9 Classics Real Car Enthusiasts Want
Many Baby Boomers who were car buffs grew up wishing that they could one day own one of these classic cars. These machines weren’t just a boring means to an end of getting from one place to another. These are what we’ve all grown up to recognize as real cars. Maybe it was their styling or their power or the fact that they cost so much. Whatever it was, boys tacked their pictures on bulletin boards or taped them to walls despite the fact that they cost an arm and a leg to repair and maintain.
Did any of you lust for any of these cars while growing up?
Alfa Romeo GTV6
A 152-cubic inch single overhead cam V6 engine that generated 154-horsepower powered this hatchback that featured rack-and-pinion steering, a five-speed manual transmission and disc brakes. A story about the development of the car provides a nice window into the thinking of the executives who ran Alfa Romeo when production of this car was considered. The car’s creator, Giuseppe Busso said that when Alfa management asked him to design the car they wanted him to develop three different suspension designs – a cheap option, a cost-efficient compromise, a “best bang for the buck” plan, and a cost no-object, technically flawless option. Management selected the cost no-object alternative.
Aston Martin Lagonda
A total of 645 Lagondas were produced between 1974 and 1990. It was the first production car in the world to be computer managed and to have a digital instrument panel, which didn’t go very well because the computer failed often. The cost of the development of the electronics was four times more than the budget for the entire car. Some people loved it and some hated it. Bloomberg Businessweek rated it as one of the 50 ugliest cars of the last 50 years. Time Magazine listed it in its “50 Worst Cars of All Time” because of the unreliable electronics. The car still looks great and despite the critics, many still claim it as their “dream car.”
A high-performance coupe that was produced from 1970 to 1975, the car ranked third as the 1971 European Car of the Year and was the 1972 Motor Trend Car of the Year in the United States. The car features many innovative features that are common on cars today including hydro-pneumatic self-leveling suspension; self-leveling lights that swiveled with the steering wheel (but not in the U.S. where such things were illegal at the time), front-wheel drive, and variable assist power steering.
Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS
The Ferrari 308 GTB (berlinetta and targa topped) 308 GTS two-seater sports car was powered by a V8 mid-engine and manufactured from 1975 to 1985. The engine also featured four twin-choke Weber 40DCNF carburetors and single coil ignition. The European version generated 252-horsepower at 6600 rpm (7700 rpm redline) while the American version was limited to 237-horsepower at 6,600 rpm because of emission control devices. Sports Car International ranked the car number five on its list of Top Sports Cars of the 1970s.
Originally the XJ-S when it was introduced, it became known as the Jaguar XJS in 1991. A Jaguar V12 gasoline-engine powered the vehicle and buyers had a choice of a manual or automatic transmission. However, the manual was dropped because it was used with a previous V12 E Type engine. The XJ-S debuted at the start of the oil embargo in 1976 and as a result the market was too small. Moreover, the car’s styling was heavily criticized because of buttresses behind the windows. German authorities worried that the buttresses restricted rear vision. They refused to approve the car’s introduction into Germany. The worries were groundless. The buttresses did not affect the rear view. In 1991 the car was re-engineered and re-named the XJS. The rear windows were enlarged and the buttresses were retained. The XJS was discontinued in 1996 after 21 years in production.
Introduced as a two-seater roadster in 1962, an optional hardtop variant was debuted in 1963 and a coupe in 1965. In 2004 Sports Car International ranked it sixth on its list of the Top Sports Cars of the 1960s. It is said that the original Elan was the inspiration for the 1989 Mazda MX-5 (Miata in North America) and Mazda studied two Elans during the designing of the MX-5. An Elan +2 was unveiled in 1967 that featured a longer wheelbase and two rear seats.
Considered to be the fastest production road car when it was introduced, the Miura was manufactured from 1966 to 1973 and is widely believed to have initiated interest in the high performance, two-seater, mid-engine sports car. The V12 engine that powered the car was actually merged with the transmission and differential due to limited space. The world was introduced to the car when it was featured in the opening scene of the 1969 version of The Italian Job.
Land Rover Range Rover
A full-size SUV with four-wheel drive, the Range Rover was introduced in 1970 and is now in its fourth generation. The prototype was constructed in 1967 with the now familiar shape, but with a different front grille and headlight arrangement. The design was finally finalized in 1969. Twenty-Six prototypes were built between 1969 and 1970.
Introduced in 1962, the Spitfire is a two-seat English sports car. The car was based on the Triumph Herald. However, the chassis of the Spitfire was reinforced with structural components of the body to ensure more durability. Five models were introduced during the years –- the Triumph Spitfire 4 (Mark I) (1962-1964), Triumph Spitfire 4 Mark II (1964-1967), Triumph Spitfire Mark III (1967-1970), Triumph Spitfire Mark IV (1970-1974), and the Triumph Spitfire 1500 (1974-1980). About 314,332 Spitfires were built between October 1962 and August 1980.
Categories: Gear Grinding