First published in 2019 by Murray Books (Australia) www.murraybooks.com
Copyright ÂŠ 2019 Murray Books (Australia) Copyright ÂŠ 2019 Peter Murray ISBN: 978-0-9871735-6-0
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History of the Car As long ago as 1807, a hydrogen fuelled internal combustion automobile was invented, and it took another 80 years for Karl Benz to invent both the gasoline powered car and the concept of the ‘production’ vehicle. The 19th century was a time of great technological change in the Developed World, and the motor car entered the following century to experience a massive leap forward with the advent of World War I. By the time the next World War began, the motor car had become a popular domestic and commercial means of travel, and names such as Austin, Bugatti, Lancia, Alvis, Citroën, Morris, Volkswagen, Rolls Royce and Ford were already commonplace on the roads. By the 1950s, cars came in beautiful colours and were streamlined for aesthetic and performance purposes. Diminutive European cars were produced for the budget conscious, while the USA began manufacturing leviathans that shone with chrome. When the 1960s arrived, Europe, the USA and Japan were all producing cars that began crossing borders in terms of popularity. The British Mini was equally at home with the French Citroën, the Japanese Mazda and the American Ford, and the number of available marques was enormous. By the time the 1970s dawned, the world’s car industry was in decline, but not before having produced some of the most iconic vehicles in the history of automotive design. For a few decades of the 20th century, man’s most beautiful motoring creations came into being, and they remain today as icons of the incredible relationship between automotive design and engineering. Great stylists such as Pininfarina, Bertoni, Spada, Lyons, Michelotti, Le Quément and Buehrig created machines that set the benchmark for the future of car design beyond the first Bugattis, Jaguars, Mustangs, Maseratis, Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Porsches. Those early designs turned heads on the world’s streets and racetracks and continue to turn heads today in their original form or as the descendants of the world’s greatest cars.
Early Motoring The first cars came into existence in England in the mid 19th century when steam powered vehicles lumbered along carriage tracks and terrified pedestrians and horses. The â€˜Red Flag Actâ€™ dictated that all vehicles should be preceded by a man waving a red flag and remain under four miles per hour at all times. Fortunately, when motor cars became more common, the rule disappeared. France was the first country to introduce licence plates in 1893, and the Dutch took the concept a step further to introduce a national system of vehicle registration. By 1910, several countries demanded that drivers have driving licences, and reckless driving became punishable by law. Before the 1920s, it was rare to see a woman at the wheel, but that changed as the Womenâ€™s Suffrage Movement grew. As cars became more powerful, motor racing began in earnest, and many domestic vehicles came out of the racing industry. Driving was a dirty business in its formative years, and most drivers wore large dustcoats, goggles and caps to protect themselves and arrive at their destinations clean. As more cars began to populate roads, gas operated traffic lights were introduced in England, and other countries soon followed suit. A system of traffic signs then appeared in Southern Europe, warning motorists of possible hazards, as well as determining the maximum speed limit. As different countries became accustomed to motoring, a difference of opinion began to emerge, and it revolved around which side of the road a car should drive along. England adopted the earlier Roman system of driving on the left-hand side, which had been the horse riding custom for centuries (generally, most people were right handed and could use their right arm to fend off attack). Europe and America preferred the right hand side of the road, as wagons were already using that side as a means of convenience. By the time that the design and engineering of motor cars was at its peak, the rules were in place and motorists were comfortable with a means of transport that had been only a dream half a century earlier.
The Great Designers When the motor car was first built, practicality was foremost in the minds of its inventors. Once the basic concept of motor car engineering became accepted, different car makers began to think about distinguishing themselves from their competitors, and so the car designer came into existence. All of the great designers of the 1950s and 1960s were born in the late 19th and early 20th century, and they each grew up alongside the very first motor cars. It is no surprise that the boys who ran alongside those early, noisy rectangular creations would one day become the coachbuilders of the post war years. Flaminio Bertoni was a sculptor before becoming an industrial designer, and was responsible for France’s Citroën Traction Avant. Giovanni Michelotti designed for Ferrari, Maserati, Triumph and Lancia, and many consider his work to be the best in Europe. Battista Pinninfarina worked in a body shop from the age of 12 and became one of the world’s most successful and prolific designers, specialising in sports cars. The Bugatti family produced father and son designers, Ettore and Gianoberto (known as Jean), and their designs led to the world’s most successful touring racers. In Germany, Ferdinand Porsche did not live to see the best of vehicle design in the 1950s and 1960s, but he gave the world early Volkswagens and Mercedes cars. America’s Gordon Miller Buehrig was also a great designer, becoming Duesenberg’s chief designer at age 25 and progressing to produce the Auburn Speedster. Following in the footsteps of the first true motor car designers were a second generation of greats, including Ercole Spada, whose creations included vehicles for Ferrari, Aston Martin, Maserati, Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo. In England, Sir Alexander Issigonis stunned the world when he unveiled the Mini for the British Motor Corporation and continued in the footsteps of Jaguar’s great designer, Sir William Lyons. France’s Patrick Le Quément joined Simca in 1966 before becoming Renault’s chief designer, while Marcello Gandini joined Gruppo Bertone to design for Lamborghini among others. By the time the 1960s were finished, the world had seen many iconic designs become a reality, but while the industry changed globally, up and coming designers such as Italy’s Bruno Sacco delivered innovate designs that would see the car continue to evolve.
Cars in Sport The world’s first official motor race took place in France in 1894. The Paris-Rouen Motor Race was advertised as a ‘Concours des Voitures sans Chevaux’, and 102 competitors paid 10 francs each to take part. The field was reduced to 25 starters after trials, and the winning vehicles were Peugot and Panhard cars. In the following year, the Paris-BordeauxParis race was held, and by the following year, America held its first motor race in Chicago. It was France that led motor racing throughout the world, introducing races that began and ended in Paris on routes that crossed through nearby countries. By 1907, the Peking to Paris race was staged over nearly 10,000 miles, followed the next year by the 22,000 mile New York to Paris race. With the general public caught up in the thrill of motor racing, the purpose-built race track soon came into existence in Europe, America and England, and many great races were held, punctuated only by war. Of those races, Le Mans and NASCAR are two that continue to run today. As the 1950s dawned, the sports car continued to feature on the race track, and many racing models were modified to become domestic cars that were keenly sought after by the general public. Hybrid vehicles were also beginning to emerge on the racetrack, with American engines fitted into the chassis of European and British cars, and the introduction of differing racing classes and types of races that suited the wide variety of cars designed and manufactured. Rallying, endurance racing, drag racing, touring car racing and many other types all attracted new fans, and each racing type featured famous drivers and equally famous racetracks. By the end of the 20th century, motor racing had become almost as popular as football for the spectator, and it continues to capture the imagination and passion of millions worldwide. Since the introduction of Formula One Racing, advancements made by such sports car manufacturers as Ferrari, McLaren and others have seen the racing car make the transition from track vehicle to elite production car. Supercars, Hypercars and hybrid performance vehicles all have their roots in the Formula One laboratory, which is a welcome and nostalgic return to the very beginnings of the automobile industry. Today, the industry bears the hallmarks of a time when such names as Austin, Bugatti, Lancia and Citroën won the hearts of motor racing enthusiasts and ultimately set the standard for the future of domestic motoring around the world.
Future Designs Battery operated cars are not a new motoring concept, but late 19th century designs failed to gain popularity and fell by the wayside for another century. By the middle of the 20th century, the thought of keyless car entry, airbag systems, reversing cameras and petrol without lead was merely a dream of car enthusiasts while designers and engineers worked to make them a reality. Today, we continue to dream about the future of the motor car and how we might be driving around in another century - and the possibilities are endless. Driverless cars are currently the talk of the automotive industry, and it is believed they could become a reality by 2020. Systems that take over from a driver in case of a mechanical emergency are already in existence in a small part, but designers envisage that developing sensor technology will lead to allowing the car the final say in emergency situations. Fingerprint technology is expected to take over from keyless entry in the next few decades, although some designers favour retina scanning as a safer and more secure means of entry. Another technology that exists today is Vehicle Tracking, and it is used mainly by commercial entities that require its staff to drive company cars. Insurance companies are currently pushing the boundaries of vehicle tracking systems, and are expected to demand the technology as part of future motor vehicle insurance packages. If that isnâ€™t enough, Heads-Up-Display technology on windscreens as part of a safety and navigation system is believed to become a reality, as is a system capable of monitoring the health of a driver and stopping a car during a medical emergency. The car will even call for an ambulance if seatbelt sensors indicate that a heart attack is in progress. As it was in the middle of the 20th century, the future of car design is exciting and promises to deliver ensuing generations a safer and more environmentally friendly drive. Many of todayâ€™s motorists might consider some of the proposed technologies restrictive, but their forebears once frowned upon the first traffic lights and the introduction of seatbelts. Progress is essential in car manufacturing, and todayâ€™s designers are committed to continuing the ongoing quest for the perfect car.
Lamborghini Luxury sports car manufacturer Lamborghini was established in 1963 as a direct competitor to Ferrari and similar marques. Lamborghini came to prominence in 1966 when it unveiled the sensational Miura sports coupé, a rear/mid-engined performance car that took the sports car world by storm. In the following year, the company unveiled a range of vehicles that included the Miura and the 400 GT 2 +2. The 1973 Oil Crisis affected many performance car manufacturers, and while Lamborghini was not exempt, they nevertheless introduced the Countach, the Jarama S, the Espada Series III and the Urraco S in the following year. Designers continued to turn out beautiful vehicles regardless of the economic climate, and they worked hard to produce innovative models while investigating new concepts and materials. By 1990, the two-wheel drive Diablo had arrived, and within three years, the four-wheel drive version was unveiled and set the standard for the company’s future designs. In 2001, the Murciélago greeted the motoring world with 580 horsepower of sensational performance and a concept version known as the Barchetta. The V10 Gallardo bridged the divide between sports racing and domestic motoring in 2003, while a limited edition Murciélago Roadster celebrated the company’s 40th birthday. Driveable concept cars soon followed, and with the inspirational de’ Silva on board as a designer, Lamborghini’s reputation for class, style and performance continued to grow in a new design era. Today, Lamborghini produces two luxury sports vehicles - the V10 Huracán and the V12 Aventador.
The Lamborghini Miura was first unveiled in 1966 and immediately changed the face of high performance sports car design. When it was first released, the Miura was the fastest production car on the road.
The CitroĂŤn 2CV was produced between 1948 and 1990 and saw sales of nearly nine million units in its lifetime. Economical price and fuel consumption, along with a soft suspension and mechanical simplicity were the hallmarks of the iconic car's success.
Citroën In 1919, André-Gustave Citroën founded an automobile manufacturing company that would become an integral part of France’s modern history. By 1934, the company had released its Traction Avant, which would serve as the Citroën flagship model until 1955. The Traction Avant was revolutionary for its time, being the first mass produced frontwheel drive motor car and one of the forerunners in the design of a unitary-type body. Innovation continued to dominate at Citroën with the design and manufacture of the Citroën DS, and when it was unveiled in 1955, it was a sensation on four wheels. Swivelling headlights, modern disc brakes and a self-levelling suspension system were all considered to be revolutionary, and Citroën subsequently moved from one successful marque to another. Citroën is also a renowned name in motor sport, and it has won the World Touring Car Championship and the World Rally Championship, with the latter amounting to eight trophies. Between the 1950s and the 2000s, Citroën has continued to adapt to changing times to deliver a range of iconic vehicles that are part of France’s DNA. By 2009, the company enjoyed its 90th anniversary in the knowledge that there is still so much more to be developed, designed and considered in an ever changing global motoring environment. The company’s elite showroom sits along Paris’ Champs Elysées and continues to attract admirers of its domestic vehicles and its sensational, groundbreaking concept cars.
Range Rover The Range Rover is the flagship model for Land Rover, and its name is synonymous with quality in the world of high-end 4WD motoring. The original Range Rover was released in 1970, and its first generation ran successfully until 1996. Originally a two-door model, 1981 saw the introduction of four doors. The Range Rover was not originally intended to be a luxury vehicle, and its early interior design was thus reasonably spartan and designed like the Land Rover to take a spray down on the inside after a day in the mud. The second generation was released with a Rover V8 type engine under the bonnet, while the third generation arrived in 2002 and set its sights on the upper end of the SUV/4WD market. By that time, the marque was under the ownership of BMW, and it thus shared a certain amount of componentry and systems designs with BMW’s 7-series vehicles. The Range Rover became an automatic-only vehicle at that point in its history, and during the course of the model’s development, the BMW 5-series’ electronics were incorporated. In 2012, the fourth generation Range Rover was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, and a year later, the model’s hybrid version was released to reveal a diesel-powered hybrid electric car that set the tone for future design. Today, the Range Rover Evoque is the marque’s flagship. It has been designed to satisfy the growing demand for a vehicle that can be driven both offroad and in an urban environment, and its compact lines have set the standard for future compact SUV design.
The luxury compact Range Rover Evoque was originally released by Land Rover in 2011 to satisfy demands for fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions. It was an immediate hit with the urban motorist and sold over 80,000 units in its first year of production.
LaFerrari was unveiled in 2013 as a hybrid sports car. Costing over USD $1 million each, nearly 500 units have been sold. The car weighs only 1.2 tonnes.
Ferrari The ruling marque in sports car manufacture has been Ferrari since its inception by Enzo Ferrari in 1939. Initially known as ‘Auto Avio Costruzioni’, the company’s first true Ferrari was unveiled in 1947 after the end of WWII. The Ferrari 125 S saw the realisation of Enzo Ferrari’s dream that began to take hold when he drove racing cars for Alfa Romeo in the 1920s. Within five years of taking to the race track for Alfa, Ferrari founded his own racing brand when he opened the doors of Scuderia Ferrari in Modena, Italy. When he left Alfa Romeo to concentrate on his own future, it took only a year before the 8-cylinder 815 Spider (one of only two made) came into being. With the advent of WWII, the dream was put on hold until the 125 S arrived in 1947. In that year, the sports car won the Rome Grand Prix and a legend was born. Ferrari soon began making road cars as well as sports cars, and in the decades to follow, names such as Inter, America and Europa became legendary. In the late 1960s, the emergence of such iconic models as the Dino, the 365 California and the 365 Daytona kindled the imagination of a new generation of car enthusiasts, and the Ferrari name became synonymous with the very best in motoring and motor sports. On the track, Ferrari continued to dominate with F1 Drivers’ World Titles, F1 Constructors’ World Titles, Sports Car Manufacturers’ World Titles, along with victories in the Mille Miglia, the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Targa Florio. Today, Ferrari continues as the most prestigious name on the F1 racetrack while its plans for the road include the fastest accelerating 4WD ever produced.
Maserati's latest stunning new sports cars include the Quattroporte, the Ghibli. the Gran Turismo, the Gran Cabrio, the Lavente and the Alfieri. The latter name honours one of the founding Maserati brothers.
Maserati Maserati began life in Bologna, Italy in 1914 as WWI took hold and began to change the face of Western Europe. Five brothers, Bindo, Alfieri, Ettore and Carlo and Ernesto Maserati, pooled their collective knowledge and experience in building Grand Prix cars and founded a motoring dynasty that began with a win in the Targa Florio in 1926. Soon, the company went into building cars that sported numerous cylinder variations (including two parallel straight-eights that made up a 16 cylinder engine). From that point on, Maserati set the standard for luxury sports racers that would eventually be emulated by great names such as Ferrari and Lamborghini. The company soon began producing cars that were the embodiment of luxury and power, and each was recognisable by the trident logo sitting proudly on the carâ€™s body. Italian styling remains the hallmark of Maserati, which is now under new ownership, and the brand has never faltered in delivering the discerning luxury motorist with dream cars designed to stimulate the senses. Today, the release of a new Maserati is a hotly anticipated event that attracts thousands of prospective buyers with the finances to realise their dreams. That anticipation is born of Maseratiâ€™s early history of delivering beauty and performance, and of its recent history in the creation of such vehicles as the Quattroporte, the Ghibli and the GranTurismo. Most recently, two new exciting additions to the stable include the companyâ€™s first SUV in the form of the Maserati Levante and the 2+2 Maserati Alfieri.
The Maserati 450S was produced between 1956 and 1958. Only nine units were produced, and the car was raced in the World Sportscar Championship. The body design was the work of Valerio Colotti.
The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupĂŠ is a compact executive car first released in 1992. The latest generation was released in 2014 as a fastback that retains classic Mercedes lines.
The Karmann Ghia combined the chassis and mechanicals of the Type 1 (Beetle) with styling by Luigi Segre of the Italian carrozzeria Ghia and hand-built bodywork by the German coach-builder Karmann.
The Porsche 911 Turbo is a 911 model in the company's hugely successful line that began with a few sketches in 1959 and continues today in many forms. The sporty 1978 version was an enormous success from the moment it was first unveiled.
Porsche In 1931, Ferdinand Porsche founded a new car consultancy business in Stuttgart and immediately received an assignment to build a car for the people - a â€˜Volkswagenâ€™. Porsche complied and delivered the iconic Volkswagen Beetle before WWII interrupted all but military manufacturing activities. Following the war, Porsche designed his first car using Beetle components, and as parts supply became more accessible, he developed his car into the Porsche 356. The result was a sleek, rear-engined, air-cooled vehicle that immediately set the benchmark for German car manufacturing. By 1950, the 356 had its own Porsche designed and built engine and continued in production until 1964 while Porsche began to develop dedicated racing cars. At that point, the company released a new model that would last longer than any others in the automotive industry and define the company well into the future - the Porsche 911. Successful both on and off-road, the 911 was one of several Porsche models that became immensely popular around the world. The 911 evolved over the ensuing years, and models included the 911 S, the 911 Turbo, the 911 Cabriolet and the all-wheel drive 911 Carrera. In the 1970s, a number of front-engined models appeared in the form of the 924, the 928, the 944 and the 948. In 1995, Porsche began focussing on the 911 and the Boxter. By the end of the century, the company had a new SUV, a bigger Boxter, the 911 Turbo and the Carrera GT. The latter is powered by a V-10 naturally aspirated 5.5 litre engine.
The BMW i8 is a hybrid car that began life as a concept. Capable of reaching 250 km/h, its 0 to 100 km/h time is only 4.4 seconds. In terms of fuel efficiency, it uses 2.1 litres per100 km and produces low carbon emissions.
BMW Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) was established in 1916 and manufactured military aircraft until the terms of the Versailles Treaty saw it redirected to motorcycle production. In 1928, the company took over the Dixi Company and began producing its first production car - the BMW Dixi 3/15 PS. The Dixi was a profitable model for the company, and it was ultimately modified for motor racing in 1930. The first true BMW arrived in 1932 with the BMW AM 4, and by 1936, the MW 328 arrived to become one of the company’s most popular pre-war models. WWII and its aftermath saw the virtual destruction of BMW, and by the time the BMW 501 was released in 1951, the brand was a shadow of its former self. In 1955, the release of the Isetta 250 saw the fortunes of BMW begin to change, and the following year saw the arrival of the BMW 507 and a successful decade producing the 5-series cars. The company’s fortunes rose and fell in the 1970s, but the decade saw the release of the 3-series in 1975 and the 7-series in 1977. By the 1990s, BMW has expanded its operations to establish manufacturing facilities in the USA and South Africa, and exports worldwide were on the rise. The Zseries arrived with a new incarnation of James Bond, while the 3, 5 and 7 series continued to achieve successful sales figures as a result of the company’s record for excellence in luxury motor vehicle design and manufacture. Today, BMW continues to release models that include family cars, estates, SUVs, coupés and sports cars.
The Mercedes Benz CLK DTM AMG is a limited edition version of the C209 CLK. It is a road version of the Touring Car DTM and was initially only produced in 2004 for the benefit of those invited to purchase one.
Mercedes Benz Mercedes Benz began life when Karl Benz produced the world’s first petrol fuelled car in 1886. The Benz Patent-Motorwagen achieved what countless other companies around the world were racing towards, and by 1901 the first Mercedes automobile found its way into the motoring market by way of Daimler Motoren-Gesellschaft. The brand name was not used until 1926 when the two companies merged and Karl Benz’s surname partnered with Gottlieb Daimler - and the Daimler-Benz company was born. Under the Daimler-Benz umbrella, the company produced their 770 model in the 1930s, and finished the decade by finding themselves at war. Following Germany’s rebuilding in the late 1940s, the company released its first model, the Mercedes-Benz W136, in 1947. The initial high volume purchaser demanded that his daughter’s name be included on the model as part of the deal, and so ‘Mercedes’ joined Benz. The W136 continued into the middle of the 1950s before the iconic and classic 190SL and the ‘Gullwing’ 300 SL were released among other four and six cylinder models. The 300SL was released as both a coupé and a roadster. The 1960s saw many stylish luxury models released, including the 230SL ‘Pagoda’, while the 1970s witnessed the arrival of the R107 and C107 models that enjoyed a spectacular run from 1971 until 1989. Larger capacity vehicles marked the 1980s as a result of American demand, and the 1990s and 2000s heralded a design shift that gradually saw the marque reach the top of its field in smaller and more economical luxury cars. Today, the name Mercedes-Benz is synonymous with performance, luxury and quality in both road and sports cars, and shows no sign of abating.
The Rolls-Royce Wraith was released in 2013. Its name is inspired by the Scottish term for 'Spirit' and acknowledges the 1938 Rolls-Royce built by the inaugural Rolls-Royce company.
Rolls-Royce Rolls-Royce Limited came into being in 1906 when the partnership between Charles Rolls and Sir Frederick Royce resulted in establishing the Rolls-Royce brand. After releasing the 1906 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, the name of the company would be forever linked with that of the highest echelons in luxury motoring. Following the end of WWI, the company released the iconic 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom, which was upgraded in 1929 and again in 1936. At the beginning of WWII, the Rolls-Royce Wraith came into being, and it was followed up in 1945 by the Silver Wraith. The Silver Dawn followed in 1949, while 1950 saw the Phantom IV unveiled. Five years, later, the Silver Cloud arrived, followed in five year intervals by the Phantom V and the Silver Shadow. The final Rolls-Royce made by the original company was the Phantom VI in 1972, before Rolls-Royce Motors was established in 1973. A Pinninfarina styled body graced the Rolls-Royce Camargue in 1975, and the Silver Spirit/Spur arrived in 1980. Volkswagen took over Rolls-Royce in 1998 and produced the Silver Seraph, followed by the Corniche V in 2000 and the Phantom in 2003. Today, it is the Rolls-Royce Motor Company Limited that produces the worldâ€™s most luxurious cars. The Phantom has been released in four different versions since 2003, while the Ghost has seen two incarnations. The new Wraith coupĂŠ was unveiled in 2013, and 2015 witnessed the release of the Rolls-Royce Dawn.
Bugatti France’s most iconic sports car brand is Bugatti, which came into being as Automobiles Ettore Bugatti in the former German Alsace region in 1909. Ettore Bugatti was the son of a renowned Art Nouveau designer, and he inherited his father’s flair for the creative and turned his talents to the design of automobiles. Bugattis were enormously successful on the race track, and by 1924, the Bugatti Type 25 became one of history’s most successful racing cars when it clocked up more than 2,000 race wins. The car was the result of a collaboration between the company and Jean Chassagne, a successful racing driver. Chassagne was the car’s inaugural race driver. Between 1926 and 1929, Bugatti took out the Targa Floria in every single year. It was also a Bugatti that saw victory in the 1929 Monaco Grand Prix and the 1937 and 1939 24 Hours of Le Mans. Throughout the ensuing decades, Bugatti continued in winning form with models such as the Type 41 Royale, the Type 55 Sports Car and the Type 57 Atlantic. The original company was consigned to history after the death of Ettore Bugatti, but Volkswagen acquired the Bugatti brand in 1998 and debuted the company’s first Bugatti as a concept car in 1999. Subsequent models followed, and in 2005, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 was unveiled .
The Bugatti Veyron holds the record as the world's fastest street-legal production car. It has been clocked at a top speed of 431.072 km/h. The model enjoyed a production run that lasted for four years between 2010 and 2014.
The Jaguar E-Type Series 3 was released in 1971, sporting a 5.3 litre V-12 engine. The engine was a design created for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and fuel was delivered by four Zenith carburetors.
Jaguar In 1922, the Swallow Sidecar Company began making sidecars for motorcycles before becoming a bodywork manufacturer for automobiles. Expansion saw the company making cars under the name of S.S. Cars Limited, and many models bore the ‘Jaguar’ name. Following WWII, the British company changed its name to Jaguar Cars as a result of what the ‘SS’ term then meant to the world. Jaguar’s post war design strength was due to its advanced engine design, sleek styling and racing success. The XK 120, 140 and 150 were developed to deliver enormous speed capabilities that topped 120, 140 and 150 miles per hour respectively, while the Mk I and II saloons remain iconic today as motoring giants. By 1961, Jaguar delivered what is touted as the world’s most beautiful sports car - the E-Type. Racing models in the form of the D-Type were victorious at Le Mans, and most of that success was reliant upon the Twin OHC engines developed from 1948 onwards. Consistent racetrack wins kept Jaguar at the forefront of motoring while the 3.0 and 3.5 litre Mark VII, VIII and IX were unveiled to an appreciative public. The late 1960s saw the release of the carmaker’s XJ range, and that culminated in the XJ6, which became one of the company’s most iconic modern cars. The S-Type compact executive vehicles followed in the 1990s, along with the X-Type, and today’s offerings include sports, racing, compact and large executive models, as well as concept cars that continue to inspire.
Aston Martin Aston Martin was founded in 1913 in Britain, and following WWI, the company began developing racing cars to compete in the French Grand Prix and other prestigious races. The company saw a number of successful models prominent in motor racing, but it wasn’t until the post WWII years that Aston Martin began to shine as a notable manufacturer. In 1947, David Brown Limited, a tractor manufacturer, purchased both Aston Martin and Lagonda and began designing the iconic Aston Martin ‘DB’ series. In 1950, the DB2 was released, followed up by subsequent DB racing models. When the DB4 was released in the early 1960s, it heralded the beginning of a legend in sports grand tourers. The Aston Martin DB5 became the manufacturer’s most famous model when it graced movie screens as the vehicle of choice for James Bond, and was followed by the DB6 in 1965 and the DBS in 1967. A series of new owners saw the company emerge from the troubled 1970s with a new model - the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. The Volante followed the Vantage a year later, and by 1980, a new Lagonda saloon arrived. By the time the 21st century arrived, Aston Martin had managed to survive a shrinking market to emerge with verve and a series of models that again inspired millions with their styling and performance capabilities. Those models include the V8 and V12 Vantage, the DB9, the Vanqish and Vanquish Volante models, the Rapide S, the Vulcan and the DB11.
The Aston Martin DB4 was first released in 1958 and continued in production until replaced by the DB5 in 1963.The body shape for the DB4 was markedly different from its predecessor's - the DB Mark III.
The carbon fibre bodied Alfa Romeo 4C is a lightweight sports car available in spider and coupĂŠ variants. Weighing only 895 kg, it was the first Alfa Romeo to be mass produced in the USA.
Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo Automobiles S.p.A. first came into existence as a motor racing designer and manufacturer in 1910. The word ‘Alfa’ is actually an acronym for ‘Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili’, or ‘Anonymous Lombard Automobile Factory’. Technological advancement quickly became the Alfa Romeo hallmark, and by 1914, the company was building and racing DOHC engines. Alfa Romeo released its 6C 1500 Sport for road use in 1928, and the car came with one of the world’s very first fuel injection systems. Under the Mussolini Government, Alfa Romeo became state owned, and in the post WWII years, the company struggled to regain its independence. 1954 was a turning point when Alfa developed its twin-cam engine, which would carry an impressive range of automobiles for the ensuing forty years. Initially producing small family cars, Alfa Romeo began building sporty models in the 1960s and 1970s, and its heritage as a racing marque that once included the great Enzo Ferrari again resurfaced. In its lifetime, Alfa Romeo has produced some of the most successful racing cars in history, including winners in Grand Prix, F1, touring and rallying. Alfa has continually used Italian design houses to style its iconic car bodies, and designers hail from Bertone, Pininfarina and Zagato among others.
Audi Audi’s famous four-ring badge was born in 1932 when the carmaker merged with DKW, Horch and Wanderer to become Germany’s Auto Union AG, Chemnitz. Pioneering work in producing front-wheel drive six-cylinder vehicles followed, but the German economic climate of the 1930s and the ensuing war would see the name of Audi disappear until the 1960s. In late 1965, Volkswagen developed a vehicle that used a DKW engine and was initially sold as the F103 but was later branded as an Audi. Further development saw the release of the Audi models 60, 75, 80 (Fox) and the Super 90, which sold well through to the early 1970s. In 1968, the Audi 100 was launched, and Audi’s Fox became the basis for Volkswagen’s Passat while the ensuing Audi 50 became the Volkswagen Polo. Throughout the 1980s, Audi produced numerous models, but it was in the 1990s that the manufacturer went from sedate to sensational. It began with the high performing Audi A2, and continued in 1995 with the release of the A4. By the 2000s, Audi was renowned for its radical coupé, the Audi TT, and the company then produced iconic saloons, sports cars, racing models and SUVs. Today, Audi’s most popular sports models and racing cars include the RS7 Sportback, the TT RS coupé and roadster, the TTS compact coupé and roadster, the S7 Sportback and the full size S8 saloon.
In 2007, Audi's R8 racing car became a road car. The design was based on the Le Mans quattro concept car that had been unveiled in 2003.
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