Rétromobile – February 2019

During the winter months in Europe, outdoor events are something of a weather gamble and additionally challenged by the short hours of daylight, so once the New Year has arrived, the focus shifts indoors. There are large and high-profile events in pretty much every European country you can think of in the first three months of the year. Indeed, in 2019, I’ve already been to one in Maastricht and one in Turin and the diary has events in London and Stuttgart coming up within the next month, but for me, the event that takes me to Paris for a weekend is always a special highlight and something to look forward to as winter seems to be dragging on for far too long. This is Rétromobile, and it has taken place every year for 43 years now, during which time it 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 that for 2019 the event extended over 72,000 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, with 620 exhibitors and nearly a thousand vehicles, so it really will take all day to try to take it in. And that is precisely what I did. There are over 1000 photos here, but even so, as I was researching to write this report, when I found what others have already posted, it was clear that there was quite a lot I missed. Maybe a day is not enough, after all?


Alphabetically first and indeed the first stand I visited was the FCA Heritage display which included cars from a number of the Group’s brands, among them three Abarths, all three very different.

This is the 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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Passion for speed prompted Karl Abarth to get back into the cockpit in one of his creations and set his company’s 100th record, on the Monza circuit. Karl Abarth’s reputation as a brilliant car tuning specialist, eclectic entrepreneur and constructor stemmed partly from the numerous records established by his cars. In nearly all cases, the venue was the Monza race track, which in those days still had a high-speed ring that was perfect for long drives at very high speed. Aware of the importance of aerodynamics, Abarth developed cars in conjunction with top coachbuilders (Zagato, Pininfarina and Bertone), with the aim of creating unique models capable of breaking every record. Among the most memorable are the single-seaters powered by 500, 750 and 1000 cc Fiat-derived engines. Fiat executives understood how records could have a positive effect on sales, so they encouraged Abarth to break them whenever possible, including with financial support. But besides being an excellent marketing tool, record-breaking was also something of an obsession for Karl Abarth, an irrepressible passion that pushed him to constantly outdo himself. At the age of 57, Abarth decided to don his driver’s outfit once more and set the 100th record for an Abarth car, as both constructor and driver. The new car—developed entirely by Abarth—was an open-wheel single-seater with a 1000 cc engine, derived from the one used in Formula 2 during the 1964 season. The twin-cam developed 105 hp at the high speed of 8800 rpm. It had a dry weight of just 500 kg and a small 10-litre tank. So that he could fit into the cockpit, Karl Abarth shed 30 kg by following a strict diet (said to have consisted solely of apples); this weight reduction undoubtedly also contributed to the car’s unprecedented performance. So, on 20 October 1965, the Autodromo di Monza provided the backdrop for further exploits. The Fiat Abarth 1000 Monoposto set two world records in Class G, for acceleration over the quarter-mile (13″62) and 500-metre (15″38) distances. Not satisfied with these successes, Karl promptly had a 2000 cc engine fitted to the car and the following day set another two acceleration records in Class E: over a quarter-mile and 500 metres with times of 11″55 and 15″38 respectively.


Completing the display was the latest 124 GT, complete with 70th anniversary badging, new for 2019.

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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.


Most Abarths of the 1960s were based on regular Fiat models, and there was just one of these on display here. 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.



AC Cars built Cobra chassis number CSX2131 at its Thames Ditton factory, especially for drivers Sanderson and Bolton and then Team Manager, Moss to campaign at Le Mans in 1963. The Cobra was fitted with a specially fabricated and removable ‘fast track’ aluminium hard top to handle the aerodynamic requirements of the long Mulsanne Straight, an integral fuel filler, enlarged front and rear bumpers, Dunlop one-piece magnesium wheels, a 37 gallon fuel tank and rear-exiting exhaust, amongst a range of other modifications. Shelby provided AC with a 289 Cobra V8 racing engine with Lucas dynamo. This racing ensemble of car, drivers and team manager, finished off with a sponsorship by the Sunday Times, meant that Shelby could make a ‘back door’ assault on the Le Mans crown without being formally involved. A result of seventh overall and third in class with an average speed of 108 miles per hour was one of the most significant moments of the Cobra story and is credited with paving the way for Ford’s later efforts at Le Mans too. Following Le Mans, the Cobra was purchased by John Willment’s race team and was immediately prepared for the important Tourist Trophy race at Goodwood in March 1964



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

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Although I am sure there are those who would beg to differ, my contention is that car styling in the twentyfirst century has gone through a period which will not be viewed particularly positively in years to come, with a myriad of forgettable designs and more recently plenty which in trying to be distinctive are just downright ugly. There have been a few high points, though, and top of that list for me must be the Alfa 8C Competizione, a lone example of which was to be seen here. As well as the looks, this car also has noise on its side, with a sound track which must rate as one of the best of recent times. So that is two boxes ticket for me. The press saw it rather differently, and were rather critical of the car when it was new, but for me, finding plenty to fault with the way the car drove. First seen as a concept car at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2003, the concept was conceived as a reminder for people who were perhaps slightly disillusioned with contemporary Alfa products that the company could still style something as striking in the 21st century as it had been able to do in the 1950s and 1960s. Public reaction was very positive, but Fiat Group Execs were very focused on Ferrari and Maserati and they were not entirely convinced that a car like this was appropriate as it could encroach on those brands’ territory. It was only in 2006, with new management in place that it is decided that a limited production run of just 500 cars would give the once proud marque something of a boost. Announcement of the production version, visually little different from the 2003 concept car was made at the 2006 Paris Show, and it was soon evident that Alfa could have sold far more than 500 cars To turn the concept into reality, Alfa used a shortened Maserati Quattroporte platform with a central steel section, subframes front and rear and main outer panels that were all made from carbon fibre, with the result that the complete car weighed 300 kg less than the GranTurismo. Final assembly was carried out by Maserati, with the cars being built between 2007 and 2010. Competiziones (Coupes) first, and then 500 Spiders. Just 40 of the Competizione models came to the UK. Most of them were sent to the US, so this car is exceptionally rare and is much sought after by collectors. They were fearsomely expensive when new, listing for around £150,000, but prices have never dipped far below this, so anyone who bought one, should they ever feel the need to sell it, is not going to lose money on the car.

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Completing the factory’s display was the latest and highly rated Giulia Quadrifolgio.

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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 a couple of them here, including a former Mille Miglia car with an unusual closed body and drab green paint.

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The Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 of the early 1930s was the most successful racing car of its period. Launched in 1931 as an evolution of the 6C 1750 GS, it was the last evolution of the “Alfa Romeo 6C” project, initiated in the middle of the 1920s by the great engineer Vittorio Jano. The Carrozzeria Zagato became the best partner for Alfa Romeo in building the success for its important range of racing cars. The partnership began with the Alfa works cars bodied by Zagato in the second half of the 1920s and then, in the following decades, was followed by the incredible victories with the new Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Zagato (and its subsequent evolutions), brought to racing by Scuderia Ferrari. Enzo Ferrari, inspirer, founder and sports director of the official racing team’s works cars of Biscione, had selected Zagato as a technical partner because of its specialisation in creating light and aerodynamic racing bodies, inspired by aeronautics. The Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Zagato, in different versions (two-seater Spider “Corto, four-seater Tipo Le Mans Tourer and Tipo Monza), dominated the most important races of the period (among them the Mille Miglia of 1933, the 24 of Le Mans of 1931 and 1932, the Targa Florio and 24 Hours of Spa). Based on documentation, however, two chassis received coupé bodies to be made into fast and elegant sports cars for road driving.

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The 6C 2500 was a landmark model for Alfa Romeo, as it was both the end and start of two different chapters. This was the last car built by Alfa Romeo before World War II and the first built post-war, with engineering and designs evolving over time. This car also marked the end of Alfa Romeo’s long history with the 6C road car lineage, following this model was the four-cylinder 1900. The top of the range, most sought-after and expensive of all 6C 2500s was the Super Sport, seen here, which was built using a developed and shorter 2,700 mm wheelbase, giving a sportier and more agile feel. Super Sport specification also meant that the Vittorio Jano-designed, six-cylinder, 2,443 cc engine was fed by three Weber carburettors, to produce an impressive 110 bhp — in 1950, let’s not forget! As a result of this Alfa Romeo being so desirable, no less than 15 coachbuilders designed and built bodies for the 6C 2500, but the artisan who is perhaps most synonymous with this model is Carrozzeria Touring of Milan. Using its Superleggera construction technique, Touring’s designs are considered amongst the most exquisite to clothe the 6C 2500. With only 383 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sports built after the war, the car quickly gained huge admiration, becoming an icon for a nation working to move forward. A symbol of wealth and success in period, the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport has always been well admired by classic car connoisseurs, with examples now joining some of the largest and most important collections.

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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. The Alfa Romeo 1900 C Super Sprint Cabriolet by Carrozzeria Touring seen here is a one-off. It was Carrozzeria Touring’s perception of a 1900 C Super Sprint Cabriolet and they built only one to showcase their design concept, making this car unique. When the 1900 C Super Sprint Series II was launched, Carrozzeria Touring created a cabriolet concept and presented the design to Alfa Romeo, which was already at an advanced design stage for the 2000 Spider, for which they would award Carrozzeria Touring the contract. With this in mind, Alfa Romeo chose not to commission the 1900 C Super Sprint Cabriolet presented by Carrozzeria Touring; however, the Milanese coachbuilder chose to assemble only one example, to showcase exactly how elegant the design concept could have been. This is the only car they built.

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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. The car seen here is a particularly special one, chassis number 101, which came to light recently having been stored away in a Torinese basement for more than 25 years. Its long term owner died and had no heirs, so the once the car had been liberated – not an easy task given its location – it went for auction where it sold for €500,000. The new owner has promised not to restore it but to leave it in its original unmolested state.

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There was another example of the SZ here as well.

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The original TZ, currently sometimes referenced as TZ1 to differ from later TZ2 was presented at the 1962 Turin Auto Show as a replacement for the SZ It featured a 1,570 cc twin cam engine and other mechanical components shared with the Alfa Romeo Giulia and carried a 105 series chassis number, but was a purpose built sports racing car, with a tubular spaceframe chassis built in the province of Perugia by SAI Ambrosini and the light all-aluminium bodywork was made by Zagato, final assembly was made Delta of Udine, with Carlo Chiti initially on board as a consultant before becoming the project leader. The firm soon changed its name to Auto-Delta and relocated to its current site in Settimo Milanese, on the outskirts of Milan, not far from the Alfa Romeo Portello Plant. It has disc brakes and independent suspension. The result was a lightweight coupé of only 650 kilograms (1,430 lb) and top speed of 134 mph (216 km/h). The TZ was built both for street and racing trim, with the latest racing versions producing up to 160 bhp. Alfa’s twin-spark cylinder head, as also used in their GTA, contributed to the speed of the TZ; the standard Giulia alloy block with wet steel liners was installed at an angle under the hood of the TZ to improve airflow. Aiding the TZ in its quest for performance was the treatment of the rear bodywork. Incorporating the research of Dr. Wunibald Kamm, the TZ used a style called coda tronca in Italian, meaning “short tail.”, otherwise known as the Kamm tail. The principle is that unless an aircraft-like extended tail is incorporated, which is not practical for an automobile, there is little, if any, increase in drag and a marked decrease in lift or even some downforce by simply chopping off a portion of the tail. Zagato had previously proved the success of this tail treatment in their coda tronca Sprint Zagato sports-racing cars, and it was a natural evolution to adapt this to the Giulia TZ. The car debuted at the 1963 FISA Monza Cup, where TZs took the first four places in the prototype category. At the beginning of 1964 the TZ was homologated (100 units were needed for homologation) to the Gran Turismo category. After homologation it started to take more class wins in Europe and North-America. Of the first TZ, 112 units were built between 1963 and 1965. Only built as limited amount these TZ models are quite collectibles nowadays, listed price around 150,000-200,000 US dollars. A new version of TZ was introduced at the Turin Auto Show in 1964 in the Zagato stand

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By 1963, Alfa were ready to add a Coupe version to their new 105 Series Giulia range. It evolved over a 14 year production life, with plenty of different models, though the basic design changed little. 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 186 N·m (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, especially the “Step Front” early cars such as the one seen here.


There were two examples of the legendary Alfa 33 here. During the 1971 FIA World Sports Car Championship season, Alfa Romeo and Autodelta began competing with its new and updated Tipo 33 TT 3. Taking design and engineering cues from their competition at Ferrari and Porsche, Alfa Romeo’s latest race car earned its name courtesy of its tubular chassis (Telaio Tubolare in Italian). An all-new steel spaceframe chassis replaced the out-dated sheet-aluminium monocoque of the previous Tipo 33/3. The engine fitted in the Tipo 33 TT 3 was an updated and enhanced version of that previously seen in the Tipo 33/3, now boasting an impressive 440 bhp at 9,800 rpm. Thanks to its redesigned cylinder heads, this high-revving quad-cam, 36-valve V8 engine was producing the same power as Ferrari’s much heavier 12-cylinder unit!

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Alfa Romeo Tipo 33-3 Chassis ‘009’ was Autodelta’s Brands Hatch and Nurburgring winner. It finished 2nd overall at Sebring and Targa Florio.

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1932 CB4B

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A number of high profile auctions from the world’s leading houses take place around the Rétromobile 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 €42,304,574, up 31 % on the previous year, with 10 new auction record prices.
Maître Hervé Poulain, accompanied by Matthieu Lamoure and Pierre Novikoff, brought the hammer down on three lots over one million euros and 43 lots over 100 000 €, with 76% of all lots selling. A truly international event, buyers from over 20 countries outside France accounted for some 84% of the sale total. These were some of the cars I could see from around the edge of the display area.

Star of the auction, and the car which single-handedly helped to achieve that impressive total sale value was this fabulous Alfa 8C 2900B Touring. The 8C2900 Alfa Romeo was the fastest production car that you could buy before the war. Less than 50 were made and only five of the iconic Carrozzeria Touring berlinettas. This is the second one built, which has been in one family ownership for over 40 years being used on the road and shown occasionally but has never had a “ground up” restoration. Of the other four, one is on display at the Alfa Romeo museum in Italy whilst three others have been restored this century in North America, two of which have gained the “Best of Show” top prize at Pebble Beach. The year 1934 saw the entry into Grand Prix racing of both Mercedes-Benz and Auto-Union (the “silver arrows”) and it quickly became clear that suspension by rigid axles on semi- or quarter-elliptic springs was outdated. Alfa Romeo realised that the design philosophy behind the 8C2300 sports car as well as the Grand Prix Tipo B needed a complete revision. Rather than start from scratch, the management of Alfa Romeo contracted with the Porsche design office (who had been responsible for the design of the Auto Union) to design new all independent suspension systems for the 6C2300B (Project number 63) and the 8C2900 (Project number 69). Meanwhile the technical department at Alfa Romeo back in Milan designed a new very rigid frame – a complete change from the rather flexible ones used up to that time. The 6C2300 model had been introduced in 1934 to replace the earlier six cylinder models but featured chain driven overhead camshafts rather than gear driven ones; it was still on semi-elliptic springs. For 1935, the engine and gearbox were retained but mounted in a new all independent chassis based on double trailing arms with enclosed spring/damper units at the front and torsion bars at the rear. This car was called the 6C2300B. For the replacement of the very successful 8C2300 model, Alfa Romeo used similar but not identical front suspension on the 8C2900 as on the 6C2300B but a completely different rear set-up. This featured a gearbox in unit with the back axle, swing axles, radius arms and a transverse leaf spring supported in the middle; to prevent the worst swing axle effects, Alfa designed a system which effectively shortened the spring length independently on each side. There was a pair of shock absorbers on each side, one hydraulic, the other an adjustable friction type; the adjustment was by cable on the early cars, hydraulic on the later ones. A similar design was featured on the new Tipo C Grand Prix cars that first raced in the Italian Grand Prix in September 1935. However, the first of these, as well as the first 8C2900 sports car, were fitted with horizontal spring/damper units at the front which was changed to vertical by 1936. The engine of the 8C2900 was really a development of the Grand Prix Tipo B power unit rather than the 8C2300. It featured fixed head and block units (testa fissa in Italian), twin superchargers drawing through twin updraft Weber carburettors and magneto ignition. The first car was shown at the 1935 Paris Salon between 3rd and 13th October. The open spider body was built “in house” by Carrozzeria Alfa and was painted in two different colours, separated by a curved line along the side. Unusually for that era, there were no louvres in the bonnet at all but there were a series of small openable vents down each side of the bonnet. A second similar car appeared at the Milan show later in the year. Alfa Romeo were extremely busy supporting the Italian war effort in Africa in 1936 with trucks, aero engines and other military equipment and made almost no cars at all! They did however supply four cars to Scuderia Ferrari with skimpy bodies not unlike a Tipo C Grand Prix car but with cycle wings and lights added called botticellas (the Italian for casks or bottles). In this form they won the Mille Miglia (finishing 1-2-3) and the Spa 24 hours. At the end of the season, the factory showed a Carrozzeria Alfa spider at the Paris Salon with a similar paint design as the 1935 Milan show car. The same car was on the stand at the 1936 Milan show stand but was alternated with another spider with white central bodywork and red wings. Another spider was painted all over a single dark colour and was shown at the Berlin and Geneva shows in the first part of 1937. Scuderia Ferrari again raced botticellas finishing first and second in the 1937 Mille Miglia. Their final appearance was also the last event run by Scuderia Ferrari as the works racing team when Pietro Ghersi won the Pontedecimo-Giovi Hillclimb in October that year. These 8C2900A cars had a 2.75 metre wheelbase and only one car was sold with the Mille Miglia style body – to Argentina. The other cars had Carrozzeria Alfa bodywork and two original examples survive today, both with firewall plates identifying them as 8C2900B, presumably to make the buyer think that they were buying a new car not a second hand race car! As described above some 8C2900A models were sold as 8C2900Bs but retained the 2.75 metre wheelbase. There was even some early literature describing a new unsupercharged model “8C2900B” but that was never built. The standard 8C2900B was supercharged and had a slightly longer wheelbase (2.80 meters) for the corto (short chassis) and a stretched 3.00 metre wheelbase for the lungo. The standard specification was for a detuned version of the 8C2900A engine with more aluminium castings compared to the magnesium ones on the race cars. It was at this stage that Carrozzeria Touring enter the story with two new designs with drawing numbers 977 for a coupe on a long chassis and 979 for a spider on a short chassis, the latter specifically built for an American client MacLure Halley. In fact, it is believed that the first spider on a short chassis was built on chassis number 412011 and shown at the London Motor show (14th to 23rd October 1937) whilst the first coupe or berlinetta (chassis number 412020) was shown at the Paris Salon (7th to 17th October). Both cars caused a sensation since they moved so far away from “conventional” sports cars without separate wings and lacking running boards. The Maclure Halley car appeared along with the first Berlinetta at the Milan show (28 October to 8 November) and was numbered 412014. It seems that Alfa Romeo started to number the berlinettas at 412020 rather than sequentially and therefore mixed in with the short chassis cars and Carrozzeria Touring also started numbering the berlinettas in a sequence starting with number 2029. 412011 and 412020 were both exhibited at the Berlin show in early 1938 and sold to German customers. With the move of Alfa Romeo racing from Scuderia Ferrari in Modena to the new Alfa Corse facility at Portello in Milan, five new spiders were built with stunning coachwork by Carrozzeria Touring to be ready for the 1938 Mille Miglia in which they finished 1-2. Many people think that these spiders were the most fabulous looking sports racing cars built before the war. Not only that but they were incredibly quick! On the run from Brescia to Bologna on the first leg of the Mille Miglia Carlo Pintacuda averaged 178.7 Kph on ordinary roads, through towns and villages, over level crossings etc for a distance of almost 250 kms. From Firenze to the coast North of Livorno there was a new piece of autostrada and the route went that way, with Pintacuda averaging 211.4 Kph over a distance of 86.8 Kms. Please remember that this was 1938 when VERY few cars on the road could attain 150 Kph flat out and many of the small family cars were lucky to reach 100 Kph. Of course, other sections were twistier bringing the overall average down but even so Biondetti beat Pintacuda but a fraction over 2 minutes averaging 135.39 Kph for the thousand miles. The winning car had an engine more like the 3 litre Tipo 308 Grand Prix car than a standard 8C2900B but even so this was a spectacular performance. You can see why the 8C2900 Alfa is reckoned to be the fastest road car made before the war and the ultimate 1930s supercar. The works cars also won the Spa 24 hour race in Belgium as well as several hillclimbs. A one-off racing Berlinetta was built for the 1938 24 hour race at Le Mans which was running away with the event but eventually retired after suffering a blown front tyre which exploded with such force that the tread cut through the bodywork. Touring went on to build four more short chassis spiders after the first two (412011 and 412014). They then switched to building spiders on the long chassis platform which were generally actually heavier than the berlinettas because they used steel in the bodywork whereas the berlinettas were all aluminium. Production of these long chassis spiders continued into 1939 with chassis number 412042 being sold in August 1939. Two further cars were completed during the early war years, one a Carrozzeria Touring saloon for the King of Romania and one an experimental streamlined spider built by Alfa Romeo themselves. The first of these stunning designs was ready for the major motor shows at the end of 1937 and early 1938 in Paris, Milan and Berlin. Four more were built with consecutive Touring body numbers on chassis numbers 412024, 412029, 412035 and 412036 – the gap between the third and the fourth being the works sports-racing cars of 1938. 412020 was sold in Germany before the war, exported to the USA in the 1950s, was fitted for a while with an unsupercharged 6C2500 engine, restored in the UK by Tony Merrick with the correct engine and recently was re-restored by RX in Vancouver for new owner David Sydorick, winning the first prize “Best in Show” at the 2018 Pebble Beach concours. The last of the berlinettas was shown at the 1938 Paris Salon between the 6th and 16th October. After its return to Italy it was sold to a gentleman in Milan in November. After seven months he sold it on to someone in the Brescia area and, in 1947, it ended up with Emilio Romano, the local Alfa Romeo agent. He entered that year’s Mille Miglia but had to remove the superchargers and run un-supercharged due to the regulations. He recruited 1938 winner Clemente Biondetti as his co-driver and they won the race. Subsequently the car went to Argentina with both unblown and supercharger set ups, then to the USA, Japan and the UK before being acquired by Miles Collier for his collection in Naples, Florida. The car was fully restored by RX in Vancouver and was shown at Pebble Beach in 2006 where it won multiple awards although missing out on “Best of Show”. There are subtle differences between the cars. Unfortunately we have no knowledge of the first owner of this car. After 412024 arrived in the UK, it was registered FLR 108 on 16 March 1939, painted blue. It was immediately advertised for sale by Alfa dealer, Jack Bartlett in London in the April 1939 issue of Speed when the car had apparently done only 5,000 miles. I am not sure if the car was sold at that point nor where it spent the war years. A replacement or continuation buff-coloured log-book has as its first entry the name of Jack Bartlett with a date of 10 June 1947, although it was apparently not licensed for the road again until 3 June 1948. It seems unlikely, although possible, that the car had been traded enough to justify having a continuation log book after eight owners; it would make more sense that the original was lost or damaged and Bartlett was registering the car in his name either because he still owned it (having failed to sell it) or a previous owner had lost it. Around this time the log book records a change of colour to silver. Bartlett won one of the ten prizes at the concours at the RAC summer party at Woodcote Park in July 1947. He then participated in the RAC Jubilee celebrations at the same location outside London on 6 September 1947. In the concours held in London’s Regents Park on the same day as part of those celebrations, Bartlett won the class for closed cars built between 1931 and 1940 with a taxable HP of over 16. The car was then pictured in Motor for 14 July 1948 after Bartlett had won a first in class at the Eastbourne concours (for cars registered between 1934 and 1940 and over 16 taxable HP). He advertised it for sale again on 27 July 1949 in the weekly press when he described it as having only a small mileage. In Motor for 3 August 1949 Bunny Tubbs wrote some road impressions of three Alfas, namely an 8C2300 coupe (2211053), a post war 6C2500 coupe and 412024. After the Motor story appeared, the car was sold on 28 October 1949 to Dennis de Ferranti. In a letter of 12 November 1971 he recalled that the car was silver with “fawn suede” upholstery. He had the car for a year before he bought a Touring spider (412026); he kept the coupe for another year and licensed it for the road all the time before he sold it back to Jack Bartlett on 28 November 1951. He in turn sold it on to Lord Ridley on 28 December 1951. All visitors recall that the car was silver during Lord Ridley’s ownership. Surviving documentation from Lord Ridley indicates that the car had done just under 29,000 Kms when he got it. He then fitted a different speedometer which showed another 16,000 miles or so in his ownership. On Lord Ridley’s death in the mid 1960s, the car was sold to Nigel Mann who was living in the South of France; the car was last registered in the UK in 1964. I am not sure exactly when but the log book also records a further change of colour to red, presumably in Nigel Mann’s ownership. Mann advertised the car for sale in the summer of 1970 in the French magazine L’Anthologie de l’Automobile; his reply to an enquiry included the following:- “I am getting offers here around £3,750 (in France) but am waiting for £4,000. The problem is space in my museum”. It seems that the car went unsold at that time but was finally sold to Jan Martens in Holland in 1976. The current owner recalls that purchase “When I collected the car from his little chateau (near Chartres, I believe), I picked up an English friend from Paris, Dick Sommerin, who did some work for the museum at Beaulieu. My problem was, he turned up at the rendez-vous point, but only at 1.30 AM. We had a blowout on the single-axle trailer in the middle of the night near Liege and only by stepping full on the throttle of the Jag, I managed not to lose the total combination. After that, it turned out I didn’t carry a spare for the trailer and had to leave the trailer with the Alfa still on it, by the wayside. We managed to find a new spare tyre early morning in Liege and were very afraid someone had nicked the Alfa in the meantime, but luckily nothing had happened! Quite an eventful trip that was!” Over the years, some work has been done to the car including a 1980s engine rebuild by Tony Merrick but it has been maintained as a good runner and never subjected to a “ground up” restoration. Since 1976, the car has covered around 12,500 Kms including rallying, some racing and track days at Zandvoort.

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Rather more affordable – relatively, as it is still outside my budget – was a lovely example of the modern 8C Spider.


Even more recent is this Aston Vanquish Zagato


Following the delivery of the first Bugatti Type 51 at the end of April 1931 to Count Stanislas Czaykowski in France, the factory prepared two more cars for the French market in May. They were intended for the two most experienced and successful amateur Bugatti drivers in the country: Jean Gaupillat and Marcel Lehoux. The Bugatti Type 51 with engine number 9 was for Gaupillat, and Lehoux was assigned the car with engine number 10, that, according to the list of orders, was chassis number 51128. It was built to the client’s order and not one of the factory cars prepared for the 1931 season. It had therefore not taken part in any racing when it was delivered to Paris, on 1 June 1931, to Marcel Lehoux, who owned a large mechanics workshop in Algiers. This car failed to sell in the auction.


There were several further Bugatti in the auction, the only of which I could easily see was this Type 49 with a Gangloff body. It also failed to sell.


I am not totally convinced by the colour of this Fiat 500 Jolly, but otherwise it hits the spot as an incredibly chic small and fun car.


There were a couple of Lamborghini models that I could see from the perimeter, a Countach and an Espada

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There were examples of both the coupe and Spider versions of the Maserati 3500, a car I would see elsewhere in the show.

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Mercedes 500K


The 300SL GullWing featured here. I would see several more elsewhere in the event.


This Mercedes 300 SEL was ordered new with its impressive 6,3-litre engine by Mr Uno Rylander from Sweden. He specifically requested the car to be painted beige and brown, the same colour combination as his Mercedes 220 SE Coupé. The 300 SEL was delivered to him from the factory on the 27 June 1969. The interior was ordered in cognac leather, with burl walnut wood for the dashboard and door trimmings. This elegant Mercedes is also equipped with electric windows, electric sunroof and an air-conditioning. Mr. Rylander kept the car for almost four decades up until his death. The car then passed over to his son Gustaf Rylander who kept it until last year when the current owner had the opportunity to acquire this great automobile. Almost fifty years in the same family and a documented history since new, make this Mercedes 300 SEL 6,3 L one of the most interesting example. According to the car’s documentation Mr Rylander had the engine exchanged at the Daimler Benz in Hamburg on the 31 August 1977. His son, Gustaf Rylander, said that his father was not happy with the oil consumption and got the “Austauschaggregate”as a replacement engine by warranty. The quality of and the workmanship at Daimler Benz in those days is evident. Despite almost fifty years of use, the interior of this elegant Mercedes is still in remarkable condition, almost untouched and the seats cushions are still as firm as new. Due to some cracking in the clear coat, the current owner of this 6,3 L recently had the car resprayed.


Final car that my camera picked out was this striking 1936 Panhard Dynamic X787. Launched in 1936, the Dynamic broke away from traditional design, specific to the brand. A very distinctive car thanks to its aerodynamic design, its “panoramic” windows, its central positioned steering wheel and its mechanicals without valve, the Dynamic was indeed unique. The car on offer is a rare 16hp coach version. It was the personal car of Mrs Massimi after she bought it in the 1950’s. Never restored, it is in an exceptional state of origin, with its elegant two-tone green livery with a superb patina. The interior, with its beautiful art-deco style dashboard, is draped in beige cloth, and is just as well preserved. The engine was restarted a few years ago but will need to undergo a complete overhaul before driving on the road. Aside from the slightly damaged left headlight grille, the car is complete with all the specific accessories that make this car so charming. Already rare when it came out of the factory, this coach version is really rare now. The six Marrel brothers, Jean-Baptiste, Jean-Marie, Antoine, François, Etienne and Charles, master blacksmiths from Saint Martin La Plaine, constitute one of the great families of French industry of the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The factory, located in the industrial valley of the Gier, were initially dedicated to the manufacture of armour and cannons, and have one of the first quenching towers that reflects the high technical quality of their steel products. In 1855, they set up a unit at La Capelette in Marseille to develop their naval business, then a factory in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Specialized in heavy mechanical construction, in armour plates for ships, and the manufacture of shells and guns, these master forgers quickly built a real empire, rivaling the great German industries. Their factories supplied the emerging fleets of Brazil, Austria, Italy, Denmark, Egypt, Turkey and Greece. Their 25-ton power hammer is the biggest of its time, and the large chimney of their second factory, the Etaings à Rive de Gier factory, built in 1867, was for a long time one of the highest in Europe. Mirroring the Schneider family, the Marrel dynasty of industrialists developed a social policy, and in 1898 financed an entire hospital, designed by Lyon-based Vernon. A sign of the Marrel’s power, the prime minister Waldeck – Rousseau and his Minister of Commerce and Industry Millerand attended the laying of the foundation stone in 1902. The six brothers will build no less than five castles in the valley, including that of Mouillon à Rive de Gier, one of the few remaining town castles with a park, which housed the collection of cars used by one of the family’s branches, which Jacques Antoine Massimi, the heir, was still taking great care of until his death in 2016. The 1924 Voisin C11 sedan was part of Jane Marrel’s estate (1863-1944), and probably belonged to her husband, Henri Marrel (1859-1934). The Voisin C3C was the personal car of Yvonne Marrel (1886-1970), daughter of Henri Marrel. The 1929 Voisin C11, known as the “blue waltz”, was the car of François Marrel (1896-1968), Henri’s son. This is also the case for the VoisinN C16 limousine acquired by François Marrel in 1932, driven by his personal driver, Mr Fleury Chomienne, as well as the 1930 Hispano Suiza H6B called “Diane”, and whose bodyworks were designed especially for the family. All the bodyworks were ordered in Lyon at client companies that Marret delivered with sheet steel. In 1934, there were more than 11 Voisins in the Marrel family. These were the family’s favourite cars, which owned at least 6 four litres, two 2.3 litres, two 3 litres and one 6 litre. The 1936 Panhard Levassor X77, standard, was Mrs. Massimi’s mother’s car.

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This is one of three factory entered Astons that competed in the 1931 Le Mans 24 hours race. The inter-war years produced some titanic battles on European racetracks and at long-distance events such as the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Mille Miglia. At the front might be big-capacity Alfa Romeo 8Cs, Bentleys and Mercedes, but only a little further back were smaller sports cars from Frazer Nash, MG, Bugatti and Alfa Romeo. The quintessential marque from this category was Aston Martin, whose well-proportioned, fine-handling and expertly managed entries scored countless class and team successes throughout the 1930s. For many skilled and wealthy drivers – Prince Bira, ERA’s backer Humphrey Cook, ‘Bentley Boy’ Dr Dudley Benjafield and others – racing an Aston Martin at Brooklands, the Tourist Trophy or Le Mans was another way of satisfying their craving for speed and excitement at the very peak of the sport. Aston Martin, now under the control of wealthy heir William ‘Bill’ Renwick and engineer racing driver Augustus ‘Bert’ Bertelli – with a young Claude Hill in the drawing office – moved into four brick buildings in Feltham in late-1926. The location would serve as the base for the company’s famous forays to Le Mans and beyond that cumulated in overall victory at the 24 Hours in 1959. The owners declared their intention to offer vehicles that could be “driven straight to France and without any special preparation compete successfully in the Grand Prix d’Endurance at Le Mans”. In 1928, the first two of what would ultimately be 23 (‘specially prepared’, indeed,) pre-War Aston Martin Team Cars emerged, appropriately given chassis numbers LM1 and LM2. Both entered that year’s French 24-hour epic, but success eluded them. LM3 followed in 1929, LM4 in 1930 – neither of which made it to La Sarthe. For 1931, with the handy injection of cash from HJ Aldington of Frazer Nash, three more chassis were commissioned, LM5, LM6 and LM7. They were the final development of Bertelli’s original concept: based on the International chassis but with new, high-compression heads for the four-cylinder, 1.5-litre engine that now gave 70bhp at 5,000rpm and a 90mph capability, and wider brake drums and shoes operated by Perot shafts. The cars ran on a mixture of 75% ethyl, 25% pure benzol. A four-speed gearbox transferred power from the engine to the worm-drive axle and a degree of weight saving was achieved by drilling – though the methodical Bertelli did not really approve of the practice. Double-capacity (to five gallons) dry sump oil tanks sat below the water radiators, shortened three inches for reduced weight and a lower frontal area. Extensive modifications were made to make the cars reliable in top-level events, including fitting straight-cut timing gears and a heavily reinforced and braced axle, a known weak spot. The three finished cars were smart and businesslike and, for the first time, of identical appearance. ‘Harry’ Bertelli (Bert’s brother) built the bodies to a design that featured a long bonnet, cycle wings and a long, drooping tail that covered the horizontally mounted spare wheel and 22-gallon, twin-filler fuel tank. There were no doors. Driver and riding mechanic sat in bucket seats behind a dual-cowl scuttle and folding screen. A big-bore outside exhaust completed the quintessentially 1930s British sports car look. Allotted the Middlesex registration numbers HX 4321, 4322 and 4323 respectively, LM5, 6 and 7 were ready for action.

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Technically the DB4 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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The Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato was introduced in October 1960 at the London Motor Show. It was effectively a DB4 GT, lightened and improved by the Zagato factory in Italy, by Ercole Spada. Initially, the factory planned to produce 25 cars, but demand was not as strong as expected and production was reduced to 20. Although the specification of the engine was changed and upgraded throughout their racing history, the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato predominantly featured a 3.7-litre aluminium twin-spark straight 6-cylinder engine with a 9.7:1 compression ratio, higher than the DB4 GT engine. The engine produced 314 bhp, and had a 0 to 60 mph acceleration of just 6.1 seconds and a top speed of approximately 154 mph (246 km/h). Ercole Spada at Zagato transformed the DB4 GT into a smaller, more aerodynamic, super-lightweight car. Many steel components were replaced with the more lightweight and heat-resistant aluminium components. All non-essential elements disappeared, such as the bumpers. With the help of Perspex and aluminium components, more than 100 pounds (45 kg) was shed from the DB4 GT. The popularity of the original DB4 GT Zagato resulted in two subsequent waves of cars based on DB4s being rendered into “Zagatos” through the cooperation of Aston Martin and the Zagato works in Italy. They are known as “Sanction II” and “Sanction III” cars. Also, an unauthorised but lucrative private industry of modifying original DB4 GTs into “Zagato” replicas has arisen as well to meet market demand for high-quality Zagato recreations.

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


Aston Martin Works is the heritage business arm of Aston Martin and is based in the old Newport Pagnell site where cars used to be built before the move to Gaydon. They had a stand here with a quartet of models on display. Oldest of these was a late model DB4.

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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.


After a production run of over 20 years, Aston came up with a new body shape for the 1988 Birmingham Motor Show, and called the new car the Virage. Initially announced solely as a close coupe, it was not long before an open-topped model was added to the range and then in 1993, these were joined by the high-performance Vantage. The name of the base model was changed to V8 Coupé in 1996. The V8-powered model was intended as the company’s flagship model, with the 6-cylinder DB7, introduced in 1994, positioned below it as an entry-level model. Although the DB7 became available with a V12 engine and claimed a performance advantage, the Virage remained the exclusive, expensive and hand-built flagship of the Aston Martin range. It was replaced in 2000 with the Vanquish. By the end of the 2000 model year, 1,050 cars in total had been produced

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The Aston Martin V12 Vanquish was designed by Ian Callum and bore a large resemblance to the production DB7 Vantage. However, the car had a strong influence from the Project Vantage Concept prototype which debuted with a V12 engine at the North American International Auto Show in January 1998. As underneath the car featured a strong aluminium/carbon composite construction, bonded chassis with a 5,935 cc V12 engine. It was available in 2+0 and 2+2 seating configurations. The 48-valve 60° engine produces 460 bhp and 400 lb⋅ft of torque. It is controlled by a drive-by-wire throttle and a six-speed Electrohydraulic manual transmission. The standard Vanquish model had 14.0 inch drilled and ventilated disc brakes with four-pot calipers, ABS, with electronic brake distribution. Its appearance in the 2002 James Bond film Die Another Day earned the V12 Vanquish the number three spot on the list of Best Film Cars Ever, behind the Minis from The Italian Job, and DB5 from Goldfinger & Thunderball. The car also appears in the video games Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2, James Bond 007: Nightfire, and James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing. The Vanquish S debuted at the 2004 Paris Auto Show, with increased horsepower and performance and slight styling revisions. The engine displacement remained at 5,935 cc with power increased from 460 to 520 bhp. Visual changes included new wheels, a slightly different nose shape, a new raised bootlid with a larger integrated spoiler incorporating the third high level brake light (in the rear window on the original Vanquish), a Vanquish S badge on the bootlid (the original Vanquish had no rear model designation) and the addition of a small front splitter (although this was mainly done for aerodynamic reasons). As part of its improvements, the Vanquish S featured a slightly improved coefficient of drag of 0.32 (from 0.33), with help from a redesigned splitter and boot lid. Its front and rear track were 1,524 mm (60.0 inches) and 1,529 mm (60.2 inches), respectively. It also incorporated the features of a 2004 option package, the Sports Dynamic Pack, which incorporated sportier suspension, steering, and brake features. This model was sold for the 2005 (alongside the base Vanquish) and 2006 (as a stand-alone) model years in the United States with only minor running changes; it was not sold in the United States for 2007. The Vanquish S featured larger brakes than the V12 Vanquish; 14.9 in front discs with six-pot calipers and 13.0 inches rear discs. The end of the Vanquish’s production run was celebrated with the Vanquish S Ultimate Edition. Aston Martin announced that the last 50 cars built would have a new ‘Ultimate Black’ exterior colour, upgraded interior, and personalised sill plaques. 1086 Vanquish S were built. With a 200+ MPH top speed, the Vanquish S was (as measured by top speed capability) the fastest Aston Martin ever until the Vantage V12 S was introduced in May 2013. Vanquish production ended on 19 July 2007, coinciding with the closing of the company’s Newport Pagnell factory after 49 years of operation.



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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This is the sort of display that probably only Rétromobile would conceive, let alone manage to pull off. 14 out of what is believe to be the 18 remaining Bedelia were here. One of the “cyclecars” which were popular in France in period, this rather curious automobile, where the driver sits behind the passenger, was manufactured by the Bourbeau et Devaux Co. of Paris between 1910 to 1925 to a design by Robert Bourbeau. Rather than scaling down existing motor-car designs, Bourbeau chose to adapt mainly motor-cycle practice for his design, giving rise to the cyclecar designation. The low and light car carried its two passengers in tandem with the passenger seated at the front, while in the rear was the person doing the steering. Single-cylinder or 10 hp V-twin engines were used. Drive was to the rear wheels through a belt which could be moved between pulleys to give a two speed transmission. The front axle was centre pivotted with suspension by a single mid mounted coil spring and the steering was by a cable and bobbin. Elliptic leaf springs were used at the rear. The method of changing gear was unusual. The rear driver had to operate a lever which slackened the belt by moving the rear axle forwards and then the passenger had to move the belt between pulleys by means of a separate lever. Quite how the car was driven without a passenger is not clear. On later cars the levers were moved so that the driver could steer the car for himself. The car’s launch coincided with a “Petroleum/gasoline War” involving the competing commercial interests of the United States, Romania and other countries. France, having no indigenous oil supplies of its own, and the Algerian reserves not yet discovered, was particularly badly hit, and the government exacerbated the challenge for the infant auto-industry with new car taxes. The light-weight Bedélia cyclecar’s introduction was therefore timely, and the marque gained a further impetus as a result of a Bédélia winning the 1913 Cyclecar Grand Prix held at Amiens. In fact, a Morgan came in first, Morgan enthusiasts have claimed it as a win to the present day and it was largely on publicity from this success that Morgan broke into the French market, resulting in the creation of the Darmont company and, tangentially, Sandford, an example of which was also to be seen here. Despite Morgan’s claims, the second placed French car was subsequently awarded the victory. Before World War I, Bédélia cyclecars sold very well, even in Britain. Manufacturing rights were obtained by a dealer, a Monsieur Binet in 1920 and he had an updated version of the cars made for him by Mahieux of Levallois-Perret, Seine. The body design was modified to let the driver and passengers sit and a conventional three speed gearbox was fitted. Engines of up to 990 cc were offered. But by the mid 1920s, the cyclecar boom was over, with affordable “proper” cars, such as the Austin Seven and Citroen 5CV, seen as infinitely preferable to these small machines, and in 1925, the Bédélia Company collapsed

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Bentley celebrate their centenary in 2019, and this landmark was celebrated by a factory displayed comprising two cars from the beginning and end of those 100 years. The new car is the latest addition ot the range, the new generation Continental GTC and shown alongside was EXP 2, the oldest surviving Bentley, the second ever made and the first to win a race. Its value is incalculable. EXP is the prefix given by Bentley to this (and all subsequent) pre-production models. Its 3 Litre monobloc engine featured four valves per cylinder, twin spark plugs, twin magnetos and made extensive use of aluminium and magnesium; this was an advanced specification for 1920, particularly for a road-going car. Like every Bentley since, the 3 Litre engine developed generous amounts of torque from low rpm, was durable, strong and capable of high performance. Bentley made three prototypes. EXP1 (EXPerimental No1) was built at New Street Mews off Baker Street and first ran in October 1919. EXP2 was built at Bentley’s new works in Cricklewood using a chassis exhibited at Olympia in November 1919 with a plain 2-seat body. The final one, EXP3, became known The Cab and was WO’s personal car.

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This is a 1929 Speed Six with Gurney Nutting body.


This matching numbers 6½ litre has a wonderful story to tell. Found dilapidated in a government yard in Africa in the sixties, the Bentley started its life in style being sold through London Bentley agent, Jack Withers, to a Mrs Henry Bull of South Kensington. The Bull family were, it seems, very familiar with the Bentley marque, with Major P.C. Bull, resident at the same address, owning five Bentleys between 1926 and 1936. Built as a 1927 Model Standard Six on the 12’6” wheelbase chassis with Standard Model specification engine number BX2410 and with the BS gearbox, BX2411 benefited from a free of charge update to 1928 specification by the works, as noted in the service record that accompanies the Bentley. This is due to the fact that Bentley rushed the 6½ litre into production for financial reasons and committed to retrospectively update all the early models. Unusually, BX2411 still has its original rod system to the brakes with no servo. The suspension is by replica Hartford friction units and electrical equipment is by Smiths. The works sent the completed chassis to Harrisons for a body frame and then to Offord for skinning

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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.



If there was one vehicle that stood out above all others – literally, given the size of it – then it was this Berliet T100. The Berliet T100 was a truck manufactured by Berliet in the 1950s. It was, at the time, the largest truck in the world. Three trucks were built with normal control (with the cab behind the front axle); the fourth was built with forward control (cab-over-engine design (and sleeping accommodation)). They had 29.6 litre Cummins V12 engines, providing 600 hp and 700 hp. The trucks were intended for off-road use, in the oil and mining industries, in particular petroleum exploration in the Sahara. Steering was powered by a separate small Panhard engine. The first two trucks were 6×6 flatbeds with gross weights of 103 tonnes; the third was built as a 6×4 dumper truck, for the uranium mine at Bessines-sur-Gartempe; the fourth was another flatbed truck with 102 tonne gross weight, or 190 tonnes as a tractor. It was experimentally fitted with a Turbomeca gas turbine in 1962, but fuel consumption was excessive, so the conventional diesel engine was fitted again. The trucks were designed and built in secret, and with a tight deadline; the first was finished after nine months, at the factory in Courbevoie. It was unveiled, by surprise, at the 1957 Paris car show. However, it was too big to fit in the main exhibition hall, so Berliet built a special external pavilion to exhibit the huge new truck. It was then shown at various other car shows – Lyon, Avignon, Helsinki, Casablanca, Frankfurt, and Geneva. It went to work in the oil and gas fields of the Sahara; after Algerian independence it became property of the Algerian government, and was eventually preserved in Hassi-Messaoud. The second T100 was built in 1958 and two more in 1959. The second T100, having worked in Algeria, was later returned to the Berliet Foundation’s museum in 1981. The trucks were stablemates of the Berliet GBO15, a 60-ton 6×6 truck which had been released in 1956. 45 were built, most exported to Algeria. Just getting this monster into the event was far from straight-forward, as you might imagine.

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An expansive BMW stand contained quite a mix of cars from the firm’s history including a couple of brand new models. The older ones all significant sporting pedigree from he days when BMW was a rather more exclusive brand as opposed to the volume maker they have become now.

A BMW 320 built in accordance with Group 5 regulations was presented in homage to a successful era of the brand in touring-car sport. Front spoilers, rear wings and flared wheel arches with flamboyant styling characterise the competition vehicle developed on the basis of the first generation of the BMW 3 Series. Under the bonnet, the car is powered by a Formula 2 racing engine, which generates an output of 300 hp from a displacement of 2.0 litres. In 1977, BMW competed with the new touring car in the German Racing Championship (DRM). At the same time, this formed the launchpad for a new form of promotion for junior drivers. Eddie Cheever, Marc Surer and Manfred Winkelhock competed in the BMW Junior Team against established, world-class drivers. They became the darlings of the public and collected a bumper harvest of points.

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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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The first example of the Z1 was released by BMW to the press in 1986 and later officially presented at the 1987 Frankfurt Motor Show. Initial demand was so fierce that BMW had 5,000 orders before production began. The Z1 was designed over a three-year period by an in-house division of BMW Forschung und Technik GmbH. The development of the Z1 is attributed to Ulrich Bez and his team at BMW Technik GmbH. The BMW Z1 was used to develop and debut several technologies. Z1 designer Harm Lagaay mentioned that Z1 production helped generate patents for BMW’s high-intensity discharge lamp, integrated roll-bar, door mechanism, and underbody tray. Both the engine and the five-speed manual transmission were sourced from the E30 325i. The 2.5 litre 12-valve SOHC straight-six engine sits tilted 20 degrees to the right to accommodate the low bonnet line. The engine produces 168 hp at 5,800 rpm and 164 lb·ft of torque in its original form. The rear suspension, called the Z Axle, was specially designed for the Z1 and this was one of the first BMWs to feature a multi-link design. In the 1990s, the Z Axle would be used on a variety of BMW Group vehicles, including the E36, 3 series, and the R40 Rover 75. The chassis was specially designed for the Z1 and featured a number of innovative features: removable body panels, continuously zinc welded seams, a composite undertray, and the unusual dropped doors. Parts of the car (including the engine, gearbox, and front suspension) were borrowed from the BMW E30 325i and 325Ix, but most of the Z1’s components are unique to the model, and that had the consequence of making it expensive. The body was made from plastic and could be removed completely from the chassis. The side panels and doors are made of General Electric’s XENOY thermoplastic. The hood, trunk, and roof cover are GRP components made by Seger + Hoffman AG. The car is painted in a special flexible lacquer finish developed jointly by AKZO Coatings and BMW Technik GmbH. During the Z1s launch, BMW suggested that owners purchase an additional set of body panels and change the colour of the car from time to time. The car could actually be driven with all of the panels completely removed, similar to the Pontiac Fiero. BMW noted that the body could be completely replaced in 40 minutes, although Z1 owners have reported that this may be optimistic. The entire vehicle was designed with aerodynamics in mind. Specifically, the entire undertray is completely flat and the exhaust and rear valance were designed as integral aerodynamic components to decrease turbulence and rear lift. The front end reportedly induces a high-pressure zone just forward of the front wheels to increase front-wheel traction. The Z1 has a drag coefficient of 0.36 Cd with the top up or 0.43 Cd with it down. The doors retract vertically down into the car’s body instead of swinging outward or upward. The Kaiser Darrin was the first car to have retractable doors; they slid forward into the front wings. The inspiration for these doors came from more traditional roadsters which often feature removable metal or cloth doors. Because removable doors did not fit within BMW’s design goals, the retractable doors were installed instead. The body with its high sills, offers crash protection independent of the doors, the vehicle may be legally and safely driven with the doors up or down, although this is not legal in the U.S. The windows may be operated independently of the doors, although they do retract automatically if the door is lowered. Both the window and door are driven by electric motors through toothed rubber belts and may be moved manually in an emergency. It took a while to get the Z1 into production, by which time demand had dropped considerably, perhaps due to reduced demand from speculators. In the end, BMW only produced 8,000 Z1 models. 6,443 of these were sold in BMW’s native German market. The country to receive the second-greatest number of Z1s, Italy, received less than 7% of the total sold domestically. BMW was reportedly unable to build more than 10 to 20 Z1 vehicles each day. None were initially sold in North America, although examples have been independently imported since the car’s launch. More than half of all Z1 vehicles (specifically, 4,091) were produced for the 1990 model year. Seventy-eight Z1 vehicles were reportedly used as test mules, although most were later sold without a warranty and, presumably, at a lower price. The Z1 was available in six exterior colours and four interior colours. Most (6,177) were red, black, or green with a dark grey interior. Light yellow exterior (fun-gelb in German or fun yellow in English, with 33 examples made and cars with a red interior (38 examples made) are the rarest Z1 colours. The colours swimming pool blue and oh-so-orange were reserved for the car’s designers, Bez and Lagaay. Reportedly, some 1,101 Z1 vehicles were delivered without a factory radio installed. In these vehicles, BMWS AG installed an aftermarket Sony radio in its place. None of the Z1 vehicles were sold with air conditioning. The vehicle’s dashboard is very small and there was no room for both heat and cooling units. Some Z1 vehicles were converted using BMW E30 parts to have air conditioning, but reportedly the heater elements had to be removed. Although prices did drop from the new car cost of around £40,000, these have never been cheap cars to buy, and these days values are increasing again.

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Two of the latest cars completed the BMW stand display: the new Z4 convertible, a joint development with Toyota, though the two look very different on the outside, and the rather fussily styled 8 Series Convertible.

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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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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.


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.


Introduced in May 1972, the 3.0 CSL was a homologation special built to make the car eligible for racing in the European Touring Car Championship. The “L” in the designation meant leicht (light), unlike in other BMW designations, where it meant lang (long). The lightness was achieved by using thinner steel to build the unit body, deleting the trim and soundproofing, using aluminium alloy doors, bonnet, and boot lid, and using Perspex side windows. The five hundred 3.0 CSLs exported to the United Kingdom were not quite as light as the others, as the importer had insisted on retaining the soundproofing, electric windows, and stock E9 bumpers on these cars. Initially using the same engine as the 3.0 CS, The 3.0 CSL was given a very small increase in displacement to 3,003 cc by increasing the engine bore by one quarter of a millimetre. his was done in August 1972 to allow the CSL to be raced in the “over three litre” racing category, allowing for some increase in displacement in the racing cars. In 1973, the engine in the 3.0 CSL was given another, more substantial increase in displacement to 3,153 cc by increasing the stroke to 84 mm (3.3 in). This final version of the 3.0 CSL was homologated in July 1973 along with an aerodynamic package including a large air dam, short fins running along the front fenders, a spoiler above and behind the trailing edge of the roof, and a tall rear wing. The rear wings were not installed at the factory, but were left in the boot for installation after purchase. This was done because the wings were illegal for use on German roads. The full aero package earned the racing CSLs the nickname “Batmobile”. In 1973, Toine Hezemans won the European Touring Car Championship in a 3.0 CSL and co-drove a 3.0 CSL with Dieter Quester to a class victory at Le Mans. Hezemans and Quester had driven to second place at the 1973 German Touring Car Grand Prix at Nürburgring, being beaten only by Chris Amon and Hans-Joachim Stuck in another 3.0 CSL. 3.0 CSLs would win the European Touring Car Championship again in every year from 1975 to 1979. The 3.0 CSL was raced in the IMSA GT Championship in 1975, with Sam Posey, Brian Redman, and Ronnie Peterson winning races during the season

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Displayed on the National Motor Museum of Beaulieu was this BRM Type 15, a Formula One racing car of the early 1950s, and the first car produced by British Racing Motors. The car was fitted with a revolutionary supercharged 1.5-litre British Racing Motors V16 which produced considerably more power than any of its contemporaries. The distinctive noise of the car made it a favourite with crowds wherever it appeared, but the initial unreliability of the car, its inability to live up to the hype that the project’s leading figures had created around it, and the change to Formula Two regulations in 1952 meant the project never achieved the hoped-for level of success on the Grand Prix stage. After the end of the Second World War motor racing slowly returned, based on whatever machinery could be found, largely consisting of the pre-war Voiturette cars conforming to a formula of supercharged 1.5-litre engines. One of the more successful voiturette constructors of the late 1930s had been English Racing Automobiles, founded by Raymond Mays and others. Mays was a very patriotic British driver with an enviable reputation, but despite considerable success in lesser races he had been given little opportunity to race in Grands Prix, since there were very few significant British attempts to build suitable cars to challenge the dominant Italian and later German cars. In early 1939, ERA’s wealthy backer Humphrey Cook withdrew his funding, and Mays along with talented and imaginative ERA engineer Peter Berthon founded Automobile Developments Ltd, a project to build a fully-fledged British Grand Prix car along the lines of Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union. Throughout the war, the idea gestated in the two men’s minds, with Berthon latching on to the idea of a supercharged 135° V16 engine as had been proposed to power the British Union Grand Prix car. With the end of the war in sight, Mays began to look for backers within British industry for his project. Designers Berthon and Eric Richter were expecting 500 bhp and at least 12,000rpm from their new British Racing Motors V16 engine, which was a 1.5-litre 135° V16 designed to meet the 1947 “Formula A” regulations that would go on to become Formula One in 1950. A V8 configuration had also been considered but it has been suggested that the V16 was chosen in part to bolster the car’s image when approaching potential sponsors. After Germany fell, Mays had access to several of the Mercedes and Auto Union designs, as well as other relevant German wartime technology. This showed in the design of the chassis, with Auto Union derived trailing arm suspension at the front and Mercedes inspired de Dion radius arms at the rear. This arrangement did little for the car’s road-holding, although few cars of the period handled particularly well. However the car used Lockheed oleo-pneumatic struts in place of the conventional coil spring and damper units, it being thought at the time that this aviation-derived system would become a common road car arrangement. Another significant departure from previous designs was the use of twin centrifugal rather than Roots-type superchargers, developed by Rolls-Royce based on the units used on later versions of the Merlin aero engine. This was to prove one of the car’s main shortcomings. While it allowed for tremendous power at high revs, the engine produced significantly less power lower down the rev range. This meant drivers were constantly struggling to keep the revs within a very small power band. The chassis itself was not particularly advanced, essentially a ladder chassis with pairs of tubes running down either flank of the car each linked with welded sheet metal, with cross members running across the car between the two. Much attention was paid to keeping the centre of gravity low, and the Type 15 has a significantly lower profile compared with other Formula One cars of the time. Steering was by recirculating ball and nut, and continued to be so despite calls from Stirling Moss in particular to switch to a rack and pinion system to increase responsiveness. Initially the car had drum brakes developed by Girling with three shoes per corner, but in late 1951 the team began to fit disc brakes, a first for a Formula One car. Mays set about persuading British engineering businesses of the merits of being associated with the project. His main thrust was that it was a matter of British prestige for the country to finally build a World-beating Grand Prix car. With the country still awash with post-war patriotism more than three hundred companies including Lucas, Girling, Rolls-Royce, Vandervell, Rubery Owen, David Brown and Standard Motors enthusiastically backed the project either with cash or help in kind in the form of parts, staff secondments, access to testing equipment and technical information. On 25 April 1947 the British Motor Racing Research Trust was formed with the engine already under development. The large number of companies involved in the project led to an organisational nightmare which, combined with continued rationing, the difficult financial conditions of post-war Britain and the low priority of work on the project within companies that had agreed to help, meant that the first car was not ready to start running until December 1949. Mays wanted to keep the car under wraps while development continued but was overruled, and after the Type 15 was revealed for the first time a major public relations operation was mounted, with articles in the press (including a very supportive leading article in The Times), features in boys’ magazines, pamphlets and even a book titled “BRM Ambassador for Britain: The Story of Britain’s Greatest Racing Car”. With all the delays the team found themselves well behind as the new World Championship began at the British Grand Prix in May. Not being in a position to enter the race itself, Mays gave the car a demonstration run in front of the very large Silverstone crowd and donations from the public flooded in. A second car was completed later in 1950 and the team set the International Trophy as the car’s first full race meeting, in part due to pressure from the team’s backers and also the Daily Express who in addition to sponsoring the event had prepared a brochure about the car which was to be distributed amongst the spectators. The much anticipated début by the new machines could not have gone much worse. Of the two cars, only Raymond Sommer’s car was fit to start at the back of the qualifying race after the car had been flown down overnight, and at the start the car lurched forward only a few inches before being stranded by a drive shaft failure, putting it out of both that race and the final. Loud boos rang out from the crowd and as the car was wheeled away some even mockingly threw pennies at the car. The car’s second race meeting at Goodwood a month later was considerably more encouraging despite very wet conditions, with Reg Parnell winning not only the minor Woodcote Cup but also the full Formula One Goodwood Trophy later that same day. “All we need now is a little longer time to develop it and then we hope to show the continent what we really can do” said Parnell after the race, but in truth the cold conditions had masked overheating problems that would later come back to haunt the team. The final outing for 1950 came with a two car entry at the Spanish Grand Prix, but after qualifying fourth and fifth Parnell was out early when his supercharger’s drive shaft snapped before Peter Walker retired at two-thirds distance because of an oil leak in his gearbox. For 1951 two new cars were built with improvements to the brakes, steering and fuel tanks, and were entered into the team’s first full Championship Grand Prix at Silverstone. Problems with the cars prevented them setting qualifying times, but both cars were ready to start from the back. The exhausts of the cars had been designed to run within the bodywork, but with this being the first race the cars had run to a full Grand Prix length the drivers found themselves dealing with almost unbearable heat within the cockpit, to the point that they had to have burns dressings applied during pitstops to act as insulation and protect the arms from the hot exhaust piping. With the thought of all the effort that had gone into the project Parnell and Walker steeled themselves to struggle on to the finish and came home in fifth and seventh, albeit several laps down on the winning Ferrari of José Froilán González. The car’s next race was deep within “enemy territory”, at Monza for the Italian Grand Prix. BRM turned up with two cars and a very impressive transporter, with Parnell now partnered with BRM mechanic and test driver Ken Richardson. In practice the pair were unable to run their cars to the full but set the eighth and tenth fastest times, but then Richardson’s entry was cancelled on the grounds that he had insufficient racing experience. Mays turned down the organisers’ requests that he step in, but 50-year-old Hans Stuck agreed to drive and did a few practice laps. However an inspection of the gearboxes showed they were not too far from seizure, and both cars were withdrawn before the race on safety grounds. There were to be no further races in 1951, a car entered for Parnell in the Goodwood Trophy failing to arrive. Parnell still managed to finish second in a Ferrari entered by Tony Vandervell, who by now had grown tired of the BRM project and left to conquer Formula One in his own way, becoming a bitter rival to the BRMs. At the start of 1952 Alfa Romeo announced the withdrawal of their Alfettas from the World Championship, and with 1951 Champion Juan Manuel Fangio now a free agent Mays saw an opportunity to sign him up for BRM. Mays invited Fangio to test the car at Folkingham, and in an all-out effort to curry favour with the busy driver he decided that having a working car on hand for testing at a time convenient for Fangio was more important than entering April’s Gran Premio del Valentino in Turin, and with financial problems also weighing on Mays’ mind BRM withdrew their three entries from the race. It turned out to be an error for BRM. With not only no Alfa Romeos but now no BRMs to challenge them either, Ferraris romped home in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th, with Peter Whitehead’s Thinwall Special Ferrari in 4th.[12] Faced with the prospect of a season dominated by just a single serious Formula One team, the FIA bowed to pressure from race organisers and decreed that the World Championship Grands Prix would be run to Formula Two regulations, for which the Type 15 was not admissible. As it turned out Ferrari won every championship Grand Prix that year anyway, but with no car eligible for the World Championship BRM had to content themselves with various non-championship Formula one, Formula Libre and minor British races. Fangio and fellow Argentine González both started on the front row in the BRMs at the Albi GP but after running one and two both suffered overheating problems that put them out. For the Ulster Trophy Moss partnered Fangio, but clutch issues did for Moss at the start and Fangio had to retire with a blocked oil filter. The next day Fangio’s season was terminated by a serious crash in Italy, so Ken Wharton lined up at the Formula Libre race that supported the British Grand Prix with González, who set fastest time in practise but slid off and damaged a radiator while running second in the race. He took over Wharton’s car but had to retire from third when his gearbox failed with only three laps left. Neither car managed to finish the International Trophy either, but Reg Parnell did manage to win an FL race in Scotland. BRM entered three cars in each of the races at Goodwood, with first and third closely followed by a one-two-three in two races, another second place following in the car’s last race of the year at Charterhall. By now though many of BRM’s backers had already had enough and decided to sell the team to Alfred Owen. Stirling Moss later spoke of the Type 15 and did not have warm feelings of the experience of racing it; he called the car “without doubt the worst car I ever raced – it was a disgrace.” With the new team in place for 1953, the Type 15 finally started to produce some consistent results. At the Easter Goodwood races Wharton was second in the first race ahead of Parnell in fourth, with Wharton winning the second race. He also finished third at Charterhall. At Albi the Type 15 struggled with tyres throwing their treads but managed first, second and fifth in the heat, with González second in the final as the other two cars dropped out. At Silverstone for the Grand Prix meeting Fangio came second with Wharton third. Wharton then won three races in succession at Snetterton and Charterhall, and after three podium places in two races for the team at Goodwood Wharton won the last race of the year at Castle Combe. A total of four Type 15s were produced, one of which was written off by a collision during the Glover Trophy and salvaged for spares, while another car that crashed at Albi was used as the basis for one of the two P30s produced.



Celebrating 110 years of Bugatti, there was a Factory display stand here, and the model featured on various dealer stands and in the Artcurial auction. All told there were 30 Bugatti at the event, an impressive total even when remembering this is the home country.

The Bugatti Type 55 is a sports car produced by from 1932-1935. It is a road-going version of the Type 51 Grand Prix car. The Type 55 was introduced at the 1931 Paris Motor Show. 38 cars were produced in total.

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There were a couple of examples of the EB110, the first “official” new Bugatti to be produced in recent times. Believe it or not, this car owes its origins, at least in part, to Ferruccio Lamborghini. By the mid 1980s, he was no longer involved with the marque which bears his name, but he remained interest in the world of cars, even though he was now making his money as a vintner. He still harboured a dream of once again making cars, and he managed to get introduced to Romano Artiolo, who a the time was one of Ferrari’s most successful European distributors across Germany and Italy, and who owned a number of classic Bugattis. A discussion between the two men at the 1986 about trying to revive the marque led to a scheme with the EB110 at its heart, though Lamborghini soon lost interest in the venture and his part in the Bugatti revival are largely forgotten these days. As plans were made, an array of other stars from the industry came and went. Paolo Stanzani, former Technical Director at Lamborghini did not last long as he did not get on with Artioli and his place was taken by Nicola Materazzi, who had been the project leader on the Lancia Stratos and was heavily involved with the Ferrari Testarossa, 288 GTO and F40. Marcello Gandini, by then a freelancer, was engaged to style the car. No expense was spared, with a purpose-designed state of the art factory being constructed in Campogalliano on the outskirts of Modena. The specification was equally ambitious, with early prototypes with aluminium monocoques being deemed not sufficiently rigid, so aeronautics company Aerospatiale was engaged to develop and produce the carbon fibre tub. The engine was a 3.5 litre all-alloy 60 valve V12, with four small superchargers, which meant that in the SuperSport version, there was 603bhp available. A six speed manual gearbox transmitted all those horses to all four wheels. There was a fairly conventional double wishbone suspension with twin spring/damper units, Brembo brakes and tyres specially developed by Michelin, which all helped the car to establish a production car top speed record of 212.5 mph. Artioli wanted to make ownership painless (relatively) with a three year warranty and service deal. The car was unveiled at the Place de la Defence in Paris in September 1991, on the occasion of Ettore Bugatti’s 110th birthday. Everything looked rosy. but then the world’s economies then stagnated. Artioli’s Suzuki franchise collapsed, though somehow he still had the money to buy up Lotus, but money became tight. The proposed EB112 saloon was quietly shelved, and the EB110 struggled to find buyers. It never got close to the projected 300 units per year. First deliveries were made in December 1992 and when the last car was made in September 1995, just 102 cars had been made. 102 of them were GTs and 38 Supersports. The EB110 was not a bad car, but what really sealed its fate was the McLaren F1, which is just about every respect was simply a better one. That was true back in 1994 and if you look at values of the two cars now, it is clear that the market sees it that way now. On the rare occasions that F1s come up for sale, you are going to have to pay sums in excess of £5 million, which would buy you 10 of the EB110s.

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This was labelled as the 1899 Bugatti Type 1, though with the marque celebrating its 110th anniversary, this would seem to pre-date that by 10 years. A bit of research has elicited that this is the Prinetti-Stucchi Bugatti Type 1 and it was shown by Fine Automobiles. This twin-engined three wheeler was built by Ettore Bugatti in 1899 when he was just 17 years old.Despite being fitted with neither an accelerator or a clutch, it proved very fast and Bugatti drove it to four victories. Another intriguing Bugatti was this one, labelled as “the lost Bugatti”.


2019 marks the centenary for the final completion of the Bugatti Diatto AVIO which has lain dormant since 1919. In 1914 Bugatti told select clients that he was ready to create a luxury vehicle to surpass any known automobile. This coincided with Bugatti’s design of the AVIO 8C aero engine – his first experiment with a straight 8 engine. Historians see this WW1 aero-engine more as an automobile engine than solely for aviation. Indeed, they deduce that this massive 14.5 litre AVIO 8C engine may be regarded as the prototype for Ettore Bugatti’s Royale engine. In 1915-1925 Ettore Bugatti was actively working together with Diatto’s capable technical team and using Diatto’s factory as test facility for his new ideas. In 1919, following the First World War, attention turned to car production and development of the AVIO aero-engine ceased – but obviously was not forgotten. Later this 8-cylinder aero-engine, along with a big Diatto chassis, were discovered in a museum in Turin, Italy. The project had never been finished, and how it found its way to the museum was a mystery. It is this project that after a century has finally been completed – to be revealed here.

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Produced from 1922 through 1926, the Type 30 used the 2 litre (1991 cc) engine of the Type 29 racer. It shared its chassis (including the axles and gearbox) with the Type 13 “Brescia”. This engine went on to be used in the cut-cost Type 35A and Type 38. About 600 were built from late 1922 through 1926 in varying specifications. This one is a Type 30 Torpedo by Lavocat et Marsaud on chassis number 4724.


A second Type 30, on Spanish dealer Pueche’s stand had bodywork by Carrocerias Casimiro Sola.


The Bugatti Type 37 was introduced in November 1925, and it proved to be one of the most iconic and instantly recognizable racing cars to leave Ettore Bugatti’s facilities in Molsheim, France. Like its predecessor, the Type 35, the Type 37 provided enough performance for even the most demanding customer, whilst also offering an excellent level of practicality for events and rallies. The inline four-cylinder engine proved itself to be very reliable, providing a huge amount of excitement to the individual behind the wheel. Not only could the Type 37 be driven hard all day, it also proved reliable enough to be driven home when the sun set. Compared to its siblings, the Type 37 relied on mechanical simplicity, finesse, and light weight for its performance. With a compact yet powerful 1.5-litre engine, the whole package was quickly identified as a potential race winner amongst serious drivers on the international racing scene. Even though the Type 37 was competitive, racers always asked for more power, and Bugatti delivered. Around 18 months after the Type 37’s initial introduction, Bugatti introduced the Type 37A, with the major improvement being a Roots-type supercharger. Performance was massively improved over the naturally aspirated model, and the car was capable of reaching a top speed of 122 mph. The updated Type 37A proved to be successful, and it saw action in some of the world’s greatest endurance races, including the Mille Miglia, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Targa Florio. Whilst Bugatti produced 286 Type 37s, only 76 were supercharged by the factory.


This is a Type 38A, a model which was produced in 1926 and 1927. It used the 1991 cc engine from the Type 35A “Tecla”. The supercharger from the Type 37A was later fitted, making the Type 38A. Its gearbox and brakes were later used in the Type 40, while its radiator and axles were shared with the Type 43. Just 385 examples were produced, 39 of which were supercharged 38As. 39 examples were produced. This car is well known in Bugatti circles as the “Mozambique Car” as that country is where it was first delivered.


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


This is a Type 57S and is notable as it competed in the 1937 le Mans driven by Raymond d’Edez de Suage and Genaro Leoz Abad. The car also took part in the French GP at Montlhery and the first post-war GP at Bois de Boulogne in September 1945 before being modified to a single seater and subsequently divided into two lots. The restoration conducted by marque specialist Ivor Dutton was reunited the original parts and recreated the bodywork to its pre-war le Mans design.



The first generation of Corvette was introduced late in the 1953 model year. Originally designed as a show car for the 1953 Motorama display at the New York Auto Show, it generated enough interest to induce GM to make a production version to sell to the public. First production was on June 30, 1953. This generation was often referred to as the “solid-axle” models (the independent rear suspension was not introduced until the second generation).Three hundred hand-built polo white Corvette convertibles were produced for the 1953 model year. The 1954 model year vehicles could be ordered in Pennant Blue, Sportsman Red, Black, or Polo White. 3,640 were built, and sold slowly. The 1955 model offered a 265 cu in (4.34 litre) V8 engine as an option. With a large inventory of unsold 1954 models, GM limited production to 700 for 1955. With the new V8, the 0-60 mph time improved by 1.5 seconds. A new body was introduced for the 1956 model featuring a new “face” and side coves; the taillamp fins were also gone. An optional fuel injection system was made available in the middle of the 1957 model year. It was one of the first mass-produced engines in history to reach 1 bhp per cubic inch (16.4 cc) and Chevrolet’s advertising agency used a “one hp per cubic inch” slogan for advertising the 283 bhp 283 cu in (4.64 litre) Small-Block engine. Other options included power windows (1956), hydraulically operated power convertible top (1956), heavy duty brakes and suspension (1957), and four speed manual transmission (late 1957). Delco Radio transistorised signal-seeking “hybrid” car radio, which used both vacuum tubes and transistors in its radio’s circuitry (1956 option). The 1958 Corvette received a body and interior freshening which included a longer front end with quad headlamps, bumper exiting exhaust tips, a new steering wheel, and a dashboard with all gauges mounted directly in front of the driver. Exclusive to the 1958 model were bonnet louvres and twin trunk spears. The 1959–60 model years had few changes except a decreased amount of body chrome and more powerful engine offerings. In 1961, the rear of the car was completely redesigned with the addition of a “duck tail” with four round lights. The light treatment would continue for all following model year Corvettes until 2014. In 1962, the Chevrolet 283 cu in (4.64 litre) Small-Block was enlarged to 327 cu in (5.36 litre). In standard form it produced 250 bhp. For an extra 12% over list price, the fuel-injected version produced 360 bhp, making it the fastest of the C1 generation. 1962 was also the last year for the wrap around windshield, solid rear axle, and convertible-only body style. The boot lid and exposed headlamps did not reappear for many decades. An all-new C2 generation model was launched for 1963.



This Chevron B16 propelled by 230 hp FVC 1.8 Litre engine and participated in 1970 Daytona 24 hours and Sebring 12 hours



No question, the special display put on to mark Citroen’s Centenary was a real highlight of the entire event. Three long lines of a total of 30 cars from the Conservatoire Citroen provided huge interest, and showed more variety than you might have been expecting. Those three lines comprised three categories: Concept Cars, Competition Cars and Road Cars.

Most recent was the 2016 CXperience, revealed at the Paris Motor Show that year, as a concept in the large hatchback segment. With its distinctive body style, this new and stunning concept illustrates the benefits of the Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme. This innovative plug-in hybrid vehicle is immediately recognizable with its distinctive style and cleverly designed rear-hinged doors. The bold lines express power, while the generous curves express the car’s own stylistic language. Inspired by the high-tech world, the new front end, grille and updated signature headlights, create a unique style. The rear end also makes a statement with strongly marked wings and a concave rear window with a fin for improved aerodynamics. To contrast the pearlescent sea green exterior colour the premium materials inside the car are a citrus yellow shade to create a fresh and assured ambience. The seats are upholstered in a padded-effect yellow mesh fabric and the backrests feature an elegant shade of walnut wood. In line with the brand’s know-how and heritage, this latest creation features the hallmark of Citroën vehicles. CXPERIENCE CONCEPT is the latest demonstration of the Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme, designed for the comfort and well-being of all passengers. Supporting the styling and technological development of new brand models, the programme reflects changing customer expectations and is considered at every stage in the design process. “The Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT car challenges convention to express a new vision of executive hatchbacks. It also fits in perfectly with the ambitions of the Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme. CXPERIENCE CONCEPT illustrates the brand’s capacity to deploy its “Be Different, Feel Good” promise in this segment.” Linda Jackson, Citroën Global CEO. An easy to use infotainment system allows passengers to control a range of functions. A smartphone and mobile tablet can also be used to activate a range of controls including starting the car and sharing media files with other passengers. CXPERIENCE CONCEPT also features the ConnectedCAM Citroën™ premiered as a world first on Citroën’s New C3. All technology will be available for testing at the Paris Motor Show. “The whole Citroën Style team pulled in the same direction to create a new executive hatchback with international reach, breaking conventional codes to express the brand’s values: Optimistic, Human and Smart.” Alexandre Malval, Citroën Design Director

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2011 Tubik: The Citroen Tubik Hybrid4 Concept, a 9-seater vehicle whose styling and characteristics reflect the prestige cues of a modern saloon. Tubik was inspired by Citroen’s renowned Type H, fondly referred to by the general public as the “TUB” (the name of its predecessor). Citroen design teams gave Tubik distinctive, offbeat styling, with colours and materials that aim to meet the highest standards in sophistication and comfort. The design lines of Tubik are a nod to the Citroen TUB (from the French acronym for low front-wheel drive commercial vehicle) and its ingenious upgrade, the Citroen Type H, whose versatility and style made it a best-seller of its times (half a million units in 34 years on the market). Sporting a similar body shape to its illustrious predecessor, Tubik is big enough (2.08m wide, 2.05m tall, 4.80m long) to carry up to nine passengers. The front end, which stands apart from the main body, brings to mind the corrugated metal of the Citroen Type H with its ribbing, while the windscreen pillars are reminiscent of the Type H’s two characteristic ridges. To make Tubik look even more protective, Citroendesigners combined two contrasting colours: the metal grey of the body shell envelops the pearlescent white at either end, marking the position of the combustion engine (at the front) and electric motor (at the rear) used by the full-hybrid diesel drive train. With this simple but attractive exterior, the large two-way panoramic window and two large doors giving access to the driving position and living area are barely visible. The driver’s door is rear-opening while the side door runs in a circle to free up the entire side of the vehicle. When you get behind the wheel of Tubik, you enter a high-tech world designed around the driving position. This area is dominated by what Citroen designers call the “cyclotron”, a system that groups – in one circular line – the seat, pedal assembly, steering wheel and circular head-up display The aluminium grey of the bodywork is also present on the cyclotron, to accentuate its robust, protective looks. Installed in the black full-grain leather seat, the driver is identified by a system of fingerprint recognition. Around him/her, on the head-up display and the screen positioned in the centre of the steering wheel, is all the information required for navigation. The living area of the Citroen Tubik Hybrid4 Concept is a lounge-style cocoon. The living area features materials borrowed from the worlds of architecture and interior design: felt seats, silken backrests and door panels, and a leather floor. Passengers can arrange the three rows of seats as they wish. Each seat is independent for maximum comfort. The first row of seats lets two people sit facing the road or facing the other passengers. The middle row can seat up to three people or, alternatively, it can be converted into a small table, be folded onto the last row to free up an area of almost 2m², or be folded out completely to create a meridienne-style seat. Tubik is not only an exceptionally spacious vehicle, it also has an eye on the environment. With the Hybrid4 technology, it is able to keep CO2 emission levels close to those of a conventional saloon. The full-hybrid diesel drive train increases vehicle range over an internal combustion engine and also maximises traction with its four-wheel drive mode (the front wheels being driven by the combustion engine and the rear wheels by the electric motor). Tubik is fitted with 22-inch wheels equipped with tall, narrow tyres with very low rolling resistance, in order to optimise fuel consumption. For a better compromise between comfort and roadholding, Tubik features hydractive suspension, a technology exclusive to Citroen. Vehicle height is controlled in real time and so remains constant, regardless of load. At high speeds, the car is automatically lowered to promote aerodynamic performance and contribute to cutting fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

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It is hard to imagine, but this debuted as a concept car on October 2 at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, a collaboration between Citroën and the Japanese racing simulation developer Polyphony Digital. The GT by Citroën concept car was specially created, designed and produced for the video game Gran Turismo 5 and was included through download in its initial version Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. Its designer came up with the project and sold it to both Polyphony Digital and Citroën.The car’s exterior design was made by Takumi Yamamoto, a Japanese designer from Jean-Pierre Ploué’s Style Citroën design team. Takumi Yamamoto was a childhood friend of Kazunori Yamauchi, director of Polyphony Digital and creator of the popular Gran Turismo franchise, also known as “Gegge”. According to a Yamauchi interview at the Paris Motor Show 2008, he and Yamamoto started collaborating on this project back in 2003. Yamamoto convinced Jean-Pierre Ploué to submit his concept to Citroën’s head office in Paris who agreed to start the production process and manufacture the real car. Since Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, there have been three versions of the GT by Citroën: a road version with 500 hp; a race version, with 599 hp; and a concept version of 778 hp featuring a battery powering four electric motors. However, the real car uses a modified version of the Ford Modular V8 petrol/gasoline engine, producing 646 hp The car’s weight is 1,400 kg (3,086 lb). In June 2009, Citroën confirmed plans to produce an extremely limited number of GTs for sale to the public, with just 6 to be built, each costing $2.1 million. In July 2010, rumours that production was suspended began to surface, and sadly these turned out to be accurate, leaving the car as a true concept.

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2006-C-Metisse: The Citroen C-Metisse concept car is a four seater coupe with striking design illustrating Citroen new styling with extreme sober contours. Propulsion is based on similar principle as C4 hybrid prototype introduced in early 2006 with a diesel engine at the front and two electric motors at the rear. The vast interior has four separated seats covered with leather. Driver headrest is supported from the roof. There are four doors tilting forward at front and rearward at the back for easy access to the cabin. Length is 474 cm, width is 200 cm and height is a low 124 cm. Weight is 1400 kg including batteries. The body aerodynamic shape was developed in wid tunnel and has Cx of 0,30. Front Diesel engine is V6 HDI FAP connected to 6 speeds automatic transmission. Claimed power is 208 hp. There are two 15 kW electric motors in the rear wheels.

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2000 Osmose: Always seeking ways to redefine usability, Citroen revealed a very futuristic prototype at the Paris Motor Show in 2000. It aimed to create a new kind of relationship between drivers and pedestrians. Here was a concept car that asked fundamental questions about responsible use of the car as a means of sharing transport. Before a journey, the driver would display their availability and destination on a panel, allowing them to pick up people as they went. The journey information could additionally be accessed by mobile phone. Osmose also had a radical layout, there were three seats in the front, with the driver positioned in the middle and slightly further forward than the passengers on each side. In the rear, a sliding panel revealed a two seats bench that faced backwards. The overall shape of Osmose was a real departure. Because of its height and similar front and rear designs, it was essentially cubic, like a light filled mobile living space. Equipped with audio and video systems and a frontal pedestrian airbag. Osmose was powered by hybrid technology called ZEV, which stood for Zero Emission Vehicle. Overall lenght 3.35 m; width 1.75 m ; height 1.7 m

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This is the 1994 Xanae. A revelation at the 1994 Paris Motor Show, it focused most on driver and passenger comfort. The first true compact MPV, Xanae felt like a welcoming living room, complete with rear hinged doors without a central pillar, pivoting front seats, plus a central rear seat that folded down to provide a table. The current core Citroen principle of modularity starts here. Adding to the sense of wellbeing and space was the exceptionally large glazed area, with the windscreen sweeping up into the roof pannel. A whole range of driving aids were easily accessed via two LCD screens and positioned just where they could safely be used. With the mechanical underpinnings from the Xantia, there was nothing to stop this master class of comfort and versatility from developing into a real production car. The finishing touches were applied and in 1999 the Xiantia Picasso was launched to an appreciative public. It enjoyed a very successful career.

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1988 Activa 1: The Citroën Activa and Activa 2 were two concept cars produced by the French manufacturer Citroën as a means to test and to showcase features intended for future use in their production cars. Both were unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in 1988 and 1990 respectively. The name Activa was later used to refer to the production Xantia fitted with Activa suspension. Among the features seen on the Activa models was the electronically controlled hydropneumatic suspension (known as the “Hydractive” system) combined with an active anti-roll bar. This married Citroën’s famous hydropneumatic suspension system to sophisticated electronics, enabling the handling of the car to automatically adapt to how it was being driven as well as virtually eliminating body roll (one of the main criticisms of Citroën’s hydropneumatic system was the amount of body roll). The Hydractive system was soon to become available to the public first in Citroën’s XM model 1989, and Xantia model 1993. In 1995 Activa prototypes’ active anti-roll-bar was introduced in the Xantia Activa, making it one of the few production cars to have active suspension. The Activa 1 included full hydraulically connected, single wheel independent four-wheel steering, anti-lock brakes and traction control, which were high-tech for the time, while the Activa 2 was more conventional, except the anti-roll-system and featured a centre console keypad instead of a gear lever and a navigation system. In addition, the Activa 1 featured electronically operated doors which could all be opened at once using a remote control. Mechanically, the Activa 1 was powered by a 3.0L SOHC PRV 24 valve V6 engine producing 200 PS at 6000 rpm and 260 Nm (192 lb/ft) of torque at 3600 rpm, coupled to a 4-speed automatic transmission. This gave the Activa 1 a claimed top speed of 136 mph (219 km/h).

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1980 Karin: The Citroën Karin was a concept car presented at the Paris Motor Show in 1980. It featured a striking, pyramidal design and was designed by Trevor Fiore. The exterior of the car incorporated flush glass panels, faired rear wheels, and butterfly doors. The roof of the Karin was only the size of an A3 sheet of paper due to its truncated pyramid shape. One of the Karin’s most noticeable interior features was the unique three-seat layout with the driver located in the middle of the two passengers. Also among its features were a 4-cylinder engine, front wheel drive, and a hydropneumatic suspension like the Citroën DS.

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

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1956 C-10: One of a series of concepts created by Citroën from 1955 to 1956 under the direction of André Lefèbvre, the idea behind this one was to produce a water drop-shaped, very lightweight vehicle, which would be more modern and smaller than the 2CV. The overall look of the vehicle was quite similar to the Messerschmitt bubble car. It was equipped with the same 425 cc engine as the 2CV. The vehicle was also nicknamed Citroën Coccinelle (Ladybird in French).

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And so to the competition cars.

1971 SM Rallye du Maroc: The SM won its first competitive outing, the gruelling 1971 Rallye du Maroc. From a field of cars including Citroen DSes, Alpine A110s, Renault 8 Gordinis and even some Porsche 911s, the crown was won by the duo of Jean Deschaseaux and Jean Plassard. The team’s Citroën SM floated over rutted desert tracks and forded deep wadis flooded by rain to take the title with more than 26 minutes to spare over their closest competition, a far more conventional team in a rear-wheel drive Peugeot 504. Citroën continued rallying the SM, eventually developing a “breadvan” short-wheelbase racing variant.

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1969 DS Rallye du Maroc

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This is the 1932 Petite Rosalie des Records. From March 15 to July 27 1933 at the Monthléry Track, a Citroën 8CV Petite Rosalie covered 300.000 kilometers in 134 days at the average speed of 93 km/h. At that time, it was the world record of the greatest distance achieved and the longest running time for a car. Apart from the extended rear streamlining, the 8CV « Petite Rosalie » that established the record was the same one that was delivered to individual buyers.

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Dating from 1922 is this track-driven B2 10 HP model K1 “Autochenille” the Scarabee d’Or. This was the first motor vehicle to cross the Sahara Desert, in 1922, a pioneering expedition that André Citroën ran to prove to the world just how reliable his vehicles were. This extraordinary adventure, commanded by George-Marie Haardt and Louis Audouin-Dubreuil, prefigured Citroën’s famous Black Cruise in 1924 and Yellow Cruise in 1931.

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1973 2CV Raid Afrique

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1990 ZX Rallye Raid

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1998 Xsara Rally

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2007 C4 WRC: The Citroen C4 WRC was developed in 2006 for competing in the 2007 World Rally Championship (WRC). The Citroen C4 WRC replaces the Xsara WRC, winner of three world manufacturers crowns between 2003 and 2005. The Citroen C4 WRC was the car driven by Sebastien Loeb to win its fourth world rally driver crown.

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2013 C Elysée WTCC: Citroen entered the FIA World Touring Car Championship in April 2014 with this car, demonstrating once more its ability to address new sporting challenges. Today, the C-Elysée WTCC is No. 1 in the Manufacturers’ rankings. This championship has a strong following in Asia and Latin America and is an opportunity for Citroen to build its international renown. The C-Elysée is a C-segment saloon aimed primarily at high-growth international markets such as Latin America, the Mediterranean Basin, China and Russia. It is enjoying real market success, with more than 120,000 orders in the space of a year. Anchored to the tarmac on its 18-inch wheels, the Citroen C-Elysée WTCC is, in a word, impressive. Underlining the radiator grille with its prominent double chevron, the bumper features an aerodynamic splitter. The broader front and rear wings lend a decidedly sporty look to the bodywork. At the rear, the large spoiler ensures that the car hugs the track. Under the bonnet, the C-Elysée WTCC is powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged direct- injection engine. With its large turbo flange, power output is now close to 380 bhp. The car comes with front-wheel drive transmission, controlled by a six-speed sequential gearbox. Confirming Citroen’s sporting renewal, the many podiums obtained since the start of the season underline the importance of motorsport as a high-tech laboratory, and reflect the brand’s ambitions to pursue international growth.

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2017 C3 WRC: One month before the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship got underway at Rallye Monte Carlo, Citroën Racing officially unveiled its C3 WRC in Abu Dhabi. Complying with the new FIA regulations, which sees the introduction of a new generation of World Rally Cars, the C3 WRC heralds the return of Citroën, with eight manufacturers’ titles and no fewer than 96 wins to the brand’s name. For the 2017 season, the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT will enter between two and four C3 WRCs for its crews; Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle, Craig Breen/Scott Martin, Stéphane Lefebvre/Gabin Moreau and Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi/Chris Patterson.

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The third line was of production road cars. Clearly there could only be a small subset of all the different models that have come from the marque during those 100 years.

The Citroen story starts with this car. a 1919 Model A, the very first Citroën car ever made. During World War I, André Citroën was producing munitions. As early as 1917, Citroën investigated the development of a light car of the medium range under the direction of Jules Salomon. Under the designation 10 HP Type A the car had a water-cooled 1327 cc four-cylinder engine and an output of 18 hp. Its maximum speed was 65 km/h (40 mph). The chassis had inverted quarter elliptic springs at the front and double quarter elliptics at the rear. Braking was on the rear wheels only controlled by a hand lever with a foot pedal operated transmission brake. The chassis was made in two lengths and carried a variety of coachwork. The long chassis was available as Torpedo (four-seat tourer), Torpedo Sport, Conduite Intérieure, Coupe de Ville and light truck and the short chassis with Torpedo (3-seat), Conduite Intérieure, Coupe de Ville and camionette (van). The shorter 2,550 mm (100.4 in) wheelbase chassis was available only on demand until the start of 1920 after which the option was withdrawn in order to maximize standardization and derive the resulting cost and efficiency benefits. The final drive used a bevel gear with herringbone teeth, whose shape was the inspiration for the Citroën double chevron logo. In its first year of production, the standard Type A cost 7,950 francs. One year later the selling price had been raised to 12,500 francs. After a slightly hesitant start in 1919, sales took off in 1920, during which more than 20,000 cars emerged from the factory in a single year. With a production rate of 100 vehicles a day, Citroën became the first mass production manufacturer in Europe. 24,093 were made before the car was replaced in 1921.

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Next to the Model A was a 1923 5CV, or Cinq Chevaux. Also known as the Citroën Type C, around 81,000 of these cars were made between 1922 and 1926. It was updated to the C2 in 1924 which was in turn superseded by the slightly longer C3 in 1925. The Type C was, and still is, also well known as the 5CV due to its French fiscal rating of its engine for taxation purposes. More colloquial sobriquets, referring to the tapered rear of the little car’s body, were ‘cul-de-poule’ (hen’s bottom) and ‘boat deck Citroën’. The four-cylinder, 856 cc had a bore of 55 mm and stroke of 90 mm, generating an output of 11 bhp. There was a single Solex carburettor and magneto ignition. An electric starter was standard, allowing the car to be advertised as especially suitable for lady drivers. There were two types of chassis: the C, which was also used for the C2, and the C3. They varied in length with the original Type C/C2 measuring 7 ft 5 inches in length, and the 1925 C3 measuring 7 ft 9 in. The suspension used inverted quarter elliptic springs at the front and rear, braking was on the rear wheels only, controlled by a hand lever, and on the transmission by the foot brake. The maximum speed was 37 mph with a fuel consumption of 5 l/100 km (56 mpg). Only open bodies were made with the original Type C, often nicknamed the “Petit Citron” (little lemon), due to it only being available in yellow at first, as one of the more popular variants. The C2 tourer was a two-seat version but the C3 was a three-seat “Trèfle” (Cloverleaf) three-seat model with room for a single passenger in the rear. There were also C2 and C3 Cabriolets made. There was also a wide range of C2 and C3 commercial models with 32,567 being built. Although a great success, the car was not profitable, and Citroën decided to end “Type C” production in May 1926. Looking at it now, this really does look like entry-level motoring of the most basic kind. The only dial is an Ammeter. It’s apparently completely baffling to drive, the pedals were originally arranged with the accelerator in the middle and brake on the right. Though now converted to standard setup, you’re still left with brakes that only operate the rear wheels; and there’s no synchro, which is quite a test for the modern motorists. There’s also very little power so it is actually quite difficult to drive in modern traffic and you really have to keep your momentum going.

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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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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. 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). The car seen here dates from 1950.

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The Citroën H Van, Type H, H-Type or HY was a panel van (light truck) produced by the French automaker Citroën between 1947 and 1981 It was developed as a simple front wheel driven van after World War II. A total of 473,289 were produced in 34 years in factories in France and Belgium. Like the 1934 Citroën Traction Avant, the H had a unitary body with no separate frame, four-wheel independent suspension, and front-wheel drive. For a commercial van, this combination provided unique benefits – a flat floor very close to the ground, and 6 ft (180 cm) standing height, with a side loading door. The distinctive corrugated body work used throughout the period of production was inspired by German Junkers (Aircraft) starting from the First World War until the 1930s, the three engined Junkers Ju 52 being the last to use this construction. Henry Ford also adopted this construction for the Ford Tri-Motor passenger aircraft. The ribs added strength without adding weight, and required only simple, low cost press tools. The flat body panels were braced on the inside by ‘top hat’ box sections, at right angles to the ribs. The welded floor was strong enough to support a horse. Most H Vans were sold in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. At the Slough Trading Estate assembly facility (1926-1966), Citroën UK built a very small number of right hand drive versions. The German market was supplied by a key competitor, the Volkswagen Type 2. As with the Volkswagen, the H Van could not be sold in the US as a commercial vehicle after 1964, due to the Chicken tax. The engine, gearbox and many smaller parts are shared with other Citroën models. The engine and gearbox are nearly identical to those in the Traction Avant and later the DS, only mounted with the engine in front of the gearbox. The headlights were identical to those of the 2CV, while speedometers were successively borrowed from the Traction Avant and the Ami 6. While the derated Traction avant 4 cylinder engine and the unsophisticated 3 speed gearbox (non syncromesh on first gear) only gave a modest top speed of just under 100 km/h, the chassis and suspension layout provided remarkable roadholding qualities, especially on the short wheelbase version: low slung chassis, engine and drivetrain well behind the front wheels axles, with very little overhangs, combined with sophisticated totally independent suspensions (the front ones used double torsion bars instead of conventional coil springs) were features scarcely found on period passenger cars. Like the contemporary Citroën 2 CV, the H type van could often be driven “pedal to the metal” on winding rural roads. The 1.9 litre motor offered more usable power than the 1.2 litre motor of its competitor, the 1950 Volkswagen Type 2. The basic design changed very little from 1947 to 1981. Vehicles left the Citroën factory with only three body styles: the standard enclosed van, a pick-up version, and a stripped-down body which went to non-Citroën coach-builders and formed the basis for the cattle-truck and other variants. The basic version had an overall length of 4.26m, but vehicles were also available in a LWB version with an overall length of 5.24m. In September 1963 the earlier style rear window – a narrow vertical window with curved corners – was replaced with a square window the same height but wider, 45 cm on each side. The bonnet was modified to give two additional rectangular air intakes at the lower edges, one for a heater, the other a dummy for symmetry. In early 1964, the split windscreen used since 1947 was replaced with a single windscreen, while in late 1964 the chevrons on the radiator grille, previously narrow aluminium strips similar to those on the Traction Avant, were replaced with the shorter, pointed style of chevrons as used on most Citroën vehicles in the last decades of the twentieth century. In November 1969 the small parking lights were discontinued, the front indicators were recessed into the wings, and the shape of the rear wings was changed from semi-circular to rectangular. Rear hinged ‘Suicide’ cab doors were used until the end of production in 1981, except on vehicles manufactured for the Dutch market where conventionally hinged doors were available from 1968.

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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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Citroen brought along an example of the uber-cool Méhari for this display 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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Although it was perhaps not as radical a product as the DS, which it replaced had been, the CX was still something of a futuristic looking car when it was revealed in 1974. Indeed, it is considered by some enthusiasts as the last “real Citroën” before Peugeot took control of the company in 1976, and as history has now shown, is, it was to be the final successful model of the “big Citroën” era, which began in 1934, as Citroën sold nearly 1.2 million CXs during its 16 years of production. The CX’s flowing lines and sharp Kamm tail were designed by auto stylist Robert Opron, resembling its precursor the GS. Citroën had been using a Wind tunnel for many years, and the CX was designed to perform well in aerodynamic drag, with a low coefficient of drag (Cd in English; CX in French) of 0.36. Despite its fastback lines, the model was never sold as a hatchback, even though many of its rivals adopted this during the 1970s, and Citroen thus modified their own GS late in its life. Mechanically, the car was one of the most modern of its time, combining Citroën’s unique hydro-pneumatic integral self-levelling suspension, speed-adjustable DIRAVI power steering (first introduced on the Citroën SM), and a uniquely effective interior design that did away with steering column stalks, allowing the driver to reach all controls while both hands remained on the steering wheel. The CX suspension’s ability to soak up large undulations and yet damp out rough surfaces was extraordinary, with a consistent ride quality, empty, or fully laden. The suspension was attached to sub frames that were fitted to the body through flexible mountings, to improve even more the ride quality and to reduce road noise. “Car” magazine described the sensation of driving a CX as hovering over road irregularities, much like a ship traversing above the ocean floor. This suspension was used under license by Rolls-Royce on the Silver Shadow. The Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 was not built under license, but copied the Hydropneumatic suspension principles after the less effective Mercedes-Benz 600 Air suspension installation. The CX was conceived to be a rotary-engined car—with several negative consequences. The CX engine bay is small because rotary engines are compact, but the Comotor three-rotor rotary engine was not economical and the entire rotary project was scrapped the year the CX was introduced, and Citroen went bankrupt in 1974, partly due to a series of investments like Comotor that didn’t result in profitable products. Production versions of the CX were always powered by a modest inline 4 cylinder engine, transversely mounted. This saved space and allowed the CX to be 8″ shorter than the DS. At launch in 1974, the CX was rushed to market, with some teething troubles. Some very early models did not have power steering which made the car difficult and heavy to drive – the CX carries 70% of its weight over the front wheels. Initially there was a choice between three differently powered versions. The “Normale” CX car came with a 1985 cc version of the four cylinder engine from the predecessor model with a claimed maximum output of 102 PS, which was slightly more than had been available from the engine when fitted in the DS. The “Economique” version of the car (reflecting the continuing impact of the 1973 oil price shock) came with the same engine as the “Normale”, but the gear ratios were changed, along with the final drive ratio, giving rise to a 7 km/h (4 mph) reduction in top speed in return for usefully improved fuel economy. More performance came from the “CX 2200”, fitted with a 2175 cc version of the engine and a twin carburettor, resulting in a claimed maximum output of 112 PS. This was rather less than was available in the top spec DS23 EFi which featured a relatively powerful 141 PS fuel-injected 2.3-litre engine. The later 2200 improved on this, and eventually the same 2347 cc unit as used in the DS) arrived, originally only in the long wheel-base Prestige, but a regular CX 2400 arrived at the 1976 Paris Salon, to replace the CX 2200. By this time, Citroen had added a capacious Estate model to the range, called Safari, and a 2.2 litre Diesel powered model – important even in the mid 1970s in France – was also offered. Despite the challenging finances of Citroën at the time of launch, the CX was entered in numerous rally driving events, like Tour du Senegal and Paris-Dakar, winning 5 events outright. Most notable among these was in the 17,500 mile 1977 London–Sydney Marathon road race in which Paddy Hopkirk, driving a CX 2400 sponsored by Citroën’s Australian concessionaire, staged a come-from-behind sprint to obtain third place. The CX was initially a huge success in Europe, more than 132,000 being produced in 1978. It found customers beyond the loyal Citroën DS customer base and brought the technology of the advanced, but somewhat impractical, Citroën SM to the masses. Evolution of the car after this was gradual. More power came in 1977, with the CX GTi which received a modern Bosch L-Jetronic injection system, generating 128 PS, and there was a standard five speed gearbox, and in early 1978, the diesel engine was enlarged to 2.,5 litres. A five speed gearbox was available. A very mild facelift in 1979 saw the Douvrin 2 litre engines that were used in the rival Renault R20 fitted under the bonnet to create the CX Reflex and Athena. In 1981, factory rustproofing and a fully automatic transmission to replace the former semi-automatic gearbox were added. In 1984, the addition of a turbo to the 2.5 litre diesel engine made the CX Turbo-D 2.5 the fastest diesel sedan in the world, able to reach speeds up to 195 km/h (121 mph). In 1985, the GTi Turbo, with a top speed of over 220 km/h (137 mph), finally gave the CX the powerful engine that finally used the full capabilities of the chassis. A facelift later that year was an attempt to keep the car in the public eye, but its sales had peaked long ago, back in 1978, and better trim, a revised interior and new plastic bumpers were not going to help a 10 year old design in the face of stiff market competition. Just 35,000 units were produced in 1986 and 1987. There were few further changes for the rest of the CX’s life, with its successor, the XM appearing in early 1989. Production of the Estate models continued until 1991, by which time 1,170,645 CXs had been sold. There are far fewer survivors than there are of the DS family. The stand included a CX Safari and a Chapron converted open=topped model.

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The C6 was inspired by the Citroën C6 Lignage prototype which was first shown at the Geneva Motor Show in the spring of 1999. When shown, it was clear that this was a potential replacement for the XM, and Citroën was intent on launching it before the end of 2000. It took rather longer than that, though, with the production C6 not being launched until 2005, four years later than Citroen had originally planned and five years after the XM had ceased production. In appearance, it was not very different form the C6 Lignage concept, though it did lack the rear suicide doors. Intended to compete against the might of the German executive triumvirate of E Class, 5 Series and A6, as well as be a flagship French model, the C6 was launched with the choice of a 3.0 litre V6 petrol engine producing 208hp or a 2.7 litre V6 HDi diesel producing 201 hp (shared with the Jaguar models of the time. In October 2006 a 2.2 litre 4 cylinder HDi producing 168hp joined the range and in June 2009 the V6 diesel unit was enlarged to 3 litres and now producing 237 hp. Few other changes were made to the car during its product life. Despite the looks, the C6 was a conventional saloon, with a boot lid, as opposed to a hatchback (just as the earlier CX had been). Citroën hoped that as well as its undoubted elegance, the C6’s selling points would be its innovative technology, which included a head-up display, a lane departure warning system, xenon directional headlamps (also available on the Citroën C4 and Citroën C5), and the Hydractive 3+ suspension with electronically controlled springing and damping which gave the car a “magic carpet” like ride, and a rear spoiler which automatically adjusted to speed and braking. On launch, the press used phrases such as “spaceship that rides on air”, “charmingly idiosyncratic” and “refreshingly different”. Unsurprisingly, the C6 immediately became a prominent vehicle among the fleet of executive cars of the Élysée Palace. Former Presidents of France, Jacques Chirac & Nicolas Sarkozy, have chosen the Citroën C6 as their official car. Chirac, in particular, used a pre-series car before the model was introduced. But finding buyers among the general public proved more difficult. At launch sales expectations across the model’s lifespan were given as 20,000 per year, but when production ended on 19 December 2012, only 23,384 units built over a 7 year period.

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That was not it for Citroen, though, as close by was the usual large stand which comprised a combination of further factory-owned cars as well those of a number model-specific Clubs.

This is a C6G. The Citroën C4 and C6 models were designed to replace the Citroën Type A 10 hp and Citroën Type B model family cars. The styling of the two models was said to be heavily influenced by American counterparts of the same time period, however in France, the new model was considered just that: new. The traditional grill styles of previous Citroën models were abandoned and a sleeker, flatter grill was used. There were numerous options in terms of body styles, including a particularly popular commercial line. These nameplates were later used for the Citroën C4 and the Citroën C6 in the 21st century, although being classified into the different class.

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There were two examples of the Ami here, an Ami 6 Break and the later Ami 8 Berline. 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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Several more DS featured, as did a CX and there was another example of the Mehari.

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Also in the show were an incredible collection of no fewer than 18 special coachbuilt Citroen, all owned by one individual. All the cars shown were produced by the French carrossier, Henri Chapron, who before the war had built custom made bodies for marques such as Talbot-Lago, Delage and Delahaye. After the demise of these marques, he turned his attention to Citroën. In 1955, he was commissioned to build a Décapotable for the French President based on a 15 CV Traction. In 1958, he showed his first DS-based creation at the Paris Salon. It simply bore the name Cabriolet DS 19 Henri Chapron, later called the la Croisette Cabriolet. This car is noticeable for employing the rear wings of the Berline and for covering the join between the wing and what would be the rear door of the Berline with an hideous vertical chrome strip. This conversion was undertaken without the approval of Citroën and Chapron was obliged to purchase complete cars rather than chassis and engines.56 were made.

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However, such as the interest in the car, that there was demand to produce more, with the result that Citroën asked Chapron to build a cabriolet based on Bertoni’s design proposals. The result was the Usine Cabriolet below which was sold via the dealer network. The 1960 version used a new, one piece rear wing which was also used in the Usine cabriolet. In fact its likeness to the Usine car meant that the La Croisette was dropped in 1962. Chapron went on to produce a whole series of very elegant DS-based cars, all of which were produced in very small numbers – fewer than 100 in every case. Here there were 1961, 1965 and 1971 examples of the Usine Cabriolet.

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One of the rarest of these was a DS Majesty. 27 of these were built between 1964 and 1968.

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Joining it were a couple of the Citroen Concorde from 1964. These were first seen at the 1960 Paris Auto Salon, and by the time that the last one was produced in 1965. 38 had been made. One of them appeared looking somewhat the worse for wear. The story is that the damage was inflicted by the owner’s wife when she heard that they were separating. He never got around to having it repaired

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This one is the le Caddy, of which 34 were made.

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Equally rare were the Palm Beach (32 made), le Paris (27 made) and the le Mans, of which 27 were made between 1966 and 1973.

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Also here were the Citroen Le Dandy from 1963 and the Citroen Le Léman. 50 of the Le Dandy cars were made, and this is perhaps the best known now of the Chapron cars, as Corgi made a toy version of it in the 1960s.

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Final DS-based model was a DS23 Berline Lorraine of which 20 were made.

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Chapron also turned his attention ot the CX and the result was this 1981 CX 2400 Chapron, with its opening full-length roof

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Final car in the display was this 1973 SM Mylord. When the cabriolet version of the DS disappeared from the catalogue, the coachbuilder Chapron, an official brand sub-contractor, created a convertible version of the recent SM, baptised Mylord. The SM Mylord went on show for the first time at the 1971 Paris Motor Show. Seven examples were built at the workshops in Levallois, of which three were exported. The coachbuilder’s stylists gave the car the elegant lines that are typical of a prestige coupé.

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There were a number of other Citroen models to be found throughout the rest of the show, as well.

As well as a 1931 C6F Familiale 7 seater, there were more examples of the Traction Avant, DS and Mehari.

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Final Citroen of note, in the cars for sale, was this Visa Chrono. All versions of the Visa 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 bit different, but something that got a lot of attention at the show, was the 2CV Sculpture, which you could not miss, as it was positioned right at the entrance to the artists’ gallery. As you can see from the photograph, this rather old Citroën 2CV is being held captive in a mousetrap, having been baited with a can of petrol. This piece has been created to represent a future tale of how the very last combustion engine car was caught in 2085!



The 66 was developed to be an evolution of the 1967 DAF 55. The redesign was mainly cosmetic, and featured the following major changes: the 1108 cc Renault engines were reworked to have lower emissions, changing power to 53 bhp for the normal models, and 60 bhp for the 1100 Marathon; the rear suspension and Variomatic was completely redesigned, learning from DAF’s experience in Formula Three racing. The Variomatic was much more robust and now incorporated a differential for smoother low speed maneuvering. The unpredictable swing axle rear suspension of the 44 and 55 was changed to a leaf sprung De Dion tube axle, which greatly improved handling and comfort.; cheaper models now featured drum brakes all around, whilst higher spec models retained the 55’s front disk brake setup. te complete front clip was restyled with a full width grille, giving a boxier appearance. The rear featured narrower rear lights. The 66 was launched in 1972 as a wide model range, incorporating a 2-door saloon, a 3-door estate and a 2-door 2+2 coupe. At introduction the customer could choose from ‘De Luxe’ (official type designation 6622 for sedans, 6632 for combis, featuring drum brakes and vinyl seats), ‘Super Luxe’ (Front disks and reclining cloth seats, type 6623 for sedans, 6624 for coupes, 6633 for combis) and ‘Marathon’ (Extra power and wider wheels, type 6625 for sedans, 6626 for coupes, 6627 for combis) trim levels. In 1973 the ‘1300 Marathon’ replaced the original Marathon (type 6645 for sedans, 6646 for coupes, 6647 for combis). It featured a 1289cc 57 bhp version of the Renault C-series inline 4 engine used in all 66s. The 1300 Marathon was distinguishable from its lesser brethren by the foglights mounted in the grille. The interior featured a centre console with room for fitting extra gauges and high backed cloth sports seats. The less torquey but more powerful 1108cc Marathon engine remained available as an option on all models. The model was revamped and became the Volvo 66 following the Swedish firm’s acquisition of DAF’s passenger car business in 1975.



DB (until 1947 known as Deutsch-Bonnet) was a French automobile maker between 1938 and 1961, based in Champigny-sur-Marne near Paris. The firm was founded by Charles Deutsch and René Bonnet, an offshoot of the Deutsch family’s existing coachbuilding shop which had been taken over by Bonnet in 1932. Immediately before the war the partners concentrated on making light-weight racing cars, but a few years after the war, starting with the presentation of a Panhard based cabriolet at the 1950 Paris Motor Show, the company also began to produce small road-going sports cars. By 1952 the company no longer had its own stand at the Paris Motor Show, but one of their cars appeared as a star attraction on the large Panhard stand, reflecting the level of cooperation between the two businesses. The company was defunct by 1961, as Deutsch and Bonnet’s differing design philosophies hamstrung further cooperation. The number of DB’s built is not certain; estimates of up to 2,000 cars are mentioned but more conservative numbers are closer to one thousand. The business produced light sports cars, originally in steel or aluminium but subsequently with fibreglass bodies mainly powered by Panhard flat-twin engines, most commonly of 610, 744, or 848 cc. Deutsch was a “theoretical engineer who had a natural instinct for aerodynamics,” while Bonnet was a more “pragmatic mechanical engineer”. The fibreglass bodies covered a tubular central beam chassis made from steel, with front wheel drive and four wheel independent suspension directly lifted from the Panhard donors. Until 1952 all DBs had been intended for competition purposes only. Bonnet had been promised a works drive in an Amilcar Pégase in the 1936 French Grand Prix for sports cars, but when this failed to materialise they set about building their own racer. The 1938 alloy-bodied DB1 roadster was a special, built using the remains of a Citroën Traction Avant 11CV. The construction took seventeen months. A series of numbered successors followed. The close-roofed 1.5-litre DB2’s career was hindered by the war and was sold later, without Deutsch ever using it. The DB3 was a monocoque project developed during the war, but was never built, as the improved pontoon-bodied DB4 took preference. With a central beam chassis with a forked cradle for the 1.5 litre Traction 7A-based engine (originally intended for the DB2) it was finished in July 1945, with most of the work having been carried out in secret during the occupation. The very similar 2-litre DB5 was finished soon thereafter. Their two specials both placed in the first postwar race in France, in Paris in 1945, being the only post-war cars entered. An open-wheeled DB7 appeared in 1947 (preceded by the heavy and large DB6 which saw very little action), after which the Automobiles Deutsch & Bonnet was officially formed. Neither single-seater DB was at all successful, but they did show Deutsch – who had hitherto preferred dependable standard units – that a tuned engine would become necessary. DB thus moved into the performance parts market, developing and offering a four-speed conversion for Citroëns and an overhead camshaft head – developed with the aid of engine specialists Maurice Sainturat and Dante Giacosa. The DB8 appeared in 1948, and won two concours d’élegances before partaking in any competitions. Their early cars were all built using Citroën parts, but supply was troublesome and DB soon moved on to using Panhard technology. This relationship came about as Deutsch was an officer of independent racer’s club AGACI. When this organization decided to begin a Mouvement Racer 500, modelled on the British Formula 3, Deutsch offered club members the design of a racing car using a Panhard 500 engine. One member asked to have DB build such a car, and after it made a star appearance at the 1949 Paris Salon Panhard was happy to support the construction of about fifteen more. The formula expired in 1951, with the DB Panhard 500 never competitive abroad. DB was very active in competition, especially in Le Mans 24 Hours and other long distance racing. Nearly all DBs, even the road cars, were designed with competition foremost in mind. In 1952, a DB Speedster was entered in the 12 Hours of Sebring and won its class handsomely, beginning its career in the United States market. Steve Lansing and Ward Morehouse were the drivers. At the 1954 Le Mans DB entered five cars and were also involved with Panhards “Monopole” racers. René Bonnet himself, together with racing legend Élie Bayol, finished tenth overall and best of the DBs. The other Panhard-engined also finished (in 16th), while three Renault-engined central-seater DB designs all failed to complete the race. The Renault-engined designs had been created as a concession to pressure from DB’s customers, but they did very badly in the race, in part because of a shortage of preparation time for what was an unknown entity to Deutsch and Bonnet. In either case, DB proceeded to focus on Panhard designs exclusively. Seen here were the 1940 “The Tank” and a Trovis 800 Le Mans car.

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The 1898 Delahaye Type Zero is the first Delahaye built and is propelled by a single cylinder 1100 cc engine.


There were three examples of the 135M, all of them post-war cars, including a 1949 135M Chapron and a 1 947 car that was the Geneva Show car

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Formula Junior race car

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This Dodge Viper, chassis C40, won the 2001 FIA GT Championship and in particular the Spa Francorchamp 24 Hours. and finished sixth in 2002. It also twice finished the 24 Heures du Mans (20th in 2001 and 25th in 2002) and once the Daytona 24 Hours (eighth) – quite an achievement.



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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Oldest Ferrari here was a 195 Inter, with Ghia bodywork, a sportscar produced by Ferrari in 1950 as a grand tourer (GT) version of the Ferrari 195 S racer. Introduced at the 1950 Paris Motor Show, it was similar to the 166 Inter shown a year earlier and was aimed at the same affluent clientele. 27 were built in less than a year, receiving the odd-numbered chassis numbers. Out of the 28 cars, 13 were bodied by Carrozzeria Vignale, 11 by Carrozzeria Ghia, 3 by Carrozzeria Touring and 1 by Motto. The more-potent (but otherwise similar) Ferrari 212 Inter was introduced at the 1951 Paris Motor Show and replaced the 195 Inter. Like the last of the 166 Inters, the wheelbase was stretched by 80 mm to 2,500 mm, but the larger 2341 cc version of the Colombo V12 was the true differentiator. The engine increase was accomplished by pushing the bore from 60 to 65 mm, retaining the 58.8 mm stroke. A single Weber 36DCF carburettor was normally fitted, for a total output of 130 PS though some used triple carbs.

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The Ferrari 212 Inter replaced Ferrari’s successful 166 and 195 Inter grand tourers in 1951. Unveiled at the Brussels Motor Show that year, the 212 was an evolution of the 166 — a sports car for the road that could also win international races. In 1951, two 212 Inters, both Vignale coupés, driven by Taruffi/Chinetti and Ascari/Villoresi, scored 1–2 victory at Carrera Panamericana in Mexico. The chassis was similar to the 125 with a suspension featuring double wishbones in front and live axle in back. Coachbuilders included Carrozzeria Touring, Ghia, Ghia-Aigle, Vignale, Stabilimenti Farina, and now Pinin Farina. The latter was an important move for the company, as Farina was already well-known and adding his styling skills would be a tremendous boost for Maranello. However, Pinin Farina was as prideful as Enzo Ferrari, and neither would go to the other to request business up to this point. A mutual meeting halfway between Maranello and Turin was the negotiated solution. First Ferrari to be bodied by Pinin Farina was 212 Inter Cabriolet, chassis no. 0177E. The Inter’s 2,600 mm (102.4 in) wheelbase was 4″ longer than the 2,500 mm (98.4 in) Export’s. The cars shared a larger, bored-out (68 mm) 2563 cc version of Ferrari’s Colombo V12 engine. Output was 150 PS for the single Weber 36DCF carburettor Inter, 165 PS for the triple Weber Export. Improved cylinder heads raised power 5 PS in 1952. The British magazine Autocar got hold of what they described as the first production model Ferrari 212 in 1950, which outperformed any car that they had previously tested. It recorded a top speed of over 116 mph (187 km/h) and acceleration times of 0 to 60 mph of 10.5 seconds and 100 mph in 22.5 seconds; the magazine however noted they had limited the engine to 6,500 rpm out of respect for the newness and low mileage of the car they were using, which suggested that even better performance would be available from a fully “run in” model. The test appears also to have been the Autocar team’s first encounter with a five speed gear box. It is believed that 82 were built.


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.


Last year, the Lukas Hüni stand featured an incredible collection of the iconic 250 GT SWB, but this year, you would have to look much harder to find an example of the car. I only came across one. The 250 GT SWB was one of the most notable GT racers of its time, using 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.


A 60s Ferrari you really don’t see very often is the 250 GTE, as many of these sacrificed their bodies some time ago for people building recreations of the more exotic 250 models. This one has clearly escaped the process. The 2+2 model 250 GT/E was the first large-production four-seat Ferrari (earlier four-seaters were made in very small numbers). Interior space was increased by moving the engine forward in the chassis. The rear seats were suitable for children but small for adults. Pirelli Cinturato 185VR15 tyres (CA67) were original equipment. The standard wheels used on series 1 & 2 were the Borrani RW3591 and the series 3 were fitted with the Borrani RW3690 as a standard. Engine output was listed at 240 PS (237 bhp). Almost 1,000 GT/Es were constructed by Pininfarina with prototypes starting in 1959 and continuing through three series until 1963. The model was followed by the visually similar 330 Americas. The large production run of the GT/E was a major contributor to Ferrari’s financial well-being in the early 1960s.

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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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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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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.


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.


This is the 712 Can Am, chassis 1010. The car started out as a 512S in 1970. Transformed into a 512M, it won the Kyalami 9 hours, one of few significant victories of the 512. In 1971 it received a 7 litre engine and a body in the style of the 312PB to take part in the CanAm championship. In its first race it came fourth wit Mario Andretti but Ferrari then took a backward step because of the associated development costs. Luig Chinette took over and entrusted it to Jean-Pierre Jarier, but the rival Porsche were just too quick. This car only took part in 2 races, at Watkins Glen, where it was 10th and Road America, where it was fourth. This Ferrari remains as one with the largest engines the firm has ever constructed.

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This Ferrari 308 Carma FF Turbo is the only Ferrari 308 Group 5 prepared by Facetti and Finotto in their facility. The 3.0 Litre 8 cylinder engine with twin turbo and 4 valves per cylinder produces a maximum power of 900 hp. The car was built in 1979 for the 1980 and 1981 seasons. The car was entered at Le Mans but did not race. It completed its fastest race lap in the 24 Hours of Daytona.

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This was a 308 GTB converted to Group 4 spec by Facetti.


The 1984 288 GTO was built to compete in the new Group B Race series and a minimum of 200 cars were required for homologation. However, after the death of Henri Toivonen and his co-driver Sergio Cresto in the 1986 Tour de Corse, the FIA disestablished the class, leaving just the Group A Rally championship. As a result, the GTO never raced and all 272 cars built remained purely road cars. Some of the GTO’s styling features were first displayed on a 308 GTB design exercise by Pininfarina shown at the 1977 Geneva Salon. The 288 GTO started out as a modified version of the 308/328 to hold down costs and to build the car quickly, but little of the 308/328 was left when the 288 GTO was finished. Easily noticeable differences were the GTOs bulging wing flares, larger front/rear spoilers, large “flag-style” outside mirrors and four driving lights at the far sides of the grille. Retained from the original 250 GTO were slanted air vents, put in the GTO’s rear wings to cool the brakes. The GTO also had wider body panels than the 308’s because they had to cover much larger Goodyear tyres mounted on racing wheels. The suspension’s height could be set higher for road use and lower for racing on tracks. Bodywork material was new and lighter for better acceleration and handing. The GTO’s weight was only 2,555 pounds, compared to 3,085-3,350 for the 308/328. Steel was used just for the doors because major body panels were made from moulded fibreglass. Kevlar was used for the engine cover, and the roof was made from Kevlar and carbon fibre. The “288” refers to the GTO’s 2.8 litre V8 engine as it used a de-bored (by 1 mm) V8 with twin IHI turbochargers, intercoolers, and Weber-Marelli fuel injection. The 2855 cc engine capacity was dictated by the FIA’s requirement for a Turbocharged engine’s capacity to be multiplied by 1.4. This gave the GTO a theoretical engine capacity of 3997 cc, just under the Group B limit of 4.0 litres. Unlike the 308’s 2926 cc engine, the GTO’s 2855 cc engine was mounted longitudinally, using the 308’s rear boot space. This was necessary to make room for the twin turbochargers and intercoolers. The racing transmission was mounted to the rear of the longitudinal engine, moving the rear differential and wheels aft. The arrangement also let the GTO use a more conventional race-car engine/transmission layout for such things as quick gear ratio changes for various tracks. As a result, the wheelbase was 110 mm (4.3 in) longer at 2,450 mm (96 in). The track was also widened to accommodate wider wheels and tyres to provide increased cornering and braking performance and the ability to apply 400 hp and 366 lb·ft of torque to the ground. The GTO was an impressive performer, with 0-60 mph times around 5 seconds. Ferrari claimed 0-125 mph (201 km/h) in 15 seconds flat and a top speed of 189 mph (304 km/h), making it the first street-legal production car to reach 300 km/h all 272 cars left the factory painted in Rosso Corsa, though a few have since been given a new look and colour.

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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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The hypercar of the 1990s was the F50, but there was not one of these in the display. After production of that one ceased, there was a bigger gap before the next truly special car came along. Widely rumoured to be called the F60, Ferrari surprised everyone at its 2002 unveiling by giving it the name Enzo. This car was built using even more Formula One technology, such as a carbon-fibre body, F1-style electrohydraulic shift transmission, and carbon fibre-reinforced silicon carbide (C/SiC) ceramic composite disc brakes. Also used were technologies not allowed in F1 such as active aerodynamics and traction control. After a downforce of 7600 N (1700 lb/ft) is reached at 300 km/h (186 mph) the rear wing is actuated by computer to maintain that downforce. The Enzo’s F140 B V12 engine was the first of a new generation for Ferrari. It was based on the design of the V8 found in Maserati’s Quattroporte, using the same basic design and 104 mm (4.1 in) bore spacing. The Enzo formed the basis for a whole array of other very special cars, including the FXX and FXX Evoluzione cars and the Maserati MC12 and MC12 Evoluzione as well as the Ferrari P4/5 and the Millechilli. Originally, 349 of these were going to be produced, but Ferrari decided to add another 50 to the total, meaning 400 in total were produced up until 2004.

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If you wanted a LaFerrari, it was almost a pre-requisite that you had bought one of all the preceding hypercars, and probably a few other Ferraris as well. Launched at the 2013 Geneva Show, along with the Porsche 918 Spyder and McLaren P1, the LaFerrari has the distinction of being the first mild hybrid from Ferrari, which ensures that as well as providing the highest power output of any Ferrari, fuel consumption can be decreased by up to 40 percent. Owners may not care, but regulators certainly do! LaFerrari’s internal combustion engine is a mid-rear mounted Ferrari F140 65° V12 with a 6262 cc capacity producing 800 PS (789 bhp) @ 9000 rpm and 700 N·m (520 lbf·ft) of torque @ 6,750 rpm, supplemented by a 163 PS (161 bhp) KERS unit (called HY-KERS), which will provide short bursts of extra power. The KERS system adds extra power to the combustion engine’s output level for a total of 963 PS (950 bhp) and a combined torque of 900 N·m (664 lb·ft). Ferrari claims CO2 emissions of 330 g/km. It is connected to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and the car is rear-wheel drive. 499 units were built, each costing over $1million.

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A open-topped version of the LaFerrari has been widely rumoured for some time, and the car, called the LaFerrari Aperta made its debut at the 2016 Paris Show. According to the carmaker itself, Ferrari’s core values are technological excellence, performance, style, and exclusivity, and the new roofless hypercar ticks all the boxes. Launched to commemorate the company’s 70th anniversary, the LaFerrari Aperta comes with both a soft top and a carbon-fibre hardtop, the latter being optional. Under the hood, it’s the same 800 PS (789 hp) 6,262cc V12 engine coupled to a 120 kW (161 hp) electric motor that boasts a total output of 963 PS (950 hp), but imagine how it sounds now, with the roof down. Moreover, the powertrain control software has been optimized for increased efficiency, thanks to the expertise gained by Maranello’s with the LaFerrari. Ferrari says the biggest challenge when designing the car was to produce a convertible that could be on par with the coupe’s performance capabilities. Even the company’s styling centre concentrated on retaining as much of the original design as possible. The result is described as the peak of the synergies between the engineering and development departments, with the Aperta sporting modified elements only above its waistline, creating a carbon-fibre ‘flying bridge’ – in Ferrari’s own words – hunkered into the main volume. Since the car delivers the same torsional rigidity and beam stiffness characteristics as its closed-top counterpart, its performance figures are somewhat similar. It tops out at speeds over 350 km/h (217 mph), but not before accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in in under 3 seconds and 0 to 200 km/h (124 mph) in 7.1 seconds. Moreover, improvements to the aerodynamic set-up ensure that drag figures are unaffected with the roof open and side windows up. Wait, is that Ferrari’s way of telling us it goes over 350 km/h with the roof down? They do say that a sophisticated wind-stop system, designed to improve aerodynamic and acoustic comfort, allows occupants to easily carry on a conversation even at high speeds. I would love to find out!



This is a 1932 Fiat Balilla Camerano. Originally it was an honest Balilla 508 S, chassis number 12217. Initially, it was used a demonstrator, but following some mechanical issues that developed, the father and son, Victor and Rene Camerao who created it completely dismantled the car and began to change it. Applying the old well-known formula “the weight is the enemy,” they drilled holes in the chassis to gain a few kilos. Body-wise, Camerano made a big effort. The rear door is replaced with another in aluminium with a higher wing. The doors are also made of aluminium and various other items. The grille is constituted by a base Simca 5, reworked. Two bucket seats taken from a Simca 5 provide superior comfort to original seats. Superb aerodynamic wings accentuate the streamlined profile. For endurance races, Camerano prepared his car in order to limit the pit stops: the original fuel tank was replaced by another welded aluminium one of greater capacity. An oil tank brass placed on the canopy allows using a valve actuated on the dashboard to make the level without stopping! Also to save time, Camerano adapted Rudge- Whitworth hubs instead of bolts wheel series. The latter change was also made to standard Balilla 508 S models delivered to Britain. After the inevitable trial and error they ended making numerous other mechanical changes. This historic automobile has an impressive track record.


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 quite a number 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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This Giannini 500 TV incorporates various performance enhancing products made by Giannini. Founded in 1920 by the Giannini brothers – Attilio and Domenico – the company began tuning the little FIAT 500 Topolino in the 1930’s and secured 12 world speed records with one of its modified cars. In the early 1960s the original company closed, the brothers going their separate ways to found new enterprises. Attilio’s new design company lasted only until 1971 but that founded by Domenico – Giannini Automobili SpA – survives today as part of the FIAT Group. In 1963 Giannini Automobili began modifying cars and selling tuning kits. That same year it introduced its own modified version of the baby FIAT – the 500TV – and throughout the decade and into the 1970’s Giannini-tuned cars battled with those of its rival Abarth on the racetracks of Europe. In more recent years Giannini has specialised in the production of limited-edition versions of FIAT production models.

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Other special versions of the 500 shown here included one by Cagna.


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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This is a Fiat 500 Lucertola 6 x 4. This vehicle is based on a Fiat 500 drivetrain, with Fiat 600 transmission. The rear four wheels are chain driven from the transaxle. This vehicle was made to traverse difficult off road conditions and still be able to drive down a paved road. It does both of these tasks with great ease. The unique rear suspension, incorporating an “oscillating undercarriage” and 3 shock absorbers, allows surprising approach angles and adhesion. The hydraulic double circuit brake system works on all six wheels. While individual mechanical hand levers control each rear pair independently, adding to manoeuverability. They were intended for use in Africa. It is thought that around 30 were made between 1969 and 1974.


Following the success of the 500 and 600 models, Fiat introduced a slightly larger and more expensive variant, the 850 in 1964. The regular 2 door saloon was soon joined in the range by other models and they are the ones you see more often these days, not that they are exactly common now. The 850 Coupe, early and later versions of which were to be seen here was seen for the first time at the 1965 Geneva Show. As was generally the case at the time, the body looked completely different from the saloon on which it was based, but underneath it shared the same mechanicals including the the original 843 cc engine producing 47 hp, which gave it a maximum speed of 84 mph. A Spider model was launched at the same time. In order to separate the sportier variants, equipment levels were raised, with both models getting sport seats, a sport steering wheel and round speedometer; The Spider even received a completely rearranged instrument panel. The front drum brakes were replaced with disc brakes, although drum brakes remained on the rear wheels. In 1968, Fiat revised both the Spider and Coupé and gave them a stronger engine with 903 cc and 52 hp. They were called Sport Spider and Sport Coupé. The Sport Spider body stayed essentially the same, but with a restyled front, whereas the Coupe gained twin headlights at the front and a revised tail with a slight lip on the trailing edge of the engine cover. Despite its popularity, the Coupe was the first model to cease production, being deleted in 1971. Seen here was an early 850 Coupe.

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You might not guess it from looking at them, but these Fiats, the 850 Familiare and the later 900T were based on the small 850 saloon. There were quite a few of these, and other derivatives of the 850T and 900T bodyshell on our roads throughout the 1970s and 1980s, but like almost everything else of that era, suddenly they all disappeared and there are very few of them left now, and certainly not as nice as this pair. The model is part of the 850 family that first appeared in 1964, with this overall shape first offered as the 850 Familiare, a boxier and slightly larger heir to the Fiat 600 Multipla. It featured space for seven passengers in three rows, which made it suitable for groups including children and thin adults. It was too small to accommodate in comfort seven large adults. In Van guise, it was known as the 850T. The 850 Familiare and related 850T continued in production till 1976 long after the saloon version of the 850 had been replaced by the Fiat 127. In 1976 the Fiat 900T was introduced, retaining most of the body panels of the 850 Familiare, but featuring the 903 cc engine from the Fiat 127 (although, in this application, still mounted behind the rear axle). The 900T benefitted from significant enhancements in 1980, at which point it was renamed the 900E. A number of them were sold as camper vans, and in the UK, these were badged as the FIAT Amigo, and the 7 seater model was called the Pandora. Production finally ended in 1985.

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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.


Looking very different to the 130 Berlina which had launched in 1969, the 130 Coupé appeared in 1971 at Geneva Show exhibiting a completely new 2-door body and a completely new interior, both the exterior and interior of which were the work of Paolo Martin at Pininfarina. The car won a design prize, attributed to Pininfarina, and this helped Pininfarina begin a new life after all those years relying on the “Fiat 1800/Peugeot 404/Austin A60” concepts. Pininfarina extended the Fiat 130 Coupé line with two proposals that were rejected by Fiat: the Maremma in 1974 (2-door shooting brake) and the Opera in 1975 (4-door saloon). Paolo Martin never got involved in these Fiat 130 Coupé variations, as he left the company soon after the design prize in 1971. The car was mechanically the same as the 130 Saloon, which meant it had a 165 bhp 3.2 litre V6 unit and a standard Borg Warner 3 speed automatic gearbox with the option of a 5 speed ZF manual. The interior was particularly luxurious by the standards of the day (and other Fiats). It was costly, though, and sales were modes, with 347 being sold in the first year. This ramped up to 1746 in 1972, but then fell steadily every year, reaching 4,491 when production ceased in 1977.



Among the GT40 cars present was one of the three authorised continuation cars produced by John Willment.

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This is chassis #2 of the 1968 3 litre P68 race car. At the end of the 1967 season the FIA redrew the rules for sports car racing. Engine capacity was limited to 3 litres for the lightest, most advanced Group 6 sports prototype class, while a new 5 litre Group 4 Sports Car class was introduced for vehicles of which at least 50 examples had been built. Ford’s American headquarters organisation withdrew from sports car racing at the end of 1967, leaving those teams committed to running the aging GT40 without factory support. While some teams, such as JWA, decided to go down the Group 4 Sports Car route and began work on updating the GT40, Alan Mann Racing decided to build a brand new prototype car around Ford’s recently introduced 3.0L DFV V8 Formula One engine. Raising sponsorship from Ford, as well as Burmah-Castrol and Goodyear, AMR procured the services of leading Ford aerodynamicist Len Bailey, who had designed much of the GT40’s bodywork, to work on their new car. The car was built to Group 6 regulations, with an open two-seat bodywork design. This was perhaps rather liberally interpreted, with only a small hatch in the otherwise enveloping roof being left open to the elements. The hatch also allowed the driver to see the centrally mounted rear-view mirror. One major advantage of the open prototype regulations was that they permitted a much lower roofline than otherwise would have been possible. Bailey used this to create an extremely low, long, curvaceous, aerodynamically efficient design. With a Cd of only 0.27 and a frontal area of 14 ft² the 3.0L engine was sufficient to push the P68 to over 350 km/h, faster than contemporary Formula One cars. However, former driver Frank Gardner has criticised Bailey’s pursuit of aerodynamic efficiency at the expense of driver comfort. In order to keep the P68 on the road, Bailey incorporated a patented, vortex-generating tail scoop, intended to create downforce without adding to drag. However, although the car has since been shown to produce moderate downforce at speed, this is mostly over the front wheels. The resultant high-speed instability led to both John Surtees and Jack Brabham refusing to drive the car. Over the following months the P68 sprouted ever larger rear spoilers, and small chin spoilers, in an effort to stabilise the car. Underneath the curvaceous bodywork, the chassis was a riveted, aluminium monocoque, with steel bulkheads onto which the suspension components were mounted. The DFV engine was supported in an aluminium cradle behind the driver. Unlike the Lotus 49 for which the DFV had been designed, the engine was not used as a structural chassis member. In contrast, the suspension layout was almost a direct copy of contemporary F1 practice. Contemporary observers commented on the oversized front hub components, potentially allowing the car to be converted to four-wheel drive at some point. The radiator was mounted in the nose, although later enhancements to cooling resulted in a wider opening being incorporated from mid-season. Fuel was stored in two deformable cells, one in each sill. The first batch of cars was ready for the European season-opening BOAC 500 race, at Brands Hatch on 7 April 1968. Even this early in its career, the P68 had started to grow spoilers and air dams at its front and rear. Two cars were entered, for Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme, and Jochen Rindt and Mike Spence. However, the two cars were relatively untested, with one actually being brand new, and teething troubles beset the weekend. Although initially slow during practice, gradual tuning and tweaking meant that by the end of qualifying McLaren had managed to put in a lap fast enough to take second place on the grid, splitting the works Porsche 907s. Unfortunately, the Rindt/Spence car had suffered an engine mount failure and failed to qualify. Spence, something of a Brands Hatch specialist, was substituted into the lead car for the race, and was at the wheel, leading the race, when a rubber joint in the transmission failed, putting the car out. Although neither car had finished, the pace and performance while running looked to be promising better for the future. This promise was never to be fulfilled. With Mike Spence’s death during practice for the 1968 Indianapolis 500, fellow Brit Chris Irwin was drafted in for the P68’s next race: the 1968 1000km Nürburgring. He was lucky to escape death when he lost control of his car at the Flugplatz during practice, although his injuries were severe enough for his career to be ended. The car was destroyed. In the race, once again the remaining P68 failed to finish due to mechanical gremlins. This was to be the pattern during all the remaining races for which the P68 was entered during 1968. One tantalising highlight occurred when Frank Gardner, who performed much of the P68’s limited developmental testing, took pole position at the 1000km Spa race. However, once again the car flattered to deceive, as it stuttered to a halt on the first lap of the race with faulty electrics. By this time the P68’s faults were all too apparent, and Alan Mann Racing decided not to travel to the Zeltweg race. Following poor results, during the winter of 1968 Len Bailey adapted the P68’s monocoque to fully exploit the open-roof regulations. A fully open spyder prototype was produced with almost completely new bodywork panels; even lower and wider, it also included a dramatic reduction in length. Mechanicals were carried over from the P68 in almost unchanged form. This new car was numbered the P69, although differences with the P68 were only skin deep. In an attempt to cure the same stability problems that afflicted the P68, the P69 had an innovative system of interconnected, hydraulically-controlled, partially automatic, adjustable aerofoil wings. However, following several accidents with similar systems during Formula One races, the wings were swiftly banned by the FIA early in the season. Without wings, AMR judged that the car would require a complete redesign to be competitive with the dominant Porsches and therefore, lacking funds, the P68/P69 project was abandoned.



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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Also here was a rare survivor of the Fiat 128 Francis Lombardi. The changes here were largely cosmetic with a different grille being the best recognition point.

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This 1939 Gordini Type 8 is based on a Simca 8 (Huit), which in turn was based on the contemporary Fiat 1100.




This splendid H6B sported a Kellner and Fils body.


Dating from 1934 is this HS26 Torpedo with a Felber body.



The S2000 was first alluded to at the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show, with the Honda Sport Study Model (SSM) concept car, a rear-wheel-drive roadster powered by a 2.0 litre inline 4-cylinder engine and featuring a rigid ‘high X-bone frame’ which Honda claimed improved the vehicle’s rigidity and collision safety. The concept car was constructed with aluminium body panels and featured a 50:50 weight distribution. The SSM appeared at many automotive shows for several years afterwards, hinting at the possibility of a production version, which Honda finally announced in 1999. It featured a front mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout with power being delivered by a 1,997 cc inline 4-cylinder DOHC-VTEC engine. The engine produced outputs of 237–247 hp, and 153–161 lb/ft depending on the target market., and it was mated to a six-speed manual transmission and Torsen limited slip differential. The S2000 achieved what Honda claimed as “the world’s top level, high performance 4-cylinder naturally aspirated engine”. Features included independent double wishbone suspension, electrically assisted steering and integrated roll hoops. The compact and lightweight engine, mounted entirely behind the front axle, allowed the S2000 to achieve a 50:50 front/rear weight distribution and lower rotational inertia. An electrically powered vinyl top with internal cloth lining was standard, with an aluminium hardtop available as an optional extra. Although the S2000 changed little visually during its production run, there were some alterations, especially in 2004, at which point production of the S2000 moved to Suzuka. The facelifted car introduced 17 in wheels and Bridgestone RE-050 tyres along with a retuned suspension to reduce oversteer. The spring rates and shock absorber damping were altered and the suspension geometry modified to improve stability by reducing toe-in changes under cornering loads. The subframe has also received a revision in design to achieve a high rigidity. In the gearbox the brass synchronisers were replaced with carbon fibre. In addition, cosmetic changes were made to the exterior with new front and rear bumpers, revised headlight assemblies, new LED tail-lights, and oval-tipped exhausts. Although all the cosmetic, suspension and most drivetrain upgrades were included on the Japanese and European S2000s, they retained the 2.0l F20C engine and remained designated as an AP1. A number of special editions were made, such as the more track-oriented Club Racer version offered in the US in 2007/8 and the Type S for Japan in 2008/9. The UK received a GT for 2009, which featured a removable hard-top and an outside temperature gauge. The S2000 Ultimate Edition (continental Europe) and GT Edition 100 (UK) were limited versions of the S2000 released to commemorate the end of production. Both included Grand Prix White body colour, removable hard top, graphite-coloured alloy wheels, red leather interior with red colouring for stitching on the gear lever gaiter. The Ultimate Edition was unveiled at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show and went on sale in March 2009. The GT Edition 100 was a limited run of 100 units released for the UK market. In addition to the Ultimate Edition’s specification, it featured a black S2000 badge and a numbered plaque on the kick-plate indicating which vehicle in the series it was. The car was never replaced, as Honda decided to head off in the same direction as Toyota, producing a series of very dull appliance-like cars that focused on low emissions and dependability but of no appeal to the sort of enthusiast who bought (and probably kept!) an S2000.

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Also here was an NSX GT3 EVO 2019, the latest update to the NSX GT3.



Here were a pair of Hotchkiss Gregoire cars. The Grégoire is a luxury car produced from 1950 to 1954 by the French automaker Hotchkiss. Only about 247 were produced, with serial numbers 500 to 747. The Grégoire was a modern-looking four-door saloon. Reportedly as a response to disappointing sales for the saloon, special-bodied coach-built coupé and cabriolet versions also appeared at the 1952 Paris Motor Show, including a streamlined Grégoire-based coupé with an eye-catching ‘panoramic’ rear window bodied by the coachbuilder Henri Chapron. For more than thirty years, each new Hotchkiss had represented a gentle evolution from the previous model. With the Grégoire the company made a radical bid to create a new generation of cars. The car carried the name of its designer, Jean-Albert Grégoire, a man who had made his name in the 1930s as a car designer, with experience in designing front-wheel-drive cars, and a man who had spent much time during the war working on the application of aluminium to car production. Directly after the war, with European demand for war planes abruptly curtailed, the recently developed aluminium industry found opportunities in the more radical designs coming out of the automotive sector, and the Hotchkiss Grégoire was notable for its lightweight chassis, which incorporated much aluminium. The car also featured a new 2180 cc horizontal boxer water-cooled four-cylinder engine capable of delivering a claimed 70 or, from 1952, 75 HP. The flat-four engine permitted a low bonnet line but was fitted well forward which enforced an extensive front overhang. The gear box was a four-speed unit with synchromesh on the upper three ratios and overdrive on the fourth. The Grégoire’s commercial performance was affected by the company’s 30-year record of producing worthy but conservative saloons. High development costs had to be amortised over the number of cars sold, and the low sales level led to a high retail price which, in turn, depressed sales further. By 1952 the Grégoire was retailing for twice the price of the similarly sized six-cylinder Citroën Traction 15CV. An additional challenge came from government taxation policies during the early 1950s in the French market, which heavily penalised larger cars. At the 1952 Paris Motor Show, it was obvious that several French luxury auto-makers like Delahaye clearly were in trouble. It was noted that for the Grégoire, despite its upmarket aspirations, the company was only able to distribute a very skimpy brochure, provided without any colour pictures. By 1953 output had slowed and only about 40 were produced, and by the time production ceased towards the end of that year, only 247 Hotchkiss Grégoires had been built; of these 235 had been four-door saloons.

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HWM was a famous racing name in the fifties; a British privateer operation, headed up by George Abecassis and John Heath. Following success in single seater formulas, HWM became the first proper marque to create a Jaguar-engined sports racing car. From 1953 to 1957, the team was involved in sports car racing both in Britain and on the continent, sometimes beating their Jaguar and Aston Martin Works competitors. The first of the two late cars, 52106, took on the wonderful registration, HWM 1 that was reassigned by the works from an earlier HWM. Taken to the Mille Miglia as a factory entry in 1956 (car #545), HWM 1 unfortunately did not finish the race due to a grave accident with HWM marque owner, John Heath at the wheel. Following a works rebuild, the same chassis was used although replacement chassis rails were added, as was usual in this era of sports car racing. When the HWM was back to full fettle, it was driven down to Brighton by Noel Cunningham-Reid for the Speed Trials, which acted as a shakedown exercise. It was entered at Goodwood in September for Dick Protheroe to pilot and Cunningham-Reid won a race with it at the final Snetterton meeting of the year. In 1957 HWM 1 was run as a works entry for a variety of drivers. The first official outing was at the Easter Monday Goodwood race meeting, driven by British race driver, Peter Blond. Blond went on to campaign HWM 1 on numerous occasions that year with Jack Fairman and Les Leston also having a turn. The car’s period driver list reads like a ‘who’s who’ of fifties British Sports Car racers! HWM 1 was sold at the end of the ’57 season to ‘Team Speedwell’; a quartet of enthusiastic drivers based in Middlesex in the UK. Of these four, it was John Bekaert who largely drove the HWM, at a huge and packed programme of club races with much success. He apparently drove it to each meeting, relishing its performance on the road. It appears he relished this rather too much, as he recalled being caught on his way to Silverstone by the police at exactly 100mph over the speed limit! There are numerous photographs of the HWM in period copies of Autosportduring this season, capturing its active track programme. The HWM passed between a handful of custodians before ending up with well-known historic racer, Kirk Rylands, who kept 52106 for a staggering 34 years and maintained it in excellent health. Rylands raced and rallied the HWM, working with the legendary preparer, Arthur Mallock to improve the handling and subsequent track prowess. He finally parted ways with HWM 1 in 2008 to Alfa guru, Paul Grist who carried out a total rebuild, including a change of the front bodywork to its original configuration and returning it to British Racing Green. Recently, the current owner has enjoyed the HWM in historic racing and it has been a regular sight at the Goodwood Revival in the Freddie March Trophy race. This Mille Miglia eligiblesports racing car is offered complete with HTP papers, a full and interesting history file and provides a front-running entry at all of the prestigious historic motoring events.



Once again, there was a stand promoting the work of Jaguar Land-Rover Heritage with examples of some of their work, and the opportunity to talk to some of the people involved in this ever more popular operation.

With interest in the E Type remaining undiminished, a supply of unrestored cars that seems never ending, and values high enough to make the cost case for a full restoration financially viable, it is no surprise to learn that work on this car is a core of the operation of the Heritage business. Needing no introduction, even now, nearly 60 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.


Newest car in this display was a Jaguar XE SV Project Eight. This limited-run super-saloon (of sorts) was unveiled in 2017, with the first cars hitting the roads in the middle of 2019. Just 300 are set to be built. It was developed — and is being built by — Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations, the division that’s responsible for high-performance SVR-branded Range Rovers and F-Types, as well as low-volume specials such as the 2015 F-Type Project 7. The Project 8 is only available with left-hand drive. It shares its basic body-in-white with the everyday XE, but just about everything else is new. Every body panel but the roof and front doors are bespoke, the suspension has been entirely reworked and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres feature on a Jaguar for the very first time. The familiar 5.0-litre supercharged V8 that serves across JLR has also been shoehorned in. Here, it develops 592bhp and 516lb ft, making the Project 8 Jaguar’s most powerful road car to date. The aero package is bespoke, too, of course, and capable of generating 122kg of downforce at 186mph. The optional Track Pack, which costs £10,000 and saves 12kg, swaps out the rear seats for a half-roll-cage and adds carbon-backed bucket seats up front with four-point harnesses. The price tag of £149,00 means that you have to be absolutely sure you want one, and it would seem that not enough people have been, with sales proving harder to find than Jaguar had anticipated.

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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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Also here, seen in the background, was one of the examples of the D Type continuation cars that are being produced.

There were a number of other Jaguar cars to be found elsewhere in the show.

The chassis for this unique XK120 coupé was ordered from Jaguar’s Belgian importer, Mme Bourgeois, and sent directly to the Italian coachbuilder, Stabilimenti Farina, with instructions to create a one-off coupé body to star on her Jaguar stand at the 1952 Brussles Motor Show. Christened ‘The Flying Jaguar’, this 1952 car was one of three special Jaguars commissioned by Mme Bourgeois from Stabilimenti Farina, the other two being based on the large Mark VI Saloon – the 1951 ‘Meteor’ coupé, plus the 1952 ‘Golden Arrow’ cabriolet.

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The C-Type was built specifically for the race track . It used the running gear of the contemporary road-proven XK120 clothed in a lightweight tubular frame, devised by William Heynes, and clothed in an aerodynamic aluminium body designed by Malcolm Sayer. The road-going XK120’s 3.4-litre twin-cam, straight-6 engine produced between 160 and 180 bhp, but when installed in the C-Type, it was originally tuned to around 205 bhp. Early C-Types were fitted with SU carburettors and drum brakes. Later C-Types, from mid 1953, were more powerful, using triple twin-choke Weber carburettors and high-lift camshafts. They were also lighter, and braking performance was improved with disc brakes on all four wheels, which were something of a novelty at the time, though their adoption started to spread quite quickly after Jaguar had used them. The lightweight, multi-tubular, triangulated frame was designed by William Heynes. Malcolm Sayer designed the aerodynamic body. Made of aluminium in the barchetta style, it is devoid of road-going items such as carpets, weather equipment and exterior door handles. The C-Type was successful in racing, most notably at the Le Mans 24 hours race, which it won twice. In 1951 the car won at its first attempt. The factory entered three, whose driver pairings were Stirling Moss and Jack Fairman, Leslie Johnson and triple Mille Miglia winner Clemente Biondetti, and the eventual winners, Peter Walker and Peter Whitehead. The Walker-Whitehead car was the only factory entry to finish, the other two retiring with lack of oil pressure. A privately entered XK120, owned by Robert Lawrie, co-driven by Ivan Waller, also completed the race, finishing 11th. In 1952 Jaguar, worried by a report about the speed of the Mercedes-Benz 300SLs that would run at Le Mans, modified the C-Type’s aerodynamics to increase the top speed. However, the consequent rearrangement of the cooling system made the cars vulnerable to overheating, and all three retired from the race. The Peter Whitehead-Ian Stewart and Tony Rolt/Duncan Hamilton cars blew head gaskets, and the Stirling Moss-Peter Walker car, the only one not overheating having had a full-sized radiator hurriedly fitted, lost oil pressure after a mechanical breakage. Testing by Norman Dewis at MIRA after the race proved that the overheating was caused more by the revisions to the cooling system than by the altered aerodynamics: the water pump pulley was undersized, so it was spinning too fast and causing cavitation; also the header tank was in front of the passenger-side bulkhead, far from the radiator, and the tubing diameter was too small at 7/8 inch. With the pump pulley enlarged, and the tubing increased to 1 1/4 inch, the problem was eliminated. The main drawback of the new body shape was that it reduced downforce on the tail to the extent that it caused lift and directional instability at speeds over 120 mph on the Mulsanne Straight. These cars had chassis numbers XKC 001, 002 and 011. The first two were dismantled at the factory, and the third survives in normal C-type form. In 1953 C-Types won again, and also placed second and fourth. This time the body was in thinner, lighter aluminium and the original twin H8 sand cast SU carburettors were replaced by three DCO3 40mm Webers, which helped boost power to 220 bhp. Further weight was saved by using a rubber bag fuel tank, lighter electrical equipment and thinner gauge steel for some of the chassis tubes . Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rolt won the race at 105.85 mph (170.35 km/h) – the first time Le Mans had been won at an average of over 100 miles per hour (161 km/h). 1954, the C-Type’s final year at Le Mans, saw a fourth place by the Ecurie Francorchamps entry driven by Roger Laurent and Jacques Swaters. Between 19951 and 1953, a total of 53 C-Types were built, 43 of which were sold to private owners mainly in the US. When new, the car sold for about $6,000, approximately twice the price of an XK120. Genuine cars have increased in value massively in recent years, however buyers do need to be aware that replicas have been produced by a number of companies, though even these are far from cheap to buy thesedays. Cars with true racing provenance are well into the millions now. A C-Type once owned and raced by Phil Hill sold at an American auction in August 2009 for $2,530,000 and another C-type was sold at the Pebble Beach auction in 2012 for $3,725,000, More recently an unrestored C-Type that raced at Le Mans has sold for £5,715,580, during the Grand Prix Historique race meeting in Monaco. In August 2015, an ex-Ecurie Ecosse Lightweight C-type, chassis XKC052 and the second of only three works lightweights, driven by Peter Whitehead and Ian Stewart to fourth at the 1953 Le Mans 24 Hours, fetched £8.4 million at auction in California.


There was another example of the XJ220 here.


Final Jaguar here was an XJR15, the world’s first road-car made entirely from carbon-fibre. Tom Walkinshaw conceived the concept in 1988 after seeing the XJ220 concept at the British Motor Show. Following Jaguar’s success at Le Mans, he enlisted Peter Stevens to develop a road-going version of the XJR-9, originally designated the R-9R. A number of wealthy racing enthusiasts were keen to own such a car and pressed Walkinshaw into manufacturing a ‘road going racer’. This car was originally intended to be a better alternative to the XJ220. Original owners included Derek Warwick, Bob Wollek, Vern Schuppan, Matt Aitken, Andy Evans and the Sultan of Brunei. In order to adapt the XJR-9 for road use, Stevens made a number of modifications to increase space and improve access. “Taking the race car as a base, we widened the cockpit by 75 mm (3.0 in) and raised the roof by 40 mm (1.6 in) to allow more headroom”, he said when interviewed in 1991. “The scale model was ready by Easter 1989, from there we went to clay… which was finished by October (1989). The first prototype was held up by Le Mans preparations but it was ready for Tom (Walkinshaw) to drive when he came back from France in July 1990”. TWR explicitly developed the XJR-15 as a road-going racing car, in the mould of the Jaguar C and D types, the Ford GT40 and the Ferrari 250 GTO. As such, the car complied with British construction and use regulations and could be registered by the owner for road-use in the UK, although with such a limited production run, the car was never type-approved. XJR-15 was derived from the Le Mans winning XJR-9 racing car, sharing many component parts The mid-engine, rear-wheel drive sports car is powered by a 450 bhp, naturally aspirated 24-valve V12 engine of 5993 cc, with a Group C bottom-end and Group A top-end. The engine features an advanced electronically managed fuel injection system with a very advanced (for its time) ‘fly by wire’ throttle. Transmission is via a TWR six-speed manual, unsynchronised transmission (a five-speed, synchromesh transmission was also available as an optional extra). The XJR-15’s chassis and bodywork are composed of carbon fibre and Kevlar (XJR-15 was the first road-going car built entirely of carbon and Kevlar composites, before the McLaren F1 used similar techniques in 1992). It was designed to comply with 1990 Group C regulations, being 480 cm long, 190 cm wide and 110 cm high. At 1,050 kg (2,315 lb), the XJR-15 weighed about the same as a contemporary VW Golf. Suspension is fully independent, with non-adjustable Bilstein shock absorbers all round. Front suspension is by wide-based wishbones, working push-rods to spring damper units mounted horizontally across the centre of the car. TWR racing practice is also followed at the rear, with vertical coil-springs mounted in units with uprights within the rear wheels, allowing for the maximum possible venturi tunnels. The engine forms a stressed member for the rear-frame. The bottom of the car is completely flat, in line with Group C practice. Steel disc brakes are fitted, with powerful AP four-pot callipers. The XJR-15 has a 0–60 mph time of 3.9 seconds and a (gearing limited) top speed of 191 mph (307 km/h). Although marketed as a racer, the car had been developed as a “road-going-racer” and as such, the ride height was somewhat higher than required to take full advantage of under-body aerodynamics. Additionally, the suspension was softer than would be found on the XJR-9 racer and – in a last-minute deal – Tom Walkinshaw switched tyre suppliers from Goodyear to Bridgestone just before the race series started. When interviewed by Autosport[4] in 2011, Ian Flux recalled: “The worst thing was that Tom had done a deal with Bridgestone. At first, it was going to be on road tyres, but then they changed to slicks and wets. The fronts weren’t a problem, but they didn’t have moulds for the rears, so used F40 moulds instead. They went off very quickly and it was hard to judge how hard to push.” As Tiff Needell, who road-tested a development car at Silverstone early in 1991, put it: “the result is oversteer”. However, once accustomed to the characteristics, he went on: “Through the very tight chicane, the XJR-15 showed excellent change of direction and I was able to pick up power early for the long right hander leading up to Beckett’s. This gradually became a long right-hand power slide as my confidence increased.” Users of the car as a racer in later years would lower the suspension, fit a larger wing and proper tyres to restore race-car dynamics. As a road-car, the suspension was more softly set-up and with the right tyres, testers were unanimous in their praise. Ian Kuah, writing in World Sports Cars in 1992: “Considering its racing pedigree, ride quality is pretty good – at low speeds, better than a Ferrari 348…Levels of grip are far beyond those transgressed by any sane man, except perhaps when exiting a tight corner in a low gear when the sheer grunt pushing you through can persuade the huge Bridgestones to relinquish some grip. Seat of the pants feel and communication is terrific and the steering nicely weighted so that smooth inputs are easy. When it comes to stopping, the huge AP Racing brakes – with softer pads for road use – wash off speed with steely determination.” Ron Grable, the racing driver, writing in Motor Trend in May 1992: “As the engine sprang into a muted rumbling idle, it was impossible to keep from grinning. Easing the unsynchronised six-speed into gear, I accelerated onto the straight. Many race cars are diabolical to get moving…not so the Jag, the smooth V-12 pulled cleanly away, nearly as docile as a street-car. On the track, the XJR-15 is a truly wonderful ride, the perfect compromise between racing and street. You can say the savage edge of a pure race car has been softened slightly, or conversely, that it’s the best handling street car you can imagine. Being 100% composite, it’s so light that every aspect of performance is enhanced. Relatively low spring and roll rates are enough to keep it stable in pitch and roll, as well as deliver a high level of ride compliance. The brakes are phenomenal and the acceleration fierce. And always, there’s that V-12, a medley of mechanical noises superimposed over the raucous rise and fall of the exhaust.” The XJR-15 offers little in the way of practicality. Entry to the car, over a wide sill, requires the driver to step onto the driving seat. The gear-lever is mounted on the right-hand side of the driver (all cars are right-hand-drive), while the driver and passenger seat are extremely close together – almost central in the car. There is little in the way of sound insulation, so an in-car head-set system is fitted. There is virtually no storage space. However, considering the purpose for which it was intended, the interior was highly praised in contemporary road reports. Ron Grable again: “Aesthetically, the XJR-15’s interior is breathtaking. Expanses of shiny black carbon fibre woven with yellow Kevlar are everywhere, all fitting together with meticulous precision. Instrumentation is detailed and legibly analogue. The shift lever is less than 3 inches (76 mm) from the small steering wheel, and the motion between gears is almost imperceptible. The reclined seating position provides excellent forward visibility – over the top of the instrument panel you see only racetrack.” The car’s production was announced in a press release on 15 November 1990 with an official launch at Silverstone early in 1991. The XJR-15 was built by Jaguar Sport in Bloxham, Oxfordshire, (a subsidiary of TWR; it was a joint venture between Jaguar Cars and TWR to produce high performance sports cars) England from 1990 to 1992 and had no official involvement from Jaguar itself. Only 50 were made, each selling for £500,000.

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La Jamais Contente (English: The Never Satisfied) was the first road vehicle to go over 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph). It was a Belgian electric vehicle with a light-alloy torpedo-shaped bodywork and batteries. The high position of the driver and the exposed chassis underneath spoiled much of the aerodynamics. The light alloy, called partinium, is an alloy of aluminium, tungsten and magnesium. The land speed record was established on April 29 or May 1, 1899 at Achères, Yvelines near Paris, France. The vehicle had two direct-drive Postel-Vinay 25 kW motors, running at 200 V and drawing 124 A each, for about 68 hp total, and was equipped with Michelin tires. Chassis number was n°25. The vehicle was driven by the Belgian driver Camille Jenatzy. Camille was the son of Constant Jenatzy, a manufacturer of rubber products (rubber was still a novelty at the time). Camille had studied as an engineer, with an interest in electric-traction automobiles. He became known for his record-breaking speed runs and was nicknamed Le Diable Rouge (“The Red Devil”) for the colour of his beard. He died in 1913, after being shot in a hunting accident. Wishing to carve a place in the then promising Parisian electric carriage market, Jenatzy started a manufacturing plant, which would produce many electric carriages and trucks. He competed fiercely against the carriage-maker Jeantaud in publicity stunts to see which of them made the fastest vehicles. In order to ensure the triumph of his company, Jenatzy built a bullet-shaped prototype, conceived by the carriage-maker Rothschild in partinium (an alloy of laminated aluminium, tungsten and magnesium). Jenatzy reached the speed of 105.882 kilometres per hour (65.792 mph), besting the previous record, held by Count Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat driving a Jeantaud, who had attained 92.78 kilometres per hour (57.65 mph) on March 4, 1899. After this exploit the gasoline-fuelled combustion engine would increasingly supplant electric technology for the next century. The Jamais Contente is now on display at the automobile museum in Compiègne, France.

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The Jensen C-V8, a four-seater GT, was launched in October 1962, It had fibreglass bodywork with aluminium door skins, as did the preceding 541 series. All C-V8s used big-block engines sourced from Chrysler; first the 361 and then, from 1964, the 330 bhp 383 in³. Most of the cars had three-speed Chrysler Torqueflite automatic transmission, but seven Mk2 C-V8s were produced with the 6-litre engine and four-speed manual gearbox , followed by two manual Mk3s. While the great majority of C-V8s were made in right-hand drive, ten were made in left-hand drive. The car was one of the fastest production four-seaters of its era. The Mk II, capable of 136 mph, ran a quarter mile in 14.6 seconds, and accelerated from 0–60 mph in 6.7 seconds. The upgraded Mk II, introduced in October 1963, had Selectaride rear dampers and minor styling changes. Changes on the Mk III, the final version of the series which was introduced in June 1965, included a minor reduction in overall length, deeper windscreen, equal size headlamps without chrome bezels, improved interior ventilation, wood-veneer dashboard, the addition of overriders to the bumpers, and a dual-circuit braking system. The factory made two convertibles: a cabriolet, and a Sedanca that opened only above the front seats. The front of the C-V8 was styled with covered headlamps, similar to those on the Ferrari 275 GTB and Jaguar 3.8 E-type as a key element of the design. But because of concerns that they might reduce the effectiveness of the headlamps, the covers were deleted for the production cars. As a consequence the C-V8’s front-end appearance was compromised and proved controversial for decades. Owners are now starting to return their cars to the original streamlined styling intended by the car’s designer Eric Neale. The model was discontinued in 1966 after a total production run of 500. The fibreglass body, and the fact that the twin-tube frame was set in from the perimeter of the car, have contributed to the model’s comparatively high survival rate

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The 2101 is a re-engineered version of the Fiat 124 produced under licence from Fiat and tailored for the nations of the Eastern Bloc, but was widely exported to the West as an economy car. The lightweight Italian Fiat 124, which had won the 1967 European Car of the Year, was adapted in order to survive treacherous Russian driving conditions. Among many changes, aluminium brake drums were added to the rear, and the original Fiat engine was dropped in favour of a newer design made by NAMI. This new engine had a modern overhead camshaft design but was never used in Fiat cars. The suspension was raised to clear rough Russian roads and the bodyshell was made from thicker, heavier steel with reinforcement in key chassis areas after cracking was discovered during durability testing. The first Lada models were equipped with a starting handle in case the battery went flat in Siberian conditions, though this was later dropped. Another feature specifically intended to help out in cold conditions was a manual auxiliary fuel pump. Engines fitted to the original Lada 2101 start with the 1.2l. The drivetrain is a simple rear-wheel drive setup with a live rear axle. The engine is an inline four with two valves per cylinder and a single overhead camshaft.Although the facelifted and modernised VAZ-2105, 2104 & 2107 versions largely replaced it in the West in the early 1980s, it was still produced for the domestic market as late as 1988. Known as the Zhiguli (for the hills found near the plant within the Soviet Union, the main differences between the VAZ-2101 and the Fiat 124 are the use of thicker gauge steel for the bodyshell, drum brakes on the rear wheels in place of disc brakes, and a bespoke engine. Early versions of the car featured a starting handle for cranking the engine manually should the battery go flat in Siberian winter conditions, and an auxiliary fuel pump. Under the licensing agreement with Fiat, VAZ were forbidden from selling the car in Italy in order to protect Fiat’s lucrative home market, nor was it permitted to sell it in any export market in competition with the 124; however, exports to Western Europe began in 1974 when the 124 was discontinued in favour of Fiat’s newer 131 Mirafiori. The 2101 was sold in export markets as the Lada 1200, Lada 1300, Lada 1200S and Lada 2101 until 1989; it was sold in the United Kingdom from May 1974, until the arrival of the Riva in 1983. It was the first Lada to be sold in the United Kingdom. The first year, 22,000 were produced, and capacity reached 660,000 by 1973. Sales reached one million on 21 December 1973, and one and a half million in 1974. In May 1974, it went on sale in Britain, priced at £979. The 2101 was built, virtually unaltered, from 1970 until 1982.



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 once again, and displayed just a couple of cars on its sizeable stand. These were a fully restored Miura and the earlier 350GT which is undergoing restoration.

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There were far more examples of the Miura on show with a special collection of them on dealer Simon Kidston’s stand. Kidston has just completed what many will see as the definitive book on the model, which will be available for those with deep pockets and who get in quickly before the limited print run sells out, so it would only seem correct that as something of an authority on the model he should bring along quite so many cars. 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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This is the one-off Miura Roadster, which was first presented at the 1968 Brussels Auto Show. Designed and built by Bertone as a concept prototype, this open version was not just a regular Lamborghini with the roof removed, unlike the 350 GTS presented by Touring a few years earlier, the Miura Roadster was almost completely redesigned, with excellent taste as always. The complete rear section of the car was modified, the rear louvres covering the engine were removed, the tail lights changed and the exhaust pipes now went through the lower grill. Various small changes were made to the rear section of the original Miura, like lowering the roof line by 3 cm and changing the angle ‘rake’ of the windscreen. All this was necessary to eliminate undesired turbulence at 300 Km/h even without the roof, which was actually never even built in the end, the Miura Roadster didn’t have a roof panel at all. Also note the air intakes behind the side windows were larger compared to the factory built Miura to allow more fresh air to be pulled into the engine bay, while the ‘built in’ rear spoiler was also larger than normal on the Roadster … in fact Bertone even went as far as strengthening the chassis of their Miura to counteract the fact there was no roof left to keep the car from flexing, as a matter of fact there were no side windows on the Miura Roadster either because the rake of the windshield was modified the original side windows could not be used. The interior also had to be modified, mainly because the switches from the overhead console found inside the regular Miura had to be installed elsewhere inside the car (they would end up on the central console), and the Bertone steering wheel showed a great similarity with the one found inside the Marzal and the Espada prototype … both built by Bertone too. The car was finished in a bright-metallic azure blue shade, while the interior was upholstered in a magnolia (almost white) dye leather (just like on the first 350 GTV in fact). The impact this show prototype had in Brussels and later on in Geneva was massive, but this was to remain strictly a one-off, many owners requested a Miura Roadster from the factory, but Automobili Lamborghini SpA never officially delivered a Miura Roadster or even made a replica, while as mentioned earlier Bertone had never built a top or side windows for this prototype. The Miura Roadster became also known as the Miura Spider or Miura Spyder, but her official denomination was the Miura Roadster, the original car was sold to the ILZRO in 1969, the International Lead and Zinc Research Corporation, a company delivering various metals to the car industry like aluminium, zinc and different alloys. The ILZRO decided to buy a Miura some time earlier to reconstruct using their own metals and alloys to showcase their technology on various auto shows worldwide, but Lamborghini declined their request for a production Miura … however with the Miura Roadster they had an opportunity of a lifetime … this wasn’t a production car, so together with Bertone and Lamborghini the ILZRO was able to do just about anything they wanted. Chassis number 3498 was completely disassembled the moment it arrived in New York, all possible parts were changed into zinc-plated, chrome-plated, polished or re-manufactured using some metal (like lead!) made or distributed by the ILZRO, some of these items included the carburettor bodies, the carburettors stacks, engine covers, transmission covers, oil pump, filter housings, exhaust system, radiator, interior switches, the steering whee, the wheels themselves and both front and rear bumpers. These modifications were all directed by John Foster, who was actually a designer for Ford. But the result was rather special, the Miura Roadster was converted into the Zn75, an ILZRO show car … a mere Miura replica almost, she looked like a Miura, but she was totally different … even in her exterior shade. Bertone usually used bright colours and contrasting black detail work like as seen on the original Miura Roadster prototype, but the Zn75 featured chrome details and was finished in a metallic green sprayed over a black metallic base giving a strange dark green pearl like colour (iridescent gold-green), with a contrasting brown leather upholstery it looked totally different from most Lamborghini Miura. The name also changed, now into the ‘Zn75’, a name taken from the periodic table of metals used for this modification. The Zn75 first appeared in May 1969 after which she was flown all over the world to various Auto Show and shown to automotive companies worldwide, always attracting a lot of attention, when her job was over, the Miura Zn75 was auctioned off to S.F. Radtke, the Executive Vice President of the Ilzro at that time. In late 1980 the Miura Zn75 was completely refurbished by Synthetex Inc. and valued at $186,000 when Mr Radtke donated the car to the Brookline Museum of Transportation in Massachusets, U.S.A. in February 1981. The Miura was then shown in this museum for a long time were it was for sale at one time for only $ 50,000, later it was restored for the museum by J. Geils from KTR Engineering who was actually on the board at the museum. After the restoration the car was sold at an unknown auction for a rumoured $200,000. Later this rare Miura was auctioned again and bought by David Joliffe of the UK based Portman group, who intended to start a Lamborghini museum featuring this very unique Miura, however the Miura Zn75 was subsequently sold to a Japanese collector, who sold it again to an owner in France before she went to the United States. The original Miura Zn75 changed hands several times over the last few years before it ended up in the United States, owned by a New York based real estate developer, Adam Gordon who decided to have the car restored to the 1968 Brussels Salon original by the well known Miura restoration specialist Gary Bobileff starting in 2006. The total restoration of this one of a kind Lamborghini would take about two years before the Miura Roadster would once again be shown in her original 1968 livery at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where she took second place and was driven onto the stage by none other than Valentino Balboni … in 40 years the Lamborghini Miura Roadster had covered only 7,444 km in total. In late 2008 the unique Miura Roadster was offered for sale by the Kidston Auction house, no price was mentioned, but with this being the most important Miura in existence it might even be the most important Lamborghini ever next to the 350GTV prototype … being both a Lamborghini factory and a Bertone concept show car, and to really make it even more interesting all the ILZRO Zn75 parts had been meticulously retained … you could even build a second Miura Zn75 next to this original Miura Roadster if you wanted. In 2013 CNN had this very special Lamborghini valued by Hagerty Insurance … they came up with a value between $8,000,000 and $10,000,000 making her the most valuable Lamborghini ever, Hagerty Insurance valued the 350GTV at ‘only’ $3,500,000 to $5,000,000. As usual, the existence of this one of a kind prototype led several Miura owners to request a Roadster from the factory, but Lamborghini had intentions of actually producing an open-top Miura, be it because it would be too expensive to make it road worthy or the fact the removal of the roof caused the body to flex, so the factory refused every request. However some owners took their original Miura to a workshop and had it modified into a Roadster replica by just removing the roof section above the seats. As far as is known, none of these Roadster replicas had the modified rake on the windscreen, nor the special, larger air intakes on the side or new engine cover. One of the more famous replica is a white Miura transformed by Herbert Hahne, the German Lamborghini importer, this one also featured wider wheel rims and additional bodywork changes making it look like a Jota Roadster. But there remains only the one Miura Roadster and this car here is it.

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Kidston’s stand did also include a 350GT. It is well documented that the whole reason for Ferruccio Lamborghini’ diversification into producing cars was after a stormy meeting at Maranello when he confronted Enzo Ferrari with a series of issues with his Ferrari. Enzo was far from sympathetic, so Lamborghini resolved to produce his own car, and that it would be “better” in every way. The 350 GT was the result. Production started in May 1964, after its well-received debut] at the March 1964 Geneva Show. After the testing of his prototype Lamborghini engine in May 1963, Giotto Bizzarrini left the company, and the following month Ferruccio Lamborghini assigned Gian Paolo Dallara—with the assistance of Paolo Stanzani and Bob Wallace—the task of developing a production version of the grand tourer. Dallara and Stanzani quickly realised that the Lamborghini 350GTV was not properly designed for mass production, so they proceeded along parallel lines: it was necessary to detune the original Bizzarrini engine; and to redesign the original Bizzarrini chassis for street use. The original Bizzarrini-designed 3.5 litre V12 was essentially a race motor, potentially developing 400 hp at 11,000rpm. In order to fit his grand touring car with a smoother, more pleasant, longer-lasting engine, that was “good for 40,000 hard miles between services” Ferruccio had Dallara and Wallace detune a version of this prototype “GTV” motor for street use. This first “detuned” L350 engine was tested on October 3, 1963. The result was a very capable 270 bhp power plant that could reach 254 km/h (158 mph). While this 350 GT design work continued, the prototype was rushed to completion for the upcoming October 26 press meeting and the subsequent inauguration of the Turin Auto Show on the 30th. The Lamborghini 350GTV was shown at the Turin Auto Show with the original Bizzarrini “racing” V-12 engine—with its downdraft webers, rear distributors, etc.—displayed alongside as it was not “adapted to the chassis.” The car was a “non-runner” with the suspension arms simply tack-welded in place and the engine not installed. Lukewarm reaction to the car caused Ferruccio to postpone plans for immediate production and move on to the new 350 GT design. In March 1964, only 5 months after the debut of the GTV in Turin, the “redesigned GTV”—now called the 350 GT—was debuted at the Geneva Auto Show It was greeted with sufficient enthusiasm that Ferruccio decided to proceed with production at Sant’Agata in May 1964. The production 350 GT had an all-aluminium alloy V12 engine mated to a five-speed ZF manual transmission. It had an aluminium body (some had steel bodies), a Salisbury differential, four-wheel independent suspension, and vacuum servo-assisted Girling disc brakes all round. The 350 GT could accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds, and from 0 to 100 mph in 16.3 seconds, and go on to reach a top speed of 158 mph. The 350 GT shared a number of features with the 350 GTV prototype, including a four-wheel independent suspension, quad-cam V12, and an aluminium body. A number of revisions and refinements were made due to the suggestions of the Neri and Bonacini racing development shop, and test driver Bob Wallace. Fixed headlights replaced the prototype’s rotationally hidden variety, and twin-barrel side-draught Weber 40 DCOE 2 carburettors reduced the height of the engine, thereby negating the clearance problems of the GTV prototype, and giving the car the exceptionally low hood line Ferruccio desired. As was the case with the motor, Bizzarrini’s GTV “racing” chassis design was the basis of Dallara’s 350 GT “street” chassis. Using far heavier materials, Dallara created an extremely strong chassis from square-section tubing which provided easy entry and exit through the doors, aided in the quietness of the car, and provided a solid platform on which to mount the body, much like the Aston Martin DB4. The suspension was fully independent, with unequal-length wishbones and concentric coil-spring-damper units. The rear suspension wishbones were offset towards the spring mountings to resist driving and braking torque, which provided superior handling. Quality control of the early 3.5 litre engines was very high. Each one underwent tests for 24 hours on a Schenk Walge dynamometer, being run for the first 12 hours under electric power, and then with gasoline at increasing speeds. A detailed analysis was made of its behaviour before installation in the car for at least 500 km of mixed-test running by Wallace. The manufacture of the bodies was entrusted to Touring of Milan, who used their patented Superleggera method of construction to fix aluminium alloy panels directly to a tubular structure. The first 350 GT frame was fabricated by Neri and Bonacini, who continued to act as Lamborghini’s chassis supplier until production of the 350 GT was underway, when the job was turned over to Marchesi. Chassis and bodies were mated at Touring, which then delivered the complete assemblies—with even the bumpers in place—to the Lamborghini factory. The first 350 GT chassis and body, delivered to the Lamborghini factory on March 9, 1964, was named No. 101 (Touring No. 17001). That same month No. 101 debuted at the Geneva show. The first customer delivery of a 350 GT was No. 104 (Touring No. 17004), delivered on July 31, 1964. Lamborghini produced 120 of their 350 GTs before replacing it with the larger-engined Lamborghini 400 GT in 1966. Many 350 GTs were subsequently fit with the larger, 4.0 litre, engine.

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I came across further examples of both the Miura and the 350GT in the show, as well.

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The Lamborghini Flying Star II (also named Lamborghini 400 GT Flying Star II) was a one-off concept car built by Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera in 1966 on a Lamborghini 400 GT chassis. It debuted at the 1966 Turin Auto Show. In 1966, Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera of Milan explored a new design concept. Their long relation with Lamborghini was celebrated with the Flying Star II, a fully functional prototype with a design that was unconventional for the time. It was a two-seater with a very low and compact two-volume shooting brake bodywork, with a hatchback-style rear door. The design team for the Flying Star II was lead by Carlo Anderloni. The name “Flying Star II” was a reference to the Touring “Flying Star” roadsters of the prewar period, designed by Giuseppe Seregni and built on Isotta Fraschini and Alfa Romeo chassis. The Flying Star was built on the chassis and drive train of the 400 GT production model, sharing its 3.9 L Lamborghini V12 engine, 5 speed manual transmission, fully independent suspension and four wheel disc brakes. The chassis was shortened by 100 millimetres (3.9 in) compared to the production 400 GT. This would be the last design to come out of Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera, before the company was revived in 2006 and introduced the A8GCS Berlinetta Touring based on a Maserati drivetrain in 2008

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There was just one Lancia on the expansive FCA stand, a 037 Stradale. At the beginning of the Eighties, Lancia was handed back the task of winning the World Rally Championship for the Fiat Group, after the all-conquering Stratos had been sidelined by the Fiat 131 Abarth Rally for commercial reasons. Despite having only rear-wheel drive, it was a rally car that ruled the roost over emerging four-wheel-drive competitors. Rally regulations were constantly evolving and the Fiat 131 Abarth Rally, which had already achieved excellent results, needed replacing. Project number SE037, to which the car owed its “037” moniker, was modelled on the Lancia Beta Montecarlo, which had already spawned a competition version in 1978 for endurance races in the silhouette category. The road-going version of the new Lancia Rally debuted at the 1982 Turin Motor Show and 200 needed to be built for the competition model to be homologated into Group B. The car’s hybrid structure combined a monocoque with a tubular chassis. Two tubular subframes were anchored to the central frame section derived from the production Beta Montecarlo, running from the windscreen to the rear firewall. The front structure supported the unequal-length double wishbone front suspension and the radiators, whereas the rear structure supported the rear-mid positioned engine block, gearbox and differential, with unequal double wishbone rear suspension featuring two shock absorbers on each side and different arm attachments to easily vary the geometry. The wheels were fitted with four-piston Brembo brakes and unbeatable P7 Corse tyres, with Pirelli also supplying the two 35-litre safety fuel tanks side mounted in front of the rear wheels, including on the production version. The body, designed and produced by Pininfarina, was made of polyester with fibreglass reinforcements. In particular, the bonnet and boot lid could be detached very quickly, allowing easy access to the mechanical parts. The engine was developed by Abarth and derived from the 16-valve, 2.0-litre powerplant on the Lancia Trevi. In the road-going version, fuel was supplied via a twin-barrel carburettor. As for supercharging, chief engineer Aurelio Lampredi choose a Roots-type Volumex supercharger tuned by Abarth, which was preferred to the turbo solution due its superior response and low-RPM boost, despite delivering less power overall. The engine developed 205 hp, enabling the car to achieve a top speed of 220 km/h and accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 7 seconds. Once the 200 units required for Group B homologation had been built, the Lancia Rally began competing in WRC races. Besides the 53 cars used over the years by the official works team, most 037s were used in competitions by private teams and drivers, so models preserved in the road version are particularly hard to come by. The 037 racing version was equipped with an injection system instead of the twin-barrel carburettor, enabling it to develop 255–280 hp. Engine output was subsequently boosted to 310 hp by increasing the displacement to 2111 cc and the pressure of the volumetric compressor from 0.6–0.9 bar to 1.0 bar (EVO II). The car made its competitive debut in April 1982 in the Rally Costa Smeralda in Sardinia. A thrilling second season followed in which Lancia, whose drivers Walter Röhrl and Markku Alén opened the campaign with a 1-2 finish in the Monte Carlo Rally, achieved its goal of winning the World Rally Championship for Manufacturers. The victory was particularly significant because it happened just as four-wheel drive Audis were emerging, but Lancia was able to compensate for the performance of its rear-wheel drive car thanks to the reliability and tremendous efficiency of its entire Squadra Corse racing team. The 037 project also proved to be a winner due to important details that made the difference in races, such the gearbox that could be replaced in only 12 minutes. Success in the 1983 World Rally Manufacturers’ Championship was capped by victories in the European and Italian championships, obtained by a young driver from Bassano del Grappa behind the wheel of a Lancia Rally 037: 25-year-old Miki Biasion. The Vicenza native started out with satellite team Jolly Club and his car, dressed in Totip livery, dominated the European Championship, winning 11 out of 12 races. It was the beginning of prolific career aboard Lancia cars for Miki, who was soon drafted into the official Lancia Martini team and entered several more races with the 037 before switching to the incredible Delta S4, in which he notched his first WRC victory in the 1986 Rally Argentina, and later becoming one of the most successful drivers of the Lancia Delta Group A, along with Alén and Juha Kankkunen. Indeed, Biasion made a significant contribution to Lancia’s consecutive WRC constructors’ titles from 1987 to 1991, clinching the drivers’ championships in ’88 and ’89.

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It has become quite a tradition of Rétromobile that Swiss dealer Lukas Hüni assembles a show-stopping array of cars to a theme or two. This year it was the turn of Lancia, and there were no fewer than 23 cars from this once proud and revered marque on show to savour.

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For me the stand-out part of the display – and indeed of the whole event – were now fewer than 7 of the Stratos Stradale. One is rare, 7 all in one place is a sight you are not likely to see very often, if ever again. 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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Oldest Lancia here was a Series One example of the Lambda, an innovative car which was first shown in 1922. This particular car, shown on the Christoph Grohe stand, dates from 1923. Built in 9 series over a 10 year period, the Lambda pioneered a number of technologies that soon became commonplace in our cars. For example, it was the first car to feature a load-bearing monocoque-type body, (but without a stressed roof) and it also pioneered the use of an independent suspension (the front sliding pillar with coil springs). Vincenzo Lancia even invented a shock absorber for the car and it had excellent four wheel brakes. The narrow angle V4 engine which powered is not something which was widely copied. Approximately 11,200 Lambdas were produced. Most of them had the open Torpedo style body, but some of the last Series 8 and 9 cars had Weyman saloon bodies.

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There were two examples of the Astura here, looking very different. The Astura was made between 1931 and 1939. Lancia replaced the Lambda model with two models: the four-cylinder Artena and the larger, V8-powered Astura. Both of these models were introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 1931. The Astura chassis was used by various coachbuilders to create coupes, convertibles and sedans. The Astura evolved over four series: First series, built between 1931 and 1932 with 496 units made; Second series, built between 1932 and 1933 with 750 units made. The engine mountings were modified for this generation to reduce noise and vibration; Third series, built between 1933 and 1937 with 1,243 units made. The third-generation Astura was offered in short-wheelbase and long-wheelbase variants, and was powered by a new, larger engine; Fourth series, built between 1937 and 1939 with 423 units made and only offered in long-wheelbase. First of these was a rare Viotto-bodied 1934 Astura Short Chassis Torpedo Sport.

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Introduced at the end of 1931, the 1st Series Astura featured a 2604 cc V8 engine and a wheel base of 3177 cm. After a production of 500 cars, the 2nd Series came out in 1933 followed by the 3rd Series in 1934, featuring an increased engine size to 2972 cc . The most prestigious coachbuilders of the Thirties worked closely with Lancia to compliment the high quality cars with beautiful body designs, becoming increasingly exotic and streamlined with each next series. Pinin Farina made the coachwork for a number of Astura 3rd Series, but a very special batch of 4 to 5 cars was made as Astura Pinin Farina Cabriolet “Bocca”, a most extravagant design created for Pinin Farina by famous Italian designer Revelli de Beaumont for Lancia dealer Ernesto Bocca. It features the classic Lancia radiator shell , a very long bonnet, very aerodynamic ponton wings, a very distinct rear section, fold-down windscreen and a number of further unusual design details. This design is considered to be the most elegant of all times for any Italian open luxury automobile.

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In 1937, Lancia launched a new model which looked very different to what had gone before. This was the Aprilia, one of the first cars to be designed using a wind tunnel. This was in collaboration with Battista Farina and Politecnico di Torino and allowed the car to achieve a record low drag coefficient of 0.47. This was the last of Vincenzo Lancia’s designs, with the car entering production in the very month in which he died. The first series (model. 238) of which 10,354 units were built between 1937–39 featured a 1,352 cc V4 motor providing 47 bhp. The second series (model. 438) of which 9,728 were made, was first seen in 1939 and production of which continued after the war, had its engine capacity increased to 1,486 cc which provided 48 bhp. A Lusso model of this second series was also offered as well as a lungo (lengthened) version. 706 of these were made between 1946 and 1949, making a grand total of 20,082 cars, with 7,554 additional chassis for coach built bodies, produced in Turin along with about 700 in France. With the Aprilia, Lancia followed their tradition of offering cars with the steering wheel on the right even in markets seen by other manufacturers as left hand drive markets. Outside the UK and Sweden customers increasingly picked the optional left hand drive versions, however. Although the regular Berlina is the best known version, the car was available with a number of coachbuilt bodies.

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The Lancia Aprilia Berlinetta Aerodinamica was built at Lancia factory with streamlined body. The car was propelled by a very small narrow angle V4 typically producing 47 hp. This particular car was prepared by Farina Design with Aluminium Barchetta Body. The car with streamlined body weighted only 760 kg and was propelled by enhanced V4 producing 85 hp. Race participation of this car include Mille Miglia 1939.

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

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Named after one of the roads leading to Rome, like other Lancia models of the 1950s, the Flaminia was the replacement for the Aurelia. Built from 1957 to 1970, it was Lancia’s flagship model, produced in saloon, coupé and cabriolet versions. The Flaminia coupé and convertible were coachbuilt cars with bodies from several prestigious Italian coachbuilders. Four “presidential” stretched limousine Flaminias were produced by Pininfarina for use on state occasions. There were 12,633 Flaminias sold over 13 years. Coupés outsold the four-door saloon, an unusual occurrence otherwise seen at the time only in American compact and midsize models whose coupe versions were standard factory models that cost the same or less than the sedan, while the Flaminia coupes’ coachbuilt bodies made them considerably more expensive than the limousine-like Berlina. The Flaminia’s chassis was a development of the Aurelia’s, but was significantly upgraded. The front suspension was changed to a more conventional configuration with double wishbones, coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers, and an anti-roll bar. The rear suspension retained the De Dion setup, with a transaxle mounted at the rear as in the Aurelia. The first Berlina was available with drum brake or discs, all other models used discs only. The original two bodies of the Flaminia were developed by Pininfarina and modelled after his two Aurelia-based motor show specials, named Florida, as seen in the Corrado Lopresto collection presented earlier in this report. The Flaminia’s engine was an evolution of the world’s first V6, which was introduced in the Aurelia. It had increased bore and decreased stroke. The engines were mounted longitudinally, powering the rear wheels through a 4-speed rear-mounted transaxle. A version with a larger engine was introduced in 1962. The first Coupe model was designed and built by Pininfarina, and was very similar to the Florida II prototype with a 2+2 layout, sitting on a shortened wheelbase relative to the Berlina. This proved to be the most popular of the Coupe versions, with 5,236 Coupés made(4,151 with the 2.5, 1,085 with the 2.8) up to 967. A second Coupe model was made available in 1961, styled and built by Carrozzeria Touring. These aluminium bodied cars can be easily distinguished by their four round headlights (rather than two on Pininfarina Flaminias), and a shorter cabin – the wheelbase was decreased significantly for the GT and Convertible, allowing for only two seats to be mounted. The GT was a coupé, while the Convertible was obviously a cabriolet version (with optional hardtop). The GTL, introduced in 1962, was a 2+2 version of the GT with a slightly longer wheelbase. The Convertible was in production until 1964, with 847 made in total (180 with the 2.8), while the GT and GTL lasted until 1965, with 1718 GTs and 300 GTLs made (out of which, 168 GTs and 297 GTLs with the 2.8). Final bodystyle, and the one seen here was produced by Zagato. This was also a two-seater. It used the same shorter wheelbase chassis as the GT, and had a very distinctive rounded aluminium body with pop-out handles. The Super Sport replaced the Sport in 1964, with the introduction of the 2.8 litre 152 bhp engine. The first Sports had flush covered headlights, later changed to more classic round ones. The Super Sport also saw some changes – the rear was updated to a Kammback, while the front was made more aerodynamic with distinctive tear-shape headlight casings. Until 1967, 593 Sports and Super Sports were built (99 Preseries, 344 Sports, 150 Supersports). There were examples of the Berlina, the elegant Touring Convertible as well as the Zagato bodied SuperSport.

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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.

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There was another example of the 037 here, this one a rally car as opposed to the Stradale version on Lancia’s own stand.

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The Lancia D23 is a racing car which made its debut at Monza on June 29, 1953. Now officially decided to go down the field in competitions of the category “sport” (and then, as we shall see, even in the “Formula One”), Lancia, after the onset of the berlinetta quite satisfactory D20 three-liter in the spring of 1953, believes essential to transform his “weapon” from coupe in spyder, to save weight and increase agility. Since the decision is taken when the season is well underway, the implementation of the new spider is imposed with extreme urgency. During the months of May and June, 1953, the entire racing department working almost continuously, 24 hours on 24, and, using parts taken from prototypes D20 (D20 and then by the same sedans are no longer used in the race), is able to build four spider: two shall be completed on June 27, a July 7 and the last on July 23 (dates refer to the day of registration, that is targatura). Apart from the different bodywork, the new D23 does not differ much from the D20 and, while competing in nine races, are to be considered essentially a “model-bridge” between the D20 and the D24 later, the “mythical” Carrera model. The onset of the first two D23 takes place at Monza on June 29th 1953, just two days after their targatura. The new model is mainly characterized by the body “open” (such as “boat” as it was called at the time), which ultimately is nothing if not a D20’s private pavilion. Made in a hurry inside Lancia plants (albeit with the help of staff Pininfarina posted therein), the car comes with a line that does not appear harmonious as that of the sedan and especially the back of the machine little convincing: despite the aesthetics of the car does not affect performance, Lancia there is also concerned with this aspect, so that, in the months to follow, the D23 undergo some changes (in particular, reshaped the tail). From the technical point of view the differences with the parent are not many: the engine and the bodies of the transmission are identical, the frame ( step and roadways are unchanged) is changed in the central part and in part also in the rear, while the suspension is an afterthought, in the sense that after the first race in Monza (in which one of the two mounts D23 experimentally the rear De Dion while the other has the same suspension of D20), you decide to mount the rear – despite the lack of enthusiasm of the designer Jano – the bridge to semi-independent wheels (the type De Dion, of course). Disappear subsidiary friction dampers. Apart from the changes to aesthetic, the D23 underwent few changes of particular importance in the course of its career, which ended in late November to the Mexican Carrera. In the meantime, get to the stage the D24,  that happens, and you just have a few D23 surviving the role of “mule” for training.

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Completing the display was a mini-version of the legendary D50. A Formula One racing car, it was designed by Vittorio Jano for Lancia in 1954. The car’s design made use of many innovative features, such as the use of the engine as a stressed chassis member, the off-centre positioning of the engine to allow a lower overall height, and pannier fuel cells for better weight distribution and aerodynamics. The D50 made its race debut toward the end of the 1954 Formula One season in the hands of two-time and reigning World Champion, Italian driver Alberto Ascari. In its very first event Ascari took both pole position in qualifying and fastest race lap, although his car’s clutch failed after only ten laps. Following Ascari’s death, and in increasing financial trouble, the Lancia family sold their controlling share in the Lancia company, and the assets of Scuderia Lancia were given to Scuderia Ferrari. Ferrari continued to develop the car, although they removed many of Jano’s most innovative designs, and the car was rebadged as the Lancia-Ferrari D50 and later simply the Ferrari D50. Juan Manuel Fangio won the 1956 World Championship of Drivers with this car modified by Ferrari. During their competition lifespan D50s were entered into 14 World Championship Formula One Grands Prix, winning five. Just six D50s were built and two of them are displayed in Italian museums.

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There were a number of other Lancia models elsewhere in the event. Oldest of these was this

This is another of those Aprilia-based Convertibles.

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I’ve seen this car once before, and was surprised to learn just how tiny it is. One of the most amazing concept cars ever, this is the 1970 Lancia Bertone Stratos Zero. This concept car pre-empted the Lancia Stratos HF prototype by 12 months and was first shown to the public at the Turin Motor Show in 1970. The futuristic bodywork was designed by Marcello Gandini, head designer at Bertone, and it featured a 1.6 lire Lancia Fulvia V4 engine. For a long time the car was kept in Bertone’s museum, and then in 2011 it was sold at auction in Italy for €761.600 More recently it has been on display in the exhibit “Sculpture in Motion: Masterpieces of Italian Design” at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and then until it arrived in London for this event, it has been shown in the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA at the Dream Cars exhibition. The body was wedge-shaped, finished in distinctive orange and was an unusually short, at just 141 inches in length and only 33 inches tall, and shared little with the production version. The Zero appeared in Michael Jackson’s 1988 film, Moonwalker. At this event, the car won the RM Auctions Award for “Most Innovative Car of its Era”.

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There were further examples of the production Stratos to be found elsewhere in the show.

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Also to be found across some of the dealer examples were an Aurelia B24, this one a Convertible with the flatter windscreen, another Flaminia Super Sport and a further 037.

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And finally there was this, a Lancia Beta Montecarlo Group 5, one of only 11 works Lancia Beta built. It gained Constructor World Championship in 1980 and 1981. It was driven by Alboreto, Cheever, Patrese and Ghinzani.



Also on the Jaguar Land-Rover Heritage stand 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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This 1977 Ligier MATRA MS76 is propelled by a 2993 cc 510 hp V12 Matra engine.

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Beginning in 1954, company manager and racing driver Brian Lister brought out the first in a series of sports cars from a Cambridge iron works. Inspired by Cooper, he used a tubular ladder chassis, de Dion rear axle, and inboard drum brakes. Like others, he used a tuned MG engine and stock gearbox. It made its debut at the British Empire Trophy at Oulton Park in 1954, with former MG pilot Archie Scott Brown at the wheel. Later, Lister swapped in a Moore-tuned Bristol two-litre engine and knockoff wire wheels in place of the MG’s discs to improve performance. For the sports car race supporting the 1954 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Scott Brown won the two-litre class and placed fifth overall behind only works Aston Martins. In 1955, a handful of Lister-Bristols were built with a new body built by an ex-Bristol employee with the aid of a wind tunnel. Despite its new fins and strakes, it was less successful than the original Lister-Bristol of 1954. Lister moved up to a six-cylinder motor from a Formula 2 Maserati A6GCS for their own car, while customers continued to receive the Bristol motor, sold for ₤3900. Lister also attempted single-seater racing with a multi-tube chassis powered by a Coventry-Climax motor and using an MG gearbox, but the car was a failure. For 1957, Lister redesigned the car around a 3.4 litre Jaguar D-type Jaguar D-type XK inline-six, with an aerodynamic aluminium body; it was tested by racing journalist John Bolster, performing a 0–100 mph run in 11.2 seconds. Driver Archie Scott Brown won the 1957 British Empire Trophy in the new Lister-Jaguar. Refined again in 1958, the Lister-Jaguar entered international competitions. Brown was killed that season when he crashed the Lister-Jaguar at Spa-Francorchamps. Lister also developed another single-seater car based on the Lister-Jaguar, for use in the unique Race of Two Worlds at Monza. Cars from this era are affectionately known as the “Lister Knobbly” cars, due to their curved bodywork. For 1959, Lister hired aerodynamicist Frank Costin who produced entirely new bodywork built around a new Chevrolet Corvette powerplant. However, the front-engine layout of the new Lister-Chevrolet was quickly eclipsed by the rear-engine layout of the new Cooper sports car. By the end of 1959, Lister withdrew from competition, although production of sports cars continued for customers. More recently, of course, there has been a series of 10 “new” Lister Jaguar cars produced.

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This LOLA T600 is the first ground effect prototype, foreshadowing the advent of the Group C. It is powered by a Cosworth V8 DFL 3.3 Litre producing 540 hp at 10.200 rpm. It weights 850 kg. I finished 14th overall in 1981, despite running into gearbox problems right from the very first lap. In 1981, with Guy Edwards and Emilio De Villota sharing the wheel, it won two victories in the World Endurance Championship. Ever since the appearance of the T600, in the absence of any regulations prohibiting it, no racing car has since been designed without a ground-effect diffuser. Eligible for Classic Endurance racing 2 and Le Mans Classic Grid 6.

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The silver Italdesign concept that eventually became the Esprit was unveiled at the Turin Motor Show in 1972 as a concept car, and was a development of a stretched Lotus Europa chassis. It was among the first of designer Giorgetto Giugiaro’s polygonal “folded paper” designs. Originally, the name Kiwi was proposed, but in keeping with the Lotus tradition of having all car model names start with the letter “E”, the name became Esprit. The production Esprit was launched in October 1975 at the Paris Auto Show, and went into production in June 1976, replacing the Europa in the Lotus model lineup. These first cars eventually became known as S1 Esprits. With a steel backbone chassis and a fibreglass body, the Esprit was powered by the Lotus 907 4-cylinder engine, as previously used in the Jensen Healey. This engine displaced 2.0 litre, produced 160 bhp in European trim 140 bhp in US/Federal trim, and was mounted longitudinally behind the passengers, as in its predecessor. The transaxle gearbox was a 5-speed manual unit, previously used in the Citroën SM and Maserati Merak; it featured inboard rear brakes, as was racing practice at the time. The Series 1 embodied Lotus’ performance through light weight mantra, weighing less than 1,000 kg (2,205 lb). The original Esprit was lauded for its handling and is said to have the best steering of any Esprit. However, it was generally regarded as lacking power, especially in markets such as the United States where the engine was down-rated for emissions purposes. Lotus’ claim of 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 138 mph may be thought of as optimistic – actual road test times indicated 0-60 mph in 8 seconds and a top speed of around 133 mph. The S1 Esprit can be distinguished from later Esprits by a shovel-style front air dam, Fiat X1/9 tail lights, lack of body-side ducting, and Wolfrace alloy wheels. Inside the car, the most obvious indication of an S1 Esprit is a one-piece instrument cluster with green-faced Veglia gauges. The car gained fame through its appearance in the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) where a fictionally-modified version was featured in a long action sequence. Bond’s Esprit car is first chased on road, by a motorcycle, then by another car, and then a helicopter, then converts into a submarine for an undersea battle. A series of improvements made to the Esprit during its initial run culminated in the S2 Esprit, which was introduced in 1978. The most obvious of these changes are intake and cooling duct “ears” located behind the rear quarter window, tail lights from the Rover SD1, and an integrated front spoiler. S2 Esprits also used 14-inch Speedline alloy wheels designed specifically for Lotus. Other changes included relocating the battery from above the right side fuel tank (under the rear quarter window) to the rear of the car, adding an access door to the engine cover, as well as replacing the instrument cluster made by Veglia with individual gauges made by Smiths and using different style of switches on the dashboard. During this era, a special edition car was released to commemorate Lotus’s racing victories and their victory in the 1978 F1 World Championship. Sharing the black and gold colour scheme of Lotus’ then F1 sponsor, John Player & Sons, these cars are commonly known as the John Player Special (JPS) Esprits. The “JPS” Esprit has the same mechanicals as the regular two-litre S2. According to Lotus themselves a limited series of 300 was built, but most likely the total was considerably lower.Lotus’ records of production figures are notoriously vague, but best estimates suggest that 149 JPS Esprits were produced. The S2.2 was produced as a stop-gap model from May 1980, almost identical to the S2 but with an enlarged (2.2 litre) type 912 engine used. This kept horsepower the same, but bumped up torque from 140 lb·ft to 160 lb·ft. Importantly, the S2.2 also introduced the use of a galvanised chassis, although it did not benefit from the succeeding S3’s chassis improvements. These cars are extremely rare even among Esprits: according to Lotus themselves, only 88 were produced in its thirteen-month production span. In 1980 the first factory turbocharged Esprit was launched. Initially, this was another special edition model commemorating F1 ties and reflecting current sponsorship, this time in the blue, red and chrome livery of Essex Petroleum, and is therefore known as the Essex Esprit. The new turbocharged dry-sump type 910 engine produced 210 hp and 200 lb·ft of torque. 0-60 mph could be achieved in 6.1 seconds, with a top speed of 150 mph. These performance improvements were coupled to a redesign and strengthening of the chassis and rear suspension, where an upper link was added to alleviate strain on the driveshafts, along with brake improvements. The Essex cars introduced a Giugiaro-designed aerodynamic body kit with a rear lip spoiler, prominent louvered rear hatch, more substantial bumpers, a deeper front airdam, and air ducts in the sills just ahead of the rear wheels, which were 15″ Compomotive three piece items. Internally, scarlet leather, combined with a roof-mounted Panasonic stereo, made for a dramatic environment. 45 Essex Esprits were built, interspersed and followed by a number of non Essex-liveried but otherwise identical specification dry-sump turbo cars. Two Essex-spec Turbo Esprits – one in white and the other in copper – were featured in the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only (1981), although these were scripted as the same vehicle – the white one was destroyed by an anti-burglar explosion system in Spain, while the copper red one was a “rebuild” of the original (actually a joke between Bond and Q in the latter’s laboratory), and was fully functional (the copper exterior paint colour for the replacement car was chosen to make the car stand out more in filming against the snowy background of Cortina, Italy, the only locale in which it appears). By the close of 1980, Lotus was effectively building three different models of Esprit, with distinct chassis designs and body moulds – the Domestic S2.2, the Export S2.2, and the dry-sump Turbo Esprit. Introduced in April 1981, the Turbo Esprit and S3 Esprits marked a necessary consolidation: both new models had a common chassis, inheriting much of the configuration of the Essex cars, whilst body production was based on a single common set of moulds. The S3 continued to use the 2.2 litre type 912 engine of the S2.2, whilst the Turbo Esprit reverted to a less complex wet-sump lubrication system, retaining the power and torque outputs of its dry-sump predecessor. The interior for both cars was revised and featured new trim; combined with changes to the body moulds this resulted in more headroom and an enlarged footwell. Externally, the Turbo Esprit retained the full aerodynamic body kit of the Essex cars, and featured prominent ‘turbo esprit’ decals on the nose and sides; the S3 gained the more substantial bumpers, yet retained the simpler sill line and glazed rear hatch of the S2.2 body style. Both models were supplied with 15″ BBS alloy wheels. For the 1985 model year, the S3 and Turbo underwent some slight alterations to the bodywork and to the front suspension. In April 1986, the final incarnations of the Giugiaro-styled Esprit were announced, with raised engine compression giving rise to the ‘HC’ moniker. This increased the output of the naturally aspirated engine to 172 hp and 160 lb·ft for the Esprit HC, and to 215 hp and 220 lb·ft for the Turbo Esprit HC, with the increased torque available at a lower rpm. For markets with stringent emissions requirements (mainly the United States), Lotus introduced the HCi variant, teaming the higher compression engine with Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection and a catalytic converter- the first fuel-injected Esprits. This engine had the same peak power as the carburettor version, but at a somewhat higher engine speed, and torque dropped to 202 lb·ft. Seen here was one of the limited edition Esprit S2 JPS cars.

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This is a 1991 GT1, known internally as Type-115, a race car developed for grand tourer-style sports car racing starting in 1997. Lotus Cars had previously been using the Lotus Esprit GT1 –a racing version of their Lotus Esprit road car– in the BPR Global GT Series since its foundation in 1994, competing in the premiere GT1 class against the likes of the McLaren F1 GTR, Venturi 600LM, Ferrari F40 GTE and others. However, in 1997, the series came to be known as the FIA GT Championship and manufacturer involvement was increased with the new international exposure. Porsche was the first to start a new breed of racing cars in 1996, with their purpose-built homologation special known as the 911 GT1. This was quickly followed by the announcement that Mercedes-Benz planned to do the same with their CLK GTR for 1997. Thus Lotus decided that in order to remain competitive in the GT1 class, it would be required to follow the route set forth by Porsche and Mercedes-Benz. However, the company management was aware that they lacked the resources available that Porsche and Mercedes had to create not only the race cars but also the street legal variants. Therefore at a guaranteed loss of money for the company, Lotus decided to take an alternate route- making a single road version of their new race car. With this in mind, Lotus set about to develop their racing car. Lotus decided to abandon the aged Esprit chassis and instead turn to its new sports car, the Elise. Lotus knew that the Elise’s inline-4 engine would not be competitive so it was initially decided that the car would use the 3.5 L V8 engine from the Esprit sports car. However, testing showed that the engine was not as reliable as hoped. After installation of it in the road car, Lotus teams were left to decide whether or not to use the Lotus V8 or opt for a Chevrolet LT5 5.7 L V8 engine from the Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1, a car which Lotus had jointly developed when they had been under the ownership of General Motors. Lotus further developed the LT5 by fitting it with a flat-plane crankshaft, adding two turbochargers and increasing its displacement to 6.0 L for the Elise GT1 Race car. Seven Elise GT1 racing chassis were built, going to factory teams GT1 Lotus Racing (run by Fabien Giroix’s First Racing) as well as privateers GBF UK and Martin Veyhle Racing. The factory GT1 Lotus Racing team would be the only ones to opt for the Chevrolet V8 instead of the Lotus twin-turbocharged unit. The Elise GT1’s water-cooled 3.5 L Type 918 Garrett twin-turbocharged V8 engine has a power output of 550 PS (542 hp) at 6,500 rpm and the modified 6.0 L Chevrolet LT5 V8 engine has a power output of 615 PS (607 hp) at 7,200 rpm. Only the factory cars had the LT5 V8 engine and the road version had the Type 918 V8 with the former proving to be more problematic. Both of the engines helped propel the car from 0–60 mph in 3.8 seconds and 3.2 seconds respectively and on to a top speed of approximately 320 km/h (199 mph). The race cars were initially fitted with a Hewland 6-speed sequential manual transmission, although multiple other transmissions were used during their life span. The road version was fitted with a Renault 5-speed manual transmission. Even with such performance figures, the car wasn’t able to match the performance of its competitors at LeMans and would see a dreadful fate. Debuting at Hockenheim, on 13 April (first round of the 1997 FIA GT Championship season), the three factory Elise GT1s and the privateer GBF car took to the grid. Their debut was short lived, as all four cars failed to finish, all due to alternator problems in the engine. For race two (Silverstone, 11 May), privateer GBF UK received their second car (an untested chassis bearing number 06 driven by Andrea Boldrini and Mauro Martini). Again the three factory cars suffered, failing to finish because of gearbox difficulty. GBF’s Elise GT1s fared slightly better, with one of their entries actually finishing, although classified last and 25 laps down from the winner. The third race of the season in Helsinki was a shorter race, featuring a smaller field (23 cars). Only three Elise GT1s were entered, but GBF was able to succeed in taking 5th place, earning them points in the championship. The other two Elise GT1s also finished the race as well, an improvement for the company. As the season progressed, the teams began to suffer. After Helsinki was the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in which only a lone GT1 was entered due to concern over the car’s ability to last 24 hours. The car had an oil pump failure after 121 laps. Returning to the FIA championship at the Nürburgring, the full complement of five cars managed a best result of only 11th, while at Spa they achieved 8th, but at Zeltweg all five cars failed to finish again. The teams did not attempt the Suzuka round and again could only earn 12th place at Donington and 11th at Mugello when the series returned to Europe. The final two races in the United States saw only the factory team bring two cars, in which they managed finishes of 13th and 9th-place. The factory squad ended the season without any points, while GBF’s points finish at Helsinki earned them 8th place in the championship. Following the 1997 season, Lotus and its parent company, Proton, decided that the GT1 was not only lacking in pace in comparison to Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and the older McLarens, but that it was also extremely expensive. The Chevrolet V8 was not a custom built race engine like its competitors, leaving it lacking in top speed while the Lotus twin-turbocharged V8 was faring even worse. The chassis was also too similar to a production car to compete with the exotic designs of other cars. The project was therefore cancelled and the factory team folded. The privateer teams also either folded or bought more capable cars. Miraculously, in 2003 British squad Team Elite announced plans to purchase the Elise GT1 chassis #05 and to use in the 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2004 as a closed cockpit Le Mans prototype. This was similar to a plan by Panoz and French squad Larbre Compétition to use a Panoz Esperante GTR-1, a car which had originally competed with the Elise GT1 in FIA GT in 1997, as a closed cockpit prototype as well. The Elise would be modified to meet modern regulations as well as to attempt to bring the seven-year-old car up to speed. At Sebring, the car proved its age, lasting a mere seven laps before its transmission failed. The project was promptly cancelled.



This is a 1988 March 86G Le Mans. Bought, sponsored and extensively raced in 1988 by Gianpiero Moretti, the owner of MOMO, it is the most developed MARCH BUICK 86G from the IMSA GTP period. It is highly eligible for the Group C racing series.



This is a very famous version of the 4CLT, as it was driven by the legendary Fangio. The Maserati 4CL and its derived sister model the Maserati 4CLT are single-seat racing cars that were designed and built by Maserati. The 4CL was introduced at the beginning of the 1939 season, as a rival to the Alfa Romeo 158 and various ERA models in the voiturette class of international Grand Prix motor racing. Although racing ceased during World War II, the 4CL was one of the front running models at the resumption of racing in the late 1940s. Experiments with two-stage supercharging and tubular chassis construction eventually led to the introduction of the revised 4CLT model in 1948. The 4CLT was steadily upgraded and updated over the following two years, resulting in the ultimate 4CLT/50 model, introduced for the inaugural year of the Formula One World Championship in 1950. In the immediate post-war period, and the first two years of the Formula One category, the 4CLT was the car of choice for many privateer entrants, leading to numerous examples being involved in most races during this period. After the replacement of the factory team’s 4CLs by the new 4CLT, many examples of the older cars found their way into privateer hands. It was owing to the 4CL’s popularity with privateer entrants that many were still being run in top-flight competition at the outset of the Formula One World Championship in 1950. Chassis and engine changes made to the experimental 4CLs eventually coalesced into the 4CLT, the appended T denoting its tubular chassis. The improvements in torsional rigidity that the tubular construction brought were required to counteract the increases in torque and power resulting from the twin-supercharger upgrade of the elderly inline-4 engine. Power was up to approximately 260 bhp, from the 4CL’s 220. Other changes included the use of roller bearings for the crankshaft, forged (rather than cast) rear suspension components, and the chassis was designed to run with hydraulic dampers from the outset. The first variant of the 4CLT earned its “Sanremo” nickname from the first race for which it was entered: the 1948 Sanremo Grand Prix. The name stuck, as Alberto Ascari took his 4CLT to victory in its maiden race appearance. A portent of things to come, Villoresi and Reg Parnell won five of the 1948 season’s remaining races. In the first year of the Formula One World Championship, a Sanremo scored what was to be the Maserati’s best Championship finish, when Louis Chiron took third place at his home Grand Prix: the 1950 Monaco Grand Prix. The last 4CL variant to compete in the World Championship was a 4CLT/48 modified by the Arzani-Volpini team, that failed to even qualify for the 1955 Italian Grand Prix. For 1949, minor modifications to the brake drums, switching from vanes to slits for cooling, along with small changes to the cockpit control layout and a repositioned oil header-tank resulted in a car sometimes referred to as the 4CLT/49. It was never known as such by the factory. The Ascari/Villoresi/Parnell trio, joined by Juan Manuel Fangio and Toulo de Graffenried, took up where they had left off the previous season, winning nine of the first fifteen races of 1949, including de Graffenried’s victory in the British Grand Prix. However, the second half of the season only saw three further wins, as increasingly competitive Ferrari and Talbot cars squeezed out the Maseratis in most major races. 1950 saw the introduction of the FIA World Championship of Drivers. In response to improvements to the Alfa 158 and the already competitive Ferrari and Talbot, Maserati again upgraded the 4CLT’s engine. A multi-part crankshaft, lightened and balanced rods, a more powerful pair of superchargers and changes to the ignition timing took engine output up to a claimed 280 bhp. Coupled to shedding 10 kg (22 lb) from the car’s weight, this brought the Maserati up to near-Alfa levels of performance. Although moderately competitive in short runs, the final upgrades proved to be too much for the decade-old powerplant’s design and the 4CLT’s Grand Prix performance was hindered by engine failures. The season’s only Formula One wins came in non-Championship events. Fangio won the Pau Grand Prix on the same day as Parnell took the Richmond Trophy at Goodwood. David Hampshire won the Nottingham Trophy later in the year. Fangio also won the Formula Two Ramparts Grand Prix, at Angoulême, in a 4CLT chassis fitted with an A6GCM engine. The Milano team modified a 4CLT for use in 1950 and 1951, but without success. Also for 1951 B. Bira modified his ’49-spec 4CLT to accept a more powerful, 4,450 cc naturally aspirated OSCA V12 engine. This engine developed around 300 bhp With it Bira won the Goodwood race early in the season, but in its only World Championship appearance, at the 1951 Spanish Grand Prix, it retired on the first lap.

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Dating from 1953 is the A6GCS/53 Spider. By the early 1950s, business was improving for Maserati with the introduction of exciting and successful new cars for both road and track. Their new post-war models, which featured the A6 1,500-cubic centimeter six-cylinder and the A6G two-liter six-cylinder engines designed by Alberto Massimino, produced sprightly performance, but more power would be necessary to win races. Enter the A6GCS, which evolved into the A6GCS/53. This new car used an updated version of the Maserati two-liter, which was developed by Gioacchino Colombo and inspired by a Formula Two design used in the A6GCM. The new engine featured a cast aluminum block fitted with cast-iron cylinder liners for new aluminum pistons and twin overhead camshafts with dual-plug ignition. This short-stroke architecture with seven main bearings by Vandervell, which is supported by a nitrided crankshaft, produced a prodigious 170 horsepower in the catalogued “Mille Miglia” tune. The competition-oriented A6GCS/53 created a sensation for Maserati from its launch. The CS, for “Corsa Sport,” featured a tubular chassis generally made by Gilco, who also supplied Ferrari and other specialty builders of the time. In total, a mere 52 examples were built between 1953 and 1955, with 48 of them being open spyders and four of them built with the berlinetta body by Pinin Farina. Of the spyders, Carrozzeria Fantuzzi provided the most sinuously shapely bodies, which were crafted from lightweight aluminium. Now appropriately re-engineered, the A6GCS/53 achieved remarkable results in international competition. Among its victories were the 1953 Mille Miglia, where it achieved 3rd overall and 1st and 2nd in class, battling Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari teams. It was well campaigned in Europe and the UK, South America, and especially in the U.S. Through subsequent years, the A6GCS/53 remained competitive, and as a result, many of them underwent multiple engine changes and other modifications. Quite often, as with other Italian racing cars of the period that raced in the U.S. and South America, strong, reliable, and readily available American powerplants were used to replace worn or destroyed Maserati units.

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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.


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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Even more exclusive is this example of the 5000GT. The first car in the Tipo 103 series, was the Shah of Persia, delivered to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who had been impressed by the Maserati 3500. He commissioned Maserati’s chief engineer Giulio Alfieri to use a slightly modified 5-litre engine from the Maserati 450S on the 3500GT’s chassis. Carrozzeria Touring developed the superleggera tubing and aluminium body of the two-seater coupé. The second car, also a Shah of Persia by Touring, was displayed at Salone dell’automobile di Torino 1959. Specifications for the first 5000 GT were: Maserati 450S-derived four OHC 4,937 cc V8 generating 325 hp at 5500 rpm, with Lucas mechanical injection or four 45 DCOE Weber carburettor, a dual fuel pump, mechanical Magneti-Marelli ignition, dual spark plug, a 4-speed ZF gearbox (later 5-speed) and front discs with rear drums (later all discs). In 1960, the engine was modified: the displacement increased to 4,940 cc with a longer stroke and a smaller bore, with fuel injection added. The new engine developed 340 hp. The fuel injected 5000 GT was shown at the 1960 Salone di Torino. After the first body by Touring, the main body partner since 1960 became Carrozzeria Allemano which did 22 of the cars, designed by Giovanni Michelotti. Other builders were Pietro Frua (3), Carrozzeria Monterosa (2), Pininfarina (1), Ghia (Sergio Sartorelli) (1), Giovanni Michelotti (1), Bertone (Giorgetto Giugiaro) (1) and Carrozzeria Touring (2 more). In 1961, Bertone built a one-off 5000 GT that featured a body designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. The car had a Tipo 104 chassis and a different engine than the standard 5000 GT. The 5000 GT was sold at prices around US$17,000 (twice the cost of a Maserati 3500), and in many respects individualised to the desires of its celebrity buyers, including Karim Aga Khan, Italian industrialist Gianni Agnelli, sportsman Briggs Cunningham, actor Stewart Granger, Ferdinando Innocenti (Ghia-bodied 5000 GT), Basil Read, Swiss entrepreneur Otto Nef, count Giuseppe Comola, and president Adolfo López Mateos.


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.


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 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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Final road-going Maserati I spotted was a Bora. Shortly after Citroën took a controlling interest in Maserati in 1968, the concept of a mid-engined two-seat sports car was proposed. Lamborghini and De Tomaso already had the Miura and Mangusta whilst Ferrari were known to be developing their own mid-engined contender. Initially known as Tipo 117 and later the Bora, the Maserati project got underway in October 1968 and a prototype was on the road by mid-1969. Shown in its final form at the Geneva Salon in March 1971, deliveries began before the end of the year. Maserati had developed a reputation for producing technologically out of date cars, but that changed with the Bora. A number of innovative features were introduced that distinguished the car from their previous offerings. Compared to other supercars it was civilised and practical, featuring a hydraulically powered pedal cluster that could be moved forward and backwards at the touch of a button and a steering wheel that could be tilted and telescoped, addressing the common problem of entering and exiting the vehicle common to all supercars. Most supercars offer little foot room and little to no provision for luggage, but the Bora has a full-size boot in the front of the vehicle, and was otherwise known as being much more civilised in comforts from its competitors, while still being rated at 171 mph by the Maserati factory. Unlike its competitors, the Bora used dual-pane glass separating its cabin from the engine compartment as well as a carpeted aluminium engine cap, greatly decreasing the engine noise in the cabin and increasing the comfort level for the driver. Two engines were offered initially, including a high-revving 4.7-litre V8 and a higher torque 4.9-litre V8; a US smog-qualified 4.9-litre engine was used (a stroked version of the 4.7), starting with 1973 deliveries. Eventually, production switched to using only a more powerful version of the 4.9-litre engine producing 320 hp at 6000 rpm. All these engines traced their lineage back to the famous 450S racecar, were aluminium alloy, had hemispheric combustion chambers with 16 valves total operated by four cams (chain-driven) and fed by eight throats of Weber carburettors, fired by electronic ignition. The extraordinarily competent and strong ZF-1 five-speed transaxle was used, as it was with the GT-40, Pantera, BMW M1, and other supercars of this era. Regardless of engine size or modification level, the Bora was considered an extraordinarily powerful car in its time. A combined steel monocoque chassis and body featured a tubular steel subframe at the back for the engine and transmission. Suspension was independent all round (a first for a Maserati road car) with coil springs, telescopic shocks and anti-roll bars. The development prototype and the broadly similar show car first seen at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show featured MacPherson strut based front suspension, but this was abandoned for production because, installed in combination with very wide front tires and rack-and-pinion steering, the strut-based solution produced severe kickback. For the production cars Maserati reverted to a more conservative wishbone front-suspension arrangement. Citroën’s advanced high-pressure LHM hydraulics were adopted to operate the ventilated disc brakes on the main circuit, and on an auxiliary circuit the pedal box [clutch, brake, foot-throttle], the driver’s seat [vertical adjustments], and the retractable headlights. Wheels were 7.5 x 15 inch Campagnolo light alloy rims with distinctive removable polished stainless steel hubcaps in the earlier automobiles, and tyres were Michelin XWX 205×70 front and rear, however these early cars exhibited problems with “tramlining” at speed. To solve this problem Maserati fitted later cars with 215×70 Michelins’. Maserati decided to install a subtly uprated version of their familiar DOHC 90° V8, displacement having been 4719 cc thanks to a bore and stroke of 93.9 x 85 mm. Mounted longitudinally, compression was set at 8.5:1 and with four Weber 42 DCNF downdraught carbs and electronic Bosch ignition, the Bora could boast 310 bhp at 6000 rpm. Great attention was paid to reducing noise and vibration, the engine and five-speed ZF transaxle being mounted on a subframe attached to the monocoque via four flexible mounts. The body was created by Giorgetto Giugiaro for Ital Design, fabrication of the all-steel panels being contracted to Officine Padane of Modena. Standing 1138 mm high, perhaps the most distinctive details were the brushed stainless steel roof and windscreen pillars. Inside, the bucket seats, dash, door trim, centre console and rear bulkhead were trimmed in leather, electric windows having been standard, most cars also getting air conditioners. The steering column was manually adjustable for rake and reach, whereas the LHM aux. circuit controls adjusted the driver’s seat vertically, the pedal box [consisting of the brake, clutch and throttle pedals] horizontally forwards and backwards by around three inches (76 mm)–a first such application in the world for a production car, and also to raise and lower the concealed headlights in the front fenders. The Bora was the basis for the Merak, which used the same bodyshell front clip but in a 2+2 configuration, made possible by using a smaller, lighter and less powerful Maserati V6 engine, also used in the Citroën SM. Maserati struggled after being bought by De Tomaso in 1975, and the Bora was discontinued after the 1978 model year. Show by Gallery Brunnen, the green car is the very first production Bora.


The Maserati MC12 GT1 marked the return of one of Italy’s greatest brands to the track and its ascendance to the top step of the podium. Its competition debut came in the highly competitive 2004 FIA GT Championship with the factory-backed AF Corse squad. A year later and the Maserati MC12 GT1 won the FIA GT Manufacturers’ Cup, scoring almost double the championship points of the nearest competitor! The MC12 GT1 was powered by a 6.0-litre, V12, naturally aspirated engine, which, due to regulations, was fitted with a restrictor, resulting in the car producing an impressive 580 bhp. The MC12 GT1 was a dominant force, and over the next six seasons of racing, it claimed six FIA Teams’ Championships, two FIA GT Constructors’ Championships, six Drivers’ Championships and no less than 40 race victories! Designed for track use by its most important clientele, the Maserati MC12 Corsa was a direct development of the MC12 GT1. Void of restrictors, the race-derived 6.0-litre, naturally aspirated, V12 engine produced an incredible 745 bhp at 8,000 rpm — over 110 bhp more than the MC12 Stradale and 150 bhp more than the MC12 GT1 race car! The Maserati MC12 Corsa offered here, chassis 005, was the only car delivered in silver, with a fabulous bordeaux Alcantara interior to complement. With its dark grey wheels and exposed carbon-fibre rear wing and mounts, this MC12 Corsa has a fabulously understated yet unmistakeable presence — it’s purposeful but not flashy. Maserati produced only 12 of these ultimate track weapons to rival Ferrari’s 30 FXXs. Those 12 clients were offered the car by invitation, at a cost of €1,000,000. For your money, this MC12 Corsa could propel itself from 0 to 200 km/h (0–124 mph) in a mere 6.4 seconds and continue on to a top speed of 326 km/h (202 mph).

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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.



Once again, watch maker Richard Mille had a most impressive display of McLarens on their stand.

1984 MP4/4


2016 MP4/31


1969 M7C-01

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2010 MP4/25-04


1988 MP4/4

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1970 M14D

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1998 MP4/13-04

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1974 M23

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Elsewhere in the show was this F1 GTR Long Tail, the slightly modified racing version of the road car which had surprised everyone at the 1995 Le Mans 24 Hours by winning the race outright at its first attempt, a first in the history of the iconic race. This 1997 Longtail version chassis 24R finished 4th in 1998 Le Mans race. V12 BMW engine producing 600 hp with 5990 cc- claimed top speed 225 mph-weight 915 kg

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This 1923 Mercedes Type 6-40-65, which competed in the Targa Florio was the first of a series of supercharged Mercedes race cars.


The Mercedes-Benz S Type – also known as the 680 S because of its 6.8-litre engine capacity – was launched in 1927 as an evolution of the Mercedes-Benz Model K super sports car. It established the legendary family of heavyweight supercharged cars that included the SS and SSK models from 1928. The cars dominated racing history over the years, but could also be bought as conventional road vehicles. All vehicles in this family had a six-cylinder in-line engine with a supercharger to increase output. Power was also boosted by the dual ignition. Each cylinder had two spark plugs, one fired by a battery ignition and the other by a high-voltage magneto ignition. The 6.8-litre engine of the S Type, the model on which all the others were based, produced an output of 120 bhp (88 kW) without a supercharger and 180 bhp (132 kW) with the supercharger engaged. This made the S Type one of the fastest and most sought-after sports cars of its time. Its debut public appearance at the opening race at the Nürburgring in 1927 ended with a threefold victory for Mercedes-Benz. Rudolf Caracciola drove his S Type across the finishing line in first place. Only 146 of these exclusive high-performance sports cars were ever made, the vast majority of them sold as open-top four-seaters with a Sindelfingen body. A select few, however, such as this year’s Best in Show winner at Pebble Beach, were delivered as a chassis to have their bodywork made by the most famous coachbuilders of the era. For many years now, the Mercedes-Benz S Type has been one of the most popular collector’s cars and also one of the most valuable.


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.


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.

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The 300SL Roadster was the later evolution of the model known under development as the W198, the first iteration of the SL-Class grand tourer and 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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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.


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.


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.


This is a CLK GTR AMG, the W297, and a sports car and race car produced by Mercedes-AMG, the performance and motorsports arm of Mercedes-Benz. Intended for racing in the new FIA GT Championship series in 1997, the CLK GTR was designed primarily as a race car, with the road cars necessary in order to meet homologation standards being secondary in the car’s design. Thus the limited production of road-going cars are considered racing cars for the road. After competing successfully in 1997, the race car was modified in 1998 for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and renamed the CLK LM. Following the construction of the CLK LM and the CLK GTR road cars, the project would end in 1999 by being replaced by the Mercedes-Benz CLR Le Mans prototype. Even though the FIA GT1 class was cancelled in 1999, Mercedes was obliged to finally deliver the required minimum 25 road cars they had promised as per FIA rules. An initial road car was built in 1997 in order to meet initial FIA requirements, but this car was retained by Mercedes. For the other road cars, each was built by AMG at the Affalterbach factory between the winter of 1998 and the summer of 1999 and differed only slightly from the race car. Driver comfort and refinements were at a minimum in the construction of the road cars as Mercedes-Benz wished to not only offer customers a true race car, but also to attempt to keep the price low. The interior was upholstered in leather and an air conditioning system was offered. Two small storage lockers were also built underneath each upward swinging door. Traction control was also added for driver safety. The road car retained much of the design of the original CLK GTR instead of the CLK LM, including the V12 engine and many design elements. One key difference was the rear wing, which was a hoop-style integrated wing in place of the fixed separate racing wing on the road car. The road car shared the instrumentation, front grille, rear lights and the quad-headlamps with the Mercedes-Benz CLK.
Ilmor Engineering provided enhancements to the engine, increasing displacement from 5,987 cc to 6,898 cc, once stroked up to 92.4 mm (3.64 in). This increase in displacement coupled with the removal of an air restrictor allowed for a maximum power output of 612 PS at 6,800 rpm and torque of 775 Nm (572 lb/ft) at 5,250 rpm. Mercedes-AMG claimed a 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) acceleration time of 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 344 km/h (214 mph). The Guinness Book of World Records recorded the CLK GTR as the most expensive production car ever built at the time, with a price of US$1,547,620. Two road car prototypes were manufactured and do not have a numbered plaque that the subsequent production cars have on the door sills and centre console respectively. These prototypes have a plaque with the “Limited Edition” label. The second prototype (VIN WDBA2973971Y000002) was auctioned in 2003 by Bonhams for 800,000 Euros. Twenty coupés were made separate from the pre-production cars and each have a serial number labelled 01/25 through 20/25. No coupés were manufactured with the numbers 21/25 through 25/25. Instead, these numbers represented the initially planned five roadsters (an additional sixth roadster was made at the end of production run). While most of the coupes are finished in silver, chassis #19 has a dark blue paint scheme while #20 has a black paint scheme. Chassis #17 was formerly painted red but was repainted in silver when sold by Ferrari of Fort Lauderdale. Prototype #1 and production cars bearing chassis number #05, #07, and #13 have tartan interiors. Two of the 26 cars produced were equipped with RHD steering: one coupé (chassis number #13, silver exterior/tartan interior) and one roadster (chassis number #2, dark silver exterior/magenta interior). These were constructed for Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei. Both RHD cars were auctioned on 28 October 2009 by RM Auctions in London.[16] The roadster was sold for £616,000 (US$973,834) and the coupe for £522,500 (US$824,609). After the completion of the 20 original CLK GTR coupés, AMG’s specialist group H.W.A., who had assisted in the construction of the CLK GTRs, began construction of a roadster version of the CLK GTR. Built either by modifying an existing CLK GTR or by building a new car from spare chassis and parts[clarification needed], these cars were modified with the removal of their roofs as well as a reconstruction of their engine covers. Additionally, the rear wing was replaced by a separate black wing, close to the one on the racing version of the CLK GTR and the wing mirrors were mounted on the doors instead of the front fenders. Further, the Roadster is recognised by its different front grille, which has an integrated large three-pointed star instead of a small version above it. Two rollbars integrated in the cockpit headrests were used not only for structural integrity, but also for rollover protection. The roadster was 105 kg (231 lb) heavier than the coupé. A total of 6 CLK GTR Roadsters were built by the company.

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This is a TD, the 1950 replacement for the post-war TC, which combined the TC’s drivetrain, a modified hypoid-geared rear axle, the MG Y-type chassis, a familiar T-type style body and independent suspension using coil springs from the MG Y-type saloon. A 1950 road-test report described as “most striking” the resulting “transformation … in the comfort of riding”. Also lifted from the company’s successful 1¼-litre YA saloon for the TD was the (still highly geared) rack and pinion steering. In addition the TD featured smaller 15-inch disc type road wheels, a left-hand drive option and standard equipment bumpers and over-riders. The car was also 5 inches wider with a track of 50 inches. For the driver the “all-weather protection” was good by the standards of the time. For night driving, instrument illumination was “effective but not dazzling, by a pale green lighting effect”. There was still no fuel gauge, but the 12 gallon tank capacity gave a range between refuelling stops of about 300 miles and a green light on the facia flashed a “warning” when the fuel level was down to about 2½ gallons. In 1950 the TD MkII Competition Model was introduced, produced alongside the standard car, with a more highly tuned engine using an 8.1:1 compression ratio giving 57 bhp at 5,500 rpm. The higher compression ratio engine was offered with export markets in mind, and would not have been suitable for the UK, where thanks to the continued operation of wartime fuel restrictions, buyers were still limited to 72 octane “Pool petrol”. The TD MkII also featured twin fuel pumps, additional Andrex dampers, and a higher ratio rear-axle. Nearly 30,000 TDs had been produced, including about 1700 Mk II models, when the series ended in 1953 with all but 1656 exported, 23,488 of them to the US alone.


The MGA replaced the long running T Series sports cars and presented a complete styling break from MG’s earlier sports cars. Announced on 26 September 1955, the car was officially launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show. A total of 101,081 units were sold through the end of production in July 1962, the vast majority of the 58.750 cars made were exported. Only 5869 cars were sold on the home market, the lowest percentage of any British car. It was replaced by the MGB. The MGA design dates back to 1951, when MG designer Syd Enever created a streamlined body for George Philips’ TD Le Mans car. The problem with this car was the high seating position of the driver because of the limitations of using the TD chassis. A new chassis was designed with the side members further apart and the floor attached to the bottom rather than the top of the frame sections. A prototype was built and shown to the BMC chairman Leonard Lord. He turned down the idea of producing the new car as he had just signed a deal with Donald Healey to produce Austin-Healey cars two weeks before. Falling sales of the traditional MG models caused a change of heart, and the car, initially to be called the UA-series, was brought back. As it was so different from the older MG models it was called the MGA, the “first of a new line” to quote the contemporary advertising. There was also a new engine available, therefore the car did not have the originally intended XPAG unit but was fitted with the BMC corporate B-Series type allowing a lower bonnet line. The MGA convertible had no exterior door handles, however the coupe did. It was a body-on-frame design and used the straight-4 1489cc “B series” engine from the MG Magnette saloon driving the rear wheels through a 4-speed gearbox. Suspension was independent with coil springs and wishbones at the front and a rigid axle with semi-elliptic springs at the rear. Steering was by rack and pinion. The car was available with either wire-spoked or steel-disc road wheels. The 1489 cc engine fitted with twin H4 type SU Carburettors produced 68 hp at first, but was soon uprated to 72 hp. Lockheed hydraulic drum brakes were used on all wheels. A high-performance Twin-Cam model was added for 1958. It used a high-compression (9.9:1 later 8.3:1) DOHC aluminium cylinder head version of the B-Series engine producing 108 hp. Due to detonation problems, a 100 bhp low-compression version was introduced later. Four-wheel disc brakes by Dunlop were fitted, along with Dunlop peg drive knock-off steel wheels similar to wheels used on racing Jaguars, unique to the Twin-Cam and “DeLuxe” MGA 1600 and 1600 MkII roadsters. These wheels and chassis upgrades were used on a small number of the “DeLuxe” models built after Twin-Cam production came to a halt. Aside from the wheels, the only outside identifier was a “Twin-Cam” logo near the vent aside the bonnet. A careful look at the rear wheel vents would also reveal another feature unique to Twin-Cam and DeLuxe: those 4 wheel Dunlop disc brakes . The temperamental engine was notorious for warranty problems during the course of production, and sales dropped quickly. The engine suffered from detonation and burnt oil. Most of the problems with the Twin-Cam engine were rectified with the low-compression version, but by then the damage had been done. Many restored Twin-Cams are running more reliably today than they ever did during production. The Twin-Cam was dropped in 1960 after 2,111 had been produced. Production ended in April 1960, but had slowed to a trickle long before. In May 1959 the standard cars also received an updated engine, now at 1588 cc producing 79.5 bhp . At the front disc brakes were fitted, but drums remained in the rear. Externally the car was very similar to the 1500 with differences including: amber or white (depending on market) front turn indicators shared with white parking lamps, separate stop/tail and turn lamps in the rear, and 1600 badging on the boot and the cowl. 31,501 of these were produced in less than three years. A number of 1600 De Luxe versions were produced with leftover special wheels and four-wheel disc brakes of the departed Twin-Cam, or using complete modified Twincam chassis left redundant by the discontinuance of that model. Seventy roadsters and 12 coupés were built. The engine size was increased again to 1622 cc by increasing the bore from 75.4 mm to 76.2 mm for the 1961 Mark II MGA. The cylinder head was also revised with larger valves and re-engineered combustion chambers. Horsepower increased to 90 bhp. It also had a higher ratio 4:1 rear axle, which made for more relaxed high-speed driving. An inset grille and Morris Mini tail lamps appearing horizontally below the deck lid were the most obvious visual changes. 8,198 Mark II roadsters and 521 coupés were built. As with the 1600 De Luxe, there were also some Mark II De Luxe versions; 290 roadsters and 23 coupés were produced.



The Rétromobile organisers could not let the 60th anniversary of the legendary Issigonis-designed Mini passed uncelebrated, so this little star featured in another of the 2019 special displays. The cars were to be found in the walkway which connects Halls 1 and 2 together. and there was quite some variety here, with all the important variants represented.

Reducing fuel consumption was already becoming an important issue for vehicle developers fifty years ago. Back in 1956 the Suez crisis and petrol rationing were major factors for the automobile industry. BMC management gave designer Alec Issigonis the following guidelines: the Mini must make creative use of the limited space available; accommodate four passengers; and guarantee perfect handling and low fuel consumption. BMC dedicated £ 10,000,000 to the project. The project instruction was to produce the world’s most economic car. The new BMC 850 car called Morris Mini Minor or Austin Seven respectively by the two sales networks that were to handle it. During the prototype stage, numerous cars were built with various engine arrangements. Air cooled units, so popular at the time on the Continent were given an exhaustive testing and eventually discarded. The revolutionary small car was 3.05 meter long and dedicated 80% of its volume to the passengers. The power plant was water cooled four cylinder placed across the front of the car over the transmission and activated the front wheels. The engine with 850 cc. produced 34 hp at 5500 rpm on a compression ratio of 8.3 to 1. The pushrod-operated overhead valves and other mechanical details follow standard BMC practice, but the driven plate of the clutch is on the opposite side of the flywheel, between it and the main bearing. The car was launched in August 1959 and the cars from the first few months of production are highly sought after now.

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There were numerous examples of the Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S here. Issigonis’ friend John Cooper, owner of the Cooper Car Company and designer and builder of Formula One cars, saw the potential of the Mini for competition. Issigonis was initially reluctant to see the Mini in the role of a performance car, but after John Cooper appealed to BMC management, the two men collaborated to create the Mini Cooper. The Austin Mini Cooper and Morris Mini Cooper debuted in September 1961. The 848 cc engine from the Morris Mini-Minor was given a longer stroke to increase capacity to 997 cc increasing power from 34 to 55 bhp. The car featured a race-tuned engine, twin SU carburettors, a closer-ratio gearbox and front disc brakes, uncommon at the time in a small car. One thousand units of this version were commissioned by management, intended for and designed to meet the homologation rules of Group 2 rally racing. The 997 cc engine was replaced by a shorter stroke 998 cc unit in 1964. In 1962, Rhodesian John Love became the first non-British racing driver to win the British Saloon Car Championship driving a Mini Cooper. A more powerful Mini Cooper, dubbed the “S”, was developed in tandem and released in 1963. Featuring a 1071 cc engine with a 70.61 mm bore and nitrided steel crankshaft and strengthened bottom end to allow further tuning; and larger servo-assisted disc brakes, 4,030 Cooper S cars were produced and sold until the model was updated in August 1964. Cooper also produced two S models specifically for circuit racing in the under 1,000 cc and under 1,300 cc classes respectively, rated at 970 cc and a 1,275 cc both had a 70.61 mm bore and both were also offered to the public. The smaller-engine model was not well received, and only 963 had been built when the model was discontinued in 1965. The 1,275 cc Cooper S models continued in production until 1971. Sales of the Mini Cooper were: 64,000 Mark I Coopers with 997 cc or 998 cc engines; 19,000 Mark I Cooper S with 970 cc, 1,071 cc or 1,275 cc engines; 16,000 Mark II Coopers with 998 cc engines; 6,300 Mark II Cooper S with 1,275 cc engines. There were no Mark III Coopers and 1,570 Mark III Cooper S.

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The Van was launched in May 1960, a matter of weeks after the Countryman and Traveller had appeared and on whose extended platform this light commercial was based. The shape was the same, as those Estate models, but clearly without the side windows or a rear seat. It proved popular in 1960s Britain as a cheaper alternative to the car:, as it was classed as a commercial vehicle and as such carried no sales tax. A set of simple stamped steel slots served in place of a more costly chrome grille. The Mini Van was renamed as the Mini 95 in 1978, the number representing the gross vehicle weight of 0.95 tons. 521,494 were built, but few survive.

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Without doubt, the rarest version of the classic Issigonis-designed Mini is the Pickup, as seen here. Introduced in 1961, at the same time as the Van, whose longer platform this version shared, there was an open-top rear cargo area and a drop down tailgate. The factory specified the weight of the Pick-up as less than 1,500 lb (680 kg) with a full 6 gallon tank of fuel. As with the Van, the Pick-up had stamped metal slots for airflow into the engine compartment. The Pickup was basic, although the factory brochure described a “fully equipped Mini Pick-up is also available which includes a recirculatory heater.” Passenger-side sun visor, seat belts, laminated windscreen, tilt tubes and cover were also available at extra cost. Equipment levels improved gradually over time. Like the van, the Pick-up was renamed as the Mini 95 in 1978. Production ceased in 1983 by which time 58,179 Mini Pick-up models had been built, barely 10% of the number of Vans made.

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Released in 1961 as more luxurious versions of the Mini, both the Wolseley Hornet and the Riley Elf had longer, slightly finned rear wings and larger boots that gave the cars a more conventional three-box design. The wheelbase of the Elf and Hornet remained at 2.036 m (6.68 ft), whereas the overall length was increased to 3.27 m (10.7 ft). This resulted in a dry weight of 638 kg (1,407 lb)/642.3 kg (1,416 lb) (rubber/hydrolastic suspension) for the Elf and 618 kg (1,362 lb)/636.4 kg (1,403 lb) for the Hornet. Front-end treatment, which incorporated each marque’s traditional upright grille design (the Hornet’s grille with a lit “Wolseley” badge), also contributed to a less utilitarian appearance. The cars had larger-diameter chrome hubcaps than the Austin and Morris Minis, and additional chrome accents, bumper overriders and wood-veneer dashboards. The Riley was the more expensive of the two cars. The name “Wolseley Hornet” was first used on 1930s saloon, coupé, sports and racing cars, while the name “Elf” recalled the Riley Sprite and Imp sports cars, also of the 1930s (Riley’s first choice of name “Imp” could not be used as Hillman had registered it). The full-width dashboard was a differentiator between the Elf and Hornet. This dashboard was the idea of Christopher Milner the Sales Manager for Riley. Both the Riley Elf’s and Wolseley Hornet’s bodies were built at Fisher & Ludlow under their “Fisholow” brandname. Plates in the engine compartment on the right side fitch plate bear evidence of this speciality. Very early Mark I versions of both cars (e.g. press photo of 445MWL) had no overriders on the bumpers and a single piece front wing (A-panel and wing in one piece, no outside seam below scuttle panel) that was soon given up again, allegedly due to cost. The Elf’s and Hornet’s special bumper overriders first appeared in 1962. Early production Mark I’s also had a combination of leather and cloth seats (Elf R-A2S1-101 to FR2333, Hornet W-A2S1-101 to FW2105) whereas all later models had full leather seats. Mark I models were equipped with single leading shoe brakes on the front. In 1966 the Heinz food company commissioned, from Crayford Convertibles (Crayford Engineering), 57 convertible Hornets to be given as prizes in a UK competition. Many are still on the road as of 2020. Both the Elf and the Hornet went through three engine versions. Initially, they used the 848 cc 34 bhp engine (engine type 8WR) with a single HS2 carburettor, changing to a single HS2 carburettor 38 bhp version of the Cooper’s 998 cc power unit (engine type 9WR) in the Mark II in 1963. This increased the car’s top speed from 71 to 77 mph (114 to 124 km/h). Therefore, Mark II cars also came with increased braking power in the form of front drum brakes with twin leading shoes to cope with the increased power output. Both Mark I and Mark II featured four-speed gearboxes (three synchromesh gears) with rod gear change, a.k.a. “magic wand” type. Automatic gearboxes became available on the Mark II in 1965 as an option. The Mark III facelift of 1966 brought wind-up windows and fresh-air fascia vents. Concealed door hinges were introduced two years before these were seen on the mainstream Mini. The gear selecting mechanism was updated to the rod type, as seen on all later Mini type cars. Automatic gearboxes were available to the Mark III in 1967 again. Full-four synchromesh gearing was eventually introduced during 1968. 30,912 Riley Elfs and 28,455 Wolseley Hornets were built. Production of both models ceased in late 1969.


When Issigonis designed the Mini, he planned another vehicle to share the Mini’s mechanical parts, but with a more rugged body shell. This was an attempt to take a portion of the military vehicle business from Land Rover. Issigonis had previously designed the Nuffield Guppy in a failed attempt to break into that market. By 1959, BMC had working prototypes of what was codenamed “The Buckboard”, later to become the Mini Moke. These prototypes were shown to the British Army as a parachute-droppable vehicle, but poor ground clearance and a low-powered engine did not meet the most basic requirements for an off-road vehicle. Only the Royal Navy showed any interest in the Buckboard, as a vehicle for use on the decks of aircraft carriers. Early promotional material made much of the lightness of the vehicle, showing four soldiers travelling in the Moke off-road, then picking it up by its tubular bumpers and carrying it when (inevitably) its low ground-clearance proved inadequate. In a further attempt to make something for the army, a few four-wheel drive Mokes were made by the addition of a second engine and transmission at the back of the vehicle with linked clutches and gear shifters. This did nothing for the ground-clearance problems, and mechanical complications discouraged development beyond the prototype stage. This vehicle was called “The Twini” and was shown to the US Army—again with no success. Three of these vehicles were used by the Brazilian Army after being captured during the 1969 Rupununi Rebellion from Guyanese rebels, who had crossed the border into Brazil. During the Rhodesian Bush War there was an attempt by the Rhodesian Security Forces to create an Armoured Moke as an improvised fighting vehicle, which was seemingly unsuccessful. In parallel to its military past, the Mini Moke met with great success in the 1980s with a world-renowned actress and model: Brigitte Bardot. Eventually BMC gave up on the idea of selling the Moke to the military, and in 1963 the decision was made to build a civilian version, targeting farmers and light commercial applications. Several prototypes were built in 1963, one of which is still known to exist in Pinner just outside London, England. The Moke was launched onto the British market in 1964. The British Customs and Excise department decided that the Moke should be classified as a passenger car rather than as a commercial vehicle, which meant that it attracted purchase tax, reducing sales in its intended commercial market. The Moke attracted attention as a “cult” vehicle as a result of the unprecedented success of the Mini and through media exposure in the popular television series The Prisoner, as well as in the Traffic song “Berkshire Poppies”. Despite this, only about a tenth of the 14,500 British produced Mokes were sold in the United Kingdom. Mokes continued to be made in Britain until 1968. British-made Mokes were fitted with a low-end 848 cc transverse inline-four engine, detuned to use low-octane fuel. They used the same suspension, gearbox and 10 inch wheels as the standard Mini. In the initial offering, passenger seats, grab handles, heater, windscreen washer and a removable canvas top were all optional equipment delivered separately from the vehicle. Owners had to bolt these optional extras onto the vehicle themselves. The base price was GB£ 405. The “Mk I” Mokes had a single windscreen wiper and a floor-mounted headlight dip switch, and the only colour available was “Spruce Green”. In 1967, the “Mk II” Moke added a passenger-side wiper. Horn and headlight controls were moved onto the indicator stalk. These later British Mokes were also available in white. The John Player & Sons cigarette company ran a team of Mokes in autocross competitions on grass tracks through 1968. These vehicles were equipped with rollover protection and used the Mini Cooper S 1275 cc engine. Despite the lack of success in selling the Mini Moke to the British Armed Forces, an unknown number (unlikely to have been more than a handful) of examples were apparently used by Land Forces Falkland Islands during the Falklands War and its immediate aftermath; the source of these vehicles is unclear. At least one commandeered civilian Mini Moke was also used by the Argentinian Forces during their occupation of the islands. The Moke was built in Australia from 1966 to 1981 where it was originally marketed as the Morris Mini Moke and from 1973 as the Leyland Moke. Initially Australian Mokes had the same 10-inch wheels as British Mokes and Mini saloons but in 1968 these were replaced by 13-inch wheels with longer rear trailing arms, which made them more practical for gentle off-road or beach use than the British version. There was also a widening piece welded to the wheel arches, front and rear to allow for wider tyres and rims. The solid metal seats of the British Mokes were replaced with tubular-framed “deck-chair” seats. This variant started with a 998 cc engine, which was switched mid-production to 1,098 cc. In 1976, with the advent of new anti-pollution requirements (Australian Design Rule 27A), the locally manufactured 1,098 cc motor was replaced by an imported version of the 998 cc motor with an air pump and exhaust gas recirculation, which had been developed to meet UK (US?) anti-pollution requirements. For a brief period around 1971, Leyland Australia produced a variant referred to in Leyland literature as “Moke, special export”, but commonly called a “Californian”, which had a 1,275 cc engine and was fitted with side marker lamps and different rear lights to conform to US FMVSS standards. The fuel tank from the Austin Sprite or MG Midget was fitted beneath the rear load area, replacing the standard tank mounted in the left sidebox. The export Californian was readily recognisable by its roof and seats, trimmed in “Op-pop verve” black and white tiger striped vinyl or “Orange Bali” vinyl, which looked rather like a fruit salad, and was briefly marketed to the “flower power” culture in the United States. The name “Californian” and the 1275 cc motor were resurrected in 1977 for Australian market Mokes with denim seat covers, more comfortable seats (which concealed the same basic frame within), spoked wheels and complex tubular bumpers (known as “roo bars”). Australian Mokes were exported to many countries, and pioneered large-scale exports of Australian-made vehicles. Leyland Australia made much of these exports in its advertising. The use of Australian-made Mokes by the Israeli Army (complete with a machine-gun tripod mounted in the rear) attracted controversy and media attention. From 1975, a pickup version of the Moke was produced, with a 1.45 x 1.50 metre (55 x 59 in) drop-sided bed which protruded behind the back of the vehicle, and a cloth top over the cab area. At least two four-wheel drive Moke prototypes were manufactured by Leyland Australia in the late 1970s, but unlike the British version, these used just one engine. Leyland were planning to market this version, but Moke production in Australia ended in 1981 and all that remains of the project is one of the prototypes which is now owned by an enthusiast in Western Australia and a modified differential crownwheel with gearteeth cut in the side to drive the rear tailshaft, in the personal collection of a Melbourne Mini specialist. In 1977 a 1275 cc Cooper S-engined Moke (sponsored by Coca-Cola) was entered into the Singapore Airlines London-Sydney Marathon. The car was driven over 30,000 km (19,000 miles) over 30 days and finished in 35th place. As Australian Moke production wound down, manufacturing was transferred to British Leyland’s subsidiary in Portugal, which made 8,500 of the “Californian” Mokes in the Setúbal IMA plant between 1980 and 1984. In 1984 production was transferred to the Vendas Novas plant. Initially these Mokes were identical to late-model Australian Mokes; very soon, however, they were altered to use then-current British production Mini saloon components, including the standard-length Mini rear trailing arms and the 12–in wheels with modern low-profile tyres, which the saloon had acquired during the Moke’s absence from Europe. In 1990, British Leyland (by then called Rover Group) sold the “Moke” name to Cagiva, a motorcycle manufacturer in Bologna, Italy. Production continued in Portugal until 1993, when Cagiva transferred the tooling to their factory in Italy with the intention of restarting production in 1995—which they never did.

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This a Mini-Marcos, a car produced in limited numbers between 1965 and 1970 by Marcos, from 1974 to 1981 by D & H Fibreglass Techniques Limited and again between 1991 and 1996 by Marcos. It was based on the DART design by Dizzy Addicott who finally sold the project to Jeremy Delmar-Morgan. Jeremy marketed the Mini DART as the Mini Jem. Jem Marsh of Marcos cars separately developed the project into the Mk I Mini Marcos and despite the similarity of the name, had nothing to do with the Mini Jem. In Sweden the Mini Marcos was sold by Elmhorn-Troberg Racing Service. The Mini-Marcos was sold as a kit car utilising a fibreglass/GRP Monocoque with running gear & subframes from a Mini. During its life it went through five versions with changes including sliding windows (Mark II), which also had a modified front licence plate holder. An optional rear hatch appeared with the Mark III and a standard rear hatch and wind-up windows for the Mark IV which also received somewhat longer and taller bodywork. The Midas succeeded the Mk IV Mini Marcos which at that time was being made by D&H Fibreglass Techniques Limited in Oldham, but the latter marque was subsequently revived by Marcos with the Mark V. Following the closure of the Marcos company, the Mini Marcos moulds were acquired by Rory McMath of Marcos Heritage Spares who has re-launched the car as the Heritage Mk. VI and GT, the latter being a racing version.

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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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In 1969, now under the ownership of British Leyland, the Mini was given a facelift by stylist Roy Haynes, who had previously worked for Ford. The restyled version was called the Mini Clubman, and had a squarer frontal look, using the same indicator/sidelight assembly as the Austin Maxi. The Mini Clubman was intended to replace the upmarket Riley and Wolseley versions, and a new model, dubbed the 1275 GT, was slated as the replacement for the 998 cc Mini Cooper, the 1,275 cc Mini Cooper S continuing alongside the 1275 GT until 1971. The Clubman Estate replaced the Countryman and Traveller. The original “round-front” design remained in production alongside the Clubman and 1275 GT. Production of the Clubman and 1275 GT got off to a slow start because the cars incorporated “lots of production changes” including the relocation of tooling from Cowley to the Longbridge plant: so very few cars were handed over to customers before the early months of 1970. Early domestic market Clubmans were still delivered on cross-ply tyres despite the fact that by 1970 radials had become the norm for the car’s mainstream competitors. By 1973 new Minis were, by default, being shipped with radial tyres, though cross-plies could be specified by special order, giving British buyers a price saving of £8. The most significant update after this came in 1976, when the engine was upgraded to the 1100cc A Series unit, cloth seat trim was made standard and the wiper functions were moved to a column stalk. The stick on “wood” trim was replaced by painted coachlines at this time. The Clubman models were deleted in 1980, effectively replaced by the Metro, and they are relatively rare these days. There were no Clubman saloons here, but there were a couple of Clubman Estate models on show. The 1275 GT is often incorrectly described as the “Mini Clubman 1275 GT”. The official name was always just the “Mini 1275 GT”, and it was a separate, distinct model from the Clubman (although it shared the same frontal treatment as the Mini Clubman, and was launched at the same time). It had the 1275cc A Series unit and a 4 speed gearbox, as well as larger wheels. It was also deleted in the autumn of 1980. Although moderately popular when new, it is now seen as something of a poor substitute for the Cooper models, and the survival rate is pretty low, so you don’t see them that often.

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Despite the launch in 1980 of the Metro, the Mini refused to die, and the lower end models remained in production. Badged City and Mayfair, they continued with evolutionary changes through the 80s and well into the 90s, and there was an example of one of the cars from this era here, too.

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Final Mini present was one of the Cabriolet models. Although there had been conversions done before – notably by Crayford in the early 1960s – this was the first one that was sold new through Austin-Rover dealers. It dates from 1991. Initially, 100 cars were produced by LAMM Autohaus, with their own body kit on the car, and they were all painted in Cherry red. A further 25 were ordered, before Rover committed to a greater volume, and in a wider variety of colours. They were based on the Cooper, and had upgraded trim, with a leather steering wheel, and wood-grained dash, door cappings and gear knob as well as bespoke badging, to help to justify the rather steep price tag of £12,250



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The Nissan GTP ZX-Turbo (also known as the GTP ZX-T) was a series of racing cars developed for Nissan Motors by Electramotive Engineering to compete in the IMSA GT Championship. Running from 1985 to 1990, they were known for being the first car to defeat the Porsche 962 which had dominated IMSA’s premiere GTP category. This led to Nissan winning the constructor’s championship and 12 Hours of Sebring in 1989 and 1990. During 1990, the GTP ZX-Turbo were replaced by the newer NPT-90. The GTP ZX-Turbo was named due to its shared engine with the production Nissan 300ZX, the turbocharged VG30ET V6. Although the engine block was similar, the GTP ZX-Turbo’s engine was extensively modified to cope with the stress of racing. In 1984, Nissan Motors named Electramotive Engineering as their official North American racing development arm in an attempt to establish Nissan in the United States following the use of the Datsun name. Nissan wished to use the IMSA GT Championship as a way of show-casing their technology, similar to what they had done at the 24 Hours of Le Mans beginning in 1983. Electramotive would be tasked with maintaining, modifying, and racing the cars. Nissan would provide the VG30ET motors, although Electramotive would aid in developing the engine for racing. For the chassis, Nissan and Electramotive would turn to Lola Cars International to construct their new car to their specifications. The first two chassis, (#1 and #2), termed “Lola T810”, were completed in early 1985. This initial year of competition was used for development of the new car in preparation for 1986. Electramotive was tasked with modifying elements of the T810 to better adapt to the smaller tracks and shorter sprint races used by IMSA GT. This led to the cars being renamed GTP ZX-Turbos as their design was evolved beyond the initial T810. One more T810 chassis, (#3) would be constructed by Lola, sold to Japan but then sent to, and adapted by Electramotive by the end of 1987. Some of these cars actually shared their tub off of an earlier Lola design, the T710, better known as the Chevrolet Corvette GTP. However, modifications to the cars would eventually extend to the point that Electramotive would begin to construct their own chassis to replace the older cars, no longer relying on Lola for the cockpit tubs. A total of five Electramotive-built tubs were completed in 1988. Electramotive later became Nissan Performance Technology Inc. (NPTI) in 1990, finally retiring the GTP ZX-Turbos once the new NPT-90s were completed halfway through the season. The first Lola T810 would be completed soon after the 1985 season had begun, with that initial chassis making its competition debut at Laguna Seca. Electramotive founder Don Devendorf and co-driver Tony Adamowicz took the car to eleventh place, seven laps down from the race winner. Following a heavy accident in practice at Charlotte, the car would not return until late in the season. The car had a ninth-place finish at Sears Point before mechanical problems did not allow the car to finish any of the remaining races that season. Nissan choose to skip several rounds of the 1986 season in order to concentrate on development, including the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring. The newly named GTP ZX-Turbo made its season debut in the streets of Miami, but this was followed by a string of problems in the future rounds. The car would eventually be able to finish at Mid-Ohio with a career best of seventh, but Electramotive would be able to improve on this with the car showing its first true potential of the season, fighting with the leaders at Portland and eventually coming home in third with Geoff Brabham at the helm. This would be immediately followed at the next round with a fourth-place finish. The success would not last though, as mechanical problems would render the car unable to finish for several rounds. The final race of the season in the streets of Columbus would see a distant fifth place, earning Nissan seventh in the constructor’s championship with their points total. In 1987, once again deciding to skip the longer rounds of the IMSA season, the GTP ZX-Turbo debuted at Miami once again. However, lessons learned from the previous season as well as testing during the winter had allowed Electramotive to greatly improve the car. This earned the GTP ZX-Turbo its maiden win at Miami, defeating a Porsche 962 by eleven seconds after three hours of racing. Nissan’s success would be short lived though as the next rounds at Road Atlanta and Riverside would see the car failing to finish due to clutch failure and an accident respectively. Electramotive would be able to overcome these problems at Laguna Seca with a fifth, before problems returned at Mid-Ohio. Electramotive would be unable to find much success until the final round of the season at Del Mar, with the GTP ZX-Turbo closing the season with a sixth-place finish. Although Nissan managed to take an improved fifth in the constructor’s championship, they still earned only a sixth of the total points that champion Porsche had. Following their first ever victory, the Nissan program was expanded greatly in 1988 with plans for a two car team, although this would be delayed due to accidents in practice with the second car. Starting with a disappointing eighth at Miami, the GTP ZX-Turbo would begin its streak of successes that would help the car become a threat to the top teams. Beginning at their next race at Road Atlanta, the car defeated the factory Jaguar team by a mere four seconds. Unlike previous years, this success would continue as another victory was taken at the next round at the streets of Palm Beach, then Lime Rock Park, Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen, and Road America. This success was mostly due to a technology developed in the turbocharger which allowed it an advantage over the naturally aspirated engines used in other prototypes. The second car for the team was finally able to compete at Portland, and in a dominant performance the two cars swept the top spots. Although the next round would see one car finish in eighth, the other team car would manage to yet again take the race win. Only at the street race in San Antonio would the GTP ZX-Turbo’s eight race win streak come to an end, with the lone entered car suffering electrical problems. The cars would return to winning form at Columbus, before the final round saw Nissan being defeated once again, with Derek Daly managing to bring one of the team cars home with a best of only fourth. Although Nissan managed to win nine of the fourteen rounds that the GTP class competed in that season, the decision by Electramotive to skip the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring hurt Nissan’s ability to win the constructor’s championship. With only three wins, Porsche’s points earned at the races Nissan missed allowed them to win the championship by a mere point. However, as consolation, Nissan’s Geoff Brabham would win the drivers championship by a large margin. Wishing to overcome their narrow defeat in 1988, Electramotive and Nissan would fight hard to win the elusive championship in 1989. Nissan wisely chose to participate in the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring, even though the reliability of the cars was in question. Indeed, Nissan’s fears were realized when neither car managed to finish at Daytona, although one did last the bulk of the race. At the shorter Miami round, the GTP ZX-Turbo would return to its winning form from the previous season, once again defeating Jaguar. However, at the 12 Hours of Sebring, the GTP ZX-Turbo would score a surprise result, with Chip Robinson, Geoff Brabham, and Arie Luyendyk taking the race victory by two laps. With the car’s endurance proven, the car took victory at Road Atlanta. Although problems took away victory on the streets of Palm Beach, the cars began a winning streak once again, taking victories at Lime Rock, Mid-Ohio, Mosport, and Road America. The team had to settle for second and third at Portland as Jaguar’s new car began to show its pace. However the GTP ZX-Turbos were back at Topeka with the top two positions, beginning another short streak through San Antonio and Sears Point. Defeat came once again at Tampa, while the cars would also not be able to win the season finale at Del Mar. With ten victories in comparison to Jaguar’s three, Nissan was able to easily win the constructor’s championship, the first time anyone besides Porsche had won it since the GTP class had been created in 1983. Geoff Brabham edged out Chip Robinson for his second drivers championship. As the defending champions, Nissan realized that the aged GTP ZX-Turbo was now the prime target of all other competitors, leading them to begin development on the car’s replacement. While this car was being built, Nissan would have to continue to use the older GTP ZX-Turbos into the 1990 season. The newly renamed NPTI team would be aided by privateer Busby Racing who ran a third car that season. Following problems once again at Daytona, the GTP ZX-Turbos would take a victory in Miami for the third time, while Busby’s new car would take second. The team would also improve on their performance at Sebring by not only taking the race win, but also second for the other team car. The streak would continue through Road Atlanta and Palm Beach before the newcomer Eagle-Toyota would overcome Nissan at Topeka. The Topeka race would also see the debut of the GTP ZX-Turbo’s replacement, the NPT-90, with the team running one car of each. Lime Rock would also see Nissan defeated, yet Mid-Ohio would have the company back on top. This time though it would be the NPT-90 defeating the GTP ZX-Turbo as the two took the top spots. Following a result of fifth behind the NPT-90’s first, the GTP ZX-Turbo would be retired completely. By the next round, the second NPT-90 would be completed and replace the sole remaining GTP ZX-Turbo used by the team. With the combined running of the GTP ZX-Turbos and NPT-90s, as well as the performance of privateers Jim Busby and later David Seabroke, Nissan would once again easily take the GTP constructors championship. Geoff Brabham would take his third drivers championship as well. One GTP ZX-Turbo would be entered by John Shapiro at the Miami round in 1991, finishing 13th before the team would fold. This would be the final race by a GTP ZX-Turbo car, although the NPT-90s would continue to carry the GTP ZX-Turbo name on them.



The GT made its debut as a styling exercise in 1965 at the Paris and Frankfurt motor shows. The production vehicle used mechanical components from the contemporary Opel Kadett B and two-door hard top bodywork by French contractor Brissonneau & Lotz. The styling of the GT was often cited as similar to the 1968 Chevrolet Corvette which went on sale in September 1967. The Opel GT was equipped with a base 1.1 L OHV inline-four engine, which produced 67 hp (SAE) at 6,000 rpm. However, most buyers chose an optional 1.9 L camshaft in head engine, which produced 102 hp (SAE) at 5200 to 5400 rpm. Some of the early 1968 models also came with a slightly higher compression “H” code cylinder head. In 1971, due to emissions regulations, Opel reduced the compression ratio of the 1.9 L engine used in the US and output fell to 83 hp (SAE). There was also a GT/J model, which was a less expensive version of the 1900-engined GT which was sold only in Europe. Standard transmission was a manual four-speed. A three-speed automatic was available with the 1.9 L engine.The Opel GT uses a steel unibody and a conventional front-engined, rear-wheel drive layout. The engine is mounted far back in the chassis to improve weight distribution. Front suspension consists of upper A-arms and a lower transverse leaf spring. A live axle and coil springs are used in the rear. The power-assisted braking system uses discs in the front, drums in the rear. Steering is unassisted. One unusual feature of the Opel GT is the operation of the pop-up headlights. They are manually operated, by way of a large lever along the centre console next to the gearlever. Unlike most pop-up headlights, they both rotate in the same direction (counterclockwise from inside the car) about a longitudinal axis. One standard joke about GT owners was that you can easily spot them due to the heavy muscles on their right arm built up by using the lever to pop up the headlights. Designed by Opel stylist Erhard Schnell, the GT is a fastback, that has neither an externally accessible trunk nor a conventional hatchback. There is a parcel shelf behind the seats that can only be accessed through the main doors. Behind the parcel shelf is a fold-up panel that conceals a spare tyre and jack. The interior of the GT is surprisingly large for a car of its size, owing to its original design process in which the exterior metal was sculpted around an interior model. Headroom and legroom are sufficient for those over 6 feet (1.83 m) tall. During 1968 to 1973, a total of 103,463 cars were sold. The most collectible GTs are probably the first few hundred cars hand-assembled in 1968 and the 1968–1970 models with the 1.1 L engine, which totalled 3,573 cars. Of the later cars, 10,760 were the cheaper model (GT/J), which lacked nearly all chrome parts and offered fewer standard features. In some markets, items like a limited slip differential, front and rear anti-sway bars, heated rear window, and engine bay light were standard, although most cars were shipped without them. In North America, the GT was sold at Buick dealerships. Reasons for ending production were the need to redesign the car to remain competitive with up-and-coming sports models, such as the Datsun 240Z, as well as the termination of Brissonneau and Lotz’ bodybuilding contract. Unusually for the period, here was no Vauxhall equivalent model to the GT sold in the United Kingdom.

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This Formula Le Mans car is built by French manufacturer Oreca and known as the FLM09. The chassis is based on Courage’s LC75 LMP2 chassis, while the car’s carbon fibre and kevlar bodywork is a simplified version of the LC75’s design. All FLM09s use a production-based General Motors small block LS3 V8 which produces approximately 430 bhp. Transmissions are supplied by Xtrac and feature a six-speed sequential transmission operated by paddle shifters. Engine management is regulated by Magneti Marelli. Up to 2012, all FLM09 cars ran on Michelin slick tires based on their LMP tyres but in March 2013, it was announced that Continental AG would be the tire supplier for the LMP Challenge class in the upcoming American Le Mans Series season owing to Continental’s deal with NASCAR as sole tyre supplier for their sportscar arm. Reinforced carbon-carbon disc brakes are supplied by Brembo. In order to accommodate endurance races in 2010, Oreca also offers an endurance upgrade for the FLM09 which adds an air restrictor to the engine to increase reliability as well as slowing the car in comparison to LMP2 category cars.



There was plenty of variety in the cars on the Peugeot stand this year.

The Peugeot 201 was presented at the 1929 Paris Motor Show with the backdrop of the Wall Street Crash. While many European manufacturers did not survive the ensuing depression, the 201’s image as an inexpensive car helped Peugeot to survive the economic crisis with its finances intact and its status as a major auto producer confirmed. During the 1930s Peugeot offered several variants of the 201, with increasing engine capacity. Initially, it was powered by a 1122 cc engine developing 23 hp at 3500 rpm (top speed: 80 km/h / 50 mph). This was followed by an engine of 1307 cc, and finally a 1465 cc unit of 35 hp. The Peugeot 201C, launched in 1931, is claimed to be the first mass-produced car equipped with independent front suspension, a concept rapidly adopted by the competition. The simpler beam front axle version remained available, but the independent suspension system reportedly improved road holding and reduced steering column vibration.


The Peugeot VLV was an electric microcar made by Peugeot in 1942. VLV stood for Voiture Légère de Ville (Light City Car). The car’s announcement, on 1 May 1941, triggered some surprise, since Peugeot was the only one of France’s large automakers to show interest in electric propulsion at this time. It was powered by four 12V batteries placed under the hood giving it a claimed top speed of 36 km/h (22 mph) and a range of 50 miles (80 km). The VLV was built during the war as a way to side-step fuel restrictions imposed on non-military users by the occupying German forces. Yet, it was banned after only 377 examples were built.


The Peugeot 204, a small family car, was produced between 1965 and 1976. It was launched in Paris on 23 April 1965 and was Peugeot’s first venture into the world of front wheel drive. The car came with a single overhead cam aluminium alloy transversely-mounted 1130 cc petrol engine (the maximum allowed for the 6CV ‘car tax’ class in France at the time), a format which would become the sine qua non of small cars over the next few years, but which was relatively unusual in the mid 60s. The gearbox and differential were located directly below the engine block, and the 204 was also the first Peugeot to be equipped with disc brakes, albeit only on the front wheels. It was praised for its excellent handling, decent performance and good fuel economy. The compact engine and the transverse engine combined with a body wider than the class average to provide a level of interior space comparable to larger cars such as Peugeot’s own 404: both cars were Pininfarina designs. The 204 featured neither the fins of the 404 nor the sharp corners characteristic of the other major French launch of 1965. The resulting less aggressive look has been seen as a ‘more European’ moving away from a tendency to follow US styling trends that had been apparent in new car launches during the preceding two decades. The Peugeot 204’s frontal styling owed much to the 1961 Cadillac Jacqueline by Pininfarina, whilst its rear and that of the prototype Pininfarina styled Mini-based MG ADO 34 of 1964 are strikingly similar. The rear end of the 1970 Lancia Flavia Pininfarina Coupe of 1969–74 also displays the same influence. The options list was not extensive but, as with the larger Peugeot sedans, it was possible to specify a sliding steel panel sunroof. At launch only the four-door saloon version was offered, but the five-door ‘break’ estate came along less than six months later in the Autumn of 1965. 1966 saw the arrival of a two-door cabriolet and a three-door hatchback, marketed as a coupé. Both employed a shortened chassis and were priced only 20% above the level of the (admittedly not particularly aggressively priced) saloon. The range was completed in 1966 with the arrival of the ‘fourgonette’ van version which in most respects followed the design of the estate, but with only one door on each side and a steel panel in place of the side windows behind the B pillar. Towards the end of 1968, a 1255 cc diesel engine option became available for the 204 Estate and Fourgonette (van) versions. At the time, this is thought to have been the smallest diesel engine fitted in a commercially available car anywhere in the world. In April 1973 the diesel unit was increased in size to 1357 cc, and in September 1975 this diesel unit finally became an option on the 204 saloon. Fuel economy on the 204 Diesel was startlingly good, with overall fuel consumption at 5.7 litres per 100 km, but performance was correspondingly underwhelming with a claimed top speed of 130 km/h (81 mph). Out of the approximately 150,000 diesel 204s produced, fewer than 30,000 were saloons. When the Peugeot 204 was launched in 1965, obvious domestic market competitors were the Renault 10 and the Simca 1300. Both were rear-wheel-drive, and the Renault was rear-engined. Of the traditionally more avant garde competitors, Citroën produced, till 1970, only cars that were substantially smaller or substantially larger while Panhard, starved of product investment, had retreated into a low volume niche, offering a model which would soon be withdrawn in order to free up production capacity for small Citroën vans. For Peugeot, a traditional manufacturer of conventional bourgeois sedans, to launch a transverse-engined front-wheel-drive saloon, was startling: no secret was made of the extent to which the 204 had been inspired by British developments from BMC. The Peugeot was the same length as the Renault 10 and over 20 cm shorter than the Simca 1300, but its configuration conferred a clear space advantage, as subsequent model introductions from Simca in 1967 and Renault in 1970 appeared to acknowledge. Sales of the 204 got off to a cautious start, with no need to compete solely on price: the car was heavily trailed by press leaks so that by the time of its formal announcement over 5,000 had already been ordered unseen. By 1969 the 204 had nonetheless climbed to the top of the French sales charts and, together with the newly introduced 204 based 304, redefined the domestic market for small sedans in the process. The sales success of the 204 also moved Peugeot from fourth to second place in the French sales charts, overtaking Simca and Citroen in the process. In this case market share seems to have been increased without excessively compromising corporate profitability: the commercial rivals would each suffer a financial collapse, the businesses both coming under the control of Peugeot, within the next ten years. In the 1960s Europe was still for most purposes divided into national markets and 72% of the 204s produced were sold in France. Principal export markets within Europe were West Germany and Benelux. However, most western European markets took some 204s. In Africa the 204 never achieved the popularity of its larger siblings. Nevertheless, the 204 was not entirely unknown outside Europe. In the UK, the car was expensive. Launch cars listed at £903 when you could buy a much more plush Triumph 1300 for £835, so whilst the car was praised by the press for its dynamic attributes, its meagre levels of equipment were also an impediment to sales. 1969 had seen the launch of the Peugeot 304 which was essentially a 204 with a slightly larger engine, a restyled front end and, in the case of the saloon version, a substantially increased rear overhang giving rise to more luggage space. The 204 range was correspondingly pruned: the 204 coupé and cabriolet received the dashboard of the new 304 in 1969 only to be withdrawn in 1970, replaced by similarly bodied 304 equivalents. The estate and fourgonette continued to be offered, along with the saloon, until the 204 range was withdrawn in 1976. Although the model run lasted more than a decade, the Peugeot 204 changed very little during that time: very early saloons/berlines had a split rear bumper with numberplate set between the two halves, a flat rear panel and small oval tail lights. For 1975, the stainless steel front grill was replaced by a black plastic grill of the same overall shape. The gearshift for RHD UK cars was moved from the steering column to the floor and then in September 1975, less than a year before production ceased, it received a more modern petrol engine, now of 1127 cc. Claimed maximum output, which at launch had been 53 bhp, increased to 59 bhp, though there was a marginal reduction in maximum torque. Following the demise of the 204 the new 1127 cc engine found its way into a version of the Peugeot 304 estate: the smaller engine enjoyed in France tax benefits when compared to the 1290 cc engines fitted to most 304s. In 1976, when the 204 was withdrawn, it had been joined in the Peugeot range by the ‘supermini’ class Peugeot 104. Like the 203 before it, the 204 had no immediate replacement. Ultimately the hatchback Peugeot 205 introduced late in 1982 occupied a market position comparable to that occupied till 1976 by the 204. In the meantime the Peugeot 304 soldiered on until 1980, complemented since late 1977 by its 305 replacement. Once the 304 was being produced in tandem with its successor it could be priced more aggressively, so that customers who till 1976 would have chosen a 204 were able to afford what was virtually the same car with a larger engine and a larger boot.

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The 304 was introduced to the public at the Paris Motor Show in September 1969. Peugeot, which had always been a financially prudent company, saw a gap in the mid-size car market in France, Italy and the rest of Western Europe. By using the smaller 204’s midsection, development costs were minimized resulting in a higher profit margin because of the higher pricing structure in the larger, better equipped market. The 304’s main competitors on its home market came from Renault and Simca, with Citroen noticeably absent from this sector at the launch. The 304 was a success for Peugeot and was noted for several advanced features under its Pininfarina styled exterior. With its independent suspended front-wheel-drive drivetrain and disc brakes, it rode and handled better than most of its contemporaries, including some cars in higher price brackets. The chassis served Peugeot well and lasted for approximately 24 years adapted to derivative models. There was a distinct upmarket feel to the 304, its handsome lines were well suited to postwar Europe’s newly affluent middle classes who desired roomy, advanced and stylish cars to park in their driveways. At about this time the Autoroutes were opening up France and car manufacturers around Europe knew that any car launched hence, would need to add an ability to travel at high speeds, in relative comfort with sure-footed handling to its lineup in order to compete. The 304 fulfilled this brief and became one of the best-selling cars in its market segment., with 1, 178.423 produced. Coupe and Convertible models were part of the range, but these constituted a relatively small percentage of total sales. The saloon model was deleted in the summer of 1979, but the estate remained until spring 1980, both cars replaced by the Peugeot 305,

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Designed by Pininfarina, the 604 was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1975, and it immediately drew praise for its formal, handsome styling. Sales began in September 1975. The car was based on the established 504 model, using its bulkhead, doors, and part of the floorpan, but under the bonnet was the new 144 PS 2.7-litre V6 Douvrin PRV engine, developed in conjunction with Renault and Volvo, It was Peugeot’s first entry into the large luxury saloon market for 40 years, the last having been the short-lived Peugeot 601 of 1934. France’s car manufacturers had had not much success internationally in the executive segment since then, but it was felt that building a car that was bigger and more costly than the 504 was viable owing to the increased affluence of the French market which Peugeot felt could accommodate a car more expensive than the 504. Price at launch was in the UK was sold ₤4,785, which compared to ₤4,399 for a BMW 520, ₤4,361 for a Citroën CX Pallas, and ₤3,485 for a Ford Granada 3000 GL. The 604 was introduced during the recession caused by the 1973 energy crisis, which created a marketplace that was even more unfriendly to large-engined cars in France, but even so over 36,000 cars were built in the first full year of production, and the car was praised for its many strengths which included a well damped and supple ride, equal to a contemporary Jaguar XJ6, its “good handling”, its spacious passenger compartment and highly rated steering described as “a model of its kind”, “highly accurate” and “one of the finest yet produced”. The 604 had unusually wide opening doors which made entry and egress very easy for users. This was especially appropriate for the car in its role as a limousine. Originally available in a single specification, as the 604 SL, there was a choice of a four speed manual or a three speed automatic gearbox and a small list of optional equipment items. The 604 was launched in the US in 1977, with twin rectangular headlights and larger bumpers, but few were sold and the car did not last long in that market, fading away by about 1980, though the car was available for some time after that. In September 1978, the somewhat quicker 604 TI model with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection and a five-speed manual transmission was added to the range. The initial sales momentum was not maintained, though, and with he launch of the similarly sized but cheaper Peugeot 505 in 1979 along with another oil crisis, sales of the V6-engined 604 halved. Peugeot did launch some detuned economy versions of the 604, but they did not do much to increase the car’s overall sales. Most surprisingly, an 80hp four cylinder turbodiesel version, with four or five speed manual or three speed automatic transmission had been introduced at the 1978 Geneva Motor Show, alongside the expected 305 D. The 604 D Turbo was the the first production turbodiesel car to be sold in Europe, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SD having been marketed in North America since 1977. The model used the 80 PS 2,304 cc Indénor Diesel engine familiar from the popular 504 GLD, but with a turbo fitted. This was a reliable engine, overshadowed by one major problem. Like many diesel engines of the time they were hard to start in the cold weather, the 604 was one of the worst with this problem, it was a very difficult car to start and some owners ensured it was parked on a hill to get around this. However, some minor tweaks to the glow plugs and compression made the car easier to start. Peugeot initially tried to convince buyers of the upper-middle class that the 604 had “the engineering of the Mercedes-Benz 280E, the handling of the BMW 5 Series and the elegance of the Jaguar XJ6” but this assertion did not convince enough buyers of this proposition. By 1981, only 7,000 examples were produced during the year which was when the 604 STi, with Michelin TRX tyres and alloy wheels, was introduced. From January 1981, the automatic gearboxes used in the 604 were no longer sourced from General Motors’ factory in Alsace, but rather from ZF in Germany. The existing diesel model was replaced with two different specifications, GRDT and SRDT. Total body immersion anti-corrosion treatment was also introduced across the entire range. The diesel engine was enlarged in 1983 to a 2.5 litre unit which generated an additional 10 PS, giving it much improved performance. In 1984, the 604 GTi with a 2.8-litre engine was introduced, replacing the 2.7-litre STi and a new GTDT diesel model was introduced. Production continued until 1985, when a mere 581 examples were produced, with sales continuing into 1986. Peugeot’s next major executive car, the 605, was not launched until 1989 although a V6-engined 505 served as an interim flagship model.. Despite critical acclaim early on, the 604 was a commercial failure. Over a 10 year life, the production of 153,252 units was half that of the V8 engine Rover 3500 and an eighth of its stablemate, the CX. Peugeot made a profit on each car made, primarily because of the shared tooling and engineering with the 504, but the car ceased production without an immediate successor. Today the 604 is a very rare car in the United Kingdom – there are less than 20 that are road-legal – and even in France, the cars are not a common sight. Shown here was just one example, a 604SL.

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Elsewhere in the show, I came across this 301D. The 301 was a 1465cc four-cylinder family car produced between 1932 and 1936. The original 301 can be seen either as a belated replacement for the Type 177, which had not been on sale since 1928, or as a return by Peugeot to that market segment after having left it for four years. The 301C saloon produced in 1932 and 1933 featured a six-light four-door boxy body, with space at the back for a separate boot. Slightly longer-boded versions without the separate luggage box were also available. The 301 CR introduced to the Sochaux lines after the summer break of 1933 was less angular, and the word “aérodynamique” featured prominently in Peugeot’s publicity for the restyled car. Another, bolder change to the look of the saloon came with the introduction of the 301D in 1934. The 301D was no longer a six-light saloon, and it featured a longer sloping tail which suggested the streamlining of the Peugeot 402 and 302 which would appear during the following two years. A variety of four-door 301s constructed on the same 2,720 mm (107.1 in) chassis were produced, although a longer 2,940 mm (115.7 in) wheelbase was also available for use, among other applications, as a taxicab with a middle set of seats that could be folded away (“strapontins”). There were also various 2-door versions which could be bodied as coupés or cabriolets. A commercial version, the 301T, had a tall van body replacing the usual passenger cabin section directly behind the B pillar. It was replaced in 1936 by the Peugeot 302.

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There was no official Porsche stand here this time, but even so there were plenty of Porsche models dispersed throughout the event, a mixture of race and road cars. Oldest of them was this example of the 356, the model 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.


The 914 was born of a joint need that Porsche had for a replacement for the 912, and Volkswagen’s desire for a new range-topping sports coupe to replace the Karmann Ghia. At the time, the majority of Volkswagen’s developmental work was handled by Porsche, part of a setup that dated back to Porsche’s founding; Volkswagen needed to contract out one last project to Porsche to fulfill the contract, and decided to make this that project. Ferdinand Piëch, who was in charge of research and development at Porsche, was put in charge of the 914 project. Originally intending to sell the vehicle with a flat four-cylinder engine as a Volkswagen and with a flat six-cylinder engine as a Porsche, Porsche decided during development that having Volkswagen and Porsche models sharing the same body would be risky for business in the American market, and convinced Volkswagen to allow them to sell both versions as Porsches in North America. On March 1, 1968, the first 914 prototype was presented. However, development became complicated after the death of Volkswagen’s chairman, Heinz Nordhoff, on April 12, 1968. His successor, Kurt Lotz, was not connected with the Porsche dynasty and the verbal agreement between Volkswagen and Porsche fell apart. In Lotz’s opinion, Volkswagen had all rights to the model, and no incentive to share it with Porsche if they would not share in tooling expenses. With this decision, the price and marketing concept for the 914 had failed before series production had begun. As a result, the price of the chassis went up considerably, and the 914/6 ended up costing only a bit less than the 911T, Porsche’s next lowest price car. The 914/6 sold quite poorly while the much less expensive 914/4 became Porsche’s top seller during its model run, outselling the Porsche 911 by a wide margin with over 118,000 units sold worldwide. Volkswagen versions originally featured an 80 PS fuel-injected 1.7 L flat-4 engine based on the Volkswagen air-cooled engine. Porsche’s 914/6 variant featured a carburettor 110 PS 2.0 litre flat-6 engine from the 1969 911T, placed amidships in front of a version of the 1969 911’s “901” gearbox configured for a mid-engine car. Karmann manufactured the rolling chassis at their plant, completing Volkswagen production in-house or delivering versions to Porsche for their final assembly. 914/6 models used lower gear ratios and high brake gearing in order to try to overcome the greater weight of the 6 cylinder engine along with higher power output. Suspension, brakes, and handling were otherwise the same. A Volkswagen-Porsche joint venture, Volkswagen of America, handled export to the U.S., where both versions were badged and sold as Porsches, except in California, where they were sold in Volkswagen dealerships. The four-cylinder cars were sold as Volkswagen-Porsches at European Volkswagen dealerships. Slow sales and rising costs prompted Porsche to discontinue the 914/6 variant in 1972 after producing 3,351 of them; its place in the lineup was filled by a variant powered by a new 100 PS 2.0 litre, fuel-injected version of Volkswagen’s Type 4 engine in 1973. For 1974, the 1.7 L engine was replaced by a 85 PS 1.8 litre, and the new Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection system was added to American units to help with emissions control. 914 production ended in 1976. The 2.0 litre flat-4 engine continued to be used in the 912E, which provided an entry-level model until the 924 was introduced.

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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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This is the 908-02. When in October 1967, the FIA set the engine capacity limit for prototypes at three litres (and Sports Cars at five litres), Porsche was fairly well prepared. Previous rumours had hinted at this move and no time had ben lost: as early as July 1967 design was started on a completely new three litre, eight cylinder engine (Type 908) which was to be dropped into a chassis derived from the Type 907, to become the 908 coupé. Before the 1969 Le Mans race, both the short and long-tail coupés were examined in the wind tunnel. The first 908.02 had been tested in the wind tunnel at the end of 1968. It had the advantage of being about 100 kg (220 lb.) lighter than the long-tail coupé, but it had a higher drag


It was not just the Porsche factory who developed the 935 into the potent winning machine it was, as some privateer teams saw opportunities to enhance the cars, with the Kremer brothers in Germany being the most prominent and successful. In 1976, Kremer Racing developed the K1 and, in 1977, the K2, before the K3 appeared at the start of the 1979 season. The K3 went on to win the 1979 Le Mans 24 Hours, with a factory-specification Porsche 935 finishing 2nd. This twin-turbo Porsche 935 K3 was built by Porsche in 1978 and sold through VW of America and Vasek Polak to the Interscope Racing Team, owned by American media mogul, entrepreneur and film producer Ted Field. Porsche built 24 customer twin-turbo 935s between 1978 and 1979.

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This is a 936, a Group 6 sports prototype racing car introduced in 1976 by Porsche as a delayed successor to the 917, a five litre Group 5 Sports Car, and the 908, a three litre Group 6 Prototype-Sports Car, both of which were retired by the factory after 1971. Its name came from using a variant of the Porsche 930’s turbocharged engine, as well as competing in Group 6 racing. The Porsche 936 was built to compete in the World Sportscar Championship as well as at 1976 24 Hours of Le Mans under the Group 6 formula, which it won both of. Chassis 002 with #20 won with Jacky Ickx and Gijs van Lennep won Le Mans, while the #18 chassis 001 of Reinhold Joest and Jürgen Barth had engine failure. It shared these victories with its production-based sibling, the Porsche 935 which won in Group 5. The open top, two seater spyder was powered by an air-cooled, two-valve 540 hp single-turbocharger flat-6 engine with 2140 cc, or the equivalent of 3000 cc including the 1.4 handicap factor. The spaceframe chassis was based on the 917, with many of the parts also coming from the car. In the first outings, the Martini Racing car was still black, and the engine cover behind the roll bar was flat. The large hump and the air box above the engine was fitted onto the car later in the season. It is not for the air intake of the turbocharged engine, nor for cooling of the air-cooled engine itself, but instead mainly used for the intercooler. From 1976 to 1981, the factory entered Porsche 936 won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times with Jacky Ickx (’76, ’77, ’81), thus each of the three original chassis won once. In 1978, the two previously winning chassis, which had been updated for 1977, came second and third behind the Renault, while the pole-setting new chassis 003 crashed out. Porsche did not intend to sell the 936 to customers, wanting them instead to use the 935 (which occupied the first four places at Le Mans in 1979), and the old 908 which were still around, updated to turbo engines and new 936-like aerodynamics. In 1979, a half-hearted Essex-sponsored Le Mans entry with two 936 was a failure, and the car also crashed at Silverstone. Porsche, wanting to test a new engine for the 956 pulled a few 936s out of the Porsche museum in Stuttgart, redesigned the car to create the 936/81 and entered as 2 official works entries for the 1981 Le Mans 24 Hours, coaxing Jacky Ickx out of retirement, and at the Belgian’s request having Briton Derek Bell as his teammate for the race, which needless to say they won, with the Mass/Barth/Haywood sister car retiring. Porsche engineers provided some unofficial support to very good customers, though, and Joest managed to get a spare chassis (004) and parts to assemble a car which was in 1980 designated as Porsche 908/80 and entered privately by Joest Racing. The Martini Racing Liqui Moly backed car took second at Le Mans in 1980. Kremer received blueprints to recreate a modified ’81-spec car dubbed chassis 005 for 1982. The successor Porsche 956 was introduced in 1982 after the new 2650 cc engine designed for Indycar was tested in the 1981 winning chassis 003 which was sponsored by Jules, a Christian Dior fragrance for men. At the inaugural year of the new Group C formula which the 956 was built for, privateer teams such as Kremer Racing and Joest Racing had to wait until 1983 for their 956. Thus, in an attempt to conform to the new Group C regulations, both teams built new bodyshapes that incorporated a roof onto their 936-replicas. Joest’s car was designated as 936C JR005 while Kremer’s car became known as the CK5 01.


There were a number of examples of the 911, though fewer among the traders than you get at some other events. The one to catch my eye was this 993 Turbo, a version introduced in 1995. It featured a new twin-turbocharged engine displacing 3.6 liters and generating a maximum power output of 408 PS. Air-to-air intercoolers, electronic engine management, redesigned cylinder heads and other modified engine internals completed the new engine. The 993 Turbo was the first 911 Turbo with all wheel drive, taken from the 959 flagship model. The Turbo’s bodywork differs from the Carrera by widened rear wheel arches (approximately 6 cm), redesigned front and rear bumper moldings, and a fixed “whale tail” rear wing housing the intercoolers. New 18 inch alloy wheels with hollow spokes were standard. The 993 Turbo was one of the first production cars in the world to have OBDII diagnostics system[citation needed] (the 3.8-litre and GT versions didn’t have that system, and the normally aspirated 993 variants didn’t get it until 1996 model year). The successors of the 993 Turbo since have had water-cooled heads. The car also had brakes that were larger than those on the base Carrera model. Throughout the production run of the Turbo, there were two distinct differences: the 1996 and the later model year cars. The 1997 and 1998 cars had the following differences from the 1996 cars: stronger transmission input shafts (a known weakness due to the combination of immense power and AWD system); An ECU that was able to be flashed and modified (the 1996 model’s ECU was not modifiable); with the addition of a Porsche child seat, the passenger airbag was cut off; motion sensors for the alarm that were integrated into the map light above the rear view mirror; standard wheel centre caps that had “turbo” embedded on them (the 1996 version had Porsche crests). During the second to the last year of production of the 993 (1997), Porsche offered the 993 Turbo S which was manufactured by Porsche Exclusiv department. The Turbo S is a high-specification Turbo including a power upgrade to 450 hp (DIN) for the American market) achieved by larger KKK K-24 turbochargers, an additional oil cooler and a modified Motronic engine management system. The inclusion of extras including carbon fibre decoration in the interior makes it different from the earlier lightweight, spartan 964 Turbo S. The 993 Turbo S is recognized by yellow brake calipers, a slightly larger rear wing, a quad-pipe exhaust system, a front spoiler with brake cooling ducts (on European market cars), carbon fibre door sills with ‘Turbo S’ badging and air scoops behind the doors. This was the last of the air-cooled 911 Turbos. The curb weight of the car amounted to 1,500 kg (3,307 lb). Performance figures include a 0–60 mph acceleration time of 3.6 seconds, 0–100 mph acceleration time of 8.9 seconds and a top speed of 296.6 km/h (184.3 mph).


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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Third of the large domestic manufacturer stands was that of Renault, and I always look forward to seeing what delight have been sourced from he marque’s extensive collection of historic vehicles. This year they were all relatively recent – well, if you can 40 years as recent, that is, as the cars on display had been chosen to mark 40 years of the Renault Turbo. The first turbo engines were used in Formula 1, and although there was an example of that on the stand, I appear to have failed to take a photo of it, so it is just the road cars that are presented here.

Certainly rare now is the R18 Turbo. The R18 was launched in April 1978 with familiar 1.4 and 1.6 litre petrol engines. Over the coming years, the range expanded with an estate body, diesel engines, and a 2 litre petrol, but the excitement came from the Turbo version which was introduced in September 1980, borrowing from other Renault models. The R18 Turbo featured a 1565 cc engine rated at 110 PS, five-speed gearbox, negative offset front suspension, four-stud alloy wheels, rear spoiler, dashboard and interior fittings from the Renault Fuego. It proved quite popular when new, but survivors are few.

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Launched at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1980, the R5 Turbo car was primarily designed for rallying, as a response to Lancia’s rallying success with the mid-engined Stratos, Renault’s Jean Terramorsi, vice-president of production, asked Bertone’s Marc Deschamps to design a new sports version of the Renault 5 Alpine supermini. The distinctive new rear bodywork was styled by Marcello Gandini at Bertone. Although the standard Renault 5 has a front-mounted engine, the 5 Turbo featured a mid-mounted 1397 cc Cléon-Fonte turbocharged engine placed behind the driver in mid-body in a modified Renault 5 chassis. In standard form, the engine developed 160 PS. At the time of its launch it was the most powerful production French car. The first 400 production 5 Turbos were made to comply with Group 4 homologation to allow the car to compete in international rallies, and were manufactured at the Alpine factory in Dieppe. Once the homologation models were produced, a second version named Turbo 2 was introduced using more stock Renault 5 parts replacing many of light alloy components in the original 5 Turbo version. The Turbo 2 was less expensive, but had nearly the same levels of performance, top speed of 200 km/h (120 mph) and 0–100 km/h in 6.9 seconds. A total of 3576 R5 Turbos were manufactured during a four-year production run.

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Very rare these days, since as well as rust taking hold, a number of these Fuego cars lived up to their name and burst into flames, this stylish car replaced the Renault 15 and 17 coupés of the 1970s. It was marketed in the United States by American Motors Corporation (AMC), and was also assembled in several countries in South America. The Fuego’s exterior was designed by Michel Jardin, working under Robert Opron (who previously designed the Citroën SM, Citroën GS, Citroën CX in the 1970s, and then followed with the Renault 25 in 1984). It was heavily based on the Renault 18, sharing its floorpan and drivetrain, but featuring a new front suspension design developed from the larger Renault 20/30. The design kept the familiar double wishbone layout common with the Renault 18 but no parts were interchangeable and the design incorporated negative scrub radius geometry. The new suspension design would later be introduced in the facelifted Renault 18, and with minor refinements (larger bushings, etc.), it was used in the Renault 25. In 1984, the Fuego dashboard was added to the facelifted R18. European production continued into 1986 (to 1985 in France and 1986 in Spain), while Renault Argentina produced the Fuego from 1982 until finally ending production in 1995 with the 2.2 litre “GTA Max” (the final phase III facelift introduced in 1990). It was the first mass-produced four-seat sports model to be designed in a wind tunnel. The resulting drag coefficient (Cd) factor of 0.32-0.35 depending on model and year. In October 1982, the Turbo Diesel model was classified as the then-fastest diesel car in the world with a top speed of 180 km/h. The Fuego was the first car to have a remote keyless system with central locking that was available from October 1982. The system was invented by Frenchman Paul Lipschutz (hence the name PLIP remote which is still used in Europe), and later introduced on other Renault models. The Fuego was also the first car to have steering wheel mounted satellite controls for the audio system. This feature became popularised on the new 1984 model Renault 25. A number of different engines and trims were offered which in Europe initially comprised the 1.4 litre TL, GTL; 1.6 litre TS, GTS; 2.0 litre TX, and GTX., A 2.1 litre Turbo Diesel was also produced for LHD European markets in the 1982-84 period. The Fuego Turbo, launched in 1983 included a new front grille, bumpers, wheel design, interior trim and a revised dashboard on LHD models. The Fuego became the number one selling coupé in Europe during the years 1980 through 1982. The official Renault website states that a total of 265,367 Fuegos were produced. In France (thus, excluding Argentina and Spain) the number produced from 1980 to 1985 was 226,583.

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There were examples of both the R9 and R11 Turbo, 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

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Eighteen months after the debut of the second generation R5, the “supercinq” as it is sometimes known, Renault produced their response to Peugeot’s 205 GTi, the R5 GT Turbo. Many were convinced that this was a better car, though it did have a reputation for unreliability and hot starting was quite an issue with fuel vaporising in the carburettor as the engine cooled. It used a modified four cylinder, eight-valve Cléon 1,397 cc engine, a pushrod unit dating back to the 1962 original (in 1,108 cc form). It was turbocharged with an air-cooled Garrett T2 turbocharger. Weighing a mere 850 kg (1,874 lb), and producing 113 hp, the GT Turbo had an excellent power-to-weight ratio, permitting it to accelerate from a standstill to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds. To differentiate it from the standard 5, it came with blocky plastic side skirts. Unfortunately, turbo lag was an issue, along with poor hot starting, and it was considered rather difficult to control. The same engine was used, with similar issues, in the Renault 9 and 11 Turbos. In 1987, the facelifted Phase II was launched. Major changes in the Phase II version included installing watercooling to the turbocharger, aiding the Phase I’s oil-cooled setup, which extended the life of the turbo. It also received a new ignition system which permitted it to rev 500 rpm higher. These changes boosted engine output up to over 118 hp. Externally, the car was revamped, with changes (including new bumpers and arches) that reduced the car’s drag coefficient from 0.36 to 0.35. Giving the Phase II a 0–100 km/h time of 7.5 secs. In 1989 the GT Turbo received a new interior, and in 1990 the special edition Raider model (available only in metallic blue, with different interior and wheels) was launched. In late 1991 the Renault 5 GT Turbo was discontinued, superseded by the Clio 16v and the Clio Williams. Survival rate of the R5 GT Turbo is low and few cars are particularly original, so this was nice one to behold.

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Introduced in the end of 1983 for a March 1984 start of sales, the Renault 25 was a large step forward in nearly every aspect from the Renault 20 / Renault 30 range it was replacing. Its five door liftback body was penned by designers Gaston Juchet and Robert Opron of Citroën SM fame, and the unconventional style (the wraparound rear window was its most famous feature) was aimed at giving the car a notchback look in order to overcome customer preference outside France for formal sedans in the segment. The 25 was one of the first cars designed from the start for aerodynamic efficiency; its drag coefficient (Cd) was 0.31, a key factor in improving fuel economy. The TS model briefly held the unofficial title of “world’s most aerodynamic mass production car” with a Cd of 0.28, and at its launch the 25 was easily the best in its class for fuel economy. All Renault 25 models were front-wheel drive, with four cylinder (2 litre and 2.2 litre petrol injection or 2.1 litre diesel) and six cylinder (2,849 cc and 2,458 cc turbo injection) engines mounted longitudinally forward of the front axle. The 25’s performance was above average for its class, with the V6 Turbo specification a match for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series. The 25 was praised for its ride comfort and spirited handling (despite slight understeer, and torque steer on V6 Turbo models). A newly designed manual transmission drew unanimous praise for its precision and smoothness (although the detent spring on fifth gear could cause mis-selection of 3rd gear), and though the futuristic interior designed by Italian designer Marcello Gandini (of Lamborghini fame) was controversial, the 25 was highly regarded for its quiet, spacious and well lit passenger compartment. Equipment levels were high and set new standards for French cars, the 25 including among other features, an express up and down feature on the driver’s power window, voice alerts (covering items such as improperly shut doors/bonnet/boot – oil pressure, engine temperature/charging circuit and blown bulbs), and one of the world’s first remote stereo controls, mounted to the right of the steering column (controlling volume +/–, station search, station select (jog wheel) in radio mode & Volume +/–, mute and track advance (if supported)). For the first time since World War II, Renault had a realistic chance of breaking into the full size market segment outside France. The Renault 25’s least durable part was the automatic transmission. As a result, most 25s remaining are the five speed manual and few automatics have survived. Three automatic transmissions were used on R25: MJ3, 4141, both three speed, and a new four speed AR4, later used on the Renault Safrane as AD4/AD8. Due to the poor quality and design of the ATF cooler, especially on the later AR4, these versions have gained a poor reputation for reliability. A leaking ATF cooler could lead to gearbox failure with little or no physical warning, except for ATF stains beneath the vehicle to which not all drivers paid attention or not quickly enough. The first transmissions started failing within a few years, while the model was still in production. Renault then prepared a package that was to replace the original poor quality cooler regardless of vehicle age and mileage. However, the cooler location in front of the right wheel could not be changed. As a result, Renault 25 Automatics with the AR4 transmission are rare today. The car underwent a facelift in June 1988, with a new front end, taillights, interior materials, and front suspension. Essentially, every panel was changed on the facelifted car, with the intent to smooth the styling. The new version also featured more powerful engines, the 2.2i engine being dropped and replaced by a 12v version of the 2.0i engine which produced 140 bhp. There were a small number of run out post facelift cars fitted with the 2.2i engine to use up stocks, these were rated at the normal 123 bhp for that engine. Production ended in February 1992, to make way for the Renault Safrane.

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Very rare now is the R21 Turbo. Produced when just about every manufacturer rushed to strap a turbo onto their regular cars, to create versions with higher performance (and often some challenging dynamics), the R21 Turbo was launched in 1989, around the time of the facelift of the model which had originally been seen in late 1985. There was a Quadra four wheel drive version as well as the standard front wheel drive car.

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The Safrane was launched in April 1992, to replace the ageing Renault 25 in the full-size market segment. Its clean, aerodynamic styling was quite conservative and very typical of early 1990s car design, The Safrane carried over the Renault 25’s five door hatchback/notchback design that had gained wide customer acceptance in France. Despite the traditional preference for saloon bodies in the executive car segment, Renault decided to compete on the base of added practicality of the rear door and split folding rear seat as well as originality. Given the preference for German saloons from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz of many executive car buyers, this can be viewed as good marketing tactics, allowing Renault to draw the buyers looking for alternatives, rather than compete head on. The Series 2 Safrane featured slightly (but visibly) different front ends in different versions, in an attempt to emphasize the unique status of more upmarket models, although these treatments differed in different markets. The Safrane’s design was a deliberate effort to overcome the R25’s main weaknesses — insufficient chassis stiffness and poor build quality. Renault was also keen to take noise reduction to best in class levels. These constraints resulted in a much heavier car than its predecessor (+200–300 kg / 440-660 lb.) due to a heavily reinforced chassis and the liberal use of sound proofing materials. At launch in 1992, the Safrane offered six engines including one diesel, ranging from 2 to 3 litres and manual or automatic transmissions. All petrol engines were fuel injected and were fitted with three way catalytic converters, as required in Europe after 1993 for engines of all sizes. The Safrane was also the first Renault to be equipped with air bags. The Safrane’s launch was free of the build quality problems that ruined the Renault 25’s reputation. Critics praised the car’s comfortable and spacious interior, excellent noise insulation, and incisive handling. However, the manual transmission’s cable actuated shifter (a first on a Renault) drew heavy criticism for its rubbery, uncommunicative feeling that spoiled the driving experience — a significant issue in the European market where more than 80% of cars sold are manuals. Critics would also conclude that the car’s acceleration and fuel economy was not up to the competition’s standards, pointing out towards the engine’s relative lack of power and torque compared to the vehicle’s weight. As a result, sales outside France (where national preference guaranteed good results) remained limited, and the Safrane did not break the Germans’ lock on the executive car market. In the end of 1993, a 115 PS 2.5 L turbodiesel was added to the range, increasing Safrane’s attractiveness, yet it faced tough competition from the likes of Audi’s 140 PS (138 hp) direct injection diesel of the same size, introduced a few months later in the Audi 100. The Renault Safrane was considered the most frequently used official car of former President of France, Jacques Chirac. In 1994, Renault launched the high performance Biturbo version available in RXE and Baccara models. This model featured a twin turbo, 262 PS (258 hp) evolution of the 3.0 L V6 of the Alpine A610, developed with the assistance of German tuning firms Hartge and Irmscher, coupled with all wheel drive. However, it was only available with a manual transmission, as no automatic gearbox existed anywhere in the world for a transversely mounted engine of that horsepower with AWD. Given that automatic transmissions and V8 engines are strongly preferred in the price class where Biturbo competed, it is not surprising that only 806 Biturbos were made. Production ended in September 1996. In the same year, the French coachbuilder Heuliez presented the Safrane Long Cours, which was something like a station wagon version of the Safrane Biturbo in luxury Baccara trim. The Safrane was phased out in 2000, having sold in fewer numbers than its predecessor.

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Final car in the array of Turbo models is the very latest addition to the range, the new Megane RenaultSport RS280, a car which has had rather mixed reviews, and certainly not deemed to be superior to the Honda Civic Type R or possibly other market rivals.

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The R4 Plein Air was introduced in the spring of 1968. Plein Airs were converted by Renault group company Sinpar S.A. from regular 4 speed R1123’s produced by Renault. A R1123 selected for conversion entered Sinpar’s premises as a complete R4 Berline to undergo a complete make-over and leave without doors and roof to be delivered to clients who had ordered their Plein Air from one of Renault’s dealers world-wide. Plein Airs were actually sold and delivered into France, Canada, United States, Mexico, Finland, Germany, UK and the Netherlands. In 1968 approx. 20 Plein Airs were exported to Canada to be used on the site of the 1968 Terre des Hommes World Exhibition in Montreal. Approximately 500 Plein Airs were produced by Sinpar until 1971, when it was succeeded by the R4 ACL Rodeo. After 1971 Renault continued to offer Plein Air conversion kits for self-made Plein Airs, but little is known about their number. Each Sinpar Plein Air was given a unique Sinpar production number, put on a round Sinpar identification plate fixed next to the Renault oval R1123 plate and the diamond chassis number plate under the bonnet. A Plein Air is only an original Sinpar Plein Air if fitted with the round Sinpar plate. The highest Sinpar production number known today and registered in the Plein Air Register is 563, the lowest 133. The Plein Air records of Sinpar, if they ever existed, have gone lost which makes verification of information and production numbers not easy.

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Although a very French product of its time, its inspiration comes from America. In the late 1950s, Renault was envious of the growing success in North America of the Volkswagen Beetle and were looking for ways they might match the Volkswagen’s success with their own Renault Dauphine. At a convention of North American distributors that took place in Florida, Renault’s US dealers called for the creation of a Dauphine coupé/cabriolet which would improve Renault’s image in the critical US market. Renault’s chairman, Pierre Dreyfus, agreed, and since the concept had been born at a convention in Florida the car instantly became known within the company as the “Renault Floride”. Ironically, the “Floride” name was considered unsuitable for 49 of the 50 states of the USA, however, since it could have implied disrespect to states other than Florida. For this reason an alternative name, “Caravelle”, was from the start used for North America and for other major markets (including the UK) where the principal language was a form of English. The Floride was unveiled at the 1958 Paris Motor Show. A small rear-engined design by Pietro Frua at Carrozzeria Ghia, it used the floorpan and engine of the Renault Dauphine. The car was offered as a 2+2 coupe, a 2+2 cabriolet and as a convertible, the latter being a cabriolet with a removable hardtop. The 89.2 in wheelbase was shared with the Renault Dauphine but longer overhangs meant that overall the Floride was longer by a significant 12.6 in, as well as being slightly lower and very slightly wider. At launch the Floride, like the Dauphine on which it was based, came with an 845cc four-cylinder water-cooled engine mounted at the back of the car. However, the power unit on the Floride was fed using a Solex 32 mm carburettor as against the 28 mm diameter of the Solex carburetor on the Dauphine. The Florides making their French show debut on the stand at the 1958 Paris Motor Show came with a claimed power output of 37 hp. By the time deliveries commenced, in early summer 1959, it was also possible for customers to specify a performance version, engineered by Amedee Gordini, which produced 40 hp by means of various modifications to the inlet manifold and camshaft, and a compression ratio raised from 7.6:1 to 8.0:1. Power was delivered to the rear wheels via a three speed manual transmission with synchromesh on the upper two ratios. For a supplement of 200 New Francs customers could instead specify a four speed transmission on the slightly heavier coupé version of the car. Having regard to the car’s power-to-weight ratio most customers chose to pay extra for the four speed gear box. Although designed by Frua of Italy, the car’s body was constructed locally, by the automobile body maker Société des usines Chausson, based in Asnières-sur-Seine at the northern edge of Paris, and known in France as the producer of many of the school bus bodies used for transporting children in country areas. In October 1959, the Floride, along with the Renault Dauphine, appeared with significant suspension improvements. The new suspension was conceived by the by now almost legendary automotive engineer Jean-Albert Grégoire and baptised by Renault “Suspension Aérostable”, being intended to improve the car’s ride and road holding. The addition of extra rubber springs at the front reduced roll and auxiliary air spring units (mounted inboard of the conventional coils) at the rear gave the rear wheels a small degree of negative camber and increased cornering grip. In March 1962, the Caravelle received a new 956 cc engine that would be also used by the new Renault 8 from June. Although the new “Sierra” series five-bearing engine shared no components with the existing 845 cc Dauphine engine, it was conceptually very similar: the engine size was chosen in order to come in (slightly) below the top of the 5CV car tax band in France. It had a sealed cooling system as well as a new front suspension, new rear geometry, new steering, and a new gear linkage. Moving the radiator behind the engine also freed up an extra 12 cm of space behind the front seat. Maximum power output increased to 48 hp. Four-speed transmission, already included in the price at no extra cost on some export markets, now came as part of the standard with the new engine even for French buyers, although bottom gear still made do without synchromesh The upgraded cars, first presented at the 1962 Geneva Motor Show, now featured disc brakes on all four wheels: the Floride was the first French volume car to benefit from this enhancement which also reduced unsprung weight by approximately 6 kg The Caravelle name also replaced the Floride name in all markets from 1962 onwards. In 1964 another R8-derived engine of 1108 cc was introduced to the Caravelle, producing 55 hp. This model was tested by “Autocar” magazine in November 1965, who found it had a top speed of 89 mph and accelerated from 0-60 mph in 17.8 seconds, with an “overall” fuel consumption of 30.2 mpg. The Caravelle’s performance closely matched that of the contemporary Triumph Spitfire 4 under most headings, though the Spitfire was a couple of mph ahead on top speed. The British car market was still protected by tariffs at this time, but even allowing for that the Renault looks expensive in this company: The Caravelle came with a UK recommended price of £1039 as against £666 for the Spitfire 4. Production got under way slowly, with only 3,777 cars completed in 1959. However, in 1960, following the important “Aérostable” suspension upgrades, Renault produced 36,156 Florides. By the mid-1960s the Caravelle, which had been fashionably styled at launch, was looking dated, while the reduction and elimination of internal tariffs within the Common Market led to intensified competition in France for buyers of inexpensive sports cars, notably from Italy. Between 1966 and 1967 annual production tumbled from 4,880 to 2,991. During 1968 only 1,438 were produced, and it was during the summer of that year that Renault withdrew the Caravelle.


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.



The A110 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.


This unique A310 is the only one to have raced at Le Mans, having competed in 1977.

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This is a 1932 Phantom II. It was ordered new by Frenchman Arnaud Esders, who made his fortune in the ready-to-wear clothing business with shops in Europe and beyond. He is perhaps best remembered these days for commissioning one of the legendary Bugatti Royale cars, but he also had this car made to his specific requirements. It was ordered in 1931 from the stand of coachbuilder Letourneur et Marchand at the Paris Motor Show. The company had been founded in 1905 and tended to specialise in flagship cars. Esders ordered the discreetly elegant Coupe de Ville bodywork in polished black with ivory coloured doors. It had no headlamps, no visible door hinges, no door handles or windows on the driver’s door, no chrome, no bumpers, no spare wheel and no mascot. The interior was subtly luxurious. The car took part in some Concours d’Elegance in the 30s until sold a few years later. The new owner had it modified turning it into a four door limousine by covering the driver’s compartment, and the low roof was covered raising the profile somewhat. The Rolls is known to have been owned by the same family from 1965 to 2004 wen it was discovered by a French enthusiast. It went to auction but failed to sell. In 2018 a Swiss specialist, Christoph Grohe had the opportunity to acquire it and has rebuilt it to its original specification, finding the original roof under the later limousine addition. Renovation work has only just finished.



The first new car that Rover announced after the war was the P4 model, known as the 75. It was launched at the Earls Court Motor Show in September 1949, to replace all previous models and then continued in production until 1964, though the car underwent lots of change under the skin in those 15 years. Designed by Gordon Bashford, the car went into production in 1949 as the 6-cylinder 2.1-litre Rover 75. It featured unusual modern styling in stark contrast with the outdated Rover P3 model 75 which it replaced. Gone were the traditional radiator, separate headlamps and external running boards. In their place were a chromium grille, recessed headlamps and a streamlined body the whole width of the chassis. The car’s styling was derived from the then controversial 1947 Studebakers. The Rover executives purchased two such vehicles and fitted the body from one of them to a prototype P4 chassis to create a development mule. In James Taylor’s highly regarded book ‘Rover P4 – The Complete Story’ he advised that this vehicle was affectionately known as the ‘Roverbaker’ hybrid. Another, at the time minor, distinctive feature but this one did not catch-on was the centrally mounted light in the grille where most other manufacturers of good quality cars provided a pair, one fog and one driving light often separately mounted behind the bumper. Known, unkindly, as the “Cyclops eye” it was discontinued in the new grille announced 23 October 1952. The earliest cars used a more powerful version of the Rover engine from the 1948 Rover P3 75, a 2103 cc straight-6 engine now with chromium plated cylinder bores, an aluminium cylinder head with built-in induction manifold and a pair of horizontal instead of downdraught carburetters. A four-speed manual transmission was used with a column-mounted gear lever which was replaced by a floor-mounted mechanism in September 1953. At first the gearbox only had synchromesh on third and top but it was added to second gear as well in 1953. A freewheel clutch, a traditional Rover feature, was fitted to cars without overdrive until mid-1959, when it was removed from the specifications, shortly before the London Motor Show in October that year. The cars had a separate chassis with independent suspension by coil springs at the front and a live axle with half-elliptical leaf springs at the rear. The brakes on early cars were operated by a hybrid hydro-mechanical system but became fully hydraulic in 1950. Girling disc brakes replaced drums at the front from October 1959. The complete body shells were made by the Pressed Steel company and featured aluminium/magnesium alloy (Birmabright) doors, boot lid and bonnets until the final 95/110 models, which were all steel to reduce costs. The P4 series was one of the last UK cars to incorporate rear-hinged “suicide” doors. After four years of the one model policy Rover returned to a range of the one car but three different sized engines when in September 1953 they announced a four-cylinder Rover 60 and a 2.6-litre Rover 90. A year later, an enlarged 2230cc engine was installed in the 75, and an updated body was shown with a larger boot and a bigger rear window and the end of the flapping trafficators, with redesigned light clusters. Further detailed changes would follow. Announced 16 October 1956, the 105R and 105S used a high-output, 8.5:1 compression version of the 2.6 litres engine used in the 90. The higher compression was to take advantage of the higher octane fuel that had become widely available. This twin-SU carburettor engine produced 108 hp. Both 105 models also featured the exterior changes of the rest of the range announced a month earlier. The 105S featured separate front seats, a cigar lighter, chromed wheel trim rings and twin Lucas SFT 576 spotlamps. To minimise the cost of the 105R, these additional items were not standard, however they were provided on the (higher priced) 105R De Luxe. The 105R featured a “Roverdrive” automatic transmission. This unit was designed and built by Rover and at the time was the only British-built automatic transmission. Others had bought in units from American manufacturers such as Borg-Warner. This unit was actually a two-speed automatic (Emergency Low which can be selected manually and Drive) with an overdrive unit for a total of three forward gears. The 105S made do with a manual transmission and Laycock de Normanville overdrive incorporating a kick-down control. The 105S could reach a top speed of 101 mph. Production of the 105 line ended in 1958 for the 105R and 1959 for the manual transmission 105S, 10,781 had been produced, two-thirds with the manual transmission option. For 1959 the manual model was described simply as a 105 and the trim and accessory level was reduced to match the other models. In 1959, the engines were upgraded again, with the 80 replacing the 60 and the 100 replacing the 90 and the 105. The four cylinder cars were not particularly popular, though and in September they were replaced by the six cylinder 95. Final model was the 110, which took its place at the top of the range until production ceased, a few months after the very different P6 model 2000 had come along. These cars are popular classics these days.

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The Shadow DN5 was a Formula One car used by the Shadow team during the 1975 Formula One season. Updated to a ‘B’ specification, it was used through the 1976 Formula One season and for the first two races of the following season. It was qualified on pole position three times, and twice achieved a fastest lap in a race. Its best finish in a race was third (twice), both times driven by Tom Pryce. The Shadow DN5 was designed by Tony Southgate. A development of the previous year’s DN3, the DN5 was more aerodynamically refined and had its weight distribution rearranged. It was updated into a ‘B’ specification for the following season, prior to which Universal Oil Products, the team’s major sponsor, withdrew its financial support. The DN5 proved to be a fast car, which qualified well several times. In fact, for the first race of the season, the Argentine Grand Prix, Jarier, the team leader qualified the DN5 on pole. However, on race day, the car failed to complete the warmup lap due to a crown wheel and pinion failure in the gearbox.[2] Jarier took pole again for the following Brazilian Grand Prix, but retired on lap 32, having led for most of the race (and achieving fastest lap). Ultimately, the poor reliability of the car (and some driver induced errors) meant that Jarier finished only two races during the season. The best of these was fourth at the Spanish Grand Prix, for which he was awarded half points due to the race being stopped as a result of a bad crash. He also switched to a Matra V12 powered DN7 for two races towards the end of the season. An updated version of the previous year’s DN3 was driven by Tom Pryce for the first two races of the year before he switched to the DN5. Pryce fared better than Jarier with the DN5 and managed several finishes; he finished sixth three times, finished fourth in Germany and third in Austria. He had qualified on pole for the British Grand Prix, but like Jarier in Brazil, retired from the lead in the race itself. The DN5 was updated into a ‘B’ specification for the 1976 Formula One season. However, while the reliability of the DN5B was much improved from its parent, it was not as competitive, at least during the latter part of the year. Jarier qualified his DN5B third on the grid in the Brazilian Grand Prix and ran second for much of the race before crashing. This left Pryce to take third place, the best result for the team during the year. While both drivers regularly finished in the top ten, there was only one other finish in the points for the DN5B, this being Pryce’s fourth place in the British Grand Prix. From the Dutch Grand Prix, Pryce switched to Shadow’s new car, the Shadow DN8,[6] while Jarier continued with the old car. The DN5B continued into the 1977 Formula One season, driven by Shadow’s new driver, Renzo Zorzi, in the two first races of the year. While he retired from the Argentine Grand Prix, Zorzi scored an attrition assisted sixth place in the last race for the DN5B, the Brazilian Grand Prix.

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After three years in production, the Vedettes were given new names and a new, elongated body, with a more ornate front end and large tailfins, making the cars even more American-looking than before. This was part of a styling trend shown by most large European cars of that period, which were, to some extent, inspired by American styling, as tailfins appeared on the Pininfarina styled Peugeots, Fiats and BMC models, Fords and even Mercedes-Benz cars of that era. The engine was uprated to 84 hp (now called Aquillon 84) but the fiscal qualification of the car remained unchanged. Using the new body, the Versailles was replaced by the Simca Vedette Beaulieu and the Régence by the Chambord, while the estate retained the Vedette Marly name. This is a Chambord.


This is the production version of the third generation Aronde. Presented at the Paris Motor Show in October 1958, the P60 version came with a new modern-looking body. The 2,440 mm (96.1 in) wheelbase was unchanged and, apart from a slightly lowered roof-line, the central portion of the body was still broadly similar to that of the original 1951 Aronde, but the discrete tail-fins and rear lights were restyled as were the headlights, set on either side of a larger grille at the front. Mechanically little had changed: more innovative was the wide range of versions and permutations now offered, with customers able to choose from a range of engines offering four different levels of power output (40, 45, 47 or 57 hp) and an options list that even included leather upholstery and a “Simcamatic” clutch.In line with the manufacturer’s determination to offer customers more choice, the P60 was offered with various names. The following cars all shared the same wheelbase and the same length/width footprint: Élysée was a 4-door berline with a 1290cc 48 hp engine; Grand Large was a 2-door “coach panoramique” pillarless saloon with the same engine; the Montlhéry was a 4-door berline with a 1290cc higher compression 57 hp engine; Monaco, a 2-door “coach panoramique” pillarless saloon with the 1290cc higher compression 57 hp engine and the Châtelaine, a 5-door estate/station wagon with the less potent 1290cc engine, retaining the body of the earlier Aronde 90A Châtelaine, but by 1960 a more luxurious estate version, branded as the Simca Aronde P60 Ranch, combined the new front end from the P60 with the back end of the previous generation of Aronde estates.

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This is a 1972 TS9B. The Surtees Racing Organisation was a race team that spent nine seasons (1970 to 1978) as a constructor in Formula One, Formula 2, and Formula 5000. The team was formed by John Surtees, a four-time 500cc motorcycle champion and the 1964 Formula One champion. Surtees formed the team in 1966 for the newly formed CanAm series (an unlimited sports car series), winning the championship as an owner/driver in its first year. He fielded an entry in another newly formed series in 1969, becoming part of Formula 5000 after taking over the failed Leda F5000 project, and his team constructed its own cars for the first time. His team was successful, winning five races, consecutively, during a twelve race season. This inspired Surtees to expand to Formula One, and after having had a difficult season with BRM in 1969, he decided to become an owner/driver again. The team ran the full 1970 season, but John Surtees was forced to run the first four races in an old McLaren due to a delay in the construction of his in-house F1 car. The new BP-sponsored car earned its first (and only) points that year in the Canadian Grand Prix. Surtees added a second full-time car in 1971 for German driver Rolf Stommelen, and ran a third car for various drivers in a number of races. Three drivers, Surtees, Stommelen, and motorcycling champion Mike Hailwood earned three points each for the marque that year. After the 1971 season, Surtees retired from full-time competition, and the team ended up with three new full-time drivers in 1972. Hailwood returned to Surtees for a full year; joining him were Australian Tim Schenken and Italian Andrea de Adamich, the latter of whom brought sponsorship money to the team. Hailwood produced Surtees’ first podium finish that year in the Italian Grand Prix, finishing second to Emerson Fittipaldi. All three drivers scored points for the team, and Surtees finished fifth in the Constructors’ Championship. The TS9 of 1971-1972 was a Formula 1 car that was a derivative of the TS7 with a longer wheelbase and wider track. Surtees repeated his Oulton Park win in 1971.



The 1936 Talbot T120 Baby Sport is powered by a 3 litre six cylinder engine producing 90 hp and allowing a top speed of 140 kph.

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At the 1954 Salon de L’Automobile de Paris, 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. The first car had all-aluminium bodywork, but later cars used more steel. Fifty-four of these coupés were built, but they proved hard to sell – the stylish bodywork couldn’t quite hide the thirties’ underpinnings, and the rough engine offered little elasticity nor longevity. 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 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. However, market response remained lukewarm, and only about a dozen of the BMW powered Talbot Lago Americas were produced. In the early summer of 1958, Tony Lago decided to accept an offer from Simca president, Henri Pigozzi, for the sale of the Talbot brand to Simca. The sale of the business went ahead in 1959. With the sale of the business to Simca, the new owners found themselves with a handful of the final Talbot Lago Americas which were 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 carburetor 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 165 km/h (103 mph) in place of the 200 km/h (124 mph) listed the previous year. 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 “motor show special” prototype of which, after the motor show, nothing more would be heard.


Displayed on the Peugeot-Citroen stand was this very rare Tagora SX. Chrysler Europe began development of the Tagora in 1976, under the code name C9, with the goal of replacing the unsuccessful Chrysler 180 series. Following the same development pattern as with the Horizon and Alpine models, the responsibility for the Tagora’s technical development remained in France, while the styling was devised at Chrysler’s design centre in the United Kingdom. An early proposal for the name of the car was “Simca 2000”. The original C9 prototype was a modern-styled saloon with a low beltline and large interior dimensions made possible by the long-wheelbase. The British design team initially proposed some stylistic features inspired by the Citroën SM, including a front glass panel between the headlights to accommodate the number plate, round front wheelarches and rear spats. However, Chrysler management in the United States deemed these features too extravagant, so the design of the C9 became more conventional: front and rear wheelarches were squared off and the spats lost, and the license plate was placed on the front bumper as on most cars. To better balance the tall silhouette, the beltline was raised. Over the course of development, the C9 also lost its vertical taillights in favour of more “fashionable” horizontal ones. The main competitors in the executive vehicle market offered engines bigger than the biggest 2.0-litre inline-four engine used by Chrysler Europe, and a six-cylinder engine was generally expected. Consequently, the company had to seek a new engine for the Tagora. One candidate was a straight-six manufactured by Mitsubishi, but it proved unsuitable for a car of this class. The other proposal was the Douvrin V6 engine (the “PRV”), a joint development of PSA, Renault and Volvo. Since the Tagora would be in direct competition with PSA models that used the PRV, it seemed unlikely that Chrysler would be able to procure that engine. Chrysler Corporation approved the development of the model on the assumption that Chrysler Europe would sell 60,000 C9 models per year, which translated into a projected 5 percent share of the executive car market. This estimate seemed achievable because Chrysler had a 7 percent market share in Europe overall. The projected sales would have covered the car’s tooling costs, with the development costs accounted for separately, as part of an independent annual budget. During the development of the C9, the management of the bankruptcy-threatened Chrysler Corporation decided to divest itself of its debt-ridden European operations. The buyer was the French PSA Group, formed in 1976 after Peugeot took over Citroën. The deal was finalised in 1978, in which the buyer paid US$1.00 for the entirety of Chrysler Europe and its obligations. The take-over was effective as of 1 January 1979. While the C9 project was well advanced, PSA already had a crowded lineup in the large vehicle segment, including the renowned Citroën CX, the slow-selling Peugeot 604 and the newly launched Peugeot 505. But with so much having already been invested in the project, PSA decided to press ahead and complete the development of C9, albeit with modifications to allow the use of shared parts with other PSA models. The Simca double wishbone front suspension gave way to MacPherson struts adopted from the Peugeot 505 and 604, and the rear axle was replaced with that of the 505, much narrower than the one originally planned, as it was designed with respect to the 505 body width. The C9 front end was extended to accommodate the optional PRV engine: now that the model belonged to PSA, using the PRV presented no problems. Following the renaming of Chrysler Europe’s models to the Talbot marque, the C9 was christened the Talbot Tagora, and the first batch of cars rolled out of the former Simca plant in Poissy in 1980. The same year, PSA presented the Tagora at the Salon de l’Automobile in Paris. Following a hands-on demonstration of the model to the press in Morocco in March 1981, the car went on sale in France in April and in the United Kingdom in May. The British billboard advertising campaign boasted “The new Talbot Tagora. Luxury and performance redefined.” The Tagora was priced to overlap with high-end Peugeot 505 and low-end Citroën CX models, while slotting in beneath the Peugeot 604. Its pricing was also comparable to the Renault 20/30 and Ford Granada. The Tagora was in the 20,000–30,000 Deutschmark bracket in Germany. During the first fifteen months of the car’s existence, in 1980/81, a mere 16,169 Tagoras were produced which was only one quarter of Chrysler’s initial projections. Sales proved insufficient even for this production level, and volumes plummeted by more than 80 percent in 1982. In 1983 the sales figures prompted PSA to cancel the model altogether. By the time the Tagora was discontinued, only about 20,000 had been built; by comparison, over 116,000 Peugeot 505s and 74,000 Citroën CXs were made in 1981 alone.