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


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


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


. 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


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


When introduced in 1969 the mid-engined Volkswagen-Porsche 914 showed that the traditional British roadsters from MG and Triumph had rested on their laurels for too long and were now hopelessly outmoded. Breaking into the American market had long been the key to success for any sportscar with sales success in the USA virtually guaranteeing a profitable production run. By the end of the 1960s Porsche and Jensen both planned to add cars to that list and both would do so in conjunction with another well-known name. Volkswagen and Porsche have… Read more


At the top end of the Fulvia range, Lancia offered a 1298cc version of its narrow-angled V4 overhead camshaft engine, supplementing the 1216cc and 1091cc versions. The 1.3-litre came in two forms for two variants of the Fulvia couple. The Rallye 1.3 used a 9 to 1 compression engine producing 65kW at 6000rpm and the Rallye 1.3HF produced 75kW at the same rpm, with the aid of a 10.5 to 1 compression ratio, high-lift cams, larger valves with stronger springs, different pistons and lightened flywheel. The 65kW engine was installed… Read more


To aid post-World War II recovery of the motor car industry in general and the motor racing business in particular Piero Dusio, an Italian businessman, established a small firm in Turin to concentrate on car racing and body design. As production of the Fiat 1100 had been restarted and stock was becoming readily-available he chose the Fiat 1100 engine, modified to yield 37kW or 45kW as the basis of his design, fitting them to a single seater sports car using a tubular space frame and suspension of advanced design. For… Read more

BMW 328

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


The AMC Javelin was released in the American autumn of 1967 and was intended to finally give AMC a car to counter the Mustang. It was born from the marriage of Nash, Rambler and Hudson and followed a series of cars released after the Mustang first appeared in 1965, none of which were any match for it either in looks or performance. In its SST form the Javelin had a 5.62-litre 209kW V8 motor which placed it in between Mustang’s highest and lowest output and closely aligned it with its… Read more