With our newly arrived Lotus Eleven and Elise Sport 190, we need to thin out our Lotus stable a bit, which unfortunately means saying goodbye to our 1966 Lotus Elan S3 Fixed Head Coupe, a proud member of the Sports Car Digest team since 2011. From arch enthusiast Jay Leno to Gordon Murray, designer of the McLaren F1, the accolades bestowed upon the gritty Elan typically call it "the greatest handling car of all time" or something equally grandiose in nature. We couldn't agree more.
The Lotus Elan was launched in October 1962 at the British International Motor Show at Earls Court, just as the sixties started swinging. Jaguar had launched the E-Type the previous year, while AC had the Cobra … [Read More...]
The 1980s may be remembered for many things, including giant hair and spandex, but an automobile most representative of that era would have to be the sports car that almost everyone who cared anything about cars aspired to own -- the "whale tail" turbocharged Porsche 911.
Known internally as the 930, the car was sold as the 911 Turbo to the public. Although a product of the 1970s and Porsche’s development of turbo technology through motorsports, the 911 Turbo was nevertheless of undeniable importance and impact in the 1980s. It would go on to be a tremendous sales success for Porsche, and the image of the whale tail rear spoiler and fat fenders hovering over equally fat, … [Read More...]
Webster’s Dictionary describes the word 'Beautiful’ as “the quality of being physically attractive” and it’s a word that is frankly overused when describing inanimate objects. There are plenty of items that are striking, or even exude dramatic qualities, but aren’t necessarily beautiful. The automobile world is full these types of designs, but without a doubt there are a few exceptions to the rule, and to be quite honest, very few of them trace their origins back to the English-speaking end of Europe. The Jaguar XKE, or E-Type, is one of these few cars, though.
With a story that could only be described as heroic, the car that Enzo Ferrari called "the most beautiful car in the world" … [Read More...]
California dealer and racer Paul Reinhart had proven his skill behind the wheel of a Corvette ably enough by 1962 to be one of the names on the list of six recipient's for the all new Sting Ray Z06. The Z06 package was distinguished from other 1963 Corvettes by heavy duty suspension, power-assisted brakes with a dual-circuit master cylinder, a 36-gallon fuel tank and finned cast aluminum knock-off wheels. Of course, the cars also had the 360 horsepower fuel-injected 327. Duntov intended that all the cars be raced, and the other five also went to accomplished Corvette racers like Dick Thompson, Jerry Grant and Dave MacDonald. … [Read More...]
Aston Martin’s rather simply named model, the V8, was around nearly unchanged for almost twenty years and was the company's only real offering for part of that time. The 1970s and 1980s were not exactly the best of times for Aston Martin. This partly explains why the V8 was on offer for so long, but at least it was a great looking machine with plenty of performance.
Powered by the Tadek Marek-designed V-8 that was first found in the original DBS, the V8 looked more American muscle than European GT, but this was the 1970s after all, and sharper lines were more stylish and the sculpted roundness of the David Brown-era. … [Read More...]
The relationship between Fiat and Carlo Abarth was already well established and extremely fruitful by the mid-1960s when the OTR 1000 came into being. Based on the Fiat 850 Coupe, it was fitted with a special "radiale" engine displacing just under a liter, fitted with Weber carburetors, and making 100 horsepower. As usual, racing success was the aim of the new car, and OTR stood for Omologato Turismo Radiale. Unfortunately, the SCCA deemed it too heavily modified and too hot for its class, so the new Abarth was unable to do much on the American racing scene. … [Read More...]
Designed to replace the 18, the Lotus 20 was lower, sleeker, shorter, wider and more aerodynamic than its predecessor. It dominated Formula Junior in 1961 with both factory drivers and privateers finding success, and in 1962 it was further improved with the 22, which had a stiffer chassis and Girling disc brakes up front. 1962 saw even more victories with Peter Arundell taking 18 victories in 25 starts. … [Read More...]