Chevrolet Corvette Convertible History in Pictures.

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The name "Corvette" is the longest continuously running car nameplate in the world, dating back more than 60 years. Every first-generation Corvette—later known as the C1—was a convertible, and a coupe model wasn't added until a decade later, in 1963. Yet every generation of Corvette since has offered a convertible variant.

That rich history had us anxiously waiting to see what the new 2020 Chevy Corvette C8 convertible had in store. The C8 adopts its first-ever mid-engine layout, and to that the C8 convertible adds its own Corvette first: a power retractable hard top. Meanwhile, it also adds fairings behind the driver and passenger headrests, imparting an ever more exotic look.

C1 Corvette: 1953-1962

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C2 Corvette: 1963-1967

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C3 Corvette: 1968-1982

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C4 Corvette: 1984-1996

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C5 Corvette: 1997-2004

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C6 Corvette: 2005-2013

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C7 Corvette: 2014-2019

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C8 Corvette: 2020-

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We think it looks good, but only time will tell if the first mid-engine 'Vette becomes a classic piece of automotive design. What do you think of the new Corvette convertible? Let us know.

Concours South Africa 2019

Vic and Gerhard Camper Overall Winners 2019 Ferrari Dino

Vic and Gerhard Camper Overall Winners 2019 Ferrari Dino

It hasn’t taken long for Concours South Africa at Steyn City to become an important fixture on the classic car calendar. And no surprise, when you consider the cars competing for the overall crown this year.

Contestants started arriving on Friday, off-loading and registering their vehicles at the Steyn City entrance, before driving in convoy to their final parking spots.

Graham Duxbury and Basil Green

Graham Duxbury and Basil Green

Friday's activities closed with the induction of Basil Green and Graham Duxbury into the South African Hall of Fame. 

Saturday the judging panel had 15 minutes with each car, looking at overall condition, originality etc.

Later in the afternoon, the judges announced the top 12 that would go through to the final round (to be judged, again, on Sunday). The final 12 were;

·         1961 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (Franco Scribante)

·         1992 Opel Kadett 2.0 GSi 16v Superboss (Gavin Roberts)

·         1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS (John Sayers)

·         1990 BMW 325iS (Raveen Sewchand Ramlakan)

·         1973 Porsche 911T (Timothy Abbot)

·         1982 Ford Cortina XR6 (Wynand Mulder)

·         1956 Porsche 356 (Matthew Kreeve)

·         1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia "Step Nose" (Neville Forssman)

·         1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint (Neville Forssman)

·         1965 MGB Roadster (Thys Venter)

·         1957 VW Type 2 Split-Window (Wynand - Generation Old School)

·         1971 Dino 246 GT (Vic Campher)

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Sunday’s perfect weather set the scene for the annual classic-car gathering which blended collector vehicles with stylish fashion, and sumptuous food and fine wines. Bringing further glamour to the event, Carolyn Steyn was on hand to award Best Dressed Lady to Lizelia Wort for her chic garden-party elegance.

Just after lunch, it was time for the announcement of the winners. In third place was Neville Forssman's beautiful Giulietta Sprint, second went to a crowd favorite, the BMW 325is of Raveen Sewchand Ramlakan and the winner... the beautifully turned-out Dino 246 GT of the Campher brothers.

“The level of competition was extraordinarily high,” said chief Concours judge Marius Malherbe. “So much so that the top 10 — selected for final judging — became a top 12.”

1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint

1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint

In the "Show 'n Shine" category it was Gordon Johnstone's 2005 Maserati Gran Sport that emerged victorious, while Class 1B was won by Roger Martin's Jaguar SS 2.5 Saloon, with Class 2A scooped by the very well-prepared 1957 VW Kombi Type 2 from Generation Old School. In Class 2B it was that beautiful 356A of Matthew Kreeve that came out tops while Raveen Sewchand Ramlakan's E30 325iS was the best of the SA specials.

Roll on Concours SA 2020...

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Downforce is Sexy ?

Like all car enthusiasts, we love a big rear wing. Some of these generate real downforce, others are for show, but all are fantastic.

One of the most polarizing automotive design choices any automotive designer can make is the inclusion of a rear wing. Rear wings, or spoilers, are often added to race cars to spoil the flow of air across the vehicle and thus eliminate unwanted turbulence that could cause the vehicle to lose traction, become airborne or otherwise behave erratically on the track.

So if spoiler technology is designed for race cars, why have so many street machines become factory-equipped with huge rear wings?

 They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and, in this case, the old adage is true. Many factory-issued car spoilers are designed to make street-legal versions of race cars look more like race cars.

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Ferrari F40

One of the most collectible classics of the modern era is the Ferrari F40–a stunning example of lightness, power and beauty. The car was named to honour the company’s 40th anniversary, and at the launch journalists spontaneously broke into applause, mesmerized by a sensuous shape that screamed speed. A tall rear spoiler dominated the design, which showed a resemblance to the 288 GTO. But otherwise, the form was quite clean.

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Lamborghini Countach

Lambo’s legendary wedge was outrageous enough without a wing. When the Italian marque made one an option in the late Seventies, few could resist, even though it was entirely superfluous. Designed for F1 upstart Walter Wolf, the tray reached its most preposterous form on the monstrous LP5000 QV variant.

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Ford Escort RS Cosworth

Mention the word “wing” to a Ford fan and they will shout “whale tail” at you.

The Ford’s Escort Cosworth boasts one of the most radical spoilers of all time, but did you realise that some were actually sold without it? In some countries the Escort Cosworth’s mighty rear wing was not allowed. In Switzerland, for example, the whale tail was declared a danger to motorcyclists in the event of a crash and thus all of its examples used a smaller rear spoiler. Even in the UK, later examples were offered with the option of a spoiler.

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Porsche 964 Carrera RS 3.8

Porsche is no stranger to rear wings: from the 930 Turbo to the 993 Carrera RS, the Stuttgart marque has long been sticking duck tails and spoilers on its special edition sports cars. Best of the bunch? The double-layered number that appeared at the back of its 964 Carrera RS 3.8 – an ultra-rare performance weapon released in 1993 to homologate the equally mighty RSR racer. Stripped of all unnecessary elements, the RS was so slight in lightweight guise that the wing did well just to keep its wheels on the ground.

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BMW E9 CSL

In racing trim, BMW’s iconic 3.0 CSL had an aero kit so sharp-edged and striking it earned the sports saloon a memorable nickname: the Batmobile. On the road? The feisty Seventies special wore the air ducts and fender fins, but no rear wing, because it was illegal on German roads. Instead, BMW hid the spoiler in the boot for self-installation. So, while the track car was prevailing in the European Touring Car Championship, new CSL owners were installing their own rear wings that helped it win.

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Toyota Supra

Originally built over four generations –it was the fourth and final coming of the Supra that had the greatest rear end. Whether or not the wing on the Supra is functional or not is up for debate. But like many cars in the 90s, the presence of a spoiler meant one thing–force-fed power under the bonnert.

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Plymouth Superbird

Built to go stock car racing and released for the road in very limited numbers, the Plymouth Superbird was not your average muscle car. It was paired with a V8 and a four speed manual gearbox, but it also looked like a rocket ship and had a rear wing big enough for it to take off. The rear wing was actually styled by a missile scientist.

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Mercedes-Benz 190E Evo II

Executive cars aren’t where you’d usually expect to find a wing, let alone one as extreme as the Evo II’s. Then again, the limited-edition Mercedes was no ordinary executive car. The Evo II was introduced in 1990 and had a number of cosmetic and mechanical changes including a wild-for-its-time aerodynamics package, an in-car adjustable suspension, improved brakes, bigger 17-inch wheels, and a reworked AMG 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 235 horsepower.

A Pending Generation Turn Around in the Collecting Classic Car Market

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We are half way through 2019 and what have the trends been in the collector car market. From the surface, the market seems to be slowing down. This is despite the increase in attendance of collector car shows in 2019.

Frankly, research on trends in the collector car market can be confusing. Some news is positive, while a good bit of it is negative. Some even believe that the collector car market has hit a peak.

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Old vs. New Collectors.

One aspect that's often overlooked in the classic car market is the habits of old vs. new collectors. For example, the older generation is more interested in buying classics they can showcase in their garage or during car shows.

On the other hand, younger collectors are more interested in using their vehicles as daily drivers. With social media being so prevalent, the younger generation is more interested in being seen in their vehicle as they post pictures to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media platforms.

Despite their obvious differences in taste, every generation of car collectors have one thing in common -- they all tend to purchase vehicles they grew up with. For example, younger collectors tend to prefer 80s and 90s vehicles. Older collectors tend to favour vehicles from the 50s, 60s, 70s, or earlier.

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Frankly, what may be of interest to a 32-year-old collector may not appeal to a 50-year-old collector? As a new generation of collectors takes to the stage, the types of vehicles sold will begin to shift slowly, thus causing waves in the industry.

There is a belief among the older generation of Classic Car Collectors that the younger generation don’t appreciate Classic Cars and that the hobby is likely to die a slow death.

In the past year, interviews were conducted with people attending classic car shows in Italy, England, Germany, France and the United States. Interviewed were people yet to reach their 30th birthday and then people aged 50 and older.

The interviews were conducted at Retromobile in Paris, Retro Classic in Stuttgart, The London Classic Car Show, the Los Angeles Classic Car Show and Auto e moto d’epoca in Padova.

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“The young are much more passionate about collector cars than the old tend to think, and all of them — the aged and the youthful — are confident about the future role of collecting, and indeed are prepared to promote the preservation and appreciation of our four-wheel heritage,” the survey revealed.

“Another common consideration is the fact that the more cars become self-driving, the greater the appeal of driving the ‘real’ cars of yesterday will be.”

Young people also see ownership of “non-contemporary” vehicles as a way of being different, “of getting out of the mainstream.”

Those interviewed were also ask to list their favourite cars and what was extremely interesting was how many Brands featured on both lists not to mention the similar model configurations.

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Older Generation - : Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing , Lamborghini Miura , Aston Martin DB5 , Jaguar E-Type , Mercedes Pagoda , and early Chevrolet Corvettes.

Younger Generation - : Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing , Lamborghini Miura , Aston Martin DB5 , Porsche Carrera RS , Lamborghini Countach , BMW 2002 Turbo , Ferrari Tetsarossa early Ford Mustangs and the Lancia Delta Intergale.

In addition, some commentators mention the increasing shortage of skilled mechanics, with the intricate operating knowledge of old cars dying out with the new age of mechanics who are most used to reliance on computer diagnostics.

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The best advice remains to acquire cars in the highest quality condition and to acknowledge that it may require a long term investment horizon. The other advice is to buy something you love and will enjoy. Classic cars are described as a ‘passion asset’ after all.

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Collectible Wheels Garage Part 3

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If Money was no object our Garage would be filled with the following Top 22 Cars. Whilst there are probably about another 100 odd Cars that could make this list as well or rather fill our warehouse the list we have compiled are cars that we have physically driven and also happen to own a few of them are all still cars that You can just get in a simply drive them out on to the open roads where heads will turn, hooters will be blown, thumbs up signals will be given and new friends Young and Old will be made.      

Jaguar E-Type   

Jaguar E-Type

Jaguar E-Type

Often referred to as the most beautiful car in the world, the E-Type is arguably the most iconic vehicle ever produced by the British motor industry. Upon its release, it was revolutionary. Built on aircraft principles with its monocoque construction, the Jaguar featured disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, independent front and rear suspension, but because the E-Type cost almost half the price of an Aston Martin DB4 or Ferrari 250GT, the Coventry-based firm had made a super sports car experience attainable for so many more motoring aficionados.

The rear-wheel-drive grand tourer, which was driven by the who’s who of the most vivid of decades, was available as a 2-seater fixed head coupé and roadster. Later iterations included a V12 and a 2+2 seater with a 3-speed automatic. Years ahead of its time and quintessentially British, the E-type has to be regarded as a cultural icon.

BMW 325iS/333i

BMW 325 IS

BMW 325 IS

While our market never received the first (LHD only) M3, BMW SA developed local special editions. The 325iS and the older, extremely-rare 333i offered scintillating performance. The 325iS, released in 1989, was powered by a 2.5-litre straight-6 engine. That was followed by the Evo 1 (with a 145 kW 2.7-litre Alpina-fettled engine) in 1990 and a slightly tweaked 155 kW Evo 2 version thereafter. As for the 333i, only 200 were sold to the public, making it an incredibly rare car. If it's the cool factor that you are after, then look no further than the BMW 325iS and 333i, but good luck trying to find either one.

Volkswagen Kombi Splitty

VW Spit Window

VW Spit Window

Few vehicles are as cool as the Volkswagen Kombi Splitty! Imagine cruising in a tropical location with the Splitty laden with surfboards and pulling into your local surf break to ogle the waves with your friends. This car sings to the tune of warm summer days, carefree living and brings a smile to those who are lucky enough to own, or even see, one. Old school is cool and this is a surfer hippie's dream.

Ford Mustang (1965)

Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang

The original Ford Mustang will forever be remembered for the genre-defining chase scene in the movie Bullitt, but it meant so much more to so many people. With its relatively simple, muscular design, it instantly became a blue-collar sports car, because everything else on US roads (at the time) was a veritable oil tanker by comparison. After its debut, the Mustang outsold every other muscle car in the market for years and became the subject of rock songs and unsurprisingly, the plaything of rock stars. Fitted with unnecessarily large V8 engines, the Mustang is vintage Americana, a Sixties icon..

Lancia Delta Integrale

Lancia Integrale

Lancia Integrale

The late Eighties and early Nineties were great for car designers who only had access to right angles and rulers. The bulldog-looking Lancia Integrale Evo 2 is the ultimate hot hatch of its era. With 158 kW and 300 Nm, let alone 4-wheel-drive, it gives most modern hot hatches a good thumping. The Delta is probably the last real Lancia ever produced before Fiat introduced platform-sharing across all of its brands and effectively took away the substance that made Lancia an iconic brand. There is also the small matter of 6 consecutive World Rally Championships that the Delta Integrale won.

Lamborghini Countach LP5000 Quattrovalvole

Lamborghini Countach

Lamborghini Countach

The Seventies were a wonderful time for car design, because it heralded the famous supercar wedge era made famous by the big Italian design houses. Lamborghini was at the forefront of this movement with the Countach: a car that broke every mould and rewrote the supercar rulebook with its futuristic styling cues scripted by Marcello Gandini of the Bertone Design Studio. The Countach was powered by a variety of V12 power plants, but the one that stands out the most is the naturally aspirated 5.2-litre unit of the LP5000 Quattrovalvole, which became a poster car. In fact, more posters were made of this Countach than any other supercar of its era.

Ferrari F40

Ferrari F40

Ferrari F40

Where once posters of the Lamborghini Countach most adorned schoolboys’ bedroom walls, the minimalist F40 changed that in 1987. Built to celebrate the Ferrari’s 40-year anniversary, the F40 is believed to be the final car that Il Commendatore Enzo Ferrari personally signed off before his death in 1988. It’s short, sharp 3-letter nomenclature made it easy to settle arguments in a single breath. What’s more, the F40 was not for sissies… its interior was stripped out like that of a race car, its windows were plastic and its body a melange of Kevlar, carbon fibre and aluminium with a twin-turbo 2.9-litre V8 which made the lightweight supercar fiendishly fast but notoriously tricky to drive at the limit. It’s not the best Ferrari ever produced, but for most car enthusiasts, Maranello’s most evocative, and iconic, model.

Collectible Wheels Garage Part 2

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If Money was no object our Garage would be filled with the following Top 22 Cars. Whilst there are probably about another 100 odd Cars that could make this list as well or rather fill our warehouse the list we have compiled are cars that we have physically driven and also happen to own a few of them.They are cars that You can just get in a simply drive them out on to the open roads where heads will turn, hooters will be blown, thumbs up signals will be given and new friends Young and Old will be made.     

Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR

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Only 25 examples of the CLK GTR road car were ever made, which makes it rare and cool. Built to race in the FIA GT Championship series in 1997, the Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR was powered by a monstrous 6.8-litre V12 engine.Its successor, the CLR GTR is infamous for the horrific accident that took place at the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans where Peter Dumbreck’s car flipped off the track and catapulted into the trees next to Circuit de la Sarthe. The road-going version of the CLK GTR had a 6.9-litre V12 engine.

Mercedes Benz 190E

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At the time of launch in 1982, the 190E was the smallest car in Mercedes-Benz’s product range.In the 1970s, Mercedes Benz competed in rallying, but without much success. The Three-pointed Star wanted to campaign the 190E and turned to Cosworth, which built a decent engine with which to compete, the car was completely outclassed by the Audi Quattro. Frustrated by rallying, Mercedes turned to DTM, which required the race car to be based on a road car. And so the 190E 2.3-16V “Cosworth” was put into series production and went on sale with a detuned version of the Cosworth motor. The simple squared-off design was an instant classic and has aged well. Whenever we see one on the road we cannot help but smile. It’s timelessly cool.

BMW 3.0 CSL

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The BMW E9, with its sleek, Karmann-designed contours, was a desirable compact sports car, but it was the rare 3.0 CSL version of the coupe that cemented the Munich-based firm’s sporting pedigree. Built in 1972 to comply with homologation requirements (to enter a circuit racing series), the lightweight 3.0 CSL sported aluminium body parts, less trim, soundproofing and even Perspex side windows. The car was an instant success on the roads and on the track. The rear wing, now synonymous with the “Batmobile”, was not fitted on delivery but instead left up to the new owners to install... because it was illegal to use that wacky wing on German roads!

Talbot-Lago T150 CSS Figoni & Falaschi

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Not many vintage cars were expected to make the list, but the Talbot-Lago certainly deserves to. The little-known French marque’s cars – the T150 CSS with the spectacularly curvaceous Figoni & Falaschi “teardrop” body, in particular – are highly sought-after at exclusive car auctions, where they fetch suitably stratospheric prices… Only 14 of the T150 CSS were made and it was a high performer, too – a near-showroom stock T150 CSS finishing 3rd at Le Mans in 1938.

Ford Escort RS Cosworth (1992-1996)

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Built as a homologation requirement to validate Ford’s 1990s WRC effort, these Escorts (fettled by Cosworth) were the ultimate hot hatchbacks of their era. Producing peak power of 167 kW and sending power to all four of its wheels, the RS Cosworth was unimaginably fast for a car that shared much of its naming convention with Ford’s family car fare of the time.It had no hatchback rival and its signature styling feature – a huge whale tail wing – was entirely functional. The combination of a massive rear wing and cleverly conceived front splitter meant these RS Cosworths were producing functional aerodynamic down force at a time when most cars were doing their best to reduce wing-mirror wind noise.

Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing

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Endowed with voluptuous curves, an alluring stance and iconic Gullwing doors, the 300SL Gullwing was the poster child for what would become a revered line of desirable open-topped Mercedes-Benzes. The W198, which made its international debut at the New York Motor Show,was based on the 1952 300SL racing car, which featured a welded aluminium-tube space frame, necessitating the implementation of upward-opening doors.Highly regarded for its technological debuts and low production numbers (only 1 400 were built), the 300SL is arguably the most iconic car ever produced by Benz and, of course, its most highly collectible model

Is the Mercedes Benz Gullwing the Greatest Barn Find of All Time ?

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For reasons that will likely forever remain a mystery, this Mercedes-Benz 300SL ‘Gullwing’ – just the 43rd example to roll off the line in Stuttgart – was entombed in a Jacksonville garage for 53 years. The time-warp coupé has now returned to its birthplace.

Mercedes-Benz has bought back the vehicle and it is estimated that the vehicle could be worth millions of Dollars. The firm reacquired the 1954 300 SL Gullwing Coupe with 35,408 miles on its odometer. The car was amassing mold and dust in a Jacksonville, Florida, dealership since the 1960s.It was then moved to a storage facility about 10 years ago.

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 “We believe the car has been sitting since 1956 and with 35,308 miles on the odometer,” Constantin von Kageneck, who is the Mercedes-Benz Classic Centre’s marketing and communication specialist said. “It appears the original owner enjoyed this 300 SL quite a bit between 1954 to 1956.” 

A number of charming almost-prototype features are special to this car, being such an early example – the 43rd of the 1,400 eventually built by Mercedes. These include the hand-beaten Silver Star in the front grille, the bolted-on ‘eyebrows’ above the wheels, the flat-topped rear bumper ‘horns’, and the distinctive gooseneck gear lever. And all caked in 53 years’ worth of beguiling patina – you really don’t find them like this very often. 

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 “There comes a point in your life when (attempting) a car like that to getting a proper restoration, you have to wait in line a year or two. Then, when they get to it, it’s another two years. When you get to be in your late 70s or early 80s—that’s four years to get a car done. You just don’t know if you’re going to be alive that long,” Bill Warner, who assisted in finding the car commented.

There are specific cars that are must haves for the most series of all collectors “A 427 Cobra is one. A pre-1971 Ferrari is another and a Duesenberg is another. That’s just the way it is. This car is one of those.”

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Mercedes-Benz has been attempting to buy the vehicle for several years, and it recently made an offer deemed acceptable to the owner. The car was originally medium blue metallic, but it was primed and sanded during an attempt to restore it.

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Kageneck said that Gullwing Coupe No. 43 will be shown at the Amelia Island Concours and will be set alongside No. 44.

“For most classic car aficionados, there is an emotional connection to a specific car,” “It was the car their parents took them on vacation when they were young, the first car they owned in high school or the car they dreamed about when they were introduced to cars in the first place. …Classic cars tell a story of the past, they inspire people’s nostalgic imagination and offer us a glimpse of what life in the past looked like.”

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Collectible Wheels Garage Part 1

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If Money was no object our Garage would be filled with the following Top 22 Cars. Whilst there are probably about another 100 odd Cars that could make this list as well or rather fill our warehouse the list we have compiled are cars that we have physically driven and also happen to own a few of them.They are cars that You can just get in a simply drive them out on to the open roads where heads will turn, hooters will be blown, thumbs up signals will be given and new friends Young and Old will be made.     

 Peugeot 205 T16

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This little French number is here because it was created by Peugeot purely for homologation purposes (in order for a manufacturer to enter Group B rallying, it had to produce 200 road going examples of the car its rally car would be based on). While it looked like an ordinary small Peugeot, it shared many parts from the rally car including its engine, albeit in detuned form. The rally version dominated, with back-to-back championship wins in 1985 and 1986. While most Petrolheads were lusting after the Volkswagen Golf 2 GTI at the time, the 205 GTI was widely regarded as the benchmark.

Ferrari 430 Scuderia

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This model was revealed at the pinnacle of the Maranello-based F1 team’s success. It brimmed with F1 tech and was developed by one Michael Schumacher to be a track car that could make the odd trip to the shops. It was some track car too; it beat the Ferrari Enzo’s lap time around Ferrari’s Fiorano test track. And, that time from what was essentially Ferrari’s entry-level model, all thanks to lightning gear shifts from Ferrari’s F1 Superfast 2 transmission, 100 kg less weight and a clever e-differential. A nerdy Ferrari for sure, but one you didn’t want to mess with.

 Alfa Romeo Giulietta/Giulia Sprint Speciale

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Whether in early Giulietta spec (1.3-litre engine) or the later Giulia (1.6), these diminutive Alfas are highly desirable these days because of their limited build (around 1 400 of each), and their beautiful design. Conceived to be competitive racers, the Sprint Speciales were incredibly aerodynamic. Their 0.28 drag coefficients were unbeaten for decades and helped them achieve high top speeds with comparatively little power from their very vocal twin-cam engines.

Renault R8 Gordini

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Successor to the Dauphine, the R8 retained a rear-engine, rear wheel drive layout, along with tail-happy, ‘widow-maker’ handling. But, as before, Amedée Gordini was called in to work his magic. Initially powered by a lightly breathed upon 1.1-litre, 1966 saw the addition of double headlights, a five-speed gearbox and a re-engineered 1255cc motor. These enhancements turned the blue-hued twin white striped tyke into a rally winner with a serious cult following. The man behind Gordini, Amadeo Gordini, was nicknamed ‘Le Sorcier’ (the Sorcerer) and South Africa’s 1979 F1 world drivers’ champion, Jody Scheckter, famously campaigned his creation.

Volvo P1800

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For Volvo, a manufacturer renowned for its predictable, if inoffensive, blocky car designs  the sensually styled and the exceedingly elegant P1800 from the Sixties is a masterstroke. When a volume manufacturer of run-of-the-mill family cars produces something as delectable as the P1800, as Volkswagen did with the Karmann Ghia, it represents a source of guilt-free indulgence for collectors of exotic cars.Styled by Pelle Petterson under the tutelage of Pietro Frua when the latter’s studio was a subsidiary of the Italian design house Ghia, the P1800, with its speedboat-like profile, plunging roofline, swooping chrome and subtle rear fins was produced by Jensen in the UK. It may be one of the most un Swedish Volvos ever produced, but the P1800 and its derivatives have proved very influential. Also, the P1800 was driven with panache by Roger Moore in The Saint on TV.

. De Tomaso Pantera

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Classic Italian sportscar styling, courtesy of Ghia’s Tom Tjaarda and American V8 muscle (Ford’s 351 Cleveland motor) promised much, but early rust-prone Italian production woes and the onset of the 1973 fuel crisis put the skids on Pantera sales just as Ford had begun to dial in more build quality. The Pantera soldiered on and gained a Countach-aping spoilers-and-skirts wide-body kit before receiving a full facelift from Marcello Gandini himself. De Tomaso was not a small sideline manufacturer, it actually owned Maserati from 1976 to 1993.

Lotus Esprit S3 Turbo

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The Esprit may look like an old door stop but this was one seriously cool car. James Bond spent a fair amount of time swapping out Esprits as they developed, but the S3 was used in the film For Your Eyes Only. The Esprit had a relatively long life, first being produced in 1976, the final Esprit rolled off the line in 2004. It’s arguably the coolest looking Eighties sports car.

Alfa Romeo GTV6

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A highlight in Alfa’s history, thanks to some uniquely South African product planning. The original GTV6 was created, as many other great cars of the 1980s, to fulfil homologation requirements for circuit racing. Alfa Romeo South Africa managed to convince its Italian parent company that the entirely fantastic Alfetta coupe required a 3.0-litre high-performance engine to fulfil its true potential. This request was granted, and the result was a 128 kW GTV6, which featured dramatic styling, courtesy of a lowered stance, custom lightweight bonnet and iconic Compomotive alloy wheels. Alfisti worldwide were in awe. For those obsessive Petrolheads historians, this car foreshadowed what BMW would ultimately create with its 1M Coupe. Alfa Romeo was way ahead of the performance car curve by a good few decades.

BMW M1

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Another product of the wedge-era, the BMW M1 was based on the Paul Bracq-penned BMW Turbo Concept and brought to life by Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. The main objective of the M1 project was to homologate the car so it could compete with Porsche at Le Mans (a total of 453 of these cars were produced between 1978 and 1981). While its pop-up headlights, flat kidney grille and rear louvre slats gave it a distinctive and timeless appearance, it was the brace of BMW roundels located on either side of the tailgate that became its most distinctive trait; that and, of course, the 3.5-litre inline 6 that made it the fastest German road car of its era... and went on to power the E28 M5, the world's 1st super sedan.

To Buy , Sell or hold 80"s Favorites.

No one considers the 1980s—a decade perhaps best known for the K-car—a standout era for automobiles and a growing number of collectors are embracing these “youngtimer” cars.

BUY

1983–92 Volkswagen Golf Mk II GTI.

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Volkswagen created the hot-hatch segment in the 1970s with the Rabbit GTI, a car that perfectly combined performance and practicality in an affordable package. The Golf GTI Mk II that was introduced in 1983 offered a bit more space and performance in a car that’s still FUN to drive.

Prices are rising alongside buyers’ interest in the car, a trend that will surely continue. That makes now a great time to buy. Prices have climbed 5–10 percent over the last several years and cars in Condition #2 (Excellent) command five figures. Buying now is a wise decision.

SELL

1975–85 Ferrari 308

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If you have a Ferrari 308 you’ve been thinking of selling for a tidy profit, now’s the time to sell. The broader market for vintage cars from Maranello has been cooling, and although a Condition #2 (excellent) 308 still commands more than R2.0 million their popularity is waning.

Why? Because that kind of money will put you in any number of cars with more style, better performance, or greater cachet. Values peaked in 2016.Prices have slid steadily since then, and saw another significant drop earlier this year.There’s no reason to think the trend won’t continue.

HOLD

1982–91 Porsche 944

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You can make a solid argument that the Porsche 944 is the best of the front-engine “transaxle Porsches.” It’s a handsome car with beautiful styling, solid performance, and reasonable running costs (for a Porsche). And like every car that ever rolled out of Stuttgart, prices have climbed steadily. There’s still some room for growth, and owners may want to sit tight just a bit longer before selling.

Buyer interest peaked in 2016, and after a slow, two-year descent, it’s beginning to climb again. If you’re thinking of selling, you’d be wise to wait.

Iconic Cars that Star in Movies

To celebrate the annual Oscar winner’s announcements in Hollywood on Sunday 26 February, here is our list of the most iconic cars to star on the silver screen in no particular order.

Bandit’s Trans Am – 1977 Pontiac Trans Am (Smokey and the Bandit)

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One of those cars that you just have to include. The Bandit Trans Am popularized the dream of tearing across America with a V8 underfoot and flashing lights in the rear-view mirror.

Mr Frye’s Ferrari – 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder SWB (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)

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Like the Trans Am, Ferris Bueller’s ultimate joyride – the Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder – reminds us of that dream of freedom, of bucking the authorities and doing whatever we want.

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Bumblebee – 1977/2009 Chevrolet Camaro (Transformers)

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For a robot in disguise, you’d think Bumblebee would want something less conspicuous than the then-new Camaro. Then again, he couldn’t have made much cooler a choice…

1960s Batmobile – customized 1954 Lincoln Futura (Batman: The Movie)

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The original, the iconic. There is no bettering the custom Futura Batmobile, even with something akin to a tank.

Charlie’s getaway Minis – 1968 Mini Cooper S (The Italian Job)

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Of course, power is nothing without control. So the humble Mini is no doubt the better companion in the greatest movie heist of all-time than any Lambo would have been

 Greased Lightning – 1948 Ford Deluxe (Grease)

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To survive high school in 50s America you needed bravado and ego, something John Travolta in a leather jacket delivered in spades. A Ford Deluxe hot rod is the only car to match.

James Bond’s Lotus Esprit S1 (The Spy Who Loved Me

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This would have to be Bond’s coolest car were it not for the history-wide Aston Martin association. The ultimate 80s wedge is also arguably the coolest submarine of all-time.

Herbie – 1963 Model 117 Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle (The Love Bug, etc)

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No cars are characters quite like Herbie the Love Bug, beating the colorful characters of the Cars films to automotive sentience by 38 years

Doc Brown’s DeLorean – 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 (Back to the Future)

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It’s a tough battle at this point for most iconic car of all-time. Doc Brown’s time-travelling masterpiece will always be in the running.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – customised Paragon Panther (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)

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The original car that had us looking at our cars and then looking to the skies. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is one of the ultimate cult classics. We’re in little doubt that no car has taken to the skies in cinema and garnered such a gasp as this.

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James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 (James Bond movies)

Bond’s original Superleggera-bodied masterpiece is immortal, probably because they keep wheeling it out. Why? Because it will never be bettered, for Bond or any other movie.

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1980 Lamborghini Countach LP 4005 - as seen in Cannonball Run

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Another iconic car — not just in the movie world — is the Lamborghini Countach. With its outrageous styling, a poster of this car was found on every gearhead’s wall back in the 1980s and ’90s

1966 Alfa Romeo 1600 Spider Duetto - as seen in The Graduate.

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The Alfa Romeo featured in The Graduate wasn’t a perfect car, and in several scenes sounds like a V8 instead of the four-cylinder model it really is. As is common with Italian cars, the Alfa’s reliability is also questionable. Despite this less than stellar appearance in the movie,

Dukes of Hazzard' 1969 Dodge Charger

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"Two good old boys," Bo and Luke Duke, drove around Georgia in their 1969 Dodge Charger eluding the Hazzard County police in the CBS series that ran from 1979 to 1985. The car also returned in a 2005 film.

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Classic Cars from the 80's and 90's are Here to Stay

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Step aside, Boomers, and make room for Generation X, as the cars your kids dreamed about driving become collectible.

One of the biggest stories in the collecting world was the consignment of 140 cars from the 1980s and ‘90s. The collection, dubbed “The Youngtimer Dream Garage,” included so many cars that RM Sotheby’s broke it up into four sales—Paris in February, Amelia Island and Fort Lauderdale in March, and Essen in April.

The rising number of relatively new cars hitting the auction circuit shows that the fans of these cars are old enough that they’re in higher income brackets, and all the talk about ‘80s and ‘90s cars being hot has encouraged the best, rarest, most desirable cars of the era to come to market.

Over 20 of them sold in Paris last week at prices that confirm newer limited-production collector cars are more than a fad. Although you found no shortage of high-dollar Ferraris, pre-war icons and modern supercars at the Retromobile auctions, these 80’s and 90’s cars were arguably the most highly anticipated lots ahead of the sale. They didn’t disappoint, either, as several of them commanded record prices. Some describe a few of these cars as future collectibles, but if Paris was any indication, the future is now.

1992 Porsche 928 GTS

RM Sotheby's  : 1992 Porsche 928 GTS

RM Sotheby's :1992 Porsche 928 GTS

Sold for R2,3 million (SA Rand)

The 1992-95 GTS is the last, the faster and the most valuable of Porsche's first front-engine flagships, which dates to the late 1970s. This one featured the desirable 5-speed manual gear box (automatics carry a 20 percent discount) with just 17,000 km on the odometer, both of which helped command a price nearly R450000-00 over the Hagerty current Condition #1 (Concours) value.

The best 928 GTSs have carried six-figure prices in recent months, but this is nevertheless a record auction price for the model.

1985 Audi Quattro

RM Sotheby's :  1985 Audi Quattro

RM Sotheby's : 1985 Audi Quattro

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The Sport Quattro born of the fire-breathing Group B rally cars runs well into six figures. The saner but nevertheless cool base Quattro costs considerably less, but those days are coming to an end. The previous record for a Quattro was set four years ago when a buyer paidR825000-00. This car brought a price R75000-00 over Hagerty’s current value for a Condition #1 (Concours) car despite having 42,000-km

1994 BMW 850 CSi

RM Sotheby's :  1994 BMW 850 CSi

RM Sotheby's : 1994 BMW 850 CSi

Sold for R2, 1 Million (SA Rand )

The 850 CSi was the top-spec model in BMW’s 8-Series range, so of course they command the highest prices. The example was a US-market car, and with 28,500 miles it’s not exactly fresh out of the box. Still, it sold for more than R 45000-00 over Hagerty’s current Condition #1 (Concours) value.

1982 BMW Alpina B7 S Turbo

RM Sotheby's :  1982 BMW Alpina B7 S Turbo

RM Sotheby's : 1982 BMW Alpina B7 S Turbo

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In 1982, 325 horsepower was insane for almost any car, let alone a four-door sedan. But this is an Alpina B7S Turbo, a rare car almost synonymous with insane. The Example had a replacement odometer and true mileage in excess of 220,000 km but that didn’t stop it bidding from reaching well into six figures.

Sold for R2,4 Million (SA Rand )

1994 BMW Alpina B12 5.7 Coupé

RM Sotheby's :  1994 BMW Alpina B12 5.7 Coupé

RM Sotheby's : 1994 BMW Alpina B12 5.7 Coupé

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Sold for R3,5 Million ( SA Rand )

BMW didn’t offer an M version of the 8 Series, but long time tuner Alpina stepped in with a limited run of less than 60 B12s. The uber-8 featured a 5.7-liter, 416-hp version of the 850’s V12 as well as Alpina wheels and wider tires. This example was thoroughly enjoyed, with only 46,886 km. But you can’t be picky when shopping for a B12. Silverstone Auctions in the UK sold one of these rare 850-on-steroids in 2017 for R1, 5 Million (SA Rand). Granted, that car had much higher mileage, but this result is nearly three times as much money less than two years later, and it’s the most anybody has paid publicly for any 8-Series BMW.

1989 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC AMG 6.0 Wide body

RM Sotheby's :  1989 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC AMG 6.0 Widebody

RM Sotheby's : 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC AMG 6.0 Widebody

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Sold for R5,0 million ( SA Rand )

The 560 SEC AMG, with 6.0 litres of German muscle, came from the era before Mercedes-Benz made AMG its official tuning arm. Although you could buy one at a Mercedes dealership (with a full warranty), they were frightfully expensive and AMG built fewer than 50 of them. This one was the first of the 80’s and 90’s cars in Paris to sell and among the most eagerly anticipated, given its rarity, savage performance and wickedly handsome styling.  And it defied expectations by soaring well beyond the estimated selling price of R 3,6 Million ( SA Rand ) The previous record, set just three years ago in Arizona, was R 2,3 Million ( SA Rand )

 

A Dream Suzuki Katana Collection.

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Collector Ken Edgar.

Collector Ken Edgar.

Suzuki Katana collector Ken Edgar has a collection of Suzukis, featuring every production U.S. Katana model, the Target Design ED-2 prototype, an original 1982 Katana in the crate and more.

The obsession began in 1982 when Ken Edgar was just 14 years old and laid his eyes on the then-new and radically designed Suzuki Katana. The name, borrowed from a Japanese samurai sword, made the new bike’s mission clear.

And while many teenage boys develop an attachment or fascination with a particular motorcycle or car, with the passing of time the attraction and excitement fades. In Ken’s case, however, it just got stronger. After four summers of working landscaping, scrounging and saving, Ken bought his first Katana. It was used and not in the best of condition, but it was his – finally – and it became the starting point for a unique and comprehensive collection of this milestone motorcycle.

Target Original Design

Target Original Design

The Katana

In the late 1970s, Suzuki’s GS750 and GS1000 4-cylinder models were very capable motorcycles. Like the Honda CB750, Kawasaki KZ900 and other 4-cylinder bikes of the day, they were among the UJMs, or Universal Japanese Motorcycles, so named for their seemingly universal application of almost identical technical specifications. Looking for a new direction, Suzuki-Germany marketing director Manfred Becker initiated the idea of a completely new and attention-grabbing motorcycle, retaining the services of a newly created firm, Target Design, to produce the first concept studies of a new design based on the production GS550 and GS650 models.

Birth of the Original Katana

Birth of the Original Katana

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The three partners in Target Design, Hans Muth, Hans-Georg Kasten and Jan Fellstrom, had been lead designers with the BMW Motorrad studios. Target Design’s proposal for the GS550/650, known as ED-1 (European Design 1), was enthusiastically approved by Suzuki-Germany, and subsequently by Suzuki Japan, which assigned Masao Tani as the project manager and engineer. In fact, this first design was so well received that Suzuki asked Target to work on another prototype concept study based on their production GS1100.

With the acceptance of the first prototype, Target felt they could push the envelope a bit further with a second design. Known internally as ED-2, this is the design usually associated with the Katana. As with the GS550 concept, the GS1100 design presentation included numerous sketches, scale renderings and a full-size model. The ED-2 concept Katana was first shown publicly at the Cologne Motorcycle Show in 1980, and the mission of bringing significant attention to Suzuki was accomplished, as motorcycle magazines around the world published photos and enthusiastic commentary about this unique and ground breaking new design.

The production Katana came to the U.S. in 1981 as the GS1000S Katana, the 1,100cc engine getting a 2mm bore and 1.2mm stroke reduction for a displacement of 998cc to slot into AMA Superbike racing, which had a 1,000cc limit. In 1983 the U.S. model evolved into the 1,100cc GS1100S found worldwide.

Ken’s Katana Obsession

Ken’s first sighting of the Katana was at the very beginning of its worldwide introduction, and his focus on this iconic design never wavered. After high school, Ken went to college in Ft. Collins, Colorado, and he often went by the Suzuki dealer to look at and sit on the new Katana, and imagine owning one.

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Returning to Cleveland, Ohio in 1988 to start his career, Ken’s interest in the Katana continued growing, and he started collecting bikes as he could, over time acquiring pristine, low-mileage examples of every Katana model sold in the U.S., including the initial GS1000S and GS1100S, as well as several of the 550, 650 and 750 variants. Ken’s bikes are all very low-mileage machines, and many have near-zero miles. All of the production Katanas in Ken’s collection are in original, showroom condition, handsomely displayed with banners, marketing posters and other period pieces highlighted with museum-quality lighting.

A 1983 GS650MD (left), 1983 GS750MD (middle), 1983 GS1100SD (rear) and a KISS pinball machine (right

A 1983 GS650MD (left), 1983 GS750MD (middle), 1983 GS1100SD (rear) and a KISS pinball machine (right

After acquiring all of the production U.S. Katana models, Ken began searching for unique Katanas with special histories, in the process acquiring the original Katana GS1000S race bike piloted by Wes Cooley. It came in as-raced condition, with all the modifications made by the Suzuki/Yoshimura team in campaigning the bike and still wearing track dust and oil stains. On display in Ken’s museum it looks like a warhorse, waiting to storm back onto the track.

He then acquired a new, in-the-crate Katana GS1000S from a dealer in London. A U.S. model, the English dealer had bought it from the same Suzuki dealer in Ft. Collins that Ken used to visit while in school. In all likelihood, that very bike was in its crate in the backroom while Ken was sitting on another one on the showroom floor. Last, and perhaps most importantly, a friend in Europe told him that a unique Katana was coming up for auction at a Bonhams sale in England. Perusing the auction catalogue, Ken realized that this was more than just simply a “unique” Katana: It was Target Design’s original ED-2 prototype. Ken was able to acquire this most significant Katana as the capstone to his collection, and it occupies a special place of honour in his museum.

Another view of the hand built Target Design ED-2 prototype made for Suzuki.

Another view of the hand built Target Design ED-2 prototype made for Suzuki.

An original 1982 Katana GS1000SZ, still in the crate.

An original 1982 Katana GS1000SZ, still in the crate.

The Museum

The outside of the warehouse where the collection lives.

The outside of the warehouse where the collection lives.

With the quality and extent of these acquisitions, Ken always envisioned an environment conducive to displaying the results of his 35-year quest and he has accomplished this masterfully. The building housing his collection has been beautifully restored, an eight-year project completed to Ken’s high standards. As a tribute to both the Katana’s milestone design and the quality of Ken’s collection, the Guggenheim Museum’s Art of the Motorcycle exhibition in Las Vegas, Nevada, featured one of Ken’s examples of the initial GS1000S Katana.

Ken’s 1982 GS1000SZ, which was featured in The Art of the Motorcycle exhibit.

Ken’s 1982 GS1000SZ, which was featured in The Art of the Motorcycle exhibit.

In keeping with Motorcycle Classics’ Ride ’Em, Don’t Hide ’Em mantra, Ken has several nice, street-able Katanas that he rides on a regular basis. In addition to the aesthetics of the design that first captured his imagination, Ken enjoys the Katana’s aggressive riding position and the freight train GS engine, which really comes to life on back roads at 6,000rpm-plus

The Katana ‘lite’1981 SUZUKI GS650G

The Katana ‘lite’1981 SUZUKI GS650G

Suzuki produced variations of the original ED-1 and ED-2 Katana designs worldwide until 2000, with the Final Edition GS1100 SY Katana. Although the 1,100cc version is the most well-known of the Katana line, there were also 250, 400, 550, 650 and 750cc derivatives, all sharing the distinctive Katana elements? Even today, the original design still looks innovative and distinctive, a fact that has driven demand and prices for well-sorted examples.

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We have owned a number of Katana”s as well as restoring them back to their original beauty and they definitely have a Special place in our Collection as well.We are in fact in the process of restoring a Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley Replica currently.

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Three Classic to Consider (Part III)

Modern Classic

LANCIA DELTA HF INTEGRALE (1987 – 1991)

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The Lancia Delta HF Integrale is a direct descendent of the Delta HF 4WD group B rally car with a 2.0 litre twin-cam engine and balance shafts. The Integrale came with permanent four-wheel drive and a Garrett T3 Turbo charger creating 185 bhp.

All Delta Integrale’s are left hand drive cars although can be successfully converted to right hand drive models.

In 1989 a 16 valve version designed for rallying, made its winning debut at the San Remo rally in 1989. Upgrades included a revised Garrett Turbo charger, wider wheels and tyres and a revised torque split of 47 percent to the front and 53 percent to the rear. The 16 valve engine producing 210 bhp but slightly less overall torque of 215 lb ft as opposed to the 8 valves 224 lb ft.

The Delta was one of the most successful rally cars in the World. Winning the World Rally Championship six times between 1987 and 1992 and 46 Championship events before withdrawing at the end of the 1993 season.

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SPECIFICATION LANCIA DELTA HF INTEGRALE (1987 – 1991)

Years Produced

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1987 - 1991

Performance

0-60 mph 6.5 sec / Top Speed 133 mph

Power & Torque

185 bhp / 224 Ib ft

Engine

1995 cc four cylinder 8 valves / turbo charged

Drive-train

Front engine AWD

Transmission

Five speed manual

Weight

1267 kg

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EXTERIOR

Early Delta’s were always known for rust problems but as Lancia continually tackled this problem, later models such as the Integrale improved. However there are still one or two problem areas to look out for such as the front pillars around the windscreen tends to rust eventually compromising rigidity and also the rear tailgate is prone to rust so check the small lip of steel above the tailgate for signs. Front door leading edges are also a cause for concern as are rear wheel arches so examine the whole car for corrosion issues or poor repair work.

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UNDER THE BONNET

Turbo engines can be problematic so it is important to make sure the car has been serviced properly at the recommend intervals. Deltas are now nearly 30 years old and will probably have had the original turbo replaced so check the documented history for this. Brake callipers are known to seize on the Delta so check to see the condition of these as a lot of dirt and mud can be thrown up from the road.

Turbo injection Delta’s have an oil cooler, expect corrosion on the unions at the end of the pipe but don’t leave it unmanaged as eventually the car will spring a leak. Cam belt changes should be done at 60.000 km on the 8v and 40,000 km on the 16v so check the cars history for this.

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INTERESTING FACT

A special limited edition of the HF, named HF Martini integrale, launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1984. To celebrate the rally victories of the Lancia-Martini Rally car it was painted white with a Martini stripe on the side; Martini interior with Recaro Seats where standard. Only 150 where produced between 1984 and 1985.

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Three Classic to Consider (Part II)

Traditional Classic

JAGUAR XJ-S (1975 – 1991)           BIG CAT PRIDE FOR THE XJ-S

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The Jaguar XJ-S was up against it from day 1 with the whole world expecting an E-Type successor. But, Jaguar never intended the XJ-S to be that, it was designed as a luxury Grand Tourer with sophistication and refinement not just another Ferrari beater like the E-Type.

However many only saw the negative and not all the good things about the XJ-S. It still had one of the world’s best engines in the 5.3 V12 from the E-Type which happily propelled the XJ-S to 153 mph which was faster than the E-Type despite carrying another 300 Kg of extra weight; it also had an excellent drag coefficient again better than the E-Type so it seemed to have all the right credentials.

Despite all these criticisms the XJ-S sold well and stayed in production for over twenty years, being a financial success for Jaguar. The Eighties saw a cabriolet version introduced to the line-up and also a new engine, the AJ6 was a 3.6 litre straight six with slightly less grunt than the big V12. But perhaps more suitable selling well and with some weight reduction with the engine change and a 5 speed manual gear box offered a well-balanced car.

Buying an old XJ-S seems daunting but a well looked after one will be a joy to drive.

Buying an old XJ-S seems daunting but a well looked after one will be a joy to drive.

UNDER BONNET

Check body and underneath for rust including front wings around the headlights, lower edges, sills, wheel arches inner and outer, bonnet hinges inside the boot and everywhere else, early models are worse so something from the eighties will usually be better.

Providing service guide lines have been adhered to the engines are silky smooth if thirsty especially the V12. Engine coolant needs replacing every two years so check the cars history. If when you’re checking the car if the coolant is brown, then walk away. The straight six engines aren’t as quiet as the V12 but still run smoothly just watch for head gasket week-ness after 50,000 miles and make sure you have good oil pressure.

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INTERIOR

Whether it is Auto or Manual gear boxes are tough, the four speed manual does get worn with age especially from first to second. The early models used a Borg-Warner model 12 automatic gear box which are a bit clunky however the three speed General Motors Model 400 superseded it in 1977 and this is much smoother.

The XJ-S has twin wishbone suspension up front, top inner bushes wear out every 80,000 km allowing the suspension to move around creating uneven tire wear. Rear suspension is in the sub-frame; check the hub bearings are ok. Interiors are good quality and later models are all leather the main thing to check for is driver seat bolsters for excessive wear.

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INTERESTING FACT:

Windy Gowl Red Angus cattle Edinburgh...

Windy Gowl Red Angus cattle Edinburgh...

For Jaguar XJ models, Jaguar uses only leather from Scottish Angus Bulls. The reason for bulls over cows is that the cows can get stretch marks from pregnancy. What’s more, the Scottish bulls are less likely to have been bitten by mosquito’s, which could damage the leather. Skin from the belly and neck make up the dash and the doors, while the rump and backbone make the seats, as those parts of the hide are tougher.

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Three Classics to Consider (Part 1)

This is a Three Part Guide on three Classic Cars that we have been keeping our eyes on for a while.

They are vastly different and fall into three very specific categories, 4 x 4, Performance, Traditional Classic. 

4 x 4 Classic THE LAND ROVERS SERIES (1958 – 1971)

Series I

Series I

THE BIRTH OF A MODERN LEGEND

The Land Rover started life back in 1948 with its launch at the Amsterdam Motor Show; it was simply called the Land Rover back then and primarily designed for farm and light industrial use.

For the first 3 years of its life the Land Rover came as just one model, an 80” wheelbase 1.6 petrol engine with a 4 speed manual gear box. By 1954 there had been some changes made with the Land Rover. A 2.0 litre engine had replaced the 1.6 and 80” had become 86” with a long wheelbase version introduced with a 107” wheelbase known as the ‘station wagon’. This larger model became very popular allowing the Land Rover to be used as a people carrier transporting workmen to remote locations.

It wasn’t long before the 2.0 diesel engine was introduced along with a further increase in size to 88” for the short wheelbase and 109” for the long wheelbase. These were the dimensions to be used on the Land Rover for the next 25 years.

Series II

Series II

The Series II was introduced in 1958 with some help from Rovers styling department producing the famous ‘barrel-side’ design along with curved windows and more rounded roof. Land Rover also introduced a more powerful petrol engine, the 2.25 litre produced 72 bhp compared to the 2.0 litre only managing 50 bhp. The Series IIA was introduced just 3 years later with a new 2.25 litre diesel engine with the models growing from the SWB soft top to the top of the range 5 door station wagon. In the 60’s the Land Rover was at the top of its game holding 90% of the four wheel drive market in Australia, the middle east and Africa which clearly shows it was the best 4×4 by far.

Series III

Series III

The series III carried on the good work were the IIA left off with the front lights being moved to the wings to comply with lighting regulations in America, Australia and Holland other changes made were synchromesh gears along with some strengthening and rigidity upgrades. By 1982 a ‘County’ model was released with all new cloth seats, sounds proofing, and tinted glass giving the Land Rover a more leisure vehicle style.

Prices

We have been tracking prices from 2010 to 2018 and currently right now they have enjoyed a massive increase in value of over 300 %

BUYER’S GUIDE

One of the most important areas to examine when it comes to a series Land Rover is the chassis and bulkhead as they are both prone to rust, so investigate thoroughly as replacements are expensive. Also check foot wells, door frames and along the top and rear corners of the bodywork for corrosion. The chassis is leaf sprung and if tired will sag either at the back or the sides so make sure its fit for purpose.

A Porsche for Four 1987 Porsche 928 H50 Study

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On a recent trip to Pebble Beach Concourse and Monterey Car Week we popped into the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. At the time of our visit they were having a Special Display of vehicles manufactured between 1979 and 1989 which was right up our allay.In keeping with the celebrations of Porsche and their 70th Anniversary there were a number of Special Porsche Vehicles on display.

But there was really one that Caught My Attention Immediately.    

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In 1986 Porsche and—German aftermarket shop AMG built a prototype custom 928 four door saloon. One cannot help but conjecture that this variant may have been a prototype for a new 928 that would have created a completely new market niche, further distancing it from the 911 but probably ended as the basis for the Panamera launched in 2009.

According to current Porsche designer Harm LaGaay Harm LaGaay , this rare and unusual car was delivered to Heinz Prechter Heinz Prechter , founder and chief executive of ASC (American Sunroof Corporation), whose large automotive aftermarket firm, headquartered just south of Detroit, enjoyed a close relationship with Porsche. The workmanship of this conversion is impeccable, being the equal or better of the legendary fit and finish of a new Porsche. The entire cabin, for instance, is lined in sumptuous burgundy leather to match the exterior paintwork.

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This unusual factory custom Porsche was offered at no reserve at the RM Monterey auction, Aug. 16, 2002, and sold for $44,000, nearly four times the going rate for same-vintage 928s. 

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It wouldn't be the last time the 928--or at least the 928 platform--would be used for a four-door, either. In the late 1980s, Porsche itself tested a four-door. Under the direction of Porsche's design director Ulrich Bez, stylist Harm Lagaay penned the 989, which was much more of a true four-door than any of the one-offs that preceded it. While the prototype never made it to production, many of its design elements did: the canted headlamps were used on the 1993 to 1998 "993" generation of the 911, and the wraparound tail lamps certainly influenced those of the 1998 to 2005 "996" 911

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Ten Cars of the 1960'S that remodeled Car History

Besides cultural, social, and political revolution, the 1960s also provided some of the greatest cars known to man. Here’s our top 10 classics to emerge from the swinging decade of free love.

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10. Mini Cooper

The Mini defined the 1960s as much as any car on this list. It's tiny and economical, but more fun than you could realistically fit into the back of one. The Mini is probably the only car that could’ve possibly stolen the spotlight off the Miura’s classic opening scene in the Italian Job.

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9. Aston Martin DB5

The DB5 is fast and luxurious, and if you were taking a road trip from London to Monaco you couldn’t have picked a better car. Especially if you had the world’s most notorious criminals and all of SPECTRE out to kill you.

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8. Lamborghini Miura

The first modern supercar. Mid-rear mounted V12. Celebrity owners that ran the gamut from the Rat Pack to Rod Stewart. The chassis was originally designed by Gian Paolo Dallara, who went on to form his own race car engineering company that still makes today’s Indy cars. 

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7. Ferrari 250 GTO

Gran Turismo Omologato. Homologated for GT-class racing. Enzo didn’t care if he sold cars, because he just wanted to win on the race track…but in order to race in the FIA, he had to use a car that was in production. So he made the 250 GTO: a legit race car that happened to be sold to the public. Hey, there’s a reason these things continually set and reset the record for most expensive cars ever sold.

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6. Porsche 911

What can you say about a car that was so close to perfect when it came out that it’s never had a single major redesign in the ensuing 50 years?

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5. Ford GT40

A personal feud-slash-corporate grudge match between an American industrial heir and a self-made Italian playing out in France at over 200 mph? A car that won Le Mans four times in a row? What’s not to love?

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4. Shelby Cobra

Its one thing to call a car a “dream car," but Carroll Shelby literally came up with the name for the Cobra in his sleep. Dropping an American V8 into a small British sports car was inspired, and the Cobra was instantly ingrained in car culture.

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3. Corvette

From the beauty that was the ’63 split window Corvette to the raw power of the 427 Stingray that could give even Cobras a run for their money, the Vette spent the decade pushing envelopes of style and performance while cementing its place in Americana.

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2. Jaguar E-Type

When the E-Type came out, it was one of the fastest cars money could buy, though it cost a fraction of some of the higher-end exotics. Its enduring legacy, though, is in those gorgeous lines. It was called “The most beautiful car ever made”…by Enzo Ferrari. Jaguar spent decades trying to recapture this car’s magic

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1. Mustang

On paper, the Mustang was little more than a family car with a new body and a marketing plan to go after young professional women. Then it rewrote the record books for sales, changed the course of American culture, and transformed into a race-proven performance machine. Well played.

Porsche 911 SC Revisited

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By David Hurth  

The Porsche 911 SC is currently shooting up in value. What is incredible is just about 5 years ago, nobody saw it coming. In the world of air-cooled 911s it was one of the less desirable models. This may not be totally fair, but the 911 SC is overshadowed by the later 3.2 Carrera.

The 911 SC has performance that won’t make you take notice when compared to modern cars. However, it is an analogy driving experience that is difficult to find in newer vehicles.

Comparing a vintage car to modern cars is not fair. Technology has progressed to the point that the two are barely comparable. Because of this it is good to go back and see what reviews of the vehicle were like when it was new.

Below we have gathered a few snippets from various publications that reviewed the 911 SC when you could still get one in showrooms.

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In 1978 Car and Driver said:

The new 911 SC is faithful to that tradi­tion. It is the fastest normally-aspirated Porsche, 0–60, that we have ever driven. It does the quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds at 94 miles per hour, and the factory (which is usually conservative in these things) rates its top speed at 136. While all this sturm and drang is slowly being fed through your mental computer, you must also come to grips with the information that it gets fif­teen mpg in the EPA city cycle and 27 in the highway test. It is thus terribly fast and surprisingly economical. A remarkable blending of opposing virtues. And it’s cer­tainly a combination that deserves grateful recognition these days.

It may be the last 911. It may also be the best.

In 1978 AutoWeek wrote:

As a group the AutoWeek staff has resisted the Porsche mystique. Porsche owners in their string-backed, bepatched-jacketed hordes tend to make out teeth clench. Maybe living in Southern California, where about every third car is a poorly driven Porsche with a ski rack on it, makes one cynical.

But resisting the mystique is a lot easier than resisting the car. Frankly, we went into this thing wishing we could find that Porsche was a rich kid’s toy.

Now we wish we were rich kids.

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In 1978 Motor Sport Magazine said the below about the 911 SC:

After enthusing so eulogistically about the brutish Aston Martin Vantage in last month’s issue, I feel almost guilty that i cannot instil a similar sense of excitement into this Porsche road-test. The reason is part of the Porsche 911’s strength. There was no element of surprise in that this latest fuel-injected 911 should be simply superb; it was just as expected –maybe better-by a motoring journalist who makes no bones about his enthusiasm for the traditional Porsche concept. It makes no song and dance about its performance: it simply goes, rapidly yet not searingly fast, and keeps on going, smoothly, satisfyingly, relaxingly from the morning’s first turn of the key, in a fashion which is, well, Porsche, there is no other worked for it. You either love the characteristics and learn to bow to them and appreciate them accordingly, or you hate them and buy something else. There are two such distinct camps, even amongst top-class racing and rally drivers of my acquaintance. Those who love them think they are tremendous value, those who hate them feel they are overpriced. For my own purposes, which include a lot of London driving, I found the flexible 911SC Sport to be the best 911 road version yet, although there were occasions on the open road when I itched for the extra urge of the old Carrera or Turbo. Potential customers can make up their own minds, if they are prepared to join the queue!

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In 1983 Car and Driver said the below about the Porsche 911 SC Cabriolet:

In truth, the 911SC is also a fantasy from Schutz’s past. As the story goes, Schutz and Dr. Ferry Porsche were re­laxing at the family villa one evening when Ferry explained that Porsche’s system of product planning back in the early postwar years was simplicity itself: “We did no market research, no sales forecast, no return-on-investment anal­ysis whatsoever. I built my dream car [the 356] and put it on sale.” What a golden opportunity for Schutz to pipe up with a pet dream of his own. “Let’s build a 911 Cabriolet,” he said to Ferry Porsche, and so it was.

That’s what the press had to say about the Porsche 911 SC when it was new. As you can see, in its day it was considered quite a car. By today’s high standards it isn’t a fast car, but it is one that can still make a boring drive fun.

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Collectible Wheels at Goodwood Festival of Speed

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Sun-drenched Goodwood hosted its Silver Jubilee Festival of Speed at the weekend (12-15 July) and shared its 25th birthday celebrations with a mind-boggling number of other notable anniversaries.

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Chief among these was Porsche’s 70th Anniversary, but the event also saw Alpine mark 40 years since the A442 B won the Le Mans 24 Hours, Land Rover and Lotus' own 70th birthdays and more.

Jaguar’s XK line was another to reach the big seven-0, and that anniversary was remembered with a grid of stunning Big Cats, among them Le Mans-winning C- and D-types, and the XK120 ‘NUB 120’.

Edwardian giants, 1970s Formula 1 cars, noughties sports-racers, contemporary electric hypercars, and a real-life Rocket Man – the Goodwood Festival of Speed never fails to surprise. And the 25th edition of the world’s most famous automotive garden party was arguably the finest yet…

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 Despite the automotive variety that continues to surprise at this event each and every year (where else can you see Group B rally cars followed by Nascar pickups and Le Mans-winning Ferraris tearing up a Duke’s very narrow driveway?), it was Porsche’s 70th anniversary celebrations for which the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2018 will be remembered.

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An astonishing selection of the marque’s cars – from GTs and single-seaters to Le Mans-winning prototypes and rally cars – could be seen both on the hill-climb and gathered in front of the house beneath the spectacular Porsche-themed central feature for a ‘hip hip hooray’ moment, accompanied by orchestral music and day-time fireworks.

 

And as you’d expect, countless racing legends who’ve been associated with Porsche over the years turned up to drive either a former flame or a new car for the first time. Mark Webber, for example, was thrown the keys to the Porsche 356 ‘Nr. 1’ Roadster from 1948. Our standout Porsche pairings were Gijs van Lennep in the Martini-liveried 911 Carrera RSR Turbo, Jochen Mass in the Rothmans-liveried 962 in which he won at Kyalami, Neel Jani in the phenomenal 919 Hybrid Tribute, and Lord March’s son Charlie hustling James Turner’s brand new 911 art car.

 

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Elsewhere at the Festival of Speed, the sights, sounds, and smells were abundant. We particularly enjoyed hiking deep into the woods and watching Metro 6R4s, Audi Quattros, and Opel Mantas sliding and backfiring their way around the Forest Rally Stage (despite the choking dust clouds that lingered in the trees).

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A raft of V8- and V10-powered modern Formula 1 cars served to remind us what the pinnacle of motorsport should really sound like. And we were very impressed with the Brabham BT62, Lanzante’s long-tail McLaren P1 GT, and Singer Vehicle Design’s ‘Design and Light-weighting Study’ in the super car run. Without a doubt the best sight of the weekend, however, was the real-life rocket man who attempted the hill-climb flying his homemade jet pack – let’s all salute that man.

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The Goodwood Festival of Speed has morphed into arguably the world’s most significant celebration of motor-sport over the past 25 years. And while it’s dreadfully busy and a little too commercial for our liking, we can’t deny that the appetite and passion for the cars and characters of the past, present, and future is more palpable here than at any other event. A modern electric hyper-car might have set the quickest time of the weekend, but give us a deafening pre-War Auto Union any day of the week.

Models that have been Around for Decades

By:Aivaras Grigelevičius

Today, the automotive industry announces new models nearly every day – the models chase each other and often disappear when a fresher one comes out. Nevertheless, there are quite a few models in the history of automobiles that have already become legends, having been around for years or even decades.

Ford Model T: 19 years

Ford Model T

Ford Model T

The Ford Model T went down in history as the first affordable production car that changed the lives of thousands of Americans. The Ford Motor Company's introduction of an assembly line and use of replaceable, identical parts in the automotive manufacturing process reduced production costs and allowed them to lower the bar for pricing significantly, and this was the key to the Model T's huge success – members of the working class were finally able to buy a car. With a 2.9-litre, 4-cylinder, 20-horsepower engine, a 3-speed (including reverse) transmission, and rear-wheel drive, the first production Model T came to life on October 1, 1908; on May 26, 1927, after nearly two decades of success, the 15 millionth and last Model T rolled off the assembly line, ending the era of this revolutionary model.

Ford Model T

Ford Model T

Fiat 126: 28 years

Fiat 126

Fiat 126

The successor to the popular 500, the Fiat 126 was introduced at the Turin Auto Show in 1972, but both models were sold right up until 1975. Powered by a rear-mounted, 2-cylinder engine that produced 23 horsepower, the Fiat 126 didn't have much of an appetite for fuel, could seat four, and wasn't expensive, but its outdated design meant that unlike the Fiat 500, it never won over the hearts of Italy and Western Europe. On the other hand, the inexpensive, low-maintenance city car became a cult icon in Poland, where it was produced right up until 2000.

Fiat 126

Fiat 126

Peugeot 404: 31 years

Peugeot 404

Peugeot 404

In 1960, Peugeot introduced a new model – the practical, comfortable and stylish 404 sedan designed by Pininfarina. When it went into production, the Peugeot 404 was offered as an estate or a pickup; convertible and coupé versions came out later that were specially designed for drivers who wanted to emphasise their social status. In turn, the more mass-consumption Peugeot 404 models not only stood out for their attractive appearance and versatility, but also earned the reputation of a reliable car – taxi companies were particularly fond of the indestructible 404 sedans. Not surprisingly, the sturdy Peugot 404s that were not afraid of hard work became very popular in Africa – even though production of the 404 was already discontinued in Europe in 1975, the model was manufactured in Kenya until 1991.

Peugeot 404

Peugeot 404

Citroën 2CV: 42 years

Citroen 2CV

Citroen 2CV

The main reason that Citroën introduced the 2CV in 1948 was the huge demand for cheap and simple vehicles in France. Many people were still covering long distances on post-war roads in horse-drawn carriages, so the 2CV became a true saviour of the nation by giving everyone the chance to buy a car. With a 9-horsepower air-cooled engine and front-wheel drive, the Citroën 2CV was the embodiment of functionality and simplicity – even the windscreen wipers were powered by a cable that also moved the speedometer, and the windows were lifted by hand. Nevertheless, the model nicknamed "the duck" that was economical both in terms of its price and maintenance and could drive through just about anything was met with enormous popularity, and production was only discontinued in 1990 after selling almost 9 million 2CVs.

Citroen 2CV

Citroen 2CV

Morgan 4/4: 63 years (still in production)

Morgan 4/4

Morgan 4/4

The Morgan 4/4 first went into production in 1936: the "4-4" designation of the original open two-seater meant that the model has four wheels (which was particularly important to underscore, since Morgan had previously only made three-wheelers) and the engine had four cylinders. After a short production break during WW2 and the early 1950s, the Morgan 4/4 Series II came out in 1955; although it was built on a completely different platform, it remained strikingly similar to the first models, with the exception of the headlamps that were now integrated into the front fenders. The styling of the cars from this manufacturer dedicated to long-standing traditions hasn't changed in more than 60 years (or 80, if you count from when the first model was launched) – even though every new 4/4 features improved dynamics and comfort, the exterior design remains completely untouched by time or trends.

Morgan 4/4

Morgan 4/4

Volkswagen Type 1 (a.k.a. the Beetle): 65 years

VW Beetle

VW Beetle

An affordable, practical and economical people's car that could transport a German family of four at 100 km/h – this was the requirement made by Adolf Hitler to Ferdinand Porsche in 1934. The final design for the new Volkswagen Type 1, unofficially called the Beetle, was created in 1938, with an air-cooled, rear-mounted, 4-cylinder engine, rear-wheel drive and a rounded body. Mass production had been put on hold once WW2 began, and all of the Type 1 models that had already been produced were allocated to members of the party. In 1945, the Type 1 starting rolling of the assembly lines at the Volkswagen factory again, and by August 1955, a million Beetles had already been produced. In February 1972, the Ford Model T's record was broken with the 15,007,034th Beetle, and in 2003, the last Type 1 model was produced in Mexico – in 65 years of production, more than 21 million Beetles had rolled off the production lines in at least 15 different countries around the world.

VW Beetle

VW Beetle