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...]

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...]

Original 5-Speed – 1972 BMW 2002 tii

neue klasse

It's not uncommon to see old 2002's, which came standard with a 4-speed gearbox, retrofitted with a 5-speed from later E21 3 Series Bimmers. It's a relatively straightforward modification that really improves the car, but at one time BMW themselves offered a ZF 5-speed as an optional extra in the 2002 tii. Very few examples were so equipped, and it's entirely possible that there are more E21 5-speed 2002's out there than ZF ones. … [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 said 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...]

Ouch – 1958 Mercedes-Benz 190SL

190 sl project barn find wreck

Have you ever driven a classic Mercedes-Benz? Have you ever hit a deer? Have you ever hit a deer while driving a classic Mercedes-Benz? Apparently, one person has, resulting in the pretty depressing-looking disfigurement on the front of this poor 190SL. Deer damage isn't the only problem, either, as there is rust in the fenders and rockers as well as the many telltale signs of a car that's been sitting for a long time. The seller reports that 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...]

Barn Fresh – 1958 Lancia Aurelia B24S Convertible

1958 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America

This 1958 Lancia Aurelia B24S Convertible is reportedly "barn fresh", whatever that means. The pictures will show that the car has needs, but the seller said it's "only missing a few easily sourced items and is otherwise complete. Hub cap mounts, usable hub cap centers, a gear shift knob, and one rear bumper bracket are all that I see missing." Clearly in need of a full restoration (and then some), this Lancia was last on the road in 1977 … [Read more...]

Scruffy Sprint – 1962 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint

1962 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint 1600

The Giulietta wore several bodies in its day, including the egg-shaped Sprint Zagato and the almost flying saucer-shaped Sprint Speciale (SS). The Bertone body of the normal Giulietta Sprint was a little more restrained, but Alfa Romeos are rarely ugly and the car had pleasing proportions, not to mention solid performance. It was significantly lighter than the 1900, but its twin cam 1300 only made a few less horsepower, making the Giulietta … [Read more...]

Mangy Maserati – 1969 Maserati Indy

project barn find restoration

In 1967,  Ferrari achieved an astonishing 1-2-3 victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Soon after, their new 365 GTB/4 road car was stuck with the label "Daytona" in celebration of that victory. Over at Maserati, they weren't so timely. They had won the Indianapolis 500 in 1939 and 1940, but it wasn't until 1968 that they finally decided stick that celebratory name on a car. The car of choice was a four-seater coupe designed by Vignale and … [Read more...]

Sorry Split Window – 1963 Chevrolet Corvette

split window coupe '63 project barn find

Inspired by Bill Mitchell’s 1959 Stingray Racer, the C2 Corvette represented a big step forward for America’s sports car. It may not have been as big of a step as Duntov would have liked, but the new Corvette was lighter than the old roadster, had a shorter wheelbase, and for the first time was shaped through wind-tunnel testing. The new car also had better weight distribution, wider drum brakes, and independent rear suspension. Power from the … [Read more...]