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  • Porsche 912
    Open Group Porsche 2 Members
    Porsche 912 Club first gen pre-impact bumpers

    912 (1965-1969)

    In the early 1960s, Porsche was planning to discontinue the Type 356, which would leave them with the newly-introduced Type 911 as their only product. Concerned that the considerable price increase of a 911 with flat opposed six-cylinder powerplant over the... 356 would cost the company sales and narrow brand appeal, in 1963 Porsche executives decided to introduce a new four-cylinder entry-level model. Like the 911 (original internal factory designation "901"), the four-cylinder 912 was originally known at Zuffenhausen by a number with a zero in the middle, but the "902" designation was never used publicly. ("912" as project number was used after 1968 to indicate the 12 cylinder flat opposed engine developed for Porsche 917 racing car)

    In 1963, Porsche assigned Dan Schwartz, later Chief Departmental Manager for Development, Mechanics, a project to oversee design and construction of a new horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine for the 902, utilizing components from the new 901 six-cylinder engine, that would produce higher performance than their 356SC engine, and be less costly and complex than their Carrera 2 engine. Another option explored by Claus von Rücker was to increase displacement of the 356 Type 616 engine to 1.8 liters, add Kugelfischer fuel injection, and modify both valve and cooling systems. Considering performance, cost, and scheduling, Porsche discontinued both of these design projects, and instead developed a third option, to tailor the 1.6 liter Type 616 engine to the 902.

    Before 911 production commenced in 1964, the Porsche Vehicle Research Department had set aside chassis numbers 13328, 13329, 13330, 13352, and 13386 through 13397 for research testing of the 902; research vehicle Serial Number 13394 is the oldest 902 known to exist today. In production form, the Type 912 combined a 911 chassis / bodyshell with the 1.6L, four-cylinder, push-rod Type 616/36 engine, based upon the Type 616/16 engine used in the Type 356SC of 1964-1965. With a lower compression ratio and new Solex carburetors, the Type 616/36 engine produced five less horsepower than the 616/16, but delivered about the same maximum torque at 3,500 rpm versus 4200rpm for the 616/16.

    Compared to the 911, the resulting production Type 912 vehicle demonstrated superior weight distribution, handling, and range. To bring 912 pricing close to the 356, Porsche also deleted some features standard on the 911. As production of the 356 concluded in 1965, on April 5, 1965 Porsche officially began production of the 912 coupé.

    Styling, performance, quality construction, reliability, and price made the 912 a very attractive buy to both new and old customers, and it substantially outsold the 911 during the first few years of production. Porsche produced nearly 30,000 912 coupé units and about 2500 912 Targa body style units (Porsche's patented variation of a cabriolet) during a five-year manufacturing run.


    Porsche 912 Targa

    Production of the Targa, complete with removable roof and heavy transparent plastic rear windows openable with a zipper (later called 'Version I' by Porsche and the 'soft-window Targa' by enthusiasts), commenced in December 1966 as a 1967 model. In January 1968, Porsche also made available a Targa 'Version II' option ('hard window Targa') with fixed glass rear window, transforming the Targa into a coupé with removable roof.

    The 912 was also made in a special version for the German autobahn police (polizei); the 100,000th Porsche car was a 912 Targa for the police of Baden-Württemberg, the home state of Porsche.

    In the April 1967 edition, the Porsche factory's Christophorus Magazine noted: "On 21 December 1966, Porsche celebrated a particularly proud anniversary. The 100,000th Porsche, a 912 Targa outfitted for the police, was delivered." Porsche executives decided that after the 1969 model year, continuation of 912 production would not be viable, due to both internal and external factors. First, production facilities used for the 912 were reallocated to a new 914-6, a six-cylinder high performance version of the Porsche 914, Porsche-Volkswagen joint effort vehicle. Second, the 911 platform had returned to Porsche's traditional three performance-level ladder, including a most powerful 911S, a fuel-injected 911E, and a base model 911T, with pricing largely in line with market expectations. Third, more stringent United States engine emission control regulations also had a bearing on the decision; Ferry Porsche stated "It would have taken some trouble to prepare the 912 for the new exhaust rules, and with the arrival of the 914 we would have had three different engines to keep current. That was too many.
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    Joe Williams Saturday, 08 September 2018
  • Austin A35
    Open Group Austin 2 Members
    Manufacturer Austin (BMC)
    Production 1956–1959 (saloon)
    1956–1962 (estate)
    1956–1968 (van)
    Mike Renaut Sunday, 02 September 2018
  • Jaguar XF X250
    Open Group Jaguar 2 Members
    Jaguar XF (X250) 2007-2015
    Alan Lovell Friday, 31 August 2018
  • Volkswagen Scirocco MkIII Typ 13
    Open Group Volkswagen 2 Members
    Third generation 2008-2017 Volkswagen Scirocco Typ 13 MkIII
    Elliott Roberts Friday, 24 August 2018
  • Ford Cortina Mk3 /Taunus TC
    Open Group Ford 1 Member
    Ford Cortina Mk3 /Taunus TC
    Daniel Bevis Sunday, 19 August 2018
  • Nissan Datsun Sunny Truck B120 series
    Open Group Nissan 1 Member
    Nissan Datsun Sunny Truck B120 series
    Daniel Bevis Sunday, 19 August 2018
  • Fiat 500 Type 312
    Open Group Fiat 1 Member
    2007 - 2014 Fiat 500
    Richard Dredge Tuesday, 14 August 2018
  • Mercedes-Benz CLK C209
    Open Group Mercedes 1 Member
    Mercedes-Benz CLK C209
    Quentin Willson Monday, 13 August 2018
  • Land Rover Defender
    Open Group Land Rover 1 Member
    Land Rover Defender
    Jerry Thurston Wednesday, 08 August 2018
  • MG Q-Type
    Open Group MG 1 Member
    MG Q-Type 1934
    Paul Bussey Wednesday, 08 August 2018
  • Toyota MR2 Roadster W30 Mk3
    Open Group Toyota 1 Member
    Toyota MR2 Roadster W30 third-generation
    Malcolm McKay Sunday, 05 August 2018
  • Toyota Supra JZA80 MkIV
    Open Group Toyota 3 Members
    Toyota Supra JZA80 MkIV 1993-2002
    Dan Goodyer Tuesday, 17 July 2018
  • Kia Stinger
    Open Group KIA 2 Members
    Kia-Stinger
    John Barker Saturday, 14 July 2018
  • Opel Manta A
    Open Group Vauxhall / Opel 1 Member
    1970 - 1975 The Manta A was released in September 1970, two months ahead of the then new Opel Ascona on which it was based. A competitor to the Ford Capri, it was a two-door "three-box" coupé, and featured distinctive round tail lights, quite similar to those on the Opel GT and which in fact were used on the GT in 1973, its final model year. It too...k its name, and a few minor styling cues, from the Manta Ray concept car (1961), which also famously influenced the 1968 Chevrolet Corvette C3 (both Chevrolet and Opel have General Motors as their parent company).

    In the UK market, the first Manta was sold only as an Opel: there was no Vauxhall-branded Manta (or Ascona) until after the launch, in 1975, of the Manta B1 and Ascona B. (In the UK the Ford Capri niche was contested, with only limited success, by Vauxhall's Firenza, based on the ageing Vauxhall Viva until 1975.)

    The sales approach for the Opel line in the U.S. market was equally unusual. The Manta A was one of only a few Opel models sold in the U.S. Opels were imported by GM and sold through Buick dealerships and not their own dealership network, so they were limited in what makes and models they could sell there. Other Opel models sold in the U.S. were the 1956–1961 the Rekord P1 and Rekord P2, the Kadett A (1964–1966), Kadett B (1967–1971), GT (1969–1973), and the Manta / Ascona A (1971–1975). The Ascona A was the saloon version on the Manta A chassis and was sold in the U.S. under the "1900" name as a two-door and four-door saloon, and as a two-door "sport wagon". The only difference between the Ascona and Manta was exterior sheet metal, glass and trim. The frame, all the mechanicals, dash, front seats, and many other parts were shared between the cars. The Manta was even sold as the "1900 sport coupé" in 1971 and 1972, rather than as the "Manta". In 1973, the Manta nameplate was added to the U.S.-spec Mantas, but the Asconas kept the 1900 badge throughout their model life. The last year GM imported European-made Opels into the United States, under their marque, was 1975. In that year the only Opels imported were the Manta and Ascona A.

    The Manta was normally equipped with 1.6 or 1.9-litre CIH engine, although in Europe a small, 1.2-litre, motor was also offered. All Mantas sold in the U.S. had the 1.9 L and larger heavy duty radiator (an option on European models). It came with either a four-speed manual or an optional three-speed TH-180 automatic. The Manta was known to be one of the best-handling cars in its class and went on to win a large number of rallies in Europe and the United States.

    In the U.S. market, there was a sport model known as the "Rallye" from 1971 to 1974. The Rallye model was, overall, an appearance and gauge package, the most noticeable difference was the addition of a black hood and, on 1970–1973 models, the addition of fog lamps. Mechanically, the only difference was the gear ratios in the models with manual transmissions, and the Rallye model came with standard stiffer suspension, a tighter turning radius, and very aggressive front caster adjustments. Both had dual rear sway bars, providing exceptional handling.

    In 1973 and 1974 there was also the "Luxus" model, which included refinements like corduroy seats, colour-coded interiors (blue or burgundy), and faux wood panelling. The only special edition Manta ever produced for the U.S. market was the "Blue Max", in 1973. This amounted to a blue 1973 Luxus model, with a unique dark blue vinyl roof, mechanical sunroof, and automatic transmission.

    In 1975, all Manta and 1900 models were equipped with the Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection in the United States due to emission regulations. Yet in Europe this feature was only available on the high-end GT/E models, which also sported fog lamps and lower front spoilers, which were not offered on any of the U.S. spec Manta models. Also of note is that the 1974–75 Opel Manta models had large aluminium 5 mph (8 km/h) bumpers to comply with U.S. crash standards of the time; the European Mantas did not receive the large bumpers.

    With the Deutsche mark becoming stronger, and with other costs also rising, U.S. imports of Opels ended in 1975. Instead, the Isuzu Gemini version of the T-car was imported from Japan and sold by Buick dealers as the "Opel by Isuzu", later "Buick Opel". The Opel name was last used in the U.S. in 1979.[2]

    The European market had a number of different versions. Most were basic trim packages, the most popular being the "Berlinetta", which was similar to the Luxus but included rubber trim on the bumpers (standard on all 1973 U.S. Opel Mantas), vinyl roof, and other miscellaneous features. The one exception was the 1975 Opel, which offered the GT/E and a number of special editions based on the GT/E. The GT/E was a fuel-injected version of the European 1.9L and the performance figures were very impressive for the time. The most notable special editions models based on the GT/E were the "Black Magic" (with black and plaid interior) and the "Swinger" edition in white, also with an odd interior choice.

    Special Opel Manta A-series cars

    There were two different special models made of the Manta A. The primary objective was to increase the power of the car. Both projects started approximately at the same time (around 1972 or 1973). There was the Turbomanta and the TE2800.

    The Turbomanta is the rarer of the two. Production was a total of 33 cars, with five of them being prototypes and the ones used for public relations.

    The Turbomanta was actually a 1973 SR with a 1.9-litre "S" spec engine, originally putting out 90 bhp (67 kW). The British company Broadspeed was chosen to build the turbo cars, and eventually started building five left-hand drive cars for the German Opel AG. These cars were meant only as prototypes. Broadspeed came up with a somewhat special solution, and used a combination of a Holset 3LDG turbocharger, and a carburettor mounted inside a big plenum chamber. The engine itself was fitted with a thicker copper head gasket, and as such the compression ratio was lowered to 7.6:1. The outcome was a 1.9-litre engine which generated 156 bhp (116 kW), with acceleration of 0–60 in 7.6 seconds. All five cars were in GM's "signalgelb" sunflower yellow, and had large black stripes on the side, where a sign said "Turbomanta". The downside to this was fuel consumption. The turbocharger had halved the economy of the car, and building it was also costly. Therefore Opel closed the project, leaving the five cars as the total production number. However a British engineer at the Dealer Opel Team (D.O.T.), which was the British importer and builder of Opel cars in Britain, was so enthusiastic about the cars that he had D.O.T. build an additional 28 cars. The cars were all based on the 1974 luxury Berlinetta model, with full gauge packs, automatic transmissions, and alloy wheels. All 28 cars were black with vinyl roofing. The only thing identifying that the car was indeed a Turbo Manta was a small sign at the rear quarter of the rear wings saying "turbo". Very few of these cars still remain today.

    The TE2800 was a totally different project that Opel refused to endorse. A Belgian company called Transeurop Engineering also wanted to increase the engine power of the Manta A. Opel had previously tried a six-cylinder engine layout in 1971 and 1972, but with no success. The cars were deemed too expensive to build, and the market was overwhelmed at the time with big engine cars. But Transeurop Engineering did not agree, and a 2.8-litre CIH-type engine was essentially taken from the Opel Commodore 2.8GS model and fitted into the engine bay of the Manta 1.9SR. The radiator, the bonnet, the entire front end of the car, the rear axle, and the transmission all needed to be changed. To solve this quickly, Transeurop Engineering tried to get Opel to join the project using Opel's earlier experiences with the transformation, but with no success. Even worse for Transeurop, Opel did not even want the Opel brand on the cars if the project ever got off the ground. Transeurop Engineering therefore turned to Opel's best tuner of the time, Steinmetz. They supplied a new fibreglass bonnet with a large bulge on it to make room for the engine, a set of widened arches, and a special front bumper integrated with the lower front spoiler, all to make room for the dramatic changes that needed to be made to the car's front end construction. Much of the front was cut out and replaced with other parts being mounted further to the ground in order to give room for the radiator. A closed radiator system was installed so that the radiator had a water tank in the engine bay (like modern cars). The engine was still the 2.8-litre unit from the Commodore GS and this was originally fitted with two Zenith carburettors. The output was 142 bhp (106 kW), and with the Commodore four-speed manual gearbox and a 3.18:1 rear axle the car went from 0–60 mph in 7.5 seconds. A total of 79 cars were made and sold through Steinmetz in Germany, branded not as Opels but as TE2800s. All Opel badging was removed from the cars and replaced by the "TE" logo.

    Steinmetz offered a tune-up for rally and motorsport use. The tuning consisted of porting and flowing the head, a higher compression ratio, a race spec camshaft, and triple carburettors, giving the car up to 230 bhp (172 kW).

    Although the TE2800 is the fastest Manta A ever made, it is not officially an Opel. It could outrun cars like the 911 Carrera of 1973 and the BMW2002 turbo from 1973, even though those cars had more engine power. The low weight of the Manta bodyshell and the combination of the right gear ratios was what gave the car its success. However, the cars were very expensive, almost twice the price of a 105 bhp (78 kW) GT/E in 1975. Very few of these cars exist today, as most were used in rally and motorsport events.
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    Dan Furr Sunday, 08 July 2018
  •  BMW X5 G05
    Open Group BMW 1 Member
    BMW X5 G05 2018-2024
    Bob Harper Friday, 06 July 2018
  • Audi A5 F5
    Open Group Audi 2 Members
    Typbezeichnung F5 Audi A5 F5 second generation
    Mark Dixon Wednesday, 04 July 2018
  • Fiat Barchetta Tipo-183
    Open Group Fiat 2 Members
    Fiat Barchetta 1995-2002 / 2004-2005

    The Barchetta was developed between 1990 to 1994, under the project name Tipo B Spider 176. It was designed by Andreas Zapatinas and Alessandro Cavazza, under the supervision of Peter Barrett Davis and other car designers at the Centro Stile Fiat, and prototyping was carried out by Stola.
    <...br /> Production began in February 1995 and lasted until June 2005, with a brief pause, due to the bankruptcy of coachbuilder Maggiora. The Barchetta was based on the chassis of the Mark 1 Fiat Punto. The Barchetta has 1,747 cc DOHC petrol engine fitted with variable camshaft timing, used for the first time in a Fiat production car, after being patented in 1970.

    The engine has 132 PS (97 kW; 130 hp) and 164 N⋅m (121 lb⋅ft) of torque. The Barchetta weighs 1056 kg (2328 lb) without air conditioning and can accelerate to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.9 seconds and has a top speed of 200 km/h (124 mph).

    It came in various trim levels which offered different features, for example, diamond cross stitch, patterned red leather instead of the standard black leather or fabric seats, alloy wheels instead of steel wheels, or fog-lights as an option. Arguably one of the biggest external cosmetic changes was made by the addition of the third brake light, first introduced by Fiat on the Lido and Riviera in 2000, and on sub models thereafter.

    The Barchetta was revised in August 2003, for its relaunch the following year, with some alterations inside and out. The most notable changes were the revised front spoiler and rear bumper. Production of the car eventually stopped in June 2005.
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    Richard Heseltine Tuesday, 26 June 2018
  • Toyota Prius Second Generation XW20
    Open Group Toyota 1 Member
    XW20 Presented at the April 2003 New York International Auto Show, for the 2004 US model year, the Prius was completely redesigned. It became a mid-size liftback, sized between the Corolla and the Camry, with redistributed mechanical and interior space significantly increasing rear-seat legroom and luggage room. The second generation Prius is more ...environmentally friendly than the previous model (according to the EPA), and is 6 inches (150 mm) longer than the previous version.

    Its more aerodynamic Kammback body balances length and wind resistance, resulting in a drag coefficient of Cd=0.26. The development effort, led by chief engineer Shigeyuki Hori, led to 530 patents for the vehicle.

    Production commenced in August 2003 at the Tsutsumi plant in Toyota, Aichi, supplemented in October 2004 with the Fujimatsu plant at Kariya, Aichi.

    The Prius uses an all-electric A/C compressor for cooling, an industry first. Combined with a smaller and lighter NiMH battery, the XW20 is more powerful and more efficient than the XW10. In the US, the battery pack of 2004 and later models is warranted for 150,000 miles (240,000 km) or 10 years in states that have adopted the stricter California emissions control standards, and 100,000 miles (160,000 km) or 8 years elsewhere. The warranty for hybrid components is 100,000 miles (160,000 km) or 8 years
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    Jonathan Musk Saturday, 16 June 2018
  • Ford Fiesta Mk8 B479
    Open Group Ford 1 Member
    Ford Fiesta Mk8 B479 2017-2021
    Ian Robertson Tuesday, 12 June 2018
  • Volkswagen Touareg III
    Open Group Volkswagen 1 Member
    2018-2024 Volkswagen Touareg III Third generation The third generation Touareg will use the Volkswagen Group MLB platform like its corporate siblings, the Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7. The third generation Touareg will emphasize the latest in fuel saving technologies and will reportedly be significantly lighter than the first two generations. VW has... discontinued the Touareg for sale in the USA after the 2017 model year onward, based on sales, and on the availability of the larger and less expensive Atlas model which was specifically designed for US consumers' tastes. More
    Sue Baker Monday, 11 June 2018