Something Special – 1955 Swartley-OSCA

vintage race special ken miles

In the early 1950s, SCCA racer Skip Swartley had been campaigning an Allard, but in 1955 he took a delivery of a tube-frame, aluminum-bodied, OSCA-powered one-off special to race in the G-Modified class. It was reportedly designed by Jim Troy of Burbank, California. Swartley debuted the pretty little car at the Pebble Beach races in April of that year, and after many impressive performances, including victory at Torrey Pines and the Bremerton Cup … [Read more...]

Medium Healey – 1973 Jensen-Healey

roadster

As contracts for bodies and car assembly began to dwindle for them into the later part of the 1960s, Jensen needed revenue that its low volume products like the Interceptor just wasn't going to provide. West Coast importer and Jensen distributor Kjell Qvale was able to bring Jensen together with Donald and Geoff Healey, and it was hoped that this pair could recreate the sports car magic that was the Austin-Healey, the British icon that had … [Read more...]

Fiberglass Find – 1953 Woodill Wildfire

1953 Woodill Wildfire

1950s America produced what seems like an endless number of different low production, fiberglass-bodied sports cars. This Woodill Wildfire is yet another one. Produced by Willys dealer B. Robert "Woody" Woodill, it wore a relatively familiar looking Glasspar fiberglass shell that was laid over a custom frame, a Willys straight-six and various other Willys bits that Woodill would have had ample supply of. The Wildfire sold as a kit or as a … [Read more...]

Prime Example – 1966 Mercedes-Benz 250SE Coupe

w108

Introduced in 1965, the W108 added modern styling to the already advanced underpinnings of Mercedes-Benz luxury automobiles. The base 250S was carbureted, but the middle range 250SE added Bosch mechanical fuel injection to the 2.5-liter single overhead camshaft M129 straight-six to give 150 brake horsepower. Independent suspension at all four corners also gave pleasing handling characteristics, and Mercedes of course brought its noted material … [Read more...]

Morris Minor, Major Charm – 1950 Morris Minor Tourer

1950 Morris Minor Tourer

Well over a million examples of the Alec Issigonis-designed Morris Minors were built from its launch at the famed 1948 Earls Court Motor Show all the way up until 1971. Like its younger relative, the Mini, the Minor could be had in an impressive range of body styles including two-door saloon, four-door saloon, estate car, pickup, panel van, and a convertible called the Tourer. All had their charm and as a whole Morris Minors have a big and … [Read more...]

Tossed Around – 1974 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe CC

1974 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe CC

Fiat's charming little 124 Coupe was produced from 1967 to 1975 and in three distinct series. From the AC to the BC and CC, the 124 got progressively bigger engines and progressively squarer styling, and it always remained a hot little car. This example out of Ontario, California, though, takes it to a different level. A late example, it is a CC from 1974 that has been extensively raced, extensively modified and is ready for its next owner. Among … [Read more...]

Outstanding Outlaw – 1965 Porsche 356 SC

1965 Porsche 356 SC

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 and SC (with a 95 horsepower engine) 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 … [Read more...]

Racecar Fit for a Prinz – 1967 NSU 1200 TT

vintage racer

In 1961, NSU introduced the Prinz IV. It was very much inspired by the Chevrolet Corvair and featured an air-cooled, two-cylinder, 30 horsepower motor. After a couple of years the engine had become a four-cylinder unit and by 1965 NSU aimed to attract driving enthusiasts with the more performance-oriented 1000 TT. In 1967, the 1,197 cc NSU 1200 TT . US-spec versions of the car had to make due with a single carburetor, but European cars got two. … [Read more...]

Weird Wagon – 1978 Alfa Romeo Alfasud Giardiniera

wagon giardinetta

Conceptually, the Alfasud was a great idea. Alfa Romeo got a new government-backed factory in southern Italy (hence the name Alfasud, which means Alfa South) to create jobs in an economically troubled part of the country, and as for the car itself, it was an impressive display of engineering and style to fit neatly at the bottom of the company's range. It had a water-cooled four cylinder boxer engine that allowed for a low center of gravity, … [Read more...]

The Fourth GT40 – 1964 Ford GT40 Prototype

1964 Ford GT40 Prototype

The outbreak of the Ford-Ferrari wars needs no introduction here, and we all know it was this car, the GT40, that was the sweet fruit of Ford's labor during that conflict. Developed with help from Eric Broadley of Lola and built at the new Ford Advanced Vehicles facility in England, the very first GT40 to be shown to the public, chassis GT/101, made its debut at the 1964 New York Auto Show. Within weeks, GT/102 was completed, but at the Le Mans … [Read more...]