Also referred to as the model NN1, the Renault 40CV of 1924 was designed by Louis Renault and replaced the Renault types KJ and MT. It was powered by a large 9.1-litre straight-six engine mounted in the front of its extremely long chassis and it drove the rear wheels through a three-speed manual transmission. This engine developed 104 kW and drove the car to a top speed of 145 km/h. The NN1 was produced from 1924 through to 1928 as the successor to the Renault KJ and MT and it… Read more


When race owners like Stirling Moss and Rob Walker gave the Facel Vega their stamp of approval many of the celebrities, royals and racing drivers of the 1960s lined up to buy them. This marque was an expensive car offering the comfort of a Rolls-Royce, the urge of a sportscar and the reliability and driving ease which had come to be associated with American cars. For the price, however, you could have bought a couple of E-type Jaguars along with a Lotus Elan. The Facel Vega, easily France’s most stylish… Read more


The Ford LTD was introduced in September 1976 intended as a rival to some of the prestigious brands from Britain and Europe. Unashamedly big its styling was clean and crisp in the American manner. The wheelbase was 3074mm, the longest of any modern passenger car in Australia. The engine continued to be the well proven 5.8-litre V8, designed to meet newly introduced emission controls. Transmission was the T-bar operated three-speed Cruisomatic and braking efficiency through the four-wheel discs was increased with the addition of a larger capacity booster. The Silver… Read more


The Riley Brooklands was first introduced in mid-1927 and was produced from 1927 to 1932. It was powered by a front mounted four-cylinder 1087 cc overhead-valve engine which had part spherical combustion chambers driving the rear wheels. This engine was originally introduced in the Riley Nine family car in 1926 and its early performance indicated that it would make a good power source for a sports car. After some modifications, including the fitting of two horizontal SU carburettors, power output was raised to 37 kW at 5000 rpm, very high… Read more


With sales of the Chinese-sourced MG models booming it’s a good opportunity to look back at the iconic British sportcars that established the marque, and in particular the most popular of all, the MGB. The MGB was significant mainly because it was the archetypal cheap sportscar, rapid without being really fast in standard form, simple to maintain, and endowed with enduring good looks. At first only a two-seater open sports version was available, but in 1965 the very elegant MGB GT hatchback derivative was released. It was unfortunate that the… Read more


The first Peugeot family member mentioned in history was Jean-Jacques Peugeot (1699-1741). His two grandsons founded a steel foundry in France in 1810, which is still today supplying the steel used in Peugeot cars. As early as 1885 Armand Peugeot had built several bicycles and later designed a steam driven quadricycle. A little later on he built one of the first petrol-driven vehicles with a V-shaped twin cylinder engine producing 8 horsepower. In 1921 Peugeot introduced the 201, the first production car with independent front suspension. In fact, over the… Read more


Early in the 1960s, Ford of Detroit committed themselves to an all-out campaign to achieve supremacy in motor sport. It was conceived as Ford’s ‘total performance’ marketing package in which the youth market had been identified as the fastest growing sector of demand. The object was to beat the rest of the world, Ferrari in particular, at Le Mans. Initially they tried, unsuccessfully as it turned out, to take over the Ferrari business. After this foundered, in 1963, they started a sports racing project of their own. The AC Cobra,… Read more


Dr Ferdinand Porsche’s first mass-produced car was the VW Beetle, and he used many of the design principles which made this car famous for the first production Porsche. At the end of World War II, Dr Porsche was imprisoned by the French for nearly two years but, despite being in poor health and over 70 years of age, he survived the ordeal and rejoined his family in Stuttgart. During his gaol term his son Ferry restarted the family business and built a prototype that would become the 356. The Porsche… Read more


The STD company was a joint British-French automotive manufacturing company which produced Sunbeam, Talbot and Darracq cars between both the two World Wars, but which unfortunately failed in 1935. Following this Anthony Lago rescued the French Talbot section of the company and commenced production of Talbot-Lago cars carrying the Talbot badge at a plant in Seine, France. Incidentally it was at this time that that the Rootes group acquired the British interests including the Sunbeam and Darracq marques. Lago was a brilliant engineer and he immediately set about developing a… Read more


AC Cars re-entered the car market in 1947 with a rehash of the Thames Ditton, England pre-WW II model which was powered by a 2.0-litre overhead-cam straight-six engine. It was not, however, until 1953 when they released their new sports car that the company established its reputation as a sports car manufacturer. A design by John Tojeiro was selected which used a ladder-type tubular frame, all-independent transverse leaf-spring suspension and an extremely attractive open two-seater alloy body with classic lines. In appearance many people felt the design was inspired by… Read more