Long before we saw Rick Ross rolling in a Maybach (seven decades before, to be more accurate), the German firm was already famous for its super-expensive and opulent luxury motorcars. One of their grandest offerings of all was the SW38, introduced in 1936 and the last new Maybach before the outbreak of the Second World War. Available with 3.5, 3.8 or 4.2-liter straight-sixes and either as a sedan or a cabriolet, the SW38 was said to be able to reach 120 miles per hour in its quickest trim. It was one of the ultimate automotive creations not just in Germany but the world, and the timing of its introduction combined with its brilliant engineering and exclusivity made it an ideal choice for … [Read More...]
Paul Newman needs no introduction here or anywhere, but what some might not know is just how late in life he was bitten by the racing bug, which of course turned into a pretty spectacular motorsports career. He was already in his 40s when he first did the Bob Bondurant school in preparation for the 1969 movie Winning, and it wasn't until 1972 that he really got involved, running SCCA races in a Lotus. It was a slippery slope from there, though, as Newman quickly got involved in IMSA and Trans-Am racing. It was during these first few years that he teamed up with SCCA National Champion Bill Freeman, and their first major effort was in this car. Newman and Freeman brought the Porsche 911S, … [Read More...]
By 1935 Delage, a renowned builder of both racing and grand luxury machines that had very early on demonstrated the value of motorsports success to car sales, was in serious financial trouble. To make things confusing, Delage was bought that year by the similarly named Delahaye, but the Delage brand remained. Delage's first new design under its new owners was the D8-120, the only 8-cylinder offering in either company's range and an instant classic that attracted some of the great French coachbuilders of that extraordinary time. Some of the very prettiest D8-120s were the twelve Aerosport Coupes by LeTourneur et Marchand, of which eight are thought to still exist. This voluptuous green … [Read More...]
By 1964, the 356 had been in production for sixteen years and the age of the 911 was on the horizon. But the 356, the car to which Porsche owed everything, went out with a bang in the 356C of '64 and '65. In typical Porsche fashion, the changes were subtle but they added up. They included deeper seats for more improved headroom, standard armrests, tweaks to the suspension, disc brakes on all four wheels and a revised wheel and hubcap design in response to them. … [Read More...]
The 3500 GT was the true mark of Maserati's transition from race car builder to serious road car manufacturer. Its straight-six was Maserati's first engine designed with purely road use in mind, parts were sourced from a wide range of suppliers ,and between 1957 and 1964 a total of over 2,000 examples were built. … [Read More...]
With its huge Lucas headlamps, deep-set grille and sharply curved fenders, the SS 100 is undoubtedly one of the prettiest prewar sports cars, but it is also one of the most potent.
With a 3,485 cc straight-six, the 2,600 horsepower SS 100 had 125 horsepower on tap and, as its name implies, could reach the then magic number of 100 miles per hour. Long before the glory days of the XK's and C/D-Types in motorsport, the SS 100 was making the rounds on race tracks and rally stages alike, frequently doing well. And like later Jaguars, it had expensive looks with a surprisingly inexpensive price. … [Read More...]
Arguably the quintessential supercar, Lamborghini's Countach represents many things. Its scissor doors, poor ergonomics and wild body proved just how outrageous a pure performance car could be, but for some these same things also represented '80s excess and bad taste. Above all, though, the Countach symbolized success and the playboy lifestyle that just about every man secretly wishes for. … [Read More...]