Rétromobile – February 2020

The automotive enthusiast is well-provided with events to attend almost all year round these days. In the summer months, when the weather is more likely to be favourable and there is plenty of daylight, the majority of them are outdoors, and the challenge is usually what to attend each weekend rather than whether there is anything to go to on any given weekend. Once the clocks have gone back onto winter time, and daylight is in short supply, then the focus shifts indoors, and there are rather fewer events, but provided you are prepared to travel then there is still lots to keep the fan interested. This is the time of year when there is a major event in each European country, generally all timed so that they do not clash (thought the Germans have not always managed that with the Essen and Stuttgart events). I’ve tried to sample as many of these as I can. The one that i always put on the calendar as soon as the dates are announced is the one held in Paris, the Rétromobile. l’ve been to this every year now since 2013, and on a couple of occasions before that, and it has always charmed and entertained me. In fact the event has been held now continuously for 44 years, and one secret to its success has been the fact that whilst any of the manufacturers and dealers attend year after year, the displays are always completely different and the organisers also pick several special displays, some with more obvious themes than others, and often selecting 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? Rétromobile is 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 2020, as in 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 around 1100 vehicles, so it really will take all day to try to take it in. And that is precisely what I did. There are close to 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?

ABARTH

One of the first cars I saw was also one of the newest, the 695 Anniversario which was the sole Abarth shown on the FCA Heritage stand and indeed the only Abarth I saw in the whole event this time. The 695 Anniversario was launched at the brand’s 70th anniversary celebrations in Milan in October 2019, and deliveries of which started around the turn of the year. The Anniversario is in a choice of 5 colours: White, Black, Podium Blue, Grey and 1958 Green, and there were examples of some but not all of these here, including a couple of cars in the 1958 Green which was selected to evoke memories of the 1958 record-breaking 500, though I can advise that the two shades of green are quite different, the older car being much lighter. Online verdicts of the new car at launch were not entirely positive, with many challenging the appearance, others the spec and yet more the price (£29,995 in the UK), but in the metal, it looks far better than those first web pictures portrayed, and there is no doubt that the 1949 buyers of the car are getting something quite distinctive, with the Campovolo Grey accents around the wheelarches and lower body skirts. What they aren’t getting is more than 180 bhp, as it would seem that to get Euro 6d compliance from the T-Jet engine, 180 bhp is the limit. But the Abarth 695 70° Anniversario does have an ace up its sleeve. Look at the back and you’ll notice a rather large roof-mounted spoiler serving as the special edition’s party piece. Manually adjustable in literally a dozen of positions, the spoiler was developed in the wind tunnel to achieve maximum aero efficiency regardless of speed. Its inclination varies from 0 to 60 degrees and helps increase aerodynamic load by 42 kilograms when the car is travelling at speeds of 124 mph (200 km/h) provided the spoiler is at its maximum inclination. Abarth has done the maths and it claims the new aero component will reduce steering corrections by as much as 40% based on the testing they’ve done at FCA’s wind tunnel in the Orbassano municipality located southwest of Turin. Power is provided by the familiar 1.4-litre turbocharged engine with 180 hp and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) of torque, good enough for a sprint from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.7 seconds before topping out at 140 mph (225 km/h) if the spoiler is in the 0° position. Those 17-inch SuperSport wheels are paired to a Brembo braking system with four-piston aluminium calipers finished in red, hugging the 305-mm front and 240-mm rear self-ventilated discs. Rounding off the changes on the outside is the newly developed Record Monza exhaust with active valve for a better soundtrack. Abarth also spruced up the cabin a bit where the body-hugging seats are exclusive to this special edition, just like the individually numbered plaque reminding you this isn’t an ordinary 695. Onboard tech includes support for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB digital radio and a navigation system for that seven-inch touchscreen display. Additional standard equipment includes automatic climate control, daytime running lights, LED fog lights, unique mats, and the Abarth telemetry system if you plan on taking the hot hatch to the track.

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AC

AC came back to the market after the Second World War with the staid 2-Litre range of cars in 1947, but it was with the Ace sports car of 1953 that the company really made its reputation in the post war years. Casting around for a replacement for the ageing 2-Litre, AC took up a design by John Tojeiro that used a light ladder type tubular frame, all independent transverse leaf spring suspension, and an open two seater alloy body made using English wheeling machines, possibly inspired by the Ferrari Barchetta of the day. Early cars used AC’s elderly 100 bhp two-litre overhead cam straight-six engine (first seen soon after the end of the First World War), which, according to a 1954 road test by Motor magazine, gave a top speed of 103 mph and 0–60 mph in 11.4 seconds and a fuel consumption of 25.2 mpg. It was hardly a sporting engine, however, and it was felt that something more modern and powerful was required to put the modern chassis to good use. Joining the Ace in 1954 was the Aceca hard top coupé, which had an early form of hatchback rear door but used the same basic timber framed alloy body. From 1956, there was the option of Bristol Cars’ two-litre 120 bhp straight-six with 3 downdraught carburettors and slick four-speed gearbox. Top speed leapt to 116 mph with 0–60 mph in the nine second bracket. Overdrive was available from 1956 and front disc brakes were an option from 1957, although they were later standardised. In 1961 a new 2.6-litre straight-six ‘Ruddspeed’ option was available, adapted by Ken Rudd from the unit used in the Ford Zephyr. It used three Weber or SU carburettors and either a ‘Mays’ or an iron cast head. This setup boosted the car’s performance further, with some versions tuned to 170 bhp, providing a top speed of 130 mph and 0–60 mph in 8.1 seconds. However, it was not long before Carroll Shelby drew AC’s attention to the Cobra, so only 37 of the 2.6 models were made. These Ford engined models had a smaller grille which was carried over to the Cobra. The car raced at Le Mans in 1957 and 1958. In 1959 at Le Mans, Ted Whiteaway and John Turner drove their AC-Bristol, registration 650BPK, to the finish, claiming top honours for the 2,000cc class and seventh overall behind six 3 litre cars. Few cars with this provenance have survived and are extremely valuable. They can range from $100,000 or more for an unrestored car, even one in pieces, to in excess of $400,000 for a restored AC Ace.

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The iconic Cobra was based on the Ace, but with far more power available. Seen here was a race version.

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ALFA ROMEO

Three very different Alfa Romeo models were presented by FCA Heritage in this, the 110th anniversary year of this much-loved marque.

Dating from 1910 is this 24HP, the first Alfa. This is is 4.1-litre four-cylinder passenger car, the first model produced by Italian car manufacturer ALFA (Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili), which in 1919 would become Alfa Romeo. It was introduced in 1910, the year ALFA was founded, and produced until 1914 in ALFA’s Portello factory near Milan. The model’s name comes from its tax horsepower rating, then frequently used as vehicle designation. The 24 HP was commercially successful and continued to be developed for a decade. In 1914 some updates transformed the 24 HP into the ALFA 20-30 HP, produced in 1914 and 1915—with some hundred cars assembled after the war in 1920. In turn the 20-30 HP evolved into the 1921–22 Alfa Romeo 20-30 ES Sport, the first car to be badged Alfa Romeo from its introduction. In total the 24 HP and 20-30 HP were produced in 680 examples.

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Second of the trio was this 1928 6C 1500 SuperSport. The Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 Sport was created in 1928 designed for racing. It was, however, the Spider versions mostly built by Zagato, Castagna and Touring, that captured the interest of gentlemen drivers for racing use. These lightweight agile and responsive cars were characterised by the mechanical perfection of the multi-cylindered engineering jewel hidden under its long bonnet. The car had a 1487 cc 6 cylinder in line engine producing 76 hp at 4800 rpm and a top speed of 140 km/h. Only 31 Super Sport and Mille Miglia Speciale versions of the Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 were produced from 1928 to 1929, including six in the “fixed cylinder head” 84 hp variant, ten with supercharger and 15 without. On 1 April 1928, an Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 SS of the official racing team—driven by Campari/Ramponi—won the second edition of the Mille Miglia, marking the beginning of Alfa Romeo’s legendary association with the famous race, which saw the Milanese brand top the podium in Brescia another ten times, a record that can never be beaten. In the same years, Boris Ivanowski, a former officer of the Russian Imperial Guard who moved to Paris after World War I, earned glory for his victories outside of Italy, winning the Spa 24 Hours with Attilio Marinoni and the Georges Boillot Cup as a solo driver in 1928, before clinching the Irish GP Saorstat Cup the following year. Prior to founding one of the world’s biggest sports car firms, a young Enzo Ferrari won the 1927 Circuito di Modena race in an Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 SS, partnered by Giulio Ramponi, then repeated the victory with Eugenio Siena a year later. Also in 1928, he won the Circuito di Alessandria, another victory in what he described as a “local race”, but which augured a glittering career for the man nicknamed il Drake. The specimen from the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese has already won three retrospective editions of the Mille Miglia, in 2005, 2007 and 2019, in addition to triumphing in the 2007 and 2008 editions of the Mille Millas Sport in Argentina. This lively Alfa Romeo hasn’t stopped running and winning on roads all over the world!

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Final model that Alfa Romeo themselves had brought was the latest Giulia, and although this has now been on sale for a few years, it still attracts lot of attention, and positive reaction.

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Whilst the FCA stand had some nice cars, there was a real treat for Alfa lovers to be found elsewhere, on the Lukas Hüni stand. This Swiss dealer pulls out the proverbial stops every year with some truly spectacular displays. Last year it was an amazing collection of Lancia Stratos Stradale cars which took my breath away. This year it was a stunning collection of historic Alfa Romeo cars, sourced mostly from private collectors. Were all these cars to be offered for sale, I think the combined total of this priceless display would probably list out with not a lot of change from £100 million. Whether I will ever see such an assembly again, I don’t know. I managed to get on the stand quite early on and stayed a long time just drooling over such fabulous an array of cars.

Vittorio Jano was one of the greatest competition car designers of all times. Initially joining Alfa Romeo from Fiat in 1923, Vittorio Jano was responsible for all Alfa Romeo Grand Prix cars from 1924-1937 (the P2 in 1924 which won the 1925 world championship, the Tipo B called P3, the 8C-35 and the 12C-36), as well as for the Lancia Aurelia, the D23/D24 sports racing and the D50 Grand Prix cars after WW2. At the same time Jano designed a succession of touting and sports cars. In 1924, Vittorio Jano created his first straight-eight-cylinder engine for Alfa Romeo, the 1987 cc P2, with common crankcase and four plated-steel two-cylinder blocks, which won the first World Championship ever in 1925. Although it was a straight-8, the 8C designation was not used. The 8C engine, first entered at the 1931 Mille Miglia road race through Italy, had a common crankcase, now with two alloy four-cylinder blocks, which also incorporated the heads. The bore and stroke (and hence rods, pistons and the like), were the same as the 6C 1750 (bore: 65 mm, stroke: 88 mm 2,336 cc). There was no separate head, and no head gasket to fail, but this made valve maintenance more difficult. A central gear tower drove the overhead camshafts, superchargers and ancillaries. As far as production cars are concerned, the 8C engine powered two models, the 8C 2300 (1931–1935) and the even more rare and expensive 8C 2900 (1936–1941), bore increased to 68 mm and stroke to 100 mm (2,905 cc). At the same time, since racing cars were no longer required to carry a mechanic, Alfa Romeo built the first single seater race car. As a first attempt, the 1931 Monoposto Tipo A used a pair of 6-cylinder engines fitted side by side in the chassis. As the resulting car was too heavy and complex, Jano designed a more suitable and successful racer called Monoposto Tipo B (aka P3) for the 1932 Grand Prix season. The Tipo B proved itself the winning car of its era, winning straight from its first outing at the 1932 Italian Grand Prix, and was powered with an enlarged version of the 8C engine now at 2,665 cc, fed through a pair of superchargers instead of a single one. Initially, Alfa Romeo announced that the 8C was not to be sold to private owners, but by autumn 1931 Alfa sold it as a rolling chassis in Lungo (long) or Corto (short) form with prices starting at over £1000. The chassis were fitted with bodies from a selection of Italian coach-builders (Carrozzeria) such as Zagato, Carrozzeria Touring, Carrozzeria Castagna, Carrozzeria Pinin Farina ( later Pininfarina ) and Brianza, even though Alfa Romeo did make bodies. Some chassis were clothed by coach-builders such as Graber, Worblaufen and Tuscher of Switzerland and Figoni of France. Alfa Romeo also had a practice of rebodying cars for clients, and some racing vehicles were sold rebodied as road vehicles. Some of the famous first owners include Baroness Maud Thyssen of the Thyssen family, the owner of the aircraft and now scooter company Piaggio Andrea Piaggio, Raymond Sommer, and Tazio Nuvolari. The first model was the 1931 ‘8C 2300’, a reference to the car’s 2.3 litre (2336 cc) engine, initially designed as a racing car, but actually produced in 188 units also for road use. While the racing version of the 8C 2300 Spider, driven by Tazio Nuvolari won the 1931 and 1932 Targa Florio race in Sicily, the 1931 Italian Grand Prix victory at Monza gave the “Monza” name to the twin seater GP car, a shortened version of the Spider. The Alfa Romeo factory often added the name of events won to the name of a car. There were no fewer than six examples here.

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1933 8C2300 Long Chassis Pininfarina

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1932 8C2300 Sommer – Luigi Chinetti le Mans car

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1934 8C2300 Monza Scuderia Ferrari

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1933 8C2300 Monza Brian Lewis/John Cobb car

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1933 8C2300 Touring Spider

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1934 8C2300 Le Mans Touring

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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) 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. The 6C1750 was represented by three examples.

1931 6C1750 GS Zagato Testa Fissa

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1930 6C1750 GS Zagato Spider

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1932 6C1750 GS Brianza

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This is a 1932 Tipo B P3 First Series. The legendary Alfa Romeo 8C generation is widely recognised as being perhaps the most outstanding cars ever made. The P2 Grand Prix (2006 cc) had been consistent race winner through 1929 (a.o. World Champion in 1925) but new regulations with 750 kg Formula caused Alfa Romeo to createa new generation of cars. While the Tipo A (twin 6C1750 engines) proved complicated and un reliable, the Tipo B (P3) was the first fully purpose built Grand Prix car and became the masterpiece of genius engineer Vittorion Jano, the last evolution of the 8C family.

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The year 1934 marked the domination of racing through German technological might in the form of Mercedes Benz and Auto Union Grand Prix cars, made possible by the unlimited government financing and the ability to create new and lighter composite metals allowing to increase the displacement size of their engines upwards of 4000 cc. Gone was the dominance by France and Italy as the traditional elite of race car manufacture. Alfa Romeo was desperate to regain their superiority. Scuderia Ferrari was tasked by Alfa Romeo to build their own supercar under the new Formula Libre- effectively lifting all weight and power restrictions. Long time Ferrari Technical Director Luigi Bazzi was not known for half measures. With a team of 30 employees at Scuderia Ferrari, Bazzi designed the Bimotore based on the Tipo B, featuring two Tipo B engines of 3165 cc that were placed in front and behind the driver with the rear engine facing to the rear. The differential was located in the middle with the power from both engines supplied to the rear wheels through twin driveshafts. The fuel tanks were placed on each side of the car for weight distribution. The performance with 540 hp from the two engines was enormous and surpassed both the Mercedes Benz and the Auto Union at 430 hp and 375 hp respectively. Two cars were built in total. The Bimotore was intended for the fast tracks of the Formula Libre calendar, and the task was to compete with the large-engine competitors from Germany and France. Tough Alfa Romeo had access to several excellent drivers (René Dreyfus, Louis Chiron, etc) Enzo Ferrari knew only one driver could rise to this challenge- Great Mantuan Tazio Nuvolari. There was a rumour that Benito Mussolini himself intervened to persuade Nuvolari to leave Maserati and come back to Alfa Romeo. Two Bimotore were entered for the 1935 Tripoli Grand Prix with Nuvolari and Chiron. While Caracciola and Fagioli shot into the lead. Nuvolari was able to pass Fagioli only to have to pit on the third lap for new rear tires. By race end Nuvolari would claim fourth followed by Chiron in a race won by Caracciola. Two weeks later at the Avus race in Berlin, Chiron conquered second place after Nuvolari did not finish due to constant shredding of his tires. In June 1935 Nuvolari set a land speed record on the Firenze-Lucca highway, his top speed on the second run exceeding 362 km/h. Unfortunately, the breath taking performance in a straight line came at the high price of high weight (1300 kg), difficult handling with tire shredding causing frequent pit stops, as well as high fuel consumption. The Bimotore was not successful. One of the Bimotore was scrapped, the only remaining one was sold to British amateur driver Auston Dobson who raced the car in various British events including Brooklands and Donington, it later joined Tom Wheatcroft’s Donington Collection. Today the Bimotore resides in a European collection.

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

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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. Seen here were an example of all three variants, the original SVZ ad well as the SZ Coda Tonda (round tail) and the Coda Tronca.

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

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

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There were a number of other Alfa models elsewhere in the show, as well.

This is a 1939 6C2500 Sport Cabriolet by Touring. Debuting at the 1925 Milan Auto Show, the Alfa Romeo six cylinder 6C 1500 set the standard for lightweight, high performance road car and was followed in 1929 by the 6C 1750. The next evolution of the 6C came in 1934, and although traditional in its layout, the 6C 2300 had nearly twice the displacement of the car it succeeded. Accordingly, it was a highly competent automobile capable of providing excellent performance with multi passenger coachwork. In 1939, the 6C 2300 was replaced by the 6C 2500. This change was completed by an increase in the cylinder bore of two millimetres, as well as an improved cylinder head for better aspiration and increased compression from 6,5:1 to 7,11:1. In the sport configuration this translated into a respectable 95 hp with performance aided by lightweight aluminium coachwork. There was 86 models built in 1939 its first production year.

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1938 8C 2900B Lungo: The 8C 2900 was designed to compete in sports car races in general and the Mille Miglia in particular. It used the 2.9 L version of the 8C engine and was based on the 8C 35 Grand Prix racing chassis. As such, it had an inline 8-cylinder 2.9-litre engine using two Roots type superchargers fed by two updraught Weber carburettors and fully independent suspension with Dubonnet-type trailing arm suspension with coil springs and hydraulic dampers at front and swing axles with a transverse leaf spring at the rear. The 8C 2900A was shown to the public at the 1935 London Motor Show and was advertised for sale there. The engine, with a compression ratio of 6.5:1 and a stated power output of 220 bhp at 5300 rpm, was detuned from the Grand Prix racing version. Ten 2900As were built, five in 1935 and five in 1936. Scuderia Ferrari entered three 8C 2900As in the 1936 Mille Miglia and again in the 1937 Mille Miglia. In 1936 they finished in the top three positions, with Marquis Antonio Brivio winning, Giuseppe Farina finishing second, and Carlo Pintacuda finishing third. In 1937 they finished in the top two positions, with Pintacuda winning and Farina finishing second; the third 2900A, driven by Clemente Biondetti, did not finish. The 8C 2900A also won the 1936 Spa 24 Hours with Raymond Sommer and Francesco Severi. The 8C 2900B began production in 1937. The 2900B design made some concessions to comfort and reliability. The engine was detuned further, having a compression ratio of 5.75:1 and a stated power output of 180 bhp at 5200 rpm. The 2900B chassis was available in two wheelbases: the Corto (short) at 2,799 mm (110.2 in), which was longer than the 2900A’s 2,718 mm (107.0 in) wheelbase, and the Lungo (long) at 3,000 mm (118.1 in). The wheels of the 2900B had 19-inch rims fitted with 17-inch (432 mm) hydraulic drum brakes. Thirty-two 2900Bs were built in regular production, ten in 1937, and twenty-two in 1938. Another 2900B was assembled from parts in 1941. Most of these cars were bodied by Carrozzeria Touring, although a few were bodied by Pininfarina. An 8C 2900 with Pininfarina cabriolet bodywork was auctioned for US$4,072,000 by Christie’s at Pebble Beach, California. This was the tenth highest price ever paid for a car at auction at the time.

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This was a second example of the lovely Giulietta SZ Coda Tronca. When its sporting career was over it entered the collection of the Japanese enthusiast Yoshi Hayashi at the beginning of the 1980s, before crossing the Pacific some twenty years later to join Bruce Bradburn’s collection and then moving on to Peter Hageman. In 2017, it was acquired by the late Jean Brandenburg, a well-known and much respected amateur racer in historic motorsport. The centerpiece of Jean Brandenburg’s collection, the car will be sold at auction in Paris on 15 March.

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The 2600, or 106 Series, were an evolution of the model first seen in 1958 as a replacement for the 1900, and called the 2000 and known internally as the 102 Series. This was the time when Alfa was still in transition from being a maker of exclusive coachbuilt and racing cars to one that offered volume production models. The 102 Series were never likely to be big sellers, in a world that was still recovering economically from the ravages of the Second World War, but the range was an important flagship, nonetheless. The 2000 models ran for 4 years, from 1958 to 1962, at which point they were updated, taking on the name of 106 Series, with minor styling changes being accompanied by a larger 2600cc engine under the bonnet. As with the 2000 models, the new 2600 cars were sold in Berlina (Saloon), Sprint (Coupe) and Spider (Convertible) versions, along with a dramatically styled SZ Coupe from Italian styling house Zagato and a rebodied Berlina from OSI, all of them with an inline twin overhead cam six cylinder engine of 2.6 litres, the last Alfas to offer this configuration. Just 6999 of the Sprint models were made and 2255 Spiders, very few of which were sold new in the UK where they were exceedingly expensive thanks to the dreaded Import Duty which made them much more costly than an E Type. Many of the parts were unique to these cars, so owning one now is far harder than the more plentiful 4 cylinder Alfas of the era. Whilst the rather square styling of the Berlina, which won it relatively few friends when new and not a lot more in recent times means that there are few of these versions to be seen, the Sprint and Spider models do appear from time to time, and market interest in the cars is now starting to accelerate, with values rise accordingly. Seen here was a 2600 Coupe

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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.

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At the time of the 1963 launch of the Giulia Sprint coupe. Alfa Romeo was very active in motorsport. Autodelta, the racing division of Alfa, developed a car for competition that closely resembled to the roadgoing model. These cars were named GTA instead of GT, the ‘A’ standing for “Alleggerita”, Italian for lightweight. The GTA was produced first in 1965 as a 1,570 cc and later as a 1300 Junior version. The GTA automobiles were also manufactured in either street (Stradale) or pure race (Corsa) trim. The GTA had aluminium outer body panels instead of steel, (the inner steel panels were also of thinner gauge, the inner and outer panels were bonded and pop-riveted together), magnesium alloy wheels, clear plastic side windows, an aluminium rear upper control arm, different door handles and quarter window mechanisms, and lightweight interior trim. The engine had a new double ignition cylinder head (called twin plug, later in the eighties the system was called twin spark) cylinder head with a Marelli distributor from a Ferrari Dino, 2-barrel 45 mm Weber carburetors instead of 40 mm and magnesium camshaft cover, sump, timing cover and bell housing. The transmission gear ratios were closer than standard and the gears were machined for lightness and quicker shifting. Dry weight of the 1600 was approximately 1,640 pounds (740 kg). In stradale form this car boasted approximately 115 PS (113 hp) (up from 106 PS (105 hp)) and a maximum torque of 142 N⋅m (105 lb⋅ft) at 3,000 rpm. In full race form this engine could produce up to 170 PS (170 hp). The 1600 GTA did not have a brake booster and had a thicker radiator than the standard vehicle. For homologation 500 cars were made for racing and road use. The GTA 1300 Junior (1968–1975) had a 1300 cc engine that was based on the 1600 engine but with a short stroke crankshaft. The GTA Junior in stradale form did not have many of the light weight features of the 1600 GTA, such as the plastic windows, magnesium engine components and alloy wheels. At the start the engine produced 96 PS (95 bhp) but was soon raised to 110 PS (110 bhp). Autodelta prepared fuel injected racing cars had 165 PS (163 bhp). 450 GTA Juniors were produced.

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This 1969 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33-3 will go under the hammer in Monaco and is an Autodelta factory team car with significant history on the grid Chassis N°105.80.023 raced at the 1970 Targa Florio where it was driven by Toine Hezemans and Masten Gregory. One month later, Nanni Galli and Rolf Stommelen ran as high as 2nd overall at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

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AMILCAR

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ARISTA

The Arista was a French automobile with a fiberglass body, produced in Paris from 1952 to 1967. The firm had been founded in the late 1940s by Antonio Monge and Robert Rowe under the name Callista, but the two fell out over the future direction of the firm after its original project, a sporting model called the “Coupe des Alpes” first seen in prototype form at the 1950 Paris Motor Show, appeared likely to be severely undercut on price when Panhard themselves launched their Panhard Dyna Junior with a comparable level of performance at a far lower price than Callista could achieve with their elegant low volume cars. Monge resolved to return to his former occupation, preparing cars for motor sport events. Shortly after this setback Rowe, who had previously worked as an electrical engineer with the Fulmen business, but who also engaged in other trading activities, suddenly found himself financially ruined after he imported to France several hundred Romanian tractors that turned out to be defective. At the end of 1952 both the firms founding partners, for their own different reasons, withdrew from the project. The enterprise was rescued by Raymond Gaillard, also known in the automotive world as a regular competitor in the Le Mans 24 Hour race. Up to this point Gaillard had figured in the Callista business only as a substantial investor and potential sales distributor for the “Coupe des Alpes” model. Gaillard rescued the residual elements of the business and refounded it under the new name of Arista. From now on the firm concentrated on a smaller lighter and presumably cheaper model called the “Arista Ranelagh”. The Ranelagh names came from the (then as now) fashionable Paris street, Rue du Ranelagh where Gaillard owned a Panhard dealership. Again based on the mechanical components from the Panhard Dyna X, the car was a low cabriolet with long overhangs at each end, reflected in the difference between the 2130 mm wheelbase and the 4100 mm overall length of the cabriolet model. There was a shorter roadster of only 3620 mm in length. The car weighed only 550/640 kg and a top speed of between 135 and 140 km/h (between 84 and 87 mph) was claimed. Both the light weight and the front-wheel-drive layout were determined by the car’s Panhard underpinnings. About 100 were made. 1956 saw the arrival of the Arista Passy, powered by the 42 CV 848 cc engine from the Panhard PL17, and still listed in 1962. A model with the 50 CV “Tigre” engine was sold as the Arista Sport, although the weight savings over a regular PL17 was only about 80 kg (180 lb) due to the car’s ample equipment. The little Arista coupé, though stylish, had by now become extremely expensive for a car of this engine size and performance. Sales seem to have slowed to a trickle. Other Arista designs appeared from time to time, but it is not clear if any others made it to production. Arista had disappeared from view by 1963, although the same business was later involved in making the Sovam sports car.

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ARTCURIAL AUCTION

As ever, French auction house were conducting a sale during the event. A large part of one of the halls is given over to the cars in the auction. If you want to see them all close-up, you will need to buy a catalogue, which costs more than the price of entry to the rest of the Show. You can see quite a number of the cars from the perimeter though, and I contented myself with this way of viewing them. That means that this part of the report does indeed only show a subset of the cars that were on offer. Around 70% of the cars on offer found buyers and the auction netted €23m.

BMW 3.0 CSL: Considered the first M version of BMW, the 3.0 CSL is a 200 kg lighter version of the 3.0 CS coupe, presented at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show. Developed by the brand new BMW Motorsport competition department, under the direction of former racer Jochen Neerpasch, it was targeted at the European Touring Car Championship. The BMW 3.0 CSL was therefore a production car designed for racing. This beautiful CSL was originally intended for the English market. It has been in France for several decades and the previous owner, a collector from South of France, acquired the car in 2009 when the car had already been converted to left-hand drive and prepared to participate in historic regularity rallies. As can be seen from image folder, the car was entirely stripped bare for restoration without any consideration for cost or time spent. It was then fitted with a roll cage approved by the FFSA. Wanting to participate with panache in the historic regularity tests with a reliable and efficient car, the previous owner did not hesitate to get the best specialists in the south of France (such as VMS). The car was prepared in the spirit of a Group 2 of the period. Thus, in 2009-2010, the Getrag box was revised, as well as the self-locking differential. A 3.5L engine from a BMW 535 with a bank of 3 Weber 48DCOE carburettors was adapted to give significant torque and first-rate performance (more than € 30,000 was spent on mechanicals alone). Thus prepared, the car participated in three historic Tour de Corse in 2009, 2010 and 2013, which is as incredible as it is demanding. It has not driven much since, except for the occasional outings.

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1939 Delage D6-75 Coach Panoramique Letourneur et Marchand: The economic crisis of 1929 plunged Delage into serious financial difficulties and its survival came from Delahaye who took it over in 1935. In parallel with the exclusive eight cylinder appears in 1932 the D6-11, equipped with an inline six cylinder which evolved each year, eventually becoming the successful D6 70, introduced in 1935. It evolved into the D6 75 in 1938 with an increased engine capacity of 2.8L, the basis of the famous post-war 3L. The buyer of a chassis like this one could then choose a coachbuilder. In this case Letourneur et Marchand would be responsible for dressing this coach “Panoramic” in accordance to the drawing JEML4, based on a chassis D6 75 which left the factory in May 1939. This superb automobile was purchased by our collector from an enthusiast who had owned it since 1963 with two Hispano Suizas. This car had benefitted from an old refurbishment, and then, in 2012, its mechanicals benefitted from a complete refurbishment. The Cotal box was also overhauled, the brakes and the tank were restored, and electrical work partially redone. The five Dunlop tires were replaced in 2018. We were seduced by the grace of its lines highlighted by the pillarless front and rear windows. The finesse of the details and refinement of the interior are perfectly combined with the noble execution of the mechanics, whose bewitching sound we were able to appreciate during our test drive. This rare and exclusive car offers one of the most successful designs of its time.

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Delahaye 235 Letourneur et Marchand Coupe: Presented at the Paris Motor Show in 1951, the 235 would be the final car built by Delahaye. Although prototype no. 818000 was produced by Motto in Turin, it was Letourneur & Marchand who presented the first ‘coach’ version (818001) on its stand at the Paris Motor Show in 1951, where it received the Grand Prix. Production of the 235 remained modest until the factory’s closure in 1954, and of the 84/85 cars sold, Letourneur & Marchand delivered only four ‘coach’ models and a single cabriolet, all five cars surviving to this day. Car no. 818037 presented here is the last of the four ‘coach’ models and the only one with a sunroof. It was registered new on 20 May 1953 in the Seine department as 2517 BZ 75, in the name of Company Roullier in Aubervilliers. It has the Letourneur & Marchand body number 3079. Unlike the three earlier ‘coach’ models, it had different tail-lights, which were also fitted to the cabriolet presented at the Paris Motor Show in 1952. On 24 November 1952, still with the same registration number, the car changed hands and entered the Marois garage, a specialist in secondhand Delahayes, in Paris. From there, it was sold on 19 April 1960 to a Parisian member of the Delahaye club, who kept the car for several years. It was only much later, in 2009, that its current owner acquired it. The car is presented in original condition, a rare example of one of the most attractive and exclusive 235 coach models built.

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Ferrari 16M: This Ferrari F430 Spider 16 M was sold new on 28 September 2009 by Charles Pozzi in Levallois to a collector from the Paris area. As well as being a rare and exclusive model, finished in the unusual shade of “Giallo Modena”, it was equipped with several options, including yellow brake callipers, a navigation system with Bluetooth, a special colour for the stitching, dashboard and steering wheel (both in Alcantara), a tyre pressure monitoring system, a spare wheel kit, carbon fibre-look side sills, a trolley bag and luggage bag for the boot, as well as other special equipment. These options are listed in the purchase invoice. The owner then used the car sparingly, but had it maintained regularly, as the bills from Pozzi on file confirm. On 27 February 2018, it changed hands, with only 19,882 km recorded. The invoice from Ferrari Gauduel, at Ecully near Lyon, also mentions a two-year guarantee, which therefore runs until 26 February 2020. Since its purchase, the car has been little used, as its owner wished to preserve this true collector’s item; at just 21,857 km it is in near-new condition. This model is especially exclusive. After winning its sixteenth World Constructors’ Championship in 2008, Ferrari wanted to celebrate the event in proper style and launched this special version of the F430 Scuderia Spider. The Scuderia was already an extremely fast car, but Ferrari succeeded in doing better still. The weight of the car was reduced by 80 kg (176 lb) and the 32-valve V8, mated to a seven-speed F1-type robotized gearbox, had continuously variable valve timing. Its maximum power of 510 bhp at 8500 rpm allowed the car to accelerate from 0-100 kph (62 mph) in 3.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 315 kph (196 mph). The interior was specially equipped with sports seats offering excellent support, a rev counter reading up to 10,000 rpm and a 360 kph (224 mph) speedometer. Only 499 examples of this formidable machine were built, making it an extremely rare model.

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Jaguar D Type replica: A great number of letters coming with the car enables us to detail the entire manufacturing process. Furthermore, this car remains in the hands of the enthusiast who first ordered it, a passionate Swedish collector who loves exclusive cars. It is in February 1987 that he made contact with DRL Engineering (Deetype Replicas Ltd), a company headed by Bryan Wingfield and specialised in manufacturing Jaguar-based replicas, to ask them to make a Jaguar D-Type replica according to his specifications. Many letters between these two enthusiasts describe the work’s progress, the owner’s wishes and the overall invoicing amount. And finally in June 1990, a letter from Bryan Wingfield was delivered with the following message “Your car has now undergone over 500 km of road testing and I’m satisfied with the results, you can now take delivery.” Based on a 1955 Jaguar XK 140, and registered under this identity with Swedish papers, it is fitted with an especially-made aluminium bodywork painted in “Goodwood Green” colour, the same as the D-Type which was then at the Jaguar Motor Museum right next to the Wingfield workshops. This replica car features a particularly high manufacturing quality and was made in the most honourable way, with particular attention to aesthetic details and finish. Our collector has not used the car since adding it to his collection in Sweden: it is therefore in nearly new condition today. This superb D-Type replica will enable its owner to enjoy the thrill experienced by drivers of this legendary machine, while appreciating a sports car that is completely out of the ordinary.

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Lamborghini 2 RTractor: It is amusing to note that this tractor came off the assembly line just a year before Ferruccio Lamborghini opened his car factory in Sant’Agata. It should not be forgotten that before building top-end supercars, Lamborghini produced high-quality tractors. The 2 R model presented here was powered by a three-cylinder air-cooled diesel engine developing 39 bhp, mated to a four-speed gearbox with a two-speed reduction drive giving two sets of gear ratios. At the time, it was one of the high-end tractors on the market. This tractor was delivered new to Signor Milani in Codrea di Ferrara, a small village about 40 km from the birthplace of its manufacturer. Purchased in 2015 by its current owner, it was then completely restored by Agostino Amaducci, Cesena and has never been used since. In order to preserve it, all the fluids have been drained. Shod with new tyres and attractively finished in the marque’s characteristic colours of orange and blue, the tractor is in fine condition. Unusually, it comes with its original registration and tag, and service booklets and owner’s manual.

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Lamborghini 400GT

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Lamborghini LM002: In Lamborghini’s range of sports cars – each more outstanding than the last – the LM002 stood out as a curious exception. In fact, it was a response to a bid for tender by the American Army, for a vehicle able to transport men and equipment at speed. Lamborghini presented its Cheetah model, or LM001, but when this was turned down by the Army, the Italian car maker decided to make use of its development work to produce a civilian version. And so it was that one of the most outrageous 4WD vehicles of its time came about, a forerunner to the quickest SUVs of today. Fitted with a four-door pick-up body, the car received the 450 bhp V12 engine from the Countach 5000, mated to a part-time four-wheel drive transmission. Finished in white (Biancolmb 902), the example we are offering is in exceptional condition. A certificate from Lamborghini confirms that it is the 19th LM002 built, making it a sought-after carburettor version. It was delivered new in Switzerland in 1986, where it had only two owners before being exported to Germany in 1996. Its second German owner sold it to our collector, who was won over by its fine original condition in 2013, when it had covered 54,500 km. Keen to enjoy driving it to the full, he had a thorough overhaul carried out by his usual Italian specialist Top Motors of Nonantola, during which the tyres, clutch and engine ECU were replaced. The fuel tanks were removed to ensure they were perfectly sealed. The red leather interior is worthy of the finest luxury cars, with heater ducts to the rear and a roof-mounted stereo. With fewer than 56,000 km now recorded, the car still has its service manual and is fitted with the optional winch mounted on the front bumper. Only 301 examples of the LM002 were built: already rare, it is even less common to find one in this condition. As such, it is assuredly a capable and original car which offers a level of performance that remains current today.

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Marcos Mantis LMO: This Marcos is a GTO version of the Marcos Mantis, which stood out during the very successful British GT Championship between 1997 and 1998. Sold after the first year, this chassis number 50329, was redesigned as per the new GT2/ GT3 regulations and was purchased directly from the factory in this GT Open configuration by Team CBH Motorsport, which ran it from 2000 to 2002. In 2003, the car was sold to the “Gleen Eagling Motorsport” team, which ran it from 2003 to 2006 with Eagling and Shrimpton as pilots. The Mantis remained stored until 2014 and on November 24, 2014, it was acquired by a Frenchman who imported it to France to participate in the Historic GT Circuit Championship. By the end of 2015, it was sold to the current owner. This Mantis is powered by a Ford 5L Motec M8 injection engine and 6-speed gearbox. The technical data in the file indicates an engine power of more than 450bhp at 6,400 rpm. The car has been serviced by Atlantic Racing, but will require a track test and overhaul to race again. It is a light automobile (1080kg), very efficient, which distinguished itself in the GT Championship. Today, it is a formidable weapon for historic racing.

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Renault R4L

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1978 Rondeau M378 Le Mans: Anyone with an interest in motorsport will have heard of Jean Rondeau. Born in Le Mans, he is the only driver/constructor to have won the Le Mans 24 Hours at the wheel of a car he has built himself. He did this in 1980 but, as you can imagine, the story started much earlier. Passionate about motor racing, Jean Rondeau competed at Le Mans in 1972 (Chevron B21), 1974 (Porsche 908/2) and 1975 (Mazda) before deciding to build his own car for the 24 Hours. His idea came to the attention of Charles James, head of Inaltera (wallpaper manufacturer), who gave him a budget generous enough for the cars to bear the company name. Using his own experience at Le Mans, with the support of talented engineers such as Gérard Welter (ex-Peugeot) and Robert Choulet (ex-Matra), Jean Rondeau created a simple machine that was strong and efficient, equipped with a Cosworth 3-litre V8 engine compliant with GTP (Grand Tourisme Prototype) specification. Two cars were built, and for the 1976 Le Mans 24 Hours, the young team was managed by another experienced driver, Vic Elford. The two Inaltera machines finished the race in strong positions : Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Henri Pescarolo were eighth, winning the GTP class, while Jean Rondeau and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud finished 21st overall and third in GTP. The following year, in 1977, the results were even better : Rondeau and Ragnotti won GTP finishing fourth overall, and the two other Inaltera came home eleventh and thirteenth. Unfortunately, Charles James then left Inaltera. The company withdrew their sponsorship and took back the three cars. After a period of uncertainty, Rondeau found new sponsors and the unexpected support of the Le Mans prefect’s wife, Marjorie Brosse, who went out of her way to help him. And so, on a modest budget and in the space of just four months, Jean Rondeau built the first “true” Rondeau that, logically, was an evolution of the Inaltera cars: it had a more highly developed tubular structure and the 816 kg car was fitted with the 410 bhp “endurance” version of the Cosworth 3-litre V8 engine. Called the M378 (M in recognition of the help given by Marjorie Brosse), the car was ready in time for the 1978 Le Mans. Driven by Jacky Haran and Bernard Darniche, it more than lived up to expectations, finishing ninth overall and winning the GTP class. This is the car on offer in the sale, the Rondeau n°001. Without yet knowing it, the car had just written the first entry in a racing history that would become extraordinary. There would be a total of 10 participations in the Le Mans 24 Hours – a record that has never been beaten. This first success helped attract financial backing and in 1979, two new M379 cars (Group 6) were built and the M378/001 was updated to benefit from the improvements made. The two new cars, in the hands of Darniche/Ragnotti and Beltoise/Pescarolo finished fifth and tenth respectively, with victory in Group 6, but the car driven by Rondeau and Haran (the n°001) retired following an accident caused by aquaplaning in particularly bad weather conditions. In 1980, the two Group 6 versions returned to service, now carrying the name M379B, and the older M378 remained in GTP, entrusted to Gordon Spice and the Martin brothers, Jean-Michel and Philippe. This team came with the ” Belga ” sponsor, and the car was given its red and white livery. That year was a triumph for Rondeau. Not only did he win the 24 Hours outright, with his team-mate Jean-Pierre Jaussaud, but the car driven by Spice and the Martin brothers also finished third and won the GTP class. The Rondeau team continued to grow and in 1981 five cars lined up for the start. Three of these retired, but the faithful n°001, now in the colours of the magazine L’Automobile, crossed the finish line in the hands of Philippe Streiff, Jean-Louis Schlesser and Jacky Haran. Finishing second overall and winning the GTP class, n°001 was the best placed Rondeau. It would also prove to be the car’s best result. Up to the task again the following year, we find our car lining up in 1982 alongside four new Rondeau M382s. Despite ” only ” finishing tenth, n°001 was once again the best placed Rondeau as the new cars suffered from faults, including a vibration in the Cosworth DFL engine. Three cars were forced to retire and the fourth finished fifteenth. Another disappointment lay in store for Rondeau. He thought he had won the World Championship of Makes, but the FIA decided to include a private Porsche victory in the results and gave the title to the German marque. Motor racing continued to evolve and Group C was now dominating endurance racing. For the 1983 race, the new Rondeau M482s defended the Le Mans marque as best they could, and n°001 also resumed service, driven this year by Vic Elford, Anny-Charlotte Verney and Joël Gouhier. But for this last race entered by the Rondeau team, our car retired in the tenth hour with engine failure. A lone Rondeau crossed the finish line, in 19th position. Disappointed, Jean Rondeau decided to call it quits and wind up his activity as a constructor. The n°001 car sold to Jean-Philippe Grand who, to everyone’s surprise, returned to Le Mans in 1984, in the livery of the cigarette brand Barclay. He came home in eleventh place and finished second in Group C2. Jean Rondeau took the opportunity that year of being ” just ” a driver, and amazingly crossed the line in second place, driving a Porsche 956 – he hadn’t lost the passion! During the same season Jean-Philippe Grand also took part in the Monza 1000 KM (retired) and the Spa 1000 km where he finished tenth. In 1985, Rondeau n°001 sold to Noël del Bello who entered the car for Le Mans in Blanchet-Locatop colours, but it retired in the sixth hour. However, 1985 was a bad year for a different reason for those close to Jean Rondeau. Full of ideas for new projects, Rondeau was killed in an accident when his car was overturned by a train on a level crossing near Le Mans. This didn’t prevent Rondeau n°001 from paying tribute to its constructor by continuing its own journey: Noël del Bello lined up for the start of the 24 Hours in 1986, with more luck on his side than the previous year. He finished 17th, driving with Bruno Sotty and Lucien Rossiaud. The car then sold to Alain Lombardi and took a sabbatical in 1987 before a final attempt at glory in 1988, in the midst of ultra-powerful Group C machines. With Lombardi and Sotty at the wheel, this time in the ” Boom Boom ” watches livery, it crossed the finish line but without covering enough distance to be classified, following problems with the door. This was the car’s tenth participation in the celebrated endurance race. After that, Rondeau n°001 passed through the hands of a few motorsport enthusiasts, starting with the American Kerry Morse in 1988 who painted it in the colours of the 1980 Le Mans winner (causing some confusion), and then took part in the Monterey Historics. The car sold in 1999 to Chris Renwick, of Symbolic MotorCars in San Diego, who sold it on to David Scalfe. The latter had the car fully restored before selling it in 2010 to Chris Cox, a collector of competition cars. In 2012, n°001 sold at auction in Monaco, presented in its 1980 Belga livery, the year it finished third and won GTP driven by Gordon Spice and the brothers Jean-Michel and Philippe Martin, and also the year of Jean Rondeau’s victory. It was bought by the current owner, a driver and important collector, who had the car completely restored at great expense. The engine was totally overhauled last year and the final crack test carried out at the start of 2019. Numerous parts are also being remanufactured and will be delivered with the car, including a number of wheels, bonnets and various mechanical parts. This car has a remarkable race history, having taken part in the Le Mans 24 Hours ten times, winning several class victories, two podium finishes and with only three retirements. It symbolises the success of a passionate individual, from Le Mans, who invested all his energy into a project that enabled him to beat factory teams. There is not, and is not likely to be for a long time, any equivalent.

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1925 Talbot DC Cabriolet: his specific car was built as a four-seater convertible with a hood by Saoutchik in Neuilly sur Seine. It was entirely restored by the current owners in 2005. They entrusted this highly elegant bodywork’s restoration, made of sheet steel and ash framework, to the excellent Marcadier workshop in Chateauneuf. It was redone meticulously, according to original manufacturing and assembly processes. The engine has been completely restored, the chassis sanded, as well as all suspension parts. The upholstery is in natural leather, the hood in Alpaca, the carpets in wool and woodwork in walnut. The bonnet’s frame is original and side windows are fitted with a lever system patented by Jacques Saoutchik, including mounts engraved with the inventor’s name. The windscreen system with dual-opening dial is also typical of this great coachbuilder. The door rabbets are also flanked with the coachbuilder’s name and two lovely Saoutchik plates decorate the rocker panels. It is powered by a 1,597cc 4-cylinder engine and fitted with rod brakes and shock-absorbers adjustable from the inside by cable. The wired wheels with Rudge hub are fitted with 20 inches Firestone tyres. The radiator’s honeycomb beam is leaking and will need to be replaced. The registration document states that the car was first registered in 1950 following an administrative error.

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1955 Talbot Lago 2500 Sport: According to the works build sheet at our disposal, this car was delivered new on 9 November 1955 to M. Robillard. The body colour is described as black, combined with Havana 261 vinyl upholstery and aluminium-coloured wire wheels. We have received confirmation that only two cars were delivered new with bodywork in this sober finish. This interesting document also specifies that the car was fitted with strengthened, heat-treated pushrods, modified pistons, Saulnier valve springs and 88650 camshafts. It was registered in Paris on 7 November 1955 as 8997 EL 75. This registration number allows us to identify the car among six models brought together by Anthony Lago at the Montlhéry track for a customer test day, held in front of the press and key figures from the world of motoring. Its former registration document indicates that the car was then sold in 1963 to a young enthusiast in Paris, whose brother – whom we were able to contact – also owned a T14, just like his father, who had bought one new! Following a collision in Paris, his family made him sell the car, lest he be involved in a more serious accident. And so, in March 1964, its current owner bought 140006, one of the first cars built. After this, he used it with great care, until laying it up on blocks 25 years ago, so that the recorded mileage of 46,509 km is that since new. Every year until 2017, accompanied by his nephew, he restarted the car: the engine therefore turns over and could easily be got running again. The cooling system, a weak point of the model, was modified with the fitment of an electric fan, but the original parts, together with the bumpers, which have been removed, are with the car. In strictly original condition, with the exception of the paintwork, which was resprayed in French blue in 1964, this splendid coupé is in exceptionally well preserved condition. As well as being among the last representatives of one of the most prestigious French makes from between the wars, it has the advantage of being one of the last unrestored cars. Its clear and interesting history only adds to the significance of this model, of which just 54 examples were built.

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There were three TOJ cars here: In 1973, Jörg Obermoser created the team in his name, finishing fifth at the wheel of a GRD S73 BMW in the Austrian round of the European Championship and fourth in the race at Croix-en-Ternois. In the Nürburgring 300 KM, he came home seventh overall winning the 2.5-litre class. Obermoser founded TOJ in 1974, and the first car appeared that year, the TOJ SS02, extrapolated from the GRD. Powered by a four-cylinder 1 990 cc BMW M12/Schnitzer engine, the model participated in the 1974 season driven mainly by Obermoser, Dave Walker and Peter Scharmann. It is this car that is presented in the sale, in the well-known gold livery of Team Warsteiner who entered it in the competition that year to take part in the European 2-Litre Championship, with races at all the big circuits across Europe. Obermoser achieved some impressive results that year including second place at Mainz-Finthen and, with the quickest time in practice at Avus, he finished fifth while his team-mate Peter Scharmann was third. #2 was never seriously damaged and was maintained in race-ready condition. In 1991, the car was imported into England and took part in various hillclimb events driven by Michael Pendlebury. It was bought by John Monson in 2007/8, before being sold to the present owner in 2013. It is fitted with the Hewland FT200 gearbox designed for sprints and the fuel tanks were changed in 2013, according to the Atlantic Racing invoice included in the comprehensive file that comes with the car. This is the only surviving car of two built, with an important place in the history of TOJ.

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In 1975, the SS02 evolved into the TOJ SC03, designed by Achim Storz and still powered by a BMW engine. It had its first outright win at Brands Hatch in the ” Britannia 2000 ” race. Results were good throughout the season and it won its class and came ninth overall. The TOJ SC03 in the sale competed in 10 races, and of seven finishes, there were four podiums with a win at Brands Hatch and Hockenheim. Running in the Eurorace Warsteiner/ Jorg Obermoser factory team colours, it was equipped with the 2L BMW M12 engine and FG400 gearbox. Note : the chassis plate indicates the year of construction as 1976 : this is the year it was comprehensively repaired by TOJ after an accident in 1975. Bought by the current owner in 2015, the car then underwent a thorough two-year restoration that included the engine, carried out by renowned specialists Atlantic Racing. This prototype has not been fully tested since and will require race prep before taking to the track.

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The 204/12 presented here ing was entered for the 1976 season. As with all factory TOJs, it featured a special alloy ” golden monocoque ” chassis. The car made its debut in one race before the FIA and ACO decided to change the rules and include 3-litre engines. It immediately sold to Klaus Oestreich who wanted to race it in Jeans Lucky Star colours (extensive documentation). The first races were at Mainz-Finthen where the car finished 2nd, the Interserie Kassel (10th) and Hockenheim (3rd place) followed by others. In 1988, it sold to G. Rickart, and in turn to the driver Sandy Watson in 1996. In 2007, the car was acquired by N. Snoek who sold it to the current owner in 2013. It was then restored by Atlantic Racing, with the engine and Hewland FG400 box fully refurbished, before taking part in races at Daytona last November, where it finished on the podium. The owner has told us that it has driven for five hours since the engine was rebuilt. This is one of two examples built, originally a factory car but sold early in 1976, when the regulations changed. It is presented in immaculate condition, ready to take to the track, having had all the customary checks required for these racing machines that, with the right gearing, can reach speeds of 300 km/h. This is yet another key piece of TOJ history.

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ASTON MARTIN

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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The 15/98 was Aston Martin’s standard model from 1936 onward. It was built in both short chassis and LWB form. Both models were named after their RAC power rating of 15 and an actual output of 98 bhp. Initially launched as a four-seat tourer Aston Martin’s prepared a shorter 15/98 short chassis to spur on sales. Some were fitted with occasional back seats and others were strictly 2-seat roadsters. The car retained Aston’s 2-litre engine which was capable of nearly 100 bhp. This was the same unit developed for the 1936 Le Mans team cars, but converted to wet-sump lubrication. Most of the roadsters were bodied by Abbey Coachworks in London while the sedans and coupes were handled by E. Bertelli Ltd. In either configuration the complete car was £575 and £475 in 1938 to sell unsold examples. Around 100 were made.

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This was the first new post-war design, and the first car to adopt the now legendary DB naming convention, reflecting the fact that in 1947 David Brown had bought the Aston Martin and Lagonda companies and incorporated them as Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. Lagonda’s 2.6 litre dual overhead cam, straight-six engine, more powerful than the pushrod 1.9 litre unit in the Aston Martin 2-Litre Sports, was the main objective in Brown’s acquisition of the company. W. O. Bentley had supervised the engine’s design, which was largely by William (Willie) Watson, an engineer with the pre-war Invicta company who had collaborated on Lagonda’s pre-war V12 and also designed the short-lived post-war version. Work then started on producing a new car, which was called the DB2. This new model would utilise a version of the Lagonda engine in a shortened version of the tube-frame chassis designed by Claude Hill for the Aston Martin 2-Litre Sports, with a fastback coupé body designed by Frank Feeley. Three pre-production cars were entered for the 1949 24 Hours of Le Mans. One, which would become the development car for the production DB2, had the Lagonda straight-6, while the four-cylinder Aston Martin 2-litre unit powered the other two. After six laps the Lagonda-powered car, driven by Leslie Johnson, retired with overheating caused by failure of the water pump. One of the 2-litre cars was in 4th place and running without brakes when it crashed two hours short of the finish, fatally injuring driver Pierre Maréchal. The other finished 7th, crewed by Arthur Jones and Nick Haines. A month later, the larger-engined car, driven by Leslie Johnson and Charles Brackenbury, finished 3rd in the Spa 24-hour race, where one of the 2-litre cars was driven to 5th by Nick Haines and Lance Macklin. For 1950 all three factory team cars were equipped with the Lagonda engine. At the 1950 Le Mans race the one driven by George Abecassis and Lance Macklin finished 5th, with Brackenbury and Reg Parnell bringing another home 6th, which won Aston Martin 1st and 2nd in the 3-litre class. Across the Atlantic, Briggs Cunningham drove his DB2 to 2nd in its class at the inaugural Sebring race meeting in December 1950. The factory team cars continued racing in Europe throughout 1951, including at Le Mans, where Macklin and Eric Thompson took 3rd overall, with Abecassis and Brian Shawe-Taylor 5th. David Brown soon embarked on a series of Aston Martins designed specifically for competition use, starting with the DB3. Meanwhile, the production DB2 debuted at the New York Auto Show in April 1950 and continued in production until April 1953, by which time 411 had been made. The first 49 had a chrome-framed front grille in three separate parts, and large rectangular cooling vents in the front wings. Subsequent cars had a one-piece grille with horizontal chrome slats, and no side vents. The single-piece bonnet was hinged at the front. At the rear of the fixed-head coupé (FHC) a small top-hinged lid gave access to the spare wheel, and luggage space was behind the front seats, accessible only from inside the car. Later in 1950, a Drophead Coupé (DHC) variant was introduced. At least 102 were built. In April 1950, an engine with larger carburettors, inlet camshaft the same as the exhaust (for increased duration), and higher compression ratio pistons (8.16:1) was made available. Aston Martin’s first Vantage upgrade option offered 125 hp. Initially the higher compression ratio made the engine unsuitable for the British market, as the postwar austerity measures of the early 1950s restricted UK vehicles to 72 octane “Pool petrol”. The first DB2 Vantage, LML 50/21, was delivered to, and raced by, Briggs Cunningham in the United States. A revised version of the DB2 was launched in 1953, called the DB2/4. It was available as a 2+2 hatchback, marketed as a Saloon, as a Drophead Coupé (DHC) and as a 2-seat Fixed Head Coupe. A small number of Bertone bodied spiders were commissioned by private buyers. A further update in 1957 created the Mark III, and this was produced until the launch of the DB4 in 1958.

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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. This is the first of the most recent batch of continuation cars that are being produced.

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

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

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In 2017 Aston Martin announced a limited series production of the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato; the latest creation from its long-standing partnership with the prestigious Italian design-house Zagato. The Vanquish Zagato Concept was unveiled to great acclaim at the prestigious Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este at Lake Como, Italy in May 2016. The Vanquish Zagato is available in 4 body styles – coupé, convertible, speedster, or shooting brake. 99 each were built of the coupé, convertible, and shooting brake, while a mere 28 speedsters were made, for a total of 325 cars. The Vanquish Zagato features the same AM29 V12 from the Vanquish S, which has a power output of 603 PS and 630 Nm (465 lb/ft) of torque, allowing the Vanquish Zagato to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.5 seconds before reaching a top speed of 324 km/h (201 mph).

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AUDI

Fiskens were showing this 2000 AUDI R8 LMP900, Chassis 405. This particular car’s first outing was with the Works Audi Sport Team Joest at the Le Mans Test in April where the R8 clocked the quickest time during the test. The AUDI Chassis 405 achieved a pole position, fastest lap and 2nd position overall in the 2000 Le Mans 24 Hours, driven by Alan Mc Nish, Stephane Ortelli and Laurent Aiello. After the Le Mans event, Audi Team Joest handed chassis 405 to Audi Sport North America. Developed for the 2000 Le Mans 24 Hours, the new Audi R8 was designed in house by Wolfgang Appel and Michael Pfadenhauer. Built by Dallara, the R8 is powered by a 3,6 Litre V8 twin turbo unit producing 600 hp was very successful at Le Mans and in ALMS, scoring 1st and 2nd on the opening race at Sebring as well as 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in Le Mans event.

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AUSTIN HEALEY

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

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AUTOBIANCHI

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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BENTLEY

Oldest of the models present were a number of the 3 and 4.5 litre cars that were produced in the 1920s and which epitomise the classic Bentley to many people. The 3 Litre was the company’s first model, first shown in 1919 and made available to customers’ coachbuilders from 1921 to 1929. It was conceived for racing. The Bentley was very much larger than the 1368 cc Bugattis that dominated racing at the time, but double the size of engine and strength compensated for the extra weight. The 4000 lb (1800 kg) car won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1924, with drivers John Duff and Frank Clement, and again in 1927, this time in Super Sports form, with drivers S. C. H. “Sammy” Davis and Dudley Benjafield. Its weight, size, and speed prompted Ettore Bugatti to call it “the fastest lorry in the world.” The 3 Litre was delivered as a running chassis to the coachbuilder of the buyer’s choice. Bentley referred many customers to their near neighbour Vanden Plas for bodies. Dealers might order a short cost-saving run of identical bodies to their own distinctive design. Most bodies took the simplest and cheapest form, tourers, but as it was all “custom” coachwork there was plenty of variation. The 2,996 cc straight-4 engine was designed by ex-Royal Flying Corps engineer Clive Gallop and was technically very advanced for its time. It was one of the first production car engines with 4 valves per cylinder, dry-sump lubrication and an overhead camshaft. The four valve SOHC Hemi design, with a bevel-geared shaft drive for the camshaft, was based on the pre-war 1914 Mercedes Daimler M93654 racing engine. Just before the outbreak of the war Mercedes had placed one of the winning Grand Prix cars in their London showroom in Long Acre. At the suggestion of W.O. Bentley, then being commissioned in the Royal Naval Air Service, the vehicle was confiscated in 1915 by the British army, dismantled at Rolls-Royce and subjected to scrutiny. A notable difference to both the Mercedes and the aero engines was the cast-iron monobloc design, and the fully Aluminium enclosed camshaft, which greatly contributed to its durability. But having the valve-head and block in one-piece made for a complicated and labour intensive casting and machining. This was a feature shared during that time by the Bugattis which the car was later to compete with. The engine was also among the first with two spark plugs per cylinder, pent-roof combustion chambers, and twin carburettors. It was extremely undersquare, optimised for low-end torque, with a bore of 80 mm and a stroke of 149 mm. Untuned power output was around 70 hp, allowing the 3 Litre to reach 80 mph. he Speed Model could reach 90 mph; the Super Sports could exceed 100 mph. A four-speed gearbox was fitted. Only the rear wheels had brakes until 1924, when four-wheel brakes were introduced. There were three main variants of the 3 litre and they became known by the colours commonly used on the radiator badge. There was a definite rule controlling badge colours but astonishingly it has since been established that given “special circumstances” the factory would indeed supply a “wrong” colour. Blue label was the standard model with 117.5 in wheelbase from 1921 to 1929 or long 130.0 in wheelbase from 1923 to 1929. The Red label used a 5.3:1 high compression engine in the 117.5 in wheelbase chassis and was made from 1924 to 1929. The Green label was made between 1924 and 1929 and was the high performance model with 6.3:1 compression ratio and short 108 in wheelbase chassis. 100 mph performance was guaranteed. As well as 3 Experimental cars, Bentley produced 1088 examples of the 3 litre, and the Speed Model numbered 513 and there were 18 Super Sports. Built in 1925, this 3 Litre is an outstandingly original example, 1195 is the first of only three production 3 Litre to be fitted with the Le Mans style blade wings, and as such was displayed on the Bentley Motors stand at the 1925 Olympia Motor Show.

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This one has a rather unusual closed fabric body.

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This is one of the last Bentley 4,5 Litre produced. Following the roaring Le Mans successes of the 3 Litre, W.O. was bitterly disappointed by consecutive Bentley failures at the 1925 and 1926 races. Bentley’s reputation had been built on the endurance track, and it was slowly slipping away. Enter the Bentley Boys and the 4,5 Litre. Employing the chassis, transmission and brakes of the 3 Litre, W.O. then added a four cylinder version of the 6,5 Litre to reduce displacement to 4,4 Litre. With Bentleys nicknamed the world’s fastest lorries by a seething Ettore Bugatti, the thundering 4 cylinder model duly regained victory at Le Mans in 1928 and paved the way for Bentley wins in 1929 and 1930. This rare Maythorns of Biggleswade Sportsman Coupé Coachwork has been used regularly during 60 years.

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There were also a couple of examples of what 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. As well as a 4¼ Litre with Barker Body there was also a 1938 car with a Vanden Plas body.

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Graeme Hunt were offering this 1939 car. Chassis B 119 MX was completed by Bentley Motors in early 1939 and despatched to Messrs. Park Ward to be bodied as a two-door Coupe, subsequently described in the March 1940 issue of Motorsport magazine. Fast forward 60 years and this fine car was chosen by two chums as the basis for an exciting project in the early 2000’s. In 1937 M. Andre Embiricos of Paris charged Bentley, in fact directly he asked the Board Director Walter Sleator, to design a motorcar which could whisk him around Europe in true luxury whilst at the same time he required something truly striking to look at also of high performance. The Parisian carrosserie specialists, Pourtout were to commission what must have been in period a simply stupendous automobile, using their young stylist George Paulin, who created this breath-taking streamlined form. More Delage than Bentley, it was an aerodynamic masterpiece – it was amazingly at the time, tested in wind tunnels both in France and Britain. Obviously when the car was still quite new, World War II intervened, after which with a new owner, she competed 3 times at Le Mans, finishing as high as 6th place in 1947 – amazing for a normal road specification motorcar to compete at all, let alone to be competitive too. The car has survived to this day, splendidly restored and residing in one of the World’s greatest collections, in a fine Museum in California. Since when he has, quite rightly, never offered her for sale. On this basis when someone wants it but knows that if they can’t buy the original version, well then, they will have to build their own exact version, using their chassis B 119 MX as the basis and therewith the project was undertaken, without a question of funding or time required. The work was undertaken by Peterson Engineering. Without being a complete tool room copy, it would be hard to tell the original from this embodiment – ash frame clothed with aluminium panelling, 18″ inch wheels, soft hide throughout the interior, Wilton carpets, Marchel lamps and side repeater lights all add to the authentic look and feeling of this car. Since completion in 2006 she has been driven and tested by none other than Robert Coucher of Octane magazine, and she was campaigned in various Concours events. Thereafter she was snapped up by Jay Kay, who knows a fine car, and then he sold her to an American gentleman – again he couldn’t prize the original from the long term owner and when Jay was selling B 119 MX, he knew this was the only alternative, bought her and shipped her back to his home in the US of A. Sadly he died so B 119 MX was again offered for sale, this time by his estate through an Auction in California. It was one of the last lots and the buyer didn’t have much competition…………lesson, always ensure your lot is not at the end! Whereupon he shipped her back to Blighty, re-registered her with FLK 966 (the same registration she has had since 1939 by the way) and had Jonathan Wood give her the complete “once over”. Still almost in the same condition she was over 10 years ago, it is clear she has been cossetted by her very few owners within their collections.

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BERTONE

In September 2015, the Automotoclub Storico Italiano acquired the historical Carrozzeria Bertone collection by taking part in the auction held following the company’s bankruptcy as part of the ensuing legal proceedings. This collection is made up of 79 items – including a number of complete vehicles in working order –, as well as chassis and design models. It is now on public display at the Volandia Museum at Milan’s Malpensa Airport. Several of the vehicles from the collection were presented here in the first of a number of special displays curated by the Show organisers. Seen here were a mix of the relatively familiar and some decidedly unusual concept cars, some of which did translate, in somewhat modified form, into production in one way or another.

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One I had not seen before was this 1986 Citroen Zarbus. Based on the Citroen BX four wheel drive, Bertone created a modern hatchback with exclusive and sharp lines, offset by its wrap-around rear. Numerous stylistic elements from this model then appeared on the ZX, certainly not the extravagant upward-opening doors.

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

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First seen at the 1972 Brussels Motor Show, the Suzuki Go was one of Bertone’s more eclectic projects from the 1970s. This highly original, versatile vehicle was designed for transporting motorcycles. Basically, it was a sort of flat-bottomed boat mounted on four wheels with a very pure and uncluttered design. The engine was a three-cylinder motorcycle engine, mounted on the left side with the radiator on the right: 750 cc delivering 67 hp and differential inverter with Bertone’s own patented chain-driven gearbox. The tailgate doubled up as a loading ramp, additionally an outboard motor could be fitted to make the Go amphibious.

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

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One of the better known concepts on show here was the 1969 Autobianchi Runabout. In 1967 designer Pio Manzù showed his mid-engined Prototipo 111 based on the transverse powertrain from the Autobianchi A111 sedan, and one year later displayed his Autobianchi Coupé at the Turin Auto Show. A similar design that used the powertrain from the Autobianchi Primula was done by Dante Giacosa at Società industriale ricerche automobilistiche (SIRA – Automotive Industry Research Company), with initial fabrication done by OSI, and a full prototype called the G31 built later by Centro Stylo Fiat in 1969. The Autobianchi A112 Runabout was designed by Marcello Gandini at Bertone. This small barchetta used the same transverse mid-engine layout as the much larger and more exotic Lamborghini Miura of 1966, which had also been designed by Gandini. The Runabout also exhibited the pronounced wedge shaped profile that would distinguish many of Gandini’s designs from this time, including the 1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo. With Fiat planning the end of the Fiat 850 product line, Bertone needed a car to replace the 850 Spider that it was building for Fiat at their Grugliasco factory. Around this time there was also growing concern that the United States would shortly implement rollover safety requirements that would effectively ban traditional convertibles. The Runabout, with chassis number 41258, debuted at the 1969 Turin Auto Show, which ran from 29 October 1969 to 9 November 1969. Gianni Agnelli saw the Runabout in 1971, and approved developing it into the X1/9. The overall shape of the car was inspired by the racing boats of the mid-1960s. The hood was long and flat with a tapering central indentation and an Autobianchi badge inset just back of the tip. There was also a full-length indented feature at the plimsoll-line. The car’s rear aspect was reminiscent of a boat’s transom with a shallow well. The front overhang was long, but the rear was short. The wide, low profile tires and wheels were enclosed under nearly flat wheel arches. There were no doors on the passenger or driver sides. The only items above the sill line were a low clear curved wind deflector and a foil-shaped forward-swept rollbar similar in appearance to the radar arches on some boats. The rollbar gave the car the appearance of a targa top. The headlamps were not mounted in the nose of the car. Instead they were in prominent nacelles incorporated into the lower legs of the rollbar/arch, behind the occupants’ seats. On the interior, the only instrumentation was a speedometer, in the style of a nautical compass, mounted in the centre of the top of the dashboard. Although named for the Autobianchi A112 Supermini and retaining that car’s transverse engine configuration, the Runabout did not use the A112’s Tipo 100 overhead valve engine. Instead, it received the new-for-1969 Fiat 128 SOHC engine that had been developed for the Fiat 128 by former Ferrari engine designer Aurelio Lampredi. This engine featured a cast-iron block, aluminium cylinder head and a belt-driven single overhead camshaft. The engine in the Runabout displaced 1,116 cc. It was mated to a transverse four speed manual transmission. Some point to the G31 as leading to the X1/9. Others suggest that the 1971 De Tomaso 1600 Spider, which was startlingly similar to the later X1/9, was the predecessor. In the De Tomaso’s case it has been suggested that this was either imitation as a form of flattery, or an elaborate joke at Fiat’s expense. Regardless, the Runabout is generally considered to have been the inspiration for the X1/9, which is how it was described on Bertone’s own website. Elements of the Runabout’s design have also been noted in the subsequent Lancia Stratos. In September 2015 ownership of the Runabout passed to Automotoclub Storico Italiano (ASI – “Italian Historical Automobile Club”), when the club acquired the Bertone Carrozzeria collection.

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This is the 1976 Ferrari 308 Rainbow. After the 308 GT4 model, previously made by Nuccio, Bertone threw himself into redesigning the same chassis. His endeavour resulted in the futuristic Rainbow, a model with a particular design: a roof which slid down behind the backrests of the rear seats. This model is compact and streamlined, very segmented, and deliberately disharmonious in some sections: it’s perfectly clean cut and truly reminiscent of the past. The Rainbow remained a one-off design study.

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This imposing looking machine is the 1988 Lamborghini Genesis. For the last Lamborghini based dream car, Bertone choose to exaggerate the concept of a luxury station wagon with Genesis, a house on wheels, equipped with a 455 hp rear V12 engine. The front doors hinged in the middle of the roof, the two wide opening sliding rear doors and the modular interior were all especially stunning. In addition to its impressive grandiose appearance this model also boasted an enviable Cx.

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The Volvo Tundra was a concept car which was built and designed by Bertone sometime in 1979. Bertone was told to do “something delicious”, based on the Volvo 343. The angular design was by Marcello Gandini, and continued the themes developed for the Lamborghini Silhouette and the Reliant (Anadol) FW11. It was rejected by Volvo, who thought it was too modern and difficult to sell. Bertone instead sold a very similar design to Citroën, where it was produced as Citroën BX. The rear side window of the Tundra had a pulled down top edge, a theme which was continued on the C Pillar of the BX. The overall effect was of one “floating roof” the design idea which soon became popular, in the 2010s. The car featured a digital speedometer and was powered by one 1.4 litre four cylinder engine, giving 70 PS.

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And finally there was the 2001 Opel Filo. This was first seen at the 2001 Geneva Show and was based on the Zafira. In order to introduce drive-by-wire technology, a new human-machine interface created in collaboration with SKF (there were no pedals), Bertone presented the Filo (with German automobile manufacturer Opel), a compact people-carrier with an uncluttered design, and a luminous and aesthetic interior which would go on to influence Opel’s future models (Meriva).

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BIZZARRINI

This 1967 Bizzarrini GT Strada 5300 is an example of the sports car produced by Bizzarrini from 1964 to 1968. Sold as an exceptionally low slung 2-seat coupe, roadster, and track-tuned “Corsa” racer, it proved to be Bizzarrini’s most successful model. Designed by ex-Ferrari chief engineer Giotto Bizzarrini in 1963, the Strada was launched by his company in 1964. It was similar in concept to the Iso Grifo, also designed by Bizzarrini, and even used the Grifo name while in the planning stage, as well as the welded unibody platform of the Iso Rivolta 300. The Strada – which adopted a Front mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout – was powered by a 327 Chevrolet small-block engine displacing 5,358 cc and rated at 365 hp to 385 Nm (284 lb⋅ft) of torque in the road legal version and 400 hp in the Corsa. The car could accelerate 0–100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 7 seconds, and attained a top speed of 280 km/h (174 mph). In later models, the 5,358 cc engine was replaced by a larger 7,000 cc unit, fitted with a Holley carburettor. Dunlop four-wheel disc brakes, a BorgWarner T-10 four-speed manual transmission, de Dion tube rear suspension, and limited slip differential were also used. The Giorgetto Giugiaro influenced Bertone styled aluminium body, was striking in its day and still regarded in the 21st century as “gorgeous” and an “absolute masterpiece”. Three spyder versions were also built, including a prototype which was a full convertible and two production versions which featured removable T-tops. In 1965, a Bizzarrini Grifo won its class at Le Mans and finished ninth overall. A total of 133 examples were produced from 1964 through 1968.

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BMW

With the BMW acquisition of the Glas business, the GT was refitted to accommodate the 1,573 cc BMW engine already fitted in the BMW 1600. The BMW “new class” models introduced in 1962 had attracted press comment concerning the fact that the engine was canted over at an angle of 30 degrees from the vertical plane, permitting a lower bonnet/hood line, and this feature was retained when the engine was fitted in the Glas GT body to create what was now branded as the BMW 1600GT. By using the BMW engine the car also acquired a further increase in power output, now up to 105 PS. Handling was improved by applying the BMW’s relatively sophisticated semi-trailing arm rear axle with coil springs in place of the more old fashioned rigid rear axle and leaf spring configuration previously employed by the Glas GT. BMW also took the opportunity to fit “new” round rear lights – being those that from 1966 also featured on the BMW 1602, and to reconfigure the front grill to incorporate the BMW “twin kidney” grill. Between 1964 and 1967 Glas produced 5,376 GTs including 363 cabriolets. Between June 1967 and August 1968 a further 1,259 BMW badged cars were produced.

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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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In 1994, BMW produced the limited-edition M3 GT as a racing homologation special for Europe, in order to compete in the FIA-GT class II, IMSA GT and international long-distance races. A total of 356 cars were produced, all in left-hand drive for mainland Europe. The UK received a special GT trim limited to 50 cars with only the cosmetic upgrades of the homologation special. The engine was the European-specification S50B30, which was upgraded with larger camshafts and a higher compression ratio, resulting in peak power of 295 bhp at 7,100 rpm. All M3 GTs only came in one single colour, “British Racing Green”. Other changes include a deeper and adjustable front splitter, higher rear double wing, aluminium doors, wheels measuring 17 x 7.5 inches at the front and 17 x 8.5 inches at the rear, stiffer front suspension, a cross-brace and a strut brace. The M3 GT is approximately 30 kg (66 lb) lighter than the regular M3 and has a derestricted top speed of 275 km/h (171 mph).

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BRM

The BRM P25 was a Formula One racing car raced from 1955 to 1960 and the second car produced by the British Racing Motors consortium. After the failure of the complex BRM V16, the P25’s design emphasised simplicity. The car was fitted with a 2.5-litre straight-4 engine, producing some 275 bhp. The P25 would be the foundation of BRM’s successes in the late 1950s and early 1960s. With BRM in financial trouble after the V16 experiment, Alfred Owen purchased the team and set work on a new car. While the car was being developed, BRM ran a privateer Maserati 250F through the 1954 and 1955 seasons. Stewart Tresilian and Tony Rudd designed an entirely new twin-cam 2.5-litre four-cylinder for the P25. The engine’s large bore allowed for larger valves to be fitted. In an exception to keeping with BRM’s all-British supply policy, two Weber carburetors were fitted. The engine was mounted to a simple ladder frame steel chassis, with a centre tub monocoque section. The P25 used Lockheed disc brakes at the front wheels, which would later be replaced by Dunlop discs. Uniquely, a single brake disc was fitted to the gearbox at the rear. The P25 began racing in non-championship events in September 1955. The car’s horsepower proved to be its strong suit, but its handling and reliability problems were quickly revealed. Three Type 25s were entered for Tony Brooks, Mike Hawthorn, and Ron Flockhart in the model’s world championship debut, the 1956 British Grand Prix. However, none finished. Reliability woes would plague the team during the P25’s early development. The large valves were prone to letting debris into the engine, and the single rear disc often failed. A P25 would not finish a Grand Prix until Harry Schell’s fifth place in the 1958 Monaco Grand Prix. Schell and Jean Behra would finish 2nd and 3rd in that year’s Dutch Grand Prix. They were the first podiums for BRM. Four more points finishes from Behra, Schell, and new-hire Joakim Bonnier placed BRM 4th in the inaugural Constructor’s Championship. Bonnier took his and BRM’s first victory at the 1959 Dutch Grand Prix. With the P25 running reliably, BRM was able to secure 3rd in the Constructor’s Championship. Just as the P25 became reliable, Cooper started the rear-engine revolution and quickly rendered front engined cars such as the P25 obsolete. BRM began work on a rear engined model, the P48 not long after Bonnier’s victory. The P48 would replace the P25 midway through the 1960 season. In addition to the factory entries, the British Racing Partnership ran a P25 for Stirling Moss and Hans Herrmann in 1959. Moss scored a 2nd place in the British Grand Prix before the car was destroyed in a massive accident during the German Grand Prix with Hermann at the wheel.

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BUGATTI

There was a factory stand here, with three contrasting cars on show.

The EB110 was 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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Well known as a model, indeed many would tell you that this is THE classic Bugatti, is the Type 35 and there were three of these models entered: a pair of Type 35B and a single Type 35C. The Type 35 was phenomenally successful, winning over 1,000 races in its time. It took the Grand Prix World Championship in 1926 after winning 351 races and setting 47 records in the two prior years. At its height, Type 35s averaged 14 race wins per week. Bugatti won the Targa Florio for five consecutive years, from 1925 through 1929, with the Type 35. The original model, introduced at the Grand Prix of Lyon on August 3, 1924, used an evolution of the 3-valve 1991 cc overhead cam straight-8 engine first seen on the Type 29. Bore was 60 mm and stroke was 88 mm as on many previous Bugatti models. 96 examples were produced. This new powerplant featured five main bearings with an unusual ball bearing system. This allowed the engine to rev to 6000 rpm, and 90 hp was reliably produced. Solid axles with leaf springs were used front and rear, and drum brakes at back, operated by cables, were specified. Alloy wheels were a novelty, as was the hollow front axle for reduced unsprung weight. A second feature of the Type 35 that was to become a Bugatti trademark was passing the springs through the front axle rather than simply U-bolting them together as was done on their earlier cars. A less expensive version of the Type 35 appeared in May, 1925. The factory’s Type 35A name was ignored by the public, who nicknamed it “Tecla” after a famous maker of imitation jewellery. The Tecla’s engine used three plain bearings, smaller valves, and coil ignition like the Type 30. While this decreased maintenance requirements, it also reduced output. 139 of the Type 35As were sold. The Type 35C featured a Roots supercharger, despite Ettore Bugatti’s disdain for forced induction. Output was nearly 128 hp with a single Zenith carburettor. Type 35Cs won the French Grand Prix at Saint-Gaudens in 1928, and at Pau in 1930. Fifty examples left the factory. The final version of the Type 35 series was the Type 35B of 1927. Originally named Type 35TC, it shared the 2.3 litre engine of the Type 35T but added a large supercharger like the Type 35C. Output was 138 hp, and 45 examples were made. A British Racing Green Type 35B driven by William Grover-Williams won the 1929 French Grand Prix at Le Mans.

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This is a Veyron Grand Sport 35 Edition and is the last Veyron to be built.

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This is a 1920 Type 22 Brescia Torpedo Sport. The DNA of the thoroughbred Bugatti was dominant from the very beginning. Ettore’devotion to ‘qualité et la belle mécanique’ was revealed fully in his 16 valve car- or Brescia as it became known after 1921 due to its racing success in the 1921 Gran Premio d’Italia Voiturette at Brescia Italy- finishing with an impressive 1-2-3-4 result. It was to be the firm foundation upon which the Bugatti marque would flourish. The Brescia was an incredible little car, praised by the motoring press as having “unsurpassed road holding, confort and modern-sounding “firecracker” exhaust note “for which the marque was soon to become famous”. The design concept was based on the late 8 valve models, th 16 valve models started to appear in 1920, and Brescia production ran through 1926 to a total of over 2000 cars produced. The carburettor was Zenith, the magneto ignition was either SEV or Bosch units. A pear-shaped radiator adorned the early 16 valve models. A 4-speed transmission formed part of the standard specification. Performance with an easy cruising speed of 60 mph was impressive, and the Brescia easily beat its competitors which featured much larger engines.

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There were a number of other classic Bugatti models here including this Type 37. Sharing the same body as was used on the Type 35, The Type 35 chassis and body were reused for the Type 37, which was fitted with a new 1496 cc straight-4 engine, This engine was an SOHC 3-valve design and produced 60 hp The same engine went on to be used in the Type 40. A total of 290 Type 37s were built.

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Parked next to it was a Type 43A. This borrowed the supercharged 2.3 litre engine from the Type 35B and combined it with the basic chassis of the Type 38. The engine produced about 120 bhp bringing the little car to 60 mph in less than 12 seconds. The Type 43 was noted at the time as the world’s first 100 mph production car — in fact, it could hit 110 mph when most fast cars could only reach 70 mph. 160 of these “Grand Sport” cars were made from 1927 through 1931, with a Type 43A roadster appearing that year and lasting through 1932.

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The Type 44 was the widest-production variant of the 8 cylinder range which started with the Type 30, with 1,095 known to have been built. A larger and sometimes enclosed tourer, it used a new 3-valve SOHC 3 litre (2991 cc) engine derived from the Type 43’s unit. It was built from late 1927 through 1930.

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This a Type 57 Atalante. The Atalante was a two-door coupé body style similar to and built after the Atlantic, both built on the 57S chassis, but with a single-piece windscreen and no fin. The name “Atalante” was derived from a heroine of Greek mythology, Atalanta. Only 17 Atalante cars were made, four of which reside in the Cité de l’Automobile Museum in Mulhouse, France (formerly known as the Musée National de L’Automobile de Mulhouse).

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Two further examples of the EB110 were to be seen here, the two competition Bugatti EB110 cars, the only two such that were built and the last two Bugatti competiton cars, The first of these is the EB 110 S Le Mans (châssis 39016), which competed at la Sarthe in 1994 in the GT1 category.The car qualified a very competitive 17th overall and 5th in the GT1 class but did not finish the race. The car is now on display at the Lohéac Automobile Museum. A second car commissioned by wealthy pharmaceutical entrepreneur Martino Finotto also participated in the 1996 24 Hours of Daytona, but suffered a gearbox problem and did not finish.

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Final Bugatti here was another Veyron, this one a Grand Sport Vitesse, of which just 93 were produced. This 2013 example exhibited by Movendi has only 10.571 km since new and has the colour scheme like the car used for the speed record for street legal cars.

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CHEVROLET

From the third generation Corvette is this race car.

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This is an example of the fourth generation Corvette to near the name. It was was the first complete redesign of the Corvette since 1963. Production was to begin for the 1983 model year but quality issues and part delays resulted in only 43 prototypes for the 1983 model year being produced that were never sold. All of the 1983 prototypes were destroyed or serialised to 1984 except one with a white exterior, medium blue interior, L83 350 ci, 205 bhp V8, and 4-speed automatic transmission. After extensive testing and modifications were completed, it was initially retired as a display sitting in an external wall over the Bowling Green Assembly Plant’s employee entrance. Later this only surviving 1983 prototype was removed, restored and is now on public display at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It is still owned by GM. On February 12, 2014, it was nearly lost to a sinkhole which opened up under the museum. Regular fourth generation production began on January 3, 1983; the 1984 model year and delivery to customers began in March 1983. The 1984 model carried over the 350 cu in (5.7 litre) L83 slightly more powerful (5 bhp) “Crossfire” V8 engine from the final 1982 third generation model. New chassis features were aluminium brake calipers and an all-aluminium suspension for weight savings and rigidity. The new one piece targa top had no centre reinforcement. A new electronic dashboard with digital liquid crystal displays for the speedometer and tachometer was standard. Beginning in 1985, the 230 bhp L98 engine with tuned port fuel injection became the standard engine. September 1984 through 1988 Corvettes offered a Doug Nash designed “4+3” transmission – a 4-speed manual coupled to an automatic overdrive on the top three gears. It was designed to help the Corvette meet U.S. fuel economy standards. Since 1981, when it was last offered, a manual transmission returned to the Corvette starting with production in late-1984. The transmission proved to be problematic and was replaced by a modern ZF 6-speed manual transmission in 1989. In 1986, the second Corvette Indy Pace Car was released. It was the first convertible Corvette since 1975. A Centre High Mounted Signal Light – a third centre brake light – was added in 1986 to comply with safety regulations. While the colour of the pace car used in the race was yellow, all 1986 convertibles also had an Indy 500 emblem mounted on the console, making any colour a “pace car edition”. In 1987, the B2K twin-turbo option became available from the factory. The Callaway Corvette was a Regular Production Option (RPO B2K). The B2K option coexisted from 1990 to 1991 with the ZR-1 option, which then replaced it. Early B2Ks produced 345 bhp and 450 lb·ft later versions boasted 450 bhp and 613 lb·ft .1988 saw the 35th Anniversary Edition of the Corvette. Each of these featured a special badge with an identification number mounted next to the gear selector, and were finished with a white exterior, wheels, and interior. In 1991, all Corvettes received updates to the body, interior, and wheels. The convex rear fascia that set the 1990 ZR-1 apart from the base model was now included on L98 Corvettes, making the styling of the expensive ZR-1 even closer to that of the base cars. The most obvious difference remaining between the base and ZR-1 models besides the wider rear wheels was the location of the CHMSL, which was integrated into the new rear fascia used on the base model, but remained at the top of the rear-hatch on the ZR-1’s. For the 1992 model year, the 300 bhp LT1 engine was introduced, an increase of 50 bhp over 1991’s L98 engine. This engine featured reverse-flow cooling (the heads were cooled before the block), which allowed for a higher compression ratio of 10.5:1. A new distributor was also debuted. Called “Optispark”, the distributor was driven directly off the front of the camshaft and mounted in front of the timing cover, just above the crankshaft and harmonic balancer. Also new for 1992 was Acceleration Slip Regulation (ASR), a form of traction control which utilised the Corvette’s brakes, spark retard, and throttle close-down to prevent excessive rear wheel spin and possible loss of control. The traction control device could be switched off if desired. A special 40th Anniversary Edition was released in 1993, which featured a commemorative Ruby Red colour, 40th anniversary badges, and embroidered seat backs. The 1993 Corvette also marked the introduction of the Passive Keyless Entry System, making it the first GM car to feature it. Production of the ZR-1 ended in 1995, after 6,939 cars had been built. 1996 was the final year of C4 production, and featured special models and options, including the Grand Sport and Collector Edition, OBD II (On-Board Diagnostics), run flat tyres, and the LT4 engine. The 330 bhp LT4 V8 was available only with a manual transmission, while all 300 bhp LT1 Corvettes used automatic transmissions. Chevrolet released the Grand Sport (GS) version in 1996 to mark the end of production of the C4 Corvette. The Grand Sport moniker was a nod to the original Grand Sport model produced in 1963. A total of 1,000 GS Corvettes were produced, 810 as coupes and 190 as convertibles. The 1996 GS came with the high-performance LT4 V8 engine, producing 330 bhp and 340 lb·ft . The Grand Sport came only in Admiral Blue with a white stripe down the middle, and black wheels and two red stripes on the front left wheel arch Seen here was an early C4 coupe.

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CHEVRON

This is a Chevron B16. Within a very short time, Chevron emerged as a leading racing car manufacturer. The company founded by the self-taught Derek Bennett had particularly impressed with the B8 sports racer introduced in 1967. Both a success on the racing track and in the sales room, it inspired Bennett to produce a prototype racer for the popular European 2-Litre Championship. Bennett had had the plans for what would become the B16 in his head for quite some time but he could not start working on the new prototype racer until well into the 1969 season. This was mainly because the small company was fully occupied with building customer cars. Another problem Bennett faced was the lack of a suitable 2-litre engine because the BMW ‘four’ used in the B8 was at the end of its life cycle. What held the tried and trusted BMW 2002 engine back was its single cam, two-valve head. Bennett’s initial plan was to have Weslake or Cosworth develop a state of the art head for the BMW engine. Both parties were interested but Weslake required Chevron to bear all the development costs and Cosworth eventually opted to remain loyal to Ford. Instead, Cosworth developed the ‘FVC’ variant of its 1.6 litre ‘FVA’ Formula 2 engine, which was effectively one half of the DFV used so successfully in Formula 1. Although displacing only 1760 cc, it was still considerably more powerful than the BMW engine. With the engine issues sorted, Bennett turned his attention to the design and construction of the new chassis. It was effectively a refinement of the existing design and once again consisted of a tubular space-frame, reinforced by steel and duraluminium sheets. The front and rear subframes could be detached to make repairs easier. The suspension also followed conventional lines with double wishbones at the front and reversed lower wishbones, top links and trailing arms at the rear. One of the focus points during development was to keep the car as low as possible and accordingly the car was tightly wrapped in a fibreglass body produced by Specialised Mouldings. Uncertain about his own aerodynamic abilities, Bennett called in the services of Specialised Mouldings’ stylist Jim Clark. The end-result was indeed staggering and the coupe’s lines impressed all that saw it. It was very quick too, even using the the older BMW engine in testing, it was considerably faster than the B8. Fitted with a FVA engine, the B16 made its debut early in September at the prestigious Nürburgring 500 km race in the hands of works driver Brian Redman. The new Chevron was immediately competitive but did appear to have some understeer. Overnight some small winglets were created and Redman clinched pole, well ahead of the previously dominant Abarths, who had skipped the final session. Redman immediately grabbed the lead and dominated the race to take a debut victory, which would become something of a Chevron speciality. Redman’s fabulous win ironically slowed down the B16 development as his driving skills hid the fact that the handling was far from sorted. Eventually the problem was tracked down to a lack of rear downforce, which actually produced so much oversteer that the drivers were fearful of turning in. Ironically that led them to believe the car understeered. Bennett fixed the issue by adding two big spoilers on the corners of the engine cover. Having learned his lessons, he did not call in the help of ‘experts’ again for the design of future models. With the problems sorted, the B16 soon became a regular winner and orders flooded in. In addition to the FVC engined models, customers also raced the cars with the BMW four and a Mazda rotary engine. Three examples were used in the legendary Steve McQueen movie Le Mans. Although official figures suggest only 23 examples were produced, the car was fully homologated as a ‘Group 5’ GT, for which a production run of 25 was the minimum. For the Chevron works team the European 2-Litre Championship was the priority in 1970. The team were unpleasantly surprised by the arrival of the all-new, open Lola T210 at the season opener. Lighter by a hefty 70 kg than the coupe bodied B16, it would be the team’s main challenger in the hands of Jo Bonnier and others. Redman drove the works Chevron along with John Burton. After a very close fight, Redman did manage to win the first round at Paul Ricard and the championship was not decided until the final round, with Abarth also still in contention. In order to keep up with the Lolas, Redman urged Bennett to build an open B16. He finally complied and he also followed Redman’s advice to simply copy the shape of the Porsche 908/3 that he had driven to a dominant victory in the Targa Florio that year. The resulting B16 Spyder was mechanically identical to the ‘standard’ car but it looked like a new car. The new car had an uncharacteristically difficult debut at the Nürburgring 500 km but Redman bounced back, taking an epic victory Spa, securing the championship for Chevron. For the 1971 season Chevron launched the B19, the production version of the successful B16 Spyder. Although really competitive for a few months, the B16 did dominate during that period and is still considered the finest of all Chevrons. So much so, that within a decade after original production had ceased, ‘continuation’ models began to appear. The first ones ‘replaced’ cars that had been destroyed or lost but soon after B16s appeared with chassis numbers that were never issued in period. Brand new B16s can still be ordered from Chevron and as a result a multitude of the original 23-25 examples produced exist today. Current continuation cars are clearly identified as such but many of the cars (re)built in the 1980s sport the number and identity of one of the originals. It is even possible to catch two B16s side by side claiming to be the same car. A real historian’s nightmare, all of these B16s are allowed to race and they do generally provide a great spectacle on track, usually hounding much bigger engined competitors. Fortunately a handful of truly ‘genuine’ cars do still exist and several of those are also raced.

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CHRYSLER

This 1988 Chrysler Viper GTS-R obtained FIA GT2 World Champion in 1998. It participated with a Play Station livery at 1998 and 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as 2002 and 2003 24 Hours of Spa. It has a steel tubular frame and carbon fiber composite body. The engine is 700 hp at 6800 rpm 7.986 cc V10 combined with a sequential 6 speed gearbox. Overall weight is 1150 kg.

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CITROEN

First of the three domestic manufacturers. the collection of Citroens on show in the centre of Hall 1 are assembled both from the manufacturer’s own collection (the Conservatoire Citroen), and several of the model specific Clubs from across France. There were a number of other Citroen models elsewhere in the show as well, so there were plenty of examples of this popular marque’s back catalogue on show.

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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The C4, along with the 6 cylinder Citroën C6, was presented at the Paris Motor Show of 1928, and was produced until 1932 The C4 was an evolution, at the same price, of the previous B12, B14, and B15 models , and took some inspiration from the American Ford Model A. When first presented at the Paris Salon of October 1928, it was under the name of AC4 and AC6 (AC for André Citroën), then C4 and C6. The styling was modernised and the car was bigger, more comfortable, and lower, with better handling. Engine power increased by 40%, to give a maximum speed of more than 90 km/h. The Citroën C6 version is powered by a Citroën 6-cylinder with 45 hp, which gave it a top speed of more than 100 km/h, and was aimed at the high-end market. Delage, Delahaye, Talbot, Hotchkiss, and American competition among others. There was a new C4 III version at the show in October 1929 and then again in 1930 with the C4F version at the Paris Salon of 1930, and a C4G version followed at the Salon of 1931. The model was replaced by the Rosalie in 1932. The car seen here is a C6.

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This is a 1931 C4 with quite a surprise at the back. It has a body typical of the utility vehicles of the 30s, we discover a crank at the back. Great surprise, the action of this crank makes it possible to deploy a glass cage which transforms into a perfect travelling workshop for painter. Maurice Guyot could paint landscapes with a clear view while being protected from wind and rain. The artist had his hour of glory and left a whole heritage.

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Representing the long-lived and still popular 2CV family was this Charleston, originally offered as a limited edition car but which proved so popular that it became a permanent addition the range surviving right to the end of production. The maroon and black finish is the more popular but there was also a two-tone grey version available.

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Marking 50 years since launch was Citroen’s GS. The GS filled the gap in Citroën’s range, between the 2CV and Ami economy cars and the luxurious DS executive sedan. The DS had moved significantly upmarket from its predecessor the Citroën Traction Avant, and beyond the finances of most French motorists. Leaving this market gap open for fifteen years allowed other manufacturers entry into the most profitable, high volume market segment in France. This combined with the development costs and new factory for the DS-replacing Citroën CX, the 1974 oil crisis, and an aborted Wankel rotary engine, led Citroën to declare bankruptcy in 1974. The GS took 14 years to develop from initial design to launch. In 1956, Citroën developed a bubble car prototype to fill the gap in its range between the DS and the 2CV, known as the C10. Development continued with ideas like a Wankel engine and hydropneumatic suspension suggested as possibilities, with a new, modern body to match. Another iteration was the “C60,” which resembled an Ami 6 with a long, smooth nose. In 1963, development had moved to “Project F”, which was close to being production ready. Citroën decided the car was too similar to the 1965 Renault 16 and by 1967 Project F was suspended. Many of the mechanical components continued to “Project G”, which became the GS. The GS was designed by Robert Opron, with a smooth two box design that bears some resemblance to the 1967 design study by Pininfarina Berlina Aerodinamica. On 24 August 1970, Citroën launched the production GS. The body style was as a Berline (a four-door saloon with three side windows), in a fastback style with a sharp Kammback. The aerodynamics gave the best drag coefficient of any vehicle at the time. Good aerodynamics enabled the car to make the best of the available power from its 1015cc flat four engine, but the car as launched nevertheless drew criticism that it was underpowered. Citroën addressed the issue with the introduction in September 1972, as an option, of a larger 1,222 cc engine. Claimed power increased from 55 bhp to 60 bhp, but it was the improved torque that really marked out the more powerful engine, and which enabled the manufacturer, with the larger engined versions, to raise the second gear ratio and the final drive ratio. Larger front brake discs were also fitted. Visually the GS bore little resemblance to any other car on the market, until the development of the larger Citroën CX in 1974. The fastback design, with a separate boot, was controversial – a hatchback layout was considered too utilitarian by CEO Pierre Bercot. The 1974 CX shared this feature. The boot was nevertheless exceptionally large, in part due to the positioning of the spare wheel on top of the engine. Both the early GS (until 1976) and the GSA have the unusual rotating drum speedometer (similar in construction to bathroom scales), rather than the dials found in a conventional dashboard. The later GS (from 1977 until the introduction of the GSA) had a conventional speedometer. The GS was offered in four trims: G Special (base), GS Club (midrange), GS X (sports), and GS Pallas (luxury). The GS X and Pallas were only offered as saloons. The GS was also available, from September 1971, as a four door station estate and a similar two-door “service” van. The GS was facelifted in 1979 and given a hatchback, and renamed the GSA. This change reflected the growing popularity of small family hatchbacks in Europe since the launch of the Volkswagen Golf. Other modifications included a new grille, new plastic bumpers, new taillights, new hubcaps and new exterior door handles. It also had a revised dashboard with the auxiliary controls on column-shaped pods so they could be reached without moving the hands from the single-spoked steering wheel; similar to the CX layout. It was partly replaced by the larger BX in 1982, although production continued in reduced volumes until 1986. Citroën did not re-enter the small family hatchback market until the launch of the ZX in 1991. The GS met with instant market acceptance and was the largest selling Citroën model for many years. 1,896,742 GS models and 576,757 GSA models were produced in total.

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Also celebrating its 50th birthday was the splendid SM. This glamorous Sports/GT Coupe still wows people over 45 years since its debut. The Citroën SM was first shown at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show, but work on the car had started way back in 1961, with ‘Project S’, which was envisaged to be a a sports variant of the revolutionary Citroen DS. For the next few years, many running concept vehicles were developed, and these became increasingly complex and upmarket from the DS. In 1968, Citroën purchased Maserati, with the intention of harnessing Maserati’s high-performance engine technology to produce a true Gran Turismo car, which would combine Citroen’s advanced suspension with a V6 Maserati engine. The car was a sensation when revealed, with its distinctive styling, an amazingly low drag coefficient of just 0.26, and as well as the advanced features from the DS such as lights that swivelled with the steering and the advanced hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension there were numerous technical innovations such as variable assistance for the power steering, rain sensitive wipers and the option of lightweight wheels of composite alloys. It was a further six months before customers could get behind the wheel, with the SM finally going on sale in France in September of that year. The origin of the model name ‘SM’ is not clear. The ‘S’ may derive from the Project ‘S’ designation, and the ‘M’ may refers to Maserati, hence SM is often assumed to stand for ‘Sports Maserati’. Another common hypothesis is that SM stood for Série Maserati and others have suggested it is short for ‘Sa Majesté’ (Her Majesty in French), which would aligns with the explanation that the DS model was so called as a contraction of the French word ‘Déesse’ (The Goddess). Regardless of the origins of the name, it attracted lots of attention, and came third in the 1971 Car of the Year competition (behind Citroen’s own revolutionary GS model). For a couple of years, sales were reasonable, but they fell off dramatically in 1973, not just because of the Oil Crisis that struck late that year, but largely because the SM’s technical complexity came with a price tag of some terrible reliability problems, something which owners of rival cars simply did not experience. To compound the owner’s misery, they needed to find and pay for Citroen specialists who understood the hydraulics and a Maserati specialist for the engine. Both categories were kept busy. Citroen declared bankruptcy in 1974 and the company was purchased in May 1975. Thanks to changes in US legislation, sales in that market, which had hitherto been the SM’s largest had ceased, and so with global sales of under 300 SMs in 1974, having divested itself of Maserati, new owner Peugeot took the obvious decision to cease production of the SM almost immediately. During the SM’s 5 year product life, a total of 12,920 cars were produced. With the exception of a handful of conversions for the Australian market, all SMs were made in left hand drive, which is perhaps one reason why UK sales amounted to just 325 cars from that total. Although this is often labelled as one of the 4 “nightmare cars of the apocalypse” (along with the Triumph Stag and Alfa Montreal), the reality is that the surviving cars have largely been “fixed” and they are now not the fearsome ownership proposition that many still assume.

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French coachbuilder Heuliez seized a golden opportunity to push the SM even further upmarket by making it a convertible. The issue was that, at the time, safety regulations in the U.S. and Europe made entering the convertible segment a risky and incredibly expensive proposition. Heuliez had a plan: Instead of chopping off the SM’s roof and installing a retractable soft top, the firm designed a two-piece targa top that looked like a pair of sunroofs mounted sideways. The system consisted of two sets of aluminium fins, which retracted into the narrow piece of sheet metal that linked the windshield to the rear window. This innovative setup gave all four occupants the freedom of open-top motoring without compromising safety or rigidity. Getting it right was complicated, however. After repairing leaks and fixing a faulty retracting mechanism, Heuliez presented the SM Espace at the 1971 Paris Motor Show. The car basking under the spotlights was finished in a divisive shade of purple and louvres covered its rear window. It wasn’t to everyone’s taste, to say the least, even in the early 1970s. Heuliez built a second prototype for the 1972 Brussels Motor Show. This time, the louvres stayed in the coachbuilder’s workshop and show-goers greeted the Espace with considerably more enthusiasm. Many assumed Citroën would add the open-air model to its range and award Heuliez a lucrative contract to build it, but it was too late to expand the line-up. The firm had manoeuvered itself into dire financial straits, notably by funnelling a fortune into developing Wankel engines (it even put its rotary engine in a helicopter it designed), and Michelin had started the process of selling it. The 1973 oil crisis ended the SM, and the following year Citroën left the U.S., the car’s most promising market—hence the federally-mandated side marker lights installed on the second Espace prototype. Heuliez claims it destroyed the first Espace prototype. Company founder Henri Heuliez used the second example for years until he consigned it to the coachbuilder’s attic, where it gathered dust with other fascinating concepts, one-offs, and could-have beens. It’s been in private hands since 2012.

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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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Final car on the large Citroen Clubs stand was the most recent, the 2018 DS X E-Tense Concept. In today’s fast-morphing automobile industry, the men and women at DS Automobiles were tasked with bringing to life their dreams for the car of tomorrow while sharing their automobile passion, uncurbed by predetermined constraints. The fruit of that passionate, unfettered journey is DS X E-TENSE. Their vision for 2035 is very different from the current, near-obsessional quest for characterless mobility. Instead, the designers at DS sought to blend the benefits of advanced technology with a large measure of poetic creativity. Their answer explores how customers who have no qualms about indulging themselves and how they might perceive the notion of a luxurious French style eighteen years hence, however diverse their needs. The cockpit is accessed by an Elytre door that is trimmed with a carbon fibre/leather weave. Inevitably, the eyes are drawn to the pyramidal architecture of the single seat, which adapts perfectly to the driver’s build like the fitted seats seen in motor racing, while its reclined position helps to keep the car’s centre of gravity low. DS X E-TENSE’s asymmetric architecture provides distinct ambiences left and right. Climb into the cocoon part of the interior via the gullwing door and the driver, alone or accompanied, becomes a passenger. This asymmetric layout frees up a different type of space underneath the clear glass canopy, with the passenger enclosed in a sensuous capsule, snug in a ventilated. An additional seat even makes it possible to travel three-up. Located within the front wheels, the two motors selected as the source of the all-electric DS X E-TENSE’s power provide unrivalled response. For road use, peak power stands at 400kW (540 horsepower), a figure that rises to 1,000kW (1,360 bhp) in ‘circuit’ mode which allows the driver to savour the exquisite performance of the suspension engineered by DS Performance, the technical team behind DS’s Formula E programme. The carbon fibre chassis sits on innovative springs and torsion bars, while traction, grip and deceleration is controlled by an advanced active system conceived to optimise performance, whatever the type of road surface.

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This 1941 Type C van is the forerunner to the long-lived and well-known Type H van. It is more commonly known as the TUB (for Traction Utilitaire Basse, or “Low Front-Wheel-Drive Commercial”) and was the first in a long line of lightweight commercial vehicles, and the ancestor of the Type H. This pioneer of the front-wheel-drive van, released in 1939, was hugely appreciated for its practicality, with a flat floor giving enough headroom in the loading area for a person to stand up in, a far-forward cabin, and a sliding side door. Production stopped at around 2,000 units, owing to outbreak of the Second World War.

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COGNET

This is a 1924 Cognet de Seynes Torpedo. The Cognet de Seynes/C de S was a French automobile manufactured in Lyon from 1912 or 1913 until 1926. The company was formed by financial backer Edouard de Seynes (1881–1957) and engineer Victor Cognet. Edouard de Seynes was just 25 when he first met Viktor Cognet in 1907. De Seynes was born in Avignon but had recently moved to Lyon following his marriage. He still had the impetuosity of youth, and he was passionately interested in things mechanical: also he was rich. He was impressed by the engineering talent of his new friend and soon suggested a business partnership. Viktor Cognet was a little older, and already had a small factory alongside the Heyrieux road, on the south-eastern side of Lyon. Here he manufactured “silent gear-boxes” to a design over which he had registered a patent. The two of them went into business as sub-contractors for a range of industrial companies in the region, but the idea of becoming automobile manufacturers with their own names on the vehicles was envisaged from early on, and their first car was presented in 1913. Cognet de Seynes automobiles continued to be produced until 1916. During the war the company also made aero engine parts for Anzani. Peace broke out at the end of 1918. The manufacturer retained its head office and factory beside the Heyrieux road, but changed its name to C de S. In 1920 control passed to a man named Ducerf who came from Saint-Étienne and had plans to build a range of cars, using the pre-war design with only minor updating. He planned to make 300 cars a year but this did not happen. Edouard de Seynes took back control and the factory settled down to a production rate of 20 to 30 cars a year. The last cars were made in 1926 when the company closed, being unable to compete with mass manufacturers. The first, and as it turned out only model was of a simple design and first appeared in 1912 or 1913 (sources differ) and had a 1124 cc four-cylinder engine with a 3-speed gearbox described as “recilinear and without cardan joints”. It sat on a 2,610 mm (102.8 in) wheelbase. With three- or four-seat tourer body the car was said to be able to reach 55 km/h (34 mph). The car reappeared as the “C de S 5 HP” at the 15th Paris Motor Show in October 1919. The 3 or 4 seater “Torpedo” bodied tourers were still offered, along with a “Conduite interieure” (two-box sedan/saloon/berline) version. Also listed was a “Camionette (500 Kilos)” light van version. Two cars are believed to have survived.

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DELAGE

The Delage D6 3 Litre driven by Louis Gerard and Georges Monneret was leading by two laps the Le Mans 24 Hours one hour before the finish of the race. A sudden broken valve spring handed the race to the Bugatti and the Delage finished second overall. Louis Delage and Walter Watney had been disappointed by the lack of success of their 4.5 Litre V12 racing project during the 1937-1938 season and they decided to develop a new racing car derived from the Delage D6. Two chassis were built and were sent to coachbuilder Olivier Lecanu-Deschamps for an aluminium body. A cowled radiator and a fairing covered the front suspension, into which the lights were recessed. Aerodynamically shaped cycle wings were added. The specification of the straight six engine included an aluminium alloy cylinder head, modified inlet and exhaust manifolds and three Solex carburettors. In this form the engine produced 125 bhp at 4000 rpm linked to a Cotal gearbox. During testing at Monthlery the Delage reached 130 mph (210 kph).

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DELAHAYE

This is the 1935-1939 Delahaye 135S Competition by Pourtout . Delahaye’s first cars were built in 1895 designed throughout by Emile Delahaye. Emile Delahaye became racing driver and took part in some of the great town-to-town events. Delahaye’s main business was commercial vehicles and fire engines with a reputation to be robust and reliable. A few cars were also produced; In 1934, Delahayes management decided for a drastic change and launched the 135 model line. A six cylinder engine was proposed with engine capacity of 3557 cc. The purpose of the 135 was to change the image of the company and enter the market of prestigious saloon and sports cars. Some of the most famous coachbuilders, like Chapron or Figoni & Falashi, have provided some “classic” cars.

These are also both from the 135M series, the silver grey car a 1939 135M Sport Chapron.

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And so is this, a very special car a one-off 1953 135MS Speciale Faget-Varnet. This is a car whose history owes much to three automotive icons that made their mark on the industry during the 20th century: Delahaye, Facel Vega and Faget-Varnet. The least well known of the trio, Faget-Varnet, was one of the many coachbuilders that were once scattered across France and grew out of a collaboration between Jean Faget and Henri Varnet. Based in Levallois, close to Paris, the firm produced bodies for military and industrial vehicles, as well as coaches, and worked as a subcontractor for Citroën, Panhard, Willème and Bernard. Faget-Varnet’s secret weapon was the invention, in around 1948, of an all-metal frame made from 1010 sheet steel. This spark of creativity enabled it to move on from using wooden structures, which helped accelerate productivity and thus saved a considerable amount of money. By transferring its military industrial processes to road cars, Faget-Varnet provided a glimpse into the future world of monocoque bodies. The box-type frame could be adapted with equal ease to cabriolets or coupés, and Faget-Varnet produced a number of bespoke bodies for Delahaye – estimates suggest six 135 cabriolets between 1948 and 1951, five 135 coupés between 1948 and 1953, plus a solitary 235 coupé in 1951. A symbol of French luxury car manufacture, Delahaye had enjoyed a golden period during the ’30s thanks to a technical revolution in its chassis development and the adoption of independent front suspension on the 134 and 138 Super Luxe models. Delahaye’s chassis were clothed by some of most celebrated coachbuilders of the age, from Letourneur et Marchand to Chapron via Franay, Saoutchik, deVillars and Figoni et Falaschi. The uncontested star of the 1936 Paris Salon was the company’s short-wheelbase (2700mm) Figoni et Falaschi roadster, inspired by one of the famous illustrator Géo Ham’s drawings. It combined exquisite styling with a stratospheric price-tag and was purchased by the Aga Khan. By the time of the Faget-Varnet project, however, Delahaye was approaching the end of the road in the slipstream of numerous flops, including the Type 175 introduced at the 1947 Paris Salon, the technically outclassed Type 135 and the marque’s swansong, the Type 235 that appeared just before Delahaye was taken over by Hotchkiss on 29 July 1954. It was with one eye on the 1953 Paris show that Faget-Varnet commenced construction of the prototype that sits before us today. As a basis it took a complete 1949 Delahaye 135 MS chassis (801029) and engine assembly, mated to a Cotal MK35 electromagnetic transmission. For the coachwork, Faget-Varnet contacted Facel in order to obtain a stock of body panels that had been used to produce the Ford Comète – and that’s where Facel Vega enters the script. In the early ’50s, Facel Vega did not yet exist. Facel (Forges et Ateliers de Construction d’Eure-et-Loir) was founded in 1939 by Jean Daninos, who two years earlier had also launched another business, Métallon. A specialist in the field of light alloys and stainless steel, Daninos produced parts for the American aviation industry during the Second World War. In 1945 he merged Facel and Métallon, the new enterprise working across the automobile and aerospace industries and undertaking contract work for Simca, Delahaye and, particularly, Ford when the latter’s French arm introduced the Comète in 1951. The design of this 2+2 V8 coupé was completed halfway through 1950 by Daninos, Farina and Brasseur. The roof’s flowing shape was identical to that of the unique Bentley Cresta II, which Daninos was in the process of creating to use as his personal transport. With this distinctive roof, wide ‘chipcutter’ grille, integrated two-tier headlights and sculpted bonnet incorporating an air intake, the range-topping Comète Monte-Carlo provided a taste of things to come when the Facel Vega was launched during the summer of ’1954. Faget-Varnet took the elements Facel had used on the Comète, modified them during construction of the 135 MS CL Spéciale prototype and added a few of its own stylistic flourishes, the most obvious being the chrome headlight surrounds that were to become something of a FacelVega signature. The upper section of the front wings was broadened slightly just below the windscreen pillars, and the wheelarches were also made a touch wider. It was a style redolent of Zagato’s sporting designs, and foretold some of the refinements of the Facel… a full seven years before it was launched. The bonnet was redesigned, with two vents positioned ahead of the windscreen to accelerate the flow of hot air from the engine bay.The door profileswere also carefully shaped and contoured, in a marked contrast to the straighter, more slab-sided look of the Comète. The rear wings reprised the flared arches from the front, a detail highlighted by a chrome strip that ran the full length of the car’s flanks (although it is barely perceptible between the wheels). The roof was lighter than the three-piece original, helped by the fully panoramic rear screen. Last but by no means least, a significant percentage of the everyday hardware – headlights, tail-lights, bumpers, wheel trims and grille – were substantially reworked. In the cabin, the trim and dashboard were specific to this car, although the Quillery steering wheel was the same as that found on the 235 prototype of 1951. The last discernible difference was the incorporation of a so-called ‘invisible’ sunroof, a design for which the Levallois firm had sought a patent. The overall result is a car that bears only a slight familial resemblance to the Comète. Echoes of the 235 were not limited to the Quillery wheel, because other common elements included the steering box – analysis of the underpinnings suggests very clearly that this bodywork had been prepared for mounting on a 235 chassis. That theory is strengthened by the presence of Delage hydraulic brakes, something too modern to have been seen on any 135. The 235 – and Delahaye – soon met its fate, but that was far from the end of the story for this prototype. It proved to be a foretaste of the Facel Vega HK500 introduced in 1958. Indeed, the structure of the underbody, doors, boot and bonnet (all the way to its hinges) of this car are all but identical to the production Facel. The same applies to the shape of the roof, along with the design of the engine bay and firewall. For some unknown reason, however – and none of those involved with the original project are still alive – the Delahaye 135M CL Spéciale prototype would never make its scheduled appearance at the 1953 Paris Salon. Instead, it remained in the hands of Jean Faget, as a final testament to the artistry of the Levallois coachbuilder that closed its doors in 1954, shortly before Delahaye did the same. Comète production ended at about the same time and Facel Vega would in turn fold a decade later, the end of the line for the three companies that had played a role in the creation of this prototype. Some years later, Faget donated the car to industrial designer Philippe Charbonneaux – and handed over a second body, fully built but without a chassis. Charbonneaux placed the former in his car museum at Villiersen- Lieu, in north-eastern France, alongside the Delahaye 235 prototype with which he’d been involved. It wasn’t until 1981 that the CL Spéciale changed hands again after being bought by Club Delahaye member Georges Claverie, who became the first person to actually drive it! After a number of adjustments and alterations, the prototype was presented to the road traffic authorities later that same year, almost three decades after its creation, and on 31 July it was given the registration 6197 RQ 27: for the first time, it could now legally be used on the road. Nevertheless, it had covered fewer than 10,000km when present owner Anthony Collé bought the Spéciale at auction in November 2017. “It was completely by chance that I came across the car,” he says. “I saw a newspaper ad and was seduced by the Delahaye’s very mysterious background story.” But with its genuine historical significance, this machine deserved more than to just sit in a garage; the decision was made to commission a comprehensive restoration so the Delahaye could be exhibited at shows and concours d’élégance. The job was entrusted to Tessier in April 2018 and it took his craftsmen, engine builders and trimmers 2000 hours to return the car to the condition in which we see it today.

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De TOMASO

The Mangusta was replaced by the much cheaper-to-build De Tomaso Pantera in 1971, which was designed by the American Tom Tjaarda. Unlike the Mangusta, which employed a steel backbone chassis, the Pantera was a steel monocoque design, the first instance of De Tomaso using this construction technique. The Pantera logo included a version of Argentina’s flag turned on its side with a T-shaped symbol that was the brand used by De Tomaso’s Argentinian cattle ranching ancestors. The car made its public debut in Modena in March 1970 and was presented at the 1970 New York Motor Show a few weeks later. Approximately a year later the first production Panteras were sold, and production was increased to three per day. The curious slat-backed seats which had attracted comment at the New York Show were replaced by more conventional body-hugging sports-car seats in the production cars: leg-room was generous but the pedals were off-set and headroom was insufficient for drivers above approximately 6 ft. Reflecting its makers’ transatlantic ambitions, the Pantera came with an abundance of standard features which appeared exotic in Europe, such as electric windows, air conditioning and even “doors that buzz when … open”. By the time the Pantera reached production, the interior was in most respects well sorted, although resting an arm on the central console could lead to inadvertently activating the poorly located cigarette lighter. The first 1971 Panteras were powered by a Ford 5.8 litre V8 engine that produced a severely underrated 330 hp. Stock dynos over the years proved that power was more along the lines of about 380 hp. The high torque provided by the Ford engine reduced the need for excessive gear changing at low speeds: this made the car much less demanding to drive in urban conditions than many of the locally built competitor products. The ZF transaxle used in the Mangusta was also used for the Pantera: a passenger in an early Pantera recorded that the mechanical noises emanating from the transaxle were more intrusive than the well restrained engine noise. Power-assisted four-wheel disc brakes and rack and pinion steering were all standard equipment on the Pantera. In the summer of 1971, a visitor to the De Tomaso plant at Modena identified two different types of Pantera awaiting shipment, being respectively the European and American versions. From outside, the principal differences were the larger tail lamps on the cars destined for America, along with addition of corner marker lamps. The visitor was impressed by the large number of cars awaiting shipment; in reality, spending the best part of a year under dust covers in a series of large hangars probably did nothing for the cash-flow of the business or the condition of some of the cars by the time they crossed the Atlantic. Late in 1971, Ford began importing Panteras for the American market to be sold through its Lincoln Mercury dealers. The first 75 cars were simply European imports and are known for their “push-button” door handles and hand-built Carrozzeria Vignale bodies. A total of 1,007 Panteras reached the United States that first year. These cars were poorly built, and several Panteras broke down during testing on Ford’s test track. Early crash testing at UCLA showed that safety cage engineering was not very well understood in the 1970s. Rust-proofing was minimal on these early cars, and the quality of fit and finish was poor, with large amounts of body solder being used to cover body panel flaws. Notably, Elvis Presley once fired a gun at his Pantera after he flooded it and it would not start. Several modifications were made for the 1972 model year Panteras. A new 4 Bolt Main Cleveland Engine, also 351 cu in, was used with lower compression ratio (from 11:1 to 8.6:1, chiefly to meet US emissions standards and run on lower octane standard fuel) but with more aggressive camshaft timing (in an effort to reclaim some of the power lost through the reduction in compression). Many other engine changes were made, including the use of a factory exhaust header. The “Lusso” (luxury) Pantera L was also introduced, in August 1972 as a 1972½ model. It featured a large black single front bumper for the US market, rather than the separate bumperettes still used abroad, as well as a 248 hp Cleveland engine. During 1973 the dash was changed, going from two separate pods for the gauges to a unified unit with the dials angled towards the driver. The U.S. version 1974 Pantera GTS featured GTS badging but not the higher compression, solid lifter engine of its European GTS “cousin”. Ford ended their importation to the US in 1975, having sold around 5,500 cars. De Tomaso continued to build the car in ever-escalating forms of performance and luxury for almost two decades for sale in the rest of the world. A small number of Panteras was imported to the US by grey market importers in the 1980s, notably Panteramerica and AmeriSport. After 1974, Ford US discontinued the Cleveland 351 engine, but production continued in Australia until 1982. De Tomaso started sourcing their V8s from Australia once the American supplies dried up. These engines were tuned in Switzerland and were available with a range of outputs up to 355 hp. According to De Tomaso the chassis was completely revised in 1980, beginning with chassis number 9000. From May 1980 the lineup included the GT5, which had bonded and riveted-on fibreglass wheelarch extensions and from November 1984 the GT5S model which had blended arches and a distinctive wide-body look. The GT5 also incorporated better brakes, a more luxurious interior, much larger wheels and tires and the fibreglass body kit also included an air dam and side skirts. Production of the wide body GT5 (and similarly equipped narrow body GTS models) continued until 1985, when the GT5-S replaced the GT5. Although the factory has not made its records available, an analysis based on Vehicle Identification Numbers by the Pantera Owners Club of America registrar has shown that fewer than 252 GT5 Panteras were likely to have been built. The GT5-S featured single piece flared steel fenders instead of the GT5’s riveted-on fibreglass flares, and a smaller steel front air dam. The ‘S’ in the GT5-S name stood for “steel”. Otherwise the GT5-S was largely identical to the GT5. The POCA 9000 series registrar’s VIN analysis indicates that fewer than 183 GT5-S Panteras were built. Concurrent GTS production continued, on a custom order and very limited basis, until the late 1980s. The car continued to use a Ford V8 engine, although in 1988, when the supply of Ford 351 Cleveland engines from Australia ran out, De Tomaso began installing Ford 351 Windsor engines in the Pantera instead. For 1990 the 351 was changed to the Ford 302 cu in (4942 cc, commonly called a “5.0”). Incorporating a Marcello Gandini facelift, suspension redesign, partial chassis redesign and the new, smaller engine, the Pantera 90 Si model was introduced in 1990. Only 38 90 Si models were sold before the Pantera was finally phased out in 1993 to make way for the radical, carbon-fibre-bodied Guarà. Some say 41 were built (with the last one not finished until 1996), of which four were targa models. The targas were converted by Pavesi directly off the production lines. In all, about 7,200 Panteras were built. Seen here is a 1973 GTS model.

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FACEL VEGA

This is the imposing Facel-Vega Excellence, a luxury saloon that was unveiled by Facel-Vega of Paris, France, at the Paris Auto Show in October 1956 to rave reviews by the motoring press. Production started in 1958 and lasted until the company ceased production in 1964. The car was based on an elongated chassis from the Facel Vega FV Coupé. It was the only four-door model the company ever made. Production ended after only 156 cars had been built. The low production figure is a direct result of the car’s exorbitant purchase price. When new, it cost about as much as four Citroën DS saloons, which themselves were hardly to be considered cheap cars. The towering price could still be boosted by ordering optional equipment, which gradually became available over the car’s production run, such as power steering, power brakes, electric windows, wire-spoke wheels, and air conditioning. The Excellence features some styling elements usually found on American cars of the era, like tailfins, the wraparound windshield, and the “hardtop” roof without B-pillars. But the overall design is distinctively European, with its stacked quad-headlights and rakishly low profile. Its low beltline and comparatively high greenhouse predicted the automotive architecture that became mainstream in the late Fifties, and lasted throughout the Sixties. The Facel-Vega Excellence also incorporates a pillarless four-door mechanism, allowing the car to be designed with rear-hinged “suicide” styled rear doors for easier access and egress. This layout could also be found on the limited production Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, which was unveiled later in 1956, and on the mass-produced 1961-1969 Lincoln Continental. Inside, the car has a lavish interior with seats covered in aromatic leather, a fake walnut dashboard with full instrumentation, and a make up kit located in the back of the centre armrest, consisting of a chrome-handled brush and comb, and two perfume bottles, the latter albeit being supplied empty by the factory. Still, the interior is not nearly as roomy as one would expect from a car with a wheelbase exceeding three metres. The Excellence was a top performer and could hold its own among the best GTs Europe had to offer. Some high-performance American cars, most notably Chrysler’s 300 ‘letter series’ models, could probably outrun an Excellence in straight-line performance, but they were neither as refined, well built, nor had they the ‘panache’ of a Facel-Vega. Although the Excellence could match the wheelbase of most full-sized American cars of the time, it was considerably shorter, narrower, and most of all, lower. Its comparatively compact measurements gave it the edge in the handling department, which came in handy, especially under European road conditions. In an article for the November 1985 edition of Collectible Automobile Magazine, noted automotive historian Richard Langworth stated his opinion that “The Excellence is a large vehicle…better suited as a car of State rather than a daily driver.” How he came to this conclusion despite the unanimously positive reviews regarding the roadability of the Excellence from the contemporary motoring press as well as its owners, has been a matter of debate ever since. Powered by contemporary Chrysler V8 engines, like other Facel-Vega cars, the initial Excellences were fitted with the famed Hemi, which Chrysler discontinued for the 1958 model year. Facel-Vega continued to use those engines until their stocks were used up in late 1958. From then on, the V8 powered Facel-Vegas were powered by the Chrysler B-series “Wedge” big-block engines. All Chrysler powered Facel-Vegas could be had with either the Pont-à-Mousson built four-speed manual, or the Chrysler built Torqueflite three-speed automatic. Whereas the American automatic transmission was optional for the Facel-Vegas, the French manual gearbox conversely became optionally available in selected Chrysler high-performance models. While the Paris Show Car of 1956 was fitted with a 331 CID (5.4 Litre) unit, the initial batch of production Excellences was equipped with the monster 392 CID (6.4 Litre) version of the Chrysler Hemi V8. This engine, producing 360 hp, was shared – among others – with the Facel Vega HK500 and Chrysler’s own Imperial. Facels could either be ordered with the Pont-à-Mousson built four-speed manual, or the Chrysler built Torqueflite three-speed automatic. Contemporary road tests showed, that they performed equally well with either gearbox. Arguably the most powerful Excellences to ever hit the roads, these were genuine 140 mph cars. Allegedly a mere eleven ‘EX’-series cars were built, seven of which are known to survive. The Hemi-engined Excellences can be easily recognized by their inclusion of a hood scoop not seen on later models. For model year 1958, Chrysler discontinued the Hemi engines, and after stocks had dried up, Facel-Vega started using the 361 CID (5.9 Litre) Chrysler ‘Wedge’ head V8 engines. Why Facel-Vega didn’t go for the top-of-the-line 413 CID (6.9 Litre) engines remains a mystery, but the French road tax system, which is based on engine displacement, is often cited as an explanation. Be it as it may, a 361-powered Excellence was anything but a slouch. It had the same nominal horsepower output as the Hemi it replaced, namely 360 hp. The more faint at heart may be pleased to learn, that from late 1959 onwards, an Excellence could be stopped via optional power disc brakes up front. The 1958 to 1961 Excellences were the most numerous of the bunch with 137 examples being built. Late models incorporate nearly all of the advancements generally considered to be part of the EX2 update, including the non-panoramic windshield, chassis and steering upgrades, as well as the lesser fins. The Excellence received its only significant facelift in 1961. It now came with a bigger 383 CID (6.3 Litre) engine, rated at 390 hp, a mindboggling figure back then, especially for a saloon car. However, no significant gain in performance could be noted in contemporary road tests, and the initial Hemi-powered cars remain the fastest Excellences ever built. The ‘EX2’ lost its wraparound windshield and the tailfins were severely clipped, which resulted in a considerably less flamboyant appearance. Despite these measures, the Excellence did not gain significantly more modern looks in general. It rather lost some of its previous elegance. But a complete re-styling of the car would have been prohibitively expensive, especially given its low production figures. More importantly, the chassis was updated, incorporating advancements introduced on the HK500, meaning that the EX2 flexed considerably less than earlier models. The door handles were also changed to better latching turn-down units. The domestic market price quoted for the car at the EX2’s first Paris Motor Show, in October 1961, was 72,500 new francs for a car with automatic transmission. The same money could at that time buy more than twelve Renault Dauphines. Of these “EX2” models, only eight were completed, when production finally ceased for good. Following the proposition of a New York based conglomerate wanting to revive the luxurious Packard brand in 1959, Facel-Vega boss Jean Daninos entered into negotiations with Studebaker-Packard Corporation president Harold Churchill. The idea was to badge-engineer the Excellence with Packard nameplates and the trademark Packard “Ox-Yoke” grille, using Packard’s new for 1956 and powerful V8’s, and market it through the more “exclusive” Studebaker-Packard dealers in North America. However, Daimler-Benz, which already had a marketing partnership with Studebaker-Packard, using Studebaker’s dealership network to sell its Mercedes-Benz brand of cars in the United States, objected to the plan. Mercedes never got used to the idea of selling their brand next to a working man’s car, Studebaker, but also did not want floor competition for its luxury Type 300 model. Churchill realized that he could never get the same cash stream from Facel-Vega that he did from Daimler-Benz, and the whole project was abandoned. The Facel-Vega Excellence-cum-Packard did make it to the planning stage, but contrary to popular belief, not a single actual prototype was built. However, a number of Excellences were imported to the USA by private owners.

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In 1960, Facel entered the sports car market with the Facellia, a small car similar in size to the then popular Mercedes 190SL. Facellias were advertised in three body styles: cabriolet, 2+2 coupé and 4-seat coupé — all with the same mechanical parts and a 2,450 mm (96.5 in) wheelbase. Styling was similar to the Facel HK500, but with rather elegant (though fingernail-breaking) flush door handles. Following Facel Vega’s demise several of M Daninos’s styling cues were “borrowed” by Mercedes-Benz. Prices were roughly US$4,000 for the Facellia, US$5,500 for the Facel III and US$6,000 for the Facel 6. With the idea of creating a mass-produced all-French sports car competing with the Alfa Romeos, Facel moved away from American engines. The Facellia had a 4-cylinder 1.6 litre DOHC engine built in France by Paul Cavallier of the Pont-à-Mousson company (which already provided manual gear boxes for the company’s larger models). The engine had only two bearings supporting each camshaft, using special steels, as opposed to the usual four or five. Despite the metallurgical experience of Pont-à-Mousson, this resulted in excessive flex, timing problems and frequent failures. Famed engineers Charles Deutsch and Jean Bertin were called in to solve the issues, but it was not enough and the engine was pronounced a disaster and the Facellia with it. Company president, Jean Daninos having been obliged to resign in August 1961 in response to the company’s financial problems, the new boss, a former oil company executive called André Belin, gave strict instructions to the after-sales department to respond to customer complaints about broken Facellia engines by replacing the units free of charge without creating “difficulties”. The strategy was intended to restore confidence among the company’s customer base. It would certainly have created a large hole in the income statement under the “warranty costs” heading, but it may have been too late for customer confidence. The troublesome engine was replaced with a Volvo B18 powerplant in the Facel III, but the damage was done. Production was stopped in 1963 and despite the vision of it being a “volume” car, only 1,100 were produced – still enough to make this Facel’s highest production number. Facel lost money on every car they built, with the luxury car side of the company being supported entirely by the other work done by Facel Metallon. The small Facellia met with little success and the losses from this, due to strong competition at the luxury end of the market, killed off the business which closed its doors at the end of October, 1964. What was, according to some, the best small Facel, the Facel 6, which used an Austin-Healey 2.8-litre engine, came too late to save the company with fewer than 30 having been produced when the financial guarantors withdrew their support.

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FERRARI

Oldest Ferrari here was this fabulous 1949 166MM Touring Berlinetta. Count Giannino Marzotto bought the Ferrari 166MM from Enzo Ferrari. Touring provided it with an aerodynamic coupé body in Touring Superleggera construction. The car had been presented at the 1950 Geneva Motor Show, and Count Marzotto’s aim was to drive it to victory in the 1950 Mille Miglia. He was not happy with the output of the 166MM, however, and so Ferrari provided him with a new V12 Type 195 Colombo engine. This proved a resounding success: Count Marzotto and co-driver Marco Corsaro in car N° 724 swept to victory in the 1950 Mille Miglia. Sporting the spurs of this challenging “1.000 mile race”, the Ferrari was exhibited at the Turin Motor Show that immediately followed.

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This is a 1951 212 Export Vignale, one of only 8 ever produced 212 Exports with factory supplied berlinetta body designed by Vignale. The car was acquired by Mr. C Wilke who is considered as the first person in the United States to collect Ferraris.

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The Ferrari 250 MM was produced in 1953. After the initial racing successes of the 3.0-litre Colombo V12 engine, introduced in the 250 S one-off, Ferrari produced a serial racing model. It is best recognisable for the distinctive closed berlinetta bodywork by Pinin Farina. The “MM” in its name stood for the Mille Miglia race. The 250 MM was the second of the ubiquitous 3.0-litre, Colombo-engined Ferraris. The engine was derived from the 250 S with increased power, due to a different carburettors setup. The whole car could be seen as an incremental evolution over its predecessor. Chassis numbers for the first time had “MM” in their suffix, and used an even, race car sequence. Two body syles were available, each from a different coachbuilder. Pinin Farina designed an innovative closed berlinetta, which ushered in a whole new era in automotive design. It also served as a basis for future competition berlinetta models produced by Ferrari. Pinin Farina had created eighteen 250 MMs with berlinetta body. An open barchetta body was offered by Vignale and introduced in three series. Every example differed in slight detail from each other. An early series cars had open headlights and a small air vent in the middle of the bonnet. Later cars differed by having recessed and covered headlamps, a closed bonnet bulge, a triangular cutaways in the rear fenders and a lower door line. In total, twelve open spyders were made. Chief designer at Vignale was Giovanni Michelotti who penned all those designs. The first 250 MM, in a spyder form, was presented in 1952 at the Paris Motor Show. The first berlinetta was also shown in Paris in but a year later. A single berlinetta by Vignale, created in 1954, was owned at one point by Peter Monteverdi. In 1956 he had paid 10,000 Swiss francs for it and also traded in his Porsche 356. Its distinctive feature were the triple portholes on the bottom of the front fenders. One particular example, initially s/n 0352MM, was restamped as 0239EU after a crashed 212 Inter, that was entered in the 1952 Carrera Panamericana. His owner, Efrain Ruiz Echeverria, traded it in for a new car that was renumbered in the factory to avoid import duty. By 1953 Ruiz Echeverria could enter another edition of the Mexican marathon. The car was for sale in 2011. Offered by Talacrest it was bought by Nick Mason. Some examples, like the s/n 0266MM and 0356MM, used “166MM/53” type chassis but with a 3.0-litre, 250 MM-sourced engine. A single example of the Ferrari 340 MM Pinin Farina Berlinetta, that was raced by “Pagnibon”, was downgraded to a 250 MM-specification for Andre Vanoni

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This is a 250MM Vignale Spider, chassis 0330MM which has not been seen for many years, since it appeared in the 1997 Mille Miglia.

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Another rarity, this is a 1952 Ferrari 342 America Pininfarina Special Coupe. Ferrari wasted no time in exploring the potential of Lampredi’s successful, Grand Prix, ‘long-block’ V12 engine as a road-going power unit, introducing the 340 America at the Paris Salon in October 1950, just a few months after its 4.1-litre engine’s race debut. Just 23 of these competition-inspired ‘big bangers’ would be produced before production ceased in 1952. Its successor, the 342 America, was conceived from the outset as a pure road car. More robust and better equipped than the lighter, competition-orientated 340 America, the ‘342’ boasted a 9″ longer wheelbase and a four-speed all-synchromesh gearbox. It retained its predecessor’s Lampredi-designed, 4,101cc, two-cam V12 engine which, in ‘342’ configuration, produced 200bhp at 5,000rpm. Just six 342 Americas were made in 1952/53. All but the first of the series, a Vignale cabriolet on chassis number ‘0232AL’, were bodied by Pinin Farina, two as cabriolets and three as coupés, each of these hand-built cars being a unique creation to individual customer order as was the practice at the time.

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

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I’ve seen this 1962 Ferrari 250 GTE a couple of times before. It is a genuine police car, and is one of a pair that was ordered brand new from the factory, as there was a growing need for faster cars than the Polizia had been using to that point. The other car was destroyed within a matter of weeks, but this one saw active service for 6 years, being maintained by Ferrari whilst it was in service. This car is remarkably similar to the other 250 GTEs that Ferrari made, the sole changes being the police radio under the dashboard, the blue flashing light on the roof, the siren on the roof and the switches to operate them. The codename for every radio call from the cars as “Siena Monza 44” – “S” for “Squadra”, “M” for “Mobile” and “44” from its place, which was Polizia 2944. There were plenty of talented drivers in the criminal fraternity in Rome at the time and this car’s main driver, Armando Spatafora, was well up the challenge of most of them, becoming quite a legend and so it became almost a badge of honour among those he was trying to apprehend if they managed to escape one of his chases. The car was used for less sinister jobs too, such as an urgent delivery of blood to Naples. It was finally sold on at auction in 1973 and was bought by a gentleman called Alberto Cappelli who knew exactly what it was and who preserved its originality and showed it off at events all over the place. At the turn of the century it was loaned to the new Museum of Police Vehicles in Rome when that opened but it was rarely on show there as it was constantly being taken to displays. On one occasion the Chief of Police himself asked to drive it all the way up to Rimini on which occasion the police radio was activated. It is the only privately owned car with permission to circulate with the siren and blue light and in Squadra Mobile livery. The car was sold in 2015, and although it was shown at Pebble Beach, has remained in Italy. A very special car.

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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.

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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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At the 1964 Paris Motor Show Ferrari and Pininfarina introduced the 275 model line with 260 hp 3286 cc V12 engine. The Ferrari 275 line included a GTB closed berlinetta built by Scaglietti at Modena and a GTS open cabriolet produced at Pininfarina facility in Turin. The open GTS model was completely different in appearance and proportions to its closed berlinetta sibling. Only 200 examples of the 275 GTS were built over an 18 month period of production that is equal to less than half the quantity of the berlinetta GTB produced.

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The 330 GTC and 330 GTS were more like their 275 counterparts than the 330 GT 2+2. They shared the short wheelbase of the 275 as well as its independent rear suspension & the same tyres 205VR14 Michelin XWX. These models were more refined than earlier Ferraris, quieter and easier to drive. It has been stated that this “was probably the first Ferrari in which you could actually enjoy a radio”. The GTC berlinetta was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in March, 1966. It was a two-seater coupé with a Pininfarina-designed body. The GTS spider was introduced later, at the October 1966 Paris Motor Show . It used the same chassis and drivetrain as the GTC. About 600 coupés and 100 spiders were produced before the 1968 introduction of the 365 GTC and GTS. Both models’ four litre engines produced 300 PS

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Endurance racing was dominated by Ferrari when John Cooper turned the racing world up side down with his mid-engined F1 racers in the late 1950s. Caught off guard in Formula 1 by Cooper, Enzo Ferrari made sure he kept the upper hand in sportscar racing with a number of V6 and V12 mid engined prototypes. First seen in action in 1961, the Dino 246 SP was Ferrari’s first step into mid-engine sportcars. After two years of racing with smaller engined prototypes the first V12 engined car was launched, the 250 P. In the years to come the P-series would form the mainstay of Ferrari’s sportscar program. Enzo Ferrari was proven right, after his cars scored the final front-engined victory at Le Mans in 1962, the 250 P took the first ever mid-engined win a year later. On the track Ferrari’s dominance was as big as ever both in the prototype and GT class, but across the Atlantic Ocean a scheme was designed to break the Scuderia’s stronghold. At first Henry Ford tried to buy Ferrari, but when negotiations failed, Ford set out to design a car that could beat those ‘fast little red cars’ as he called them. With the Lola Mk 6 as base, the Ford GT made its debut at the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans. Now fitted with a four litre engine, the 330 P proved both quicker and more reliable than the little tested Ford GT. With no Fords finishing, Ferrari scored an impressive 1-2-3. In the GT-class Ford scored a first success by beating the GTOs with the AC Cobra Daytona Coupe. No expense was spared on either side of the ocean and Ferrari wheeled out the new P2 which would face Ford’s 7-litre GT40. Again reliability problems let Ford down, but Ferrari’s prototypes didn’t fare much better, with the only surviving P2 finishing in 7th position. Ferrari’s face was saved by the NART entered 250 LM. For the 1966 season the FIA dropped the minimum windshield width regulations. The narrower windshields helped improve the top speed of the cars by around 15 km/h. Alarmed by Ford’s 1965 pace, Ferrari set out to revise the P2 to suit the new regulations and bring it up to GT40 speed. In Ferrari tradition, modifications were made to the already reliable chassis. Sleeker than ever, the P3 featured fiberglass doors. It was the first time the Maranello based team favoured the lightweight material over the aluminium used on the previous prototypes. The clutch was relocated from right behind the gearbox to between the gearbox and engine. The gearbox was a new ZF five speed unit. Lovely looking, but now getting outdated, the six Weber Carburettors found on the 330 P2 were replaced by a Lucas Fuel Injection system on the P3’s engine. The engine provided slightly more power, but the wider track added some weight, giving the P3 a similar power to weight ratio as the P2. Three P3s were constructed. Results in the opening races of the season were promising. Piloted by Mike Parkes the P3 won the 1000 km races at Monza and Spa with John Surtees and Ludovico Scarfiotti respectively as co-drivers. Luck changed for Ferrari as labour problems at the factory prevented proper preparations for the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Down on development time, none of the P3s made it past the 17th hour of the race. In contrast, Henry Ford had his Le Mans victory with a stunning 1-2-3, a feat previously only displayed by ‘those fast little red cars’. Despite Ford’s immense budget, Ferrari was reluctant to give up and the first tests with the P3’s replacement were conducted in December of the same year. Apart from some cosmetic changes the most important new part of the P4 was its engine. Still displacing 4 litres, the unit was derived from the 3 litre F1 engine. Main new feature of the engine was the new head, with 3 valves per cylinder, one exhaust and two intake. The Lucas Fuel Injection was moved from between the cylinder banks to between the camshafts. The engine was rated at 450 bhp at 8200 rpm. After 560 test laps at Daytona in December 1966, the P4 was ready for action. Two of the three P3s were fitted with P4 style bodywork and a Weber carbureted engine. Two unfinished 330 P3s were built up to the same specifications and dubbed 412 P. All four cars were sold to privateers, to back up the factory P4 effort. New from Ford at the 1967 24 hours of Le Mans was the Mk IV version of the GT40, featuring an American built aluminium-honeycomb monocoque and the familiar 7 litre V8. All the testing at Daytona paid off as Ferrari dominated on Ford’s home soil in the Daytona 24 hours race. The podium was filled by Ferrari drivers which underlined the Scuderia’s dominance when the three winning cars crossed the line together. The first two were P4s and the third a P3. At Le Mans, Ford was back with the new Mk IV and beat the sophisticated Ferraris on horsepower. Reliability again almost got the better of Ford, but one of the two surviving Mk IV finished on top, closely followed by two P4s. Ferrari did win that year’s overall sportscar World Championship, for the 12th time in 14 years. Rule changes at the end of the season left the 330 P3, 330 P4 and 412 P obsolete. This cut the career of one of Ferrari’s best looking racers short to just one season. Two of the 330 P4s were converted to ‘350 Can-Am’ specification by cutting down the body and fitting a slightly larger version of the twin-cam V12 engine. The third 330 P4 was not raced again. At the end of 1967, the modified cars were campaigned in the Can-Am Challenge but proved unable to take on the much larger engined and lighter competition. Chris Amon’s best result was a fifth in the Monterey Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. At the end of the year the two cars were sold to privateers, who continued to race them around the world with considerable success for several more seasons.

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The Ferrari 312 P was a Group 6 Prototype-Sports Car used for racing in 1969 and 1970. The new 1971 version of the sports prototype came with a flat-12 engine, often referred to as a boxer engine. Many publications added the letter B after the P of its name to indicate its engine type, but this variation was never officially sanctioned by Ferrari which simply called it the 1971 312P. After boycotting sports car racing in 1968 to protest a rule change that also banned their 4-litre 330 P4, Ferrari built a 3000cc prototype in 1969, the 312 P. It was hardly more than a 3-litre F1 Ferrari 312 with open Barchetta, and later the closed top Berlinetta. The first registered race was at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1969. Ferrari (short on money) started only one 312 P (chassis no. 0868). Mario Andretti got pole position, and with Chris Amon, he managed to finish second. This raised hopes for a prospective Ferrari victory. At the ensuing test weekend at Le Mans, a different car, chassis no. 0870, disappointed, and it was clear that better aerodynamics (with a closed coupe) were necessary. The 0870 also raced at the BOAC 500 in Brands Hatch, where Amon and Pedro Rodríguez finished fourth (behind three Porsche 908-01). At 1000km Monza, Chris Amon took the pole with the 312 P spider, ahead of Jo Siffert’s 908-01, but had to retire. The 312 P was not entered in the second Italian race, the Targa Florio, and had to retire in the German 1000 km Nürburgring. At the 1000 km Spa race, the 312 P of Rodriguez and David Piper was second behind the Siffert/Redman 908-01LH. Two 312 Ps were entered in the 1969 24 Hours of Le Mans, now as low-drag Berlinettas. They were fifth and sixth on the grid, but didn’t finish. During the 1969 season, the appearance of the Porsche 917 had made clear that only a similar new 5-litre car would be able to challenge it. Since mid-1969, Ferrari spent some of the millions earned in the Fiat deal for the construction of the required series of 25 new 5-litre V12 Group 5 sports cars. At the end of the season the two remaining 312 Ps were sold to Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team, since the European branch of Ferrari racing would rely on the Ferrari 512 in 1970. The 312 Ps returned to Europe for the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans, where one of them was raced (as opposed to eleven 512s). The car was among the 16 cars still running at the end. This car was first seen in the 1969 Le Mans 24 hrs race and features the covered headlights which it had at the start of the race. This car, 0872, did not survive long in the race as when the fuel tank of the Porsche 917 of the unfortunate John Woolfe went in flames, it spread to this 312P, forcing Chris Amon to jump out to save his life. Duly repaired. in 1970 it competed at the 24 Hours of Daytona (fourth), the 12 Hours of Sebring (sixth) and Le Mans (did not finish).

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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.

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This example of the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 was delivered directly to Chinetti Motors N.A.R.T. with works improved performance. This car participated at 1971 Sebring 12 Hours.

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The Ferrari 312B is a Formula One racing car designed and built by Scuderia Ferrari. It was the successor to the Ferrari 312 and was used from 1970 until early 1975. The original 312B was developed into the 312B2 and 312B3. The early 1970s saw the return of success to the Scuderia; the unlucky Chris Amon left, while Jacky Ickx returned and was joined by Clay Regazzoni. Under the direction of Mauro Forghieri, Ferrari developed a new Flat-12 engine, colloquially referred to as a “boxer” (although not a real boxer engine), giving a lower center of gravity and a clear airflow beneath the rear wing. During the design’s first season, in 1970, Ickx battled with Lotus’s Jochen Rindt and won three Grands Prix, while the emotional Italian Grand Prix was won by Clay Regazzoni, following the death of Rindt in the week preceding the race. In the remaining races, Ickx could not pass Rindt’s point score for the drivers title, and Lotus won the Constructors Championship ahead of Ferrari. The 1971 started with a win by new signing Mario Andretti. Although being presented in January, the 312 B2 debuted only at the third round in Monaco, followed by the Dutch Grand Prix success for Ickx. However the B2 suffered with handling problems: the combination of the innovative rear suspension and the new Firestone tyres gave severe vibrations when driven close to the limit. Forghieri designed and fitted winglets to the front wings of the car for the British Grand Prix that year; however these were not seen again afterwards. Ferrari ultimately came third in the Constructors Championship, as Jackie Stewart and Tyrrell dominated the season. In 1972 Ferrari fielded a revised B2 with a more conventional rear suspension, but could not keep up with the progress of the competition, dropping to fourth at the end of the year. Ickx won the 1972 German Grand Prix at his favourite track, the Nürburgring, but this was to be his last GP win. The sports cars season was a success for Ferrari though, with the Ferrari 312PB based on the F1 car. During the season, Forghieri experimented with a new front bodywork that was very similar to the front bodywork of the Tyrrell 003; it was tested and fitted to the cars for the second race in South Africa that year, however it was not used again afterwards due to it making the cars uncompetitive. Forghieri also designed a radical new car featuring a square bodywork and full width nose on a very short wheelbase. This new 312 B3 was tested by Merzario and Ickx but never raced in a Grand Prix. The Italian press nicknamed it the spazzaneve (snowplow). For 1973, FIAT executives imposed a new technical staff and Forghieri was transferred to the experimental department; his role was taken by Sandro Colombo, a former Gilera and Innocenti engineer. The spazzaneve project was discarded and replaced by a new design, still named 312 B3. A new full monocoque chassis was built by specialist English company TC Prototypes, under John Thompson’s guidance, and the engine became a fully stressed member. In the first races, Ferrari still used the old 312 B2: the car was no longer competitive, and Ickx only managed one fourth place at the opening GP of the season. The new 312 B3 debuted at the Spanish round, but proved to be slow and unreliable achieving even worse results. In addition to the sports cars, which were beaten by the French Matra, the F1 program of the Italian team was outclassed, and they even skipped some F1 races, notably the Nürburgring. This was not acceptable to Ickx, because the Nürburgring where the German Grand Prix was being held that year was his favorite race track.[citation needed] As a result, he left the team halfway through the season in order to contest the 1973 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring in a McLaren, where he took 3rd place behind the Tyrrells of Stewart and François Cevert, despite being given an older-spec Ford Cosworth V8 and the hardest compound of tyres available. During the summer Forghieri was recalled as technical director and set about revising the B3 incorporating some of the ideas used on his radical spazzaneve. For 1974 Ferrari fielded a heavily revised car, named 312 B3-74, and signed BRM drivers Niki Lauda and Clay Regazzoni. The car was succeeded by the 312T which was introduced for the 1975 Formula One season.

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

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From 1978 through 1986, rally racing versions of the Ferrari 308 GTB were developed and produced in small numbers by Michelotto, a Padua-based Ferrari dealer and race-preparation workshop. Michelotto was owned and operated by Giuliano Michelotto, not to be confused with Italian automotive designer Giovanni Michelotti. Although Michelotto was organizationally independent from Ferrari, the cars were developed in close collaboration with Ferrari factory engineers. The Michelotto workshop built rally versions of the 308 GTB to compete in Group 4 and Group B classes of the World Rally Championship. This production included cars based on modified production chassis and engines as well as the more radical, purpose-built 308 GT/M.Following the introduction of Group B rules in 1982, Michelotto began building 308 GTB rally cars to compete in that class. The first Gr.B 308 was built at the request of Spanish rally driver Antonio Zanini. Four Gr.B specification cars were built, with certain engine and bodywork details differing from the earlier Gr.4 cars. The first Gr.B 308, chassis 18869, was constructed with a 2-valve engine like the Gr.4 cars, while the 3 later cars used a 4-valve-per-cylinder engine and Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection from the 308 Quattrovalvole. The QV motor produced 310 hp at 8,000 rpm after tuning by Michelotto. The Gr.B cars were also equipped with a “quick-change” gearbox that allowed the final drive ratio to be replaced quickly and easily during racing or testing. Additional modifications included upgraded Brembo brakes, wheels by Canonica, stronger anti-roll bars, rose-joint suspension links, lighter suspension wishbones and a quicker-ratio steering rack. As homologation rules required that Gr.B cars use the same body panels as their roadgoing counterparts, the Gr.B 308s were equipped with steel and fibreglass panels. This increased total weight by 66 pounds (30 kg) over the earlier Gr.4 cars.[25] The 308 was homologated under Group B rules three separate times in October 1982, January 1983 and April 1983. This allowed Michelotto to incorporate additional Ferrari-made performance parts into their Gr.B cars, including engine parts, lightweight windows and body panels. In 1983, chassis 18869 was driven to first place finishes at several rallies, including the Imperia Rally and the Sicilian Rally Championship. In 1985, Antonio Zanini drove this car to a third place finish at the Targa Florio, followed by several other wins which led to his victory in the Spanish Rally Championship. At the 1984 Rally Della Lana, Luigi “Lucky” Battistolli and Claudio Berro drove chassis 18847 to a second place finish. Also in 1984, the same car was driven to a third place finish at the Rally di Monza by Björn Waldegård and co-driver Billstam Claes.

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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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Launched in May 1994 as an evolution of the Ferrari 348, just about everything was changed, and improved for the F355, seen here in Berlinetta formats. Design emphasis for the F355 was placed on significantly improved performance, but driveability across a wider range of speeds and in different environments such as low-speed city traffic was also addressed, as the Honda NS-X had proved that you could make a supercar that could be lived with every day. Apart from the displacement increase from 3.4 to 3.5 litres, the major difference between the V8 engine in the 348 and F355 was the introduction of a 5-valve cylinder head. This new head design allowed for better intake permeability and resulted in an engine that was considerably more powerful, producing 375 hp. The longitudinal 90° V8 engine was bored 2mm over the 348’s engine, resulting in the small increase in displacement. The F355 had a Motronic system controlling the electronic fuel injection and ignition systems, with a single spark plug per cylinder, resulting in an unusual 5 valves per cylinder configuration. This was reflected in the name, which did not follow the formula from the previous decades of engine capacity in litres followed by number of cylinders such as the 246 = 2.4 litres and 6 cylinders and the 308 of 3.0 litres and 8 cylinders. For the F355, Ferrari used engine capacity followed by the number of valves per cylinder (355 = 3.5 litres engine capacity and 5 valves per cylinder) to bring the performance advances introduced by a 5 valve per cylinder configuration into the forefront. 5. The frame was a steel monocoque with tubular steel rear sub-frame with front and rear suspensions using independent, unequal-length wishbones, coil springs over gas-filled telescopic shock absorbers with electronic control servos and anti-roll bars. The car allows selection between two damper settings, “Comfort” and “Sport”. Ferrari fitted all road-going F355 models with Pirelli tyres, 225/40ZR 18 in front and 265/40 ZR 18 in the rear. Although the F355 was equipped with power-assisted steering (intended to improve low-speed driveability relative to the outgoing 348), this could optionally be replaced with a manual steering rack setup by special order. Aerodynamic designs for the car included over 1,300 hours of wind tunnel analysis. The car incorporates a Nolder profile on the upper portion of the tail, and a fairing on the underbody that generates downforce when the car is at speed. These changes not only made the car faster but also much better to drive, restoring Ferrari to the top of the tree among its rivals. At launch, two models were available: the coupe Berlinetta and the targa topped GTS, which was identical to the Berlinetta apart from the fact that the removable “targa-style” hard top roof could be stored behind the seats. The F355 would prove to be last in the series of mid-engined Ferraris with the Flying Buttress rear window, a lineage going back to the 1965 Dino 206 GT, unveiled at the Paris Auto Show. The Spider (convertible) version came later in the year. In 1997 the Formula One style paddle gear shift electrohydraulic manual transmission was introduced with the Ferrari 355 F1 adding £6,000 to the dealer asking price. This system promised faster gearchanges and allowed the driver to keep both hands on the steering wheel, It proved to be very popular and was the beginning of the end for the manual-transmission Ferrari. Ferrari produced 4,871 road-going Berlinetta models, of which 3,829 were 6-speed and 1,042 were F1 transmissions. The Spider proved to be the second-most popular F355 model, with a total production of 3,717 units, of which 2,664 were produced with the 6-speed transmission and another 1,053 produced with the F1 transmission. A total of 2,577 GTS models were produced, with 2,048 delivered with the 6-speed transmission and another 529 with the F1 transmission. This was the last GTS targa style model produced by Ferrari. This made a total production run of 11,273 units making the F355 the most-produced Ferrari at the time, though this sales record would be surpassed by the next generation 360 and later, the F430.

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This is a 550 GTO, as entered in the Le Mans 24 hours race. Although not intended for motorsport, some privateer teams took it upon themselves to develop the 550 for use in various series. The first racing 550, known as 550 GT, was built for French team Red Racing to comply with international sporting regulations. The project was developed by Michel Enjolras and assembled in the Italtecnica workshop.[16] The car was first tested in April 1999 and was used in the GT3 class of the French FFSA GT Championship. In 2001 the car was then sold to XL Racing who continued the development and built a second car, known as 550 XL entering the FFSA GT and the American Le Mans Series. The older 550 GT also made an appearance at the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans in the ACO GT class but failed to finish due to technical problems. In 2000, with financial support from some investors led by Stéphane Ratel, Italtecnica created another 550 race car meeting the more powerful GT regulations in the FIA GT Championship, the car being named 550 Millennio. The first car debuted in the 2000 FIA GT Championship season, entered by First Racing. The 2001 season saw two cars fielded by Team Rafanelli. The 550 Millennio was also developed to meet ACO LM-GTS regulations allowing Rafanelli to enter a single car in the 2002 American Le Mans Series season. In November 2000, German entrepreneur and engineer Franz Wieth launched another racing version of the 550, developed by Baumgartner Sportwagen Technik, and named 550 GTS. Two cars were built, with Wieth Racing entering one in the 2001 FIA GT Championship, then again in 2003, 2004 and 2005. In 2006 the Wieth’s Ferrari scored two wins in the Euro GT Series. Commissioned by Frédéric Dor’s company Care Racing Development, in 2001 Prodrive built a racing version of the 550 for various sports car series and especially the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Initially known as 550 GTO and then renamed 550 GTS (but not related to Wieth’s project), a total of ten cars would be built over the next four years and campaigned by the Prodrive team as well as privateer customers. The cars were entirely built by Prodrive without any support from the Ferrari factory. The factory Prodrive team would win two races in the 2001 FIA GT Championship debut. For 2002 the BMS Scuderia Italia team would take over in FIA GT, recording four wins, while the Prodrive squad would take a single win in the American Le Mans Series. 2003 would be the best year for the cars, as Prodrive won the GTS class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and took second in the GTS class championship in the American Le Mans Series with four wins, while BMS Scuderia Italia gained the FIA GT championship winning eight races. The Italian team would again take the FIA GT Championship crown in 2004, while Larbre Compétition won the GT1 class championship in the new Le Mans Series. BMS Scuderia Italia moved then to the Le Mans Series as well taking that championship for 2005. In the meantime Prodrive switched to their next project, the Aston Martin DBR9, leaving the maintenance of the 550 GTS cars to Care Racing Development. Hitotsuyama Racing entered a car in the 2004 JGTC and 2005 Super GT seasons, then switched to the Japan Le Mans Challenge winning the GT1-class title in both 2006 and 2007 editions. In 2008 Argentinian Automóvil Club Argentina Team entered 2 Prodrive 550’s, one of them scoring and achieving the fifth place in the Potrero de los Funes round. The last race of the 550 GTS was the 2009 FIA GT Paul Ricard 2 Hours where a car entered by French team Solution F achieved the seventh place. In late 2003, Australian Nations Cup Championship team Mark Coffey Racing purchased a 550 GT from Team Rafanelli to run in the 2004 Australian Nations Cup Championship. The appearance of the V12 Ferrari in Australia was eagerly awaited by fans of the category and the car was to be driven by popular young Danish driver Allan Simonsen who prior to the championship had raced the car alongside David Brabham to win the Bahrain GT Festival. In what was a limited campaign (the car only raced at 4 of the 7 rounds), Simonsen finished 7th in the championship against cars such as the championship winning Lamborghini Diablo GTR, Chrysler Viper ACR, Porsche 911 GT2 and the controversial 7.0 litre Holden Monaros. Simonsen broke the class lap record and scored a race win in the first round of the season at the Adelaide Street Circuit. Following the success of the Prodrive’s 550 GTS, Ferrari would develop the 575 GTC racecar based on the 575M, offering it as a customer car for privateers.

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Seen here were a trio of 360 GTC, F430 GTC and 458 GTC. The The Ferrari 360 GTC was developed to replace the previous 360 GT. With a kerb weight of 1,100 kg (2,425 lb) (with ballast), it was built since 2004 by Ferrari Corse Clienti department in collaboration with Michelotto Automobili to compete in the N-GT class. It made use of recent evolutions successfully race tested on the Ferrari 360 GT, with a sequential six-speed gearbox and a further improved Magneti Marelli electronics package. The aerodynamics are substantially different from the 360 GT, given that the 360 GTC had been newly homologated by FIA/ACO from the Challenge Stradale, taking up from its basic elements: front bumper, side skirts, engine cover and double rear end. Wind tunnel research has led to a new system for the rear wing, with a notable improvement in vertical downforce. The performance of the 3,586.3 cc 90-degree V8 engine has been improved in terms of fuel consumption. In 2009, a privately owned Veloqx-Prodrive Racing 360 raced de-restricted, fully tuned variations of the GT-C in endurance races around the world including; Silverstone, Sebring and Le-Mans. The original 360GT’s power output was 451 PS (445 bhp) at 8,750 rpm, the GTC bettered that raising peak power to 479 PS (472 bhp) while still breathing through the mandatory 30.8 mm (1.21 in) air restrictors. (Without the mandatory [for racing in N-GT class] air restrictors in place the engine dyno’s at 550 bhp.

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Built since 2006 by Ferrari Corse Clienti department in collaboration with Michelotto Automobili, the F430 GTC is a racing car designed to compete in international GT2 class competition, such as in the American Le Mans Series, Le Mans Series, and FIA GT Championship. F430 GTCs also compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The GTC was the fastest and most developed racing version of the F430. In FIA GT2 championship, in order to render the car performances more uniform, the cars are forced to run with a specific minimum weight and with an engine restrictor that depends on the engine displacement. Hence Ferrari destroked the 4.3 L V8 engine to 4.0 L in order to compete in the 3.8–4.0 L class in GT2 class racing, which is allowed to race with a minimum weight of 1,100 kg (2,425 lb). In this race configuration, the engine produces somewhat less power (445 PS (439 bhp)) and by using the 4.0 L engine, the minimum weight of the F430 would increase by 50 kg (110 lb). but this is compensated by the reduced weight of the car, which yields a better power-to-weight ratio. The F430 GTCs won their class championships in the ALMS and FIA GT, as well as scoring class wins at the 2007, 2009 and 2010 12 Hours of Sebring, at the 2008 and 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans and at the 2008 and 2009 Petit Le Mans.

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Ferrari unveiled their new GTE class racer in 2011 to take part in Championships sanctioned by ACO and FIA. The 458 Italia GT2 drops the “flex splitter” found in the road cars in favour of a more conventional inlet, with the air exiting out through the louvers in the bonnet. Under new restrictor regulations, the 4.5-litre V8 engine generates a power output of 470 PS (460 bhp), which is less than the road car and the 458 Challenge. Unlike the road car, which has a high-revving low-torque engine, the engine in the GT2 version only has a red line of 6,250 rpm, but maintains a close-to-stock torque number even with the horsepower loss. The double-clutch gearbox had to be replaced, but paddle-shifting is retained since the amended rules in 2011 allow them. So far the 458 Italia GT2 has had an impressive racing record. The car won the 2012 and 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 2012 12 Hours of Sebring and two editions of the Petit Le Mans, the first in 2011 and the second in 2012. In 2011, the 458 Italia GT2 took the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup GTE Manufacturers’ and the GTE PRO Team Titles, the Le Mans Series GTE Manufacturers’ and GTE PRO Team and Drivers’ honours and the International GT Open Overall and Super GT Team and Drivers’ crowns. The following year, with the creation of an FIA-managed World Championship, the car obtained the GTE Manufacturers’ and GTE PRO Team Titles in the FIA World Endurance Championship. In the same year the Italian car gained the European Le Mans Series GTE PRO Team and Drivers’ honours and the International GT Open Overall and Super GT Manufacturers’, Team and Drivers’ crowns. In 2013 the car repeated its successes, winning the FIA World Endurance Championship GTE Manufacturers’, GTE PRO Team, GTE Drivers’ and GTE AM Team Titles, the European Le Mans Series GTE Team and Drivers’ honours, the Asian Le Mans Series GTE Team and Drivers’ crowns and the International GT Open Overall and Super GT Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ Titles. In 2014 the 458 Italia GT2 achieved, for the third straight year, the FIA World Endurance Championship GTE Manufacturers’ and GTE PRO Team honours, as well as, for the second time in a row, the GTE Drivers’ crown (which had been instituted in 2013). For the fourth time the car also clinched the European Le Mans Series GTE Team and Drivers’ Titles, but it didn’t take part in the International GT Open and Asian Le Mans Series Championships (the 458 Italia GT3 raced in both these series that year). In 2015, the Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 cars competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Tudor United SportsCar Championship. The car was replaced for the 2016 season by the Ferrari 488 GTE.

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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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There was a bigger gap before the next 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 lbf) 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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FIAT

The Fiat part of the FCA Heritage stand was celebrating 40 years of the Panda with a trio of models, ranging from the first to the current third generation car. Introduced at the 1980 Geneva Show, the Panda (Tipo 141) was designed as a cheap, easy to use and maintain, no-frills utility vehicle, positioned in Fiat’s range between the 126 and 127. It can be seen as a then-modern approach to the same niche which the Citroën 2CV and Renault 4 were designed to serve. The first Panda was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign. In an interview to Turinese newspaper La Stampa published in February 1980, Giugiaro likened the Panda to a pair of jeans, because of its practicality and simplicity, and he has often said that this is his favourite of all the cars he designed. Mechanically the first Pandas borrowed heavily from the Fiat parts bin. Engines and transmissions came from the Fiat 127 and, in certain territories, the air-cooled 652 cc two-cylinder powerplant from the Fiat 126. The plan for a mechanically simple car was also evident in the rear suspension, which used a solid axle suspended on leaf springs. Later versions of the car added various mechanical improvements but this spirit of robust simplicity was adhered to throughout the life of the model. Many design features reflect the Panda’s utilitarian practicality. Examples include a seven-position adjustable rear seat which could be folded flat to make an improvised bed, or folded into a V shape to support awkward loads, or easily and quickly removed altogether to increase the overall load space. The first Pandas also featured removable, washable seat covers, door trims and dashboard cover, and all the glass panels were flat making them cheap to produce, easy to replace and interchangeable between left and right door. Much like its earlier French counterparts the Panda could be specified with a two piece roll forward canvas roof. At launch two models were available: the Panda 30, powered by a longitudinally-mounted air cooled 652 cc straight-two-cylinder engine derived from the 126, or the Panda 45, with a transversely-mounted water cooled 903 cc four-cylinder from the 127. As a consequence of the different drivetrain layout the 45 had the radiator grille to the right side, the 30 to the left. In September 1982 Fiat added another engine to the line-up: the Panda 34 used an 843 cc water-cooled unit, derived from that in the 850. It was originally reserved for export to France, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands. Fiat launched the Panda 45 Super at the Paris Motor Show later in 1982, with previous specification models continuing as the “Comfort” trim. The Super offered numerous improvements, most significant being the availability of a five-speed gearbox as well as improved trim. There were minor styling changes to the Super including the introduction of Fiat’s new black plastic “corporate” grille with five diagonal silver bars. The earlier grille design (metal with slots on the left for ventilation) continued on the Comfort models until the next major revision of the line-up. A 30 Super was added to the range in February 1983, offering the Super trim combined with the smaller engine. The Panda 4×4 was launched in June 1983, it was powered by a 965 cc engine with 48 bhp derived from that in the Autobianchi A112. Known simply as the Panda 4×4, this model was the first small, transverse-engined production car to have a 4WD system. The system itself was manually selectable, with an ultra-low first gear. Under normal (on-road) conditions starting was from second, with the fifth gear having the same ratio as fourth in the normal Panda. Austrian company Steyr-Puch supplied the entire drivetrain (clutch, gearbox, power take-off, three-piece propshaft, rear live axle including differential and brakes) to the plant at Termini Imerese where it was fitted to the reinforced bodyshell. Minor revisions in November 1984 saw the range renamed “L”, “CL”, and “S”. Specifications and detailing were modified across the range including the adoption of the Fiat corporate grille across all versions. Mechanically, however, the cars remained largely unchanged. In January 1986, the Panda received a substantial overhaul and a series of significant mechanical improvements. Most of these changes resulted in the majority of parts being changed and redesigned, making many of the pre-facelift and post-facelift Panda parts incompatible between models. The 652 cc air-cooled 2-cyl engine was replaced by a 769 cc (34 bhp) water-cooled 4-cyl unit, and the 903/965cc by a 999cc (45 bhp, 50 bhp in the 4×4) unit. Both new engines were from Fiat’s new FIRE family of 4-cylinder water-cooled powerplants with a single overhead camshaft. The rear suspension was also upgraded, the solid axle with leaf springs being replaced by a more modern dependent suspension system using a non-straight rigid axle (known as the ‘Omega’ axle) with a central mounting and coil springs (first seen on the Lancia Y10, which used the same platform). The 4×4 retained the old leaf sprung live axle set-up, presumably to avoid having to redesign the entire 4WD system. Improvements were also made to the interior and the structure. The body was strengthened and fully galvanised on later models, virtually eliminating the earlier car’s strong tendency to rust. The rear panel design was also revamped to include flared arches that mirrored those of the front wings, replacing the un-sculpted style seen on earlier models, and the doors received a slight redesign with the earlier car’s quarter light windows being removed and replaced by a full width roll-down window. The bottom seam of the facelifted model’s doors unfortunately retained much the earlier car’s susceptibility to rust. In ascending order of specification and cost, the revised range was as follows: 750L, 750CL, 750S, 1000CL, 1000S, 4×4. April 1986 saw the introduction of a 1,301 cc diesel engine with 37 bhp (a detuned 127/Uno unit). Fitted as standard with a five-speed gearbox it was only available in the basic “L” trim. A van variant of the Panda was also introduced, with both petrol and diesel engines. The van was basically a standard Panda without rear seats. The rear windows were replaced with plastic blanking panels and a small (always black) steel extension with side hinged doors was fitted instead of the usual hatchback tailgate. Neither the van nor the diesel were available in right hand drive markets. In 1987, a new entry-level model badged “Panda Young” was added to the range. This was essentially an L spec car with a 769 cc OHV engine based on the old 903 cc push-rod FIAT 100 engine and producing the same 34 bhp as the more sophisticated 769 cc FIRE unit. The Panda 4×4 Sisley limited edition was also released; this was based on the standard 4×4, but came with metallic paint, inclinometer, white painted wheels, roof rack, headlamp washers, bonnet scoop, “Sisley” badging and trim. Although originally limited to the production of only 500, in 1989 the Sisley model became a permanent model due to its popularity. In 1991, a facelift was introduced. This entailed a new front grille with a smaller five-bar corporate badge, plus revisions to trim and specifications across the range. New arrivals included the ‘Selecta’, which had a continuously variable transmission with an electromagnetic clutch. This advanced transmission was available either with the normal 999 cc FIRE engine (revised with single-point fuel injection and a catalytic converter) or an all new 1108 cc FIRE unit, fitted with electronic fuel injection and a three-way catalytic converter and producing 51 bhp. The new CLX trim also featured a five-speed gearbox as standard. The range now comprised the 750 Young (769 cc ohv), 750 and 750 CLX (both 769 cc FIRE sohc), 900 Dance (903 cc ohv), 1000 Shopping, CLX, CL Selecta and S (all with 999 cc sohc, available with or without SPI and catalytic converter depending on the market), 1100 CL Selecta (1108 cc sohc with SPI and cat) and the 4×4 Trekking (999 cc, again available with and without a cat depending on the market). The Elettra concluded the range. In 1992, the 1108 cc engine, complete with SPI and catalytic converter, replaced the 999 cc unit in the 4×4 (with 50 bhp) and also in 1992 an 899 cc (with injection and catalyst) became available, in the ‘Cafe’ special edition. This was a reduced capacity 903 cc unit, designed to meet tax requirements in some markets. From 1996 onwards, the Panda was gradually phased out across Europe, due to tightening emissions and safety legislation. The car remained in production in Italy until May 2003. Its total production run of 23 years makes the Panda one of Europe’s longest-lived small cars. Over 4,5 million were built and the car is still popular in Italy. The car seen ere is the entry level Panda 30.

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In the 1950s, Fiat invented the “spiaggina” (beach cars), small utility cars converted into doorless cabriolet beach cars with hollowed-out seats, designed for seafront resorts and based on the Fiat 500, 600 and 600 Multipla. Riding the wave of Italy’s economic boom, the country’s leading coachbuilders dedicated themselves to the production of these cars on a Fiat 500 or 600 base, removing the roof, doors and pillars, while reinforcing the floorpan. Unique features include the seats, which were emptied of padding and upholstered with wicker or other water-resistant textiles, and the nautical-style awnings in place of a soft top. Ghia, Boano and even Pinin Farina were tasked with producing these cars, which soon became elite status symbols and novel taxi cabs on exclusive Mediterranean islands, particularly those frequented by VIPs of the era. The first model was the Fiat 600 Ghia Jolly, whose name came to represent the entire category of vehicles. In the wake of the success enjoyed by the first Jolly, which was built on the 600 saloon, Turin-based coachbuilder Ghia subsequently used the more spacious 600 Multipla as a base to increase the interior space of its successor, which also featured characteristic wicker seats. The Fiat 500 Boano Spiaggia, built by coachbuilder and designer Mario Boano in 1958 using a Nuova 500 floorpan, is among the most famous “spiaggina” beach cars: only two were made, one for Gianni Agnelli and the other for Aristotle Onassis. Two years earlier, the “Avvocato” Agnelli had commissioned Pinin Farina to develop the exclusive Fiat 600 Eden Roc, built in 1956 on a 600 Multipla base with teak interior trim inspired by Riva motorboats. To celebrate this rich tradition of Fiat beach cars, in 2006 the Fiat Style Centre designed one based on the second-generation Panda, entrusting it to the Stola design house in Rivoli, just outside Turin. The Fiat Panda Jolly has a fresh and light appearance: the colours and materials are inspired by sailing and motorboats, with numerous stylistic nods to the glorious 1960s. The designers drew ideas from the 600 Multipla Jolly, made by coachbuilder Ghia in 1956. Instead of wicker woven onto the seat frame, it uses steel slats trimmed with Rope cloth, a synthetic material inspired by the rigging on sail boats. The cushions are upholstered in cotton terry cloth for added comfort. The original look was created by Paola Lenti, a leading Italian interior design company. There is also nautical inspiration in the hand-finished ash trim, as found on the most exquisitely crafted boats. It covers the floor, floorpan, parcel rack and sills, which are visible due to the absence of doors. The steel handrail running along the rear resembles the poop deck of a luxury ship, while the round Panda Cross headlights are combined with 1960s-inspired solid body-coloured wheel rims, finished with the signature chrome hub caps.

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From the current Panda range was this City Cross Trusardi version.

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This is one of the many Fiat 1100-based models produced in the 30s which was designed for racing.

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This elegant car is an 1100ES Pininfariina. Immediately after the Second World War, Fiat was in a difficult situation financially. Thanks to the help provided by the Marshall Plan, the factories which had been destroyed during the war were rebuilt and the Turin-based manufacturer returned to a level of production comparable to the 1930s. New models were then introduced, including the Fiat 1100, which was produced in several different versions, among them a rare Coupé designed by Pinin Farina. This was more elegant and more GT-like, with a more luxurious interior and, above all, a well-balanced design which could be mistaken for that of the Lancia Aurelia B20 GT … First shown in 1949, the Fiat Coupé retained the stylish wind-cheating front screen, but was characterised by its slender and more shapely bodywork, which brought to mind the most beautiful Italian coachwork produced by the likes of Maserati, Siata, Stanguellini or Cisitalia. Externally, there was no difference between the S and ES models, but the interior of the S was more basic, while the ES had a better stocked dashboard, a front bench seat in place of two separate seats and even a small bench seat in the rear. Whether you looked at the pushbutton switches, the door trim, quarterlight catches or exterior door handles, Fiat had never demonstrated such refinement down to the smallest detail. A number of prizes gleaned at concours d’élégance moreover rewarded this timeless beauty, of which “officially” 400 examples were produced until 1951. Today, it is thought that fewer than ten examples of the Fiat 1100 ES Coupé Pinin Farina remain in the world. This particular car was imported into Morocco in 1951 and owned by an Italian, who entered the car into the 6th Morocco Rally finishing in 14th place. Sold to her second owner, it was never used again for competition but remained in Morocco. Its current owner acquired the car in the 1980s.

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This is a 1951 Fiat Topolino Spiaggina (beach) car by Carrozzeria Daddario. It was converted to Beach Car spec in 1954. Slightly puzzlingly, the rear end looks like the later Fiat 600 but the front is definitely a Topolino and the car has the 500cc engine. It has recently been fully restored with a Rattan interior and convertible hood frame in bamboo. The car is described as being unique

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

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

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The Fiat 1300 and Fiat 1500 are automobiles which were manufactured by the Italian automaker Fiat from 1961 to 1967. They replaced the Fiat 1400 and Fiat 1200 coupé, spyder and cabriolet. The 1300 and 1500 were essentially identical except for their engine displacement, as indicated by their model names. They were available as a saloon and station wagon, and as convertible and coupé models which shared little mechanically with the other body styles except the 1500 engine. The car’s 75 hp engine combined with its lightweight construction was unusual for the time, especially when considering the price. Front wheels were equipped with disc brakes with four-pot calipers while rear brakes were alloy drums. The 1300/1500 and their derivatives were also assembled by Yugoslavia’s Zastava and Fiat’s German subsidiary, Neckar Automobil AG, as well as in South Africa. The floorpan of the 1500 C was used as a basis for the 1500s replacement, the Fiat 125, while another model, the Polski Fiat 125p, made by the Polish FSO, was created by mating the body of 125 and mechanicals (engines, gearbox, transmission, suspension) of 1300/1500. In the Italian range, the 1300 was replaced by the Fiat 124 in 1966, and the 1500 by the Fiat 125 a year later. In total, 1,900,000 units were produced worldwide.

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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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Launched in the autumn of 1970 along with a facelift for the rest of the 124 range, was the 124 Special T. The “T” in 124 Special T stood for twin cam, hinting at the car’s 1,438 cc dual overhead camshaft engine, derived from the Sport Coupé and Spider but in a milder state of tune. Coded 124 AC.300, this engine had revised valve timing and fuel system and produced 80 DIN-rated PS at 5,800 rpm and 112 DIN-rated Nm (83 lb/ft) of torque at 4,000 rpm. According to the manufacturer top speed was 160 km/h (99 mph). Externally the Special T was identical to the Special, save for model badging at the rear. Production ceased in 1974 when the entire 124 range was replaced by the 131 Mirafiori.

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FORD

There were a number of GT40 cars here.

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This one was displayed at the 1967 Geneva Show and was then used in the Ford press fleet for a while.

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FRANCIS LOMBARDI

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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GMC

The variety throughout the show is remarkable, perfectly demonstrated by this bizarre equipe of a very rare 1970 New Map Solyto Mk2 Campingcar sitting on the back of a superbly restored GMC pick-up. bRead the small print, however, and you’ll find the tiny truck isn’t thrown in for free – it’ll cost you an extra €9800 on top of the GMC’s €25,000, and that doesn’t include import duties

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GOLIATH

The Goliath GD750 was a three-wheeler pickup truck built by the Goliath division of the Borgward Group in Bremen from April 1949 to 1955 in various body variants. In the early 1950s, low-cost vans were popular with small craft businesses. In 1949, the purchase price for flatbed variant was DM 3600. In total, 30,093 units of the GD750 were built. In 1950 and 1951, a huge quantity of vehicles were built, 8468 and 7136 units respectively. The number 750 in the type designation indicated the possible payload of 750 kg (1653 lb). The GD750 had a water-cooled two-cylinder two-stroke engine, displacing 396 cm³ (60 mm bore × 70 mm stroke). It that was rated 13 PS at 4000 rpm (factory documents vary from 13 to 14.5 PS). The vehicle’s top speed is 50-55 km/h (31-34 mph). A constant-mesh four-speed gearbox was standard. The torque was sent to the rear axle with cardan shaft, as opposed to the front-wheel drive Tempo freight tricycles. An air-cooled 494 cm³ engine (67 mm bore × 70 mm stroke) with 16 PS was available as a factory option that cost DM 75. With this engine, the rated top speed was still 50-55 km/h. The engine was installed behind the front wheel. Unlike in the pre-war models F200 and F400, which used engines made by ILO-Motorenwerke, the engines for the GD750 were made by Goliath, and designed by August Momberger’s engineering office INKA (engineer-construction-consortium). The truck had a U-profile, V-shaped frame; the front wheel had single control arm suspension with a semi elliptic spring, the rear axle was a live axle with semi elliptic leaf springs. The brakes were mechanically operated; from 1953 onwards, they were hydraulically actuated. The chassis was available with different flatbed and box variants with a wheelbase of either 2950 or 3350 mm, and a tread width of either 1400 or 1600 mm. The length of the GD750 varied as well as its width; three different lengths were available (4410, 4660 or 5160 mm), and four different widths( 1720, 1770, 1929 or 2020 mm), the height of all vehicles was 1650 mm. The fuel consumption was rated 7 l/100 km (40 mpg). Initially, the GD750 was fitted with a 6 V, 90 V generator; later, it received a 6 V, 130 W one. Most GD750 units produced were equipped with a flatbed. In addition to the flatbed and the box bodies, there were also numerous special body variants available; for instance, a livestock transporter and a mobile shop. In total, 26 different body variants were offered. The kerb weight was between 695 and 810 kg, the permissible total weight between 1455 and 1750 kg, depending on the body. In 1950, the prices were DM 3475 for the smallest flatbed, DM 4300 for the estate, and the “special carriage for livestock transport” cost DM 4805; a heater was a DM 65 extra, hydraulic brakes cost an additional DM 115.

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GULF MIRAGE

In 1975, Ford, Gulf & J.W. Automotive took a resounding overall victory at the 1975 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Drivers Derek Bell and Jacky Ickx piloted their Mirage GR8 a total of 336 laps, beating the Ligier JS2 by just 1 lap. In third place was the second Mirage GR8. Engineering for the GR8 largely came from the Mirage prototypes which immediately preceded this model. These were designed by Len Terry and evolved from season to season. For 1975, the Gulf Oil team led by John Weyer and John Horsman focused almost exclusively on the 24 endurance at Le Mans. Horsman describes the car: “We wanted a longer body to reduce drag and Len drew a new chassis with 6-inch-longer wheelbase, giving more room for things like oil tanks. JW and I sketched the body shape, and our machinist, Brian Holland, made a ¼-scale clay body shape to the sketch. We made a few minor changes before the model was sent to FKS Fiberglass in Poole who made the panels. Despite a rather large frontal area the GR8 was a pretty good shape, with a low drag coefficient and (for its day) good downforce from the rear wing. It was a good car for Le Mans, easy to drive, with no vices. We had modified various areas to lower the fuel consumption to meet Le Mans’ required minimum 20-lap distance between refuelling stops. In fact we went too far as the car could do 22 laps…but it’s nice to have a safety cushion in a 24 hour race.” During the race Derek Bell and Jacky Ickx put on commanding lead while the second car suffered from electrical system problems in the rain and the leading car had its exhaust swapped. Powering all three cars on the Podium at the 1975 24 Hours of Le Mans was Ford Cosworth DFV. John describes the effect the engine had on the design: “The Cosworth DFV engine had been designed as an integral chassis member for Formula 1, forming the rear half of the car structure. But, from our original Mirage M6, Len Bailey wisely included three-tube braces along each side. Over 24 hours the DFV’s inherent vibration was very destructive. At Le Mans in 1975 it fractured the engine’s lower mounting blocks, putting all the rear-end load onto Len’s tripod frames on each side. This light steel framework then held both our cars together during the last half of the race. Otherwise they would literally have collapsed in half like a torpedoed ship! This lower mounting was remade in steel for the ’76 race and both cars finished without trouble in that area.”

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HISPANO SUIZA

Designated as I6 by the factory, this wonderful Hispano-Suiza, known as the “Junior” prototype, dating from 1924, remained in the Moreau family in France from the mid 1930s until 2000 when the car changed ownership. Mr. Moreau worked at the Hispano-Suiza factory as after sales director and had the opportunity to buy this very interesting Junior. The elegant coachwork is by Vanvooren. The story begins when the chief designer of Hispano-Suiza, the Swiss engineer Marc Birkigt, begins the development of a new model (the I6) at the factory in Paris. The prototype engine with the six-cylinder engine and 3.756cc with a removable head is installed on a new chassis, almost identical to the H6 model but with a smaller wheelbase of 3.570 mm. The chassis number of this prototype was 20.001, specifically of this car. In a rather controversial decision, the firm decided that this new model would be manufactured only at the La Sagrera factory in Barcelona. Reserving the French Bois-Colombes factory for both the six and eight litre H6 model. Although curiously the prototypes of the T49 (as finally designated) were developed at the Parisian factory under the supervision of Birkigt himself.

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HOTCHKISS

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ISO

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

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JAGUAR

The Jaguar MkIV 3.5 Litre is the continuation of the production of the SS after World War II with a new name Jaguar. With a powerful 125 hp inline six cylinder , the 3.5 Litre DHC has a top speed of 91 mph. The engine was linked to a five-speed manual transmission. The car was equipped with four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. There was a solid front axle and rear live axle with semi elliptic springs front and rear. An interior awash in polished walnut and Connolly leather made the Jaguar a more attractive option for the money over anything on either side of the pond. William Lyons opened a sales network in the U.S. and one of the first sixteen cars sold overseas went to actor Clark Gable. This car is one of only 376 3.5 Litre cars built for export markets with left hand drive.

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

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

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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 adding stainless steel headers. Dual 1.75-inch SU carbs feed the intake manifold. With forged pistons, Iskenderian racing cam and a competition valve grind, Millstein estimates output at 275 hp for the 2100-pound car. The car is still used competitively.

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Final Jaguar was the dramatic XJC. With the re-organisation of British Leyland in 1973, for a time Jaguar Cars Limited disappeared as a company name. Jaguar became simply a part of the Leyland Cars company. No Jaguar had taken part in first-line motor sport in the UK since the E-type and the Mark II faded from the scene in the mid-1960s. In theory, it would boost the image of both Jaguar and Leyland, if a Jaguar were to make a successful comeback in racing. All British Leyland motor sport activities were now centralised, and the company increasingly made use of contractors who took on the preparation of cars, and the management of racing teams. Ralph Broad of Broadspeed had enjoyed a successful run with Triumph Dolomites in British saloon car racing. He had ideas of his own about the possibility of developing the Jaguar V12 engine for a proper racing car, and was therefore chosen to spearhead an attempt to bring a Jaguar back into racing, running the XJ12 coupé version – XJC for short – in the European Touring Car Championship. Development began in 1975, and the car was unveiled in March 1976. Staying within the regulations for the Touring Car Championship, the cars were substantially modified by Broad, and amongst other features, were fitted with a manual gearbox! The cars’ debut came in the Tourist Trophy race at Silverstone in September 1976. Derek Bell led the race for a while, until a driveshaft failed. This was to be the recurring theme throughout the car’s brief career: Always spectacular, often fast, but usually denied the reliability – or luck – needed to stay the course, or to achieve a respectably high finish. The best result was to be a second place for Bell and Andy Rouse at the Nürburgring in 1977. Alas, it was not enough for BL to agree to continue with the project for a further season, although Ralph Broad personally never changed his opinion that with further development, the car would have been a winner.

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JOMO

This is a 1969 Jomo JMR7, which was constructed to compete in the then new Formula Ford championship.

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KRIEGER

Louis Krieger was an engineer who favoured electric drive for automobiles. In 1895, he participated with Charles Jeantaud in the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris race with the Jeantaud electric car. Louis Krieger produced electric cars till 1909 when a total of 70 cars had been produced. It is possible to see on the photos the electric motor mounted next to each front wheel. It is believed that only 2 or 3 of these pioneering cars remain.

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LAMBORGHINI

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

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

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LANCIA

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: The first series featured a 2604 cc V8 engine and a wheel base of 3177 cm and was 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 2972 cc engine; Fourth series, built between 1937 and 1939 with 423 units made and only offered in long-wheelbase. 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. Seen here were an Astura Drophead and a very lovely Pininfarina Coupe.

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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). Seen here was the Zagato bodied SuperSport.

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There was just one example from the Beta range here, a Spyder here. Just 9390 Spyder models were made, making it the rarest of the quartet when new, but there are quite a few nice ones left here, such as the pair on show here. The Spyder was launched in 1976, looking very much like an open-topped version of the Coupe, sharing that model’s wheelbase, but with a targa top roof panel, a roll-over bar and folding rear roof.. It was designed by Pininfarina but actually built by Zagato, which is why the model was known as the Zagato in America. Early models did not have a cross-member supporting the roof between the tops of the A to B pillars. Later models had fixed cross-members. It was initially powered by either the 1600 or 1800 twin-cam engine, later being replaced by the new 1.6 and 2.0. It never received the IE or VX engines. There were fuel injected engines for the US market. Lancia spelt the name with a “y” rather than an “i” possibly to differentiate the car from the Alfa Romeo Spider, though most people tend to use the “Spider” spelling these days.

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

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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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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. A number of these were among the displays. The Delta Integrale featured on the Lancia portion of the large FCA stand, and if you are wondering why the bumpers are black, it is because they were deliberately high-lighted this way to inform everyone that the factory are re-manufacturing bumpers again for this much-loved classic.

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le MANS DISPLAY

This 1974 Matra Simca MS 670 B is the Le Mans 1974 Winner. When Matra entered the automobile racing scene in 1965, its CEO Jean Luc Lagardere declared that his company will win in Formula One as well at Le Mans 24 Hours. In 1972 Matra won Le Mans 24 Hours with Henri Pescarolo and Graham Hill at the wheel. In 1974 in a fierce competition with Ferrari, the Matra 670B won with Henri Pescarolo and Gerard Larousse at the wheel. The Matra 670B was powered by a 2.993 cc 490 hp four overhead camshaft V12 engine. The weight was 675 kg and claimed top speed was 350 kph (217 mph)

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1981 Rondeau M 379C. Jean Rondeau developed the Inaltera Endurance racing car between 1976 and 1977. He then developed racing cars at his own name and finally won the 1980 Le Mans 24 Hours with the Rondeau M379. This car was further improved and became Rondeau M379C that was run at 2nd position by Henri Pescarolo and Patrick Tambay before the engine failed in 1981 event. The engine was a DFL Cosworth V8 3300 cc producing 460 hp for a weight of 778 kg. Claimed top speed was 350 kph (217 mph).

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This is the Pescarolo Courage C60, a Le Mans Prototype (LMP) racing car built by Courage Compétition in 2000, and used in international sports car races until 2006. A replacement for the Courage C52, it was Courage’s first all-new prototype since the Courage C41 was built in 1994. It was initially fitted with a 4-litre naturally-aspirated Judd GV4 V10 engine in 2000, and run by SMG Compétition. In 2001, Pescarolo Sport began using a 3.2-litre twin-turbocharged Sodemo-Peugeot A32 V6 engined version of the car, and the Peugeot-engined versions would prove to be the most successful. In 2004, Pescarolo redeveloped the C60 on their own, and replaced the Peugeot engines with 5-litre Judd GV5 V10s. In 2005, Courage ran two updated versions of the C60 (known as the C60 Hybrid, and using the Judd GV4 engines) as a factory effort; Pescarolo also updated their C60s into a similar Hybrid format, and took second at the 2005 and 2006 24 Hours of Le Mans, whilst also winning the Le Mans Series in both years. In 2006, the all-new Courage LC70 was introduced by Courage, and Pescarolo introduced their 01 in 2007.

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LE ZEBRE

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LONGCHAMP

This is the 1953 Longchamp de Coucey experimental prototype which had a 359cc engine. Part of a series of small single-seaters funded by a French count named de Coucy, it features chassis and body by Longchamp. De Coucy didn’t just write the cheques, though, as he was also an engineer. This little blue streamliner was apparently intended for speed record runs with its supercharged 359-cc engine and teensy-weensy side exhausts. No word on how it did or how fast it can go, but it is currently the property of the French town of Châtellerault.

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MASERATI

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

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The Maserati A6GCS-53 was a triumph from its dazzling debut in the 1947 season. The Maserati 2 Litre, 1.985 cc inline six was updated with acast aluminiumblock and overhead twin cam with dual plug ignition to produce 170 hp-gaining 50 hp on the A6GCM Grand Prix car from whence the engine came. Combined with the lightweight tubular chassis from Gilco , vast hydraulic drum brakes and drivers such as Ascari at the wheel, these spartan sports racers seemed unstoppable. Indeed, the successes of the Maserati A6CGS-53 provided such an economic bolster to Maserati, that it was able to make the transition from building purely racing machines to producing some of the most beautiful road going cars of the era. This Maserati A6GCS-53 was modified in period to longnose and with headrest.

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

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

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Dating from the late 1960s was this Mexico. The Maserati Mexico’s design derived from a 2+2 prototype bodywork shown on the Vignale stand at the October 1965 Salone di Torino and built upon a 4.9-litre 5000 GT chassis, rebodied after it had been damaged. As the car after the show was sold to Mexican president Adolfo López Mateos, the model became known as the Mexico. By coincidence, John Surtees won the Mexican Grand Prix on a Cooper-Maserati T81 the following year. Vignale’s prototype was so well received that Maserati immediately made plans to put a version into production. The production Maserati Mexico debuted in August 1966 at the 20° Concorso internazionale di eleganza per auto in Rimini, while its international première was at the October Paris Motor Show. It was built on the first generation Quattroporte chassis with a wheelbase shortened by 11 cm (4.3 in). Originally powered by a 4.7-litre 90° V8 fed by four twin-choke 38 DCNL5 Weber carburetors that produced 290 bhp, the car managed to turn out a top speed between 240–250 km/h (149–155 mph). In 1969, however, contrary to Maserati tradition, the Mexico was also made available with a smaller engine, the 4.2-litre V8 engine. Apart from the smaller engine option the Mexico underwent few changes during its lifetime. Its luxurious interior included a rich leather seating for four adults, electric windows, wooden dashboard, iodine headlights and air conditioning as standard. Automatic transmission, power steering and a radio were available as optional extras. The 4.7-litre version was fitted with 650×15″ Borrani chrome wire wheels and the 4.2-litre version with steel disc wheels. When leaving the factory all Maserati Mexicos originally fitted Pirelli Cinturato 205VR15 tyres (CN72). The Mexico was the first production Maserati to be fitted with servo assisted ventilated disc brakes on all four wheels. In May 1967, under commission from the German concessionaire Auto Koenig for one client, Herr Rupertzhoven, Maserati built a ‘Mexico’ similar to Vignale’s original prototype design but was the work of Frua. Appearing like a 4-seat Mistral and built on the same tubular chassis as the 3500 GT (2600 mm wheelbase), this prototype ‘Mexico’ was fitted with the Mistral’s six-cylinder 3.7-litre Lucas fuel-injected engine. It was finished in Oro Longchamps with a black leather interior. Its dashboard came from the Quattroporte. 485 Mexicos were produced, 175 equipped with the 4.7 engine and 305 with the 4.2.

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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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Next road-going Maserati model to arrive was the 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.

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In 1973 the Ghibli went out of production and found a successor the following year with the Bertone-designed Maserati Khamsin.In fact, the Khamsin had been introduced on the Bertone stand at the November 1972 Turin Auto Show. Designed by Marcello Gandini, it was Bertone’s first work for Maserati. In March 1973 the production model was shown at the Paris Motor Show. Regular production of the vehicle finally started a year later, in 1974. The Khamsin was developed under the Citroën ownership for the clientele that demanded a front-engined grand tourer on the lines of the previous Ghibli, more conventional than the mid-engined Bora. In 1977 a mild facelift added three horizontal slots on the Khamsin’s nose to aid cooling. Inside it brought a restyled dashboard and a new padded steering wheel. One Khamsin was delivered to Luciano Benetton in 1981. Despite the many improvements over its predecessor, the Khamsin didn’t replicate its success; partly due to the concurrent fuel crisis that decreased demand for big V8 grand tourers. Production ended in 1982, with 435 vehicles made, a mere third of the Ghibli’s 1274 examples production run. 155 of whose had been exported to the United States.

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

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In keeping with Maserati tradition, the Shamal was also named after a wind, in this case a hot summer wind that blows in large areas of Mesopotamia. My favourite of the Biturbo generation Maserati models, it was introduced on 14 December 1989 in Modena, when Maserati president and owner Alejandro de Tomaso showed it to the press, it was the last model announced under the De Tomaso ownership, as in January 1990 half of Maserati was acquired by Fiat S.p.A.. Sales began in 1990. The Shamal was designed by Marcello Gandini, of Bertone fame. Clearly based on the Biturbo, as you can see in the doors, interior, and basic bodyshell, all of which were carried over from the Biturbo. Gandini’s styling signature is visible in the slanted profile of the rear wheel wheel arch, also present on the fourth generation Quattroporte IV and first seen on the Lamborghini Countach. Nonetheless, the Shamal has a look all of its own, with the centre pillar wrapping around the cabin as a roll bar, always finished in black, a distinguishing characteristic of the Shamal. The name “Shamal” appears on either side of the central pillar in chrome lettering. The car has alloy wheels, a small rear spoiler and a blacked-out grille with chrome accents. Another defining feature of the Shamal are its numerous headlamps in individual housings: outer round Carello low beams of the then-new projector type, inner rectangular high beams, combined indicators and position lamps in the bumper, and two pairs of square lights in the lower grille—fog lamps and driving lamps. The two-seat interior of the Shamal features extended leather seat cushions, temperature control and the famous Maserati oval clock, which is situated in the centre of the dashboard. The gear lever is finished in elm. While built for comfort as well as performance, the Shamal was not as luxuriously appointed as the similar Maserati Ghibli II. The Shamal used a traditional front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout and an all-steel unibody construction. Suspension was by MacPherson struts upfront and semi-trailing arms at the rear. All Shamals were equipped with an adaptive suspension developed by Maserati together with Koni. The system varied the damping rates, based on road conditions and the level of comfort desired. It was powered by an AM 479 3,217 cc square (bore and stroke 80 mm) V8 engine, with two overhead camshafts per bank, and four valves per cylinder. It was twin-turbocharged with two IHI turbines and intercoolers, and equipped with a Marelli IAW integrated electronic ignition and fuel injection ECU per cylinder bank. The engine put out 325 PS at 6,000 rpm and 320 lb·ft at 3,000 rpm. Power was sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed Getrag manual transmission and Maserati’s Ranger limited-slip differential. The manufacturer claimed a top speed of 170 mph and a 0 to 62 mph acceleration time of 5.3 seconds. The final year of production for the Maserati Shamal was 1996 and factory figures indicate that 369 examples were produced.

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This is the Ghibli Royale, a special edition of a car I know well. Royale versions of Quattroporte, Levante and Ghibli were announced only a few days before the Show opened. They pay tribute to the original 1986 Quattroporte Royale that was produced in just 51 examples. These special editions will be pretty exclusive, as Maserati will build just 100 examples across the three models, more specifically the V6-powered versions with engines ranging from the 275 HP 3.0-litre V6 diesel to the 350 HP and 430 HP 3.0-litre V6 petrol. Customers will be offered the choice between two unique colours; Blu Royale and Verde Royale. The Levante Royale also features 21-inch Anteo anthracite alloy wheels, while the Quattroporte and Ghibli Royale variants receive 21-inch Titanium anthracite wheels, with all models getting silver brake calipers. The new Maserati Royale models are based on the GranLusso trim level and offer the choice between the Zegna Pelletessuta, a special woven leather textile made out of thin strips of Nappa leather, and the two-tone Pieno Fiore leather option. Other interior details of the new Royale includes high gloss inserts – Metal Net for the Levante, Ebony for the Ghibli and Black Piano for the Quattroporte-, together with the obligatory “One of 100” plaque, a premium Bowers & Wilkins audio system, electric sunroof and privacy glass. All three Maserati Royale models also get the Cold Weather, Premium and Driving Assistance Plus Packages fitted as standard, together with the 8.4-inch Maserati Touch Control Plus infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The first deliveries are set to begin this March, but Maserati will limit the orders to just 100 examples across the three models; prices begin from £78,900 for the Ghibli, £85,300 for the Levante and £103,150 for the Quattroporte in the UK.

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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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MATRA-SIMCA

The Matra MS120 was the fifth and final Formula One car produced by Matra (following the MS9, MS10, MS11, MS80 and MS84). The MS120 was later developed to become the Matra MS120B, Matra MS120C and Matra MS120D. The car was built at Matra’s Formula One base at Vélizy-Villacoublay in the southwestern suburbs of Paris, designed under the direction of Gérard Ducarouge and Bernard Boyer. For 1970 following the agreement with Simca, Matra asked Tyrrell to use their V12 engine rather than the Cosworth. Jackie Stewart got to test the Matra V12, but since a large part of the Tyrrell budget was provided by Ford, and another significant sponsor was French state-owned petroleum company Elf, which had an agreement with Renault that precluded supporting a Simca partner, the partnership between Matra and Tyrrell ended. Matra chose an all French line up with Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Henri Pescarolo for 1970. The South African Grand Prix was good for Beltoise with a fourth-place finish while Pescarolo had a disappointing seventh place. The Spanish Grand Prix was a bad race, both retiring with engine failures. The Monaco Grand Prix saw Pescarolo get third place, but Beltoise retire with differential failure. The Belgian Grand Prix saw Pescarolo finish sixth with electrical failure while Beltoise scored a third-place finish. The Dutch Grand Prix saw Beltoise 5th and Pescarolo 8th. Then the French Grand Prix, which was Matra’s, Beltoise’s and Pescarolo’s home race, saw Pescarolo fifth and Beltoise 13th, out of fuel. Next, the British Grand Prix was a bad race with both retiring, Beltoise with a wheel problem and Pescarolo with an accident. Then the German Grand Prix saw Pescarolo get sixth place, but Beltoise retire with suspension failure. Next was the Austrian Grand Prix with Beltoise sixth and Pescarolo 14th. Then the Italian Grand Prix saw Beltoise finish third but Pescarolo retire with engine failure. Next, the Canadian Grand Prix saw Pescarolo seventh and Beltoise eighth. Then the United States Grand Prix saw Pescarolo in eighth place, but Beltoise retire with a bad handling car. Finally, it was the Mexican Grand Prix with Beltoise fifth and Pescarolo ninth, although the race was delayed by an hour because of crowd control. Pescarolo was not retained by Matra for 1971 and was replaced by New Zealand’s Chris Amon. For 1971, Matra kept Frenchman Jean-Pierre Beltoise, and New Zealander Chris Amon joined Matra using the Matra MS120B specification version for 1971. Beltoise was in difficulty following the 1971 1000 km Buenos Aires; racing for the Matra sports car team; he was involved in the accident in which Ignazio Giunti died, and Beltoise’s international racing licence was suspended for some time. Amon won the Non-Championship Argentine Grand Prix and finished fifth in the first round in the 1971 season in the South African Grand Prix. Beltoise returned for the Spanish Grand Prix finishing sixth and Amon finished third. The Monaco Grand Prix was a bad race with both retiring with differential failures. The Dutch Grand Prix saw Beltoise ninth and Amon retiring after he spun off. Then came the French Grand Prix which was Matra’s and Beltoise’s home race, with Amon fifth and Beltoise seventh. Next, the British Grand Prix saw Beltoise seventh and Amon retiring with an engine failure. The German Grand Prix saw Matra only entering Amon and retiring because of an accident. Matra missed the Austrian Grand Prix but entered the Italian Grand Prix, where Matra only entered Amon again who took pole and proved an embarrassment to Ferrari at their home track, and finished sixth. Then the Canadian Grand Prix saw Beltoise back but retiring with an accident, and Amon finish 10th. The final race of 1971 was the United States Grand Prix with Beltoise eighth and Amon 12th. In 1971 Matra signed Amon as team leader which frustrated Beltoise. For 1972 Beltoise left to join BRM. In 1972, Chris Amon stayed with Matra, using the Matra MS120C specification version for 1972 before being replaced by the Matra MS120D version mid-season. The Argentine Grand Prix was a bad race for Amon with gearbox problems on the warm-up lap. He then finished 15th in the South African Grand Prix. More gearbox problems followed at the Spanish Grand Prix, before luck came Amon’s way with two sixth-place finishes at Monaco and in Belgium. The French Grand Prix saw Amon on pole and he was leading the race until a puncture forced him to pit, but he charged back through the field, bettering the Charade Circuit lap record to finish third. Amon finished fourth in the British Grand Prix and 15th in the German Grand Prix, before another points finish with fifth in the Austrian Grand Prix. Amon’s brakes failed in the Italian Grand Prix and he later came in sixth in the Canadian Grand Prix. At the last race of the season, he finished 15th in the United States Grand Prix. Matra pulled out of Formula One afterwards to concentrate on Le Mans.

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McLAREN

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

Early on in McLaren’s history, company founder and racing driver Bruce McLaren set out to capitalise on the team’s success in the Can-Am series by building a racing car for the road. The McLaren M6 GT was Bruce’s pet project and he developed the car in-house at his Colnbrook factory near London during 1968/9. Only one prototype was made based on the dominant 1967 McLaren M6 chassis – a full monocoque tub made of aluminium alloy sheet over steel bulkheads. The engine was a 5.7 litre Ford unit producing around 370bhp and the chassis was clothed in an attractive coupé body made of reinforced polyester resin. The M6 GT’s dry weight of 725 kilos testifies that it really was a racing car for the road, rather than a civilised supercar. Three examples were completed with this example propelled by 4942 cc 370 hp Chevrolet V8 engine. One example became Bruce McLaren personal car.

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The first true McLaren road car was the F1, and this mighty machine needs little in the way of an introduction, even now. The original concept was conceived by Gordon Murray. Murray was able to convince Ron Dennis to back the project. He engaged Peter Stevens to design the exterior and interior of the car. On 31 March 1998, the XP5 prototype with a modified rev limiter set the Guinness World Record for the world’s fastest production car, reaching 240.1 mph (386.4 km/h), surpassing the modified Jaguar XJ220’s 217.1 mph (349 km/h) record from 1993. The car features numerous proprietary designs and technologies; it is lighter and has a more streamlined structure than many modern sports cars, despite having one seat more than most similar sports cars, with the driver’s seat located in the centre (and slightly forward) of two passengers’ seating positions, providing driver visibility superior to that of a conventional seating layout. It was conceived as an exercise in creating what its designers hoped would be considered the ultimate road car. Despite not having been designed as a track machine, a modified race car edition of the vehicle won several races, including the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it faced purpose-built prototype race cars. Production began in 1992 and ended in 1998. In all, 106 cars were manufactured, with some variations in the design. In 1994, the British car magazine Autocar stated in a road test regarding the F1, “The McLaren F1 is the finest driving machine yet built for the public road.” They further stated, “The F1 will be remembered as one of the great events in the history of the car, and it may possibly be the fastest production road car the world will ever see.” In 2005, Channel4 placed the car at number one on their list of the 100 greatest cars, calling it “the greatest automotive achievement of all time”. In popular culture, the McLaren F1 has earned its spot as ‘The greatest automobile ever created’ and ‘The Most Excellent Sports Car of All Time’ amongst a wide variety of car enthusiasts and lovers. Notable past and present McLaren F1 owners include Elon Musk, Rowan Atkinson, Jay Leno, George Harrison, Ralph Lauren, Nick Mason, and the Sultan of Brunei. In the April 2017 issue of Top Gear Magazine, the McLaren F1 was listed as one of the fastest naturally aspirated cars currently available in the world, and in the same league as the more modern vehicles such as the Ferrari Enzo and Aston Martin One-77 despite being produced and engineered 10 years prior to the Ferrari Enzo and 17 years prior to the Aston Martin One-77. Only 106 cars were manufactured: 5 prototypes (XP1, XP2, XP3, XP4, XP5), 64 road versions (F1), 1 tuned prototype (XP1 LM), 5 tuned versions (LM), 1 longtail prototype (XPGT), 2 longtail versions (GT), and 28 racecars (GTR). Production began in 1992 and ended in 1998. At the time of production, each car took around three and a half months to make. Although production stopped in 1998, McLaren still maintains an extensive support and service network for the F1. Every standard F1 has a modem which allows customer care to remotely fetch information from the ECU of the car in order to assist the customer in the event of a mechanical vehicle failure. There are eight authorised service centres throughout the world, and McLaren will on occasion fly a specialised technician to the owner of the car or the service centre. All of the technicians have undergone dedicated training in service of the McLaren F1. In cases where major structural damage has occurred, the car can be returned to McLaren directly for repair.

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Following its initial launch as a road car, motorsports teams convinced McLaren to build racing versions of the F1 to compete in international series. Three different versions of the race car were developed from 1995 to 1997. Some of the F1 GTRs, after the cars were no longer eligible in international racing series, were converted to street use. By adding mufflers, passenger seats, adjusting the suspension for more ground clearance for public streets, and removing the air-restrictors, the cars were able to be registered for road use. Built at the request of race teams, such as those owned by Ray Bellm and Thomas Bscher, in order to compete in the BPR Global GT Series, the McLaren F1 GTR was a custom-built race car which introduced a modified engine management system that increased power output – however, air-restrictors mandated by racing regulations reduced the power back to 591 bhp/ 600 PS at 7,500 rpm. The car’s list of modifications included changes to body panels, suspension, aerodynamics and the interior. The F1 GTR would go on to take its greatest achievement with first, third, fourth, fifth, and 13th places in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans, beating out custom built prototype sports cars. When Mark Blundell – who finished fourth in the race – was asked what the F1 GTR was like to drive during the wet race, he said: “Well it was never designed to be a race car so in many respects it wasn’t the best-balanced car in the world. The saving grace of the car was the BMW V12 engine. It was incredibly impressive in that you could be in 6th gear at 2,000 rpm and the thing would just pull like a train. And in the wet that is great as you can run a higher gear and it cuts out some of that traction issue. But in terms of balance, overall it was always a bit top heavy, so the centre of gravity wasn’t ideal. And aerodynamically it wasn’t quite there, but it did the job”. In total, nine F1 GTRs were built for the 1995 season. The 1995 F1 GTR created so much downforce that it was claimed to be able to drive upside down along a ceiling at 100 mph (161 km/h). To follow up on the success of the F1 GTR into 1996, McLaren further developed the 1995 model, leading to a size increase but weight decrease. Nine more F1 GTRs were built to 1996 spec, while some 1995 cars were still campaigned by privateers. F1 GTR 1996 chassis #14R is notable as being the first non-Japanese car to win a race in the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship (JGTC). The car was driven by David Brabham and John Nielsen. The weight was reduced with around 37 kg (82 lb) from the 1995 GTR but the engine was kept de-tuned at 599 bhp/ 608 PS to comply with racing regulations. With three F1 GT homologation street versions produced, McLaren could now develop the F1 GTR for the 1997 season. Weight was further reduced and a sequential gearbox was added. The engine was slightly destroked to 6.0 L instead of the previous 6.1 L. Due to the heavily modified bodywork, the F1 GTR 1997 is often referred to as the “Longtail” thanks to the rear bodywork being extended to increase downforce. A total of ten F1 GTRs were built for the 1997 season. The weight was reduced to a total of 910 kg.

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This Longtail version of the McLaren F1 GTR run by Gulf Team Davidoff McLaren finished 2nd in the 1997 Le Mans 24 Hours race.

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Finally there was the much more recent Senna GTR here. At the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, McLaren unveiled the concept version of the track-only iteration of the Senna dubbed the Senna GTR. The production Senna GTR utilises a dual-clutch race transmission for faster gear shifts, a revised suspension system and Pirelli racing slicks in order to make it the fastest non-Formula One vehicle McLaren has ever created for faster lap times. The Senna GTR is estimated to produce at least 825 PS (814 bhp) from its 4.0 L twin-turbocharged V8 engine and is meant to be faster and more agile than its road-going counterpart. On the exterior, the GTR utilises wider front and rear fenders, a larger front splitter, new wheels and a bigger rear diffuser in order to make the car generate about 1,000 kg (2,204 lb) of downforce. The Senna GTR will be limited to only 75 examples. In reviewing the future regulations for the World Endurance Championship, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) identified the Senna GTR as one of several models that fit their vision of a replacement for the Le Mans Prototype class. It was also a competitor at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

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MERCEDES-BENZ

Introduced at the 1936 Paris Motor Show, the Friedrich Geiger designed 540K was a development of the 500K, itself a development of the SSK. Available as a both a two- and four-seat cabriolet, four seater coupé or seven seater limousine (with armoured sides and armoured glass), it was one of the largest cars of its time. The straight-8 cylinder engine of the 500K was enlarged in displacement to 5,401 cc. It was fed by twin pressurised updraft carburettors, developing a 115 hp. In addition, there was an attached Roots supercharger, which could either be engaged manually for short periods, or automatically when the accelerator was pushed fully to the floor. This increased power to 180 hp enabling a top speed of 170 km/h (110 mph). Power was sent to the rear wheels through a four-speed or optional five-speed manual gearbox that featured synchromesh on the top three gears. Vacuum-assisted hydraulic brakes kept the car under the driver’s control. The 540K had the same chassis layout at the 500K, but it was significantly lightened by replacing the girder-like frame of the 500K with oval-section tubes – an influence of the Silver Arrows racing campaign. To meet individual wishes of customers, three chassis variants were available, as for the 500K: two long versions with a 3,290 mm (130 in) wheelbase, differing in terms of powertrain and bodywork layout; and a short version with 2,980 mm (117 in). The long variant, termed the normal chassis with the radiator directly above the front axle, served as the backbone for the four-seater cabriolets, the ‘B’ (with four side windows) and ‘C’ (with two side windows), and for touring cars and saloons. The shorter chassis was for the two-seater cabriolet ‘A’, set up on a chassis on which radiator, engine, cockpit and all rearward modules were moved 185 mm (7.3 in) back from the front axle. The Sindelfingen factory employed 1,500 people to create the 540K, and allowed a great deal of owner customisation, meaning only 70 chassis were ever bodied by independent builders. Owners included Jack L. Warner of Warner Brothers film studios. With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the proposed further boring-out of the engine to 5,800 cc for a 580K was aborted, probably after only one such car was made. Chassis production ceased in 1940, with the final 2 being completed that year, and earlier chassis were still being bodied at a steady rate during 1940, with smaller numbers being completed in the 1941–1943 period. Regular replacement bodies were ordered in 1944 for a few cars.

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

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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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The W111 “FinTail” was the staple of the Benz range through the early 1960s. Mercedes-Benz had emerged from World War II in the early 1950s with the expensive 300 Adenauers and the exclusive 300SL grand tourers that gained it fame, but it was the simple unibody Pontons which comprised the bulk of the company’s revenues. Work on replacing these cars began in 1956 with a design focused on passenger comfort and safety. The basic Ponton cabin was widened and squared off, with a large glass greenhouse improving driver visibility. A milestone in car design were front and rear crumple zones for absorbing kinetic energy on impact. The automaker also patented retractable seatbelts. Series production of the first of the new cars, the W111 4-door sedan began in August 1959, with the car making its debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show in autumn. Initially the series consisted of the 220b, 220Sb, and 220SEb. These replaced the 219 W105, the 220S W180 and the 220SE W128 Ponton sedans respectively. The 220b was an entry-level version with little chrome trim, simple hubcaps, and basic interior trim that lacked pockets on doors. Prices were DM16,750, 18,500 and 20,500, with a rough sales ratio of 1:2:1. All modes shared the 2195 cc straight-six engine carried over from the previous generation, producing 95 hp and capable of accelerating the heavy car to 160 km/h. The 220Sb featured twin carburettors and produced 110 hp raising top speed to 103 mph and improving 0–100 km/h acceleration to 15 seconds. The top range 220SEb featured Bosch fuel injection producing 120 hp at 4800 rpm, with top speed of 107 mph and a 0–100 km/h in 14 seconds. In 1961, the W111 chassis and body were shared with the even more basic 4-cylinder W110 and a luxury version built on the W111 chassis with its body and the 3-litre M189 big block 6-cylinder engine, many standard power features, and a high level of interior and exterior trim, was designated the W112. A 2-door coupe/cabriolet version of the W111/W112 was also produced. In summer 1965, the new Mercedes-Benz W108 sedan was launched and production of the first generation of W111’s was ended. Totals were: 220b – 69,691, 220Sb – 161,119, and 220SEb – 65,886. Earlier that year, Mercedes-Benz gave its budget-range W110 series a major facelift, opting to continue producing the W111 as a new model 230S. The previously 4-cylinder W110 received a 6-cylinder, practically identical in terms of chassis and drivetrain. In 1965 the W110 was equipped with a six-cylinder engine, creating the model 230. The 230S, became a flagship model of the Mercedes passenger cars (predecessors to today’s S-class). The 230S was visually identical to the 220S, with a modernised 2306 cc M180 engine with twin Zenith carburettors producing 120 hp.In this final configuration a total of 41,107 cars were built up to January 1968, when the last of 4-door fintails left the production line. Between 1959 and 1968 a total of 337,803 W111s were built.

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

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MESSERSCHMITT

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MICHELOTTI

The Michelotti Shellette is the result of a collaboration between yacht designer Phillip Schell and famed automotive stylist Giovanni Michelotti. Michelotti was one of Italy’s most important and influential stylists, servicing Vignale, Maserati, Lancia, BMW and many others. Based on a Fiat 850, the Shellette has been substantially reworked to the point where it bears little resemblance to the Fiat. The styling is dramatic and aero, reflecting the design trends of the mid to late ’60s in Italy. Unlike the much more common Fiat Jolly, the Shellette is a far more refined and better equipped machine. Featuring a drive-train capable of comfortably moving the car along at 60mph, it also has heat and a stereo system. The more luxurious Shellette was produced in low numbers – only 80. Of the 80 built one found its way to Jacqueline Onassis who used it on the Island of Skorpios, and an early DAF based Shellette was used by the Dutch Royal Family at their summer residence in Porto Ercole. Today, of the less than 10 which are known to survive, at least three reside in museum collections.

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MG

Replacing the J series cars was the 1934 PA. The PA and later PB replaced the J Type Midget. These 2-door sports cars used an updated version of the overhead camshaft, crossflow engine that was also used in the 1928 Morris Minor and Wolseley 10 as well as the J-type Midget of 1932 to 1934. It drove the rear wheels through a four-speed non-synchromesh gearbox. The chassis was a strengthened and slightly longer version of that used in the J-type with suspension by half-elliptic springs all round with rigid front and rear axles. Steering was initially by a Marles Weller and later a Bishop Cam system. The two-seat car had a wheelbase of 87″ and a track of 42″. Most cars were open two seaters, but streamlined Airline coupé bodies were also made. The P-type was also available as a four-seater, a car that suffered from a lack of power and poor rear ground clearance. Whereas J, K and L-type MGs differentiated between versions with the use of numbers, with 1 indicating a four-seater (the J1) and 2 a two-seater (the J2), this was not the case with the P-type (or its six-cylinder sister, the N-type Magnette), and there is no clue to the type in the name. The first version, the PA used an 847 cc engine similar to the one on the J-Type, but now with a 3-bearing crankshaft, larger camshaft and twin SU carburettors. It produced 36 bhp at 5,500 rpm. In 1935, a PA open two-seater cost £222. Around 2,000 PAs were made. In late 1936 the PA was replaced by the PB, which had a larger 939cc 43bhp engine and which is distinguished by a grille of vertical slats as opposed to the honeycomb pattern of the PA. 526 examples of the PB were made.

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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.

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The MGC was produced as a sort of replacement for the Big Healey, though apart from sharing that car’s 3 litre straight six C Series engine, the reality is that the car was quite different and generally appealed to a different sort of customer. Or, if you look at the sales figures, you could say that it did not really appeal to anyone much, as the car struggled to find favour and buyers when new. More of a lazy grand tourer than an out and out sports car, the handling characteristics were less pleasing than in the B as the heavy engine up front did the car no favours. The market now, finally, takes a different view, though and if you want an MGC, in Roadster or the MGC GT form the latter of which was to be seen here, you will have to dig surprisingly deeply into your pocket.

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MORETTI

This is a Moretti 500 Coupe. In 1925 Giovanni Moretti formed the Moretti Company with the purpose of building motorcycles. During the early years of its existence, Moretti experimented with the production of commercial vehicles, electric and alternate fuel vehicles. In 1946, he switched to the production of conventional automobiles. Their first offering was the ‘Cita’, followed by the 600. In 1953 the 750 was introduced. By the close of the 1950’s, Moretti switched from the production of complete automobiles, to using Fiat mechanical components for use in his automobiles. Their versions of the Fiat products were offered in a variety of body-styles including Saloons, Coupes, Spyders, Estates and more. Still, Moretti found it difficult to compete as his vehicles cost nearly double the price of the Fiats. In 1957 the Moretti 500 Coupe, based on the Fiat 500, was shown at the Turin Motor Show. This was quickly followed by the 600 Spyder. Variants based on other Fiat and Alfa Romeo’s followed. Vignale and Michelotti were often commissioned by Moretti to create the designs for his automobiles. This process was later disbanded and Moretti brought the design process in-house. It is equipped with a 479-cc engine that is capable of producing just over 20 horsepower. The engine is matted to a four-speed manual gearbox which sends the power to the rear wheels. Stopping power is from the four-wheel drum brakes. The Moretti 500’s were hand built. They were loaned to dealerships in an effort to stimulate attention and bring customers into the shops. Top speed was 72 mph and the vehicle could sustain 36 mpg fuel economy. It is believed that less than 50 examples of the Moretti 500 were produced.

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In the seventies, Moretti switched to building mini-off vehicles with select Fiat components. The Fiat 500-based “Minimaxi” first appeared in 1970, and was later adapted to take 126 underpinnings. The 127-based “Midimaxi” appeared in 1971. The Minimaxi is a rear-wheel drive platform that features a floor-shift four-speed manual transmission situated between front bucket seats. The windshield is hinged to lie flat and open sides allows easy access for the occupants of this fun to drive city/beach car. It is believed that about 90 of these were built.

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NISSAN

Dating from 1998 is this Nissan R390 GT1, which finished 5th overallat the Le Mans 24 Hours. The Nissan R390 GT1 was a racing car built in Atsugi, Japan. It was designed primarily to gain a suitable racing entry in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1997 and 1998. It was built to race under the grand touring style rules, requiring a homologated road version to be built. Therefore, the R390 was built originally as road car, then a racing version of the car was developed afterwards. Only one R390 road car was ever built. The Nissan VRH35L twin-turbocharged V8 engine used in the R390 GT1.The engine produces 650 hp at 6.800 rpm and is linked to an XTRAC Sequential 6-speed gearbox. This car exhibited by Ascott Collection finished 5th at 1998 Le Mans 24 Hours.

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PANHARD

Charles Deutsch and René Bonnet were the founders of the DB marque. Fervent defenders of front-wheel drive, it was with the famous twin-cylinder Panhard that they had their best success, with several index victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The small HBR5 is quite well known, but they also produced a very small number of diminutive single-seater racers of which this is one. Created for the then new Formula Junior, it featured a 954cc Panhard engine and an aluminium body

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This is the 1964 CD Panhard LM 64. Charles Deutsch and Rene Bonnet collaborated since 1936 to prepare racing cars under the designation D.B. In 1962 they separated when Rene Bonnet decided to work with Renault engines while Charles Deutsch continued with Panhard mechanical components; the company of Charles Deutsch was then designated CD. For the 1964 Le Mans 24 Hours edition Charles Deutsch and his team prepared a exceptionally aerodynamic racing coupe with supercharged Panhard engine at the front; equipped with two fins at the back the car completed a coefficient of 0,12 defined in the wind tunnel. Two cars were entered for the 1964 Le Mans edition, with numbers 44 and 45. The car N°44 had engine trouble and could not finish while N°45 failed with transmission problems. During racing the cars demonstrated the possibility with excellent aerodynamic and small engine to compete in performance with larger capacity contenders. The cars were equipped with flat bottom and covered wheels front and rear.

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The HBR 5 model (1954–1959) was Deutsch and Bonnet’s (DB) most successful project to date, with several hundred of the cars produced until 1959. Another small series of lowered and lightened cars called “Super Rallye” occurred in 1960 and 1961. Around 660 of the Mille Miles, Coach, and HBR 4/5s were built in total. Other sources (a count by the DB-Panhard clubs of France, Germany, Switzerland, and the US) account for 950 DB coupés, of which nearly all would be HBRs and their Frua-designed predecessors. A very few Antem-built Coaches (coupés) were built in aluminium in 1952, mostly for competition purposes. Most of the Antem-bodied DB road cars were cabriolets. This early feeler from DB was succeeded by the steel-bodied Frua-designed coupé “Mille Miles” (celebrating class victories at the Mille Miglia) was a mini-GT with a 65 hp 850 cc Panhard two-cylinder. It was of rather square-rigged appearance, with a split windshield, a low grille, and three portholes on the fenders. A 750 cc version was also offered, with available supercharging. 32 of the DB-Frua (also referred to as the Mille Miles) were built, from October 1952 until the end of 1953. The HBR was first introduced as the “DB Coach” at the 1954 Paris Salon, with production beginning in January 1955. An earlier prototype with a body made of Duralinox (an aluminium-magnesium alloy) had been shown at the 1953 Paris Salon, but productionising the car took some time. The early Chausson designs received retractable headlamps and often the front portion of the roof is plexiglass. This plexiglass sunroof, with a removable inner cover, continued to be available throughout the HBR’s life. Chausson built the fibreglass body; this was considered an experience-gaining effort and DB was charged a very modest per-unit price.[9] The first hundred interim cars were built by Chausson, after which, experiment over, they sold the tooling to Deutsch and Bonnet themselves. They in turn turned the equipment over to another bodybuilding company which proceeded to sell the finished bodies to DB, meaning DB got into the car manufacturing business at a minimal cost. The first Coach/HBR had a 50 CV version of the 848 cc Panhard Dyna engine, with twin Solex carburettors. Early models, show cars in particular, also often exhibited luxurious equipment with much chrome and two-tone paintjobs. Until about 1957 the shift pattern (cable actuated) of the four-speed gearbox was offset by ninety degrees from the norm. About 430 of the standard HBR 5 were built, complemented in 1960 and 1961 by another ten “HBR 5 Super Rallye”s – these were essentially chopped and sectioned competition versions of the “regular” HBR 5. Later versions could be equipped with engines of 1 and 1.3 litres, and superchargers were also available. As with most DBs, excepting the early Citroën-engined cars, the HBRs were all equipped with modified Panhard flat-two engines and other technology. The HBR 5 was the second fibreglass-bodied car to have entered series production, if such a thing can indeed be said about any of DB’s products – no two cars may have been alike, as they were built according to customer specifications from a wide range of options. The HBR 5 was complemented by the less sporting Le Mans (1958–1964), after which the DB brand was broken up into CD and René Bonnet. What had been intended to be called the HBR 6 instead became the CD Dyna (for “Charles Deutsch”) while Bonnet focused on Renault-based cars. Cars equipped with the 745 cc engine were called “HBR 4”, to reflect that they were in the 4CV (tax horsepower) category of the French taxation system. The bigger engined cars were 5CV, hence their name. While Panhard’s original engine was of 851 cc, DB used a version downsleeved minimally, to 848 cc. This was to suit competition regulations. The Super Rallye was lowered by 15 centimetres (6 in), had a more steeply raked windshield, a higher aluminium content, and plexiglass side windows – all in the name of aerodynamics and lower weight. In addition to the ten regular series cars, an additional car was built from a 1962 Le Mans Coach. The Super Rallye was often seen in racing, having partaken in the 1960 and 1961 Le Mans 24 Hours, the 1961 Rallye Monte Carlo, in the Tour de France Automobile, and countless lesser regional races. A 1960 Super Rallye with the 954 cc option (and twin Zenith carburettors) offered 72 CV at 6000 rpm and a top speed of 175 km/h (109 mph). The smaller HBR 4 was also raced at Le Mans and elsewhere, often with even lighter roadster bodies.

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PEGASO

Pegaso came about thanks to a man called Wilfredo Ricart, who had been the technical director at Alfa Romeo from 1936 to 1945. During that time, he took a profound dislike to Enzo Ferrari, who was still racing Alfa models through his own Scuderia Ferrari team. When Ricart’s contract at Alfa ran out, he went to Spain, a country which had suffered not just the ill-effects of the War, but also under civil conflict following the rising of General Franco prior to that. Spain needed to mobilise itself, literally to stand any chance of economic growth. So in 1946, when ENASA was formed to produce Pegaso lorries, Ricart was engaged as the technical director. The new company was based in Barcelona, in the former Hispano Suiza works, and indeed the first models used a Hispano chassis. It was not long before Ricart was working not just on the lorries and buses for which Pegaso was initially known, but also on a luxury sports car, with which he intended to compete against Ferrari. The first prototypes were revealed in 1951, called the Z-102. There were two: a coupe and a drophead, powered by an all alloy quad cam 2.5 litre V8 engine which generated 165 hp with a five speed transaxle, mounted behind the diff for better weight distribution. The coupe and convertible had dumpy steel bodies, and weight was an issue to the extent that Pegaso made the decision to revert to alloy for the coachwork. Coachbuilder Touring then ‘beautified’ the design, replacing the grille with a two-piece cross, lowering the car, repositioning the foglights, and simplifying various details to give it a clean profile, similar to the contemporary Aston-Martin DB2 and Lancia Aurelia. The Z-102 employed racing-car technology in its chassis and alloy body. Everything was produced in-house, with the exception of the external coachwork, with bodies made by Touring, Saoutchik or Serra, although the very early Z-102 cars do have Pegaso-made bodies. The first Z-102s had an all alloy 4 cam 2.5 litre engine as used in the prototypes, though later there were variants with 2.8 and 3.2 DOHC 32 valve V8s, with multiple carburettors and the option of a optional supercharger. Power output ranged from 175 to 360 bhp. and there was a five-speed gearbox. The fastest could reach 155 mph, making it the world’s fastest production car at the time. The base model had an 120 mph (192 km/h) top speed. However, the cars were heavy and brutish to drive and competition success was virtually non-existent. Because the cars were built on a cost-no-object basis, this caused financial difficulty in the company. A simplified and cheaper version, the Z-103 with 3.9, 4.5 and 4.7 litre engines, was put into production, but to no avail, and the Z-102 was discontinued after 1958. Just 86 of the Z-102 cars were produced, and out of these, only a handful of cabriolets were built, and there were a further 26 Z-103 models, a grand total of 112 Pegaso models. Seen here was a Z-102 with Saoutchik body and a Z103 Panoramic.

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PEUGEOT

Second of the major French manufacturer stands is that of Peugeot, which as ever was situated adjoining the Citroen area, and this one also comprises a mix of cars from the factory’s own collection and Club cars. There was plenty of variety on this buzzing stand.

Final car in the 02 series was the 202. Production started in January 1938, and the car was formally launched on 2 March 1938 with a dinner and presentation for the specialist press in the fashionable Bois de Boulogne district of Paris. The previous autumn, at the 1937 Paris Motor Show, Peugeot had staged a massive “referendum” among visitors to the show stand to find out what customers expected from the new small car then under development. It is not clear whether there would still have been time to incorporate any of the suggestions of the public in the car as launched, but the participative nature of the exercise certainly generated positive pre-launch publicity for the 202. The steel bodied 202 was instantly recognisable as a Peugeot from the way that the headlights were set, as on the older 302, close together, in a protected location behind the front grille. Most customers chose the four-door berline version which by 1948 came with a steel-panel sliding sun roof included in the price. However the boot/trunk was small and could be accessed only from within the car, there being no outside boot lid. The two-seater two-door cabriolet “décapotable” did have a separate boot lid but cost approximately 30% more than the berline. Priced very closely to the berline was a structurally similar four-door four-seater “berline découvrable”, which featured a full fold away hood: this type of body would become difficult to provide using the monocoque body structure then becoming mainstream and which would be a feature of the Peugeot 203. Both the Peugeot 202 and the Peugeot 203 had frontal suicide doors. Between 1947 and 1949 the manufacturer produced 3,015 timber bodied “hatch” (hatchback) conversions: this model cost 55% more than the berline, and anticipated future Peugeot policy by using a slightly longer chassis than that used on other 202 versions. The extensive use of timber took the company back to a technology that it had abandoned in 1931 when production of the Type 190 ended, and according to the manufacturer was above all a response to shortage of sheet steel in post-war France. There were only two models offered in France in this class offering so wide a range of body types; the other was the still popular but soon to be replaced Simca 8. The 202 was powered by a 1133 cc water-cooled engine giving a maximum of 30 PS at 4000 rpm and a top speed of approximately 100 km/h (62 mph). Fuel-feed came via overhead valves, at a time when the most obvious competitor, the recently introduced Renault Juvaquatre, was still powered by a side-valve power unit. Power was transferred to the rear wheels by means of a three-speed manual transmission featuring synchromesh on the top two ratios. Back in 1931 the 202’s predecessor, the Peugeot 201, had been the first mass market volume model to feature independent front suspension. Independent front suspension, widely held to improve both the road holding and the ride of the car, was again incorporated on the new 202, meaning that this was a feature across the entire Peugeot range: the same claim could not be made for the range on offer from rival Renault. As on the contemporary Citroën Traction, relatively elaborate “Pilote” style wheels, featuring alternating holes and structural metal support sections round the outside of the inner hub, were replaced by simpler (and cheaper to produce) pressed disc wheels when, following a heroic reconstruction effort at the Sochaux plant, production could be resumed in 1946 following the war. Small improvements continued to be implemented almost until the point where production ended. Hydraulic brakes were a new feature for 1946. Shortly after this the dashboard was redesigned to incorporate a (very small) glove box. For 1948 the wheels were embellished with chrome plated hub caps and the car received redesigned hydraulic shock absorbers (which turned out to be of the design recently finalised for the forthcoming new 203 model). A final fling, exhibited in October 1948 was the Peugeot 202 “Affaires”, a reduced specification version, with the heater removed and thinner tires fitted. The 202 Affaires also lost the sliding-steel-panel sunroof which by now had become a standard fitting on the regular 202 Berline. The list price was 320,000 Francs which represented a saving of more than 6% on the list price for the standard car. The bargain basement marketing may have helped clear accumulated component inventory, but the cabriolet version was nevertheless delisted shortly after the October 1948 Motor Show closed: by now commentators and potential customers were focused on the Peugeot 203, formally launched in 1948, by which time it had already been the subject of extensive pre-launch promotion and publicity by Peugeot for more than a year.

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The replacement for the 403 was the 404 Berline, which was built from 1960 to 1975, though the commercial pick-up versions continued until 1988, and under licence, it was manufactured in various African countries until 1991. Styled by Pininfarina, the 404 was offered initially as a saloon, estate, and pickup. A convertible was added in 1962, and a coupé in 1963. The 404 was fitted with a 1.6 litre petrol engine, with either a Solex carburettor or Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection or a 1.9 litre diesel engine available as options. Introduced at the Paris Motor Show as an option was the inclusion of a 3-speed ZF automatic transmission, similar to the unit already offered on certain BMW models, as an alternative to the standard column-mounted manual unit. Popular as a taxicab, the 404 enjoyed a reputation for durability and value. Peugeot’s French production run of 1,847,568 404s ended in 1975. A total of 2,885,374 units had been produced worldwide at the end of production.

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The 309 had been conceived as Projet C28 as a replacement for the Talbot Horizon, and as a result its development had been performed by the former Chrysler/Simca wing of PSA. Styling was the responsibility of the former Chrysler-Rootes design studios in Coventry, whilst much of the engineering was done at the Simca site at Poissy in France. The only stipulation from PSA management was that the new car had to use as much existing architecture as possible; hence the use of a stretched Peugeot 205 floorpan and door shells, whilst the Simca engines and transmissions from the Horizon were also carried over. The 309’s design was presaged by the 1982 Peugeot VERA Plus (followed by the VERA Profil in 1985), which were aerodynamic studies developed by Peugeot at the time. The VERA Plus claimed a Cw of only 0.22. Many of the aerodynamic features from the VERA studies found their way into later production Peugeots. Production in France began at the former Simca plant in Poissy in the end of summer 1985, with the first French customers getting their cars in October of that year; but it was decided that RHD models would be built at the Ryton plant near Coventry, which had previously been owned by the Rootes Group and then Chrysler Europe before Peugeot took it over in 1978. The first 309 for the British market rolled off the production line at Ryton in October 1985, and sales began the beginning of 1986, although left-hand drive sales of the Poissy built models began in France in October 1985. The only bodywork available originally was the five-door hatchback. The 309 was not intended to replace Peugeot’s own model, the 305, but the out of step model number (the next small family car after the 305 should have been named “306” which eventually launched in 1993) was intended to distance it from the larger 305 in the marketplace and to reflect the car’s Simca origins. It was also the first Peugeot badged hatchback of this size. With the Talbot brand being phased out on passenger cars, the 309 would succeed the Talbot Horizon. Peugeot had been considering a new Talbot Samba based on the forthcoming Citroën AX supermini, but the success of the Peugeot 205 meant that there was little need for a third supermini within the PSA combine, and so the Samba was discontinued in 1986 with no replacement. The larger Alpine hatchback and Solara saloons were also axed in 1986, a year before Peugeot began production of the similar sized 405, successor to the 305. The 309’s slightly awkward styling (especially when compared with the 205 and 405 of the same era) was due to the decision to reuse the door shells from the 205. The 309 was also originally intended to be differentiated from Peugeot as a Talbot, and was designed “inhouse”. Other Peugeot cars of the time were designed by the famed Italian design house Pininfarina, up until the introduction of the 206 in 1998. The notched hatchback design bears an unintentional similarity to the Dodge Shadow and Plymouth Sundance, which were also developed (entirely separately and cut down from a larger [Chrysler K-Car] platform rather than stretched from a smaller one) to replace the Horizon in North America. The initial engine line up in the United Kingdom market consisted of the chain driven Simca derived 1118 cc (E1A) and 1294 cc (G1A) overhead valve petrol units from the Horizon, and Peugeot provided 1580/1905 cc petrol belt driven overhead camshaft XU units. Spanish-built cars also used the 1442 cc (Y2) and 1592 cc (J2) “Poissy engine”, as seen previously in the Simca 1307 and Solara as well as the Horizon, instead of the 1580 cc OHC. In July 1986 the first diesels arrived, the 1905 cc, 65 PS PSA XUD engined GLD, GRD, followed by the SRD in 1987. Certain export markets also received a 60 PS 1769-cc version of this engine from the beginning. In France, the smaller diesel option only arrived in 1992. With 305 sales dropping considerably, the 309 range was expanded considerably in February 1987, when the three-door bodystyle was added. In line with Peugeot’s naming policy of the time, five-door models generally have equipment levels beginning with the letter G, while three-doors begin with the letter X. Other important new models was the XU 1905 cc-engined high performance GTI version of the 309; this quickly established itself as one of the class leading hot hatch of its time, thanks to very quick acceleration and a better balanced chassis set-up than the already-excellent handling Peugeot 205 GTI. Other new versions in 1987 were the new Automatic (only with five doors) and the XA and XAD two-seater vans which arrived in February. Largely due to its partially British origins, the Peugeot 309 became a popular choice in the United Kingdom, and in 1987, it was joined on the production line by the larger 405. The 309’s successor, the 306, was also built at Ryton, as was the 206, which was the last vehicle in production there when the plant closed in December 2006. The summer of 1989 saw the introduction of the Phase 2 Peugeot 309. It revised the design of the rear, lowering the boot lip, changing the rear lights to a more ‘smoked style’ and making slight alterations to the front radiator grille. Also, an updated interior was required to address severe criticisms leveled at the Phase 1’s, Talbot designed multi piece dashboard which was prone to developing squeaks and rattles. The GTi models received a colour coded one piece rear spoiler as opposed to the Phase 1’s outdated rubber spoiler which, by then, harked back to early 1980s design. Quite importantly a modified gearbox called ‘BE3’ was introduced, a revision of the original ‘BE1’ unit, placing reverse in the “down and to the right” position behind fifth gear, as opposed to the earlier “up and to the left” position next to first gear. Retrospectively, the ‘BE3’ gearboxes are slightly less prone to failure than their earlier counterparts. This was also when Peugeot gradually phased in their, all new, belt driven TU Series overhead camshaft engines, in 1,124 cc and 1,360 cc forms, eventually replacing the trusty Simca units during 1992. The GTi 16 model, featuring the XU9J4 engine from the 405 Mi16, was also introduced at this time; however, these were only sold in mainland Europe. Towards the end of 1992, production of the 309 began to wind down in anticipation for the launch of the new Peugeot 306, returning Peugeot to their normal numbering scheme. In July 1993, the 309 lineup was severely reduced and only the two Vital (petrol or diesel) models remained on sale until December. In total, 1,635,132 Peugeot 309s were built between 1985 and 1993. As of 2018, only 481 Peugeot 309s remained on the roads in the United Kingdom, with another 1,378 registered being kept off the road as SORN.

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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.

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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 styling of the 205 is often thought to be a Pininfarina design, although Gerard Welter claims it is an in-house design; Pininfarina only styled the Cabriolet. It is often credited as the car that turned Peugeot’s fortunes around. Before the 205, Peugeot was considered the most conservative of France’s “big three” car manufacturers, producing large saloons such as the 504 and 505, although it had entered the modern supermini market in 1973 with the Peugeot 104. The genesis of the 205 lay within Peugeot’s takeover in 1978 of Chrysler’s European divisions Simca and the former Rootes Group, which had the necessary expertise in making small cars including the Simca 1100 in France and Hillman Imp in Britain. It was around this time that Peugeot began to work on the development of a new supermini for the 1980s. Early 205s used the X engine (commonly nicknamed the Douvrin “Suitcase Engine”) from the older Peugeot 104, although these were later (1987–1988) replaced with the newer XU and TU-series engines, which were of PSA design. Engines ranged from 954 cc to 1905 cc engine displacement, in carburettor or fuel injected petrol and diesel versions. Its use of the now standard PSA Peugeot Citroën suspension layout of MacPherson struts at the front, with torsion bar suspension rear suspension, that debuted in the Peugeot 305 estate, was a key ingredient of the success of the 205. This is fully independent using torsion bars (Torsion spring) and trailing arms. It is very compact and was designed to minimise suspension intrusion into the boot, giving a wide flat loadspace, while providing excellent ride and handling. It was launched on 24 February 1983, and was launched in right-hand drive form for the UK market in September that year. Shortly after its launch, it was narrowly pipped to the European Car of the Year award by the similar sized Fiat Uno, but ultimately (according to the award organizers) it would enjoy a better image and a longer high market demand than its Italian competitor. It was one of five important small cars to be launched onto the European market within a year of each other – the other three models being the Uno, the second generation Ford Fiesta, the original Opel Corsa (sold as the Vauxhall Nova on the British market) and the original Nissan Micra. Its launch also closely followed that of the Austin Metro and Volkswagen Polo MK2. The diesel models employed the XUD PSA Diesel inline-four engine, lifted from the Citroën BX which was introduced in September 1982. These XUD engines had a capacity of 1769 cc (XUD7) and 1905 cc (XUD9) and are closely related to the XU5 and XU9 petrol engines in the BX16 and BX19 of the time respectively, as well as the engines later used in the 205 GTI 1.6 and automatic (also 1.6) and GTI 1.9 respectively (other Peugeot/Citroën [PSA] products, such as the 305 and Talbot Horizon as well as the BX, used the XUD9 1905 cc Diesel engine of the same capacity as the 205 GTI 1.9 and Citroën BX 19 petrol engined models). The XUD7 (and XUD9) Diesel Engines were world-beating and so petrol-like that many buyers were won over by petrol car performance combined with diesel economy. The 205 GRD (1.8 Diesel, 59 bhp, 78 lb/ft (105.8 Nm)), for instance, was as fast yet smoother than the 205 GR (1.4 Petrol, 59 bhp, 78 lb/ft (105.8 Nm)), due to the engine developing peak torque at much lower rpm, while using much less fuel. There were also various versions intended for commercial use, such as the two-seater XA-series. There was also the “205 Multi”, a tall-bodied special version on XA or XE-basis built by independent coachbuilders like Gruau and Durisotti. Gruau called their XA-based two-seater version the “VU”, while the five-seat XE-based version was called the “VP”. Durisotti began building the 205 Multi in 1986; it was called the “205 Multi New Look”. The 205 was an instant hit, and its styling was echoed in every Peugeot model that was to follow. The exterior styling was never facelifted or significantly altered in its 15-year production run. There was a dashboard redesign for the 1988 model year, and in late 1990 the 205 received new door design and cards, clear front indicators, new ‘smoked’ rear light clusters, single point petrol injection and catalytic converters were introduced, to meet the new 1992 pollution limits. These updates came at a crucial time, as 1990 also saw the arrival of a completely new French competitor, the Renault Clio, while the Rover Metro and Volkswagen Polo were also heavily updated, and Ford had already replaced its Fiesta with a third generation model. Still, the 205 was still widely regarded in the motoring press as the benchmark car in this sector by 1990. At the beginning of 1993, Peugeot launched the 306, which officially replaced the 309; the arrival of this car also diminished the 205’s role (and its sales figures) in the Peugeot range, as had the arrival of the smaller 106 in September 1991 – although the final demise of the 205 was still some years away. The engines were continuously updated, with the new TU engines introduced in 1988. In 1991, the 205 dTurbo was launched with a powerful, turbocharged version of the 1,769 cc xud diesel engine. After several years of gradually declining sales, the Peugeot 205 was discontinued in the United Kingdom in 1996. The Peugeot 205 was still offered in the “Sacré Numéro” and “Génération” models until the end of the production in 1998, the last models were GLD 1.8 configuration and were sold in Argentina. Most of the later European versions were only sold in France. Due to the pressure from the market, with buyers wanting a Peugeot supermini in the mould of the 205 again, the company finally built a direct replacement in the 206, which was launched in 1998. 5,278,050 Peugeot 205s have been sold, and a significant percentage of them were still in circulation as of 2009. By 2014, there were still as many as 14,000 on the road in the United Kingdom, compared to the peak high of 374,773 in 1994. With potentially as many 400,000 sales in the UK, it became the best selling car ever sold by Peugeot in the UK – although its success was emulated a few years later by the larger 306 and later by the 206. It also helped boost the popularity of the Peugeot brand there, as well as being at least a factor in Peugeot’s decision to phase out the Talbot brand in the mid 1980s when launching new models to be built at the former Rootes Group plant near Coventry and the former Simca plant at Poissy. The 205 was first available as a GTI in 1984 (the same year that the three-door bodystyle debuted) and was initially powered by a fuel injected 1.6 petrol engine. The 1.9 GTI was launched in 1986 and the 1.9-litre engine was also used in the GTI version of the larger 309. The 205 GTI was discontinued in 1994, by which time Peugeot was producing high performance versions of the 106 and 306.

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In 1995, Peugeot launched an electric powered version of the 106, called the 106 Electrique. This was offered in a number of European countries including France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom. The electric powertrain was developed and built by French engineering company Heuliez. The car used Nickel-cadmium battery technology manufactured by Saft Groupe S.A., had a top speed of 56 mph (90 km/h) and had an official range of 100 km (62 mi). Despite the high price of the vehicle, Peugeot anticipated demand for around 15,000 to 20,000 Peugeot 106 Électriques each year, with an expected total production run of 100,000 vehicles. In the end, only 6,400 Peugeot 106 Électriques were sold between 1995 and 2003, most purchased by the French Administration.

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Just on sale is the new version of the 208 which includes an all-electric model in the range. The i-cockpit nonsense remains, but in all other respects, this would seem to be a rather nice addition to the ranks of the supermini class, and certainly a better looking car than the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa which shares much of the underpinnings.

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

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

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There was a nice example of the elegant 404 coupe here. The Coupe version joined the range in 1963 a year after the Cabriolet and it was effectively this latter car with a fixed roof. Both were costly and so it was perhaps not a surprise that they were only produced until 1968. 17,223 were made.

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The 504 was noted for its robust body structure, long suspension travel, and torque tube drive shaft – enclosed in a rigid tube attached at each end to the gearbox housing and differential casing, relieving drive train torque reactions. The 504 ultimately achieved wide-spread popularity in far-flung rough-terrain countries – including Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, Benin, Kenya and Nigeria. More than three million 504s were manufactured in its European production, with production continuing globally under various licensing arrangements – including 27,000 assembled in Kenya and 425,000 assembled in Nigeria, using knock-down kits – with production extending into 2006. Marketed as Peugeot’s flagship saloon car, the 504 made its public debut on 12 September 1968 at the Paris Salon. The press launch which had been scheduled for June 1968 was at the last minute deferred by three months, and production got off to a similarly delayed start because of the political and industrial disruption which exploded across France in May 1968. The 504 was a sunroof-equipped four-door saloon, introduced with a carbureted 1,796 cc four-cylinder petrol engine 79 bhp with optional fuel injection. A column-mounted four-speed manual transmission was standard; a three-speed ZF 3HP12 automatic available as an upgrade. The 504 was European Car of the Year in 1969, praised for its styling, quality, chassis, ride, visibility, strong engine and refinement. 1969 was also when the 504 reached the Australian market. The 504 Injection two-door coupé and two-door cabriolet were introduced at the Salon de Geneva in March 1969. The engine produced the same 79 bhp as in the fuel-injected saloon, but the final drive ratio was slightly revised to give a slightly higher road speed of 20.6 mph (33.2 km/h) at 1,000 rpm. The 504 received a new four-cylinder 1971 cc engine, rated at 96 bhp (carburated) and 104 bhp (fuel-injected), and a four-cylinder 2112 cc diesel engine rated at 65 bhp. The 1796 cc engine remained available. In September 1970 an estate (“Break”) was added, featuring a higher rear roof, lengthened wheel base, and solid rear axle with four coil springs. It was joined by the 7-seat “Familiale”, which had all its occupants facing forward in three rows of seats. In April 1973, because of the oil crisis Peugeot presented the 504 L. It featured a coil sprung live rear axle and a smaller 1796 cc engine rated at 79 bhp (81 bhp for Automatic). The different rear axle required somewhat more space; this required some alterations to the floor pan which meant marginally less boot space and rear headroom. At the 1974 October Motor Show Peugeot presented a more powerful engine for the 504 coupé and cabriolet, now fitted with a 2664 cc V6 unit developed in collaboration with Volvo and Renault. This was the same engine that would be used for the 604 berline, to be introduced at Geneva five months later, in March 1975. The engine incorporated various innovative features such as an aluminium cylinder block, and a fuel-feed system that employed carburettors of differing type, one (type 34 TBIA) featuring a single chamber controlled directly according to the movement of the accelerator pedal, and the second being a twin chamber carburettor (type 35 CEEI) designed to operate simultaneously with the first, using a pneumatic linkage. Maximum output for the 504 coupé and cabriolet fitted with this new V6 engine was given as 136 bhp, supporting a top speed of 186 km/h (116 mph). During 1975, the first full year of production, 2643 of these six-cylinder 504 coupés and cabriolet were produced, which was considered a respectable number, although dwarfed by the 236,733 four-cylinder 504 “berlines” (saloons/sedans) and “breaks” (estates/station wagons) produced by Peugeot in France in the same year. Following the launch of the six-cylinder cars, the four-cylinder versions of the coupé and cabriolet 504s were delisted: they returned to the showrooms in 1978 in response, it was reported, to customer demand. At the Paris Motor Show of October 1976 the option of an enlarged diesel engine was introduced. The stroke of 83 mm remained the same as that of the existing 2112 cc diesel motor, but for the larger engine the bore was increased to 94 mm, giving an overall 2304 cc along with an increase in claimed power output from 65 to 70 bhp. The 2112 cc diesel engine would also find its way into the Ford Granada since Ford did not at the time produce a sufficient volume of diesel sedans in this class to justify the development of their own diesel engine. Peugeot 504 production in Europe was pruned back in 1979 with the launch of the Peugeot 505, although the 504 Pickup was introduced as a replacement for the 404 Pickup for the 1980 model year. The last European-made example rolled off the production line in 1983, although the pick up version continued in production, and was available in Europe until 1993. More than three million 504 passenger cars were produced in Europe. The 505 shared most of the Peugeot 504 mechanical parts, similarly to the Peugeot 604 and Talbot Tagora. As of December 2015, 197 examples of the Peugeot 504 are still in use in Britain. Seen here were a 504 Cabrio and a Rally version of the saloon.

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The Peugeot 908 was developed by Peugeot Sport in 2011 for the Le Mans Prototype category of racing. Powered by a diesel engine, it is the successor to the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP which competed since 2007. The newer 908 features a smaller diesel than its predecessor, utilising a 3,700 cc HDi V8 engine with Honeywell Turbo Technologies turbocharger in order to meet new regulations for 2011. The 908 has competed in all rounds of the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup including the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans. The new 908 lost about 150 bhp compared to 2010 but improvements in the chassis and handling made the car much more agile. Rear tyres are now fitted on the front. The only part that has been reused from its predecessor was the windscreen wiper. The 908’s first competitive outing was at the 2011 Sebring 12 Hours. The new cars faced competition from the older Audi R15+ and the old Oreca 908 HDi FAP. Both Peugeots ran at the front, building a 2-second gap per lap over the Audi but relentless safety car periods cut their lead over time. Marc Gené then shoved the car to the inside of Capello in turn 17. Both cars spun but only Gené hit the barrier and suffered a suspension failure. The #8 led for a while until a slow pit stop and a spin by Lamy threw them back to third. The Peugeots finished 3rd and 8th. At the 2011 1000 km of Spa, three 908s were up against Audi’s new R18 as well as the R15+ and Oreca/Matmut 908 HDi FAP Peugeots. After a disastrous qualifying session leaving only one 908 in the top ten, they quickly got to the front of the field during the first laps, and soon were running 1-2-3 after the R18s were running into technical issues. After an off by the third placed 908 piloted by Pedro Lamy, Tom Kristensen’s R18 took its position. Following damage to the engine cover of the R18, the Peugeots regained the podium positions, but a front suspension failure half an hour before the end of the race led to a nine-minute pit-stop and a drop into position eight. Nonetheless this same car achieved the fastest lap of the event at 2:03.699. At Le Mans the three Peugeot 908s were able to battle Audi for the lead of the race. Aided by fewer pit stops Peugeot remained on the same lap as the lead Audi, but failed to catch the leader in the final hour, the No. 9 Peugeot crossing the finish line thirteen seconds behind the race winner. A hybrid version of the 908 known as the Peugeot 908 Hybrid4 was expected to run in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2012 in addition to an updated version of the regular car, but after poor economic performance in 2011 Peugeot canceled their race program for 2012. Peugeot was already at Sebring to test the new cars, so the announcement came as a severe blow to Peugeot Sport Total.

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PORSCHE

Porsche earned its enviable reputation by making cars powered by a flat-six engine, not by peddling hybrids, yet company founder Ferdinand Porsche dabbled in petrol-electric technology well before he created the company that bears his name. The project began around the turn of the 20th century when Lohner, an Austrian firm that’s part of Canada’s Bombardier group in 2020, reached out to Porsche to begin jointly developing an electric car. Some were sold and used in cities, but they were extremely heavy and they couldn’t drive very far on a single charge. Rather than throwing in the towel, the two partners created an innovative petrol-electric hybrid powertrain built around a pair of generators driven by two individual, 3.5 bhp single-cylinder engines purchased from France’s De Dion-Bouton, a name that comes up often when researching the origins of the automobile. Electricity travelled through a lead battery to reach a pair of hub motors integrated into the front wheels. It was a complicated, relatively primitive, and highly unusual setup but it worked surprisingly well, with a top speed of :35 km/h (22 mph) and the range was 200 km (124 miles). Electric cars were smoother and easier to drive than petrol-powered models at the time, so the motorists who got the opportunity to drive a Lohner-Porsche loved it. It could seat four, though the rear passengers were likely not as enthralled by the experience because they sat less than a foot away from the two uncovered engines. Precise dates and production figures are largely lost to history. Porsche claims the hybrid — which was sometimes called Mixte-Wagen — made its debut in 1901, while some historians believe it didn’t appear until 1902. Production numbers are similarly vague, but what’s certain is that the model wasn’t a one-off. Approximately 300 units were made, an impressive figure considering Lohner’s hybrid cost much more than a comparable petrol-powered car.

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There were plenty of more familiar 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.

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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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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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The Porsche 910 or Carrera 10 was a race car from Porsche, based on the Porsche 906. 29 were produced and were raced in 1966 and 1967. The factory name for the 910 was the 906/10. The 910 was considered the next sequence in the 906 line. The main difference to the original 906 is the use of 13 inch wheels and tyres as in Formula One (F1), plus a single central nut instead of the five nuts as in a road car. This made the car unsuitable for street use, but it saved time in pitstops. Overall, the 910 was lighter and shorter than the 906. The Porsche 910 was entered in mid 1966, starting with the 1966 European Hill Climb Championship from Sierre to Crans-Montana in Switzerland. Engines used were 1991cc 6-cylinder (901/20, Weber 46IDA3C) with 200 hp, 1991cc 6-cylinder (901/21, MFI Slide Throttle) with 220 hp, 2195cc 6-cylinder (907, MFI) with 270 hp, or the 1981cc 8-cylinder (771, MFI) with up to 275 hp. The 8 cylinder version was referred to as 910/8. The Porsche 910 is 4113 mm long, 1680 mm wide and only 980 mm high. The 910 was only raced for about one year by the factory. The main class rivals were the Ferrari Dino 206P, overall victories on fast tracks against the much more powerful and faster Ford GT40 for example, or another class competitor Ferrari Prototypes proved unrealistic. At the 1000 km Nürburgring in 1967, a fleet of six factory cars were entered in an attempt to score the first overall win in Porsche’s home event. Two of the three 8-cyl broke, and the remaining one finished fourth. The three 6-cyl won 1-2-3, though, giving Porsche its first outright win in a third major event of the World Sportscar Championship for Porsche, after the 1956 Targa Florio and the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1960. In Le Mans, the new Porsche 907 “long tails” were already entered, finishing 5th in front of a 910 and two 906. In hillclimbing, the career of the short and light open-top 910/8 “Bergspyder” version with its 8-cylinder continued, winning the 1967 and 1968 European championships. At the hillclimb of Ollon-Villars, which counted towards the World Sportscar Championship in 1967, the 910 even scored a 1-2, with Gerhard Mitter and Rolf Stommelen beating Herbert Müller and his big V12-Ferrari P.

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The 911 traces its roots to sketches drawn by Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche in 1959. The Porsche 911 was developed as a more powerful, larger and a more comfortable replacement for the 356, the company’s first model. The new car made its public debut at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show. The car was developed with the proof-of-concept twin-fan Type 745 flat-six engine, but the car presented at the auto show had a non-operational mockup of the single-fan 901 engine, receiving a working unit in February 1964. It originally was designated as the “Porsche 901” (901 being its internal project number). A total of 82 cars were built as which were badges as 901s. However, French automobile manufacturer Peugeot protested on the grounds that in France it had exclusive rights to car names formed by three numbers with a zero in the middle. Instead of selling the new model with a different name in France, Porsche changed the name to 911. Internally, the cars’ part numbers carried on the prefix 901 for years. Production began in September 1964, with the first 911s exported to the US in February 1965. The first models of the 911 had a rear-mounted 130 hp Type 901/01 flat-6 engine, in the “boxer” configuration like the 356, the engine is air-cooled and displaces 1,991 cc as compared to the 356’s four-cylinder, 1,582 cc unit. The car had four seats although the rear seats were small, thus it is usually called a 2+2 rather than a four-seater (the 356 was also a 2+2). A four or five-speed “Type 901” manual transmission was available. The styling was largely penned by Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche, son of Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche. Butzi Porsche initially came up with a notchback design with proper space for seating two rear passengers but Ferry Porsche insisted that the 356’s successor was to use its fastback styling. 7 prototypes were built based on Butzi Porsche’s original design and were internally called the Porsche 754 T7. Erwin Komenda, the leader of the Porsche car body construction department who initially objected, was also involved later in the design. In 1966, Porsche introduced the more powerful 911S with Type 901/02 engine having a power output of 160 PS. Forged aluminum alloy wheels from Fuchsfelge, with a 5-spoke design, were offered for the first time. In motorsport at the same time, the engine was developed into the Type 901/20 and was installed in the mid-engine 904 and 906 with an increased power output of 210 PS, as well as fuel injected Type 901/21 installed in later variants of the 906 and 910 with a power output of 220 PS. In August 1967, the A series went into production with dual brake circuits and widened (5.5J-15) wheels still fitted with Pirelli Cinturato 165HR15 CA67 tyres. and the previously standard gasoline-burning heater became optional. The Targa version was introduced. The Targa had a stainless steel-clad roll bar, as automakers believed that proposed rollover safety requirements by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would make it difficult for fully open convertibles to meet regulations for sale in the US, an important market for the 911. The name “Targa” came from the Targa Florio sports car road race in Sicily, Italy in which Porsche had several victories until 1973. The last win in the subsequently discontinued event was scored with a 911 Carrera RS against prototypes entered by Ferrari and Alfa Romeo. The road going Targa was equipped with a removable roof panel and a removable plastic rear window (although a fixed glass version was offered from 1968). The 110 PS 911T was also launched in 1967 with Type 901/03 engine. The 130 PS model was renamed the 911L with Type 901/06 engine and ventilated front disc brakes. The brakes had been introduced on the previous 911S. The 911R with 901/22 engine had a limited production (20 in all), as this was a lightweight racing version with thin fibreglass reinforced plastic doors, a magnesium crankcase, twin overhead camshafts, and a power output of 210 PS. A clutchless semi-automatic Sportomatic model, composed of a torque converter, an automatic clutch, and the four-speed transmission was added in Autumn 1967. It was cancelled after the 1980 model year partly because of the elimination of a forward gear to make it a three-speed. The B series went into production in August 1968, replacing the 911L model with 911E with fuel injection. It remained in production until July 1969. The 911E gained 185/70VR15 Pirelli Cinturato CN36. and 6J-15 wheels. The C series was introduced in August 1969 with an enlarged 2.2-litre engine. The wheelbase for all 911 and 912 models was increased from 2,211–2,268 mm (87.0–89.3 in), to help as a remedy to the car’s nervous handling at the limit. The overall length of the car did not change, but the rear wheels were relocated further back. Fuel injection arrived for the 911S (901/10 engine) and for a new middle model, 911E (901/09 engine). The D series was produced from Aug. 1970 to July 1971. The 2.2-litre 911E (C and D series) had lower power output of the 911/01 engine (155 PS) compared to the 911S’s Type 911/02 (180 PS, but 911E was quicker in acceleration up to 160 km/h. The E series for 1972–1973 model years (August 1971 to July 1972 production) consisted of the same models, but with a new, larger 2,341 cc engine. This is known as the “2.4 L” engine, despite its displacement being closer to 2.3 litres. The 911E (Type 911/52 engine) and 911S (Type 911/53) used Bosch mechanical fuel injection (MFI) in all markets. For 1972 the 911T (Type 911/57) was carbureted, except in the US and some Asian markets where the 911T also came with (MFI) mechanical fuel injection (Type 911/51 engine) with power increase over European models (130 hp) to 140 hp commonly known as a 911T/E. With power and torque increase, the 2.4-litre cars also got a newer, stronger transmission, identified by its Porsche type number 915. Derived from the transmission in the 908 race car, the 915 did away with the 901 transmission’s “dog-leg” style first gear arrangement, opting for a traditional H pattern with first gear up to the left, second gear underneath first, etc. The E series had the unusual oil filler behind the right side door, with the dry sump oil tank relocated from behind the right rear wheel to the front of it in an attempt to move the centre of gravity slightly forward for better handling. An extra oil filler/inspection flap was located on the rear wing, for this reason it became known as an “Oil Klapper”, “Ölklappe” or “Vierte Tür (4th door)”. The F series (August 1972 to July 1973 production) moved the oil tank back to the original behind-the-wheel location. This change was in response to complaints that gas-station attendants often filled gasoline into the oil tank. In January 1973, US 911Ts were switched to the new K-Jetronic CIS (Continuous Fuel Injection) system from Bosch on Type 911/91 engine. 911S models also gained a small spoiler under the front bumper to improve high-speed stability. The cars weighed 1,050 kg (2,310 lb). The 911 ST was produced in small numbers for racing (the production run for the ST lasted from 1970 to 1971). The cars were available with engines of either 1,987 cc or 2,404 cc, having a power output of 270 PS at 8,000 rpm. Weight was down to 960 kg (2,120 lb). The cars had success at the Daytona 6 Hours, the Sebring 12 Hours, the 1000 km Nürburgring, and the Targa Florio. The G Series cars, with revised bodies and larger impact-absorbing bumpers arrived in the autumn of 1973 and would continue in production with few visual changes but plenty of mechanical ones for a further 16 years.

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This is one of the legendary Carrera RS 2.7 cars. RS stands for Rennsport in German, meaning race sport. The Carrera name was reintroduced from the 356 Carrera which had itself been named after Porsche’s class victories in the Carrera Panamericana races in Mexico in the 1950s. The RS was developed to meet motorsport homologation requirements. Compared to a standard 911S, the Carrera 2.7 RS had a larger engine (2,687 cc) developing 210 PS with Bosch (Kugelfischer) mechanical fuel injection, revised and stiffened suspension, a “ducktail” rear spoiler, larger brakes, wider rear wheels and rear fenders, to fit 185/70VR15 & 215/60VR15 Pirelli Cinturato CN36 tyres. In RS Touring form it weighed 1,075 kg (2,370 lb), in Sport Lightweight form it was about 100 kg (220 lb) lighter, the saving coming from thin gauge steel used for parts of the body shell and also the use of thinner glass. In total, 1,580 units were made, though a lot have cars have since been converted to “look-a-likes”.

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The Porsche 917 is a sports prototype race car developed by German manufacturer Porsche. The 917 gave Porsche its first overall wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970 and 1971. Powered by the Type 912 flat-12 engine of 4.5, 4.9, or 5 litres, the 917/30 Can-Am variant was capable of a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 2.3 seconds, 0–124 mph (200 km/h) in 5.3 seconds, and a test track top speed of up to 240 mph (390 km/h). On March 12, 1969, a 917 was displayed at the Geneva Motor Show, painted white with a green nose and a black No. 917. Brief literature on the car detailed a cash price of DM 140,000, approximately £16,000 at period exchange rates, or the price of about ten Porsche 911s. This price did not cover the costs of development. The presence of the 512M “Sunoco”, as well as the Alfa Romeo T33/3 which won Brands Hatch, the Targa Florio and Watkins Glen, forced Porsche to pursue their efforts in research and development: tails of the 917K and the 908/3 were modified with vertical fins, and the 917 LH aerodynamics received further improvements. In 1971,Pedro Rodriquez had set a qualifying lap record of 3:13.9, setting him at pole position in his #18 John Wyer Gulf LH car that unfortunately did not finish the race . Another LH car from the Martini team set a top speed record of 241mph before retiring due to engine failure. All in all, 4 separate Le Mans track records were broken that year: Fastest qualifying lap, fastest in-race lap, highest top speed, and longest distance covered. All were set by 917s.

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The Porsche 917 is a poster car, especially in this number 23 Team Salzburg livery of the 917 that won the 1970 Le Mans 24 hours with Attwood and Hans Hermann driving. It was a high point for the 917, which up until then had been a bit of a troublesome kid in Weissach, requiring a lot of effort to get the car dynamically stable at high speeds and under braking. Not only is the Porsche 917 a poster car, it is also notoriously difficult to run these days. The value of the car is painfully easy to bring to mind once you are behind the wheel, and the flat-12 boxer is prone to break at any given moment. Scarce to find, fragile to run and best left alone if you don’t have the equivalent of Hungary’s healthcare budget in your bank account to keep it running. That is precisely where this car comes in. If you are really rich, you could see this as the 917 you can run as you like while you preserve your real one in the garage. If you are really passionate about 917s, but don’t have the budget, it is attainable. Well, more attainable then a real 917 in any case. And anyway, do you really need the house? This is not the only 917 replica, but it’s a very interesting take nonetheless. Bailey Cars started in 2003 with South African brothers Peter and Greg Bailey creating a GT40 replica on a new chassis. Based on the original drawings from the 917, the chassis was adapted to form the basis for a 917 replica. It uses a classic glassfibre body around a carbonfibre tub with steel tubing. This makes the Bailey Cars 917 50kg heavier then the real 917, a downside that is offset by better handling and a higher safety level according to the creators. The car is 10cm longer, has larger 16in wheels and gets modern Bilstein suspension. ‘The idea was to have a much more driveable car, making the 917 more accessible to common enthusiasts,’ says Olivier Bosio, the France-based European distributor for Bailey Cars through his Racing Legend Car society. ‘We receive the finished cars without drivetrain – it is no longer possible to receive this car as a DIY kit, due to quality issues that have arisen in the past.’ Now for the really interesting part: instead of the insanely expensive and impossible to source 12-cylinder Porsche engine from the real 917, Bailey Cars have developed this replica for any old aircooled flat-six from the 911. You didn’t really expect 12 cylinders for €200,000 euro, now did you? The car you see here has the 3.6-litre six-cylinder from the 964-type 911. It has been bored out to 3.8 litres displacement, coming with 350bhp. Which in combination with the 850kg dry weight, still makes for a very interesting power to weight-ratio. This thing uses a standard 911 five-speed manual gearbox and clutch.

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The Carrera RSR 3.0 was sold to racing teams and scored wins in several major sports car races of the mid-1970s. Also, a prototype Carrera RSR Turbo (with 2.1-litre engine due to a 1.4x equivalency formula) came second at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1974 and won several major races, a significant event in that its engine would form the basis of many future Porsche attempts in sports car racing. This, and the earlier 917, was Porsche’s commitment to turbocharger applications in its cars.

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Porsche has always had a very pragmatic approach to racing; all that matters is that a Porsche badged machine comes home first. Whether this car is fielded or even constructed by a customer is of little importance. Particularly in the 1970s and 1980s, the German manufacturer was more than happy to supply bits out of which complete racing cars could be constructed. The Kremer 935 K3s are a very successful example of this practice. For favoured customer Joest, Porsche even did one better and supplied the drawings of the ultimate works 935, better known as ‘Moby Dick’. Built in 1978, it explored the edges of the regulations but in the end yielded only one victory. Reinhold Joest recognised the design’s potential and asked for the drawings to build two more copies in his workshop for the 1981 season. Like all other 935 incarnations before it, ‘Moby Dick’, or 935/78 as it was officially known, was built for the Group 5 class. The regulations stipulated that a Group 5 car had to be based on a production road car but left ample of room for modifications. For the 935/78, Porsche’s technical genius Norbert Singer took a standard 911 Turbo (930) chassis and chopped off the nose and tail. On each end of the core structure aluminium subframes were bolted to support the front and rear suspension as well as the twin-turbocharged flat six engine. The lightweight chassis was clothed in a special low-drag body. Ultimately aimed at winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans outright, the 935/78 used a very long nose and tail to increase its aerodynamic efficiency. The prototype was painted white and combined with its sheer size, the Porsche engineers felt it resembled a white whale and christened the new racer ‘Moby Dick’ after the legendary whale in Herman Melville’s novel with the same title. When the FIA inspectors first saw the car they were blown away but could find little wrong with Singer’s interpretation of the regulations. Especially for the 935/78, Porsche had extensively redeveloped the familiar turbocharged flat-six engine. To improve reliability, the new engine was equipped with water-cooled heads. These featured four valves per cylinder. Displacement was also increased slightly, to 3211cc. Even though the engine still sported the mandatory 930 production crankshaft, it produced well over 800 bhp and nearly 800 Nm of torque. This ferocious engine was not shared with Joest and he had to make do with the readily available single-cam 935 engine. Although not quite as powerful as the original’s, this was a proven engine with victories in all major endurance races to its name. It was available in various sizes, ranging from 2.6 to 3.3 litre. The engine’s displacement was related to the minimum weight allowed by the regulations, so a larger engine would mean a higher minimum weight. By 1981 most teams ran the largest engine available because it produced enough power to overcome the associated weight penalty. With the 3.2 litre, 700 bhp version of the flat six engine fitted, Joest’s new ‘Moby Dick’ had a minimum weight of 1025 kg. Dubbed the ‘935/81’, Joest’s new racer debuted in the opening round of the Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft (DRM) at Zolder in the hands of Jochen Mass. He finished third in the hotly contested. After two more unsuccessful outings, the Joest ‘Moby Dick’ was handed to Italian born American Gianpiero Moretti to use in the North American IMSA championship. Faced with a colourful selection of highly developed 935s, the 935/81 held its own. Moretti scored two second place finishes but unfortunately could not score a victory. For the 1982 a second example was made available to John Fitzpatrick. He shared it with David Hobbs at the 24 Hours of Le Mans where the ‘Moby Dick’ finished fourth overall and first in class. Meanwhile Moretti had brought his MOMO liveried example over for some DRM and World Championship racing. The two machines were only rarely raced in 1983. At one of these rare outings, the 1983 Riverside Six Hours, Rolf Stommelen had a fatal accident in Fitzpatrick’s example. Moretti retired his example a few months later after he had taken delivery of a March GTP racer. When the original ‘Moby Dick’ first hit the track, it was far superior to anything else out on track. It had the pace to win at Le Mans but in the end only took one victory in four outings. There was considerable unfulfilled promise when Porsche announced the end of the 935/78 program after just a handful of races. Three seasons later, the 935/81 ‘Moby Dick’ was one of many extreme Porsche 935 derivatives. Kremer, for example, had built a full spaceframe 935 clone and Fabcar even produced a 935 version with full ground-effects aerodynamics. Clinching a win in this competitive environment without the benefit of the 935/78’s trick engine was always going to be incredibly difficult. A class win at Le Mans is the next best thing, so the project had its share of happy and sad moments. It also provided the world with the only ‘Moby Dick’ in private ownership.

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There were a couple of examples of the 993-generation 911 GT2. One of these, châssis 394075, ran at Le Mans in 1998 and 1999 and also won its class at the Jarama 4 Hours.

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

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RENAULT

Renault always has a large stand in the centre of Hall 1, and every year they pick a theme to link together the cars that they bring from the huge collection. It’s nice to see these, especially as their collection is not on public display anywhere else. In 2019 the theme was 40 years of the Turbo. This time, you would struggle, looking at the cars on the stand, to try to work out what linked them together unless you happened to have seen the display material on one end of the stand which said that these were the cars selected by public vote, from a selection of 40 vehicles from the collection of the ones that people said that they most wanted to see. It certainly made for a very varied display and there were some surprises on the stand, including at least one car I’ve never seen before.

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Oldest model on display was this 1910 Renault Type BY. The Type BY was introduced in 1909 as a luxury limousine allowing long distance touring for the time. It was propelled by 4.396 cc four cylinder engine linked with a three-speed manual transmission. The car was equipped with a pneumatic engine starter. There was an instrument panel also in the passenger’s cabin, allowing to be constantly informed on the running conditions. The empty car weighed 1760 kg.

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This is a 1929 Type LO “Pompier”.

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Renault started the designation Viva in 1927. It was associated with a six cylinder engine. The designation evolved to Vivastella and ,starting in 1933, Vivasport. The Renault Vivastella is proposed either in coupe coachwork or convertible. The magazine Vie Automobile tested the car between Sevre and Bayonne, that is 724 km at an average speed of 100 kph (62 mph). The Renault Vivasport is propelled by a 3.665 cc 80 hp six cylinder engine operated through a three-speed gearbox. The weight 1800 kg, while the length is 4,76 m and width 1,75 m.

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This very elegant car is a 1939 Primaquatre Saprar Sport Roadster by Pourtout based on a drawing by Georges Paulin in 1939. It is believed that just 10 units were made. The Peugeot Darl’mat – also by Poutout – came in an ‘abundancy’ of 105 units and many of those survived or were replicated. Not so with the Saprar (Société Anonyme Pièces Réparations Accessoires Renault). It is understood that Saprar not only provided materials and parts for these cars yet also did market them. Like they did with the Juvaquatre Saprar convertible. There are no recent photos of any other cars, so it is suspected that this is the sole survivor.

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Dating from 1956 is this Renault Riffard. It has a tube frame chassis from one of two early 1950s racers called Guepards (French for cheetah). They were powered by Renault and built in Paris by a company called SER (Societe d’Étude et de Recherches). After a crash, this car was rebodied by aeronautical engineer Marcel Riffard for speed record runs in the 750 cc class. Other details on the history are sparse, but it raced at Montlhéry and crashed again at some point, eventually winding up in a scrapyard for a short time before going to a museum. The car sold at auction in Paris two years ago for €57,216 (about $70,000 at the time), which was over twice its high estimate. Renault was apparently the high bidder.

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

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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.

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A car I had definitely not seen before was this prototype, called “Project H”, which was making its first ever appearance in public. After the successful introduction of the R4 and R16 models, Renault tried to go up-market somewhat. Work on a prototype, the Project H started in 1966 or 67. Renault and Peugeot came together to share development costs for some elements includiing engines and one of their ideas was to produce a new 3.5 litre V8 engine which was intended to power future luxurious cars of both marques and to try to topple the Citroen DS as the luxury car of choice in France. Three prototypes of a 4,9 m long limousine were constructed, the sole survivor, this car, having a sloping rear end but actually a conventional boot lid. It looks a lot more modern than a car of the mid 60s. The interior, designed by Robert Broyer, is suitably luxurious with sumptuously upholstered seats and door trims. However, the dashboard is rather plain and spartan, comprising a strip speedometer with fuel and water temperature gauges under a single glass, below which are three small circular supplementary gauges. At either end of the speedometer are a separate rectangular analogue clock and small tachometer. The dashboard is covered by an unusually deep full-width cowling, intended to direct air from the vents in its underside onto the faces of the driver and front seat passenger. The dashboard would probably have been refined for production, but Projet H was intended as a car to be driven in as much or more than to drive, hence, the car had the unusual luxury of dual-zone air conditioning, split between front and rear. Having developed their prototypes, both manufacturers began to have doubts as to the financial viability of production. Sales were forecast at 50,000 units annually. Production cost and sale price were estimated at FF 9,600 and FF 19,500, which indicated a healthy profit margin on each sale. However, it would take a further investment of FF 190 million to bring Projet H to production and neither manufacturer was willing to commit these funds for a move into an untested market segment. Projet H was cancelled in July 1967, writing off the FF 7.4 million so far invested. The work done on the proposed 90° V8 engine was not entirely wasted as this formed the basis for the 1974 PRV joint venture ‘Douvrin’ 2.7 litre V6. Renault went for a more tentative move upmarket with the 30 model, launched in 1975. Likewise, Peugeot launched the 604 in the same year. Although both were powered by the PRV engine, the former was a hatchback, the latter a conventional saloon, so both companies appeared still to be honouring the spirit of the non-compete clause in their decade-old agreement. However, the launch in 1972 of the Renault 5 and Peugeot 104, squarely aimed at each other, signalled that the agreement was withering away.

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This 1972 Renault Torino is probably not that familiar to Europeans, but in it is native Argentina, it is an absolute legend and a highly prized car. It was born in 1966 as the Industrias Kaiser Argentina (IKA) Torino, and becoming an IKA-Renault when Regie assumed control of the brand. Famous Torino owners included Fidel Castro and Juan Manuel Fangio.

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Initially made in Argentina, this Renault 12 Estate Abidjan – Nice had a Sinpar four wheel drive system fitted and competed in the “Abidjan-Nice” rally in 1976 where it finished third behind a pair of Ramge Rovers. It was presented here as a nod to the 50th anniversary of the Renault 12 Gordini and the Renault 12 Estate.

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Effectively a coupe version of the Renault R12 saloon, there were two distinct models, the R15 and R17, both launched at the same time, a the 1971 Paris Show. The main visual differences between the two cars were their headlight configuration (the 15 had two rectangular headlights whereas the 17 had four round headlights) and their rear side windows. The R15 TL had the same 1289cc engine as the R12, whereas the R15 TS and R17 TL had a more powerful 1565cc engine from the Renault R16 TL and the top of the range R17TS had more power from its fuel injected engine – 109 bhp, rather than 90bhp and a five speed gearbox. At the 1974 Paris Motor Show, the R17TS was renamed the “17 Gordini”. This new name was an attempt to fill the gap left by the recently discontinued Renault 12 Gordini, nothing was changed beyond the badging. There was a minor facelift announced in March 1976, most noticeable on the grille of the 15, where the chrome edge surround was replaced with a body-coloured one: the headlights were enlarged and brought forward to a position approximately flush with the surround. The grille of the 17 also lost its chrome surround, although on both cars the partially chrome front bumper now curved up at the edges to roughly half-way up the height of the grille. The R15 and R17 remained in production until summer 1979 when they were both replaced by the Renault Fuego. They were reasonably popular when new, though they cost rather more than the Ford Capri, the main UK market rival, but there are only a handful of survivors in the UK, so it was nice to see this R17 model here.

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The Renault R5 was styled by Michel Boué, who designed the car in his spare time, outside of his normal duties. When Renault executives learned of Boué’s work, they were so impressed by his concept they immediately authorized a formal development programme. The R5 was launched in January 1972, going on sale in Europe that year, but not reaching the UK until 1973. It was well received and narrowly missed out on the 1973 European Car of the Year award, which was instead given to the Audi 80. The R5 borrowed mechanicals from the similarly popular Renault 4, using a longitudinally-mounted engine driving the front wheels with torsion bar suspension. OHV engines were borrowed from the Renault 4 and larger Renault 8: there was a choice, at launch, between 782 cc and 956 cc according to price level. A “5TS/5LS” with the 1,289 cc engine from the Renault 12 was added from April 1974. As on the Renault 4, entry level Renault 5s had their engine sizes increased to 845 cc in 1976 and at the top of the range later models had the engine sizes expanded to 1,397 cc. It was one of the first modern superminis, which capitalised on the new hatchback design, developed by Renault in the mid 1960s on its larger R16. It was launched a year after the booted version of the Fiat 127, and during the same year that the 127 became available with a hatchback. Within five years, a number of rival manufacturers – namely Ford, General Motors and Volkswagen – had launched a similar car. The Renault 5 was targeted at cost conscious customers, and the entry level “L” version came with the same 782 cc power plant as the cheaper Renault 4 and drum brakes on all four wheels. In 1972 it was priced in France at below 10,000 francs. However, for many export markets the entry level version was excluded from the range and front wheel disc brakes were offered on the more powerful 956 cc “Renault 5TL” along with such attractions under the bonnet and an alternator, and in the cabin reclining back rests for the front seats. From outside the “TL” was differentiated from the “L” by a thin chrome strip below the doors. The early production R5 used a dashboard-mounted gearshift, linked by a rod which ran over the top of the engine to a single bend where the rod turned downwards and linked into the gearbox, which was positioned directly in front of the engine. A floor-mounted lever employing a cable linkage replaced this arrangement in 1973. An automatic version, with the larger 1,289 cc engine, was added in early 1978. At the time, the automatic usually represented just under five percent of overall Renault 5 production. Door handles were formed by a cut-out in the door panel and B-pillar. The R5 was one of the first cars produced with plastic (polyester and glass fibre) bumpers, which came from a specialist Renault factory at Dreux. These covered a larger area of potential contact than conventional car bumpers of the time and survived low speed parking shunts without permanently distorting. This helped the car gain a reputation as an “outstanding city car”, and bumpers of this type subsequently became an industry standard. The R5’s engine was set well back in the engine bay, behind the gearbox, allowing the stowage of the spare wheel under the bonnet/hood, an arrangement that freed more space for passengers and luggage within the cabin. The GTL version, added in 1976, featured a 1,289cc engine tuned for economy rather than performance and was distinguished from earlier versions by thick polyester protection panels along the sides. A five-door R5 was added to the range in 1979, making it one of the first cars of its size to feature four passenger doors. The three-speed Automatic, which received equipment similar to the R5 GTL but with a 1,289 cc 55 bhp engine, a vinyl roof, and the TS’ front seats, also became available with five-door bodywork. In March 1981 the automatic received a somewhat more powerful 1.4 litre engine, which paradoxically increased both performance and fuel economy at all speeds.

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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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From the first generation Clio family was this Clio Williams. Renault launched the Clio Williams in 1993 as a limited edition of 3,800 cars (1,300 more than they needed for homologation purposes) with each car bearing a numbered plaque on the dash. These sold out so quickly that Renault ended up building 1,600 more. After the first series, due to the demand, Renault built the Williams 2 and 3, with more than 12,000 eventually being built. However, many new road cars were directly converted to race cars and when damaged replaced with another converted road car, which means that the actual number of road cars is significantly lower than the figures suggest. The car was named after the then Renault-powered Formula One team WilliamsF1, though Williams had nothing to do with the design or engineering of this Clio. The modifications to the Clio 16S on which it was based were the work of Renault Sport, Renault’s motorsport division. Nevertheless, this car had a Formula One link by being the sport’s Safety Car in 1996. The naturally aspirated 1,998 cc DOHC 4 valves per cylinder fed by Multipoint fuel injection Inline-four engine, was rated at 147 PS (145 bhp) at 6,100 rpm and 175 Nm (129 lb/ft) at 4,500 rpm of torque. It has a top speed of 215 km/h (134 mph) equipped with performance-tuned ride and handling. Renault later released the Williams 2 and Williams 3 special editions, much to the chagrin of those owners who had been assured of the exclusivity of the “original” Williams. One common mistake people can make is thinking that the 2.0 16V (F7R) used in the Williams is simply a bored out 1.8 16V (F7P), whereas, in reality the large engine had different size valves, cams, stroked crank and engine oil cooler. Other differences between the Williams and the Clio 16S it is based on include a wider front track with wishbones similar, but not the same as the Renault 19, wider Speedline alloys, uprated (JC5) gearbox, bespoke four-to-one manifold, firmer suspension, and some cosmetic differences on the exterior and interior. The differences between the three versions of the Williams were largely a reflection of phase changes across the Clio range, e.g. the gradual addition of enhanced safety features and cosmetic variations. Other than this, the Williams 1 and 2 had no sunroof and were painted in 449 Sports Blue. The final Williams 3 was painted in a slightly brighter shade of blue (432 Monaco Blue) and finally gained a sunroof which had long been standard on virtually all previous Clios. The original Williams was the lightest of the three, lacking the electrics necessary for the sunroof or the mirrors, and was the only one to support a metal plaque stating the build number. Respected motoring journalists consistently rate the Williams as one of the very best hot hatches ever made,[citation needed] regardless of era. Its many accolades included 3rd place in EVO magazine’s “Greatest front-wheel-drive car ever” feature in 2006 behind the newer Clio 182 Trophy and Honda Integra Type-R and 6th place in EVO’s Car Of The Decade feature in 2004. The Renault Clio Williams was and still is a very popular rally car. The basic racing version (Gr.N) had racing suspension, different engine management, and a more free flowing exhaust. Power output was around 165 PS. Roll cage was made by Matter France. Bucket seats were made by Sabelt. The next step up was the Gr.A car, which was fitted with 16″ Speedline 2012 rims (with optional extractors), further improvements on suspension and more tuned engine producing between 205–220 PS. Front brakes were also updated with 323 mm discs and four-pot Alcon brake calipers. The final evolution was the Renault Clio Williams Maxi kit-car with wider arches and 17″ Speedline 2012 rims and improved Proflex suspension. Sodemo engine was further tuned to 250–265 PS.

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Completing the factory display was a car from the current range, the latest Espace, a model we do not see in the UK any more.

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This vast lorry is a 1928 Renault IK and it was used in various French villages in the 1930s and features a 5000-litre tank, a centrifugal pump and a top speed of… 18km/h!

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

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This prototype was prepared by the French engineer Jean Bertin better known for his development work on aerotrain a train “flying” over a concrete rail moved by a giant air fan. He wanted to propose a small city car and prepared a shortened Renault 4L for urban traffic. The project was designated ‘4L Bertin’. It dates from 1966.

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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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And finally, seen outside was this AHx lorry. The Renault AHx was a range of light/medium trucks with carrying capacities from 2 to 5 tonnes manufactured by Renault between 1941 and 1947. Various versions were used in World War II by the German forces. Prototypes of the first AHx truck, the AHS2, were unveiled by 1939. It was aimed at replacing the similar AGC truck (which had a maximum payload of 1.5 tonnes). The truck was designed to be used by the French military on the 2.5-tonne carrying capacity group, but it was rejected. The Wehrmacht in turn ordered the production of the model, reclassifying it as a 2-tonne payload model and naming it Lastkraftwagen 2 to. The AHN (4-tonne payload) was the successor of the AGR and was produced for the Wehrmacht with the designation Lastkraftwagen 3.5 to. The heaviest AHx model, the AHR, was produced with a 5-tonne payload and, as the two other versions, was used by the Germans. The Wehrmacht was supplied with about 23,000 AHS, 4,000 AHN, and between 1,000 and 2,000 AHR. After the war, evolutions of the AHS2 and AHN (AHS3/AHS4 and AHN2/AHN3) with 2 and 3.5 tonnes of payload respectively, were produced mainly for the civilian market. In 1947, these trucks were replaced by the Renault Galion. The AHx cabin was also the basis for a 7-tonne payload truck, the Renault 208 E1. The AHS has a 2.38-litre inline-four petrol engine (delivering 52 bhp while the AHN and AHR use a 4.05-litre inline-six petrol unit, the latter with a power output of 75 bhp/ The three models had a 4-speed manual gearbox. Both the Renault AHS and the AHN have gasifier-equipped versions using engines similar to the petrol versions. The AHS version (AHSH) has a power output of 35 bhp at 2,800 rpm while the AHN version (AHNH) has a power output of 52 bhp at 2,800 rpm. The AHx range has a cab forward layout, a design introduced by Renault in 1934 and gradually extended to all its truck lineup. The AHN has a height of 2.6 metres, a length of 6.4 metres and a width of 2.4 metres.

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RENAULT-ALPINE

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.

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Successor to the more commonly seem A110 was the A310 and there was one here. Launched in 1971, the four-cylinder car was larger, heavier, and no more powerful than its predecessor, which meant it was generally considered underpowered. The car was first shown at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show. The prototype A310 had louvres across the rear windscreen; these were not carried over to the production model. Early models had a NACA duct mounted near the window atop the left front fender, later four-cylinder cars received two, mounted closer to the front of the car. In 1976, to help flagging sales, the lower-cost A310 SX was presented. This model has a 95 PS version of the Renault 16/17’s 1647 cc inline-four and simplified equipment. The basis of the A310 was a hefty tubular steel backbone chassis, clothed in a fibreglass shell. As for the previous A110 the entire body was moulded in a single piece. Like the ill-fated De Lorean DMC-12, which used the same PRV powertrain, the engine was mounted longitudinally in the rear, driving forward to the wheels through a manual five-speed gearbox. The driving position was low and sporty, although the front wheelwells encroached on the occupants’ feet, pointing them towards the centre of the car. The A310 was labour-intensive, having been developed for small-scale artisanal production – a car took 130 hours to build from start to finish. The front axle also came in for some criticism, although in 1974 the balljoint mountings were replaced by rubber/steel bushings (silent-blocs) which somewhat improved the longevity. While many bits of the A310 came from the Renault parts shelf as expected, others are more surprising – the steering rack is from the Peugeot 504, while the turn signals are Simca 1301 units. In 1976 the A310 was restyled by Robert Opron and fitted with the more powerful and newly developed 90-degree 2664 cc V6 PRV engine, as used in some Renaults, Volvos and Peugeots. The later V6 received a black plastic rear spoiler as well, useful for keeping the tail planted but somewhat marring to purity of the original’s lines. With 150 PS on tap, the A310 PRV V6 was Renault’s performance flagship capable of 220 km/h (137 mph) and acceptable acceleration. The tail-heavy weight distribution gave handling characteristics similar to the contemporary Porsche 911. Beginning with model year 1981 (in late 1980), the rear suspension was shared with the mid-engined Renault 5 Turbo. Rather than the previous three-lug wheels, the A310 also received the alloys used for the 5 Turbo, albeit without the painted elements In the later models (1983-1984) of the A310 a “Pack GT” which was inspired from the Group 4 A310 racing cars would be developed, it gained wheel arches and larger spoilers front and rear. A few Alpine A310 V6 Pack GT Kit Boulogne were built (27 examples), here the PRV V6 was bored out to 2.9 litres and was then further modified by Alpine, fitted with triple Weber 42DCNF carburetors that pushed power to 193 PS. 2340 examples of the 4 cylinder car and 9276 of the V6 were made. It is a rare car these days.

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

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ROLLS ROYCE

Lukas Hüni were showing this 1911 London to Edinburgh experimental car. This is from the Rolls Royce 40-50 range, which was produced with 7874 examples made between 1906 and 1926. The car at first had a new side-valve, six-cylinder, 7036 cc engine (7428 cc from 1910) with the cylinders cast in two units of three cylinders each as opposed to the triple two-cylinder units on the earlier six. A three-speed transmission was fitted at first with four-speed units used from 1913. The seven-bearing crankshaft had full pressure lubrication, and the centre main bearing was made especially large to remove vibration, essentially splitting the engine into two three-cylinder units. Two spark plugs were fitted to each cylinder with, from 1921, a choice of magneto or coil ignition. The earliest cars had used a trembler coil to produce the spark with a magneto as an optional extra which soon became standard – the instruction was to start the engine on the trembler/battery and then switch to magneto. Continuous development allowed power output to be increased from 48 bhp at 1,250 rpm to 80 bhp at 2,250 rpm

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Also displayed by Lukas Hüni was this 1912 Silver Ghost R2121. This was constructed to the exact specifications of châssis 1701 from 1911 which had established the London to Edinburgh record. In 1921, the car received a Landaulette body by Barker. In 1994, it was acquired by a collector, Tim Forrest, who rediscoved the very sporting nature of the engine. Forrest was a fan of 1126, a unique model named Silver Dawn with a lightweight two seater body. That car had been dismantled in 1919, but Forrest decided to recreate the Grosvenor body of the Silver Dawn on chassis 2121 which is what is seen here.

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The Rolls-Royce Phantom II was the third and last of Rolls-Royce’s 40/50 hp models, replacing the New Phantom in 1929. It used an improved version of the Phantom I engine in an all-new chassis. A “Continental” version, with a short wheelbase and stiffer springs, was offered. The Phantom II used a refinement of the Phantom I’s 7.7 litre pushrod-OHV straight-6 engine with a new crossflow cylinder head. Unlike on previous 40/50 hp models, the engine was bolted directly to the 4-speed manual transmission. Synchromesh was added on gears 3 and 4 in 1932 and on gear 2 in 1935. Power was transmitted to the rear wheels using an open driveshaft, a hypoid bevel final drive, and Hotchkiss drive, replacing the torque tube from a remotely mounted gearbox used on earlier 40/50 hp models. The chassis of the Phantom II was completely new. The front axle was mounted on semi-elliptical leaf springs as on earlier 40/50 hp models, but the rear axle was now also mounted on semi-elliptical springs instead of cantilever springs. This, along with the drivetrain changes, allowed the frame to be lower than before, improving the handling. The 4-wheel servo-assisted brakes from the Phantom I were continued, and the Bijur centralised lubrication system from the Springfield-built Phantom I was included on all Phantom II chassis. The standard wheelbase of the Phantom II was 150 inches (3,800 mm). A 144 inches (3,700 mm) short-wheelbase chassis was also available. Royce had body designer Ivan Evernden build him a one-off short-wheelbase Phantom. Designated 26EX, the car had a tuned engine, five-leaf springs that were stiffer than standard and a Barker four-seat lightweight close-coupled saloon body painted with an artificial pearl lacquer made from ground herring scales. The sales department initially showed no interest in 26EX but, when Evernden returned to the office from the 1930 Biarritz Grand Concours d’Elegance, where 26EX had won the Grand Prix d’Honneur, he found that the sales department had already announced the new “Phantom II Continental Saloon”, prepared a brochure for it, and costed it. According to Evernden, neither he, Royce, nor the Rolls-Royce sales department had written specifications for the “Continental” model, although he and Royce had a clear specification in mind. Based on Evernden’s writings and examination of company records, historian Ray Gentile determined that the common specifications of the Continental chassis were the short wheelbase and stiffer, five-leaf springs. By this definition two hundred and eighty-one Continental Phantom II’s were produced, including 125 left-hand drive versions.Regarded as the two most important P-II Continentals are 20MS and 2SK, the only two P-II Continental Roadsters ever built. 20MS has been in a private Mid-Atlantic collection since 1989, 2SK, the Thrupp and Maberly Roadster once owned by Tyrone Power, was in the Fred Buess collection since 1958 but was sold at auction in 2010. All Phantom II rolling chassis were built at Rolls-Royce’s factory in Derby. The factory in Springfield, Massachusetts was closed upon ending production of the US-market Phantom I in 1931. Two US-market series, AJS and AMS, were built at Derby. It competed with the recently introduced Lincoln model K, Chrysler Imperial, Mercedes-Benz 770, Duesenberg Model J, Packard Eight, and the Cadillac Series 355. Only the chassis and mechanical parts were made by Rolls-Royce. The body was made and fitted by a coachbuilder selected by the owner. Some of the most famous coachbuilders who produced bodies for Rolls Royce cars are Park Ward, Brewster, Thrupp & Maberly, Mulliner, Carlton, Henley, and Hooper. A total of 1,281 Phantom II chassis of all types were built

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The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud is a luxury automobile produced by Rolls-Royce Limited from April 1955 to March 1966. It was the core model of the Rolls-Royce range during that period. The Silver Cloud replaced the Silver Dawn and was, in turn, replaced by the Silver Shadow. The J. P. Blatchley design was a major change from the pre-war models and the highly derivative Silver Dawn. As part of a range rationalisation the Bentley S1 is very similar, apart from its radiator grille. Construction was body-on-frame, which permitted special bodied versions, though the overwhelming majority were built with the standard Pressed Steel Company manufactured steel body shell. A light-weight aluminium-based alloy was used for doors, bonnet/hood and boot/trunk lid. The chassis was a simple steel box section, welded together and very rigid. The car was 5.38 m (212 in) long, 1.90 m (75 in) wide, and massed 1.95 tonnes. The engine was a 155 hp / 4000 rpm 4.9 L six-cylinder unit with inlet over exhaust valves: twin SU carburettors were added in September 1957. The standard transmission was a four-speed automatic, the General Motors designed Hydramatic transmission. The turning circle was 41 feet 8 inches (12.70 m). Brakes were hydraulic and assisted by the Rolls-Royce mechanical servo with 11 in drums and suspension was independent coils at the front and semi-elliptic springs at the rear. Twin brake master cylinders were incorporated from April 1956. Power steering and air conditioning became available as options in 1956. A long-wheelbase version lengthened by 4 in (102 mm) was also made available in September 1957, outwardly very similar to the existing car but offering improved leg space for rear-seat passengers. The coachbuilder Harold Radford offered conversions of the 4-door saloon into an estate car. One of these conversions, chassis no. LSMH65, sold in March 2017 for $583,000 (inclusive of applicable buyer’s fee) at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island auction. The Silver Cloud II was introduced in 1959. It was little changed externally, but was given a new Rolls-Royce developed 6.2 L V8 engine, which pushed the weight to 2.11 tonnes. Performance was greatly improved and top speed was raised to 183 km/h (114 mph), but the main improvements were in acceleration and torque. Power steering became standard. Electrically operated windows were now available as an option.Although the improved performance of the new car was welcomed, commentators of the time noted that the V8-engined Silver Cloud II was neither as quiet nor as smooth as the straight-six-cylinder-engined Silver Cloud I, despite the new engine’s hydraulic tappet operation. The new wet-linered V8 was also a little cramped in an engine bay intended originally for a narrower unit: in order to change the spark plugs it was necessary to remove the front wheel on the car’s right side. There seems to have been a problem with crankshaft breakages in the earlier V8s: this was blamed on lack of lubrication to the bearings. The basic architecture of the Silver Cloud II did not change between 1959 and 1963, but there were numerous minor changes implemented, notable among them a succession of improvements to the ventilation system. Interior changes in 1961 included the adoption of blue instrument lighting, the introduction of a combined indicator / headlamp flasher switch and of a handbrake warning light. A remodelled rear light assembly was introduced in May 1962 and a change to single sealed-beam headlamps was made in August 1962. The Silver Cloud III was first displayed to the public at the Paris salon at the beginning of October 1962 but along with the Bentley S3 the cars were displayed on a specialist coachwork stand as if the modifications were to the special order of a particular customer. External dimensions were slightly altered, the interior remodelled, the weight reduced by a little over 100 kg (220 lb) and improvements made to the engine which included fitting 2-inch (51 mm) SU carburettors in place of the ​1 3⁄4 inch units used on the Series II Silver Cloud. The compression ratio was increased to 9:1, reflecting the higher octane levels of premium fuel in major markets, although the option of a lower 8:1 compression ratio was still offered in markets where non-availability of higher octane fuels might be an issue. Rolls-Royce, as before, refused to disclose overall engine power output, but indicated that there had been an improvement of “perhaps 7%”. Increased power and weight reduction boosted speed and performance slightly. The engine now included a nitride hardened crankshaft to reflect the extra power being generated and in response to reports of broken crankshafts in the earlier V8 Silver Clouds. The transmission was a GM Hydramatic which Rolls-Royce used under licence. The headlights were grouped in a four-headlamp layout subsequently continued in the later Silver Shadow. Other external changes included a slightly increased slope of the bonnet to correspond with a 1 1⁄2 inches (3.8 cm) reduction in radiator grille height. Between 1963 and 1966 there were no major changes. Stainless steel wheel trims replaced chrome-plated ones in April 1963, and an improved rear window demister was introduced in November of the same year. Wider front seats were fitted in January 1964, and five months later a revised headlamp surround now incorporated a very small RR monogram. A chrome badge reading “Silver Cloud III” in an italic font can be seen on the right bottom side of the boot of most UK and European delivered examples, whilst US versions were delivered without this badge. As with earlier models, Rolls-Royce continued to make the Silver Cloud chassis available to traditional coachbuilders. A notable version is the Fixed Head and Drop Head Coupe styled by Mulliner Park Ward, having unusual slanted headlights, also found on contemporary Italian designed or Italian-influenced high performance cars from Lancia, Triumph, Lagonda and Gordon-Keeble. It was derived from the earlier H. J. Mulliner & Co. design for the Bentley S1 and S2 Continentals, made also available for the S3. Some 100 of the 328 coach-built Silver Cloud IIIs were of this style. It was replaced by the Silver Shadow at the end of 1965. Seen here was an S3 Coupe.

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ROSENGART

This is a 1938 Rosengart Super Sept Coupe. Lucien Rosengart made his first fortune manufacturing nuts, bolts and washers and his second during the First World War when he mass-produced artillery shells. After the war his products included bicycle dynamos and pocket torches. When his friend Andre Citroen ran into difficulties, Rosengart stitched together a financial package whereby the loans Citroen needed where underwritten by the value of his stock of unsold cars, a clever wheeze which only worked providing ever more of the cars found customers thus generating money to pay off the loans. The trick worked and Rosengart moved on, this time bailing out Peugeot with a similar system, before stepping aside. At the 1928 Paris Show he became a manufacturer in his own right with a licence-built version of the Austin Seven, the 5CV Rosengart. Aggressively advertised and promoted with endurance-run stunts, the cars struck a chord as low-priced economical transport. In 1931 he added a six cylinder model to his range, powered by a tiny 1100cc side-valve motor. After the addition of six cylinder cars, Rosengart added to his range when he announced licence-production of the Adler Trumpf, having tried to interest Andre Citroen in their front wheel drive design. Had he concentrated on these cars, he might have become a serious manufacturer, but in the years to come he went somewhat off the rails. The ageing 5CV continued and the Supertraction, the six cylinder car, was – possibly needlessly – given a new body and the chassis was re-engineered with a 1649cc Adler four cylinder side valve and an all-new mid-sized car with the same engine was introduced. The resulting range was less than cohesive. By the close of 1936 the deal with Adler had died and Rosengart was in financial mire and his product line had shrunk back to just the 5CV, which with its crash gearbox, cable brakes and beam front axles was not longer a saleable commodity despite a recent body restyle. Undeterred, Rosengart continued, re-introducing the six cylinder car and then trying a relaunch of the slinky Supertraction this time on a chassis comprising a Citroen Traction Avant front end and an Adler rear. The result was the SuperSept, which in true Rosengart fashion was an exaggeration as the car was only a 6CV. And that is what this car is. The body is certainly attractive, but underneath all is not so good. The gravity-fed six pot 1097cc engine musters a heady 27 bhp, up from 23bhp of the original thanks to the addition of a second carburettor, and there is an unsychronised four speed gearbox, with specially low ratios to enable it to climb hills. It retained cable brakes and the chassis was still somewhat old-fashioned despite some upgrades which did at least endow it with a conventional prop shaft rather than a torque tube and the replacement of the original quarter elliptic rear springs of the Austin with half elliptics. The biggest problem was the price. In 1938 it cost 24,710 Francs, roughly the same as Citroen Traction Avant 7C and nearly 4000 Francs more than a Renault Juvaquattre, and whilst Simca’s new Huit, in Coupe form was more costly at 27,900 Francs there was a coupe version of the smaller Cinq for FFr 15,500. Not surprisingly. few were sold, and it is believed that just 10 remain. In view of the scarcity of petroleum supply during world war II, Lucien Rosengart who had obtained the license to produce Austin Seven in France decided to develop a Electrilux electric version . The conversion of a gasoline engine version into an electric version required two hours. There was an extreme price difference with 21.900 French Franc for the gasoline version and 53.000 French Franc for the Electrilux. It is not known how many cars were converted to electric propulsion.

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SAAB

Once quite a common sight on our roads, this was a nice example of the now rare 96 V4. SAAB produced the 96 from 1960 until 1980, though UK sales ended a bit before that. The car was an evolution of the earlier 93, which could trace its roots back all the way to the very first SAAB model of 1948. The model continued to evolve, with frequent changes made to the styling details and trim. Mechanically the most significant alteration came in 1967 when the traditional two stroke in-house engine was replaced by Ford’s V4 unit that was also used in German Ford Taunus cars, a four-stroke 1498 cc V4 unit, originally developed for the 1962 Ford Taunus 15M. Saab’s project to source a four-stroke engine was dubbed ‘Operation Kajsa’. The two-stroke option was offered until 1968. Four-stroke engines had been tested before, between 1962 and 1964 Kjell Knutsson and Ingvar Andersson under Rolf Mellde tested three different engines: a 45 hp Lloyd Arabella 897cc; a 33 hp BMC A-Series 848cc engine and a Lancia Appia engine of 1089cc and 48 hp. However Rolf Mellde’s view that Saab needed to switch to a four-stroke engine was stopped higher up by CEO Tryggve Holm. Mellde then went behind the back of Holm and made contact with Marc Wallenberg, son of Marcus Wallenberg, Saab’s major stockholder. The coup succeeded and testing could begin. The tested engines were Volvo B18, Ford V4, Triumph 1300, Lancia V4 engine, Opel, Volkswagen and Hillman Imp. Whilst the Volvo unit proved the most reliable, the Ford V4 was not far behind and was significantly easier to fit into the engine bay of the 96. The testing was done in secrecy. Rolf Mellde took a leave of absence and said he was going to run his father’s paint shop. In reality he went to Desenzano in northern Italy with a 96 V4 prototype for testing. With five months to go before production only seven people knew about the new engine. To maintain secrecy they rented a house west of Kristinehamn. To keep purchases of V4 specific parts secret they started the company Maskinverktyg AB. The ordinary purchase department at Saab was oblivious to what was going on, something that caused an incident when Rune Ahlberg cancelled the orders for cables for the two-stroke engine and the purchase department called the supplier and sharply told them to keep their deliveries. In the last week of July, just before the summer holidays, information about the new engine was released to further people and they were informed that full-scale production would start in four weeks. To keep secrecy, 40 of the ordinary staff were told to report to work to fix a problem with the disc brakes. Just prior to the official introduction, a journalist noticed a lorry loaded with 96s with V4 stickers on the front bumpers. The ordinary V4 engines produced between 1967 and 1976 had 65 hp. For the 1976 model, known as the 96L, power was reduced to 62 hp due to new Swedish emission regulations. However, the 1977-1980 models had 68 hp due to a two-stage Solex 32TDID carburettor. The V4 96 managed 0–100 km/h in 16 seconds. The car was tough, and although by the 1970s it was old fashioned in many respects, but it had plenty of fans, who only started to desert the model as the decade ran its course.

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SALMSON

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SHADOW

The Shadow DN3 was a Formula One car used by the Shadow team during the 1974 Formula One season. It also appeared twice during the early stages of the 1975 Formula One season in an updated DN3B form. Designed by former BRM engineer Tony Southgate, the best finish achieved in a DN3 was Jean-Pierre Jarier’s third place at the Monaco Grand Prix. The Shadow DN3, designed by Tony Southgate, was a development of Southgate’s earlier car for the Shadow team, the DN1. One of the problems of the DN1, excessive vibration, was eliminated with stiffening of the DN3 monocoque. The DN3 had a longer wheelbase and was also five kilograms heavier than the previous year’s car. For the start of the 1974 Formula One season, the previous year’s DN1 was driven by new Shadow driver Jean-Pierre Jarier for the first two races of the year and was retired from both. Jarier drove a DN3 for the remainder of the season. Peter Revson, a race winner for McLaren, had also joined the team and had use of the DN3 from the start of the season. The DN3 showed immediate promise with Revson qualifying it fourth and sixth respectively for the first two races of the year. However, he was killed in testing prior to the South African Grand Prix and Shadow missed the race. Brian Redman took Revson’s place in the team from the Spanish Grand Prix for three races, with Swedish driver Bertil Roos taking over for his home grand prix. Tom Pryce, who had made his Formula One debut earlier in the year with Token Racing, then took over for the remainder of the season. Pryce finished 6th in the German Grand Prix to end the season with one point towards Shadow’s total of seven points. The other six points came from Jarier, who, despite the death of Revson, continued as lead driver. In Monaco, Jarier finished third (having qualified sixth) and followed this up with fifth at the Swedish Grand Prix. The team finished in eighth place in the constructor’s championship. Until the new DN5 became available for his use, Pryce used an updated DN3B for the first two races of the following season, without scoring any points.

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SIATA

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

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SIMCA

The very first French “Vedettes” in 1949 were manufactured by Ford SAF and had 60 hp side valve V8 engines. One of the distinctive features of these cars was their highly recognisable «round back» bodywork. In 1954, Simca purchased Ford France. Four years later, the company founded SIMCA DO BRASIL in São Bernardo do Campo. Initially just a unit where parts shipped from France were assembled, under the direction of French engineer Jacques Pasteur, the plant eventually started producing vehicles locally and making changes to existing models, both in terms of their bodywork and their mechanics right up until 1968 when the range was discontinued. The superb 1966 6M Simca Rallye EmiSul seen here is a golden «Goldfinger» colour – most likely as a reference to the James Bond film. It’s an extremely rare model: only 597 were ever built in 1966. The 6M gearbox was optional on the Rallye model. Relatively few cars had them and it’s impossible to say how many still exist. This gearbox offers drivers the option of three «long» speeds for road driving and three «short» speeds for city or mountain driving. An electric contactor on the dashboard switches between the two gear ranges. The “Aquilon” engine variant was entirely Brazil-built. Having adapted the transistorised ignition system, engineer Jacques Pasteur took over design of the ARDUN kit developed by Zora Arkus-Duntov, a Belgian-born American engineer of Russian origin. This kit transformed the Ford Aquilon side valve engine into an overhead valve engine boasting a significantly more powerful, more modern hemispherical combustion chamber. Significant improvements in performance and a better cooling system boosted the old Aquilon engines up from 60 hp to 130 hp on the Chambord models, and even up to 140 hp for the Rallyes and the Présidences! Nowadays, only two remaining EmiSuls are listed.

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

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The boxy 1000 saloon served as the platform for the 1000 Coupe, a handsome sports coupe that made its appearance in 1962. Conceived to raise the profile of the new 1000 internationally, and mindful of the precedent set by Renault with their (initially Frua bodied) Renault Floride, Simca had turned initially to Facel to discuss a joint project with Facel producing the bodies, but Pigozzi felt that Facel’s proposal lacked the necessary style and was considered unrealistic: there were also concerns that Facel’s parlous financial position might impact the project adversely. Simca then turned to Bertone and commissioned a coupe version of their new car. Bertone gave the job to a recently recruited young designer called Giorgetto Giugiaro and the car, having already been heavily trailed, was formally launched at the Geneva Motor Show early in 1962, though official French homologation for production only took place in November 1962 and customer deliveries did not begin until 1963. The style of the car was widely admired, but the cost of the Bertone built body made it difficult for the car to compete on price alone, while use of the standard 944 cc engine block from the Simca 1000 meant that performance did not live up to its racey styling. From the start Simca presented the Coupé 1000 as a separate model. The car was moderately successful, especially in France, selling 10,600 cars in 5 years. In 1967, Simca upgraded the car to the more powerful 1200S Bertone Coupe that, with a horsepower upgrade in 1970, could reach the dizzying speed of almost 112 mph (180 km/h), making it the fastest standard production Simca ever built. When production ceased in 1971, it was revealed that around 25,000 of these cars had been made.

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SKODA

Four very different cars featured on the Skoda factory stand showcased the 125 year history of the company.

As early as 1901, the up-and-coming company from Mladá Boleslav was also involved in motorsport. The Laurin & Klement BSC is one of the most successful early racers. The sports car, of which only twelve were built, won the Paris – Berlin race in 1908, among others. This is the only surviving example. The engine number 5635 confirms the originality of this unique vehicle, which rolled out of the factory on 12 July 1908. Following an extensive restoration, it is now part of the ŠKODA Museum in Mladá Boleslav. The Voiturette sports car is powered by a water-cooled, in-line two-cylinder engine with an output of 12 hp (8.8 kW), which it draws from a displacement of 1,399 cm3. The two-seater reaches a top speed of 75 km/h.

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This is an 1100 Sport. Dating from 1949, this 2 seater had an 1089cc 4 cylinder engine which generated 41 bhp. Only two were made in Mladá Boleslav in 1949. The model is based on the successful ŠKODA 1101 ‘TUDOR’. In June 1950, the driver duo Václav Bobek and Jaroslav Netušil headed to the start line of the legendary 24- hour race in France in that car.

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The Škoda Octavia is a small family car which was produced by Czechoslovakian automaker AZNP at their plant in Mladá Boleslav from 1959 to 1971. It was introduced in January 1959 and was named Octavia as it was the eighth car produced by the nationalised Škoda company. The saloon was produced until 1964, when it was replaced by the Škoda 1000 MB. An estate version was introduced in 1961, and remained in production until 1971. The car was the successor to the Škoda 440/445 on which it was based. It featured redesigned front axles with a coil spring and telescopic shock absorbers rather than a leaf spring as in the 440. The 1,270 kg (2,800 lb) saloons were sold with 1089 cc engines producing 40 bhp, later 50 bhp, and 1221 cc engines with 45-55 bhp. The slightly heavier estate wagons at 1,365 kg (3,009 lb) were all shipped with 1.2 litre engines. The top speed was 110 to 115 km/h (68 to 71 mph). The Škoda Octavia engine and gearbox were used in the Trekka light utility vehicle, which was manufactured in New Zealand from 1966 to 1973. The Octavia name was resurrected in 1996 for a new model.

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Final car on the stand was the Vision E. This was unveiled at the 2017 Auto Shanghai and is scheduled to be produced from the second half of 2020. The Vision E has four-wheel drive, two electric motors with a combined output of 225 kW (306bhp), level 3 autonomy capability and 500 kilometres (310 mi) range. The top speed of the Škoda Vision E is 180 km/h (110 mph).

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SQUIRE

Adrian Squire was just 21 when he set out to build his own motor car. Dreaming of such a venture since he was a schoolboy, at 16 he sketched out a whole catalogue for the “world’s greatest sports car.” He envisioned advanced engineering and light, flowing coachwork sitting on a chassis with a low center of gravity. In many ways, he succeeded beautifully. The car we have the pleasure of offering here is proof positive of the young man’s vision. At age 18, Squire was apprenticed to Bentley Motors and later worked as an assistant draftsman at MG. On his 21st birthday in 1931, he inherited £20,000, the capital with which he financed Squire Motors. With a friend, Jock Manby-Colgrave, he set up shop in Henley-on-Thames and formed Squire Car Manufacturing Company in 1934. For his engine, Squire selected a 1.5-litre DOHC four, designed by T.D. Ross of Frazer Nash. Production of the engine was handled by Anzani, then supplying Frazer Nash with engines. The name “Squire” was cast into the block and manifold, giving the impression of an in-house operation. With a Roots-type supercharger designed and built by David Brown, the 1,496-cc powerplant produced 110 bhp. Squire decided on a Wilson-type E.N.V. preselector gearbox and E.N.V. live rear axle. The chassis frame was exceptionally rigid with cruciform bracing, and adjustable friction shock absorbers allowed control over ride and handling. For stopping power, its hydraulic brakes were given huge 15-inch magnesium alloy drums. From the fourth car, an underslung rear axle was used. Bodies on the early cars were by Vanden Plas, but a less-expensive body by H. Markham, Ltd. of Reading was soon adopted. Although its chassis was completed in February 1934, the first Squire was sold in May 1935. Squire built a single-seat racer to generate enthusiasm and orders. Customers, however, did not materialize in any number, perhaps because the cars cost almost as much as a Bugatti. The last car built in 1935 was sold to Val Zethrin of Chislehurst, Kent. After but two deliveries in 1936, Squire Car Manufacturing Company was shut down, and Adrian Squire went to work at Lagonda. Zethrin, however, took up the project, purchasing all the parts on hand. Between 1937 and 1939 he built a further three cars. Adrian Squire, sadly, was killed in a bombing raid while working at the Bristol Aeroplane Company in 1940. As enthusiasts reflect on the Squire’s mark on sports car history, it can rightly be said that it was one of the fastest and best handling, performing and braking sports cars built prior to World War II—faster and better handling than most prewar race cars and certainly capable of out-braking many cars well into the 1950s and even the 1960s. The only direct comparisons might be the Type 55 Bugatti and Alfa Romeo 8C 2300, but the Squire’s braking advancements surpassed those of its cable-and-rod actuated colleagues. Aside from the brakes, Adrian Squire understood that a flexible chassis would yield suspect handling, and his extraordinary suspension system, which stiffened itself as it was loaded, produced otherworldly handling for the era. Not until the mid-1950s was this design criteria universally understood by postwar manufacturers. Adrian also understood that, by moving the center of gravity as low as possible and by reducing un-sprung weight at the car’s extremes, roll and uncontrolled movement were virtually eliminated and performance and handling improved without need for more horsepower. In other words, more power could be put to the road in a controlled way to provide nothing but effortless acceleration, not only out of the turns but into and through them. Simply put, the term “superior” is rightly applied to the Squire’s mechanical specification. The car seen here was the works demonstrator and has the greatest competition history having competed in the 1936 RAC Rally and since restoration has twice been in the Mille Miglia.

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STANGUELLINI

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

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STUTZ

The last model made by Stutz was the DV32. They produced this model from 1931 to 1934 and outfitted it some of the best American bodies of the period. The DV32 used a version of the straight-eight engine modified by Charles “Pop” Greuter to have double overhead camshafts and hemispherical combustion chambers and 4 valves per cylinder. Thus the name ‘Dual Valve-32’ was lent to the model name. Power was send to the rear wheels through a Warner four-speed manual transmission. In its short production run, up to around 100 DV32s were produced. Some of the more desirable coachwork included the Convertible Victoria by Rollston and Speedster by LeBaron. After the DV32 production, the luxury car market completely dried up and with the entire Stutz brand. The car seen here dates from 1932.

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SURTEES

This is a 1971 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. This car was driven in period by John Surtees himself before it was passed to Mike Hailwood.

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TALBOT

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Displayed by Fiskens was this 1948 Lago Talbot T26C. This car chassis N°110002 is the second example of Antony Lago’s legendary 4.5 Litre monopostos. Competed extensively in European Grand Prix driven by Ralph, Chaboud, Mairesse, Chiron and Etancelin.

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Rather later, and following the relaunch of the Talbot branding in 1978 came the Samba. which would turn out to be the last new model to bear the marque’s name. The Talbot Samba is a city car manufactured by the PSA Group in the former Simca factory in Poissy, France, and marketed under the short-lived modern-day Talbot brand from 1981 to 1986. Based on the Peugeot 104, it was the only Talbot not inherited from Chrysler Europe, engineered by PSA alone. It was also the last new Talbot to be launched. Its demise in 1986 was effectively the end of the Talbot brand for passenger cars. Launched initially as a three-door hatchback, it was also for some time the only small car available in a factory-ordered cabrio body style, and the most economical car in Europe. The PSA Group, formed in 1976 when Peugeot bought out its competitor, Citroën, took over the former Chrysler Europe in 1979; one of its first decisions was to rebrand all of the models manufactured in the French and British factories to Talbot. Among the models inherited from Chrysler was the Scottish-built rear-wheel drive Chrysler Sunbeam, the only small car in the lineup. The Sunbeam was originally conceived by Chrysler as a stopgap model, developed to keep the Linwood works running—it was based on the running gear of the earlier Avenger made there—while helping the company to maintain a foothold in the growing small car market. Aware that a more modern design was needed to compete with upcoming front-wheel drive rivals, Chrysler undertook some development work on a shortened version of the Chrysler Horizon (which had the development code C2), dubbed C2-short, but it was cut short by the company’s financial problems and plans to divest Chrysler Europe. PSA decided that the Linwood plant would be unprofitable to maintain and should be closed, which meant an end to both the Avenger and Sunbeam model lines, further emphasising the need for a new small car in the Talbot lineup. On the eve of the 1980s, PSA’s city cars lineup consisted of models based on the veteran front-wheel drive 1972 Peugeot 104, which came in a shorter three-door and longer five-door version. Citroën rebadged the short-wheelbase 104 as the Citroën LN, and the long-wheelbase chassis formed the base of the five-door Citroën Visa. In 1979, PSA decided that their new small Talbot would also be based on the 104 rather than the Horizon. Keeping the common underpinnings allowed the new model, known internally as project C15 (later renamed to T15 to reflect the brand change from Chrysler to Talbot) to be launched in 1981, in time to replace the Sunbeam when Linwood would close. In order not to create too much internal competition, a wheelbase situated in between the three- and five-door versions of the 104 was chosen. This made the projected model slot in size slightly below popular superminis such as the Ford Fiesta, but above the city cars, including the about-to-be-launched Austin Metro. As with previous Talbot and Chrysler Europe models, styling of the T15 was the responsibility of the British design centre in Whitley, Coventry. The stylists were limited by the need to retain the entire body structure of the 104, and allegedly were given Peugeot’s own proposal of a 104 facelift as a starting point. The resulting design was quite different from and more modern-looking than its progenitor; only the bonnet and tailgate were shared, and the car was given a distinctive front end in Chrysler/Talbot “international” style. Production of the new car started in October 1981, and it was officially launched as the Talbot Samba in December. Unlike the Horizon, 1510/Alpine or Solara, which were made simultaneously in France and England, the model was assembled only in Poissy. The engine lineup included three versions of the four cylinder PSA X engine, which the Samba shared with its Peugeot and Citroën siblings, coupled with three trim levels. The base LE and LS came with the 954 cc XV, the GL with the 1124 cc XW and the top-of-the-line GLS’ with the largest 1360 cc XY. The GL was rated as “Europe’s most economical car” according to the official EEC fuel consumption figures, bettering the previously triumphant Renault 5, but later lost the title to the Austin Metro. Apart from the launch of a Cabrio model in late 1982, the car changed little until production ceased in 1986.

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TANKS

Once again the “Musee des Blindees”, the Tank Museum, in Saumur supplied some of their exhibits for this event.

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This is a SOMUA S35, a French Cavalry tank of the Second World War. The Somua (Société d’Outillage Mécanique et d’Usinage d’Artillerie) was designed as part of the programme to modernise the French cavalry at the start of the 1930s. It was constructed from well-sloped, mainly cast, armour sections, that however made it expensive to produce and time-consuming to maintain. The tank proved to be a fearsome adversary for the German tanks’ first attacks in 1939; with its V8 engine and 47 mm gun, it constituted a highly effective weapon. Many specialists believe it to be the best tank of all of the warring nations during the 1940 Battle of France. Numerous German tanks were destroyed by it. During the German invasion of May 1940, the SOMUA S35 proved itself to be a tactically effective type, but this was negated by the French command’s strategic mistakes in deploying the Cavalry armoured divisions. After the defeat of France in June 1940, limiting production to a number of about 440, captured SOMUA S35s were used by the Axis powers, some of them on the Eastern Front. A derived type, the SOMUA S40, with an improved suspension, lowered hull cast and welded turret armour, had been planned to replace the original version on the production lines in July 1940. Agreements to produce this improved type for the benefit of Vichy France, Germany and Japan, ultimately did not lead to any manufacture.
Of the last three remaining vehicles, the one presented by the Tank Museum is the only one in working order.

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Rather unusual looking this is a 1938 Laffly/Licorne V15T. At the end of 1938, the French army started using the V15T to tow the 25 mm Hotchkiss anti-tank gun. This light artillery tractor had all the advantages of a modern all-terrain vehicle. Close to the ground, significant ground clearance, independent wheels and central differential with locking capability. The V15T was highly effective on the most undulating terrain. It could go practically everywhere, since each wheel had its own transmission system and it featured erratic small wheels at the bow and under the floor, so that the chassis never had to touch an obstacle. This way, it could tow an anti-tank gun very quickly. During the Occupation, the German army quickly seized most Lafflys, since it had no comparable artillery tractors of its own.

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TATRA

Another of the special displays of the 2020 event was one to celebrate the products of the Tatra Company. Never sold when new in western Europe, few people know much about this Czech marque, though you do see some of the innovative and distinctive products from the firm from time to time. This display, with cars mostly supplied from the factory museum in the Czech Republic showed that there is a lot more to the firm that most people realise. The display was in the long corridor that links Hall 1 to Hall 2, and there is a challenge of lighting in there, as I find every year, so the photos are not ideal!

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The Tatra Company began manufacturing cars in 1897 in Kopřivnice, Moravia, today’s Czech Republic, making it the third oldest still existing automobile manufacturer in the world. The 1897 Prasident is considered as one of the first Tatra produced. It was powered by a flat twin cylinder Benz engine replaced later by a locally produced internal combustion engine.

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This is the T11, which was produced from 1923 through 1927. It was the first Tatra model to use the unique combination of major components that are still in use on the trucks produced by Tatra to this day. Hans Ledwinka created the design of the T11 while working for Steyr in Austria. He believed there was a need for a small car, and carried out the work in his own time. His design offered to the Steyr management was rejected. He left the company soon after to work for a previous employer, Nesseldorfer, in Moravia, which was soon to become Tatra. This was in 1921 and the development of the T11 started soon after. The Tatra T11 had its engine and gearbox in unit, bolted to the front of a tubular backbone with an integral propeller shaft that also served as the chassis. Bolted to the rear of the backbone is a final drive unit that, using an assembly of gears, not only changes the direction and speed of the drive, but facilitates the movement of swing axles without the need for flexible drive joints. The T11’s engine was an air-cooled horizontally opposed twin cylinder engine with overhead valves. It had a capacity of 1,057 cc and was located above the front beam axle which was attached to it by a transverse elliptical leaf spring. The T11 was produced between 1923 and 1927 with 3,847 examples made. It was then replaced by the T12, a development of the T11 design, with 7,222 being produced by 1936 when it was discontinued.

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This shows the chassis of the T57, a two-door compact car built from 1932 and popularly known by the nickname “Hadimrška”. Tatra updated the model as the 57A in 1936 and 57B in 1938. It made a military version, the 57K, from 1941. All versions have a characteristic Tatra backbone chassis. Tatra introduced the Type 57 in 1931. It has a 1,155 cc overhead valve flat-four engine that produces 18 hp. Its fuel consumption is between eight and 10 l/100 km.Bodies offered included a four-seat saloon, four-seat convertible and two-seat convertible. All were two-door. In 1935 Tatra replaced the Type 57 with the 57A. The 1,155 cc engine’s power output was increased to 20 hp. The body was restyled, and given a radiator grille similar to that of the larger Tatra 75.[5] A commercial van version was offered. In 1938 Tatra replaced the Type 57A with the 57B. For the new model Tatra enlarged the engine to 1,256 cc and increased its power to 25 hp. In 1941 Tatra added the 57K, which was a military two-door convertible with increased ground clearance and a 1,256 cc engine derated to 23 hp. Tatra ended production in 1947 (57K) and 1949 (57B). With that the company withdrew from making compact cars: from 1948 its smallest model was the 1,952 cc Tatra 600.

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The Tatra 70 made by Tatra at Kopřivnice from 1931 to 1937. It succeeded the Tatra 31. The model was launched in 1931, the same year as the Tatra 80, and the two models have the same backbone chassis and swing axle suspension. The front wheels have a rigid axle with overhead transverse leaf springs. The rear wheels are on a swing axle with half transverse leaf springs. The Type 70 has disc wheels, whereas the Type 80 has wire wheels. But the underlying difference is the engine. The Type 80 was given a 5,990 cc, 65-degree V-12 sidevalve engine, but the Type 70 has a water-cooled six-cylinder OHC 3,406 cc engine that produces 65 hp. The engine camshaft is driven by a bevel. Transmission is via a multi-plate dry clutch and four-speed gearbox to the rear wheels. The car weighs about 2,400 kg (5,300 lb) and its top speed is 110 km/h (68 mph). The model was offered with a choice of bodies that included a four-seat sedan, two-door coupé, four-door convertible and six-seat limousine. A fire engine version was also built. Total production was 50 cars by 27 April 1932. In 1934 the Tatra 70A replaced the 70. Its engine and transmission were derived from the Type 70 but engine capacity was increased to 3,845 cc. This increased performance to 70 hp and top speed to 130 km/h (81 mph). The weight of the revised model is 2,450 kg (5,400 lb). Total production was 70 cars by 28 August 1936. Production ceased in 1937. However, after the Second World War Tatra built one Tatra 70 from spare parts, which it supplied on 23 May 1947 to President Edvard Beneš.

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In 1933, the Tatra V570 was born – a small aerodynamic car with an air-cooled rear-mounted engine: a true revolution. The aim was to create a cheap people’s car. However, Tatra’s managers decided that the V570’s ultra-modern design would be used to develop the Tatra 77 – the world’s first serially produced aerodynamic limousine-bodied car in 1934. Seen here is the prototype V570.

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The design of both the V570 and the Tatra 77 greatly inspired Ferdinand Porsche who went on to produce the Volkswagen Beetle and a number of post-war Porsches. Under the direction of Hans Ledwinka, the company employed many genius minds of automotive history, including Erich Übelacker and consultant Paul Jaray, who all designed the Tatra 77. Paul Jaray first worked at Luftschiffbau Zeppelin (LZ) where he gained experience with aerodynamic design of airships. He used his access to LZ’s wind tunnels and subsequently established the streamlining principles for car design. In 1927 he founded a company specialising in developing streamlined car bodies and selling issuing licenses to major vehicle manufacturers. Tatra was the only manufacturer to incorporate Jaray streamline principles into their series car production, starting with the Tatra 77. Before designing the large luxurious T77, Jaray designed an aerodynamic body for the Tatra 57, a mid-range model. This prototype was not further developed and failed to reach production. Instead, Jaray constructed two prototypes for a concept designated as the Tatra V570, which more closely conformed to his aerodynamic streamlining principles, featuring a beetle-shaped body. However, at the time Tatra already had a cheap car selling well in its product range, which was moreover popular due to its continuation of simple and ultra-reliable tradition started by the Tatra 11 model. Although the management saw the advantages of Jaray’s concept, they believed that the new model would be only an additional model with limited production, which meant that it should be aimed at the top end of the market. Ledwinka’s team subsequently stopped work on V570 and concentrated on designing large luxurious cars. Tatra aimed at making state-of-the-art cars that would be fast, stable, nearly silent, economical and built to the most rigorous engineering standards, as well as reflecting modern aerodynamic research. Launched in 1934, the Tatra 77 is a coach-built automobile constructed on a central tube-steel chassis and is powered by a 75 horsepower rear-mounted 3.4-litre air-cooled V8 engine. It possessed advanced engineering applications such as overhead valves, hemispherical combustion chambers, dry sump, fully independent suspension, rear swing axles and extensive use of lightweight magnesium-alloy for the engine, transmission, suspension and body. The average drag coefficient of a 1:5 model of Tatra 77 was recorded as 0.2455. The later model T77a has a top speed of over 150 km/h (93 mph) due to its advanced aerodynamics design which delivered an exceptionally low drag coefficient of 0.212, Hans Ledwinka was the chief-designer responsible for the development of the new car, with Erich Übelacker was responsible for the body. The development was very secretive until the last moments of the official presentation on March 5, 1934 at Tatra’s Prague offices. The car was demonstrated on the road from Prague to Karlovy Vary, where it easily reached 145 km/h (90 mph) and amazed newspapermen with great handling and comfortable ride at speeds of about 100 kim/h (62 mph). That same year the T77 was presented at the Paris Motor Show, where it became the centre of attention, not only due to its looks but also for its performance. There were even demonstration rides after the ability of the car to reach 140 kilometres per hour (87 mph) with a mere 45 kilowatts (60 hp) of engine power to reach was doubted, as normally at the time for a car to reach such a speed required about twice as much horsepower. In 1935 the T77 was updated and improved, which resulted in the T77a. The capacity of the V8 was increased to 3.4 litres, which was achieved by enlarging the bore from 75 to 80 mm. The new motor increased output to 75 hp and maximum speed to 150 km/h (93 mph). The front now had three headlamps of which the central unit was linked to the steering on some models, making it possible to turn the lamp while steering. Some T77s and T77as were also equipped with canvas Webasto roofs. The Tatra 77 was the particular favourite of Tatra design engineer Erich Übelacker, who owned and used a T77 himself from 1934. Other famous owners of T77s were Milos Havel, the proprietor of the film studios in Prague who bought a T77 in 1935, Austrian car designer Edmund Rumpler, who designed the aerodynamic Rumpler Tropfenwagen in 1921, Edvard Beneš, the 1930s minister of Foreign Affairs and later president of Czechoslovakia, who both owned a T77a. Ledwinka was not entirely satisfied with the T77’s handling, caused by its rather heavy rear. He started work on a successor to the T77, which was to be less heavy and with an improved weight distribution. Tatra achieved just that with the now famous Tatra 87 that was introduced in 1936.

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The factory was nationalised in 1946 two years before the Communist takeover. Although production of pre-war models continued, a new model, the Tatra 600 Tatraplan was designed in 1946-47 by Josef Chalupa, Vladimír Popelář, František Kardaus and Hans Ledwinka. The name of the car celebrated the new Communist planned economy but also referred to aeroplane inspiration (‘éroplan’ means aeroplane in colloquial Czech). After two prototypes “Ambrož” (December 1946) and “Josef” (March 1947), the 600 went into mass production in 1948. In 1951, the state planning department decided that the Tatraplan should henceforth be built at the Skoda Auto plant in Mladá Boleslav, leaving Tatra to concentrate on truck assembly. This was quite unpopular with the workforce at both plants: as a result Skoda built Tatraplans for one year only before the model was discontinued in 1952. The Tatraplan had a monocoque streamlined 6-seat fastback saloon body with frontal suicide doors and a drag coefficient (Cd) of just 0.32. It was powered by an air-cooled flat-4-cylinder 1,952 cc rear-mounted engine. 6,342 were made, 2,100 of them in Mladá Boleslav. In 2010, in the UK, Tatraplan had been selected by public vote in the ‘Classic Car of the Year’ competition as the winner of the 1940s category.

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The Tatra 87 (T87) was powered by a rear-mounted 2.9-litre air-cooled 90-degree overhead cam V8 engine that produced 85 horsepower and could drive the car at nearly 100 mph (160 km/h). It is ranked among the fastest production cars of its time. Competing cars in this class, however, used engines with almost twice the displacement, and with fuel consumption of 20 l/100 km (11.8 mpg). Thanks to its aerodynamic shape, the Tatra 87 had a consumption of just 12.5 l/100 km (18.8 mpg). After the war between 1950 and 1953, T87s were fitted with more-modern 2.5-litre V8 T603 engines. The 87 was used by Hanzelka and Zikmund for their travel through Africa and Latin America from 1947 to 1950. The Tatra 87 has unique bodywork. Its streamlined shape was designed by Hans Ledwinka and Erich Übelacker and was based on the Tatra 77, the first car designed with aerodynamics in mind. The body design was based on proposals submitted by Paul Jaray of Hungarian descent, who designed the famous German Graf Zeppelin dirigibles. A fin in the sloping rear of the Tatra helps to divide the air pressure on both sides of the car, a technique used later in aircraft. Tatra 87 had a drag coefficient of 0.36 as tested in the VW tunnel in 1979 as well as reading of 0.244 for a 1:5 model tested in 1941 Small sets of windows in the dividers between the passenger, luggage space and engine compartments, plus louvres providing air for the air-cooled engine, allowed limited rear visibility. Its entire rear segment could be opened, to service the engine. The front doors are rear-hinged coach doors, sometimes termed “suicide doors”, and the rear doors are front-hinged. Many design elements of the Tatra 87, V570 and the later T97, were copied by later car manufacturers. Ferdinand Porsche was heavily influenced by the Tatra 87 and T97 and the flat-four-cylinder engine in his design of the Volkswagen Beetle, and was subsequently sued by Tatra. The price new (in the 1940s) was 25,000 SFr. Its value today is around $125,000. A 1941 Tatra 87, owned and restored by Paul Greenstein and Dydia DeLyser of Los Angeles California, won a New York Times reader’s poll of collector’s cars in 2010, beating strong competition from 651 cars.

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Tatra was the manufacturer of luxurious automobiles in the Czech lands. Austro-Hungarian emperor Charles I used a NW type T; the Czechoslovak president Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk drove the twelve-cylinder Tatra 80 while his successor Edvard Beneš drove the streamlined Tatra 87. While the T87 was manufactured from 1936 to 1950, the post-war T600 may be considered the first car of the new political order. The T600 was much smaller and used an engine of only four cylinders, making it the descendant of the T97, the small pre-war Tatra. Production of the T97 had been stopped by the Nazis in order to cover its resemblance to their KdF-Wagen (which later became known as the VW Beetle). Czechoslovakia had a Socialist government from 1948, and its economy was later subject to some regulation by the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON), consisting of eastern European socialist nations. After production of the T600 ended in 1952, COMECON decided that Tatra would manufacture only trucks, while luxury cars would be imported into Czechoslovakia from the USSR. The Tatra designers, however, continued their work on a new car in secret. In 1952 a group of designers led by František Kardaus and Vladimír Popelář began the secret development of a new car called Valuta, while officially devoting their time to development of a new three-axle bus T400. In 1953 the socialist government became frustrated with delays in delivery of Soviet cars as well as with their poor quality and they ordered development of a new luxury Tatra, thus giving legitimacy to the team’s previous work. The new car was to have a 3.5-litre air-cooled eight-cylinder engine, and it was to be ready for production by the end of 1954. While the chassis was almost ready due to the work on Valuta, the engine remained an issue. Even in their secret designs nobody had anticipated such a large engine. Engineer Julius Mackerle proposed a “temporary” solution of using the already developed 2.5-litre T603 engine in the new car (it was already successfully used in Tatra racecars and Tatra 87-603), while the larger one was supposed to be ready in the next 4–5 years. The first driveable T603 was completed in 1955. A number of body designs were tested in wind-tunnels. In the end the one proposed by František Kardas and fine-tuned by Vladimír Popelář and Josef Chalupa was chosen for production. Three versions of the model T603 were manufactured successively between 1956 and 1975. These cars are designated T603, T 2-603 and T 3-603, though the 3- was not an official designation used by Tatra. The T603-1 is easily distinguished by its three headlamps enclosed beneath a clear glass cover. In 1962 the 2-603 was launched. Four headlamps were mounted within a long oval grille and the dashboard was changed. The rear track was increased by 55 mm and the engine was modernised. In 1966 the car gained power brakes, while in 1967 other changes were added: for example the windshield’s height was enlarged by 66 mm. The unofficial -3 (or Tatra 2-603 II) omits the grille and places the headlamps flush with the car’s front fascia. The car got disc brakes on all four wheels and was officially changed to a five-seater for legal reasons (from 1968 the safety belts became obligatory for passengers on front seats). In 1973 the T603 became the first Czechoslovak car with contactless thyristor ignition. To complicate matters, as model T603s were returned to the factory to be exchanged for “new” model T603s, the older cars would be disassembled and rebuilt to the current styling. These cars were then returned to use as “new” T603’s. As a result, most T603s are of the later -3 styling, regardless of their original production date. The Model T603 was allocated only to senior members of the political and industrial establishments. About a third of T603 production was exported to most of the central and eastern European countries allied to Czechoslovakia at the time, as well as to Cuba and China. Sales to private individuals were not normally possible, although a few T603s appear to have been privately owned in East Germany. Originally the Comecon issued a provision limiting Czechoslovakia to production of no more than 300 luxurious cars per year. Tatra was making more of them, though. This became an issue in 1957 and 1958, especially considering that East Germany produced its own luxurious car, the Sachsenring P240. The Comecon decided that the two countries must reach a deal to choose which country would continue production to supply the other. In 1958 the Ministries of Interior of both countries took part in trials, which East Germany’s Minister of Machinery personally attended. The 603 won, and subsequently East Germany’s higher communist officials were able to drive the T603, while the lower ones had to drive imports from USSR. During the car’s twenty-year production run, 20,422 cars were built, mostly by hand. To the west of the Iron Curtain the car was mostly unknown, though some were used by Czechoslovak embassies in western capitals, and for a brief period some were exported to Canada and the USA, following on the success of the rear-engined VW Beetle. The model T603 was replaced by the T613 in 1974. Both Series 1 and Series 2 cars were here.

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The Tatra 613 was a large luxury rear wheel driven car with rear mounted air-cooled engine manufactured by Czechoslovak manufacturer Tatra from the 1970s to the 1990s, as a replacement for the Tatra 603 series. It featured an all-new body styled by Vignale of Italy and used a dohc air-cooled 3.5 litre V8 engine with 168 PS. Later injection versions reached 200 PS with a maximum speed of 230 km/h (143 mph). The design was updated a further five times until being replaced by the Tatra 700 in 1996, itself a restyled T613-5. The Tatra 613 vehicles were mostly used by government officials, industry executives and in limited numbers were also used as police cars and as the rapid response fire fighting and rescue vehicles during motorsport events. In total, around 7000 examples were made.

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TEUF TEUF

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

1901 de Dion Bouton

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1902 Renault Serie G – 853cc 1 cylinder

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1907 Lion Peugeot 1 cylinder 1045cc

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1909 Rolland Pillan C12 2200cc 12CV

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1922 Salmson 4 cylinder 1086cc

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1910 Darracq

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1902 Oldsmobile Curved Dash

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1910 Sizaire & Naudin Model G 4 cylinder 1900cc

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This 1891 Dos a Dos a Vapeur – attributed to de Dion Bouton was the oldest vehicle in the 2020 event. The story of horseless carriages started with three different propulsion systems. There was the steam power, the electric power and the hydrocarbon internal combustion engine. The steam power started with providing static power requirements then later moved trains, ships and automobiles. For the automobile, like the one illustrated there is a heavy boiler in front requiring combustible and water while occupants would sit at the back. The steam power is still in use today for example for generating electricity. The steam car was superceded by the hydrocarbon internal combustion engines in particular because the petroleum company established a wide infrastructure for distribution of fuel.

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TOURING

Created as a follow up to 2018’s Sciàdipersia Coupe, the convertible is based on the Maserati GranCabrio and features a handcrafted exterior with lightweight aluminium body panels and carbon fibre components. The model has a bit of retro vibe and Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera says the “sharp edges and flat surfaces revert to suggestions of elegant styles from the 1970s.” Regardless of how you feel about the design, the car is certainly unique and its rear end has stylish combination of soft curves and angled surfaces. The cabin largely carries over from the GranCabrio, but buyers can select their own trim and upholstery combinations. In the case of this particular car, the owner ordered chocolate leather with cream accents and orange contract stitching. Power is provided by a naturally aspirated 4.7-litre V8 engine that produces 454 hp and 383 lb-ft (520 Nm) of torque. It is connected to a six-speed automatic transmission which enables the rear-wheel drive convertible to accelerate from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in approximately five seconds. Given enough room, the model will eventually hit a top speed of around 179 mph (288 km/h). While Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera was originally planning to build ten Sciàdipersia Coupes, CEO Piero Mancardi said customers requested a convertible variant. The company decided to oblige and now fans can order either a coupe or convertible. Each takes approximately six months to build and there are now plans to make a total of 15 Sciàdipersias. Pricing is available “upon request,” but the Sciàdipersia is probably pretty expensive as the car is effectively handmade and buyers need to provide a donor vehicle.

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TRACTORS

Perhaps the most intriguing special display of the lot was this one, given over to vintage tractors, all produced by names better known for making cars. There were some definite surprises among the extensive array of these workhorses that had been assembled, with 30 tractors from no fewer than 11 different manufacturers, some of them over 100 years old. Some of the models exhibited are rare tractors which have never been on show before.

The tractor was developed in France with agricultural motorisation to follow after the First World War, Peugeot, Renault and Citroën saw an opportunity to maintain the activity of their weapons plants.

Citroen were represented by two Type J tractor prototypes for the first time, including one replica which was only rediscovered a few years ago and which was kept in its original condition, the first having been restored by the Citroen conservatoire. It was designed immediately after the Second World War and these small four-wheel drive models were tested between 1946 and 1947 before the tractor project was finally halted. Also here was the tiny and super-cute 1919 Viticole, equipped with mechanicals from the Citroën Type A and on loan from the Collection Musée Maurice Dufresne.

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Four tractors represented the Ford brand, with the earliest dating back to 1917 and the largest being the very popular Ford 5000 series.

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Three tractors represented the prestigious Stuttgart manufacturer, Porsche, including a rare P312 “café tractor”. It is also nicknamed “The Locomotive”, because of its incredible “streamline” bodywork, which is worthy of futuristic illustrations and comics from the 1930s to the 1950s, while the P312 was allowed to pass through the lines of coffee trees in the Brazilian plantations without causing any damage to them.

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Renault put in a historic appearance in the agricultural world with four HI caterpillar models dating back to 1920 as well as with one 3042 model from the 1950s, equipped with the particularly “exotic” Rotapede system with special rear caterpillars and large metallic pads.

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Whilst I knew that most of the other marques present had at some point made tractors the fact that Alfa Romeo had done so was completely new news to me. This is a 1938 Alfa Romeo Balilla tractor. The Balilla was built in Italy by Motomeccanica but for the French market they were badged as Alfa Romeos. Power comes from a 10 hp 4 cylinder 1438cc petrol engine.

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More recently, Fiat has come to dominate the Italian tractor market, with an array of different machines of varying sizes. The largest of those on display was this one, 4 metres wide, 4 metres high, 7 metres long and weighing 13 tonnes. I give you the Fiat Versatile. A champion in the heavyweight class, with a powerful 6 cylinder engine, twin wheels, 2 metres high, ideal for the large French fields of the 1980s.

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There were three other Fiat tractors here, not quite so large, of which the most recent was this Fiat Someca 1300DT dating from 1979. Power comes from a 7.4 litre cylinder diesel engine.

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Other big names from the automobile sector were represented, showing their part in their fascinating adventure in the agricultural world with various emblematic or rare models from the history of the tractor: Volvo, Lamborghini, Mercedes, MAN, and without forgetting Aston Martin whose prestige and history are most certainly linked to the initials of its founder, DB, David Brown, who is also considered to be among the largest British and global tractor manufacturers.

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TRIUMPH

Launched in 1955 the TR3 was a clear evolution of the TR2 and not a brand new model. It was powered by a 1991 cc straight-4 OHV engine initially producing 95 bhp, an increase of 5 hp over the TR2 thanks to the larger SU-H6 carburettors fitted. This was later increased to 100 bhp at 5000 rpm by the addition of a “high port” cylinder head and enlarged manifold. The four-speed manual gearbox could be supplemented by an overdrive unit on the top three ratios, electrically operated and controlled by a switch on the dashboard. In 1956 the front brakes were changed from drums to discs, the TR3 thus becoming the first British series production car to be so fitted. The TR3 was updated in 1957, with various changes of which the full width radiator grille is the easiest recognition point and the facelifted model is commonly referred to as the Triumph “TR3A”, though unlike the later TR4 series, where the “A” suffix was adopted, the cars were not badged as such and the “TR3A” name was not used officially, Other updates included exterior door handles, a lockable