It may surprise some to know that Morgans remained in production largely unaltered for 50 years longer than any other car in the world. Yet hardly any two of the 15,000 or so four- wheeled Morgans built since 1936 were exactly alike as they had all been built by hand like traditional sports cars with a body, chassis and suspension dating from the early part of the century. The body panels, in particular, were worked by hand for the best fit, and were varied like the trim to meet the… Read more


The Triumph car originated as a sideline for the successful motorcycle business which unfortunately went bankrupt in 1939, and Triumph was finally bought up by Standard in 1944. In 1946 the first Standard-Triumph car appeared. It was the 1800 Roadster which was aimed at the export market and had three-abreast seating, a steering-column gear change and was the last car in the world to offer a `dickey’ seat behind the driver. Initially it was fitted with a 1776cc engine exactly as supplied by Standard for the Jaguar 1.5-litre models, but… Read more


1965 Marcos 1800

Wood has seldom been used for the structural and stress-bearing parts of a motor car but in the Marcos, first appearing in 1959, timber was used for the chassis/hull, taking maximum advantage of improved techniques in plywood construction. The name Marcos was derived from the surnames of Jem Marsh and Frank Costin, and was first fitted to a cycle-winged car. Production versions, however, employed full-width styling. Ford engines of the 100E, 105E and 109E varieties were offered and although these could be, and were indeed, tuned, the excellent performance came… Read more


  The Chrysler Valiant panel van was launched in Australia in April 1977. Although no-one knew it at the time, this would be the last new Valiant model produced by Chrysler in Australia. By the time the CL Valiant rolled around, the panel van market was booming. Between 1971 and 1976 sales of panel vans had doubled, due mainly to lower sales tax on these vehicles which were classified as commercials. When the Valiant panel van arrived on the scene, this market section accounted for 18.5 per cent of total… Read more


‘Muscle cars’ of the late 1960s were probably introduced mainly for the spectacle of drag racing, which had become extremely popular in the United States at that time. Plymouth was always one of the leading exponents of the ‘muscle car’ and a lot of this was based around an engine – the astounding 426-111 Super Stock Hemi. This 90-degree V8 achieved much success for Plymouth and was the supreme drag-race powerplant, acquiring a legendary reputation. The Hemi engine was born out of the need for top racing performance. Once the… Read more


Towards the end of 1959 Jaguar expanded its range of cars with the release of the new Mark II saloons. This provided a range of ten basic models which also offered a choice of transmissions and disc or drum brakes for the standard 2.4 and 3.8 saloons, XK150 series body styles and a wide range of exterior and interior colour schemes. The Jaguar range at that time comprised the large and luxurious 3.8-litre Mark IX saloon, the 2.4 and 3.4 standard saloons and the 3.4 XK150 and 150S as before,… Read more


In 1930 General Motors introduced both the 16-cylinder 452 and the 12-cylinder 370 just as the Great Depression was gaining momentum, both in America and throughout the world. Of course, General Motors did not intend introducing these new models at a time of economic hardship but they had been in the planning stage for some time prior to this. Because Cadillac had lost its market leadership to Packard in the large car class in the 1920s, General Motors management set out to regain market share with a bigger and better… Read more


The Goggomobil was a hybrid German-Australian car built in Australia between 1958 and 1961. The project was launched in Sydney by Bill Buckle who had earlier built and sold his own design, the Buckle coupe. For the Goggomobil, Buckle secured the rights to a small car made by Hans Glas of Dingolfing, Bavaria. The German product had an all-steel body but Buckle fitted his cars with fibreglass bodies. He offered three body styles: sedan, coupe and open two-seater The open version, known as the Dart, was Buckle’s own design but,… Read more


In June 1947 Saab-Scania AB unveiled its first car to an expectant public, although the first lucky owner was not to take delivery of his little green, spluttering two-stroke Saab 92 until the beginning of 1950. In terms of appearance, the 92 was an oddity, even in an era when cars generally did not feature the more modern lines typical of most present day cars. In Sweden, the streamlined, dark-green model with the stubby nose became quickly accepted. The body consisted of a relatively small number of pressings of sheet… Read more


Bayerische Motoren-Werke (which translates to Bavarian Motor Works and which we know today as BMW) was founded in 1916 principally to build aircraft and aircraft engines. It branched into motorcycles in 1923, producing its first flat-twin motorcycle in Munich. Its first production of motor cars took place in 1923 when BMW acquired the Dixi company and their motor works at Eisenach. This car was called the BMW-Dixi and was based on the English Austin 7, being built under licence. It had a four-cylinder engine which BMW developed further into a… Read more