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" entered … [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...]
MG built over 510,000 examples of the MGB Roadster and GT, making it the top selling British sports car ever. It was cheap, fun and easy on the eyes. It was the Miata of the '60s. The B was a popular choice for the track, too, and it remains popular to this day. Thanks to the high number of cars to choose from and the relatively high availability of parts, it's a perfect starter car for people just venturing into classic car ownership as well as for those taking the plunge into vintage racing. As with any such car, though, it pays to know what you want, whether it be turn-key ready or a big project. … [Read More...]
Indianapolis, more than any other race track, has had an interesting relationship with turbine-powered race cars. The 500 was very nearly won by turbines in both 1967 and '68, and for a short time turbines looked like they could be the way of the future at the Brickyard. By 1969, however, the USAC had issued rule changes that effectively rendered them uncompetitive and relegated them to footnote status in the history books.
While turbines were still viable Ken Wallace, designer of the almost successful 1967 STP Oil Treatment Special, approached Carroll Shelby with a plan to do another car for the 1968 race. Working with Wallace to refine his earlier design, Shelby planned to build three … [Read More...]