings and doors the same as the Drophead. In production, the roof was lengthened with the screen being placed further forward, shorter front wings, and longer doors. This resulted in more interior space, and more legroom. The XK140 was replaced by the XK150 in March 1957.

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Although bearing a family resemblance to the earlier XK120 and XK140, the XK150, launched in the spring of 1957, was radically revised. A one-piece windscreen replaced the split screen, and the wing line no longer dropped so deeply at the doors. The widened bonnet opened down to the wings, and on the Roadster the windscreen frame was moved back 4 inches to make the bonnet longer. The XK140’s walnut dashboard was replaced by one trimmed in leather. On the early Drophead Coupés, the aluminium centre dash panel, which was discontinued after June 1958, had an X pattern engraving similar to the early 3.8 E-Type. Thinner doors gave more interior space. On the front parking lights, which were located atop the wings, a little red light reminded the driver the lights were on. Suspension and chassis were very similar to the XK140, and steering was by rack and pinion; power steering was not offered. The standard engine, the similar to the XK140, but with an new “B” type cylinder head, was the 3.4 litre DOHC Jaguar straight-6 rated at 180 SAE bhp at 5750 rpm but most cars were fitted with the SE engine whose modified cylinder head (B type) and larger exhaust valves boosted the power to 210 SAE bhp at 5500 rpm. Twin 1.75-inch (44 mm) SU HD6 carburettors were fitted. While the first XK150s were slower than their predecessors, the deficit was corrected in the spring of 1958 with a 3.4-litre “S” engine whose three 2-inch SU HD8 carburettors and straight-port cylinder head increased power to a claimed 250 SAE bhp. For 1960, the 3.4 litre engine was bored to 3.8 litres, rating this option at 220 hp in standard tune or 265 hp in “S” form. A 3.8 litre 150S could top 135 mph and go from 0–60 mph in around 7.0 seconds. Fuel economy was 18mpg. Four-wheel Dunlop 12 in disc brakes appeared for the first time although it was theoretically possible to order a car with drums. When leaving the factory the car originally fitted either 6.00 × 16 inch Dunlop Road Speed tyres as standard, or you could specify 185VR16 Pirelli Cinturato CA67 as a radial option on either 16 × 5K½ solid wheels (basic models) or 16 × 5K wire wheels. Production ended in October 1960, and totalled 2265 Roadsters, 4445 Fixed Head Coupés and 2672 Drophead Coupés.

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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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As is well known, the XJ220 was developed from a V12-engined 4-wheel drive concept car designed by an informal group of Jaguar employees working in their spare time. The group wished to create a modern version of the successful Jaguar 24 Hours of Le Mans racing cars of the 1950s and ’60s that could be entered into FIA Group B competitions. The XJ220 made use of engineering work undertaken for Jaguar’s then current racing car family. The initial XJ220 concept car was unveiled to the public at the 1988 British International Motor Show. Its positive reception prompted Jaguar to put the car into production; some 1500 deposits of £50,000 each were taken, and deliveries were planned for 1992. Engineering requirements resulted in significant changes to the specification of the XJ220, most notably replacement of the Jaguar V12 engine by a turbocharged V6 engine. The changes to the specification and a collapse in the price of collectible cars brought about by the early 1990s recession resulted in many buyers choosing not to exercise their purchase options. A total of just 271 cars were produced by the time production ended, each with a retail price of £470,000 in 1992. The production XJ220 used a 3.5-litre twin turbocharged engine, which was given the designation Jaguar/TWR JV6. This engine, which replaced the Jaguar V12 engine featured in the concept car, was a heavily redesigned and significantly altered version of the Austin Rover V64V V6 engine. The decision to change the engine was based on engine weight and dimensions, as well as to environmental emission considerations. Use of the shorter V6 engine design allowed the wheelbase of the XJ220 to be shortened and its weight to be reduced; the V12 engine was definitively ruled out when it was determined it would have difficulty in meeting emissions legislation whilst producing the required power and torque. TWR purchased the rights to the V64V engine from Austin Rover in 1989 and developed a completely new turbocharged engine, codenamed JV6, under the auspices of Allan Scott, with proportions roughly similar to the V64V, and suitable for Sportcar racing. TWR redesigned all parts of the engine, increasing the displacement to 3.5 litres, and adding two Garrett TO3 turbochargers. The JV6 engine would first be used in the JaguarSport XJR-10 and XJR-11 racing cars; its compact dimensions and low weight made it an ideal candidate for the XJ220. The engine had a 90° bank angle, four valves per cylinder and belt-driven double overhead camshafts. It shares a number of design features with the Cosworth DFV Formula One engine. The V64V engine chosen had a short but successful career as a purpose-designed racing car engine. It was designed by Cosworth engine designer David Wood for Austin Rover Group’s Metro derived Group B rally car, the MG Metro 6R4. The redesign work necessary to create the Jaguar/TWR JV6 engine was undertaken by Andrew Barnes, TWR’s Powertrain Manager, and also involved Swiss engine builder Max Heidegger who had designed and built the race engines used in the XJR-10 and XJR-11 racing cars. The XJ220’s engine had a bore and stroke of 94 mm × 84 mm, dry sump lubrication, Zytek multi point fuel injection with dual injectors and Zytek electronic engine management. The engine was manufactured with an aluminium cylinder block, aluminium cylinder heads with steel connecting rods and crankshaft, and in the standard state of tune, it produced a maximum power of 550 PS at 7200 rpm and torque of 475 lb·ft at 4500 rpm. The XJ220 can accelerate from 0–60 miles per hour in 3.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 213 miles per hour.The exhaust system had two catalytic converters, which reduced the power output of the engine. During testing at the Nardò Ring in Italy the XJ220, driven by 1990 Le Mans Winner Martin Brundle achieved a top speed of 217.1 miles per hour when the catalytic converters were disconnected and the rev limiter was increased to 7,900rpm; owing to the circular nature of the track, a speed of 217 mph is equivalent to 223 mph on a straight, level road. The V64V engine had the additional benefit of being very economical for such a powerful petrol engine, it was capable of achieving 32 mpg, in contrast, the smallest-engined Jaguar saloon of the time, the Jaguar XJ6 4.0 could only achieve around 24 mpg. Four-wheel drive was decided against early in the development process, for a number of reasons. It was thought rear-wheel drive would be adequate in the majority of situations, that the additional complexity of the four-wheel drive system would hinder the development process and potentially be problematic for the customer. FF Developments were contracted to provide the gearbox/transaxle assembly, modifying their four-wheel drive transaxle assembly from the XJ220 concept into a pure rear-wheel drive design for the production car. A five-speed gearbox is fitted; a six-speed gearbox was considered but deemed unnecessary, as the torque characteristics of the engine made a sixth gear redundant. The transaxle featured a viscous coupling limited slip differential to improve traction. The transmission system featured triple-cone synchromeshing on first and second gears to handle rapid starts, whilst remaining relatively easy for the driver to engage and providing positive feel. The exterior retained the aluminium body panels of the XJ220 concept, but for the production vehicles, Abbey Panels of Coventry were contracted to provide the exterior panels. The scissor doors were dropped for the production model, and significant redesign work was carried out on the design when the wheelbase and overall length of the car was altered. Geoff Lawson, Design Director at Jaguar took a greater interest in the car and insisted the design had to be seen to be a Jaguar if it was to be successful in promoting the company. Keith Helfet returned to undertake the necessary redesign work mandated by the change in the wheelbase, which was reduced by 200 mm. The turbocharged engine required larger air intakes to feed the two intercoolers. Situated between the doors and the rear wheels, the air intakes were larger on the production version of the XJ220 than on the concept car. A number of small design changes for the body were tested in the wind tunnel; the final version had a drag coefficient of 0.36 with downforce of 3,000 lb at 200 mph. The XJ220 was one of the first production cars to intentionally use underbody airflow and the venturi effect to generate downforce. The rear lights used on the production XJ220 were taken from the Rover 200. The production model utilised the same Alcan bonded honeycomb aluminium structure vehicle technology (ASVT) as the concept car for the chassis. The chassis design featured two box section rails which acted as the suspension mounting points and would provide an energy absorbing structure in the event of a frontal impact, these were successfully tested at speeds up to 30 mph, an integral roll cage formed part of the chassis and monocoque, providing additional structural rigidity for the car and allowing the XJ220 to easily pass stringent crash testing.The rear-wheel steering was dropped from the production car to save weight and reduce complexity, as was the height adjustable suspension and active aerodynamic technology. The suspension fitted to the production model consisted of front and rear independent suspension, double unequal length wishbones, inboard coil springs and anti-roll bars, with Bilstein gas-filled dampers. The suspension was designed in accordance with the FIA Group C specifications. The braking system was designed by AP Racing and featured ventilated and cross-drilled discs of 13 in diameter at the front and 11.8 in diameter at the rear. The calipers are four pot aluminium units. JaguarSport designed the handbrake, which are separate calipers acting on the rear brake discs. Feedback from enthusiasts and racing drivers resulted in the decision to drop the anti-lock braking system from the production car. The braking system was installed without a servo, but a number of owners found the brakes to be difficult to judge when cold and subsequently requested a servo to be fitted. Rack and pinion steering was fitted, with 2.5 turns lock to lock; no power assistance was fitted. The Bridgestone Expedia S.01 asymmetric uni-directional tyres were specially developed for the XJ220 and had to be rateable to a top speed in excess of 220 mph, carry a doubling of load with the exceptionally high downforce at speed and maintain a compliant and comfortable ride. Rally alloy wheel specialists Speedline Corse designed the alloy wheels, these are both wider and have a larger diameter on the rear wheels; 17 inches wheels are fitted to the front and 18 inches are fitted at the rear, with 255/55 ZR17 tyres at the front and 345/35 ZR18 tyres at the rear. The interior was designed for two passengers and trimmed in leather. Leather trimmed sports seats are fitted together with electric windows and electrically adjustable heated mirrors. The dashboard unusually curves round and carries onto the drivers door, with a secondary instrument binnacle containing four analogue gauges, including a clock and voltmeter fitted on the front of the drivers door. Air conditioning and green tinted glazing was also fitted.The luggage space consists of a small boot directly behind and above the rear portion of the engine, also trimmed in leather. The car was assembled in a purpose-built factory at Wykham Mill, Bloxham near Banbury. HRH The Princess of Wales officially opened the factory and unveiled the first production XJ220 in October 1991. The JV6 engines used in the Jaguar racing cars were produced by Swiss engineer Max Heidegger, but delivering the number of engines required for the XJ220 program was considered beyond his capacity. TWR formed a division, TWR Road Engines, to manage the design, development, construction and testing of the engines for the production cars. The JV6 engine used in the XJ220 featured little commonality with the engines Heidegger built for use in the XJR racing cars, being specifically engineered to meet performance and in particular, the European emissions requirements, which the race engines didn’t have to meet. FF Developments, in addition to their design work on the gearbox and rear axle assembly were given responsibility for their manufacture. The aluminium chassis components and body panels were manufactured and assembled at Abbey Panels factory in Coventry, before the body in white was delivered to the assembly plant at Bloxham. The car, including chassis and body components, consists of approximately 3000 unique parts. The first customer delivery occurred in June 1992, and production rates averaged one car per day. The last XJ220 rolled off the production line in April 1994; the factory was then transferred to Aston Martin and used for the assembly of the Aston Martin DB7 until 2004. The regular Jaguar XJ220 is both rare and special enough, but for those who wanted something that bit more exclusive, Jaguar made a more potent version, the XJ220S. Just six were made. Think of it as a sort of XJ220 GT3 RS. Built to homologate the XJ220C GT racecar, it’s Jaguar’s supercar with extra power and added lightness. Tom Walkinshaw Racing who played a big part in XJ220 development, helped bring the S to life, stripping its weight by almost 400kg to 1080kg (thanks to all the aluminium bodywork being replaced by carbonfibre) and making it look meaner with a new front splitter, rear wing and more snarling side sills. The twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 engine also had its output boosted from 542 to 680bhp. Enough to take its power-to-weight ratio way past a Bugatti Veyron’s. It is also somewhat louder than the standard car.

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In January 1993, the Auto Sports International Show at the Birmingham NEC saw the public launch of the competition version of the Jaguar XJ220 designated XJ220C. The car was developed by TWR and Jaguar Sport for GT racing. Examples of the XJ220C were to be made available for sale with a price tag of £ 380.000. The twin turbocharged 3.5 Litre V6 engine has been developed to produce over 850 hp on maximum boost. With a weight of approximately 2,300 lbs (1043 kg) this car has a 0-60 mph time of about 2,9 seconds and a topspeed over 220 mph. It is believed that a total of four XJ220c were constructed by TWR and a further six XJ220s road going variants were built. Three works cars were entered in Category 4 (GT Class) for the 1993 Le Mans 24 Hours Race. This car N°50 was driven by John Nielsen and David Couthard. The Jaguar N)50 finished having completed 306 laps (averaging 173 kph or 102 mph) and was the first car in its class to take the chequered flag. Despite being the winner, the car was disqualified several weeks later for an alledged technical infringement relating to the lack of catalytic converters during the race. An appeal by TWR was not accepted on the grounds that it had been lodged out of time.

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The recently launched Automobili Lamborghini PoloStorico is the Sant’Agata company’s heritage and restoration arm working in association with the huge historical resources in its Archivo Storico and running a certification scheme similar to Ferrari Classiche’s. PoloStorica was appearing at Rétromobile for the second time and displayed just a couple of cars on its sizeable stand. There were a few Lamborghini models elsewhere in the show.

The fully restored car on the stand was the legendary Miura. Some will say 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 tyres, 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.

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Final Lamborghini here was this gargantuan LM002, the brand’s first four wheel drive model. Although it was not introduced until 1986, its origins go back nearly a decade before that. Lamborghini built its first military vehicle, a prototype vehicle codenamed the “Cheetah”, in 1977. Lamborghini had designed the vehicle with hopes of selling it to companies in the oil exploration and production industry. The original Cheetah prototype had a rear-mounted Chrysler V8 engine. The only finished prototype was never tested by the US military, only demonstrated to them by its designer, Rodney Pharis. It was later sold to Teledyne Continental Motors by MTI and is apparently still in the US. This led Lamborghini to develop the LM001, which was very similar to the Cheetah, but had an AMC V8 engine. It was finally determined that the engine being mounted in the rear caused too many unfavourable handling characteristics in an offroad vehicle, and the LMA002 was built with an entirely new chassis, moving the engine (now the V12 out of the Lamborghini Countach) to the front. After much testing and altering of the prototype, it was finally given a serial number and became the first LM002. The production model was unveiled at the Brussels Auto Show in 1986. It was dubbed the “Rambo-Lambo”. Civilian models were outfitted with a full luxury package, including full leather trim, tinted power windows, air conditioning, and a premium stereo mounted in a roof console. In order to meet the vehicle’s tire needs, Lamborghini commissioned Pirelli to create the Pirelli Scorpion tires with custom, run-flat tread designs. These were made specifically for the LM and were offered in two different tread designs, one for mixed use and the other for sand use only. These tyres could be run virtually flat without risk and could handle the desert heat, the loading, and the speeds of the LM. The LM002 was fitted with a 290-litre fuel tank. For those requiring even more power, the Lamborghini L804 type 7.2 litre marine V12, more commonly found in Class 1 offshore powerboats, could be specified. In 1988, Lamborghini sent an LM002 to a team of special engineers with the intention of making it capable of participating in the Paris Dakar Rally. They stripped it of anything that added unnecessary weight and gave it an upgraded suspension, engine modifications which brought it to 600 hp, full roll cage, plexiglas windows, and GPS equipment. Funding ran out before it could officially be entered in competition, although it did participate in the Rallye des Pharaons in Egypt and another in Greece, both times driven by Sandro Munari.

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Sole Lancia model on the FCA Heritage stand was this Appia Pininfarina Coupe. 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

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Named either after Ardea town (Lazio), or Via Ardeatina, Roman road leading from Rome to that town., the Lancia Ardea was a small family car produced between 1939 and 1953. Its unusually short bonnet reportedly contained the smallest V4 engine ever commercialised in a small family car. Nearly 23,000 of the Ardeas produced were standard bodied saloons but between 1940 and 1942 approximately 500 Ardeas were manufactured with lengthened bodies and a squared off rear cabin for use in Rome as taxis. After the war more than 8,500 commercial adaptations of the Ardea known as ‘furgoncini’ (light van versions) and the ‘camioncini’ (car based light trucks) were also produced. Instrumentation included a centrally mounted speedometer, the fuel level and the oil pressure. A third dial directly below the driver’s sight line was a clock, unusually on this size of car. The three floor pedals followed the pattern still ‘conventional’ for a manual transmission car (clutch, brake, gas) but to the left of the clutch pedal was a small foot operated dipper switch for the headlights. Control knobs lined up along the base of the fascia included a hand throttle. Early Italian images of Ardea interiors confirm that Lancias of the period were still right hand drive, a position elsewhere taken to imply driving on the left side of the road. However, right-hand drive is practical even where drivers drive on the right-hand side of the road as it allows a better view of the edge of the road, which is useful when driving on rough roads in mountainous districts. This did mean that drivers of cars with centrally located floor mounted gear shifts, such as the Ardea, needed to learn how to shift with the left hand. During the 1920s Italian leader Benito Mussolini required all Italian drivers to drive on the right, but Lancia would continue, through the 1950s, to supply right hand drive cars in areas viewed by other automakers as left hand drive markets. Four versions of the Ardea were built: the 1st series was produced between 1939 and 1941 with 2,992 built; the 2nd series between 1941 and 1948, and 4,438 built. These saw the introduction of a 12 Volt electric system. The 3rd series, produced between 1948 and 1949, with 3,600 built saw a 5-speed gearbox introduced and for the 4th series, produced between 1949 and 1953, 11,700 were built and there was a new aluminium cylinder head, and a higher compression ratio which increased power to 30 bhp. Seen here was an Ardea Fourgone.

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Designed by Vittorio Jano, the Lancia Aurelia was launched in 1950 and production lasted until the summer of 1958. The very first Aurelias were the B10 Berlinas. They used the first production V6 engine, a 60° design developed by Francesco de Virgilio who was, between 1943 and 1948 a Lancia engineer, and who worked under Jano. The first cars had a capacity of 1754 cc, and generated 56 hp. During production, capacity grew from 1.8 litres to 2.5 litres across six distinct Series. Prototype engines used a bore and stroke of 68 mm x 72 mm for 1569 cc; these were tested between 1946 and 1948. It was an all-alloy pushrod design with a single camshaft between the cylinder banks. A hemispherical combustion chamber and in-line valves were used. A single Solex or Weber carburettor completed the engine. Some uprated 1991 cc models were fitted with twin carburettors. At the rear was an innovative combination transaxle with the gearbox, clutch, differential, and inboard-mounted drum brakes. The front suspension was a sliding pillar design, with rear semi-trailing arms replaced by a de Dion tube in the Fourth series. The Aurelia was also first car to be fitted with radial tyres as standard equipment. Aurelia was named after Via Aurelia, a Roman road leading from Rome to France. The B21 version was released in 1951 with a larger 1991 cc 70 hp engine and a 2-door B20 GT coupé appeared that same year. It had a shorter wheelbase and a Ghia-designed, Pininfarina-built body. The same 1991 cc engine produced 75 hp in the B20. In all, 500 first series Aurelias were produced. This is generally believed to the first car to use the name GT, or Gran Turismo. The B20 GT Aurelia had a successful career in motorsport, too. In the 1951 Mille Miglia the 2-litre Aurelia, driven by Giovanni Bracco and Umberto Maglioli, finished 2nd beaten only by the Ferrari America. The same year it took first in class and 12th overall at LeMans. Modified Aurelias took the first three places on 1952’s Targa Florio with Felice Bonetto as the winner and another win on Lièges-Rome-Lièges of 1953.

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There was a nice example of the Flavia here, in very rare Convertible form. Named after the Via Flavia, the Roman road leading from Trieste (Tergeste) to Dalmatia, and launched at the 1960 Turin Motor Show, the Flavia was initially available only as a four-door saloon, featuring a 1.5 litre aluminium boxer engine, Dunlop disc brakes on all four wheels, front-wheel drive and front suspension by unequal-length wishbones. This model was soon joined by a two-door coupé, designed by Pininfarina on a shortened platform. Vignale built 1,601 two-door convertibles, while Zagato designed an outlandish-looking light weight two-door sport version. The sport version has twin carburettors for extra power (just over 100 hp); however, this version of the engine was notoriously difficult to keep in tune. Even the single-carburettor engine suffered from the problem of timing chain stretch. Sprockets with vernier adjusters were fitted to allow for chain wear, and the cam timing was supposed to be checked every 6000 miles. Early cars also suffered from corrosion of the cylinder heads caused by using copper gaskets on aluminium heads; nevertheless, the car was quite lively for its day, considering the cubic capacity. Later development of the engine included an enlargement to 1.8 litres, a mechanical injection version using the Kugelfischer system, and a five-speed manual gearbox. Towards the end of the 1960s, when Fiat took control of the company, the Vignale and Zagato versions were discontinued. The coupé and saloon versions received new bodywork, first presented in March 1969 at the Geneva Motor Show. The engine increased to 2.0 litres, available with carburettor or injection, and four- or five-speed gearbox. The 2.0 litre models were only made with revised Pininfarina Coupe and revised Berlina bodies.

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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 a nice Zagato Coupe as well as the more common “regular” model.

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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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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 several 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. There were several examples of the Integrale here.

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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 other part of the Jaguar Land-Rover stand was given over for the Land-Rover products and here the focus was showing the results of the classic restoration work that is now being undertaken with the Series One Land Rover.

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Also here was an early Range Rover model. Also here was an early Range Rover. The Rover Company had been experimenting with a larger model than the Land Rover Series as far back as 1951, when the Rover P4-based two-wheel-drive “Road Rover” project was developed by Gordon Bashford. This was shelved in 1958, and the idea lay dormant until 1966, when engineers Spen King and Bashford set to work on a new model. In 1967, the first Range Rover prototype was built (number plate SYE 157F), with the classic Range Rover shape clearly discernible, but with a different front grille and headlight configuration. The design of the Range Rover was finalised in 1969. Twenty-six Velar engineering development vehicles were built between 1969 and 1970 and were road registered with the number plates YVB151H through to YVB177H. Though being chassis no. 3, the vehicle YVB 153H is believed to have been the first off the production line as a vehicle in that colour was urgently required for marketing. The Velar name was derived from the Italian “velare” meaning to veil or to cover. Range Rover development engineer Geoff Miller used the name as a decoy for registering pre-production Range Rovers. The Velar company was registered in London and produced 40 pre-production vehicles that were built between 1967 and 1970. Most of these Velar pre-production vehicles are accounted for and have survived into preservation, and one of them was presented here. These models fetch very strong money when sold, between £60 -80,000 for the handful that have appeared for sale in the last couple of years. The production Range Rover was launched in 1970, and it was produced until 1994, undergoing quite a transition into a luxury product en route. Early models are currently the most prized ones.

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Building on the success of the “Group B – 30 years already!” exhibition in 2017, Rétromobile and Les Grandes Heures Automobiles once again teamed up for an exhibition inspired by the records broken at the Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry – a legendary racing circuit on the outskirts of Paris. After just three meetings, Les Grandes Heures Automobiles – a Rétromobile partner – at the Autodrome has already earned a reputation as one of the top features in the motor-racing calendar. Marking a revival in motor sports, the 2017 event was attended by some 16,000 spectators. An exhibition focusing on the “Grandes Heures de l’Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry”, a legendary race circuit close to Paris, was chosen for the 2018 Rétromobile. This circuit and its 51° bends have set the scene for multiple record-breaking performances since it opened in 1924, with more than 1,000 automotive, motorcycle and cycle records beaten over the decades. Displayed in the walkway connecting Hall 1 with the rest of the complex, some twenty cars and motorcycles showcased the Autodrome’s long record-breaking history, including the 1927 “Voisin des records”, the 1933 “Citroën Rosalie des records” and the 1965 “Peugeot 404 des records.”

This is the 1927 Voisin “des records”. On April 12th 1927, a specially prepared valveless eight cylinder Voisin was driven over 100 km at the average speed of 205,352 kph. In September the same car is driven during 24 hours at the average speed of 182,660 kph

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This Voisin C15 with a production valveless 12 cylinder engine, completed 50.000 km at an average speed of 120 kph on the Linas Monthlery track in September 1930. The car utilised for the record is similar to the one in exhibit.

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1933 Citroen Petit Rosalie

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George Eyston established a new record on the Monthlery track on February 4th 1934 driving a specially prepared 290 hp Panhard & Levassor 35 CV and covering 214,044 km in 60 minutes.

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There is no longer any trace of the original Citroën 2CV Barbot so this is a replacement – its history is too interesting to ignore. It was the dream of the engineer Pierre Barbot to transform a 2CV into a competition car – he cut off the roof, shortened the chassis, lowered the suspension, changed the aerodynamics and modified the engine extensively while reducing the capacity to less than 350 c.c. to qualify for records in Class J. On the 27th September 1953 Barbot and Vinatier father and son, aided by Yacco oils, drove the car at Montlhéry for 12 hours at an average of 90,960 km/h and for 24 hours at an average of 85,02 km/h, breaking 9 international records. Jean Vinatier also drove the car in the 1953 Bol d’Or at Montlhéry, car no. 80, finishing in 19th position and winning its class. Interestingly in homage to the records, this replica ran on the track at Montlhéry in 2016 for 6 consecutive hours at an average of 104,31 km/h; among the drivers was a certain Jean Vinatier.

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This prototype was prepared by Emile Darl’ Matt in 1953 with an aluminium body based on Peugeot 203 mechanical components. Total weight was 600 kg. While trying to establish landspeed records the car had to stop due to the engine failing.

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Velam (Vehicule Léger à Moteur- meaning -Light vehicle with engine) was producing small cars under Isetta license. In 1953 the Company purchased the License. In order to develop the sales Velam decided to enter landspeed records and prepared a special vehicle. Bianchi and Pesley drove the car for 24 Hours at Monthlery and completed several records for the category under 250 cc. The 24 hours were completed at the average speed of 109,662 kph.

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The Peugeot Concept EX1, an electric roadster project intended to break some FIA records, was seen in 2010 at the time the Company is celebrating its 200 years and at the moment of the commercial launching of the Peugeot Ion electric car. The Peugeot EX1 Concept is also a styling exercise that provides some clues of the shape of future production models. Peugeot wanted to demonstrate the electric propulsion can provide fun. The Peugeot EX1 concept has already broken several world records for acceleration from a standing start. It owes its performance to its streamlined aerodynamics, its ultra light structure and its two 125 kW electric motors providing a cumulative maximum power of 250 kW (340 hp) as well as four-wheel drive. Architecture, structure and suspension at the service of maximum efficiency. Far from being a classic roadster, the EX1 Concept car is based on an architecture shaped like a “water droplet”, with a rear section built around two closely set rear wheels. Based on the experience gained from creating the 1996 Asphalte concept car and the two 20Cup models from 2005 (see images 20,21,22,23 and wallpapers below) , the chosen architecture of the EX1 has enabled the size of the passenger compartment to be reduced for optimal weight distribution and ensure that there is no extra weight at all in the overhangs. The suspension employs a number of technical solutions that ensure road holding of a very high level. The front suspension consists. The front suspension consists of a drop link double wishbone arrangement. The rear suspension consists of a single ‘swinging arm’ linked to a centrally mounted shock absorber which is connected via a rocker arm to provide a variable damping rate. The monocoque body structure is manufactured from carbon/honeycomb composite to optimize weight and rigidity. It also incorporates all the mounting points for the car’s mechanical components. The dimensions of the car also contribute to overall efficiency, a low centre of gravity and improved aerodynamics. The overall height is 0,90 m while the width is 1,77 m and the length 3,54 m. On the Peugeot EX1 Concept car, two electric motors are used, one on each axle, providing a total peak output of 250 kW (340 hp) and an immediately available constant maximum torque of 240 Nm at the front and rear. This allow to drive with no gear change. The driver and passenger climb into the passenger compartment through a reverse opening door, giving access to the two bucket seats. The on-board instrumentation comprises an instrument panel screens for each occupant showing in particular the vehicle’s instantaneous performance. The material for the instrument panel is pure metal and embossed leather. The driver operates the vehicle with two control handles. The electric energy is stored in 30 kWh Lithium-ion batteries that allows for a quoted 450 km range. The overall weight of the car is a mere 750 kg. Acceleration from 0 to 100 kph (62 mph) is announced for 3,58 seconds while top speed of 260 kph is reached in a quoted 6,6 seconds.

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And finally there was the 2013 Peugeot 208 Pikes Peak car, driven by Sebastien Loeb. Peugeot Sport pulled no punches in its bid to provide Sébastien Loeb with a singularly awesome machine for the 2013 Pike Peak Hill Climb (June 30). The 208 T16 Pikes Peak in which the driver who has dominated world class rallying for the past decade will attempt to become the ‘King of The Peak’ boasts a power output of 875 horsepower, tips the scales at just 875kg, and benefits from all-wheel drive, plus a spectacular aerodynamic package. The mission of any race car designer is to juggle with the restrictions and constraints dictated by the regulations in areas like height, the forms of the body, the size and location of the powerplant, etc. It’s a stimulating challenge, of course, yet it can also be highly frustrating at times. Deep down, engineers have just one desire, to sweep the table clear of the rule books and design the ultimate, no-holds-barred machine with just one objective in mind: the quest for absolute performance. The Pikes Peak Hill Climb is the only race in the world that permits the fantasy of freeing the beast that lurks at the back of every engineer’s mind to become reality! The very mention of the event and its celebrated ‘Unlimited’ class is enough to bring a twinkle to the eyes of any designer. “Your imagination is the only limit when you set out to design a car for Pikes Peak,” grins Jean-Christophe Pallier, the Peugeot Sport engineer tasked with the 208 T16 Pikes Peak project. “Designing this car was a tremendously rewarding experience, even though we still had to take the ‘time’ factor into account…” The giddy altitudes visited by the Colorado hill climb present a unique technical challenge: that of ensuring the engines are able to breathe as freely as possible in the rarefied air… “In the case of a normally-aspirated engine, you basically lose one percent of the available power every 100 metres you climb,” notes Peugeot Sport Director Bruno Famin. This is a fundamental parameter that has to be taken into account for this race which starts at an altitude of 2,865 metres and finishes at 4,301 metres! By the time they reach the start line, certain engines automatically shed some 30 percent of their potential. A powerful engine is consequently essential because there can be no question of Sébastien Loeb lacking power on the day. Peugeot Sport’s answer is a derivative of the bi-turbo V6 which was designed for endurance racing. With this 875-horsepower powerplant under the bonnet, the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak will boast even more power than a Formula 1 single-seater! It goes without saying that it will be the most powerful car ever driven by world rallying’s multiple champion. This will be motorsport in the extreme, especially since the guard rails that are a hallmark of traditional circuits make way for steep drops in the case of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb In its bid to reach out to the clouds, Peugeot Sport has also paid careful attention to providing Sébastien Loeb with a particularly lightweight car. “We’ve shaved it down to 875kg,” observes Jean-Christophe Pallier. “As a result, we have achieved the magic and symbolic power-to-weight ratio of 1:1!” Meanwhile, to be sure that the car’s handling is as agile as possible, the weight distribution of the tubular-framed machine has been meticulously fine-tuned, with the engine sitting in a mid-rear position, like the famous Group B rally cars of the 1980s and like endurance racing prototypes.
The 208 T16 Pikes Peak effectively shares its genes with those of the Le Mans 24 Hours-winning 908 in several areas. Indeed, last year’s Pikes Peak took place for the first time on an entirely asphalted course, so the machine conceived by Peugeot Sport is practically an out-and-out endurance racing prototype. Common areas include the running gear, brakes and aerodynamic features like the air-intake and the spectacular two-metre wide rear wing which was originally used for the first-generation 908 HDi FAP. Unfortunately, there weren’t any wider options in stock! Also like that of a Le Mans car, the 208’s aerodynamic package has been meticulously honed. “We believe efficient aerodynamics can give us a competitive edge over our rivals,” notes Jean-Christophe Pallier. “The speeds reached during the ascension range from 50 to 240kph, and aerodynamics play a key role from 100kph.” The 208 T16 Pikes Peak’s hallmark rear wing and front splitter are not only extremely spectacular, but they are also awesomely efficient, in addition to bestowing the car with a truly beast-like stance. Meanwhile, although invisible, the design of the car’s under-tray is responsible for generating almost half the car’s downforce Last but by no means least, the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak sits on bespoke Michelin tyres which provide the four driven wheels with invaluable grip. To tackle the 156 turns that stand between Sébastien Loeb and the Colorado clouds, the most successful driver in rallying history will most definitely benefit from one of the most potent purpose-engineered cars ever designed for motorsport!

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The launching of the Ligier JSP2 marked the return of Onroak Automotive in Endurance Racing and at Le Mans 24 Hours. This closed body LMP2 automobile is the result of intense development. The Ligier JSP2 with different homologated propulsion unit from Nissan, Honda or JUDD has accumulated successes in endurance racing in particular in North America with victories at Daytona 24 Hours, Sebring 12 Hours or Petit Le Mans in 2016 after a LMP2 title in 2015 FIA WEC.

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The Ligier JS P4, unveiled at the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours, is a real racing car which slots in between the CN and LM P3 categories. Its aim is to help drivers and teams to discover driving and running a sports prototype, and it will be used for endurance races like the V de V Endurance Series, the Creventic 24H Proto Series and also for track days and in different national series.

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This is a Lola T70 Mark III, developed by Lola Cars in 1965 for sports car racing. Lola built the chassis, which were typically powered by large American V8s. The T70 was quite popular in the mid to late 1960s, with more than 100 examples being built in three versions: an open-roofed Mk II spyder, followed by a Mk III coupé, and finally a slightly updated Mk IIIB. The T70 was replaced in the Can-Am series by the lighter Lola T160. Early success for the Lola T70 came when Walt Hansgen won the Monterey Grand Prix, at Laguna Seca Raceway, on 17 October 1965, driving John Mecom’s Lola T70-Ford. In 1966, the hot setup for the Can-Am was a T70 Chevrolet, winning five of six races during the year. John Surtees was the champion and Dan Gurney drove the only Ford powered car ever to win a Can-Am race. In 1967, no one could compete with the new M6 McLaren. When the FIA changed the rules for sports car racing for the 1968 season, limiting engine size of prototypes to three litres, sportscars with up to five litre engines were allowed if at least fifty were made. This homologation rule allowed the popular yet outdated Ford GT40 and Lola T70s to continue racing. The Fords won Le Mans again in 1968 and 1969, while the T70’s only big endurance win was a one–two finish in the 1969 24 Hours of Daytona behind the Sunoco Lola T70-Chevrolet of Mark Donohue and Chuck Parsons. When the minimum number was lowered to twenty five for 1969, the more modern Porsche 917 and Ferrari 512 were homologated and outran the older Lolas and Fords. Chevrolet powered coupes tended to suffer reliability problems when racing in Europe, in part due to the grade of fuel allowed. When forced to run on commercially available “pump fuel”, with a lower octane rating than the “Avgas” permitted under American rules, engine failures were common. In modern historic racing, these engines show much improved reliability due to parts unavailable in the 1960s and better fuel quality than the historically poor petrol supplied by the ACO. An Aston Martin powered coupe was entered by Lola for Le Mans in 1967. Even with drivers such as John Surtees, it was a disaster. The Aston Martin V8 engine failed after short runs, attributed to inadequate developmental funds. During the filming of Steve McQueen’s Le Mans, Lola chassis were disguised as the Porsche 917 and Ferrari 512s that crashed in the film. It is claimed chassis T76/141 originally campaigned by Ulf Norinder and Jo Bonnier was used for the wrecked Gulf Porsche. A T70 coupe also appears as a car of the future in George Lucas’ first commercial film, THX 1138. In 2005, Lola Cars announced a revival of the T70 MkIIIb in “an authentic and limited continuation series” of the original racer. It is unclear if any were ever produced before Lola Cars went defunct in 2012.

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The Lola T600 is the very first ground effect prototype foreshadowing the advent of Group C. The car was entered at Le Mans 24 Hours in 1981 but did not start. It had a V8 Chevrolet engine producing 590 hp at 7200 rpm.

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1974 74S

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The March Porsche 85G won the IMSA GTP Class at the 1986 Le Mans 24 Hours. The chassis is unibody and is made of aluminium with honeycomb elements. Dry weight is given for 900 kg. The Body is made of Kevlar and carbon fibre composite. The engine is a 2.8 Litre Porsche air cooled and with single turbo producing 690 hp at 7200 rpm (with turbo at 1.4 bars).

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Driven by Alain Ferté and Philippe Alliot, this Martini MK 37 won several races in the 1982 European Formula 3 Championship including Monaco, Magny-Cours and La Châtre. Alliot finished second in the championship in this car. Ferté’s Martini MK37 won the title that year. The car was completely restored in the historic Martini workshops in Magny-Cours.

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Maserati Club had their own stand here with a couple of splendid classics displayed there. This is a Sebring, which was based on the earlier Maserati 3500 GT, and aimed at the American Gran Turismo market, taking its name from Maserati’s 1957 racing victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring. A single two-seat spyder was built by Vignale in 1963 but did not enter production. The Series I (Tipo AM 101/S) was shown at the Salon International de l’Auto 1962 and again at the Salone dell’automobile di Torino in 1963. Employing all but the Maserati 3500’s coachwork, it could reach 137 mph and 0–60 mph in 8.5 seconds on 185×15 Pirelli Cinturato tyres. A Borg-Warner automatic transmission was available, a first for Italian automobiles. When leaving the factory it originally fitted Pirelli Cinturato 205VR15 tyres (CN72). A total of 348 Series I Sebrings were built between 1962 and 1965. The engine was updated in 1963, gaining 15PS for a total of 235 PS. The 3700 engine first appeared in 1964, although only a handful of Series I cars were thus equipped. In 1965, the modified Series II (Tipo AM 101/10) was introduced. It had lightly redesigned headlamps, modernised bumpers, new front indbicators, and new side grilles replacing the lower extraction vents used hitherto. It took minor design cues from the contemporary Quattroporte. At the rear, aside from the squared off bumpers, the taillights were now mounted horizontally rather than vertically and the bootlid opening was narrowed somewhat. The Series II rode on larger 205×15 Pirelli Cinturatos. A run of 247 units were made from 1964 until 1968. Along with the 3500 engine, the 3700 and the even larger 4000 were added. The 4000 GTiS has a 4,012 cc engine producing 255 PS at 5,200 rpm. It remained in production until 1968, when financial constraints forced Maserati to drop its older models from production. No major updates took place over the last three years of production, except for a slight power gain for the 4000, now up to 265 PS. 348 units of Sebring 3.5 and 245 of 3.7 and 4.0 (combined) were made, for a total of 593 units from 1962 to 1969.

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There was also a Barchetta here. This mid-engined, two-door, two-seat sports car, like the 350 and 450S, was designed by Carlo Gaino of the “Synthesis Design”, an Italian design house. Thirteen examples of the racing model were produced at De Tomaso’s factory in Modena, plus two prototypes (one racing-corsa, one street-stradale). It featured a mid-engine V6 AM501 Maserati biturbo engine 1996cc (red intake manifold for the Corsa) an evolution of the AM490 (black intake manifold used for the Stradale), a central frame holding an integral fuel tank and a very light glass fibre/carbon fibre spyder body, accelerating the car to about 180 mph (290 km/h). The development of a road version was stopped at a late stage. However, today some racing cars hold a road title in Europe, after minor modifications to allow road compatibility. The racing series Grantrofeo Barchetta was held 1992 and 1993. It featured sixteen races in total, most of them in Italy. The central-frame concept survived in the De Tomaso Guarà, but the frame was around 13 cm (5.1 in) longer because it was engined by a longer V8. This was thought as a way to inject much needed excitement and enthusiasm for Maserati that saw its reputation badly ruined by years of exciting but maintenance sensitive products, eventually culminating in Maserati’s withdrawal from the North American market at this time. It is also true that the amount of delicate maintenance necessary to take care of these high output small engines was not compatible with the auto repair industry in several territories. This model has become a collector item valued at several times its introduction price.

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One of the best known Formula 1 cars of the mid 1950s is the Maserati 250F. 26 of these legends were made between January 1954 and November 1960. Twenty-six examples were made. The 250F principally used the 2.5-litre Maserati A6 straight-six engine which generated 220 bhp at 7400 rpm, ribbed 13.4″ drum brakes, wishbone independent front suspension and a De Dion tube axle. It was built by Gioacchino Colombo, Vittorio Bellentani and Alberto Massimino; the tubular work was by Valerio Colotti. The 250F first raced in the 1954 Argentine Grand Prix where Juan Manuel Fangio won the first of his two victories before he left for the new Mercedes-Benz team. Fangio won the 1954 Drivers’ World Championship, with points gained with both Maserati and Mercedes-Benz; Stirling Moss raced his own privately owned 250F for the full 1954 season. In 1955 a 5-speed gearbox; SU fuel injection (240 bhp) and Dunlop disc brakes were introduced. Jean Behra drove this in a five-member works team which included Luigi Musso. In 1956 Stirling Moss won the Monaco and Italian Grands Prix, both in a works car. In 1956 three 250F T2 cars first appeared for the works drivers. Developed by Giulio Alfieri using lighter steel tubes they sported a slimmer, stiffer body and sometimes the new 315 bhp (235 kW) V12 engine, although it offered little or no real advantage over the older straight 6. It was later developed into the 3 litre V12 that won two races powering the Cooper T81 and T86 from 1966 to 1969, the final “Tipo 10” variant of the engine having three valves and two spark plugs per cylinder. In 1957 Juan Manuel Fangio drove to four more championship victories, including his legendary final win at German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring (Aug. 4, 1957), where he overcame a 48 second deficit in 22 laps, passing the race leader, Mike Hawthorn, on the final lap to take the win. In doing so he broke the lap record at the Nürburgring, 10 times. By the 1958 season, the 250F was totally outclassed by the new rear engined F1 cars, however, the car remained a favourite with the privateers, including Maria Teresa de Filippis, and was used by back markers through the 1960 F1 season, the last for the 2.5 litre formula. In total, the 250F competed in 46 Formula One championship races with 277 entries, leading to eight wins. Success was not limited to World Championship events with 250F drivers winning many non-championship races around the world. Stirling Moss has repeatedly said that the 250F was the best front-engined F1 car he drove.

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The Maserati A6GCS was highly successful in 1954 and won 24 important European events. Nevertheless, it became obvious that Maserati needed a more powerful car to compete with the 3 litre 750 Monza Ferrari. The 6 cylinder 2992.5 cc twin plug engine was a development from the 250F Grand Prix car (Formula 1), a new 4 speed ( and upcoming 5 speed) transverse gearbox was developed. A tubular chassis along suspension from the A6GCS were improved and the coachwork was design by Fantuzzi. Between 1955 and 1959, 26 example of the 300 S were built. Some of the 300 S drivers were Valenzano, Perdisa, Musso, Musy, Gonzalez, Taruffi, Harry Schell and Jean Behra. An initial 3rd and 4th place at the opening 1955 Sebring 12 Hours was promising and showed the competitive potential of the Maserati 300 S, but Ferrari took the first place at the end of the season. In 1956, Maserati came back in 1956 with Stirling Moss as team leading driver but didn’t achieve better than previous season. In 1957 Juan Manuel Fangio backed up the team but the story ended as a sport failure (again behind Ferrari) and financial disaster leading to withdrawal from the Championship. This particular car, the ex Scuderia Paravano 300 S 3058 Shortnose 1956, is one of the surviving 300 S model. Tony Parravano, an Italian born entrepreneur in California was one of the most important clien of Maserati, having purchased 150 S, 250 F, 300 S, 350 S and 450 S for drivers like Masten Gregory, McAfee, Bryan and Caroll Shelby. The 300 S 3058 was built for him. The beginning was successful with a second place overall in Palm Springs with Masten Gregory in December 1955, and again to third at the Nassau Trophy on the Bahamas the same month. One month later, Masten Gregory won on the Torrey Pines circuit, against driver such as Phil Hill in a Ferrari and a pack of Porsche 550 Spyder. In 1960, Parravano disappeared (supposedly due to illegal business practice) and all his cars moved to Mexico before returning to US in 1977. The Maserati 300 S Shortnose became part of the Japanese Hayashi Collection. Subsequent owners included Peter Rae and Brian Brunkhurst until 2002 when the car was purchased by actual owner. This car was exhibited by Lukas Hüni AG.

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Maserati A6 were a series of grand tourers, racing sports cars and single seaters made by Maserati of Italy between 1947 and 1956. They were named for Alfieri Maserati (one of the Maserati brothers, founders of Maserati) and for their straight-six engine. The 1.5-litre straight-six was named A6 TR (Testa Riportata for its detachable cylinder head), and was based on the pre-war Maserati 6CM; 65 bhp. It first appeared in the A6 Sport or Tipo 6CS/46, a barchetta prototype, developed by Ernesto Maserati and Alberto Massimino. This became the A6 1500 Pininfarina-designed two-door berlinetta, first shown at the 1947 Salon International de l’Auto in Geneva (59 made) and the spider shown at the 1948 Salone dell’automobile di Torino (2 made).

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This is an A6G/54 Zagato model, dating from 1955. The A6 1500 of 1947 had been Maserati’s first production road car, and sixty-one of these exquisite grand tourers were made between 1947 and 1950 with a variety of bodies supplied by many of Italy’s renowned coachbuilders, when it began to be gradually replaced by the A6G 2000 . Production of these was also on a small scale and once again, a number of coachbuilders supplied the bodies. After a two-year hiatus at the 1954 Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris Maserati launched a new grand tourer, the A6G 2000 Gran Turismo—commonly known as A6G/54 to distinguish it from its predecessor. It was powered by a new double overhead camshaft inline-six, derived from the racing engines of A6GCS and A6GCM, with a bore and stroke of bore 76.5×72 mm for a total displacement of 1,985 cc. Fed by three twin-choke Weber DCO carburettors it put out 150 bhp at 6000 rpm, which gave these cars a top speed between 195 to 210 km/h (121 to 130 mph). Dual ignition added in 1956 increased power to 160 bhp. Four body styles were offered: a three-box Carrozzeria Allemano coupé (21 made), a coupé and a Gran Sport spyder by Frua (7 and 12 made), and a competition-oriented fastback by Zagato (20 made). Total production between 1954 and 1956 amounted to 60 units.

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Whilst the A6 series of cars from 1947 and produced throughout the 1950s had proved that expanding the business beyond race cars was feasible; these 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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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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There were a couple of the very pretty Ghibli model – the first of three very different models to bear the name – on dealer stands. 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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The Merak was introduced at the 1972 Paris Auto Show, over a year after the Bora, a car whose front part of the bodyshell up to the doors, it shares. The front ends are differenced mainly by the use of dual chrome bumpers in place of twin trapezoidal grilles, but the similarities end at the B-pillar. Unlike its bigger sister the Merak doesn’t have a true, fully glassed fastback, but rather a cabin ending abruptly with a vertical rear window and a flat, horizontal engine bonnet pierced by four series of ventilation slats. Giugiaro completed the vehicle’s silhouette by adding open flying buttresses, visually extending the roofline to the tail. The main competitors of the Merak were the similarly Italian, mid-engined, 3-litre and 2+2 Dino 308 GT4 and Lamborghini Urraco P250. However unlike its transverse V8-engined rivals the Merak used a more compact V6, that could therefore be mounted longitudinally. Having been designed during the Citroën ownership of Maserati, certain Citroën hydropneumatic systems were used in the Merak, as for the Bora. These included the braking system and the clutch which were both hydraulically assisted and operated, and the pop-up headlights were hydraulically actuated. After 1976, when the French manufacturer gave up control of Maserati, the Citroën-derived parts were gradually replaced by more conventional systems. In 1977 Alejandro de Tomaso purchased Maserati and the Bora was discontinued after a production run of less than 600 cars, while the Merak remained on sale for six more years. The Merak’s V6 engine descended from the 2.7 litre Tipo C.114 originally designed by Giulio Alfieri in 1967 for use in the Citroën SM, that was bored out to 91.6 mm to displace 2,965 cc. It was a chain-driven double overhead camshaft, 12-valve unit featuring an unusual 90° angle between the cylinder banks. The lubrication system used a wet sump and an oil cooler. This V6 did not end its days on the Merak: it was later modified and made into the first ever production twin-turbocharged engine in the Biturbo, ending its career in the 1990s Ghibli after reaching the highest specific output of any production engine at the time. The powerplant was mounted longitudinally behind the passenger compartment, and joined through a single-plate dry clutch to a 5-speed, all synchromesh Citroën transaxle gearbox and a limited-slip differential. The original Merak’s three-litre engine produced 190 PS at 6000 rpm. Three twin-choke Weber carburettors (one 42 DCNF 31 and two 42 DCNF 32) fed the engine, and the compression ratio was 8.75:1. Maserati declared a top speed of over 240 km/h (149 mph). Early Meraks (1972 to 1975) were fitted with the Citroën SM’s dashboard, characterised by oval instrument gauges inset in a brushed metal fascia and a single-spoke steering wheel. 630 were made up to 1974. The lightened and more powerful Merak SS (Tipo AM122/A) was introduced at the 41st Geneva Motor Show in March 1975, although it did not enter production until the next year. It featured a 50 kg weight reduction and a 30 PS power increase to 220 PS (217 hp), thanks to the adoption of three larger 44 DCNF 44 carburettors and a higher 9:1 compression ratio. The SS was recognisable from a black grille between the pop-up headlights. A Maserati-designed upper fascia with round instruments and a four-spoke steering wheel replaced the previous SM-derived interior furniture. Later cars were bestowed with the full driver-oriented dashboard and three-spoke padded steering wheel of the Maserati Bora. The US-spec version of the Merak SS also saw a return to traditional hydraulics, eliminating the last of the Citroen high pressure system. 1000 units of the SS had been made by 1983, when all Merak production ceased. A third version of the Merak was made, In November 1977 at the Turin Auto Show, De Tomaso launched the Merak 2000 GT (Tipo AM122/D), which was basically a Merak with a smaller two-litre powerplant. It was built almost exclusively for the Italian market, where a newly introduced law strongly penalised cars with engine capacity over 2000 cc by subjecting them to a 38% Value Added Tax against the usual 19% VAT. The Merak’s competitors already offered similar two-litre models, specifically the Urraco P200 and Dino 208 GT4. The Merak 2000 GT featured a 1,999 cc engine generating 170 PS (168 hp) at 7000 rpm. Colour choice was limited to two shades: metallic light blue or gold. The two-litre cars were also distinguished by a black tape stripe running just below the mid-body character line, matte black bumpers in place of the usual chrome and the absence of the front spoiler, available as an optional. The SS’s front bonnet with the grille between the headlights was used on 2000 GTs. When production ended in 1983 just 200 Meraks 2000 GT had been made. Although a total of 1830 Merak models were made, they are rare cars now. Their low values meant that when they went wrong, which they inevitably did, it was not economic to repair or restore them, and a large number have been scrapped, which is a pity, as this is a great looking car.

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This is the rarely seen third generation Quattroporte. The Tipo AM 330 was developed under the Alejandro de Tomaso-GEPI ownership. After the brief parenthesis of the Citroen-era front-wheel drive Quattroporte II, the third generation went back to the classic formula of rear-wheel drive and large Maserati V8 engine. It was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. A pre-production Quattroporte was introduced to the press by Maserati president Alejandro de Tomaso on 1 November 1976, in advance of its début at the Turin Motor Show later that month. It was only three years later though, in 1979, that the production version of the car went on sale. Initially “4porte” badging was used, changed in 1981 to Quattroporte. Two versions of the V8 engine were available: a 4,930 cc one producing 280 PS and a smaller 4,136 cc engine producing 255 PS which was phased out in 1981. The interior was upholstered in leather and trimmed in briar wood. The Quattroporte III marked the last of the hand-built Italian cars; all exterior joints and seams were filled to give a seamless appearance. From 1987 the Royale superseded the Quattroporte, as a built-to-order ultra-luxury version of the Quattroporte. It adopted a higher compression 4.9-litre engine, putting out 300 PS. Besides the usual leather upholstery and veneer trim, the passenger compartment featured a revised dashboard with analogue clock, four electrically adjustable seats, retractable veneered tables in the rear doors and a mini-bar. Visually the Royale was distinguished by new disc-shaped alloy wheels and silver-coloured side sills. De Tomaso announced a limited run of 120 Royales, but when production ceased in 1990 only 53 of them had been made. In all, including the Royale, 2,155 Quattroporte IIIs were produced.

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There was just one example of the now highly-thought of Rancho. Thought of as a leisure activity vehicle, the Rancho was created by the French engineering group Matra, in cooperation with the automaker Simca, to capitalise on the off-road trend started by the Range Rover, with an “off-road look” offered at a much lower price than the British car. The Rancho was launched in 1977. Designed by Antonis Volanis, the Rancho was based on the pick-up version of Simca’s popular 1100, using its front structure and a stretched chassis. The rest of the body was made by Matra from fibreglass and polyester, including the mouldings adorning the body, which made it look more “sturdy”. This technology would later be used on the Renault Espace, as well. The ground clearance was also increased. Unlike most off-roaders, it was not fitted with all-wheel drive, retaining the 1100s front-wheel drive layout. Other elements retained from the 1100 included the dashboard and front seats which were identical with the ones found in the Simca 1100 GLS. The Rancho was powered by the 1442 cc, 80 bhp version of the “Poissy engine” straight-4 engine. The Rancho’s optional third row of seats (making it an early MPV) shared head restraints with the normal rear seats. Sales of the model were quite respectable, but they could do nothing to alleviate the larger problems at Chrysler Europe (Simca’s parent company). Chrysler finally sold its European arm to PSA in 1978, which was then rebranded as Talbot in 1979. The Matra-Simca Rancho became the Talbot Matra Rancho. Production continued until 1984, and 57,792 were made. During its life, the Rancho was offered in several versions. Apart from the basic Rancho, there was the Grand Raid, around 2000 of which were built, fitted with such “off-road” extras as an electric winch on the front bumper and the spare wheel mounted on the roof – as well as a limited-slip differential. The Rancho X was the upscale model, with additional standard items such as alloy wheels and metallic paint. The Découvrable model’s rear cabin consisted of an open frame with roll-down fabric covers, which could serve as an “open” car during good weather. Finally, the Rancho AS was the commercial version, with no rear seat, making it exempt from the French tax on passenger cars. Rarest of the lot was the Midnight, only 100 of which were made. Although the bodies do not rust, the mechanicals are less durable, so there are not that many survivors, down to just single figures in the UK, sadly.

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Watch maker Richard Mille had a most impressive display of McLarens on their stand, to mark 55 years of the brand.

Robin Herd designed the McLaren M2B for McLaren’s first season in F1, but its Ford engine was underdeveloped, and with sports car racing a higher priority for Bruce McLaren, the car was not often raced. Robin Herd was undoubtedly a brilliant engineer. After a double first from Oxford, he worked as a design engineer on the Royal Aircraft Establishment’s Concorde project at Farnborough before joining McLaren to design his first racing car at the age of just 26. He opted to use Mallite, a laminate composite material formed of end-grain balsa between two sheets of duralumin, an Aluminium-copper alloy. The material had astonishing torsional rigidity, but could not easily be formed into the double-curvature shapes then common in racing car design. Herd’s first design, the M2A Firestone test car, used Mallite throughout, but the following F1 design, the M2B, only used Mallite for the internal skins and lower bodywork. A greater problem for McLaren was to find a suitable engine for the new 3-litre Formula 1, and their first choice was a modified version of Ford’s quad-cam Indy car engine, which would be reduced from its normal 4.2 litres. This was catastrophic: over-valved and over-ported for this application, not to mention deafening, with an exhaust system described by Autosport’s John Bolster as being “of heroic proportions”, and only 300 bhp could be nursed from it. An oil leak caused Bruce McLaren’s retirement from the Monaco GP, and a rethink in the engine department was clearly needed. A V8 Serenissima sports car engine was found and fitted to one of the M2Bs in time for the Belgian GP, but that ran its bearings so could not start. With Le Mans and the Ford GT40s then the priority, Bruce McLaren next aired the McLaren-Serenissima at the British GP in July, and was rewarded with an encouraging sixth place. The team then focused on getting the Ford engine to work properly, and the M2B returned at Watkins Glen in October, where Bruce again ran well, lying fourth at half-distance before finishing a place lower. The engine was now showing some promise, and McLaren qualified sixth in Mexico, but the Ford overheated during the race, dropping him out of contention. McLaren would look for simpler options in 1967. The two M2Bs were both sold off to Ken Sheppard, and one was fitted with a 3-litre Coventry Climax ‘Godiva’ engine for 1968, but did not start a race. It was later modified for F5000 with an Oldsmobile engine, but an exhaust pipe fell off and it did not start then either. Tom Wheatcroft bought both M2Bs and one languished in his cellar for decades. Both have now been immaculately rebuilt by Hall & Hall.

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The elegant M7A tends to be mistaken for the first single seater McLaren that was designed specifically for Formula 1, doubtless because it was the first to succeed. It was another product of the fruitful Robin Herd/Gordon Coppuck pairing. Like the M6A the new car proved a winner not just first time out but on its first two outings. Bruce won the 1968 Daily Mail Race of Champions at Brands Hatch in March, and the following month Denny fought back from a problem when a stone smashed a lens in his goggles, to win the Daily Express International Trophy race at Silverstone. Both were non-championship events, but the M7A was to make the McLaren marque a Grand Prix winner that season, too. Herd conceived McLaren’s first Ford Cosworth DFV—powered contender around a simple, three-quarter length monocoque, following Lotus’s lead in using the V8 as a structural element. Transmission was provided by a standard Hewland DGSOO five-speed transaxle. The chassis was of the so-called bathtub type, open to the top in the fashion of the Lotus 25, and was skinned mainly in 22-gauge L72 aluminium sheet or, in a few places, 20-gauge magnesium sheet, which was riveted and bonded to three internal 20-gauge steel bulkheads. 40 gallons of fuel were distributed between four rubber bag tanks, one each longitudinally on either side of the tub, another behind the driver’s seat, and the fourth in the scuttle. Sleek glass-fibre bodywork completed the attractive package. Other notable points were the use of Lockheed brakes, at a time when every other British team opted for Girling. The suspension was conventional and derived from the M6A’s, via outboard coil spring/dampers units both ends and single lateral links and trailing arms at the front and single lateral top links, reversed lower wishbones and twin radius rods at the rear. There was a story behind the suspension, for Herd had left McLaren to join Cosworth shortly after drawing the M7A’s chassis. Bruce had schooled him in the rigours of applying his impressive aerospace knowledge to the practicalities of motor racing, and felt aggrieved when his design protégé upped and left. It was left to Coppuck to do the detail design on the suspension, after Bruce had largely been responsible for the geometry. McLaren was now reasonably well funded via commercial deals with both Goodyear and Shell, and the two non-championship race successes provided a much-needed boost following Denny’s fifth place with the M5A in the opening race in South Africa. Once the Grand Prix season resumed in Spain and Monaco in May, Graham Hill put Lotus back on top. But then came Spa and the Belgian Grand Prix 5, on June 9th, which would prove to be a Red Letter Day for the marque. After early leaders John Surtees in the Honda and Chris Amon in a Ferrari had dropped out, Denny was embroiled in a battle for the lead with Jackie Stewart’s Tyrrell-Matra-Ford. Then Denny retired after 18 laps with a driveshaft failure, leaving Bruce fighting the BRMs of Pedro Rodriguez and Piers Courage, and Jacky Ickx‘s Ferrari, for second place in Stewart’s wake. Gradually Bruce dropped his three challengers and was convinced he had finished as the runner-up as he crossed the line. But Stewart had pitted for fuel on the penultimate lap, leaving Bruce to emulate Jack Brabham as only the second man ever to win a Grand Prix in a car bearing his own name. He discovered this from one of BRM‘s mechanics, who said: “You’ve won, didn’t you know?“ Bruce recalled later: “It was about the nicest thing I’d ever been told.” As Matra and Ferrari, on Dunlop and Firestone tyres respectively, won subsequent races, and Graham Hill and his Firestone-shod Lotus set the pace aerodynamically after full-blown wings had appeared on the Ferraris and Brabhams at Spa, McLaren lost pace. Its wings were less effective, mounted in the middle of the car on the sprung mass rather than, in Lotus style, at the rear on the unsprung suspension uprights, and Goodyear suffered a dip in competitiveness. But its new G9 tyre came as a boost by Monza in September, where Denny scored a great victory in the Italian GP. He repeated the feat in the next race, at St Jovite in Canada, albeit after faster runners Amon, Jochen Rindt and Jo Siffert had all met trouble, and Bruce brought his M7A home behind him to record McLaren’s first-ever 1-2 in a Grand Prix.

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The McLaren M8D was driven by the legendary founder Bruce McLaren and is the car in which he tragically lost his life. The M8D gave his team one of its best years in Can-Am. Rallying superbly after the tragedy, McLaren took nine wins from 10 rounds, and Denny Hulme took his second title despite driving with his hands still bandaged after the fire in the M15 at Indianapolis. The M8D differed visually from the M8B. With new rules banning the strut-mounted wings that had proliferated in 1969, the solution at McLaren comprised a pair of tail fins which acted as fences to channel airflow over a wide, low-mounted wing located eight inches above the rear bodywork. The distinctive appearance earned the car the nickname ‘the Batmobile’. It was less efficient aerodynamically without the M8B’s high wing, so to maintain performance the team sought even greater horsepower. A new deal with Reynolds Aluminium gave it access to that company’s new silicon-aluminium Chevrolet blocks, 8-litre versions of which were said to be capable of producing 700bhp. In the interest of reliability a slightly smaller 7.6-litre was chosen, giving 670bhp. In 1970, on that tragic day in Goodwood, Bruce McLaren pulled in and out of the pits for adjustments to the rear wing in a bid to avoid overseer. At 12.19 he left the pits for the last time. In a fast left-hand kink leading on to the main straight part of the tail section lifted at 170mph, causing the car to spin. It struck a marshals’ protective embankment on the right-hand side of the track with enormous impact. Bruce was thrown from the wreckage, and killed instantly.

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The M23 had plenty of development left in it for 1974, and the really significant change was the creation of the Texaco-Marlboro McLaren superteam, as 1972 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi quit Lotus to join Denny in M23s that were now painted red and white. It was a major coup for McLaren that brought in the sponsorship dollars to stage a major title assault, but a high degree of juggling was needed to placate Yardley. In the end, agreement was reached to run a third works car in its livery. Teddy Mayer’s initial plan was to run Peter Revson in it, but the American finally lost patience with the ongoing negotiations and left to join Shadow in a decision that would ultimately cost him his life when he was the victim of suspension failure during testing at Kyalami, in his place, Phil Kerr would run the M23 for Mike Hailwood. Prolonged winter testing by the enthusiastic Fittipaldi at Paul Ricard led to changes to the car, such as a longer wheelbase and wider track, based on his considerable experience of the Lotus 72. Years later, historic racer Willie Green would call it “easily the best” of the many 1970s Formula 1 machines he had driven round Brands Hatch. Good aerodynamics, he contended, “were one of its strong suits and the lack of buffeting in the cockpit at high speeds bears this out.” Gordon Coppuck described the car as a decade and a half on as, “The best F1 car for three years. Yes, it was a good design, but it also benefited from a lot of good development. The chassis changed very little, but we did a great deal of suspension work to keep it competitive. The chassis was much stiffer than those of our rivals’ cars, but it was pretty flexible by modern standards.” Compared to the previous season the M23’s weight distribution had been improved by fitting a new bellhousing spacer between the engine and gearbox, hence the three-inch longer wheelbase. With an additional two inches of track, traction was also improved out of slow corners, while the rear wing was brought forward by 10 inches in order to comply with a new set of regulations. During the season three different wheelbase variations were employed, together with a distinctive narrow ‘winklepicker’ nose which saw service at Brands Hatch, Jarama and Monaco where its wider wings generated more front-end downforce. Fittipaldi loved testing. According to Coppuck, “He enjoyed this side of his job more than the races.” That was to prove a valuable factor as a tough season progressed. It began superbly for the new team, though it was Denny who won the opening race in Argentina after passing Reutemann’s ailing Brabham with two laps to run. Emerson inadvertently delayed himself while in a position to challenge for the win by knocking off the ignition. He finished 10th. But the Brazilian did not have to wait long to make amends, as he won his home event from pole position, finishing 13s ahead of Regazzoni. ln a year characterised by the battle with a newly emergent Ferrari team and its drivers, Niki Lauda and Clay Regazzon and the threats from Reutemann, Tyrrell’s Jody Scheckter and Lotus’s Ronnie Peterson, all of whom enjoyed victories. Emerson won again in Belgium and Canada to head into the final race, at Watkins Glen, neck-and-neck with Regazzoni. In the Yardley car, meanwhile, Hailwood had some strong races, most notably the Dutch GP where he matched Fittipaldi as he raced home fourth behind the Marlboro car to add to another fourth in Argentina and third in South Africa. But his F1 career ended when his M23 landed badly on a jump at the Nurburgring and crashed heavily inflicting leg injuries. David Hobbs drove the car in Austria and Italy before upcoming German Jochen Mass left Surtees to take over the car for the two final races. The American shootout went Emerson’s way as he brought the M23 home fourth to clinch his second worId title, and the first-ever World Championship for the McLaren marquee. That day was historic for two other reasons: it marked the end of McLaren’s association with Yardley; and Denny’s final Grand Prix appearance. His engine failed after four laps. Without The Bear’s mountainous courage in the aftermath of Bruce’s death, there might not have been a McLaren team for Fittipaldi to drive for. The M23’s outstanding combination of performance, predictable and controllable handling, superb preparation and reliability had left an indelible mark in the record books.

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Having completed just a handful of laps in the new 1988 MP4/4, Alain Prost reportedly told Team Principle Ron Dennis that he knew the car would win the World Championship. The high level of optimism at McLaren, following the arrival of its new Honda V6 engine and of Ayrton Senna as Prost’s partner, was not diluted by rule changes for the 1988 season. These brought in a further reduction in fuel capacity to 150 litres and a mandatory 2.8-bar turbo boost limit, the benefit of both in theory going to McLaren’s normally aspirated rivals in a move clearly made ahead of the imminent ban on turbo technology which would come into effect for 1989. So swingeing was the fuel capacity rule that many expected 1988 to be a transitional year for the turbo teams rather than a winning one. But for McLaren at least it was to be nothing of the sort. The new MP4/4 won 15 out of 16 races, losing only Monza which many felt was a self-inflicted defeat after Senna tripped over backmarker Jean-Louis Schlesser’s Williams-Judd in the first chicane. The Brazilian started on pole no fewer than 13 times and won eight races to take the World Championship despite having been disqualified in the opener in Brazil. At the same time, winning a scarcely less remarkable seven rounds, Prost found himself just three points adrift of the top slot leaving McLaren’s nearest rival, third placed Gerhard Berger, literally miles behind. By the end of the season McLaren had scored a phenomenal 199 points in the Constructors’ Cup, almost three times the tally of runner-up Ferrari. In its final year of development the 1.5 litre Honda RA168E V6 turbo engine was at times putting out in excess of 700bhp. The MP4/4 won all but one of the season’s 16 Grand Prix races and scored three times the number of points as seconds place Ferrari in the Constructors Championship. The team produced a total of six MP4/4 chassis for the 1988 season, even though they would be obsolete by the end of the year when the new 3.5 litre normally aspirated engine rules came into force. The car which enabled them to achieve all this, a design which Trundle still insists is, “The perfect package, still the lowest and sleekest-looking car on display at the team HQ,” was not only a highly effective development of the 1981 carbon composite concept but also one which was correct in its tiniest details. With light overall weight, outstanding downforce, highly efficient brakes and suspension, and a fabulous V6 in the form of Honda’s RA168-E, Trundle is one of many who has no doubts that it was McLaren’s best-ever car.

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Another famous McLaren is this 1995 F1 GTO 1R Kokusai Kaihatsu Racing, the Le Mans winning car. The McLaren F1 is and will probably remain the most significant supercar ever made. Paradigm-displacing performance of this magnitude will probably not be seen again, for however fast electric supercars will eventually get, there are definite limits of legality and physics inherent in the world of road cars that cannot be overcome, and the F1 pushed the watermark so far toward that boundary that the last 20-plus years of “hypercars” have been a game of fighting for the slivers of territory left between the McLaren and the ultimate limit. Prices for the road going F1s are marching toward $20 million, and with an even greater interest in these types of cars that’s likely churn up in the wake of the upcoming hypercar-based premiere category at the 24 Hours of Le Mans these aren’t likely to stagnate at that price point either. If in the 2020s the new Le Mans category takes off and sees support from the likes of Ferrari, Porsche, Audi, McLaren, etc. who wouldn’t have to commit prototype-level budgets to compete at the front while showing off more relatable cars, who’s to say an F1 GTR couldn’t be worth more than a GTO one day? Though it’s pretty emphatically not for sale right now, McLaren owns the car with the best history. It’s the 1995 Le Mans-winning car. Not the class-winning car. It beat everything that entered, including prototypes driven by teams that included the name “Andretti” on the door. McLaren recently began an in-house certification-slash-restoration program and at this year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion they brought a special car along to celebrate. With two-time F1 World Champion Mika Häkkinen on hand to do some demonstration laps, it was a rare pleasure to see and hear the car in action, but another Finn and his friends did something a bit more impressive with this car in France 23 years ago. JJ Lehto, along with Japan’s Masanori Sekiya and France’s four-time Le Mans-winning Yannick Dalmas, beat the Kremer and Courage prototypes (both using Porsche turbo flat-six power), along with a field that was full of now-famous ‘90s road cars in “LM” forms: Ferrari F40s, Nissan GT-Rs, Honda NSXes, Toyota Supras, Porsche 993 GT2s, Jaguar XJ220s, Corvettes, Listers, Venturis—it was not a sparse field in GT1 and GT2. With a strategy based on preservation, a talented team of drivers, and an advantage earned in the rain, the #59 Ueno Clinic F1 GTR beat them all, leading a stream of other high-placing GTRs that finished in third, fourth, and fifth overall. Here’s how it happened in a nutshell. As the company tells it, some of their customers had a will to go racing with the F1, and this influenced the decision to supply privateer teams with cars prepared to compete in endurance racing at home, in the BPR Endurance series for GT1-spec cars. The F1 GTRs, as the “short tail” motorsport version of the F1 was called, performed admirably and won a few races in doing so. With so much of the engineering in the road car proving to be helpful in the tests of long-term bouts of racing, the question of Le Mans was starting to enter the answering phase. Gordon Murray, the main designer behind the F1, was not initially keen on the car’s racing efforts, so was not a major player in the Le Mans attempt, though it’s hard to downplay the fact that the car was, in many ways, his creation. After it’s victory, the obviously pleased man added that it would only have been better if the winning car had driven to and from the race, which it probably could have. To and from where, is a different story though. It came from a team formed with sponsorship from Ueno Clinic (a Japanese cosmetic surgery clinic) called Kokusai Kaihatsu Racing. It was led by race engineer Graham Humphrys (who would go on to win the race with six different manufacturers), the company’s general GTR program manager Geoff Hazell, and a Le Mans first-timer, Paul Lanzante. The factory provided key people like Humphrys, and they tested what was supposedly their own prepared car at Magny Cours to help with the rest of development that would be undertaken by the privateers—McLaren said that the teams who witnessed the car’s reliable speed lamented the fact that they’d “Have to buy more spares, take more people, and take it a lot more seriously!” But the factory was not giving the Le Mans program all they had. The car was never built with the purpose to compete on the track, and to win against the prototypes that were just wasn’t that feasible. They did develop a lot of the upgrades to the car necessary to run it for 24 hours, but they didn’t come with truckloads of spare motors to the event itself, and in fact the only extra V12 they did bring with them was swapped into the winning car in the middle of the night before the race. Of the three-driver team, JJ Lehto was the least experienced in sports car environments, but his time in Formula One proved a worthy enough credential when he set the car’s winning pace and drifted it through Tetre Rouge in the rain to victory. In the process of qualifying before the race he performed so well in though, Lehto over-revved the naturally-aspirated BMW V12, and since the BMW techs who were on-site for such drivetrain dilemmas said it shouldn’t go that high (9,000rpm was the race motor’s threshold of health according to BMW), they replaced it before the race with the only extra one on hand. They added oil and tried to take it easy on the shifts, and the added cautions brought on by the rain later on meant the drivers took things a bit slower (which only helped keep things from breaking), and in general everything seemed to be going well with the fresh engine and repaired gearbox that were done before the start. Lehto had made up a lot of ground in the rain at night, and after taking extra precautions to preserve the gearbox (Lanzante remembers liberal applications of WD40 to prevent wet debris collecting in crucial places), the possibility of a win became closer and closer to being realized; the strategy from the start had always been to get the car back in one piece, and now it looked like that could come with the added bonus of being the first to do it. They pushed harder, but not irresponsibly. The drivers did their jobs, the mechanics did theirs, the managers put it all together, and the car brought home three more GTRs in the top five finishers. Against the odds, but a little less so in hindsight, it became a Le Mans champion and cemented its place at the tip of the supercar supreme. The McLaren F1 (in any form), may not be the standard of performance which the next round of really fast and quickly forgettable cars will be measured against, but it’s still the yardstick of a road car’s potential impact, and so far everything else has come up short.

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Third of the hypercars considered to be the “holy trinity” (with the LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder) is the McLaren P1, and there was one of these here, presented on Tom Hartley’s stand. Debuted at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, sales of the P1 began in the United Kingdom in October 2013 and all 375 units were sold out by November. Production ended in early December 2015. The United States accounted for 34% of the units and Europe for 26%. It is considered by the automotive press to be the successor to the F1, utilising hybrid power and Formula 1 technology, but does not have the same three-seat layout. It was later confirmed that the Speedtail served as the actual successor to the F1. The P1 has a mid-engine, rear wheel drive design that used a carbon fibre monocoque and roof structure safety cage concept called MonoCage, which is a development of the MonoCell first used in the MP4-12C and then in subsequent models. Its main competitors were the LaFerrari and the Porsche 918. They are all similar in specifications and performance, and in a race around Silverstone circuit they were all within half a second of each other, the P1 finishing first at 58.24 seconds and the LaFerrari finishing last at 58.58 seconds; the 918 was in-between with 58.46 seconds. 58 units of the track-oriented P1 GTR and 5 units of its road legal counterpart, the P1 LM were produced after the initial run of 375 cars. 13 experimental Prototype ‘XP’, 5 Validation Prototypes ‘VP’ and 3 Pre-Production ‘PP’ cars were produced by McLaren before the production of the P1 started, a number of which have been refurbished, modified and sold to customers. This is one of the XP cars.

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Announced online in early 2016, and making their public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the 570S GT4 and 570S Sprint are the track oriented iterations of the 570S. McLaren disclosed shortly after the announcement, that the track cars were built alongside their base model. Changes include a new air jack suspension system, racing style aero package, and center-lock magnesium alloys wrapped in Pirelli racing slicks. McLaren also added a new race style cooling system and radiator, but the powertrain remained unchanged. The GT4 made its racing debut at the British GT Championship in April 2016. The 570S Sprint has been made commercially available for customers. The Sprint was built alongside the GT4 counterpart, but without the FIA restrictions required on the GT4. The car can be updated to the GT4 specifications at the owner’s request.

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1928 680S Saoutchik – Lukas Hüni

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Further examples of the 170V were to be seen on the stands here as well as the one I had seen in the Artcurial auction collection. Launched in 1936, it soon became Mercedes’ top-selling model, with over 75,000 made by 1939. Enough of the W136’s tooling survived Allied bombing during World War II (or could be recreated post-war) for it to serve as the foundation upon which the company could rebuild. By 1947 the model 170 V had resumed its place as Mercedes’ top-seller, a position it held until 1953. Most of the cars produced, and an even higher proportion of those that survive, were two or four door “Limousine” (saloon) bodied cars, but the range of different body types offered in the 1930s for the 170 V was unusually broad. A four-door “Cabrio-Limousine” combined the four doors of the four door “Limousine” with a full length foldaway canvas roof. Both the four door bodies were also available adapted for taxi work, with large luggage racks at the back. There was a two-door two seater “Cabriolet A” and a two-door four seater “Cabriolet B” both with luggage storage behind the seats and beneath the storage location of the hood when folded (but without any external lid for accessing the luggage from outside the car). A common feature of the 170 V bodies was external storage of the spare wheel on the car’s rear panel. The two seater roadster featured a large flap behind the two seats with a thinly upholstered rear partition, and which could be used either as substantial luggage platform or as a very uncomfortable bench – the so-called mother-in-law’s seat. In addition to the wide range of passenger far bodied 170 Vs, a small commercial variant was offered, either as a flatbed truck or with a box-body on the back. Special versions of the 170 V were offered, adapted for use as ambulances or by the police, mountain rescue services and military. Production restarted in May 1946. The vehicles produced were versions of the 170 V, but in 1946 only 214 vehicles were produced and they were all light trucks or ambulances. Passenger car production resumed in July 1947, but volumes were still very low, with just 1,045 170 Vs produced that year. There was no return for the various open topped models from the 1930s. Customers for a Mercedes-Benz 170 V passenger car were restricted to the four door “Limousine” sedan/saloon bodied car. Production did ramp up during the next couple of years, and in 1949 170 V production returned to above 10,000 cars. From May 1949 the car, badged in this permutation as the Mercedes-Benz 170D, was offered with an exceptionally economical 38 PS diesel engine. The 170D was the world’s third diesel fuelled passenger car, and the first to be introduced after the war. A number of updates were made in 1950 and 1952, with more modern and more powerful engines among the changes, but with the appearance of the new Ponton bodied Mercedes-Benz 180 in 1953, the 170 models suddenly appeared very old fashioned. The 170 V was delisted in September 1953: in July 1953 the manufacturer had replaced the existing 170 S with the reduced specification 170 S-V. The car that resulted combined the slightly larger body from the 170 S with the less powerful 45 PS engine that had previously powered the 170 V. The vehicle provided reduced performance but at a reduced price, while salesmen steered more prosperous buyers to the new Ponton bodied 180. The diesel powered 170 S continued to be sold, now branded as the 170 S-D. The internal “W191” designation which had distinguished the previous 170 Ss was removed, and the 170 Ss manufactured from 1953 returned to the “W136” works designation that they had shared with the 170 V till the end of 1951. In September 1955 the last Mercedes-Benz W136, the Mercedes-Benz 170 S was withdrawn from production.

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There were a couple of examples of the W188 300S model here on dealer stands. 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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As always seems to be the case, there were lots of the 300SL Gullwing and the later open-topped Roadster model here across a variety of dealer stands. 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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The Ponton was Daimler-Benz’s first totally new Mercedes-Benz series of passenger vehicles produced after World War II. In July 1953, the cars replaced the pre-war-designed Type 170 series and were the bulk of the automaker’s production through 1959, though some models lasted through 1962. The nickname comes from the German word for “pontoon” and refers to one definition of pontoon fenders — and a postwar styling trend, subsequently called ponton styling. A bewildering array of models were produced, with a mixture of 180 four and 220 six cylinder engines, with Mercedes W numbers of W120 for the 4 cylinder cars, and W180 for the 220s, as well as W105 for the little known or seen 219, a six cylinder model with a smaller engine. Mercedes introduced fuel injection to the 220 model in 1958, creating the W128 220SE, and the company was rare among car makers in the 50s in offering a diesel engine, so 180D models were also offered. As well as the regular saloon models, there were Coupe and Cabriolet models which are very highly prized (and priced) these days.

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Also here was the visually quite similar 190 SL (W121). First shown in prototype at the 1954 New York Auto Show, and was available with an optional removable hardtop, the 190 SL presented an attractive, more affordable alternative to the exclusive Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, sharing its basic styling, engineering, detailing, and fully independent suspension. Both cars had double wishbones in front and swing axles at the rear. Instead of the 300 SL’s expensive purpose-built W198 tubular spaceframe the 190 SL rode on a shortened monocoque R121 platform modified from the W121 small saloon. The 190 SL was powered by a new, slightly oversquare 105 PS Type M121 BII 1.9 L straight-four SOHC engine. Based on the 300 SL’s straight six, it had an unchanged 85 mm bore and 4.3 mm reduced 83.6 mm stroke, was fitted with twin-choke dual Solex carburettors, and produced 120 hp. In detuned form, it was later used in the W120 180 and W121 190 models. The car was available either as a soft-top convertible (initially priced at DM 16,500/US$ 3,998) or with removable hardtop (DM 17,650/$ 4,295). A small third-passenger transverse seat was optional. During its first years the 190 SL was available as a sports-racing model with small perspex windscreen and spartan one-piece leather covered bucket seats and aluminium doors. In 1959, the hardtop’s rear window was enlarged. Both the 190 SL and the 300 SL were replaced by the Mercedes-Benz 230SL in 1963.

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Replacement for this were the “Pagoda” series of W113 cars. By 1955, Mercedes-Benz Technical Director Prof. Fritz Nallinger and his team held no illusions regarding the 190 SL’s lack of performance, while the high price tag of the legendary 300 SL supercar kept it elusive for all but the most affluent buyers. Thus Mercedes-Benz started evolving the 190 SL on a new platform, model code W127, with a fuel-injected 2.2 litre M127 inline-six engine, internally denoted as 220SL. Encouraged by positive test results, Nallinger proposed that the 220SL be placed in the Mercedes-Benz program, with production commencing in July 1957. However, while technical difficulties kept postponing the production start of the W127, the emerging new S-Class W112 platform introduced novel body manufacturing technology altogether. So in 1960, Nallinger eventually proposed to develop a completely new 220SL design, based on the “fintail” W 111 sedan platform with its chassis shortened by 11.8 in, and technology from the W112. This led to the W113 platform, with an improved fuel-injected 2.3 litre M127 inline-six engine and the distinctive “pagoda” hardtop roof, designated as 230 SL. The 230 SL made its debut at the prestigious Geneva Motor Show in March 1963, where Nallinger introduced it as follows: “It was our aim to create a very safe and fast sports car with high performance, which despite its sports characteristics, provides a very high degree of travelling comfort”. The W113 was the first sports car with a “safety body,” based on Bela Barényi’s extensive work on vehicle safety: It had a rigid passenger cell and designated crumple zones with impact-absorbing front and rear sections built into the vehicle structure. The interior was “rounded,” with all hard corners and edges removed, as in the W111 sedan. Production of the 230 SL commenced in June 1963 and ended on 5 January 1967. Its chassis was based on the W 111 sedan platform, with a reduced wheelbase by 11.8 in, recirculating ball steering (with optional power steering), double wishbone front suspension and an independent single-joint, low-pivot swing rear-axle with transverse compensator spring. The dual-circuit brake system had front disc brakes and power-assisted rear drum brakes. The 230 SL was offered with a 4-speed manual transmission, or an optional, very responsive fluid coupled (no torque converter) 4-speed automatic transmission, which was popular for US models. From May 1966, the ZF S5-20 5-speed manual transmission was available as an additional option, which was particularly popular in Italy. The 2,308 cc M127.II inline-six engine with 150 hp and 145 lb/ft torque was based on Mercedes-Benz’ venerable M180 inline-six with four main bearings and mechanical Bosch multi-port fuel injection. Mercedes-Benz made a number of modifications to boost its power, including increasing displacement from 2,197 cc, and using a completely new cylinder head with a higher compression ratio (9.3 vs. 8.7), enlarged valves and a modified camshaft. A fuel injection pump with six plungers instead of two was fitted, which allowed placing the nozzles in the cylinder head and “shooting” the fuel through the intake manifold and open valves directly into the combustion chambers. An optional oil-water heat exchanger was also available. Of the 19,831 230 SLs produced, less than a quarter were sold in the US. Looking identical, the 250 SL was introduced at the 1967 Geneva Motor Show. Production had already commenced in December 1966 and ended in January 1968. The short one-year production run makes the 250 SL the rarest of the W113 series cars. The 250 SL retained the stiffer suspension and sportier feel of the early SLs, but provided improved agility with a new engine and rear disc brakes. Range also improved with increased fuel tank capacity from 65 litres to 82. Like its predecessor, the 250 SL was offered with a 4-speed automatic transmission, and 4-speed or ZF 5-speed manual transmissions. For the first time, an optional limited slip differential was also available. The main change was the use of the 2,496 cc M129.II engine with a larger stroke, increased valve ports, and seven main bearings instead of four. The nominal maximum power remained unchanged at 150 hp, but torque improved from 145 lb/ft to 159 lb/ft. Resiliency also improved with a new cooling water tank (“round top”) with increased capacity and a standard oil-water heat exchanger. The 250 SL also marked the introduction of a 2+2 body style, the so-called “California Coupé”, which had only the removable hardtop and no soft-top: a small fold-down rear bench seat replaced the soft-top well between passenger compartment and boot. It is estimated that only 10% of the 250SLs that were brought into America were California Coupes. Of the 5,196 250 SLs produced, more than a third were sold in the US.The 280 SL was introduced in December 1967 and continued in production through 23 February 1971, when the W 113 was replaced by its successor, the entirely new and substantially heavier R107 350 SL. The main change was an upgrade to the 2,778 cc M130 engine with 170 hp and 180 lb/ft, which finally gave the W 113 adequate power. The performance improvement was achieved by increasing bore by 4.5 mm (0.2 in), which stretched the limits of the M180 block, and required pairwise cylinder casts without cooling water passages. This mandated an oil-cooler, which was fitted vertically next to the radiator. Each engine was now bench-tested for two hours prior to being fitted, so their power specification was guaranteed at last. The M130 marked the final evolution of Mercedes-Benz’ venerable SOHC M180 inline-six, before it was superseded by the entirely new DOHC M110 inline-six introduced with R107 1974 European 280 SL models. For some time, it was also used in the W 109 300 S-Class, where it retired the expensive 3 liter M189 alloy inline-six. Over the years, the W 113 evolved from a sports car into a comfortable grand tourer, and US models were by then usually equipped with the 4-speed automatic transmission and air conditioning. Manual transmission models came with the standard 4-speed or the optional ZF 5-speed, which was ordered only 882 times and thus is a highly sought-after original option today. In Europe, manual transmissions without air conditioning were still the predominant choice. Of the 23,885 280 SLs produced, more than half were sold in the US.

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Most imposing were a number of examples of the 600 model, a high-end large luxury sedan and limousine produced by Mercedes-Benz from 1963 to 1981. Generally, the short-wheel-base (SWB) models were designed to be owner-driven, the long-wheel-base (LWB), often incorporating a central divider with power window, by a chauffeur. The forerunner of the modern Maybach marque, the 600 “Grosser Mercedes” (“Grand Mercedes”) succeeded the Type 300 “Adenauer” as the company’s flagship and most expensive model. Positioned well above the 300-series Mercedes-Benz W112. Its few competitors included certain models of Rolls-Royce and Bentley, the Cadillac Fleetwood 75, stretched Lincoln Continental Lehmann-Peterson, and the Chrysler Imperial Crown Ghia. The 600 marked the last super-luxury model the brand produced in an unbroken line with its demise in 1981 since the model 60 hp Simplex from 1903. The 600 came in two main variants: a short wheelbase 4-door sedan, available with a power divider window separating the front seats from the rear bench seat, although most were built without this feature; along wheelbase 4-door Pullman limousine (with two additional rear-facing seats separated from the driver compartment by a power divider window, of which 304 were built), and a 6-door limousine (with two forward-facing jump-seats at the middle two doors and a rear bench-seat). A number of the Pullman limousines were made as landaulets, with a convertible top over the rear passenger compartment. Two versions of the convertible roof were made- long roof, and short roof. Of them, the short roof, which opens only above the last, third row of seats, is the more common version. Rarer, especially by the 6 door Landaulets, is the long roof, called- Presidential Roof. In all, 59 Pullman Landaulets were produced, and of them, only 26 were 6 door landaulets. And of these 26, only very few- 9, were 6 doors Landaulets with the long Presidential type opening roof. One of these 9 cars was used by the former Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito. Landaulets like these were notably used also by the German government, as during the 1965 state visit of Queen Elizabeth II. Also the Vatican, in addition to a elongated Mercedes 300 type D, 4 door convertible, have used for the Pope, specially ordered 4 door Pullman Convertible, which now resides in the Mercedes Benz Factory Museum. Production of the Landaulet versions of 600 model, ended in 1980. Mercedes also made two coupés, one as a gift for retiring long-time Mercedes chief designer Rudolf Uhlenhaut, and the other to Fritz Nallinger. head of Research and development center of Mercedes in the 50s and 60s. These cars had a wheelbase 22 cm (8.6 inches) shorter than the SWB sedan. A third was much later constructed by 600 experts and restorers Karl Middelhauve & Associates of Wausau, Wisconsin from a SWB sedan. Karl Middelhauve has also created a pair of matching Chevrolet El Camino-style coupes from 600 SWB sedans. One of them has a Vortech supercharger. Some purists question the reason for modifying a classic such as an original 600 into a modified vehicle, while other purists think Karl is extending function in the true spirit of the “Grosser” Mercedes. A single example of a SWB 4-door landaulet, combining the handling of a short-wheelbase with the qualities of a landaulet, was built by Mercedes in 1967 for former racing driver Count von Berckheim. The 600’s great size, weight, and numerous hydraulically driven amenities required more power than Mercedes’ largest engine at that time, the 3-litre 6-cylinder M189, could produce. A new V8 with more than twice the capacity was developed, the 6.3 L M100. It featured single overhead camshafts (SOHC) and Bosch mechanical fuel injection. It developed 300 Hp, however the total usable output was 250 Hp as 50 Hp was used to power the hydraulic convenience system. The 600’s complex 150-bar (2,176 psi) hydraulic pressure system powered the automobile’s windows, seats, sun-roof, boot lid, and automatically closing doors. Adjustable air suspension delivered excellent ride quality and sure handling over any road surface. Production began in 1964 and continued through to 1981. During this time, production totalled 2,677 units, comprising 2,190 Saloons, 304 Pullmans, 124 6-door Pullmans and 59 Landaulets.

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Also from the 1960s, was this W111 280SE Convertible. W111 was a chassis code given to a range of Mercedes’ vehicles produced between 1959 and 1971, including 4-door sedans (1959-1968) and 2-door coupes and cabriolets (1961 to 1971). Introduced as inline 6-cylinder cars with 2.2-litre engines, the W111 spawned a large number of variants: entry-level vehicles sharing the chassis and bodies but with 4-cylinder engines were designated the W110, and a luxury version with the same body but the fuel-injected 3-litre M189 6-cylinder engine was designated the W112. The Saloons were first to appear., at the Frankfurt Show in 1959. These were the “Fin Tail” cars, that replaced the Ponton range of models. An elegant 2 door Coupe followed a few months later, with production starting in the autumn of 1960 and a reveal in Stuttgart the following February for the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Mercedes-Benz Museum. The convertible followed at the Frankfurt Auto Show a few months later. It was almost identical to the coupe, with the soft-top roof folded into a recess behind the rear seat and covered by a tightly fitting leather “boot” in the same colour as the seats. Unlike the previous generation of two-door Ponton series, there was initially only one model for the 2-door vehicle, the 220SE. An almost identical looking model, called the 300SE, came out in 1962. This was conceived to replace the older W187 300S car, but apart from having the Mercedes code of W112 and a 6 cylinder engine, it was very similar to the 220SE cars. Mercedes then continued to update the car with new engines, launching the car as the six cylinder 280 SE as part of the refresh of the range. The final derivative was the 280SE 3.5 offered from August 1969 with the new 200 bhp 3.5 litre V8 engine. In total, 7456 Convertibles were made.

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Also here was the equivalent saloon. These were the W108 and W109 generation. The line was an update of the predecessor W111 and W112 fintail sedans. The cars were successful in West Germany and in export markets including North America and Southeast Asia. During the seven-year run, a total of 383,361 units were manufactured. The car’s predecessor, the Mercedes-Benz W111 (produced 1959–1971) helped Daimler develop greater sales and achieve economy of scale production. Whereas in the 1950s, Mercedes-Benz was producing the coachwork 300 S and 300 SLs and all but hand-built 300 Adenauers alongside conveyor assembled Pontons (190, 190SL and 220) etc., the fintail (German: Heckflosse) family united the entire Mercedes-Benz range of vehicles onto one automobile platform, reducing production time and costs. However, the design fashion of the early 1960s changed. For example, the tail fins, originally intended to improve aerodynamic stability, died out within a few years as a fashion accessory. By the time the 2-door coupe and cabriolet W111s were launched, the fins lost their chrome trim and sharp appearance, the arrival of the W113 Pagoda in 1963 saw them further buried into the trunk’s contour, and finally disappeared on the W100 600 in 1964. The upgrade of the W111 began under the leadership of designer Paul Bracq in 1961 and ended in 1963. Although the fins’ departure was the most visible change, the W108 compared to the W111 had a lower body waist line that increased the window area, (the windscreen was 17 percent larger than W111). The cars had a lower ride (a decrease by 60 mm) and wider doors (+15 mm). The result was a visibly new car with a more sleek appearance and an open and spacious interior. The suspension system featured a reinforced rear axle with hydropneumatic compensating spring. The car sat on larger wheels (14”) and had disc brakes on front and rear. The W109 was identical to the W108, but featured an extended wheelbase of 115 mm (4.5 in) and self-levelling air suspension. This was seen as a successor to the W112 300SEL that was originally intended as an interim car between the 300 “Adenauer” (W189) and the 600 (W100) limousines. However, its success as “premium flagship” convinced Daimler to add an LWB car to the model range. From that moment on, all future S-Class models would feature a LWB line. Although the W108 succeeded the W111 as a premium range full-size car, it did not replace it. Production of the W111 continued, however the 230S was now downgraded to the mid-range series, the Mercedes-Benz W110, and marketed as a flagship of that family until their production ceased in 1968. The W108 is popular with collectors and the most desirable models to collect are the early floor shift models with the classic round gear knob and the 300 SEL’s. The car was premièred at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1965. The initial model lineup consisted of three W108s: 250S, 250SE, and 300SE, as well as a sole W109, the 300SEL. Engines for the new car were carried over from the previous generation, but enlarged and refined. The 250S was the entry-level vehicle fitted with a 2496 cm³ Straight-six M108 engine, with two dual downdraft carburettors, delivering 130 bhp at 5400 rpm which accelerated the car to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 13 seconds (14 on automatic transmission) and gave a top speed of 182 km/h (177 on auto). The 250SE featured an identical straight-six, but with a six-plunger fuel injection (designated M129) with performance improved to 150 bhp at 5500 rpm, which decreased 0-100 acceleration by one second and increased top speed by 11 km/h (7 mph) for both manual and automatic versions. Both the 300SE and 300SEL came with the M189 2996 cm³ engine, originally developed for the Adenauers. It had a modern six-plunger pump that adjusted automatically to accelerator pedal pressure, engine speed, atmospheric pressure, and cooling water temperature, to deliver the proper mixture depending on driving conditions. Producing 170 bhp at 5,400 rpm the cars could accelerate to 200 km/h (195 km/h with automatic transmission) and reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in 12 seconds. The cylinder capacity of the three litre Mercedes engine was unchanged since 1951. From 1965 to 1967, fewer than 3,000 W109s were produced. However, approximately 130,000 of the less powerful 250 S/SE models were built during the first two years of the W108/109’s existence. By 1967 the fuel consumption of the 3 litre unit in this application was becoming increasingly uncompetitive. During the winter of 1967/1968 Daimler launched its new generation family of vehicles, called Stroke eight for the model year. The headline was the new W114 and W115 family, built on a new chassis, but the existing models were given an upgrade with a single engine, the 2778 cc M130. The W108 now included 280S and 280SE, with production starting in November 1967. These replaced the 250S, 250SE and 300SE, however production of export-designated 250S would continue until March 1969. For the W109, the 300SEL finally retired the M189 engine, and received the 280Se’s 2.8 M130. In January 1968, the model line was joined by yet another car, the 280SEL. The car had the longer wheelbase of the W109, but lacked the pneumatic suspension and other features of the 300SEL. Hence the chassis code remained W108. Performance on the cars improved. On the 280S the two downdraft carburettors produced 140 hp and could push the car to 185 km/h (180 on auto), whilst 0-100 was done in 12.5 seconds. The fuel-injected delivered 160 hp, and featured a new pump which was not affected by temperature or altitude. Thanks to the air oil filter and better arrangement of cylinders, cooling and hence economy improved. Performance of the 280SE, 280SEL and 300SEL was all but identical, a top speed of 190 km/h (185 on auto) and a 0-100 acceleration in 10.5 seconds for the W108s, the W109 due to its larger weight, took slightly longer, 12.2 seconds. Back in 1964, Mercedes-Benz launched its top-range W100 limousine which featured an OHC 6.3 litre V8 engine. However the hand-assembly of the limousine and its very high price limited the sale of the car, whilst the size and weight affected performance. In 1966 company engineer Erich Waxenberger transplanted a big V8 into a standard W109, creating the first Mercedes-Benz muscle car and Q-car. Despite the large size of the W109, the automaker claimed 0-62 mph (0–100 km/h) time of 6.6 seconds. Full-scale production began in December 1967. Claimed as the fastest production sedan (top speed of 220 km/h), the 300SEL 6.3, held this title for many years. West Germany’s stringently applied trade description laws and figures resulted in these figures being under quoted. The 6.3 also introduced a new numbering scheme, whereby the model name described the parent model and the engine displacement was separate. This nomenclature was used by Mercedes-Benz until the introduction of the class system in 1993. The 300SEL 6.3 was a special model and production of the fuel-thirsty M100 engines was limited. As new models were being developed the export markets had to be considered, and the United States in particular. The American car production by the late 1960s has largely switched to V8 powered cars, and Mercedes-Benz had to produce its own eight-cylinder engine to stay competitive. The new engines arrived in late 1969. The first was the 200 hp M116 3499 cc V8 with Bosch D-Jetronic electronic fuel injection, and was shown fitted to the W109 on the Frankfurt Auto Show. The car was christened the 300SEL 3.5. Its performance included a top speed of 200 km/h (124 mph) and 0–100 km/h in 10 seconds. During summer of 1970, the M116 was added to the W108 lineup on both regular and LWB, the 280SE 3.5 and the 280SEL 3.5 respectively. The next year saw the 2-door W111s and the W113 Pagoda roadsters being phased out of production. This left the W108 and W109 as the sole survivors of the ageing family. However the arrival of the big-block 4520 cc 225 hp M117 engine allowed for a final set of vehicles to be launched in the spring of 1971, the W108 280SE 4.5 and 280SEL 4.5 and the W109 300SEL 4.5. This, was destined solely for the US market. Performance improved, top speed – 205 km/h, 0-100 – 9.5 seconds. However, as the mainstream V8 models were being introduced, production was already drawing to a close. The straight-six 300SEL was finished in January 1970, and in April 1971 the 280SEL followed. The 280SE 3.5 and 280SEL W108s were retired in summer of 1972. In September the last 300SEL 3.5 and the 6.3 rolled off the conveyors. A month later, the final 300SEL 4.5 ended the W109’s output, and in November saw the final models of the W108 280SE and 280SEL 4.5s end a seven-year history.

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Sometimes known as the “New Generation”, to distinguish it from predecessor with the same model names, this is an example of the W114/115 range of cars that Mercedes introduced in 1968, which were produced until 1976 when they were replaced by the W123 range. W114 models featured six-cylinder engines and were marketed as the 230, 250, and 280, while W115 models featured four-cylinder engines and were marketed as the 200, 220, 230, and 240. All were styled by Paul Bracq, featuring a three-box design. At the time, Mercedes marketed saloons in two size classes, with the W114/W115, positioned below the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The W114/W115 models were the first post-war Mercedes-Benz production car to use a newly engineered chassis, not derived from preceding models. The new chassis format of semi-trailing rear arms and ball-joint front end first displayed in the W114/W115 chassis would be used in all new Mercedes passenger car models until the development of the multi-link rear suspensions of the 1980s. The W108/109 S-Class chassis of the 280S/8, 280SE/8 and 300SEL/8 (and W113 280SL Pagoda) would be the last of the low-pivot swing axle and king pin/double wishbone front ends. The next S-Class -the W116 chassis- having the same engineering of the W114/115. Mercedes introduced a coupé variant of the W114 in 1969, featuring a longer boot and available with either a 2.5 or 2.8 litre six-cylinder engine. While a classic and understated design these generally cost less than the W113-based 280 SL model that ran through 1971, and its successor, the 3.5 or 4.5 litre V8 Mercedes SL R107/C107 (1971–1989) roadster and coupé. While a ‘hard-top’ unlike the fully convertible SL, the pillarless design allowed all the windows to be lowered completely for open air motoring. Only 67,048 coupés were manufactured from 1969 to 1976 (vs. 1.852,008 saloons). Of these 24,669 were 280C and 280CE (top of the range), and 42,379 were the lesser 250C and 250CE (A Mercedes-Benz 220D pickup on the W115 chassis was produced briefly in Argentina in the 1970s.) The W114 received a facelift in 1973 – with a lower bonnet-line, lower and broader grill, a single front bumper to replace the double bumpers, lower placement of the headlamps, A-pillar treatment for keeping the side windows clear, removal of the quarter-windows in the front doors, ribbed tail lights to minimise occlusion of the tail lights with road dirt, and larger side mirrors. The interior received inertia reel belts and a new padded steering wheel with a four-hole design. These cars were known to be extremely durable and tough, so the survival rate is quite great, especially in Germany, where they are popular classics.

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First Mercedes that we think of as the S Class was the W116, which was launched in 1972. Development began in 1966, which was only a year after the launch of the W108/09. This was the first Mercedes saloon to feature the brand new corporate styling theme which was to be continued until 1993 when the 190 was discontinued. The design, finalised in December 1969 was a dramatic leap forward, with more masculine lines that combined to create an elegant and sporty character. The basic design concept carried through the themes originally introduced on the R107 SL-Class roadster, especially the front and rear lights. As for the SL, the W116 received the ridged lamp covers which kept dirt accumulation at bay; this was to remain a Mercedes-Benz design theme into the 21st century. The W116 was Friedrich Geiger’s last design for Mercedes-Benz; his career had started with the Mercedes-Benz 500K in 1933. The car was presented in September 1972. The model range initially included two versions of the M110 straight-six with 2746 cc — the 280 S (using a Solex carburetor) and the 280 SE (using Bosch D-Jetronic injection), plus the 350 SE, powered by the M116 engine (V8 with 3499). After the 1973 Fuel Crisis, a long-wheelbase version of the 280 was added to the lineup. Six month later, two new models powered by the M117 engine (V8 with 4520 cc) were added to the range—the 450 SE and the 450 SEL (with a 100 mm longer body). The 450 had 225 PS in most markets, federalised cars offered 190 hp while Swedish market cars had an EGR-valve and 200 PS until 1976. The 450s received a plusher interior as well, with velour or leather seats rather than the checkered cloth of the lesser models. The door insides were also of a different design, being pulled up around the windows. The most notable W116 was the high-performance, limited-production 450 SEL 6.9, which was introduced in 1975. This model boasted by far the largest engine installed in a post-war Mercedes-Benz (and any non-American production automobile) up to that time, and also featured self-levelling hydropneumatic suspension. The 450 SE was named the European Car of the Year in 1974, even though the W116 range was first introduced at the Paris Motor Show in the autumn 1972.. The W116 range became the first production car to use an electronic four-wheel multi-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS) from Bosch as an option from 1978 on. Production reached 473,035 units. The W116 was succeeded by the W126 S-Class in 1979.

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Mercedes-Benz introduced the W123 four-door versions on 29 January 1976. While there were some technical similarities to their predecessors, the new models were larger in wheelbase and exterior dimensions. The styling was also updated, although stylistic links with the W114 / W115 were maintained. Initially, all models except 280/280E featured quad unequal-size round headlights and the latter large rectangular units. When facelifted, these units became standard across the range. All W115 engines were carried over, with the 3-litre 5-cylinder diesel model being renamed from “240D 3.0” to “300D” (as it had already been called before in North American markets). The only new engine was the 250’s 2,525 cc inline-six (Type M123, a short-stroke version of the 2.8-litre six Type M110) that replaced the old 2,496 cc Type M114 “six”. In the spring of 1976, a Coupé version was introduced on a shorter wheelbase than the saloon (106.7 in versus 110.0 in. This W123C/CE was available as a 230C (later 230CE) and as a 280C/CE in most markets; in North America there were additional 300CD versions with naturally aspirated, later turbocharged 3-litre diesel engines. In North America, buyers favored diesel engines for upmarket cars, while CAFE legislation meant that Mercedes-Benz North America had to lower their corporate average fuel economy. This led to the introduction of a few diesel models only sold in the United States. It is a tribute to the car’s instant popularity – and possibly to the caution built into the production schedules – that nine months after its introduction, a black market had developed in Germany for Mercedes-Benz W123s available for immediate delivery. Customers willing to order new cars from their local authorised dealer for the recommended list price faced waiting times in excess of twelve months. Meanwhile, models that were barely used and were available almost immediately commanded a premium over the new price of around DM 5,000. From August 1976, long-wheelbase versions (134.8 in) were produced. These were available as 7/8 seater saloons with works bodies or as a chassis with complete front body clip, the latter serving as the base for ambulance and hearse bodies by external suppliers like Binz or Miesen. These “Lang” versions could be ordered as 240D, 300D and 250 models. At the Frankfurt Auto Show in September, 1977 the W123T estate was introduced; the T in the model designation stood for “Touring and Transport”. All engines derivative except “200TD” were available in the range. T production began in March, 1978 in Mercedes’ Bremen factory. It was the first factory-built Mercedes-Benz estate, previous estates had been custom-built by external coachbuilders, such as Binz. In early 1979, the diesel models’ power output was increased; power rose from 54 hp to 59 hp in the 200D, from 64 hp to 71 hp in the 240D and from 79 hp to 87 hp in the 300D; at the same time, the 220D went out of production. The first Mercedes turbo diesel production W123 appeared in September, 1981. This was the 300 TD Turbodiesel, available with automatic transmission only. In most markets, the turbocharged 5-cylinder 3-litre diesel engine (Type OM617.95) was offered only in the T body style, while in North America it was also available in saloon and coupé guises. June 1980 saw the introduction of new four-cylinder petrol engines (Type M102). A new 2-litre four with shorter stroke replaced the old M115, a fuel-injected 2.3-litre version of this engine (in 230E/TE/CE) the old carburettor 230. Both engines were more powerful than their predecessors. In 1980/81, the carburettor 280 versions went out of production; the fuel-injected 280E continued to be offered. In September 1982, all models received a mild facelift. The rectangular headlights, previously fitted only to the 280/280E, were standardised across the board, as was power steering. Since February 1982, an optional five-speed manual transmission was available in all models (except the automatic-only 300 turbodiesel). W123 production ended in January, 1986 with 63 final T-models rolling out. Most popular single models were the 240D (455,000 built), the 230E (442,000 built), and the 200D (378,000 built). The W123 introduced innovations including ABS (optional from August, 1980), a retractable steering column and an airbag for the driver (optional from 1982). Power (vacuum servo) assisted disc brakes were standard on all W123s. Available options included MB-Tex (Mercedes-Benz Texturized Punctured Vinyl) upholstery or velour or leather upholstery, interior wood trim, passenger side exterior mirror (standard on T models), 5-speed manual transmission (European market only), 4-speed automatic transmission (standard in turbodiesel models), power windows with rear-seat switch cut-outs, vacuum powered central locking, rear-facing extra seats (estate only), Standheizung (prestart timer-controlled engine heating), self-locking differential, sun roof, air conditioning, climate control, “Alpine” horn (selectable quieter horn), headlamp wipers (European market only), Tempomat (cruise control), power steering (standard after 1982/08), seat heating, catalytic converter (available from 1984 for California only, from fall (autumn) 1984 also in Germany for the 230E of which one thousand were built). These days, the cars are very popular “youngtimer” classics, with all models highly rated.

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This special edition W126-generation AMG version of the 500 SEC was formerly the property of the late Johnny Halliday, rock star who died a few weeks prior to this event. Johnny acquired the car in 1988 and sold it one in 1992. It sports an engine upgraded to 6 litre, boasting 385 bhp.

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Most recent car was this Brabus-modified S Class Convertible, still a current model.

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Final Mercedes of note was this SLS AMG Black Series. Unveiled at the 2012 LA Auto Show, with a market launch that began in June 2013. the SLS AMG Black Series is a high-performance variant of the SLS AMG Coupé inspired by the SLS AMG GT3. Notable changes over the SLS AMG include increased engine power to 631 PS (622 bhp) at 7,400 rpm and decreased torque to 635 N⋅m (468 lb⋅ft) at 5,500 rpm along with increased engine redline of 8,000 rpm, fully revised high-speed valvetrain with modified camshafts, adapted cam geometry and optimised bucket tappets having a special coating which is otherwise exclusive to racing cars, modification of the intake air ducts (derestriction and adaptation to the new maximum engine speed), adaptation of the engine application and increase in peak pressure. This results in an acceleration time from 0-97 km/h (60 mph) in 3.2 seconds, (2/10 of a second faster than the SLS AMG GT), and a top speed of 196 mph (315 km/h) The Black Series is 70 kg (154 lb) lighter than the standard model. This is accomplished by increased use of carbon fibre in body panels, mechanical components, and the space frame. Further, a switch from steel to titanium for the exhaust system reduces weight by 13 kg (29 lb). The use of lithium-ion battery reduces weight by 8 kg (18 lb). The AMG SpeedShift DCT 7-speed sports transmission is installed 10 mm (0.39 in) lower in order to achieve a lower centre of gravity for the car and is braced against the body by gas-filled struts in order to avoid stress cycles. The transmission’s “Sport plus” and “Manual” modes have faster shifting speed than the standard model. The downshifting throttle blips are more audible. The new temporary “M” mode enables the driver to activate manual mode without having to remove a hand from the steering wheel, by pressing the “up” or “down” shift paddle once. Other notable highlights include electronically controlled AMG rear-axle differential lock with a shorter rear-axle ratio, new AMG RIDE CONTROL performance suspension (tauter basic tuning and electronically controlled two-stage damping, coil-over spring retainers to enable adjustment of wheel loads, elastokinematics 50 / 42% more rigid (front/rear axle), track width increased by 20 / 24 mm (0.79 / 0.94 in) (front/rear axle)), new wheel carriers on front axle and new front stabiliser tuning, matte black with high-sheen AMG 10-spoke light-alloy wheels in particularly light forged design with optimised strength (10 in × 19 in front, 12 in × 20 in rear), Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 sports tyres (275/35 R 19 front, 325/30 R 20 rear), AMG speed-sensitive steering with newly calibrated power steering characteristics, AMG ceramic brake discs (measuring 402 mm × 39 mm (15.8 in × 1.5 in) at the front and 360 mm × 32 mm (14.2 in × 1.3 in) at the rear) with increased hardness, wide flared wings with an added width of 13 mm (0.51 in) (front) and 26 mm (1.0 in) (rear) on each side, darkened headlamps and black surrounds for the rear lights, front apron and rear apron with diffuser along with side sill panels in Black Series-specific design (carbon fibre-reinforced plastic front splitter, carbon inserts in the side sills and the rear apron made of carbon fibre, enlarged air intakes with carbon-fibre flics), carbon-fibre bonnet with central air outlet, Alcantara black or Alcantara black/red interior AMG Performance steering wheel with Alcantara upholstery, metal bezel features a high-gloss black paint finish to match the high-gloss black surrounds of the air vents, Alcantara strip in anthracite across the entire width of dashboard leather with red contrasting stitching in the leather, designo leather and Alcantara upholstery (including bottom section of the dashboard, door centre panels and on the AMG sports bucket seats in Alcantara), deleted COMAND APS multimedia system replaced by a carbon-fibre trim element (COMAND APS is optionally available), AMG DRIVE UNIT, red seat belts and red contrasting stitching on the AMG sports bucket seats, the upper and lower section of the dashboard and the door panelling; floor mats with red edging and optional Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG surround sound system. Optional AMG Aerodynamics package includes a fixed adjustable carbon-fibre rear aerofoil as installed on the SLS AMG GT3, rear aerofoil braced by aluminium elements on a special insert on the boot lid, additional carbon-fibre flics on the front apron. New body colour choices include AMG solar beam yellow (total 7, including matte paint designo magno alanite grey) Other options include AMG carbon-fibre wing mirrors, AMG carbon-fibre engine cover, AMG Interior Carbon-Fibre package, AMG infotainment system (incl. COMAND APS, AMG Performance Media and backup camera), Media Interface.

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The Mercer Type 35 Raceabout was the work of Finlay Robertson Porter and it put the company of Trenton, New Jersey, on the American motoring map. It had a 4916 c.c. T–head engine and was capable of 75 mph from a 301 cubic inches (4.932 cc) four cylinder engine producing 58 hp at 1700 rpm.. It was often raced and would usually be driven to and from events. Two raced in the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911, finishing in 12th and 15th positions; in 1912 one came 3rd while a year later a Mercer finished 2nd. Its great rival was the Stutz Bearcat and their respective fans would taunt each other with remarks such as “There’s no car worser than a Mercer” and “You’ve got to be nuts to drive a Stutz”! It was in production from 1911 to 1915, during which time over 500 are said to have been sold.

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These early Morgan Three-wheelers looked like they needed a good polish……. and perhaps a bit more than that!

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This Morgan- Nissan, chassis number 01-14, won the LMP2 category at the 24 Heures du Mans in 2013 and finished seventh overall.

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The Minor was conceived in 1941. Although the Nuffield Organization was heavily involved in war work and there was a governmental ban on civilian car production, Morris Motors’ vice chairman, Miles Thomas, wanted to prepare the ground for new products to be launched as soon as the war was over. Vic Oak, the company’s chief engineer, had already brought to Thomas’ attention a promising junior engineer, Alec Issigonis, who had been employed at Morris since 1935 and specialised in suspension design but he had frequently impressed Oak with his advanced ideas about car design in general. Issigonis had come to Oak’s particular attention with his work on the new Morris Ten, which was in development during 1936/7. This was the first Morris to use unitary construction and was conceived with independent front suspension. Issigonis designed a coil-sprung wishbone system which was later dropped on cost grounds. Although the design would later be used on the MG Y-type and many other post-war MGs the Morris Ten entered production with a front beam axle. Despite his brief being to focus on the Ten’s suspension Issigonis had also drawn up a rack and pinion steering system for the car. Like his suspension design this was not adopted but would resurface in the post-war years on the MG Y-type, but these ideas proved that he was the perfect candidate to lead the design work on a new advanced small car. With virtually all resources required for the war effort, Thomas nonetheless approved the development of a new small family car that would replace the Morris Eight. Although Oak (and Morris’ technical director, Sidney Smith) were in overall charge of the project it was Issigonis who was ultimately responsible for the design, working with only two other draughtsmen. Thomas named the project ‘Mosquito’ and ensured that it remained as secret as possible, both from the Ministry of Supply and from company founder William Morris (now Lord Nuffield), who was still chairman of Morris Motors and, it was widely expected, would not look favourably on Issigonis’ radical ideas. Issigonis’ overall concept was to produce a practical, economical and affordable car for the general public that would equal, if not surpass, the convenience and design quality of a more expensive car. In later years he summed up his approach to the Minor; that he wanted to design an economy car that “the average man would take pleasure in owning, rather than feeling of it as something he’d been sentenced to” and “people who drive small cars are the same size as those who drive large cars and they should not be expected to put up with claustrophobic interiors.” Issigonis wanted the car to be as spacious as possible for its size and comfortable to drive for inexperienced motorists. Just as he would with the Mini ten years later, he designed the Mosquito with excellent roadholding and accurate, quick steering not with any pretence of making a sports car, but to make it safe and easy to drive by all. As work proceeded, there were plenty of battle to overcome, to get Issigonis’ ideas approved, and not all of them were. The production car, called the Minor was launched at the British Motor Show at Earls Court in London on October 27, 1948. At the same show Morris also launched the new Morris Oxford and Morris Six models, plus Wolseley variants of both cars, which were scaled-up versions of the new Minor, incorporating all the same features and designed with Issigonis’ input under Vic Oak’s supervision. Thus Issigonis’ ideas and design principles underpinned the complete post-war Morris and Wolseley car ranges. The original Minor MM series was produced from 1948 until 1953. It included a pair of four-seat saloons, two-door and (from 1950) a four-door, and a convertible four-seat Tourer. The front torsion bar suspension was shared with the larger Morris Oxford MO, as was the almost-unibody construction. Although the Minor was originally designed to accept a flat-4 engine, late in the development stage it was replaced by a 918 cc side-valve inline-four engine, little changed from that fitted in the 1935 Morris 8, and producing 27.5 hp and 39 lbf·ft of torque. This little engine pushed the Minor to just 64 mph but delivered 40 mpg. Brakes were four-wheel drums. Early cars had a painted section in the centre of the bumpers to cover the widening of the production car from the prototypes. This widening of 4 inches is also visible in the creases in the bonnet. Exports to the United States began in 1949 with the headlamps removed from within the grille surround to be mounted higher on the wings to meet local safety requirements. In 1950 a four-door version was released, initially available only for export, and featuring from the start the headlamps faired into the wings rather than set lower down on either side of the grille. The raised headlight position became standard on all Minors in time for 1951. From the start, the Minor had semaphore-type turn indicators, and subsequent Minor versions persisted with these until 1961 An Autocar magazine road test in 1950 reported that these were “not of the usual self-cancelling type, but incorporate[d] a time-basis return mechanism in a switch below the facia, in front of the driver”. It was all too easy for a passenger hurriedly emerging from the front passenger seat to collide with and snap off a tardy indicator “flipper” that was still sticking out of the B-pillar, having not yet been safely returned by the time-basis return mechanism to its folded position. Another innovation towards the end of 1950 was a water pump (replacing a gravity dependent system), which permitted the manufacturer to offer an interior heater “as optional equipment”. When production of the first series ended, just over a quarter of a million had been sold, 30 per cent of them the convertible Tourer model. In 1952, the Minor line was updated with an Austin-designed 803 cc overhead valve A-series engine, replacing the original side-valve unit. The engine had been designed for the Minor’s main competition, the Austin A30, but became available as Austin and Morris were merged into the British Motor Corporation. The new engine felt stronger, though all measurements were smaller than the old. The 52 second drive to 60 mph was still calm, with 63 mph as the top speed. Fuel consumption also rose to 36 mpg. An estate version was introduced in 1952, known as the Traveller (a Morris naming tradition for estates, also seen on the Mini). The Traveller featured an external structural ash (wood) frame for the rear bodywork, with two side-hinged rear doors. The frame was varnished rather than painted and a highly visible feature of the body style. Commercial models, marketed as the Morris Quarter Ton Van and Pick-up were added in May 1953. Rear bodies of the van versions were all steel. The 4-seat convertible and saloon variants continued as well. The car was again updated in 1956 when the engine was increased in capacity to 948 cc. The two-piece split windscreen was replaced with a curved one-piece one and the rear window was enlarged. In 1961 the semaphore-style trafficators were replaced by the flashing direction indicators, these were US-style red at the rear (using the same bulb filament as the brake lamp) and white at the front (using a second brighter filament in the parking lamp bulb) which was legal in the UK and many export markets at the time (such as New Zealand). An upmarket car based on the Minor floorpan using the larger BMC B-Series engine was sold as the Riley One-Point-Five/Wolseley 1500 beginning in 1957: versions of this Wolseley/Riley variant were also produced by BMC Australia as the Morris Major and the Austin Lancer. In December 1960 the Morris Minor became the first British car to sell more than 1,000,000 units. To commemorate the achievement, a limited edition of 350 two-door Minor saloons (one for each UK Morris dealership) was produced with distinctive lilac paintwork and a white interior. Also the badge name on the side of the bonnet was modified to read “Minor 1,000,000” instead of the standard “Minor 1000”. The millionth Minor was donated to the National Union of Journalists, who planned to use it as a prize in a competition in aid of the union’s Widow and Orphan Fund. The company, at the same time, presented a celebratory Minor to London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, but this car was constructed of cake.The final major upgrades to the Minor were made in 1962. Although the name Minor 1000 was retained, the changes were sufficient for the new model to be given its own ADO development number. A larger version of the existing A-Series engine had been developed in conjunction with cylinder head specialist Harry Weslake for the then new ADO16 Austin/Morris 1100 range. This new engine used a taller block than did the 948 cc unit, with increased bore and stroke bringing total capacity up to 1,098 cc. Although fuel consumption suffered moderately at 38 mpg, the Minor’s top speed increased to 77 mph with noticeable improvements in low-end torque, giving an altogether more responsive drive. Other changes included a modified dashboard layout with toggle switches, textured steel instrument binnacle, and larger convex glove box covers. A different heater completed the interior upgrade, whilst the larger combined front side/indicator light units, common to many BMC vehicles of the time, were fitted to the front wings. These now included a separate bulb and amber lens for indicators while larger tail lamp units also included amber rear flashers. During the life of the Minor 1000 model, production declined. The last Convertible/Tourer was manufactured on 18 August 1969, and the saloon models were discontinued the following year. Production of the more practical Traveller and commercial versions ceased in 1972, although examples of all models were still theoretically available from dealers with a surplus of unsold cars for a short time afterwards. 1,619,857 Minors of all variants were ultimately sold.

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Once again, there were a number of tanks on show, supplied by the Musée des Blindés, which is to be found in Saumur in the Loire Valley. These are always a popular feature of the show. Two were displayed indoors and there was a further tank outside. The indoor display comprised two Renault built models.

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123 examples of the 1933 Renault AMR33 were made. This tank was designed for reconnaissance and sacrificed armoured protection for greater mobility.

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Rather more examples of the 1935 Renault AMR35 were produced, around 1600. This was a replacement for the FT tank, a veteran of WW1.

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This renowned Museum, housed in Compiegne, a pleasant town to the north of Paris, is a regular at the event and this year they brought along a collection of early Renault models, as part of the marque’s 120th anniversary celebrations.

In 1897, Louis Renault, at the age of 19, was working as technical draftsman at Delauney-Belleville. He was a passionate for mechanics and very much interested by the newly appearing automobile. He decided to build his own car in a small workshop he arranged at the back of the family property in Boulogne-Billancourt. When the car was completed, by Christmas 1898, he invited some friends for a first drive in Paris and they set, particular to climb the Rue Lepic near Montmartre. His friends were so impressed that they ordered a similar car for themselves. A few of them provided with down-payment and Louis Renault decided to create the Société Renault Frères and started small production of the Type A. On August 22st 1899 Louis Renault and his brother Marcel lined up the Type A alongside a staggering array of other machines for the start of the Paris-Trouville road race. They went on to collect first and second places in the Amateur Drivers’ Cup classification. The car had a single cylinder De Dion 273 cc, which generated 1,75 hp and was air cooled with automatic admission valve. Propulsion was by the rear axle with a 3-speed gearbox + reverse with brakes on the rear wheels and on propeller shaft. The top speed was 32 kph. Dimensions: length 186 cm, width 110 cm, unladen weight 200 kg.

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This is a 1900 Model C. In 1900 Renault new enterprise produced 179 automobiles with 100 employees. Announced in the press as early as November 1899, the Renault C Type was presented in April 1900 at the Vincennes Car Show, the latter organised within the frame of the World Exhibition. The main change proposed by the C Type when compared to the previous A and B Type is the adoption of an innovative cooling system using water. The engine cover of the car becomes therefore in square shape, with cut sections, on which are fixed the elements that enable the cooling mechanism or radiators. The Renault Type C utilises the chassis of the Type A but the engine is more powerful and the closed body is completed by coachwork Labourdette. The engine is a 2 3/4 HP air cooled de De Dion Bouton unit. The chassis, designed the same way as the A and B types, is both longer and larger and presented in three forms: convertible with 2/3 seats with removable backseats, “barrel” 4 seats and coupe 2/3 seats. At the time, the success in the famous city to city races has a major influence on the purchase orders as there are many automobile manufacturers and it is the best way to differentiate one from another. After its first victories in 1899 during the Paris-Trouville, Paris-Ostende and Paris-Rambouillet races, the young Renault Frères Company claims its legitimacy in the automobile competitions by finishing first with the Renault C Type in two additional races that are Paris-Bordeaux and Paris-Toulouse, in 1900. The latter victories are one of the reason behind this car’s commercial success, with 350 purchase orders linked to these victories. This particular automobile was donated by Madame Raffard at the Transport Museum of Compiegne in 1927 at the opening of the Museum.

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The 1901 Type D was an evolution of the Type C and was equipped with single cylinder Dion Bouton engine that was the first unit by Renault with a water cooling system.

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This Limousine was built on a Renault Type CC chassis with a twin block four cylinder engine producing 16 HP at 1200 rpm. The body is composed by two cabins and was completed by coachbuilder Kellner. The driver body element has a specific round rear window.

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The Renault Type V is part of the line of premium automobile produced between 1905 and 1911. It was produced on an extended chassis of Renault 20/30 HP. Four passengers can sit in the luxury compartment. The engine is at the front and is a four cylinder unit connected to a three speed forward and one rearward gear transmission. The coachwork was completed by Million Guiet & Co that had specialised in horse driven coach since 1857.

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Once again, the UK’s National Motor Museum had a stand here, and there were a variety of cars on show, all of them British. And what could be more British than the 1930 Bentley 4.5 litre Supercharged – the car which following a series of victories at the Le Mans 24 hrs races between 1924 and 1930 led to a slightly frustrated Ettore Bugatti to call them “the fastest lorries in the world”.

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In complete contrast was this GN Martyr Instone Special. This was conceived by Rupert Instone, son of Rupert Instone, who drove for the Daimler works team back in the day. This cyclecar was created from a wreck and competes regularly at events in the UK.

Final car was a 1933 Morgan Racer Dynamic.

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The Datsun 1500/1600/2000 Roadster, also known as the Datsun Fairlady in certain markets, is a sports car produced by Datsun in Japan from 1961 to 1970. It made its debut at the Tokyo Motor show in 1961, several months before the roll-out of the MGB. The 1500 Roadster was powered by a 1.5-litre inline four-cylinder OHV engine with a single carburettor producing 77 hp. The 1500 was a 3-seat convertible with front buckets, and a transverse back seat. The 1964 production added a second SU carburettor and power increased to 85 bhp. The final revision of the 1500 model occurred in 1965 with a completely redesigned interior. This eliminated the back seat and introduced a more sporty dash layout. In 1966 engine displacement was boosted to 1.6 litres and power output to 96 hp. This new model was given the new designation SP(L) 311. The 1600 Roadster was produced until the end of production in April 1970. The 2000 Roadster SR(L) 311 was introduced as a half-year model in 1967. Powered by the U-20 single overhead cam engine, in stock configuration of twin SU carburettors it produced 135 hp. An optional version with twin Mikuni Solex carburettors produced 150 hp. The optional version was only available as a factory installed setup in the US during the 1967 model year. The 2000 was also produced until 1970 when the Roadster was superseded by the 240Z. The cars sold strongly in American and Australia which is were you most often see them.

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This Commodore GSE competed in events in Belgium in the mid 70s.

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The Maserati brothers started manufacturing sports racing cars in 1926. In 1937, financial assistance was brought to the Maserati Company by industrialist Adolfo Orsi. Under the new management agreement, the Maserati brothers were expected to continue working for the Maserati Company as consultants for another ten years. At the termination of this agreement, in 1947, Bindo, Ettore and Ernesto Maserati moved to Bologna where they started a new company named OSCA (Officine Specializatta Construzione Automobili or Workshop Specialized in the Production of Automobile). The first car was the OSCA MT4 1100 propelled by a single overhead camshaft four cylinder 1.092 cc. The car had a simple body with cycle fenders in order to be able to compete in single-seater or sports racing cars events. In 1950, the four cylinder engine was equipped with twin overhead camshaft and power output was 92 hp. The chassis was a tubular space frame with cross-members. The front suspension was independent with coil spring and unequal length wishbones while there was a live axle at the rear with part-elliptic springs. Faglioli finished seventh overall and class winner at the 1950 Mille Miglia. The OSCA MT4 will participate with some success to seven successive Mille Miglia events. The twin overhead camshaft four cylinders engine was gradually upgraded to 1.342 cc., then 1.453 cc. and finally 1.491 cc. The 1.491 cc. engine produced 120 hp and the claimed top speed for the OSCA MT4 1500 was 120 mph (194 kph). The body of the OSCA MT4 was a full-width spyder with a vertical bar oval front grille. The OSCA MT4 had a successful career both in Europe and North America. Stirling Moss and Bill Lloyd won the 1954 Sebring 12 Hours while driving Briggs Cunningham OSCA MT4 sports racing car.

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1929 Dietrich Limousine with Van Vooren Coachwork.

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Earliest Panhard here was this imposing X57 model of 1927. This was the year that Panhard, in a quest to move up-market and to offer more refinement adopted 6 cylinder engines. Around 650 of these cars were built.

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A few years its junior was this 1936 X72 Limousine. The Panhard CS is a luxury car, most commonly sold with a four-door sedan/saloon body, introduced by Panhard & Levassor at the end of 1929 for the 1930 model year. It was presented as a smaller companion model to the 8-cylinder Panhard DS [de] model. Publicity of the time indicated the “S” in the name stood for “surbaissées” (the cars having an “underslung” chassis. The car was launched with a 6-cylinder in-line Sleeve valve engine of 2,344 cc, placing it in the 13CV car tax band. The factory bodied “CS Type X68” four door sedan/saloon/berline offered seating for 4/5 people and had a separate luggage locker at the back. There were also various coupé and Cabriolet bodied cars produced. By 1932, when the “Type X68” gave way to the “Type X72”, 1,028 of the former had been produced. Produced in parallel with the “Panhard CS Type X68” was the “Panhard 6 CS Spécial / Type X69 Spécial”, produced between 1930 and 1933 with a slightly larger 2,516 cc 6-cylinder in-line engine during which time 1,310 were produced. In 1932 the “Type X68” was replaced by the “Type X72” which was also known as the “Panhard CS RL”. “RL” stood for “roue libre”, indicating that the otherwise classic 4-speed transmission incorporated a “free-wheel” device. The “Type X72” used the 2,516 cc 6-cylinder previously reserved for the “CS Spécial”, which placed it in the 14CV car tax band. There were also “Panhard CS RL2” versions of the car offered with a “short” 2,800 mm (110.2 in) or a “long” 3,340 mm (131.5 in) wheelbase.[3] The complexity of the naming was reduced in 1935 after which the car was branded simply as the “Panhard CS”. 2,173 of these “Type X72” CSs were produced before the version was replaced in 1936. In 1934 the bodywork was upgraded. The new and much vaunted “Panoramique” versions had a three-piece front windscreen. The main screen was still conventionally flat, but the A-pillars were distinguished by narrow curved glass panels. Cars thus equipped carried in their names the suffix “RL-N”. 1934 also saw the “6 CS Spécial / Type X69” replaced by the “CS Spécial / Type X73”. The engine was again enlarged, to 2,861 cc, placing the car now in the 16CV tax band. Between 1934 and 1937 1,535 Type X73s were produced. Although the CS Types X72 and X73 were still exhibited at the Motor Show in October 1936 as available for the 1937 model year (and still, according to some sources, listed again for 1938) they were effectively replaced by the manufacturer’s “Dynamic 130 Type X76” in October 1936. The older model’s production life may have been inadvertently prolongued by the very high prices that Panhard were initially trying to charge for the new “Dynamic” models.

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This is the Dynavia concept, built by Panhard in 1948. It was built as an experiment in aerodynamics. Before the end of World War II venerable French automaker Panhard et Levassor foresaw that post-war demand for their typically large and expensive cars would be limited and that a smaller less expensive model would be needed. Designer Louis Bionier began development of a small two-box “voiture populaire” (people’s car) that would be powered by engineer Louis Delagarde’s new air-cooled two-cylinder boxer engine driving the front wheels. At the same time automotive innovator Jean-Albert Grégoire was working on a car originally called the “Automobile Légère Grégoire” (ALG) later renamed “Aluminium Français Grégoire” (AFG) when the French national aluminum consortium stepped in to sponsor the project. The resulting prototype was also a small front-wheel drive car powered by an air-cooled two-cylinder boxer engine. The AFG weighed only 400 kg (881.8 lb) due to the use of Alpax to produce a unitary-style chassis and the use of aluminum for the bodywork. Grégoire showed the car to several French car makers including Simca but none showed interest. When the Pons Plan to rationalize the French automotive industry went into effect the company on the Avenue d’Ivry, now simply known as Panhard, was denied permission and access to materials needed to continue building cars. During this time steel was rationed but aluminum, whose production had been increased during the war, was not. To obtain permission to build small cars under the Pons Plan Panhard obtained non-exclusive rights to the aluminum-intensive AFG strongly supported by Pons. Bionier and Delagarde developed a new car called the VP2 that substituted a chassis of two tall narrow steel box members and cross-bracing for the AFG’s Alpax unitary unit. The VP2 was a 4-door 4-seat car. The bodywork was still of aluminum and reflected the styling of the AFG, although neither Grégoire nor Bionier were entirely satisfied with it. Panhard may have been pressured to make the VP2 look like the AFG but they never acknowledged any connection between the two cars.[6] Grégoire eventually sued Panhard for unpaid royalties. The VP2 went into production as the Panhard Dyna X. During the war Bionier had also pursued his interest in aerodynamics. He observed the shapes and movements of birds and fishes and built scale models of a streamlined 7-passenger car he named the VP6. In 1945 Bionier tested a 1/5 scale model in the wind tunnel at the Institute Aérodynamique in Saint-Cyr. Following the introduction of the Dyna X, Bionier returned to those early studies and built a concept car to explore how they might be applied to a full-sized vehicle. This car was the Panhard Dynavia. The Dynavia was built on the Dyna X chassis. Power came from Panhard’s two-cylinder OHV GM600 boxer engine with a bore of 72 mm, a stroke of 75 mm and total displacement of 610 cc. The engine was front-mounted and drove the front wheels through a four-speed manual transaxle. Suspension was independent on all four corners. Steering was by rack-and-pinion. Brakes were drums front and rear. The 2-door bodywork was executed in Duralinox, an aluminum/magnesium alloy. The Dynavia’s shape resulted in a drag coefficient of just 0.26. The car was designed to seat four people although the narrow body and curving roof-line limited passenger space. The tall greenhouse with its two-piece windscreen and backlite offered good outward visibility.[8] A single floodlight was mounted in the centre of the nose of the car, while the headlamps were Cibié “zero dazzle” units housed in tubes in the fenders and projecting flat beams out through slots on either side of the nose. At 650 kg (1,433.0 lb) the Dynavia was heavier than the equivalent Dyna X. Its engine produced 28 hp @ 4000 rpm which enabled the car to reach a top speed of 131 km/h (81.4 mph). This was about 18 percent faster than the Dyna X with the same drive-train. The Dynavia’s fuel consumption has been reported to vary from 3.5 l/100 km (80.7 mpg‑imp) to 5 l/100 km (56.5 mpg‑imp). The Dynavia was first shown at the 1948 Paris Auto Salon and was favourably received by both the public and the press. This car remained the property of Panhard and was eventually permanently loaned to the Cité de l’Automobile museum in Mulhouse. A second car was built which was sent to a Panhard dealer in Grenoble.This car was sold to a private owner in Switzerland but was later involved in a crash and was scrapped. Parts to build a third Dynavia were produced but this car was never assembled. The favorable impression made by the Dynavia and the benefits of its aerodynamic shape encouraged Paul Panhard to give Bionier approval to design an aerodynamic body for the upcoming Panhard Dyna Z.

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This is a 1956 Dyna Junior X87, a small sports car built by Panhard from 1952 to 1956. The car was initially offered as a roadster and later as a cabriolet. Just over 4700 were built. In early 1951 Joseph Bell (JB) Ferguson approached Panhard with a proposal to build a small sports car for the American market. Ferguson, the brother of Harry Ferguson, had emigrated to the US and in 1951 was running New York based Fergus Motors importing and reselling of a variety of European cars including Panhards. Panhard undertook the project with Ferguson’s financial support. To reduce design costs and speed development the Dyna Junior was built with the chassis and front-wheel drive power-train from the Dyna X. Panhard hired the carrosserie Di Rosa and their chief designer Albert Lemaitre to design the body and build a prototype. Di Rosa, known primarily for their work on trucks and buses, was able to complete the first aluminum-bodied prototype in just a few months. The car had a single door on the driver’s side and a fold-down windshield. Jean Panhard reviewed the car and requested extensive changes. Ferguson, who had received pictures of the prototype, withdrew from the project. In a very short time a second prototype was ready that was approved by Panhard, and ten pre-production examples were ordered. Panhard originally planned to build just 500 Dyna Juniors but decided to increase production in response to demand. To adapt the car to larger production volumes and reduce costs Panhard decided that the production Junior would get a steel body instead of one of aluminium. This change increased the weight of the car by more than 100 kg (220.5 lb). The car debuted at the Paris Motor Show in October 1951 and sales officially started at the beginning of the following year. Production of the car was initially done at Di Rosa’s factory, but they were unable to meet demand and Panhard moved the Junior’s assembly line to their factory in Orléans. Di Rosa would close shortly afterwards. The Dyna Junior was characterized by simple lines and few frills. Exterior decoration was limited to the grille inherited from the Dyna X. The car had exposed hinges on the trailing edge of the two passenger doors that opened “Suicide”-style. There were no external door handles, so opening the door required reaching in through the sliding plastic side windows to reach the interior latch. There was likewise no external trunk lid, with the rear storage compartment accessed by folding down the backrest of the two-place bench-seat. The interior was spartan, with a single centre-mounted dial for the speedometer and a gearshift lever sprouting from the dashboard as in the Dyna X. Despite having just 34.5 hp the car’s performance, handling, fuel economy, and affordable purchase price made the Junior popular with young car buyers. The Dyna Junior would use two versions of the Dyna X chassis over the course of its production history. Early Juniors used the X86 chassis from the Dyna X 120 while later models used the X87 chassis from the Dyna X 130. This platform gave the Junior a wheelbase of 2,127 mm (83.7 in) and front and rear tracks of 1,220 mm (48.0 in). The front suspension was independent with upper and lower transverse leaf springs, while the rear was a rigid trailing axle with a central pivot and torsion bars. Shock-absorbers were hydraulic Houdaille units and the brakes were nine-inch drums on all four wheels. Tires front and rear were 145 x 400. The transaxle was the four-speed manual gearbox from the Dyna X. The Dyna Junior was powered by the air-cooled two-cylinder OHV boxer engine designed by Louis Delagarde. The earliest cars used the 745 cc GM750 SS3 engine that produced 32.6 hp at 5000 rpm giving a maximum speed of 120 km/h (74.6 mph). The GM750 Sprint engine that produced 35.5 hp at 5000 rpm from the same displacement was an option. In April 1952 the larger 851 cc GM850 38 CV engine making 37.4 hp became available, raising top speed to 125 km/h (77.7 mph). The GM 850 S 40 CV Sprint version of this engine making 30.9 kW (41.4 hp) at 5000 rpm could also be ordered. In February 1953, the roadster was joined in Panhard’s lineup by a cabriolet version that came with exterior door handles and wind-up glass side windows in place of the plastic sliders on the roadster. In March the Junior began to use the X87 chassis, and a three-seat bench seat was fitted. In 1954 the grille from the Dyna X was replaced by an simpler oval opening with an aluminium crosspiece similar to that on the Dyna Z and the instrument panel was upgraded to two dials. In March 1954, the bumpers were changed. In June of this year the 745 cc versions were dropped. In 1955 the car was offered with an optional MAG supercharger that raised power at 60 hp and top speed to 145 km/h. In March the roadster was dropped from the line-up. Production of the Panhard Dyna Junior ended in April 1956.

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There were a number of examples of the PL17 here. Believe it or not, under that huge bonnet, powering a rather sizeable family saloon is a 2 cylinder engine with a capacity of a mere 851cc, which put out just 42 bhp. First presented in 1959, the model’s name was derived from “PL” for “Panhard et Levassor” (the original full name of the company), with the “17” coming from the sum of 5+6+6, being 5 CV (fiscal horses, in the French power rating system) plus 6 for the car’s six seats, plus 6 for the car’s economy of 6 L/100 km (47 mpg). The car was relatively expensive, though, costing more than a 1300cc Simca Aronde, and although it had roominess on its side, the lack of syncromesh in the gearbox made it hard to drive. Production ceased in 1965.

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This stylish car is a CD, a car designed by Charles Deutsch and built by Panhard from 1963 to 1965. The CD was named for Deutsch and is considered a continuation of the line of Panhard-powered vehicles built by Deutsch-Bonnet. The car was the production version of the CD Dyna that raced at Le Mans in June 1962. At the end of 1961 the partnership between French engineer and aerodynamicist Charles Deutsch and his longtime collaborator René Bonnet ended. Shortly afterwards venerable French automaker Panhard approached Deutsch to design a successor to his DB HBR 5 for the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans. While this would be Deutsch’s first solo project, he had already designed cars with Panhard components, and a detailed drawing of a car that anticipated the CD Dyna, and may have been a planned HBR 6, dates from as early as October 19, 1960. Panhard gave approval for work to start on the car at the end of January 1962, and factory manager Etienne de Valance began to build a team of drivers. Five cars were built; one prototype with a body of hand-hammered steel and four more with bodywork in glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) by Chappe et Gessalin. A tubular steel space-frame was considered but the car would instead get a steel backbone chassis. The first car, chassis number 101, was finished in just 70 days. The next four cars were given designations 102 through 105. The car was variously called the CD-Panhard coach, the Panhard et Levassor CD Le Mans and the CD-Panhard Dyna Coupé, but in the results of the 1962 24 Heures du Mans it is listed as the CD Dyna. The design of the body was handled by Deutsch and aerodynamicist Lucien Romani along with his protégé Marcel Hubert. The engines were Panhard’s air-cooled boxer twins tuned by Deutsch and Société Moteur Moderne. Power was boosted by means of enlarged valves, a higher-lift camshaft and two Zenith down-draught carburettors. While the first engine built had also been enlarged to 954 cc the Le Mans cars would all have a smaller 702 cc engine. The car’s transaxle was from the Panhard PL 17. The CD was sold in two trim levels; GT and Rallye. The GT sold for 15,500 francs, and the Rallye for 16,500 francs. The engine in both was Panhard’s 848 cc (51.7 cu in) M5-T “Tigre”. The engine in the GT was a standard model fed by a single Zenith type 38 NDIX down-draught carburetor that made 36.5 kW (49 hp). The Rallye model had two carburetors and produced about 44.0 kW (59 hp). The four-speed gearbox was a Panhard component with a direct-drive third gear and overdrive fourth that drove the front wheels. The transmissions in the Rallye versions had a final-drive ratio almost 10% “taller” (numerically lower) than the GT. Top speed for the GT was 165 km/h, and 180 km/h for the Rallye. Suspension was independent at all four corners. The front suspension comprised lower A-arms and an upper transverse leaf spring with lever-arm shock-absorbers. The rear suspension was semi-trailing arms with torsion-bars and lever-arm shock-absorbers. Steering was rack-and-pinion from the PL17. Braking was by System ETA (évécuation thermale accéléré), with a light alloy drum on the outside of the wheel for cooling and an iron lining. Tyres were Dunlop XAS FF 145×380 front and rear. The Panhard CD debuted at the 1962 Salon de l’Auto in Paris. Due to problems encountered producing the fibreglass bodies the first cars were not delivered until April 1963. In September 1964 the Panhard CD won the Grand Prix de l’Art et de l’Industrie Automobiles Français (Sports and Grand Touring category) at the Paris Salon de l’Auto. From 1963 to July 1965, 179 cars were sold: 122 GTs and 57 Rallyes. Adding the five CD Dyna brings the total production for all cars to 184. The chassis numbers began with 101 for the first steel-bodied prototype, went from 102 to 105 for the rest of the CD Dynas and then continued into the production series with numbers from 106 to 284. According to some sources three additional cars were left unassembled.

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Another of the sports racers on the Ascot stand, this LMP1 sports car dates from 2007. The Pescarolo 01 was the first sports prototype racing car built entirely by French team Pescarolo Sport. It is designed to meet the LMP1 and LMP2 regulations for Le Mans Prototypes in the Le Mans Series as well as at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and replace Pescarolo’s previous C60 chassis which had been heavily modified from cars purchased through Courage Compétition. At the end of 2006, new regulations came into effect for the various series supported by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO). These regulations required extensive changes to the layout of a chassis, leaving many teams to purchase or build new cars as their current cars would be ineligible in 2007. Pescarolo Sport at the time was campaigning two Pescarolo C60s, cars which Pescarolo Sport had extensively modified from their origins as Courage C60s a few years prior. The C60s however did not meet the 2007 regulations, and team owner Henri Pescarolo chose to become a full constructor for the first time. Many features from the C60 were carried over in the design of the 01. Unlike the C60, the 01 was intended to be not only used by the Pescarolo Sport team, but also to be sold to customers. In order to broaden their customer base, the 01 was designed to meet the regulations of both the LMP1 and LMP2 classes with minor variation required. As the first 01s were being completed, several teams announced their intent to purchase the chassis. British team Rollcentre Racing chose to re-enter the LMP1 category and campaign an 01-Judd alongside the two Pescarolo Sport cars. The German Kruse Motorsports team were the first to purchase an LMP2-spec car, using the smaller Judd V8 as a powerplant. Lister Cars also announced their intentions to purchase a chassis, which they would later modify, to replace their ineligible Storm LMP. At the Pescarolo 01’s debut in the Le Mans Series opener, the #16 car of Pescarolo Sport managed to finish in second place, between the two factory Peugeot diesels, while the #17 car finished fourth. The Rollcentre and Kruse cars also finished the event in points-earning positions. At the 2007 24 Hours of Le Mans, Pescarolo Sport was returning as the previous year’s runner-up. All four 01s from the Le Mans Series were entered, and three of them were able to successfully reach the finish. The #16 Pescarolo of Emmanuel Collard, Jean-Christophe Boullion, and Romain Dumas was classified third, eleven laps behind the winning Audi, while Rollcentre Racing’s car was a further eleven laps behind in fourth place. Pescarolo’s #17 car finished well back in 13th, while Kruse’s car suffered mechanical problems and retired in the first half of the event. At the following race, the Nürburgring 1000 km, the works car managed a third place again, behind the two Peugeot 908 HDi FAP and for the Spa event (1000 km) on August 19 it was classified second in the race, just being beaten by the surviving Peugeot of Lamy-Sarrazin (the other one having not finished the race due to a rare mechanical failure), the other works Pescarolo ranking at 4th place. For the British race (1000 km of Silverstone, 16 September) the Nr 16 car driven by Collard and Boullion again, ranked 2nd, still behind a Peugeot while the privateer Rollcentre car was third. For the last race of the Le Mans Series (Mil Milhas do Brasil on November 10) on the Interlagos circuit, just one Pescarolo 01 was entered (the works car of Boullion-Collard-Primat) and it finished the race in 4th place behind the two Peugeot and the works Creation CA07. Pescarolo’s #16 good results allow Pescarolo Sport to secure second place in the LMP1 Teams Championship. Pescarolo’s #17 car struggled to earn points and finished seventh in points, but the Rollcentre team were able to outperform the one factory Pescarolo and finish fourth in the championship. Kruse’s season was cut short as a fire on board the team’s transporter destroyed their car.

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Peugeot also had a large presence here with a number of cars from the factory’s collection, joined by those of several mode-specific clubs. Oldest of these was a Type 5 of which 14 examples were made between 1893 and 1894. The Peugeot Type 5 is equipped with a twin cylinder 1.026 cc V type two cylinder engine produced by Panhard & Levassor under license from German Daimler Company. Transmission is by a four speed gearbox which utilised a double chain driving system. An example, Chassis N°164, was entered at the Paris Rouen race the same year by Mr. Louis Rigoulot alongside six factory entered cars. All cars finished the city to city race. 21 cars were qualified for the race and participated . Mr Rigoulot finished 11th overall.

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There were examples of the most elegant versions of the 404 here. the coupe and the cabriolet. This Peugeot 404 completed in convertible was designed and produced by Carrozzeria Pinin Farina and introduced at the Paris Auto Show with this rare hard top finish in October 1961. A coupe version was presented one year later at the Paris Auto Show. The engines were the same as the standard sedan version either with carburettor or fuel injection. The Peugeot 404 Cabriolet was the better seller, with 10.387 examples made, whilst there were just 6.837 examples of the coupe produced. Production of both ceased in 1968.

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The 504 celebrates its 50th birthday in 2018. Although production for Europe ceased in the early 1980s, these tough cars continued to be particularly popular in Africa, many seeing service as taxis and clocking up huge mileages. The car was successful in rallying, too initially with the saloon body, but later in Coupe guise. This car has been specially prepared for the “Tour Auto” taking place later in the year.

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Bearing an uncanny resemblance to the new 508, is the Exalt concept. This was first seen at the Beijing Auto Show in April 2014 and an updated version appeared at the Paris Show later in the year. Taking the form of a sleek four-door coupe, the Exalt borrows styling cues such as its slim, angular radiator grille, its rippled hood and its sharp headlights from the Onyx concept that was presented at the 2012 edition of the Paris show. 20-inch alloy wheels and sculpted flanks accentuate the car’s sporty silhouette. Interestingly, the Exalt’s rear end is covered in an innovative grainy textile called Shark Skin that allegedly reduces the car’s drag coefficient. The rest of the Exalt is crafted out of bare steel. Inside, the Exalt concept boasts an upscale cabin with an integrated air purifier and a new infotainment system dubbed Peugeot i-Cockpit. The bulk of the controls on the centre console have been replaced by nine toggle switches arranged in two groups located on either side of the steering wheel. The toggle switches were inspired by the equipment found in a recording studio. The ebony trim found inside the Exalt shown in Beijing has been replaced by Newspaper Wood, a new salmon-coloured material that is made from recycled business newspaper. Basalt fiber trim adds a finishing touch to the interior. Power comes from a petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain consisting of a 270 bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine borrowed from the RCZ R and a 67-horsepower electric motor mounted over the rear axle. The two power sources send 340 horsepower to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission, but Peugeot has opted not to publish performance and fuel economy figures. A folding electric scooter called HYbrid-kick Concept can be neatly stored under the trunk floor.

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The Peugeot 203 was the first new design that Peugeot produced after WW2. The car was exhibited at the Paris Motor Show in 1947, but by then had already been under development for more than five years. Volume manufacturing was initially hampered by strikes and shortages of materials, but production got under way late in 1948, with buyers taking delivery of 203s from early 1949. During its twelve-year production run nearly 700,000 203s of all variants rolled off the assembly line in Sochaux, France. Between the demise of the 202 in 1949 and the launch of the 403 in 1955, the 203 was the only model produced by Peugeot. The majority of the 203s were saloon bodied, but Estate, Coupe and Cabrio versions were offered as well.

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Perhaps the best loved of all Peugeot models is the 205 GTi, and there was a nice one here. 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. discs at the front and drum brakes at the back; 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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This imposing car is a Type 176 Cabriolet. The Type 176 model was introduced in 1925 and was made in the factory at Issy-les- Moulineaux in southern Paris. It had a 4-cylinder sleeve-valve engine of 2493 c.c., being classified as a 12CV. The body was by Ets Charles Felber. During the Twenties Peugeot used sleeve-valve engines for all their larger capacity models.

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Peugeot dealer since 1923, Emile Darl’Mat wanted to produce “an exclusive car with the reliability and easy upkeep of a standard model”. 104 Peugeot 302 and 402 Darl’Mat were built with the agreement of Peugeot (52 roadsters, 32 convertibles, 20 coupés) from 1937 to 1939. These Darl’Mat uses Peugeot chassis from the 302 or the light 402. In both cases they were powered by the 402 engine, 4 cylinders head valves, 1991 cc with a power between 55 to 70 bhp, allowing them easily to reach 140 km/h. The gearbox was either classic 3 speeds or an electromagnetic Cotal 4 speeds. This Peugeot 402 Darl’Mat Roadster 1940 designed by Georges Paulin were built by coachwork Marcel Poutout whch was previously remarked for the Peugeot Eclipse based on chassis of the 601. In 1937 and 1938, 302 and 402 Darl’Mat raced at 24 Hours Le Mans.

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This 404 Break is a genuine ex-Scuderia Ferrari car and was presented with a period photo of John Surtees sitting in the back with the upper bodywork of a 312 TB on the roofrack.

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Final Peugeot of note was a 205 Rallye. These were produced from 1988 to 1992, having been engineered and produced by Peugeot-Talbot Sport. This edition of the 205 was positioned as a cost effective alternative to the 205 GTI, retaining its sporty character, but being less expensive to buy or maintain. To achieve this, Peugeot used a derivative of the TU-series engine used in the post-1987 205s, which was designated TU24. The engine is essentially the same engine as was in the 1.1 litre 205 with the cylinders bored out to a total engine displacement of 1294 cc, a sports camshaft and twin Weber carburettors. The 1.3 litre engine produced 102 hp at 6800 rpm. The car got the 1.6 GTI front suspension with ventilated brake discs, and the 1.6 GTI rear axle with drum brakes. The 205 Rallye was completely stripped of almost all soundproofing, electrical systems or other luxury items, bringing down the weight to no more than 794 kg (1,750 lb). Its minimalistic equipment, together with the high revs needed to unleash all of the engine’s horsepower gives the 205 Rallye a very spartan character and makes it a difficult but rewarding car to drive hard, which is one of the reasons it is now very popular among 205 GTI enthusiasts. Peugeot expected to build around 5000 Rallyes. In the end 30,111 Rallyes were produced, even though they were only sold in certain mainland European markets (including France, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Italy and The Netherlands). The distinctive aesthetic features of the 205 Rallye include the squarer wheel arches (which are different from GTI arches), the steel body-coloured wheelrims and the rainbow-coloured Peugeot-Talbot sport decals on the front grille and the tailgate. They were only available in white. The Rallye was sold with a reduced-weight interior with the Peugeot-Talbot sport logo embroidered in the front seats. From 1990 to 1992 Peugeot also built a 1.9 litre version of the 205 Rallye. Only about 1000 of them were produced and they were only sold in Germany, because the 1.3 litre version did not meet German road regulations. The 1.9 Rallye is just a 105 bhp 1.9 GTI with the Rallye bodyshell and the new-style clear indicators and rear light units. Although they are even rarer than the 1.3 Rallye, they are less popular among Peugeot enthusiasts, because they lack the raw and spartan character of the 1.3 Rallye and are 150 kg (331 lb) heavier. In 1994 Peugeot introduced the Rallye to the UK market, it was available in two colours (500 white, 250 yellow) and was essentially a re-badged XT. It came equipped with black cloth seats embroidered with the Peugeot-Talbot Sport logo, the Peugeot-Talbot sports colours behind the front arches and over the back arches, as well as the same markings on the grille and tailgate of its European brother. It was powered by an iron-blocked 1360 cc TU3.2 engine with the same twin-choke solex carburettor found on the earlier XS engine. It produced 75 bhp and achieved 107 mph (172 km/h) with a 0-60 mph of 11.7 seconds. After the 205 Rallye, Peugeot again used the ‘Rallye’ designation for some of its 106 and 306 models.

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Porsche is another of the manufacturers who take a large stand in Hall 1, which they use to show off some of their Classic models and this year they were marking their 70th anniversary. The stand featured a number of 356 and 911 models including the 911 Speedster of the late 80s.

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Development of the 959 (originally called the Gruppe B) started in 1981, shortly after the company’s then-new Managing Director, Peter Schutz, took his office. Porsche’s chief engineer at the time, Helmuth Bott, approached Schutz with some ideas about the Porsche 911, or more aptly, a new one. Bott knew that the company needed a sports car that they could continue to rely on for years to come and that could be developed as time went on. Curious as to how much they could do with the rear-engined 911, Bott convinced Schutz that development tests should take place, and even proposed researching a new all wheel drive system. Schutz agreed, and gave the project the green light. Bott also knew through experience that a racing program usually helped to accelerate the development of new models. Seeing Group B rally racing as the perfect arena to test the new development mule and its all wheel drive system, Bott again went to Schutz and got the approval to develop a car, based on his development mule, for competition in Group B. The powerplant is a sequential twin-turbocharged DOHC flat-six engine equipped with 4 valves per cylinder, fuel fed by Bosch Motronic 2.1 fuel injection with air-cooled cylinders and water-cooled heads, with a total displacement of 2,849 cc. It was coupled to a unique manual transmission offering five forward speeds plus a “gelände” (terrain) off-road gear, as well as reverse. The engine was largely based on the 4-camshaft 24-valve powerplant used in the Porsche 956 and 962 race cars. These components allowed Porsche to extract 450 PS (444 bhp) at 6,500 rpm and 500 Nm (369 lb/ft) of torque at 5,000 rpm from the compact and efficient power unit. The use of sequential twin turbochargers rather than the more usual identical turbochargers for each of the two cylinder banks allowed for smooth delivery of power across the engine speed band, in contrast to the abrupt on-off power characteristic that distinguished Porsche’s other turbocharged engines of the period. The engine was used virtually unchanged in the 959 road car as well. To create a rugged, lightweight shell, Porsche adopted an aluminium and Aramid (Kevlar) composite for the body panels and chassis construction along with a Nomex floor, instead of the steel floor normally used on their production cars. Porsche also developed the car’s aerodynamics, which were designed to increase stability, as was the automatic ride-height adjustment that became available on the road car (961 race cars had a fixed suspension system). Its drag coefficient was as low as 0.31 and aerodynamic lift was eliminated completely. The 959 also featured Porsche-Steuer Kupplung (PSK) all-wheel-drive system. Capable of dynamically changing the torque distribution between the rear and front wheels in both normal and slip conditions, the PSK system gave the 959 the adaptability it needed both as a race car and as a “super” street car. Under hard acceleration, PSK could send as much as 80% of the available power to the rear wheels, helping make the most of the rear-traction bias that occurs at such times. It could also vary the power bias depending on road surface and grip changes, helping maintain traction at all times. The dashboard featured gauges displaying the amount of rear differential slip as well as transmitted power to the front axle. The magnesium alloy wheels were unique, being hollow inside to form a sealed chamber contiguous with the tyre and equipped with a built-in tyre pressure monitoring system. The 959 was actually produced at Karosserie Baur, not at the Porsche factory in Zuffenhausen, on an assembly line with Porsche inspectors overseeing the finished bodies. Most of Porsche’s special order interior leather work was also done by the workers at Baur. The 1983 Frankfurt Motor Show was chosen for the unveiling of the Porsche Group B prototype. Even in the closing hours of October 9, finishing touches were being applied to the car to go on display the next morning. After the first two prototypes, the bodywork was modified to include air vents in the front and rear wheel housings, as well as intake holes behind the doors. The first prototype receiving those modifications was code named “F3”, and was destroyed in the first crash test. The road version of the 959 debuted at the 1985 Frankfurt Motor Show as a 1986 model, but numerous issues delayed production by more than a year. The car was manufactured in two levels of trim, “Sport” and “Komfort”, corresponding to the trim with more creature comforts and a more track focused trim. First customer deliveries of the 959 street variant began in 1987, and the car debuted at a cost of DM431,550 (US$225,000) each, still less than half what it cost Porsche to build each car. Production ended in 1988 with 292 cars completed. In total, 337 cars were built, including 37 prototypes and pre-production models.

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Final car on the stand was the very latest addition to the range, the Panmera Sport Turismo in its Hybrid guise.

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Officially we should call this car the GTS, as Porsche had the same naming conflict with Peugeot over this as they did with the 911 (which they had originally planned to call 901, of course), but the reality is that everyone knows this elegant machine as the 904GTS. Although on the rare occasions that you see one, it tends to look like a road car, the 904GTS owes its existence to the race track. After having withdrawn from Formula One at the end of the 1962 season, Porsche focused again on sportscar racing. The 904 debuted late in 1963, for the 1964 racing season, as a successor to the 718, which had been introduced in 1957. Porsche designed the GTS variant to compete in the FIA-GT class at various international racing events. The street-legal version, as seen here, debuted in 1964 in order to comply with Group 3 Appendix J homologation regulations requiring a certain number of road-going variants be sold by the factory. Porsche produced 106 904s at four or five a day with a list price of US$7245. Orders far exceeded the one hundred car requirement to satisfy homologation rules and more cars could readily have been sold. The 904’s mid-engine layout was inherited from the 718 RSK. It was powered by the 1,966 cc Type 587/3, four-cam flat four-cylinder engine producing 198 hp, “probably the most complex four-cylinder” ever. It drove a five-speed transmission. Begun as the Type 547, its development began in 1953, when the previous VW-based 1,100 cc flat-four, used in the contemporary 356 hit the limit of its potential. Porsche realised it needed something all-new. The brainchild of Dr. Ernst Fuhrmann, later Technical Director, it was hoped to achieve an “unheard of” 70 hp per litre, relying on hemispherical combustion chambers and two-choke Weber carburettors to generate 112 hp from the 1,500 cc four-cam engine. The 1.5 litre weighed 310 lb dry, eventually producing 180 hp. A complex design that proved “very taxing” to build and assemble, but very durable, it was used in 34 different models, including 550 Spyders, 356 Carreras, and F2/1s. The 904 was the first Porsche to use a ladder chassis and fibreglass body, appearing more like specialist racing cars than the modified sports cars typical at the time, and was painted white. The fibreglass body was bonded to its steel chassis for extra rigidity, and achieved a drag coefficient of 0.34. While many German race cars had used unpainted aluminium bodies since the famous 1934 Silver Arrows, most 904s were painted silver, the modern German national racing colour. Unusually for Porsche, the two-seater bodies were provided by contractors, which would later become standard practice among race car builders. The 904’s fibreglass body was made by spraying chopped fibreglass into a mould, the amount sprayed often varied in thickness over the shape of the car and as a result the weight of the various cars was somewhat inconsistent; some were heavier than others. Race-prepared four-cylinder 904s weighed in at approximately 1,443 pounds (655 kg) and the low weight gave the 904 the ability to accelerate to 60 mph from a standstill in less than six seconds (using the standard rear gear, which would be typical at Sebring) and to reach a top speed of 160 mph. Frontal area was only 14 sq ft. The Porsche 904 rode on coil springs (the first Porsche not to use trailing arm front and swing-axle rear suspension. To satisfy demand, twenty 1965 models were produced, some featuring a variant of the 911’s flat six,. These were known as the 904/6. Porsche also built a few factory race cars with a flat eight-cylinder power plant derived from the 1962 804 F1 car, the 225 hp 1,962 cc Type 771, but these had a “disturbing habit” of making their flywheels explode. These cars were known as the 904/8. A number of modern replica versions have been produced.

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There were a number of 356 models on the dealer stands, as ever. The 356 was created by Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche (son of Dr. Ing. Ferdinand Porsche, founder of the German company), who founded the Austrian company with his sister, Louise. Like its cousin, the Volkswagen Beetle (which Ferdinand Porsche Senior had designed), the 356 was a four-cylinder, air-cooled, rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive car utilising unitised pan and body construction. The chassis was a completely new design as was the 356’s body which was designed by Porsche employee Erwin Komenda, while certain mechanical components including the engine case and some suspension components were based on and initially sourced from Volkswagen. Ferry Porsche described the thinking behind the development of the 356 in an interview with the editor of Panorama, the PCA magazine, in September 1972. “….I had always driven very speedy cars. I had an Alfa Romeo, also a BMW and others. ….By the end of the war I had a Volkswagen Cabriolet with a supercharged engine and that was the basic idea. I saw that if you had enough power in a small car it is nicer to drive than if you have a big car which is also overpowered. And it is more fun. On this basic idea we started the first Porsche prototype. To make the car lighter, to have an engine with more horsepower…that was the first two seater that we built in Carinthia (Gmünd)”. The first 356 was road certified in Austria on June 8, 1948, and was entered in a race in Innsbruck where it won its class. Porsche re-engineered and refined the car with a focus on performance. Fewer and fewer parts were shared between Volkswagen and Porsche as the ’50’s progressed. The early 356 automobile bodies produced at Gmünd were handcrafted in aluminium, but when production moved to Zuffenhausen, Germany in 1950, models produced there were steel-bodied. Looking back, the aluminium bodied cars from that very small company are what we now would refer to as prototypes. Porsche contracted with Reutter to build the steel bodies and eventually bought the Reutter company in 1963. The Reutter company retained the seat manufacturing part of the business and changed its name to Recaro. Little noticed at its inception, mostly by a small number of auto racing enthusiasts, the first 356s sold primarily in Austria and Germany. It took Porsche two years, starting with the first prototype in 1948, to manufacture the first 50 automobiles. By the early 1950s the 356 had gained some renown among enthusiasts on both sides of the Atlantic for its aerodynamics, handling, and excellent build quality. The class win at Le Mans in 1951 was clearly a factor. It was always common for owners to race the car as well as drive them on the streets. They introduced the four-cam racing “Carrera” engine, a totally new design and unique to Porsche sports cars, in late 1954. Increasing success with its racing and road cars brought Porsche orders for over 10,000 units in 1964, and by the time 356 production ended in 1965 approximately 76,000 had been produced. The 356 was built in four distinct series, the original (“pre-A”), followed by the 356 A, 356 B, and then finally the 356 C. To distinguish among the major revisions of the model, 356’s are generally classified into a few major groups. 356 coupés and “cabriolets” (soft-top) built through 1955 are readily identifiable by their split (1948 to 1952) or bent (centre-creased, 1953 to 1955) windscreens. In late 1955 the 356 A appeared, with a curved windshield. The A was the first road going Porsche to offer the Carrera 4 cam engine as an option. In late 1959 the T5 356 B appeared; followed by the redesigned T6 series 356 B in 1962. The final version was the 356 C, little changed from the late T6 B cars but with disc brakes to replace the drums.

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The Porsche 906 or Carrera 6 is a street-legal racing car from Porsche. It was announced in January 1966 and 50 examples were subsequently produced, thus meeting the homologation requirements of the FIA’s new Group 4 Sports Car category to the letter. The type would also compete in modified form in the Group 6 Sports Prototype class. Built as a successor to the Porsche 904, and designed under Ferdinand Piëch’s new regime at Porsche R&D, the 906 replaced the boxed steel structure of the 904 which used the fiberglass body for extra structural strength with a tubular space frame and unstressed fibreglass body. The fibreglass itself was laid up by hand, producing consistent results, instead of the uneven spraying technique used on the 904. The result was a car that weighed 580 kg (1,280 lb), approximately 113 kg (250 lb) lighter than the 904/6 (the 6-cylinder 904). The engine regularly fitted was the 901/20 6-cylinder lightweight racing engine with 220 hp and carburettors, although some examples that were raced by the factory team received fuel-injected or 8-cylinder engines, especially in hillclimbing events where Porsche competed with Ferrari Dinos for the European championship. Unlike previous racing Porsches, the 906’s body was tested in a wind tunnel, resulting in a top speed of 280 km/h (170 mph) at Le Mans, quite fast for a 2-litre engine car. At the time it showed a close resemblance to future Porsche racing cars. As in the Mercedes-Benz 300SL, gull-wing doors were fitted, and the mid-ship mounted engine was covered with a large plexiglas cover. In order to save money, spare suspension components produced in advance for a possible new series of Porsche 904 had to be used for the 906, along with big 15-inch wheels. Yet, Formula One used lighter 13-inch wheels, and Porsche had already used Team Lotus suspension parts in earlier years. The wheels were bolted on with 5 nuts as in a road car, which cost time in pitstops compared to a single central nut. To take advantage of the lighter wheels and F1 tyres, the Porsche 910 was developed and entered in mid-season of 1966, starting with the hillclimb from Sierre to Crans-Montana in Switzerland. In its debut in the 1966 24 Hours of Daytona, the Carrera 6 finished 6th overall, and won its class against Ferrari Dino 206 Ps. At the 12 Hours of Sebring, Hans Herrmann/Herbert Müller finished fourth overall and won the class, as at the 1000 km of Monza. 906s recorded class victories at the 1000 km Spa and the 1000 km Nürburgring, and Willy Mairesse/Gerhard Müller, driving a privately entered 906, secured an overall victory at the 1966 Targa Florio when the factory cars failed. At the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 906 placed 4-5-6-7 behind three Ford GT40 Mk IIs, outlasting all of the previously dominant V12-engined Ferrari Ps.

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There were plenty of examples of the 911 in road car and race guise throughout the show.

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Porsche developed the 911 Turbo production model in order to reach performance level responding to the Italian sports cars of the time and also to prepare the base for motorsport FIA Silhouette Group 5 were the Porsche 935 completed an exceptionally successful career both in Europe and North America. The 911 Turbo 3.0 made its debut in 1974, right in the middle of the energy crisis. The boosted power unit featured in this model delivered unbelievable output at the time of 260 bhp at just 5500 rpm. The positive impact of motorsport on series production was indeed rarely as clear as in the development of this turbocharged power unit. Porsche had already gained experience with turbocharged 12-cylinder power units in the 917/10 and 917/30, Porsche prototypes developing more than 1000 bhp dominating the CanAm Series in 1972 and 1973. The 911 Turbo 3.0 was the first production car to offer an increase in output with the help of an exhaust gas turbocharger. Aficionados of sports cars will definitely have wonderful memories of the 911 Carrera RS 2.7, which entered production in autumn 1972. This car was the starting point for a wide range of 911s with outstanding racing attributes such as the Carrera RSR. In 1973 a Porsche Carrera RSR finished fourth overall at Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race. The first Turbo Carrera developing 500 bhp entered the scene in 1974, paving the way for the 934 and 935 specially built for the new Group 4 and Group 5 production sports car category raced as of 1976 according to new international regulations. Porsche has sold several cars to private teams . Large quantities of modifications were introduced to the Porsche 935 along the year not only by the factory but also by private teams. Right from the start, these cars won the Constructor’s World Championship for Porsche, Rolf Stommelen/Manfred Schurti and Jochen Mass/Jacky Ickx bringing home this glorious victory. In 1977 an optimised 935 won three races for the Constructor’s World Championship, private 935s clinching the title for Porsche. And in 1979, finally, a 935 K3 Kremer won the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The most extreme racing version of the 911 was “Moby Dick” in 1978. Low, wide and long, this Porsche clearly stood out from all other versions of the 935 at first sight. For the first time in the history of the 911, the engine came with water-cooled cylinder heads featuring four valves per cylinder. Output of the turbocharged 3.2-litre six-cylinder peaked at a staggering 845 bhp In 1980 a Porsche 935 won Daytona 24 Hours. In 1981,again, a Porsche Kremer 935 K3 won Daytona 24 Hours driven by B. Garretson, B. Rahal and B. Redman. In 1984, A Porsche 935 was still second at Daytona behind a March Porsche. The Porsche 962 really took over where the 935 had gained a winner reputation. Still in 1985, a Porsche 935 finished 5th behind Porsche 962. A street version was also proposed within homologation procedure. It is illustrated by metallic red car the only one not bearing racing numbers.

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Porsche developed the 962 (also known as the 962C in its Group C form) as a replacement for the 956, intended initially mainly to comply with IMSA’s GTP regulations, although it would later compete in the European Group C formula as the 956 had. The 962 was introduced at the end of 1984, from which it quickly became successful through private owners while having a remarkably long-lived career, with some examples still proving competitive into the mid-1990s. When the Porsche 956 was developed in late 1981, the intention of Porsche was to run the car in both the World Sportscar Championship and the North American IMSA GTP Championship. However IMSA GTP regulations differed from Group C and subsequently the 956 was banned in the US series on safety grounds as the driver’s feet were ahead of the front axle centre line. To make the 956 eligible under the new IMSA regulations, Porsche extended the 956’s wheelbase to move the front wheels ahead of the pedal box. A steel roll cage was also integrated into the new aluminium chassis. For an engine, the Porsche 934-derived Type-935 2.8 litre flat-6 was used with air cooling and a single Kühnle, Kopp und Kausch AG K36 turbocharger instead of the twin K27 turbochargers of the Group C 956, as twin-turbo systems were not allowed in IMSA’s GTP class at the time. The newer Andial built 3.2 litre fuel injected flat-6 would be placed in the 962 by the middle of 1985 for IMSA GT, which made the car more competitive against Jaguar. However it would not be until 1986 that the 2.6 litre unit from the 956 was replaced in the World Sportscar Championship, using 2.8 litre, 3.0 litre, and 3.2 litre variants with dual turbochargers. The cars run under World Sportscar Championship regulations were designated as 962C to separate them from their IMSA GTP counterparts.. The 3.2 litre unit, which had been eligible under IMSA’s Group 3 engine rules, was banned by IMSA in 1987. In 1988, to counteract against the factory Nissans and the threat of withdrawal from Porsche teams, water-cooled twin-turbo Porsche engines would be allowed back but with 36 mm restrictors. In total, Porsche would produce 91 962s between 1984 and 1991. 16 were officially used by the factory team, while 75 were sold to customers. Some 956s were rebuilt as 962s, with two being previously written off and four others simply rebuilt. Three 962s that were badly damaged were also rebuilt had been given a new chassis number due to the extensive reconstruction. Due to the high demand for 962 parts, some aluminium chassis were built by Fabcar in the United States before being shipped to Germany for completion. Derek Bell, a 5-time Le Mans winner, drove the 962 to 21 victories between 1985 and 1987, remarking that it was “a fabulous car, but considering how thorough (Norbert) Singer (the designer of the 962 and head of Porsche’s motorsport division at the time) and the team were, it was really quite easy to drive.” Due to the sheer numbers of 962s, some teams took it upon themselves to adapt the car to better suit their needs or to remain competitive. These modifications included new bodywork for better aerodynamic efficiency, while others changed mechanical elements. Long-time Porsche campaigner Joest Racing heavily modified a pair of 962s for the IMSA GTP Championship in 1993 to better compete against Jaguar, taking the 962’s final sprint race victory (Road America) that season. Beyond minor modification, some private teams reengineered the entire car. One noted problem of the 962 was a lack of stiffness in the aluminium chassis, leading some teams to design new chassis, and then buy components from Porsche to complete the car, although some also had unique bodywork as well. Some teams would then offer their 962s to other customer teams. Among the most popular privately built 962s was that from Kremer Racing, termed the 962CK6, which did away with the original aluminium sheet tub of the original Porsche chassis, replacing it with a carbon fibre tub. Eleven were built, campaigned by Kremer and other teams. John Thompson designed a chassis for Brun Motorsport, eight of which were built and helped the team take second in the World Sportscar Championship in 1987. Thompson would later build two chassis for Obermaier Racing. Richard Lloyd Racing’s GTI Engineering would turn to Peter Stevens and Nigel Stroud to develop four 962C GTis, which featured entirely revised aero and aluminium honeycomb rather than sheet tubs. Former factory Porsche driver Vern Schuppan would also build five new chassis, some known as TS962s. In the United States, the ball got rolling when Holbert Racing began making modifications to their own chassis and rebadging them with “962 HR-” serial numbers. The search was always on for a stiffer and safer b962 monocoque and Jim Busby contracted Jim Chapman to build a more robust version of the 962 monocoque. Fabcar would become the de facto factory tub supplier, supplying chassis with official Porsche serial numbers. Fabcar incorporated changes to the factory tub, replacing the simple sheet aluminum construction with a combination of sheet aluminum and aluminum honeycomb in addition to billet aluminum bulkheads. These changes substantially increased the tub’s crashworthiness and stiffness. Dyson Racing purchased a Richard Lloyd Racing/GTi Engineering 962 monocoque for use in their Porsche 962 DR-1 chassis. A Fabcar tub was used in Dyson’s Porsche 962 DR-2.. Some 962s were even more extensively modified, with several open-cockpit versions being developed in the mid-1990s to run under new sportscar regulations. Kremer Racing would once again develop their own chassis, with the open-cockpit CK7 running in Interserie and K8 running at most international sportscar races, including Le Mans and Daytona. These cars shared little with the original 962s, using custom bodywork and chassis designs, yet retaining the engine and some suspension elements. Heinz-Jörgen Dahmen converted his 962 (chassis 009) to an open-top version that was raced by him in the Interserie in 1995 and 1996. The car had previously been campaigned by him in the Interserie since 1990. Porsche debuted the 962 at the 1984 24 Hours of Daytona with Mario and Michael Andretti driving the factory car which led the race until it retired during lap 127 with engine and gearbox problems. For 1985, the 962C would debut in the World Sportscar Championship, but ironically the car lost to an older 956, which had already taken WEC top-honors four times. Under pressure from new cars from Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz, in 1987 Porsche again brought in a new engine, a more durable and powerful 3.0 litre unit which powered the car to an overall win at the 1987 24 Hours of Le Mans, Porsche’s record seventh consecutive victory at the race. After a post-’87 “dry spell”, Porsche customer Jochen Dauer got the 962 re-classified as a road legal GT1 car under a loophole in the new ACO regulations for the 1994 24 Hours of Le Mans. During the early years of its career, the 962, like the 917K, 935 and 956 before it, became one of the most dominant cars in motorsport, and its efficiency and reliability led it to be a car much in demand among private teams. The championships won by teams campaigning the 962 included the World Sportscar Championship title in 1985 and 1986, the IMSA GT Championship every year from 1985 to 1988, the Interserie championship from 1987 until 1992, all four years of the Supercup series (1986 to 1989), and the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship from 1985 until 1989, and it was also very dominant in the American IMSA series well into the 90’s. The 962 also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1986 and 1987, with Derek Bell, Al Holbert and Hans-Joachim Stuck at the wheel on both occasions, as well as later winning under the Dauer 962 badge in 1994. The presence of strong factory teams, such as Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, and Toyota, competing against privateer 962s eventually led to the car becoming less successful in the later 1980s. Even though they struggled, 962s would continue to win races into 1993, taking lone victories in the IMSA GT and Interserie seasons. Although Dauer’s Le Mans victory in 1994 featured a highly modified car, Team Taisan would take the final victory ever in an original 962C, winning an All Japan Grand Touring Car Championship event at Fuji Speedway in August of that year, just over ten years after the car had debuted.

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Final road-going Porsche here was a Carrera GT Synonymous with Porsche’s endurance racing programme and Le Mans in particular, where they have triumphed some 17 times, the design of the Porsche Carrera GT is firmly rooted in its motorsport lineage. After success in 1998 at the famous 24-hour race, a team of engineers started work on a new mid-engined V-10 model utilising advanced technologies and materials. However, the project was soon put on hold as the company decided to focus its energies in a different direction with the introduction of a new SUV and the development of the Porsche Cayenne. Fortunately, the Carrera GT project was kept alive, and a prototype was shown at the 2000 Paris Auto Show. Response to the car was enthusiastic prompting Porsche to commit to a limited production run of 1,500 cars. By the end of production in 2006, only 1,270 cars were built, making it rarer still. With its 5.7 litre, dry sump V-10 engine (producing around 612 brake horsepower) sitting low in the carbon-fibre chassis, the Carrera GT weighed in at 1,380kg and was capable of 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds with a top speed of 205 mph. Open the driver’s door and you are immediately aware that this is a totally focussed, seriously fast Porsche with the sense of function only just lightened by the Beechwood gear knob – a nod to the famous Porsche 917 and its racing past.

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Puma was originally based in Brazil where it built cars, from 1964 until roughly 1995, and trucks, from 1978 to 1999. The company then re-opened in South Africa in 2013 under the name of Puma Automobiles. Puma Automobiles manufactures the Puma 52 (made especially for racing tracks) and the Puma GT 2.4 Lumimari. In Brazil, Puma sourced engines from DKW (3 cylinders), Volkswagen (4 cylinders) and General Motors (4 and 6 cylinder) and mounted them on their own chassis and fibreglass bodies. A small number of cars were exported to US markets during the 1970s to the 1980s, but a more cost effective kit car option was responsible for the majority of US imports. The kit car variant was a complete car exported without the front suspension, transaxle, engine, wheels, and tires. The buyer could purchase the components from a Puma North American distributor or supply their own. Since it had less restrictive regulations, a greater number of complete cars were exported to buyers in Canada. Production of the first models started in 1964 using DKW components and a front engine, front wheel design. These models were sold and manufactured exclusively for auto racing. In 1967, the cars were redesigned for street use and featured an updated rear-mounted Volkswagen engine with a rear-wheel-drive design. In 1967, Volkswagen bought DKW-Vemag and ceased production of the DKW engine in Brazil. With no DKW engines available, Puma designed a new car based on a shortened chassis of the rear-engined, air-cooled 1,500 cc Volkswagen Karmann Ghia sold in Brazil. The design, inspired by the Lamborghini Miura, remained largely unchanged for two decades. The new design with a Volkswagen 1,600 cc engine was named the Puma 1600 GTE. It sold relatively well for a specialist sports car. Puma sold the 1600 GTE starting in 1969 and offered kits to make the engine more powerful. A convertible version, the 1600 GTS, was added around 1970 and Puma began to export the cars to other South American countries, North America, and Europe. Most of the cars exported to North America were sold in kit form. However, all cars sold in Brazil were complete. In 1976 Volkswagen began to honour the warranty of their standard engine supplied to Puma. At the same time Puma introduced a three-month or 5,000 km warranty on their tuned engines and a 1.9-litre kit with Mahle pistons. VW stopped production of the Karmann-Ghia in Brazil during the early 1970s so the Puma was redesigned in 1973 to use the Volkswagen Brasilia (VWB) as a base instead. During the same period, the Puma began to be assembled in South Africa by Bromer Motor Assemblies. Bromer Motor Assemblies produced 357 cars in two years but closed due to poor fiscal management. The bodywork was restyled in 1977; while similar in appearance to the original, the bumpers were moulded as part of the body, rather than attached as separate chrome units. The body was redesigned to be somewhat less rounded than before and the Coupé’s louvres were replaced with rear quarter windows. The Puma models were restyled and renamed in 1980. The Coupé became the GTI and the Spider became the GTC. The new look included rubber bumpers with decorative cast-in ridges, which mimicked the Porsche 911 G’s telescopic impact bumpers. The tail lights were replaced by the Volkswagen Brasilia’s Mercedes-style units. The small push-button door handles were replaced with more modern units borrowed from the Alfa Romeo Ti 4. The P-018 model came out in 1982; it used a version of the VW Brasilia Variant II’s more modern chassis with the Brasilia’s front suspension. The P-018 had slightly wider front and rear tracks, and a rear suspension that featured semi-axles with constant-velocity joints, sprung by transverse torsion bars, rather than the Brasilia’s simpler semi-trailing rear. As with other Puma models, an air-cooled 1.6-litre Volkswagen boxer-four was standard equipment, with larger 1.7-, 1.8-, and 2.0-litre versions available at extra cost. An annual production of 1,000 was planned, but only about 55 of the P-018s were completed. This is a 1978 GT.

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The huge Renault stand was marking the 120th anniversary of the marque with a very varied display of vehicles from the “Histoire et Collection”, some more familiar than others.

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The display contained the very first Renault made, the Model A. Though it became the foundation stone for a huge industrial empire, the very first voiturette, designed and built by Louis Renault in person, was not originally intended for sale. In 1897, nineteen-year-old Louis Renault was working as a draughtsman with Delaunay-Belleville. This keen amateur mechanic, fascinated by the emergence of motor transport, set up a little workshop in a garden shed at the family home in Boulogne-Billancourt, and set about building a simple little car, of his own design, for his own personal use. By Christmas 1898 the voiturette was finished, and Louis invited a few friends round to see how it would tackle the steep Rue Lepic in the Montmartre district of Paris. Impressed by how easy it was to drive the car, several of his friends were keen to get one for themselves, and some even made a down payment on the spot! Two months later, the automobile manufacturing company Renault Frères was founded, marking the start of a great adventure. The lightweight, well-designed voiturette already showed many of the features of modern automobile engineering, with a front-mounted engine, transmission by shaft with universal joint, and a direct-drive gearbox patented by Louis Renault. It was unveiled to the public in June 1899. Then on 27 August, Louis and his brother Marcel took part in the Amateur Drivers’ Cup event from Paris to Trouville, finishing first and second.

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This is an 1899 Type B. Just a few months after launching his 1st car, the Voiturette Type A, Louis Renault was already thinking about the future. In 1899, he endowed his 1st car with a roof, thus developing the vehicle today considered as the world’s 1st saloon. Louis Renault’s first vehicle was a great success but instinct told him to lose no time in making further progress. At that time, only a few thousand vehicles were on the road in Paris, but everybody was fascinated by cars. Crowds flocked to the 1st Paris Motor Show, held at the Tuileries in 1989. Many talented craftsmen and inventors were hard at work in their workshops. It was clear that competition was going to be fierce. For his 1st car, Renault placed the emphasis on robust design. For the Voiturette Type B, the key note was comfort. Renault joined forces with a brilliant body designer, Labourdette, who drew the elegant cabin. Even though the chassis was the same as on the Voiturette Type A, the car looked completely different. Sheltered from the elements, the driver and passenger could drive their vehicle all year round, without worrying about the cold or the rain. It took just a few months to create the Type B from the Type A. Yet a decisive step had been made. Passenger comfort became a factor that all manufacturers had to take into consideration. The concept of the “liveable car” was born. Although, the Voiturette Type B differed little from its big sister from a technical standpoint, it was nevertheless more powerful. Engine displacement increased from 273 cc to 450 cc. Horsepower increased from 1¾ CV to 2¾ CV! The suspension was also improved and the car boasted a top speed of 35 kph. Like the Voiturette Type A, the Type B used a power transmission patented by Louis Renault and that used a drive shaft rather than the chain drive, the most used transmission at the time. Like the Type A, the Type B won several motorsports trophies in 1899 and 1900.

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This 1909 Postal Van was completed on a Renault Type BD extended chassis. It is propelled by a 4.387 cc twin block four cylinder engine and four speed gearbox. Weight is 3.000 kg. The top speed is claimed at 25 kph.

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The Renault Type AG was propelled by a 1205 cc. twin cylinder engine. The Renault Type AG became the first Renault taxi with 250 cars delivered in 1905, 1000 in 1906 and 1500 two years later. Some 1100 Type AG were also delivered in London by 1906. The model became famous as the “Taxi de la Marne”, so called in reference to World War in 1914 when General Gallieni requisitioned 1300 Renault Type AG to bring troops (6000 soldiers) to the front near Paris, giving the French army a boost to win the battle of the Marne. The model on show was completed in 1910.

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This Type PR Autobus dates from 1927. With 10 seats, it was typically used as a hotel/station shuttle. A 4 cylinder 2120cc engine gave it a top speed of 65 km/h.

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Dating from 1923 is this KJ1. This was propelled by a 951 cc four cylinder engine with three speed gearbox. The weight is announced at 850 kg and claimed top speed is 60 kph.

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This is a ReinaStella, a luxury-class car manufactured between 1929 and 1933. The car was unveiled at the 1928 Paris Motor Show as the Renault Renahuit. The original Reinastella was the first of Renault’s Stella series, high-end luxury automobiles intended to compete with contemporary marques such as Hispano-Suiza, Rolls-Royce, Daimler, Lincoln, Packard, and Cadillac. The Stellas, or Grand Renaults, were marked with a star riveted to the radiator grille above the famous Renault lozenge. The Reinastella was, at 5.3 meters (17 feet) long and 2 meters (six feet) wide, the biggest car ever produced by Renault upon its market debut. It weighed about 2.5 tons and was the first Renault to be fitted with a 7.1 litre, 8-cylinder engine, delivering a top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph). It was also the first Renault to have its radiator placed ahead of the engine, leading the way for all future Renaults. The bonnet of the Reinastella was longer than that of the later Nervastella and Vivastella, but like those later models the Reinastella was available in different trims: a closed sedan, berline, and town car. Coachbuilding was by leading French coachworkers, exhibiting the luxurious fittings of the golden age of classic bodywork. These models were produced until 1931. In 1933, a coupé, the Reinasport, was introduced. It was a lighter and more economical car, designed to compete with British and American models in the difficult economic environment of the Great Depression. In its day, the Reinastella had the same cachet of luxury and privilege in the Francophone world that Rolls Royce had in Britain and America. As a result, it may sometimes appear in contemporary popular media as a symbol of wealth. For example, it appears in The Adventures of Tintin series of Belgian comics The Blue Lotus (1936) and The Crab with the Golden Claws (1941). The high proportion of aluminium used in construction made all the Stellas desirable for recycling during World War II. Only a few hundred examples of the vehicle were produced, and most of those that survive are in museum collections.

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This is rare coupe version of the Renault Juvaquatre, a small family car / compact car automobile produced between 1937 and 1960, although production stopped or slowed to a trickle during the war years. The Juvaquatre was produced as a sedan/saloon until 1948 when the plant switched its full attention to the new Renault 4CV. During the second half of 1952 the plant restarted production of the Juvaquatre sedans/saloons for a period of approximately five months. The Juvaquatre was originally conceived in 1936 by Louis Renault as a small, affordable car designed to occupy the 6CV car tax class and to fit in the Renault range below existing more upmarket models such as the Primaquatre and Celtaquatre. The company was focused on creating new customers who would not otherwise buy Renaults, and on appealing to the new class of lower-income consumer created by changing labor conditions and the rise of the Popular Front in France in the 1930s (which ironically had adversely affected Renault considerably). The Juvaquatre was heavily inspired by the German Opel Olympia, a car by which the patron had been impressed during a 1935 visit to Berlin. Consequently, the Juvaquatre, particularly early models, bore a strong resemblance to the Olympia. The Juvaquatre was showcased at the 1937 Paris Motor Show, on the opening day of which Louis Renault was photographed showing a Juvaquatre to President Lebrun.[3] The motor show launch was part of a wider strategy to prepare for the start of volume production the next year.[3] The first production prototype, identified as the “Juvaquatre AEB1”, had been homologated with the relevant agency in February 1937. Four months later, in the early summer, Louis Renault gave orders for the construction of a batch of at least twenty preproduction prototypes identified as the “Juvaquatre AEB2”. Most of these were handed over to a selection of major Renault distributors who were invited to submit the cars to technical and customer appraisals. On the basis of the reports received following this exercise the engineers at Renault’s Billancourt plant were able to apply the necessary modifications before volume production of the “AEB2” got underway in April 1938. On the publicity front, a non-stop endurance run was organised during the closing days of March 1938: a Juvaquatre was driven flat out round and round the Montlhéry racing circuit (a short distance to the west of Paris), driven by a team of four drivers who took turns to cover a distance of 5,391 kilometers (3,350 miles) during 50 hours at an average speed which was computed at slightly under 109 km/h (68 mph). During the initial production phase, all Juvaquatres came as two doors saloons/sedans (sometimes described in francophone sources as a “coach” body). The steel body was welded into the chassis-platform in order to create what was for most purposes a monocoque body shell. Instead of perching on the front wings, the headlights, were integrated into the body, which was seen as a clear tribute to the Opel Olympia, although the idea of integrating headlights in this way had originated not with Opel but, in 1934, with the American Hupmobile Type 518 of 1934. A camionette (van) version of the Juvaquatre was developed soon afterwards for commercial usage and was used extensively by La Poste. When the van version reappeared in 1948, after the war the “camionette” appellation for the little van was switched “fourgonette”. Public demand for four-door cars, and the introduction of affordable 4-door models from the rival manufacturers Peugeot and Simca, led to the appearance of a 4-door Juvaquatre (normally described in French-language sources as a “berline” bodied car) from April 1939. Perhaps 80 2-seater coupé bodied Juvaquatres were built between 1939 and 1946, of which most were based on the prewar model and produced in 1939 and 1940. There was probably an intention to resume production of the coupé after the war, but the tooling was never commissioned to produce the necessary steel body-panels using heavy presses, which would have been necessary to produce the design in commercial volumes. According to one source a final batch of 30 coupés was produced between December 1945 and January 1946, while elsewhere it is recorded that production of this version was not resumed after the war. Nevertheless, one was still on display at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1948, adding to the variety on the Renault show stand and suggesting that at that stage it was still intended to produce more Juvaquatre coupés. A station wagon model based on the van, known initially simply as the “Renault Break 300 Kg” was launched only in 1950. This version, rebranded in 1956 as the “Renault Dauphinoise”, would remain in production for nearly a decade after the withdrawal of the saloon/sedan versions of the Juvaquatre, since the rear engined configurations of Renault’s post war small cars, the 4CV and the Dauphine made them far less suitable for conversion to the station wagon format than the front engined Juvaquatre.

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In 1950 Renault launched what could be called the first Special Utility Vehicle -S.U.V. capable of moving on different grounds and with different loads. Several body styles were available for what was known as the Colorale, and this pickup version dates from 1952. The engine is a 2.383 cc four cylinder unit driving the rear wheels through a three speed gearbox. The weight is 1.460 kg for an overall length of 4.38 metres and 1.82 metres wide. Claimed top speed was 100 kph. Production continued until 1957.

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The first Renault to sell 1 million examples was an important car to include, so sure enough there was a 4CV in the display. There seem to be several different accounts surrounding the conception of the car, one being that it was originally conceived and designed covertly by Renault engineers during the World War II German occupation of France, when the manufacturer was under strict orders to design and produce only commercial and military vehicles, in defiance of the direction of the boss, Louis Renault, whereas another version says that in 1940, he had directed his engineering team to “make him a car like the Germans’. Regardless, the truth is that work did go on during the war, with the occupying Germans who were keeping a watch on the company turning a blind eye to what came to be known as Project 106E. Certainly those working on the project were looking closely at the Volkswagen and their new car had a similar overall architecture to that, while recalling the modern designs of the fashionable front-engined passenger cars produced in Detroit during the earlier 1940s. The first prototype had only two doors and was completed in 1942, and two more prototypes were produced in the following three years. An important part of the 4CV’s success was due to the new methodologies used in its manufacture, pioneered by Pierre Bézier, who had begun his 42-year tenure at Renault as a tool setter, moving up to tool designer and then becoming head of the Tool Design Office. As Director of Production Engineering in 1949, he designed the transfer lines (or transfer machines) producing most of the mechanical parts for the 4CV. The transfer machines were high-performance work tools designed to machine engine blocks. While imprisoned during World War II, Bézier developed and improved on the automatic machine principle, introduced before the war by GM. The new transfer station with multiple workstations and electromagnetic heads (antecedents to robots), enabled different operations on a single part to be consecutively performed by transferring the part from one station to another. The 4CV was ultimately presented to the public and media at the 1946 Paris Motor Show and went on sale a year later. Volume production was said to have commenced at the company’s Billancourt plant a few weeks before the Paris Motor Show of October 1947, although the cars were in very short supply for the next year or so. Renault’s advertising highlighted the hundreds of machine-tools installed and processes adopted for the assembly of the first high volume car to be produced since the war, boasting that the little car was now no longer a prototype but a reality. On the 4CV’s launch, it was nicknamed “La motte de beurre” (the lump of butter); this was due to the combination of its shape and the fact that early deliveries all used surplus paint from the German Army vehicles of Rommel’s Afrika Korps, which were a sand-yellow colour. Later it was known affectionately as the “quatre pattes”, “four paws”.The 4CV was initially powered by a 760 cc rear-mounted four-cylinder engine coupled to a three-speed manual transmission. In 1950, the 760 cc unit was replaced by a 747 cc version of the “Ventoux” engine producing 17 hp. Despite an initial period of uncertainty and poor sales due to the ravaged state of the French economy, the 4CV had sold 37,000 units by mid-1949 and was the most popular car in France. Across the Rhine 1,760 4CVs were sold in West Germany in 1950, accounting for 23% of that country’s imported cars, and ranking second only to the Fiat 500 on the list. The car remained in production for more than another decade. Claimed power output increased subsequently to 21 hp as increased fuel octanes allowed for higher compression ratios, which along with the relatively low weight of the car (620 kg) enabled the manufacturers to report a 0–90 km/h (0–56 mph) time of 38 seconds and a top speed barely under 100 km/h (62 mph) The engine was notable also for its elasticity, the second and top gear both being usable for speeds between 5 and 100 km/h (3 and 62 mph); the absence of synchromesh on first gear would presumably have discouraged use of the bottom gear except when starting from rest. The rear mounting of the engine meant that the steering could be highly geared while remaining relatively light; in the early cars, only 2¼ turns were needed from lock to lock. The unusually direct steering no doubt delighted some keen drivers, but road tests of the time nonetheless included warnings to take great care with the car’s handling on wet roads. In due course, the manufacturers switched from one extreme to the other, and on later cars 4½ turns were needed to turn the steering wheel from lock to lock. Early in 1953, Renault launched a stripped-down version of the 4CV bereft of anything which might be considered a luxury. Tyre width was reduced, and the dummy grille was removed from the front of the car along with the chrome headlamp surrounds. The seats were simplified and the number of bars incorporated in the steering wheel reduced from three to two. The only colour offered was grey. The car achieved its objective of retailing for less than 400,000 Francs. With the Dauphine already at an advanced stage of development it may have made sense to try and expand the 4CV’s own market coverage downwards in order to open up a clearer gap between the two models which would be produced in parallel for several years, but reaction to the down-market 4 CV, branded as the “Renault 4CV Service”, must have disappointed Renault as this version disappeared from the Renault showrooms after less than a year. The poor sales performance may have been linked to the growing popularity of the Citroën 2CV: although at this stage powered by an engine of just 375 cc and offering sclerotic performance, the 2CV was bigger than the Renault and in 1952 came with a starting price of just 341,870 francs The 4CV’s direct replacement was the Dauphine, launched in 1956, but the 4CV in fact remained in production until 1961. The 4CV was replaced by the Renault 4 which used the same engine as the 4CV and sold for a similar price.

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The Renault Estafette was a light commercial front-wheel drive van, first introduced in 1959 and made until 1980. In the summer of 1944 the French Ministry of Industrial Production set out a prescriptive plan to make the most of scarce resources for the post war motor industry. It was headed by Paul-Marie Pons and so it was known as the Plan Pons. Under the Plan Pons, Peugeot, Renault and Chenard & Walcker were restricted to making vans for 1000–1400 kg while Citroën was to make small trucks for 2 and 3.5 tonnes. However, Pierre-Jules Boulanger at Citroen ignored the Plan Pons and went ahead with the design of the Citroën H Van, which launched in 1947. This unitary body with no separate frame design, with four-wheel independent suspension, and front-wheel drive, offered a powerful motor, capacity, and an exceptionally low loading floor. It was an immediate success, and continued in production to 1981. Renault obeyed the Plan Pons instructions and designed the 206 E1 following general pre-war design ideas. It had a fixed chassis onto which the van body was bolted and the body was made by fitting metal panels to a wooden frame. This old-fashioned method paid off in terms of the time it took to build and overall production costs, because at the time stamped body panels were relatively expensive and it also saved weight. In this period of material shortages Renault did the best they could and the 1000 kg as it became known was a success, but not on the scale of Citroen’s H Series that was selling to small businesses such as shop keepers and tradesmen. It was for this reason that Renault decided to fill the gap between the 300 kg Renault Juvaquatre and the 1000 kg 206 E1. It was clear that they needed a front-wheel-drive van, but the company had just signed up to a policy of rear-engined, rear-drive models with the 4cv and the Dauphine, then under development for 1957. The only example of a rear-engined van was the Volkswagen Type 2, and it did not offer load-space or a low floor to rival the Citroen. Reluctantly Fernand Picard, the designer of the 4cv, agreed to give the go-ahead to the team headed by Guy Grosset-Grange to try something new. As a question of production logic, they had to use existing Renault parts, and that meant the new engine being developed for the Dauphine, but adapting it for a front drive van was not simply a matter of moving it and turning it around, and therefore they had to match it to a new gearbox, which gave them the opportunity to choose gear ratios to suit the van’s needs. They also worried if the 845 cc engine would cope with a 600 kg payload, and they doubted it would have enough power or durability, until they heard of the German Gutbrod Atlas that was carrying 1000 kg using a tiny 622 cc engine. They brought one to France, and used it as a test bed for the 845 cc engine and were soon satisfied that it would work well. And so began over 2 million kilometres of testing. Launched in June 1959, the new van was to be called the Estafette from the Italian Staffetta, meaning Courier. At launch, the engine, although mounted near the front of the Estafette, was of the same size and output as that fitted to the recently introduced Renault Dauphine. The Estafette’s emphasis was always on economy and practicality rather than on power or heavy-duty performance. It was introduced in four body types; the normal van with the rear door in three sections, in a variation on the stable door style. The upper part with the window hinged upwards, while the lower part was divided into two halves, opening to the left and to the right. A sliding door on the pavement side of the load space was also normally fitted, as was a sliding driver’s door. There was a high roof version with translucent plastic roof that on its lower part was left unpainted and the top was normally white (though later models could be fully painted). The pickup version had a tubular frame to support the canopy which could easily be pushed forward and stored behind the cab which was closed off. The tailgate of this model could be used as a convenient loading ramp or be removed altogether. A minibus was also introduced seating eight passengers and the driver. Originally the Estafette was available only in four colours from the factory; grey, blue, yellow or orange. The Estafette gave all it had promised, with its low floor and wide rear opening; the high roofed version were especially popular with companies having to load bulky items because although the 0.8cu metre increase in capacity didn’t sound a lot, it did allow a man to stand inside to help load. And it was very popular as a mobile shop, which at markets became as typically French as the ice cream van is English. In 1961 came the Alouette version which was a simpler version of the minibus with removable seats that could convert it into a camper van and was indeed popular with French conversion companies. Finally a chassis-cab version was introduced onto which innumerable bodies could be fitted. In May 1962 the 800 kg (1,764 lb) rated Estafette was the first vehicle to receive Renault’s newly developed “Sierra” series water-cooled four-cylinder 1,108 cc five-bearing engine, which was destined to appear in a passenger car a month later with the launch, in June 1962, of the Renault 8. In 1968 a series of 70 vans were issued to the police at the winter Olympics held in Grenoble, and this led to a long term contract, but Renault’s biggest customer for the Estafette was PTT, the French telephone company. In 1968 it gained the 1,289 cc engine later seen in the Renault 12 to give a full 1000 kg capacity. In 1973 the grille was updated, with a plainer modern look. The Estafette continued in production until 1980 when it was replaced by the Trafic, having sold over 500,000 units.

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The R8 was first launched in the autumn of 1962, as a replacement for the Dauphine, still rear engined, but featuring a boxier and roomier body and an all new 956cc engine that developed 43 bhp. A more powerful model, the 8 Major , was released in 1964, featuring an 1108 cc engine developing 49 hp. A still more powerful version, the R8 Gordini, was also released that year, with a tuned engine of the same capacity but developing 89 hp. The extra power was obtained by a cross-flow head and twin dual-choke 40mm side-draft Solex carburettors. A four-speed close ratio manual transmission, dual rear shock absorbers and uprated springs were fitted. The Gordini was originally available only in blue, with two stick-on white stripes. It was also distinguishable from the 8 Major by the bigger 200mm headlamp units. In 1965, the Renault 10 Major, a more luxurious version of the 8 with different front and rear styling, was released, replacing the 8 Major. In 1967, the R8 Gordini received a facelift including two additional headlights (in effect Cibie Oscar driving lights), and its engine was upgraded to a 1255cc unit rated at 99 hp. The original Gordini cross-flow head design was retained, and twin dual-choke 40mm Weber side-draft carburettors. Both the R8 and the R10 were heavily revised for 1969, with some of the R10’s features being incorporated in the R8, resulting in a new R8 Major which replaced the basic model. The changes also saw the addition of the R8S, a sportier model with a 1108cc engine rated at 59 hp. The R8 Gordini continued largely unchanged until production ceased in 1972, by which time over 11,000 units had been built. The vast majority of surviving R8s are now presented as Gordinis, though many of them are recreations that started out as a more humble model, much as has happened with Mark 1 Escorts and Lotus Cortinas.

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By the early 1960s, Renault was building a series of small cars, like the hatchback Renault R4 and the slightly larger rear engined Renault Dauphine. They had built a much larger model, the Frégate, between 1951–1960, but with a modest production total of 163,383 units, it had not been replaced. A number of design studies were produced, as with people gaining more money after the lean years of the 1950s, it was clear that there was a market for large family cars in France, which rivals Citroen, with their DS and Peugeot with the 404 were dominating. Renault conceived a car that would be a bit smaller, and quite a bit cheaper than the Citroen, aiming at a gap in that marque’s model range. Whether they knew it or not at the time is unclear but we no know that Citroen themselves were planning to fill the gap between the 2CV/Ami and the much larger ID and DS. It was called Projet F, but when they got word of what Renault were planning, Citroen cancelled their car. That left the field clear for Renault. Under the skin, the layout of the R16 actually owed quite a lot of the much older Citroën Traction Avant – front-wheel drive, engine mounted inline behind the transmission. torsion bar suspension, and column mounted gearlever. In addition the car had an aluminium engine and an electric cooling fan, both technical innovations. The big innovation, however, was the modern, practical bodystyle – introducing the hatchback to the mid size family segment. This allowed the interior to be immensely flexible, and could be configured in seven different ways. This body style was halfway between a saloon and an estate, and, before the term hatchback was coined, journalists struggled to describe it. A review in the English Motoring Illustrated in May 1965 stated: “The Renault Sixteen can thus be described as a large family car but one that is neither a four door saloon and nor is it quite an estate. But, importantly, it is a little different.” One peculiarity of the R16, and the later Renault R5, is that the two back wheel axles shafts are not in-line. The left wheelbase is 70 mm (2.76 in) longer than the right wheelbase, to accommodate the torsion bar suspension. This and the soft front seats gives the car a particularly smooth ride even over big bumps. The suspension had the longest travel on a car of this size; if the handbrake was applied and reverse gear engaged, the rear bumper would rise about one foot. The engine was mounted north-south in the front, behind the gearbox/transaxle. This contributed to the handling and balance of this car by keeping the weight closer to the centre of the car. Traditional front drive layouts are either east-west or in some cases north-south but with the engine in front of the transmission. Although this north-south/forward gearbox layout gave excellent handling, servicing access to the engine was so difficult that the Renault 16’s successor, the Renault 20, kept the north-south layout but put the engine ahead of the gearbox. Gear changing was performed by means of a column-mounted lever which allowed for a more spacious front cabin, Column changes were fairly rare by the 1960s, but the design was forced on Renault by the position of the transmission in front of the engine. Pre-launch publicity was extensive, with semi-authorised media leaks. The French magazine ” L’Auto-Journal” had reported details of the car, in an exclusive report, towards the end of 1963. During October 1964, timed to coincide with the Paris Motor Show, Renault distributed photographs of its innovative new family car, still at this stage described simply as the forthcoming “Renault 1500”, for publication as “scoop” pictures in various magazines. It was only two months later that the car, now officially named a “Renault 16”, was approved for sale by the French homologation authorities. The car was shown to the world’s press in a presentation on the Côte-d’Azur in the first few days of January 1965. Series production started in March 1965 at the company’s recently completed Sandouville plant, a few kilometres to the east of Le Havre. The car had its formal launch in March 1965 at the Geneva Motor Show, and was made available for sale to the public during June 1965. Equipment levels were high for the price. Initially, Renault sold the R16 with just a 1470cc petrol engine in Grand Luxe (GL) and Super specifications, for both of which 55 PS (54 hp) was claimed. The Renault R16 was voted European Car of the Year by a board of European motoring journalists in 1966. It was the third year of the accolade’s existence, and the Renault 16 was the first French winner of the award. Demand was strong right from the word go. Minor changes were made for 1967, when ventilation and heating were both improved, and the dashboard was redesigned. An automatically operated choke became available. These early cars are very rare now. They are most easily identified by the slightly ovoid shaped rear lights. At the Geneva Motor Show in March 1968, Renault presented a more powerful model, the 1565cc TS which could top 100 mph. It also featured an all-new instrument panel that included a tachometer and water temperature gauge, and many other new features including two-speed windscreen wipers, a heated rear window, passenger reading light, and optional powered windows. An automatic transmission version, designated the Renault 16 TA, was introduced a year later at the 1969 Geneva Motor Show. Other changes included giving the other R16 models the same wheels and brakes as the TS, and that model got standard reversing lights mounted beneath the tail-lights. The other models had them available as an optional extra. Renault started to assemble the car in Australia, to get around the punitive import restrictions in that country. By this time, the model had been launched in the US market as well. The 16 had no major competitors until the arrival of the Alec Issigonis designed Austin Maxi in 1969, but the BL car remained barely known outside the UK, whereas the Renault found favour across Europe. In 1970, racing driver Stirling Moss exclaimed: “There is no doubt that the Renault 16 is the most intelligently engineered automobile I have ever encountered and I think that each British motorcar manufacturer would do well to purchase one just to see how it is put together”. In 1971, the R16 underwent a mild revamp. Among the most obvious changes were new rectangular taillights. The Grand Luxe and Super were replaced by the L and TL specifications, both of which gained the same 1565cc engine as the TS (but with the cylinder head from the 1470cc). The TA was discontinued and an automatic transmission was made available as an option across the whole R16 range. The top-line model was the TX, launched at the Paris Motor Show in October 1973, featuring an enlarged 1647cc version of the TS engine, coupled with a 5-speed manual transmission, still operated by a column change. The specification included power windows for the front doors and central door locking, one of the first family cars in Europe to feature such equipment. The TX was distinguishable from other R16s by its four rectangular headlights. One more visual change was to come, in 1974 when the aluminium grille of all the other models was replaced by a black plastic one. By now, the car was over 10 years old and new rivals had appeared on the market, such as VW’s Passat (though it did not receive a hatchback until 1977) and the Chrysler Alpine. Renault came up with a cheaper version of the larger R30 model, the R20 in late 1975 as the planned replacement, but they kept the R16 in production right through until January 1980. It was not until 1989, when a hatchback version of the R21 joined the saloon model that Renault would have another hatch model of this size in their range. The R16 had been a great success, with 1,845,959 R16s produced during a production run of 15 years. The car sold well in most of Europe, winning praise for its spacious and comfortable interior. Retired Renault styling chief Patrick le Quément made no secret of his admiration for the R16 — and incorporated a subtle tribute to its “bird-beak” grille in the corporate look he devised for models such as the Laguna, Mégane and Scénic that the company launched in the 1990s. Sadly, the R16 suffered from rust problems like most other cars of the period, and so there are not many left. Seen here was an R16TX.

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The Renault 4L was produced from 1961 to 1992, and more than 8 million units of this car which found favour as a practical and economical automobile that was easy to maintain were made. More recently the Renault 4L has been part of famous “raid” in Northern Africa with young adventurers at the wheel. The four cylinder engine of this front wheel drive car was increased from the original capacity of 747 cc up to 956 or even 1.108 cc depending on the production date and market.

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The Renault 5 was produced from 1972 to 1984, and with 5.6 million examples produced it was a popular as well as iconic car for its time. The model shown here is an exclusive electric car produced in two generations with the support of Electric Power Company EDF in 1972 and 1974. This car was part of the second generation of which 13 were made. It was a two seat vehicle with the area usually housing the rear seat occupied by 8 traction batteries. An UNELEC Direct Current motor drove the front wheels. Claimed top speed was 60 kph.

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A Renault you see very rarely these days (sadly) is one of the R20/30 range, even though over 622,000 R20s and 145,000 R30s were produced in Sandouville near Le Havre, France. Launched in March 1975, the Renault 30 TS was the first Renault with an engine having more than four cylinders since before World War II. It was one of the first cars (the other two being the Peugeot 604 and Volvo 264) to use the then newly introduced 2664 cc PRV V6 engine, which was developed jointly between Peugeot, Renault and Volvo; the PRV produced 130 PS and could power the R30 to a top speed of 185 km/h (115 mph). The vehicle’s hatchback styling was derivative of the extremely successful Renault 16. The more affordable Renault 20 was presented at the Paris Salon in November 1975 used the same hatchback body styling as the R30 but with two rectangular headlights instead of the R30’s quadruple round lights. The Renault 20 was essentially a replacement for the discontinued Renault 16, albeit in a rather larger body shell. Under the bonnet, the R20 had the smaller four-cylinder 1647 cc engine (from the Renault 16 TX) rated at 90 PS. Other technical differences between the 20 and 30 were that 20 used drum brakes at the rear wheels, 13 inch wheel rims, and a smaller 60-litre fuel tank. The 20 came in three different trim variations: L, TL and GTL. The two cars were effectively two ‘badge engineered’ versions of the same car with separate numeric classification. The R20 received an all-new 2068 cc diesel engine in November 1979, Renault’s first diesel automobile. Both the 20 and 30 were advanced in terms of safety, featuring front and rear crumple zones as well as side impact protection. Reliability issues, such as niggling mechanical faults (which sometimes proved expensive to fix) plagued both cars throughout their lifetimes. Rust was another major concern (in a Belgian owner referendum 70% of owners named it as the car’s biggest problem); as a response Renault improved rust protection and began offering a five-year warranty against rust on 1 January 1982. Shortly after their introduction, it soon became quite clear that the Renault 20 was too underpowered to cope with the overall size and weight of the car and that the Renault 30 was seen as too expensive for what was effectively the same car. In response to this, the R20TS was introduced, and used a new four-cylinder 1995 cc overhead camshaft engine rated at 109 PS (which was shared with the Citroën CX and later the Peugeot 505). The new 2.0-litre engine was universally regarded as a big improvement. The following year (October 1978) saw the introduction of the R30 TX, a more luxurious fuel-injected version of the R30 TS, then the R20 Diesel in late 1979. By late 1981, all 1.6-litre R20s were discontinued, leaving the LS 2.0 as the smallest model in the range. In 1980 the NG1 five-speed transmission was switched for the longer-geared and smoother shifting 395 unit. In July 1980, the 2.2-litre fuel-injected R20 TX was added to the range, followed by the R30 Turbo Diesel one year later. The R30 Diesel Turbo has the trim of the R30 TX, albeit with unique alloys, with an engine delivering 85 PS derived from the naturally aspirated diesel engine. In a few markets this engine was also available as an R20. The range was facelifted for the 1981 model year. Production of the 20 and 30 ceased on 16 October 1983 to make way for the Renault 25.

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The R9 and R11 were the family-sized Renault models of the 1980s. First to appear was the R9, in September 1981 as a 4-door saloon while the 11 arrived in 1983 as a 3 or 5-door hatchback. Both had been developed under the Renault code name L42 and were designed by Robert Opron. Renault had begun the conception of the Renault 9 in 1977, as a “four metre” model (referring to its length) to fit between the Renault 5 and the Renault 14. Opron conceived a traditional three-box design to appeal to the traditional customer and avoid the poor reception that had met the Renault 14’s styling. Exhaustive consumer studies suggested that buyers rejected innovation, resulting in a rather nondescript design, albeit of modest elegance. By the time the models entered production, Renault had assigned more than 500 people to the project, logging 14,500,000 hours of study and testing, constructing 44 prototypes, testing 130 engines, and test-driving prototypes more than 2.2 million km. Both cars were also more conservatively engineered, although they retained front-wheel drive, Renault abandoned the Douvrin transmission-in-sump engine which it had shared with Peugeot-Citroen in the Renault 14, in favour of its in-house power unit – the venerable C-type “Cléon” engine with an end-on mounted transmission. This mechanical layout, along with the 9/11’s suspension design, was to become the basis of all small Renaults for the next 15 years or so. The Renault 9 was awarded the 1982 European Car of the Year, while the Alliance appeared on Car and Driver’s Ten Best list for 1983, and was the 1983 Motor Trend Car of the Year. Although the 9 and 11 cars had different names and body styles, they were identical under the skin, and were intended to jointly replace the older Renault 14. The 11 was also distinguishable from the 9 by its front end, which featured square twin headlights, which had been introduced on the North American Alliance. The 9 also received this new front end in 1985 and both models were face-lifted for a final time with matching nose and interior upgrades for the 1987 model year. A version of the 9 was manufactured and marketed by American Motors Corporation (AMC) in the United States as the Renault Alliance and bearing a small AMC badge. With 623,573 examples manufactured for model years 1982–1987, AMC offered the Alliance as a two or four-door sedan and as a convertible, beginning in 1984. The Renault 9 and 11 continued in production in France until 1989, a year after the launch of the Renault 19. However, production continued in other countries, with the end finally coming after nearly 20 years when production in Turkey was discontinued in 2000. At launch, both cars used Renault’s ageing Cléon-Fonte engine overhead valve engines in either 1.1 or 1.4 litre format, and a basic suspension design which won few plaudits for the driving experience. The exceptions were the 9 Turbo and the 11 Turbo hot hatch, which used the turbocharged engine from the Renault 5. The 11 Turbo was introduced first, and originally only with three-door bodywork. Unlike the 5 Turbo or the 205 GTi, the 11 Turbo had a more comfort-oriented focus. Although the cars were heavier than the Renault 5, the increased power in later models was enough to ensure higher performance, thanks to its 113 hp. The rally-tuned version was impressively fast, producing about 217 hp. The newer F-type engine which had been developed in collaboration with Volvo appeared from late 1983 on in twin-carburettor 1,721 cc guise (F2N), powering the upmarket GTX, GTE, TXE, and TXE Electronic (Electronique in France) versions. These larger-engined versions were specifically developed with American needs in mind, although they also happened to be well-suited for a changing European market. The car on show was an American market R9 Alliance.

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The Espace was originally designed by Matra for Pegueot, but when they rejected the design it was offered to and snapped up by Renault, and was launched in 1984, to instant acclaim. Five generations of the model have been produced, and this is one of the first generation models.

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After testing the idea with a concept version, the Renault Scenic was launched in 1996 and was an immediate success as a family dedicated automobile. Based on the mid-sized Megane, it introduced a brand new style as an MPV for the medium market segment and rivals followed in the next few years from just about single manufacturer. It was awarded the “Car of the Year” title at the end of 1996.

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The first Renault Twingo was a real success with its innovative small mini van shape and frog eye like front headlamps. It was produced from 1992 to 2007 and over 2,5 million units were made in different countries, with production sites including Flins, Valladolid, Envigado and Montevideo. The front wheel drive transverse 1149 cc four cylinder engine produced from 55 to 75 hp and with a relatively light weight of 780 to 885 kg the car was quite spritely.

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The Dauphine was huge success for Renault globally, with over two million of them being produced between 1956 and 1967, all of them in a single body style – a three-box, 4-door saloon – as the successor to the Renault 4CV. All the cars looked the same, though there were variants, such as the sport model, the Gordini, a luxury version, the Ondine, and the 1093 factory racing model, and the car formed the basis for the Caravelle/Floride, a Dauphine-based two-door coupé and two-door convertible. The car’s predecessor, the 4CV had been a success for Renault, too, with over 500,000 produced by 1954. The Dauphine was born during a conversation with Lefaucheux and engineer Fernand Picard. The two agreed the 4CV was appropriate in its postwar context, but that French consumers would soon need a car appropriate for their increasing standard of living. Internally known as “Project 109” the Dauphine’s engineering began in 1949 with engineers Fernand Picard, Robert Barthaud and Jacques Ousset managing the project. A 1951 survey conducted by Renault indicated design parameters of a car with a top speed of 110 km/h (68 mph), seating for four passengers and fuel consumption of less than 7 L/100 km(40 mpg). The survey indicated that women held stronger opinions about a car’s colours than about the car itself. Engineers spent the next five years developing the Dauphine. Within the first year, designers had created a ⅛th-scale clay model, studied the model’s aerodynamics, built a full-scale clay model, studied wood interior mockups of the seating, instrument panel, and steering column – and built the first prototype in metal. Having largely finalised the exterior design, testing of the prototype began at Renault’s facilities at Lardy by secrecy of night, on July 24, 1952. Using new laboratories and new specially designed tracks, engineers measured maximum speed, acceleration, braking and fuel consumption as well as handling, heating and ventilation, ride, noise levels and parts durability. Engineers tested parts by subjecting them to twisting and vibration stresses, and then redesigning the parts for manufacture. By August 1953 head engineer Picard had an almond-green prototype delivered to Madrid for dry condition testing, ultimately experiencing only five flat tyres and a generator failure after 2,200 km. Subsequently, Lefaucheux ordered engineers to test a Dauphine prototype directly against a Volkswagen Beetle. The engineers determined that noise levels were too high, interior ventilation and door sealing were inadequate and most importantly, the engine capacity was insufficient at only 4 CV (748 cc). The four-cylinder engine was redesigned to increase its capacity to 845 cc by increasing the bore to 58 mm, giving the car a new informal designation, the 5CV. By 1954 a second series of prototypes incorporated updates, using the older prototypes for crash testing. Lefaucheux followed the testing carefully, often meeting with his engineers for night testing to ensure secrecy, but did not live to see the Dauphine enter production. He was killed in an accident on February 11, 1955, when he lost control of his Renault Frégate on an icy road and was struck on the head by his unsecured luggage as the car rolled over. The Flins factory was renamed in his honour, and he was succeeded on the project by Pierre Dreyfus. By the end of testing, drivers had road tested prototypes in everyday conditions including dry weather and dusty condition testing in Madrid, engine testing in Bayonne, cold testing at the Arctic Circle in Norway, suspension testing in Sicily, weatherseal testing in then-Yugoslavia – a total of more than two million kilometres of road and track testing.In December 1955, Pierre Bonin (director of the Flins Renault Factory) and Fernand Picard presented the first example to leave the factory to Pierre Dreyfus, who had taken over the project after Lefaucheux’s death. Renault officially revealed the model’s existence to the press through L’Auto Journal and L’Action Automobile et Touristique in November 1955, referring to it simply by its unofficial model designation “the 5CV”. Advance press preview testing began on February 4, 1956, under the direction of Renault press secretary Robert Sicot, with six Dauphines shipped to Corsica. Journalists were free to drive anywhere on the island, while under contract not to release publication before the embargo date of March 1, 1956. The Dauphine debuted on March 6, 1956 at Paris’ Palais de Chaillot with over twenty thousand people attending, two days before its official introduction at the 1956 Salon International de l’Auto in Geneva. Renault considered the name Corvette for its new model, but to avoid a conflict with the recently launched Chevrolet Corvette instead chose a name that reinforced the importance of the project’s predecessor, the 4CV, to France’s postwar industrial rebirth. At introduction, the Dauphine was positioned in the marketplace between the concurrently manufactured 4CV, and the much larger Frégate. The new model followed the 4CV’s rear-engine, four-door three-box sedan format, while providing greater room and power and pioneering a new focus for Renault on interior and exterior color and design.The Dauphine used a version of the 4CV’s water-cooled Ventoux engine with capacity increased from 760 cc to 845 cc, and power increased from 19–32 hp. Engine cooling was facilitated by air intakes behind each rear door and a vented rear fascia. The Dauphine had a front-hinged boot lid, which housed the headlights and opened to a seven-cubic-foot boot. The spare tyre was carried horizontally under the front of the car, behind an operable panel below the bumper. The interior featured adjustable front bucket seats and a rear bench seat, a heater, painted dash matching the exterior, twin courtesy lamps, a white steering wheel, rear bypassing (vs. roll down) windows, twin horns (town and country) selectable by the driver and twin open bins on the dashboard in lieu of gloveboxes. Exterior finishes included a range of pastel colours. The Gordini version was offered with a 4-speed transmission, four-wheel disc brakes from 1964 and increased horsepower, performance tuned by Amédée Gordini to 37 hp. The 1093 was a factory racing model limited edition of 2,140 homologated, which were tuned to 55 hp and featured a twin-barrel carburettor, rear track rods, four-speed manual transmission and tachometer, had a top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph), and were produced in 1962 and 1963. All were painted white with two thin blue stripes running front to back along the hood, roof and boot. The Dauphine was made under licence in a number of countries around the world.

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Far less common a sight than the Citroen H Van is Renault’s rival to it. This was the Renault 1 000 Kg is light van, initially of a one ton capacity, introduced by the manufacturer in 1947. A 1,400 Kg version followed in 1949, and the Renault 1,400 Kg soon became the more popular choice. A name change in 1956 saw the vans branded as the Renault Voltigeur (1,000 Kg) and the Renault Goélette (1,400 Kg), but in retrospect the Renault 1,000 Kg name is frequently preferred. Production continued to 1965 and just under 125,000 of them were made.

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Also forming part of the Renault motorsport display was a celebration of the 40th anniversary since success at the Le Mans 24 Hours race with the A442. The 46th Le Mans 24 Hours saw the black and yellow team to victory, when the Alpine Renault-Elf #2 won one of the world’s most prestigious events. Driven by Jean-Pierre Jaussaud – Didier Pironi, the car clocked up more than 5,000 km at over 210 km/h on average. The Renault V6 engine had proved its worth since its launch in 1973. In that year it claimed its first victory as a sports prototype, followed by five others in 1974. In 1976 and 1977, the same engine was European Formula Two Champion twice in a row with Jean-Pierre Jabouille (Martini-Elf) and René Arnoux (Elf-Switzerland). In 1975, it was boosted by a turbocharger, a technique patented by Louis Renault back in 1902, raising its power from an original 285 bhp to 500 bhp. The V6 Gordini-Elf came close to victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1977, finishing second behind Porsche. It took revenge in 1978, when two of the four Alpines entered finished 1st and 4th. Winning the Le Mans 24-hour event is never simply a question of luck. The car that won in 1978 had its beginnings in 1973, when Alpine decided to make a comeback to top-level motor sports with the support of Elf. Its success can be attributed to several factors: a highly skilled team founded by Jean Terramossi and subsequently led by Gérard Larousse; a V6 engine designed by Bernard Dudot with the new turbocharging techniques; the involvement of Renault through Renault Sport, founded in 1976; and the presence of talented, consistent drivers such as Jabouille, Jaussaud, Jarier and Pironi. Over the space of five years, the first normally-aspirated A 440 became the 441 then the turbocharged 442, notching up regular wins in Sport world championship events. In 1977, victory at Le Mans was within reach, but the three cars entered had to pull out owing to broken engines. The team had to find a training track where it could reproduce the constraints of the Hunaudières straight, top speed for 50 seconds! The following year, two Renault Alpine vehicles finished first and fourth. But on the evening of the same day, Bernard Hanon, President and CEO of Renault, announced that the firm was pulling out of the Le Mans program to focus on Formula 1. The end of an era.

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Representing the road-going cars was this A110. This was introduced as an evolution of the A108. Like other road-going Alpines, the 1961 A110 used many Renault parts – including engines. But while the preceding A108 was designed around Dauphine components, the A110 was updated to use R8 parts. Unlike the A108, which was available first as a cabriolet and only later as a coupé, the A110 was delivered first with “Berlinetta” bodywork and then as a cabriolet. The main visible difference with the A108 coupé was a restyling of the rear body to fit the larger engine, which gave the car a more aggressive look. Like the A108, the A110 featured a steel backbone chassis with fibreglass body. The A110 was originally available with 1.1 litre R8 Major or R8 Gordini engines. The Gordini engine delivered 95 hp at 6,500 rpm. The A110 achieved most of its fame in the early 1970s as a victorious rally car. After winning several rallies in France in the late 1960s with iron-cast R8 Gordini engines the car was fitted with the aluminium-block Renault 16 TS engine. With two dual-chamber Weber 45 carburettors, the TS engine delivered 125 hp at 6,000 rpm. This allowed the production 1600S to reach a top speed of 210 km/h (130 mph). The longer wheelbase 2+2 Alpine GT4, originally considered a version of the A108, was updated with A110 engines and mechanicals, now being marketed as the “A110 GT4”. The car reached international fame during the 1970–1972 seasons when it participated in the newly created International Championship for Manufacturers, winning several events around Europe and being considered one of the strongest rally cars of its time. Notable performances from the car included victory in the 1971 Monte Carlo Rally with Swedish driver Ove Andersson. With the buy-out of Alpine by Renault complete, the International Championship was replaced by the World Rally Championship for 1973, at which time Renault elected to compete with the A110. With a team featuring Bernard Darniche, Jean-Pierre Nicolas and Jean-Luc Thérier as permanent drivers and “guest stars” like Jean-Claude Andruet (who won the 1973 Monte Carlo Rally) the A110 won most races where the works team was entered, making Alpine the first World Rally Champion. Later competition-spec A110s received engines of up to 1.8 litres. As well as being built at Alpine’s Dieppe factory, A110 models were constructed by various other vehicle manufacturers around the world. The Alpine A110 was produced in Mexico under the name “Dinalpin”, from 1965 to 1974, by Diesel Nacional (DINA), which also produced Renault vehicles. The Alpine A110 was also produced in Bulgaria under the name “Bulgaralpine”, from 1967 to 1969, by a cooperative formed between SPC Metalhim and ETO Bulet, whose collaboration also resulted in the production of the Bulgarrenault. In 1974 the mid-engined Lancia Stratos, the first car designed from scratch for rally racing, was operational and homologated. At the same time, it was obvious that the tail-engined A110 had begun reaching the end of its development. The adoption of fuel injection brought no performance increase. On some cars, a DOHC 16-valve head was fitted to the engine, but it proved unreliable. Chassis modification, like the use of an A310 double wishbone rear suspension, homologated with the A110 1600SC, also failed to increase performance. On the international stage, the Stratos proved to be the “ultimate weapon”, making the A110, as well as many other rally cars, soon obsolete.

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This car started out as the René Bonnet Djet in June 1962 and became known in retrospect as the Djet I. The car was named “Djet” because Bonnet thought the French would not pronounce the word “jet” correctly. The Bonnet Djet was the world’s first mid-engined production road car, beating the De Tomaso Vallelunga which was introduced in 1963, even though the first production Djets did not leave the factory until July 1963. It was powered by a 65 PS 1,108 cc engine from a Renault 8 in a mid-engine location mated to a gearbox from the Renault Estafette van. This power-train gave the car a top speed of 165 km/h (103 mph), or 190 km/h (118 mph) in the later Djet III with a Gordini engine. The fibreglass body was bonded directly to a steel chassis. The Djets were built in a factory in Romorantin owned by Matra. The competition Aérodjet of 1963 came with special long-tailed bodywork and bigger fenders to accommodate wider wheels. The Djet’s suspension was quite advanced for the time, being a fully independent system having upper and lower A-arms with coil springs and disc brakes at all four wheels. The car accommodated just two people, as the engine took the space where a rear seat would otherwise be. The Djet I was 3,800 mm (149.6 in) long by 1,400 mm (55.1 in) wide by 1,150 mm (45.3 in) high and weighed only 600 kg (1,323 lb). The Djet was priced at 20,000 French francs at launch, the same as its much larger and more luxurious contemporary, the Facel-Vega Facellia. Bonnet believed that the competition record of the Djet and his company would be enough to convince the public to purchase the Djet, but this would not prove to be the case. When Bonnet got into financial troubles, Matra, who already supplied both the bodyshells and the factory for the Djet, took over René Bonnet Automobiles and its debts in October 1964. Production of the original Djet was stopped in December 1964. Matra’s CEO Jean-Luc Lagardère considered this a great opportunity for Matra to expand into the automobile market. Former Simca designer Philippe Guédon was hired to modify the original Bonnet Djet. The car became slightly bigger, measuring 4,220 mm (166.1 in) long by 1,500 mm (59.1 in) wide by 1,200 mm (47.2 in) high and weighing 660 kg (1,455 lb). Production resumed in April 1965 with two new versions; the Matra Bonnet Djet V and the Djet V S, the latter having a Gordini-tuned engine. After the Paris Motor Show in 1965, the Roman numerals and the Bonnet name were dropped. The car was now called the Matra Sports Djet 5. In 1966, a version with a bigger Gordini engine became available and the Djet name was dropped in favour of its original meaning: Jet. The model range now consisted of the Jet 5 (1,108 cc Renault 8 Major engine), Jet 5 S (1,108 cc Renault 8 Gordini engine) and Jet 6 (1,255 cc Renault Gordini engine). During the two years before Matra took over, 198 Bonnet Djets were produced, with all but 19 being built to the lower-powered Djet I specification. After becoming the Matra Djet in 1964 a further 1,491 cars were produced before production ended in 1968.

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This 1914 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Torpedo Kellner is a magnificent sporting Edwardian Ghost with original coachwork and a Pebble Beach Concours class winner. The Rolls Royce Silver Ghost was in production for 18 years and was state-of-the-art for its time. Not one Ghost chassis was delivered to a customer without extensive, individual testing, demonstrating unrepeatable attention to detail and precision manufacture. One such test became famous, a London to Edinburgh trial. The purpose of the trial was to demonstrate that the 40/50 hp could travel to and fro in top gear whilst also achieving exceptionally modest petrol consumption. The Ghost, however, was also to demonstrate that it could attain considerable speed when required. The test was hugely successful, with the Ghost completing the journey on an average of 24.32 miles per gallon of petrol. Furthermore, immediately after the trip, without alteration or adjustment, it was able to attain a top speed of 78.26 mph at Brooklands. In May 1914, 67RB was dispatched to coachbuilder Kellner of France with instruction to build a torpedo phaeton body, whilst allowing for two front and two two rear passengers. 67RB was fitted ‘C’ steering, nickel fittings, a 22-inch radiator and four-speed gearbox.

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The Silver Cloud was introduced in 1955 and was, with its later iterations the Cloud II and III, to prove the core of Rolls-Royce production until the arrival of the monocoque Silver Shadow in 1966. Construction of all Cloud models was body-on-frame, which allowed a number of creative coach-builders to work their magic, but over the course of its eleven years of production the vast majority were built with the standard Pressed Steel shell. The Silver Cloud II was notable for introducing a new engine, the essence of which is still used by Bentley today. The Silver Cloud III was the final version and deliveries to customers commenced in mid 1963. External dimensions were slightly altered with a one and a half inch reduction in grille height and by necessity, a slightly more sloping bonnet, but the most distinctive difference was the grouping of the headlights in a four headlamp unit which was sufficiently attractive to be carried over to the new Shadow. The car’s weight was reduced by over 100kg, and performance was improved by fitting 2″ SU carburettors and increasing the compression ratio to 9:1. One of the respected coach-builders who created something different on the Cloud III chassis was H.J.Mulliner (later Mulliner Park Ward), who offered a supremely elegant two door Drophead Coupe. These cars are now very sought after and are few and far between.

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The open-topped version of the Metro was launched in MPi GTi from at the Berlin Motor Show in the Autumn of 1992, as part of Rover Group’s early 90s plan to fill as many market niches as possible and one was one of a trio of Cabriolets, the others being the better known MG RV8 and the Mini Cabrio both of which followed soon after the Metro, at the Birmingham Motor Show that October. The open topped Metro was initially slated for availability in ‘early 1993’, but that dropped back to 1994 (now said to be in SLi form) because of delays. Part of the reason for this was that a key supplier, LAMM, which had done so much work on the open Mini and the Metro went bust, which made it necessary to find another supplier. Tickford was commissioned to refine the original work undertaken, and ready the cars for production. The Metro Cabriolet was initially a Rover Special Products (RSP) car, built at Longbridge, on the same basis as the Mini Cabriolet – slotted in and out of the regular model production process wherever possible, so that it benefited from proper priming and paint processes. Engineering-wise, the Cabriolet version was rather interesting. It was based upon the platform of the five-door model, and that would explain why the petrol cap was under a flap and not the simpler disc-style exposed item as used in the three-door hatchback. To strengthen the bodyshell, the lateral box sections under the front seats were widened, and that compromised rear seat legroom, as the footwells were smaller in the back. Despite the fashionable notion that the Metro/100 bodyshell lacks stiffness, this is clearly not the case as no additional metal was added to the bulk-head when in the process of becoming a cabriolet. Also, the A-pillars are standard, with a modified section forming the top windscreen edge to create the lip for the leading edge of the roof to sit against. However, there were plenty of structural modifications to the rear of the car. A double-skinned ‘parcel shelf’, specially shaped inside to bend the rear window when retracted, and three box sections to create lateral strength were added. These are not dissimilar to the roll-bar/head-restraint device on the MINI convertibles – except they’re upside down and hidden from view. This left a half-width luggage passage into the rear passenger space. The bespoke one-piece back seat jack-knifed just as in the standard car. The boot lid opened upwards on special parallelogram hinges and was a chopped-down version of the original. The fully-lined roof was designed specially and caused many problems and delays, with the original supplier having to be replaced. Consequently Rover Metro/100s have black roofs whereas facelift (post-1995) 100s have Grey hoods. All grey tops were electrically operated through one hydraulic motor feeding two raising arms. The Vynide rear window zipped open as on the MGF and TF and 200 Cabriolet, and the rear quarter light windows retract asymmetrically into the body leaving a crescent of glass visible. Strangely, though, electric front window operation was even not an option. By the time the car came to market, it was expensive. Too expensive, and the cars struggled to find buyers. To get round it, Rover found an interesting solution. Boatloads of them were shipped to Jersey, where the cars were used as rental machines, accruing very small mileages, and then when they were returned to the mainland, they could be sold as demonstrators, but without the need for VAT, as they had already been registered and hence were technically second hand. Initially, the car was supposed to be available in 1.4 Cabriolet and 1.4 16v Cabriolet form in the UK market, and 1.4 8v only in mainland Europe. A 1.1 for Europe was mooted, and a few were sold in the Netherlands. Electric operation of the roof was supposed to be an option initially, possibly standard on the 16v, and only became standard with on the later grey-roof cars. The Cabriolet 8v was built to ‘S’ specification with a Renaissance fabric interior, and the 16v was a Metro GTi Cabriolet in all but name. No-one really knows how many were officially built, but it certainly was not a lot. It is thought that there could well have been only a couple of hundred of the pre-1995 Metro/100 built, with anything between 500 and 2000 of the later cars finding new homes. They were available only on back-order from Rover, and the company kept pretty quiet about the car There certainly are not many left.

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Established in 1890, the Salmson company played a pioneering role in the development of innovative vehicles and engines, specialising in the construction, operations and maintenance of steam-powered machines and pumps. The firm soon became a supplier of Ponts et Chaussées, railway and military engineering companies and the French artillery.The first compressors and centrifugal pumps were launched on the market with the Salmson brand name. In 1928, Salmson adapted its automobile production to the mass-market automobile sector with the launch of the S6, the brand’s first vehicle with a camshaft positioned behind the engine. The first Salmson car proper used a four-cylinder engine designed by Emile Petit with unusual valve gear: a single pushrod actuated both inlet and exhaust valves pushing to open the exhaust and pulling to open the inlet. This was used in the AL models from 1921. Later the same year the company built its first twin-overhead-cam engine, which was fitted to the 1922 D-type, although most production at first used the pushrod engine. Between 1921 and 1928, Salmson cars won 550 automobile races throughout the world and beat 10 world records before the racing department closed in 1929. Seen here is a 1928 Val GSS Sport.

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In the period surrounding WWII, the Italian small car manufacturers had big ambitions to break speed records by building exceptional sports cars. A typical example is this one-off 1938 Siata 500 Record. It was constructed using an intelligently upgraded Topolino chassis, tuned with the typical Siata Supertesta cylinder head on the popular Fiat Topolino engine block reduced to 480cc and fitted with a compressor. It was coachbuilt by Motto from Torino with a superbly elegant alloy aerodynamic body, originally with spats on all four wheels, with four Borrani wire wheels especially designed for this car. With this Siata 500 Record it was Afredo Bosi’s intention to do an assault to the world speed record in the 500 class held by Count Giovanni Lurani with the Nibbio 500. The assault to the speed record never materialised, but instead this Siata, now fitted with a pair of lights, participated at the 1946 Coppa del Mare driven by Alfredo Bosi and in at the 1947 Autosciatoria di Bosco Chiesanuova with Gino Lochi. In 1949 the front lights were integrated in the alloy body at both sides of the front grille. Later in life the front lights were relocated to the 1947 configuration, but the engine was upgraded to a more potent Siata 750 cc version. Because this Siata 500 Record lived a sheltered life in a micro-car collection in the North-Italian Veneto province this super-elegant competition car aged very well and is still today in a very sound structural condition.

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The Siata Spring was a 2-seater roadster built by Siata on the basis of the 850. Introduced in 1967, it featured retro styling with a mock upright radiator grille, separate wings and headlights, and running boards. In Italy it was initially priced at 795,000 Lire, 255 thousand Lire cheaper than Fiat’s Bertone 850 Spider. Top speed was 125 km/h (78 mph).

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This unique car is the Simca Huit “Oiseau Bleu”. Based on the Simca Huit, a family car that was a mildly modified Fiat 1100, the Oiseau Bleu was designed and built in 1947 by Roger Baillon. Yes, that Roger Baillon, whose amazing cache of cars was discovered in late 2014 and presented at the 2015 Retromobile. This car, having been in the long term care of Jacques and Genevieve Baillon, was discovered in a sorry state by Celine Baillon, Roger’s grand-daughter who has brought it back to life. It is a splendid looking machine a reminder of the golden era of coachbuilding and brings to mind the work of Figoni and Falaschi.

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This is a Simca 8 Sport Cabriolet dating from 1949.

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Simca’s larger models of the 1950s were based on Ford designs. There were a series of different models produced, and there were a number here. At the time it was launched, in April 1957, it was based on what was by then a three-year-old body of the Vedette, but fitted with the 1.3 litre Aronde engine. Later, in October 1957, a V8 version of the old bodied car, with the Aquillon 84 engine, and badged as the Ariane 8, joined the range, replacing the Trianon. 1959 brought a new option, the Rush-Matic automatic transmission, which featured two modes: Rush (fully automatic) and Road (manual gear selection). The same year, assembly of the Vedette started at Simca do Brasil. Also during 1959, a new top-of-the-line model joined the Vedette range, the Présidence, featuring a luxurious interior, a radiotelephone (a European first) and a continental kit. French coachbuilder Chapron built two 2-door Présidence convertibles for a governor of one of the French colonies. Chapron had another order the next year, to build two four-door convertibles for the French President Charles de Gaulle.

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In 1958, the American car manufacturer Chrysler Corporation, which wanted to enter the European car market, bought the 15% of the Simca stocks that Ford had retained from the 1954 buy-out, in a deal which Henry Ford II was later reported as having publicly regretted. At this stage, however, the dominant shareholder remained Fiat, and their influence is apparent in the engineering and design of Simcas of the early 1960s. The Suez Crisis struck at the end of 1956, and the resulting fuel shortages placed the emphasis back on very small cars. Sales of the V8 Simcas recovered a little by the end of the decade, but production volumes never again approached those of 1956. Simca responded rapidly by adding to their range the Simca Ariane which was a big car with a small engine, also produced in Poissy, which during the ensuing six years clocked up over 160,0000 sales. However, by now the large car market in France was increasingly dominated by the Citroen DS which was in a lower car tax bracket than the V8 Simcas and had, after slow start, caught the spirit of the new age. The solution was to build a new small car, and that is what Simca planned. Poissy’s large site had always been underutilised, so there was plenty of capacity to build it, and even with projected volumes of over 100,000 cars a year, it was clear that Simca could build everything they needed and with capacity to spare, so in 1961, Simca sold the plant at Nanterre which they had occupied since 1934 to Citoren. After this Poissy was Simca’s only large scale production facility in France. Later that year, the brand new small car was launched, the Simca 1000, or the Mille. Following the trend for “bath tub” styling which was evident on the Chevrolet Corvair and NSU Prinz, this was a rear engined saloon car which had been intended to have a flat four engine, but which emerged with a conventional inline four. In fact, the origins of the Mille lie in Italy, a result of the still close relationship between Pigozzi and the Agnelli brothers at Fiat. In the mid 1950s, Fiat started to think about how to replace the popular 600. Something a little larger and more powerful than the current car, reflecting growing prosperity in Italy at the time, was envisaged, and two projects were run in parallel: “Project 119” was for a two door successor, building on the strengths of the current model, while “Project 122” was for a more radically differentiated four door successor. Although this work would have been a closely guarded secret to anyone outside the inner sanctum of Fiat’s Development Department t Pigozzi’s privileged relationship with the Agnellis opened even these doors, and during the late 1950s he took a particular interest in the Department. It became clear that Pigozzi’s intentions to extend the Simca range further down in the small car sector aligned closely with Fiat’s own “Projects 119” and “122”, intended to build a presence upmarket from the Fiat 600. Pigozzi obtained the agreement of the Fiat directors to select one of the six different rather boxy four-door clay models and mock-ups that then comprised the output of “Project 122” to be developed into Simca’s new small car. As he Fiat 600 continued to sell strongly, Fiat felt little sense of urgency about investing to replace it, and management evidently decided that a four door replacement for the 600 would represent too big a jump from the existing car, leaving Project 122, which underwent remarkably few changes once under the control of Pigozzi and Simca. It was not until 1964 when the fruits of “Project 119” became public with the launch of the Fiat 850. The Simca 1000 was launched at the 1961 Paris Motor Show, and Pigozzi got some early publicity by replacing 50 of the Simca Ariane taxis on the streets of Paris with the much smaller 1000 model, thus emphasising the roominess of the car, as well as making it very visible to a lot of people. Over the course of time, the 1000 was sold in a number of versions featuring different equipment levels and variations of the original Type 315 engine. In 1963 the poverty spec Simca 900 arrived; in spite of the name change it also had the 944 cc engine with 36 PS, but the 1000 now gained three more horsepower. In 1966 only the 900C was available, equipped with the more powerful iteration of the 315. In late 1968 the low cost Simca 4 CV (marketed in France as the Simc’4) appeared, powered by a 777 cc unit providing 31 PS, and very competitively priced. Power was later increased to 33 PS. The 1000 engine was updated simultaneously, it was now called the type 349. At the top end of the range, the 1118 cc unit from the larger Simca 1100 was added for the 1969 model year (and indeed the Simca 1000 was marketed in the USA as Simca 1118). Finally, the 1294 cc “Poissy engine”, used in the bigger 1300, found its way into the little 1000 in the early 1970s. Apart from the standard manual transmission, some versions could be fitted with a three-speed semiautomatic developed by Ferodo. The car underwent a light facelift first shown at the 1968 Paris Motor Show, with new hubcaps, redesigned bumpers, bigger headlamps, and square taillights. The high-specification versions were offered in the British market with a walnut dashboard decor. In the model’s early years, the Italian tuner Abarth was offering modified versions of the 1000, and later Simca itself began offering a “Rallye” version, which helped boost the model’s popularity in the motorsport community. The Rallye was followed by the Rallye 1, the Rallye 2 and the Rallye 3 and these cars are much prized by collectors these days. In 1977, the model was revised for the last time, gaining the new names of 1005/1006 (depending on the specifications), to put it in line with the newer Simca 1307 and its derivatives. Production stopped in 1978 without a direct replacement.

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1989 Spice SE89C Cosworth DFZ

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Talbot-Darracq built three cars of the type GP 1500, with many features being based on its successful 4-cylinder predecessor, for the racing season in 1926-27, with the aim of taking on the likes of Alfa Romeo, Bugatti and Delage. The vehicles competed successfully in numerous Grand Prix races in 1926. The racing season in the following year saw the car competing again having undergone a number of modifications. However, after a defeat in Monthléry it was decided to withdraw the Talbot Darracq from motor racing and the three vehicles were sold to Emilio Masterassi, an Italian industrialist and racing driver. They were then raced by “Scuderia Materassi” against the Alfa Romeo P2, Maseratis and Delage driven by Nuvolari, Campari, Varzi and Chiron. After Materassi suffered a fatal crash in Monza, the vehicles were sold to different owners in the 1930’s. The car presented came into the hands of Enrico “Gigi” Platé who carried out various modifications.

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After the war, the company continued to be known both for successful high-performance racing cars and for large luxurious passenger cars, with extensive sharing of chassis and engine components between the two. Nevertheless, the period was one of economic stagnation and financial stringency. The company had difficulty finding customers, and its finances were stretched. In 1946, the company began production of a new engine design, based on earlier units but with a new cylinder head featuring a twin overhead camshaft. This engine, designed under the leadership of Carlo Marchetti, was in many respects a new engine. A 4483 cc six-cylinder in-line engine was developed for the Talbot Lago Record (1946–1952) and for the Talbot Grand Sport 26CV (1947–1954). These cars were priced against large luxurious cars from the likes of Delahaye, Delage, Hotchkiss and Salmson. Talbot would remain in the auto-making business for longer than any of these others, and the Talbot name was resurrected in the early 1980s.
The Talbot Lago Record T26 was a large car with a fiscal horsepower of 26 CV and a claimed actual power output of 170 hp, delivered to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual gear box, with the option at extra cost of a Wilson pre-selector gear box, and supporting a claimed top speed of 170 km/h (105 mph). The car was commonly sold as a stylish four-door sedan, but a two-door cabriolet was also offered. There were also coachbuilt specials with bodywork by traditionalist firms such as Graber. This is a 1950 T26 Record Coach Surprofile.

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At the 1954 Paris Motor Show, Talbot-Lago presented their last new engine: the new four-cylinder still had the typical twin laterally mounted camshafts, although it was upgraded to five main bearings. The new 120 PS 2,491 cc engine was called the T14 LS, but it did not have a car to go in until May 1955 when the Talbot-Lago 2500 Coupé T14 LS was finally presented. In addition to its intended use for a road going car, the engine’s size, precisely conforming to the racing engine category of 2.5-litre engines without compressors, hint at Tony Lago’s other ambitions for the new power unit. The first car had all-aluminium bodywork, but later cars used more steel. 54 of these coupés were built, but they proved hard to sell – the stylish bodywork couldn’t quite hide the thirties’ underpinnings. The engine developed for the car by Talbot proved unacceptably fragile. Lacking the resources to engineer the necessary improvements, for 1957 Talbot-Lago had to resort to buying in an engine. They chose the V8 2580 cc light-metal unit made available by BMW, albeit with the bore diameter slightly reduced, to 72.5 mm, which gave rise to a 2476 cc engine displacement, positioning the car (just) within the 14CV car tax band. Reflecting the company’s export plans, Talbot now rebranded the car as the “Talbot Lago America” and (finally) came into line with other French automakers by placing the driver on the left side of the car. Market response remained lukewarm, however, and only about a dozen of the BMW-powered Talbot Lago Americas were produced. It was now, in the early summer of 1958, that Tony Lago decided to accept an offer from Pigozzi, for the sale of the Talbot brand to Simca. With the sale of the business to Simca, the new owners found themselves with the final handful of the Talbot Lago Americas, which were still awaiting engines. There was now no question of Simca being permitted, or wishing, to produce cars with BMW engines, and the only solution available was to fit the last batch of cars with Simca’s own 2351 cc V8.[This engine had its roots in 1930s Detroit, and was originally provided by Ford to give the (then) Ford Vedette produced by their French subsidiary a flavour of the driving experience offered by an unstressed US style V8 sedan. It was by no stretch of the imagination an engine for a sports car, and even with a second carburettor produced only 95 bhp, as against the 138 bhp of the BMW-engined cars from the previous year’s production.Claimed top speed was now reduced to 165 km/h (103 mph) in place of the 200 km/h (124 mph) listed the previous year.In addition to installing their V8 engine, Simca replaced the laterally sliding windows in the doors of the final cars which now wound down into the door in the conventional manner: the change also involved adding front quarter lights / quarter windows at the front end of each door. At the 1959 Paris Motor Show a stand had been booked for what was by now the Simca-Talbot brand, but a late decision was taken not to exhibit a Lago America, and the stand was instead given up to a hastily constructed “motorshow special” prototype of which, after the motor show, nothing more would be heard. The Simca-engined cars, still bearing a list price in excess of 2,000,000 Francs, proved hard to sell, with just five of the Simca-powered car sold according to one source. No further cars were produced once the final batch of cars from the Talbot production era, having received their Simca engines and window modifications, had been disposed of.

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The Talbot name reappeared in 1979 when all the cars that had been sold under the Chrysler Europe were rebranded. One of the cars it was applied to was the Horizon. This had been launched in the autumn of 1977, badged as a Simca in its bative France, but called a Chrysler when it reached the UK in October 1978. A replacement for the long running 1100, this car was designed to meet the needs of customers on both sides of the Atlantic, with Dodge and Plymouth Omni versions offered to American buyers. This one also won the Car of the Year award, but it was also saddled with the same unrefined .old engines in Europe (and strangled VW units with a power-sapping automatic box in America, which made them dog slow). The launch of the SX with a more powerful 1.5 litre engine and the new fangled trip computer did little to increase the sales appeal, and with a new front wheel drive Astra/Kadett and Ford Escort as well as VW’s Golf, it struggled even when the excellent 1.9 litre diesel – the best unit on the market at the time – went under the bonnet in 1982

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This is the name given to a Club for very early Veteran and Edwardian cars, and their display this time comprised an array of early Renault models. Many of them were taken outside and they pottered around the site, taking many, especially young children for a ride.

There was another example of the Renault AG, the “Taxi de la Marne” here.

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This is a 1900 Type C Racer. Three Renault Type C were especially prepared for city to city competition. This car was very light compared to standard automobile and was homologated for less than 400 kg. The engine was a 3.5 HP De Dion Bouton with three speed gearbox and propeller shaft patented transmission. This automobile was driven by Marcel Renault at the Paris-Toulouse-Paris race where the two other Renault were driven by Louis Renault and G. Grus.

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Other Renault models included a 1912 CQ, an AX and a 1908 AI

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This KZ taxi dates from 1933. The Type KZ11 is a vehicle specially prepared for Taxi utilisation and was based on the Vivaquatre KZ9 chassis. The Renault KZ11 was utilised as a Taxi for 23 years and allowed space for 4 or 5 customers. The engine is a 2.120 cc four cylinder unit connected with a three speed gearbox. The announced weight was 1.650 kg and the maximum speed is claimed for 100 kph.

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1900/01 Voiturette Malliary

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This was Toyota’s 1988 entrant.

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On loan from the Le Mans museum was this 1928 Tracta Gephi Type A. Not a car you will necessarily have heard of, but it is actually very significant. Tracta overturned traditional automotive architecture and its rear-wheel drive systems when it introduced the constant-velocity (or homokinetic) joint. Until then, power was transmitted from the engine to the wheels via a double cardan joint, a system that could be unreliable and subject to vibrations and wear. The revolutionary technology was first developed by Fenaille, but Parisian Jean-Albert Grégoire finetuned his patent to enable perfect synchronisation of the two drive shafts. The two accomplices joined forces to apply their technology to the race track and built their first car, the Tracta ‘GePhi’ (short for Grégoire and Fenaille’). Fenaille – whose father had sold his oil company, Standard Oil, which went on to become Esso – agreed to put up the funds on condition that the car break all the established codes. The 24 Hours of Le Mans was the ideal opportunity to put their project to the test and Tracta cars competed in La Sarthe for four years running, enjoying a degree of success: P7 in 1927, P12 in 1928, P9 and P10 in 1929, and P8 and P9 in 1930. The Tracta that is now part of the Museum was carefully conserved in its original condition for 59 years, complete with its SCAP engine fitted in an inverted position to couple it with the front axle. The car was first registered under number 16 E 26 but competed in the 1929 Le Mans 24 Hours under number 3207 W 1. It was then registered under 4991 RS 4 on 15 February 1950. Finally, in 1958, it was assigned no. 2093 GY 75, the number it still bears today. For a while, the Tracta was abandoned under a pile of leaves in the streets of Paris when its then owner ran out of money to pay for garaging. The car was eventually acquired by Jacques Liscourt. Major collectors, including Serge Pozzoli and even Jean Albert Grégoire, the car’s creator, tried to buy it but Liscourt kept hold of it as the pride of his collection. As the pride of the French automotive industry, it has now rightfully returned to the home of its sporting achievements. It was acquired by the 24 Hours of Le Mans museum in June 2017, at an auction that fittingly coincided with the Le Mans 24 Hours podium ceremony. At the first glimpse of the chequered flag, the ACO’s managing director Frédéric Lénart and ACO collections manager Fabrice Bourrigaud pulled out their mobile phones, keen to follow the sale at Fontainebleau. Their enthusiasm paid off and the Tracta is now back at Le Mans for good.

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Sole Triumph that features in my photos is this TR5. Replacement for the TR4, it was built for a 13-month period between August 1967 and September 1968. Visually identical to the Michelotti styled TR4,the TR5 hid the main differences under the body. The most significant change from the TR4 was the 2.5-litre straight-6 fuel-injected engine, developing around 145 hp, and which was carried forward to the TR6. At the time, fuel injection (or PI petrol injection, as it was sometimes then called) was uncommon in road cars. Triumph claimed in their sales brochure that it was the “First British production sports car with petrol injection”. Sadly, it was also somewhat troublesome, with mechanical issues a common occurrence. A carburetted version of the TR5 named Triumph TR250 was manufactured during the same period, to be sold in place of the fuel injected car on the North American market. A few of these have now been brought over to the UK and indeed there were both TR250 and TR5 cars here. The Triumph TR250, built during the same period for the North American market, was nearly identical to the TR5. But, because of price pressures and emission regulations the TR250 was fitted with twin Zenith-Stromberg carburettors rather than the Lucas fuel injection system. The reasons for this difference came down to price pressures of the American market, and tighter emissions regulations. The TR250’s straight-six engine delivered 111 bhp , 39 bhp less than the TR5; 0–60 mph acceleration took 10.6 seconds. Standard equipment on both models included front disc brakes, independent rear suspension, rack and pinion steering and a four speed gearbox. Optional extras included overdrive and wire wheels. Both the TR5 and the TR250 were available with the “Surrey Top” hard top system: a weather protection system with rigid rear section including the rear window and removable fabric section over the driver and passenger’s heads.

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Jack Griffith, a TVR. distributor in the U.S.A., wanted a high-performance GT coupé to add to his line and decided to install a Ford 289 engine in an adjusted and distinctive TVR. chassis and body. The result was called TVR. Griffith and was shown at the New York International Auto Show in 1964. About 265 TVR Griffith were sold in a little over a year, when the project was hit by one of TVR.’s many changes in ownership.

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This was the first of two Venturi cars I found during my visit. There was another one on the Youngtimers stand, detailed below.

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This stylish car is a small built by Vignale coachworks in the mid-sixties, based on the Fiat 1300 Berlina, whose chassis and engine it used. It was a cheap way to stand out of the crowd thanks to Michelotti’s design. About 50 examples were produced, of which there are about 15 believed still to exist.

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This 1927 Avions Voisin C11 Torpedo by Bellevalette was shown on the Lukas Huni stand. Between 1919 and 1925, Gabriel Voisin had undoubtedly come to be recognised as the most original and forward looking constructor of luxury. Free from all outside influence, for Voisin and is team was to come the era of ‘daily motoring in comfort, with speed and in complete safety’. On April 7th 1926, Voisin announced:”Gentlemen, we have the privilege of informing you that we are putting on the market the first French chassis fitted with a six cylinder Knight type sleeve valve engine.” It was the C11 , the engine had 2326 cc allowing a top speed of 120 kph, and 950 examples would be built. This particular car was built for Joseph Christe, founder of the famous Tecalemit Company known for its adjustable damper system. Joseph Christe commissioned French coachbuilder Bellevallette for a 4 door Open Torpedo with twin (front and rear) V windshield configuration.

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Elsewhere there was a C11 Berline model here as well.

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C25 Aerodyne

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The Golf GTi was first seen at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1975. The idea behind it was rather straightforward – take a basic-transportation economy car and give it a high-performance package, making it practical and sporty. It was one of the first small cars to adopt mechanical fuel injection, which meant that the 1588cc engine put out 110 bhp, a big increase on what was available in the regular Golf models, which, in conjunction with a light weight of just 810 kg, gave it a top speed of around 100 mph and a 0 – 60 time of 9 seconds, impressive figures in their day. Volkswagen initially built the GTI only for the home market of West Germany, but launched it onto the British market in 1977 in left-hand drive form, with a right-hand drive version finally becoming available in 1979 as demand and competition increased. Many regard the Golf GTI Mk1 as the first “hot hatch” on the market, it was in fact preceded by the Autobianchi A112 Abarth in 1971, although it would prove to be far more popular than the earlier car in the UK market since the A112 Abarth was never available in RHD. It also competed with a number of quick small saloons including the Ford Escort RS2000. When the Escort switched to front-wheel drive and a hatchback for the third generation model in 1980, Ford launched a quick XR3 model which was comparable to the Golf GTI in design and performance. The Golf GTI was among the first “hot hatch” with mass market appeal, and many other manufacturers since have created special sports models of their regular volume-selling small hatchbacks. Within a few years of its launch, it faced competitors including the Fiat Ritmo, Ford Escort XR3/XR3i, Renault 5 GT Turbo and Vauxhall Astra/Opel Kadett GTE. A five speed gearbox became available in 1981 and in 1982, the engine was enlarged to 1780cc, which increased the available power a little. The car proved popular in the UK from the outset, with over 1500 being sold in 1979. Although the subsequent recession saw new car sales fall considerably during 1980 and 1981, sales of the Golf GTi reached nearly 5,000 in 1981. This also came in spite of the arrival of a popular new British-built competitor – the Ford Escort XR3. By 1983, the GTI accounted for more than 25% of total Golf sales (some 7,000 cars).

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There was also an example of the P1800 range on this stand and at least one more elsewhere in the Show. The P1800 was a one-time venture by the usually sober Swedish Volvo, who already had a reputation for building sensible sedans. The project was originally started in 1957 because Volvo wanted a sports car to compete in the US and European markets, despite the fact that their previous attempt, the P1900, had failed to take off with only 68 cars sold. The man behind the project was an engineering consultant to Volvo, Helmer Petterson, who in the 1940s was responsible for the Volvo PV444. The design work was done by Helmer’s son Pelle Petterson, who worked at Pietro Frua at that time. Volvo insisted it was an Italian design by Frua and only officially recognised that it was by Pelle Petterson many years later. The Italian Carrozzeria Pietro Frua design firm (then a recently acquired subsidiary of Ghia) built the first three prototypes between September 1957 and early 1958, later designated by Volvo in September 1958: P958-X1, P958-X2 and P958-X3. In December 1957 Helmer Petterson drove X1, the first hand-built P1800 prototype to Osnabrück, West Germany, headquarters of Karmann. Petterson hoped that Karmann would be able to take on the tooling and building of the P1800. Karmann’s engineers had already been preparing working drawings from the wooden styling buck at Frua. Petterson and Volvo chief engineer Thor Berthelius met there, tested the car and discussed the construction with Karmann. They were ready to build it and this meant that the first cars could hit the market as early as December 1958. But in February, Karmann’s most important customer, Volkswagen forbade Karmann to take on the job, as they feared that the P1800 would compete with the sales of their own cars, and threatened to cancel all their contracts with Karmann if they took on this car. This setback almost caused the project to be abandoned. Other German firms, NSU, Drautz and Hanomag, were contacted but none was chosen because Volvo did not believe they met Volvo’s manufacturing quality-control standards. It began to appear that Volvo might never produce the P1800. This motivated Helmer Petterson to obtain financial backing from two financial firms with the intention of buying the components directly from Volvo and marketing the car himself. At this point Volvo had made no mention of the P1800 and the factory would not comment. Then a press release surfaced with a photo of the car, putting Volvo in a position where they had to acknowledge its existence. These events influenced the company to renew its efforts: the car was presented to the public for the first time at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1960 and Volvo turned to Jensen Motors, whose production lines were under-utilised, and they agreed a contract for 10,000 cars. The Linwood, Scotland, body plant of manufacturer Pressed Steel was in turn sub-contracted by Jensen to create the unibody shells, which were then taken by rail to be assembled at Jensen in West Bromwich. In September 1960, the first production P1800 left Jensen for an eager public. The engine was the B18, an 1800cc petrol engine, with dual SU carburettors, producing 100 hp. This variant (named B18B) had a higher compression ratio than the slightly less powerful twin-carb B18D used in the contemporary Amazon 122S, as well as a different camshaft. The ‘new’ B18 was actually developed from the existing B36 V8 engine used in Volvo trucks at the time. This cut production costs, as well as furnishing the P1800 with a strong engine boasting five main crankshaft bearings. The B18 was matched with the new and more robust M40 manual gearbox through 1963. From 1963 to 1972 the M41 gearbox with electrically actuated overdrive was a popular option. Two overdrive types were used, the D-Type through 1969, and the J-type through 1973. The J-type had a slightly shorter ratio of 0.797:1 as opposed to 0.756:1 for the D-type. The overdrive effectively gave the 1800 series a fifth gear, for improved fuel efficiency and decreased drivetrain wear. Cars without overdrive had a numerically lower-ratio differential, which had the interesting effect of giving them a somewhat higher top speed of just under 120 mph, than the more popular overdrive models. This was because the non-overdrive cars could reach the engine’s redline in top gear, while the overdrive-equipped cars could not, giving them a top speed of roughly 110 mph. As time progressed, Jensen had problems with quality control, so the contract was ended early after 6,000 cars had been built. In 1963 production was moved to Volvo’s Lundby Plant in Gothenburg and the car’s name was changed to 1800S (S standing for Sverige, or in English : Sweden). The engine was improved with an additional 8 hp. In 1966 the four-cylinder engine was updated to 115 PS, which meant the top speed increased to 109 mph. In 1969 the B18 engine was replaced with the 2-litre B20B variant of the B20 giving 118 bhp, though it kept the designation 1800S. For 1970 numerous changes came with the fuel-injected 1800E, which had the B20E engine with Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection and a revised camshaft, and produced 130 bhp without sacrificing fuel economy. Top speed was around 118 mph and acceleration from 0–62 took 9.5 seconds. In addition, the 1970 model was the first 1800 with four-wheel disc brakes; till then the 1800 series had front discs and rear drums. Volvo introduced its final P1800 variant, the 1800ES, in 1972 as a two-door station wagon with a frameless, all-glass tailgate. The final design was chosen after two prototypes had been built by Sergio Coggiola and Pietro Frua. Frua’s prototype, Raketen (“the Rocket”), is located in the Volvo Museum. Both Italian prototypes were considered too futuristic, and instead in-house designer Jan Wilsgaard’s proposal was accepted. The ES engine was downgraded to 125 bhp by reducing the compression ratio with a thicker head gasket (engine variant B20F); although maximum power was slightly down the engine was less “peaky” and the car’s on-the-road performance was actually improved. The ES’s rear backrest folded down to create a long flat loading area. As an alternative to the usual four-speed plus overdrive manual transmission, a Borg-Warner three-speed automatic was available in the 1800ES. With stricter American safety and emissions standards looming for 1974, Volvo did not see fit to spend the considerable amount that would be necessary to redesign the small-volume 1800 ES. Only 8,077 examples of the ES were built in its two model years.

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Final special display of the 2018 event was one to celebrate the achievements of Jean-Pierre Wimille. Born in Paris to a father who loved motor sports and was employed as the motoring correspondent for the Petit Parisien newspaper, Jean-Pierre Wimille developed a fascination with racing