Rack and Pinion Demonstrator – 1963 Shelby Cobra 289

1963 Shelby 289 Cobra

Like most any such car, the Cobra had teething problems to contend with before becoming an immense success and a household name. One of the most important issues was found in the worm and sector steering that had come over from the AC Ace. It was felt that a new steering system was needed from very early on in Cobra production, but the change to rack and pinion didn't come into effect until well into 1963, after 125 Cobras had already been built. … [Read more...]

Medium Healey – 1973 Jensen-Healey


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...]

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...]

British Icon, Made in Belgium – 1953 Minerva Land Rover Series 1

belgian project barn find

The Series 1 Land Rover is one of the most recognizable of all, having conquered terrain all over the world and shuttled the soldiers of many nations. Much less well known is the version  built under contract in Belgium of all places, by Minerva. Minerva of Antwerp had built some of the finest coach built luxury cars of the 1930s, but like many such carmakers it was in dire straits after the Second World War. Seeing the Belgian … [Read more...]

+2, 1/2 Finished – 1972 Lotus Elan +2

project coupe

Lotus's featherweight Elan was the company's first real commercial success in the world of road cars, making up for the advanced but expensive Elite that preceded it. Car and Driver┬ásaid that it "fits like a Sprite, goes like a Corvette and handles like a Formula Junior." With a description like that, you wouldn't think that it would be the kind of car that would be lengthened and strapped with two extra seats. But that's exactly what Lotus did … [Read more...]

Fetching Feline – 1938 Jaguar SS 100

swallow sidecars 3 1/2 liter roadster

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 … [Read more...]

Buried Treasure – 1958 AC Aceca

1958 AC Aceca

The AC Ace would of course go on to lend DNA to the Shelby Cobra, but it was a highly capable sports car in its own right, as was its coupe derivative, the Aceca. Aside from its gorgeous Ferrari Barchetta-like aluminum bodywork, the Ace was noted for its fine handling and had enviable racing success on both sides of the Atlantic, particularly the SCCA in the United States. A popular option from 1956 for any AC, be it for road or track, was the … [Read more...]

Prewar Prize – 1939 Aston Martin 15/98 Short Chassis

open sports roadster

Named in the common designation denoting Britain's "taxable" vs. measured horsepower, Aston Martin's 15/98 road car of the 1930s featured the company's 2-liter straight-four that had been developed for Le Mans. Aston's initial focus was on touring configurations like a closed saloon and a drophead coupe, but the short chassis version introduced later and bodied by Abbey Coachworks of London is considered the most pleasing. Introduced at the first … [Read more...]

Ready To Exercise – 1949 Jaguar XK120 Alloy Roadster

1949 Jaguar XK120 Alloy Roadster Main

While most contemporary observers of the Jaguar XK120 would be certain that it was born for greatness, it is surprising to consider that it was conceived and born as a limited-edition stopgap model. William Lyons assumed that the post-WWII fortune of his company, the recently re-named Jaguar Cars Ltd., would be made on the saloon cars that would sell so well in export markets, especially in the U.S. To that end, a new dual overhead-cam, … [Read more...]

“She Goes” – 1963 Elva Courier


While Elva found success in Formula Junior racing and with beautiful sports racers like the Mk. 7 and Mk. 8, their take on a production sports car was the lovely, if somewhat obscure Courier. The Courier used plenty of BMC parts, specifically from MG. As so often happened with these small English manufacturers, Elva ran into financial troubles and from 1962 rights to the Courier were sold to Trojan, who continued production until 1969. This … [Read more...]