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...]

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...]

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...]

French Masterpiece – 1953 Gordini Type 24 S

1953 Gordini Type 24 S Track

Amédée Gordini stood at Le Mans in 1953. He had finally created his masterpiece, a three-litre eight-cylinder sports car, which he intended to use to compete at the highest level. It would run in anger against names like Ferrari, Maserati, Lancia, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, and Aston Martin, and it would be run not only by Works teams but also by wealthy privateers. For his car, Gordini chose an inline eight-cylinder engine, which was chosen for … [Read more...]

Dominance – 1973 Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder

1973 Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder

Perhaps no other race car claims the outright success that is boasted by Porsche’s 917/30, a purpose-built spyder that dominated its only season of competition and went on to set a still respectable closed-course speed record. Rooted in roughly four years of development of similar racing spyders, the 917/30’s beginnings initially arose from two goals. With a new American retail relationship between Porsche and Audi forming in 1969, VW of … [Read more...]

The Perfect Recipe – 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Touring

1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Touring

In the early 1970s, Porsche brought back the Carrera name, this time on the 911, and of course, it was all about racing. The 917 had given invaluable publicity to Porsche, but it has also been hugely expensive. New boss Ernst Fuhrmann, therefore, wanted to shift the emphasis towards production cars in racing, particularly the 911. He knew that their top of the range road car had plenty of production life left, and felt that racing success would … [Read more...]

Tough Tanker – 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

dick lang

As soon as the new Corvette Stingray saw the light of day, people were looking to race it, particularly in the SCCA's production car ranks. One of the most serious was surely Ohio Chevrolet dealer Dick Lang, who had already made solid showings around the country in A and B Production driving his 1959 Corvette. For racers like Lang, Duntov had concocted a new, options package for the Corvette that included beefier suspension all around, a front … [Read more...]

Mid-Engined Magic – 1961 Porsche 718 RS 61 Spyder

1961 Porsche 718 RS 61 Spyder

To many manufacturers, motorsport victories are essential to commercial success. The adage of “race on Sunday, sell on Monday,” was never more true for Porsche during the late 1950s and early 1960s. The mid-engined Porsche Spyders were still attempting to establish a foothold in the United States, and it took to the track in the hands of factory-supported racers and privateers alike, dicing with the likes of Ferrari, Aston Martin, Jaguar, and … [Read more...]

Corvette’s Savior – 1956 Chevrolet Corvette SR Prototype

1956 Chevrolet Corvette SR Prototype

Corvette is without doubt one of the most established names in sports cars today, so it's hard to imagine that at one time almost sixty years ago the Corvette's very existence was at risk. GM's two-seater debuted with much fanfare in 1953, but after only a couple short years the enthusiasm had worn off a bit, especially after Ford's introduction of their own two-seater, the Thunderbird. Unlike the Corvette, the T-Bird could be had with a full … [Read more...]

The Only Zagato – 1955 Maserati A6G/2000 Spider

1955 Maserati A6G/2000 Spider by Zagato

Perhaps it was luck that Maserati’s most celebrated chassis was built during the time of a critical phase of innovation and evolution of Italian coachbuilders. The bodies that were now constructed were largely departed from the projecting wings and angular shapes of the 1930s, and they were more extravagant and daring in design. A variety of different bodies were constructed for Maserati by a plethora of coachbuilders, including Farina, Frua, … [Read more...]