- FeaturedClassic Porsche 911 - Surveys owners, repair and operation of 911 news stories and page model, sales and much more in our club fans and fans of the legendary series cars Porsche 911. All about 911-901, 930, 964, 993, 996 and new era 997 and 991-series.
If you're buying a used 911 as an investment, send me your address so that I can a...rrange a visit from the boys. Investors who never drive their 911s bring a word to mind. That word is 'pimp'. As 911 diehards, the boys don't like pimps, so when they arrive, make sure your engine is still warm, the exhaust system is making that tinkling noise and there is evidence in your tyres of some recently accomplished brisk cornering.
All 911s, from 1963 to this afternoon, share a characteristic 911 'feel', but that varies greatly in degree. Bog-standard used Coupes from the late 1970s or 1980s once delivered the goods for sensible money but they might demand some restoration work now.
Choosing a 911 is such a very personal matter. Just go for what you really want, get the best straight car you can find and look after it. Reliability is legendary but repairs can be costly.
My choice is currently the 993 Carrera 2 Coupe of 1993-98. Its predecessor, the 964, was respectable but dull. The 993's different, agile feel makes it terrific to drive and good ones go for less than £30,000 - this week, anyway.
It's the last air-cooled 911 model but so what? Later models lost nothing by being water-cooled. No, pick a 993 for its exhilarating agility, and its price.
A friend of mine paid £26,000 for a superb 1994 993 Carrera 2 in late 2013. He loves it, whether he's tootling about the shops or on a 300-mile blast through the remote Highlands of Scotland, where it truly excels. And that's no more than it deserves.
Porsche 911 Carrera RS
1973 // £500,000
The eternally great, ultimate development of the original 911 concept, it combines high performance and low weight with inch-perfect precision handling. Superb but the price of this model now, sir, is officially‘through the roof'. If you buy one, promise us you will use it.
On an autumn day in 1972 the salesman from Porsche GB came to visit our house. 'We're making a special car,' he told my father. 'Only 200 will be built, and we're offering them to our best clients first as demand is sure to be strong.' They built more than 1500 in the end, and demand was so great that, instead of management having to use them as company cars to use up unsold stock as expected, Porsche sold out the first batch of 500 immediately and had to build two more series.
Why the fuss? Because the RS is so much more than the sum of its parts. It was derived from the relatively humble 2.4S, but with flared rear arches and wider wheels (a 911 first), bored-out engine (at 2.7 litres Porsche's biggest road car motor to date), a rear spoiler (another first, and not just for Porsche, so initially illegal in some markets) and, last but not least, weight-loss that took the RS under the magic 1000kg in 'lightweight' trim.
The result: 150mph, 0-60mph in 5.0sec, handling to die for (and you would if you lifted off mid-comer) and a string of victories on every continent including rallies, Le Mans and the Targa Florio. Oh, and you can drive it to the shops.
Mine's been in the family for 42 years and has never once 'failed to proceed'. Beat that, Enzo...
Porsche 911 GT3 (997-series, generation II)
2009-12 // £80,000-120,000
The 997-series Generation II cars were terrific in their time and the naturally aspirated 997 GT3 was a hugely powerful, seriously fabulous machine, subtly better in fast corners than previous GT3 models.
A classic in waiting - bound to be a sound long-term investment.
Any brand new 911
2015 // From around £75,000
Admit it, they are absolutely brilliant. If you don’t want one, you should. Buy it, keep it, service it properly. One day, it will be a classic but, meanwhile, enjoy a few happy decades driving it. The best of all worlds.
- FeaturedLamborghini Espada Club
- FeaturedBMW E28 club The second 5 Series generation E28 featured highly refined body design, better streamlining, greater safety and enhanced motoring comfort. The range of engines was unprecedented: 4- and six-cylinder petrol engines, the 525e designed for maximum fuel economy, the 24-valve dohc power unit of the M5 and 6-cylinder diesels with and witho...ut turbocharger. 5-speed transmission became standard from 1983 (previously optional) and there now also a 4-speed automatic transmission.
1981 – 1988 5 Series E28
BMW 518, 1981 – 1984 M10 4-cyl. ohc 1766 cc 66 kW (90 hp)
BMW 520i, 1981 – 1988 M20 6-cyl. ohc 1990 cc 92 kW (125 hp) Cat. 95 kW (129 hp)
BMW 518i, 1981 – 1987 4-cyl. ohc 1766 cc 77 kW (105 hp)
BMW 525i, 1981 – 1987 6-cyl. ohc 2494 cc 110 kW (150 hp)
BMW 525e, 1981 – 1988 6-cyl. ohc 2693 cc 92 kW (125 hp) Cat. 90 kW (122 hp) Cat. 95 kW (129 hp)
BMW 535i, 1984 – 1988 6-cyl. ohc 3430 cc 160 kW (218 hp) Cat. 136 kW (185 hp)
BMW 528i, 1981 – 1988 6-cyl. ohc 2788 cc 135 kW (184 hp)
BMW 535i, 1985 – 1987 6-cyl. ohc 3430 cc 160 kW (218 hp) Cat. 136 kW (185 hp)
BMW 524d, 1986 – 1987 6-cyl. ohc 2443 cc 63 kW (86 hp)
BMW 524td, 1982 – 1987 M21 6-cyl. ohc 2443 cc
- FeaturedJensen Interceptor and FF fans club
JENSEN INTERCEPTOR MIDLANDS MARVEL ON THE MOVE
The Interceptor suffers much the same stigma as the XJ-S and is also taking an age to truly make it as a classic – but at least it’s getting there at long last, as prices are highlighting. The Birmingham Ferrari is not only a fine GT bu...t one of the simplest super cars to maintain thanks to its old school make up which includes lusty if thirsty American Chrysler V8 engines (earlier 6.3 considered most thoroughbred plus some were manual).
Sports hatch-style makes for practicality plus there’s a rare but odd looking coupé. With good specialist support the time to buy is now before prices really start to climb but there’s a lot of dross around so beware and don’t buy the complex 4x4 FF unless you really want one.
- FeaturedCitroen SM Group, owners, foto, test drive, engine, body and other
CITROËN SM MORE THAN A DS IN DRAG
In its day the Maserati-powered Citroën SM was one of the greatest GTs around and the choice of numerous GP drivers, such as the late, great Mike Hailwood, because of their speed and comfort. But, like the DS on which i...t is broadly based, you either love or hate the idiosyncratic SM and if you’re the former expect to pay £30,000 (actual model and year makes little difference) for a cracker, although you can buy one for a third of this, especially in France. And like our XJ-S, you largely get what you pay for with a cheap ‘bargain’. More
- Ford Model T
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- Mercedes-Benz SLK MKII 2004-2011 R171
The second generation Mercedes-Benz SLK, internally designated model R171, is a two-passenger, front-engine, rear-drive, retractable hardtop roadster, unveiled at the 74th Geneva International Motor Show - and manufactured and marketed for model years 2004-2011. Currently in its third generation ...and manufactured at Mercedes' Bremen plant, the SLK nameplate designates Sportlich (sporty), Leicht (light), and Kurz (compact).
The R171 features a number of revisions compared to its predecessor, the R170: a 30mm longer wheelbase, increased length (72mm) and width (65mm), 40% increased use of high strength steel, seven-speed automatic transmission, adaptive two-stage airbags, head/thorax sidebags and a revised roof mechanism (marketed as the Vario roof) deployable in 22 seconds (previously 25 seconds) with a rotary-pivoting rear window enabling a more compact folded roof stack and trunk storage increased by 63 litres with the roof retracted. Optional features include remote operation of the retractable hardtop as well as an innovative forced air, neck-level heating system integral to the headrests, marketed as Airscarf.
The fully galvanized bodywork, which features 19 percent improvement in static bending and 46 percent improvement in torsional strength with the roof down, also features a 3% improvement in aerodynamic efficiency, with a Cd value of 0.32. The design has been aerodynamically optimized to minimize interior draughts with the top retracted and includes a fabric windblocker which can be pulled up over the two roll-over bars. Mercedes marketed the R171's tapering front end styling by designer Steve Mattin as "Formula One-inspired".
In 2008, the SLK reached sales of 500,000. The R171 made Car and Driver's Ten Best list for 2005 and won the Canadian Car of the Year Best New Convertible award. More
- Citroen ZX
The Citroën ZX is a small family car produced by the French manufacturer Citroën between 1990 and 1998.
During the beginning of the 1990s, the ZX was Citroën's competitor in the class traditionally dominated in Europe by the Ford Escort and Vauxhall/Opel Astra, a market segment Citroën had briefly moved awa...y from with the demise of the GSA in 1986.
The BX had tried to address the small family car market and the large family car market by being 'between sizes' but well packaged. For 1993, the Citroën ZX chassis was also used for the Peugeot 306 which, with its attractive Peugeot 205 derived styling, was an even more successful car than its twin. The Citroën Berlingo and Peugeot Partner were also built on the same platform.
It was replaced by the Xsara in September 1997, but production in Europe continued until 1998. A saloon derivative, called the Citroën Elysée, along with the China based ZX known as the Fukang, continued to be produced for the Chinese market by the Dongfeng Peugeot-Citroën Automobile, a joint venture with the PSA Group.
The Citroën GS had been a ground breaking and radical new model in the small family car market on its launch in 1970, scooping the European Car of the Year award, and was facelifted in 1979 and gained a hatchback which saw it transformed into the GSA.
However, such was the success of the larger BX after its 1982 launch, that PSA decided to delay the launch of an immediate replacement for the GSA when it was finally discontinued in 1986. Development work began on a new C segment hatchback, which was originally expected to be launched as the Citroën FX at the beginning of the 1990s.
Although the Rally Raid version of the ZX debuted during 1990, the ZX was officially launched on the left hand drive continental markets on 16 March 1991, with British sales beginning in May that year, initially only with petrol engines. The diesel ZX went on sale later in 1991.
It went on sale in New Zealand in the beginning of 1993, as a five door in 1.6 Aura or Turbodiesel trim, with the naturally aspirated diesel and Volcane GTi (1.9) models joining a few weeks later. New Zealand's unleaded petrol was of a low octane rating, meaning that initially only uncatalyzed cars were on offer.
In January 1994, the estate of the ZX debuted, and went on sale in May, shortly followed by a mid cycle facelift.
The first examples of the ZX had been produced in 1990, with the three door Rally Raid model being the winner of the Paris-Dakar, which started just after Christmas. The first prototypes of the ZX had actually debuted at the Baja Aragon on 20 July 1990. Drag resistance ranged from Cx/Cds 0.30 to 0.33.
The launch of the ZX marked the return of Citroën into the C sector of the car market; it had discontinued the GSA in 1986 with no immediate replacement, largely due to the success of the larger BX. However, Citroën had decided to phase out the BX between 1990 and 1993, by at first launching a smaller model, and then adding a larger model (the Xantia) to its range.
The ZX's interior space and value received praise from critics and consumers. Of particular note was the rear seat arrangement; it was mounted on a sliding platform that allowed the seat to be moved rearwards to increase rear legroom, or forwards to increase cargo space. Unfortunately, only the seat backs folded down on models so fitted. Lower specification models with fully folding and removable seats had more ultimate capacity.
The ZX specification was good for its class, with most models getting power steering, electric windows, electric sunroof, a driver's side (and sometimes passenger's side) airbag and anti-lock braking system as either optional or standard equipment. It was competitively priced though, unlike the Mark III Volkswagen Golf, which was priced at a relative premium from its launch later in August 1991.
It also reached the market a few months before the new version of the Opel/Vauxhall Astra.
The familiar range of PSA powertrains drove the front wheels of a seemingly conventionally designed chassis. At the front was a standard MacPherson strut layout with anti-roll bar, while the rear used the PSA Peugeot-Citroën fully independent trailing arm/torsion bar set up that was first introduced on the estate of the Peugeot 305.
However, PSA's chassis engineers employed some unusual features, including passive rear wheel steering (by means of specially designed compliance bushes in the rear suspension), and in house developed and constructed shock absorbers. At high mileages, this is prone to wear off the axle mounting bushes, which is easily fixed.
It is also prone to wear in the rear axle trailing arm bearings, which then wear the trailing arm axle tubes, requiring an expensive rebuild or a replacement axle assembly.
The diesel and larger capacity petrol engines are canted as far back as possible in the engine bay, in an effort to put as much weight as possible behind the front axle line, also reducing the centre of gravity, while improving weight distribution and minimising understeer.
At the time of its launch, the ZX range consisted of a collection of four very individual trim levels; the base model was the "Reflex" aimed at young people, next was the "Avantage" aimed at families, and then there was the luxury "Aura" series. The final series was the relatively sporting "Volcane" series, with lowered (and hard) suspension. The "Volcane" TD was one of the first diesel hot hatches.
Over time, further models were introduced including the "Furio", a cheaper sports model, a 16 valve engined high performance derivative and many special editions.
The ZX was initially available as a three or five door hatchback, while a five door estate was added to the range in 1993. It was offered with petrol engines from 1.1 L to 2.0 L, as well as three 1.9 L diesel engines including a turbodiesel. However, the 1.1 petrol engine was never sold in Britain.
1.1 L (1,124 cc) TU1 I4, 60 PS (44 kW; 59 hp), 91 N⋅m (67 lb⋅ft)
1.4 L (1,360 cc) TU3 I4, 75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp), 120 N⋅m (89 lb⋅ft)
1.6 L (1,587 cc) TU5 I4, 90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp), 135 N⋅m (100 lb⋅ft)
1.8 L (1,761 cc) XU7 I4, 103 PS (76 kW; 102 hp), 153 N⋅m (113 lb⋅ft)
1.8 L (1,761 cc) XU7 I4, 112 PS (82 kW; 110 hp), 155 N⋅m (114 lb⋅ft)
1.9 L (1,905 cc) XU9 I4, 130 PS (96 kW; 128 hp), 170 N⋅m (125 lb⋅ft)
2.0 L (1,998 cc) XU10 I4, 123 PS (90 kW; 121 hp), 176 N⋅m (130 lb⋅ft)
2.0 L (1,998 cc) XU10 I4, 150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp), 183 N⋅m (135 lb⋅ft)
2.0 L (1,998 cc) XU10 I4, 167 PS (123 kW; 165 hp), 198 N⋅m (146 lb⋅ft)
1.8 L (1,769 cm3) 60 HP
1.9 L (1,905 cc) XUD9 diesel I4, 65 PS (48 kW; 64 hp), 120 N⋅m (89 lb⋅ft)
1.9 L (1,905 cc) XUD9 diesel I4, 71 PS (52 kW; 70 hp), 125 N⋅m (92 lb⋅ft)
1.9 L (1,905 cc) XUD9 diesel I4, 91 PS (67 kW; 90 hp), 148 N⋅m (109 lb⋅ft) More
- Ford Puma 1997-2001 First generation
- Ferrari Dino 246 / 206 GTS / GTB
- Studebaker GT Hawk / Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk 1962-1964
- Anglia 100E (1953-1959)
Ford Anglia 1172 cc December 1955.JPG
1955 Ford Anglia 100E
Production 1953-1959 345,841 units
Assembly United Kingdom / Australia
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door saloon
Related Ford Popular 100E
Ford Prefect 100E
Ford Escort 10...0E (estate)
Ford Squire 100E (estate)
Thames 300E (van)
Engine 1172 cc sidevalve Straight-4
Wheelbase 87 in (2,210 mm)
Length 151.75 in (3,854 mm)
Width 60.5 in (1,537 mm)
Height 57.25 in (1,454 mm)
Curb weight 1,624 lb (737 kg)
In 1953, Ford released the 100E, designed by Lacuesta Automotive. It was a completely new car, its style following the example of the larger Ford Consul introduced two years earlier and of its German counterpart, the Ford Taunus P1, by featuring a modern three-box design. The 100E was available as a two-door Anglia and a four-door Prefect. During this period, the old Anglia was available as the 103E Popular, touted as the cheapest car in the world.
Internally there were individual front seats trimmed in PVC, hinged to allow access to the rear. The instruments (speedometer, fuel gauge and ammeter) were placed in a cluster around the steering column and the gear change was floor mounted. A heater and radio were optional extras. The dashboard was revised twice; the binnacle surrounding the steering column was replaced by a central panel with twin dials towards the driver's side in 1956; the last from 1959 had twin dials in a binnacle in front of the driver and 'magic ribbon' AC speedo similar to the 1957 E-series Vauxhall Velox/Cresta and '58/'59 PA models, and included a glovebox.
Under the bonnet the 100E still housed an antiquated, but actually new, 36 bhp (27 kW; 36 PS) side-valve engine sharing the bore and stroke of the old unit but now with larger bearings and inlet valves and pump-assisted cooling. The three-speed gearbox was retained. Some models were fitted with a semi-automatic "Manumatic" gearbox. A second wind-screen wiper was now included at no extra cost, although the wipers' vacuum-powered operation was also retained: by now this was seen as seriously old-fashioned and the wipers were notorious for slowing down when driving up steep hills, or coming to a complete rest when trying to overtake. The separate chassis construction of the previous models was replaced by unitary construction and the front suspension used "hydraulic telescopic dampers and coil springs" – now called MacPherson struts, a term that had not yet entered the public lexicon – with anti-roll bar and semi-elliptic leaf springs at the rear. The car's 87-inch (2,200 mm) wheelbase was the shortest of any Anglia, but the front and rear track were increased to 48 inches (1,200 mm), and cornering on dry roads involved a degree of understeer:
the steering took just two turns between locks, making the car responsive and easy to place on the road, although on wet roads it was too easy to make the tail slide out.
A rare option for 1957 and 1958 was Newtondrive clutchless gearchange. The electrical system became 12 volt.
A facelift of the Anglia 100E was announced in October 1957. This included a new mesh radiator grille, new front lamp surrounds, a larger rear window, larger tail lights and chrome bumpers.
The 100E sold well; by the time production ceased in 1959, 345,841 had rolled off the production line. There were from 1955 two estate car versions, similar to the Thames 300E vans but fitted with side windows, folding rear seats and a horizontally split tailgate. This necessitated moving the fuel tank. These were the basic Escort and better appointed Squire, which sported wood trim down the sides. This feature has become a common feature of some Ford estates/station wagons ever since. The basic van variant was badged as a Thames product, as were all Ford commercials following the dropping of the Fordson badge.
An Anglia saloon tested by the British Motor magazine in 1954 had a top speed of 70.2 mph (113.0 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 29.4 seconds. A fuel consumption of 30.3 miles per imperial gallon (9.3 L/100 km; 25.2 mpg‑US) was recorded. The test car cost £511 including taxes. More
- Renault Twingo Mk1
The Renault Caravelle is a sports car manufactured and marketed by Renault for model years 1958-1968 in a single generation — as a rear-engine, rear drive open two/four-seater designed by Pietro Frua of Carrozzeria Ghia, using the floorpan and engine of the Renault Dauphine.
Outside of North America ...and Britain it was, until 1962, marketed under the nameplate Renault Floride.
Renault was envious of the growing success in North America of the Volkswagen Bug/Beetle and were looking for ways they might match the Volkswagen's success with their own Renault Dauphine. At a convention of North American distributors that took place in Florida, Renault's US dealers called for the creation of a Dauphine coupé/cabriolet which would improve Renault's image in the critical US market. Renault's chairman, Pierre Dreyfus, agreed, and since the concept had been born at a convention in Florida the car instantly became known within the company as the "Renault Floride".
The "Floride" name was considered unsuitable for 49 of the 50 states of the USA, however, since it could have implied disrespect to states other than Florida. For this reason an alternative name, "Caravelle", was from the start used for North America and for other major markets (including the UK) where the principal language was a form of English.
Renault Floride S convertible (with hardtop).
Renault Caravelle coupe. The sloping rear roof line was partially "squared off" in order to improve rear-seat headroom.
Renault Caravelle cabriolet.
The Floride was unveiled at the 1958 Paris Motor Show. A small rear-engined design by Pietro Frua at Carrozzeria Ghia, it used the floorpan and engine of the Renault Dauphine sedan.
The Floride was launched in the United States and Canada as the Renault Caravelle a year after its introduction in Europe.
The car was offered as a 2+2 coupe, a 2+2 cabriolet and as a convertible, the latter being a cabriolet with a removable hardtop. The 2,265 mm (89.2 in) wheelbase was shared with the Renault Dauphine but longer overhangs meant that overall the Floride was longer by a significant 320 mm (12.6 in), as well as being slightly lower and very slightly wider.
At launch the Floride, like the Dauphine on which it was based, came with an 845 cc four-cylinder water-cooled engine mounted at the back of the car. However, the power unit on the Floride was fed using a Solex 32 mm carburetor as against the 28 mm diameter of the Solex carburetor on the Dauphine. The Florides making their French show debut on the stand at the 1958 Paris Motor Show came with a claimed power output of 37 hp (28 kW) SAE.
By the time deliveries commenced, in early summer 1959, it was also possible for customers to specify a performance version, engineered by Amedee Gordini, which produced 40 hp (30 kW) SAE by means of various modifications to the inlet manifold and camshaft, and a compression ratio raised from 7.6:1 to 8.0:1.
Power was delivered to the rear wheels via a three speed manual transmission with synchromesh on the upper two ratios. For a supplement of 200 New Francs customers could instead specify a four speed transmission on the slightly heavier coupé version of the car. Having regard to the car's power-to-weight ratio most customers chose to pay extra for the four speed gear box.
Although designed by Frua of Italy, the car's body was constructed locally, by the automobile body maker Société des usines Chausson, based in Asnières-sur-Seine at the northern edge of Paris, and known in France as the producer of many of the school bus bodies used for transporting children in country areas.
Following the rapid economic growth experienced by France during the 1950s, and despite the fall-off in demand for the 4CV and the lacklustre market performance of the Frégate, thanks to the success of the recently launched Dauphine Renault still found themselves, in the second half of the decade, seriously short of production capacity. The main Billancourt plant, built on the Seguin island in the middle of the River Seine, was particularly ill-suited to further expansion. A new plant had been opened at Flins in 1952 and a second would follow near Le Havre in 1964, but neither of these addressed the challenge of finding somewhere to assemble the Floride in 1958.
The heavy engineering company of Brissonneau and Lotz, better known as a manufacturer of rolling stock for the railways, had launched a small cabriolet sports car in 1956, based on the mechanical underpinnings of the Renault 4CV, but the Brissonneau coupé had been a tentative project and few cars were sold.
Renault now persuaded Brissonneau to abandon their own automobile project and adapt their facilities for assembly of the Floride.
Brissonneau's long standing experience with railway locomotives provided abundant relevant experience at operational and workforce level, and Renault contributed much of the investment which during 1958 and 1959 saw the main Creil plant of Brissonneau, comprising 190,000 m2 of which 41,280 m2 were covered, transformed into a production facility for the Floride: the Floride, later rebadged as the Renault Caravelle, would continue to be assembled by Brissonneau and Lotz until it was withdrawn in 1968.
In October 1959, ready for the 1960 model year, the Floride, along with the Renault Dauphine, appeared with significant suspension improvements.
The new suspension was conceived by the by now almost legendary automotive engineer Jean-Albert Grégoire and baptised by Renault "Suspension Aérostable", being intended to improve the car's ride and road holding.
The addition of extra rubber springs at the front reduced roll and auxiliary air spring units (mounted inboard of the conventional coils) at the rear gave the rear wheels a small degree of negative camber and increased cornering grip.
In March 1962, the Caravelle received a new 956 cc engine that would be also used by the new Renault 8 from June. Although the new "Sierra" series five-bearing engine shared no components with the existing 845 cc Dauphine engine, it was conceptually very similar: the engine size was chosen in order to come in (slightly) below the top of the 5CV car tax band in France.
It had a sealed cooling system as well as a new front suspension, new rear geometry, new steering, and a new gear linkage. Moving the radiator behind the engine also freed up an extra 12 cm of space behind the front seat.
Maximum power output increased to 48 hp (36 kW). Four-speed transmission, already included in the price at no extra cost on some export markets, now came as part of the standard with the new engine even for French buyers, although bottom gear still made do without synchromesh. The upgraded cars, first presented at the 1962 Geneva Motor Show, now featured disc brakes on all four wheels: the Floride was the first French volume car to benefit from this enhancement which also reduced unsprung weight by approximately 6 kg.
The Caravelle name also replaced the Floride name in all markets from 1962 onwards.
In 1964, another R8-derived engine of 1108 cc was introduced to the Caravelle, producing 55 hp (41 kW). This model was tested by the British "Autocar" magazine in November 1965. The car had a top speed of 89 mph (143 km/h) and accelerated from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 17.8 seconds. An "overall" fuel consumption of 30.2 miles per imperial gallon (9.4 L/100 km; 25.1 mpg‑US) was recorded. The Caravelle's performance closely matched that of the contemporary Triumph Spitfire 4 under most headings, though the Spitfire was a couple of mph ahead on top speed. The British car market was still protected by tariffs at this time, but even allowing for that the Renault looks expensive in this company: The Caravelle came with a UK recommended price of £1039 as against £666 for the Spitfire 4.
Production got under way slowly, with only 3,777 cars completed in 1959. However, in 1960, following the important "Aérostable" suspension upgrades, Renault produced 36,156 Florides.
By the mid-1960s, the Caravelle, which had been fashionably styled at launch, was looking dated, while the reduction and elimination of internal tariffs within the Common Market led to intensified competition in France for buyers of inexpensive sports cars, notably from Italy.
Between 1966 and 1967, annual production tumbled from 4,880 to 2,991. During 1968, only 1,438 were produced, and it was during the summer of that year that Renault withdrew the Caravelle. More
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- Triumph GT6 1966-1973
The Triumph GT6 is a 6-cylinder sports coupé built by Standard-Triumph, based on their popular Triumph Spitfire convertible. Production ran from 1966 to 1973.
In early 1963 Giovanni Michelotti was commissioned by Standard-Triumph to design a GT version of their r...ecently introduced Spitfire 4 (also designed by Michelotti).
An unmodified Spitfire 4 was delivered to Michelotti's design studios in Italy and late in 1963 the prototype Spitfire GT4 was returned to England for evaluation. The styling of the vehicle was a success but the extra weight of the GT bodyshell resulted in extremely poor performance from the Spitfire's 1,147 cc (70 cu in) Standard SC engine, and plans for producing the Spitfire GT4 were shelved.
Michelotti's fastback design for the Spitfire GT4 prototype was adopted by the Triumph racing programme for the 1964 season, as it was deemed to provide an aerodynamic benefit over the standard Spitfire body shape. Fibreglass copies of the Spitfire GT4's fastback were grafted on to the race-modified Spitfires destined for competition. The Spitfire racing programme was successful, and in 1965 resulted in 13th overall and a 1st in class at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans (beating their main rivals, the MG Midgets). The Spitfire's competitive success and the continuing commercial success of the production vehicle led Triumph to re-evaluate its shelved plans for a GT version of the Spitfire. To overcome the lack of performance inherent in the heavier body style the Spitfire's 4-cylinder engine was replaced with the more powerful 2-litre (1998 cc) Triumph inline 6 originally derived from the SC and then in use in the Triumph Vitesse (which shared a similar chassis with the Spitfire and Triumph Herald). The car was further developed and refined and eventually launched as the Triumph GT6 (dropping the "Spitfire" prefix) to emphasise its GT styling and its 6-cylinder engine.
Contemporary Triumph marketing advertised the GT6 as being developed from the "race winning Le Mans Spitfires" to capitalize on their aesthetic similarities, whereas the Le Mans Spitfires and the GT6 were actually two entirely separate development programmes (the GT programme pre-dating the racing programme). However, the marketing spin was so successful that many people erroneously believed the Le Mans Spitfires to actually be GT6s. More
- BMW Z4 G29
- 1934-1956 Citroen's Traction Avant
- Austin Allegro
- Maserati 3200 GT (Tipo 338) 1998–2002