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The Best-Looking Cars of the 1970s

Lamborghini Countach

Lamborghini Countach

Italian sports cars have always attracted attention not only with powerful engines or good dynamic characteristics, but also with stunning design. Perhaps, Lamborghini models shocked the public most of all. Especially the legendary Lamborghini Countach succeeded. This famous car became a kind of symbol of the era and started a new stage in the development of sports cars. It is hard to believe, but this year Countach celebrates its 40th anniversary.

The idea of creating the Lamborghini Countach was born in 1970. The young Italian brand had already managed to get on its feet and even made a loud statement with the stunning Miura coupe. Of course, the mid-engine car showed itself perfectly, but the competitors did not slumber - there were new Ferrari 365 GT/4 Daytona and Maserati Bora. The founder and president of the company Ferruccio Lamborghini entrusted his charges with a difficult task - to design the successor of Miura. Of course, the newcomer had to be more powerful, faster, and brighter.

A group of engineers led by the talented Gianpaulo Dallara, Bob Wallace and Valentino Balboni began work on a new coupe with the code name Project 112. They decided that, like its predecessor, the car will be mid-engine. Specialists have created a light tubular frame from aluminum alloys. But V12 was placed not transversely, as in Miura, but longitudinally. For better weight distribution, the 5-speed manual gearbox was placed in front of the engine and this created a problem. Ferruccio Lamborghini demanded to make the car as low as possible, but this was hampered by the driveshaft. Dallara came up with an ingenious solution: the shaft was routed straight through a tunnel in the engine crankcase.

The choice of stylist was not thought about for a long time. The previous Lamborghini models - Espada, Jarama and the same Miura - were designed at the Bertone atelier by the famous designer Marcello Gandini. He also took up Project 112 and created for it a swift wedge-shaped body with a height of just over a meter. To facilitate boarding and disembarkation, Gandini used his invention - "guillotine" doors, which he used in the concept Alfa Romeo Carabo. They opened upwards parallel to the body. The rear window in the prototype was very narrow, and therefore instead of the traditional interior rearview mirror installed the original periscope, brought out in a narrow window in the roof. Among other interesting design details are triangular air intakes in the sidewalls and retractable headlights.

Of course, this coupe turned out to be very futuristic by the standards of its time. Therefore, it is not surprising that when the finished prototype was brought from Bertone to the Lamborghini factory, one of the workers exclaimed: "Countach!" This exclamation in the dialect of the Italian region of Piedmont expresses the highest degree of admiration - for example, if a man sees a beautiful woman. The novelty was named so, although before that all Lamborghini models were named in honor of bulls, which Ferruccio Lamborghini was fond of since childhood.

The bright yellow Countach concept car was brought to the 1971 Geneva Motor Show, where it immediately provoked a furor of the public. Perhaps no less impressive were the technical characteristics. The new 5.0-liter V12 developed 445 hp, which allowed the car weighing 1130 kg to accelerate to 100 km/h in 5 seconds and reach 306 km/h. The interior was decorated with expensive leather and installed in it deeply profiled sports seats.

Odnaku at once to launch the model in production was not possible. The beginning of the 70s was marked by a financial crisis, which hit Lamborghini. Ferucho Lamborghini was forced to sell the company, and the finalization of the new model took three years. The first Countach left the assembly shop only in 1974. In order to reduce its cost, it was necessary to give up the difficult periscope and increase the rear window. In addition, the 5.0-liter engine could not be brought to the mind. Instead, the proven Miura engine was installed - 4.0-liter 375-horsepower V12 with two valves per cylinder and six twin Weber carburetors. Dynamics, of course, deteriorated, but still was excellent - 6 s to 100 km/h and a top speed of 290 km/h. The model received the designation LP400, which stands for Longitudinale Posteriore 4,0 l ("4.0-liter engine placed transversely in the base").

For its time, the car was not cheap - 52 thousand dollars, which is equal to about 320 thousand at the current exchange rate. And the sharp rise in fuel prices did not contribute to the popularity of sports models. Therefore, in 1974, only 23 Countach were sold, and for four years only 158 cars were collected. Then the car underwent its first modernization - there was a version LP400 S. For the sake of better handling, the track was increased (it is noticeable by the widened wheel arches) and equipped Lamborghini with wide tires Pirelli P7 with the size 205/50 VR15 in front and 345/35 VR15 behind. There was a spoiler at the front, but the most noticeable detail was the huge rear wing. It reduced the speed limit to 274 km/h, but provided additional downforce. LP400 S turned out to be more popular: despite the increased price up to 85 thousand dollars, 237 cars were collected for five years. By the way, this version became the safety car in the famous Monaco Grand Prix of Formula 1.

In 1982, the world saw the modification LP500 S, which finally received a 5.0-liter engine. But because of the new strict environmental standards, the power remained the same. But the torque increased from 361 to 411 N-m, which made the motor more elastic and better adapted for everyday use. However, three years later, the coupe still received an increase in power. For Lamborghini Countach LP5000 QV developed a new block head with four valves per cylinder and improved cooling system. The result - 455 hp, which allowed to reach 100 km / h in 5.2 seconds and reach 295 km / h, even though the weight has increased to 1490 kg. The LP5000 QV proved to be the most popular variant of the model - 676 units were produced.

The potential of the LP5000 QV was tested in endurance races. On the basis of the coupe was created a co-prototype Lamborghini Countach QVX. It showed itself well in the fight with more experienced rivals, but the company did not have enough money for its finalization. Later, the finalized Countach took part in the Japanese championship JGTC.

The last modification of the coupe was Countach 25th Anniversary, created in 1988 especially for the 25th anniversary of Lamborghini. The engine remained the same, but the car received an aerodynamic dodger and improved air intakes. The chassis was also modernized, and the famous rally ace, world champion of 1977 Sandro Munari took part in the factory tests of the coupe. In this form, the car stayed on the assembly line until 1990, until it was replaced by the Lamborghini Diablo. In 16 years, 2,042 Countachs were produced.

Of course, extraordinary memorable design and good dynamics allowed Lamborghini Countach to quickly gain popularity, become a dream car, a symbol of the 80s. It can be seen in many movies - such as "Smokey and the Bandit", "King Kong", cartoon "Transformers". And, probably, no car is not painted on so many posters and calendars, especially popular among young people. And the Countach's "guillotine" doors have become a trademark of Lamborghini and are still used in most of the Italian brand's models.

 

Lancia Stratos HF Stradale

Lancia Stratos HF Stradale

In 1973, the first WRC World Rally Championship was launched. Many car manufacturers at first exhibited the models that took part in the European championship. However, in Lancia went another way - decided to create a completely new model. Earlier, nobody built cars specially for rally - all improved road models or sports prototypes for ring races. The novelty was called Stratos. For the sake of improvement of controllability the coupe was made mid-engine.

Bertone stylist Marcello Gandini designed a stunning wedge-shaped body with retractable headlights and panoramic windshield. The engine was borrowed from Ferrari's Fiat colleagues. V6 Dino with a volume of 2.4 liters developed 280 hp and allowed to accelerate to 100 km/h in 5 seconds. For admission to competitions a series of 490 road versions of Lancia Stratos with a deformed 190-horsepower engine was produced.

Stratos debuted in the world championship in 1974 and immediately started winning. In rally he had no equal - in three years he won 11 victories. The Lancia team won the manufacturers' championship three times (in 1974, 1975 and 1976). As for the personal standings, the title of the world champion began to be played only since 1977, and the first to win it was the leader of the Italian team Sandro Munari. And in the Monte Carlo Rally Stratos knew no equals in 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1979. In addition, the first place in the Mille Miglia in 1974 is on his account.

 

Citroen SM

Citroen SM

In 1968, Citroen bought a controlling interest in the legendary Maserati S.p.A. The development of a 2.7 liter V6 engine with twin overhead camshafts (based on the Maserati V8 sports engine) began immediately. This was a major breakthrough, as the legendary DS 19 lacked power in its day.

Designer Henri De Segur Lauve was commissioned to design a body capable of bringing France back to the prestige car market. The result exceeded all expectations. Designed using a wind tunnel (still a novelty in the 60s) this extraordinary arrow-shaped body had a Cx coefficient of 0.25.

The design of the car clearly shows that it was based on the DS concept, only executed in the spirit of a different time. The front fenders are located on the same level with the hood (this technique was later used by Porsche designers on the 911 model). The glass of the rear door had a smaller angle of inclination, the rear lights were significantly increased. The rear fenders covered the wheels, an element found earlier in the 2 CV, Dyane, Ami, DS 19, and contemporary GS models. The rear bumper was a continuation of the body and visually lengthened it. The solution of the front end is interesting. Despite its large size, it did not seem heavy due to the large area of glazing.

The technical solutions used in the SM gave it the reputation of a car ahead of its time. In addition to the front-wheel drive, the most interesting feature of the car was a unified hydraulic system, due to which the reinforced brakes with reduced pedal travel, which were characterized by quick response, self-adjusting hydropneumatic suspension and Varipower steering, designed in such a way that the turning radius of the car was reduced in proportion to the reduction of its speed.

Such steering needs habit - at parking the effect of excessive controllability is created, and at high speed the car behaves somewhat "straight". But having got used to it, it was possible to feel advantages. French pilots, who won the Moroccan rally on Citroen SM in 1971 (alas, the only sports victory of SM), managed to do it - at gas drop the car successfully turned on very steep turns, and at high speed sharp turns of a steering wheel were not dangerous. It should be noted that the steering had a stabilization system - after a turn, a force was created to return the front wheels to the initial (straight) position. Another interesting detail: simultaneously with the wheels, two internal (near to the license plate) headlights were turned.

The interior reflected the spirit of the '70s. Leather, chrome. The traditional single-spoke steering wheel had an oval shape. The same shape had instruments, and the dashboard itself was made of aluminum; obviously, the designers wanted to emphasize the sporty character of the car. The softness of the suspension and all sorts of seat adjustments provided excellent comfort, but because of the gradual narrowing of the body to the rear bumper there was little space for rear passengers, so the body received the index 2+2.

Press reviews were enthusiastic: "One of the best and most promising technologies in the world", "A triumph of design and construction", etc. Motor Trend magazine called the Citroen SM "the best car in the world" and "the car of 1971". Not bad, considering that the SM was in no small part aimed at the American market, and Motor Trend is considered one of the most widely read automotive publications in the United States.

The Citroen SM was produced for just over three years, but during that time it underwent a number of changes. In late 1971, alloy wheels were offered instead of the standard steel wheels, weighing only 4.66 kg each. In July 1972, the Weber carbureted fuel system was replaced by Bosch electronic injection, increasing the Maserati V6 engine's output to 178 hp and improving fuel economy. An automatic 3-speed transmission was then offered instead of the standard manual 5-speed transmission (mainly for the US market). Engine displacement was increased to 2965cc (instead of the original 2670cc).

Test-pilots of English Motor Magazine in 1973 accelerated SM to 137 mph (220 km/h) - it was more than Alfa Romeo Montreal (218 km/h) and BMW 3.0 CSL (219 km/h), however, the acceleration dynamics of Citroen was a little worse.

Clearly, the SM was an extraordinary car in every respect. What was the reason for such a short production run? There are several explanations for this. The car, as already mentioned, was intended for the American market, but the energy crisis that broke out in 1973-1974 years led to a drop in demand for powerful high-speed cars. In these conditions SM looked simply antisocial and there was no place for it in the rational world. Citroen always had a good market in neighboring England. But here, the SM was sold only with left-hand drive. The expected "right-hand drive" version never appeared, although several copies were remodeled directly in England by Middleton Motors.

Another, probably, the most important reason for the short production of Citroen SM was the economic difficulties of the company. The fact is that simultaneously with the SM, funds were invested in the development of GS and CX models. With such financial investments and incomparable return at first, the company's business was somewhat shaken. Peugeot took advantage of this and in December 1974 received a controlling stake in Citroen.

SM was developed as an exclusive model, which could be compared with the outstanding creation of the famous French coachbuilder Vean Daninos - the car Facel Vega (1958-1962), which many called "French Rolls-Royce". After the failed attempt to establish mass production of Facel Vega and the bankruptcy of the company in 1964, the niche of "car for the chosen" in France was empty - it was to be occupied by Citroen SM.

The production volume of SM as an expensive car of GT class was initially supposed to be small, respectively, and the income would be incomparable with the one, which gives the production of mass models. And the new owners - Peugeot - decided to deal with cheaper cars, especially since it did not contradict the general direction of Citroen activity. SM production was practically curtailed, however, at the end of 1974, the SM assembly was transferred to Ligier, where it was supposed to be practically piece production, designed for rich customers, in order to preserve prestige. But even this attempt failed.

Despite the relatively short production period, Citroen SM received several modifications, in particular, Cabriolet and President. The latter had an enlarged base, which allowed to add two doors and a soft removable roof. The Citroen SM President is still used by the French President as a parade car.

 

Porsche 928

Porsche 928

The Porsche brand became known primarily for rear-engined models with opposition engines, such as the legendary Porsche 911 and its predecessor, the 356. But alongside them were some pretty good models with a more traditional layout - such as the Porsche 928 coupe celebrating its 40th anniversary.

It's hard to believe, but the Porsche 928 was created as a replacement for the 911. In the early 70s, the company's top management decided that the rear-engine layout had exhausted its potential and commissioned the development of a new model. After several unsuccessful experiments with mid-engine chassis, it was decided that the car would receive a classic front-engine layout. The project has already interested Ferdinand Porsche, who had long dreamed of a more comfortable premium tourist model. And necessarily with 300-horsepower V8 under the hood, which could attract American buyers.

However, the fuel crisis almost put an end to the new model. Big V8s were no longer in demand even in the USA and Porsche management adjusted its plans. Porsche 911 was not removed from production, and the new coupe was decided to make a luxury alternative to it. In order to save fuel, the engine volume was reduced to 4.5 liters. Meanwhile, in 1975, the first front-engined Porsche 924 appeared.

The Porsche 928 premiered in August 1977 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The wide and very low streamlined three-door coupe made a real sensation. Anatole Lapin's design amazed the public. The long hood and retractable round headlights and pronounced "shark nose" attracted everyone's attention. At the same time, the car received integrated bumpers that protected the body at speeds up to 8 km/h.

Equal weight distribution on the axles (50:50) was provided by the transaxle layout. That is, the engine was located in the front longitudinally, and the gearbox - in the area of the rear axle, in front of the main gear. The body was galvanized, and the manufacturer gave a seven-year warranty against corrosion. And to reduce weight, doors and hood were made of aluminum alloys. As a result, the 928 was 250 kg lighter than competitors Ferrari 400 and Jaguar XJ-S.

The injected 4.5-liter V8 developed 240 hp, and the maximum 363 N-m of torque made the engine very elastic. The car accelerated to 100 km/h in 7 seconds and reached 240 km/h. The choice was offered a 5-speed manual transmission or 4-speed "automatic" produced by Mercedes-Benz.

Let Porsche 928 was not so maneuverable, as 911, but it was not equal in terms of ride comfort. Besides, the interior was covered with high-quality leather, and the equipment included power steering, adjustable steering column, air conditioning, power windows and cruise control. There was also more room in the second row than in the 911. In addition, the seats could be folded and the trunk volume could be increased from 178 to 580 liters.

The novelty won the title of "Car of the Year 1978", becoming the first sports model to win this competition. Buyers also appreciated the car: over 20,000 non-cheap coupes were sold in four years. The base model cost $26,000, which is comparable to $115,000 at today's exchange rate.

In 1980, at the end of the fuel crisis, a more powerful Porsche 928 S was introduced. Thanks to an increase in engine displacement to 4.7 liters, the power rose to 300 hp. Speed increased to 245 km/h, and acceleration to 100 km/h was reduced by half a second. The car can be distinguished by the rear spoiler.

Four years later showed 310-horsepower 928 S2 - the first model of the German brand with anti-lock brakes ABS. One of the S2s was presented to Ferdinand Porsche as a gift for his 75th birthday. And especially for the chief the coupe was turned into a sporty station wagon. It was even assigned a separate index 942.

Presented in 1987, the new Porsche 928 S4 finally received a 5.0-liter V8, as initially wanted the management of the brand. The engine with four valves per cylinder developed 320 hp. Maximum speed increased to 270 km/h, and acceleration to 100 km/h took 5.9 seconds. At the rear there were new lights and adjustable antifender.

For lovers of active driving, a limited version of S4 Club Sport has been released. Electric drives, central locking, part of noise insulation and even the rear view mirror on the passenger side were removed from the interior. The result - "weight loss" by 180 kg. Installation of special pistons and camshafts made the engine sharper. Club Sport was delivered only with a manual transmission and lockable by 40% differential ZF.

S4 modification gave life to one more exclusive version. Tuning studio Strosek seriously improved the model and raised its power to 360 hp. In addition, they installed upward rising doors.

However, the spartan model did not attract much attention, and only 19 cars were sold. Therefore, it was decided to produce a more comfortable version than 928 GT. The coupe received an increase of 10 hp and technical innovations of Club Sport, but all attributes of comfort were returned to it. GT was slightly faster than S4 - 5.6 s to 100 km/h. And soon all Porsche 928 was added on-board computer, traction control system, and also for the first time installed front airbags.

In the early '90s, the popularity of the 15-year-old Porsche 928 began a gradual decline. The expensive coupe sold much worse than the updated 911. The new modification 928 GTS, which was destined to become the last one, did not help. Its 5.4-liter 345-horsepower "eight" with a decent torque of 500 N-m allowed to accelerate to 100 km / h in 5.4 seconds and develop 275 km / h. The price reached the mark of 100,000 dollars. In three years only a little more than 2800 of these expensive models were purchased, and in 1995 the Porsche 928 was taken out of production. For 17 years, about 61,000 of the original coupes were sold around the world.

Stuttgart again focused on the 911, which, oddly enough, outlived its potential successor, the 928. The latter didn't turn out to be as iconic as the 911, but it was still quite popular. It was driven by such stars as director Steven Spielberg, actors Charlie Sheen and Eddie Murphy. And Porsche 928 S even managed to participate in competitions. In 1983, the racer Raymond Butineau drove it in the 24-hour race in Le Mans. Nevertheless, the management of Porsche does not give up hope to revive the tourist coupe. It may be based on the new Porsche Panamera of the second generation.

 

Citroën CX

Citroën CX

 

Ferrari 308 GTB

Ferrari 308 GTB

Ferrari 308 GT was first shown to the public in Paris in 1975. It replaced the Dino model, which in turn was the first representative of the 308 series and the first car of the company with a center-mounted engine. Dino was a four-seater, docile, almost family car. Therefore, the Bertone studio, which was engaged in its design, gave the appearance of the car smooth outlines "a la Porsche".

The new model Ferrari 308 GTS turned out to be much more powerful and assertive than its predecessor. And the management of Ferrari decided that the exterior of the car should be changed according to its character. Therefore, this time it turned to its old partner, couturier Leonardo Fioravanti, to develop the design. That took as a basis the outlines of the body of Ferrari 365 GT/4 and added some aggressive strokes to it, favorably emphasizing the sharper temperament of the new car.

The body of the first copies of the model was first made of composite to reduce weight. Of course, at that time they had not heard of carbon fiber, so fiberglass was used, thanks to which the weight was reduced to almost one ton. But in 1977, the body became steel, which although added rigidity, but not the best way reflected on the dynamic performance of the model. In the same year, the GTS version with an open top appeared.

Since 1980, Ferrari 308 GTS, succumbing to the worldwide mania to save fuel, equips its child with an injector and adds the letter "i" to its name. This innovation reduced gasoline consumption, but once again reduced acceleration and speed of the car, which caused a wave of indignation among consumers. As a result, the company had to return to the classic injection, which was implemented in 1982 on a new modification Quattrovalvole, equipped with a 240-horsepower V-8. In this guise, the 308 series was produced until 1985, when it was discontinued. It went down in history not only as the most beautiful, but also the best-selling car of the iconic Italian manufacturer. In total, more than 12000 cars of various modifications were produced.

As you can see, the 308 series, which was originally perfection, was refined several times. It was sold in two versions: GTB and GTS. In the first case, the letter "B" indicated that it was a Berlinetta with a hard, closed top, and in the second case - that it was a convertible. From 12 thousand representatives of the 308th series, entered the market, only every fourth car belonged to the modification Ferrari 308 GTS. And almost all open cars were sold to the States.

Ferrari 308 was equipped with a three-liter V-8, located transversely in the center of the body. Such a motor was created back in '64, as a road analog of power units of racing bolides. It was able to develop a power of 255 hp, accelerating the car to a hundred in a little more than 6 seconds. The maximum speed could reach 265 km/h.

 

Lotus Esprit S1'

Lotus Esprit S1

A prototype of this car was introduced in 1972, but completion of development was delayed until the new generation of front-engined Elite and Eclat cars began sales. When the first production model of the Esprit appeared in October 1975, it was not ready for sales - deliveries of the new car began in the summer of 1976.

The car used all the design features typical of Lotus: a chine frame, fully independent suspension and an easily recognizable fiberglass body. The first models received a non-inflated engine with an output of 160 hp, as a result of further upgrades the engine power increased by 55 hp.

Over the years of Esprit production, the company created many variants - with and without turbocharging, a number of special versions, including for the U.S. market, but the basic layout and design of the cars remained the same. Only modernization in 1980 can be considered serious, when the engine displacement increased to 2.2 liters, turbocharged version and improved frame and suspension.

The 2-seat saloon was not changed either. It remained somewhat cramped, with the upper part of the windshield frame close to the heads of the driver and passenger, with little legroom. The trunk was also small, but buyers of Esprit usually did not regret it. The car's main trump card was that it had the performance and handling of Italian supercars at a much lower price.

Before a more modern and streamlined second-generation car appeared, the company offered the last "HC" (High-Compression) variant. Lotus produced more than 4,000 examples of the first-generation Esprit over the years, sometimes building more than 500 cars a year. This made the Esprit the most successful model of the period.

 

Range Rover

Range Rover

This much more "civilized" Land Rover appeared in June 1970. It received a long-travel spring suspension with a rear body leveling device, four-wheel disc brakes and a new aluminum Rover V8 engine.

It was distinguished from the Land Rover by its luxurious interior, and the use of an automatic gearbox made it easier to drive for those who preferred comfort when driving off paved roads. Range Rover also opened up a new market segment - luxury all-terrain vehicles. Tougher requirements to the toxicity of exhaust gases led to the equipping of its engine with a gasoline injection system (1985). This, in turn, led to an increase in the maximum speed of the car up to 161 km/h. When the first Range Rovers began arriving in the US in 1987, they were fitted with automatic transmission, constant speed drive and air conditioning as standard equipment.

The Discovery was an evolution of this theme, first introduced at the 1989 Frankfurt Motor Show with a 3-door body. It used the same V8 gasoline engine and a new 2.5-liter 200TDi diesel engine with direct injection, turbocharging and intercooling. The following year, the company began production of a 5-door variant, and in March 1994, the company carried out an operation to improve the car's appearance.

The acquisition of the Rover Group by BMW in 1994 coincided with the introduction of a new generation Range Rover with a new frame and drivetrain. The seriously upgraded V8 engine was joined by BMW's in-line 6-cylinder 2.5-liter diesel engine. State-of-the-art electronics controlled everything from the safety system to the air suspension and traction control system. The new oversized load-bearing body was manufactured on a new production line. This allowed Range Rover models to retain their class leadership. The Range Rover Classic model was retained until 1996.

The company introduced the Fre-elander (Freelander) for the market of expensive smaller class all-terrain vehicles. It made its debut in September 1997 at the Frankfurt Motor Show and received numerous positive reviews. It is especially good in the 3-door version. Thanks to the HDC electronic hill descent control system, which uses ABS in its work, it has adopted all the positive qualities of the Defender and Range Rover cars.

 

BMW 3.0 CSL

BMW 3.0 CSL

BMW 3.0 CSL e9 is a sporty modification of CSi, which was specially produced for homologation of the model, for participation in body races. It was necessary to produce 1000 cars, and BMW decided not to produce just another car, but to demonstrate to everyone that BMW makes racing cars, not bulb trucks. To speed up the production and sales of the models, three modifications were developed: differing in the degree of "sportiness" and bodywork.

The body was maximally lightened, wheel arches were widened, most of the panels were made of aluminum, the interior was also removed all superfluous, put instead of funky chairs racing buckets, racing steering wheel. All kinds of "frills", such as air conditioning, audio system were ruthlessly removed (but at the request of the client they could be installed free of charge).  That is, who understands, has already noticed that the e9 CSL was the first civilian emka. It was in it that the company showed the "M" philosophy.

The mechanical part of the bmw 3.0 csl has also undergone major changes, starting with a lowered suspension, stiffer springs and shock absorbers, but also the stabilizer bars were now installed more rigid. It's worth noting that the suspension was developed in conjunction with Alpina specialists, who had extensive racing experience.

The first version of the m30 engine was carbureted (many consider this version of the engine to be the most "evil", because in spite of almost identical characteristics, the carburetor is not so smoothly and accurately feeds the fuel mixture into the cylinders, with a sharp opening of the throttle more mixture enters the cylinders, which leads to a sharp "surge" of power, which is comparable to a blow in the back). Later, carburetors were replaced by injectors, and later the injection system was changed several times for a newer and more perfect one.  And the most important thing is that the engine on the civilian bmw 3.0 csl was almost racing, injector and gave out under 220 hp from three liters of working volume.

Many readers will be surprised, because by modern standards 220 hp is "ridiculous", because the turbocharged small cars already have more power ... But in those years car manufacturers had a different philosophy: the first place was reliability, a three-liter engine could easily go 500 thousand km. at the same time, the owner knew that he had under the hood of a real racing engine, which is deformed, but if desired, it can be quickly enough turned into a "combat". In the racing version the engine was slightly more powerful due to 24 valves and two camshafts, but the cylinder block was exactly the same as in the "civilian" model.

The aerodynamics of the body was slightly changed, a large spoiler, low bumpers, arch expanders were installed, some journalists nicknamed it "Batmobile". Thanks to the use of lightweight materials, the body was lighter by 200 kg. And if we take into account that in total the car weighed less than 1200 kg, the motor was quite enough to compete with the famous "Italians".

You may be surprised, but Italian supercars in the 70s could not boast of huge power, you can even say that cars with 200+ hp engines were practically nonexistent, not to mention injector power systems and advanced electronics. And you have not thought that m30th motor is quite economical, in the years of oil crisis just its small appetite saved the model, and thanks to it e9-x was sold more than 7000 pcs. For serial cars it is a small figure, but for a racing, expensive, hand-built, exclusive car it is a huge figure. Virtually no other Ferrari could boast such sales. The e9 did it in 7.6 seconds with a top speed of 212km/h.

Of course, by today's standards you can't say that the e9 is a rocket, but the car is more than 45 years old and in those years it was out of reach. And again, many may say that now budget cars can accelerate far beyond 200 km/h, and they will be right. There were plenty of technologies to get more power from the motor, but they were very expensive, including special racing tires (There were practically no tires on sale that could withstand speeds of more than 150 km/h, and those that were intended for motorsports and were not quite suitable for "civil" use. Few people wanted to be on the track on slicks in the rain).

To all the above mentioned it is worth to add about safety systems. Only one ABS came to the driver's aid... No directional stability, no traction control, nothing... On a good dry asphalt 200-strong unit is quite comfortable to drive, but in rain, snow, from the driver required maximum concentration. A simple example: let's compare BMW E30 and E23 in slippery winter conditions, the seven, due to a large wheelbase feels quite well in difficult road conditions, but E30 constantly wants to "bring" the rear end, divorce, etc. The E9 is just by its wheelbase and weight very similar to the triple. How many people want a car that's difficult to drive? No. The price was also unattainable... it cost as much as a 1.5 Ferrari.   

The E9 - I was able to show the public that BMW was making civilian sports cars. And the concern decided to split its model range into a numbering that everyone could understand. The simplest model was the 3. And its first generation BMW 3 (E21). In general, BMW 3 series has adopted many features from e9. But all the same direct heir should be considered BMW six. At the moment, the original BMW 3.0 CSL e9 costs an incredible amount of money. It is not realistic to meet them on public roads.

In recent years, retro rallies, retro track days, where owners of rare cars participate, have become popular. And just at such events e9s are very much. And this is due to just the same huge reliability, with a deformed motor, which can work for days in extreme modes without damage to the resource.

And in the end I would like to speak about appearance of E9. I still consider it one of the most beautiful BMWs. It was the beginning of the "era of sharks", it is because of it that BMW is associated with a shark. Thanks to Italian designers, the world saw a whole series of cars with sharp noses and predatory looking headlights. But judging by the latest models, BMW decided to revise its history and produce models that, to put it mildly, look like incomprehensible objects on wheels with "zero" resource.

 

The Best-Looking Cars of the 1970s - VOTING

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