When planning the visit to the 2021 London Concours, I was mindful of the fact that the event is not large enough to entertain us all day, so my good friend Andy Convery and I scratched our proverbial heads to think of other things we could in a London which will still have Covid-19-related limitations in force. Andy suggested we consider visiting the Joe Macari showroom, as he had managed to do a few years ago when working in the area and had been bowled over by what we saw. A quick google of the firm’s website suggested not only that they were open, but that their stock would make a trip across the city well worthwhile. So we decided that this would be our second destination once we had seen everything we wanted to at the Concours. The nearest tube station is Southfields, which is towards the end of the Wimbledon branch of the District line. Travelling in the middle of the day, there were few other passengers, and we were pleased to find a number of options for a lunchtime sandwich and drink before making the short walk to the showroom. Even from the outside it was obvious that there were lots of great cars inside, so the only question was whether we could go in. Thankfully, we could and for most of the time we were there, we were the only people other than the staff. Jaws hit the floor as we entered, with an array of amazing cars. Here is what we saw:
Most Abarths of the 1960s were based on regular Fiat models. Smallest of these were those based on the Nuova 500, and there was one of these here. For the 595 SS, Abarth increased the engine capacity to 594 cc, just under the limit for the European 600cc racing sedan class. High compression 10:1 pistons were used together with a special camshaft, a specific alloy sump, Abarth valve covers and air filter, propped up engine lid and wheels were fitted and of course the exhaust system was a special in house model. This package together with lowered suspension, flared arches and 10 inch rims amounted to what was known as the Assetto Corsa SS model. These cars have become very rare as many were crashed in competition or simply rotted away due to bad rust protection in the 70s A number of recreations have been built, but this one is the real thing. And priced accordingly!
Although I am sure there are those who would beg to differ, my contention is that car styling in the twentyfirst century has gone through a period which will not be viewed particularly positively in years to come, with a myriad of forgettable designs and more recently plenty which in trying to be distinctive are just downright ugly. There have been a few high points, though, and top of that list for me must be the Alfa 8C Competizione, a lone example of which was to be seen here. As well as the looks, this car also has noise on its side, with a sound track which must rate as one of the best of recent times. So that is two boxes ticket for me. The press saw it rather differently, and were rather critical of the car when it was new, but for me, finding plenty to fault with the way the car drove. First seen as a concept car at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2003, the concept was conceived as a reminder for people who were perhaps slightly disillusioned with contemporary Alfa products that the company could still style something as striking in the 21st century as it had been able to do in the 1950s and 1960s. Public reaction was very positive, but Fiat Group Execs were very focused on Ferrari and Maserati and they were not entirely convinced that a car like this was appropriate as it could encroach on those brands’ territory. It was only in 2006, with new management in place that it is decided that a limited production run of just 500 cars would give the once proud marque something of a boost. Announcement of the production version, visually little different from the 2003 concept car was made at the 2006 Paris Show, and it was soon evident that Alfa could have sold far more than 500 cars To turn the concept into reality, Alfa used a shortened Maserati Quattroporte platform with a central steel section, subframes front and rear and main outer panels that were all made from carbon fibre, with the result that the complete car weighed 300 kg less than the GranTurismo. Final assembly was carried out by Maserati, with the cars being built between 2007 and 2010. Competiziones (Coupes) first, and then 500 Spiders. Just 40 of the Competizione models came to the UK. Most of them were sent to the US, so this car is exceptionally rare and is much sought after by collectors. They were fearsomely expensive when new, listing for around £150,000, but prices have never dipped far below this, so anyone who bought one, should they ever feel the need to sell it, is not going to lose money on the car.
Representing the longest lived design in Aston Martin’s history were the DBS and V8 range of cars. 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 louvers 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
A somewhat forgotten marque these days, it was nice to see a couple of examples of the Autobianchi here. The Bianchina cars were the first Autobianchi models to be produced. Based on the Fiat 500, they were available in various configurations: Berlina (saloon), Cabriolet, Trasformabile (convertible), Panoramica (station wagon), and Furgoncino (van). The car was presented to the public on 16 September 1957 at the Museum of Science and Technology in Milan. Initially, the car was equipped with the smallest Fiat engine, air-cooled 479 cc producing 15 PS. In 1959, the engine power was increased to 17 PS and in 1960, the cabriolet version was launched. In the same year, the Trasformabile, whose engine cylinder capacity was increased to 499 cc (18 hp), was made available in a Special version with bicolour paint and an engine enhanced to 21 PS. The Trasformabile featured fixed B-pillar and partial roof, as the rest of the opening was covered with foldable fabric hood. Cabriolet version had no B-pillar. Also this was the only version to feature suicide doors. In 1962, the Trasformabile was replaced by a four-seat saloon. The engine and chassis were the same as in the Trasformabile. In 1965, a minor facelift was made. In France, the models were sold under different names: the Berlina became the Lutèce, the Familiare the Texane, and the Trasformabile was marketed as the Eden Roc. Production ceased in 1970.
The Autobianchi Giardiniera is a supermini produced by the Italian automaker Autobianchi, based on the Fiat 500 Giardiniera. The Fiat version being offered since 1960. It was available in various configurations: station wagon and van. Car was produced from 1968 to 1977 effectively replacing the Fiat counterpart. It was also marketed as the Autobianchi Bianchina Giardiniera. The overall layout was very similar to the earlier Panoramica but the Giardiniera was more utilitarian oriented and ideally suited for light commerce. It also retained the same exterior design from Fiat with only a badge change, and still featured the suicide doors.
A close relative of the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud, the S Type was first revealed in April 1955. It represented a complete redesign of the standard production car, the R Type. It was a more generously sized five- or six-seater saloon with the body manufactured in pressed steel with stressed skin construction, with the doors, bonnet and boot lid made of aluminium. The external appearance was very different, although the car still had the traditional radiator grille. Compared to the outgoing R Type, the new model had a three inch longer wheelbase, was lower of build without reducing headroom and with an enlarged luggage boot, softer suspension with electrically operated control of rear dampers, lighter steering and improved braking. The engine, still a clear descendants of the one originally used in the Rolls-Royce Twenty from 1922 to 1929, had its capacity increased to 4887cc, and a four-speed automatic gearbox was standard, with the ability to select individual ratios if desired, which was enough to give the Bentley a top speed of just over 100 mph and 0 – 60 acceleration times of around 13 seconds. Standard and from 1957, long wheelbase saloons were offered and some were sent to the coachbuilders for alternative bodies to be fitted. An upgrade in 1959, creating the S2, saw the installation of a new V8 engine, and in 1962, the S3 cars gained four round headlights. 3072 S Types were made, 145 of them with coachbuilt bodies as well as 35 of the long wheelbase cars, before the model was replaced by the new T Type in 1965. Seen here were a couple of S2 Continental Park Ward models.
This is a recent Mulsanne Speed. The Mulsanne nameplate was last used by Bentley for a four-door saloon that was built between 1980 and 1992. It was resurrected as the nameplate for what would become the replacement for the Arnage, Bentley’s then flagship model. The new Mulsanne was unveiled at the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance held on 16 August, followed by the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, 2010 North American International Auto Show, and the 2012 Qatar Motor Show. At the time of its launch, a coupé and convertible variant were expected to follow at some point as replacements for the Arnage-based Brooklands and Azure respectively but the coupé never came to fruition, while a convertible has been made available towards the end of the production run. Like the Arnage, the Mulsanne retains the venerable 6.75 litre Bentley L Series V8 engine, modified to meet Euro V emissions regulations. The engine is lighter and features cylinder de-activation and variable cam phasing to improve fuel efficiency. Unlike the less expensive Continental Flying Spur and Continental GT, the Mulsanne shares fewer common components with other marques in the Volkswagen Group. The Mulsanne is the first flagship car to be independently designed by Bentley Motors in nearly 80 years. The last independently designed Bentley automobile was W.O. Bentley’s 8 litre model in 1930, after which most Bentleys shared platforms with Rolls-Royce cars.A number of different versions were offered during the model’s 10 year production life. The Speed is the performance derivative of the Mulsanne and offers greater performance and more premium features compared to the standard model. The 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine is modified and is rated at 530 bhp and 1,100 Nm (811 lb/ft) of torque (meanwhile the standard model’s engine is rated at 505 bhp and 1,020 Nm (752 lb/ft) of torque) and benefits from a 13% increase in efficiency as a result of a newly redesigned combustion system that promotes a much faster and more controlled combustion process. This gives the Speed a 0–97 km/h acceleration time of 4.8 seconds, which is 0.3 seconds faster than the standard model. Meanwhile, the top speed is increased from 296 to 306 km/h (184 to 190 mph). Other features specific to the Speed include a Sports mode in the suspension system settings, more assertive styling features such as a dark tint finish applied to the exterior stainless steel matrix grille, distinctive headlights, a “floating ellipse” design on the rear taillights, Bentley’s first ever directional style wheel and tyre set, and twin rifled exhaust tailpipes. Interior features include a new and unique colour split with new stitch lines that balances diamond quilted light-colour hide with darker, smooth hide, a 60 GB on-board hard drive, electrically-operated tables with recesses and connections for iPads and matching keyboards, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.
This is the rarely seen Dallara Stradale, a car that was first revealed in 2017. Company founder Gian Paolo Dallara had the desire to create a car bearing his own name after having worked with various manufacturers and over seeing their projects ranging from the development of Formula 1 and Formula 3 cars as well as Indycars and even designing the chassis of sports cars for other manufacturers, notable manufacturers include Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and Alfa Romeo. The development of such a car was halted six times as the funds received from the completion of projects of other companies were invested in development of other projects but finally after accumulating enough funds for the development of a road car, the CEO of the company, Andrea Pontremoli was tasked with the development work. Development began in 2015 with design work contracted to Granstudio, a small Italian design consultancy firm located in Turin. Hours of wind tunnel testing was performed on the final mockups in order to ensure that the car was aerodynamically refined. Chassis work was undertaken by former race car driver Loris Bicocchi. Dallara had been inspired by Colin Chapman’s philosophy of lightweight minimalist sports cars and the final product, the Stradale embodied those principals. With a dry weight of 855 kg (1,885 lb), the Stradale has performance comparable to high performance sports cars while being driver-focused. The first car was delivered to Dallara himself, on the occasion of his 81st birthday, at the company’s headquarters in Varano de’ Melegari, Italy, in 2017. The Stradale is powered by a 2.3-litre turbocharged Ford EcoBoost Inline-four engine also used in the Ford Focus RS. The engine is reworked by Bosch in order to generate a maximum power output of 400 PS (395 bhp) at 6,200 rpm and a peak torque of 500 N⋅m (369 lb⋅ft) at 3,000–5,000 rpm. Bosch also worked on the car’s aerodynamics and as a result, the car in the berlinetta body style is able to generate 820 kg (1,808 lb) of downforce with its optional rear wing. The conversion to different body styles was made possible by a removable windscreen made from motosport grade polycarbonate glass and a carbon fibre frame. The windscreen has a shape and a central windscreen wiper reminiscent of the Group C race cars of the 1990s. A T-shape removable frame combined with detachable gull-wing doors makes the conversion to a targa top and berlinetta bodyshell possible, but the driver enters the car in the same way, regardless of body structure (i.e by climbing over the side). The base of the chassis is a hollow carbon-fibre tub with solid carbon fibre side structure in order to channel air to the rear of the car. The air from one side goes to the engine while the air from the other side goes to the air-to-air intercooler. The carbon tub is joined by aluminium sub-structures front and aft. Two control arms are present at each corner, with the front arms directly mounted on the tub. The floor of the chassis is flat with a front splitter mounted at the front and a rear diffuser mounted at the rear. These elements combined without the optional rear wing create so much downforce that the format of the car requires to be fitted with reverse Gurney flaps that help maintain appropriate aerodynamic balance. The engine is transversely mounted and is combined with a 6-speed manual transmission (also from the Focus RS) or an optional 6-speed sequential manual transmission with paddle shifters mounted on the steering column transferring the power of the engine to the rear wheels. Both of the transmissions come with a limited slip differential. The Stradale comes with electronic stability control as standard that can be turned off and set to intervene as minimum as possible. The braking system utilises steel brake discs as the engineers working on the car believed that steel brake discs worked just as good without the added complexity and cost of a carbon-ceramic brake disc. The brake calipers are supplied by Brembo. The interior of the car has carbon fibre as its main element and has all of the main controls of the car integrated into the steering wheel. Vital information of the car such as speed and rpm are displayed on a motorsports-style display screen on the steering column. The seats are carbon-fibre shells fixed to the chassis and have foam padding applied on them. The steering column and paddles are adjustable in order to alter the driving position. Minimal luggage can be stowed in two compartments located behind the engine and two additional compartments in the seats are designed to store two race helmets. The total space of these compartments is four cubic-feet. Other features of the car include Pirelli Trofeo R tyres, active racing suspension system by Tractive suspension which drops the car’s ride height by 0.8-inches in track mode and an oil pressure accumulator enabling the fuel pump to withstand the 2.0 g of lateral acceleration the chassis is capable of generating. The Stradale can generate a downforce of 400 kp (881 lbf) at 241 km/h (150 mph) in its basic form and 853 kp (1,880 lbf) with its optional rear wing. The car accelerates from 0–60 mph in 3.2 seconds, 0–100 mph in 8.1 seconds, can complete a quarter-mile in 11.4 seconds and can attain a top speed of 280 km/h (174 mph). The company plans to produce no more than 600 units of the Stradale in five years offering a limited number of units for sale every year. Each car has a cost of €191,000 before taxes.
Designed for export to North America, the 1957 250 GT California Spyder was Scaglietti’s interpretation of an open-top 250 GT. Aluminium was used for the bonnet, doors, and boot lid, with steel elsewhere for most models. Several aluminium-bodied racing versions were also built. The engine was the same as in the 250 Tour de France racing car with up to 240 PS @ 7000 rpm and a maximum torque of 265 Nm (195 lb/ft) @ 5000 rpm, from a 2,953 cc naturally aspirated SOHC 2 valves per cylinder 60º Ferrari Colombo V12 engine, equipped with 3 Weber carburettors. All used the long 2,600 mm (102.4 in) chassis, and Pirelli Cinturato 185VR16 tyres (CA67) were standard. A total of fifty LWBs were made before the SWB version superseded them in 1960. One example sold at auction on August 18, 2007 in Monterey, California, for $4.9 million, while radio host and former Top Gear presenter Chris Evans bought this one for $12 million in 2008. He subsequently sold it, and the car is being stored here as opposed to being for sale.
Most valuable car on show, for sure was this 1962 250 GTO, a GT car produced by Ferrari from 1962 to 1964 for homologation into the FIA’s Group 3 Grand Touring Car category. It was powered by Ferrari’s Tipo 168/62 Colombo V12 engine. The “250” in its name denotes the displacement in cubic centimeters of each of its cylinders; “GTO” stands for Gran Turismo Omologato, Italian for “Grand Touring Homologated.” Just 36 of the 250 GTOs were manufactured between 1962 and 1964. This includes 33 cars with 1962-63 bodywork (Series I) and three with 1964 (Series II) bodywork similar to the Ferrari 250 LM. Four of the older 1962-1963 (Series I) cars were updated in 1964 with Series II bodies. When new, the 250 GTO cost $18,000 in the United States, with buyers personally approved by Enzo Ferrari and his dealer for North America, Luigi Chinetti. This model has since become highly desired by automobile collectors and sales have repeatedly set price records.The current record for world’s most expensive car was set in June 2018 when a 1963 250 GTO (chassis 4153GT) was sold in a private sale for $70 million. The 250 GTO was designed to compete in Group 3 GT racing, where its rivals would include the Shelby Cobra, Jaguar E-Type and Aston Martin DP214. The development of the 250 GTO was headed by chief engineer Giotto Bizzarrini. Although Bizzarrini is usually credited as the designer of the 250 GTO, he and most other Ferrari engineers were fired in 1962 due to a dispute with Enzo Ferrari. Further development of the 250 GTO was overseen by new engineer Mauro Forghieri, who worked with Scaglietti to continue development of the body. The design of the car was a collaborative effort and cannot be ascribed to a single person. The mechanical aspects of 250 GTO were relatively conservative at the time of its introduction, using engine and chassis components that were proven in earlier competition cars. The chassis of the car was based on that of the 250 GT SWB, with minor differences in frame structure and geometry to reduce weight, stiffen and lower the chassis. The car was built around a hand-welded oval tube frame, incorporating A-arm front suspension, rear live-axle with Watt’s linkage, disc brakes, and Borrani wire wheels. The engine was the race-proven Tipo 168/62 Comp. 2,953 cc V12 as used in the 250 Testa Rossa Le Mans winner. An all-alloy design utilizing a dry sump and six 38DCN Weber carburettors, it produced approximately 300 PS at 7500 rpm and 294 N⋅m; 217 lbf⋅ft at 5500 rpm of torque. The gearbox was a new 5-speed unit with Porsche-type synchromesh. Bizzarrini focused his design effort on the car’s aerodynamics in an attempt to improve top speed and stability. The body design was informed by wind tunnel testing at Pisa University as well as road and track testing with several prototypes. The resulting all-aluminium bodywork had a long, low nose, small radiator inlet, and distinctive air intakes on the nose with removable covers. Early testing resulted in the addition of a rear spoiler. The underside of the car was covered by a belly pan and had an additional spoiler underneath formed by the fuel tank cover. The aerodynamic design of the 250 GTO was a major technical innovation compared to previous Ferrari GT cars, and in line with contemporary developments by manufacturers such as Lotus. The bodies were constructed by Scaglietti, with the exception of early prototypes with bodies constructed in-house by Ferrari or by Pininfarina (in the case of s/n 2643 GT). Cars were produced in many colours, with the most famous being the bright red “Rosso Cina”.The minimalist interior of a 250 GTO reflects the car’s racing intentions. There is no speedometer, seats are cloth-upholstered, and neither carpeting nor a headliner was installed. Cockpit ventilation is via exterior air inlets. The exposed metal gate defining the shift pattern became a Ferrari tradition maintained in production models until replaced by steering column-mounted paddle shifters in the 2000s. As the 250 GTO was heavily derived from the earlier 250 GT Berlinetta SWB, Ferrari engineers constructed two 250 GTO prototypes in 1961 by converting existing chassis of this type. The first prototype, designated in official photos as the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Le Mans Berlinetta Sperimentale, was constructed from chassis 2643GT, originally a 1961 250 GT SWB. It was built to competition specification, which included a reinforced chassis, a competition gearbox and a Tipo 168/61 3.0 L engine tuned to 300 bhp, equipped with dry sump lubrication and six Weber 38 DCN carburetors. Pininfarina constructed a new lightweight aluminium alloy body for this prototype, which resembled that of the 400 Super America coupe. 2643GT was entered by Scuderia Ferrari in the 1961 24 hours of Le Mans, driven by Fernand Tavano and Giancarlo Baghetti. Although they were running as high as 8th overall, they were forced to retire at 4:45 am on Sunday morning due to engine failure. During the course of the race, Ferrari engineers gathered information about the performance of the car which was used to modify and improve it, including the addition of a rear spoiler. During the Le Mans race, 2643 GT suffered from high-speed instability, possibly due to the front end design. Following Le Mans, 2643 GT returned to the factory, where it was used for more testing. The prototype raced again at the 1962 Daytona Continental 3 hours, where it placed 4th overall and 1st in the GT class driven by Stirling Moss.Subsequently, it was sold to N.A.R.T. and a succession of private owners. The second prototype was also constructed from a donor car, although sources disagree on the chassis number and type. Several older sources mention the donor as a 1960 250 GT SWB, chassis 2053 GT. Alternatively, other sources have claimed that a 250 GT Boano (0523GT) or a 1959 250 GT SWB (1791GT) was used as the donor car. This prototype was created entirely by the Ferrari factory’s racing department under the oversight of Giotto Bizzarrini, including the bodywork. The original chassis was extensively modified, including relocation of the engine mounts lower and further back in the frame. A competition-specification engine was fitted, including six Weber 38 DCN carburettors. The bodywork seen on the second prototype in period photos was rough, unfinished aluminium. The body’s ungainly appearance lead the Ferrari team to nickname it “Il Mostro” (the Monster) and the press to call it “The Anteater.” Hammer marks, weld beads and bolted or riveted panels could be seen throughout, evidence of the continual modifications performed during factory testing in 1961. Although the body was crudely formed, it displayed features that would be seen in the production 250 GTO, including the overall profile of a low hood and high rear, triple front air intakes, engine bay cooling slots in the front fenders and plexiglass-covered headlights. The interior was hastily constructed and even more minimal than in the production 250 GTO, with scattered instrumentation and a bare aluminium dashboard. The second prototype was tested at Monza in September 1961 by Stirling Moss. Results were promising, as the prototype was able to lap the circuit faster than a 250 GT SWB. However, the high speed stability issues seen during testing of the first prototype remained. Shortly after this test, construction of the first production 250 GTOs began in late 1961 with chassis 3223 GT and 3387 GT. As the prototype was no longer needed for testing, the experimental body was scrapped. Regardless of the identity of the chassis, sources are in agreement that the second GTO prototype was either partially or entirely scrapped and is no longer extant in its 1961 form. If 2053 GT was indeed the chassis, it was then given a 250 GT SWB style body and sold to Jacques Swaters. 2053 GT crashed during the 1962 Nürburgring 1000 km and was then rebodied by Carrozzeria Sports Cars. Subsequently, 2053 GT was totally destroyed in an accident at the 1964 Spa 500km. Handbuild production, updates, and repairs throughout each car’s competition history result in differences both visible and invisible between individual 250 GTOs. Variance in air intake/vent configuration is common among cars. Modifications to the original bodywork were performed by the factory, Scaglietti, or other body shops, usually after crashes or according to a racing team’s wishes. In 1964, Ferrari tasked Mauro Forghieri and Mike Parkes with redesigning the 250 GTO’s bodywork, resulting in what became known as the GTO ’64 (or Series II). Three new cars were produced to the 1964 specification, and four earlier 250 GTOs were retrofitted to it by the factory. This redesign was intended to maintain the GTO’s competitiveness for one more year, as the FIA decided to not approve the 250 LM for GT-class racing during the 1964 season. The Ferrari engineers incorporated many of the 250LM’s aerodynamic features into the 1964 GTO. This resulted in a visual similarity between the two models, even though the GTO does not share the 250LM’s mid engine rear wheel drive layout. The factory also made minor modifications to the engine, gearbox, chassis, suspension and interior. Despite these changes, the overall performance improvement was slight. The GTO ’64 still saw some racing success with factory and privateer teams, including an overall win at Daytona in 1964 by Phil Hill and Pedro Rodriguez driving for NART. Three 330 GTO specials were made using the 250 GTO chassis and body fitted with 400 Superamerica 4.0L motors. Distinguished by a larger bonnet bulge, these cars were used briefly for racing and testing by Scuderia Ferrari before being sold to private customers. The 330 LMB is sometimes considered a GTO variant. These cars used a 4.0L 330 motor and a modified 250 GT Lusso chassis/body. Four were produced in 1963. Three 275 GTB/C Speciales were built in 1964/65. Despite their origins as competition versions of the 275 GTB, they are sometimes considered developments of the 250 GTO due to similarity of configuration and bodywork. The Ferrari 250 GT SWB Breadvan was a one-off racing car designed for Scuderia Serenissima by Bizzarrini after his departure from Ferrari. It was developed specifically to compete against the then-new 250 GTO. Although based on the earlier 250 GT SWB, the Breadvan provided an opportunity for Bizzarrini to develop the ideas he had first explored with the GTO, such as lower and more aerodynamic bodywork, incorporation of a dry sump, and radical lightening of the entire car. The 250 GTO’s racing debut was at the 1962 12 Hours of Sebring, driven by American Phil Hill (the Formula One World Driving Champion at the time) and Belgian Olivier Gendebien. Although originally annoyed that they were driving a GT-class car instead of one of the full-race 250 Testa Rossas competing in the prototype class, the experienced pair impressed themselves (and everyone else) by finishing second overall behind the Testa Rossa of Bonnier and Scarfiotti. Ferrari would go on to win the over 2000cc class of the FIA’s International Championship for GT Manufacturers in 1962, 1963, and 1964, the 250 GTO being raced in each of those years. 250 GTOs also won the 1963 and 1964 Tour de France Automobile, marking Ferrari’s nine year dominance of that race. During the 1962-1964 racing seasons, only a few other GT-class models were consistently competitive with the 250 GTO. These were the Jaguar E-type, Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, DP212, DP214, and DP215, and the AC Cobras. In addition to official Scuderia Ferrari entries, many 250 GTOs were also raced by independent racing teams and private drivers. During this time it was therefore common for 250 GTO drivers to compete against other 250 GTOs. The 250 GTO was one of the last front-engined cars to remain competitive at the top level of sports car racing. The 250 GTO gradually passed into obsolescence following the 1964 season. Scuderia Ferrari withdrew the 250 GTO from its racing activity by 1965, leaving only a few independent teams and private owners to campaign it in endurance races, rallies and hillclimbs. By 1967, the 250 GTO was almost entirely absent from international racing, with only a few rally and hillclimb results during that year. Prior to the development of the 250 GTO collector market and associated vintage racing and show events, some of the surviving 250 GTOs were used in regional races, while others were used as road cars. FIA regulations in 1962 required at least one hundred examples of a car to be built in order for it to be homologated for Group 3 Grand Touring Car racing. Ferrari built only 39 250 GTOs (33 of the “normal” cars, three with the four-litre 330 engine sometimes called the “330 GTO”—recognizable by the large hump on the bonnet—and three “Type 64” cars, with revised bodywork). It became a popular myth that when FIA inspectors showed up to confirm that 100 examples had been built, Enzo Ferrari shuffled the same cars between different locations, thus giving the impression that the full complement of 100 cars was present. In reality, no deception was required, as the production of the 250 GTO was covered by the homologation of the earlier 250 GT Berlinetta SWB model. These homologation papers were issued in 1960, but extensions were applied for and accepted multiple times between 1961 to 1964, allowing Ferrari to add modifications not covered under the original specification, including changes to the engine, transmission, and suspension. Additionally, since more than 100 bodies had been built according to the earlier 250 GT SWB specification, FIA regulations allowed a new body to be designed, leading to the development of the new 250 GTO body style. This method of homologation was not unique to Ferrari, as similar methods were used to homologate the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato and the Jaguar E-Type Lightweight. While the GTO is now arguably the most valuable collector car in the world, it was merely a no-frills used race car in the late 1960s and very early 1970s. Many of the vehicles were offered at or acquired for four-figure sums. In contrast, restored Duesenberg Model J’s often traded in the vicinity of $50,000 around 1970. From the late 1970s to the late 1980s, classic car values rose rapidly and the 250 GTO became the most valuable Ferrari model, touted as the Ferrari that most completely embodies the characteristics of the manufacturer. Prices fell substantially during the car market crash of the early 90s, resulting in lows of $2,700,000 in September 1994 and $2,500,000 in May 1996. Prices began to climb again in the late 90s and have continued to rise through the present day. 250 GTOs have repeatedly broken records for most expensive car ever sold at auction or private sale. The current record for world’s most expensive car was set in June 2018 when a 1963 250 GTO (chassis 4153GT) was sold to David MacNeil in a private sale for $70 million. On August 25, 2018, RM Sotheby’s sold Greg Whitten’s 250 GTO 3413GT at their Monterey auction. The final price inclusive of buyer’s fee was $48,405,000, representing a new record for most expensive car ever sold at auction. The previous record was also held by a 250 GTO, 3851GT, which was sold at the Bonhams Quail Lodge auction in 2014. Scarcity and high prices led to the creation of several replica 250 GTOs on more common Ferrari chassis. Misrepresentations of the original cars, offered for sale at full market value, have been reported.
Last of the 250 series cars was the 250 GT/L Lusso and there were a couple of examples display here. The Lusso, as it tends to be called, was only made in 1963 and 1964 having first been seen as a prototype at the 1962 Paris Motor Show. The production version, which was released a few months later differed only in minor detail. The new model was a way for Ferrari to fill a void left between the sporty 250 GT SWB and the luxurious 250 GTE 2+2. It met the demands of the 1960s as indeed, fans of sporting driving of the time became as fond of civilised designs, that is, comfortable and spacious, as they were of radical sports cars. Ferrari did not skimp on details in the Lusso, which shows on the scales; weight ranged from 1,020 to 1,310 kg (2,250 to 2,890 lb). The 250 GT Lusso, which was not intended to compete in sports car racing, though it did appear in a few events such as the Targa Florio and Tour de France in 1964 and 65. Keeping in line with the Ferrari “tradition” of that time, the 250 GT Lusso was designed by the Turinese coachbuilder Pininfarina, and bodied by Carrozzeria Scaglietti. Although the interior was more spacious than that of the 250 GT, the 250 GT Lusso remained a two-seat GT coupe, unlike the 250 GTE. 351 examples were made before being replaced by the Ferrari 275 GTB. Values in recent years have rocketed and nice examples of these are now going for over a million pounds.
This is a rather lovely 1967 275 GTB/4. 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.
Pininfarina built 200 275 GTS roadsters for the American market between 1964-1966 with entirely different bodywork (including 14 in right hand drive). The 275 GTS was replaced by the 330 GTS, leaving no 3.3 litre convertible in the range until the creation of the 275 GTB/4 NART Spider.
The Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona probably needs little introduction. A Gran Turismo automobile produced from 1968 to 1973, it was first introduced to the public at the Paris Auto Salon in 1968 and replaced the 275 GTB/4. The Daytona was replaced by the mid-engined 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer in 1973. Early cars, such as this 1970 example had the plexi-glass front end, before a revised design with pop-up headlights was adopted. The generally accepted total number of Daytonas from the Ferrari club historians is 1,406 over the life of the model. This figure includes 158 right-hand-drive coupés, 122 factory-made spyders (of which 7 are right hand drive), and 15 competition cars in three series with modified lightweight bodies and in various degrees of engine tune. All bodies except the first Pininfarina prototype were produced by Scaglietti The 365 GTS/4 Spider was derived from the exceptionally quick 365 GTB/4 “Daytona, a name. Designed by Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti, as was the case for the Coupe, just 122 of these were official Spiders. Far more have been produced in more recent years, by what some would call the sacreligious act of removing the roof from a Coupe model.
The Ferrari 365 GTC/4, a 2+2 grand tourer, was only produced by Ferrari from 1971 to 1972. It was based on the chassis of the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 “Daytona”. In the very short two-year production run 505 examples of the GTC/4 were produced. Its chassis and drivetrain, however, were carried over mostly unaltered (apart from a wheelbase stretch to provide more satisfying rear seat room) on its successor, the 1972 365 GT4 2+2. The GTC/4’s coupé bodywork by Pininfarina enclosed two front and two rear seats, as on the 365 GT 2+2 it replaced directly. However, the rear seats were small and the slanting rear window limited rear headroom, so it can also be seen to trace to the two-seat 365 GTC that had been discontinued in 1970. With its wedge shape, fastback silhouette, sharp creases and hidden headlamps the GTC/4’s styling clearly reflects the 365 GTB/4 “Daytona” it was based on. Power steering, electric windows and air conditioning were standard. The cabin was upholstered in mixed leather and tartan fabric, unique to this model and unusual for a Ferrari, with full leather upholstery an option. The 365 GTC/4 shared the chassis and engine block as the 365 GTB/4 Daytona, riding on the same wheelbase and suspension. Many changes were made to make it a more comfortable grand tourer than its two-seat predecessor and sibling. These included softer spring rate and a hydraulic power steering. The chassis was a tubular spaceframe, mated to a steel body with aluminium doors and bonnets; as was customary in this period, the bodies were made and finished by Pininfarina in Turin, then sent to Ferrari in Modena for the assembly. The suspension system used transverse A-arms, coil springs coaxial with the shock absorbers (double at the rear), and anti-roll bars on all four corners. Wheels were cast magnesium on Rudge knock-off hubs, while Borrani wire wheels were optional; the braking system used vented discs front and rear. The engine was a Tipo F 101 AC 000 Colombo V12, displacing 4,390 cc. Engine block and cylinder heads were aluminium alloy, with cast iron pressed-in sleeves; chain-driven two overhead camshafts per bank (four in total, as noted by the “4” in the model designation) commanded two valves per cylinder. The V12 was detuned to 340 PS (335 bhp) from the Daytona, to provide a more tractable response suited to a GT-oriented Ferrari. In place of the Daytona’s downdraft setup, six twin-choke side-draft Weber carburetors were used, whose lower profile made possible the car’s lower and sloping bonnet line. The 5-speed all-synchronised manual transmission was bolted to the engine, another difference from the Daytona which used a transaxle. However the set back placement of the engine and transmission still allowed the car to achieve a near perfect 51:49 weight distribution. The gearbox was rigidly connected to the alloy housing of the rear differential through a torque tube. There are a handful of them in the UK.
Introduced at the 1985 Frankfurt Show alongside the Mondial 3.2 series, the Ferrari 328 GTB and GTS (Type F106) were the successors to the Ferrari 308 GTB and GTS which had first been seen in October 1975. While mechanically still based on the 308 GTB and GTS respectively, small modifications were made to the body style and engine, most notably an increase in engine displacement to 3185 cc for increased power and torque output. As had been the case for a generation of the smaller Ferraris, the model name referred to the total cubic capacity of the engine, 3.2 litres, and 8 for the number of cylinders. Essentially the new model was a revised and updated version of the 308 GTS, which had survived for eight years without any radical change to the overall shape, albeit with various changes to the 3-litre engine. The 328 model presented a softening of the wedge profile of its predecessor, with a redesigned nose that had a more rounded shape, which was complemented by similar treatment to the tail valance panel. The revised nose and tail sections featured body colour bumpers integral with the valance panels, which reflected the work done concurrently to present the Mondial 3.2 models, with which they also shared a similar radiator grille and front light assembly layout. Thus all the eight-cylinder cars in the range shared fairly unified front and rear aspects, providing a homogeneous family image. The exhaust air louvres behind the retractable headlight pods on the 308 series disappeared, coupled with an increase in the size of the front lid radiator exhaust air louvre, which had been introduced on the 308 Quattrovalvole models, whilst a new style and position of exterior door catch was also provided. The interior trim also had a thorough overhaul, with new designs for the seat panel upholstery and stitching, revised door panels and pulls, together with more modern switchgear, which complemented the external updating details. Optional equipment available was air conditioning, metallic paint, Pirelli P7 tyres, a leather dashboard, leather headlining to the removable roof panel plus rear window surround, and a rear aerofoil (standard on Japanese market models). In the middle of 1988 ABS brakes were made available as an option, which necessitated a redesign of the suspension geometry to provide negative offset. This in turn meant that the road wheel design was changed to accommodate this feature. The original flat spoke “star” wheels became a convex design, in the style as fitted to the 3.2 Mondial models, whether ABS was fitted or not. The main European market 328 GTS models had a tubular chassis with a factory type reference F 106 MS 100. Disc brakes, with independent suspension via wishbones, coil springs, and hydraulic shock absorbers, were provided all round, with front and rear anti roll bars. There were various world market models, each having slight differences, with right and left hand drive available. The V8 engine was essentially of the same design as that used in the 308 Quattrovalvole model, with an increase in capacity to 3185 cc. The engine retained the Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection system of its predecessor, but was fitted with a Marelli MED 806 A electronic ignition system, to produce a claimed power output of 270 bhp at 7000 rpm. As with the preceding 308 models the engine was mounted in unit with the all synchromesh five-speed manual transmission assembly, which was below, and to the rear of the engine’s sump. The 328 GTS continued in production for four years, until replaced by the 348 ts model in the autumn of 1989, during which time 6068 examples were produced, GTS production outnumbering the GTB (1344 produced) version almost five to one.
Top of the Ferrari range from the mid 70s for 10 years was the Berlinetta Boxer, object of many a small child’s intense desire, as I can attest from my own childhood! Production of the Berlinetta Boxer was a major step for Enzo Ferrari. He felt that a mid-engined road car would be too difficult for his buyers to handle, and it took many years for his engineers to convince him to adopt the layout. This attitude began to change as the marque lost its racing dominance in the late 1950s to mid-engined competitors. The mid-engined 6- and 8-cylinder Dino racing cars were the result, and Ferrari later allowed for the production Dino road cars to use the layout as well. The company also moved its V12 engines to the rear with its P and LM racing cars, but the Daytona was launched with its engine in front. It was not until 1970 that a mid-engined 12-cylinder road car would appear. The first “Boxer” was the 365 GT4 BB shown at the 1971 Turin Motor Show. Designed to rival the Lamborghini Miura and the newly developed Lamborghini Countach, it was finally released for sale in 1973 at the Paris Motor Show. 387 were built, of which 88 were right-hand drive (of which 58 were for the UK market), making it the rarest of all Berlinetta Boxers. The Pininfarina-designed body followed the P6 show car with popup headlights. Though it shared its numerical designation with the Daytona, the Boxer was radically different. It was a mid-engined car like the Dino, and the now flat-12 engine was mounted longitudinally rather than transversely. Although referred to as a Boxer, the 180° V12 was not a true boxer engine, but rather a flat engine. It had 380 hp, slightly more than the Daytona. The 365 GT4 BB was updated as the BB 512 in 1976, resurrecting the name of the earlier Ferrari 512 racer. The name 512 referred to the car’s 5 litre, 12 cylinder engine; a deviation from Ferrari’s established practice of naming 12-cylinder road cars (as the 365 BB) after their cylinder displacement. The engine was enlarged to 4943.04 cc, with an increased compression ratio of 9.2:1. Power was slightly down to 360 hp, while a dual plate clutch handled the added torque and eased the pedal effort. Dry sump lubrication prevented oil starvation in hard cornering. The chassis remained unaltered, but wider rear tires (in place of the 365’s equally sized on all four corners) meant the rear track grew 63 mm. External differentiators included a new chin spoiler upfront, incorporated in the bumper. A NACA duct on the side provided cooling for the exhaust system. At the rear there were now twin tail lights and exhaust pipes each side, instead of triple units as on the 365 GT4 BB. 929 BB 512 models were produced. The Bosch K-Jetronic CIS fuel injected BB 512i introduced in 1981 was the last of the series. The fuel injected motor produced cleaner emissions and offered a better balance of performance and daily-driver temperament. External differentiators from the BB 512 besides badging include a change to metric sized wheels and the Michelin TRX metric tyre system, small white running lights in the nose, and red rear fog lamps outboard of the exhaust pipes in the rear valance. 1,007 BB 512i models were produced.
Object of many a poster on a young enthusiast’s bedroom wall when the car was new was the Testarossa and there was an example of the evolution of that car, the 512 TR, here. A replacement for the BB512i, the final iteration of Ferrari’s first ever mid-engined road car, the Testarossa was launched at the Paris Show in October 1984. The Pininfarina-designed car was produced until 1991, with the same basic design then going through two model revisions, with the 512 TR and later F512 M which were produced from 1992 to 1996 before the model was replaced by the front-engined 550 Maranello. Almost 10,000 Testarossas, 512 TRs, and F512 Ms were produced, making it one of the most-produced Ferrari models, despite its high price and exotic design. The Testarossa followed the same concept as the BB512, but was intended to fix some of the criticisms of the earlier car, such as a cabin that got increasingly hot from the indoor plumbing that ran between the front-mounted radiator and the midships-mounted engine and a lack of luggage space. This resulted in a car that was larger, and at 1,976 millimetres (78 in) wide the Testarossa was half a foot wider than the Boxer and immediately condemned for being too wide, though these days it does not appear anything like as wide as it did when new. This resulted in an increased wheelbase that stretched about 64 mm (2.5 in) to 2,550 mm (100 in) which was used to accommodate luggage in a carpeted storage space under the front forward-opening lid. The increase in length created extra storage space behind the seats in the cabin. Headroom was also increased with a roofline half an inch taller than the Boxer. The design came from Pininfarina with a team of designers led by design chief Leonardo Fioravanti, the designer of many contemporary Ferraris. The design was originated by Nicosia, but the guidance of Fioravanti was equally important. Being a trained aerodynamicist, Fioravanti applied his know-how to set the aerodynamics layout of the car. This meant the large side intakes were not only a statement of style but actually functional – they drew clean air to cool the side radiators and then went upward and left the car through the ventilation holes located at the engine lid and the tail. As a result, the Testarossa did not need a rear spoiler like Lamborghini’s Countach yet produced zero lift at its rear axle. The aerodynamic drag coefficient of 0.36 was also significantly better than the Lamborghini’s 0.42. Pininfarina’s body was a departure from the curvaceous boxer—one which caused some controversy. The side strakes sometimes referred to as “cheese graters” or “egg slicers,” that spanned from the doors to the rear wings were needed for rules in several countries outlawing large openings on cars. The Testarossa had twin radiators in the back with the engine instead of a single radiator up-front. In conjunction the strakes provided cool air to the rear-mounted side radiators, thus keeping the engine from overheating. The strakes also made the Testarossa wider at the rear than in the front, thus increasing stability and handling. One last unique addition to the new design was a single high mounted rear view mirror on the driver’s side. On US based cars, the mirror was lowered to a more normal placement in 1987 and quickly joined by a passenger side rear view mirror for the driver to be able to make safe easy lane changes. Like its predecessor, the Testarossa used double wishbone front and rear suspension systems. Ferrari improved traction by adding 10-inch-wide alloy rear wheels. The Testarossa drivetrain was also an evolution of the BB 512i. Its engine used near identical displacement and compression ratio, but unlike the BB 512i had four-valve cylinder heads that were finished in red. The capacity was 4,943 cc, in a flat-12 engine mid mounted. Each cylinder had four valves, lubricated via a dry sump system, and a compression ratio of 9.20:1. These combined to provide a maximum torque of 490 Nm (361 lb/ft) at 4500 rpm and a maximum power of 390 hp at 6300 rpm. That was enough to allow the Testarossa to accelerate from 0–60 mph in 5.2 seconds and on to 100 mph. The original Testarossa was re-engineered for 1992 and released as the 512 TR, at the Los Angeles Auto Show, effectively as a completely new car, with an improved weight distribution of 41% front: 59% rear. The F512 M was introduced at the 1994 Paris Auto Show, with the M standing for “modificata”. That car is easy to spot as it lost the pop-up headlights and gained awkward glazed in units.
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 and Targa 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 tires, size 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.
The 360 was followed by F430, which debuted at the 2004 Paris Motor Show. Designed by Pininfarina, under the guidance of Frank Stephenson, the body styling of the F430 was revised from its predecessor, the Ferrari 360, to improve its aerodynamic efficiency. Although the drag coefficient remained the same, downforce was greatly enhanced. Despite sharing the same basic Alcoa Aluminium chassis, roof line, doors and glass, the car looked significantly different from the 360. A great deal of Ferrari heritage was included in the exterior design. At the rear, the Enzo’s tail lights and interior vents were added. The car’s name was etched into the Testarossa-styled driver’s side mirror. The large oval openings in the front bumper are reminiscent of Ferrari racing models from the 60s, specifically the 156 “sharknose” Formula One car and 250 TR61 Le Mans cars of Phil Hill. Designed with soft-top-convertible. The F430 featured a 4.3 litre V8 petrol engine of the “Ferrari-Maserati” F136 family. This new power plant was a significant departure for Ferrari, as all previous Ferrari V8’s were descendants of the Dino racing program of the 1950s. This fifty-year development cycle came to an end with the entirely new unit. The engine’s output was 490 hp at 8500 rpm and 343 lb/ft of torque at 5250 rpm, 80% of which was available below 3500rpm. Despite a 20% increase in displacement, engine weight grew by only 4 kg and engine dimensions were decreased, for easier packaging. The connecting rods, pistons and crankshaft were all entirely new, while the four-valve cylinder head, valves and intake trumpets were copied directly from Formula 1 engines, for ideal volumetric efficiency. The F430 has a top speed in excess of 196 mph and could accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds, 0.6 seconds quicker than the old model. The brakes on the F430 were designed in close cooperation with Brembo (who did the calipers and discs) and Bosch (who did the electronics package),resulting in a new cast-iron alloy for the discs. The new alloy includes molybdenum which has better heat dissipation performance. The F430 was also available with the optional Carbon fibre-reinforced Silicon Carbide (C/SiC) ceramic composite brake package. Ferrari claims the carbon ceramic brakes will not fade even after 300-360 laps at their test track. The F430 featured the E-Diff, a computer-controlled limited slip active differential which can vary the distribution of torque based on inputs such as steering angle and lateral acceleration. Other notable features include the first application of Ferrari’s manettino steering wheel-mounted control knob. Drivers can select from five different settings which modify the vehicle’s ESC system, “Skyhook” electronic suspension, transmission behaviour, throttle response, and E-Diff. The feature is similar to Land Rover’s “Terrain Response” system. The Ferrari F430 was also released with exclusive Goodyear Eagle F1 GSD3 EMT tyres, which have a V-shaped tread design, run-flat capability, and OneTRED technology. The F430 Spider, Ferrari’s 21st road going convertible, made its world premiere at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. The car was designed by Pininfarina with aerodynamic simulation programs also used for Formula 1 cars. The roof panel automatically folds away inside a space above the engine bay. The conversion from a closed top to an open-air convertible is a two-stage folding-action. The interior of the Spider is identical to that of the coupé. Serving as the successor to the Challenge Stradale, the 430 Scuderia was unveiled by Michael Schumacher at the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show. Aimed to compete with cars like the Porsche RS-models and the Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera it was lighter by 100 kg/220 lb and more powerful (510 PS) than the standard F430. Increased power came from a revised intake, exhaust, and an ion-sensing knock-detection system that allows for a higher compression ratio. Thus the weight-to-power ratio was reduced from 2.96 kg/hp to 2.5 kg/hp. In addition to the weight saving measures, the Scuderia semi-automatic transmission gained improved “Superfast”, known as “Superfast2”, software for faster 60 millisecond shift-times. A new traction control system combined the F1-Trac traction and stability control with the E-Diff electronic differential. The Ferrari 430 Scuderia accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds, with a top speed of 202 miles per hour. Ferrari claimed that around their test track, Fiorano Circuit, it matched the Ferrari Enzo, and the Ferrari F430’s successor, the Ferrari 458. To commemorate Ferrari’s 16th victory in the Formula 1 Constructor’s World Championship in 2008, Ferrari unveiled the Scuderia Spider 16M at World Finals in Mugello. It is effectively a convertible version of the 430 Scuderia. The engine produces 510 PS at 8500 rpm. The car has a dry weight of 1,340 kg, making it 80 kg lighter than the F430 Spider, at a curb weight of 1,440 kg (3,175 lb). The chassis was stiffened to cope with the extra performance available and the car featured many carbon fibre parts as standard. Specially lightened front and rear bumpers (compared to the 430 Scuderia) were a further sign of the efforts Ferrari was putting into this convertible track car for the road. Unique 5-spoke forged wheels were produced for the 16M’s launch and helped to considerably reduce unsprung weight with larger front brakes and callipers added for extra stopping power (also featured on 430 Scuderia). It accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds, with a top speed of 315 km/h (196 mph). 499 vehicles were released beginning early 2009 and all were pre-sold to select clients.
There was a bigger gap before the next hypercar 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.
On 8 April 2010, Ferrari announced official details of the 599 GTO (for Gran Turismo Omologata). The car was a road-legal version of the 599XX track day car and at the time Ferrari claimed that the 599 GTO was their fastest ever road car, able to lap the Fiorano test circuit in 1 minute 24 seconds, one second faster than the Ferrari Enzo Ferrari. Its engine generated a power output of 670 PS at 8,250 rpm and 620 N⋅m (457 lb⋅ft) of torque at 6,500 rpm. The car has the multiple shift program for the gearbox from the 599XX along with the exhaust system.Ferrari claimed that the 599 GTO could accelerate from 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in under 3.3 seconds and has a top speed of over 335 km/h (208 mph). At 1,605 kg (3,538 lb), the 599 GTO weighs almost 100 kg (220 lb) less than the standard GTB. Production was limited to 599 cars. Of these, approximately 125 were produced for the United States market. Ferrari has produced only two other models that used the GTO designation: the 1962 250 GTO and the 1984 288 GTO with the third being the 599 GTO. Unlike the previous GTOs however, the 599 GTO was not designed for homologation in any racing series.
After a gap of some years, Ferrari added a 4 seater V8 model to the range at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, with the California. According to industry rumours, the California originally started as a concept for a new Maserati, but the resulting expense to produce the car led the Fiat Group to badge it as a Ferrari in order to justify the high cost of purchase; the company denies this, however. The California heralded a number of firsts for Ferrari: the first front engined Ferrari with a V8; te first to feature a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission; the first with a folding metal roof; the first with multi-link rear suspension; and the first with direct petrol injection. Bosch produced the direct injection system. The engine displaces 4,297 cc, and used direct injection. It delivered 453 bhp at 7,750 rpm; its maximum torque produced was 358 lbf·ft at 5,000 rpm. The resulting 106 bhp per litre of engine displacement is one of the highest for a naturally aspirated engine, as other manufacturers have used supercharging or turbocharging to reach similar power levels. Ferrari spent over 1,000 hours in the wind tunnel with a one-third-scale model of the California perfecting its aerodynamics. With the top up, the California has a drag coefficient of Cd=0.32, making it the most aerodynamic Ferrari ever made until the introduction of the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta. Throughout the California’s production, only 3 cars were built with manual transmission, including one order from the UK. On 15 February 2012, Ferrari announced an upgrade, which was lighter and more powerful. Changes include reducing body weight by 30 kg (66 lb), increased power by output of 30 PS and 11 lbf·ft, acceleration from 0–100 km/h (62 mph) time reduced to 3.8 seconds, introduction of Handling Speciale package and elimination of the manual transmission option. The car was released at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show as a 2012 model in Europe. To give the clients a more dynamic driving experience, an optional HS (Handling Speciale) package was developed as part of the update. It can be recognised by a silver coloured grille and ventilation blisters behind the front wheel wells. The HS package includes Delphi MagneRide magnetorheological dampers controlled by an ECU with 50% faster response time running patented Ferrari software, stiffer springs for more precise body control and a steering rack with a 9 per cent quicker steering ratio (2.3 turns lock to lock as opposed to the standard rack’s 2.5). A more substantive update came in 2014, with the launch of the California T. It featured new sheetmetal, a new interior, a revised chassis and a new turbocharged powertrain. Production ceased in 2019 when the new Portofino model supplanted it.
An all new design, the 458 Italia was first officially unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Once more, Ferrari advised that the model incorporated technologies developed from the company’s experience in Formula 1. The body computer system was developed by Magneti Marelli Automotive Lighting. The 458 came with a 4,499 cc V8 engine of the “Ferrari/Maserati” F136 engine family, producing 570 PS ( 562 hp) at 9,000 rpm and 540 N·m (398 lb/ft) at 6,000 rpm with 80% torque available at 3,250 rpm. The engine featured direct fuel injection, a first for Ferrari mid-engine setups in its road cars. The only transmission available was a dual-clutch 7-speed Getrag gearbox, in a different state of tune shared with the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. There was no traditional manual option, making this the fourth road-car after the Enzo, Challenge Stradale and 430 Scuderia not to be offered with Ferrari’s classic gated manual. The car’s suspension featured double wishbones at the front and a multi-link setup at the rear, coupled with E-Diff and F1-Trac traction control systems, designed to improve the car’s cornering and longitudinal acceleration by 32% when compared with its predecessors. The brakes included a prefill function whereby the pistons in the calipers move the pads into contact with the discs on lift off to minimise delay in the brakes being applied. This combined with the ABS and standard Carbon Ceramic brakes caused a reduction in stopping distance from 100–0 km/h to 32.5 metres. Ferrari’s official 0–100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration time was quoted as 2.9–3.0 seconds with a top speed of 340 km/h (210 mph). In keeping with Ferrari tradition the body was designed by Pininfarina under the leadership of Donato Coco, the Ferrari design director. The interior design of Ferrari 458 Italia was designed by Bertrand Rapatel, a French automobile designer. The car’s exterior styling and features were designed for aerodynamic efficiency, producing a downforce of 140 kg (309 lb) at 200 km/h. In particular, the front grille features deformable winglets that lower at high speeds, in order to offer reduced drag. The car’s interior was designed using input from former Ferrari Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher; in a layout common to racing cars, the new steering wheel incorporates many controls normally located on the dashboard or on stalks, such as turning signals or high beams. At launch the car was widely praised as being pretty much near perfect in every regard. It did lack a fresh air version, though, but that was addressed with the launch of the 458 Spider at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. This convertible variant of the 458 Italia featured an aluminium retractable hardtop which, according to Ferrari, weighs 25 kilograms (55 lb) less than a soft roof such as the one found on the Ferrari F430 Spider, and can be opened in 14 seconds The engine cover was redesigned to accommodate the retractable roof system. It had the same 0–100 km/h time as the hard-top but a lower top speed of 199 mph. It quickly became the better seller of the two versions.
The 458 Challenge is a race car designed to participate in the Ferrari Challenge. It was presented at the Ferrari Annual Dealer Meeting on 14 July 2010 for the 2011 Ferrari Challenge season. The 458 Challenge Evo was introduced for the 2014 season and was replaced by the 488 Challenge for the 2017 season. Hence both variants of the 458 Challenge were used as the prime Challenge car for three seasons, the 458 Challenge for 2011 to 2013 and the 458 Challenge Evo for 2014 to 2016. According to Ferrari the standard (non-Evo) 458 Challenge can lap the Fiorano test track in 1:16.5, which is two seconds faster than its F430 Challenge predecessor and only 0.2 seconds slower than the Ferrari FXX. Given the Evo upgrade, the 458 Challenge Evo is faster around the Fiorano test track than the Ferrari FXX. Weight of the 458 Challenge was reduced from the standard 458 through the use of thinner body panels, carbon fibre replacement panels, and polycarbonate windows and windshield. Other differences over the regular road legal 458 include a racing cockpit with a Sabelt racing seat and six-point seat-belt harness, detachable steering wheel using a Lifeline quick-detach, plumbed-in Lifeline fire extinguisher system, air-jack mounting on the rear to lift the car up, racing fuel filler cap, centre-lock wheels, a racing exhaust as well as tow hooks on the front and rear. The 2014 Evo upgrade was mainly focused on improving the aerodynamics of the 458 Challenge, with the most obvious change being the inclusion of a large rear wing. Ferrari sold an Evo upgrade kit, so that pre-2014 458 Challenge cars could be upgraded by Ferrari dealers and race teams to Evo spec. Total production of the 458 Challenge and 458 Challenge Evo combined is just under 150 cars. Of this total, production of the Evo version is estimated at 30%, meaning that just over 100 458 Challenges and a little under 50 458 Challenge Evos were produced. It is estimated that between five and ten cars were destroyed through accidents each season, meaning that somewhere between 25 and 50 458 Challenge cars have been lost with the remaining cars possibly numbering less than 100.
Ferrari’s most recent hypercar is the 2013 LaFerrari. To get one, it was almost a pre-requisite that you had bought one of all the preceding special cars, and probably a few other Ferraris as well. Launched at the 2013 Geneva Show, along with the Porsche 918 Spyder and McLaren P1, the LaFerrari has the distinction of being the first mild hybrid from Ferrari, which ensures that as well as providing the highest power output of any Ferrari, fuel consumption can be decreased by up to 40 percent. Owners may not care, but regulators certainly do! LaFerrari’s internal combustion engine is a mid-rear mounted Ferrari F140 65° V12 with a 6262 cc capacity producing 800 PS (789 bhp) @ 9000 rpm and 700 N·m (520 lbf·ft) of torque @ 6,750 rpm, supplemented by a 163 PS (161 bhp) KERS unit (called HY-KERS), which will provide short bursts of extra power. The KERS system adds extra power to the combustion engine’s output level for a total of 963 PS (950 bhp) and a combined torque of 900 N·m (664 lb·ft). Ferrari claims CO2 emissions of 330 g/km. It is connected to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and the car is rear-wheel drive. 499 units were built, each costing over $1million.
The Ferrari F12berlinetta (Type F152) is a front mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive grand tourer which debuted at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, and replaces the 599 grand tourer. The naturally aspirated 6.3 litre Ferrari V12 engine used in the F12berlinetta has won the 2013 International Engine of the Year Award in the Best Performance category and Best Engine above 4.0 litres. The F12berlinetta was named “The Supercar of the Year 2012” by car magazine Top Gear. The F12berlinetta was replaced by the 812 Superfast in 2017 and that is the model which was to be seen here.
Latest model in the range is the SF90 Stradale and there was an example of that on offer for sale here.
At the 2015 North American International Auto Show and at the unveiling of the 2015 racing video game Forza Motorsport 6, the second-generation Ford GT was shown to the public with plans for production in 2016, after a decade-old hiatus from the first generation. The car marked 50 years since the GT40 won the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans and competed successfully in the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans to better celebrate the anniversary, winning the LM GTE-Pro class, taking 1st and 3rd in class. The development of the second generation GT at Ford was a very secretive operation–according to design director Chris Svensson, “a handful of twelve people, including some key engineers, had access to the [design studio]”. This secrecy was maintained inside Ford and to the press until its 2015 unveiling at the North American Auto Show. The design of the new GT began with its aerodynamics package, which was closely related to the ultimate focus of the design team of creating a successful Le Mans race car. Low downforce and aerodynamic efficiency were of primary importance in the development of the exterior of the car, and this drove designers to pursue a ‘teardrop profile’ as often seen in LMP1 cars. The powertrain of the new GT, therefore, became a secondary criterion to the external design and aerodynamic performance of the car. Although a V8 and even a V12 engine were both considered, it was ultimately decided to use Ford’s EcoBoost V6 engine due to the degrees of freedom that the compact engine gave designers. The intent behind the design was for the overall look of the second generation GT to be recognizable as a part of the GT line, which meant, for example, a cut back front nose piece, circular tail lights, and raised twin exhaust pipes. There was no explicit requirement for luxury or practicality in the design of the road car, which is the reason behind the car’s negligible cargo space and spartan interior. The interior seating position was fixed to provide additional space for the bodywork and teardrop exterior shape. Like its predecessor, the new Ford GT is only offered as a 2-door coupe with the mid-rear layout, for the purpose of improved stability by keeping the centre of gravity near the middle. The new GT’s weight distribution is 43% front and 57% rear. Unlike the first generation car, the new GT has butterfly doors that no longer include a piece integrated into the roof. The car is powered by a 3,496 cc twin-turbocharged Ford EcoBoost V6 engine rated at 647 bhp and 550 lb/ft (746 Nm) of torque. For the 2020 model year and beyond, this power output rating was increased to 660 hp. The engine shares many components with the F-150’s 3.5 L V6 engine including the cylinder heads, block and dual fuel system. Notable differences include larger turbochargers, an aluminium intake manifold, a custom dry sump lubrication system, unique camshafts and higher strength rotating and timing drive components. The engine is paired to a Getrag 7DCL750 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Underpinning the new GT is a carbon fiber monocoque bolted to aluminium front and rear subframes covered in carbon fibre body panels. The windshield of the vehicle is made of Gorilla Glass manufactured by Corning, which is also used for manufacturing smartphone screens. The Gorilla Glass is used to reduce the weight of the vehicle by allowing for a thinner windscreen with the same strength as a normal glass windscreen. The GT employs a four-stage external dry sump oil pump and has an oil capacity of 15.3 US quarts (14.5 L) The new GT uses a pushrod suspension system, which move the primary components of the suspension inboard and provide space for the large aerodynamic elements in the bodywork of the car. The suspension is hydraulically adjustable, and the ride height can drop from 4.7 inches (120 mm) in comfort mode to 2.8 inches (70 mm) in Track or Vmax modes. These drive modes also dynamically adjust the dampening component of the suspension, which consists of two springs stacked in series. In Track and Vmax modes, one of these springs is completely locked to increase the overall spring rate of the system. The car also has a front-axle lifting system for clearing road obstacles and steep entry angles. The new GT is the second Ford vehicle to feature optional carbon fibre wheels, after the Shelby Mustang GT350R. In addition to improved strength and rigidity, these wheels weigh 2 lb (1 kg) less than their forged aluminium counterparts. The wheels have a diameter of 20 inches at the front and rear, and come equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres with codes of 245/35 R 20 for the front and 325/30 R 20 for the rear. The brakes are ventilated carbon-ceramic discs made by Brembo, with six-piston calipers at the front and four-piston calipers at the rear. The most prominent exterior features of the new GT are the open airflow tunnels built into the rear fenders of the car, referred to as the ‘flying buttresses’. These large aerodynamic elements, enabled by the compact V6 engine and pushrod suspension design, channel air around the teardrop-shaped cockpit over the rear spoiler for increased downforce. The front end of the GT features a GT40-inspired cutaway nose and vents in the hood that pass oncoming air over the top of the car. The rear features a large diffuser and hollow circular tail lights that expel air taken in by vents built into the flying buttresses. The active rear spoiler of the GT can adjust and adapt to different driving conditions and modes depending on how much downforce is needed. In Track mode, a gurney flap will extend from the trailing edge of the wing to further increase downforce, and the wing will flip vertical to help stop the car under heavy braking. The new GT has a claimed top speed of 216 mph (348 km/h), and has a power to weight ratio of 0.43 hp per kilogram. In steady-state cornering on a skidpad, the GT can achieve 1.11 g of lateral acceleration, and the car is capable of braking from 70 mph (113 km/h) to a stop in 145 ft (44 m). Production began in December 2016 and is scheduled to continue through 2022, with a planned production rate of one car per day at Multimatic’s low-volume assembly facility in Markham, Ontario, Canada. Approximately two hundred 2017 and 2018 year production cars were recalled to fix potential hydraulic leaking and fire risk. The cars produced for the 2017 and 2018 model years are allocated through Ford Performance’s vehicle allocation process. The cars produced for the 2019 model year were primarily for buyers unsuccessful in the initial selection process, and the cars produced for the 2020 model year are for new customers.
At a time when the company was financed by the Swiss-based Mimran brothers, Lamborghini began development of what was codenamed Project 132 in June 1985 as a replacement for the Countach model. The brief stated that its top speed had to be at least 315 km/h (196 mph). The design of the car was contracted to Marcello Gandini, who had designed its two predecessors. When Chrysler bought the company in 1987, providing money to complete its development, its management was uncomfortable with Gandini’s designs and commissioned its design team in Detroit to execute a third extensive redesign, smoothing out the trademark’s sharp edges and corners of Gandini’s original design, and leaving him famously unimpressed. In fact, Gandini was so disappointed with the “softened” shape that he would later realise his original design in the Cizeta-Moroder V16T. The car became known as the Diablo, carrying on Lamborghini’s tradition of naming its cars after breeds of fighting bulls. The Diablo was named after a ferocious bull raised by the Duke of Veragua in the 19th century, famous for fighting an epic battle with ‘El Chicorro’ in Madrid on July 11, 1869 In the words of Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, the Diablo was designed “solely to be the biggest head-turner in the world.” The Diablo was presented to the public for sale on January 21, 1990. Its power came from a 5.7 litre 48-valve version of the existing Lamborghini V12 featuring dual overhead cams and computer-controlled multi-point fuel injection, producing a maximum output of 499 PS and 580 N·m (428 lb/ft) of torque. The vehicle could reach 100 km/h in about 4.5 seconds, with a top speed of 202 mph. The Diablo was rear-wheel drive and the engine was mid-mounted to aid its weight balance. The Diablo came better equipped than the Countach; standard features included fully adjustable seats and steering wheel, electric windows, an Alpine stereo system, and power steering from 1993 onwards. Anti-lock brakes were not initially available, although they would eventually be used. A few options were available, including a custom-moulded driver’s seat, remote CD changer and subwoofer, rear spoiler, factory fitted luggage set and an exclusive Breguet clock for the dash. The Diablo VT was introduced in 1993. Although the VT differed from the standard Diablo in a number of ways, by far the most notable change was the addition of all wheel drive, which made use of a viscous centre differential (a modified version of LM002’s 4WD system). This provided the new nomenclature for the car (VT stands for viscous traction). The new drivetrain could direct up to 25% of the torque to the front wheels to aid traction during rear wheel slip, thus significantly improving the handling characteristics of the car. Other improvements debuting on the VT included front air intakes below the driving lamps to improve brake cooling, larger intakes in the rear arches, a more ergonomic interior with a revised dashboard, electronically adjustable dampers, four-piston brake calipers, power steering, and minor engine refinements. Many of these improvements, save the four-wheel drive system, soon transferred to the base Diablo, making the cars visually nearly identical. Further updates would follow before the car gave way to the Murcielago in 2001. The Diablo sold in greater numbers than its predecessor with 2898 examples being made during its 11 year production life. There were several here, including the VT and the SV, a few of them were the late model cars with their faired-in headlights.
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. Homologation requirements for the World Rally Championship’s Group B mandated Lancia to produce at minimum 200 verifiable road-going examples in order to compete with the 037. 207 037 Stradale (Italian for “road going/for the road”) cars are known to have been produced from 1982 through 1984. This road-going 037 variant was equipped with an Abarth-developed DOHC 1,995 cc 16-valve Inline-four engine, mated to an Abarth Volumex Roots-type supercharger generating 205 bhp at 7,000 rpm. It was capable of pushing the car to over 220 km/h (137 mph) and to 100 km/h (62 mph) from a standstill in 5.8 seconds.
Lexus’ first, and only supercar had a very long gestation. The story goes back to February 2000 when development work started on a supercar project codenamed P280, which was intended to showcase the performance capabilities of Toyota Motor Corporation and its Lexus marque. The first prototype was completed during June 2003, and early prototypes were spotted regularly undergoing testing at Nürburgring, from October 2004. Numerous test vehicles had been equipped with automatic retractable rear wings, and carbon ceramic brake discs. In January 2005, the first LF-A concept premiered at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, as a design study with no plans for production. This first LF-A concept had an overall length of 4,399 mm (173.2 in), 13 cm (5 in) shorter than the Porsche 911 Turbo (996) while its wheelbase measured 2,581 mm (101.6 in), or about 23 cm (9 in) longer. The concept was nearly 1,219 mm (48 in) in height, with a width of 1,859 mm (73.2 in). Some reported that the concept name referred to Lexus Future-Advance, a claim later dismissed by Chief Engineer Tanahashi. The first LF-A concept featured a glass roof and side cameras mounted in the side mirrors. Twin rear radiators were installed behind the rear wheels, and visible behind large screens. The rear bumper featured a triple exhaust placed in an inverted triangle formation. The wheels were shaped like turbines, and air-scoops were placed on the C-pillars. Following enthusiastic public reaction for the LF-A concept on the autoshow circuit, development continued with a greater emphasis on a possible production model. Concurrently, Lexus was preparing for the launch of its long-rumuored F marque series of performance vehicles, with a production LF-A being a possible future member of this lineup. Reports in 2006 suggested that the LF-A concept car had received the green-light for production, however these reports were not officially confirmed. Following the original LF-A concept, development time was lengthened by the switch from an aluminium frame to a carbon fibre tub, the result of engineering efforts aimed at improving the LF-A’s power-to-weight ratio. The LF-A was reported to draw engineering resources from Toyota’s Formula One team. In January 2007, a restyled LF-A concept car premiered alongside the first production F marque vehicle, the IS F sports sedan. The second LF-A concept featured a more aerodynamic exterior, a near-production interior, and F marque emblems. Later that year, Lexus GB director Steve Settle indicated plans for a V10 and hybrid version of the LF-A. The hybrid version, combining a petrol engine with electric motors, would likely feature a V8 powertrain similar to that designed for the Lexus LS 600h L. LF-A test mules continued to be spotted at the Nürburgring, including early models with a large, fixed rear wing. In December 2007, Auto Express reported that the LF-A had set an unofficial 7:24 lap record at the Nürburgring.In January 2008, Lexus displayed a roadster version of the LF-A concept car designated LF-A Roadster or LF-AR at the North American International Auto Show. Initial specifications for the roadster were a V10 engine under 5.0 litre with over 500 hp and a top speed of over 320 km/h (200 mph). Automotive photographers capturing the LF-A in various test guises had photographed a disguised drop-top test model, dubbed LF-A Spyder, on the Nürburgring as early as October 2005. After its debut at the 2008 North American International Auto Show, the LF-A Roadster was also shown at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, the United States Open Championship tournament, and at Lexus exhibits in Japan. A single LF-A racing prototype was also entered into Veranstaltergemeinschaft Langstreckenpokal Nürburgring endurance races at the Nürburgring in May 2008, competing in the SP8 class of VLN events. Media reports uncovered an LFA trademark filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in December 2008, with the concept LF-A name dropping its hyphen to become LFA for a possible production model. The second LF-A concepts had an overall length of 4,460 mm (175.6 in), and a wheelbase of 2,598 mm (102.3 in); height remained the same as the prior concept, while width grew to 1,895 mm (74.6 in).While the original LF-A had been strictly a concept model, the second concept’s design reflecting engineering analysis for possible production. The exterior design had been restyled to take advantage of the flexibility offered by carbon fibre construction, with improved aerodynamics and surface features aimed at improving the coupe’s overall top speed The reshaped exterior featured smoother lines with additional detailing, and more curved surfaces. The aft radiator cooling vents were retained, but integrated into the rear fascia, and the lower side and front air intakes were restyled, along with the forward fascia and headlamps. Designers reportedly drew inspiration from the 1965 Toyota 2000GT sports coupe, which was also produced in a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, and represented the combination of Japanese technology and design ethics in an supercar However, no design features on the LF-A were directly derived from the 2000GT. The second LF-A concept and accompanying LF-A Roadster were also equipped with a retractable rear wing for improved handling at speed and a two-seat interior with a two-tone colour scheme. On August 5, 2009, Toyota’s new CEO, Akio Toyoda, publicly confirmed production of the LF-A in his speech at a conference held at the Center for Automotive Research in the United States. The production vehicles were expected to carry V10 engines, putting the car in market competition with the Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari F430, the Porsche 911 (997), and the Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1. Pricing was estimated at close to US$400,000. Two LF-A prototypes had also competed at Nürburgring VLN endurance races in mid-2009. In September 2009, reports in Japanese automotive magazines indicated that the 4.8 L V10 engine for the LF-A would carry a 1LR designation. A subsequent television ad for the Japanese market showed the pre-production LFA testing at the Fuji Speedway. On October 21, 2009, the production Lexus LFA was unveiled on the first press day of the 41st biennial Tokyo Motor Show. The vehicle was introduced by Akio Toyoda at a press conference, in which it was disclosed that the vehicle would be limited to 500 production copies. The vehicle carried the same designation as the concepts, LFA, but without the hyphen. The production designation reportedly stood for Lexus Fuji Apex, another claim dismissed by Chief Engineer Tanahashi. The LFA was shown as the final vehicle of the press conference, following the LF-Ch hybrid concept. Pricing details at the show was estimated at US$375,000. The production announcement for the LFA supercar marked the 20th anniversary of the launch of Lexus. Given the high cost of construction and development, analysts did not expect LFA sales to be profitable. However, the coupe was intended to serve as a testbed for new car technologies, including carbon fibre mass-production, and related performance vehicle development. At its debut, a circuit-ready model was also indicated for 2012 release. Lexus began taking orders for the LFA supercar on October 23, 2009. Buyers were selectively chosen by Lexus in the second quarter of 2010. Production began in December 2010 as a 2011 model. Only 500 total LFA models were scheduled to be made worldwide, with only 20 produced each month. Each car had to be custom ordered to the customer’s specifications, and cost approximately US$375,000, depending on options and customisation. Following the LFA’s release at the Tokyo Motor Show, Lexus unveiled a website with a ‘LFA configurator’ which allowed users to select exterior and interior colours, brake caliper colours, seats, steering wheel leather, and other interior designs. In total, there were over 30 billion possible configurations. Each LFA was hand-built by a dedicated production team of engineers and specialists at Toyota’s Motomatchi plant in Aichi, Japan. In the North American market 150 LFAs were initially sold through a two-year lease program much like the Ferrari F50. This was to prevent owners from reselling the vehicle for a profit. Racing driver Scott Pruett was hired to give test drives to interested buyers, demonstrating the vehicle’s capabilities at Auto Club Speedway. The Lexus division of Toyota Motor USA stopped taking orders at the end of 2009, at which time they planned to open discussions about a purchase plan for the lessees. Lexus later changed their stance and allowed outright purchase, but only on the condition that they sign an agreement giving the dealer first right of refusal to buy back the LFA if the owner wanted to sell it within the first two years. The dealer would have the option to buy back the used LFA for either fair market value or the original sticker price, whichever is lower. In the European market buyers ordered their LFA through a single Lexus dealer located in Park Lane, London where they were purchased outright. During LFA production, each vehicle received an individually numbered plaque, indicating the unit’s place in the production run. Each LFA V10 engine carried the signature of the specialist who assembled it. With 20 units produced monthly, production of the entire LFA extended from December 2010 to December 2012. Production ended on December 14, 2012, with LFA #500, in white, Nürburgring package. When production ended, no successor was scheduled.
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)
Third of the hypercars considered to be the “holy trinity” (with the LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder) is the McLaren P1, and there was one of these here. Debuted at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, sales of the P1 began in the United Kingdom in October 2013 and all 375 units were sold out by November. Production ended in early December 2015. The United States accounted for 34% of the units and Europe for 26%. It is considered by the automotive press to be the successor to the F1, utilising hybrid power and Formula 1 technology, but does not have the same three-seat layout. It was later confirmed that the Speedtail served as the actual successor to the F1. The P1 has a mid-engine, rear wheel drive design that used a carbon fibre monocoque and roof structure safety cage concept called MonoCage, which is a development of the MonoCell first used in the MP4-12C and then in subsequent models. Its main competitors were the LaFerrari and the Porsche 918. They are all similar in specifications and performance, and in a race around Silverstone circuit they were all within half a second of each other, the P1 finishing first at 58.24 seconds and the LaFerrari finishing last at 58.58 seconds; the 918 was in-between with 58.46 seconds. 58 units of the track-oriented P1 GTR and 5 units of its road legal counterpart, the P1 LM were produced after the initial run of 375 cars. 13 experimental Prototype ‘XP’, 5 Validation Prototypes ‘VP’ and 3 Pre-Production ‘PP’ cars were produced by McLaren before the production of the P1 started, a number of which have been refurbished, modified and sold to customers.
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 utilizes 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.
Produced between May 1955 and February 1963, having first been seen in prototype at the 1954 New York Auto Show, the 190SL was designed as a more affordable sports car than the exclusive and rather pricey 300SL, sharing its basic styling, engineering, detailing, and fully independent suspension. While both cars had double wishbones in front and swing axles at the rear, the 190 SL did not use the 300 SL’s purpose-built W198 tubular spaceframe. Instead, it was built on a shortened monocoque R121 platform modified from the W120 saloon. The 190 SL was powered by a new, slightly oversquare 105 PS Type M121 1.9 litre four cylinder engine. Based on the 300 SL’s straight six, it had an unchanged 85 mm bore and 4.3 mm reduced 83.6 mm stroke, was fitted with twin-choke dual Solex carburettors, and produced 120 gross hp. In detuned form, it was later used in the W120 180 and W121 190 models. Both the 190 SL and the 300 SL were replaced by the Mercedes-Benz 230SL in 1963.
Rather cute were this line of Lambretta scooters dating from the early 1960s.
This was an incredible place, and I was really pleased to find that they were quite happy to welcome a couple of enthusiasts who clearly were not in the market to buy anything from them. Of course they do not want a stampede of visitors, but for anyone who is in the area and who appreciates car like these, it has to be worth a visit. Further details of Joe Macari including clues as to their current stock can be found at their website: http://www.joemacari.com/