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.

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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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.

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.

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

Jaguar E-Type Super Star that Needs No Introduction

It is a superstar among both car aficionados and average Joes alike. It has been voted the most beautiful car in the world on numerous occasions and appeared as a token of style and wealth everywhere from Austin Powers to Mad Men.

Jaguar D-Type

Jaguar D-Type

By 1960s, it was a high time for Jaguar to find a replacement for their aging XK150 while, company’s racing division excelled at Le Mans with the brilliant D-Type. Not to waste the racing expertise, Jaguar drew from their motorsport know-how when developing the E-Type. This is where the iconic Jaguar got its aerodynamic monocoque body, 3.8 liter straight-6, four-wheel disc brakes and independent suspension. This was cutting edge technology and the car was bound to make a splash.

E-Type Jaguar Launch 1961

E-Type Jaguar Launch 1961

But even Jaguar’s founder Sir William Lyons did not anticipate how much of a hit it would be when the car was revealed in Geneva motor show in 1961. The crowds could not get enough of the E-Type, so Lyons ordered Jaguar’s driver Norman Dewis to get the second car down to Switzerland for the following day. He managed to cover more than 1000 km between Coventry and Geneva in under 11 hours heroically driving the roadster through the night.

Jaguar XK150

Jaguar XK150

It was not only the E-Types gorgeous body, race car chassis or 240 km/h top speed that was drawing the crowds. The price was alluring as well. Not only was the E-Type more affordable than the XK150 it replaced but comparable Aston Martins and Ferrari's cost two or three times more.

 

 

To an untrained eye, all E-Types look the same. And while the swooping and sleek shape did remain throughout the model’s 14 year run, it did undergo quite a few changes. E-Types are generally classified into Series I, II and III. It must be mentioned that due to the hand-built nature of these Jags, not all of the alterations happened at once, thus there are transitional models sharing features of different series. The Series I was the original model and can be externally distinguished by its smaller front opening, covered headlights and tail lights above the rear bumper. In 1964 its engine was enlarged to 4.2 liters, granting more torque.

E-Type Series 1 Roadster

E-Type Series 1 Roadster

E-Type Series 1 Coupe

E-Type Series 1 Coupe

E-Type Low Drag Coupe

E-Type Low Drag Coupe

Being a race car at heart, the E-Type was a common sight on the track, used by the automaker itself and privateers. Several versions took the racing theme a few steps further. The first one was the Low Drag Coupe. Just like the name suggests it was exercised in aerodynamics and sported a sleeker and lower body, aluminium panels and a spicier version of the 3.8 litre. The experimenting with lightweight alloys continued and in a few years the world saw the E-Type Lightweight roadster. A true spiritual successor of the D-Type, it was quite successful when raced by private teams.

E-Type Series 2 Coupe

E-Type Series 2 Coupe

Race cars are thrilling, but it is the road cars that make the bottom line. The US market made up the lion’s share of E-Types production, so when the joy-killing 1960s legislations came into effect, Jag had to comply. The 1968 revised model was dubbed Series II, it had uncovered sealed beam headlights and safety bumpers. Disappointingly, these changes were applied to all of the E-Types, not only the ones sold in the US. To meet the emission requirements, American cars also lost the triple SU carbs and which also led to a substantial loss in power.

E-Type Series 2 Roadster

E-Type Series 2 Roadster

Series II also came in an unconventional looking 2+2 coupe body style. It was a more comfortable and spacious variant, full 23 cm longer than the standard car. There was an additional row of seats, suitable for tiny humans which led to an effect on the cars sharp handling. This is precisely the reason the 2+2 coupes are the least desirable among the collectors and are usually the cheapest option into the E-Type ownership club.

E-Type Series 3 Roadster

E-Type Series 3 Roadster

Over time, E-Type shifted from its race car origins and morphed into a GT. It became extremely evident when the Series III came around in 1971. It was fitted with Jaguar’s hefty, yet silky smooth 5.3 V12. It now had plusher interior and seats, something that the original lacked. Only roadsters and 2+2 coupes were offered from 1971 onwards. Cross-slated front grille and wider stance differentiated the exterior of these late cars. Series III were produced quite briefly as the E-Type production ended in 1974.

E-Type Series 3 Coupe

E-Type Series 3 Coupe

Want to get one of your own? Well, tough luck. With classic car market skyrocketing, E-Types were among the top appreciating examples. If you want to get a decent one for less than R1,6 million you should probably look at an S3 or S2 coupe. While frowned upon by Jaguar snobs (and thus cheaper), these were as refined and as comfy as the E-Types got. When it comes to the most exclusive E-Types, the sky is the limit and some go for millions.