CITROEN BX

It has been said that the Citroen BX, first released at the 1982 Paris Motor Show, was the car that revived Citroen’s future. Citroen had been owned by the Michelin Tyre group since the early 1930s when Citroen had financial problems and in the mid-1970s the world oil crisis hit the car and component manufacturing industry heavily. As Citroen had spent heavily on new model development and production facility expansion they were very exposed to the downturn and once again drastic action was necessary. Between 1974 and 1976 financial restructuring… Read more

CHEVROLET CAMARO Z-28

General Motors often claim to be the first manufacturer of true post-war sports cars in the United States with the Corvette. Certainly, it was the first built in any volume but the newness of the concept to American car buyers took a while to catch on. Even though European sports cars were popular sellers at the time, the Corvette, when first released, was a flop. Despite this Ford followed quickly with its Thunderbird and using superior marketing skills, quickly outsold the Corvette two-to-one. Ford’s action took the industry by surprise… Read more

CORD L-29

Errett Lobban Cord’s life could have been very different: he nearly struck gold with his first motor car. It was called the L-29 because it made its debut in 1929 with power from Lycoming, the aero engine wing of the Auburn car manufacturing company which Cord owned. He had acquired the decaying Auburn company of Indiana, as well as the legendary Duesenberg high-performance car makers, as part of a financial package. Cord knew little about cars other than how to sell them. He was an outstanding salesman, perhaps one of… Read more

MORGAN 4/4

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

BMW 2002

In March 1966 BMW introduced a new, smaller two-door body with similar engineering specifications to the previously introduced larger four-door sedans, but these cars only had 1.6 litre engines. In September 1967 a twin-carburettor, high compression model, the 1600TI was added to the range. With the arrival of new US emission regulations, it was found too difficult to bring the 1600TI into conformity with these regulations by simply adding twin carburettors so an alternative solution, adding more engine displacement, was adopted. The result was the 2002, with a single-carburettor two-litre… Read more

MERCEDES-BENZ 38/250 SS

By 1926 Mercedes and Benz had merged. The 38/250 SS appeared in 1928 with a 7.0- litre supercharged engine developing 150kW. The same chassis was used for a much less flamboyant tourer and also for the sports-racing SSKL which developed 224kW and was capable of well over 210km/h, which at the time was a truly breathtaking speed for a road car. Even in standard form the 38/250 SS could exceed 177km/h and dominated sportscar racing in Europe in the early 1930s. The contemporary cars of Mercedes-Benz were, if anything, even… Read more

ALFA ROMEO 1750 COUPE AND DUETTO

In the late 1920s the Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 established a strong reputation for the firm. Hence, in 1967, when Alfa Romeo was making plans to introduce a new model to sell alongside the Giulia 1600 they had the foresight to revive a great name. Whilst the engine of this new car had a displacement closer to 1800 cc, it was only 29 cc greater than 1750, so the decision was made by Alfa management to revive the old name and use it in all sales promotion relating to this… Read more

STUTZ BEARCAT

Harry C Stutz built his first gas buggy in 1899 and later went into the manufacture of transmissions and axles. His first involvement with automobile manufacture was in 1907 when he designed the American Underslung. Stutz created the Underslung by inverting an orthodox chassis so that it hung from its axles instead of riding above them. With front and rear leafsprings anchored outboard and above the frame, added stability was obtained. This placed the centre of gravity much closer to the ground and these basic principles are still common to… Read more

DATSUN 240Z

. The Japanese car manufacturer Datsun commenced car production by assembling Austin cars under licence. The Datsun 1000 was nothing more than an A40 with a body redesign. Datsun first entered the USA sportscar market in the mid-1960s with the 1600 Sports as well as 2.0-litre models but their entrants were very conventional and soon became dated. In the market place their robust but basic engines and stark two-seater styling failed to capture the hearts of the American motorist. The company realised, however, that the American market offered enormous potential… Read more

RENAULT 4CV

Through many trials and tribulation, Louis Renault became the leading French car manufacturer, triumphing over Andre Citroen during the 1920s. As early as 1900, Renaults had adopted a sloping coal scuttle bonnet which became a distinguishing mark of the company’s products. The engines ranged from a 1.1-litre two-cylinder through a quartet of fours of 2.1 to 7.4 litres, followed in 1908 by a 9.5-litre six. Except for the taxi-orientated twins, the emphasis was on prestige until World War I. Following that war, Renault offered three updated fours, accounting for most… Read more