1964 Ferrari 250 Lusso

1964 Ferrari 250 Lusso

One of the rarest of the rare, the Ferrari flagship of the 1950’s and 60’s that took the world by storm, thunder, and any other meteorological metaphors you wish to insert!

Certainly a close second to the mighty Daytona’s beauty, the Ferrari 250 was once one of the world’s most desirable cars, with those crisp smooth lines and iconic engine sound echoing across both Europe and the USA.

The car was also built in a myriad of variations, 8 racing models, 2 Export/Europa models, and 14 GT models, including the Pininfarina Coupé Speciale, the Berlinetta "Tour de France" and the Spyder California SWB.

This particular version is a 250GT Lusso, manufactured between 1963 and 64. Sometimes known as the GTL, GT/L or Berlinetta Lusso, it is larger and more luxurious than the 250GT Berlinetta. The 250GT Lusso, which was not intended to compete in sports car racing, is considered to be one of the most elegant Ferraris.

Keeping in line with the Ferrari tradition of the time, the 250GT Lusso was designed by the Turinese coachbuilder Pininfarina, and bodied by Carrozzeria Scaglietti. Although the interior was more spacious than that of the 250 GT, the 250 GT Lusso remained a two-seat GT coupe, unlike the 250 GTE. The car was manufactured for only eighteen months, from early 1963 to mid 1964, and was the last model of Ferrari 250GT generation.

Auto shows often provide an opportunity for manufacturers to introduce new designs publicly. Ferrari did so at the 1962 Paris Motor Show to unveil, as a prototype, the 250 GT Lusso. The prototype was almost identical to the production version, and only minor details changed thereafter.

The new model was a way for Ferrari to fill a void left between the sporty 250GT SWB and the luxurious 250GTE 2+2, the Lusso met the new demands of the 1960s. Indeed, fans of sporting driving of the time became as fond of civilized designs, that is, comfortable and spacious, as they were of radical sports cars. Ferrari did not skimp on details in the GTL, which shows on the scales; weight ranged from 2,250 to 2,890lb, depending on equipment.

Unusually brief for a Ferrari model, GTL’s production began January 1963 and ended August 1964. According to a longstanding American expert on Ferrari, Peter Coltrin, the construction of the 250 GT Lusso must have begun soon after the presentation of the prototype of the Paris Motor Show.

Although it was not intended to compete, the 250 GT Lusso made a few appearances in several sporting events in 1964 and 1965, such as the Targa Florio and the Tour de France. The final iteration of the 250GT series, 351 copies of GT Lusso were produced before being replaced by the Ferrari 275 GTB. Originally sold for $13,375, the GTL saw sales in 2010 between $400,000 and $500,000, and 2013 values were approaching 4 times this figure.

Posted by Rorymacve Part II on 2015-03-28 20:20:07

Tagged: , car , cars , automobile , auto , …

Trabant Cabriolet

Trabant Cabriolet

Cut the top off your Trabbi and you’ve got yourself a wild ride!

Yes, when you think of Communist cars, you don’t think of the Lada Riva or the Wartburg or that weird Chinese Austin Maestro/Montego hybrid, you think of the Trabbi!

Built in East Germany, the Trabant started production in 1957 and continued right through until the end of the Eastern Bloc in 1991! And in that entire time the car went through pretty much no modifications from its original design. This car pictured is in fact a 1988 Universal model, which looks exactly the same as a 1958 Universal!

The car has the distinction however of being the first car built out of recycled materials, although today many eco-cars can claim they were constructed from several fridges or tin cans, the Trabant was the one that perfected it. But these recycled materials were not tin cans or fridges, or any other rigid metallic materials, but was in fact recycled cotton! Cotton waste from the Soviet Union and East German dye industry was compacted into a material known as Duroplast (hard plastic), and this is what the body was made of. Although at the time this was claimed to be stronger in crashes than any Western cars of comparative size and shape, I have a strong suspicion that these tests were carried out at 3mph against a mattress!

The car was powered by a 600cc two-stroke engine for the first 30 years of its life, although for the last 4 it was powered by a Volkswagen 1.6L engine from the Polo. In total, the best part of 3.7 million Trabants were built and plied their trade along the roads of the Eastern Bloc until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, when thousands of these cars and their owners made their way into West Germany and dispersed across Europe. Although many were abandoned within days of the crossing, the Trabbi has since become probably the most famous cult car of all time, with many Westerners picking them up in 1990 for a single Deutsche Mark.

So why would people want to buy a car that’s as slow as sin, as reliable as lighting a match in a Force 10 Gale, has the crash safety of a paper bag and the prospect of the wheels falling off at any given moment?

Novelty of course! I’ve met many Trabant collectors at car shows, and their answers have consistently been for the novelty. Be it because the car was made by a Communist regime that no longer exists, the time-capsule styling of the 1950’s on a 1990’s car, the fact that it is so unreliable and unsafe that it inspires a sense of danger and risk, or mostly because it’s something of a cultural symbol that is easily personable. Today you’ll find that a lot of Trabant’s aren’t exactly in an original guise like the one here, most have been converted into caravans, racing cars, rally cars, mock military vehicles, police …

Mercedes 300 Cabriolet D – 1953

Mercedes 300 Cabriolet D - 1953

W186

‘A Continental test on a (Mercedes-Benz 300) production model recently made available by the manufacturers shows that the car now challenges the best produced anywhere in the world today. There are still very few saloon cars which are capable of a mean speed of over 100mph, but to obtain this result on a five/six-seater saloon car with generous room for passengers and luggage, using an engine of three-litre capacity said to deliver only 114 bhp, is a notable achievement.’ – The Autocar magazine, May 1952.

Introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1951, the Mercedes-Benz 300 owed the design of its independently suspended oval-tube chassis to the 170S of 1949 and would later on provide the mechanical basis for the incomparable 300 SL sports car. Additional refinements appropriate for the company’s top-of-the-range luxury saloon included an improved steering mechanism and remote electrical control of the rear suspension ride height. Initially developing 115 bhp (DIN), the 3-litre, overhead-camshaft six-cylinder engine was increased in power for succeeding models, producing 125 bhp in the 300b built between March 1954 and August 1955. Other improvements included larger brakes (with servo-assistance from 1954) optional power steering and three-speed automatic transmission as standard on the 300d. Conservatively styled, the Mercedes-Benz 300 was one of very few contemporary vehicles capable of carrying six passengers in comfort at sustained high speeds. Priced at DM 24.700 in 1954, the 300b Cabriolet D was among the world’s most expensive – if not the most expensive – automobiles of its day.

‘To the characteristics of high performance, impressive appearance and fine detail finish which distinguished the big Mercedes models of pre-war days are added new virtues of silence, flexibility and lightness of control, while the latest rear suspension, a product of long experience on Grand Prix cars and touring cars, confers a degree of security at high speeds on rough and slippery surfaces which it would be very difficult indeed to equal,’ observed The Autocar.

A most worthy upholder of the Grosser Mercedes tradition of pre-war years, this rare Cabriolet D is one of only 181 of its type built on the 300/300b chassis during 1953 out of a total convertible production of 591. The car was purchased from Kansas, USA in 2001 and brought to Spain where it was professionally restored from the ground upwards – with no expense spared and using original Mercedes-Benz parts – by Moret Clásicos of Villalba, Madrid. The total cost was at least € 90.000.

There is a detailed estimate in the accompanying file, which also contains a US title, shipping documentation, Spanish registration papers, and photographs of the restoration. Following completion in 2004, the car was exhibited at Techno Classica Essen. Only some 1.500 kilometres have been covered since the rebuild and this beautiful Mercedes-Benz soft-top remains in commensurately excellent condition.

Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais
Bonhams
Sold for € 149.500
Estimated : € 130.000 – 150.000

Parijs – Paris
Frankrijk – France
February 2017

Posted by Perico001 on 2017-02-21 …

1963 Hillman Imp

1963 Hillman Imp

A car who’s name lives in British motoring infamy, a small and subtle little machine that was meant to take on the Mini, but went on to kill the Scottish Motor Industry.

The Hillman Imp was meant to be the company’s great white hope, entering production in 1963 after millions of pounds of investment, including the construction of a new factory at Linwood near Glasgow.

However, Hillman were impatient to get their car into the showrooms, and although there was a huge opening ceremony at the Linwood Factory featuring an appearance by HRH Prince Philip, Hillman had cut some corners. The Prince was only shown certain parts of the factory as most areas had not been finished, and the selection of seven cars he and his entourage were driven round in were in fact the only seven cars that would work properly.

The rest of the cars being produced were tested exhaustively by drivers hired in from the local population, basically driven until the cars wouldn’t run any more, but the distances between breakdowns were very short, some being as low as 30 miles.

Nevertheless the car was produced at the Linwood factory, which employed 6,000 people from one of the most impoverished areas of Scotland. All seemed well, until the sales numbers came in, which showed the initial problems had damaged the car’s reputation and thus resulted in it never selling the the estimated numbers. This was added to by heavy industrial action carried out by the workforce, which resulted in the factory only working at a third the capacity and suffering from many stoppages.

Because of this, the Hillman brand began to suffer, and although cars such as the Avenger, the company folded in 1976, the factory being taken over by Peugeot-Talbot. The factory continued on until 1981 and quickly demolished, resulting in high unemployment that even to this day struggles to recover.

Posted by Rorymacve Part II on 2015-04-27 15:34:53

Tagged: , car , cars , automobile , auto , bus , truck , motor , motor vehicle , saloon , estate , compact , sports , roadster , transport , road , heritage , historic , Hillman , Hillman Imp , Imp , worldcars …

Maserati Quattroporte III 4,9-Litre – 1984

Maserati Quattroporte III 4,9-Litre - 1984

‘The Quattroporte is billed as the world’s fastest sedan. It is a highly refined automobile with a four-passenger cruising capability in excess of 100 mph, with enough attendant luxuries to compare favourably with non plus ultra of all luxury sedans, the Mercedes-Benz 600 and the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow.’ – Car & Driver.

Styled by Frua and introduced in 1963, the V8-powered Quattroporte was a landmark model for Maserati, being the Modena firm’s first four-door saloon and its first car of unitary construction. The Quattroporte was powered by a downsized – to 4,2 litres – version of the 5000GT’s four-cam V8, and beneath the skin featured independent front suspension and a De Dion rear axle, though the latter was replaced by a conventional elliptically sprung live axle in 1967. Car & Driver recorded a 0-100km/h time of 8.7 seconds and wound their Quattroporte up to 190 km/h, estimating that there was another 16 km/h still to come, all of which was some going for a fully-equipped four-seater weighing close to 2.000 kg.

The successor Quattroporte II deployed the V6 engine and front-wheel-drive package of the Citroën SM in a body by Bertone, but did not long survive Maserati’s take-over by Alessandro De Tomaso. Its successor – the Ital Design-styled Quattroporte III – arrived in 1978. Maserati V8 power was restored for this, the third of the line – the options being a 4,2 or a 4,9-litre unit – and the ‘III’ reverted to rear wheel drive using a lengthened Kyalami floor pan and all-independent suspension.

The Italian answer to Bentley – as its manufacturer’s publicity proudly claimed – the Maserati Quattroporte was one of the world’s fastest four-door saloons in its day. As Italy’s premier luxury car, the Quattroporte III was the choice of many wealthy Italian industrialists and celebrities, as well as the country’s president, Alessandro Pertini.

This automatic transmission model is one of only 1.821 Quattroporte IIIs built between 1978 and 1984, and was previously displayed at the Musée de l’Automobile in Reims, France. The car’s first owner was a well-known Bolognese entrepreneur and philanthropist, the second was a manufacturer in the fashion industry. The current (third) owner purchased the Maserati in Italy in April 2003 (at 84.000 kilometres), whereupon Candini, the Maserati specialist in Modena, carried out a full service. Finished in Blue Alfieri with Havana leather interior, this beautiful and collectible Maserati sports saloon is offered with Italian libretto, ASI paperwork, and its original Bologna registration plate from 1984.

Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais
Bonhams
Sold for € 17.250
Estimated : € 20.000 – 30.000

Parijs – Paris
Frankrijk – France
February 2017

Posted by Perico001 on 2017-02-21 11:00:24

Tagged: , Sedan , Berline , Berlina , Saloon , Limousine , Mk III , Mk 3 , Mark III , Mark 3 , Series 3 , Series III , Maserati , Bologna , Modena , Italië , Italy , Italia , Quattroporte , 1984 , Auto , Automobil , Automobile , Automobiles , Car …