Tag Archives: Classic Driver

Italian Cars: “1966 Alfa Romeo GTA 1600 Stradale”

1966 Alfa Romeo GTA 1600 Stradale Front Classic DriverThe Alfa Romeo GTA is a coupé automobile manufactured by the Italian manufacturer  Alfa Romeo from 1965 to 1971. It was made for racing (Corsa) and road use (Stradale).

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In 1962, the successor for the very popular Giulietta series was introduced. This car was the Alfa Romeo Giulia, internally called the “Series 105”. The coupé of the 105 series, used the shortened floorpan from the Giulia Berlina and was designed by Bertone. The name of the car evolved from Giulia Sprint GT to Giulia Sprint and to GTJ (Junior) and GTV (Veloce) in the late 1960s.

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American Classic Cars: “1959 Chevrolet Impala”

1959 Chevrolet Impala Interior Classic DriverThe Chevrolet Impala is a full-size car built by Chevrolet for model years 1958 to 1985, 1994 to 1996, and 2000 onward. The Impala is Chevrolet’s popular flagship passenger car and is generally among the better selling American made automobiles in the United States.

The 1959 Chevrolet Impala was redesigned. Sharing bodyshells with lower-end Buicks and Oldsmobiles as well as with Pontiac, part of a GM economy move, the Chevrolet’s wheelbase was 1-1/2 inches longer. Using a new X-frame chassis, the roof line was three inches lower, bodies were two inches wider, and curb weight increased. Its tailfins protruded outward, rather than upward. The taillights were a large “teardrop” design at each side, and two slim-wide nonfunctional front air intake scoops were added just above the grille,

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Classic Driver logoThe Impala became a separate series, adding a four-door hardtop and four-door sedan, to the two-door Sport Coupe and convertible. Sport Coupes featured a shortened roof line and wrap-over back window. The standard engine was an I6, while the base V8 was the carryover 283 cu in (4.6 L), at 185 hp (138 kW). Optional were a 283 cu in with 290 hp (220 kW) and 348 cu in (5.7 L) V8 up to 335 hp (250 kW). Standard were front and rear armrests, an electric clock, dual sliding sun visors, and crank-operated front vent windows. A contoured hooded instrument panel held deep-set gauges. A six-way power seat was a new option, as was “Speedminder”, for the driver to set a needle at a specific speed and a buzzer would sound if the pre-set was exceeded.

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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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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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American Classics: “1955 Ford Fairlane Sunliner Convertible”

The Ford Fairlane is an automobile model that was sold between 1955 and 1970 by Ford in North America. The name is derived from Henry Ford’s estate, Fair Lane, near Dearborn, Michigan.

1955 Ford Fairlane Sunliner Convertible Rear View Classic Driver

For the 1955 model year the Fairlane name replaced the Crestline as Ford’s premier full-sized offering. Six different body styles were offered, including the Crown Victoria Skyliner with a tinted, transparent plastic roof, the regular Crown Victoria coupe with lots of stainless steel trim, a convertible Sunliner, the Victoria hardtop coupe, and traditional sedans. All featured the trademark stainless-steel “Fairlane stripe” on the side. Power options were a 223 cu in (3.7 L) straight-6 engine and a 272 cu in (4.5 L) V8. The 292 cu in (4.8 L) Y-block was offered as an option and was called the Thunderbird V-8.

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British Roadsters: “1966 Sunbeam Tiger Alpine 260”

1966 Sunbeam Tiger Alpine 260 Interior Classic DriverThe Sunbeam Tiger is a high-performance V8 version of the British Rootes Group’s Sunbeam Alpine roadster, designed in part by American car designer and racing driver Carroll Shelby and produced from 1964 until 1967. Shelby had carried out a similar V8 conversion on the AC Cobra, and hoped to be offered the contract to produce the Tiger at his facility in the United States. Rootes decided instead to contract the assembly work to Jensen at West Bromwich in England, and pay Shelby a royalty on every car produced.

Two major versions of the Tiger were built: the Mark I (1964–1967) was fitted with the 260 cu in (4.3 L) Ford V8; the Mark II, of which only 633 were built in the final year of Tiger production, was fitted with the larger Ford 289 cu in (4.7 L) engine. Two prototype and extensively modified versions of the Mark I competed in the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans, but neither completed the race. Rootes also entered the Tiger in European rallies with some success, and for two years it was the American Hot Rod Association’s national record holder over a quarter-mile drag strip.

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British Sports Cars: “1959 Triumph TR3” Roadster

1959 Triumph TR3 Interior Classic DriverThe Triumph TR3 is a British sports car produced between 1955 and 1962 by the Standard-Triumph Motor Company of Coventry, England. A traditional roadster, the TR3 is an evolution of the company’s earlier TR2 model, with greater power and improved braking. Updated variants, popularly but unofficially known as the “TR3A” and “TR3B”, entered production in 1957 and 1962 respectively. The TR3 was succeeded by the Michelotti-styled, mechanically similar Triumph TR4.

The rugged ‘sidescreen’ TR, so named for its employment of removable plexiglass side curtains, was a sales and motorsport success. With approximately 74,800 TR3s sold across all variants, the model was the company’s third best seller in the TR range, behind the TR7 (111,500 units) and TR6 (94,500 units) models.[7] The Triumph was campaigned in races, hill climbs, and rallies across Europe and North America, with several outright, team, and class victories to its credit.

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