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...]
The 1950s have rightly been called the golden age for the automobile on both sides of the Atlantic, a renaissance of styling and engineering after the years of warfare that diverted the talents of the car industry to military efforts. This was even true in Germany, a war-torn and geopolitically divided country that began a miraculously quick recovery in the postwar years, and it was out of this climate that Porsche came into its own as one of the biggest names in the sports car business. Ferdinand Porsche had been producing clever designs since the turn of the century, mostly for other manufacturers, but by 1953 cars bearing the Porsche name were selling in significant numbers. At the Paris … [Read More...]
The 375 MM effectively combined the race-proven chassis from the 340 with the 4.5-liter 340 horsepower V-12 from Ferrari's ill-fated Indianapolis car. Most examples had either spider or berlinetta bodywork by Pinin Farina, and they were used to great success on both sides of the Atlantic, even helping to secure enough points in international competition for Ferrari to win the Manufacturer's Championship in 1953 and 1954. Only around sixteen examples were built and this particular car, even by 1950s race car standards, has led quite a colorful life.
Chassis 0632 was sold new in 1954 to Scuderia Parravano of Tony Parravano, a man who would acquire a group of truly mouth-watering early … [Read More...]
The Brabham BT35 and BT36 were the last tube frame formula cars designed by Ron Tauranac and constructed by Motor Racing Developments in 1971 before they progressed to a stressed skin monocoque design. 1971 was also a formative time in formula car racing, as all the major manufacturers were adapting wings and big slick tires to both new and existing chassis, making cornering speeds rise drastically. But like the BT21, BT29 and BT30 before it, the BT35 was highly regarded for its straightforward design and its forgiving nature when driven at the limit. This drivability made it a popular and competitive choice for the racers going for it in European Formula 2 or 3 and American Formula … [Read More...]
BMC's Alec Issigonis-designed AD016 platform was sold over a twelve year period as an Austin, an MG, a Morris, an Innocenti, a Riley, a Vanden Plas and a Wolseley with either 1.2 or 1.3-liter versions of the venerable A-Series motor. Over 3 million of these badge engineered little cars were eventually sold, making it one of the most popular British cars in history. In the domestic market, it was only available at first as a four-door saloon, but here in the States we got a two-door version in the form of the MG 1100. It was basically a larger version of the Mini with its 55 horsepower 1098 cc transversely mounted engine and front-drive layout, but is also notable for its hydrolastic … [Read More...]