Tag Archives: Classic Driver Magazine

Italian Design: 90 Years Of ‘Pininfarina’ Celebrated

The world’s most famous automotive design house, Pininfarina celebrates 90 years of style and innovation with a new exhibition at the MAUTO in Turin, open from May to September.

Founded in 1930, Pininfarina has evolved from an artisan concern to a global brand employing over 600 people. In those 90 years Pininfarina has given us some of the world’s most beautiful automobiles, but also demonstrated exciting innovation. Divided up in to six areas the exhibition will showcase the unique breadth of the brand from the gorgeous Cisitalia 2020, to the 1969 Sigma Grand Prix and off into the future with the exciting new Battista, electric hypercar concept.

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Classic Car Roadtrip: 1968 Renault 8 Gordini – Lisbon To Algarve In Portugal

In the late 1960s, Portuguese racing driver Heitor de Moraes took his Renault 8 Gordini from Corsica to Poland, rallying all across Europe. Now, the ocean blue car has found a new owner and a new sportive duty – carrying surfboards in style from Lisbon to the Algarve.

22 January 2021

The year was 1968: six years before the so-called ‘Carnation Revolution’. Life in Portugal at that time could be tough. Not for Heitor de Moraes, though: this was the year he became the first owner of a pretty special blue car. Fast-forward to 2020, and another chapter of the car’s history was written, with its third owner also driving it along the curving roads of southern Portugal. Only this time, with surfboards on the roof.

The car was purchased from Timeless Garage in Lisbon (which had carried out a full restoration) and that’s why the story you see in the pictures starts there. A few days later, after some small mechanical corrections and a surfboard roof rack installation, the real mission began: the blue car hit the curves of the Algarve once again. It quickly became clear that even after more than 50 years, Amédée Gordini’s great engineering talent still shines through.

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Art & Auto Racing: French Artist Yan Denes’ “Blur & Movement Of The 1960’s”

“My primary era is clearly the ’60s,” he says. “For these scenes, I use period photos with the agreement of their photographer and allow myself some freedom on the framing, for example. I like racing cars, and if they have flaws or imperfections, I represent them faithfully, of course.”

“My master is Leonardo da Vinci, who is the ultimate reference in drawing because of his mastery of blur and movement,” he says. “There’s an indeterminate aspect to these drawings that’s essential. It reminds me of Picasso’s famous phrase ‘finishing a drawing, what a horror’ – that’s exactly it, I always leave an area of blur and a part of emptiness. The viewer fills that space with their experience, their story. In this way, a drawing is simply an exchange – an encounter between two people.”

Few artists, like Yan Denes, understand how to make the thrill of speed tangible for the observer with pen and paper. Not only did he design Scuderia Ferrari’s anniversary helmets in Formula 1, but he is also inspired by historic motorsport.

While the vast majority of Denes’ commissions come from owners of modern Ferrari race cars such as the 360 Challenge, 430 GT2, 488 GT3 and FXX, Yan is actually better known for his passion for historic racing scenes.

It has to be said that Denes is a virtuoso when it comes to transcribing speed and movement.

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Classic Cars: Restoring The ‘Finest Jaguars’ At CKL Developments In Engand

“It’s a privilege to work with these fantastic cars,” enthuses James “and we benefit from incredible craftsmen and Chris’ vast experience. These are important cars, looked after sympathetically. When we restore cars, we’re careful and fastidious in retaining the soul, but we also understand that cars evolve”.

In keeping with the colour British Racing Green, CKL Developments prides itself on being understated, not flashy. Inside a pristine brace of high-roofed, modern industrial units near Hastings, in Britain’s East Sussex countryside, you’ll find cars that are maintained to be enjoyed, driven and raced.

CKL is not, the team is at pains to point out, a museum. It’s the absolute authority on Jaguar-engined sports cars of the ’50s and ’60s and looks after some of the most historic and important British cars of that era, sympathetically restored, preserved of soul and performing at their zenith. The team can service, restore, repair, prepare, race, build, sell, store and transport your pride and joy as required.

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Classics: The Golden Age Of 1950’s Italian Tiny Cars

You can’t measure style with a tape measure, and that applies to people and collector cars alike. A true automotive style icon will be celebrated at the next Aste Bolaffi auction on 16 October. Firstly, the catalogue contains numerous rare variations of small Italian cars.

There is a Fiat 600 Zagato Tipo L from 1956 finished in metallic red and cream two-tone paintwork, a contemporary luxury version of the otherwise modest city runabout. The Fiat Abarth 595 and the two Jolly versions of the Fiat 500 built by Carrozzeria Ghia are also desirable. 

It wasn’t only Fiat producing extremely charming microcars in the post-War period, however. The 49 lots in the auction also include a Bianchina Trasformabile, a Heinkel cabin scooter, a Gogomobil, a Mivalino, an Amica tricycle and a Ferves 50 Ranger, which can be considered the ancestor to the Fiat Panda 4×4 we so adore. You can find our favourites from the sale listed below or, alternatively, browse the entire catalogue in the Classic Driver Market

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Greatest Cars Of All Time: “1961 Jaguar E-Type” (Video)

‘Project ZP’ proved the Jaguar E-type was as fast as it looked.

Although the response to the E-type was frenzied, Jaguar knew that more than a pretty face was required to secure the model’s future. Under the veil of ‘Project ZP’, seven of the earliest E-types were transformed into racers. And this particular car stands today as the best of the bunch…

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Classics: “1959 BMW 507 Series II” – Amazing Story Behind The “Perfect Car”

From Classic Driver Magazine (April 18, 2020):

1959 BMW 507 Series II Interior“Astonishing” is the word we are looking to describe this BMW 507. A word we use a lot if it comes to selling classic cars, but only a little few deserve this ‘title’ like this 507 does. When an exceptional model, with an unique story, from what the historical documents are well archieved, it just makes us going crazy. Add matching numbers and -colors tot his list and we are losing it totally. That’s no different with this 507.

1959 BMW 507 Series II FrontMax Hoffman convinced BMW that if they built a competitor to the Mercedes-Benz 300SL, he would sell it profitable in the United States. The BMW was intended to fill the gap between the affordable sports cars like the triumph and MG and the exclusive cars like the Mercedes-Benz 300SL and Ferrari 250 GT California. Though, BMW couldn’t achieve their target price, for what the BMW 507 was even more expensive than the 300SL. BMW found itself in a financial difficult situation and almost went bankrupt. At the end of the day, BMW recovered from this “failure” and the 507 even became a true flagship in the whole history of automotive.

Classic Driver MagazineIn the ‘50s BMW disposed over all fundamental ingredients which would make the 507 complete. An all-aluminium 3.2-litre V8 engine was placed in a shortened chassis of the 502. This ingenious masterpiece produced no less than 150hp and sounds like a guitar solo in your ears. To save weigt, the body was made of aluminium, which results in a 1280kg’s for a fully finished 507. Besides the phenomenal results, BMW wanted to offer luxury as well. Both aspects are just spot on.

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American Classic Cars: “1948 Packard Standard Eight Station Sedan”

1948 Packard Standard Eight Station Sedan Interior Classic DriverPackard Super Eight was the name given to the larger of the two eight-cylinder luxury automobiles produced by the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan. It shared frames and some body types with the top model Packard Twelve. Following the discontinuation of the Seventeenth Series Packard Twelve after the 1939 model year, a new Super Eight One-Eighty was derived from the Super Eight as the new top car range. The Super Eight was renamed the Packard Super Eight One-Sixty.

Classic Driver logoAfter 1942, Packard concentrated on the new Clipper styling that was developed for an upper-class sedan the previous year. There were Super Clippers and Custom Super Clipper in the One-Sixty and One-Eighty tradition until 1947. After a heavy facelift, the name Clipper was dropped. The most senior Super Eight One-Eighty became the Custom Eight, while its slightly lower-priced sibling, the Super Eight One-Sixty, once again became simply the Super Eight. Clipper Custom Super Eights and Custom Eights were very close relatives to their respective Super models, distinguished outside by the lack of an eggcrate grille and small rear chrome trim moulding under the trunk lid on Supers. In 1949, a new Super Eight Deluxe was added to the line. This car had also the Custom Eight’s eggcrate grille, but not the rear trim.

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From Wikipedia

American Classics: “1937 Cord 812” – Front Wheel Drive, Hidden Headlights

1937 Cord 812 Interior Classic DriverThe Cord 810, and later Cord 812, was a luxury automobile produced by the Cord Automobile division of the Auburn Automobile Company in 1936 and 1937. It was the first American-designed and built front wheel drive car with independent front suspension. It followed the 1934 Citroën Traction Avant and the Cord L-29, both of which also had front wheel drive. Both models were also the first to offer hidden headlights.

Classic Driver logoThe styling of the Cord 810 was the work of designer Gordon M. Buehrig and his team of stylists, which included young Vince Gardner and Alex Tremulis. While the first American front-wheel-drive car with independent front suspension, it had an archaic tube rear axle with semi-elliptic rear springs. Power came from a 4,739 cc (289 cu in) Lycoming V8 of the same 125 hp (93 kW) as the L-29. The semi-automatic four-speed transmission (three plus overdrive) extended in front of the engine, like on a Traction Avant. This allowed Buehrig to dispense with the driveshaft and transmission tunnel; as a result, the new car was so low it required no running boards. It had a 125 in (3,175 mm) wheelbase (shared with several 812 body styles), and in 1936 came in four models: the entry-level sedan at US$1995, the Beverly sedan ($2095), Sportsman ($2145), and Phaeton ($2195). The 1937 812s had the same models, priced $2445, $2545, $2585, and $2645, plus two more, on a 132 in (3,400 mm) wheelbase, the $2960 Custom Beverly and $3060 Custom Berline.

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From Wikipedia

1950’s English Sports Cars: “1956 Austin-Healey BN2”

From Wikipedia:

1956 Austin-Healey BN 2 100 BN2 Le Mans ‘ M’ Interior Classic DriverThe Austin-Healey 100 is a sports car that was built by Austin-Healey from 1953 until 1956.

Based on Austin A90 Atlantic mechanicals, it was developed by Donald Healey to be produced in-house by his small Healey car company in Warwick. 

Healey built a single Healey Hundred for the 1952 London Motor Show, and the design impressed Leonard Lord, managing director of Austin, who was looking for a replacement for the unsuccessful A90. Body styling was by Gerry Coker, the chassis was designed by Barry Bilbie with longitudinal members and cross bracing producing a comparatively stiff structure upon which to mount the body, innovatively welding the front bulkhead to the frame for additional strength. In order to keep the overall vehicle height low the rear axle was underslung, the chassis frame passing under the rear axle assembly.

Classic Driver logoLord struck a deal with Healey to build it in quantity; bodies made by Jensen Motors were given Austin mechanical components at Austin’s Longbridge factory. The car was renamed the Austin-Healey 100.

The “100” was named by Healey for the car’s ability to reach 100 mph (160 km/h); its successor, the better known Austin-Healey 3000, was named for the 3000 cc displacement of its engine.

Apart from the first twenty cars, production Austin-Healey 100s were finished at Austin’s Longbridge plant alongside the A90 and based on fully trimmed and painted body/chassis units produced by Jensen in West Bromwich—in an arrangement the two companies previously had explored with the Austin A40 Sports. 14,634 Austin-Healey 100s were produced.

The 100 was the first of three models later called the Big Healeys to distinguish them from the much smaller Austin-Healey Sprite. The Big Healeys are often referred to by their three-character model designators rather than by their models, as the model names do not reflect the mechanical differences and similarities well.

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