1970 MG MGB GT

1970 MG MGB GT

Certainly one of the more popular versions of the MGB, and my favourite version of them all, the MGB GT gave the plucky British sports car a hard top for those who didn’t live in the south of France and didn’t like the idea of rain filling up the footwell.

The MGB GT was first built in 1965, sporting a revolutionary ‘Greenhouse’ cabin designed by Pininfarina, and featured a very swish looking hatchback and fastback rear. The car was perfect for the American market too as the threat of banning convertible cars loomed over world motor manufacturers, but the GT didn’t survive there long and was removed from the market in 1974.

From the GT though many different variations came into being under British Leyland. In 1967 the MGC was built, a short lived venture that included the fitting of a much larger BMC engine, but this resulted in weighing down the front suspension and creating a large bulge in the bonnet.

This was replaced in 1973 by the MGB GT V8, a reworked version fitted with the famous Rover V8 engine, but this too didn’t last long and construction was killed off in 1976.

However, the original MGB GT continued to soldier on until the end of the MGB line in 1980, and today holds quite a fond fanbase as simple, fun motoring.

Posted by Rorymacve Part II on 2014-11-10 12:02:23

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Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost Boattail 1926 (5402)

Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost Boattail 1926 (5402)

Manufacturer: Rolls-Royce Limited, Derby, England – UK
Type: 40/50HP Silver Ghost Boattail
Engine: 7668cc straight-6
Power: 100 bhp / 2.750 rpm
Speed: 120 km/h
Production time: 1919 – 1926
Production time: 1906 – 1926 (all Silver Ghosts)
Production outlet: unknown
Production outlet: 7,874 (all Silver Ghosts, including 1701 from the American Springfield factory)
Curb weight: 1383 kg

– In 1906, four chassis were built for the Olympia Motor Show. After a lot of interest from the public, manager Claude Johnson set one automobile (an open-top Roi-des-Belges body by coachbuilder Barker & Co. Limited, London) in “silver” (painted in aluminium paint with silver-plated fittings) and named it “Silver Ghost” by virtue of its appearance and “extraordinary stealthiness” (like a ghost).
– Chassis no. 60551, registered AX 201 (the 12th 40/50HP to be made), was the car that was originally given the name "Silver Ghost."
– That title was taken up by the press (the prestigious publication Autocar in 1907) and soon all 40/50HPs were called by that name, a fact not officially recognised by Rolls-Royce until 1925, when the Phantom range was launched.
– Proper production of the 40/50HP at Cooke Street, Manchester had not started until early 1907 after all the effort of preparing the first four motor cars for Olympia and the Paris show which followed.
– It has a centre-change four-speed manual gearbox , a cone type clutch, a Rolls-Royce carburettor, a 6-Volts electric system, dual ignition with coil and magneto and rear wheel drive.
– The chassis (partly steel and ash frame) has a walnut and highly varnished dashboard, leather upholstery, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs suspension,a live rear axle with cantilever leaf spring platform suspension, worm & nut steering, spoke wheels and internal expanding four-wheel mechanical brakes.
– Many rolling chassis were outfitted with luxurious bodies by some of the top coachbuilders in the industry, like Hooper, Barker, Park Ward, Thrupp & Maberly, James Young, H.J.Mulliner, Windover (London), Gurney Nutting, etc.
– A speed governor (cruise control) and four-wheel servo-assisted brakes (since 1923) were optional.

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1970 Plymouth Sport Fury

1970 Plymouth Sport Fury

The furious Fury, a name that rocked the American automotive industry for the best part of 20 years, powerful and precise, and a true car of evolution.

Originally when it was launched in 1956, the Plymouth Fury was a contemporary space-age looking runaround, similar in fashion to the Cadillacs and Chryslers of the time. It was a very pretty car, as were pretty much all cars from back then, but the change of style didn’t do the Plymouth any favours. The fins and space lines of the 50’s gave way to the angles of the early-60’s, and many Chrysler products of this period were maligned heavily for it, the 3rd Generation Fury being no exception. A comeback however was made with the 4th Generation, which presented us with the symbolic vertical headlight layout that would be iconised in the Dukes of Hazzard, as a slew of Police Vehicles.

The 1969 models featured Chrysler’s new round-sided "Fuselage" styling. The Fury was again available as a 2-door coupe, 2-door convertible, 4-door hardtop, 4-door sedan, and 4-door station wagon. For 1970, the VIP was discontinued and a 4-door hardtop was added to the Sport Fury range, which also gained a new hardtop coupe. This was available in "GT" trim; 1970–71 Sport Fury GT models were powered by the 7.2L engine, which in 1970 could be ordered "6-barrel" carburetion consisting of three 2-barrel carburetors.

With the introduction of the 1969 body style, trim lines once again included the fleet-intended Fury I, volume models Fury II and Fury III, the sport-model Sport Fury and the top-line VIP. For 1970, the VIP was dropped, with the Sport Fury line expanded to include a four-door hardtop sedan. An optional Brougham package, which included individually-adjustable split bench seats with passenger recliner and luxurious trim comparable to the former VIP series, was available on Sport Furys; a Sport Fury GT and S/23 models took over the sport model space in the lineup. The S/23 was dropped for 1971, with new options including an electric sunroof (for top-line models) and a stereo tape player with a microphone, to allow drivers to record off the radio or take dictation.

For 1972, the Fury was facelifted with a large chrome twin-loop bumper design with a small insignia space between the loops and hidden headlamps as standard equipment on the Sport Suburban, and the newly introduced Fury Gran Coupe and Gran Sedan, which eventually would become the Plymouth Gran Fury; the Sport Fury and GT models were dropped, with the new Fury Gran series having the Brougham package available. Later in the year, hidden headlamps became an option on all models.[citation needed] For 1973, the front end was redesigned again with a new grille and headlamp setup, along with federally mandated 5mph bumpers.

When the new bodystyle was introduced in 1969, the 225 cubic-inch six-cylinder engine continued as standard on the Fury I, II and select III models, with the 318 cubic-inch V8 standard on the Sport Fury, some Fury III models and …

1971 Triumph Stag

1971 Triumph Stag

Oh the possibilities, sadly missed through poor design and negligence! You cannot deny then that it’s a British Leyland product, taking a car with a fantastic premise, but through sloppy workmanship make it something of nightmares! No car seems to encapsulate the problems with the nationalised company more than the humble Triumph Stag.

To compete with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz SL, British Leyland started work on a luxury Grand Tourer, styled by the world renowned Giovanni Michelotti, who had previously designed the Triumph 2000, the Triumph Herald and the Triumph TR6, and would later go on to design the ambiguous Austin Apache and the Leyland National bus. But either way his styling was sensational, but at the same time the car had substance too. In the late 1960’s America was on the verge of banning convertible cars to increase safety. So the engineers at Triumph designed what was a very clever T-Bar rollcage over the passenger cabin, meaning the car was not only safe, but also allowed the owners to enjoy what was craved most in a Grand Tourer, drop-top open-air fun! This was complimented by a selection of cars with removable Hard-Tops, although not as popular due to being slightly more complicated. The name was great too, sounding very manly with a hint of beast-like qualities, which for the most part helps to form the image, a strong and noble creature of the wild stood proud amongst its peers…

…only without the antlers!

In 1970 the car was launched to the motoring press with some very favourable initial reviews, admiring the styling, the firm suspension that resulted in a smooth ride and the well-balanced handling. The car was immediately an image setter for the new-money, like the Mercedes it was competing with it had the image of being something for those who had made their money through more underhanded methods, a cads car if you will. But we’ve all got to make our money somehow I guess!

However, lest we forget that this was a British Leyland product, so of course trouble was brewing. Very quickly the car gained a reputation for unreliability, which can be traced back to that all important piece of machinery known simply as the engine. In 1969 whilst the Triumph Stag was in development, Rover began using their new license built V8 engine derived from an American Buick 215 3L powerplant. Originally this was installed into the Rover P5, but a 3.5L version was installed as standard to the Rover P6 and the later SD1, as well as becoming the motive power behind the almighty Range Rover. The Rover V8 was an incredibly reliable and endlessly tunable engine, making it one of the most popular and successful powerplants in automotive history. It made its way into the TVR Chimera, the Morgan Plus 8, the TVR 350i, the Land Rover Defender, the Land Rover Discovery, the Sisu Nasu All-Terrain Military Transport, the MG RV8, the MGB GT, the TVR Griffith, the TVR S-Series, the …

Lamborghini Miura

Lamborghini Miura

Often cited as the world’s first supercar, the Lamborghini Miura mixed a low, smooth body with the power of a mid-mounted V12 engine to create what went on to be a sensation. The Countach, the Diablo, the Aventador, all of these Lamborghini’s as well as other magnificent modern supercars owe their existence to the pioneering design of this humble little machine.

The Miura was actually conceived of not by a room full of designers and planners, but instead by Lamborghini’s engineering team on their lunch break! Although company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini had preference to the sedate grand tourers like the Ferrari 275, the engineering team went ahead and built the car against his wishes and presented the P400 prototype at the 1966 Geneva Motorshow to unprecedented critical acclaim. Its fame was largely attributed to the low, smooth design coined by Marcello Gandini, and the revolutionary mid-engine setup with 50/50 weight distribution for better performance.

The car was powered by a 3929cc V12, producing a mind boggling 350hp and a top speed of 171mph, with a 0-60mph time of 6.7 seconds, which even today is very good. At the time this performance made it the fastest production road car in the world.

After 764 examples were built and with minimal changes to the design, the Miura was eventually axed in 1973 when Lamborghini prepared to present their next magnificent sculpture of automotive art, the Countach, which has now come to define the modern sports car with its wedge shape.

Even though many people forget the Miura and recognise the Countach much more easily, you can’t escape the fact that it is a seriously sexy little number, and has appeared in many great movies over the years. One of its most prominent roles was in the 1969 film The Italian Job, where it opens up the movie driving through the Italian Alps to the soundtrack of Matt Monro’s ‘On Days Like These’…

…before smashing headlong into a Bulldozer and being thrown off a cliff into a river…

…like all great movie cars!

Actually the car thrown off the cliff was a spare chassis with a composite body built on top of it, notable due to the fact that there’s no seats, no engine and no supporting frame. It had to be, no way anyone was going to destroy a real Miura and hope to have any respect for it afterwards!

Posted by Rorymacve Part II on 2015-02-22 16:01:12

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