Greetings true connoisseurs of classic cars 1950

The Best-Looking Cars of the 1950s

 

Mercedes-Benz 300SL

Mercedes-Benz 300SL

Germans started to prepare for the production of Mercedes 300SL since the early 1950s. At first, an ordinary road sedan Mercedes-Benz 300 equipped with a progressive 6-cylinder 3-litre engine with overhead camshaft and hipped combustion chambers was launched. At that time, such engines were a priority for sports cars, and in road cars were practically not found. Then, on the basis of the 300 model, in 1952, the first sports prototype 300SL (SL - Super Leicht) with a lightweight streamlined aluminium body on a tubular frame and an engine boosted to 170 hp appeared. The debut of this car caused a sensation in the world of motor racing: the Mercedes-Benz 300SL prototype immediately took third place in the Mille Miglia race and then won the Grand Prix of Bern, the Le Mans and Nürburgring races as well as the Carrera Panamericana rally.

Incredible success confirmed the correctness of the way and in autumn 1953 the designers started to design a modification of the 300SL adapted for common roads. Its debut took place at the New York Motor Show in 1954. Civil Mercedes-Benz 300SL (factory index W198) was full of technical novelties, and the body painted by a little-known designer Paul Braque, literally struck everyone with its elegance. In addition, the car showed one important "world premiere" - the 6-cylinder engine, located at the front with a slope of 50°, was equipped with a mechanical fuel injection system Bosch with a six-plunger pump. With a relatively low 8.5 compression ratio, it allowed the engine output to reach 215bhp! Now these figures do not sound very convincing, but in the early 1950s a car capable of reaching 260 km/h was considered almost a hypercar.

In addition to the innovative power system, which would later play an important role in the history of Mercedes, the car used all independent suspension systems: double wishbones and coil springs at the front, double wishbones and three coil springs at the rear. In addition, specially for 300SL, Continental specialists have developed radial tyres, designed to reduce oversteer of the car. Interestingly, the car was equipped with a simple 4-speed manual transmission, drum brakes and a typical steering mechanism of the screw-ball nut type. At the same time, the modern hypoid main gear was used in the transmission.

The main stylistic novelty of Mercedes were L-shaped doors, which were popularly called Gullwing (gull wing). They made a lasting impression and at the same time had a functional role. The thing is that the basis of the car was a load-bearing space frame welded from pipes of small diameter, and to give it the necessary rigidity, it was necessary to radically increase the height of sills up to 60 cm. The doors opening upwards were invented to overcome them.

In spite of its sporting and racing purpose, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL had a 2-seater interior with high-quality materials and a chrome-adorned dashboard. In addition, an ivory steering wheel and an audio system with speakers built into the doors could be fitted to order. The exclusive status of the model implied an exorbitant price - in the main sales market in the USA, the car cost almost 7000 full dollars (80000$ at the modern exchange rate). It is not surprising that the car instantly gained prestige among the wealthy public. Singers, film actors, monarchs and businessmen drove Mercedes-Benz 300SL. However, most of them did not have the skills to drive such a fast and wayward car, so the Gullwing was noted in several high-profile accidents.

Despite the steady demand for Daimler-Benz the 300SL coupe played a secondary role, as the company focused on the production of mass sedans Mercedes-Benz 220 and 300. Assembly of the basic modification 300SL was cancelled in 1957, and instead of it was released a much less epathetic version Mercedes-Benz 300SL W198-2 with an open body, simplified rear suspension and vertically located headlights, which were soon transferred to other models of the concern. The roadster was not bad, but it remained in the shadow of its predecessor. Production of 300SL series was cancelled in 1963. By that time, 3250 cars were produced, 1858 of them were roadsters.

 

Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder SWB

Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder SWB

Representatives of the 250-series Ferrari are undoubtedly works of art. They occupy no less than half of places in all ratings of the most expensive retro cars and make collectors throw out at auctions sums with 6 American zeros. Such hype is due to several factors. First, most of the cars were assembled to order in limited batches. And, secondly, Ferrari 250 GT SWB were the embodiment of incredible for those times technical and design solutions.

In the 250 series Ferrari designers for the first time embodied their philosophy of combining features of a racing bolide and a comfortable city car. The car turned out to be really impeccable externally, comfortable and amazing in its speed parameters. It was produced from the middle of the 50s to the end of the 60s and got its name from the volume of the cylinder, which was exactly 250 cubic meters. Letters G and T in the name is an abbreviation of Grand Tourismo, and, finally, the designation SWB indicated a short base of 2400 mm and distinguished the representatives of the line from the long-wheelbase models, produced with the mark LWB.

In the classic version, all Ferrari 250 GT SWB were equipped with a 3-liter unit from Gioacchino Colombo, which first of all provided the supercar stunning dynamic performance. The cars of the series spent about 4.5 seconds for acceleration to a hundred and reached a speed of 240km/h.

For more than 10 years more than 20 modifications were built, the most famous of them - Berlinetta (1959), assembled in the number of 176 copies, and appeared a year later Spyder California. "Berlinetta" in turn was produced in two versions - racing and road, respectively, with 280 and 240 hp engines.

Note that even the track version was not distinguished by the most powerful motor for those times. But the use of aluminum in production and a lot of innovative solutions, provided the car with excellent dynamic performance and victory in the most prestigious competitions.

Spyder California is even more rare modification. It was produced in the number of only 37 copies, one of which was bought 10 years ago for 6.4 million dollars.

 

Bentley R-Type Continental

Bentley R-Type Continental

In 1950, Rolls-Royce management suddenly came up with the idea that people of age were no stranger to sporty tendencies. It was decided that it was necessary to produce an additional Bentley sports model. The car had to have not only a spectacular body, but also a high speed, improved handling and stability on the road when traveling at maximum speed.

Evernden (H.I.F. Evernden) was entrusted to take charge of the design work, while the bodywork was designed by the company's chief designer, J.P. Bletchy. Because of the need to use a standard chassis, Evernden was not able to give sufficient scope to his imagination, but he was given the unrestricted right to obtain additional power from the standard engine, within limits, of course, to ensure its quietness.

When designing the body, J.P. Bletchy relied not only on his intuition, but mainly on the results of wind tunnel experiments. The prototype of the two-door fastback body (coupe with a sloping top) was made by the body company "H.J. Mulliner". Mulliner made it from aluminum panels, making it much lighter than the production Bentley.

After the project was completed, the car was sent for testing in France, where it showed a speed of 205 kilometers per hour, and representatives of the French Automobile Club officially notified the manufacturers that they had built "the world's fastest four-seat production car".

From 1952 to 1955, 208 Bentley R-Type Continental Coupe cars were built. It was a superb car: fast, safe, and quiet. Although the Bentley R-Type Continental Coupe was produced more than 50 years ago, not many modern cars can compete with it in terms of speed and interior noise.

 

Cadillac Eldorado

Cadillac Eldorado

The 1959 Eldorado marked the peak of aero styling: its "fins" reached an incredible 114 centimeters in height. The car itself became lower and more elegant. Interestingly, the Eldorado Brougham sedan was designed and assembled in the specialists of the Pininfarina body atelier, and then the cars were shipped to the USA. The power of the "eight" was increased to 345 hp. Among the additional equipment there was even a system of automatic headlight control, switching the light from high beam to low beam, so as not to dazzle the drivers of oncoming cars.

 

BMW 507

BMW 507

The idea for the BMW 507 fast luxury roadster came from Max Hoffman, an American importer of German cars. The reason for the development was not only the desire of BMW to enter the promising and wealthy American market, but also the desire to bypass its main competitor Daimler-Benz, which released in 1954 revolutionary Mercedes-Benz 300SL.

Production of the BMW 507 started in the summer of 1956. The leading designer of the car was a talented and very experienced engineer Fritz Fiedler. In the basis of the car he put the rear-wheel drive chassis with front independent torsion bar suspension, front disc brakes, hypoid main gear and aluminum crankcase steering mechanism. The body was a tubular frame with aluminum panels attached. The engine, designed by Alfred Bening, was also all-aluminum. In general, the engine was probably the most progressive part of the BMW 507. 

It received polished cylinder heads, a high-performance chain-driven oil pump, dual exhaust system and two Zenith carburetors. With a displacement of 3.2 liters and compression ratio of 7.8, its power was 150 hp. For the U.S. market there was a boosted to 165 hp version with an increased to 9 units compression ratio. In the standard configuration, the engine was equipped with a manual 4-speed gearbox ZF, optionally it was possible to install a 5-speed gearbox from the same manufacturer. In the maximum version of the BMW 507 developed, quite impressive for those times, 220 km/h. However, to the high-speed Mercedes 300SL accelerated to 260 km / h, the Bavarian roadster still did not reach.

The greatest interest in the car was an open body, to which a folding awning or removable hard top was attached. The car had a swift predatory silhouette reminiscent of a shark. From bright details - chrome air intakes on the front fenders, a graceful curve of the belt line and a panoramic windshield with trim.

Despite its magnificent appearance and good technical characteristics, the BMW 507 did not achieve commercial success. For Western Europe in the 1950s, this high-speed car was too expensive. In the USA things were not better. Because of the piecework nature of production, the final cost of the car was much higher than expected. Hoffman dealerships asked for a roadster 9 thousand dollars, 2 thousand more expensive than the main competitor Mercedes-Benz 300SL and twice as expensive as Chevrolet Corvette! In America there were enough motorists able to pay so much money for the car, but for such demanding clientele 507th was too simple.

As a result, the roadster did not find a wide buyer, and all investments in this model were in vain. The company closed the 1958 fiscal year with a huge loss of 12 million German marks, and the value of shares fell by 50%. As a consequence, the production of the roadster had to be curtailed, having barely assembled 250 cars. Deutsche Bank saved the firm from total collapse. It bought a controlling stake in BMW and covered all losses. Soon the situation of the German company stabilized, and more affordable and compact cars BMW Neue Klasse appeared on the scene. However, this is a different story.

 

Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

The Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa is a legendary car that won 10 World Sportscar Championship (WSCC) races and brought Ferrari three constructors' cups (in 1958, 1960 and 1961). It was developed in 1957 in response to a rule change for the 1958 season that limited engine displacement to 3 liters (this was done after terrible crashes at Le Mans and Mille-Miglia to reduce the speed of the cars and make racing safer). For 3.5-liter 12-cylinder Ferrari 290 MM access to the tracks was closed, and 2-liter 4-cylinder Ferrari 500 TRC could not compete on equal terms with powerful 8-cylinder Maserati. But Ferrari engineers found an optimal solution: they installed a modified 2953 cm3 Colombo V12 SOHC engine from the production Ferrari 250 GT on the chassis common to these models. 

To bring its power up to 300 hp, it was necessary to increase the compression ratio, redesign the camshaft, place the spark plugs outside the block and put six 2-chamber carburetors Weber in one row. The valve covers of this engine were painted red, for which the car was named Testa Rossa (Italian for "red head"). Other components of the chassis remained unchanged: tubular frame with a wheelbase of 2350 mm, independent front suspension on double wishbones and springs, DeDion rear axle, hydraulic shock absorbers Houdaille, hydraulic drum brakes.

In addition to the new power unit, the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa received an unusual aluminum body from the Scaglietti studio. It was a two-seat roadster with a narrow nose (like a Formula 1 car), overhanging over the wheels "pontoon" front fenders, built-in headlights under transparent caps, sharply curved rear fenders with tail fins and an oblong fairing behind the driver's seat. According to Sergio Scaglietti, this shape had good aerodynamics and provided cooling of the front brakes, but in fact the nose of the car was prone to lift at high speed. This was already evident in the first two prototypes built in 1957, one of which finished only 10th at the Nürburgring and the other failed to finish Le Mans. Nevertheless, the company built 19 examples of the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa for sale to privateers between 1957 and 1958, and they dominated their class in various minor competitions for a long time to come. As for the factory team, in 1958 three cars were prepared for the Ferrari 250 TR58, which differed by a more streamlined body with integrated front wings.

In 1958, the Ferrari 250 TR58 won four of the six championship races: the 24 Hours of Le Mans (Olivier Gendebien/Phil Hill), the 1000 km Buenos Aires (Peter Collins/Phil Hill), the 12 Hours of Sebring (Peter Collins/Phil Hill) and the Targa Florio (Luigi Musso/Olivier Gendebien). Five examples of the Ferrari 250 TR59 were built for the following season, fitted with a new body designed by Pininfarina and built by Fantuzzi. They also received a 3-liter engine with 306 hp, a Colotti 5-speed manual transmission and Dunlop disc brakes on all wheels. However, the Testa Rossa had a strong competitor, the Aston Martin DBR1, which prevented Ferrari from winning the championship again. Then three 250 TR59 cars were converted into the Ferrari 250 TR59/60 by reducing the wheelbase and lowering the height of the windshield. As a result, Ferrari won another Constructors' Cup in 1960 thanks to Olivier Gendebien and Paul Frere's victory in a key race at Le Mans. The same event saw the unveiling of the Ferrari TRI60 prototype, on the basis of which Carlo Chiti developed the next model, the Ferrari TRI61, with independent rear suspension and a more modern body by Fantuzzi. In 1961, Olivier Gendebien and Phil Hill won two races with the Ferrari TRI61: the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Produced in only 34 copies, the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa has repeatedly sold at auction for record sums. In 2011, one of two 1957 prototypes was sold at Gooding's auction in Pebble Beach for $16.4 million.

 

Aston Martin DB4 GT

Aston Martin DB4 GT

The DB4 was introduced in 1958 at the London Motor Show. The letters "DB" are nothing but the initials of the new owner of Aston Martin, David Brown, a large industrialist who bought the company in 1947.

The car received an all-new aluminum L6 engine with a displacement of 3.7 liters, with two overhead camshafts. This 240 horsepower unit was developed by designer Tadek Marek. The car was equipped with disc brakes by Dunlop and later Girling. DB4s were offered with a choice of two transmission options, a five-speed manual and a three-speed automatic.

A separate attention should be paid to the body. Previously, the "shell" for Aston Martin was designed in the "native" atelier Tickford. This time Milanese Carrozzeria Touring took care of the appearance. Stylish, impetuous, the body was built according to the super modern technology for those years, the frame was made of thin steel tubes, and then lined with aluminum. Such a design made it super light, thanks to which the car significantly increased in dynamics. Aston Martin DB4 developed a maximum speed of 250 kilometers per hour, and the hundred-kilometer mark was overcome in six seconds.

The Aston Martin DB4 was a great success, but despite its popularity, the company needed an improved model to compete with the Ferrari 250 GT. So, in 1959, the 302-horsepower DB4 GT appeared. Externally, it differed by closed headlight fairings and air intake on the hood lid.

The improvements did not end there. To "catch up" Ferrari, DB4 GT was subjected to new changes. For this purpose, the famous Milan bodywork firm Zagato was involved, thanks to which the car became more streamlined and aggressive. Steel body parts were replaced by aluminum ones, bumpers were removed, instead of glass light Perspex was inserted. Thanks to this, the weight of the car was reduced by 40 kilograms, and on special racing samples the weight was reduced by another 50 kilograms. Slightly increased and the engine power, now it amounted to 314 forces.

Despite the relatively small success in sports competitions, the Aston Martin DB4 was considered one of the best cars in the Gran Turismo class. A total of 1185 copies of this series were made. The Aston Martin DB4 GT was produced from 1959 to 1963 and came out in the number of 75 pieces. The fastest version - Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato appeared in 1959 in the number of nineteen copies.

 

Porsche 550 Spyder

Porsche 550 Spyder

The paths of development of racing and production models of Porsche diverged in 1948, when two prototypes with different layout were built: the center-engined roadster Porsche 356/1 and rear-engined coupe Porsche 356/2. The differences in design were explained by the fact that the production Porsche 356 was more appropriate to be unified with the Volkswagen Beetle to make its production cheaper, and its racing version was to have advantages in terms of weight distribution and handling. Between 1951 and 1952. Walter Glöckler clearly demonstrated that his modified Porsche 356 with a centrally mounted engine was far more competitive than its factory rear-engined counterpart. The Porsche designers took this into account and began development of a special race car for the 1953 season. Ernst Fürmann was responsible for the powertrain design, while Wilhelm Hild was put in charge of the chassis.

The first Porsche 550 prototype had an open aluminum body with a removable rigid roof, mounted on a lightweight steel tube ladder frame with suspension and brakes from the Porsche 356. The Fürmann engine was not yet ready, so the car was given a boosted 1488 cc opposition four-cylinder motor with 78 hp. The roadster made its debut in the Eifel race at the Nürburgring, where it took its first victory under Helm Glöckler. It was then converted into a two-seat coupe with a panoramic windshield and two air vents in place of the rear window and, along with a second identical car, took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Richard von Frankenbert/Paul Frere and Hans Herrmann/Helm Glöckler crews took 1st and 2nd place in the 1500 cc class and 15th and 16th place overall, respectively, with the Mulsanne's straight-line speed record of 225 km/h. The two coupes then took 1st and 2nd places in their class in the 1000km Buenos Aires, 12 Hours of Sebring and Carrera Panamericana races.

In 1953, the Porsche 550 RS Spyder was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, powered by a 1,498 cc Fuhrmann four-cylinder opposition engine with 110 hp. The design of this 8-valve motor utilized two overhead camshafts (DOHC) per block, driven by driveshafts instead of chains or belts. The car also featured a thinner tubular frame and a very low aluminum body - so low that Hans Herrmann drove it under a closed barrier at a railroad crossing during the 1954 Mille Miglia race. The Porsche 550 RS Spyder dominated its class in races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1955 and 1956), Mille Miglia (1954 and 1955), 12 Hours of Sebring (1956), 1000 km Nürburgring (1956) and Targa Florio (1956). But his most famous achievement was the 1954 Carrera Panamericana, where Hans Herrmann took 1st place in the under 1500 cc class and 3rd place overall behind two Ferraris. This was the first time in the history of motorsport that the car was supported by sponsors Fletcher Aviation and Telefunken, who stuck their advertising on the body.

The Porsche 550 Spyder was equally suitable for both race tracks and public roads. Therefore, as early as 1953, the company began to sell such roadsters into private hands, usually to amateur racers like James Dean. Production cars usually had two seats, a full-width windshield, and a padded rain cover. A total of 78 examples of the Porsche 550 Spyder were built between 1953 and 1956, after which it was replaced by the Porsche 550A Spyder. It received a five times stiffer tubular chassis, modified rear suspension on swing axles, modified 1.5-liter DOHC engine with 135 hp and 5-speed manual transmission. All of these changes helped the roadster win the 1956 Targa Florio race overall. Further evolution of the model led to the creation of the even more successful Porsche 718 RSK (1958-1959) and its successors of the RS series, to which the pedigree of the modern production roadster Porsche Boxster goes back.

 

Ford Thunderbird

Ford Thunderbird

In the history of Ford there were many famous models. These are the world's first mass-market Ford T, the affordable Ford V8 with a powerful "eight" under the hood, and the iconic Mustang. The famous Ford Thunderbird, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, has a worthy place in this family.

The history of Ford Thunderbird dates back to the turn of the 40-50s of the twentieth century. Ford's Board of Directors decided to expand the model range. Moreover, along with affordable cars decided to create more expensive ones. The first of them was Ford Thunderbird. Its appearance was pushed by small-series European manufacturers of sports cars. Since in the USA the standard of living was higher than in post-war Europe, high-speed Aston Martin, Ferrari, Jaguar, Porsche began to be delivered over the ocean. The Americans had nothing to oppose them and they set out to make up for lost time.

General Motors was the first to cope with the task: in 1953 they presented the Chevrolet Corvette. Its appearance spurred Ford engineers and they accelerated the work on its competitor. At first they prepared a prototype Ford Vega, but it turned out to be too spartan and expensive to produce. Henry Ford II set the task to develop a new car - a small two-seat convertible with a V8 engine. However, if the Corvette was a purebred "sportsman", its rival had to become more comfort-oriented.

The car was developed in record time - less than a year. Already in August 1954, the first prototype was ready, and then the model created a real sensation at the Chicago Auto Show.  Since 1955, its production began. Elegant 4.5-meter convertible was named Thunderbird, which means "petrel" (so the Indians named a huge mythical bird). The image of the bird was placed on the "nose" of the car. It attracted attention with smooth body contours and plenty of chrome parts. Round lights resembled nozzles of rockets. The basic equipment included a radio and removable hard top, and among the options were soft fabric roof with electric drive, air conditioning and automatic transmission. The novelty was equipped with a 4.8-liter V8 with an output of 200 hp. With it Ford Thunderbird accelerated to 100 km/h in 11 seconds and developed 185 km/h.

The model was an immediate success: already in the first year instead of the expected 10 thousand cars it was possible to sell more than 16 thousand. One of the first convertibles was bought by the movie star Marilyn Monroe. It is interesting that the main rival Corvette found only 700 buyers. The next year was no less successful - 15.6 thousand Thunderbird. Then the car was slightly updated: the rear part was lengthened and a new 5.1-liter V8 was installed. In the basic version the motor developed 225 hp, but if desired, it could be supplemented with a mechanical compressor, which raised the power to 300 or even 340 hp. The flagship Thunderbird easily reached 100 km/h in 6 seconds, and its top speed was 240 km/h. The result was not long in coming - 21,300 convertibles produced.

But Ford did not rest on its laurels and in 1958 presented a completely new Thunderbird. Along with the convertible, coupes were offered for the first time. They became more oriented on comfort and noticeably grew - reached 5.2 meters in length. The weight has added about 400 kg. Nevertheless, the dynamics remained good thanks to the new V8 - 5.8-liter 300-horsepower and 7.0-liter 350-horsepower. The interior was decorated with leather. The car became even more popular: in 1960, for example, almost 93 thousand Thunderbird were produced, which is an excellent result for a sports model.

Shown in 1961, the third generation Ford Thunderbird looked more impetuous and thanks to the pointed "nose" in profile resembled a bullet. Power steering was added to the initial equipment, and the list of optional equipment included power windows and seats. The new 6.4-liter V8 developed 300 or 345 hp. Thunderbird was honored to be a safety car in the race "500 miles of Indianapolis" and opened the parade dedicated to the new president John F. Kennedy. One convertible was purchased by Elvis Presley.

The 1964 model marked the arrival of a new faceted style. However, despite the external differences, the platform remained the same, as well as the engines. Of the innovations should be noted only the front disc brakes. Radical changes came in 1967. The new Thunderbird was available not only as a coupe and convertible, but also in a four-door version. This marked a residual move into the preemium segment, although the model was still less expensive than the Lincoln. Interestingly, the sedan had swinging doors. Another detail - retractable headlights. Offered and 7.0-liter 360-horsepower V8 significantly improved dynamics. One of the convertibles was selected for filming in the movie about the adventures of Agent 007 James Bond "Goldfinger".

With each new generation, the Ford Thunderbird continued to increase in size. The pinnacle was the imposing 1972 model with a length of 5.7 meters. A huge 7.5-liter engine was installed under the hood. However, due to new environmental standards, its power was only 220 hp. But the list of options included alarm system, climate control, anti-lock brakes ABS (one of the first in the world) and even a light sensor.

A sharp increase in oil prices in the mid-70s made Americans reconsider their attitude to large and "voracious" cars. Over time, the Thunderbird became more compact and lighter. This had a positive impact on the popularity of the model: in 1978 it set a sales record - 352 thousand cars. Three years later, the new generation for the first time received a six-cylinder engine, and the flagship 4.9-liter V8 developed 210 hp. In order to save fuel, the 1983 FordThunderbird was made more streamlined and equipped with a 2.3-liter 190-horsepower turbocharged "four". It not only had less "appetite": with it the coupe developed a decent speed of 230 km/h.

In 1989, the world saw the tenth generation Ford Thunderbird. The coupe became sleeker and lighter, and the independent suspension of all wheels and high friction differential were designed to improve handling. A choice of 3.8-liter compressor V6 with an output of 230 hp or 4.6-liter 205-horsepower V8 was offered. In this form, the car was produced until 1997. It turned out to be not only long-lived, but also successfully showed itself in races: in 1992 helped Alan Kulwicki to win the NASCAR body championship.

Then there was a five-year pause in the history of the model, because the new Thunderbird was presented only in 2002. Stylists decided to return to the roots, and therefore the design turned out to be classic. The car looked very similar to the original model of 1955. Round lights, and chrome grille, even removable hard top was offered. The new 4.0-liter V8 was borrowed from Jaguar: first it developed 252 hp, and after modernization - 280 hp. It was enough to develop 240 km/h. There was also a new 5-speed automatic. However, the convertible was not cheap and gradually lost popularity. Even the appearance of Thunderbird in a new movie about agent 007 James Bond did not help. Therefore, Ford management in 2005 decided to stop production of the model and not to create its new generation.

 

Maserati A6 G2000 Zagato

Maserati A6 G2000 Zagato

Although the first Maserati car with a six-cylinder engine debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 1947, commercial success did not come until 1954, after production of the third generation of cars began. Maserati A6G. Launched in 1954, the car was equipped with a modernized engine with two overhead camshafts, which had previously been used in single-seater racing cars. The power of the new engine was 150 horsepower and was quite sufficient in contrast to the weak engines of previous models. And externally the cars with new bodies from Frua (Frua) and Zagato (Zagato) looked very attractive. The greatest success was enjoyed by cars with lightweight bodies from Zagato atelier.

Of the 63 Maserati A6G cars produced, perhaps the most interesting was the car with chassis number 2121, equipped with a Zagato body with a "signature" roof in the form of a double bubble. There are two other similar cars in existence, however, there is reason to doubt that this roof shape was theirs from birth.

The Maserati A6G 2000 Zagato Coupe took part in the Mille Miglia races immediately after its construction, but due to a breakdown it was withdrawn from the race and soon sold in the USA. Its new owner, Sal DiNatale, an Italian living in California, sent the car back to Italy in the early '60s, planning to return to his homeland soon afterward. Until his arrival, DiNatale had arranged to store the Maserati in a garage.

But fate ordered otherwise, Sal Dinatale never returned to sunny Italy, and the car has stood for more than three decades, unnoticed by anyone, in a garage, the gates of which are almost a meter blocked by a brick wall.

During this time, one of the most passionate collectors of Zagato cars, David Sydorick (David Sydorick) persistently searched for Maserati A6G with chassis number 2121. He already knew that the car was somewhere in Italy, but that was the end of the trail. One day, a certain gentleman was interested in Sydorick's collection and especially in his Maserati A6G with Zagato body. Being invited, the gentleman introduced himself and, to David Sidorick's delight, turned out to be Sal Dinatale, who fully confirmed the history of Maserati #2121.

After a year of persistent persuasion, the deal was concluded and the new owner of the one-of-a-kind Maserati A6G 2000 Zagato Coupe took the first plane to Italy. Sidorik had already realized why for thirty years no one knew anything about this car. The mysterious garage was located in the town of Corleone in Sicily.

Arriving at the destination already in the dark, Sidorik could not resist and entered the garage with an old lantern. Tears of joy flowed down his face at the moment of meeting the coveted treasure. The next day, in front of curious citizens, Dinatale's son-in-law broke the brick wall, the tires were inflated and the Maserati A6G with chassis number 2121 saw daylight again for the first time in many years.

 

Austin Healey 100

Austin Healey 100

In 1953, a long-retired former British Air Force pilot named Healy decided to reorganize his car repair shop. Having had experience as an engineer with companies such as Triumph and British Leyland.

In 1946, he founded a private atelier for the production of sports cars, personally engaged in all stages of the creation of future cars. And in 1953 he was offered cooperation by the company "Austin", which wanted to return to the big sport after it was forced to curtail its sports program in 1938.

The company's first model in 1953 was the Austin-Healey 100 sports convertible, which is a true benchmark among sports coupes even today. By 1967, 74 thousand copies of this model were sold. The car had a simple and lightweight open body, and the 2.6-liter gasoline engine developed 90 horsepower and came with a three-speed manual gearbox. A year later, the Austin-Healey 100-6 was introduced, equipped with a six-cylinder engine and a four-speed gearbox, which was the first British-made sporting MKPP.

The next model of the company in 1959 was a compact roadster Austin-Healey Sprite, which was intended for participation in the Monte Carlo Rally. Also in 1959, the Austin-Healey 3000 was presented, which became the second most popular model of the company. In the period from 1960 to 1967, only one model Austin-Healey Sprite was presented, which later became known simply as Austin Sprite. The culprit was the gradual decline in the company's economic efficiency and a drop in the quality of car assembly. As a result, in 1971, Healey was closed, and all the current models did not receive a successor. The only long-lived model was the Sprite, which was continued in the form of MG Midget, 10 years after the closure of Austin-Healey and the transition of Austin under the control of the British Leyland Corporation, newly created at the request of the British government.

 

Buick Riviera

Buick Riviera

This generation is unique in that it reached the assembly line virtually unchanged, as it was conceived by designers. As it should be in a good story, it began long before the official presentation of the model to the public, which occurred on October 4, 1962. For the first time the name Riviera appeared as a designation of a new for the market body - hardtop. We owe its appearance to one of Buick's executives, or rather to his wife, who always drove convertibles without lowering the cloth top. Before the war, bodies with a retractable top were quite popular, but in the late 40's bodies with a rigid roof occupied the lion's share of the market, as more practical. So it was only a matter of time before a body with a rigid roof but without a center pillar appeared, and its popularity over the next few decades was confirmed by hundreds of thousands of cars sold in America alone. So, in 1949, Buick built its first hardtop with two doors on the basis of the flagship model of the Roadmaster range and gave it a special name - Riviera.

Later, this designation was given to expensive modifications of regular sedans, but with the advent of four-door bodies without a center pillar, it again designated only hardtops. designations for hardtops, unique to each brand, but by the early 60's brands began to abandon this fashion. So when Buick needed a name for a new, special hardtop, the Riviera designation suited it just fine.

But it took the hard work and uncompromising commitment of many people, most notably General Motors Vice President of Design Bill Mitchell and the head of the No. 1 Perspective Design Studio, Ned Nickles. It was Nickles who was involved in the design of the first Buick Riviera in 1949, and longtime head of the brand's Design Department, while Mitchell inherited his position from Harley Earl, and was not only a fine designer, but also a more than successful manager. The final design of General Motors products bore his signature, and the number of cars thus approved by him, in units produced, exceeded 72 million.

It's no coincidence that it was in 1958 that Mitchell became Vice President and Nickles became head of the Studio, but there was another - GM President John Gordon, who had previously been head of the Cadillac brand when Mitchell was in charge of its design. Mitchell and Gordon both realized that GM needed something to counter the more than successful Thunderbird model from Ford, which, having become a four-seater in 1958, was setting sales records in a new segment - personal luxury, virtually monopolizing it.

The idea finally took shape when Mitchell visited a London car showroom and in the evening saw a Rolls-Royce parked outside, the bottom of which was hidden by the famous London fog. Meeting Nickles on his return, Mitchell shared his sighting with him. Nickles had a sketch of a similarly sharp and crisp body, which he immediately redrew, adding elements reminiscent of the grille of LaSalle, a subsidiary of pre-war Cadillac, to please his bosses, which both Gordon and Mitchell liked.

The project was given the code XP-715 and given the go-ahead. The first working name of the project was LaSalle II, and Mitchell planned to give its production to Cadillac. But the management was not enthusiastic about the new model, they were doing quite well with new models and sales. The same situation was in Chevrolet. But the brands of the middle group of the concern: Buick, Oldsmobile and Pontiac were very interested. In the late 50s, after the crisis of 1958, these brands were not recovering as actively as their management would have liked.

All three brands tried to snatch a tasty project for themselves, and the top management of GM took an unprecedented step - a competition was organized. The three brands had to make a presentation, in which they would clearly explain with figures and graphs what each brand wanted to change in the project, how it would position the novelty on the market and how much money it would bring in the end.

The winner, as is usually the case, was the one who wanted it more. It turned out to be Buick. This was not only because it was in the most desperate position in terms of falling sales. And not just because the brand's executives promised not to change anything when it went into production. It's just that they were much better prepared. They hired professionals to develop the presentation. The same ones who did the commercials for the production line. With so much effort put in, they simply couldn't lose.

After winning, the only thing they had to do was change the name. The working LaSalle II was no good because it was associated with Cadillac. That's where the name Riviera, which had already been used for only one production Buick model, came in handy. For exclusivity of the future model, it was decided to limit its circulation to 40 thousand units per year. Artificial limitation created an additional flow of potential customers to dealers' showrooms, who even without buying Riviera, could go home on another model of the brand. Looking ahead, I will say that the strategy worked.

As for the technical component, it was quite clearly defined by the main competitor - Ford Thunderbird. Like it, the Riviera was made on a shortened base, but unlike the Thunderbird it did not have a load-bearing body - GM did not use such bodies at that time. Therefore, the car had a standard frame shortened to 117 inches (2.97 m) (123 inches or 3.1 m). Ford had 113 versus 119 inches. Initially, the car was not supposed to be a sports car, its performance was supposed to represent something between the Chevrolet Corvette and the Buick Electra 225 sedan.

The engineers conducted a real study, the results of which were later published in a specialized magazine. The results were very economically encouraging. It turned out that it will be quite enough to use the most powerful engine of the brand - Wildcat at 401 cubic inches (6.6 liters) at 320 hp. Because of its smaller dimensions (L*W*H - 5,2*1,94*1,35 m), and the smallest Buick in those years had such dimensions - 5,5*1,98*1,44 m, the Riviera had quite good dynamics - accelerated to 100 km/h in less than 8 seconds, and a quarter mile was passed in 16 seconds, reaching a speed of 185 km/h, consuming at least 18 liters per 100 km of travel.

But the best part was that Mitchell made sure that no design idea was lost in the pre-production process. Rarely has a car made it to production in such an unaltered form. Ned Nickles was known for usually having designs that were far more interesting than the production models. But that's not how it went down here. At Fisher Body - GM division, which was engaged in production of bodies for all brands of the concern, they changed only the shape of the hood, well and hidden headlights had to wait until 1965, because by 1963 it was not possible to achieve proper functioning of the flaps in the front fenders. But Fisher specialists tried several new technologies - glued windshield and rear window (for the first time on a production car in America) and frameless glass on the doors (earlier hardtops had chrome frames on the windows).

The price was set at $4333, slightly less than the Thunderbird hardtop's $4445, and just two months after sales began, a new 425 cubic inch (7 liter), 340 horsepower engine was introduced and available at an additional cost. The Thunderbird engine in those years produced only 300 hp. The entire planned volume was sold, moreover the Riviera gathered rave reviews from famous American and European car designers.

The following year the 425 engine became the base engine, which increased the price by only $41, in addition it was possible to order a Super Wildcat version with 360 hp. Externally, the cars were distinguished by Riviera emblems in an oval on the hood and taillights.

The last year of the first generation brought much more significant exterior changes - the headlights finally took their original intended place, the rear end was redesigned, and there was a Grand Sport version, which now had the Super Wildcat engine, while the standard model reverted to the original 401 engine, and was now offered for $4026. Only 112,244 units of the first generation were produced, and it was a worthy competitor to the Ford Thunderbird in the new personal luxury car segment.

 

Jaguar C-Type

Jaguar C-Type

After the launch of the Jaguar XK120 in 1948, William Lyons decided to try his luck in automobile racing. The year 1949 saw the creation of a Jaguar racing team, led by Frank "Lofty" Ingland. In 1950, three classic Jaguar XK120s competed in the famous Le Mans race for the first time, which was quite a surprise to most of the competitors. Although no prizes were taken (12, 15, 30 - didn't make it), the company management considered the results acceptable, which gave the impetus to create a special car for the competition.

The team was led by William Haynes and Malcolm Sayer (an aerodynamic engineer who had come from the Bristol Airplane Company). Testing of the Jaguar XK120 revealed that the car was too heavy, so the management took the only true solution to the situation: to strengthen the XK engine and production transmission, to develop a special tubular frame and a new aerodynamic body. 

The development of the model took place in secret, by a small team. Great attention was paid to lightening the weight of the car. The original name of the model was Jaguar XK120 C (Competition), but later, after the debut, the car was called simply Jaguar C-Type. In 1951, three Jaguar XK120 Cs were presented at the Le Mans competition. Only one made it to the finish line, and it was he who took first place. The other two went off the track due to engine failure. Initially, sales of the Jaguar C-Type were impossible due to limited high quality steel. However, in 1952 the first models went into the hands of owners.

In 1952, the company management was concerned by a report from Stirling Moss, who had just returned from the Mille Miglia in Italy (where, incidentally, he had participated in disc brake testing), reporting that his car had been blown off by the new Mercedes-Benz 300SL coupe, the new car entered in the Le Mans race. The decision was made to improve the aerodynamic properties of the bodywork, which resulted in the engine's tendency to overheat, as well as the rear of the body lifting at high speeds. As a result of the Le Mans race, all 3 cars (unofficially the Jaguar C-Type Aerodynamic) withdrew within the first three hours.

Later, Norman Dewees of the Motor Industry Association, conducted a series of studies that revealed the main problems with the car - reduced downforce at the tail due to the new body shape and a modified engine cooling system. Two cars with this bodywork were dismantled at the factory, while a third survives today in classic bodywork.

For the 1953 race, the company prepared more thoroughly. Three new models were developed (unofficially - Jaguar C-Type Lightweight), which differed by a number of improvements: lightweight elements of the body and interior, disc brakes, three new carburetors.

Thanks to all the innovations it was possible to reduce the weight of the car by another 60 kg, as well as to increase the power to 220 hp. It should be noted that the use of a system of disc brakes was a kind of innovation, which laid the foundation for future braking systems in production cars. Le Mans 1953, the Jaguar Cars Ltd racing team in the Jaguar C-Type Lightweight was truly brilliant. 1st, 2nd, and 4th places were taken.

Production of the cars began in May 1952 (with the start of official sales), although, as is immediately apparent, the competition models were made much earlier. The last model was made in August 1953. Accordingly, only 54 cars were built. The car sold for about twice the price of the Jaguar XK120 - $5860 for the USA, £2350 for Britain.

 

Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint

Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint

From the very first years of its existence, the Italian brand Alfa Romeo became famous as a manufacturer of first-class racing cars. In the difficult post-war times, the company somewhat lost its former high prestige, but in the early 1950s it unexpectedly presented a new compact model Alfa Romeo Giulietta, which overturned the idea of Europeans about sports-road cars.

After the end of the war, Alfa Romeo was in a difficult financial situation. By that time in its production range remained only a series of Alfa Romeo 6C2500 equipped with a solid 2.5-liter 6-cylinder engine with an output of 90 hp. These representative cars still pre-war development had very advanced technical characteristics, but for the vast majority of Italians were no longer available. Presented in 1950, the middle range Alfa Romeo 1900 with a 4-cylinder engine (80-90 hp) did not improve the situation. Then, following the example of colleagues from Germany and France, who by that time presented simple and cheap micro cars Volkswagen Beetle and Renault 4CV, the Italians decided to create their own inexpensive and compact car, befitting the proud sporty brand Alfa Romeo.

In 1954, the company announced the production of a 2-door coupe with the romantic name Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint. It was a small-sized car with an elegant load-bearing body and a superbly tuned chassis with a snarled-spring front independent suspension, De Dion rear axle and hydraulically actuated drum brakes. It was equipped with a lightweight, all-aluminum, four-cylinder 1.3-liter engine with twin overhead camshafts, chain-driven timing and a five-post crankshaft. The transmission included a single-disc clutch, synchronized 4-speed gearbox and hypoid main gear. In the basic version with a 53 hp engine, the lightweight (860 kg) Giulietta Sprint could easily accelerate to 140 km/h, while costing 30% less than the 1900 series!

The debut of the Giulietta caused quite a stir. The car immediately won all kinds of awards, and a real queue was lined up for the finished cars. In 1955, a 5-seat 4-door sedan Giulietta Berlina went into production, which was also a great success, and it was followed by a huge number of all kinds of modifications with different types of bodies and boosted engines with 60-100 hp.

The general design of Giulietta was created in its own style center, and the bodies for high-speed versions were made by the leading Italian coachbuilders. So in 1956, the company Bertone released a coupe Giulietta Sprint Veloce with an 80 hp engine, and a year later was presented a modification Sprint Speciale with a unique drop-shaped body and shortened chassis with a 100 hp engine, which accelerated the car to 200 km/h. In the same 1956 Pininfarina presented open versions of Giulietta Spider and Spider Veloce with 80-90 hp engines. These cars developed 165-180 km/h. In 1960, another reputable bodybuilding company Zagato prepared its version Sprint Zagato (190 km/h) with aluminum, aerodynamically perfect body and 100-horsepower engine.

In technical terms, the car practically did not change, except that in 1961 on all wheels there were disc brakes. With the release of a new model Alfa Romeo Giulia in 1962, the popularity of Giulietta gradually went down, until in 1966 the car was finally removed from production. A total of 158,800 copies of the Giulietta were produced, which for a small manufacturer of sports cars can be considered an outstanding result. For some time in Italy, Alfa Romeo took the second place after Fiat in the production of passenger cars, and all this thanks to the Giulietta model.

 

Citroën DS

Citroën DS

Over more than a century of history, the Citroen brand has been famous for many advanced models. They were characterized by interesting design and technical innovations. But all of them were overshadowed by the legendary Citroen DS - the embodiment of elegance and progress. It is hard to believe that the legendary car turns 65 years old.

The development of Citroen DS started soon after the liberation of France in 1945. The company's management realized that it was necessary to update the model range. The work on the budget Citroen 2CV was nearing completion, and it was time to create a new flagship - the successor of the famous Traction Avant. The latter was famous as one of the first front-wheel drive cars and its successor was to become no less innovative. Therefore, it is not surprising that it took about ten years to design the DS.

The new Citroen was presented on October 5, 1955 at the Paris Motor Show, the brand's home. It was an instant success: the car literally captivated the public with its graceful streamlined body lines. It is understandable, the design was worked on by the famous Italian sculptor Flaminio Bertoni. For the first 15 minutes after the presentation 743 orders for DS purchase were received, and by the end of the day 12 thousand visitors expressed their desire to buy Citroen. For its elegant design, the car immediately received a nickname, consonant with its name - Deesse ("goddess").

Citroen sedan attracted attention not only by its appearance, but also by its technical innovations. The main one was independent hydropneumatic suspension of all wheels, which allowed to change the ground clearance, as well as to change the wheel without a jack. The steering was also equipped with hydraulic power steering, and its working fluid was common with the suspension. DS was the first in the world to receive a robotized gearbox with automatic clutch. In addition, it became one of the first mass-produced cars with front disc brakes.

Like its predecessor, the Traction Avant, the DS was front-wheel drive. Citroen not only looked fast, but also had good aerodynamics (drag coefficient - 0,34), and to reduce the weight the roof was made of fiberglass. In the cabin, the original single-spoke steering wheel attracted attention.

But the engine of the model was more traditional for its time and not too powerful. Though at first for DS they developed an oppositional six-cylinder air-cooled motor, but then the idea was abandoned. The matter is that in France there was introduced a system of tax charging on automobiles depending on their power. To make the sedan a little cheaper, it was equipped with a proven 1.9-liter 75-horsepower "four" from Traction Avant, which allowed to reach 140 km/h.

But even with such an engine Citroen DS was rather expensive - about 3600 dollars, that is almost as much as sports Jaguar XK150 and Chevrolet Corvette. Therefore, along with the standard model they created a budget version ID, which lacked hydropneumatic suspension, disc brakes and power steering, and was equipped with a conventional manual transmission. Soon the lineup was also supplemented by a roomy station wagon Familiale and an elegant convertible.

The car was constantly modernized. In 1956, the engine power increased to 86 hp, and in 1962, the front end was updated and more streamlined headlights were installed. Three years later, the DS 21 appeared, equipped with a 2.1-liter 115 hp engine with hemispherical combustion chambers, and from 1967 the car was fitted with adaptive headlights that rotated with the wheels.

In 1970, mechanical fuel injection was introduced, and three years later saw the world flagship DS 23 Pallas with a 2.3-liter 143-horsepower "four", capable of reaching 185 km/h. It was also equipped with leather interior and air conditioning.

Citroen DS is appreciated for its high ride comfort and good cross-country ability in the mode with increased ground clearance. Professional racers noticed it and created a rally version of the model. It won twice (in 1959 and 1966) in the legendary Monte Carlo rally, and in 1962 won the race "1000 lakes" in Finland.

Of course, the avant-garde Citroen DS became popular among celebrities as well. It was bought by surrealist artist Marc Chagall, actress Brigitte Bardot, Cambodian King Sihanouk. The DS was presented to the first cosmonaut of the planet Yuri Gagarin during his visit to France.

A special cabriolet based on DS was a parade car of French President Charles de Gaulle for a long time, and the extended sedan served as his everyday transportation. It was the Citroen that saved the politician's life when he was assassinated. The terrorists' bullets punctured two tires, but the air suspension allowed to reduce body roll and continue driving.

And it is also impossible not to remember DS's "career" in movies, because he became the hero of more than three dozen films. Perhaps, its most famous role is in the film "Fantomas went on a rampage", where Citroen in a matter of seconds turned into a jet airplane and took the criminal to the sky.

Citroen DS was produced for two decades - until 1975. A total of 1 million 455 thousand cars came off the assembly line, which is a very good indicator for a premium-segment model. Naturally, the "Goddess" influenced the subsequent development of the entire Citroen model range. Even today, its significance has not been forgotten and now DS is a separate premium brand of PSA Group concern.

 

Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

By the end of the 50s of the last century, the whole world knew Aston Martin cars - dynamic cars, providing a person behind the wheel full of pleasure. DB 2/4 was replaced by Aston Martin DB4 in 1959. It was a completely new car - different body and engine.

The bodies were made in Italy. Aluminum elements were manually attached to a steel frame, and the task was to minimize weight, while maintaining the necessary rigidity. It succeeded, and Aston Martin bodies were characterized by the term Superleggera: translated from Italian Super Leggera means "super light". This used to be the name of elegant and "airy" carriages made in the famous Touring workshop. The carriages became a thing of the past, and Milan began to make car bodies. The cars themselves were assembled in England, at the new plant in Newport.

It was Aston Martin DB4 that got a characteristic appearance of a supercar. At the first look you realize that for this car on the road there are not so many rivals. Extended hood, the center of gravity is visually shifted back.

It seems that the DB4 is crouched before a jump, just press the gas pedal a little and the car will disappear in a whirlwind of dust and roar. Huge chrome grille and powerful air intake unambiguously speak about the impressive volume of the engine - a big heart needs voluminous lungs. The dynamic image of DB4 is emphasized by elegant wheel disks with spokes, which have become characteristic for Aston Martin.

Aston Martin DB4 has received a new engine. And what! Six-cylinder engine, almost entirely made of "winged metal", with a volume of 3669 cubic centimeters develops 220 hp. Acceleration to 100 km/h takes 8.5 seconds and the car easily overcomes the two hundred kilometer mark - the maximum speed is 225 km/h. For the powerful engine needed a corresponding gearbox, previous developments simply did not meet the new requirements.

Designers refused from the non-standard placement of instruments used on DB2 and DB 2/4 models - there they are located in the center of the torpedo, and on the edges there are deep niches. On the fourth DB all instruments are concentrated directly in front of the driver, he controls them, practically without distracting from driving. The large three-spoke steering wheel with a wooden rim is finished in leather and wood.

The car is a four-seater with separate seats on the second row. There is enough space for passengers, but the sloping ceiling prevents them from sitting comfortably. Though for the sake of justice it is necessary to recognize that in such a car rarely four people drive, in the absolute majority of cases the second row is empty. It was possible to order a variant with a rear sofa, but all the same there was enough space only for two people.

The driver and front passenger are at ease, but there is not so much space on the second row. And there is practically no space for bags. The volume of a luggage compartment to a great extent "eats" the big gas tank, and also it is necessary to place a spare wheel - "rollers" in those times were not used yet, and tires with tubes regularly received punctures. David Brown understood perfectly well that Aston Martin is chosen by pronounced individualists, who always differ from the general mass of people. Therefore, there are not many identical DB4s, the model range was regularly amended, new series appeared - in 1958, 1960, 1961 and 1962.

A year after the beginning of DB4 production, the light saw a modification of Aston Martin DB4 GT, which had a shortened base and forced up to 302 hp engine. This car reached 100 km/h in 6.4 seconds, and the top speed was 246 km/h.  1960 at the exhibition in London presented a two-seat version of the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato. Shortened wheelbase, 314 hp engine and impressive even for today's top speed - 258 km/h. A total of 19 DB4 GT Zagato cars were made.

Work on the appearance of Aston Martin continued and in 1961 visitors of the Geneva Motor Show saw DB4 in Bertone's Giorgetto Giugiaro body. Steel was used instead of aluminum in this case, so the Aston Martin DB4 GT Bertone Jet is 90 kg heavier than the standard DB4 GT. The car was made in a single copy and is considered one of the most unusual Aston Martin.

From 1961 to 1963, the Aston Martin DB4 Coupe was produced in a convertible version. A total of 70 copies of DB4 Convertible were created. In 1961 a more powerful modification Vantage was added. Aston Martin DB4 Vantage - 270 hp, 235 km/h and 6.6 seconds to 100 km/h, Vantage GT modification was also produced. In total, 1185 copies of the Aston Martin DB4 were made. It was this car that received a characteristic appearance, traceable in several subsequent generations.

 

The Best-Looking Cars of the 1950s - VOTING

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